‘Anyone else who recklessly squandered lives and money in this way would be suffering legal consequences’

I have quoted a New England Journal of Medicine editorial severely critical of the U.S. government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic[1] for the title of this post.


Matt Zapotosky, Devlin Barrett, and Abigail Hauslohner, “FBI charges six who it says plotted to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, as seven more who wanted to ignite civil war face state charges,” Washington Post, October 8, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/michigan-governor-kidnap-plot/2020/10/08/0032e206-0980-11eb-9be6-cf25fb429f1a_story.html

Kelly Weill, “Sixteen ‘Boogaloo’ Followers Have Been Busted in 7 Days,” Daily Beast, October 9, 2020, https://www.thedailybeast.com/with-the-gov-gretchen-whitmer-busts-16-boogaloo-followers-have-been-busted-in-7-days/

Donald Trump

Donald Trump and Mike Pence have repeatedly refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power and Greg Sargent believes the resurrection of an allegation against Barack Obama is another rationalization for the militia movement to engage in violence should Trump lose:[2]

This was explained very well by Frank Figliuzzi, a retired FBI official. On Thursday night, Figliuzzi told MSNBC that Trump is functioning as a kind of “instigator in chief” who is helping fuel the “radicalization” of those who are “on the fringe already.”

“Law enforcement is telling me that they are ready for a volatile and potentially violent period as we ramp up to the election and beyond,” Figliuzzi continued.

Figliuzzi noted that we already know Trump’s rhetoric may be inciting right-wing extremist violence. He pointed to the disruption of a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) for the “treason” of instituting public health measures amid a pandemic, which came after Trump tweeted a call to “LIBERATE” the state. The alleged El Paso mass shooter targeting “Mexicans” also reportedly echoed Trump’s rhetoric, Figliuzzi noted.[3]

But the available evidence suggests that “law enforcement,” at least at the local lower levels, is allied with those militia groups, indeed that many militia members are members of the military or police.[4] Good luck getting them to help put down a right-wing militia uprising in support of “their” “law and order” president.

“It could be that law enforcement are paying more attention to these groups,” Mike German, a former FBI agent who specialized in extremist groups, told The Daily Beast. “But it could also be an indicator of increasing activity,” on the part of Boogaloo believers, he added.

Oh, and I’d rather strongly suggest multiply redundant surveillance on armories beginning no later than on Election Day.

Greg Sargent, “On Hannity’s show, Trump reveals his corrupt, panicky endgame,” Washington Post, October 9, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/10/09/hannity-trump-reveals-his-corrupt-panicky-endgame/


There is a new blog post entitled, “The pandemic as a harbinger.”

British Broadcasting Corporation, “White House hosted Covid ‘superspreader’ event, says Dr Fauci,” October 10, 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-54487154

New England Journal of Medicine, “Dying in a Leadership Vacuum,” no. 383 (October 8, 2020), 1479-1480, doi: 10.1056/NEJMe2029812


Fig. 1. 72-hour gif of satellite photos for the eastern U.S. and Gulf of Mexico, as of October 9, 2020, at 8:01 pm EDT.

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