Loading...
BYH, a hamberder is like a hamburger, except served cold on a silver platter by an idiot....

Yes, Virginia, there is a deep state

Knapp

Thomas Knapp

Loading…

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Since the "Russiagate" probe began, U.S. president Donald Trump and his supporters have used lots of bandwidth raging against what they refer to as the "deep state." Does the deep state exist? If so, what is it, and are its forces arrayed specifically against Donald Trump and his administration?

Yes, the deep state exists — probably more so at one end of its numerous definitions and less so at the other, but to some degree at both ends.

At the seemingly more benign end, the deep state is simply what one might think of as the "permanent government" — the army of bureaucrats and functionaries whose careers span multiple administrations. Like all career employees of large organizations as groups, they tend to fear and resist change, and their sheer mass has an inertial effect. They energetically do things the old way and drag their feet on new things.

At the end dismissed by mainstream commentators as "conspiracy theory," the deep state is an invisible second government which acts in a coordinated manner to protect its prerogatives and advance its interests and favored policies versus changes supposedly demanded by "the people" via their elected representatives in Congress and the presidency. The premier example of this view is the claim that John F. Kennedy was assassinated by the CIA and the military industrial complex because (in one version) he was about to get the U.S. out of Vietnam.

If that end of the spectrum sounds crazy to you, consider:

Former FBI attorney Lisa Page and former FBI deputy counterintelligence chief Peter Strzok, while working on a pre-election investigation into alleged collusion between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and the Russian government, exchanged text messages with incendiary content such as "there's no way [Trump] gets elected — but I'm afraid we can't take that risk."

In mid-May, it emerged that an FBI informant approached two or three (reports vary) advisers to Trump's campaign during the same period to pry into those advisers' alleged ties to the Russian government.

Is President Trump stretching the reports we've seen when he tweets "Reports are there was indeed at least one FBI representative implanted, for political purposes, into my campaign for president. It took place very early on, and long before the phony Russia Hoax became a 'hot' Fake News story?"

Well, maybe. But not by much. On any fair reading, those two stories combined do look a lot like the second definition of deep state skulduggery. The FBI was meddling in — acting to influence or in extremis overturn — a U.S. presidential election (sound familiar?). The messages between Page and Strzok color that meddling as intentional bureau political action, not as incidental investigative fallout which just happened to touch on the election.

While I disagree with President Trump on most issues, it's hard to disagree with him when he rails against a transparently political witch hunt that has dragged on for more than a year visibly and for months before that beneath the surface. The deep state is real. And dangerous.

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Op Ed

January 16, 2019

As you may have heard by now, there was a rather maddening side story to the veto override votes that took place during the week between Christmas and New Year's Day at the North Carolina General Assembly. As commentator Thomas Mills rightfully pointed out on the website Politics NC, had all…

Rob Schofield

January 16, 2019

Here are a couple of easy immigration questions — answerable with a simple "yes" or "no" — we might ask any American of any political stripe: Does everyone in the world have a right to live in the U.S.? Do the American people have a right, through their elected representatives, to…

Walter Williams

January 15, 2019

LOS ANGELES TIMES

With the conspicuous exception of President Trump and some of his supporters, Americans were appalled when it was revealed that Russian “troll farms” had launched a disinformation campaign on social media designed to influence the 2016 election. But online deception…

January 15, 2019

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., defeated Democrat Deborah Ross in 2016 in a race infused with $55 million in outside money.

We already knew North Carolina’s senior U.S. senator was awash in NRA cash. We already knew the pro-gun group spent $5.6 million in 2016 against his Democratic opponent,…

Senate 2016 North Carolina Debate-2

January 15, 2019

According to the headline at CNN, "Trump bears most blame for shutdown."

But according to the CNN/SSRS poll the story is based on, the question asked was "Who do you think is more responsible for the government shutdown?" (emphasis mine).

Those are two entirely different questions. "Blame" is only…

Knapp

January 15, 2019

If you drive into downtown Raleigh from the north, some of the first buildings you'll see are boarded-up, dilapidated brick structures on the left side of Dawson Street.

"Downtown Raleigh's supposed to have a booming real-estate market," you might think to yourself. "Surely a developer would want…

Colin Campbell

January 14, 2019

Chicago Tribune

December saw many of us nestled inside watching romantic Hallmark Channel movies, but January brings a counterpunch: a twisted Lifetime saga of sexual abuse and control. Not romance-gone-wrong escapism, this is a six-part documentary: “Surviving R. Kelly,” an examination…

January 14, 2019

Two years into his presidency, Donald Trump is still trying to convince Congress to cough up billions of hard-earned tax dollars to build his wall on the southern border with Mexico.

He originally promised voters that Mexico would pay for the 2,000-mile concrete wall, and his supporters swallowed…

lambro2

January 14, 2019

Over the past eight years, conservative lawmakers have done much to constrain the excesses, expenses, and abuses of governmental power in North Carolina. They have cut taxes, controlled spending, slashed regulations, and increased the cost-effectiveness of services by introducing more choice and…

john hood.jpg

January 13, 2019

As we predicted two weeks ago, “In the end, he [Pres. Trump] may resort to pulling funds out of the Pentagon to pay for his wall.” Now he is claiming a state of emergency exists on the Mexican border so he can do just that.

He says he can go to the Pentagon and get money for his wall,…

douglascohn.jpg
322 stories in Op Ed. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 33
        Next Page»   Last Page»