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  • 5 min read

What is Washington’s Deep State

Bill Moyers interviews Mike Lofgren, an employee of the U.S. Congress for 28 years, about what he calls Washington’s Deep State.

“That was how we had deregulation, financialization of the economy. The wall street crack and the erosion of our civil liberties and perpetual war.”

It is not a Natural Evolution. Something made it happen!…

Mike Lofgren talks about a hybrid of the company America and the National Security State. The power that somehow gives Obama, for example, the right to enter Libya. The right to murder American citizens and collect all our telephone directories. An NSA that spent $ 1.7 billion building a facility in Utah, that collects yottabytes of information. A yottabyte is as much information as has ever been written in world history.

Mike Lofgren describes Deep State around the Military Industrial Complex, the U.S. State Department, the Treasury Department, and the symbiotic relationship with Wall Street. Where the flow is not just about money, but a personnel flow, between Wall Street and the Treasury. And one aspect of government that is part of the judiciary, a small part of the judiciary. The so-called Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts, which large parts of Congress, do Not Even Know how works in practice.

FULL INTERVIEW: Deep State Hide in Plain Sight

Video transcript

And you call it the real power in the country 

Correct. It’s a hybrid of corporate america and the national security state. Everyone knows what the military industrial complex is, since Eisenhower talked about it in his farewell address.

“We must carve guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence. Whether sought or unsought by the Military Industrial Complex. The Potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.”

Everyone knows Wall Street and its depredations. Everyone knows how corporate America acts. They’re both about the same thing. They’re both about money, sucking as much money out of the country as they can, and they’re about control. Corporate control and political control. 

You said this in your judgment is the big story of our time.

It is the big story of our time. It is, I would say the Red Thread that runs through the history of the last three decades. It’s how we had deregulation financialization of the economy. The Wall Street bust. The erosion of our civil liberties and perpetual war. 

You write that the secret and unaccountable deep state, floats freely above the gridlock, between both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. Is the paradox of American government in the 21st century? 

Well, that’s just the thing. The common narrative of the last five years and on a superficial level it’s right is that the government is broken it’s dysfunctional its gridlocked well that’s true and that is the visible government. 

The constitutional government we learn about in civics 101 and it is gridlocked. But somehow Obama can go into Libya. He can assassinate US citizens. He can collect all our phone records. Without a bye or leave, from anyone. He can even bring down a jet carrying a president of a sovereign country. Without asking anyone’s permission and no one seems to connect the two.

The failure of our visible constitutional state and this other government that operates according to no constitutional rules or any constraint by the governed.

You go on, to say though that it’s not just the executive branch that is the heart of this that is just one of the several constituencies that make up what you called the deep state. 

Det er alt sammen, den Nationale Sikkerhed, funktioner for regeringen. Det er Pentagon. Det er Homeland Security. Det er Statsafdelingen.  Det er også finansministeriet. Fordi de har en slags symbiotiske forhold med Wall Street.

Want they control the flow of money 

Absolutely!… And that’s why there’s such a flow, not only of money, but of personnel between Wall Street and the Treasury Department. There’s other aspects of government, there’s a portion of the judiciary. A small portion of the judiciary. The so called Foreign Intelligence Surveillance courts. Most of Congress doesn’t even know how they operate. 

Talk a little bit more about the Nexus. The connection between the National Security State and Wall Street. Because this is a theme that runs through your essay.

Do you know that about 30 blocks north of here there is a restaurant. That will sell you a truffle for Ninety Five Thousand dollars. Also in New York, Christie’s sold at auction a painting by Francis Bacon for a Hundred and Forty Two million.

Now a parallel situation, with the National Security State. The NSA spent 1.7 billion dollars to build a facility in Utah. That will collect one yottabyte of information. That’s as much information, as has ever been written in the history of the world.

It costs 400 dollars, by the time the Pentagon finished paying contractors, to haul one gallon of gasoline into Afghanistan. That’s a real extravagant amount of money. In both cases of the National Security State and the Corporate State. 

They are sucking money out of the economy, as our infrastructure collapses, we have a tinkertoy power grid. That goes out every time, there’s inclement weather. Tens of millions of people are on food stamps. We incarcerate more people than China. An authoritarian state with four times our population.

Does anyone see the disparity between this extravagance for the deep state, and the penury that is being forced on the rest of the country. 

That isn’t a Natural Evolution. 
Something made it Happen…