One of the occupational hazards of a 24-year career as an intelligence analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency is the tendency to anticipate the dark side. Whenever I see a floral arrangement, for example, I expect there to be a corpse nearby. Now if I were still an intelligence analyst at the CIA and watching events in a Third World democracy that resemble the goings on taking place in the United States of America, I would be deeply concerned.
The four-year circus will soon leave town, and the clean-up effort will take at least a decade. The three rings of Trump’s circus—his White House, his do-nothing Senate, and his politicized judiciary—have contaminated governance, and given the Biden administration the worst political inheritance in U.S. history both at home and abroad.
Trump has used most of the past four years to enforce Steve Bannon’s “deconstruction of the administrative state,” and most of the past several months to politicize and weaponize the key departments of the national security state. He has manipulated the Department of Justice; the Department of Defense; the Department of Homeland Security; the Department of State, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence; and the Central Intelligence Agency in unprecedented ways.
The United States is facing its most dangerous domestic crossroads since the Civil War. Donald Trump has told the nation that he would not necessarily abide by the results of the November election, that violence could not be ruled out in the wake of the election, and that a Joe Biden victory would be fraudulent.