Below is my prepared text for the Judicial Watch panel, "Exposing the Deep State," September 15, 2017, which I participated in along with, from left to right, Todd Shepherd of the Washington Examiner, former White House official Sebastian Gorka, moderator and Judicial Watch chief investigator Chris Farrell, and Judicial Watch attorney James Peterson.
This text is pretty close to the statement as delivered (and pretty close to the allotted seven minutes) and may be watched here.
I find the "Deep State" a little hard to discuss because the term itself is amorphous.
When I think of "Deep State" I think of unconstitutional powers exercised by numerous illegitimate branchlets of government way outside the “balance of powers.”
By the way, there is no balance of powers
Just this week, we watched as the US Senate blocked Rand Paul’s bill to restore to the Senate its own Constitutional war-making powers.
A couple of years ago, the Senate voted its own treaty-making powers away, 98-1.
Recently, President Trump, reversing Candidate Trump, has empowered a bevy of defeated generals, including such high administration officials such as HR McMaster and Defense Secretary Mattis, co-author of the failed counter-insurgency doctrine, to send Americans back to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, without ever holding them accountable for more than a decade of colossal American losses rooted in bankrupt Islamic apologetics.
No, they just perpetuate the apologetics – as we saw when the President told us to remember 9/11 -- but forgot to tell it was 19 devout Muslims on a jihad, including 15 Saudis, who attacked us.
This mass abdication of responsibility and accountability in national life is part of the decline of self-government, which enables the Deep State.
We’re talking about Washington but this is a cultural problem.
Unaccountable to the people, this kind of state within a state resides in the bureaucracies, in the political parties, in the Internet “surveillance states” such as Google and Amazon, and particularly in the national security super-state that has long run amok and is worse than ever, flouting our Fourth Amendment protections daily, without oversight, and with immense and frightening powers.
Media, culture, the education system -- all enhance this same illegitimate power complex, serving mainly as mouthpieces.
With all that, we still see only a little beneath the surface, not the roots, not the direct lines into the past.
Judicial Watch, Wikileaks have been essential to exposing what we do see of the Deep State, but it was Donald Trump who provoked this “deep state” to expose itself.
We can see this, just for example, in what we are still finding out about outrageous efforts by the CIA, FBI, NSA, to illegally and outrageously insert themselves into the political process and destroy Trump’s candidacy and presidency.
Why are they not under serious investigation, why is their continued survival not dependent on major reform and new transparency?
It is Trump, who is imperiled – which may help explain his own state of disarray, if not collapse. The extent to which the Deep State is succeeding, the extent to which President Trump has joined forces, too often, to destroy his own agenda, makes it unlikely, I fear, that we will expose much more of the mechanisms – and, more important, arouse the political and legal will destroy it and restore Constitutional governance.
Exposure alone is not enough.
Still, it’s crucial to remember that Candidate Trump first provoked the Deep State into the open with a specific set of “forbidden” issues – (1) immigration restriction and selectivity, including some block on Muslim immigration (2) nationalist trade and tariffs (3) an end to wars not over American core interests (4) the restoration of national sovereignty.
We, the People weren’t ever supposed to vote on these foundational issues of nationhood again.
“Real” and “respectable” presidential candidates never even mentioned them!
These issues had long ago been removed from our purview by those powers that always seem to be. They were settled. Then along Trump.
It’s this set of “forbidden ” issues that offers the most obvious clues to the ideological drivers of the state within the state.
It showed itself to be fanatically “globalist” and “anti-nationalist”; it is “interventionist” and favors mass immigration and even open borders. It supports “free” trade and it is also, to invoke an antique concept, “soft on Islam.”
None of these positions add up to small-r republicanism. Quite the contrary. They are the building blocks of a socialist paradise, regardless of the labels people choose to identify themselves.
This is no exaggeration. During my own 2016 campaign coverage, I was able to find striking similarities between the beliefs of mainstream anti-Trump Republicans and the program set forth in a 1932 book called Toward Soviet America. It was by William Z. Foster, chairman of the Communist Party USA -- which means it was approved of, if not written by, Moscow. These similarities were especially strong when it came to the “forbidden” Trump issues of immigration, trade, and what Foster called “bigoted nationalist chauvinism.”
This is not to suggest Republicans and Democrats – who, not surprisingly, had even more in common with the “Soviet America” program -- are Communist Party members, but rather to demonstrate the extent to which communistic ideas have shaped and transformed our politics and even shifted our political spectrum. They also characterize the political impetus of the Deep State.
So here we are at this point of exposure –
Then what happens? Not much, as Judicial Watch can attest. I’m afraid this is typical.
I am thinking about the historical Deep State, once upon a time known as the Communist Conspiracy. Ultimately, exposure wasn’t enough, even back then. Why do I say that? The era today is still widely caricatured as a “Red Scare” created by "conspiracy theorists." Which means the Communist Party line, the Deep State line, when it comes to popular consciousness, has been able to set the narrative.
This was not conspiracy theory, by the way. We have hard evidence of hundreds if not thousands of Soviet agents in and around the halls of power in Washington by the middle of the last century – and that doesn’t include the numerous communists and fellow travelers around town. These agents met secretly with handlers; they took secret orders from Moscow. That’s a conspiracy and it was communist.
They stole government secrets, sure, but, far more important, these unaccountable members of a de facto shadow government sought to influence or even just “mess up” policy-makers and policy-making. War-making, too.
Sound a tad familiar?
I look forward to discussing what to do next, post- exposure, especially since we have so many valuable lessons to learn from our past battles with the deepest of states.