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The Deep State Digs Deeper

Original Article

As we approach Martin Luther King Day, it seems timely to reflect on King’s statement from a Birmingham jail in 1963 that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Arguably, the greatest injustice and worst crime against the democratic republic of the United States is for an elite cadre to engineer and attempt to carry out a coup that subverts the government elected by the people.

But that injustice has just happened! A crime that makes Watergate look like Romper Room has been carried out by public figures, whose names we all recognize, but who are also part of the “Deep State.”

Some in the Deep State work openly, such as those in permanent bureaucracies of Washington, D.C., while others — notably political appointees — typically operate behind the scenes. Probably most Deep State players believe they are part of a positive vanguard rather than a shadowy conspiracy. Being generally progressive and collectivist in their orientation, Deep State players generally know what to think, say, and do without being under control or receiving any directives.

Elements of a Deep State have been around for many decades — even dating back to the early Progressive era with roots prior to the Woodrow Wilson presidency. But machinations of the Deep State became overt and obvious during the Obama Administration, much like what happened during FDR’s tenure, when numerous federal government agencies were riddled with Americans who had become agents or agents of influence for the Soviet Union.

Many in government who would be considered part of the Deep State think of themselves as having a role in the forward looking elite, and so are open to a postmodern perspective, which is a philosophical framework in which reality is seen as a human construct rather than one defined by objective or independent facts or a connection to past history. Postmodernists typically embrace a “global” perspective, which puts them at odds with the U.S. Constitution and things like borders and American exceptionalism. And because postmodernists believe that truth and reality are human constructs, which are relative rather than absolute or fixed by higher authority — such as the Bible used for swearing in high-level government appointees — they also presuppose that making judgments about the law, truth, and falsehood is subjective and changeable. As Bill Clinton aptly put it, “It depends on what the definition of is is.”

The Deep State also has roots in what was described in 2010 by scholar Angelo Codevilla as the “Ruling Class” in Washington, D.C., whose chief pretension is its intellectual superiority and the corollary that the vast majority of Americans are “unfit to run their own lives.” For Hillary Clinton, these are “the deplorables.” Barack Obama describes them as those who “cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them…”

Prominent leaders in the Deep State believe they are the elect — superior to the masses and deserving to be above the law. Which is, of course, why they prefer and count on a two-tiered justice system for immunity from prosecution for law-breaking.

Members of the Deep State may pay lip service to the founders and the Constitution, but in practice they’re more comfortable with Saul Alinsky, whose “Rules for Radicals” provide the apologetics for all the ways in which the ends justify the means. For Alinsky, deceit and law breaking were standard methods of operation. It’s noteworthy that both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were Alinsky fans. Obama taught and led Alinskyite community organizing in Chicago, while Hillary established a personal relationship with Alinsky after writing her senior thesis at Wellesley College, entitled, “There is Only the Fight… An Analysis of the Alinsky Model.”

The Deep State also enjoys a cozy, symbiotic and vital relationship with the mainstream media, which it has helped corrupt, and which can be counted on to pursue stories incorporating government leaks, sensationalism, sleaze, or a politically correct angle. The media are indispensable in providing the means for propagating Deep State disinformation and false narratives, such as that of an alleged video being the cause the Benghazi, Libya terrorist attack, in which Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others were killed.

Members of the Deep State trust and use the media to leak politically charged information, such as what outgoing FBI director James Comey did with his memo to assure the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate alleged Trump-Russian collusion. The Washington Post describes Comey and Mueller as “brothers in arms… who were mentored and guided by Eric Holder in the 1990s during Holder’s time in the Justice Department under the Clinton administration.”

The media also have the unique ability to distract the public from the real and important stories — such as those disclosing government corruption — by simply crowding those stories out. The Deep State understands the importance of the long view — both in defanging scandal by making it old news and in running out the clock on statute of limitations in the event one or more of their own might face indictment. Additionally, the media can be counted on to emphasize form over substance in a variety of ways — such as focusing on leaders’ fashion and manner of speaking rather than the content of what they say and do. Last, the media routinely provide little or no historical context in news stories, a practice that exploits the public’s limited memory of such.

People forget that the first Cabinet member to be held in contempt of Congress in U.S. history was Obama’s first attorney general Eric Holder, who was voted by Congress (255 to 67) in contempt over his failure to turn over documents related to the “Fast and Furious” gun-running operation that ended in the death of a border patrol agent, Brian Terry.

As 2012 — reelection year for Barack Obama — approached, Lois Lerner, the director of the Exempt Organizations Unit of the Internal Revenue Service, authorized in Deep State fashion the suppression of over 100 conservative and Tea Party organizations by denying and delaying the processing of their applications for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status and their attendant 501(c)(4) political advocacy rights. This “silencing” action alone may have assured the reelection of Obama, who was suffering low poll numbers and vulnerability from the then recent Benghazi controversy, a lousy economy, and the unpopular Obamacare law he muscled through by deceiving voters with the lie that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan,” and outright political bribery to get decisive votes from Nebraska and Louisiana senators, who were promised huge sums of aid from a federal government, which was, at the time, running a trillion dollar deficit.

Lois Lerner’s stonewalling, her refusal and inability to turn over most of her emails requested by the Congressional committee during the investigation — allegedly because those emails had become inaccessible due to Lerner’s hard drive crashing along with an additional 400 electronic backup tapes failing or being destroyed — was anything but credible. In the end, her denial to testify, citing her rights under the Fifth Amendment, told Americans all they needed to know. And with absolutely no consequences for Lerner, this operation served as a prelude — a warm-up of sorts — for an escalation of the Deep State efforts to influence and throw the 2016 election to Obama’s likely successor Hillary Clinton through active measure-type operations to manipulate public opinion against the Republican opponent.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves. First, a cursory overview of a few of the high crimes committed by Hillary Clinton prior to her presidential candidacy. The actions that Hillary took while serving as Secretary of State in the Obama administration, and the cover-ups that followed — were enabled and made possible by Deep State actors, notably CIA director John Brennan, former UN Ambassador and National Security Advisor Susan Rice, FBI director James Comey; FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe; FBI deputy head of counter intelligence Peter Strzok; and Attorney Generals Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch — to name just some key players.

When Hillary became secretary of state, she deliberately chose not to follow the standard protocol of using secure government communication networks like every other high level government official. Instead, she decided to install and use a private computer server and email address — actions about which she was warned at the outset of her service as secretary of state as being against the law and compromising the safety of sensitive government communication from the increased risk of hacking and security breaches. It turns out that President Obama’s decision at that time to forgo the appointment of an Inspector General at the State Department also contributed to the lack of detection of and opposition to Hillary’s private unsecure communication network.

Later it would become obvious that Hillary insisted on establishing that private email server — locating it in the basement of her personal residence in Chappaqua, N.Y. — for the purpose of circumventing federal government record-keeping laws and FOIA discovery, and avoiding accountability and public scrutiny of conflicts of interest while secretly lining the coffers of the Clinton Foundation with enormous sums from the very governments and parties with whom she was also interfacing as secretary of state. Secretary of state Clinton was also a key Obama cabinet member on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)to sign off on the Uranium One sale, in which the Russian government obtained 20% of the American uranium supply. Subsequently, the Clinton Foundation received the collective sum of $145 million from the various Russian agencies and oligarchs who benefited from that deal.

In 2015 — three years after Hillary stepped down as secretary of state to prepare to make her run for U.S. president, she was asked to testify before the Congressional subcommittee investigating the Benghazi terrorist attack. Her private unsecure email server had been hidden from the public for more than six years, but through those protracted hearings it was learned that she not only committed a serious national security crime of storing classified and top secret information on an unsecured server in an unsafe location, but that she also authorized the destruction of evidence — some 33,000 emails — after she had been put on notice of that information being subpoenaed. These were felonies with stiff jail time penalties. And according to legal experts, Hillary violated at least eight additional laws for which she could also be indicted and serve significant prison time if found guilty.

When Donald Trump became the Republican nominee to challenge Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the spring of 2016, the Deep State went into overdrive. Trump after all was unconventional, an outsider seemingly committed to law and order, draining the D.C. swamp, supporting the integrity of the U.S. borders, and simply putting America first. Because he was an unpredictable direct threat to the globalist, self-dealing-business-as-usual agenda, the Deep State could take no chances of a possible Trump victory in November.

The Deep State tried to destroy Trump through three unprecedented actions: 1) To find compromising information to pin on Trump, there was massive unmasking of the identity of American citizens gleaned from the National Security Agency’s “incidental intercepts of Americans abroad search protocol,” with a focus on those who interacted with Trump and Russians — an initiative largely authorized and facilitated by National Security Advisor Susan Rice; 2) There was a false anti-Trump narrative created with contractual help from former British MI6 intelligence officer Christopher Steele (paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC) in the form of dossier to be leaked to the media to destroy Trump’s reputation; and 3) Then there was a political weaponization of the FISA courts using that same dossier to authorize U.S. intelligence agencies to spy on Trump and his people, undertaken after the NSA Director Mike Rogers countered the Deep State by shutting down the unmasking efforts.

But these efforts by the Deep State failed. Trump decisively defeated Hillary, winning the November 8, 2016 election and became the 45th President of the United States.

After inauguration, the Deep State’s fear of being able to stop Trump and the fear of exposure of their crimes caused greater Deep State angst. National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn was entrapped right out of the gate in what appeared to be contradictory statements to the FBI. Unrelenting hostile media coverage contributed to low morale and high turnover among personnel and cabinet members in the Trump administration. Notwithstanding, President Trump’s first two years were remarkably successful. Most notably on domestic policy, Trump has made a record number of appointments to the judiciary: 30 judges to Circuit Court of Appeals, 53 District Court judges, and 2 Supreme Court justices — creating a Constitutionalist 5-4 majority. He also engineered a strong economic recovery through record deregulation and tax reform. On trade and foreign policy Trump has undertaken more initiatives and delivered more results across multiple fronts in the first two years than any of his predecessors in recent memory.

As 2019 unfolds, the third year of his presidency, Trump now faces challenges on every side, compounded by the Democrat takeover of the House of Representatives. The two most important initiatives — unfinished business from Trump’s campaign promises — are to secure the southern border of United States and deliver on draining the swamp.

Business as usual under both Democrat and Republican administrations has brought us unsustainable levels of federal debt and a government riddled with the self-dealing and corruption by career politicians and people associated with the Deep State. The years of obfuscation, lack of accountability, subterfuge, and law evasion by figures associated with the Deep State appointed during Obama administration has numbed many Americans into a kind of “group think” acceptance of government corruption and abuse of power.

But the situation will get worse without law enforcement resulting in high level prosecutions and penalties. Many people intuitively understand that America’s greatness cannot be restored without a cleansing of political corruption. Moreover, the failed Deep State coup to subvert the will of the people and bring down a duly elected president is simply a bridge too far on a path to becoming a banana republic tyranny.

Old Testament scripture from 2 Chronicles 7:14 reminds us that “if my people… shall humble themselves, and pray…and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

What’s needed in 2019 is the unsealing and issuance of indictments and the commencement of trial prosecutions of Deep State lawbreakers. This may add to the turmoil of already uncertain times, but in the end Americans can take heart in knowing that if we simply restore the Constitutional principle of “equal justice under law,” the very phrase etched in stone at the center of the grand entryway to the United States Supreme Court building in Washington, we will have the essential reset to continue progress in making America great again.

Scott S. Powell

Senior Fellow, Center on Wealth and Poverty
Scott Powell has enjoyed a career split between theory and practice with over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and rainmaker in several industries. He joins the Discovery Institute after having been a fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution for six years and serving as a managing partner at a consulting firm, RemingtonRand. His research and writing has resulted in over 250 published articles on economics, business and regulation. Scott Powell graduated from the University of Chicago with honors (B.A. and M.A.) and received his Ph.D. in political and economic theory from Boston University in 1987, writing his dissertation on the determinants of entrepreneurial activity and economic growth.