Friday, February 24, 2017

America's Deep State - More and Less Than Meets the Eye

There's a lot of talk about America's "deep state." This supposed hidden government is the stuff of many conspiracy theories. Donald Trump is obsessed with the idea, wants them exposed. Foreign Policy's Steven Cook says the leakers are a last resort response to a rogue government gone amok.

American bureaucrats are doing something similar to what the Egyptian and Turkish deep states have done — protect a system. That is as far as it goes, however. In the American case, the bureaucrats themselves don’t control, or want to control, the system they are trying to protect. People in the White House, the Pentagon, the State and Justice departments, Congress, and the intelligence community are leaking to the press because they have no choice in an administration where officials have unexplained links with Russia, an array of conflicts of interest, and have promoted soft forms of white nationalism and fascism that threaten basic ideals of American democracy. On top of all of this, those same officials have openly expressed disdain for the professional bureaucracy. This is more than the mundane leaking of everyday Washington but only because the stakes are so high.

Nothing in any of what has transpired in the United States since Trump’s inauguration indicates the existence of an American deep state. The idea has emerged because, like Egyptians and Turks who live in societies where government is opaque, Americans, who are bereft of good explanations for the often bewildering turn of events in a highly polarized and charged political environment, have sought an easy interpretation: conspiracy.


rumleyfips said...

The websites ollering Deep State right now were hollering Emails not long ago. After the election , these same sites appear more and more Russia funded. It doesn't give the deep state thesis a lot of credibility.

the salamander said...

.. I keep seeking analogies or metaphors for what happened in Canada & in the USA ..

Political cartoons used to be highly effective against inhinged hateful 'leaders' and their baggage train of followers, but that was really in the pre-TV era. As the TV revolution has evolved & added social media via the Internet era, political cartooning is still thriving, but no longer as effective. There is just too much 'noise' clouding what may be simple facts or truth. Everyone can be a pundit now, including moi. I see people getting their 'news' from electronic subway screens, highway billboards and free newspapers. In this household, my fiancee has talk radio on 16 hours of the day & sports talk radio on 8 hours. I kid you not. But we watch PBS & BBC news as well some CBC & CTV and not a single TV series.. unless its about the natural world.. National Geographic.. or Richard Attenborough etc.. some of which are via Netflix.. and some movies. From Indy bloggers & Facebook, I view contemporary events & my son sends some along to me as well..

It was mindblowing to see the protests against Trump, in American and other cities. Now about that 'deep state' (we just watched the brilliant movie The Free State Of Jones) How did those truly staggering protests get organized ? ? My fiancee is more plugged into that kind of event than anyone I have ever known.. and she was blindsided by the marches and gatherings.. as was I. Hell, her closest confidents who are wicked activists were stunned. Was it sponaneous? Organized by Twitter? How did the message & scheduling get pulled together? Via secret car pools? At coffee shops? Smoke signals? Where did all those women and men pee? Were Johnny on the Spots dropped off at midnight?

I'm pretty certain that Indy Media is now pushing Mainstream Media like stock cars at Daytona push each other and travel in 'trains' or packs, like bicycle racers for breakaways or use the peleton to coast a bit.. and Canada Geese! Formation honking eh!

I think there is some secret analogy or metaphor.. or code. and I wonder how you can trigger it. Certainly the good folks who just got the BC to cancel (until after the election?) the dumping of 50 million tons of outright industrial poison somehow got their Government to actually protect their interests in a vague way.. It seems so simple and clear - either government reflects the will of the people & their need for clean water.. or same governments only service the needs of big business and the multinational energy firms..

Treason Fraud Racism Ignorance Incompetance Deceit Dishonesty Obstruction of Justice - all are not words or terms or accusations of little weight.. rather they go hand in hand with terms like Crime Trial Jail Prison - We are in the era now where Treason, Deceit and all the rest are daily underway by Public Servants & Political Parties & sad to say, lawyers paid by taxpayers & doing the bidding of said Public servants at Federal, Provincial & Civic levels. I'm reminded of the film Serpico.. and an honest New York cop.. a true story. We need whistleblowers to have ultimate protection not to be surpressed or fired... but hey, in this country and the USA now, government muzzles scientists & biologists.. even forces them to sign lifetime non disclosure agreements.. I kid you not. It does appear The Harper Government had one honest lawyer named Benjamin Perrin.. out of thousands. Is that our current Free State of Democracy?

Owen Gray said...

It's clear that Trump is trying to move quickly on the checks in the system, Mound. Let's hope the system s simply too big and too complex for him and his henchmen to get their heads around.

Toby said...

I think the deep state consists primarily of the security establishment, CIA, NSA, etc., those organizations who are supposed to be out of sight.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

The global neoliberal military elite are in charge of the government Mound. Whether you call them a deep state or a shadow government, they are comprised of corporate elites who buy off both parties and have a stake in getting the one they have selected elected.

I think their power is pretty transparent today, except to the American people. The fact that people don't believe that the deep state is attempting to bring Trump down doesn't mean they don't exist.

Anonymous said...

My take is that global banking cabal(a.k.a. banksters) is in charge of the government. Of course in a collusion with a military-industrial complex.
The said mafia is trying to hide its conspiracy by floating & ridiculing fictitious conspiracy theories. A typical behaviour of thief who is running away yelling "catch a thief."

The Mound of Sound said...

A "global neoliberal military elite" are in charge of government? Do you have anything concrete to support that, Pam? Names would be helpful, details of how they operate?

Bacevich in "The New American Militarism" dissects what he calls the military/industrial/neoconservative/evangelical Christian/commercial (for profit) warfighting complex and how it operates but stops well short of contending it controls government. It certainly influences and pressures the US government. ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, through its constituent members probably exercises more control of government than any military elite. The same could be said of what Anon calls the "banksters."

I think they're all just categories of "special interests" that have insinuated themselves in the gap between the public and the representatives they elect thanks to the flaws in neoliberal globalism. It's the process that's corrupting. Everyone focusing on his/her preferred villain doesn't much help. That's a distraction.

Trump's grassroot supporters, the bunch I call pejoratively the Gullibillies, can't bring themselves to recognize it but these special interests hold sway in the current administration.

They think Trump's cancellation of the TPP was the equivalent of Moses parting the waters. Anything but. Trump simply wants bilateral free trade deals where America's leverage isn't diluted by too many "partners." Yet this only seems strange when one imagines free trade is all about NAFTA, TPP and such. Canada, for example, has inked many free trade deals, the great bulk of them bilateral. We even have a free trade treaty with tiny Panama or Ukraine. We did CETA because we were dealing with the European Union, itself a conglomeration. Even NAFTA is simply continental with the addition of Mexico to the original Canada/US FTA.

The Mound of Sound said...

Owen, I think you're right. Trump is working to dismember America's checks and balances by his bizarre and relentless attacks on the Fourth Estate, judicial independence and, soon enough I expect, Congress itself. It's telling that he has sent nothing to Congress for enactment. He's chosen to govern by fiat. As soon as there's a recess he'll ram through the hundreds of appointments that he doesn't want to submit to Senate deliberations. He has filled the critical posts only to quickly sideline the heads of those departments. Bannon has set up parallel operations that are not under the purview much less control of the House and Senate. It ought to be embarrassing for a vice president, this early in an administration, to have to travel to conferences abroad to assure other nations that his president doesn't mean what he keeps saying. That's not too far removed from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.