Ex-CIA director Michael Hayden said he agrees with the idea that the GOP is the most "dangerous" political force.
Hayden has increasingly sounded the alarm on the threats US democracy is facing.
"Our democratic institutions and norms are more vulnerable than ever," he wrote in a recent op-ed with other ex-officials.
Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said he agreed with the notion that there's no political force more "dangerous" than the Republican party.
Hayden, who also served as director of the NSA, was reacting to a tweet from journalist Edward Luce that said, "I've covered extremism and violent ideologies around the world over my career. Have never come across a political force more nihilistic, dangerous & contemptible than today's Republicans. Nothing close."
The former CIA chief in response said, "I agree. And I was the CIA Director."
—Gen Michael Hayden (@GenMhayden) August 17, 2022
Hayden, a retired Air Force general who was director of the NSA from 1999 to 2005 and CIA chief from 2006 to 2009, endorsed President Joe Biden in 2020 and warned that reelecting former President Donald Trump would be "very bad for America." He has repeatedly sounded the alarm about the dangers facing US democracy as prominent Republicans continue to echo Trump's false claims about the 2020 election.
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In a USA Today op-ed that Hayden penned with other former top national security and military officials in June, the ex-CIA chief expressed "unprecedented concern for our country and for our democracy."
"Our democratic institutions and norms are more vulnerable than ever. If you were to ask us when in our lives we were most likely to be losing sleep at night, we would all tell you, 'Last night. And tonight. And tomorrow night.' Because history teaches us that democracy is never guaranteed, not even here," the op-ed went on to say. "For those of us devoted to protecting democracies abroad, there comes a time when our efforts seem overshadowed by the erosion of democracy here at home. And for those of us focused on domestic security, the forces of autocracy now trump traditional foreign threats, hands down."
In the wake of a raid on Trump's Florida home earlier this month, prominent figures on the far right have employed violent rhetoric — including discussions of "civil war." Experts have warned that the US could see an insurgency, which they've described as the 21st century's version of civil war.
"There is a real threat of civil conflict," Nina Silber, a Boston University historian and expert on the US Civil War, told Insider last week, adding, "Not just because of the talk of violence but also because of the increasing numbers of people who are armed and ready to use weapons to advance certain political goals."
In recent years, law enforcement and national security agencies in the US have repeatedly warned of the growing domestic terror threat posed by far-right groups — particularly in the wake of the deadly insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
According to the New America think tank, far-right terrorism has killed 122 people in the US since the 9/11 terror attacks. Comparatively, jihadists have killed 107 people in the US during the same period.
Trump and his GOP allies have been accused of emboldening far-right groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.
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