Rumblings of a ‘Deep State’ Undermining Trump? It Was Once a Foreign ConceptHow dare anyone criticize the CIA?!?
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS MARCH 6, 2017
WASHINGTON — President Trump’s allegations that former President Barack Obama tapped his phone and his assertions that the bureaucracy is leaking secrets to discredit him are the latest signs of a White House preoccupation with a “deep state” working to thwart the Trump presidency.Which, in contrast, to the Trump inner circle’s allegations about the America deep state is a completely ordinary and sensible thing to say.
The concept of a “deep state” — a shadowy network of agency or military officials who secretly conspire to influence government policy — is more often used to describe countries like Egypt, Turkey and Pakistan, where authoritarian elements band together to undercut democratically elected leaders. But inside the West Wing, Mr. Trump and his inner circle, particularly his chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, see the influence of such forces at work within the United States, essentially arguing that their own government is being undermined from within.
It is an extraordinary contention for a sitting president to make. Mr. Trump, who last year angrily dismissed the conclusion of intelligence officials that the Russians interfered in the presidential election to boost his candidacy,
Neither Mr. Trump nor Mr. Bannon has used the term “deep state” publicly. But each has argued that there is an orchestrated effort underway, fueled by leaks and enabled by the news media, to cut down the new president and interfere with his agenda….That’s totally different from the United States, where, for example, J. Edgar Hoover was top dog of internal security from 1924 to 1972.
“ ‘Deep state’ I would never use,” Michael V. Hayden, the former Central Intelligence Agency director under both Mr. Obama and former President George Bush, said on MSNBC on Monday. “That’s a phrase we’ve used for Turkey and other countries like that, but not the American republic.”
… “The deep state concept emerges in places where the army and the security apparatus creates boundaries within which the civilian political people are allowed to operate,” said Peter Feaver, a specialist in civil-military issues at Duke University and a national security aide to Mr. Bush. …It’s totally a coincidence that Deep Throat turned out, in 2005, to be the late J. Edgar Hoover’s left-hand man Mark Felt, who was sore about Nixon appointing a non-Hooverite to be the offical acting head of the FBI six weeks before the Watergate break-in (while leaving Felt in charge of day to day operations).
“Nixon shared a similar kind of distrust of the government and felt the government was out to get him at points,” Mr. Feaver added. “President Trump’s view seems to be more on the Nixon part of the spectrum, which is far from the Pakistan part.”
Americans didn’t have the term Deep State back in the Deep Throat days, so, as Sapir and Whorf would predict, it was a big surprise to naive Americans that Deep Throat was part of Hoover’s Deep State. Now, though, that we are familiar with the term Deep State it seems kind of obvious: Deep Throat = Deep State.