We have to be careful when writing about the
Democrats’ bipartisan January 6 select committee lest we risk “downplaying” what happened that day at the Capitol. It’s just unfortunate that some people’s descriptions of what happened are less hysterical than others.
Entertaining theories about conspiracies involving Donald Trump, high-ranking congressional Republicans, and (choose one or several) Oath Keepers, QAnon, Proud Boys, Klansmen, Kluxers, and kooks are considered realistic while questioning the entire proceeding might get me banned from Twitter. And unless you’re prepared to call what happened an “insurrection” or a “coup attempt,” you may as well censor yourself.
So as not to offend the Twitter fact-checkers, I will take pains in pointing out that the mythology that has grown up around the riot has now ensnared a brave — and blameless — Capitol police officer.
The death of 42-year-old Officer Brian Sicknick was a tragedy. The officer became gravely ill after manning his post at the Capitol building and died the next day. He did not die, as the New York Times breathlessly misinformed its readers, by being hit in the head by a protester wielding a fire extinguisher.
Officer Sicknick suffered two strokes and died in the hospital. The medical examiner found that Sicknick died from a stroke and that his death was not “hastened by an injury” and additionally commented that “all that transpired played a role in his condition.”
Sicknick, as well as other officers deployed in his area, had been sprayed with some kind of irritant, but the ME determined that it was not a cause of his death. His duty that day played a role in his demise, but it simply isn’t accurate to say he was a “victim” of the riot. As such, committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn lied in their characterizations of his death.
Still, committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, said in his opening remarks that “seven people lost their lives” in the riot. The number would appear to include Sicknick, two officers who died by suicide in the following days, a protester shot by police, two protesters who suffered fatal heart attacks, and another who died of a suspected drug overdose.
Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn also perpetuated the claim regarding Sicknick in his remarks.
“I’d like to take a moment of my time to ask for a moment of silence for my fallen colleague, Officer Brian Sicknick, who died from injuries he sustained in the line of duty defending the Capitol of our beloved democracy,” Dunn said.
When does the truth matter? Not here and not to Democrats engaging a “fact-finding” committee to seek the truth of what happened on January 6.
If anything shows that Democrats are not interested in finding the “truth” with this committee, the mythmaking of Officer Sicknick’s death is it. They can swear on a stack of Bibles that the deliberations of the committee will be “bipartisan.” They won’t be. They can claim they only want to find the truth. That’s a lie.
The only people who will believe that codswallop are those who want to: Democratic partisans and the media. The rest of us are stuck with trying to dodge the censors who believe that anything not part of the approved narrative must be squashed.