The independent review concluded that the Ministry of Defense and its top leaders acted responsibly before and during the January 6 uprising at the US Capitol, despite strong criticism from some local leaders and Congress that the military did not respond quickly enough as protesters broke into the building. .
The Office of the Inspector General of Defense, in a report released on Wednesday, said military and defense leaders had "not forgotten or disrupted" the department's response. He said the decisions taken by the two officers at the time, acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller and Secretary of Defense Ryan McCarthy, "were reasonable because of the circumstances of the day and the requests of DC officials" and the Capitol police.
The criticism is based on the fact that it took almost three hours for members of the District of Columbia National Guard to respond to the Capitol - a timeline that the Pentagon defended as appropriate and necessary to determine the policy, equipment and readiness for civilian outreach - soldiers and get new orders approved and sent to commanders.
The IG report is one of the investigations and revisions of that turbulent day, when a violent mob closed police barracks, stormed the Capitol and hunted down lawmakers, including then-Deputy President Mike Pence, who had to be released immediately. in a dangerous way.
The inspector general of the Pentagon is, by law, an independent official who conducts research, analysis, and investigation of the activities of the Pentagon.
The inspector focused less on the military's response to the January 6 riots, with some investigators focusing on the role of then-President Donald Trump and his supporters, including whether they were fueling the attack or planning it. Many gathered in a circle before the riot and headed up to Capitol Hill.
More than 600 people have been arrested in connection with the uprising, killing seven people during or after the riots, including Trump supporter Ashli Babbit, who was shot dead while breaking into a House room.
Jacob Chansley, a criminal with a spear and a horned fur hat, bare chest and face paint that made him one of the most prominent figures in the Capitol attack, was sentenced on Wednesday to 41 months in prison. Chansley, who pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice, was one of the first protesters to enter the building.
The inspector general of the Pentagon found the military's approach to justice, and noted that many Guards were not trained to enforce the law. He described the situation as "chaotic and confusing" and said that initial reports to the Ministry of Defense were contradictory.
The report also said that McCarthy, who was secretary of the Army at the time, had the authority to require the DC Guard to develop a missile system before authorizing their deployment. Some were skeptical of the decision, saying it delayed the military's response.
Maj. Gen. William Walker, commander-in-chief of D.C. Guard, told senators in March that the Capitol police chief at the time requested military support with a "sad voice" at 1:49 p.m. shout as protesters begin to push towards the Capitol. Walker said he immediately forwarded the application to the Armed Forces but did not read until after 5 p.m. that the Department of Defense has authorized you.
The IG report found that security officials had acted responsibly in the authorization process.
"Soldiers are trained to respond to public emergencies, not by sending people into uncertain conditions as they are found, but by assembling and deploying an army that can carry out decisive tasks," the report concluded. "Military training requires that officers first determine key details, perform technical analysis, and then develop a comprehensive plan."
IG makes a few recommendations. It said the department should make specific plans to respond to military action on the issue of violence within the National Capital Region, including how government agencies should seek support. It also commended the military train with government and local organizations for better coordination when planning major events.
It also recommended that Security personnel be provided with reliable radio and communication equipment.
The report dismissed allegations that concerns about sending security guards to Capitol during Congress' session exacerbated any delays, saying McCarthy had asked Miller to agree to send troops "within minutes" after his phone call with Capitol officials. It said such concerns "did not affect" the Pentagon's response.
AP National Security correspondent Robert Burns contributed to the report.