The following is a rough transcript which has not been revised by The Jim Rutt Show or by Terry Gainer. Please check with us before using any quotations from this transcript. Thank you.
Jim: Today’s guest is Terry Gainer. Terry began his law enforcement career as a police officer in the Chicago Police Department and rose through the ranks, spending many years as a homicide detective. He was later appointed director of the Illinois State Police. In 1998, Terry moved to Washington, DC, where he served as executive assistant chief, chief of police, for the Metropolitan Police Department. That’s the big city police, the main police department in DC, and four years later was selected to be the chief of the US Capitol Police. And from 2007 to 2014, Terry served as a United States senate serjeant-at-arms. Welcome Terry.
Terry: Jim, it’s good to be with you.
Jim: Yeah. Talk about somebody with a perfect track record and career to talk about the things we’re going to talk about here. I couldn’t have found anybody with more relevant experience. Thank you very much for agreeing to be on the show.
Terry: Jim, I actually like trying to help clarify some of the misconceptions and own up to where we did wrong, but I think transparency and honesty in what we’re doing is the way things should be run, so that’s my goal.
Jim: That’s great, and we will dig into some things. While there may be some criticism of what happened on January 16th, from my part and maybe yours too, I want to make it clear that I have the highest regard for the police officers and others put in a very difficult situation who did their duty that day. With that preamble, let’s start out with how did preparations for January 6th differ from preparations that you might have seen or known about for previous potentially volatile demonstrations?
Terry: Clearly, we don’t have all the answers of what went wrong, and obviously something did. The Capitol police, as well as the Metropolitan police of Washington, DC, handle a lot of events, big and small, and generally you’re handling events where the majority of people are law abiding even if they’re loud, even if they might be perceived as obnoxious, and many have views different from the police officers. You could have counter demonstrators, so depending on what the gathering is about is how you might decide how to manage it.
Terry: You’d be interested in having as much intelligence as you can gather, both electronically and now in this day and age through social media, as well as people living in the community or reading the newspaper. Just having a sense of what’s going on, and this event we now know is much bigger than was anticipated, but it’s not nearly the type of activity getting ready for it that we would have been put into the inauguration. Jim, I do say “we” a lot as if I’m still doing it. I haven’t been up in charge of either those for the last five years, but I stay in close touch with them. I do a lot of work for the Justice Department and troubled violence cities, so I have a sense of what’s going on. That was a very long answer to say we need to unpack what was known, how the planning procedure would have gone, how you adjust to any plan you have, and how it ended up so bad.
Jim: At least superficially, it looked like there was a lot less preparation than I’ve seen in the past. I mean, going all the way back to the Vietnam War era demonstrations, where I remember seeing on TV the whole Capitol surrounded by bumper-to-bumper metro buses, and then a line of concertina wire, and then national guard men behind that, and then the Capitol police behind them. I mean, clearly it wasn’t anywhere near that level of preparation. Even some of the preparations for the Black Lives Matter related demonstrations this summer looked like they were quite a bit more heavily prepared than they were this time. Do you think that’s a fair statement?
Terry: I think it’s something that has to be discussed. If you want to spend some time talking about do law enforcement agencies, the Capitol police, the Metro police, or anybody else treat all demonstrations the same and all violent demonstrators the same, then that’s a fair conversation to have. But, what has happened in this recent one of January 6th is comparing that to the protest in June and the north side of the White House over in Lafayette Park there. Those are two very different things, and people have to remember that the way that was handled by the president, the attorney general, and some of the active military, that did not involve the U.S. Capitol police. It did not involve the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, and all us would agree that it was mishandled. Comparing that particular one to January 6th is not a good comparison, but that begs the questions, do police treat all violent demonstrators the same? They should, and we need to examine whether policemen, firemen, military men, or people doing pods have any bias they drive with them that we have to be more careful and watch what they’re doing.
Jim: And being humans, it’s almost certain that they do. The question is, is it to a disproportionate degree? Well, if we’re unclear about the exact differences in preparation, I think one thing that we could pause it perhaps a little bit more clearly is there seems to have been a shortcoming in intelligence. Subsequently, we’ve seen that, for instance, the FBI field office in Norfolk wrote a detailed and fairly intense paper warning that there were people preparing for war that were going to be coming to the Capitol, and there was another FBI field office that wasn’t quite as dire, but it was pretty dire.
Jim: These things were forwarded to headquarters and presumably got to a domestic security component of the FBI. One wonders … Were these things not forwarded to the police? Did the police not pay attention to them? Did it go to the mayor’s office, and she said, “No. We don’t want to go there”? What are your thoughts on the intel failure that we now know there were signals all over the internet, most of them in publicly viewable places, that there were a lot of people planning to be there, and at least a subsection of them were considering serious violence?
Terry: Oh. Those are great questions. I’m not going to avoid any of it, but I will also say that there has to be a good commission that has the power and the honesty to call balls and strikes about what went wrong. Here’s a couple things I do know. The chief of the Capitol police, who has now been relieved of his command, is a man that I know and respect. He was once my chief of staff at the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington when he was a young lieutenant just ready to make captain. When he was chosen to be the chief of the Capitol police, I was delighted because of the breadth of his experience in Washington, DC, heading up the special operation’s division responsible for handling all sorts of demonstrations, big and small.
Terry: Both the men who had distinguished careers with the secret service, one was the senate serjeant-at-arms, one the house serjeant-at-arms; Also people I know and have worked with over the years, and both, all three, are very competent. When this began to unfold, you couldn’t help but ask the question, “What in the heck happened?” As the reporters were all reporting all day long, all that open information where they interviewed the protestors, and they talked about how violent they were going to be and their hatred of what the Democrats had done to the Republicans and to their president. It is a bit of a mystery, but Chief Sund himself said a week ago … It was Sunday now, or maybe it was last Sunday. He said that he didn’t have that complete intelligence. In the press conference that I saw with the mayor, and she had the head of the FBI office of Washington said they didn’t have the information.
Terry: Then, it wasn’t too far after that the New York field office of the FBI and the NYPD, the New York police, said they did have it, and they passed it to the Capitol police. Then, as you mentioned, the information coming from Norfolk would support a notion that they did have it. Clearly, whatever mistakes we thought were cured after 9/11 about eliminating stove pipes, and there should be connectivity, there was a breakdown, and there may have very well been a breakdown in the interpretation of that, because even on open source, Jim, there’s a lot of garbage and braggadocio in stuff that you put in the b.s. category. But, that also all has to be carefully vetted and considered. I don’t have the facts as to where those errors were, but I’ve seen the results of the errors.
Jim: Yeah. As you alluded to, it strikes me that something like the 9/11 commission would be a good idea to find out how we had this systemic failure. A friend of mine said, and I think more or less accurately, that a 15 year old intern with a Chromebook, give him two hours the day before and he could have turned up plenty of stuff to show there was at least a significant chance. We consider the stakes, here was Congress doing its most solemn, most important ceremonial roles, tabulating the electoral college and announcing an orderly legal succession between administrations. If there was ever even any reasonable chance of serious violence, there should have been much more in the way of preparation, so it seemed like an intel failure for sure or a judgment failure not to accept the intel.
Terry: Again, those are good points. Whatever planning they did, you have to look at what information do they have to put together the original plan? Then, every plan is just a template for how you think things are going to go. In any demonstration, they never go exactly how you think they’re going to go, so the other part of all this is adjusting as things unfolded. I’m relatively confident that a variety of law enforcement agencies and police officers were present in playing closed, not making themselves known at this demonstration while it was going on. That’s perfectly legal. Those are open, public events, but the purpose of those to be down there is to share what they’re seeing, what they’re tasting in the atmosphere, what are people carrying, and get some on-the-ground sense of what’s going on.
Terry: Under normal circumstances, the [joint tiers 00:12:08] and task force of the FBI would have had a group down there with members from a variety of different agencies or the Metropolitan police and the US Capitol police, and they would have been reporting back so that the commanders up on the hill could make some determination of what they need to do. Clearly, in the command centers, you would have been watching the speeches of members of Congress that were up there, the president, the president’s son, and Mayor Giuliani, all of whom were using pretty volatile words and “Let’s go get them,” “We’ve been robbed,” and “Let’s attack. Let’s fight for the truth.” Again, it would be reasonable to assume that you would be getting this information, sending it back, and begin the adjustments.
Terry: Then, based on what has been reported by Chief Sund, when that happened, he began the process of asking for control and support by some of the smaller national guard units that were doing traffic duty and some other things for, I believe, the Metropolitan Police Department. Then, you read all the [inaudible 00:13:25] about who could give permission and what the military chain of command, and I think that might be a side show. Normally, you would not use those citizen soldiers as a quick reaction back up to law enforcement. In the planning process, big or small, you’d want to have enough assets available, maybe even out of sight, in case things got bad. We don’t know what happened there, but I think that’s slowed the process down and did not contribute to try and have reserve civil disturbance units on hand.
Jim: Yeah. I know in the past for some of the bigger demonstrations, certainly all the way back to the Vietnam War era included and things subsequently, again to the issue that you can’t call out the citizen soldiers on short notice. They would often activate them and keep them at the DC Armory. Then, if they needed them, they could rush them to the scene. You’re not going to get them to come from home, put on their gear, and all that. Again, another failure of reducing the reaction time in the fact that somebody along the line didn’t evaluate properly the seriousness of this event.
Jim: Another question that I think you would be perfect to provide some light on … In reading the press and listening to the NPR and what have you, there’s been more than a couple of comments that one of the problems that Chief Sund faced was the chain of command problem on Capitol Hill itself. He reports, as I understand it, to the two serjeant-at-arms at the house and the senate, and then for certain decisions that has to go either to the chairman of the House Administration Committee or for other things to the congressional leadership itself for a decision. How much autonomy did Chief Sund have on that day to take action, such as calling for Metropolitan Police reinforcements or converting the status of the national guard from unarmed traffic folks to armed security people?
Terry: He would have little to no direct authority to convert national guard personnel whose mission and assignment was unarmed traffic enforcement and other supplies they may bring, so that would require running through some channels, both in the military district of Washington, and then up through the Pentagon. He would have very, very little leeway in doing that. The command and control and the hiring authority for the chief is the police board, where I once sat after I had been chief. I actually went up and replaced by boss when he retired, and a new administration came in and brought me in. It’s in imperfect oversight, but it’s probably not much different than city police departments or state police, which I serve, where the chief of police reports to the city administrator, the mayor, the city council as a whole, or some sub committees of that.
Terry: As the saying goes, almost everybody has a boss in between what the citizens want and what the police chief may have. As a plan was being developed, the chief would have been interacting ongoing with the board, specifically with the house and senate serjeant-at-arms, letting them know how the planning is going, and they can weigh in on that again. They’re up there, part of beyond just a protocol and some of the other duties that they have to help with continuity of government, continuity of operations, and overseeing the police department. Taking Steven’s word as I would, because I respect him for that, that he asked permission to have national guard called out up on the hill as he reported.
Terry: He didn’t get that, so they’re going to have to, both the serjeant-at-arms, are going to have to answer why they didn’t agree with Steve’s assessment that more people were needed. One of the problems now in the public discretion of that is the use of the term optics. Some would say, “Oh. They didn’t want the optics,” and now we ought to get into a little bit of a discussion about what optics means in the way it’s being used. Really, what it means is what is the message that we want to send about the United States and the Capitol insecurity? Most people, I would say, do not want tanks, Humvee’s, and heavily armed military people patrolling our streets or up on the Capitol plaza and around the Capitol. I think that’s what they mean about the optics.
Terry: What that means through my career, and especially as I’ve moved up in chain of command, was that if you thought the threat was enough that you wanted more people, meaning your own people, you might go to 12 hour shifts, you might cancel days off, you might not give anybody breaks, but you would also, if you canceled days off, bring people in a standby. You would have a patrol picture of the way police officers might normally look with a soft cap or a baseball cap, or the typical thing everybody sees in their city. If you’re worried about things breaking bad, then you would have people in places out of sight but ready to call nearby, who would be dressed for battle. Again, we’re going to have to figure out once the chief was told he couldn’t have national guard, then he had to talk with his personnel and decide, “Okay. They’re not giving me permission to do that, which is their right. Then, what’s my work realm?”
Terry: I think there could have been some work realms based on my experience, although my immediate experience up there is five years old, that the working relationship between the Metropolitan Police Department, the council of government, who manages cooperation packs with all the police departments in the area as well as in Virginia and Maryland, especially in Arlington and Fairfax County, and PG County … Those are all preset and very easy to exercise, and are exercised in an emergency, the State of the Union, or the inauguration. It is incumbent upon the chief ultimately, in my opinion. Since he has the primary responsibility of command and control of the police officers to be prepared for the worst, he’s the one who would have to make the ultimate decision, he and his staff, about what the intel meant. There’s going to be not much shade in a defense that, “They wouldn’t let me do it,” or “I didn’t have enough people.” When you get in those positions, anybody who leads organizations, you either follow the orders, stand up and buck, or you work around them.
Jim: Are you aware of what the readiness status of the Capitol police were that day had they canceled leave, had they double shifted, had they basically taken those intermediate steps of increasing their readiness?
Terry: I don’t have the full picture. I do know this. That department, like Metropolitan Police Department or any department, has been somewhat hampered because of the COVID, where four, five, six, seven per cent of the department might not be available, so I know they were working a lot of forced overtime, but I don’t have the specific numbers.
Jim: Okay. You talked earlier about if they thought that things were going to get tough, they would have put on their battle gear, their black web stuff, and maybe their vests. I didn’t see much of that. What do you know about their physical state of readiness on that day when the event occurred?
Terry: Again, I know how it was being run there. In the Capitol division of the Capitol police … There’re different divisions: house, senate, and Capitol. So, those are officers who spend the majority of their 28 day tour or their assignment in the Capitol so they know it inside and out. They have a large role call area in lockers in one of the basements, and they would have been issued the type of gear that you would put on in a riot situation. In the past, they certainly wore, and that would be down in their locker rooms which, depending on what floor you were on in the Capitol, could be maybe the furthest four stories away from where you are. Typically, during a joint session like that, inside you would not be wearing those things, and even some of the patrol units right around the outside, you would not be wearing those things. If you’re in a squad car or a police car, you can have that stuff in the trunk, and it’s easier to grab.
Terry: Inside, if you had the time and the relief factor, you could send people in theory to go gear up and then come back to station. What the timeline as we see, it does not appear, from the time it went very bad to the breach, that they would have had time to do that. Again Jim, that’s the preparation. If you knew the week before or the hours before that it was going to happen, you wouldn’t have needed to adjust. I also want to say this. Listen, I had the responsibility of leading that department, policies, procedures, training, and anticipating as I did the responsibility of the senate’s serjeant-at-arms. In all the protocols and operations we had, I don’t recall any detailed talk about losing the Capitol to [inaudible 00:24:50]. In other words, the security operation, which was heavily oriented towards state sponsored terrorism, incoming aircraft, suicide bombers, and suicide people in cars, you did a lot of that. The concentric range you have to provide standoff to the Capitol would not have anticipated.
Terry: I did not anticipate five years ago, or now 15 years ago when I was the chief, that we would have been in a situation where United States’ citizens would have been so riled up and hateful in [inaudible 00:25:29] down by the White House, where our leaders and president would have said, “Go down and attack.” That was not one of the contingencies we planned on when I was there. We didn’t envision that, but you are right to say someone with poor sight should have sensed that the hate and discontent was going on around, building up over four years in the split of America, and the way the election was being contested, that maybe the situation obviously wasn’t handled right. I don’t know what the hell else to say other than I want to know more facts. I want them to improve. We want them never to have it happen again, but had I been chief, or I had been senate serjeant-at-arms and this had happened, I would not be surprised to be fired. I just wouldn’t. That’s the responsibilities and authority that goes along with command.
Jim: Yeah. What I’m trying to dig in here is it seems like these failures were at multiple levels and multiple times. To go back to your data, which I did not know, that it’s likely that there were police intel folks, either FBI or maybe Metropolitan Police in the crowd who could start seeing that this is getting a pretty riled up crowd … Presumably, they’re communicating back to somebody, and even that would have given an hour-and-a-half lead time to the Capitol police to have geared up, for instance, or called in some people from leave or pulled people in from some of the outlying buildings.
Jim: Either the intel wasn’t forwarded, it wasn’t received, or it wasn’t acted upon. Again, it seems like at every time frame, there’s a couple of day time frames where the Norfolk office report … There were some deeper time frames that anyone who really understood the internet could gather that information. Then, there was day of intel and adjustment, as you would call it, that seemed not to have happened. It’s like any failure diagnosis, a plane crash or a nuclear power plant, it comes back again and again as relatively seldom one failure. It’s a whole bunch of failures that happened around the same event, and that seems to be the essence of what happened here.
Terry: It does. Again, we need a good investigation of that and figure out why that happened, and then we can get into the speculative things. Would 300 more riot police been enough? Would deadly force have been enough? Was there less than lethal force that should have been more readily available? Those are all questions, but I do want to say this, because there has been criticism in questions that if you look at those pictures on both the east and west front, and for your listeners they may know that the west front is the side that faces the Washington Monument. The east front is the side that faces the Supreme Court and the Library of Congress. There are scenes there where those steps in the terraces where police pretty quickly lost control of the plaza, lost control of the steps, lost control of the landings if you went up the steps, and then eventually lost control of the balcony, which put people next to windows.
Terry: There were officers up there with long guns, and some people said, “Why didn’t you just open fire?” That would not have been, is not, the training perhaps up until January 6th of how you would handle people who are trespassing who are loud, ignorant, and racist. You wouldn’t begin shooting them. On the other hand, if you’ve looked at some of these pictures closely, where you see the terrorists, the anarchists, and the raiders fighting, beating police officers, and trying to rip their face mask off. Officers from the Metropolitan Police Department talk about how they grabbed his ammunition pouches, how they tried to take their gun, how they tried talking about “Let’s kill him. Let’s kill him with our own gun.” The restraint and the decision making of officers now to begin shooting in a crowded hallway to try to get someone was aleatory. The weapons control, and the “When do you shoot, and when do you use deadly force?” was admirable, but it will be reviewed as to what the tactics need to be if we are going to have enemies of our democracy growing in our country who want to do this.
Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. That certainly was an eye opener. Now, what about some of the things we’ve seen in the media that are pretty, at least [inaudible 00:30:53]? Maybe we were misinterpreting them. There looked like there were some situations where perhaps the police were actually even helping the raiders, or barriers were removed or turned sideways to give passage where officers were taking selfies with the raiders. Obviously, most of the police officers weren’t doing that, but what’s your sense of the claims at least that a small minority of the police officers seemed to be in almost active collusion with the raiders?
Terry: It was first raised to me, and I simply denied it, and I said, “No. I know those men and women. That can’t be possible.” As I examine those, I looked at them, and I said, “Okay. Let’s go through a couple examples that are widely talked about.” On the east front, which is over by the senate’s stairs and is almost the first place if you’re coming onto the plaza from Constitution Avenue, you see hundreds of loud, boisterous people confront maybe four or five police officers if you take a quick look at it. There’s bicycle fence, and bicycle fence is meant to be just a line, as if you’re walking down a street in your city, and there would orange tape saying, “Sidewalk closed.”
Terry: A reasonable person then would not walk through the wet cement or the hole that had been dug, so bicycle fence has limited to stop crowds who aren’t going to listen to police direction. My reaction was that it didn’t seem unreasonable to those four, five, or whether it was six officers, eventually make the determination that we can’t fight 300 people here, absent using deadly force. So, they would move the gate to buy time as hopefully they were calling the radio saying where they needed assistance. The command center, given the amount of cameras up there, would have been looking at everything unfolding, so I at least understand the rationale of that. Taking a selfie … You know, one of the pictures I saw was an officer in an area of the Capitol that I know pretty well, because you can tell. You just know the building, the walls, and the pictures. In the midst of what [inaudible 00:33:16] he alone with where you couldn’t move any way but run into or surrounded by protestors.
Terry: The fact that he was standing there in the midst of a photo being taken, and it either appears or was a selfie, that could easily be trying to deescalate some of these things, and then not be in a position to again draw his gun and say, “Everybody, stand back.” The same way the initial misinterpretation of an officer whose name we now know, Officer Goodman, who was seen in several different photos being chased by a crowd, and he led them up the steps … Well, we now know that Officer Goodman was leading the offenders away from an entrance that would have got them into the chamber quicker. The picture was letting people interpret the picture is, but now having said that, we already know that the FBI, other agents along with the Capitol police, and all sorts of agents around the United States began rounding up the people whose pictures we could identify, and some of those have turned out to be active policemen, active firemen, retired policemen, retired military people, active military people, so that’s a problem.
Terry: If police have a problem gaining the trust of people we serve and people of color, we now have a problem where there could be police, firemen, and military people whose loyalty we have to question and their stance to the constitution. I’m not trying to over [inaudible 00:35:01]. It would appear that there was some collusion with people who shouldn’t have been doing that, and there’re allegations now that members of Congress, the day before, brought people in and escorted them around the Congress, around hallways and near offices, where they should not have been doing that, but we need the facts of those things. If anybody I know who’s sworn oath to a constitution, who was aiding and abetting this, should feel the heavy consequences of justice, but I know I’m going on. I should take more questions, but also you mentioned this. Take a look at the pictures of the hand-to-hand combat that those officers from both departments were doing in a multiple of areas.
Jim: Yeah. It was a tough situation. There’s no doubt about it. On the other hand, as you say, the idea of our sworn officers defecting to a seditious mob is stomach wrenching. So, we certainly need to not make any preliminary accusations without evidence, but I certainly hope this is investigated with a fine toothed comb to make sure we don’t have seditious action on the part of the sworn officers on Capitol Hill.
Terry: Yeah, Jim. Listen, in the police departments around the country of the fire departments, we hire from the community. The community represents people with all their strengths and weaknesses, prejudices, biased, and political backgrounds, so the terms everybody was using when there was some police misconduct or [inaudible 00:36:51] misconduct, whether it was Minneapolis or “Must be a few bad apples.” So, what we have to figure out is how many terrible, seditious apples we have in these key jobs, and how many terrible, seditious murderers that we have in the populous. Someone who would take the United States of America flag, and beat and drag a policeman down the steps, we’ve got some problems. We’ve got some healings to do. Not to get overly involved in the politics, whether it was 75 million for the president elect or 72 million for the current president, that’s a pretty big damn divide, which does not mean 72 million people who voted for President Trump are seditionist. Absolutely not, but apparently there’s too many haters in too many places in our lives that we don’t need that.
Jim: Yeah, and unfortunately, when the head man himself starts mouthing off that way, that’s a very bad situation. That’s one of the things I wanted to talk about. It’s kind of the atmospherics. I’ve worked in bureaucracies on occasion in my career. I tried to avoid it, but sometimes I did. We all know, as you said, everyone’s got a boss. The fact that these people were the friends and allies of the boss man himself, the big Cheeto, what impact do you think that had on the whole top to bottom decision making? Are they thinking, “Heck, these are conservative, white folks. They’re not going to beat up on the police” or “Hey, Trump man is our boss nine levels up. We probably ought not act as if his supporters are a criminal mob”? How much do you think thinking of that sort came into these failures that day?
Terry: I don’t know, and I hope not much, but I also know that extremists on the left and extremists on the right is what brings us to this point. Yeah, I’d probably agree that policemen as a whole are more conservative than that and prosecutors as whole are more conservative than that. Public defenders and maybe a lot of the press are more liberal than that, but I think you can be a conservative or a liberal in any one of those professions, not be patriotic, and not support democracy. It may have influenced someone on [onesies and twosies 00:39:38]. Again, I’ve seen those police officers do what they’re supposed to do irrespective of the person’s color, background, religious, or sexual orientation, but I’ve also seen where that’s made mistakes by a lot of different groups and professions across America.
Terry: It kind of gets back into the healing and which way America, which way are we going to go? What are the things we want our children to understand? So, there’s a lot of work. Listen, I’ve worked for Democrats, and I’ve worked for Republicans. I don’t recall when I’ve policed any large events, and my first assignment as a young policeman was the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, and then we had the days of rage. Then, I went on military, went over to Vietnam, and came home. When I went on these jobs, no one asked me what my politics were. They didn’t ask me what my religion was or what my sexual orientation was, so I think we can live together without getting caught up on areas we can’t quite agree on. Now I sound a preacher and a subject matter expert in law enforcement, so I’m not a preacher.
Jim: [crosstalk 00:41:04] Yeah. That’s a hopeful vision, and maybe, maybe, maybe … January 6th was the fever breaking. We can hope so. Now, we’ve talked about a bunch of negative scenarios and failure modes. One item that keeps coming up in the press is they keep calling out Inspector Glover of the Metropolitan Police as the guy who somehow turned the tide. Have you followed that? Does he indeed deserve an oversized bit of credit for the work he did that day?
Terry: I know Commander Glover. He is a great guy, the new chief of the Metropolitan Police. Chief Contee was a great guy when I saw him and knew him as a young police officer and sergeant when I was there, so they are great men. Glover and his response group from the Metropolitan Police Department, the civil disturbance unit, did a wonderful job, and I think all those who did a heroic job deserve the recognition. They were the cavalry on that day to help the Capitol police. Along with that, a lot of people who at the moment are nameless, and here’s the one major success, the gigantic major success. The fundamental responsibility of the Capitol police officer is the preservation of life, and then the preservation of democracy, meaning the senate and the house can do their business, and then the preservation of the property and historic value of that.
Terry: What ultimately transpired with the help of the men and women from the Metropolitan Police Department, the secret service, and some other federal agencies, is they were able to retake the Capitol, and what a term to use. They retook the Capitol, got all the bandits and the terrorists out of there, and during that time when that fight was going on, the Capitol police officers and agents kept every member safe. Every staff member safe. Those chambers were not breached, were not breached while they were doing that, and ultimately were able, with the assistance again of secret service, Metropolitan Police, and other agents, with their partners got the constitutional officers out of there. The number of two, three, and four in succession of the presidency of the United States, got them into a safe place, secured the building, cleared the building, cleared the building of any listening devices, and got them back into their respective chairs so that the constitutional legislative business was fulfilled.
Terry: That’s a very plus. That is the renewed signal sent from that building on the hill. While I am very sorry that a 130 year old mirror may have been broken, the speaker’s office and desk were ransacked, furniture was broken, and the feces spread, that wasn’t the main business, but they did their job. They exercised restraint after fighting for three and four hours. Again, put this in perspective. Probably everybody has been, maybe a lot of people have been in fist fights, or watched boxing, been in sports … I want you to think through as long as you watch those videos that these were men and women fighting, some of them, for 90 minutes in a tough situation. They fought as if their life and the life of the member in democracy was on the line, and it was, and they did their job.
Jim: Well, Terry. Let’s wrap it up there. I think that’s a good way to put the whole thing in perspective. It was a vile, stomach turning thing to see raiders break through the Capitol and do all the bad things you enumerated, but despite a number of failures, which need to be looked into, the line was held, if only barely. Thank you, Terry, for an amazing amount of very serious insight into the events of that day.
Terry: Thank you, Jim. Keep America safe. That’s what we have to pray for, and be the change we all desire, so god bless America.
Jim: And maybe will cheer us all that the fever will break, and that this team red/team blue mentality can be ended.
Terry: Yeah, Jim. You know, just one other thing. Whatever percentage of those 8,000 were violent, terrible extremists, others have to take some responsibility for getting mixed up in that and going along with it. I do understand crowd fever. I don’t think all 8,000 were intent in helping murder a Capitol police officer, but they were there, and they shouldn’t have been.
Jim: Yeah, and certainly the boss man shouldn’t have been cheering them on. We have a lot to learn as a society, both operationally, intel, preparation, and reaction, and we have a lot to learn as a society. Again, thank you very much, Terry Gainer.
Terry: Thank you.
Production services and audio editing by Jared Janes Consulting. Music by Tom Muller at modernspacemusic.com.