21 Apr 2011

The Deep State

In Turkey, the Deep State refers to a cabal of military and authoritarian types who run the country for their own interests, slandering, torturing and assassinating opponents as they hold themselves above the law.

The Deep State exists in many dangerous countries (from Russia to Venezuela to Guatemala), but I worry about its rise in the US.

Some of you already know about previous failures at the FBI, the expansion of the military industrial complex, and the propaganda wars around climate change (spying on climate scientists, denier bots), but the wheels really started to come off when wikileaks started publishing State Department cables.

HBGary (an "expert hacking" organization) attacked wikileaks. In a counter attack by hackers, HBGary's emails were published, and they revealed that the US Chamber of Commerce and BankAmerica were running solicited to run misinformation campaigns in favor of their interests.

It seems that corporations are not just content to offer bribes as part of their "first amendment right" to influence policies and politicians; they [corporations like HBGary but not necessarily BofA or the USCC] also violate our civil rights by hiring hackers to attack people whose beliefs (or attempts to enforce the law) get in the way of their profits.

Now this reminds me of business in Russia: You uphold the law, we shoot you in the head.

What's sad is that our so-called leaders are much more interested in fear and loathing than upholding openness and freedom. Private Bradley Manning -- accused of leaking the State Department cables but not charged -- has been held in solitary confinement for nine months. That's not justice. That's fascism.*

Bottom Line: Our leaders are losing sight of their job (to serve citizens and uphold the constitution) in favor of self-service, greed, ego, and brutality -- and we are letting them get away with it.

* Naomi Klein (a NY liberal) compares US policies to policies in Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. Unfortunately, she makes a good point.


Michael Strong said...

David, your post is libelous as it stands, unless you have additional information that is not cited.

You claim:

"HBGary's emails were published, and they revealed that the US Chamber of Commerce and BankAmerica were running misinformation campaigns in favor of their interests."

But the link that you cite only alleges wrong-doing by HBGary, NOT US Chamber of Commerce and Bank of America:

"It proposed services to clients like a law firm working with Bank of America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that included cyberattacks and misinformation campaigns, . . . "

There is an immense difference between the claim that such services were proposed and that these services were accepted.

David Zetland said...

@Michael -- you're right.


Tom said...

Another great source on this subject is Glenn Greenwald over at Salon.

He is very thorough and even handed, without compromising his strong views. Though he is clearly a lefty, as a right-leaning reader I usually find his arguments compelling.
(More so than the shrill metaphors from Klein, even if they are valid.)

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