I hate these people. I hate them for who they are and for what they are doing. And most of all I hate them for the larger thing they are a part of.
The people I hate call themselves sedition hunters. They give themselves war names glorified by a liberal press, like Deep State Dogs and Capitol Terrorists Exposers. What they do, as a sort of Orwellian hobby, is identify people who participated in the January 6 Capitol riot. They spend their days slithering around the internet looking for evidence that can put a name to a press photo and then turn over what they find to the FBI in the hope that the feds will play Sturmtruppen to their Gestapo and kick some doors down.
They turn neighbors in to law enforcement as a hobby.
One specific goal they have is to find higher quality images of suspects that the FBI or their more tech-savvy fellow fascists can run against facial recognition tools. They spend hours on PimEyes, a facial recognition website, copying and pasting photos from CNN freeze-frames and Facebook profiles. And unlike the FBI, whose use of facial recognition is at least nominally controlled by the law, these amateurs are free to use and misuse the tech on behalf of the FBI without fetter.
Here’s how one hagiographic journalist described the sedition hunters:
There are archivists with the encyclopedic knowledge of the timeline, locations and key players. There are hashtaggers who generate catchy, memorable nicknames [example: NaziGrayHat, AuntRageFace, MAGAGuy] to help the community track the actions of suspects still at large. There are the computer whizzes who create slick websites that let you explore evidence in a user-friendly format. There are the diplomats who serve as liaisons between break off groups in the larger sedition hunters network.
One of those slick websites, January 6 Evidence, offers a minute-by-minute timeline linking photos and videos, overlaid with a geolocator map for suspects. You can filter for AntiAbortionTrumpers and CapitolFireExtinguishers, or choose to target only Proud Boys or Oath Keepers. The Persons of Interest page displays almost 1,800 faces — photos we assume were taken from the press coverage but who knows — of those ID’ed and those pending ID, updated with links for people busted by the feds.
One of the page developers, K2theSky, runs a companion Twitter account that plays out like a serial killer’s bulletin board, all about tracking down the January 6 participants. You can almost hear her greasy sounds of pleasure as a crusader tags another victim. It goes well beyond the “revenge of the nerds” meme the MSM employs to humanize these people.
The website is an extraordinary obsession. While you were walking the dog, or volunteering at the food bank, these people did all this work on their own, for free. It takes a lot of hate to inspire thousands of painstaking, detail-oriented hours of free work over a period of months. Imagine that much hate channeled by a charismatic leader. It would be a triumph of will.
Putting the events of January 6 in perspective is important to understanding my hate for these people. January 6 just wasn’t as significant as the heat and noise makes it out to be. The most perfect way to understand that is to look at the convictions resulting out of all this Scooby sleuthing and FBI work.
To date, 702 people have been arrested. Of the completed cases, the majority have pled guilty to things like trespassing and unlawful entry, the kind of charges that follow a rowdy Ohio State-Michigan game. There have been no convictions for treason, sedition, incitement or insurrection (though Stewart Rhodes, the Oath Keepers founder, has been charged with conspiracy related to sedition). Things are so far from reality that one rioter just skipped prison time because the judge noted she came to the Capitol in a tutu and not tactical gear.
The Capitol riots were goonish, but in the end about as historically meaningful as a floor brawl in the Taiwanese legislature. For it to be a coup, insurrection, etc., it would have needed a path toward accomplishing a change of government. There never was any. Joe Biden was always going to be president. All the mob accomplished was a few hours’ delay in a largely ceremonial christening by the House. Trump’s actions vacillated between bizarre and shameful, but hardly Weimar material. As the fat kid in Jojo Rabbit says, “Not a good time for Nazis.”
We must also dismiss the notion that the sedition hunters are some sort of modern-day crimefighting superheroes. They are politically motivated vigilantes. They don’t hunt pedophiles or murderers; they hunt Trump supporters over misdemeanor trespassing cases. Their actions are not aimed at justice but rather at contributing to a propaganda meme that says what happened on January 6 was the most significant event of their meaningless lives. They do not want to solve crimes; they want to ruin the lives of people pictured by the media.
In the aftermath of the Rittenhouse trial it has become common to ask rhetorically, “What would have happened if Kyle Rittenhouse was black?” So let’s try the same here. Imagine a group of online sleuths dedicating themselves to identifying the young black men who busted windows and burned stores during BLM riots. Imagine people devoting their lives to creating online resources with real-life consequences for Americans not charged with any crime, feeding everything from rumors to facial recognition results to law enforcement so they could kick down some uptown door and drag a 19-year-old black kid to jail.
I hate the sedition hunters because they do not realize they are pawns in a larger game. Democrats and the mainstream media are trying to sell the events of January 6 to frightened Americans as a new 9/11. This is in service to two goals: electing a Democrat in 2024 and using the tools of law enforcement against Republican supporters. You should hate that too.
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