The proverbial Deep State is not a group of elite villains bent on controlling the world – you know, the kind you might find in a James Bond film. They don’t convene in secret enclaves off the Atlantic Coast and they’re not trying to kill off the masses.
But the Deep State is real, to be sure. And it’s not just in government. It’s in schools, in the workplace, and on church parish councils and condo boards.
Deep State means a deeply embedded clique of cronies that’s resentful to change, and controls the entity from within so a new leader coming in from the outside may be in charge on paper, but is not in reality.
In American government, that outsider is the president and the Deep State is the executive branch he manages.
Case in point: The report by Special Counsel John Durham, describing his years-long investigation of U.S. intelligence agencies regarding their own investigations of possible collusion between Russia and the 2016 Donald Trump presidential campaign (Durham Report).
Rightwing media insists the Report is a smoking gun that exposes the corrupt Deep State, the FBI being its chief conspirator, in cahoots with the Clintons, the Obamas, the Bidens, and RINOs (which means ‘Republicans in Name Only’ and nowadays can apply to any Republican with whom you disagree), continuing its stranglehold on society and seeking to ensure that a superhero savior whistleblower-in-chief like Donald Trump would never make it to the White House.
The press on the left – monumentally larger than the right and more dangerous precisely because it’s more subtle in slanting information, thereby appearing more believable, and fortified by academia and Hollywood – leads us to believe that there’s “nothin’ to see here, folks.” That no one did anything wrong.
That it’s just Trump bluster to distract us from the real crimes he committed ad nauseam, from sexual assault to treason, in his neverending quest to dismantle democracy and establish an authoritarian state with him as its emperor.
Considering that I trust the media about as much as I’d trust a scorpion that wanted to hitch a ride on my back to cross the river if I were a frog, I buckled down and read the entire Report. Yup, all 316 pages. It’s sad that I have to do my own research; if only there was a trusted daily news source without partisan spin and insatiable avarice for ratings. Though a meticulous reading would take weeks, even months, I believe I’ve grasped the gist of it.
Durham begins by positing the investigation’s central questions: “Was there adequate predication for the FBI to investigate?” Was the investigation consistent with how the FBI typically investigates foreign interference in elections? Did the FBI treat in the same manner intelligence “related not to the Trump campaign, but rather to a purported [Hillary] Clinton campaign plan to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services…?”
Durham responds with a resounding no; the FBI clearly didn’t follow its established procedure and did not treat intelligence connected to the Clinton campaign with equal zeal.
Nonetheless, although Durham’s report repeatedly admonishes the FBI for unabashed unprofessionalism, it falls short of determining that anything’s likely to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in criminal court, because specific intent to deceive or to obstruct justice would be extremely hard to establish. Unless, say, Clinton and FBI agents are caught on video plotting to sabotage Trump’s campaign by concocting a phony scandal, the hope of a criminal conviction is quite slim.
“We conclude that … the FBI failed to uphold their important mission of strict fidelity to the law in connection with certain events and activities described in this report,” wrote Durham. “Neither U.S. law enforcement nor the Intelligence Community appears to have possessed any actual evidence of collusion in their holdings at the commencement of the…investigation…”
“The matter was opened as a full investigation without ever having spoken to the persons who provided the information. Further, the FBI did so without (i) any significant review of its own intelligence databases, (ii) collection and examination of any relevant intelligence from other U.S. intelligence entities, (iii) interviews of witnesses essential to understand the raw information it had received or (iv) using any of the standard analytical tools typically employed by the FBI in evaluating raw intelligence.”
The Report includes numerous text messages between FBI agents whose anti-Trump fervor is evident, such as calling Trump an “utter idiot,” “loathsome human,” and the clincher: “It’s like living in a bad dream. Trump’s not going to be president, right? Right?” With the reply: “No he’s not, we’ll stop it.”
Is the “we” in question the American voting population, or is it the FBI? You be the judge.
The Report also observes that whether or not the Russia collusion story was fabricated by the Clinton campaign, “it should have prompted FBI personnel to immediately undertake an analysis of the information and to act with far greater care and caution when receiving, analyzing, and relying upon materials of partisan origins…”
Instead, the bad actors in this drama used their executive agency muscle to try to derail the candidate they so despised. Classic Deep State stuff.
The Left rightfully ridicules rightwing conspiracy theories like the Clintons running a pedophile ring from the basement of a DC pizza parlor, but has no problem swallowing that Putin is blackmailing Trump with compromising photos of him with Russian call girls. That’s like believing that Trump walked across the street from his office into one of the busiest department stores in New York and attempted to force himself on a resisting woman, on a floor that was miraculously devoid of customers or employees.
Oh, wait, a jury did.