The Sorry Saga of Ashli Babbitt Shot in the Capitol

Mish

Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed in the capitol building riots. Trump supporters are appalled and an excessive force inquiry is underway.

Excessive Force Charges

Amazing footage Inside the Capitol

That's a lengthy video but it takes in the entire episode. 

Please play a few minutes at the beginning, then either watch the rest or skip to the 34:20 mark for an additional couple of minutes.

Those minutes following the 34:20 mark show in graphic detail the shooting of Babbitt.

Another Video

Other Frames Seconds Before Babbitt Shot

Frames Seconds Before Babbitt Shot 1

       

Frames Seconds Before Babbitt Shot 2

       

Frames Seconds Before Babbitt Shot 3

      

Ann Coulter Chimes In

That's a reasonable, level-headed synopsis by Coulter even if one can debate a few points.

  1. Did the officer have to shoot? 
  2. Should one feel sorry for Ashli Babbitt?
  3. Should one feel sorry for the officer?

Regarding point one: The officer did not "have" to do it. But was he  reasonably justified in doing so in the heat of the moment? 

Regarding point two: Should one feel sorry for a criminal who is shot in an attack, smashing glass and beating down doors, attempting to break into a room in the capitol?

Regarding point three: Yes. This one is clear. The officer should not have been in the position he was placed in.

Excessive Force Going Nowhere

The excessive force investigation is by Trump's new Attorney General. It is going nowhere, nor should it. 

Have to Happen?

This did not "have" to happen. But it did.

Why?

Trump encouraged it. Rudy Giuliani and others fueled it. 

Be There, Be Wild

Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!” That was one of several Trump Tweets on December 19 promoting the day.

Placing the Blame

  1. Start with the perpetrators who broke into the capitol. Of course, that includes Ashli Babbitt.
  2. Second, blame Trump for promising a "wild" January 6. 
  3. Third, blame people like Rudy Giuliani and others who encouraged others to break the law then stood like goons on the sidelines letting others do their dirty work.

Chaotic Moments in the Capitol

  • “Nothing will stop us....they can try and try and try but the storm is here and it is descending upon DC in less than 24 hours....dark to light!” Babbitt tweeted the day before she died.
  • In another tweet, she called for Vice President Pence to resign and to be prosecuted for treason, presumably for not being supportive enough of Trump’s calls to overturn the election.
  • In the days before the shooting, Babbitt retweeted a number of messages from demonstrators headed to D.C. for the protests on Wednesday. One read: “It will be 1776 all over again.... only bigger and better.”

The above from Chaotic Moments in the Capitol. 

1776 Over Again

Feel sorry for Babbitt if you want, but she is no hero. She was part of a terrorist mob that broke into the capitol egged on by Trump. 

Antifa attacks in other cities may have fueled this counter-riot, but left-wing riots do not justify right-wing riots.

Sorry? For whom? For what? 

Mish

Comments (170)
No. 1-49
Rusty Nail
Rusty Nail

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

Sechel
Sechel

The current DOJ has zero credibility. Donald Trump has completely politicized and weaponized it. It's really sad. We are back to Nixon era, maybe worse. All the work Edward Levi performed was undone by Trump and Barr.

As far as Ashli Babbitt. She embraced QAnon. Many had no idea what they were doing there and believed they would get new orders once they got to their target. This is Jim Jones level cult stuff.

Mr. Purple
Mr. Purple

She fucked around and found out.

A repeat attempt at insurrection will result in many more such people.

Sechel
Sechel

They say words matter. And that's clearly true. Defenders of Donald Trump claim he bears no responsibility, that everyone's an adult. I don't agree. He's an authority figure and not just any authority figure. He's the President, the most powerful man in the country. He has to know or should know that not every man and woman listening to him is able to fully able to act and think responsibly. What Trump did in encouraging sedition was plain irresponsible. I'm guarding my language. If unrestrained I would say a lot more.

Sechel
Sechel

ANTIFA is not an organized group in the way proud boys and boogaloo boys are. they are simply the boogeyman of the far right.

vboring
vboring

The officers should have been given rubber bullets, tear gas to manage the mob, and support from other agencies. Leadership CHOSE to let this mob into the property.

aprnext
aprnext

Mish and the commentators are all correct. HOWEVER,

when 50% of the population have no apparent standing in court...
and when 50% of the population have no apparent positive visibility in the public press....

then I would urge all parties to be very careful.

Mish
Mish

Editor

"After all these years he could at least post my comments and tell me what he disagreed with and why."

I have no idea what Truthseeker is even talking about. I was editing images all night and if anything was removed a spam filter got it.

Now that I have a post out today, I will see if I can find what he is complaining about.

Sechel
Sechel

Trump's Department of Defense is labeling this a first amendment protest. having watched the video that description is laughable.

PecuniaNonOlet
PecuniaNonOlet

Mish, you were right about the trump brand being dead. PGA just cancelled Trump.

caradoc-again
caradoc-again

They could have used tear gas, tazers, rubber bullets etc.
SHOOTING AN UNARMED WOMAN, DEAD?
Some think that us justified, I do not.
Barbarism based on disparity of power and violence.
A hard rain is gonna fall.

Sechel
Sechel

bradw2k
bradw2k

Easy to question the shooter with 20/20 hindsight, now that we know most of the rioters ended up being clowns looking to litter and take selfies. Unless/until we find out what the shooter was being told by his commanders, he could have reasonably expected the worst to be coming through that door after the first one got through.

Tedwardspharmd
Tedwardspharmd

The police would have been justified in opening fire on everyone breaking into the capitol building and should have. This was domestic terrorism and should have been met with deadly force as soon as that crowd started breaking into the building. Full stop.

Mish
Mish

Editor

A check now shows I did not delete any comments by @truthseeker.

I do not believe it is auto-deletion by any spam filter either because I can see those and undelete them.

My best guess, assuming they were posted, is they were in response to something that I did delete.

If someone replies to a garbage comment that I delete, every reply is permanently gone as well.

If that is not the answer I do not know what it is. I will have the Maven look into this in case I am missing something.

Frilton Miedman
Frilton Miedman

Participants in this insurrection do not see it as an act of insurrection, the problem is their source of information and understanding justifies their actions in their POV.

Plato's allegory of the cave outlines this social mechanism, the source of information (Trump, Fox News, 8Chan, Russian trolls....etc) that led up to this, Plato also states that interrupting someone's erroneous perception will be met with adversity.

The Asch conformity experiments further elaborate on how group-think in a closed group can reinforce extreme, wrong and even outright evil idea's as "normal".

They have to get to a point where it can no longer be avoided that the source of their information is erroneous. (There are many documentaries of extremists which conclude this, they often only see the error of their thinking once incarcerated, or lives shattered)

Unfortunately for Ashli Babbit, she had to die while crawling through a shattered window in front of a crowd chanting "Hang Mike Pence", but maybe some of her ilk can see why her death was pointless, why their approach might be fueled by disinformation.

Maybe.

Tengen
Tengen

Seems a big stretch to make Ashli into a martyr. Her social media was outed within a few hours of her death, it was full of Q style delusions. She also tried to climb through a window with multiple guns trained on her from the other side. We can question whether she should have been shot, but moving forward was foolhardy on her part.

The silver lining is that it dispels the notion that the MAGA crowd can count on the police being on their side. For years there has been a smug assumption that cops are all Trumpkins at heart and that isn't remotely correct, nor is it true for the military. This reality check may prevent others from carrying out stupidly provocative acts.

Realist
Realist

Babbitt was a victim of the cult she belonged to. She was fed lies and conspiracy theories and was feeble minded enough to believe them. She may have even thought she was being a patriot. Perhaps she was demonstrating her willingness to die for Trump as well. I doubt we will ever know. The fact that she was with a crowd that broke into the capitol building, and was among a group of people that were threatening violence, she put herself in a very dangerous position. She ended up being one of the unlucky few to die.

This is the problem in the US today. Too many people in cults, fully believing the lies and conspiracies they are fed. The people who feed the lies and manipulate the cult members are inciting violence. It would be fitting if they could be brought to justice. Sadly, the cult member are mere pawns in the game. But they do not get a free ride from the consequences of their actions. Babbitt died and it was her fault as much as those who incited her.

Sechel
Sechel

You now what would have helped? If Trump didn't stage the event in the hopes of overturning an election , followed by better planning and more resources. Responsibility starts at the top, Donald Trump followed by the capital hill police and department of defense for not providing proper security. And you had militia types coming with helmets, hand cuffs and home made weapons. This was no first amendment protest. To blame the police is absurd, they were heroes.

Mish
Mish

Editor

Totally Justified and the shooter got precisely the correct person if one had to make a choice.

This woman promised 1776 again Thanks to link by Sechel. I added three points to article.

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

I watched the whole thing on live streaming.....from minutes before the crowd broke in. I have resisted watching the footage of the shooting. That wasn’t available in real time.

If I had to describe what I saw, I would never call it any kind of coup. Coups have some kind of organization.

This was the Attack of the Trump Retard Zombies.

Redneck barroom brawler types looking to duke it out with Capitol cops. No plan of any kind......just dumb people......who spent the last four years having a great time tailgating at Trump rallies....becoming almost famous on social media in their wacked out costumes and face paint.

These people weren’t insurrectionists.....they were FANS. The Trump version of football hooligans.......out for a post-game party....with some hope of kicking some libtard ass.

Prosecuting these fools is pointless....as pointless as the death of their head cheerleader Ashli Babbitt. The responsibility lies further up the food chain.

Mish
Mish

Editor

I cannot find Babbitt's Twitter acct
Someone have it?

nzyank
nzyank

And now Ashli is being used as a martyr recruiting tool.....Republicans have long nurtured the themes underlying this madness and have turned this into a cancer eating away at our democracy.

While the problem seems apparent, a solution is much more perplexing. Mish - any thoughts on the solution aspect? Unite behind democratic party, and work to keep the party centrist and broadly representative? With a failed Republican party, it seems it is important to focus on strength and unity of the remaining major party. If the Democratic party fragments we will have a much greater problem. The democratic party is the best option with respect to representing all Americans and strengthening democratic ideals.

Realtallk
Realtallk

She gave her life supporting the world's biggest sore loser. Trump could give two craps about her...but that's what she chose. I don't feel sorry for her because this whole stealing the election narrative is based on racism and disenfranchisement of black voters in Atlanta, Philadelphia and Detroit. The black vote helped flip Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia....therefore the call it fraud.

Sechel
Sechel

Reposting this. The argument is being made that because Trump's coup attempt was incompetent and unsuccessful it wasn't a putsch or a coup-d'etat. I call that the Take the Money and Run defense. The bank robbery failed so no crime was committed. I don't buy that.

humna909
humna909

The use of violence against 'protestors' should be avoided at all costs. It normally escalates things and everybody loses. For reasons at this stage unclear the the police were woefully underprepared to face these protestors. It should have never reached the stage it did.

While it is true the crowd was mostly 'peaceful' it is obvious that some weren't. At a certain point though the advance of the mob needed to be stopped or who knows what will happen. If you can't stop them physically then violence and the threat of further violence can and in this case was effective.

ToInfinityandBeyond
ToInfinityandBeyond

Financial company Stripe stops processing Trump campaign donations. Corporate America starting to halt all political contributions. Maybe more of this will get the attention of the spineless Republican Party. McConnell and Pence should immediately step up and state there was no widespread voter fraud - it was just another one of Trump’s hoaxes.

shamrock
shamrock

Not really sorry for babbitt except in the sense that she was clearly not of sound mind, so a mental health intervention might have saved her life. But there are 10's of millions if others just as ill. It's a masd delusion the likes of which humanity has probably never seen before. How can you bring that many people back to reality? One by one seems untenable.

Sechel
Sechel

In response to Anne Coulter. I think the police were undermanned and under protected to perform with more "consideration" of the protesters. The police simply did not have proper numbers and lacked gear. It was clear they lost control.

Sechel
Sechel

@Mish Editor Ashli Babbitt tweeted under Commonashesense. It's apparently deactivated which seems to be common twitter and facebook practice now

Coasting2018
Coasting2018

Immediately after she was shot a number of heavily armed police, previously standing 10 feet away stairwell show up. What were they doing until then?

amigator
amigator

Mish, thanks for mentioning her, she has been forgotten in main stream press. Just the opposite of all other protests a police shooting would be the headlines. Interesting that it's ok because she is committing a crime. Will that be applicable in all future shootings..... I doubt it.

Hmmm who owns the media?

Since2008
Since2008

Thanks for posting the video. I was surprised that the trespassers/protestors/trumpers seemed jubilant as they chanted “USA! wrapped in American flags and recording themselves as if they weren’t doing anything wrong - “making history” I think one of them said. What does you make of that?

Webej
Webej

The officer who shot her probably regrets it in retrospect; Ashli probably would have regretted being so gung-ho if she could have any retrospect. A sorry saga indeed.

A regrettable way for a person to go. It would be great if people could pause at this pathetic human story without making a hero, martyr, villain, or such. Lots of people have fates they don't deserve or didn't earn, and there are enough people who brought on their own misery who one can still pity and reach out to.

I salute her ‘enemies’ who tried to save her.

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

They are lucky they weren't black. There would have been way more deaths and they wouldn't have been allowed to even get near the doors. White privilege is a real thing. Even for groups that attack federal government buildings. The capitol police have some sympathy for Trump and his anarchists. Today we learned NYPD and the DoD told the Capitol police of possible attacks well before last Wednesday's attack. So this begs the question why didnt they prepare or ask for more help. We know the Trump White House basically allowed the attack to occur. But the question remains why did the secretary of the army who was not in the chain of command end up calling the Capitol police a few hours after the acting heads Trump appointed didnt give the Maryland national guard authority to go in when governor Larry Hogan called them saying he needed approval from the powers that be and was repeatedly denied.

cudmeister
cudmeister

Pretty hard to call this protest non-violent when protesters were smashing out windows to enter. A couple of shotgun blasts from inside would have knocked a few of them backwards and ended the whole thing.

ROGO1
ROGO1

Appalled,Embarrassed & Saddened!.
(1:09) Only 10 security guards with no riot gear??
(2:12) Were all part of history!..
(6:58) We gotta burn them!..
(35:07) No breached entry! No warning shot!
One killed unnecessarily due to Trumpism!...
There must be accountability!..
Invoke article 25 Today and silence Trumpism into political oblivion before this escalates out of control!...

Sechel
Sechel

Maybe the police and national guard should have been there in full shield with greater numbers, with horses and more fencing and barricades set up. just a thought. reporting is that request to do so were turned down over "optics"

Rocky Raccoon
Rocky Raccoon

They wanted a revolution. People die in such efforts and in the fact these people think their AR-15s are going to crush a government with a trillion dollar defense budget shows a poor lack of judgement on the part of these people.

The best part of all of this is the ignorance of these people who fail to recognize Trump doesn't even truly defend their gun rights. This is who you died for Ashli Babbit--the man who gave Feinstein her last orgasm.

Rocky Raccoon
Rocky Raccoon

I am hoping Mish posts about the Parler situation. Anyone else find it ironic that after leading an exodus of conservatives (I am a conservative libertarian) on other social media outlets because fake conservatives hate that Twitter and Facebook have private property rights to regulate their own businesses, they flock to Parler as the freedom alternative. Funny how we find out Parler is dependent on the same machine they attack like Amazon, Google, Apple, etc...

Apparently, and I can confirm this after looking at posts on Parler, the free speech included rhetoric that included attacks on American politicians. Now they are gone because Parler didn't realize with freedom comes responsibility.

Telenochek82
Telenochek82

Michael Moore has a hunch that the rioters must have had some help from inside the Capitol w/r to planning. He points to 20-30% staffing levels of Capitol Police on Jan 6th, as well as the ease with which the rioters navigated the confusing maze of unmarked offices inside the Capitol. This attack needs a detailed congressional investigation.

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

OPINION
|
The Roots of Josh Hawley’s Rage

Opinion
The Roots of Josh Hawley’s Rage
Why do so many Republicans appear to be at war with both truth and democracy?

By Katherine Stewart
Ms. Stewart has reported on the religious right for more than a decade. She is the author of “The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism.”

Jan. 11, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ET

Senator Josh Hawley on Wednesday, as the crowd that would storm the Capitol marched.
Senator Josh Hawley on Wednesday, as the crowd that would storm the Capitol marched.Credit...Francis Chung/E&E News and Politico, via Associated Press
In today’s Republican Party, the path to power is to build up a lie in order to overturn democracy. At least that is what Senator Josh Hawley was telling us when he offered a clenched-fist salute to the pro-Trump mob before it ransacked the Capitol, and it is the same message he delivered on the floor of the Senate in the aftermath of the attack, when he doubled down on the lies about electoral fraud that incited the insurrection in the first place. How did we get to the point where one of the bright young stars of the Republican Party appears to be at war with both truth and democracy?

Mr. Hawley himself, as it happens, has been making the answer plain for some time. It’s just a matter of listening to what he has been saying.

In multiple speeches, an interview and a widely shared article for Christianity Today, Mr. Hawley has explained that the blame for society’s ills traces all the way back to Pelagius — a British-born monk who lived 17 centuries ago. In a 2019 commencement address at The King’s College, a small conservative Christian college devoted to “a biblical worldview,” Mr. Hawley denounced Pelagius for teaching that human beings have the freedom to choose how they live their lives and that grace comes to those who do good things, as opposed to those who believe the right doctrines.

The most eloquent summary of the Pelagian vision, Mr. Hawley went on to say, can be found in the Supreme Court’s 1992 opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Mr. Hawley specifically cited Justice Anthony Kennedy’s words reprovingly: “At the heart of liberty,” Kennedy wrote, “is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” The fifth century church fathers were right to condemn this terrifying variety of heresy, Mr. Hawley argued: “Replacing it and repairing the harm it has caused is one of the challenges of our day.”

In other words, Mr. Hawley’s idea of freedom is the freedom to conform to what he and his preferred religious authorities know to be right. Mr. Hawley is not shy about making the point explicit. In a 2017 speech to the American Renewal Project, he declared — paraphrasing the Dutch Reformed theologian and onetime prime minister Abraham Kuyper — “There is not one square inch of all creation over which Jesus Christ is not Lord.” Mr. Kuyper is perhaps best known for his claim that Christianity has sole legitimate authority over all aspects of human life.

“We are called to take that message into every sphere of life that we touch, including the political realm,” Mr. Hawley said. “That is our charge. To take the Lordship of Christ, that message, into the public realm, and to seek the obedience of the nations. Of our nation!”

Mr. Hawley has built his political career among people who believe that Shariah is just around the corner even as they attempt to secure privileges for their preferred religious groups to discriminate against those of whom they disapprove. Before he won election as a senator, he worked for Becket, a legal advocacy group that often coordinates with the right-wing legal juggernaut the Alliance Defending Freedom. He is a familiar presence on the Christian right media circuit.

The American Renewal Project, which hosted the event where Mr. Hawley delivered the speech I mentioned earlier, was founded by David Lane, a political organizer who has long worked behind the scenes to connect conservative pastors and Christian nationalist figures with politicians. The choice America faces, according to Mr. Lane, is “to be faithful to Jesus or to pagan secularism.”

The line of thought here is starkly binary and nihilistic. It says that human existence in an inevitably pluralistic, modern society committed to equality is inherently worthless. It comes with the idea that a right-minded elite of religiously pure individuals should aim to capture the levers of government, then use that power to rescue society from eternal darkness and reshape it in accord with a divinely-approved view of righteousness.

At the heart of Mr. Hawley’s condemnation of our terrifyingly Pelagian world lies a dark conclusion about the achievements of modern, liberal, pluralistic societies. When he was still attorney general, William Barr articulated this conclusion in a speech at the University of Notre Dame Law School, where he blamed “the growing ascendancy of secularism” for amplifying “virtually every measure of social pathology,” and maintained that “free government was only suitable and sustainable for a religious people.”

Christian nationalists’ acceptance of President Trump’s spectacular turpitude these past four years was a good measure of just how dire they think our situation is. Even a corrupt sociopath was better, in their eyes, than the horrifying freedom that religious moderates and liberals, along with the many Americans who don’t happen to be religious, offer the world.

That this neo-medieval vision is incompatible with constitutional democracy is clear. But in case you’re in doubt, consider where some of the most militant and coordinated support for Mr. Trump’s postelection assault on the American constitutional system has come from. The Conservative Action Project, a group associated with the Council for National Policy, which serves as a networking organization for America’s religious and economic right-wing elite, made its position clear in a statement issued a week before the insurrection.

It called for members of the Senate to “contest the electoral votes” from Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and other states that were the focus of Republicans’ baseless allegations. Among the signatories was Cleta Mitchell, the lawyer who advised Mr. Trump and participated in the president’s call on Jan. 2 with Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state. Cosignatories to this disinformation exercise included Bob McEwen, the executive director of the Council for National Policy; Morton C. Blackwell of The Leadership Institute; Alfred S. Regnery, the former publisher; Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council; Thomas Fitton of Judicial Watch; and more than a dozen others.

Although many of the foot soldiers in the assault on the Capitol appear to have been white males aligned with white supremacist movements, it would be a mistake to overlook the powerful role of the rhetoric of religious nationalism in their ranks. At a rally in Washington on Jan. 5, on the eve of Electoral College certification, the right-wing pastor Greg Locke said that God is raising up “an army of patriots.” Another pastor, Brian Gibson, put it this way: “The church of the Lord Jesus Christ started America,” and added, “We’re going to take our nation back!”

In the aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrection, a number of Christian nationalist leaders issued statements condemning violence — on both sides. How very kind of them. But few if any appear willing to acknowledge the instrumental role they played in perpetuating the fraudulent allegations of a stolen election that were at the root of the insurrection.

They seem, like Mr. Hawley himself, to live in a post-truth environment. And this gets to the core of the Hawley enigma. The brash young senator styles himself not just a deep thinker who ruminates about late-Roman era heretics, but a man of the people, a champion of “the great American middle,” as he wrote in an article for The American Conservative, and a foe of the “ruling elite.” Mr. Hawley has even managed to turn a few progressive heads with his economic populism, including his attacks on tech monopolies.

Yet Mr. Hawley isn’t against elites per se. He is all for an elite, provided that it is a religiously righteous elite. He is a graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School and he clerked for John Roberts, the chief justice. Mr. Hawley, in other words, is a successful meritocrat of the Federalist Society variety. His greatest rival in that department is the Princeton debater Ted Cruz. They are résumé jockeys in a system that rewards those who do the best job of mobilizing fear and irrationalism. They are what happens when callow ambition meets the grotesque inequalities and injustices of our age.

Over the past few days, following his participation in the failed efforts to overturn the election, Mr. Hawley’s career prospects may have dimmed. Two of his home state newspapers have called for his resignation; his political mentor, John C. Danforth, a former Republican senator from Missouri, has described his earlier support for Mr. Hawley as “the biggest mistake I’ve ever made”; and Simon & Schuster dropped his book. On the other hand, there is some reporting that suggests his complicity in efforts to overturn the election may have boosted his standing with Mr. Trump’s base. But the question that matters is not whether Mr. Hawley stays or goes, but whether he is simply replaced by the next wannabe demagogue in line. We are about to find out whether there are leaders of principle left in today’s Republican Party.

Make no mistake: Mr. Hawley is a symptom, not a cause. He is a product of the same underlying forces that brought us President Trump and the present crisis of American democracy. Unless we find a way to address these forces and the fundamental pathologies that drive them, then next month or next year we will be forced to contend with a new and perhaps more successful version of Mr. Hawley.

Katherine Stewart (@kathsstewart) is the author of “The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism.”