here is a synopsis of a discussion between Bill
Moyers and Mike Lofgren, a disillusioned government insider who now says in his
book and article that the Deep State is the red thread that runs through the
history of the last three decades. Here
then are insights about how we came to have too much deregulation, a harmful "financialization"
of the economy, the Wall Street & bankster rip-offs, the erosion of our
civil liberties, and perpetual warfare. Here
too described are the derivative forces, methods and people that now
surreptitiously guide and control our government, so that billions can be cleverly
if not criminally extracted from our economy, no matter the party in power.
read the espionage novels of John le Carré, you know that no other writer today
has so brilliantly evoked the subterranean workings of government, perhaps
because he himself was once a British spy.
Le Carré gave a name to that invisible labyrinth of power. He dubbed it the "Deep State." And now Mike Lofgren has seized on that
concept to describe the forces he has seen controlling our government, no
matter the party in power.
While not an
intelligence agent himself, Lofgren had a top secret security clearance. He was a Congressional staff member for 28
years with the powerful House and Senate Budget Committees. Over those years, the budgetary numbers he
saw allowed him a good view of America's
own Deep State within which elected and unelected figures collude to protect
and serve powerful vested interests. And
he was so disgusted with what he discovered that he not only left Capitol Hill,
he left the Republican Party and wrote this book , "The Party
Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became
Useless and the Middle Class Got Shafted." He has also written a great article, "Anatomy of the Deep State."
State" is not some cabal that was hatched in the dark of night. Rather, it is something that hides in plain
sight. It's something almost all of us
know about, superficially, yet most of us still don't connect most of the dots
that are right in front of us. The Deep
State inconspicuously grew out of the fact that so much money and political
control came to be at play in the most powerful country in the world. Essentially it is an evolved hybridization of
corporate America and the national security state.
knows about the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower described it in his
farewell address: "We must guard against the acquisition of
unwarranted influence whether sought or unsought by the military-industrial
complex. The potential for the disastrous
rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this
combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes."
knows about Wall Street and its depredations, and about how corporate America
acts: It's about sucking as much money out of the nation's
economy as possible. And to do that most
effectively, they need to have behind-the-scenes political control. Thus the opportunistic evolution of the Deep
State, i.e. the shadow government operating behind the scenes that gives Wall
Street and corporate America the political and financial control that this unprecedented
wealth extraction requires.
The Deep State transcends congressional gridlock
understood narrative of the last five years is that government is broken. It's dysfunctional. It's gridlocked. This is the visible government, the
constitutional government we learn about in Civics 101. And yet, in spite of the limits on
presidential power that we learn about in Civics 101, Obama can somehow go into
Libya without congressional approval, can order the assassination of US
citizens, and can, through the NSA, collect all our phone and Internet records
without permission from anyone. He can
even force down a jet airliner carrying a president of a sovereign country
without asking anyone's permission. And
no one seems to connect this failure of our visible constitutional government
and this shadow government, or Deep State, within it, which operates according
to no constitutional rules or any constraint by the governed.
But it's not
just the executive branch that is at the heart of the Deep State. Also at its heart are all the national
security functions of our government, i.e. the Pentagon, Homeland Security, the
State Department, and even the Treasury Department, which all have a symbiotic
relationship with Wall Street, another Deep State constituent.
and the Treasury Department (in conjunction with the Federal Reserve) not only control
the flow of money; there is a constant exchange of personnel
between them. In addition, there's also involvement
by a small portion of the judiciary, the so-called Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Courts; yet most of Congress doesn't fully know how all
The flow of money and personnel between Wall
Street and the national security state
What kind of
money are we talking about? Consider the
New York restaurant that will sell you a truffle for $95,000. Or the painting by Francis Bacon that Christie's
sold at auction for $142 million. Who
buys this stuff? Wall Streeters,
banksters and the CEOs of big corporations mostly.
NSA spends $1.7 billion of our tax
money to build a facility in Utah that will annually collect one yottabyte of our
personal information. That's as much
information as has ever been written in the history of the world. Then too, a gallon of gasoline costs $400 by
the time the Pentagon finishes paying contractors to haul it into Afghanistan
and get it into some vehicle's tank. And
we've been using many thousands of gallons over there annually, for nearly a
decade. Another example is the
development of the new F-35 fighter jet which is costing us billions,
and the government is planning to build more than 2400 of them. So both the national security state and
the corporate state, are sucking money out of the US economy at rates most
people do not comprehend. The Deep State
is at the heart of this and it is flourishing.
infrastructure collapses. We have a Tinkertoy power grid that goes out
every time there's inclement weather.
Tens of millions of people are on food stamps. We incarcerate more people than dictatorial China,
an authoritarian state with four times our population. But how many of us clearly see this enormous
and growing disparity between Deep State extravagance and the penury that is
being forced on much of the rest of the country? This isn't the result of any kind of natural or
apolitical evolution. This happened by
way of political decisions and collusion taking place behind the scenes.
The result is a situation where the Deep State is essentially out of control, unconstrained. Since 9/11 we have built the equivalent of three Pentagons around the DC metropolitan area, providing office space to defense contractors, intelligence contractors, and government civilians involved in the military-industrial complex. There are over 400,000 contractors -- private citizens -- who have top-secret security clearances!
And they are
heart and soul of the Deep State, which is being privatized. This means that power is gradually shifting
from supposedly accountable government officials to definitely unaccountable
contractors. About 70 percent of the
intelligence budget now goes to contracts managed by these contractors.