Is the “Deep State” at war with itself?

Charles Hugh Smith argues that it is.

I have long suggested that the tectonic plates of the Deep State are shifting as the ruling consensus has eroded. Some elements of the Deep State–what I call the progressive wing, which is (ironically to some) anchored in the military services– now view the neocon-CIA (Security State)-Wall Street elements as profoundly dangerous to America’s long-term interests, both domestically and globally.

I have suggested that this “rogue Deep State” quietly aided Donald Trump (by subtly undermining Hillary Clinton’s campaign) as the last best chance to save the nation from the neocon’s over-reach that the Establishment’s Wall Street-funded leadership (Bush, Clinton, Obama, et al.) has overseen–including granting the CIA and its allies virtually unlimited powers unhindered by any effective oversight.

This profound split in the Deep State has now broken into open warfare. The first salvo was the absurd propaganda campaign led by Establishment mouthpieces The New York Times and The Washington Post claiming Russian agents had “hacked” the U.S. election to favor Trump.

This fact-free propaganda campaign failed–having no evidence didn’t work quite as well as the NYT and Wapo expected– and so the propaganda machine launched the second salvo, accusing Trump of being a Russian patsy.

The evidence for this claim was equally laughable, and that campaign has only made the Establishment, its propaganda mouthpieces and the neocon Deep State look desperate and foolish on the global and domestic stages.

The desperate neocon Deep State and its Democratic Party allies went to absurd lengths to undermine Trump via the “Boris and Natasha” strategy of accusing Trump of collaborating with the Evil Russkies, even going so far as to briefly exhume former President G.W. Bush from deep-freeze to make a fool of himself, saying the Trump-Evil Russkies connection should be “investigated.”

Now the rogue elements have launched a counterstrike–Vault 7.

. . .

Vault 7 is not just political theater–it highlights the core questions facing the nation: what is left to defend if civil liberties and democratically elected oversight have been reduced to Potemkin-village travesties?

If there are no limits on CIA powers and surveillance, then what is left of civil liberties and democracy? Answer: nothing.

The battle raging in the Deep State isn’t just a bureaucratic battle–it’s a war for the soul, identity and direction of the nation. Citizens who define America’s interests as civil liberties and democracy should be deeply troubled by the Establishment’s surrender of these in favor of a National Security State with essentially no limits.

There’s more at the link.

That’s not a bad summation of the situation, IMHO.  My yardstick is always that openness encourages honesty;  secrecy encourages – or, at least, conceals – dishonesty.  That applies in almost any area of life, from relationships, through finances, through politics.  If it’s out in the open, where it can be seen, weighed, assessed, examined, tested, evaluated, it’s unlikely to pose a serious threat.  If it’s not, then all sorts of things can go on in secret that shouldn’t be happening.

I’ve used this approach a lot when it comes to counseling couples.  As a retired pastor, you’ll understand that I base this on Scripture.  The first letter of St. John notes:

This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

That last sentence above is the recipe for success in relationships – and note that it’s a logical progression, a sequence of events.  We first “walk in light” – i.e. in honesty, openness and communication.  If we get that right, the second step follows;  we “have fellowship with one another” – implying that if we don’t do the first, we won’t achieve the second.  Finally, if we get both of those steps right, the third step follows;  we are in a position to be cleansed from sin – meaning that if we don’t get the foundational steps right, we can’t be cleansed of sin, probably because we can’t even recognize it well enough to confess it!

That’s a very simple lesson, but it works almost every time (in my experience) on the personal level.  If we scale it up to our national political level, it works pretty well too.  Of course, there are legitimate national secrets that should be safeguarded, for the good of the nation and the security of its citizens.  However, those things are – or should be – relatively small in comparison to the whole of the body politic.  If excessive secrecy or secretiveness becomes a way of life, the body politic gets screwed by those who do so.  (Who can forget Nancy Pelosi’s infamous comment, “We have to pass the [health care] bill so that you can find out what’s in it”?  Well, they did pass it – and boy, did we find out!  Look how Obamacare has screwed us, ever since!)

The argument over the massive, seemingly ever-expanding ‘security state’ is basically one over civil rights, civil liberties, and personal freedom.  I, for one, believe the ‘security state’ is largely ineffectual, a rogue bureaucracy out of control, trying to arrogate ever greater power and authority to itself while ignoring the constitution.  I think Mr. Smith has the right of it.  It has to be stopped.  One hopes the dissent within the ‘Deep State’ will go at least some way towards doing that . . . but it can’t do it all.  The American people have to stand up for themselves as well.  If they don’t, if they just let this sort of thing slide, then the faceless bureaucrats of the ‘Deep State’ will win.  That would lead to an Orwellian nightmare.



  1. I'm not sure any of this is going to matter in the long run. The scenario I have been afraid of since the Progressive Left decided that the War On Terror was a failure (day -2 of the war, as I recall) looks like it's still riding on rails.

    Sooner or later some Islamist idiot is going to pull of an attack that gets the country genuinely and furiously angry. When that happens, the Middles East is not going to be a nice place to live, unless you are a Jew and have a nasty sense of humor. At that point we will become an Imperial State, and a lot of things will change, not for the better.

    We might be able to avoid this if we could establish a pattern of punishing countries that harbor terrorists. We can't find the swine, more often than not, but the people who live near them can. It's called Gunboat Diplomacy. It's messy, and amoral, and almost always works.

    Unfortunately, it's also seriously unfashionable.

    Imperial America here we come.

  2. Another good article – but it understates the problem; while so far there have been 2 clear sets of views, the secretive military/ intelligence community has a bunch of factions of varying power and size who sometimes ally with others and sometimes fight them. They have done small, often secret, squabbles for many years; if they start squabbling large scale and publicly, things could get messy fast.
    While it hasn't happened, as afar as I know, in the US, in other countries military groups and intelligence agencies have conducted bombings and assassinations, of even their own leadership and superiors, to further their agenda – if that happens here we will be in DEEP trouble!

  3. Take a look at the death of William Casey, Jonathan H, and rethink your statement that it hasn't already happened here.

  4. I don't understand why so many are rattling sabers when it comes to Russia. Russians don't strap bombs on their children, throw homosexuals off a roof top, or behead Christians because of their religious faith. No, those folks were given an invite to come to our country as a refugee, expedited.

    As far as rescuing the Obamacare, which nearly everybody agrees will tank in the near future, the Deep State is against repairing it. Including those individuals who fought to get it passed, now want the Trump plan to die. If this occurs, those people deserve the full credit for it dying.

    It would be politically advantageous for Trump to sit back and let this happen. It wasn't his plan, and 'toldja sos' would hurt the Democrats and Republicans who were for it. Only the American people who depend on this would be hurt, only most of those seem to be on opposing the Trump plan.

    They would rather just watch the world burn I guess.

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