The deep state is defined as elements of a government that operate for their own benefit independently of oversight from elected officials. Additionally, the deep state may try to manipulate elected officials through the control of information or intimidation.
In the US there are a number of agencies that could contain elements of the deep state, which include:
The National Security Agency (NSA)
This agency is primarily responsible for global monitoring, data acquisition, storage and analysis. The collected information is used for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence. There is considerable evidence that this agency has over-stepped its mandate in doing considerable domestic monitoring.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
The CIA has a similar mandate to the NSA but uses human intelligence (i.e. agents) as its primary mode of information collection. The CIA provides information primarily to the President and the cabinet. The CIA has no domestic law enforcement mandate, since this is the purview of the FBI.
Department of Homeland Security
The department of Homeland Security is a cabinet level department that was created in the wake of the 911 terrorist attacks. This department is responsible for:
- border security
- immigration and customs
- disaster prevention and management
Techniques of the Deep State
Elements of the deep state that have sensitive information, may use it to disparage either elected officials or those currently running for office. It may also be true that the deep state or elements within it wish to further their own agenda at the expense of the country.
President Eisenhower warned, at the close of his tenure as President, that the American people needed to be aware of the dangers of what he called “The military-industrial complex”. His concern was that corporate/military interests would overwhelm the public interests when it came to making decisions about military actions and the provisioning of those actions. This is typical of how a deep state would operate, since it’s main concerns are to continue to validate its’ own existence and to ensure profits are provided to corporate interests that are congruent with the views of the deep state.
The deep state is an anti-democratic cabal that undermines the public interest. In the current era, it is entirely possible that the deep state opposes Donald Trump, and at the same time Donald Trump is also a danger to democracy. His attacks on the free press (no matter how flawed its’ current incarnation may be) is an assault on democracy itself. It is no longer a matter of picking one or the other, but finding a way to maintain democracy through the opposition and exposure of the deep state and opposing the proto-fascism of the Trump Presidency.