Thomas Edward Caldwell, age 65, from Berryville, Virginia, is a U.S. Navy veteran. Caldwell, once a lieutenant commander in the Navy, also had a top-secret security clearance and served as a section chief for the FBI after leaving the armed forces in 2009. After leaving the FBI, Caldwell founded a consulting firm that has done business with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Coast Guard and the Army Personnel Command.
Thomas Edward Caldwell has now been indicted on federal conspiracy and other charges in connection with the January 6th attack on the U.S. Congress and U.S. Capitol. As a member of the right-wing group calling themselves the “Oath Keepers”, Caldwell was involved in planning and coordinating the attack on the Capitol. On social media, in the days leading up to that fateful day, Caldwell reached out to another right-wing group known as the “Three Percenters”, in order to arrange plans to “transport weapons across the Potomac by boat.”
On January 1st, Caldwell wrote on Facebook …
“I swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. I did the former, I have done the latter peacefully but they have morphed into pure evil even blatantly rigging an election and paying off the political caste. We must smite them now and drive them down.”
During the attack on the Capitol, Caldwell received a text message from a cohort saying …
“All members are in the tunnels under capital seal them in. Turn on gas.”
And later that evening, after the National Guard had secured the Capitol, Caldwell sent a Facebook message to another cohort, saying …
“We need to do this at the local level. Lets storm the capitol in Ohio. Tell me when!”
This gave me chills. Yes, it’s been over a month ago, and yes, we now have a President, with a capital ‘P’, and yes, over 230 of the perpetrators of that monstrous event have been arrested and charged with a variety of crimes. But some roam free on bond, and … let’s face it folks, the 230+ who have been arrested are a drop in the bucket. There are more people out there with these warped notions and diabolical intentions.
Dawn Bancroft is 58 years old and lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania where she owns a gym. She, too, was part of the attack on the Capitol, and her words are as chilling as Caldwell’s, perhaps more so …
“We were looking for Nancy to shoot her in the friggin’ brain but we didn’t find her.”
They walk among us, my friends. They are the lady who asked you where she could find pizza crust in the grocery store, the man you saw on the corner waiting to cross the busy street, the guy who gave you a friendly smile while he was waiting to pick up his prescription at the pharmacy yesterday. They don’t, in everyday life, go about half-naked with horns sticking out of their heads so that we can identify them as certifiable nutjobs. They look and act normal, for the most part. How many like Caldwell and Bancroft are there in your city? I’d bet money there are some, probably living within a few miles of you.
What’s my point, you ask? My point is that in order to deter such future attacks, we must make an example of these people. We must find as many as possible, and they must be charged, tried, and convicted, then sentenced to the maximum allowed by law, in order to deter any who might be thinking to do the same. And those like the former guy who inspired and incited these people, must also be charged and punished, preferably with a very long prison sentence.
The people mentioned above are the ones I have often referred to as the snakes that came slithering out from under the rocks when the former guy was campaigning for the 2016 election and basically told them that it is okay to be a racist, that white people, especially white ‘Christian’ people, are superior and have the right to denigrate and even kill ‘others’. These snakes slithered out from under their rocks, and now they have no intention of going back, of accepting that this is a very diverse world, that Black people are just as deserving as any others, that Muslims are not terrorists, and that LGBT people have the same rights as anybody else. That is not the world they want, and not one they will readily accept.
I call on every judge and jury in this nation to hold these people accountable for their actions on that day. I call on the FBI to diligently root out those who remain free, to find them and prosecute them. These people do not belong in our society … not now, not ever.
I hear there are ‘events’ planned for March 4th, and I can only hope that federal law enforcement agencies are on high alert and far better prepared and more effective at preventing a repeat of what happened on January 6th. And given that social media has proven to be the venue through which these terrorists communicated and planned their attack, I would have no problem with Facebook, Twitter, and the rest being shut down for several days prior to March 4th. Freedom of speech? Sorry, folks … it’s time for some checks on unlimited 1st Amendment ‘rights’, if people do not also accept the responsibility that accompanies those rights.