Over the last week, there have been many reasons to be enraged, disgusted, and horrified. But this may require a complete reset of the outrage meter.
The Pentagon has released a heavily slanted timeline of events surrounding the Donald Trump-incited insurrection on Wednesday. Only they didn’t call it an insurrection. Or an assault. Or an attempted overthrow of the American government by white supremacist forces organized, inspired, and directed by Donald Trump. It’s not a coup. It’s not even a failed revolution.
The Pentagon is calling Wednesday’s events “First Amendment Protests.”
The timeline from the office of the Secretary of Defense not only paints a violent assault on the nation—one in which men in tactical gear roamed through the House and Senate seeking hostages while others smeared human shit on the walls—as “protests,” it give the event capital letters. First Amendment Protests. So don’t be surprised this is now the “official” name assigned to thousands of Trump supporters attempting a violent takeover.
What did this feces-spreading assault on the nation have to do with the First Amendment? Well, it did deliver a powerful message to the media—by destroying expensive equipment, threatening reporters, and making it clear that they were next on the list to be hanged.
But the clear reason that this name is now getting slapped onto the event has nothing to do with the actual motivations of the insurrectionists or the theme of that day. Despite the “March for Trump” banners, the official name of the rally was “Stop the Steal.” The lie that there had been significant election fraud was included in every invitation, every speech, and every statement, all encouraging the Nazi crowd to get out there and burn that Reichstag.
The sole reason that Pentagon—and absolutely, the Trump White House —is attempting this rebranding is not just to diminish what happened by calling them “protests,” but an attempt to link them to Trump being banned from Twitter and Facebook after the assault took place.