Pelosi: On the Riot Side of History

Pelosi: On the Riot Side of History

July 23, 2021

When House Democrats started clamoring for their own January 6 commission, it was never about the facts. But the last person anyone expected to admit that is Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). But this week, the California leader showed her cards when she booted two of the five Republicans off the roster because she was terrified they'd ask some hard questions. And hard questions, we all know, is not what this probe is about. Political theater is.

When House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) submitted his five names for the supposedly bipartisan investigation, Pelosi knew that Reps. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) wouldn't let her party get away with the pack of lies they've been trying to sell about that day for seven months -- namely that Republicans and their supporters were responsible for the tragedy at the Capitol. So, she made up some lame excuse that Democrats needed to protect the "integrity of the investigation" and rejected the two conservatives. Seething, McCarthy fired back that if that's the way Pelosi wants to play it, then she can go ahead with their "bipartisan" committee without them. "Unless Speaker Pelosi reverses course and seats all five Republican nominees, Republicans will not be party to their sham process and will instead pursue our own investigation of the facts."

"[She] just proved what we said all along," Banks said on "Washington Watch." "We said at the beginning that this was a political sham, a stunt by the Democrats to distract from everything going on in the country today. Democrats don't want to talk about rising crime waves around the country, inflation rampant and growing. They don't want to talk about the border crisis. They don't want to talk about the anti-Americanism and critical race theory that's being taught in our institutions [and] in our schools... They want to talk about Donald Trump. They want to talk about January 6. They want to drag Republicans through the mud and they want to drag 75 million people in America who voted for Donald Trump through the mud. That's what they want to focus on. They don't want to focus on anything else."

As Banks pointed out, the D.C. police has an investigation, the FBI has an investigation, the U.S. Senate had an investigation -- and others are ongoing. There's no need for Nancy Pelosi to rehash what law enforcement and intelligence experts already are -- unless the purpose is to malign conservatives and score political points. In the Senate report, which was the product of real bipartisanship, members came to some pretty damning conclusions. Conclusions, Banks agreed, that Pelosi doesn't want to answer for. Like, "why was the Capitol vulnerable on January 6to begin with -- when we had intelligence three weeks before January 6 that told us something was going to happen on that day?"

If this is truly a sincere effort to make sure what happened never happens again, then we need to talk about the complete disintegration of leadership and security that allowed the Capitol to be vulnerable. According to the Senate's report, the fault lies squarely with the U.S. Capitol Police and a failure to respond to inter-agency intelligence from the FBI and Homeland Security. "The big takeaway here is this," Banks said. "Who is at the top of the food chain in the United States Capitol? It's the speaker of the House. She's the most powerful person in the United States Capitol, and she is ultimately accountable for the leadership of the U.S. Capitol Police."

He and others have talked to the head of the U.S. Capitol Police Union, who openly says that his men and women were not prepared for what happened that day. They didn't know how to handle the information they'd gotten three weeks before, they didn't have the right equipment to respond to the threat, "and they blame the leadership of the Capitol Police at the time, who happened to report to the speaker of the House. Why would we not want that to be part of a serious investigation?" And while we're at it, he argues, how about investigating the year of violence and bloodshed we've seen on our streets as a direct result of the far-Left's support and encouragement? "If Democrats were serious about investigating political violence, this committee would be studying not only the January 6 riot at the Capitol, but also the hundreds of violent political riots last summer when many more innocent Americans and law-enforcement officers were attacked," Banks insisted.

Turns out, Americans agree with him. More voters want Congress to investigate the riots of 2020 than the January 6 rampage, a new Rasmussen/National Police Association poll says. A whopping 66 percent of Americans "think Congress should investigate last year's violent protests, in which more than 2,000 police officers suffered injuries in the line of duty," compared to only 49 percent of voters who support Pelosi's farce of a select committee. And that includes "majorities of every racial group and political affiliation." Another 63 percent think Black Lives Matter rioters should be criminally charged like the January 6 rioters have been.

The American people are on to the Left's hypocrisy here. Democrats will never be taken seriously on law and order unless they stop using it as a political prop to trot out when it's convenient. Violence is always wrong -- from the Right, the Left, and anything in between. A party that can't admit as much doesn't deserve the public's trust or the House's gavel.

** This Sunday, July 25, I'll be preaching at the church of our good friend Pastor Gary Hamrick, Cornerstone Chapel in Leesburg, Virginia. Join me for the 8:30, 10:00, or 11:45 a.m. services -- or watch the livestream here.

Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

To Follow the Science, Free the Science

July 23, 2021

CDC can stand for many things: Conspiracy for Deceptive Calculations, Cartel for Democrats after Coronavirus -- and probably more. But one thing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should stand for is good science. Whether they do is up for debate, as public health experts like Dr. Martin Makary have criticized the agency for public health recommendations concerning vaccination of minors that are based on "very sloppy data." There's no expert consensus behind many CDC policies. But instead of welcoming open scientific dialogue and inquiry, Makary says, the CDC "dug in early" and "dismissed" any dissenting voices. The question is, why?

The Biden administration seems to sense the CDC is on shaky ground. Last week, in a bid to suppress what they called "misinformation" about vaccines, the White House pressured social media companies to increase their censorship, which they are always eager to do. YouTube even deleted a "Washington Watch" interview with a lawyer that didn't even take a position on vaccines (after first denying our appeal, YouTube restored the interview following media pressure). That interview, ironically, was about D.C. secretly vaccinating children at school. Why all the multi-layered, secret authoritarianism?

The "sit down and shut up" dialogue style only breeds suspicion that the virus' risks are magnified for political reasons. Nancy Pelosi's preservation of "proxy voting" beyond the end of the pandemic is clear political opportunism. But the Left can't admit vaccine hesitant people might be rational. In fact, the mainstream media would have you believe all public health dissenters are kooks. Kooks aren't professors at the Johns Hopkins Schools of Medicine and Public Health, like Dr. Makary, or get published in The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. Other leading dissenters work at Harvard and Stanford. "Follow the science" includes listening to science that refutes your preconceived notions. At the very least, the credentials of Makary and others should earn them a hearing.

And Makary makes a good case against the CDC. To justify vaccinating children, the CDC cites 335 COVID deaths in minors. The CDC never verified that these deaths were caused by COVID, said Makary, nor has it shown that healthy children are at the same risk as children with, say, leukemia. In a Johns Hopkins study of 48,000 COVID-positive children, "no healthy kid died of Covid." He said, "we're imposing tremendous restrictions" on children, but the CDC refuses to say what risk COVID poses to healthy children.

The CDC also ignores the benefits of "natural immunity from prior infection." Makary said if you've recovered from COVID, you probably don't need the vaccine -- although it can't hurt. But the CDC only considers immunity gained from shots in the arm, even though evidence continues to mount of the long-term efficacy of natural immunity. It's easy to see why many people recovered from COVID have decided they are immune. It's hard to see what the CDC, by simply ignoring natural immunity, has done to persuade them.

I have nothing against vaccines, but vaccine mandates are un-American and anti-freedom. Give people the information, and let them make an informed decision. You'll never be able to get consent through coercion. The Biden administration could make many good arguments to try and persuade more people to get the vaccine. Or they could revise their count to include natural immunity. Instead, they're spinning their wheels with two contradicting arguments: "get the shot, or we'll make you get it," or "please get the shot, we'll give you free stuff." If President Biden wants more Americans to get vaccinated, he should show more respect for their intelligence.

** This Sunday, July 25, I'll be preaching at the church of our good friend Pastor Gary Hamrick, Cornerstone Chapel in Leesburg, Virginia. Join me for the 8:30, 10:00, or 11:45 a.m. services -- or watch the livestream here.

Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Inside a Chinese Internment Camp

July 23, 2021

On Christmas Day in 2020, one Uyghur advocate in the United States was devastated to learn that her sister had been sentenced to 20 years in prison. Gulshan Abbas was a retired medical doctor in Xinjiang, where the Chinese government is launching a brutal crackdown on the Uyghur Muslim population. Detained by authorities since 2018, her sister, Rushan, believes that she was taken as a punishment for Rushan's advocacy work in the United States speaking out against human rights abuses in China.

Now, the Associated Press has caught a glimpse of what detainment in Xinjiang's internment camps might look like for Gulshan and the 1.8-3 million other Uyghurs being held captive. On a state-led tour, AP reporters were taken to Urumqi No. 3 Detention Center, one of the more than 380 detention facilities in Xinjiang.

Twice as large as Vatican City and big enough to hold 10,000 people, Chinese authorities denies it was ever a "re-education" camp. But old news reports prove that the Chinese government itself formerly referred to the facility as a "Vocational Skills Education and Training Center." It shouldn't be a surprise; the ruling Chinese Communist Party is often caught in its attempts to cover and manipulate the facts.

Gordon Chang joined Tony Perkins on "Washington Watch" to discuss why the Chinese government allowed the AP to tour the center. He called it "damage control." Chang believes the Chinese government is "trying to get back in control of the message. But I mean, this is a massive detention center... It covers over two hundred and twenty acres... and it's just one of many." Notably, the AP reporters were not allowed to speak to any Uyghur detainees.

The AP report comes amid the Chinese government's ongoing smear campaigns against foreign news outlets who dare to report the truth about what's happening in Xinjiang. Chang believes, "we are going to see more of these public relations campaigns and they're going to become less and less credible. So right now, I think most people around the world who have thought about this realize the enormity of China's crimes."

And the nearly unfathomable scale of the crackdown is made more tragic considering what we learn from survivors of Xinjiang's internment camps. Chang notes, "We have heard from people who have been in those facilities who've been released. We've heard from people who have relatives in those facilities. And these stories are just horrible. I mean, horrific."

Tursunay Ziyawudun, a survivor, recently shared her story at the 2021 IRF Summit. She recounted traumatic abuses by camp guards, saying, "Once they took me out alongside a young woman in her 20s. Next to the camp police officers, there was a man in a suit, wearing a mask over his mouth. I can't even remember what time of night it was. They raped the young women. Three Han police officers raped me as well." Conditions were so bad, Ziyawudun said some women "lost their minds in the camp."

At the end of the day, the AP's government-led tour of a camp revealed very little. But the world already knows more than enough. We know the scale of the issue. We know the "crimes" that can get Uyghurs detained are often simple religious acts. We know that survivors allege systemic rape occurs in the camps. This is more than enough for the world to act.