by John W. Whitehead, Rutherford Institute:
There are those who would have you believe that President Trump is an unwitting victim of the Deep State.
And then there are those who insist that the Deep State is a figment of a conspiratorial mind.
Don’t believe it.
The Deep State—a.k.a. the police state, a.k.a. the military industrial complex, a.k.a. the surveillance state complex—does indeed exist and Trump, far from being its sworn enemy, is its latest tool.
When in doubt, follow the money trail.
It always points the way.
Every successive president starting with Franklin D. Roosevelt has been bought—lock, stock and barrel—and made to dance to the tune of the Deep State.
Even Dwight D. Eisenhower, the retired five-star Army general-turned-president who warned against the disastrous rise of misplaced power by the military industrial complex was complicit in contributing to the build-up of the military’s role in dictating national and international policy.
Enter Donald Trump, the candidate who swore to drain the swamp in Washington DC.
Instead of putting an end to the corruption, however, Trump has paved the way for lobbyists, corporations, the military industrial complex, and the rest of the Deep State (also referred to as “The 7th Floor Group”) to feast on the carcass of the dying American republic.
Apart from tweets that are little more than sound and fury, Trump is not a man who is raging against the machine.
He is too much a part of the machine.
Indeed, as Reuters reports, “[President] Trump has gone further than any of his predecessors to act as a salesman for the U.S. defense industry.”
Despite claims to the contrary, Trump is not advocating for peace with Russia, or North Korea or any other nation.
He is selling us out to the war hawks.
The latest squawk over Iran is just more of the same chest-thumping, sleight-of-hand intended to play into the hands of a salivating military industrial complex for whom war is merely a means to a larger profit margin.
The war hawks have no beef with Trump.
Why should they? He’s giving them exactly what they want.
With Trump’s blessing, the military’s budget—with its trillion dollar wars, its $125 billion in administrative waste, and its contractor-driven price gouging that hits the American taxpayer where it hurts the most—will continue to grow.
Borrowing a leaf from his buddies in China, Russia and North Korea, Trump is even planning a $12 million military parade on November 10 to showcase the nation’s military might.
Follow the money.
It always points the way.
The corporations are getting richer, average Americans are getting poorer, the military is getting more militaristic, America’s endless wars are getting more endless, and the prospect of peace grows ever dimmer.
This is exactly how you keep the Deep State in power.
We’ve been losing our freedoms so incrementally for so long—sold to us in the name of national security and global peace, maintained by way of martial law disguised as law and order, and enforced by a standing army of militarized police and a political elite determined to maintain their powers at all costs—that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when it all started going downhill, but we’re certainly on that downward trajectory now, and things are moving fast.
The “government of the people, by the people, for the people” has perished.
In its place is a shadow government, a corporatized, militarized, entrenched bureaucracy that is fully operational and staffed by unelected officials who are, in essence, running the country and calling the shots in Washington DC, no matter who sits in the White House.
Mind you, by “government,” I’m not referring to the highly partisan, two-party bureaucracy of the Republicans and Democrats.
Rather, I’m referring to “government” with a capital “G,” the entrenched Deep State that is unaffected by elections, unaltered by populist movements, and has set itself beyond the reach of the law.
This is the hidden face of a government that has no respect for the freedom of its citizenry.
This shadow government, which “operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power,” makes a mockery of elections and the entire concept of a representative government.
So how do you recognize the Deep State when it rears its ugly head?
It’s the militarized police, which have joined forces with state and federal law enforcement agencies in order to establish themselves as a standing army.
It’s the fusion centers and spy agencies that have created a surveillance state and turned all of us into suspects.
It’s the courthouses and prisons that have allowed corporate profits to take precedence over due process and justice.
It’s the military empire with its private contractors and defense industry that is bankrupting the nation.
It’s the private sector with its 854,000 contract personnel with top-secret clearances, “a number greater than that of top-secret-cleared civilian employees of the government.”
It’s what former congressional staffer Mike Lofgren refers to as “a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies”: the Department of Defense, the State Department, Homeland Security, the CIA, the Justice Department, the Treasury, the Executive Office of the President via the National Security Council, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a handful of vital federal trial courts, and members of the defense and intelligence committees.