As events spiraled out of control

They were blocked.

The commander of the D.C. National Guard said the Pentagon restricted his authority ahead of the riot at the U.S. Capitol, requiring higher level sign-off to respond that cost time as the events that day spiraled out of control.

Is it because BLM protesters are scary while angry white guys who want to kill all the Democrats are just a little energetic?

Local commanders typically have the power to take military action on their own to save lives or prevent significant property damage in an urgent situation when there isn’t enough time to obtain approval from headquarters.

They can give the orders in an emergency.

But Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, the commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard, said the Pentagon essentially took that power and other authorities away from him ahead of a pro-Trump protest on Jan. 6. That meant he couldn’t immediately roll out troops when he received a panicked phone call from the Capitol Police chief warning that rioters were about to enter the U.S. Capitol.

“All military commanders normally have immediate response authority to protect property, life, and in my case, federal functions — federal property and life,” Walker said in an interview. “But in this instance I did not have that authority.”

It also had to do with the disaster last summer.

The Pentagon required the highest-level approval for any moves beyond that narrow mission, in part because its leaders had been lambasted for actions the D.C. Guard took during last year’s racial justice protests, including helicopters that flew low over demonstrators in D.C. Top officials concluded those maneuvers resulted from “fragmentary orders” that hadn’t received high-level approval and were looking to prevent a repeat of that situation.

So, great. They wildly overreacted to a legitimate protest, and the blowback from that caused them to twiddle their thumbs as a fascist insurrection battered its way into the Capitol. This is all fine.

In the days before the protest, all the living former defense secretaries warned the Pentagon not to get involved in the peaceful transition of power, after reports that former national security adviser Michael Flynn had raised the possibility with President Donald Trump of declaring martial law to “rerun” the election.

The day before the Jan. 6 event, a senior U.S. official told The Post the military had “learned its lesson” after being rebuked over Trump’s heavy-handed response to racial justice protests last year. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the details of the preparations, said the military would be “absolutely nowhere near the Capitol building” because “we don’t want to send the wrong message.”

Always fighting the last war instead of the current one.

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