The Deep State

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posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 07:15 PM
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I was led to this Video interview through my daily online reading and found it the most cogent exposition of the state of the US 'state' that I have heard today.

It is a Video interview by Bill Moyers with life-long conservative and public servant (GOP congressional staff member with the House and Senate Buget Committees) Mike Lofgren. on what he calls the Deep State (term he borrowed from poplular thriller auther John LeCarre).

Here's a link to the video:

billmoyers.com...

The interview is twenty minutes long. Mr. Moyers then does a very short piece on the bonuses received by the top negoiators for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TTP) in conpensation for going to work for the government (obscene) which presents an excellent example of to what Mr. Lofgren was speaking of in the Deep State interview.

Mike Lofgren also wrote the associated essay "Anatomy of the Deep State" which you can find here:

billmoyers.com...

Mr. Lofgren is not a sensationalist nor does he blame or denigrate people or parties, he just presents the facts as he experienced them and analyses the consequences in a straight forward and factual manner.

A good watch/read for people of all political persuasions.

Short quotes from the article to whet your whisle:



During the last five years, the news media has been flooded with pundits decrying the broken politics of Washington. The conventional wisdom has it that partisan gridlock and dysfunction have become the new normal. That is certainly the case, and I have been among the harshest critics of this development. But it is also imperative to acknowledge the limits of this critique as it applies to the American governmental system. On one level, the critique is self-evident: In the domain that the public can see, Congress is hopelessly deadlocked in the worst manner since the 1850s, the violently rancorous decade preceding the Civil War.




President Obama can liquidate American citizens without due processes, detain prisoners indefinitely without charge, conduct dragnet surveillance on the American people without judicial warrant and engage in unprecedented — at least since the McCarthy era — witch hunts against federal employees (the so-called “Insider Threat Program”). Within the United States, this power is characterized by massive displays of intimidating force by militarized federal, state and local law enforcement.


Many on here bemoan partisan politics, they pigeionhole poster's who present one side of the argument or the others - crying "false dualilty or somesuch and dismiss content.

I believe we need to listen to one another and find good thoughtful analysis from all spectrums of the spectrum and, only then, can we build a better tommorow.

It is important that the discourse we listen too not be 'talking points' and 'hit pieces'. We need to listen to good, reasoned, prose without resort to sensationalism and knee-jerk character assassination.

Mr. Logren does an excellent job and speaks to ideas and systems that effect us all whatever our ideological leanings:



The Deep State does not consist of the entire government. It is a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies: the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Justice Department. I also include the Department of the Treasury because of its jurisdiction over financial flows, its enforcement of international sanctions and its organic symbiosis with Wall Street.


Cultural assimilation is partly a matter of what psychologist Irving L. Janis called “groupthink,” the chameleon-like ability of people to adopt the views of their superiors and peers. This syndrome is endemic to Washington:




After Edward Snowden’s revelations about the extent and depth of surveillance by the National Security Agency, it has become publicly evident that Silicon Valley is a vital node of the Deep State as well.



Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose.




We are faced with two disagreeable implications. First, that the Deep State is so heavily entrenched, so well protected by surveillance, firepower, money and its ability to co-opt resistance that it is almost impervious to change. Second, that just as in so many previous empires, the Deep State is populated with those whose instinctive reaction to the failure of their policies is to double down on those very policies in the future.


He also offers some hope that things may be changing:

I will be looking for Mr. Logren's work in the future.

Has the visible, constitutional state, the one envisaged by Madison and the other Founders, finally begun to reassert itself against the claims and usurpations of the Deep State? To some extent, perhaps.




posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 07:33 PM
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Guess I'm the only one interested...

For posterity from one of Mr. Logren's end notes:



[3] The attitude of many members of Congress towards Wall Street was memorably expressed by Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL), the incoming chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, in 2010: “In Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated, and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks.”


billmoyers.com...

Whoa, just whoa. I knew people believed and behaved as though this were true - but the arrongance to say it in public - whoa.



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 07:51 PM
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Since I'm talking to myself:

I'll post some commentary and criticism of "The Deep State" piece:

From Juan Cole:



Let me, however, push back a little bit against Lofgren’s conceptual apparatus. Egypt also has a Deep State, but the young revolutionaries who overthrew the president for life in 2011 warned against using the very conception, since, they said, it overstated the paper tiger of elite power and could discourage popular action to rein it in.


billmoyers.com...

A very good point about giving the Monster more power by endlessly talking about it.

Oh more good information from Mr. Cole:


He slights the role of the president. The Iraq War was resisted by most of the institutions he names, and had to be sold so hard by the Bush administration precisely for that reason. It was not a project of the Deep State but of interlopers from Dallas and Houston.


From the always erudite (and liberal) Henry Giroux:



I would suggest that what needs to be addressed is some sense of how this unique authoritarian conjuncture of power and politics came into place. More specifically, there is no mention by Lofgren of the collapse of the social state that began in the 1970s with the rise of neoliberal capitalism, a far more dangerous form of market fundamentalism than we had seen in the first Gilded Age. Nor is there a sustained analysis of what is new about this ideology.


billmoyers.com...

I rather think he's being the teacher marking up a paper more then critiquing the content here.

Again with the teacher mode:



How, for instance, are the wars abroad related increasingly to the diverse forms of domestic terrorism that have emerged at home? What is new and distinctive about a society marked by militaristic violence, exemplified by its war on youth, women, gays, public values, public education and any viable exhibition of dissent? Why at this particular moment in history is an aggressive war being waged on not only whistle blowers, but also journalists, students, artists, intellectuals and the institutions that support them?


But he does get in a particularly (and rather sensational) shot at the work in whole:



Regarding the question of resistance, I think this is the weakest part of the essay. I don’t believe the system is broken. I think it works well, but in the interest of very privileged and powerful elite economic and political interests that are aggressively waging a war on democracy itself. If there is to be any challenge to this system, it cannot be made within the discourse of liberal reform, which has largely served to maintain the system. Occupy and many other social movements recognize this. These groups have refused to be defined by the dominant media, the dictates of the security state, the financialization of everyday life and forms of representations that are utterly corrupt.



In my opinion, I think Mr. Giroux' rebuttal is not very helpful - his tone is sensationalist and inflamitory - which is not the purpose of discourse.

We need to find the areas of agreement and build on them.



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 07:59 PM
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Some more commentary...

From Danielle Brian:



The ideological gridlock that grips Congress might make you angry. But as Lofgren points in his professorial manner, what should really get your blood pumping are the strings being pulled by the real decision makers: the executives on Wall Street, in Silicon Valley and in the military-intelligence industrial complex surrounding the Beltway.

The really creepy part is that a lot of this corruption (the revolving doors, lobbying activities and campaign contributions, for instance) is legal. Mull that over: We’ve passed laws allowing the “Deep State” to not only exist, but also to flourish.


billmoyers.com...

Legal in the state, as was everything, the Nazi state did.

And she goes on to make a point that can not be stated often enought:



Sadly, focusing on the sound bites and talking points conveniently distracts us from focusing on the biggest threat to our democracy and civil liberties — the Deep State and all its terrible tentacles.



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 08:01 PM
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Not many on ATS understand criticism of the State or the Administration when it comes from the Left, they operate under so many misconceptions... ugh, anyway I'm looking forward to watching Bill Moyers is pretty good. Will post more after.



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 08:04 PM
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Kali74
Not many on ATS understand criticism of the State or the Administration when it comes from the Left, they operate under so many misconceptions... ugh, anyway I'm looking forward to watching Bill Moyers is pretty good. Will post more after.


Wonderfull. Lofgren is a conservative, no longer a member of the republican party, but a conservative none the less. I look forward to your comments and insights.



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 08:07 PM
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reply to post by FyreByrd
 



First, that the Deep State is so heavily entrenched, so well protected by surveillance, firepower, money and its ability to co-opt resistance that it is almost impervious to change.


This seems to be an accurate assessment of the situation in my mind. However as we all know the only thing that doesn't change is that things always change.

This current situation we now find ourselves in will also change. Unlike what we are seeing in the rest of the world it will not occur without a great deal more damage. If you think Syria is bad with 100,000+ dead or the Ukraine with it's large protests I'd suggest people think again. We will eventually have change but it's going to make those examples look like a cake walk. Loss of life in the US to bring about such change will probably be in the millions IMO.

Which is why (since many may believe that as well) it's too depressing to talk about. Still, change always comes and it's not always for the better. In the words of Cypher "Buckle up Dorothy, we're not in Kansas anymore."



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 08:56 PM
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reply to post by FyreByrd
 


I was referring to you


Watching the clip now...



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 09:21 PM
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Kali74
reply to post by FyreByrd
 


I was referring to you


Watching the clip now...


LOL - enjoy....



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 01:48 AM
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reply to post by FyreByrd
 


Very interesting, lately I have been noticing a confluence of those who pursue truth regardless of ideology.

I would say that our little pow wow here is evidence of this trend. Not only can we agree to disagree for the sake of open discussion but, we can also agree to agree on some specific issues which threaten our freedom and the very solvency of our beloved country.

Here is another good example of Americans cooperating to enlighten each other and expose developments which universally threaten us:

"American Coup: How a Terrified Government Is Destroying the Constitution" - William Arkin

One of the comments he makes during his presentation truly astounded me. He claims that 60% of all jobs available in the united states are in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Thanks for the post!




posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 08:59 AM
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I think the most glaring fact in the interview is this: We often think about how a politician often goes from their elected position to a lucrative gig with a major corporation. What we often don't think about is that big dogs in major corporations often end up in appointed positions after receiving a big fat bonus from their major corporation.

I see a major disconnect of logic in where to point fingers. A lot of people get mad that government entitlement programs increasingly offer benefits in the form of corporate goods, such as cell phones or check cashing cards, the off the elected radar issue of low wage employees on benefit programs such as SNAP in order to survive. People get really angry about these things, then they get angry if you blame corporations, and then angry when you say government favors corporations... they are aware of the revolving doors but can't seem to place blame on those revolving doors and their effect on economy and law. They seem to prefer to blame the poor.
edit on 2/23/2014 by Kali74 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 01:56 PM
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Kali74
I think the most glaring fact in the interview is this: We often think about how a politician often goes from their elected position to a lucrative gig with a major corporation. What we often don't think about is that big dogs in major corporations often end up in appointed positions after receiving a big fat bonus from their major corporation.



I was thinking about this last night. It's out right bribery; but cannot be called such because the bribery takes place before a bribee (is that a word) offically takes a government job.

I would love to see more on this. Some paperwork and more detail on how this works.

I knew that many people take government jobs in the hope and expectation that they will be able to cash in in the private sector after a few years of service and are always looking to make decisions and help their 'targeted' industry.

What I didn't didn't know was that big business was paying people to go into government service on their (industries) behalf. How does it work. Who presents 'nominees' to the administration? Who chooses the candidates? Do all candidates get bonuses as a prophylactic measure or just ones chosen for positions.

Is this why some of Obama is having so much trouble with judicial and regulatory appointments?

This is bribery of a government official in spirit if not in the letter of the law.



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 05:05 PM
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greencmp
reply to post by FyreByrd
 



Here is another good example of Americans cooperating to enlighten each other and expose developments which universally threaten us:

"American Coup: How a Terrified Government Is Destroying the Constitution" - William Arkin

One of the comments he makes during his presentation truly astounded me. He claims that 60% of all jobs available in the united states are in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Thanks for the post!



Thank you for posting Mr. Arkin's talk. I too found it very interesting. I'm not sure he said 60% of All jobs or just jobs with a Top Secret Clearance requirement were in the D.C. area. Either way, we may all end of working for the 'National Security Institution' in one way or another if his current figure of 60 million (or 1/6 of US population) is accurate and I imagine he is correct.

Since 9/11 the security business has been booming, a virtual gold rush. Guess that's what is meant by 'service jobs'.

What I found most interesting in his talk was this notion that 'planners' of our nations infrastructure are focused on planning for what to do when 'it' breaks rather then planning how to make systems more robust and flexible to protect from failure. I found that very disturbing.

His real concern is over the secrecy of the information collection and that we will enter (or have entered) a period of 'Survellience Prohibition' where 'on-the-books' it's illegal to collect all this electronic data on people but the Government does it anyway. We see instances of this is in the recent declaration that the NSA will no longer make public information on drone activities and the built in 'work around' of the 'Five Eyes' treaty on signal intelligence (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) wherein the US government could say they are not spying on citizens, the other country is, and since 'sharing of information' is required by the treaty (above US law) we have to take it. (see www.commondreams.org... for more).

I do wish that he had spoken more to the history of the National Security Apparatus in the piece. It's origins in post-WWII cold war fears, It's short term 'war' incarnation in WWI and the concept and implemention of Total Information Awareness. (See a consise history of the comtemporary TIO (www.motherjones.com...). I do recall that the idea was floated in the Bush I administration but my brief search only brings up post-9/11 infomation on it.

This is not a political issue - the security state grows regardless of the administration, legislator or even the courts.

I truly believe that, for all their importance, paritsan 'issues' (fill in your own, abortion, gay rights, states rights, taxes, gun rights,etc) are all smokescreens to hide this looming monstrosity.

This topic reminds be of the Upton Sinclair Quote:

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair

and Mr. Arkin says it clearly. Big Business loves this an endless stream of tax payer money, they don't have to produce anything at all for it. It's better for them then 'real-world' wars. We only need a virtual war to fight.

Mr. Arkin is also correct when he says that it's our responsiblity, each and every one of us, to do something about it. We can blame government for it, we can't blame big business for it, it's built into the system.

Like the women in the talk who wanted to deny personal responsibility, we want someone else to blame. We need to look to ourselves (as in the Hawaiian healing method of Ho'oponopono www.ancienthuna.com...)

Ultimately, it is my belief, that we are responsible for the world around us. Our collective behavior and thinking create the world we share.

Which wolf do you feed?



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 05:43 PM
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posted on Feb, 25 2014 @ 05:05 PM
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reply to post by FyreByrd
 


FyreByrd
and Mr. Arkin says it clearly. Big Business loves this an endless stream of tax payer money, they don't have to produce anything at all for it. It's better for them then 'real-world' wars. We only need a virtual war to fight.


Yes, case in point being the fear mongering about "cyber-warfare", the next big resource sapping boogeyman. Do we think that full disclosure of the circumstances surrounding a major electronic attack will be forthcoming? It is the perfect smokescreen for extracting otherwise consumer directed productive resources away from our civilian economy.


FyreByrd
What I found most interesting in his talk was this notion that 'planners' of our nations infrastructure are focused on planning for what to do when 'it' breaks rather then planning how to make systems more robust and flexible to protect from failure. I found that very disturbing.


One of many ironies of the bureaucratic tendency to centralize control as a defense to potential attack is the concentration of vital infrastructure making any individual success far more damaging than if those systems were independent and varied in their implementation.
edit on 25-2-2014 by greencmp because: (no reason given)





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