Accountability for insurrection | Ott Observations

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On Sept. 11, 2001, Islamic terrorists used kidnapped airplanes to destroy the Twin Towers in New York and damage the Pentagon in our nation’s capitol.  

There was no fake news; we watched it on live TV.  

Here is some of what our president, George W. Bush, had to say:

“Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government’s emergency response plans. Our military is powerful and prepared. We will make no distinctions between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.”

Bush also sent a clear message to all world leaders that you are either with us or against us – there is nothing in between.

On Jan. 6, 2021, domestic terrorists violently attacked the U.S. Capitol while Congress was in session to certify a national election, the bedrock of any democracy.

There was no fake news; we watched it on live TV.  

Former president Bush had this to say about this day. 

“There is little cultural overlap. But in their disdain for pluralism (differing views and interests), in their disregard for human life, and in their determination to defile national symbols – they are children of the same foul spirit.”  

During that day, the President and Commander-in-Chief did not immediately activate government emergency response plans, nor did he immediately instruct our “powerful military” to defend the Capitol and our government. He failed to perform his duties.

There is a clear distinction between protesting and insurrection. It is not just an opinion in the eye of the beholder; it is clearly specified in law. 

The U.S. law against rebellion or insurrection reads like this:

“Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the U.S. or laws thereof, or gives aid and comfort thereto, shall be fined or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both, and shall be incapable of holding any office under the U.S.”

There is also a clear U.S. law for seditious conspiracy, which reads like this:

“If two or more persons in any state conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the U.S., or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, of delay the execution of any U.S. law, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the U.S., they shall be fined or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.”

We have arrested over 700 of those who attacked our Capitol and we are still looking to arrest several hundred more. The above two laws are the basis for their prosecution. Depending on their level of involvement, many are receiving prison sentences.  Most raised a defense that they believed they were following their president and/or other governmental leaders.

At their sentencing, most are admitting shame and recognizing how easily they were duped.

This raises a much darker question about the prosecution of those serving in our government.  

The U.S. Constitution allows for the validity of an election to be challenged through our court system.  This was done in over 60 cases filed. The burden of proof in our judicial system is on the accuser. The lack of any credible evidence presented was so appalling, the lawyers who made the challenges are now facing disbarment.

As then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said at the beginning of the election certification meeting, “The voters, the courts, and the states have all spoken.” He clearly drew the line between addressing election credibility concerns vs. “inciting, assisting and giving aid to insurrection” or “hindering the execution of U.S. law.” 

As President Bush told world leaders 20 years ago, you are either with us or against us.

As I understand these laws, President Donald Trump, his advisors, his family, and many in his administration, are guilty of insurrection and seditious conspiracy … and continue to commit these crimes.  

Eight senators and 139 congressmen – including U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) – became guilty when they refused to certify the election after the “courts and states had spoken.” Most continue to perpetuate their crime and the election “lie.” They all took an oath to defend the Constitution and instead are discrediting an election that followed the constitutional process.

State governors and state attorney generals that have filed frivolous lawsuits challenging other states’ election results, without evidence, are also guilty.

I have always believed that those who enjoy the most advantages of life should pay the stiffest sentences when they commit a crime. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland is faced with a decision about who to prosecute to uphold our insurrection and sedition laws. I, for one, hope he prosecutes all – not just the average citizens that were foolish enough to attack our Capitol. And I hope those in government are removed from office and receive the maximum prison sentences.  

I know this sounds harsh, but if we don’t hold people in government accountable for undermining our Constitution, we make that Constitution meaningless and worthless.

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