Day: January 4, 2022

Background Briefing: January 4, 2022


The Untold Story of Top Secret Teams Sent to Protect the Capitol on Jan. 6

We begin with a previously untold story of how on January 3 the Justice Department organized a group of top secret government units, the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team, the FBI’s “Render Safe” Team and Special Response and Swat Teams from the FBI, the ATF and the U.S. Marshals Service Special Operations Group to protect the Capitol and the nation’s top leaders from an assault they predicted but which the Congress and the Capitol Police were not aware of. Joining us is William Arkin, one of America’s premier military experts whose investigative work has appeared on the front pages of The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. The bestselling author of more than a dozen books, including The Generals Have No Clothes: The Untold Story of Our Endless Wars, and his latest book On That Day: The Definitive Timeline of 9/11, he also has an ongoing series at Newsweek examining the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot where his latest article is “Secret Commandos with Shoot-to-Kill Authority Were at the Capitol.” We discuss the massive intelligence failures for which no one has been held to account while much of the focus of the investigation underway is on who was behind the insurrection as opposed to why it was allowed to happen.


How Germans See the Challenges to American Democracy From Within

Then we get an overseas perspective of how our allies, in particular the Germans, see the growing divisions in our country as the fate and future of American democracy itself appears to be on the line. Joining us is Constanze Stelzenmüller, the Fritz Stern Chair on Germany and trans-Atlantic Relations in the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution. She previously served as the director of the German Marshal Fund’s Berlin office and we discuss how internal challenges to American democracy impact U.S. foreign policy particularly now as Putin threatens Ukraine.


How the Next Civil War is Already Here But We Refuse to See It

Then finally we speak with Stephen Marche, a novelist and culture writer who has written for The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Esquire, and many other outlets whose latest book, out today, is The Next Civil War: Dispatches from the American Future. He joins us to discuss his article at The Guardian, “The next US civil war is already here – we just refuse to see it.”