Mark Figley: Footage shows the truth about Jan. 6’s events

Following Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson’s release of official video footage from the so-called “Jan. 6 insurrection,” the deep state went apoplectic.

What makes the moment so defining is not the action of Carlson but the reaction of the cancel culture, led by Senate Majority Leader Chucky Schumer, who called on Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch to censor any further related video images. Schumer then went even further in demanding that Fox pull Carlson’s nightly show off the air.

Shortly thereafter, Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell gave support to Schumer in calling Carlson’s ’s portrayal “a mistake.” Republican Sen. Thom Tillis blasted the footage as “BS,” while Mitt Romney said Carlson had “gone off the rails.”

White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre reaffirmed Joe Biden’s preposterous characterization of Jan. 6 by repeating that it was “the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.” Talk about hysterical!

But none of these critics claimed the video footage wasn’t authentic. And it blows the lid off the contention that Jan. 6 was an “insurrection.”

One batch of footage showed police calmly escorting Jacob Chansley, AKA QAnon Shaman, about the Capitol and even trying to assist him in accessing locked offices. Chansley, a Navy veteran and the face of supposedly violent Jan. 6 protesters, was shown as anything but. No attempts were made to arrest him by at least nine armed Capitol Hill police who could have done so. He even recited a prayer of thanks for them after accessing the Senate chamber. Yet today, after being called by some a terrorist who deserved to be shot, he is serving a nearly four-year prison sentence for an unknown crime.

Additional footage shown by Carlson showed police officer Brian Sicknick walking normally in the Capitol after he was supposedly attacked and murdered by pro-Trump protesters wielding a fire extinguisher. The D.C. chief medical examiner would later determine that Sicknick died as the result of a stroke.

Other footage concerned mystery man Ray Epps, who was recorded encouraging protesters to storm the Capitol. Then under public pressure, when the Jan. 6 Committee interviewed Epps, he denied being serious after sending a text to his nephew bragging about “orchestrating” the protest. Why has the media ignored this story? Where is Epps, and why has he not been criminally charged? Allegations continue to circulate that he was working as an FBI informant, but the agency has refused to comment. It is imperative that we get honest answers not just for Epp’s role, but in the name of justice for those who have been criminally charged.

Currently, at least 100 men who participated in the Jan. 6 protest continue to be held under pre-trial detention. While 150 Capitol police were unnecessarily injured, why was the same level of concern never displayed for the 7,000 (primarily law enforcement) injured as a result of the George Floyd protests? Clearly, many of those detained are arguably political prisoners, enduring harsh confinement and awaiting trial while still legally considered innocent.

If such activity was going on anywhere else in the world, the U.S. State Department would be screaming from the rooftops for all to hear. Though today, not even the ACLU utters a peep.

All told, more than 40,000 hours of surveillance footage was recorded of the Jan. 6 protest. Why has most of it never been seen by the American public? This explains why the political elites, who until now have completely controlled the footage, are necessarily becoming jittery.

In reality, only a small number of the 2,500 Jan. 6 protesters who entered the Capitol were violent. The others, plus those who remained outside, were law-abiding and in compliance with a federal permit to hold a legal rally there. The footage shown by Carlson proves this in unedited fashion, the way such an event should be shown. And the lesson is, “You’re being lied to by your government, and you deserve better.” This includes everybody.

At the end of the day, sunlight is the best disinfectant. Thanks to Carlson for having the guts to let it shine through.

Mark Figley is a political activist and guest columnist from Elida. His column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Lima News editorial board or AIM Media, owner of The Lima News.