Afraid to face the truth?

Apparently, many U.S. senators are! At least, several who subscribe to the Grand Old Party appear frightened.

Before leaving town to commemorate – or relax over – Memorial Day, the Senate, on a 54 to 35 vote, killed a bill to create a bipartisan commission. (I know, usually, a 54 over 35 vote wins, but that is not how the filibuster game is played. It requires 60 for the non-filibustering side to win.)

The Commission was to be charged with investigating the events of Jan. 6.

Did you find yourself glued to a T.V., or a laptop, or a phone screen on the sixth day of the first month of this year?

I was riveted! Actually, I was feeling queasy!

“What the heck,” I wondered, “is happening in D.C.?”

Watching the chaos, observing the wild crowd as it charged and shoved and broke its way into the Capitol Building was unnerving.

“Who were these people? They looked like me and my neighbors!

What was their purpose? Who was in charge of them? Why were they carrying weapons? Why were they using flag poles against the Capitol Police? Why had someone actually erected mock gallows in front of the Capitol? Did they really intend to hang someone? Were they actually out to capture Vice President Mike Pence and do what...hang him on the fake scaffolding? That was their chant, ‘Hang Mike Pence!’”

Oddly, many of them were just – as they appeared – normal citizens, yet before it all ended, five of the protesters would be dead. Other protesters would – within a week or two – be charged with breaking and entering, among other crimes.

Watching the Capitol or – as it is often referred to – our “Citadel of Freedom,” under attack was frightening, unnerving, surreal! Did you – at any point that day – ask yourself if what you were watching was real?

It looked more like some foreign country being attacked by a crowd of its restless citizens.

However, as far as we know and as far as our justice systems have been able to detect, this assault was perpetrated by our own people.

We need answers! Who were these people? Was someone leading them? If so, who? Why? What did they want?

Congress should form a bipartisan panel – five Republicans and five Democrats. That panel needs to find answers to these questions: How did the invasion begin? Who organized it? What was the ultimate goal of the attack? Was the group unaware that their intrusion might cause destruction to the Capitol? Were they oblivious to the possible loss of life – their own or others? What were they thinking?

These are questions that need accurate answers!

Yet, at least 35 U.S. Senators, by voting against the 9/11-style commission, are responding as though they are more frightened now then they were on Jan. 6 when their offices were being assaulted and the police officers were working to protect them and their offices.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who voted in favor of the Jan. 6 Commission, spoke bluntly to her Republican colleagues who voted against the bill.

Murkowski accused those members of her party of “...bending to electoral concerns while ‘there’s more to be learned.’”

“We just can’t pretend that nothing bad happened, or that people just got too excitable. Something bad happened. And it’s important to lay that out.”

Murkowski explained that her party’s obligation is to seek the truth. – Associated Press, May 28.

Indeed, something happened! Federal property was destroyed costing us tax dollars for repairs. Even worse, people died as a result of the insurrection. Five protesters and three police officers lost their lives. The officers were attempting to do their job.

“We need to look at our political system. The commission is not designed to seek criminality. The search for criminality is the job of the justice system. The Jan. 6 Commission needs to pursue the core cause of change in our political system. What prompted the change in our usual peaceful transfer of power?” — S.Nevada, May 31.

We cannot just ignore Jan. 6. We need to mark it in our history books. In order to do that, we must investigate the incident. We need to note that it was – in all honesty – the worst attack on our Capitol building since the British invasion in 1814.

Plus, Jan. 6 is the first time that we have pillaged our own government.

According to Sen. Dick Durbin, Ill-D., “An insurrection without consequences – without even a proper investigation – is a dress rehearsal for another insurrection. When the Capitol police, who protect us with their lives, ask for this commission, we are ingrates to refuse.”

– Associated Press, May 28.

Not only does Jan. 6 serve as a trial run for another invasion, but if this incident is not accurately recorded in our American history, we are too likely to forget that such a thing can happen to our government!

Murkowski was not the lone Republican senator who voted to move the commission bill forward. Five other GOP senators joined her, including: Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana; Susan Collins of Maine, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Rob Portman of Ohio and Mitt Romney of Utah.

Pennsylvania’s Senator Pat Toomey would have voted in favor of the bill, except he was away due to a family commitment.

Sen. Bill Cassidy, shrewdly noted that, “The investigations will happen with or without Republicans, To ensure the investigations are fair, impartial and focused on the facts, Republicans need to be involved.”

Indeed, I would think that Senators and Representatives from both parties would be hustling to get in line for the panel.

Sitting on the Committee is the best way to help ensure that the panel publishes a full and honest report!

Isn’t an accurate report something we all should want?

Don’t we want to guarantee the safety of our elected employees – our members of Congress?

Pat Nevada, whose opinions are her own, lives near Gettysburg.