Saudi Ambassador to Guinea and Sierra Leone Bids Farewell to 1st Batch of Guinean Pilgrims    KSrelief Delivers A Gift of 25 Tons of Dates from Saudi Arabia to Togo    King, Crown Prince congratulate presidents of Croatia, Slovenia and Mozambique    The Crown Prince's regional tour and the upcoming summit    Toyota recalls electric cars over concerns about loose wheels    UK workshop seeks to lure investors to Saudi Arabia's mining sector    Conflict, drought, dwindling food support, threatens lives of 20 million in Ethiopia    FIFA increases squad limit to 26 for World Cup    KSrelief Concludes Anti-Blindness Campaign in Garoua, Cameroon, by Conducting 423 Surgeries    KSrelief Dispatches Over 100 Relief Trucks to Yemen Through Al-Wadiah Land Port    FIFA Accredits Saudi Football Association Among Expert Federations in VAR Tech    10-year jail, SR10m fine for distributing adulterated food among pilgrims    US Senate passes first gun control bill in decades    Talking to the Taliban 'only way forward' in Afghanistan    Monkeypox: Amid uncertainty, global situation cannot be ignored, says WHO chief    Saudi Ambassador to Tunisia Takes Part in Tunisia Forum for Investment    Saudi Arabia reaffirms commitment to women empowerment Economic participation by Saudi females up 94% in 3 years    Two killed as electric car falls from third floor of Shanghai office building    Al-Hilal one win away from 3rd SPL title in a row    Anthony Joshua defends Saudi Arabia when asked about 'sportswashing'    Saudi Arabia, Djibouti Sign Joint Cooperation Agreement on Maritime Transport    Blood transfusion at IMC for patient with complex condition qualifies him for surgery    GCC Food Safety Committee Holds its Sixth Meeting    Saudi Stock Market Index Ends Down at Level of 11310.67 Points    Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Visits London Metal Exchange    Flyadeal Launches First Direct Flight to Khartoum    NEOM launches program to develop next generation of Saudi football talent    Al-Khorayef visits London Metal Exchange    Belgian blogger: Saudi Arabia is safer than America and Europe    Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall are to split: US media    SFDA Extends Period for Submitting Requests for Compliance Forms for Food Transportation during Hajj    CITC Publishes Public Consultation on Regulatory Framework for NTN, Information Document for NTN Spectrum Auction    GASTAT: Saudi Arabia's overall merchandise exports increased by 98.0% in April 2022    Celebrating the union of body and soul: UN marks International Yoga Day    Jeddah is Set to Host the Finals of World Boxing in August, Organizers Announce    President of AFC Congratulates Saudi Olympic Team on Winning Asia Cup U23    Saudi National Olympic Team Crowned AFC U23 Asian Cup    Samrat Prithviraj: Why did a Bollywood film on a popular Hindu king fail?    Saudi Film "The Journey" Wins Best Experimental Film at Dutch Septimius Awards    ALECSO Director: Islamic Arts Biennale Is Extension of Saudi Arabia's Cultural Movement    Saudi Council of Senior Scholars slams Indian ruling party leader's remarks against Prophet    Diriyah Biennale Foundation Announces Hajj Terminal in Jeddah as Location for First-ever Islamic Arts Biennale    Drug charges dropped against Shah Rukh Khan's son    Shoura members propose equal blood money for men and women, Muslim and non-Muslim    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques addresses citizens and all Muslims on the occasion of the Holy month of Ramadan    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers at Arafat Holy Site    Council of Senior Scholars: Muslim Brothers' Group Don't Represent Method of Islam, rather only Follows its Partisan Objectives, Violating our Graceful Religion    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Senate report reveals new details about security failures ahead of Jan. 6 attack
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 08 - 06 - 2021

A new Senate report reveals previously unknown details about the stunning security breakdowns ahead of the Jan. 6 US Capitol attack, adding an authoritative emphasis to previous evidence that there were massive intelligence failures, critical miscommunications, and unheeded warnings that ultimately led to the chaotic response that day.
But at the same time, there are several glaring omissions in the report, including any examination of Donald Trump's role in the riots, raising questions about whether lawmakers, in their quest for bipartisanship, exposed the limits of a Congress divided and unable to agree on certain truths, particularly those related to the former president's actions.
Sources tell CNN that in order for this report, which was compiled by the Senate Homeland Security and Rules committees, to have support from both parties, the language had to be carefully crafted, and that included excluding the word "insurrection," which notably does not appear outside of witness quotes and footnotes.
"Did we look at Trump's role in the attack? The answer is no," a Senate committee aide told reporters. "The report did not attempt to look at the origins and development of the groups or individuals that participated in the attack on the Capitol," the aide said.
Still, it marks the most comprehensive government report on the security failures leading up to the Capitol insurrection. Congressional investigators pored through "thousands of documents," received written statements from 50 police officers who defended the Capitol, and got testimony from a wide array of current and former officials who played a role in the security preparations and response.
Like previous witness testimony and independent reports on failures around the attack, the Senate report painted a damning portrait of security lapses on several levels both leading up to and on Jan. 6.
Senate aides said the information from the report was pulled from a variety of sources — public hearings, private communications and five transcribed interviews, including with former acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller and acting US Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman.
But there was clear frustration among the committees that not everyone cooperated fully with their information requests. The report gleaned heavily from information derived from the Capitol Police.
"We did develop some information with respect to DHS and FBI. It's not that DHS and FBI withheld information. It's that their response so far has been very partial and frankly unsatisfactory," a Senate aide said.
Moreover, the Senate investigators ran into institutional hurdles — including from the House sergeant-at-arms, which did not provide information to the panels because "the House is sort of responsible for its own affairs, and the Senate is responsible for its own affairs," an aide said.
Trump supporters posted plenty of violent threats and dangerous assertions on the Internet in the run-up to Jan. 6. The report said these were found on "message boards, social media, memes, or hashtags." But intelligence officials struggled with how to interpret warnings about those posts and how to differentiate between protected political speech and actual threats.
The aides said that the Senate probe did uncover new information about the extent of the communication beforehand among the rioters, including an increase in traffic to a website about Washington's tunnels.
Aides were pressed on why, despite mounting evidence there were plans to attack the Capitol, law enforcement seemed to rely on past-MAGA marches that remained largely non-violent. The aides said the law enforcement intelligence focused on clashes between groups rather than violence toward a building.
The report also concluded that the Capitol Police's main intelligence unit "was aware of the potential for violence in the days and weeks ahead of Jan. 6." But not everyone was aware. The inquiry determined that USCP's "decentralized" intelligence operation meant some people saw these warnings while other officials were left in the dark.
Pittman provided significant testimony, both in an interview setting as well as in open hearings. However, the report notes apparent variations in her answers, something aides acknowledged but declined to explain further.
"You'll see throughout the report significant quotes from acting Chief Pittman and we do point out places where there have been some perceived inconsistencies including with respect to the intelligence products," the aide said.
In a statement, the Capitol Police said the intelligence reflected a "large demonstration attracting various groups, including some encouraging violence." However, the agency added, "What it didn't know, as Acting Chief Pittman has noted, was the large-scale demonstration would become a large-scale attack on the Capitol Building — as there was no specific, credible intelligence about such an attack."
"Neither the USCP, nor the FBI, US Secret Service, Metropolitan Police or our other law enforcement partners knew thousands of rioters were planning to attack the US Capitol," the agency added. "The known intelligence simply didn't support that conclusion."
The report's narrow scope underscores the limits of a bipartisan, congressional investigation. While the evidence and interviews were gathered over months from bipartisan staff and members on two committees, the information pertained almost entirely to the security and intelligence shortcomings that led to that day, not focusing on why individuals would have come to the Capitol in the first place and Trump's role.
Democratic Senate investigators took careful steps not to alienate their Republican counterparts in the process of the probe, which meant not taking a closer look at Trump's role in promoting the Jan. 6 rally and months-long attempt to pressure local officials, lawmakers in Congress and then-Vice President Mike Pence to subvert the will of the electorate.
Aides also steered clear of language that could turn off some Republicans, including not referring to the attack as an "insurrection."
"The language that was chosen was purposeful — and represents the consensus of the four members and their respective staffs," a Senate committee aide said. "We did our very best to stick of the facts as we understood them and leave characterizations in quotes where there were characterizations."
In one clear example of that, the report's appendix includes Trump's full speech before the Jan. 6 crowd — but does not go further into interpreting how that influenced the Capitol rioters. A Senate aide said that decision was made to avoid inserting "our editorial judgment" of the speech.
While the report did nod to some of Trump's statements and tweets leading up to the events at the Capitol, the report did not fully explore the root causes of what led to an insurrection at the Capitol, nor did it lay blame on the former president directly for promoting a lie that the election was stolen that mobilized supporters to gather at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
The conclusion of the congressional investigation comes weeks after the Senate rejected a bill from the House of Representatives that would have established a bipartisan commission to study the insurrection. That body would have been staffed by individuals outside of Congress and the administration.
That investigation would have been far reaching and would have been tasked with exploring some of the events that may have been responsible for triggering the events of the insurrection. The bill, however, failed to gain traction in the Senate where just a handful of Republicans joined with Democrats to back it.
Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio and the ranking member on the Homeland Security Committee who authored the congressional report Tuesday, voted to advance legislation that would have established the commission. But, Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican from Missouri who served as the top GOP member on Rules, did not.
Blunt argued that the congressional report went far enough and provided the framework for how to make fixes to Capitol Hill security, which could be delayed if a commission were established. "I think a commission would slow down the things we need to do," Blunt said last month. "Frankly, I don't think there are that many gaps to be filled in what happened on Jan. 6 as it pertains to building security."
It's unclear what the Senate's bipartisan report will mean for House Democratic leaders, who could decide in upcoming days and weeks to launch their own investigation either through a new Select Committee or through already established committees, which have been working on investigating the incidents surrounding Jan. 6 for months.
Now that the report is out, the Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer could argue it does not go far enough and could force another vote to establish a commission. However, there still wouldn't be the Republican votes to pass it. Without 60 votes or a united Democratic caucus willing to blow up the filibuster, a commission couldn't be established. — CNN

Clic here to read the story from its source.