Double Standard of Justice Could ‘Crumble the Entire System’: Former FBI Agent
If the election is a choice between democracy and chaos (as Joe Biden insists), then the president isn’t making a very compelling case. The man who claims his biggest competition is “sowing lawlessness and disorder” didn’t have to look very far to find it at his own gates. And yet, unlike 1,100 Americans caught up in the Justice Department’s January 6 crackdown, this mob faced no consequences.
The crowds attempting to break down the White House fence on Saturday — tens of thousands deep, according to the modest estimates — “lit flares, graffitied public property, and threw ‘bloody baby dolls’” into Biden’s lawn. The demonstrators were threatening enough to draw out the Secret Service in riot gear. Capitol Police Chief Pamela Smith told reporters later that while the right to peacefully protest “is one of the cornerstones of our democracy,” “violence, destructive behavior, and criminal activities are not tolerated.”
Or are they? According to Smith herself, “there were instances of illegal and destructive behavior in Lafayette Park, including items being thrown at our officers,” yet no arrests (apart from one possibly unrelated incident near 14th Street) have been reported. It’s an astounding contrast to how even peaceful January 6 participants were treated. Just this month, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that protestors from that day didn’t need to act “disorderly” or “disruptive” to be found guilty of “disorderly conduct.”
“It is well-established that whether conduct qualifies as disorderly depends on the surrounding circumstances,” the judges wrote. “Courts consistently observe that ‘whether a given act provokes a breach of the peace depends upon the accompanying circumstances,’ making it ‘essential that the setting be considered.’” Surely an attempted breach of the White House fence qualifies as a disturbance of that peace?
If the court believes that “even passive, quiet and nonviolent conduct can be disorderly”— language they used to convict the most docile of marchers — then what of people yelling “Break it down!” as they dislodge the White House barriers? What of a crowd so menacing that the president’s home had to be partially evacuated? “In determining whether an act is disorderly,” the judges said, “the act cannot be divorced from the circumstances in which it takes place.” Unless, apparently, the people responsible are allies of the Left.
What we’re witnessing is a double standard in the way lawlessness and violence are treated in this country, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins argued. And it’s at the highest levels, Jonathan Gilliam, a former FBI agent and Navy SEAL, agreed. “… [L]ook at how it’s treated in the media,” he urged on Tuesday’s “Washington Watch.” “[L]ook at the fact that they’re, in some cases, not arresting people,” Gilliam urged. “Are they not being allowed to arrest people?” he wondered.
D.C., as a city, Gilliam observed, is “a far-leftist community.” “And the best example is this biased law enforcement atmosphere.” He pointed to the frustration of conservatives who “get together because of the breakdown of government and because government’s not doing their job well.” Those people are “looked at, in some cases, as terrorist[s] just for saying those things,” he pointed out. “But yet you can go join up with a group that has been considered a terrorist organization [like Hamas] that took responsibility for killing over a thousand people and slaughtering babies in Israel, and you’re going to be treated as though you have every right to be out there when even the things that they’re talking about have nothing to do with this nation.”
Of course, as Perkins pointed out, this isn’t necessarily a reflection on the “rank-and-file men and women who serve.” It starts at the top. “And it’s not just that they’re a mayor or a governor, which is the case in Illinois, but they’re also, prosecutors, they’re chiefs of police, or they’re high-ranking officials in the police department.” They’re bringing their activism to work, Gilliam warned, and then they “stack the ranks” with radicals like them. Ultimately, “what ends up happening is that first off, you have a breakdown in policy, then you have a changing of the laws where law enforcement can’t even do their job.”
But, he pointed out, “here’s where they get us [in] the long term, and where they do affect the rank and file. [It wasn’t that] long ago, especially in the federal government, they started changing how they recruit, who they recruit, the way the commercials are aimed. And so the people that you have now in the rank and file are a mix of good Americans who want to serve their country and then activists who serve an ideology. And that’s the scary part…”
We’re seeing the same thing in the military, Perkins said. “It’s very similar to this. At a certain point when you hit a tipping point, then you have widespread lawlessness, which then leads to tyranny.”
And it happens “very quickly,” Gilliam emphasized. “I mean, the build-up has been very slow. But … people have to realize that the individuals that showed up against that fence are American citizens, and they’re interspersed with some professional activists. … These aren’t minorities that came over the border and all of the sudden became activists. Some of them may be, but you’re looking at people right there that are Americans who grew up in a neighborhood [here], in a home [here]. And on the other side of that fence, you have people making policy that are allowing these people to do these things and get away with it.”
Meanwhile, men and women with no ill intent walked into the Capitol on January 6 and were arrested for trespassing. “But here you have people trying to scale the fences, injuring police officers, and it’s crickets,” Perkins pointed out.
We’re in a perilous situation as a nation, Gilliam wanted people to know. This will eventually get to a point “in which it will crumble the entire system of justice.” “I think we’re very close to that now, where … justice just becomes blind as it has with Trump. I think it’ll be that way for all of us.”
“And that’s something,” Perkins insisted, “that we need to be praying about, and voting about, and standing for.”
Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.