“There is one deep state and one other state. The state that should be real is the spare one, the one that should be spare is the real one."--Suleyman Demirel, Turkish president from 1994 until 1999.
The somewhat dramatic, even ominous term, Deep State, refers to "an influential and informal anti-democratic coalition within the Turkish political system, composed of high-level elements within the Turkish military, security and intelligence services, the judicial branch, and important commanders of organized crime."
I first became interested in this Turkish phenomenon in the aftermath of journalist Hrandt Dink's assassination in December of 2006. However, that event, which I've written about earlier, is not the subject of this post. As I located various articles and information about the Turkish Deep State, it became clear to me that we need some term in English, equally dramatic, if not ominous, to describe those forces which seek to exercise their will through the mechanisms of the federal government, in an extra-legal, or at least starkly anti-democratic fashion.
That is the topic, the American Deep State, if you will, which I wish to explore in the near future.
I have been somewhat hesitant to raise this issue directly, though I certainly have done so obliquely in the past, out of my own aversion toward so-called "conspiracy theories," which, quite often seem to me to be the tortured constructions of the woefully confused, over causes and effects the complexity of which they can't begin to acknowledge, much less address. No, I don't envision a small circle of investment bankers, industrialists (do they still exist?), and conniving Jews unleashing global suffering for their own, ill-gotten gain. Nor do I plan to start linking to reports of alien spacecraft at Area 51.
But let's be clear. As several bloggers whose insights I admire are insistently pointing out, America is an ostensibly democratic nation, the majority of whose citizens are increasingly emphatic in their opposition to an amnesty for illegal immigrants, an amnesty which the nation's political leaders seem not to have the latitude, or perhaps the power, to permanently reject. The crux of the argument apparently comes down to the government's insistence on creating a new set of laws while flatly refusing to enforce the existing laws, in blatant disregard of the will of the American public. Something other than representative democracy is at work. I cite this as one example. Our attempts to maintain a sort of covert dominion over the Middle East, or at least over the resources extracted from its sands, would obviously be another.
In other words, the fact that I don't believe in alien spacecraft at Area 51 doesn't mean I don't believe in Area 51, despite decades of federal government denial. (In case you don't get the History Channel, the government was finally forced, in the 1990s, to admit to Area 51's existence as a result of lawsuits filed by former employees poisoned by the burning of toxic wastes at the site.)
My own skepticism ignorance, and uncertainty prevent me from linking various intriguing bits and pieces into some sweeping, tantalizing, but ultimately implausible theoretical whole. A healthy failing on my part, I suspect.
There is a great deal of blindness, blunder, stupidity, and willed self-deception in the actions of any institution, particularly one as cumbersome as the federal government. Nevertheless, the government does move, sometimes unswervingly though inexplicably, in certain directions, and it's only natural to wonder why.
Though I realize that the following opinions will come as no surprise to visitors of his site, we are not in Iraq because of Weapons of Mass Destruction or a War on Terror or to unleash a democracy or to inspire an Islamic reformation. We are not in Iraq so that George W. Bush can show up his Daddy or work through whatever Oedipal issues may be plaguing him. We are not in Iraq because all human beings crave freedom, or because George W. Bush believes all human beings crave freedom. A president, even a deluded and messianic president, isn't allowed to wander on a leash that long.
Iraq may be a disaster, but it isn't a simple blunder. It's more than a mistake. And yet, through some eyes, perhaps, it's no mistake at all. That's what I'm interested in exploring.
“The real rulers in Washington are invisible and exercise power from behind the scenes.”
--Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter