“Oath And Honor”

On January 6, 2021 there was a violent attack on the United States Capitol.

This seems like a self-evident statement, to the point that people might even say ‘no duh’. However, the ensuing time has made the memory of these events fade for most people, except for those who were directly involved. While normal, this does not mean that the gravity of that event is lessened just because the passage of time has taken place, and the news channels all the social media fanfare have moved on to other travesties and drama.

However, it’s fair to say that no matter how vague the memories, the January 6th events were horrific in nature. Some might even call the events of 1/6/21 a terrorist event, of the ‘domestic extremist’ kind. Most would agree that it was a tragedy for all involved.


But generally speaking, it has seemed that the events of January 6th 2021 have faded, or perhaps just buried, or at the very least minimized and twisted into meaninglessness.

Perhaps this kind of retrospective behavior is normal, adapting to the present by rewriting or sanitizing the past. But perhaps, it’s also wise to remember the past in an unvarnished way, when it’s possible the ramifications of those events will impact the present, or even the future.

Contemplating the events of the January 6th attack and the consequence they might very well have upon not only politics but the very survival of the American experiment of liberal democracy is a probably a good idea, especially given that in the United States, 2024 is an election year.

Given all that, I was glad to read Representative Liz Cheney’s first-hand experiences surrounding the January 6th attack on the United States Capitol, and about her work on the Select Committee that investigated the events leading up to the violence, and the violence itself.

Many critics have called Cheney and the committee itself nothing but political grandstanding, writing her off as a traitor to the Republican cause by her participation in the Select Committee, and her refusal to recant any of her positions in opposition to then-President Trump’s claims that the 2020 election was stolen. Others have dismissed her outright, believing her to be too much of a latecomer to be an effective critic of anything in the Republican party, given her voting record as an individual and a member of Congress.

However, regardless of her individual history, what Cheney speaks of in this book is not really of herself or an apology to anyone, but her eyewitness accounts to what she experienced from Election Day 2020 to the January 6th events and beyond, and what she felt was her conscience to do.

I especially appreciated how Cheney cited specific aspects of the Constitution to refute claims that then Vice-President Pence could throw out electoral votes, and to show how even Congress could not object to the results of the electoral college, which it appears many in the House thought was permitted in their duties (to put it mildly). She repeatedly said that as a member of the Congressional House she was beholden only to the United States Constitution, not to the whims of any particular political party or to an individual.

One interesting focus that really caught my attention was how Cheney spoke of the United States as a republic, and how the confusion of ‘We The People’ can blow into a mob-like mentality without the checks and balances provided in the Constitution: in other words, the majority may want something, but if the Constitution prevents this, it cannot be done no matter what the ‘we the people’ want. This gets into the really interesting kicker: is the United States a democracy, a republic, or something else (a democratic republic, perhaps…..)?

I do believe that most people in the United States have made up their minds about what the January 6th attack was about, and along those lines have also made up their minds about not only Liz Cheney but Adam Kinzinger, Nancy Pelosi, and anyone else remotely connected to the Select Committee investigating the attacks on the Capitol.

As of this writing, there is a hearing in the current Congress investigating the investigation (The Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government). To many, with all the investigations, investigations of investigations, and investigations of investigations of investigations, it’s just another reason to avoid politics altogether and find some good reality TV.

That said, I believe this kind of work is an important one to read for any person who is considering voting in the United States November elections, regardless of their political views.

The book is repetitive at times. For example, more than once Cheney hammered upon the point that it took 187 minutes for then-President Trump to tell the attackers and rioters to leave and to disperse from the Capitol. But this is a fact that is now several years old and in the due course of time, its implication may have faded with the passing days. She really wanted to show that what was done was a horrific wound to the American republic, a terrorist attack in its own right and wanted to confront those in her party that downplayed the destruction. And, that she formulated her opinions and perspective not to simply be contrary, but chose to base them on hard facts consisting of both her experience and the direct message of the Founding Fathers via the Constitution.

On a final note, it also makes logical sense that in reading a political book that is polemic in nature like this book, reading additional source material would help readers to make up their own minds on issues such as these. The United States Constitution, the final report of the the January 6th Select Committee, and for fairness the findings of The Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government would be the best to research on this issue to formulate an independent perspective. Video recordings of both Congressional hearings are available as well.

Of these, the United States Constitution is probably the most vital. I believe based on her narrative and the personality I gleamed from it, Liz Cheney would probably vouch for that.

Links to source material:

The United States Constitution (English): https://constitution.congress.gov/constitution/

The United States Constitution (Spanish): https://www.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/SPA-Constiution.pdf

Select January 6th Committee Final Report: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/GPO-J6-REPORT/html-submitted/index.html

The Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government: https://cha.house.gov/_cache/files/d/9d96ba6ce-03fb-4fc8a4a7-5b5daf19d064/4F510144C1F427873D3298D955C8E19F.initial-findings-report.pdf

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