“Operation Lipstick on a Pig” Was the “violent insurrection” at the Capitol a 9/11 retread?


“Operation Lipstick on a Pig”

Was the “violent insurrection” at the Capitol a 9/11 retread?    

Emanuel Pastreich

The media could not move faster to support the impeachment of Donald Trump and to place the responsibility for inciting a “violent insurrection” at his feet.  

Whether it was the progressive magazine The Nation, the conservative newspaper the Wall Street Journal, or the revolutionary socialist website WSWS, the conclusion about Trump was the same: he had organized and led an armed group of dangerous extremists to seize control of the Congress with the intention of subverting the Constitution, overturning the election and attacking liberal politicians.  

Trump and his ignorant followers, claiming a stolen election without any evidence, spouting conspiracy theories about COVID19, are universally assumed to pose an immediate threat to the security of the United States. CNN announced that Trump was “ isolated and wallowing in self-pity in the White House” as he awaited trial, and even possible imprisonment. The possibility that some part of the claims of fraud in the election might have grounds in fact, that some conspiracies about COVID19 are real, did not cross anyone’s mind.

It is true that hostile forces have taken control of Washington D.C. But they were not wearing MAGA red hats or waving Confederate flags. No, the takeover was at a much higher level. The Federal government, the production of money by the Federal Reserve, the educational system and the corporate media from which citizens get all information has been taken over definitively by the multinational corporations Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and SpaceX (and others), and those companies, and the banks that fund them, have taken home some ten trillion dollars from the Federal Reserve through a series of COVID19 bailouts that remain opaque, if not explicitly classified.

But that real takeover of the Capitol has been mentioned in the press. All attention is on a selfish, ignorant, racist and dangerous Donald Trump who stands in contrast to a rational, scientific and compassionate Biden administration.

Yet any careful consideration of this “armed attack” on the Capitol suggests that rather than a failed insurrection by dangerous right-wing forces trying to destroy democracy, it was closer to Grand Guignol, to sensationalist theater.  

That attack, documented for us in carefully posed scenes, was but the first act of “Operation Lipstick on a Pig,” a move to decorate the radical crackdown on freedom of expression and of assembly to oppose corporate tyranny with the trappings of a multicultural, progressive, feminist, scientific and rational administration.

Over the last few days, Posse Comitatus has been buried in a shallow grave. The military takeover was passed over for talk about whether or not Kamala Harris would wear a sari to the inauguration.


9/11 at a fire sale price


When Politico’s Thierry Breton referred to the “attacks” as “Capitol Hill — the 9/11 moment of social media,” she was not kidding. She spelled out precisely what is going to unfold over the next few months as “Operation Lipstick on a Pig” swings into overdrive. In effect, the Biden administration, loaded up with minorities and women at the highest levels, will use this ethnic zoology PR as a sweet syrup to help Americans swallow down the launch of the most repressive regime in American history. As Naomi Klein famously stated, bringing about such a shift requires the “shock doctrine” a deep trauma for the entire nation that will force acceptance of a “new normal.”

Breton explicitly refers to this attack as a “paradigm shift for global security” like 9/11. The paradigm shift she is suggesting is one in which social media companies are made responsible for whatever people post (even though the hyped up COVID19 pandemic is the reason people have been forced to be dependent on social media corporations) and therefore those corporations have a responsibility to ban anything that they deem dangerous.

She claims we need a Digital Markets Act that will allow us to shut down misinformation immediately and ban those who engage in such threats. There is of course some legitimacy to this argument. But the article assumes that the “truth” can be determined by for-profit and morally bankrupt companies like Twitter and Facebook, or by billionaires, or by the government agencies that now function as own subsidiaries of investment banks.

In any case, the analogies between the Capitol attack and 9/11 are not random; they are intentional.

Just like after the 9/11 incident, everyone who has institutional authority has been called in to testify as to the horrific nature of the attack—before anyone has had a chance to think deeply about what actually happened. Moreover, the enemy is decided for us early on by a series of journalism scoops, Islamic terrorists in the first case, conservative white nationalists in this case, to make sure that we don’t think too much.   

In the case of the insurrection at the Capitol, Wikipedia (which did not exist back in 2001) has decided that was “a riot and violent attack” “carried out by a mob of supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump.” Case closed.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff, without exception, signed a letter without precedent stating that was “a violent riot” and “direct assault on the U.S. Congress” that was led by the president of the United States.

The executive director of the Union of Concerned Scientists Kathleen Rest condemned the attack as “a violent intimidation of our elected representatives and by extension all of us. It is not a peaceful protest. It is insurrection.”

In other words, if you have any doubts as to what happened on January 6, you should increase your dosage of antipsychotic medication because people will just think you are crazy. Even worse, thinking in a scientific manner could lead to you being associated with right-wing domestic terrorists.

But what happened on Capitol Hill on January 6, and why is it not being subject to a rigorous analysis?  

Already, there have been extensive discussions on the Internet about how the photographs and videos fail to document any form of “violent insurrection” and how most photographs appear staged.

The protestors held no weapons in the photographs and videos released at the time. The terrible violence was only fed to us later through media reports of dubious reliability.   

The videos of the protestors pushing against the Capitol Police are pure keystone cops. No one could possibly engage in that sort of roughhousing with the police and not end up on the ground handcuffed in a few seconds unless both sides were in on the game.

The strangest footage was that of the protestor Ashli Babbitt being shot in the neck by a Capitol Police officer (she reportedly died soon after). In the video, Babbitt is shot by a revolver that we are told was held by the police officer and falls to the ground. Some nearby attend to her while others mill around, checking their smart phones and calling out, “shots fired.”   

Such a scene is improbable. If a police officer shot into a crowd of protesters and someone fell to the ground, the rest would run for cover as fast as they could, or hit the ground immediately. Unless they were battle hardened soldiers, the only thing in their mind would be avoiding being the next one shot.

But everyone seemed to know that only one person would be shot. That scene, most the scenes, just smell phony, like a low-budget 9.11 aimed at stirring up fear in preparation for a massive clampdown.


Stage set for a granola-flavored version of the “Patriot Act?”


Whereas the 9/11 incident served as an opportunity to induce national trauma and prepare for the reduction of civil rights and for the march towards foreign wars, the attack on the Capitol is being used to pave the way towards a massive crackdown on domestic political opposition and possibly the use of the military to suppress any resistance.    

Whereas Al Qaeda and the threat of Islamic nationalism and terrorism were presented as the threat after 9/11, and then used as an excuse to secure massive budgets for military and intelligence contractors while restricting the activity of citizens, this time “domestic terrorism” is the new threat on the block.  

Whereas terror after 9/11 was presented by CNN and the New York Times as Arabs wearing turbans, this time it is white men wearing MAGA hats are the target.

The isolationist white militias that have nominally supported Donald Trump are dangerous and a real threat. They have carried out real attacks on multiple occasions.

So also the Islamic military groups that worked out of Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2001 were serious threats. But the relationship between those extremists and the 9/11 incident was never made clear and there was nothing to justify those foreign wars, or the end of civil liberties, that resulted. So also, today, the relationship between the MAGA “white nationalists” and the Capitol incident is far from clear. What we do know is given to us by the corporate media, not trustworthy sources of scientific analysis.

We can already detect in editorials and news briefings the outlines of a new version of the Patriot Act taking form, this time focused on “domestic terrorism.”   

The original Patriot Act cleared away all the limits on the spying on foreigners, starting with those accused of the 9/11 attacks, and opened the doors for general spying on the entire world, and spying, not by an accountable government, but by private intelligence contractors who sold their trawl catch to the highest bidder.

This new “Patriot Act,” dressed up as a progressive effort to reign in intolerant, violent and ignorant Trump followers, aims to strip American citizens of all legal defenses against the authority of Federal Government and to allow for the deployment of the military within the United States to defend against domestic terrorism, real or trumped up.

The hyping of the Capitol incident goes beyond a drive to cement into place the Biden administration before its legitimacy can be questioned. The argument driven home to all Americans by the media coverage is that those who have doubts about the lockdown on personal freedom taking place, or about the COVID19 vaccine regime that Biden has made his highest economic, security and social priority, are in the same camp as these domestic terrorists.

The COVID19 task force has expressed its intention to work with the military domestically to disperse vaccinations to the public (perhaps by force). At the same time, DARPA has suddenly entered the medical field with a broad range of new medical tools, including vaccines, related to COVID19. That militarization of medicine has ominous implications.

The spread of dangerous misinformation and “conspiracy theories” is treated, post-Capitol attacks, as the equivalent of war. By extension, anyone who suggests that COVID19 is not a pandemic at all, but a scheme by the rich and powerful to destroy civil society and to push for needless vaccines using modified RNA and microchips can be considered now a domestic terrorist.

Tech giants will be justified, in the interests of national security, in shutting shut down, or punishing, without any legal due process, those who spread information that they have determined to be “false.” Already Facebook and Twitter are banning medically supported reports by qualified doctors questioning COVID13 policies.

As large parts of the intelligence community have been sold off to Facebook, Google and Amazon over the last year, the nature of the true threat should be clear.

Remember that it was quarantine and distance learning that has made it difficult to meet with friends and family in person. We are forced to communicate via social media, or platforms like WhatsApp, Zoom or Skype that are run for profit, and over the policies of, we have no say. We can be placed in cyberjail, or banned, at the whim of these corporations at precisely the moment they we are allowed no other means to communicate with others except through them.

It was no surprise that the politician groomed as the face of the youthful left, Alexanderia Ocasio-Cortez, was chosen to lay the groundwork for military rule and the end of free expression in social media.

She rushed to The Guardian to express her terror about the Capitol attacks,

“I myself did not even feel safe going to that extraction point because there were QAnons and white supremacist sympathizers and, frankly, white supremacist members of Congress in that extraction point who I know and who I had felt would disclose my location.”

The comments seem far removed from the actions of the rowdy crowd who entered the Capitol on January 6. But then again, the fact that the occupation was for show does not mean that it was harmless. 

Ocasio-Cortez pinned the responsibility for this “violent insurrection” on big tech, stating, ” Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook bear partial responsibility for Wednesday’s events, period.”

Interestingly, she argues that Facebook the corporation helped these dangerous domestic terrorists organize their attack and therefore it is responsible. But she does NOT suggest that Facebook be broken up, or run as a public monopoly, or that the decision as to what is true and what is false should be subject to rigorous external review. She is pressuring Facebook to be more aggressive in shutting down any communication, that it deems to be dangerous.

In other words, she is giving a progressive stamp of approval for the control of public communication by multinational corporations.

In other words, it is fine with her if Twitter blocks Donald Trump without any legal process, or Facebook blocks Press News for giving Americans too much truth.

Politico used the favorite “9/11” term “intelligence failure” to refer to the investigations of the Capitol incident scheduled for no less than four house committees. The formal letter announcing investigations, states,  

“This still-emerging story is one of astounding bravery by some U.S. Capitol Police and other officers; of staggering treachery by violent criminals; and of apparent and high-level failures — in particular, with respect to intelligence and security preparedness.”

We are being set up for another series of dishonest committee meetings like those of 2001 and 2002 in which politicians will drone on and on about intelligence failures while the criminals stand unmolested in plain view.

What we need now is not show trials, or the takeover of Washington D.C. by the military, but rather an objective, international, scientific investigation of what happened in the Capitol on January 6 that does not involve any media players linked to the global financial forces that stand to benefit from the militarization of American governance.

It was too easy to reduce Donald Trump to a dangerous caricature, a new Osama bin Laden who can be used to justify a crackdown on domestic dissent at precisely the moment that a dangerous vaccine regime is being rolled out with the cooperation of the military.

And by the way, an international investigation of the 9/11 incident might be helpful too.

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