Attorney General William Barr announced Thursday that “foreign interests” and “extremist agitators” who are “tied to the Antifa movement” are the ones behind the nationwide riots. That’s contrary to earlier reports that only “opportunists” were burning and looting American cities. Liberals aren’t happy to hear it.
Professional agitators behind the violence
Three days earlier, the Department of Homeland Security produced an internal “intelligence assessment” which leaked to Reuters. DHS noted what they were seeing indicated that “most of the violence” was “carried out by opportunists,” not organized groups of instigators and agitators.
Unfortunately, “114 law enforcement officers have been injured” during Washington riots and 22 police are in the hospital. At least seven separate fires blazed across the city just over the weekend with one person arrested and charged with arson.
The attorney general agrees with President Donald Trump that most of the blame should fall on Antifa and their ragtag army of young anarchists. “Foreign groups,” he asserts, are “using social media disinformation” to “widen divisions in U.S. society” in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.
Even “foreign hackers and groups that are associated with foreign governments” are trying to cause chaos and make the situation even worse than it already is. Federal agents, Barr notes, have “made 51 arrests so far for charges involving violence.”
The violence has to stop
FBI Director Christopher Wray and other federal law enforcement officials support Barr’s conclusions that outside provocateurs are stirring up trouble professionally. “organized groups were at least partly to blame for instigating violence and sowing chaos,” Wray confirmed. He also noted, “the violence and destruction of property has to stop.”
While some of the available evidence points straight at Antifa agitators, the players are generally a “witches’ brew” of extremist groups. “Violent instigators have hijacked peaceful protests and demonstrations across the country, including Nevada, exploiting the real and legitimate outrage over Mr. Floyd’s death for their own radical agendas,” Nevada U.S. Attorney Nicholas Trutanich added.
The forces of darkness can’t stir up sufficient trouble without help from both sides so it appears that someone is prodding the far-right extremist groups into coming out to play. On Wednesday, three members of a right-wing extremist group “Boogaloo” were charged with planning a pitched battle against the liberals.
There is no doubt, Barr insisted at a news conference, that “Antifa and other similar extremist groups, as well as actors of a variety of different political persuasions, have been involving in instigating and participating in violent activity.”
Lafayette park was out of control
Another thing that the Attorney General wanted to set the record straight about was his decision to use tear gas and rubber bullets to clear the agitators out of Lafayette park, so he and the president could stroll over to historic St. John’s Church. The demonstrators weren’t peaceful. The rioting by then, “had gotten out of control.”
The attorney general and the Secret Service decided “that we needed more of a buffer to protect the White House.” He made the decision long before Trump suggested going for a walk. “I saw the projectiles, when I went to Lafayette Park,” Barr explains. “We could not continue to protect federal property and personnel.”
The crowd had “defied at least three orders to move to accommodate a larger security perimeter.” Barr also stood up for the President’s decision to visit the church. “It was not a political act. It was entirely appropriate for him to do.” He also sent in troops to protect other historic landmarks in the city from Antifa agitators “after demonstrations in Washington turned violent.”