I don't mind using three words -- "the deep state" in a sentence; it would be fearful cowards like the Associated Press who cannot use those three words in a sentence. Yet I would allow that the deep state is difficult to write about. It is a shadowy and ill-defined thing, subject to much speculation and conjecture. To avoid stepping off the deep end into conspiracy theories, we must stick to information that is solid, rather than sketchy.
On Election Night 2008, commentator Tom Morris, the host of Capitol Hill Blues, appeared on the Real News and said,
"[Barack Obama]'s going to be up against--the intelligence apparatus of the country is going to be very resistant to change. Now, we may all, around this table, know that Guantanamo Bay and torturing people and eliminating habeas corpus and all the things that have been done over the last eight years are wrong. But, he's still going to have to deal with an entrenched national security apparatus. And, they're backed by the economic hit men, if you will, who have a completely different agenda no matter who is in the White House. And he's going to have to have people around him who can help undo that resistance, and that's not going to be easy."
We should thank Tom Morris for the example of how a mainstream commentator could talk about the deep state in a mature, adult way. It is not necessary to espouse conspiracy theories to talk about that which is known and solid about the deep state and about some cases which may (or may not) be incidents with deep state involvement.
The deep state may include many components, but those of the public sector include the CIA, the FBI, and as mentioned by Morris, the national security apparatus and the economic hit men. Some private interests may also be components of the deep state, but those are of less concern to any official, such as Barack Obama, who is charged with managing the public sector. (Private interests are private interests; they simply are not the public sector, which should be insulated from undue external influences. For the most part, private interests are simply not a federal issue.)
A series of famous cases are sometimes pinned to the deep state. To evaluate the merits of the accusations is beyond the scope of this article. But, the list of cases includes (and is not limited to) the following:
1963: JFK's assassination
1993: World Trade Center bombing, the first time
1995: Oklahoma City bombing of the Murrah Federal Building
1999: Plane crash of JFK Jr.
2001: September 11 attacks
2001: Anthrax attacks
2002: Plane crash of Senator Paul Wellstone
The plane crashes are not conclusively crimes, but the other incidents certainly are in fact crimes. Official stories about these incidents are self-aquitting, but eyebrows can be raised even if one accepts the official stories. In 1963, the "sole culprit" had to get past the U.S. Secret Service. In 1993, the FBI had an informant and a chance to substitute a harmless substance in place of the explosives. In 1995 the target was a federal building. In 2001, the 9/11 attacks had to get past U.S. air defenses, NORAD, and the military. The 2001 attacks with anthrax used a military-grade, weaponized strain of anthrax that could only come from the U.S. military in the first place. In all these cases there clearly was a federal component, but as mentioned the official stories are self-acquitting.
(In the plane crashes, there is a federal component because only federal authorities investigate air travel. Those cases are taken out of the hands of city and state investigators. The federal government can 'safely' murder anyone this way, because only the federal government investigates the aftermath.)
All of these cases ought to be reopened for re-investigation. It seems that the deep state pushes everyone's buttons, and these incidents drove world events. Indirect effects of the 9/11 attacks included two wars, the PATRIOT Act, secret military tribunals and the Military Commissions Act, an oil pipeline in the Middle East, and enormous profit for defense contractors, including no-bid contracts for cronies of the Bush administration.