The opening paragraph of this essay reads, in part, as if were written in an American newspaper, during the the height of the McCarthy Purges, in its first sentence, while subsequently critiquing it: call it maladroit framing, or pastiche journalism, born in the Age of Trump?
The conviction that pointy-headed intellectuals in the US national security establishment are covertly imposing their worldview on American foreign policy hardly originated with the Trump White House. Joseph McCarthy’s anti-Communist crusade in the 1950s was largely premised on the same paranoia about some establishment “deep state”. Similar views were voiced — with lesser degrees of conspiratorial conviction — by the Reagan and Nixon adminsistrations.
One of the major disadvantages that Peter Spiegel shares, with so many of the writers at The Financial Times, is that their historical memories lack sufficient , what to name it, depth? As they didn’t live through the political era’s they write about, with such confidence! Searching for the right descriptors, for much of what is written in the pages of this newspaper, is a challenge for anyone who actually came of age in 1950’s America.
Its ‘as if’ the Coup against Mosaddegh never happened, The Bay of Pigs, The Assassination of John Kennedy, and its cover-up: ‘The Warren Report’ and its ‘magic bullet’ theory confected by the late Arlen Spector. Mark Lane, Jim Garrison, and myriad other ‘Conspiracy Theorists’ , a concept cobbled together by the CIA, exposed the Deep State operatives who were the true conspirators. Not to forget the revelations of the long forgotten Phillip Agee in his 1975 book ‘Inside the Company: CIA Diary’.
What is missing in Peter Spiegel’s essay is the propaganda opportunity for constructing an apologetic for a ‘Deep State’ that actually exists. David Rohde constructs a valuable National Analgesic, an apologetic for the existence of a National Security apparatus, that like the Pentagon’s budget, cannot be audited! Here is a paragraph from Spiegel’s paraphrase of Rohde’s book:
To Rohde, the importance of the Church committee is not so much what it uncovered — unauthorised wiretapping of high-ranking US politicians, infiltration of peaceful domestic political groups, “black bag jobs” that broke into private homes to plant incriminating evidence — as the reforms it spawned. Many of the norms Trump now flouts, Rohde argues, flowed from Church: justice department independence, congressional oversight, independent counsels, inspectors-general.
The FISA Court was the product of the Church Committee: ‘A Secret Court: Secret Evidence, Secret Witnesses, Secret Trails, National Security Letters’! Without Oversight! A monument, not to Constitutional governance, but the unchecked power of Security State Operatives.
The two essays below, do more than support Mr. Spiegel’s rhetorically evolving doubt!
December 18, 2019
Headline: FISA court’s rebuke of the FBI: It broke or ignored the rules and our rights
The presiding judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) has issued a stinging rebuke to the FBI in the wake of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on the bureau’s serial abuses in the surveillance of Carter Page.
In the FISC’s assessment, the derelictions in the Page surveillance warrants are so serious, the court’s judges cannot be confident that any warrant applications the FBI has submitted are accurate and complete — i.e., that the bureau’s assertions have been true and, even if true, were not misleading because of the omission of relevant information.
Consequently, in an extraordinary public order on Tuesday, the secret court’s presiding judge, Rosemary Collyer, directed the Justice Department and the FBI to conduct a thorough review of all submissions the bureau has made to the FISC. They have about three weeks (until Jan. 10, 2020) to explain what steps have been taken to assure the candor of each submission.
April 30, 2020
Headline: Michael Flynn case should be dismissed to preserve justice
Previously undisclosed documents in the case of former national security adviser Michael Flynn offer us a chilling blueprint on how top FBI officials not only sought to entrap the former White House aide but sought to do so on such blatantly unconstitutional and manufactured grounds.
These new documents further undermine the view of both the legitimacy and motivations of those investigations under former FBI director James Comey. For all of those who have long seen a concerted effort within the Justice Department to target the Trump administration, the fragments will read like a Dead Sea Scrolls version of a “deep state” conspiracy.
One note reflects discussions within the FBI shortly after the 2016 election on how to entrap Flynn in an interview concerning his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. According to Fox News, the note was written by the former FBI head of counterintelligence, Bill Priestap, after a meeting with Comey and his deputy director, Andrew McCabe.
The note states, “What is our goal? Truth and admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?” This may have expressed an honest question over the motivation behind this targeting of Flynn, a decision for which Comey later publicly took credit when he had told an audience that he decided he could “get away” with sending “a couple guys over” to the White House to set up Flynn and make the case.