Deep State Blues (1/3)

I guess, in my own way, I’ve been aware of something odd about our government here in the United States of America,  I don’t mean to single the U.S. as somehow unique in this way, it is simply the only country with which I am familiar.  The perspective of those that think of the United States as some how exceptional and indispensable seem as though they have fallen into some kind of a trap that has effectively blinded them.  Throughout my few years at the university I had always had a sense that there was something more to the way we were ruled other than the obvious visible government.  You can use what ever term you like, Illuminati, Shadow Government, Deep State  or maybe the Lizard Banksters from Draco.  Many of us have always had that sense that there is something we are missing, not detecting, something obvious.

My Mother, whether she meant to or not, added to this sense, for her the thing that really tripped her trigger was the Kennedy assassination followed by the gulf of Ton kin incident.  For her father it was remember the Maine.  For me it was Iran Contra.  College and I had parted ways and I was out in the world working as a Grease Scraper and a Shit Shoveler.  I would not have minded either job with full time employment if I made enough for Rent, food and utilities.  That means no automobile and no medical and I didn’t have a television or a telephone so I was pretty far out of the loop.  No cable meant no C-span and no newspaper meant no regular coverage yet I still managed to pick up bits and pieces here and there.  Over the years I have stumbled back into the topic with fair regularity.  I would become familiar with the term Deep State some years later.  In this case I am referring to Peter Dale Scott and although I haven’t read his books I have listened to several lectures and interviews and have found myself perplexed.  What is the Deep State and what purpose does it serve?

Generally, when ever I hear some one speak of the Deep State it is always with respect to the elected Federal Government, bureaucratic aspects of said government, Intelligence Agencies with a focus on CIA and NSA and finally the Military Industrial Complex.  The purpose these agencies serve is always nefarious if not out right malevolent.  I feel that this is only a partial description and I need a better model if I want to get any kind of real use out of the concept.

There are a couple of criteria a social structure must meet before it can be considered a part of the Deep State.  Firstly it must fall into one of these categories:  Public Governance (Federal, State and some large cities or densely populated counties), Corporate Governance ( Corporations are anti democratic institutions, national or international in nature and bureaucratic),   Large religious organizations (national or international), Centers of Economic, Military, Spiritual, Legal or Cultural importance not previously mentioned, along with organized movements (Labor, Anti War, Civil Liberties, Human rights and other community organizations), and finally organized Crime (national or international).  The second Criteria is that these organizations need physical structures such as buildings, by laws, guidelines, legal paper work or mission statements and complex bureaucracies. It can be quickly noted that some institutions fulfill several elements of the first set of criteria for example the Federal Government is also a center of Military, Economic and Legal importance.  The larger and more complex these social structures appear is directly proportional to the age of the institution in question.  A Good example of this would be the Catholic Church which is a vast bureaucracy involving well over a billion people at some level in and organization that has interests in centers of Spiritual, Economic and cultural.influence.

The larger and largest of these entities has a public face.  This public face maybe an individual or a group of individuals who are known by name or this face could be something imagined, sort of a abstracted blank even including something as simple as a logo in which can be seen any given spectators particular view of this entity.  All things that we perceive in the world around us are always colored by our individual world view.  This public face, whether it belongs to a real person or some abstracted blank is a mental substitute for the organization or institution they/it represents.  The reality is that these various entities that have been previously mentioned are actually populated by hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands and in some cases hundreds of thousands individuals operating at various levels and in various capacities.  They are like a human body where the individual cells are replaced by individual people.  Each of these people have their own world view.  It can be said that there is a basic world view that the bulk of a stable culture largely hold in common though any given individual may shift to one side of the other as our world view is colored by our assumptions about the world and our role in it both as individuals as well as a company or a nation and it is also colored by our experiences.  With in these entities or institutions the various individuals at various levels align with each other along a  shared point of view and shared interests so that it could be said that there is a realm of internal politics that most of us are completely unaware of, this is just the beginning of understanding the deep state.

It is much easier to imagine an old forest with its tall trees both great and small.  Most of us live on the forest floor and our perception of these vast institutions is limited to the stretch of trunk that we can see.  If we tip our gaze skyward we can see the canopy where each tree occupies a space, a sphere of influence or interest, and that many trees overlap each other here or there, none-the-less our view is from the bottom and we cannot see the entirety of the canopy though we understand that it is there and sometimes can even see the interrelationships.  Beneath our feet are the roots of the various trees.  These roots are beyond our ability to sense, it is under our feet where these roots tangle and compete for resources.  This is the best way I can illustrate what I mean by the term Deep State.

I’ve been watching the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence investigation into the Russian Hack Ordeal.  Specifically the testimony of Attorney General Comey and Admiral Rogers director of NSA.  Its quite fascinating and if you are wide awake and have about four hours to burn you might want to check it out.  I find the language usage intriguing as there is lots of talk of National Security, Classified Documents, Protecting the American Citizenry along with a healthy dollop of conspiracy theories and righteous outrage.  Apparently Russia is our sworn enemy, just hates us and wants to destroy our Democracy, take away our freedom, if you will.  I would like to believe that we really are a free people but I am a bit confused.  How can a free person be charged with treason?  Just curious, not that it was talked about during the testimony, the thought just kept popping into my head.  I am I not free to believe as I see fit, to have the politics I choose, to work where I want, to form friendships and alliances as I see fit, I mean if I am truly free?  We throw that word around a lot, freedom, liberty, rights and just plain free.

I understand a criminal act like assault or murder, burglary or fraud for example but these are acts against another person.  By exercising my right to speak freely what person am I harming.  By smoking a cigarette or taking a shot of vodka or discussing politics with a friend from a foreign land what person am I harming?  Is it the other citizens or our fair country?  Could it be our own Government?  Is the Government here to protect us and our rights?  How can my exercising my rights be treason in any form?  Maybe it is because the government is also a person and the government has rights too.  We all already known this is true of The Corporation both for and not for profit as well as Religions.  There are a bunch of large powerful paper people out there among us mere mortals.  This brings me back to the hearing and the testimony concerning classified information or secrets.

As far as Director Comey (FBI) and Director Rogers (NSA) attitudes towards the Representatives present, they were friendly.  What was interesting was what they were prepared to answer such as how an individual could be unmasked, the protocols concerning such, and how many people each were aware of that had the ability to reveal the identity of a masked subject of surveillance and general questions about the processes.  It was the scope of such questions directed at Comey (FBI) that bled over into his knowledge of the Justice department of which he was uncertain.  From my point of view Justice falls under the auspices of the Attorney general so his (Comey’s) lack of knowledge wasn’t particularly surprising.  What I found most interesting was the non-answers or the diplomatic way of saying no comment.  Neither Comey (FBI) nor Rogers (NSA) would respond to hypothetical questions.  This quickly became abbreviated to “I won’t answer hypos.  The next “No Comment” was “I can’t comment on actual people,” or “Real names.”  I thought that was understandable, I could also understand the “I can’t comment on hypos as well.  Finally, the last “No Comment” Response was, and I am paraphrasing here, with respect to the release of classified documents through leaks, printed in newspapers particularly the New York Times was, “I can’t comment on the quality of classified leaks as to whether they are true or not because by doing such I would reveal which pieces of information were actually classified and that would violate my confidentiality oath.”  This was also understandable.  The “No Comment answers made a great deal of sense but that left me slightly unsettled.  In a time of Fake News and Alternative facts it quickly became apparent that I could not count on anyone with a security clearance to be honest with me or the public as it were about the quality of the information.  In essence, whether either director meant to of not, they said to me, us, in no uncertain terms that any time any expert with those clearances speaks they should be automatically suspected of bullshitting us.

How are we as American’s suppose to know what is true and what is not?  It gave me the strange sense that I, us or we were the enemy not Russia or China or Islamic Extremism.  This is an uncomfortable feeling.  Call me paranoid if you must.  How are we to know and trust our government if it is so easy for them to deny we concerned citizens the facts.  During a time when trust in our government is fading I think this is an important issue.

Opposite the Directors FBI and NSA was a surprising number of the membership of the House Permanent Select Committee on intelligence (HPSI) and they were far more interesting in their statements and questions.

The first Two that stand out to me are Representative Sewel and Representative Gowdy.  I have no idea which district either of the two represents and from my point of view it doesn’t matter.  Representative Sewel articulated clearly, point by point, each statement in the form of a question.  These were Rhetorical Questions which is a way of saying a statement that the listener is supposed to agree with or should be persuaded by.  In the case of Sewel these statements sounded like articles of impeachment.  I assume that she is a democrat but I don’t know if that is true.  I don’t feel the need to research it any further.  Both directors answered “No Comment,” To each statement.  She seemed young to me though again I could be mistaken, but her Rhetorical approach was impressive and I look forward to listening to her in the future as she gains experience and polish.  None the less Rep. Sewel was clearly partisan and obvious.

Representative Gowdy on the other hand took a more technical approach to the argument concentrating on the legal/bureaucratic side of the issue. lawyer to lawyer as it were.  He was in the form of and told in a mildly scolding tone insisting diplomatically that Comey resolve this issue with all haste.  The issue itself was becoming a problem and impeding the day to day running of the government.  I assume that Gowdy is a republican though I don’t know that to be true, not that it matters.  I am beginning to think that Gowdy is a politician to watch.  He is clever and tactically sophisticated.  First of all he took the Republican side or the argument but did so in such a way as to make it sound like the issue was something other than the administration.  That means that he supports the party and the President without attaching his person to the person of the President.  As any one can see President Trump is getting off to a pretty rocky start.

Finally there are two other representatives I feel that are worthy of mention, They are Mr. Turner and Dr. Wenstrup.  I surely hope I am spelling their names correctly.  Representative Turner opened his questions and slowly moved into the question of under what circumstances can a counter intelligence case be opened.  Translation:  When can the FBI or other intelligence agency begin secretly spying on me?

The exchange was frustrating for the Representative as Comey was unwilling to answer Hypos.  Representative Turner insisted that these weren’t hypos.  Comey gave in and answered a few and his responses weren’t the least bit alarming.  James Comey went along way to creating a feeling that the FBI, at least, still had some morals and ethics in the day to day running of their organization,  None-the-less Representative Turner slipped and poorly worded a question I think and his time ran out.  By the time he reclaimed some time he had lost his momentum.

It was shortly after this that Doctor Wenstrup picked up the same line of questioning and even gave an example of a meeting he had attended, where he met the Iraqi Ambassador.  Again there was some contention but I wouldn’t say it was heated, not even for pretend.  Eventually Comey came to the point in the Representatives questioning where he simply replied, “The FBI doesn’t give advisory opinions.”  I’m not sure that quote is exact.  Representative Wenstrup responded, “Then I’ll find out about it afterwards?”  again I am not sure that is a solid quote so consider it a paraphrase.

Comey Stated simply, “You’ll never find out about it.”  That I feel pretty sure is an actual quote, according to my notes.

Rep.  Wenstrup responded, “Unless I find out about it in the newspaper.”

And there it is, the issue that was pestering these two representatives enough that they felt the need to bring it up and/or they were sure that this bothered their constituents enough to discuss it.

This is an open Hearing, so everything here is for public consumption.  Every time you hear something like, “I don’t want to get into that here,” or “I’d like to save that for the closed session,” or “I’d like to wait for classified session before we get into that,” and so on that is a comment on content that isn’t for your ears or mine for that matter.  So what was the purpose of this thing and the other things like it?

Largely it gives the members of the committee an opportunity to speak directly to their constituents, the larger population who might be interested and to get their views into the congressional record so that when that big ball of shit rolls around, you know the one, we call them elections here, they can insist they did this or that, show the voters their speeches and other proof of their effort as a tool of persuasion.  What are they trying to tell the voters watching?  Where on the spectrum of the debate around President Trump and the issue of personal privacy as well as Security issues, they stand.  This message is for a particular group of people, those who are interested, generally, but not always, they are politically active, better than average in education, higher then average in income and in surprisingly influential positions especially once you get out of the big cities.

The real purpose of these inquiries was nicely stated when discussing the Russia Hack Ordeal and all though I don’t remember who said it I did write it down.  The purpose of the hack was “to create discord and division among the American People and to undermine our wonderful American Democracy.”  One member of the committee stated that the purpose was to put a cloud over the administration.  If you do decide to listen to this thing you will notice some distinct militaristic language.  The idea that the Russian Hack, if it happened, was an act of war.  This was in its own right quiet fascinating.  War is a powerful concept.  It is a word that evokes a strong range of emotions.  If you should watch this thing just keep in mind that what they are doing is Framing the Debate.

The Frame is the field in which the conversation can exist, it sets the terms the potential outcomes, who is good who is evil is both reductionist and dualistic in nature.  That is not to say this is some kind of a conspiracy, that the committee sat down in a smoke filled room(?)  or maybe at an organic Juice bar (?) and figured all this shit out, scripted the whole deal.  This arises from the individual members interests, one of which will be the 2018 election.  Regardless of their party the interests between one representative and another aren’t really that different.  There are some noteworthy exceptions but they are far and few between and don’t have much hope for a stellar career in politics.  For the most part the belt way people swim in the same water, breathe the same air eat from the same supply of food.  Believe me when I say they know what their interests are, do you?”

The purpose pf the Frame is to limit the debate, sort of like the climate debate frame.  You either believe that CO2 produced by humanity causes global warming or you are a climate change denier.  There is no real middle ground and no room for debate beyond those previous agreed conclusions.

In the Case of the Russian Hack Ordeal the frame is that Trump won because of outside interference not because of a change in the voting habits of the citizenry.  If this particular Frame takes then you are either a patriotic American who Believes that Trump won the election with the Help of an  enemy nation or you are a Russian Sympathizer and again there will be no middle ground.  This is the kind of frame that serves as a get out of jail free card for both houses of congress if the Frame takes and that remains to be seen.

Of course, it goes with out sating that I very well could be completely full of shit.  If someone were to accuse me of such I would be forced to admit no contest.

In any case have a better than average day.

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