“Deep State”, “Shadow State”

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.

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.

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.

Tom Eglehardt The New (Deplorable) American Order

1% Elections, The Privatization of the State, a Fourth Branch of Government, and the Demobilization of “We the People”

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…

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