Deep state

political situation in a country when an internal organ does not respond to the civilian political leadership

A deep state is a type of governance made up of potentially secret and unauthorized networks of power operating independently of a state's political leadership in pursuit of their own agenda and goals. In popular usage, the term carries overwhelmingly negative connotations. The range of possible uses of the term is similar to that for shadow government. The expression state within a state is an older and similar concept. Historically, it designated a well-defined organization which seeks to function independently, whereas the deep state refers more to a hidden organization seeking to manipulate the public state.

Quotes edit

  • For the police and intelligence agencies, the propensity to operate in secret is a sine qua non for the deep state, as it provides cover for the maintenance of relationships that under other circumstances would be considered suspect or even illegal... As all governments—sometimes for good reasons—engage in concealment of their more questionable activities, or even resort to out and out deception, one must ask how the deep state differs. While an elected government might sometimes engage in activity that is legally questionable, there is normally some plausible pretext employed to cover up or explain the act... But for players in the deep state, there is no accountability and no legal limit. Everything is based on self-interest, justified through an assertion of patriotism and the national interest.
    • Deep State America, Philip Giraldi, The American Conservative Jul 30, 2015
  • Ordinary Americans frequently ask why politicians and government officials appear to be so obtuse, rarely recognizing what is actually occurring in the country. That is partly due to the fact that the political class lives in a bubble of its own creation, but it might also be because many of America’s leaders actually accept that there is an unelected, un-appointed, and unaccountable presence within the system that actually manages what is taking place behind the scenes. That would be the American deep state.
    • Deep State America, Philip Giraldi, The American Conservative Jul 30, 2015
  • Political scientists and foreign policy experts have used the term deep state for years to describe individuals and institutions who exercise power independent of—and sometimes over—civilian political leaders... Beneath the politics of convenience is the reality that a large segment of the U.S. government really does operate without much transparency or public scrutiny, and has abused its awesome powers in myriad ways.
    • The Deep State Is Real But it might not be what you think, By Michael Crowley, Politico, September/October 2017
  • For a generation, the people who saw something like an American deep state—even if they rarely called it that—resided on the left, not the right. The 9/11 attacks triggered the rapid growth of an opaque security and intelligence machine often unaccountable to the civilian legal system. In the 2000s, the critique focused on a “war machine” of military and intelligence officials, defense contractors and neoconservative ideologues who, in some versions, took orders directly from Vice President Dick Cheney. In the Obama era, the focus shifted to the eerie precision of “targeted killings” by drones, and then the furor over Snowden, the ex-National Security Agency contractor whose 2013 leaks exposed the astonishing reach of the government’s surveillance. “There’s definitely a deep state,” Snowden told the Nation in 2014. “Trust me, I’ve been there.”
    • The Deep State Is Real But it might not be what you think, By Michael Crowley, Politico, September/October 2017
  • I will totally obliterate the deep state. I will fire the unelected bureaucrats and shadow forces who have weaponized our justice system like it has never been weaponized before. And I will put the people back in charge of this country again.

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