Deep State, Deep Politics

This page contains links to several pieces on “Deep State”, and “Deep Politics”.  At some point I will write my own essay.  In the interim these pieces below by well respected writers explore the subject of the United States being governed by a set of deep internal and external forces uncontrolled by the representatives elected by US citizens.

The best book on the subject I have read is Professor Glennon’s

National Security and Double Government Published Nov 2014

In his latest book, National Security and Double Government, Professor Michael Glennon challenges common understandings of American government institutions and provides daunting insights into the nature of the U.S. national security apparatus. .. He highlights the lack of oversight, accountability, and the mutually beneficial relationship between the public-facing .. actors, such as the President and Congress, and this classified .. network. The Fletcher Forum Editorial team sat down with Michael Glennon, Professor of International Law at the Fletcher School, to talk about his book and discuss the future of American democracy. 

During an interview at The Fletcher Institute of Tufts University he says:

FLETCHER FORUM: Does a lame duck President have a different relationship with the Trumanite Network? If President Obama were to read your book and ask for advice on changing the system, what would you tell him?

GLENNON: I’d suggest that he demonstrate to the American people that the book’s thesis is wrong. He could do that by changing the national security policies that he led the American people to believe would be changed. Among other things: (1) fire officials who lie to Congress and the American people, beginning with John Brennan and James Clapper, (2) appoint a special prosecutor to deal with the CIA’s spying on the Senate intelligence committee and Clapper’s false statements to it, (3) stop blocking publication of the Senate intelligence committee’s torture report, (4) stop invoking the state secrets privilege to obstruct judicial challenges to abusive counter-terrorism activities, (5) halt the bombing of Syria until Congress authorizes it, and (6) stop prosecuting and humiliating whistleblowers who spark public debates he claims to welcome.

FLETCHER FORUM: Are there any potential 2016 Presidential candidates that could challenge the Trumanite Network?


The best on line articles I have found are:

Arkin and Priest, Washington Post Top Secret America — A major investigative report last updated in Sept 2010

two governments: the one its citizens were familiar with, operated more or less in the open: the other a parallel top secret government whose parts had mushroomed in less than a decade into a gigantic, sprawling universe of its own, visible to only a carefully vetted cadre—and its entirety . . . visible only to God.

Lofgren: “Anatomy of the Deep State” (Feb 2014)

Lofgren:  “There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power..”

Reactions to Lofgren: “Anatomy of a Deep State” (Feb 2014)

Andrew Bacevitch

In the ‘Bill-W.-Obama’ era, a neoliberal consensus defines American politics… With perceived threats to that system now coming primarily from abroad, exercising global leadership, backed by ample military muscle, now became one of liberalism’s abiding signatures.

Peter  Dale Scott: The State, the Deep State, and the Wall Street Overworld (Nov 2014)

We have seen evidence of a “state within the state” before, going back as far as the CIA’s operations against Cuba. In Obama’s time, the president correctly named the 2009 coup in Honduras a “coup”, and then seemed powerless to prevent it

Peter Dale Scott: The Fates of American Presidents Who Challenged the Deep State (1963-1980) (Nov 2014)

the historical succession of deep events—such as Dallas, Watergate, and 9/11—has impacted more and more profoundly on America’s political situation. More specifically, … major foreign wars are typically preceded by deep events like the Tonkin Gulf incidents, 9/11, or the 2001 anthrax attacks. This suggests that what I call the war machine in Washington [the forces striving for global U.S. dominance, including elements both inside and outside government, both inside and outside the United States] may have been behind them.

Tom Eglehardt The New (Deplorable) American Order March  2015

Though the marriage of the state and the corporation has a pre-history, the full-scale arrival of the warrior corporation only occurred after 9/11.  Someday, that will undoubtedly be seen as a seminal moment in the formation of whatever may be coming in this country.  Only 13 years later, there is no part of the war state that has not experienced major forms of privatization.  The U.S. military could no longer go to war without its crony corporations doing KP and guard duty, delivering the mail, building the bases, and being involved in just about all of its activities, including training the militaries of foreign allies and even fighting.  Such warrior corporations are now involved in every aspect of the national security state, including torture, drone strikes, and — to the tune of hundreds of thousands of contract employees like Edward Snowden — intelligence gathering and spying.  You name it and, in these years, it’s been at least partly privatized.

All you have to do is read reporter James Risen’s recent book, Pay Any Price, on how the global war on terror was fought in Washington, and you know that privatization has brought something else with it: corruption, scams, and the…

Let’s Talk About the American Deep State  Peter Dale Scott June 2014

Lars Schall: Peter, we decided to talk this time about the Deep State, and the first question I would like to ask you is, why would you say it is still relevant to talk about 9/11?

Peter Dale Scott: Well, 9/11 was the occasion for major changes both in American foreign and domestic policy, it is the reason we went almost immediately into Afghanistan and it is also why we began planning almost immediately to invade Iraq, which was based on the false assumption that Saddam Hussein had some connection with Al-Qaeda. Where evidence had been provided it was false evidence but the administration chose to believe it. From an American point of view the changes in foreign policy are perhaps not as serious as the implementation on that day of what we call continuity of government (COG) procedures, which have radically altered the status of the American constitution in this country…