The Republican Party has been faced with a scathing indictment by an intelligence agency professional who previously helped draft the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) — the annual objective, non-political, comprehensive document that categorizes and prioritizes all of the existential threats faced by the United States — according to an op-ed published in the UK’s Independent newspaper.
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While Paul Nailer, the pseudonymous name that the author of the essay adopted, admits that he no longer has “regular access to the complete set of intelligence reports from which the NIE is drawn,” he claims to still have access to some intelligence reports and studies the news to keep up to date on the latest information available to the general public.
Based on his knowledge and informed estimation, Nailer has concluded that only one group belongs on the top of the list of the most dangerous threats that our nation is facing — the Republican Party.
The intelligence expert calls the danger from the right-wing Republicans “the first national-level ‘insider threat’ the United States has faced since the Civil War” and calls the crisis “insidious, asymmetric, powerful – and existential.”
How did Nailer reach this conclusion? “Through empirical evidence and specialized experience,” the same approach he used in helping draft the NIE, the assessment reviewed by “the most powerful men and women in the country.”
The intelligence analyst goes to great pains to describe his methods of threat appraisal.
“One of the effective modern techniques we’ve developed to deal with threats is intelligence analysis – in which we methodically examine all potential threats and categorise them for effective response. Categorisations range from existential – such as that from thermonuclear war with the Soviet Union or global warming – to challenging – such as terrorism – to those of a merely nuisance variety.”
“The NIE, like all intelligence products, is supposed to be: objective; non-political; current; empirically valid; and zero-based (starting without assumptions.)”
“A part of categorisation or as a next step is threat prioritisation – in which we basically rank the range of threats we face so we can apply limited resources to bring down the risk. This is a necessary action, but one that is often not totally satisfactory to all citizens. For instance, the shift we’ve had to take in response to terrorism – from total elimination of the threat to limiting its potential impact — does not appear to many Americans as a proportional response to the problem. Nonetheless, from the resource and policy perspective, it is the right course of action,” Nailer writes.
He goes on to describe a series of nightmare scenarios that an enemy trying to destabilize American society might take in a litany of frighteningly familiar tactics.
“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 weaponised information. It might seek to engage in fraud or other criminal acts to sway an election in their favour,” Nailer explains.
Let the horror of sudden recognition wash over you.
Nailer then correctly identifies the measures that he outlines as antithetical to the health of our American democracy as intrinsic to the strategy of the Republican Party under the sway of Donald Trump.
“The Republican Party has steadily embraced authoritarianism, suspect electoral tactics, and racism more and more over the past few decades. That process has been turbocharged with Trump at the helm of the party.”
“We’re now seeing an explicit embrace of white supremacy. Denial in the face of climate change. Deliberate sowing of discord within the FBI and the CIA. Weakening of the rule of law. Brazen criminality. Removing funding for elections oversight. Blatant human rights abuses at the border,” Nailer enumerates.
What’s even worse is the fact that all of this is part of a deliberate plan, according to the disaffected intelligence analyst.
“The explicit nature of these acts is the point. The Republicans mean to bludgeon any and all resistance to their reshaping of the nation’s institutions to their will.”
The results have been more damaging than anything that could have possibly been done by any foreign adversary.
“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.”
Nailer’s fear is intensified by the fact that the Republicans have thus far been entirely successful in executing their plan.
Nailer’s conclusion is a powerful warning to America and to Democratic leaders who underestimate the danger that their opposition poses to our nation.
“Americans have every right to fear the power and influence of the Republican Party – and it is in fact irrational to continue to downplay the threat even as most, including Nancy Pelosi and many Democrats, continue to do so.”
Here is yet another voice that realizes that Donald Trump’s impeachment is a national imperative that needs to be implemented immediately. Given Nailer’s background in determining the worst menaces facing our country, his warning should be a potent wake-up call for Democratic leadership and all the citizens of our country.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.
Original reporting by Paul Nailer in The Independent (UK).