- The Washington Times - Monday, May 24, 2021

To compare this January’s Capitol Hill riot to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks is ludicrous. Yet, that didn’t stop Never Trump commentator George Will from jumping off the deep end Sunday.

On ABC’s “This Week,” Mr. Will said it was his desire to “see January 6th burned into the American mind as firmly as 9/11 because it was that scale of a shock to the system.”

I’m sorry, Mr. Will, it wasn’t. Let’s get some perspective here.

First, a foreign terrorist group, al Qaeda killed about 3,000 people on Sept. 11 by crashing two planes into the World Trade Towers in New York City, bringing both skyscrapers down, crashed another plane into the Pentagon, destroying a part of it, and crashed another jet after the passengers rebelled into a field in Pennsylvania — it’s intended target still unknown. The events changed the course of American foreign policy and led to U.S. military occupation in the Middle East.

On Jan. 6th of this year, only one person was shot and killed — and that was a Trump supporter by Capitol Police. Yes, trespassers did some minor damage to the Capitol building, but not enough for business not to be conducted the following day. Some video footage shows Capitol police actually welcoming in the protesters. They were not terrorists; they were merely trying to have their voices heard by the people who represent them.

Historically speaking, Jan. 6th’s riot wasn’t even that bad in terms of violence on Capitol Hill.

In 1856, pro-slavery Rep. Preston Brooks beat anti-slavery Sen. Charles Sumner nearly unconscious with a cane on the Senate floor. In 1890, a newspaper correspondent fatally shot a congressman on the east staircase of the House Wing of the Capitol after a spat.

In 1915, a former German professor at Harvard, Erich Muenter, planted a bomb near the Senate Reception room that detonated, luckily, when the Senate was on recess. 

In 1954, four Puerto Rican Americans, brandishing firearms, shot and injured five congressmen. In 1971, the radical left militant group Weather Underground, detonated a bomb in the Capitol building costing $300,000 in damage. In 1983, another fringe group dubbed the Armed Resistance Unit set off another bomb, causing an estimated $250,000 in repairs. 

Lastly, in 1998 a deranged man stormed the Capitol and killed two police officers.

On Jan. 6th, no bombs were detonated, and no firearms were brandished. No lawmakers were killed or even injured. It was a simple protest gone wrong. 

President Biden’s Department of Justice is actively seeking out the participants of Jan. 6th, making more than 400 arrests with 100 more anticipated. Many of these protesters have been locked up in solitary confinement waiting for their court dates. Congress, for its part, is already investigating what went wrong, and last week, the House passed a $1.9 billion emergency relief bill to help boost security for Capitol Hill. 

To be clear: No 9/11-like commission is needed here. The Biden administration, and lawmakers, are already doing their part to clean up the mess and hold those responsible accountable. 

What is left is only political. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to style a new commission to investigate Jan. 6th and has used the 9/11 comparison. The mainstream media, for their part, have picked up her terminology to help convince the American public that what happened on Jan. 6th with pro-Trump protesters was as bad as the worst terror attack in our nation’s history.

It’s complete garbage. And shame on Mr. Will — a supposed Republican — for echoing her radical propaganda without any historical context or rational perspective.  

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