Mark J. Fitzgibbons, American Thinker, August 30, 2017
Governor Terry McAuliffe’s efforts to evade responsibility for the shocking violence at Charlottesville just got even more implausible. He and local authorities were warned, and yet allowed, if not forced, the two violence-prone parties into such close proximity that violence was a near certainty. Josh Meyer reports in Politico:
The Department of Homeland Security issued a confidential warning to law enforcement authorities three days before the deadly Aug. 12 Charlottesville protest rally, saying that an escalating series of clashes had created a powder keg that would likely make the event “among the most violent to date” between white supremacists and anarchists.
The warning issued to state and city officials was clear that the violence in Charlottesville would come, as President Trump was widely criticized for saying, from “both sides.” As quoted by Politico, the DHS assessment issued three days ahead of the Charlottesville incident read, “Anarchist extremists and white supremacist extremists online are calling on supporters to be prepared for or to instigate violence at the 12 August rally.”
This raises more serious questions about the culpability of Charlottesville and Virginia public officials, who appear to be engaged in a game of semantics about whether a “stand down” order was issued to police that day, leading to escalation of the violence between leftwing antifa and neo-Nazis.
Even before the report of this devastating DHS warning, it was clear that Virginia public officials played a role in the passivity of the police on the scene, where multiple accounts reported violence breaking out, yet there were no early arrests and there was a lack of standard public safety protocols, seeming almost to encourage the expected violence.
The culpability seems to go high up the chain. A statement issued by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe on the day of the Charlottesville violence announced:
We have maintained close contact with the Virginia State Police, the Virginia National Guard, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, and other state and local officials on the ground in Charlottesville, and I agree that the situation in Charlottesville warrants an emergency declaration by me, in order to aid City and County law enforcement in their efforts to restore public safety and order in the City of Charlottesville and the surrounding area. In the days and weeks leading up to this event, my Administration engaged in extensive planning and preparation to ensure that the rally in Charlottesville could be held in a safe and lawful environment. (Emphasis added.)
The DHS report further supports the notion that Charlottesville and Virginia state officials are attempting to whitewash their culpability about their plans and orders. City officials in a power and blame squabble have leaked memos that fail to even mention “antifa” in their ideologically driven negligence. The leftist public official slackers in Charlottesville have hired a politically connected Obama appointee under Eric “Fast and Furious” Holder to conduct an “independent” investigation.
Politico quotes retired FBI supervisory special agent James Gagliano:
It is unconscionable that with so much advance notice of the declared intentions of extremist groups from the left and right vowing to descend upon Charlottesville that law enforcement was not better prepared.
Victims and their lawyers should be swooning about lawsuits against McAuliffe, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the City of Charlottesville under legal doctrines of negligence or “state-created danger.” There may also be federal civil rights violations ripe for a Department of Justice investigation if Jeff Sessions acts quickly to preserve evidence.
Charlottesville has been used for political purposes to attack Donald Trump and conservatives as racists. The false narrative even underlying those claims appears to be worse than originally suspected.
Thomas Lifson adds:
McAuliffe has been acting like someone with something to hide.
He praised the local authorities for a “magnificent job,” as the rest of the nation reeled from the horrific, even lethal violence that resulted from the police channeling the two groups together into a tight space. He falsely claimed that local authorities were “outgunned.” The State Police denied his assertion that weapons caches were secreted around the city, in effect calling him a liar. When asked to denounce antifa, he took the approach that earned President Trump hysterical denunciations: blaming both sides, but, unlike the president, refusing to name names.
Despite denials of a “stand down” order, it has become obvious, even to the ACLU, that police were kept from doing their jobs, and violence was allowed to unfold before the nation, as the media did its job of blaming conservatives and President Trump for the actions of neo-Nazis.
A disgraceful episode in American history is likely far more disgraceful than people yet understand. That federal investigation needs to be thorough and speedy.