Blessings on you and your family, and from all the Huckabee staff!
Today's newsletter includes:
- Bible Verse of the Day - John 10:28
- As more are charged, what is "seditious conspiracy"?
- Prayers Needed
- Prayers Answered
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- National Religious Freedom Day
- War On Conservative Speech Update
P.S. If you need to change the email address for your subscription, please go to my website here.
1. DAILY BIBLE VERSE
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Today's verse was recommended by Robert M.
2. Clearly, the Capitol Hill riot was NOT "sedition":
Last week, we looked at the charge of “seditious conspiracy” filed against members of the Oath Keepers and what that charge is actually supposed to mean within our legal system. Saturday, National Review published a commentary by legal analyst Andrew McCarthy in which he agreed that the charge of seditious conspiracy is not appropriate. We’ve certainly seen no evidence that Trump supporters --- at least the REAL Trump supporters, even those who entered the Capitol Building --- intended to forcefully interfere with a lawful exercise of government authority. Some have said they were trying to make a statement that they hoped the certification would be “paused” while certain irregularities were examined. They certainly were not trying to overthrow the government or anything close.
McCarthy, being the seasoned legal expert that we are not, was able to explain very precisely why “seditious conspiracy” is the wrong charge. It requires two conditions be met, he said: 1) that there is an agreement to use FORCE (not just “rambunctious” protest), and 2) that there is an attempt to wage war against the United States or oppose the LAWFUL authority of the United States.
And even if the actions that took place might be (wrongly) interpreted that way by some, it’s another thing to prove criminal intent. “Seditious conspiracy is the rare criminal offense in which motive matters,” McCarthy said. January 6, he explained, “involves people who committed serious crimes but believed --- however foolishly --- that they were saving the country, not waging war against it. Far from opposing the lawful authority of the government, they believed --- not irrationally --- that they were acting at the behest of the President of the United States.”
Here’s where I deviate significantly from McCarthy’s view of the protesters’ state of mind and Trump’s role in what happened. It WAS irrational for them to believe that President Trump wanted them to riot, break windows and vandalize the Capitol. Never did he “behoove” them to do such a thing.
Anyway, last summer, after the feds had set up what they called their “Sedition Task Force” (!) to address the events of January 6, 2021, McCarthy wrote that “the rioters will be punished appropriately, but not punished as if they were terrorists who were trying to overthrow the United States government.” Au contraire. That is exactly what the Biden administration is trying to do now. In fact, the last time a charge of sedition was made, it was against actual Islamic terrorists with bombs.
As it happens, McCarthy himself prosecuted that case, in 1995, against the Blind Sheikh’s jihadist cell after their bombing attempt on the World Trade Center and a later plot to bomb other New York City landmarks. Our current administration is trying to put the very same label of “seditious conspirator” on Trump supporters upset at what looked to them like blatant election fraud. They were expressing opposition to something they clearly believed was unlawful.
A bit of history: The law against sedition was first codified during the Civil War, to target Confederate sympathizers in the North who were helping the South –- a very different situation, with people literally at war with each other. “Our sedition law is designed to address conspiracies formed by anti-American enemies to attack our country and its government in an unambiguously hostile and violent manner,” McCarthy explained. The terrorists I prosecuted, in the course of plotting and conducting mass-murder attacks, were willfully at war with the United States and said so unabashedly. That is not true of the January 6 rioters.”
“Let’s be real,” McCarthy wrote in June. “With due respect to Attorney General Merrick Garland, the Capitol melee is by no stretch of the imagination the greatest threat to our democracy in living memory. It is not 9/11. It is not the Boston Marathon bombing. Indeed, the June 14, 2017, Washington baseball field shooting spree, in which a radical leftist tried to mass-murder much of the Republican congressional delegation, bore more hallmarks of a terrorist attack --- albeit one that, like the deadly Black Lives Matter riots of last summer, the media-Democrat complex always remembers to forget.”
McCarthy did note “forcible entry, vandalism, and some theft of government property” on the part of some Capitol Hill rioters. He called it “a national disgrace.” At that time, some charges had already been filed and some participants had pleaded guilty, but none of this involved sedition. Oath Keepers founder Jon Ryan Schaffer had pleaded guilty to two charges: 1) obstructing a congressional proceeding, and 2) trespassing on restricted federal grounds while armed with a dangerous weapon (bear spray, which there is no claim that he actually used).
Last summer, McCarthy blamed President Trump for the riot, and he still does, as he sees Trump as responsible for making his supporters believe Biden hadn’t really won the election. I disagree, believing people are responsible for their own foolishness. If we’re going to attribute their anger to some outside force, how about the courts, for refusing to look at the evidence? Whether or not Trump had said the election was stolen, we saw enough jaw-dropping irregularities –- just on election night –-to generate enormous doubts. In fact, those doubts have grown with time, in part because of the stunning lack of transparency regarding the process, with over half of Americans now suspecting there was enough interference to change the outcome. Taking that “pause” would have been a good thing, instead of pushing ahead to formalize a "win" that millions of people saw as a likely fraud.
Finally, if you haven’t yet seen the documentary film CAPITOL PUNISHMENT, about the events and aftermath of January 6, I highly recommend you watch that. Nick Searcy, who was there that day and stars in the film, was a guest on my TBN show this weekend, and we had a great discussion. The film has lots of amazing “you-are-there” video from that day and interviews held later with participants who describe the shocking FBI raids they and their families endured, in which they really were treated like terrorists. There’s an enlightening segment on Ashli Babbitt, including video of her smiling and happy on her way to the Capitol just a short time before she was killed, and an interview with her husband that is not to be missed.
3. Prayers Needed:
Prayers today for those affected by dangerous weather, from the weekend tornadoes in Florida to the savage winter storms raging from the upper Midwest to the East Coast. If you are in the path of the storms, please hunker down, stay safe, keep close watch on the weather news, and remember to protect your pets!
4. Prayers Answered:
We are all very grateful here that our prayers were answered, and the hostage situation at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, ended with all four hostages released safely. The hostage taker, Malik Faisal Akram, was shot dead by an FBI SWAT team that stormed the building. (Full disclosure: this was a particularly harrowing weekend for my writer/researchers, Laura and Pat, since Laura’s sister is a member of that synagogue, and they’ve visited there and met the rabbi who was held hostage.)
Akram was a British citizen who came to the US a couple of weeks ago. He was demanding the release of Pakistani terrorist Aafia “Lady Al Qaeda” Siddiqui, who is serving an 86-year sentence (Akram falsely claimed to be her brother.) British authorities arrested two teenagers in Manchester and questioned them about possible involvement. Akram’s brother said the family was devastated, apologized to the victims, and claimed his brother had mental problems. He also asked how he was able to get a visa and fly on a plane to the US when he has a criminal record. Good question. This is a breaking story, so keep an eye on the news for continuing updates.
The FBI finally announced this morning that "this is a terrorism-related matter, in which the Jewish community was targeted, and is being investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force." I would sarcastically add, “What was your first clue?”
Please don’t think I’m being flip about this. A lot of people are rightly up in arms about how slow the FBI and President Biden were to recognize an obvious act of anti-Semitic/radical Islamic terrorism. The FBI special agent in charge initially stated, “We do believe from our engagement with this subject that he was singularly focused on one issue, uh, and it was not specifically related to the Jewish community, uh, but we’re continuing to work to find motive and, and we will continue on that path.”
Some are calling for the FBI to be defunded and eliminated/replaced for its repeated failure to identify real terrorists and its whitewashing of anti-Semitic and anti-Republican attacks, even as it tries to redefine “domestic terrorists” to mean Trump voters, concerned parents or anyone who speaks out against the Democratic agenda.
President Biden is also taking heat over his initial reaction. While he later confirmed it was a terrorist attack, his initial quote was as bland as a mouthful of oatmeal:
“I don't think there is sufficient information to know why he targeted that synagogue, why he insisted on the release of someone who's been in prison for over 10 years...Why he was using anti-Semitic & anti-Israeli comments."
As is typical, Biden initially expressed more interest in where and how the terrorist obtained the gun than at whom he pointed it. How about expressing a little concern for how easily dangerous foreigners with criminal records are getting into the US these days?
Again, let’s all thank God that the hostages are safe, and pray that this will serve as a wake-up call both to our leaders and the misguided people who put them into power that there are real threats in the world, and there is genuine hatred of certain groups in the world. But in order to deal with these threats, you have to start addressing them honestly and looking for them in the right places.
Stephen Kruiser at PJ Media has more on the real “mental illness” that’s currently endangering us all.
5. Martin Luther King Jr. Day:
Today is the official Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, although his birthday, January 15, 1929, was actually on Saturday.
As a boy growing up in the South in the 1960s, I saw the pernicious effects of racism firsthand, and was inspired by the Rev. King’s faith, courage and eloquence, his message of brotherhood and his dream of a society where people weren’t separated by race and where people were judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.
He was not a “social justice activist” in the current sense, he was a preacher, one of the greatest ever. His speeches weren’t political diatribes, they were sermons. And like all great sermons, they relied on the teachings of the Gospel to inspire his listeners to renounce the grievous sin of racism and follow, as Lincoln put it, “the better angels of our nature.” He taught us that as God created us all in His image, hating someone for the way they look is a sin against God.
Today, when we celebrate the man who did so much to achieve the goal of recognizing and repudiating that sin, it’s more important than ever to remember what he said, because in recent years, his legacy has been under intense assault. A movement has arisen that’s tearing America apart by yanking from the ash heap of history such terrible ideas as judging people solely by skin color and bringing back segregated spaces. This racial separatist poison is the opposite of the Rev. King’s message, and any attempts to co-opt his name to promote it are detestable.
I’m sure that today will bring many speeches that will try to use the Rev. King’s name to cynically promote divisive political agendas. Instead of listening to them, go to the source. Listen to his original “I Have A Dream” speech, and see if it sounds anything like the anti-American nightmare these charlatans are promoting.
And here is some advice on how to be more like Dr. King from a woman I’m honored to call my friend, his niece Alveda King.
If you want to see a great example of Dr. King’s vision for America come true, listen to the words of Winsome Sears, a Jamaican immigrant who was just sworn in as Virginia’s first black woman (or woman, period) Lieutenant Governor, and who immediately began to speak out against the politics of racial division.
6. National Religious Freedom Day:
Sunday was National Religious Freedom Day, and I don’t want to let that pass without calling attention to it. Religious freedom is under the greatest assault in our nation’s history.
President Biden observed the day by tweeting about how important freedom of religion is and that on this day, “we rededicate ourselves to protecting the freedom of people of all faiths and none.”
I’ll let slide the sop to atheists on Religious Freedom Day and just note that it’s hard to believe you care about religious freedom when your Party is trying to force nuns and doctors at Catholic hospitals to provide abortions and make people with religious objections take vaccines against their will.
7. War On Conservative Speech Update:
Direct TV will reportedly no longer carry the conservative OANN (One America News Network) after its contract expires in April. Since that’s the channel’s major distribution outlet, it could put OANN out of business.
YouTube has temporarily suspended and demonetized Dan Bongino for spreading COVID “misinformation” for saying that masks have been “useless” in stopping the spread of the disease. Which is obviously ridiculous. Look at how well they’ve worked!
MyPillow founder Mike Lindell claims that two banks are trying to force him to close his accounts, not because he’s done anything wrong financially but because they don’t like his political views and comments about the 2020 election.
And podcaster Joe Rogan is under assault for allegedly spreading “misinformation” about COVID. A letter stating that has been widely circulated that’s supposedly signed by 270 “physicians.”
But blogger Jordan Schachtel examined the signers and reports that he could find only about 100 of them who have qualified medical degrees, and most of those work at universities and don’t actually practice medicine. Of the two who co-authored the letter, neither has a medical degree. One has a masters and the other is a Ph.D. academic who researches psychiatry.
8. I Just Wanted to Say:
Thank you for reading the Morning Edition.