Friday, June 10, 2022

Mens Rea

 (By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
"Mens Rea- Mens Rea refers to criminal intent. The literal translation from Latin is 'guilty mind'." -Legal Information Institute.
"Over multiple months, Donald Trump oversaw and coordinated a sophisticated seven-part plan to overturn the presidential election and prevent the transfer of presidential power." Vice Chair Liz Cheney.
I've been covering politics since sand has been on beaches. My fascination (or morbid horror) with politics began when I was a teenager growing up with the Watergate hearings and Nixon's almost impeachment. I hit my stride writing about the nightmare of the second Bush administration, then the neoliberal bullshit of the Obama administration then all four of the Trump years that should've been narrated from beginning to end by Linda Hamilton in her Terminator II narrator's voice.
    Therefore, being something of a self-styled political pundit (although my editor Ari Goldstein would disagree at times. Ari was a running buddy of Abbie Hoffman, who'd made national headlines by burning his draft card then pissing on the embers. Ari can't do that, any more, on account of prostate issues), I didn't go into last night's January 6th Committee hearing blind. The same can't be said for all my colleagues in the Fourth Estate. (How Elizabeth Brown of the ironically-named Reason could've kept the blinders on up until eight o'clock last night is anyone's guess.)
    But if the J6 Committee had succeeded in proving any of its objectives, it was in establishing that not only what Donald Trump tried to do in late 2020/early 2021 was criminal, but he knew it was criminal. Hence the title of this article, Mens rea.
    What seems to set Donald Trump apart from everyone else, seemingly, in his administration is that he'd embraced the soft coup and the rioters and their efforts to sack the Capitol. Even Peter Navarro, at his craziest, had admitted to Ari Melber that the rioters were counterproductive and just getting in the way. Fox "News'" talking heads, who are now strenuously trying to avoid any mention of the hearings, as well as right wing lawmakers, were furiously texting Meadows to get his boss to stop the shit.
     Keep that in mind- They all went to Meadows, not to Marc Short or any other Chief of Staff. Mike Pence was the one who was whisked to safety, as well as all the lawmakers, not Trump. That's because he attempted "to join in the cry of danger to liberty—to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government & bringing it under suspicion—to flatter and fall in with all the non sense of the zealots of the day. It may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may 'ride the storm and direct the whirlwind',” to use Alexander Hamilton's eerily prescient warning.
     Proving the case of guilty knowledge, the Committee played tapes of depositions from Ivanka, Bill Barr and Jason Miller, who all reported having told Trump that he lost the election. So, he knew he lost and he tried to overturn the election results, anyway, then protected the rioters by refusing to call out the DC National Guard. 
 "I'm Not Getting in That Car."

Getting Pence to throw out certain Electoral College results was his Plan A. Then, when Pence refused to do so, having him lynched was his Plan B because even a fucking idiot like Trump knew that only the vice president can certify the election results, according to the 12th Amendment. Yes, he would've gladly sacrificed his own vice president to throw more confusion into the certification and hang on to power a little longer.
     He even said, "maybe he deserves it." No wonder Pence refused to get into the limousine that had been sent to him. Good thing, too, since Alex Jones and other crazies were standing in the middle of what would have been Pence's escape route.
     The video played by the J6 Committee last night contained footage never before shown, including police body cams (So you could at least see what they saw), bird's eye security footage and interior Capitol security footage. It shows a howling mob of screaming lunatics chanting, "Hang Mike Pence!" just minutes after a rioter shouted out on a bullhorn the text of Trump's latest tweet essentially painting a target on his vice president's back.
    The rest we now know. Trump gleefully watched the riot from the TV in the small dining room adjacent the Oval Office, waiting to see if his Plan B would work.
     One of the tapes that was shown last night was that of Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley, who'd said that Mike Pence, not Trump, asked him to deploy the DC National Guard after it had become obvious to Pence that the Capitol was literally being taken apart and that his boss did not lift a finger to stop it. Yes, you read that right. Mike Pence saved our democracy, not the so-called Commander in Chief who literally wanted him dead.
     And all over the results of a free and fair election the cocksucker knew he'd lost.
     Mens rea.
     The tapes were backed up by Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards, who provided the perfect human, real time counterpoint to the videos. Officer Edwards was there that day on the West Terrace where she was knocked out when the back of her head collided with the steps. Then she woke up and went right back to work, making us wonder why she, too, wasn't given a gold medal with the other recipients.
     Mary Trump did a Mystery Science Theater 3000 riffing of the hearings (her description, not mine) on her podcast, the Mary Trump Show via a streaming feed. I'd brought up the point, that she'd singled out, that the Capitol Building has 856 windows and all but 12 of them were reinforced. Yet, those 12 unreinforced windows were exactly the ones the rioters breached. How did they know that? GOP recon, that's how.
     Another point that I'd made on her podcast was that after January 6th, we no longer had any confidence that our nation couldn't turn into a banana republic. That confidence still hasn't been fully restored. Perhaps the next five hearings, starting on Monday the 13th, will go a ways toward restoring it. Maybe not. We'll have to wait and see.


At June 11, 2022 at 12:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brilliant. I loved it. Keep it up. Pun intended.

At June 11, 2022 at 1:08 AM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Who's this?


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