The unmentioned dark lessons of RussiaGate

Summary: My previous two posts about Andrew McCarthy’s Ball of Collusion showed how it could spark reform of American. Now we look at what RussiaGate means for us. These are insights obvious but seldom mentioned. We close our eyes before sights that are too bright to see – or (as in this case) too dark to contemplate.

“When the plot is ripe it remains no longer secret.”
— Gandolf the Grey in The Two Towers of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

Black King victorious on a chessboard - Dreamstime-117231082
ID 117231082 © Milkos | Dreamstime.

Dark lessons from Ball of Collusion:
The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency

By Andrew McCarthy (published on 13 August 2019).
He is a former Deputy US Marshall and Asst. US District Attorney.

With RussiaGate, the Deep State exerted its power to destroy or at least cripple Trump. It succeeded, but at the cost of revealing itself to the greatest exent since the Church Committee hearings in 1975. Will this have the same light and transitory effect? For RussiaGate has shown how the Deep State has grown powerful beyond the nightmares of most Americans, and that it now seeks to change our government to better suit its needs.

McCarthy has documented this beyond any reasonable standard of proof. Ball of Collusion is probably the finest feat of prosecutorial research and presentation in his career.

McCarthy assembled the pieces of RussiaGate. Some are known to most Americans. Some are known only to those who followed it either professionally or obsessively. The previous posts mentioned a few of his bombshell revelations. I recommend reading the book to see the amazing picture.

Let us turn to what this means for America’s future.

The Deep State won

With stunning boldness, officials of the Deep State – with their allies in the Democratic Party and enablers in the news media – claim that Russia was influencing the 2016 election. McCarthy clearly shows that the truth was the opposite of that.

Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency
Available at Amazon.

“Chicanery was the force behind the formal opening of the FBI’s Trump–Russia investigation. There was a false premise, namely that the Trump campaign must have known that Russia possessed emails somehow related to Hillary Clinton before WikiLeaks caused the dissemination of hacked Democratic National Committee emails to the media, beginning on July 22, 2016.

“Starting from that premise, the foreign ministries of the United States and Australia, through mendacity or incompetence, erected a fraudulent story that warped the Trump campaign’s purported foreknowledge of Russia’s perfidy into a potential espionage conspiracy.”

Officials continued their open attacks on Trump after the election. By January 21016, the long investigation had found nothing showing improper collusion of Trump or his campaign staff with Russia – or any efforts by Russia to assist Trump. Revelations in the infamous Steele Dossier had proven either false or impossible to validate (some may have been Russian disinformation to damage Trump), as had the many other stories circulated by Trump opponents during the election.

Yet on 20 March 2017, FBI Director Comey’s testimony to the House Intelligence Committee clearly stated that they had grounds to investigate Trump’s ties to Russia. This led to the appointment of Special Prosecutor Mueller, who continued this political operation (feeding leaks to journalists), until eventually admitting that he had nothing showing collusion – but lots of innuendoes, some blatantly fake.

Presidential administrations have the greatest strength at the start, during the first golden year. RussiaGate consumed much of Team Trump’s attention, tarnished its reputation with the public, and provided its foes with an almost unlimited supply of (mostly fake) dirt to throw.

Now you’re guilty until proven innocent

The presumption of innocence is a fundamental part of western law going back to the sixth century’s Code of Justinian. It is a casualty of Mueller’s hunt for Trump. McCarthy explains that this is perhaps the most dangerous precedent from RussiaGate.

“{T}he most indecorous aspect of the report prepared by Robert Mueller’s staff of Democratic partisans is its constitutionally repugnant shifting of the burden of proof. If you are a Trump associate, the prosecutor won’t leave it at ‘we have insufficient evidence to charge a crime, so we remain mum,’ as prosecutors are supposed to do.

“Mueller’s approach is to taint with innuendo – exactly what a prosecutor is not supposed to do. Not ‘we don’t have proof to charge a crime’; Mueller’s staff says, in effect, ‘We can’t exonerate you – there are unanswered questions here’ – as if it were an American’s burden to prove his innocence rather than the prosecutor’s to establish wrongdoing.”

Leftists chortle with glee that Mueller did not exonerate Trump, oblivious to the certainty that this new weapon eventually will be used against them.

“So this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause.”
— Padme in Revenge of the Sith.

The Deep State can act without fear of consequences

The list of laws and regulations broken by government officials in the past two years is long. Plus the lies. I will bet that there will be no penalties. The ability to break the law in public for obvious political gain while cheered by the press and applauded by one of the two major parties – that is power.

How long until another president spits on the policies of our ruling elites as Trump did in the 2016 election? As president, he ruled as their faithful satrap. He enacted policies more hostile to Russia than Obama’s  (e.g., tighter and broader sanctions). He massively boosted military spending beyond its previous mad peaks. He intensified the war in Afghanistan (US combat deaths have hit a 5-year high). He expanded Africom – the new frontier for foreign wars (two new bases, more involvement in the Tunesian war). All for naught. The Deep State will whip him until it pleases them to stop – pour encourager les autres (to encourage the others).


The Deep State has grown in the shadows for many generations, since WWII or before. Now, like a monster in the Godzilla films, it breaks out into the open to walk the land. That is a sign of its growing confidence. Rightly so, as our apathy and passivity make it powerful, perhaps invulnerable.

RussiaGate is a milestone on the road to a new political regime for America. After a milestone comes …another milestone. The Deep State has crippled a president, a heady triumph. Its people have learned much from the experience about how to use their power – and the public’s acceptance of it.

What are the limits of their power? What are the limits to our acceptance of their extralegal activities? Time will provide answers, as the Deep State acts again and again – on a larger and larger scale. Perhaps the next time we will catch on more quickly. Not that it matters either way, so long as we acquiesce to their machinations.s

Excerpts from the book

My series about this important book

  1. The final act of RussiaGate – in which we’re the stars.
  2. Some revelations from RussiaGate that can change America.
  3. Unmentioned dark lessons from RussiaGate.
  4. Reviewing Ball of Collusion.

For More Information

Ideas! For some shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon.

Please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more information see all posts about RussiaGate, about the Mueller report, about ways to reform America’s politics, and especially these …

  1. A review of Russiagate, its propaganda and the hysteria.
  2. Secrets untold about the DNC hack, the core of RussiaGate.
  3. Debunking RussiaGate, attempts to stop the new Cold War.
  4. RussiaGate: fragments of a story large beyond imagining.
  5. The RussiaGate story implodes. The Left burns with it – by Glen Ford at the Black Agenda Report.
  6. Peter van Buren shows the path to RussiaGate.
  7. The best analysis of RussiaGate: its effects & results – By Emmet T. Flood, special counsel to the President.
  8. Craig Murray reveals the mysteries of Mueller’s investigation.
  9. The next step: finding the origins of the RussiaGate op.

Books revealing the Deep State

I strongly recommend reading The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government by Mike Lofgren (2016). See the Forward to it. See my review of it.

The American Deep State: Big Money, Big Oil, and the Struggle for U.S. Democracy by Peter Dale Scott, former Canadian diplomat and professor emeritus at Berkeley (2017). See his website.

The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government
Available at Amazon.
The American Deep State: Big Money, Big Oil, and the Struggle for U.S. Democracy
Available at Amazon.


23 thoughts on “The unmentioned dark lessons of RussiaGate”

  1. LK, After reading all three installments of your now complete? series on Ball of Collusion, I still do not clearly understand your own definition of the Deep State, and how it differs–if it does–from the book’s author, and especially the version of the Deep State being sold by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and all Alt-Right so-called social media “news” sites.

    I did find one mention of the “bipartisan” nature of your (and the author’s?) perception of the DS in the second installment, but otherwise still remain unclear what individuals and entities you and/or the author of B of C would include in the DS.

    I personally am inclined to agree that it is indeed bipartisan, as elucidated by one of your recurrently referenced books by Thomas Frank, “What’s the Matter with Kansas” as well as by his more recent book “Listen Liberal.”

    I also commonly refer to America’s ruling elites as the “Demo-publican Ruling Class Establishment.”

    I am also not nearly as impressed as you seem to be–noting you have read it, and I have not–if the book itself so blithely ignores, as your review of it seems to do, the now unprecedented mis- and malfeasance, and outright illegalities–or at least clear constitutional violations–of which the Trump administration is clearly guilty, IMO, unless and until proven innocent, IMO–which all occurred AFTER Trump’s election.

    Also not mentioned in your review of the book is the vast treasure trove of public information that long pre-existed not only the Mueller investigation, but Trump’s announcement of his candidacy in 2015–including what I regard as at least clear and convincing evidence of how and why Trump has been beholden to Russian oligarchs and kleptocrats dating back to the 1980s.

    So, in an attempt to help you help me, and perhaps other readers as well, better understand just exactly how you perceive and define the Deep State–and to help you clearly differentiate your view from the Alt-Right version–what follows are a couple of quotes from Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the US”, followed by the publisher’s description of one of the two books you recommended at the end of each installment of the B of C series.

    If you have the time and interest, please consider better specifying, in your own words, your perception of the Deep State, and why you think it is and should differ from the standard Faux Noise alternative. For example, I personally preface any reference to the DS as the “Corporate (or wealthy special interest)-Owned” Deep State in my own writing.


    PS – Also thanks for the excellent summary of labor union history in the US, which I am sharing “liberally.”

    1. Thomas,

      “I am also not nearly as impressed as you seem to be–noting you have read it, and I have not–if the book itself so blithely ignores …”

      Why would you make such a weird conclusion? These posts are a few thousand words about a 350 page book. My posts clearly say that they deal with a few things from the book.

      “Also not mentioned in your review of the book …”

      First, these are not reviews. They don’t say they are reviews, and don’t contain the key elements of reviews. I’ll be writing a review. Second, again – why would you think this mentions all the major subjects in this book?

      Re: deep state

      The far Left (e.g., you) and far-right have their fun and fantastic conspiracy theories. Most other people use “deep state” to refer to the senior people in the core national security apparatus – intelligence and law-enforcement – plus elements of the DoD and State. The Deep State was born in WWII (with earlier roots) and grew to maturity in the Cold War.

      They have proved to be both highly secret and very powerful. We know little about them. Think of the giant sandworms in Dune, usually seen only by the movement of sand on the surface that shows their passage deep below. They concealed what happened to JFK – 6 decades later, we still don’t know! The FBI and CIA brought down Nixon. The 1975 Church committee hearings provided extensive documentation about its workings – but raised more questions than answers, and proved ineffective at harnessing them.

      1. The left is so myopic it gets tiring. They erect bogeymen out of businessmen who grow political careers out of their wealth, yet they ignore politicians who magically build wealth out of their altruistic political careers (ex. All the rich are republicans, don’t you know.

        It isn’t about the money. It is about the power … of which money is just a part.

        There is also this anti-conspiracy putsch. A great example is the series “House of Cards”, where the president is simply the most brilliantly smart and strategic narcissist playing king of the hill. I am sorry, but there are very powerful interests at play. Magnitudes bigger than each player. Rugged political individualists don’t have a chance. They all have to play into the bigger picture. (Extra Credit: Epstein is about a lot more than diddling children.)

        I am ranting all over the map here, but yeah there is a deep state. The dems were the leaders for the last 8, so their ox is getting gored. The deep state true believers, such as I, know that Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama were all players and figure heads.

      2. citizen,

        “but yeah there is a deep state.”

        As Orwell said, political terms tend to lose their meaning. The Deep State is a narrow concept. It does not mean, as you imply, that ruling political structure of the US. Every nation has one, and it ties together the major power centers. Sometimes tightly, sometimes in an uneasy alliance. States where that does not happen often collapse into failed states.

        One factor distinguishing systems is the degree of citizen input and even control (i.e., where there are citizens, not subjects). In the US, citizens have become apathetic and passive. So special interests have stepped in to rule. That’s inevitable, the Great Ciricle of Life. Our response has been to whine, as if anybody cares.

        “know that Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama were all players and figure heads.”

        That’s quite false. The leader of an organization is seldom a figurehead, but even more seldom is God. There is the organization’s culture, embedded in its organizational structure and people – a powerful constraint. There are the other senior managers, and often some kind of oversight group (for corps, directors and shareholders). For the US government, power is even more diffuse. But that does not mean that those men did not wield vast powers. Bush Jr. in particular should be on Mt. Rushmore for his role shaping America (in Hell, also, imo).

        “who magically build wealth”

        Color me unsympathetic. Americans expect people to run a trillion-dollar operation for peanuts (relatively), esp compared to the income of other leaders in America. It’s one of our more pernicious delusions. We would be better off paying them adequately and making other sources of income illegal – with heavy penalties.

      3. Why would I ask what you perceive as such a “weird” question? To elicit yet another snarky answer from my favorite self-perceived pedant, of course! But instead of attempting to answer my question in more depth and detail–or with at least more nuance–after reading what you are convinced is THEE definitive book on the subject, what did you do?

        You took umbrage at the minutiae of the word I chose (“review”) to describe whatever you call your three-part summary? analysis? advertisement? of or for what you insist is THEE last word on the subject of Russia-gate.

        You then predictably defaulted to your usual pretentious derision based on your simplistically stereotyped loons on the so-called left, and your condescending caricature of the rubes on the so-called right, who–as usual–you insist cannot see the forest for the trees, even though you started your attempt to answer my questions by obsessing about just that–a couple of trees, instead of the forest, which you claim the author of Ball of Collusion and, by extension, you now pedantically claim to understand better than anyone.

        When you finally got around to trying to answer my actual questions, you then default to what you claim “most other people” perceive and define as the Deep State. Oh really, LK? Pray tell, do you now claim to know what “most other people” perceive and define as the DS? And if so, what is the source of your self-perceived omniscience this time? Do you have access to the same all-knowing source every time you claim to “know it all”?

        Or do you have a variety of purportedly “super-intelligent” sources from which you randomly pick and choose when you make yet another pejorative “holier-than-thou” put-down of yet another perennially perceived stupid comment from one of your 11 regular readers–or so it seems to you from the imaginary lofty perch from which you cast judgement on the perceived lesser intellects you presume are sufficiently stupid to believe your pretentious preening–aka the vanity project you call a blog.

        In short, thanks again for not answering my question–yet again!

        Hardly yours,

        Your least favorite ANTI-Demopublican so-called “liberal”

        PS – I expect your very best snark in response, LK.

        Why? Because I get no pleasure from battles of wit with unarmed men, of course! ;)

      4. Thomas,

        Your reply is all snark. Please try, just for fun, what I did you the courtesy of doing. Give a direct quote and respond to it. Explain why you believe it is wrong. I’m sure you can do it!

      5. Yet more misdirection, LK?

        Your full metal jacket of weapons of mass distraction is impressive, indeed!

        OK, I’m game. Let’s play YOUR game.

        After asserting that B of C is THEE definitive book on the subject of the Deep State, the best answer to my question–asking how do YOU define the DS– is to tell me what you think “most others think.”

        Can’t get much more “authoritative” than that, now can we? ;)

        The third quote I included after my first comment above was copied verbatim from the publisher’s summary of one of the two other books you claim are definitive on the subject.

        But not only did you NOT comment on its relevance to my question to you, you apparently just “plucked from the air”–aka PFA–some other bland, apolitical generic DS definition from where, I have no idea, but which you claim is THEE definition of the DS according to “most other people.”

        I think if you want to be that lazy, you could at least cite the definition of DS from Websters or maybe the OED, for example.

        But I digress.

        Based on your three-part description or summary or advertisement of or for B of C, it seems you think the “truths” revealed in B of C should now be all we need to know to finally “take action”–IF, as usual, you think we want to reclaim our role as citizens rather than just passive/aggressive consuming subjects.

        Yet not only do you NOT clearly elucidate the ostensible “prime directive” or MO of the either deeply apolitical or bipartisan or non-partisan Deep State you and/or the author perceive, you also provide absolutely zero guidance or even possible suggestions for what exactly your hoped-for newly empowered citizens who read B of C can and should DO about what exactly? vote? lobby? petition? fight? change? control? overthrow? boycott? assassinate? tune in, turn on, and drop out?

        You also completely ignore the even slightly larger contemporary context within which I posed my question, i.e. the all too real reality of Trump, both since he became our fake president, and well before he finally decided to run for president in 2015–as if all of this is irrelevant to everything you said in your three-part series, or that you think it should be irrelevant because why? Does it muddy the otherwise crystal-clarity of what you see as the otherwise pristine lucidity of B of C?

        If so, I can only imagine how “blinding” it might be–to both the author and yourself–if I tried to frame this discussion in an even larger and more comprehensive “big picture” context, including not only the more distant (pre-WW2) past and present, but also a much wider and longer-term range of alternative future scenarios.

        But since you author a blog, instead of books, I will hope for your best possible response within the constraints of the format you choose to impart your perceived omniscience.

      6. Thomas,

        Thank you for providing some specifics.

        “Yet not only do you NOT clearly elucidate the ostensible “prime directive” or MO of the either deeply apolitical or bipartisan or non-partisan Deep State”

        I don’t claim to know that. How could I know that? RussiaGate is amazing in that we get some evidence that the Deep State exists. Don’t expect too much. We know almost nothing more than that.

        “you also provide absolutely zero guidance or even possible suggestions for what exactly your hoped-for newly empowered citizens who read B of C can and should DO about what exactly? ”

        This is a thousand word post focused on one specific subject, not the master guide to US politics. For such answers turn to the For More Information section. That’s what it is for! You will find a link that goes to a list of posts that give you some suggestions.

        “You also completely ignore the even slightly larger contemporary context within which I posed my question”

        That is a common objection, and one of the most pointless. This is a long-form post – several-fold longer than most blog posts on the internet, and too long for most readers (the average dwell time on a post is a few minutes). There are scores, hundreds, even thousands of things not discussed in this. That is unavoidable.

        I pick a subject and write a sketch about it. That’s all these are. After all, McCarthy wrong 300 pages about this subject and didn’t discuss all those larger questions.

      7. Thanks for that non-snarky reponse! ;) Re your first comment, it is surprising that you still maintain that the prime directive of the DS is unknown, and unknowable–at least so far–when you also recommend another book on the subject (a summary of which I posted above) that DOES claim to know both the nature and the purpose of the DS! This makes your gushing over B of C as THEE definitive work on this subject even more puzzling to me.

        Re your assertion that you offer plenty of advice in past posts about how wannabe citizens can reclaim their birthright from their passive-aggressive consumer selves, that may be true in the sense you claim B of C does clearly elucidates just exactly what it–the DS–“is” that “We the People” are up against.

        Yet in your next breath, you assert neither you nor even the author of B of C claim to know WHY the DS exists, and what its ultimate purpose is, even though I think one does not need to attempt to write the definitive book on the DS to suspect that the motives of the DS are little different than wannabe rich and powerful individuals and groups throughout human history–

        or at least that relatively small portion of it we moderns refer to as the so-called “rise” of so-called “civilization” over the past 10 to 12 thousand years following the invention/discovery of “agriculture”, aka the domestication of plants and animals.

        So how and why do you think “citizen action” of one or more unspecified types can be effective and successful in the absence of an accurate understanding of the motives of the DS?

        This strikes me as at least self-contradictory, if not hypocritical. Do you disagree? And, if so, why?

        Re your last comment about the B of C author himself, it is even more remarkable to me that you regard his work as the “best” you have read on the subject when–in more than 300 pages–he does not even attempt to situate his evidence and conclusions in the much larger historical AND futuristic political and socio-economic context I described above.

        IMO, I would personally regard a book that DOES situation its analysis in a much larger past, present, and futureS context as THEE best book on the subject, and that the other two books you recommend do a somewhat better job of analyzing the DS in a larger context than B of C apparently does, at least based on your description of it.

        I will close by also calling attention to two other sources that immediately come to my mind–the first of which I think also better addresses the history and purpose of what we now call the American DS, while the second better explains Trumps ties, and debts, to Russian oligarchs/kleptocrats LONG before he finally decided to pursue the presidency in 2015.

        Mahalo and Aloha!

    2. “This expanded edition of Perkins’s classic bestseller brings the story of economic hit men (EHMs) up to date and, chillingly, home to the US. Over 40 percent of the book is new, including chapters identifying today’s EHMs and a detailed chronology extensively documenting EHM activity since the first edition was published in 2004.

      Former economic hit man John Perkins shares new details about the ways he and others cheated countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. Then he reveals how the deadly EHM cancer he helped create has spread far more widely and deeply than ever in the US and everywhere else to become the dominant system of business, government, and society today.

      Finally, he gives an insider view of what we each can do to change it.

      Economic hit men are the shock troops of what Perkins calls the corporatocracy, a vast network of corporations, banks, colluding governments, and the rich and powerful people tied to them. If the EHMs can’t maintain the corrupt status quo through nonviolent coercion, the jackal assassins swoop in.

      The heart of this book is a completely new section, over 100 pages long, that exposes the fact that all the EHM and jackal tools false economics, false promises, threats, bribes, extortion, debt, deception, coups, assassinations, unbridled military power are used around the world today exponentially more than during the era Perkins exposed over a decade ago.

      The material in this new section ranges from the Seychelles, Honduras, Ecuador, and Libya to Turkey, Western Europe, Vietnam, China, and, in perhaps the most unexpected and sinister development, the United States, where the new EHMs bankers, lobbyists, corporate executives, and others con governments and the public into submitting to policies that make the rich richer and the poor poorer.

      But as dark as the story gets, this reformed EHM also provides hope. Perkins offers a detailed list of specific actions each of us can take to transform what he calls a failing Death Economy into a Life Economy that provides sustainable abundance for all.”

      1. Thomas,

        Please stay on the topic of the post. Start your own website if you would like to post essays. I’ll moderate further comments if this continues, posting only relevant content.

      2. “Trump’s Russian Laundromat: How to use Trump Tower and other luxury high-rises to clean dirty money, run an international crime syndicate, and propel a failed real estate developer into the White House.”

        By CRAIG UNGER; July 13, 2017

        EXCERPT: “Even without an investigation by Congress or a special prosecutor, there is much we already know about the president’s debt to Russia. A review of the public record reveals a clear and disturbing pattern: Trump owes much of his business success, and by extension his presidency, to a flow of highly suspicious money from Russia.

        “Over the past three decades, at least 13 people with known or alleged links to Russian mobsters or oligarchs have owned, lived in, and even run criminal activities out of Trump Tower and other Trump properties. Many used his apartments and casinos to launder untold millions in dirty money.

        “Some ran a worldwide high-stakes gambling ring out of Trump Tower—in a unit directly below one owned by Trump. Others provided Trump with lucrative branding deals that required no investment on his part.

        “Taken together, the flow of money from Russia provided Trump with a crucial infusion of financing that helped rescue his empire from ruin, burnish his image, and launch his career in television and politics.

        “They saved his bacon,” says Kenneth McCallion, a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Reagan administration who investigated ties between organized crime and Trump’s developments in the 1980s.

        “It’s entirely possible that Trump was never more than a convenient patsy for Russian oligarchs and mobsters, with his casinos and condos providing easy pass-throughs for their illicit riches.

        “At the very least, with his constant need for new infusions of cash and his well-documented troubles with creditors, Trump made an easy “mark” for anyone looking to launder money.

        “But whatever his knowledge about the source of his wealth, the public record makes clear that Trump built his business empire in no small part with a lot of dirty money from a lot of dirty Russians—including the dirtiest and most feared of them all.”

      3. Thomas,

        (1) You should read Ball of Collusion. Unlike the partisan sources you read (pretty exclusively, I suspect), McCarthy documents the flow of Russian money to both Trump and Hillary.

        (2) President Trump enacted policies more hostile to Russia than Obama’s: tighter and broader sanctions, plus a massive boost to military spending beyond its previous mad peaks (including militarization of space and more nukes). He has followed the Cold War II script, perfectly. So what’s your point? Are you happy?

  2. “When the Democrats are attacked for [inciting class warfare] they shrink back. They don’t say what obviously should be said, “Yes, there is class warfare. There has always been class warfare in this country.” The reason the Democrats shrink back is because the Democrats and the Republicans are on the same side of the class war. They have slightly different takes. The Democrats are part of the upper class that is more willing to make concessions to the lower class in order to maintain their power.”

    “When the Democrats are attacked for [inciting class warfare] they shrink back. They don’t say what obviously should be said, “Yes, there is class warfare. There has always been class warfare in this country.” The reason the Democrats shrink back is because the Democrats and the Republicans are on the same side of the class war. They have slightly different takes. The Democrats are part of the upper class that is more willing to make concessions to the lower class in order to maintain their power.”

    “One percent of the nation owns a third (now one half) of the wealth. The rest of the wealth is distributed in such a way as to turn those in the 99 percent against one another: small property owners against the property-less, black against white, native-born against foreign-born, intellectuals and professionals against the uneducated and the unskilled. These groups have resented one another and warred against one another with such vehemence and violence as to obscure their common position as sharers of leftovers in a very wealthy country.”

    1. Oops! Sorry for duplicate posting of first Zinn quote above. What follows is the publisher’s description of “The American Deep State: Big Money, Big Oil, and the Struggle for U.S. Democracy” (2017)

      “Now in a new edition updated through the unprecedented 2016 presidential election, this provocative book makes a compelling case for a hidden “deep state” that influences and often opposes official U.S. policies. Prominent political analyst Peter Dale Scott begins by tracing America’s increasing militarization, restrictions on constitutional rights, and income disparity since World War II.

      “With the start of the Cold War, he argues, the U.S. government changed immensely in both function and scope, from protecting and nurturing a relatively isolated country to assuming ever-greater responsibility for controlling world politics in the name of freedom and democracy. This has resulted in both secretive new institutions and a slow but radical change in the American state itself. He argues that central to this historic reversal were seismic national events, ranging from the assassination of President Kennedy to 9/11.

      “Scott marshals compelling evidence that the deep state is now partly institutionalized in non-accountable intelligence agencies like the CIA and NSA, but it also extends its reach to private corporations like Booz Allen Hamilton and SAIC, to which 70 percent of intelligence budgets are outsourced. Behind these public and private institutions is the influence of Wall Street bankers and lawyers, allied with international oil companies beyond the reach of domestic law.

      “Undoubtedly the political consensus about America’s global role has evolved, but if we want to restore the country’s traditional constitutional framework, it is important to see the role of particular cabals—such as the Project for the New American Century—and how they have repeatedly used the secret powers and network of Continuity of Government (COG) planning to implement change.

      “Yet the author sees the deep state polarized between an establishment and a counter-establishment in a chaotic situation that may actually prove more hopeful for U.S. democracy.”

  3. Sincerest thanks for mentioning the “deep state” conspiracy theory in the first sentence. You saved me from wasting more time reading the rest of it.

    1. Paulo,

      Nobody can read the Church Committee findings and not believe that the US intel community operates to a large extent outside the law, beyond the control of elected officials, and in secrecy. That the reforms sparked by its revelations have been reversed – again quietly – is more evidence of its power. The revelations produced by RussiaGate are consistent with the findings in 1975, but reflect its increased power.

      But we already knew that from the revelations about illegal NSA surveillance of Americans (Snowden, etc), the Wikileaks disclosures, the attempted framing of Steven Hatfill (for which he won, amazingly, $4.6 million in damages) for the odd anthrax attacks that helped pass the Patriot Bill, and a score of other sources.

      Keep those eyes closed! That’s a key trait of pleasant peasants. Meanwhile, America will move on without you.

  4. There’s nothing conspiratorial or fantastical about a dark state. Most, if not all large organizations like governments and corporations have a top layer of bureaucracy composed of lifers who try to operate semi-autonimously from the transients who occupy the CEO position. They operate to advance their vested interests as well as what they perceive as the best interests of the organizations in which they serve.

    1. SDW,

      “Most, if not all large organizations like governments and corporations have a top layer of bureaucracy composed of lifers who try to operate semi-autonimously from the transients who occupy the CEO position. ”

      Yes, but that’s not what is special about the Deep State. Rather, it is that it to a large extent operates outside the law, beyond the control of elected officials, and in secrecy. It is that combination that distinguishes it from the conventional organizational power structure.

      These are the factors that, as said in this post, Americans refuse to see. Doing so would create massive cognitive dissonance between what we know to be our responsibilities as citizens – and the apathy and passivity that are our core traits. Since the late 1960s we have successfully pretended not to see the flow of evidence about the growing power of the Deep State. “The elephant is great and powerful, but prefers to be blind.”

      This is a commonplace in history. It took several generations for Romans to accept that the Republic had died and that they were subjects. They kept the dead forms to hide this change as long as possible.

      My guess – guess – is that this is our future. Meanwhile Left and Right fantasize about the Great Day In the Vague Future When They Rise Up and Smite Their Oppressors. On the Right they do this while fondling their guns.

  5. This is from an English prospective, so may loose something in cultural translation.

    I am not articulate enough to enter the definition of Deep State or growing privilege, so i won’t.

    “When the Democrats are attacked for [inciting class warfare] they shrink back. They don’t say what obviously should be said, “Yes, there is class warfare. There has always been class warfare in this country.” The reason the Democrats shrink back is because the Democrats and the Republicans are on the same side of the class war. They have slightly different takes. The Democrats are part of the upper class that is more willing to make concessions to the lower class in order to maintain their power.”

    Just replace Democrat with Labour for the UK version.

    Years ago after finishing my degree, i taught one summer at an expensive private boarding school a short distance from Cambridge University called Oudle School.

    I met a US Teacher that summer, she had gone to Dartmoor in Seattle, and was taking a year out as a Teacher (non qualified) at Oudle School, her intention was to then do a Bachelor Education and Philosophy and go straight into a Ph.d in Education. She was from a rich US family, mainly academics or lawyers. I remember her Spanish was perfect (maids were selected for language), from one Roman language she had picked up quite good French and Italian, frequent European holidays had helped. I am sure her Lawyer, turned Academic Father and her Academic mother were as left as her. I am also sure they shout as loudly for tenure as they do tax increases on the wealthy.

    The established families go to the same schools for generations, the same tennis or hockey clubs, then the same frats in the Universities, this is the starting point – its not what you know, but who you know.

    Call this the established Deep State, then there are the religious or political Deep States and they mingle and form alliances to further causes.

  6. Sadly, everyone is still neglecting to indicate how the control of things went off the rails while everyone knew what allowed it to grow towards it’s own implosion.

    the needle in the haystack of American Injustice ignored is rule 1.6 confidentiality of information improperly enacted and unconstitutional in each state and federally.

    capable of denying American such a rule of Florida and all constitutional rights with no opportunity for appeal where the court is not permitted to reveal that the rule is even unconstitutional because of the Confidentiality mandate.

    it is a footnote to every rule in the rules of professional conduct for lawyers. It requires the lawyer’s to be liars and they all did brilliantly in front of the world. they exposed the Sedition Amby theerican bar association started in 1983

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