(TMU) – An Army unit on the outskirts of Washington was issued bayonets, as well as live ammunition in case active-duty troops were deployed in the U.S. capital last week, according to a letter from Pentagon leaders, Bloomberg reported.
Although, both the Defense Secretary Mark Esper and General Mark Milley stated at no point were the weapons used against protesters and these were only preparation measures, the fact still remains that the 82 Airborne Division was issued dangerous weapons against American protesters on our own soil.
“At no point were any weapons loaded or made ready, but in preparation for potential operations in an increased readiness posture, the Old Guard Commander directed the issue of bayonets in scabbards and limited amounts of ammunition to be maintained in pouches,” according to a June 10 letter by Defense Secretary Mark Esper and General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
However, Democracy Now reports, that 700 soldiers with the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne were armed with fixed bayonets and deployed to enforce the district’s 7 p.m. curfew.
There was also video of Humvee’s with machine gun turrets mounted on the top driving down the streets of DC, while a black red cross medical helicopter was used by the National Guard to show force against protesters at the capitol, allegedly ordered by President Donald Trump.
Why are the HMMWV's rolling through DC city streets with their gun turrets mounted? https://t.co/Dh10FY5X9X
— Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) June 2, 2020
Since the incident with the helicopter, it was announced that the District of Columbia National Guard launched an investigation into the low-flying maneuver by one of its helicopters over protesters, CBS reported.
“I hold all members of the District of Columbia National Guard to the highest of standards,” Major General William Walker said in a statement Wednesday. “We live and work in the district, and we are dedicated to the service of our nation.”
Thus far, there has been no investigation announced for why the U.S. military were driving around Humvees with gun turrets still attached to the top.
U.S. President Trump vowed to use force against protesters and to deploy the U.S. military to DC, the nation’s capital. He also expressed he would do the same elsewhere if the protests didn’t die down and rioters didn’t stop the vandalism and looting that occurred in some places. Trump also said he had dispatched “thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel and law enforcement officers” to Washington, D.C.
This was all apart of “Operation Themis,” a mission to intimidate the protesters and clear DC. Trump was met with backlash from sitting officials including Mark Esper for using the military against American civilians and suggesting invoking of the Insurrection Act. Esper condemned the move as TMU previously reported.
“I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act,” the Pentagon chief said.
In Greek mythology, ‘Themis’ was known as the Titaness of divine law and order, whose symbols are the scales of justice.
Helicopters and Humvees are one thing, but bayonets? It might actually surprise and shock the reader to know this wouldn’t be the first time they were suggested to be used against protesters..
Shockingly enough, then-President Herbert Hoover used the military and equipped them with bayonets to clear Pennsylvania avenue in 1932 when a disgruntled group of World War I veterans peacefully protested the government not paying out their service bonuses.
It’s not difficult to see the similarities today, as protests rage in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the knee of a white police officer Derek Chauvin, with President Trump threatening protesters the same as Hoover did. Protests have erupted across the country for two weeks as protesters have voiced their concern for African American lives and the overall issue of police brutality.
As the New York Times reported, authorities have responded to the protests against police force with MORE excessive force against the protesters. Various videos uploaded online shocked the internet showing officers using batons, tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets against protesters and bystanders alike. Reddit has also compiled videos from the George Floyd protests here at this link.