On Monday, The Root reported that the FBI screened around 25,000 members of the U.S. Army National Guard to make sure a second attack on the U.S. Capitol wasn’t being planned for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration by insiders tasked with securing Capitol grounds. It was an unusual screening of an unusually large Inauguration Day security detail, but after the attempted coup by crazy cultists on Jan. 6, defense officials understood how inconceivably dumb they would have looked if Capitol security was underprepared for violence during a major event for a second time in one month.
The Associated Press reports that, as a result of the FBI screening, two National Guard members are being removed from the security team due to their alleged ties to far-right militia groups. The Guard members weren’t found to have taken part in planning an attack against Biden or his inauguration, but since defense officials appear to be rightfully taking a no-risk-whatsoever approach to securing the Capitol, the guards’ possible connection to white nationalism was enough to boot them from the mission.
The Army official and the intelligence official spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity due to Defense Department media regulations. They did not say what fringe group the Guard members belonged to or what unit they served in.
Contacted by the AP on Tuesday, the National Guard Bureau referred questions to the U.S. Secret Service and said, “Due to operational security, we do not discuss the process nor the outcome of the vetting process for military members supporting the inauguration.”
I don’t know about you all, but I don’t need to know exactly which white power gang signs the unidentified National Guard members were throwing up on their downtime; it’s just good to see domestic terrorism committed by a largely white mob being responded to with the same sense of urgency (at least, somewhat) as foreign-based terrorism committed by people and groups America has never been shy about calling terrorists.
These precautions might seem like overkill, but the anger and propaganda surrounding Donald Trump’s presidential loss proves them necessary. Hopefully, with the incoming administration comes a real effort to tackle America’s white terrorism problem. Then maybe these precautions won’t be needed in the future.
Updated: 1/19/2021, 3 p.m. ET: Federal officials told NBC News that, aside from the two we previously reported on, around a dozen National Guard members have been relieved from the inauguration security team. “Some of the decisions were based on routine background checks that look at criminal history; others were based on concerns from fellow Guard members based on statements they heard,” NBC reports.