Friday, Mar 3, 2017

Crisis: On The Deep State, On Terrorism, Zuesse's Sick Bullshit, "Russian Hacking"

Sections                                                                     crisis index

1. The Deep State’s Hatred of Trump Is Not the Same as Yours
2. Homeland Security Sees Anger At Trump as a Driver of
     “Domestic Terrorist Violence”

Aristocracy Deceives Public about the Deep State
4. The New Yorker’s Big Cover Story Reveals Five Uncomfortable
     Truths About U.S. and Russia

This is a Nederlog of Friday
, March 3, 2017.

Summary: This is an ordinary crisis log (after some days on the news about ME/CFS). There are 4 items with 5 dotted links: Item 1 is about a quite interesting article with interesting links to information about the Deep State; item 2 is about how Trump's government might stop protesters: By insisting that someone who protests Trump is engaging in "domestic terrorist violence"; item 3 is about an article on the deep state that is mostly sick nonsense ("the deep state is the aristocracy and Jeremy Scahill is one of its agents" - all without the least evidence); and item 4 is about an article by Glenn Greenwald about "Russian hacking" in which Greenwald also disbelieves (as I do) , namely for lack of any evidence.
March 3: As to the updating problem: The Danish site is OK once again; the Dutch site once again got stuck on February 27, for me (for the last days since then). Where it stuck for others I have no idea: It may be December 31, 2015. (They do want immediate payment if you are a week behind. They have been destroying my site now for over a year. And I completely distrust them, but also do not know whether they are doing it or someone secret service is.)
1. The Deep State’s Hatred of Trump Is Not the Same as Yours

The first item today is by Paul Street on Truthdig:

This starts as follows:

Last October, three weeks before the presidential election, I wrote an essay for left progressives titled “The Ruling Class’s Hatred of Trump is Different Than Yours.” People on the left, I noted, loathed the white-nationalist, quasi-fascist Donald Trump because of his sexism, racism, nativism, authoritarianism, militarism, “law and order” police-state-ism, anti-intellectualism, his regressive arch-plutocracy, fake populism, climate denialism and promise to “deregulate energy” and thereby escalate the petro-capitalist, greenhouse gassing-to-death of life on earth.

The establishment’s contempt for the orange-haired beast, I noted, was different. The nation’s unelected and interrelated dictatorships of money and empire were perfectly willing to live with most, if not all, of what the left hated about Trump.
This is neither friendly nor unbiased but it is more or less adequate (from a leftish point of view). It continues as follows:
Trump, I wrote, faced ruling-class disdain because he was considered bad for transnational capital and the American empire. For the most part, the “deep state” masters who backed Hillary Clinton did not appreciate The Donald’s blustering promises to roll back the neoliberal “free trade” agenda in the name of the forgotten working class. The foreign policy and “national security” establishment especially hated his criticism of Washington’s long march toward war with Russia.
And that is a quite interesting link. Here it is again - and it is on Wikispooks (<- about Wikispooks by Wikispooks) rather than on Wikipedia:
I will give four quotes from the last dotted link. Here is the first:
The deep state (loosely synonymous with the shadow government or permanent government) is in contrast to the public structures which appear to be directing individual nation states. The deep state is an intensely secretive, informal, fluid network of deep politicians who conspire to amplify their influence over national governments through a variety of deep state milieux.
Actually, I don't think that clarifies a lot, but let's assume (which I think is not a large assumption) that there is something like a non-elected shadow government working behind (and sometimes in opposition to) the elected government.

Here are considerably better sources:

Those interested in the deep state could do worse than study the work of the researcher who coined the term - Peter Dale Scott. Certainly, it would be wise to be circumspect about its use by commercially-controlled media - since there is a mound of evidence of deep state control of corporate media.
Peter Scott is quite interesting because he is a former Canadian diplomat and a retired professor of English. He seems also to be the one who first used the term "deep state"  in English, and there are quite a number of books and articles by him listed in the last link (that is again to Wikispooks).

Next here is Mike Lofgren (<-Wikispooks) about whose ideas I wrote a fairly long and important Nederlog in 2016. It is here. Incidentally, Wikispooks says it doesn't quite agree with Mike Lofgren:
Mike Lofgren (..) expresses the non-partisan nature of the deep state as follows: “There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power.” Peter Dale Scott approves of this 'iceberg' metaphor for giving an impression of the size of the deep state, but emphasises that it fails to reflect the fluid nature of the deep state.
And here is - finally - a reference to the composition of the Deep State:

While the exact composition of particular deep state groups and deep state milieux varies, they appear to be more or less centered upon what Dwight Eisenhower referred to as the "Military-industrial-congressional complex", although intelligence agencies are essential to their functioning. They are made up of:

I think that was all quite interesting. Now I return to Paul Street's article:
As a presidential candidate, Trump openly exhibited racist, nativist, sexist, arch-authoritarian, police-state-ist, Islamophobic, pro-torture, and even neofascist sentiments and values. “If our system of government is an oligarchy with a façade of democratic and constitutional process,” the veteran congressional staffer Mike Lofgren wrote last summer in the preface to his book “The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government,” “Trump would not only rip that façade away for the entire world to behold; he would take our system’s ugliest features and intensify them.”
Here is more by Street:

Meanwhile, the national corporate media and the U.S. intelligence community have been attacking Trump for a very different and strange reason. They have claimed, with no serious or credible evidence, that Trump is, for some bizarre reason, a tool of the Russian state. The charge is as wacky as anything Glenn Beck or, for that matter, Trump (former leader of the preposterous “birther movement”), used to say about President Obama. Citing vague and unsubstantiated CIA reports, The New York Times, The Washington Post and many other forces in the establishment media want Americans to believe that, in Glenn Greenwald’s properly mocking words, “Donald Trump is some kind of an agent or a spy of Russia, or that he is being blackmailed by Russia and is going to pass secret information to the Kremlin and endanger American agents on purpose.”

I agree, though indeed because I believe more in William Binney and Ray McGovern than in what some vague journalist I've never heard of tells me, without evidence, that should have been there somehow (according to William Binney and Ray McGovern). Here are links to two Nederlogs of late 2016, on by the Intercept's Sam Biddle and one by Truthdig's Alexander Kelly, in which I list the evidence that there is no decent evidence for Russian hacking in this case.

Then there is this on Trump:
The Trump presidency is a problem for the American establishment for some very different reasons. He’s a public relations and marketing disaster for Brand USA. How do you sell the United States as a great model and agent of freedom, democracy and cultural diversity when its visible state is captained by vicious, white-nationalist authoritarians like the Twitter-addicted “thin-skinned megalomaniac” Trump and his quasi-fascist “alt-right” Svengali, Steve Bannon?

Trump is seen by many American elites as too stupid, narcissistic and crude to head the world’s most powerful nation. It’s an understandable concern. As The New York Times noted, Trump “spent the first 48 hours of his presidency bickering about the size of the inauguration crowd.”
Probably so, and the characteristic of Trump as a thin-skinned megalomaniac” is by Noam Chomsky. Also I add - as a psychologist - that I agree Trump is a megalomaniac, and for that reason alone never should be president.

This ends as follows (after considerably more that I've skipped):
Take to the streets (and highways, town plazas, fossil-fuel extraction sites, shop floors, assembly halls, airwaves and airports, etc.) against Trump, by all means. But also take to the streets against the grim neoliberal Democrats who opened the barn door for his dangerous presidency and against the unelected “deep state” interests working always to increase the ever-upward concentration of global capitalist wealth and power. We don’t want to bring Trump down just to help install an administration more properly suited to selling and otherwise advancing American empire, inequality and ecocide.

I think that is in fact Glenn Greenwald's position, which I discussed here. I then disagreed with it and still do, mostly because (i) I am a psychologist who agrees that
Trump is a megalomaniac who cannot be trusted with nuclear arms, and because (ii) no one (outside the American government and outside the Deep State) can do much or anything against the Deep State, and because (iii) while I don't think the Deep State is morally any better than Trump, I think most of its members are not megalomaniacs, nor do they have their personal fingers on the atomic trigger.

And this is a recommended article and I will return to The Deep State (on Wikispooks).

2. Homeland Security Sees Anger At Trump as a Driver of “Domestic Terrorist Violence”

The second item is by Ryan Deveraux on The Intercept:

This starts as follows:

In the view of the Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence wing, anger over the election of Donald Trump, reflected in protests across the country, is a driving force in “domestic terrorist violence,” according to an unclassified report obtained by The Intercept.

The conclusions, laid out in a February 21 report prepared by the North Carolina Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAAC) and DHS’s Office of Intelligence & Analysis (I&A), come amid a series of controversial post-election efforts by Republican lawmakers to criminalize protest.

Yes, precisely (and I foresaw this already in 2005 (<-Dutch)): If you are angry about Donald Trump's presidential election then your anger is a species of a domestic terrorist violence” and if you go outside to protest you risk being arrested as a terrorist and may be locked up for ten years.

At least, that is what I distilled from previous articles. It is also true that these are ideas for new laws and not new laws, as yet:

Michael German, a fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program at NYU’s law school, said it was important to analyze the report and its conclusions for what it is: the work-product of one of the nation’s many law enforcement “fusion centers,” which he said tend to “measure their effectiveness by how many reports they publish.”

Then again, it seems as if Trump wants to lock anyone up who doesn't agree with his megalomanic self that He Is The Greatest In Everything That Matters - and there are now laws proposed in 18 states that aim at "cracking down on protests":

Trump has lashed out against as those protesting against him — whether they destroy property or not — as illegitimate and/or paid agitators. Following the protests in Portland he tweeted, “Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!”

The message has apparently resonated. Since Trump’s election, Republican lawmakers in at least in at least 18 states have introduced bills aimed at cracking down on protests. Decried by civil liberties advocates as the criminalization of dissent, the recent legislation has included efforts to provide legal protections to drivers who hit protesters with their cars and proposals to use racketeering laws in order to seize the property of any individual who attends a peaceful protest that turns violent.

That is: Trump supporters are - intended - to be allowed to run their cars into protesters, and protesters then risk arrest and 10 years for being "in a violent demonstration". That seems to be the general - utterly totalitarian - idea.

Here is the last bit I'll quote:

“The issue of what is counted as political violence and what isn’t, this is a longstanding problem,” German, the former FBI agent, said. “Law enforcement agencies have long tended to view vandalism, civil disobedience, or even just protest against government institutions as more serious than actual violence against marginalized populations. That’s why crimes against government property are ‘terrorism’ but crimes against minorities are ‘hate crimes’ at best and ignored at worst.”

“For example, the report calls private property destruction in DC and Portland after the election ‘domestic terrorism,’ which vastly overstates the charges levied in those incidents,” German said. “For a fusion center to amplify disorderly conduct, vandalism, or civil disobedience into terrorism is inappropriate, factually wrong, and potentially misleading to law enforcement.”

Yes indeed, but that amplifying "civil disobedience into terrorism" does seem to be the big idea behind the proposed bills in 18 states.

3. Aristocracy Deceives Public about the Deep State

The third item is by Eric Zuesse on Washington's Blog:

This starts as follows:

The “deep state” is the aristocracy and its agents. Wikispooks defines it as follows:

The deep state (loosely synonymous with the shadow government or permanent government) is in contrast to the public structures which appear to be directing individual nation states. The deep state is an intensely secretive, informal, fluid network of deep politicians who conspire to amplify their influence over national governments through a variety of deep state milieux. The term “deep state” derives from the Turkish “derin devlet”, which emerged after the 1996 Susurluk incident so dramatically unmasked the Turkish deep state.

No, it simply is a false wide generalization to say that "The “deep state” is the aristocracy and its agents." Wikispooks also does NOT say so: It says (and I quote): "The deep state (loosely synonymous with the shadow government or permanent government)" which is quite different.

Then there is this:

However, one of the deep state’s many agents, Marc Ambinder, came out with a book in 2013, Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry, much praised by others of the deep state’s agents, such as Martha Raddatz, Jeremy Scahill, and Peter Bergen; and it pretends that the ‘deep state’ is only within the official government, not above it and controlling it — not what has been called by some “the money power,” and by others “the aristocracy” (or the “oligarchy” as it was termed — though even that, only indirectly — by the only people who have scientifically established that it exists in America and controls this country). To acknowledge publicly, that the U.S. is controlled by an “aristocracy,” is prohibited in scholarly publications; it’s too ‘radical’ a truth to allow in print; it is samizdat.

You want to tell me that Jeremy Scahill (<-Wikipedia) is one of "the deep state’s agents"?! Without providing any evidence whatsoever?! For me you are writing sick nonsense.

I also deleted two other extremely vague bits I had selected, and only quote the ending:

In an “oligarchy,” the rule is: damned if you do, damned if you don’t. The existence of the deep state will always be denied, by the aristocracy and their agents. Instead of a ‘deep state’, it’s always a ‘democracy’. Meet, and come to know and understand, Big Brother. “He” is the deep state, in the real world.

I am sorry, but this is a nonsensical article that seems to insist that the deep state is the aristocracy; that Jeremy Scahill is one of its agents; and that no one is allowed to write this because everyone must insist the USA is a democracy, and "therefore" the deep state is Big Brother.

To me all of that is sick nonsense.
And I will not review any articles by Eric Zuesse anymore, because the present article is just too nonsensical for me and I have better uses for my time.

4. The New Yorker’s Big Cover Story Reveals Five Uncomfortable Truths About U.S. and Russia

The fourth item is by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept:

This starts as follows:

The New Yorker is aggressively touting its 13,000-word cover story on Russia and Trump that was bylined by three writers, including the magazine’s editor-in-chief, David Remnick. Beginning with its cover image menacingly featuring Putin, Trump, and the magazine’s title in Cyrillic letters, along with its lead cartoon dystopically depicting a UFO-like Red Square hovering over and phallically invading the White House, the article is largely devoted to what has now become standard — and very profitable — fare among East Coast newsmagazines: feeding Democrats the often xenophobic, hysterical Russophobia for which they have a seemingly insatiable craving. Democratic media outlets have thus predictably cheered this opus for exposing “Russian President Vladimir Putin’s influence on the presidential election.”

Yes indeed. As item 1 above also clarifies, I agree. There is a considerable amount more about the five uncomfortable truths that I leave to your interests.

The article ends as follows:

As Even The New Yorker Admits™, the primary reason for Trump, for Brexit, and for growing right-wing über-nationalism throughout Europe is that prevailing neoliberal policies have destroyed the economic security and future of hundreds of millions of people, rendering them highly susceptible to scapegoating and desperate, in a nothing-to-lose sort of way, for any type of radical change, no matter how risky or harmful that change might be. But all of that gets to be ignored, all of the self-reckoning is avoided, as long we get ourselves to believe that some omnipotent foreign power is behind it all.

Using Russia — yet again — to whitewash our own sins and systemic failures is bad enough. Let’s just hope it doesn’t lead the two countries back into a protracted and devastating Cold War or, worse still, direct military confrontation. With tensions rising and rhetoric becoming harsher and more manipulative, both of those outcomes are more likely than they’ve been in many years.

Yes indeed. And this is a recommended article.


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