Gazing Inside The Deep State That Controls The American Empire

pentagonVia, Mike Lofgren describes the branches of the structure that actually rules us:

Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose.

As a congressional staff member for 28 years specializing in national security and possessing a top secret security clearance, I was at least on the fringes of the world I am describing. Like virtually every employed person, I became, to some extent, assimilated into the culture of the institution I worked for.

The Deep State is a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies: the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Justice Department. I also include the Department of the Treasury because of its jurisdiction over financial flows, its enforcement of international sanctions and its organic symbiosis with Wall Street. All these agencies are coordinated by the Executive Office of the President via the National Security Council.

Certain key areas of the judiciary belong to the Deep State, such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, whose actions are mysterious even to most members of Congress. Also included are a handful of vital federal trial courts, such as the Eastern District of Virginia and the Southern District of Manhattan, where sensitive proceedings in national security cases are conducted.

The final government component (and possibly last in precedence among the formal branches of government established by the Constitution) is a kind of rump Congress consisting of the congressional leadership and some (but not all) of the members of the defense and intelligence committees. The rest of Congress, normally so fractious and partisan, is mostly only intermittently aware of the Deep State and when required usually submits to a few well-chosen words from the State’s emissaries.

Washington is the most important node of the Deep State that has taken over America, but it is not the only one. Invisible threads of money and ambition connect the town to other nodes. One is Wall Street, which supplies the cash that keeps the political machine quiescent and operating as a diversionary marionette theater. Should the politicians forget their lines and threaten the status quo, Wall Street floods the town with cash and lawyers to help the hired hands remember their own best interests.

After Edward Snowden’s revelations about the extent and depth of surveillance by the National Security Agency, it has become publicly evident that Silicon Valley is a vital node of the Deep State as well. Unlike military and intelligence contractors, Silicon Valley overwhelmingly sells to the private market, but its business is so important to the government that a strange relationship has emerged. While the government could simply dragoon the high technology companies to do the NSA’s bidding, it would prefer cooperation with so important an engine of the nation’s economy, perhaps with an implied quid pro quo.

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19 Comments on "Gazing Inside The Deep State That Controls The American Empire"

  1. BuzzCoastin | Mar 30, 2014 at 12:35 pm |

    the government of der homeland
    of the money, by the money, for the money

    The Dude: It’s like what Lenin said… you look for the person who will benefit, and, uh, uh…
    Donny: I am the walrus.
    The Dude: You know what I’m trying to say…
    Walter Sobchak: That fucking bitch…
    The Dude: Oh yeah!
    Donny: I am the walrus.
    Walter Sobchak: Shut the fuck up, Donny! V.I. Lenin. Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov!
    Donny: What the fuck is he talking about, Dude?

  2. Nice closer:
    “What America lacks is a figure with the serene self-confidence to tell
    us that the twin idols of national security and corporate power are
    outworn dogmas that have nothing more to offer us. Thus disenthralled,
    the people themselves will unravel the Deep State with surprising speed.”

    Should that figure emerge, I’m sure that figure would “commit suicide” or have some bizarre accident in the night.
    This entire article is well worth the read along with the footnotes.

    • Woobniggurath | Mar 30, 2014 at 1:43 pm |

      Small planes. Very risky.

    • Reuben_the_Red | Mar 30, 2014 at 4:11 pm |

      In other words, Jesus. We need some kind of charismatic, serene, self-confident and presumably blue-eyed Jesus-dude to save us from internal and external evil.

  3. Woobniggurath | Mar 30, 2014 at 1:49 pm |

    Smashingly well put! Alas how few Americans will be exposed to this, or to other instances of such insight.

    • Woobniggurath | Mar 30, 2014 at 1:52 pm |

      I would be willing to see Moyers become the media czar plenipotentiary of the nation for life.

      • You actually mean Bill Moyers, who interviews Rockefeller and Wall Street (and former IMF) stooge, Simon Johnson, who claims on even days of the week that naked swaps, or uncovered credit default swaps, are weapons-of economic-mass-destruction, but then on odd-numbered days claims they are great and should be kept in existence?

        • Woobniggurath | Mar 30, 2014 at 11:46 pm |

          You sound much more informed about finance than I am. Also I have to admit I have not watched or read much of Moyer’s own work recently. I love him because he was a voice in the wilderness in 2003. One of very few in any national broadcast outlet. He is quite mainstream in his background but has always seemed largely immune to the popular eyewash of the moment. It seems that now he is more of a curator of those individuals who are still trying to practice the dead art of journalism, viz, the excellent essay on which I was commenting. And sometimes using hyperbole without really thinking about it is fun, espescially when you are at work and should be focused on the needs of the masters. This is, after all, the internets.

          • Thurlow Weed | Mar 31, 2014 at 12:24 am |

            “…He is quite mainstream in his background but has always seemed largely immune to the popular eyewash of the moment.”

            He thinks so, too. That’s how denial works.

          • Thank you for your response, sir, but this is how misinformation specialists like Kevin Phillips, Noam Chomsky, Michael Lewis (on NPR for his recent misinformational book on HFT, he states that none of the banksters should be jailed, as they are responsible for “financial innovation”), Simon Johnson, Larry Lessig, Jeremy Rifkin and Diane Rehm (NPR) succeed, by doing the misinformation and disinformation number, and because they are they designated the “official liberals or progressives” (and nothing could be further from the truth given their backgrounds and daily deeds).

            This is exactly why there are only two official news stations in America today, Fox and Fox Lite (CNN, CBS, MNBC, NPR, PBS, AP, etc., etc.).

            For instance, sir, are you aware that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, owner of Fox, succeeded in two federal lawsuite/court cases to make it legal to fictionalize the news? This occurred around the early and mid ’00s, and you can read about it in Kristina Börjesson’s excellent book, Into the Buzzsaw.

            The NAB (or National Association of Broadcasters_ the lobbyist group for the vast majority of US TV and radio station owners, filed a “friend of the court” (amicus curiae) on behalf of at least one of Murdoch’s court cases.

            The counsel who filed that motion was the NAB’s attorney, Valerie Schulte.

            Now why should that name be familiar to you, sir?

            Because she was the mystery witness brought forward by the LA Ramparts’ cops at the RFK assassination trial of Sirhan (Ms. Schulte was a 19-year-old student at UC/Santa Barbara, of nordic complexion and blonde and blue-eyed, while the mystery witness, as attested to by sixteen witness interviewed by the first — and perhaps only — honest policeman on site, Sgt. Paul Schraga, identified the mystery witness as a brunette woman in her early thirties, with an olive complexion who spoke with a foreign accent — one even correctly identified it as Iranian [as in SAVAK] — Paul Schraga would be harrassed and hounded off the police force within the year as he refused to lie on his report and make numerous changes — wonder what ever became of the man of integrity and honesty, Mr. Schraga?).

            Why I mention this is to illustrate the long-term connections, such as Moyers as an FBI snitch on one day, and helping to spread misinformation on another, no coincidency, sir.

  4. misinformation | Mar 30, 2014 at 2:00 pm |

    Here is a much harder hitting look at the Deep State by a less partisan commentator and one of the subjects earliest researchers, Peter Dale Scott:

  5. Yeah, right, as if Moyers doesn’t routinely add to the murky thinking and misunderstanding and miscomprehension out there!

    This entire Deep State stuff can be very confusing to many; suffice it to say, they are the layer one or two layers removed from the plutocracy, the super-rich who call the shots.

    What they are feebly attempting to describe is the Financial-Intelligence Complex (which might have included Moyers when he snitched for the FBI and his boos, President Johnson, who ended the financial transaction tax (extant from 1914 to 1966), and dramatically expanded foreign wars and interference to end democratically-elected governments (see Operation Brother Sam) — I am not longer interested in debating this with anyone, simply read the history and background of the creation of the US intelligence establishment.

    • ??
      Moyers didn’t write this article, Mike Lofgren did.

      • misinformation | Mar 30, 2014 at 11:23 pm |

        I’m not sure “who” the author of the article is, has anything to do with sgtdoom’s comments.

        • Woobniggurath | Mar 30, 2014 at 11:55 pm |

          I’m not sure sgtdoom’s comment has anything to do with the essay linked to at all.

  6. misinformation | Mar 31, 2014 at 10:59 am |

    It is strange. Moyers and co’s essential white wash of the Deep State concept is essentially a limited hangout. That’s why i posted the Peter Dale Scott essay in my post, above.

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