Here’s just the latest revelation from these Jan 6th related texts we keep hearing about. In a way it’s more of the same but the details are telling. This one turns on Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), yet another far-right House member, now the head of the Freedom Caucus. In the days after Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 election he was texting Mark Meadows insisting that Meadows get DNI John Ratcliffe (another House right-winger who Trump had installed as chief of U.S. intelligence based on essentially no professional background) to have the NSA “immediately seize and begin looking for international comms related to Dominion.” Basically he was pushing the idea that China had hacked Dominion’s voting machines to make Biden the winner.
In other words, this is pure Giuliani/Sidney Powell Kracken nonsense. But here it’s a member of Congress advising the White House Chief of Staff. He was also convinced that it was “the Brits who helped quarterback this entire operation” and that then-CIA Director Gina Haspell was covering up for them. He insisted the Italians were also in on it.
You get the idea. Pretty insane stuff.
But here’s the part that jumped out to me. Perry is a retired Brigadier General. Among other things he was an Army helicopter pilot and he flew missions in Iraq. A Brigadier General is a one star. So the first rung on the four rank gradations of being a general officer. It’s a little different than I thought from the CNN article. He was in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. So even though his career stretched over four decades he wasn’t a full time soldier. He also had a business career that spanned much of this period.
The point though is that this isn’t someone who just heard what the NSA was from listening to Rush Limbaugh. With a general’s rank you’re going to have at least some general understanding of how U.S. intelligence works and one would hope some idea of what’s insane and what’s not. Perry serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
It’s certainly not lost on me that the U.S. military officer corps especially is heavily stocked with conservatives. A lot of people who are very conservative. But I still like to hope that general officers don’t participate in trying to overthrow the state, even post-retirement. Alas, this seems to be hoping for too much.