USA: weak democracy, powerful ‘deep state’

Mike Lofgren, a former congressional staff member with top secret clearance, says there are two levels of government in the United States — a democratic government which is increasingly unable to pay for its normal operations, and a “deep state” with virtually unlimited funds to wage undeclared wars.

Republican opposition in Congress prevents President Obama from filling numerous vacancies in the federal courts and the federal bureaucracy.  Yet there is no check on the President’s drawing up death warrants to be executed by killer drones or special ops teams or authorizing covert interventions in foreign civil wars.

The U.S. government is unable to afford to keep bridges on interstate highways in good repair, and there is continual talk of cuts in Social Security and Medicare.  Yet the same government can somehow afford to build a $1.7 billion facility in Utah covering an area of 17 footballl fields with the capacity to store the electronic communications of all Americans – the equivalent of a million sets of a billion volumes each containing a billion pages of text.

Lofgren said the reason for the disparity is that there are functions of government that the normal democratic process does not get at.   These are found in the National Security Council, the Departments of Defense, State, Homeland Security and Justice and the Central Intelligence Agency, in private contractors who serve them and in a couple of federal courts where national security cases are tried, plus a handful of Senators and Representatives who are allowed a limited look at these operations.

It also includes the Treasury Department and the biggest Wall Street banks and brokerage firms, which finance the national security state and in return receive support for their political agenda and immunity from federal prosecution.  And it includes key Silicon Valley firms who provide the technology that enables contemporary surveillance and war and in return receive support for their political agenda.

Lofgren talked about this in an interview with Bill Moyers, shown above, and in an article written for Moyers.  Click on Anatomy of the Deep State to read Lofgren’s article.  It is well worth reading.

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One Response to “USA: weak democracy, powerful ‘deep state’”

  1. EthnicKonflict Says:

    I have less reason than many to favor a “deep state,” but I would be off my rocker to oppose it in favor of a government that includes the Republican party, whose members wish to usher in the return of a fictitious zombie through the implementation of apocalyptic policies. The alternative please? Why don’t we just sit Islamic 12-ers in Congress instead?

    It is disturbing that Wall-street is a part of it, though. I would include gamblers in the category that includes Republicans. Financial technology hardly improves, and even then it’s usually because a physicist crossed-over. Financiers benefit from not sharing their information, and instead investing based on the outcome, positive or negative, of the information. So the whole industry would let something terrible happen instead of sounding the alarm if there were a buck in it. The kind of person who gets tricked by the bubble phenomenon over and over again does not strike me as especially intelligent. But I guess they have a lot of money.


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