This West Is OUR West

Deep State: Underbelly of the Intelligence Community

Written by Alex Newman

Monday, January 8, 2018

U.S. intelligence agencies operate without any meaningful congressional or other governmental oversight, yet they take actions that affect U.S. policies worldwide and override U.S. laws and American freedoms.

Amid a high-profile showdown with the “intelligence community” early in his term, President Donald Trump was repeatedly and viciously threatened — even with extreme threats such as dying in prison. What type of people can threaten the legally elected president of the United States and get away with it? Meet the “intelligence” and “security” tentacles of the “Deep State,” both of which now function largely as tools of the “Deep State Behind the Deep State.”

Since the presidential election, elements of what is often called the “intelligence community” have dropped the mask. For everyday Americans unaware of the out-of-control behavior of so many secretive government bureaucracies, it was shocking to hear lawmakers and bureaucrats acknowledge that the “intelligence” apparatus was taking on Trump — and to witness the Deep State’s war against the legitimately elected president, such as the incessant leaks from inside the intelligence community. Those leaks included, of course, the now-discredited dirty dossier on Trump. But the intelligence community’s employment of unsavory tactics, supposedly to safeguard national security, has been obvious to discerning Americans for many years.

That the sprawling network of secrecy-obsessed spy agencies do the dirty work for the Deep State behind the Deep State appears very clear. Indeed, many of the ostensible kingpins of the “Deep State” intelligence apparatus, as well as their key enablers, are members of the secret and semi-secret organizations exposed in this issue. For example, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and National Security Agency (NSA) bosses routinely attend Bilderberg meetings. Virtually all of them have been members of the Council on Foreign Relations, and many have been involved with the Trilateral Commission. In addition, many of them have been involved with the secret societies such as Skull and Bones, as well as Bohemian Grove. George H.W. Bush, who ran the CIA before becoming president, was involved with every single one of them.

The examples are nearly endless. Disgraced General David Petraeus, who was put in charge of the CIA, is a regular Bilderberg attendee and a member of the globalist-minded Council on Foreign Relations, which has openly expressed its goal of undermining national sovereignty in favor of “global governance.” When he was done with his government “service,” as with many other supposed “public servants,” he was scooped up by Wall Street investment behemoth KKR. Now, he spends some of his time shilling for the end of America and the emergence of a European Union-style “North America.” His agenda and career trajectory are typical among loyal Deep State swamp creatures involved in “intelligence” and “security.” Similarly, Keith Alexander, who ran the NSA, attended Bilderberg before going on to the “private sector” to make big money with a crony cybersecurity company he founded. Another typical Deep State “intelligence” operative deeply intertwined with the Deep State behind the Deep State is Michael Hayden, who has led both the CIA and the NSA. Like Petraeus, Hayden is a member of the CFR and has attended the secretive annual Bilderberg gatherings on multiple occasions.

State Within a State

Generally, at least for several generations now, American presidents and their closest cohorts have been very close to the Deep State behind the Deep State, if not outright ranking members of it. And so, typically, the “intelligence community” and the White House are on the same page. But with Trump, that synergy between the head of the executive branch and the espionage bureaucracies he ostensibly oversees appears to have been shattered.

It is now widely known, for instance, that the intelligence agencies were spying on Trump’s team. In fact, it is now a documented fact that Trump’s first national security advisor, Michael Flynn, had his phone conversations monitored by the intelligence agencies. That is how they knew that he made a false statement to the FBI. (Obviously nothing improper or illegal was said during the monitored calls, or Flynn would not have gotten off by pleading guilty to the minor charge of making a false statement.)

On top of that, during the first year of Trump’s term in office, there was a non-stop deluge of leaks orchestrated by “Deep State” bureaucrats, averaging one per day. Each one was calculated to impede Trump and sabotage his presidency. Frustrated, Trump finally lashed out, suggesting — with good reason — that operatives of the “intelligence community” were trying to sabotage him and his administration, and that they would be caught and then prosecuted. Then came some shocking responses from the Deep State. “Now we go nuclear,” wrote former NSA analyst John Schindler on social media. “[Intelligence community] war going to new levels. Just got an [e-mail from] senior [intelligence community] friend, it began: ‘He [Trump] will die in jail.’” (Emphasis added.)

Anyone who could threaten the elected president of the United States with death in jail — and get away with it — clearly has power far beyond what everyday Americans realize. In Washington, D.C., though, this reality is well known and widely understood. Even top lawmakers openly talk about it, as if it were common knowledge on Capitol Hill. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the Senate minority leader, for instance, offered chilling remarks that lifted the veil, at least partially, on how the Deep State intelligence “swamp” really works. “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer told far-left activist Rachel Maddow, of MSNBC, in January of 2017. “So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.” Schumer, who sits on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, did not elaborate on how unelected bureaucracies supposedly subject to the American people’s elected leaders would be “getting back” at Trump. But the threat was unmistakable.

Since Trump burst on to the national political stage in the latest election, most of the criticism about the Deep State’s intelligence network has come from conservatives and Republicans. Even some honest Democrats, though, have expressed concerns about the Deep State intelligence apparatus and its war on the president — and by extension those who elected him. “You have politicization of agencies that is resulting in leaks from anonymous, unknown people and the intention is to take down a president,” former Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) told Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “Now, this is very dangerous to America. It’s a threat to our republic, it constitutes a clear and present danger to our way of life. So we have to be asking, what is the motive of these people? Who’s putting these leaks out? Why doesn’t somebody come forward and make a charge and put their name and reputation behind it, instead of attacking through the media and not substantiating their position?”

After confirming that he believed President Trump was “under attack” by the “Deep State intelligence community,” Kucinich went even further, saying that it targets anyone who stands in its way and starts wars all on its own. “We’ve got to stand up for America, this isn’t about Democrat, Republican,” said the left-leaning Democrat. “This is about getting what’s going on in the moment and understanding that our country itself is under attack from within.”

Even Congress is not safe from the Deep State intelligence machine’s illegal snooping. In 2014, Senate Select Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) exposed the CIA for spying on her committee’s staffers charged with oversight of the CIA. She also accused the agency of deleting files from the Senate committee’s computers. “It may have undermined the constitutional framework essential to effective congressional oversight of intelligence activities or any other government function,” she said on the Senate floor, adding that several CIA officials had admitted the scheming. With the ability to spy on lawmakers (or Supreme Court justices or presidents) comes the ability to blackmail them, too. No wonder Schumer says the Deep State agencies have “six ways from Sunday” to get their enemies.

The bloated “intelligence community” bureaucracy, which is made up of some 16 (known) individual bureaucracies, includes the well-known CIA, the NSA, and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). It also includes many lesser-known bureaucracies burrowed into various Cabinet-level departments such as Defense, Homeland Security, Treasury, Energy, State, and Justice. Each branch of the U.S. Armed Services has an intelligence agency, too. According to an investigation by the Washington Post, there are more than 1,250 government organizations and almost 2,000 companies in 10,000 locations across America involved in the U.S. intelligence apparatus. In addition, there are reportedly almost a million “contractors,” bureaucrats, and military personnel with top-secret clearances.

Some functions of these bureaucracies, of course, are critical to national security. And many employees of the agencies are decent, patriotic Americans working hard to keep America safe. But there is a dark underbelly to the intelligence community. If left unchecked, it literally threatens liberty and self-government. And for some observers, it is the Deep State itself. Among the earliest individuals to use the term “Deep State” and apply it to the United States was Mike Lofgren, a congressional staffer with a top-secret security clearance for almost three decades, specializing in national security. The Deep State is “the state within a state,” wrote Lofgren in 2014. “The Deep State does not consist of the entire government. It is a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies.”

The NSA, which was exposed by multiple whistleblowers as spying on virtually everyone without a warrant, is a “core component of the Deep State,” said Lofgren, author of the 2016 book The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government. The National Security Council, currently controlled by establishment globalist H.R. McMaster, coordinates the Deep State agencies, he said. Even parts of the judiciary belong to the Deep State, Lofgren added, pointing to the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court. And Big Business giants in Silicon Valley have been “conscripted” by the Deep State into helping spy on everyone, said Lofgren. The power of this apparatus is beyond enormous. As the saying goes, knowledge is power — and the Deep State, spying on everyone all the time, has a lot of knowledge.

Dirty Dealings

The Deep State’s enormous spying powers are supposedly being used to protect the American people and their freedoms from the threat of terrorism. But American freedom is hardly protected when the target of the spying includes the American people as a whole, in contravention of the Fourth Amendment, which states that “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.”

Supposedly the intelligence apparatus is watching us for our own good. But who is watching the watchers? The intelligence community, after all, operates in secrecy, without even Congress, let along the public at large, being aware of many of their actions, which extend way beyond illegal spying to include torture in contravention of U.S. laws, assassinations without due process, and the toppling of foreign governments without a congressional declaration of war. Do such extra-constitutional actions by the Deep State-controlled intelligence apparatus really protect American security and liberty, or do they have the opposite effect? Please keep these questions in mind as we survey some examples of the Deep State’s intelligence arm in action:

Deep State-backed jihadists — In the name of fighting communism, the “intelligence community” literally armed, funded, and trained Osama bin Laden and other jihadists in Afghanistan who later became enemies of the United States. And in the name of fighting terrorism, this practice of aiding and abetting jihadists has continued to the present day, and has even included support for terrorists led by al-Qaeda. Seriously. For example, an explosive 2012 document from the DIA exposed several stunning facts about what the Deep State was up to in Syria. For one, it shows the Deep State knew that the insurgency in Syria was being led by al-Qaeda — and that the administration was supporting that insurgency anyway. “The Salafist [extreme Islamist sect], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [Al Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria,” admitted the report, dated August 12, 2012. It also admitted that “Western powers,” certainly including the Obama administration in power at the time, support that al-Qaeda-led opposition.

The memo goes on to outline a plan to create an Islamic State in Eastern Syria based on extreme fundamentalist Islamism. “There is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist [fundamentalist Islam] principality in Eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor) and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime,” the document declares. That is also exactly what happened when ISIS declared the establishment of its “caliphate” in Eastern Syria and parts of Iraq. In short, the memo offers smoking-gun proof that creating a “Salafist principality” in Eastern Syria was a policy goal of the Deep State.

Assassination and mass murder — Islamic terrorism has been the key justification for a development that first became public under the George W. Bush administration: the deliberate assassination of individuals declared to be “militants” or “terrorists.” Murder is the correct term, because the victims have usually never even been charged with a crime, much less convicted by a jury in a court of law. There are also no current wars legally declared by Congress that might be cited to justify the assassination spree.

So extreme have the developments become that a former senior intelligence official told the Washington Post that the CIA had been turned into “one hell of a killing machine.” A former leader of the CIA and NSA was caught on video in 2014 casually bragging and making jokes in public about how the “intelligence community” murders people without charges or convictions or a declaration of war. “We kill people based on metadata,” gloated former CIA and NSA boss Hayden at the 2014 Johns Hopkins University’s Foreign Affairs Symposium. Some of the victims include U.S.-born American-citizen children such as Nawar al-Awlaki, eight, and Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, 16, who were killed in separate strikes.

It is today public knowledge that the CIA has murdered thousands of people around the world using missiles fired from drones. Between 2009 and 2015, the Obama White House estimated that 2,436 people were killed in drone strikes. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism recorded 2,753.

Kidnapping and torture — Both are illegal under state and federal law, with no exemptions for Deep State intelligence functionaries. In 2009, an Italian court convicted (in absentia) 23 CIA agents for kidnapping Egyptian dissident Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr off the streets of Milan in a 2003 incident. After grabbing him and stuffing him in a van, the CIA sent him to Egypt for interrogation and torture there. He reportedly endured electrical shock torture, emerging permanently disabled. And who could forget the horrifying pictures that have emerged from Iraq and the CIA’s sprawling network of secret prisons — pictures that have now been plastered across newspaper stands worldwide, making America look like a nation of savage barbarians running wild? Confirmed torture methods by the CIA, the DIA, and other Deep State agencies have included waterboarding and beatings, among other horrors.

Overthrowing governments — The CIA has a long history of overthrowing foreign governments, without any semblance of a constitutional declaration of war from Congress. From Iran and Guatemala to Congo and the Dominican Republic, the CIA has played a key role in overthrowing more than a half-dozen governments where its involvement is publicly known  — and probably plenty more where the CIA’s role is still hidden. Foreign Policy estimates the number of governments overthrown by the CIA at seven. That does not include numerous other operations where the U.S. government — or at least the Deep State — used military intervention, assassination, or covert backing for insurgencies. That also does not take into account interventions where there was no regime change but where other goals were pursued.

False flags — In some cases, elements of the Deep State have even shown that they are not above using “false flags” to carry out their agenda. Documents from the U.S. Defense Department on Operation Northwoods, for example, outlined a proposed plot in the early 1960s to have the CIA or other Deep State agencies perpetrate terrorist attacks against American or Cuban civilians or military targets and to blame it on the Castro regime. One scenario involved shooting down an airliner. Another involved bombings in Miami. Yet another would have sunk a boat filled with refugees fleeing Castro’s tyranny. “The desired resultant from the execution of this plan would be to place the United States in the apparent position of suffering defensible grievances from a rash and irresponsible government of Cuba and to develop an international image of a Cuban threat to peace in the Western Hemisphere,” the document states. The plan was ultimately rejected by then-President John F. Kennedy, but the fact that it was developed at all is very revealing. Ironically, it was the U.S. government and the Deep State behind the Deep State who put Castro in power to begin with, according to the U.S. ambassador to Cuba at the time, Earl Smith, who even wrote a book about it.

Mind control — Under the guise of keeping up with communist brainwashing techniques, the CIA also engaged in horrific experiments related to mind control. Among other tactics, federal officials used LSD and mind-altering chemicals, surviving files from the CIA’s Project MKUltra show. According to congressional investigations and testimony from victims, the experiments also included hypnosis, sexual abuse, and torture. Then-CIA boss Richard Helms reportedly tried to obstruct congressional investigations by ordering all MKUltra documents destroyed. Still, at least two congressional committees investigating MKUltra uncovered horrifying experiments often performed on unwitting victims — including individuals confined in mental institutions and even children.

Drug trafficking — The CIA’s involvement in drug trafficking has long been an open secret. More than a few officials, drug lords, and analysts have even said the CIA and other secretive agencies actually run the global trade in narcotics. Former DEA chief Robert Bonner, during an explosive interview with CBS, revealed that his agency had caught the CIA unlawfully importing a ton of cocaine into the United States in cooperation with the Venezuelan government. More recently, a Mexican official accused the CIA of “managing” the global drug trade. “It is impossible to pass tons of drugs or cocaine to the U.S. without some grade of complicity of some American authorities,” observed Mexican President Felipe Calderón in a 2009 interview with the BBC. And an explosive 2014 investigation by the Mexican newspaper El Universal revealed that for over a decade, the U.S. government had a secret agreement with the ruthless Mexican Sinaloa cartel that allowed it to operate with impunity and ship drugs into America at will.

Working with criminals —The “intelligence” and “national security” components of the Deep State have a long and troubling history with criminals and criminality — so much so that in many cases it is hard to tell where the criminal networks begin and the government ends. One recent example is the now-infamous “Operation Fast and Furious.” As part of the scheme, the Justice Department, the ATF, and other components of the Deep State were caught transferring American weapons to brutal Mexican drug cartels for the supposed purpose of catching the target of an investigation. Yet that target was already on the FBI’s payroll. NRA official Wayne LaPierre (among others) reasoned that the real purpose was to undermine the Second Amendment. “It’s the only thing that makes any sense,” LaPierre said in a 2011 interview with Newsmax TV. “Over a period of two or three years they were running thousands and thousands of guns to the most evil people on earth. At the same time they were yelling ‘90 per cent … of the guns the Mexican drug cartels are using come from the United States.’”

Media manipulation — The intelligence component of the Deep State has also been caught using propaganda and manipulation of the media — against Americans. One stunning example revealed in declassified documents was the CIA’s Project Mockingbird (also known as Operation Mockingbird). According to official documents, the scheme, launched in the early 1950s, aimed to hijack the U.S. media to parrot CIA propaganda. Though many of the documents are heavily redacted, it is clear that the CIA program was wildly successful in recruiting globalist pseudo-journalists to do the Deep State’s bidding. Among the names mentioned in the documents are Joseph Harsch of the Christian Science Monitor; Henry Luce, founder of Time and Life magazines; Walter Lippman of the Los Angeles Times Syndicate; and more. William F. Buckley, founder of the neocon journal National Review, was also a CIA lackey.

Mass surveillance — Then there is the lawless spying on Americans revealed by whistleblowers. Among the most important insiders to expose the problem was William Binney, a senior NSA official who spent 30 years at the agency before resigning to expose the criminal surveillance of the American people. “I knew I could not stay because it was a direct violation of the constitutional rights of everybody in the country,” he explained, citing the “Stellar Wind” program. “[The NSA] can build up knowledge about everyone in the country, and having that knowledge then allows them the ability to concoct all kinds of charges if they want to target you,” he said. Basically, the NSA knows virtually everything about everyone, he suggested, adding that the agency has collected and stored most of the e-mails sent and received by Americans and at least 80 percent of phone calls.

In short, the “intelligence” apparatus, run by leading agents of the Deep State behind the Deep State, has been doing practically whatever it wishes to do, with no transparency or accountability. And it now seems to have its sights set on undermining both the elected president, and the Constitution.

Photo at top shows the NSA, a key member of the “intelligence community