As David Rubin’s “show” usually is, the dialog is [mostly] calm and intelligent. About minute 25 is especially good where Peter Boghossian states that people concerned need to “speak truth in the face of danger”. I look forward to seeing the documentary, which I will try and remember to link.
Longer than average article but worth the read. mrossol
An example of unequal application of the law. Why is this officer not identified? He shot and killed an unarmed civilian. Maybe its because “White Lives Don’t Matter”. mrossol
The Epoch Times 6/15/2021
The husband of a woman who was shot dead by a U.S. Capitol Police officer in the Capitol on Jan. 6 says he still does not know the identity of the officer.
“Somebody up in D.C. knows, I think a lot of people know, but nobody is telling us. And the silence is deafening,” Aaron Babbitt said on Fox News’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Monday.
“I never expected to lose my wife to political violence,” he added.
Aaron Babbitt filed a complaint last week against the Metropolitan Police Department, which conducted the investigation into the shooting. The police agency has refused to hand over records, illegally defying a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the court filing alleges.
The department declined to comment, citing the pending litigation.
Federal authorities announced in April that the officer who shot Ashli Babbitt would not be charged.
“Officials examined video footage posted on social media, statements from the officer involved and other officers and witnesses to the events, physical evidence from the scene of the shooting, and the results of an autopsy,” the Department of Justice said in a statement. “Based on that investigation, officials determined that there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution.”
An attorney representing the officer said that the decision “is the only correct conclusion” and that the officer “had to resort to deadly force.”
“He did so after clearly identifying himself and ordering the mob not to come through the barricade,” Mark Schamel, the lawyer, said in an emailed statement. “He used tremendous restraint in only firing one shot, and his actions stopped the mob from breaking through and turning a horrific day in American history into something so much worse.”
But Terrell Roberts, who is representing the Babbitt family, has noted that available evidence indicates Ashli Babbitt was not armed and that video footage shows a slew of officers in the Speaker’s Lobby, where Ashli Babbitt was seeking to enter when she was shot.
“I think one of the reasons they are hiding his identity is they don’t have a good explanation for this shooting,” Roberts said on Fox. “I think that if Ashli Babbitt had been brandishing a firearm and she was shot the officer would be identified by now and they’d be pinning a medal on him. So I don’t think they have a good explanation for the shooting and why they haven’t identified him.”
The U.S. Capitol Police has refused to release the identity of the officer and is not subject to FOIA. The agency said in February that reports suggesting the officer was David Bailey “are inaccurate,” promising to eventually share more information. Bailey was one of two agents injured during the 2019 congressional baseball shooting in Alexandria, Virginia.
Ashli Babbitt’s husband on Tuesday said he’s been sickened to hear what people have said about his wife.
“There has never been a person Ashli ran across in her daily life that didn’t love her and wouldn’t remember her in some way, shape, or form for the rest of her life,” he said. “But this is the game, this is the social media craziness that people just run with a theory and just take off with it. You know, it is up to us and the ones that love her and people like you for not giving up on it.”
Unfortunately the fact that China is covering up the origins of SARS-Cov2 can’t be taken as circumstantial evidence for the lab-leak theory. A circumstantial case can be strong or weak, but this is not a criminal investigation. We shouldn’t have to rely on circumstantial evidence. We should be able to rely on good-faith testimonial and documentary evidence from people who know exactly what happened, backed by lab and tissue samples, including evidence from the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which should have been preserved rather than destroyed.
But the truth is, China’s government would be as likely to cover up a natural occurrence as it would a lab accident. China’s government and people well understood the risks arising from its massive and atavistic live-animal trade (source of the 2003 SARS outbreak), which Beijing long claimed to be addressing and regulating. For months its propaganda strategy toward the new virus has been clear: The elusiveness of its origins, despite this history and China’s diligent search, means a foreign source must be considered as likely as a domestic one.
The big circumstantial problem for China is this: the virus’s emergence overnight in the city of Wuhan, seemingly without earlier outbreaks or intermediate forms showing up elsewhere. These circumstances obviously lend credence to a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The same circumstances must be emphasized in China’s counternarrative, best seen in the English version of a lengthy “investigation” in the party-run Global Times. To wit, the virus exploded in Wuhan because it arrived during the October 2019 Military World Games, on the persons of foreign athletes or in frozen foods they brought with them.
The Global Times, an offshoot of People’s Daily created in the reform era to exude a more modern credibility, offers a tellingly tentative but suggestive account: quotes from retailers at the Huanan wet market saying it was visited by foreign military personnel who may have spread the virus; testimony from airport officials about the frozen foods athletes brought with them; allusions to French media reports suggesting that participants returned with cold-like symptoms. China convinced the World Health Organization to mention the military games and frozen-food theories in its own report, which the Global Times then cites as evidence for the theories.
Most important is how the Global Times frames the investigation: the sine qua non is finding patient zero. This is awfully convenient when other countries are allowing searches for early victims of Covid and China isn’t. In Italy and France as early as November 2019, we know from patient samples that Covid was likely present. Baldly, the Global Times asserts that China by now has “done what it can do” to find similar evidence of domestic Covid “before January 2020” and concludes, “If the answer could not be found here, maybe it’s time to find it in other places.”
I may be wrong, but I don’t see Beijing backtracking from this stance, which would require admitting error and repudiating a coverup. It would mean surrendering the party’s time-tested strategy of shifting blame to foreigners for bad outcomes (see Ian Johnson’s account of this aspect of party history in the latest issue of the New York Review of Books).
This will be a high-wire act. Like the lab-leak theory, China’s preferred narrative depends on not finding early cases of Covid or transitional versions of the virus in China. From the start, China’s government was frantic to write a narrative independent of the scientific evidence. Recall the silencing of doctors, the expulsion and jailing of journalists, the destruction of Huanan market. Donald Trump may gripe about the unfairness of Covid arriving in his re-election year but China lacks any orderly means to replace a regime that discredits itself in a national crisis. Its singularly draconian effort to suppress the virus wasn’t because it adopted the attitude of CNN announcers that no cost is too high to prevent a Covid death. It was the prospect of Covid ripping through a country whose intensive-care capacity is 10% of what the U.S. and other Western countries could provide. A second Wuhan, much less 40 of them, might have meant the end of party rule.
The consequences of the lab-leak theory may be large but perhaps not what you are hearing. China, after a slow start, has begun vaccinating its 1.4 billion citizens, but Bloomberg News notices that it has shown no desire to ease the travel restrictions that cut its people off from the outside world. China’s estrangement from the world is likely to grow with the Covid-origins controversy. This is where Western governments, I’m betting, will feel a need to pitch in, manifested in a soon-to-be-apparent desire to move on quickly from the lab theory without resolving it.
Appeared in the June 12, 2021, print edition.