According to a former intelligence analyst, the biggest threat to the United States isn’t terrorism, or Russia, or North Korea, or Iran — the biggest threat is the Republican Party.
This assessment comes from an analyst writing under the pseudonym Paul Nailer, who formerly prepared the National Intelligence Estimates (NIE). The NIE are comprehensive, non-political assessments of all the threats that America faces, which are prepared for both Congress and the President of the United States. It is the most authoritative and coordinated assessment of a particular national security issue offered by the entire intelligence community.
“There is no other reasonable conclusion to be drawn from the facts,” he wrote. “[The threat] is insidious, asymmetric, powerful – and existential.”
It should be noted that the NIE are compiled under the advisement of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, an office that Trump wants to totally eliminate.
Nailer no longer has access to all the information needed to compile a formal NIE, but states that he still has some inside information — which he combined with publicly available information — to form his own, unofficial NIE on what he considers the gravest threat to America today: Republicans.
Writing in the Independent, Nailer called the threat posed by the Republican Party the first national-level insider threat the United States has faced since the Civil War. Nailer calls attention specifically to the Trump administration pitting the Justice Department against the intelligence community, Republicans’ refusal to act on climate issues, the weakening of election oversight, grave human rights abuses, and other criminality.
“An enemy of the United States might seek to sow discord between ethnic groups, or to wage a disinformation campaign, or to highlight moral inconsistencies that weaken the standing of the United States on the world stage. An enemy of the United States might try and degrade the capacity and public trust within our intelligence apparatus. It might use propaganda and weaponized information. It might seek to engage in fraud or other criminal acts to sway an election in their favor,” wrote Nailer. “Does any of that sound familiar?”
While it might seem comforting to think Nailer’s warnings are limited to just President Trump, there is an entire party engaged in excusing and enabling the acts Nailer warned about. It wasn’t Trump who blocked all attempts to strengthen the American electoral system for the last three years, after all — that was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky).
“Donald Trump and his coterie of criminals have done more in two years to weaken the United States than the Soviet Union was able to achieve in decades, a stolen gold medal in Olympic basketball notwithstanding,” he wrote. “And so far, they’ve gotten away with it.”
Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor and senior legal reporter for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.