Former CIA Director Michael Hayden believes there is no political force more "dangerous" than the Republican Party, Insider writes.
Hayden, who also served as director of the NSA, reacted to a tweet by 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 wrote back, "I agree. And I was the CIA Director."
Hayden, a retired Air Force general who was director of the NSA from 1999 to 2005 and head of the CIA from 2006 to 2009, endorsed President Joe Biden in 2020 and warned that re-electing former President Donald Trump would be "very bad for America."
In a USA Today article Hayden wrote with other former high-ranking national security and military officials in June, the former CIA chief expressed "unprecedented concern for our country and for our democracy."
"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."
Following the search of former President Donald Trump's Florida estate, prominent far-right figures used aggressive rhetoric, including discussions of a "civil war." Experts warned that the US could witness an insurgency, which they called a 21st-century 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. "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, US law enforcement and national security agencies have repeatedly warned of the growing threat of domestic terrorism from far-right groups, especially after the Jan. 6, 2021 storming of the Capitol.
According to the think tank New America, far-right terrorism has killed 122 people in the United States since the Sept. 11 attacks. By comparison, jihadists in the U.S. have killed 107 people in the same period.
Trump and his Republican allies have been accused of encouraging far-right groups such as the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.