Trump’s ex-spy chief warns American democracy may not survive November election

Dan CoatsThe former United States Director of National Intelligence, who served in the administration of President Donald Trump as the highest-ranking intelligence official until 2019, has warned that American democracy may not survive the upcoming presidential election. In a stark editorial published on Thursday in The New York Times, Dan Coats warns that whether “the American democratic experiment, one of the boldest political innovations in human history”, will survive after November, remains an open question.

The Trump administration appointed Coats in 2017 to head the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), which was set up in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Its mission is to direct the 17-member United States Intelligence Community and to advise the president, the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council on matters of national security. In July 2019 Coats resigned, reportedly after disagreeing with President Trump’s policies on North Korea, Russia and the Islamic State.

In his editorial, Coats urges Congress to pass “emergency legislation” that will establish a “supremely high-level bipartisan and non-partisan commission to oversee the [upcoming 2020 Presidential] election”. The proposed commission would supervise the mechanisms that “tabulate, evaluate or certify the results” of the election and assure the American public that “the laws and regulations governing them have been scrupulously and expeditiously followed”, argues Coats. Additionally, it would refer “to the proper law enforcement agency” any incident of election “interference, fraud, disinformation or other distortions”.

Coats also calls on American leaders to perform what he describes as the “most urgent task [they] face”, which is “to ensure that the election results are accepted as legitimate”. Doing the opposite would mean succumbing to the pressure of enemies who “want us to concede in advance that our voting systems are faulty or fraudulent; [and] that sinister conspiracies have distorted the political will of the people”.

The former Director of National Intelligence concludes by warning that if the nation fails “to take every conceivable effort to ensure the integrity of the election”, there will be no winners, but only losers, after November. Consequently, the American voters will not simply be choosing a president, he says, but will be deciding “whether the American democratic experiment […] will survive”.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 18 September 2020 | Permalink

5 Responses to Trump’s ex-spy chief warns American democracy may not survive November election

  1. Who would have thought Trump would wreak such havoc. I wonder how many of the millions who voted for him in 2016 would have voted for him if they had somehow had a peek into the future then. Most demagogues learn quickly that their path to glory is best laid with good intentions for their disciples … ab initio anyway.

    Sadly, democracy is democracy’s biggest weakness. Dan Coats’ suggestion is sensible and laudable but as the world watches and waits with baited breath it shouldn’t hold it for too long. After all, why would Trump agree to such obstacles now when his narcissistic vision of himself having more unlimited power than Xi or Putin might become a reality.

    In the meantime, just as Xi and Putin are doubtless doing, I’m left wondering just how the Disunited States of America will split its nuclear warheads, its armed forces etc if it comes to that.

  2. Anonymous says:

    How dare you speak about the President like that, and who the hell do you think is voting for Biden except thre brainwashed people that still haven’t noticed the repeated edits of Trump speaking to make him sound like he is saying things he isn’t. then again they would be voting against trump not for the dementia guy who keeps promising he will somehow fix problems that he either hasnt fixed or mostly made worse or probably helped to create in his 47YEARS in Washington. not only that but we have all seen the true colors of the Democrat party this year and I dont think our democracy is THAT fargone that the people would vote for Communism over FREEDOM.

  3. David says:

    Won’t be an issue. The only ones who are projecting this idea of the people not accepting the results are the Democrats, is this ticket really the best they have to offer? the democratic party is crumbling, not the nation. deal with it. and stop fantasizing about bringing the rest of us down with it.

  4. Jon Gunson. says:

    To be honest, you’d be better off under George III.

  5. Seems as though your critics have been taking a page from the likes of Gym Jordan and Matt Goetz.

    https://petersironwood.com/2019/12/07/the-loud-defense-of-untenable-positions/

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