Only Kooks Believe In The Deep State

Mainstream, liberal U.S. discourse has accomplished an amazing feat of Orwellian doublethink with regard to the notion that unelected power structures are running things without the consent of the nation’s official elected government, writes Caitlin Johnstone.

U.S. Army Capt. James Hayes, commander of C Troop, 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry (2-14), searches an Iraqi man during a patrol near the Syrian border on Aug. 10, 2005. 2-14 (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Kyle Davis) 

By Caitlin Johnstone

Outgoing U.S. envoy to Syria James Jeffrey stated in a recent interview with Defense One that U.S. officials have been “playing shell games” about the number of troops in the region to deceive the Trump administration into thinking there has been a military withdrawal. Here are some excerpts:

“We were always playing shell games to not make clear to our leadership how many troops we had there,” Jeffrey said in an interview. The actual number of troops in northeast Syria is “a lot more than” the two hundred troops Trump agreed to leave there in 2019.

“What Syria withdrawal? There was never a Syria withdrawal,” Jeffrey said. “When the situation in northeast Syria had been fairly stable after we defeated ISIS, [Trump] was inclined to pull out. In each case, we then decided to come up with five better arguments for why we needed to stay. And we succeeded both times. That’s the story.”

Officially, Trump last year agreed to keep about 200 U.S. troops stationed in northeast Syria to “secure” oil fields held by the United States’ Kurdish allies in the fight against ISIS. It is generally accepted that the actual number is now higher than that — anonymous officials put the number at about 900 today — but the precise figure is classified and remains unknown even, it appears, to members of Trump’s administration keen to end the so-called “forever wars.”

Some mass media propagandists find it hilarious that the U.S. war machine used deceit to thwart the president’s attempts to withdraw from its illegal occupation of Syria:

This would not be the first time that Jeffrey, a foreign policy insider with the past three presidential administrations, has admitted to deceiving the public about what’s happening in Syria. Earlier this year he admitted at a Hudson Institute video event (these Beltway insiders always get extra honest in the company of fellow think tank denizens) that, contrary to the official public narrative of the U.S. military being in Syria to fight terrorism, it’s actually there to create “a quagmire for the Russians”.

This would also not be the first time we’ve heard reports of the U.S. war machine hiding the facts from the elected commander-in-chief of the most powerful military force ever assembled. Last year The New York Times cited anonymous U.S. officials in a report on cyber intrusion operations against the Russian government that the U.S. military had deliberately kept Trump in the dark about.

“Two administration officials said they believed Mr. Trump had not been briefed in any detail about the steps to place ‘implants’ — software code that can be used for surveillance or attack — inside the Russian grid,” NYT reports. “Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction — and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials.”

Mainstream, liberal U.S. discourse has accomplished an amazing feat of Orwellian doublethink with regard to the notion that unelected power structures are running things without the consent of the nation’s official elected government.

On the one hand there’s been a nonstop deluge of Daily Beast articles since Trump’s election saying anyone who dares to suggest the existence of a “deep state” in America is a conspiracy kook, but on the other hand there’s also been constant praise for the insider “adults in the room” who ensure from within the administration that Trump doesn’t demolish America’s precious norms while in office.

This cognitive two-step became even more reified after comments from the likes of Iraq war architect Bill Kristol tweeting that he’d “prefer the deep state to the Trump state”, and the famous anonymous New York Times op-ed authored by a “senior official in the Trump administration” (now known to have been former chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security Miles Taylor), saying administration officials are working together against Trump to “thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations”.

 The understanding of a deep state in America has become even more obfuscated by the other side of America’s fake partisan divide, with Trump supporters now using that term to essentially mean “anyone who doesn’t like Donald Trump”. That erroneous understanding has now become so prevalently associated with the term “deep state” that it has lost all use in meaningful discourse and is better off being avoided altogether if you want to point at something real.

In reality the term deep state is meant to refer not to anyone who opposes Trump, nor to a secret cabal of baby-eating Satanists, but simply to the tendency among government agencies and plutocrats to form loose alliances with each other and collaborate toward common agendas. It’s a term used for political analysis to describe large-scale power agendas that are largely playing out right out in the open, hidden in plain sight.

It doesn’t take a ton of investigative reporting and WikiLeaks drops to understand that there’s been a collective of operatives mostly running the Trump administration while the actual elected president yells at the talking heads on Fox News and tweets.

It’s also not hard to brush away the insubstantial narrative fluff and see that U.S. policies have remained more or less unbroken regardless of which elected officials have been in office, and it doesn’t take a Nostradamus to predict that that will continue to be the case after Trump is replaced by the next empty husk in the White House.

The U.S. government simply is not what Americans were taught it is in school, and it is not what they tell you it is in the news. It’s a mostly unelected power establishment which operates in the interests of imperialist expansionism and oligarchic control, with the official elected government operating sort of like the unplugged video game controller you hand your kid brother to keep him from whining for a chance to play.

All this fuss over who really won the election is missing the point. People are bickering over which oligarchic puppet should be sworn in on January 20 when all the evidence we’ve been given shows that nobody gets to become president if they inconvenience real power in any way, and if they do inconvenience real power they are simply ignored.

That is the direction we should all be looking. Not at who’s president, but why things stay the same no matter who’s president.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium.   Her work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook, following her antics on Twitter, checking out her podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following her on Steemit, throwing some money into her tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of her sweet merchandise, buying her books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

This article was re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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14 comments for “Only Kooks Believe In The Deep State

  1. Adams
    November 16, 2020 at 13:20

    For XMAS I want Caitlin and DDay to team up for a review to eviscerate Obama’s new book. Please. (Talk about new frontiers in delusional self-validation)

  2. Anne
    November 15, 2020 at 16:29

    Once again Jeffrey repeats the lie that it was the USA which “defeated” ISIS when it was absolutely anything but them: they encouraged ISIS’s depredations in Syria…any destruction of ISIS in Syria should be more properly, truthfully assigned to Syrian, Russian and IRGC forces. NOT the USA. Typical US ruling elite (MICIMATT) lying hubris to claim the opposite of what we have done…

  3. Yuliy
    November 15, 2020 at 13:31

    Great writing, as aways… Thank you, Caitlin, keep bearing your torch!

  4. Dario Z
    November 15, 2020 at 11:27

    The incredibile thing about this piece, from a great, insightful and truly independent analyst, is that it sets forth arguments that should be of an apparent evidence by now; yet, because of the persistent, appalling delusional attitude of the American public, already inclined to be put back to sleep by the almost eponymous president elect, it sounds like a compendium of political wisdom, completely unattainable by the uncultured masses.

    • Anne
      November 15, 2020 at 16:33

      Especially the highly “cultured,” well educated bourgeoisie who – as Jonathan Cook made clear – are indeed only to willing to return to their 4 yearly slumber, even as they pretend (till inauguration day) to action for the betterment of all levels of US society (they rarely give a s*** about those we slaughter, plunder and devastate abroad).

  5. November 15, 2020 at 05:58

    Couldn’t agree more with Ms. Johnstone. See hXXps://

  6. Me my self
    November 15, 2020 at 03:47

    That makes sense basically you’re sayings POTUS is like the conductor of an orchestra a showpiece he could take a nap and the music would go on playing.

    • Me my self
      November 15, 2020 at 04:02

      President dunsel, has a certain je ne sais quoi.

      • Kodos the Executioner
        November 15, 2020 at 11:55

        “*Dunsel*, Doctor, is a term used by midshipman at Starfleet Academy. It refers to a part which serves no useful purpose.”

  7. Sam F
    November 14, 2020 at 22:45

    Very good points, Caitlin, as always; glad that you are not discouraged in educating a fully deceived electorate. Indeed it is much like educating children, who prefer to believe comforting myths.

  8. Jeff Harrison
    November 14, 2020 at 22:38

    Well done Caitlin! Now the $64,000 question. What can we the people do about this massive deceit? How can we regain control of our own government?

  9. Taras77
    November 14, 2020 at 20:33

    I’m sure that jeffries will find a secure home in one of the rabid neo con think (sic) tanks or even in bidens neo con admin.

    He should never find a home in a relatively legitimate admin. He practiced treason and/or sedition at the highest level but will never be prosecuted in this facade we call the rule of law in the us.

    Trump bears serious responsibility as to why he did clean out these rabid neo cons and/or obama holdovers. may well be the single most serious mistake of this admin.

  10. CNfan
    November 14, 2020 at 19:46

    Follow the money. As Col. L. Fletcher Prouty told us, the agencies (CIA, NSA, etc) are servants. Who do they serve? Who can afford to “buy” them? Who can afford to buy Congress and the President and appoint their heads? That is where to look for who coordinate the “Deep State”. The agencies, the Congress, and the “many” corporate media are all extremely coordinated. Such coordination does not happen by milling around. There is a coordinating center. And that coordinating center has a vast amount of money at its disposal.

  11. Moi
    November 14, 2020 at 16:49

    IMO “Deep State” is the very serious US version of that portrayed in the British TV comedy series “Yes Minister.”

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