Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/01/14/deep-state-does-not-mean-what-trump-thinks-it-means
When I hear the term “Deep State,” I think of institutions like the Federalist Society and Business Roundtable, the Council on Foreign Relations and Trilateral Commission, and think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and Cato Institute–populated almost entirely by wealthy white men who never have to answer to voters, but whose opinions carry disproportionate weight in the formulation of public policy. Civics texts seem not to believe in such beasts, as if they were unicorns.
Deep State = Citizen United = money is speech = centuries old legal precedents STILL on the books that dehumanize by “race” (a thoroughly discredited concept other than being used to dehumanize) as well as ___________ the many self-replicating distortions aided by media owned by (wash rinse repeat).
The Deep State is the portion of the DoD & Police & Security State Alphabets ( + Usual Suspects/Shadow Banks/NGOs ), who are funded by redacted black budgets. They are neatly enmeshed in a security blanket of hyper-classified and off-the-books silos of quasi-government secrecy. Which operate fully or semi-autonomously on every continent and in every country on the planet. And, some countries which no longer exist in modern recognizable forms. No-man-lands and regions.
The Deep State more than likely accounts for about 17-19% of our total Federal Government Debt or, about $4.3-4.4 Trillion Dollars ( not adjusted for inflation ). It’s just lost in the ether for all practical purposes of accountability.
Every year our deficit spending feeds this unknown, to those not privy to The Uniparty Consensus Leadership positions anyway, and growing Deep State.
If prosperity, for the 60% of the American citizens who live with weekly financial insecurity, is always just around a corner; well, beware that it isn’t a blind corner leading to a blind alley. For the times they are a really, really changin’. Not in a good way either.
So it goes…
The best explanation of the “deep state” that I’ve come across is that after WWII, leaders of the OSS presented the argument that the U.S. needed a permanent intelligence analysis service. This seemed reasonable, so the CIA was created. But the leadership of the CIA had no interest in intelligence; they were all about the dirty tricks. Thus, one of the first acts of the CIA was to overturn the election of Italy, not in the interests of the U.S., but in the interests of the clients of Sullivan and Cromwell, whom the Dulles brothers, Alan and Forest, both worked for. Alan and Forest both aligned their policies (and therefore the policies of the U.S.) with the Council on Foreign Relations, for the betterment of banking and global corporate interests. The CIA and the Pentagon, together with the big banks, have become an unofficial, unelected fourth arm of the government, for which there are no checks nor balances. There followed the overthrow of the governments of Venezuela, Chile, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran (whose consequences we are still suffering today – as are they), etc., etc. Overthrowing governments is their stock in trade these days.
This fourth arm of government is absolutely awash with money (in part because the CIA are the drug lords of the US, running cocaine from South America, and Heroin first from Vietnam, and now from Afghanistan), second, because – banks. Thus, in recent decades all the parts of the government that are in place to prevent private power from destroying the U.S. – the FCC, which once enforced laws about how much media a single entity could own, has allowed conglomeration and mergers to the point where 4 corporations (with overlapping boards) control all the major media in the country, which is why they all speak with one voice, – the SEC, which is supposed to investigate and prosecute white collar crime, etc. etc.
I, too, applaud those parts of governments that are still doing their jobs, as government is the only power that can stand up to robber barons. But the robber barons have seized the government, and our country is degenerating more and more rapidly as a consequence.
I am of a generation that realized that the ‘deep state’ is the state. Mine was the ‘power to the people’ generation and for us the establishment, which we now call the oligarchy, was the deep state. We didn’t see the distinctions between the FBI or the CIA or the NSA which wasn’t well known or its connection to Naval Intelligence. There were no distinctions because ‘they’ made no distinctions. They knew who they were and we knew that they weren’t us. That was the rebellious but never seriously revolutionary, sixties. Us and them.
Whether someone my age still sees the distinctions that weren’t made back then by the ‘do you’re own thing’ sixties generation is a matter of perspective or choice. We do see some distinctions, but only some in at least the sense that we did become civil servants and nearly all of us became the establishment that we had once decried. But somewhere, somehow, we also dropped out of the sixties mind set that we had when we were young. Though we became lawyers and doctors and all the rest, we never lost the cultural aspect of the need to change the world. However we did lose the political aspect of change. In other words not much has changed politically except we no longer have the political dividing line that once was represented by the draft. For us, the draft is what focused our attention on the ‘us and them’. That isn’t the case any more. The lines of separation are no longer so clear cut. The history is however. For those of us who know history, what has changed?
The undefined deep state is the same state that it has always been. How big is our military budget? It is actually bigger, percentage wise, than during the height of the Vietnam War. Our military has become gigantic. Who did that? Who wanted that? Who made that happen? The deep state that is the state did that. I doubt that by giving it a label that anything has changed that I can see. Being in civil service or a worker doesn’t make you part of the deep state then or now. But where are the dividing lines now? The FBI is still the FBI, the CIA is still the CIA etc. but take note that the oligarchy has assumed overt roles in the running of our government through corruption, nepotism. Heck who applies for secret intelligence jobs that are classified? How do you get hired for a job when that job’s very existence is secret… and what it does is a secret too? If that isn’t the deep state then nothing is. The establishment rejected by my generation when we were young, passed on their jobs to their friends and relatives wherever possible. That is not to say that you had to know somebody to get those jobs but you kind of had to know somebody to even know those positions existed.
Do the sons and daughters of the wealthy go to low ranked schools or do they legacy attend the Ivy League? The deep state or call that the deep oligarchy. Do the kids of bankers and hedge fund managers go looking for mates in poor neighborhoods or in yachting clubs and high caliber resorts? The thing is that whether it is the military industrial complex or their kids and grandkids, whether it is the military officers in the revolving door of government corporate partnerships or their kids, there lies the deep state that is… our state. Everyday life for a great many of us does not include power over their own lives. We go to work, party with our friends and love our families but where exactly do we have any real say in what goes on?
The deep state is the state … and always has been. We call it the oligarchy now.
Most of what is actually done in the US is done by a permanent deep state, using trillions of siphoned off money… All carried out behind a thin veneer of Congressional and media Kabuki, pitched to a child’s level. Trump is useful in distracting us while the real business goes on. Other commenters have outlined the agents accurately; they are beyond our reach, in any normal, polite way.
The deep state does involve itself in official gov’t actions, though it does a lot more.
On the other hand, if Rebecca Gordon knows what Trump is thinking about anything, she’s doing better than I.
Alan and John Foster Dulles.
Yes, but there is nothing very “deep” about these government agency actors, because they - all the way up to the most nefarious CIA covert-op agents are simply faithfully following orders from the POTUS. So it is better to just call it “the non-democratically accountable state”.
And besides being inaccurate, the term “deep state” is laden with conspiratorial spookiness, much of it right-wing with a distinct whiff of anti-Semitic canards (“Rothschilds”, “illumunati”; “secret globalist cultural Marxists” is especially a favorite one right now, etc…).
An excellent explanation — by far the best I’ve read in a long, long time. It’s not so different elsewhere:
. . . and in the present day can be exemplified by the dealings between the Dictator of Turkey and the wannabe-Dictator of the United States.
Mike Lofgren’s book called th “Deep State” (published in 2014) is the best explanation of what the deep state is. It is very real. A big part of the Deep State is the National Security Apparatus, the CIA etc. So, when the author says that Trump thinks that the Deep State is simply the state that is against him, well that’s the CIA who thinks that they should control US imperial policy, not the president. So, Trump may use the term loosely, but he is not wrong; the author is wrong.
". . . who are allied with – and secretly funded by – the same Fat Cats and their Multi-NaZional Korporations who decide which candidates are even allowed to run and whose names will (or will not) be mentioned by the MSM.