The following are Ken Bryan’s remarks to the Flagler County Commission this morning. Bryan, a Flagler Beach city commissioner, spoke after several individuals addressed the commission, some to denounce Commissioner Joe Mullins’s role sponsoring a trip of protesters to Washington, D.C., last week (he did not organize the trip), some to defend him.
Mullins was among the dozens of local residents who protested in the capital. He said he did not take part in the riot that overran Congress. But in the days before the events on Wednesday, he had openly called for the beheading of liberals on a radio infomercial that he posted on his Facebook page and that aired once on WNZF (the station director refused to post the podcast). And Mullins repeatedly espoused the insurrectionist notion that Congress should overturn Joe Biden’s election. The claim of a fraudulent election was itself repeatedly proven false and tossed out by some 60 court decisions. Mullins continued to press the narrative of a fraud until the afternoon of the rally in Washington, when the assault on the Capitol began. Only then Mullins began to distance himself from what turned from a rhetorical to a violent insurrection.
Bryan did not refer to Mullins by name. Just before he spoke, Commissioner Andy Dance had asked Commission Chairman Donald O’Brien to ensure that speakers would not call out by name “attendees here at the meeting or previous speakers.” Bryan’s remarks are reported in full. (A report on the commission meeting’s segments regarding Mullins today is available here: “Flagler Commissioners Again Give Defiant Mullins a Pass as Dance’s Call to Talk of ‘Behavior’ Gets Tepid Reception.”)
Normally I would say good morning. But this is not a good morning. And in fact, in my view, it’s a very gloomy and a very dark time period in our country.
All of my adult life I’ve served my country as a public servant. When I entered the military, I took an oath of office to uphold the Constitution and defend the nation from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. I took the same oath in serving and working for the Department of the Navy, the Justice Department, while working at the White House, as a county commissioner, and now as a Flagler Beach city commissioner.
The oath means everything to me, and it always has. I take this very seriously. That being said, I feel I have an obligation as a citizen to speak out, and speak up, against what we all witnessed last Wednesday, a time in our lives that has been very dark. It’ll go down in history as the darkest. What we witnessed last week in Washington, D.C., was a horrific tragedy we never thought would happen in this country. Unfortunately, some of our own individuals in our community partook in that particular episode.
It’s unfortunate that some of the same individuals who took the same oath of office like I did, and as you did, violated that oath to organize and lead dozens of protesters to our nation’s capital, to participate in a heinous attack on our country. The individual who organized and led this group in prior days had also advocated on public airwaves and social media the beheading of fellow-citizens, has also berated, cursed and threatened a fellow-elected officials in prior instances with absolutely no consequences.
This conduct of some of those who attended, participated in this event last week, was a disgraceful, shameful attack on our democracy and this country. Those who organized and led the group in my opinion created an intentional insurgency while serving under the oath of office. This was a clear violation of that oath to uphold the constitution, and they defamed it and basically dishonored it, and they basically should not be holding office today.
Martin Luther King once said: “The ultimate tragedy is not oppression and cruelty by the bad people, but the silence over that by the good people.” Let’s not again witness the silence of good people. And to basically counteract what the previous speaker said, individuals that attended, not all of them, some of them that attended that rally, that left Flagler, did in fact make some very, very bold, unnecessary threats to the government and to people in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately that happened. Let’s hope it never, ever happens again.