May 4, 2011

Shallow State

The revelations of this week suggest that Pakistan is actually governed by a "deep state" that sheltered Osama bin Laden. But, what about America? Is our country ruled by a deep state?

Perhaps, but the truth may be even more terrifying. 

From the BBC, November 6, 1999:
First off, Andy Hiller, political reporter for WHDH-TV in Boston, Massachusetts, wanted to know whether the potential next president of the US could name the president of Chechnya. 
Mr Bush: "No, can you?" 
Instead, Mr Hiller fired off his second question. "Can you name the president of Taiwan?" 
Bush: "Yeah, Lee." His score so far: 50%. 
But then came the crunch question: "Can you name the general who is in charge of Pakistan?" 
Mr Bush needed a breather. "Wait, wait, is this 50 questions?"  
"No, it's four questions of four leaders in four hot spots, " the reporter tried to put his victim at ease. 
"The new Pakistani general, he's just been elected - not elected, this guy took over office. It appears this guy is going to bring stability to the country and I think that's good news for the sub-continent," the Republican candidate offered. 
Good news, but not an answer, and the interviewer insisted: "Can you name him?" 
"General. I can't name the general. General" was all Mr Bush had to offer. 
The reporter tried the another country in the same region, but the Indian prime minister's name did not come to George Bush either. 
"The new prime minister of India is - no."

This incident, of course, catapulted TV reporter Andy Hiller to national fame and fortune. 

Nah, I'm kidding, Hiller is still stuck in the same local TV job he's had since 1993. Here's a career tip: Don't embarrass the powerful by asking hard questions. It just makes everybody, powerful and powerless alike, embarrassed, and then they get mildly irritated with you.

Granted, these were actually four pretty hard questions. How many of the four country's leaders would you know today? (Is Chechnya even a country?) On the other hand, my dad's best friend isn't General Brent Scowcroft, friend of Presidents and model old school deep stater, so I didn't grow up around as many dinner table conversations about foreign leaders.

I was struck, however, by how Bush Jr., even if he couldn't remember his name, had such a strong positive opinion on the new dictator of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf. Clearly, he had picked it up somewhere, but where? And why? From reading the newspaper?

Pakistan is the country where, more than just about anywhere else in the world, you need inside information, a trusted guide to make sense of what in the world is going on there.

General Musharraf, currently living in London and avoiding a 2011 arrest warrant from a Pakistani court relating to the 2008 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, was the man in charge of Pakistan's civil government and military at the time bin Laden's compound was constructed in 2005. Seems to me that Bush, who was as plugged in as he cared to be, didn't pick up very good hints about Musharraf.

What about Obama?

In the May 2, 2011 New Yorker, Ryan Lizza tries to make sense of the War in Libya:
Barack Obama came to Washington just six years ago, having spent his professional life as a part-time lawyer, part-time law professor, and part-time state legislator in Illinois. As an undergraduate, he took courses in history and international relations, but neither his academic life nor his work in Springfield gave him an especially profound grasp of foreign affairs. ... 
As a student during the Reagan years, Obama gravitated toward conventionally left-leaning positions. At Occidental, he demonstrated in favor of divesting from apartheid South Africa. At Columbia, he wrote a forgettable essay in Sundial, a campus publication, in favor of the nuclear-freeze movement. As a professor at the University of Chicago, he focussed on civil-rights law and race. And, as a candidate who emphasized his “story,” Obama argued that what he lacked in experience with foreign affairs he made up for with foreign travel: four years in Indonesia as a boy, and trips to Pakistan, India, Kenya, and Europe during and after college. But there was no mistaking the lightness of his résumé. Just a year before coming to Washington, State Senator Obama was not immersed in the dangers of nuclear Pakistan or an ascendant China; as a provincial legislator, he was investigating the dangers of a toy known as the Yo-Yo Water Ball. (He tried, unsuccessfully, to have it banned.)

In other words, Obama, like the younger Bush, had been -- by choice -- a card-carrying member of the Shallow State.

On the other hand, Pakistan is one of the very few countries Barack Obama had any kind of inside information about. His mother worked there, he had four friends, including a roommate, from Pakistan's elite, he visited there in 1981 and stayed on the estate of a future Prime Minister's family. On September 15, 2008, I blogged:
In Pakistan in 1981, Obama stayed at the estate of the man who was recently caretaker Prime Minister after his boss, Gen. Musharraf, quit. Although Obama recently boasted of how much foreign policy expertise he gained from this trip, he didn't mention it in Dreams from My Father since it didn't have much to do with his story of race and inheritance. 
Obama's youthful connection to Pakistani bigshots is not particularly remarkable. Imagine an American student at Amherst in the 19th Century who makes friends with the tiny number of Italian students there, and goes to visit Italy with his classmate. His friends would almost certainly belong to a politically influential network of Italian families. Of course, if that American later ran for President, it would be interesting to know which network of Italian families he had connections to. ... 
Obama's Pakistani friends no doubt came from wealthy, influential families within Pakistan. Does anybody know what their political connections are within Pakistan, since they've probably helped shape Obama's view of that complicated and obscure part of the world?

This may be relevant to the question of how much credit Obama deserves.

In baseball statistics, there's the concept of Wins Above Replacement. Back in the 1980s, baseball analysts used to try to measure ballplayers against the average player. If a below average player got into a lot of games, he came out looking worse than an equally mediocre player who didn't play much. But that didn't make sense because even below average major leaguers are awfully good. The relevant comparison, instead, is to replacement players: the average player you could pick up from Triple A or the waiver wire to replace him.

In recent Presidential history, Gerald Ford might roughly represent the replacement level President. (In contrast, George W. Bush seems like the Jesus Alou of Presidents, a good-looking ballplayer from a famous family who got into 1,380 big league games despite being below replacement level for his 15 year career.)

So, you can reasonably ask: What did Obama do that Gerald Ford wouldn't have done?

If there is an answer to that question besides "nothing," it may have to do with Obama's willingness to upset the applecart in relation to Pakistan. And it could be that Obama's personal experience with Pakistanis might have made him more cynical about Pakistan than past Presidents. Maybe hanging around with rich Marxist Pakistanis taught him something about not trusting Pakistan.

Or, maybe the opposite is true, and Gerry Ford would have sent in the SEALs long before.

62 comments:

Anonymous said...

The White House initially claimed that Osama Bin Laden hid behind his wife and opened fire on the US Seals. Now the White House is claiming that Osama was unarmed and that he didn't hide behind anybody. Why does the story keep changing?

It seems the White House is trying to cover up something. At least if they wanted to lie to us, they should've lied intelligently. Now they're just going to fuel conspiracy theories and give support to detractors. Their credibility has been hurt by this.

Oh - and why the heck did they dispose of that body so damn quickly? They claim it was to "respect Islam", but all these Muslim clerics are now blasting the burial at sea as being immoral. This will fuel conspiracy theories too.

A straightforward Bin Laden death account, photo release, and burial in a secret location would've been ideal. Now we have a situation where rumors will swirl around this death for a while. That's exactly the type of thing that builds mystique and turns a man into a martyr.

Wes said...

It seems amazing at first that Obama had these connections early in life, but is it possible that people who are up-and-comers are that way from an early age? If we go back to the early history of most Presidents, would we find them making contacts with the high and mighty from the start?

I remember the picture of a young Bill Clinton shaking hands with JFK. He seemed very attracted to that scene. Seems like a lot of guys that make it big in politics were good at social politics from the beginning of their lives.

Steve Sailer said...

John F. Kerry went sailing with President John F. Kennedy in 1962.

But lots of people have lots of contacts with famous people. I was interrogated by the police once over whether I was attempting to assassinate Baroness Thatcher with a letter bomb, which their bomb disposal robot was about to throw into Chesapeake Baby until I convinced the policeman that the small heavy packaged that has arrived at the hotel addressed to me was a box of my newly printed business cards.

Anonymous said...

In 2002 this would have been a big deal. Now it is like the end of the XFiles. People stopped caring much a long time ago.

Voters next year won't factor this in. It will be a short bounce like capturing Saddam was for Bush. Does not interrupt secular slide of Obama ratings. By July when gas is $6/gallon the course will resume.

Re: "historical achievements" Bush 1 presided over the mostly peaceful dissolution of the USSR. A year later he was voted out of office because of the economic downturn.

The next economic downturn will be the end of the US as all the debts come due and the currency devalues. Massive impoverishment, mass emigration, and possible crackup of the Union is the future.

People living in Russia from 89-91 didn't realize that they were in end times. They just thought of them as bad times. Same for us. OBL is USA's last hurrah, country won't exist in current form much longer.

Wes said...

Wow, that's not the kind of contact most of us want. Probably set you on your way to being politically incorrect.

Cameron said...

I find it even more concerning that, when W. was still deciding whether to run in '97, his father chose Saudi Prince Bandar as the guy to fill him in on foreign policy.

Anonymous said...

Re the US deep state. If you are really interested you should check out Operation Gladio, e.g this excellent BBC documentary by Alan Frankovich:

http://cs.gloria.tv/?media=58158
http://all.gloria.tv/?media=58382
http://all.gloria.tv/?media=58447

This will give you a taste of what the deep state is all about in the US and other NATO countries.

Tim Howells

Wes said...

The breakup of the US doesn't seem likely due to the cultural and economic integration across the US. I was going to say we also have tons of nuclear weapons and military power - but then again so did the Soviet Union. Hmmm.

Udolpho.com said...

"Shallow State"

180, as they say on the law boards.

agnostic said...

All the conspiracy talk suggests that, in discussing American politics, we need to post one of those lakeside signs that say "Warning: Shallow" and show some dumbass breaking his skull against the rocks in his attempt to dive deep down.

Anonymous said...

Steve, I don't understand you.

You propose a theory about a possible deep state in America and then go off on tangent and drop names like Bush, Obama, Brent Scowcroft. Why?

Could it be because you like to tackle taboo subjects, but don't feel comfortable opening up a can of worms?

If there is a deep state in America, the people running it won't have names like Bush, Obama, Brent Scowcroft.

eh said...

Although Obama recently boasted of how much foreign policy expertise he gained from this trip,...

Absurd.

Anonymous said...

The evidence suggests that our interrogations of terrorists in the 2002-2006 era led to us finding Osama Bin Laden's courier. Tracking the courier for several years, it wasn't until August of 2010 when we finally found the compound in Abbotabad. It was a few months before the CIA and Seals coordinated scenarios of attack.

Obama was mainly an observer throughout most of this. He gets credit, in my view, for not screwing anything up and allowing the CIA/Seals to do this. He also gets credit for choosing a surgical strike over a bombing campaign. That may not sound like a lot, but being a good leader sometimes means stepping back and letting the experts act.

There's a good picture of the Situation Room (link below) during the takedown of Osama Bin Laden. As you can see, Barack Obama is more of an observer than actively leading anything. Given that we did kill Osama, that seems to have been the right thing to do.

http://mashable.com/2011/05/02/situation-room-pics/#13469Obama-and-Staff-in-the-Situation-Room

Bush deserves some credit too, as most of the groundwork was set during his administration.

Anonymous said...

This guy claims to have a source in the WH who essentially confirms the deep state theory:
http://socyberty.com/issues/white-house-insider-obama-hesitated-panetta-issued-order-to-kill-osama-bin-laden/

deep state said...

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!

Of course a Deep State exists; it helps the Deep State that we have millions of well-indoctrinated idiots who instantly shriek "conspiracy theorist!" the moment someone starts to get suspicious of the official story line (amusingly, they continue to defend the official story line even when it is constantly changing - ie, "we are at war with Eastasia; we have always been at war with Eastasia").

But it also helps the Deep State that we have millions of idiots who will instantly glom on to completely ridiculous theories based not on evidence or logic but a kind of "race to the bottom" to find the most bizarre explanation (Occam's Razor in reverse); "OBL is still alive" being my personal favorite of the moment. Like the idiots who scream "conspiracy theorist!" they ascribe a kind of all-powerfulness to the Deep State (though at least they admit that the Deep State exists; the lotus eaters of the majority consensus simultaneously believe everything the Deep State says while denying that the Deep State exists - what is apparent is real, only that and nothing more).

On the contrary, we know the Deep State exists in part because it is not all-powerful, because it makes mistakes or slips up or otherwise is compromised by the necessity of real politics in a late stage Democracy in the terminal stages of oligarchic decay. If the Deep State were all-powerful, it wouldn't be a Deep State: it would be a totalitarian state where the rulers were out in the open, front and center, giving orders openly in their own names and with their own voices.

Deep States by their very nature can't be up front and open about anything.

deep state said...

"A straightforward Bin Laden death account, photo release, and burial in a secret location would've been ideal. Now we have a situation where rumors will swirl around this death for a while. That's exactly the type of thing that builds mystique and turns a man into a martyr."

The Deep State existed under Bush, too, but was sufficiently desirous at the time of preventing conspiracy theories and rumors to make sure that the people it killed or captured were put on public display, their bodies shown to the public and/or journalists, the videos and pictures of their capture and/or killing were released immediately (Saddam and his sons being the best example), etc. Likewise when the authorities killed Che, they displayed the body; likewise in the Old West when outlaws were killed, the bodies were displayed, photographed, etc., and no one made ridiculous, mind-blowingly inane excuses about respecting religious decorum or not creating future shrines, etc.

There are at least three possible reasons for current Deep State policy about the recent OBL operation:

1) The operation was not as advertised, therefore the body had to be "disappeared" to prevent an autopsy or other examination of the body that would have exposed a hoax or expose some embarrassing fact of some kind or other. This has a lot of explanatory power, but requires a large degree of willing conspirators to make it work, so it seems very unlikely (we will have to wait for more evidence in the coming months and years and reweigh the evidence as appropriate).

2) The operation was exactly as advertised, but information is being withheld (videos, pictures, etc) and the body buried at sea precisely to stir up conspiracy theories and make OBL into a mythical figure. Why the Deep State might want to do this, is an interesting question which involves speculation about their long term goals and true motivations.

3) The operation was exactly as advertised, but information is being withheld (video, pictures, etc) and the body buried at sea because the Deep State, at least, in its current form within the Obama administration, is just extremely arrogant ("we don't have to provide proof of anything; our word should be good enough for the likes of you") and incompetent (ie, they really don't have a clue that burying the body at sea undermines their credibility).

I have no clue what the truth may be (nor does anyone else commenting here), but I lean towards explanation number 3 at the moment. It is the least satisfactory in terms of explanatory power, but it has the virtue of being the simplest explanation. Often times the simplest explanations are the correct explanation - but not always.

Chicago said...

Are presidents anything more than showmen, actors fronting for a variety of interests? Makeup, lighting, choreographing of public events, speechwriters and teleprompters, press agents, spin doctors, an army of personal support staff, on and on; it's all there to fake out the public.
Personalities change, that's about it. Bush was dopey but he got by by projecting himself as a sincere and amiable dunce. Obama is smooth and glib, a regular calypso singer. No president knows all there is to know; they rely on staff to tell them where Chad is or where they should stand on energy policy.
The US is probably run by a group of anonymous people who form something of a deep state. Obama's aggressive foreign war policies are just a continuation of what took place under Bush. One wouldn't think a former community organizer would be gung-ho about attacking Libya, stepping up the military action in the Af-Pak region, and so on; but there you have it.
We got a black president just for his symbolic value, that's all. Hillary would have been pretty much the same, except that the symbolism of race trumped that of gender the last time around.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a huge fan of Obama, but the guy did run on the explicit campaign promise to wind down the war in Iraq, step up activities against the Taliban and AQ in Afghanistan, and redouble the hunt for bin Laden, even if it meant unilateral action in Pakistan. That last part was actually somewhat controversial at the time, with McCain publicly disagreeing and the usual chorus of mutterings that you can't say that about our ally Pakistan.

But in retrospect, it looks like Obama actually did what he promised to do, and it worked out pretty well. So, good call on that.

AMac said...

deep state wrote (5/4/11 6:00am) --

1) The operation was not as advertised, therefore [care was taken to avoid exposing a hoax or an] embarrassing fact of some kind or other...

3) The operation was exactly as advertised, but information is being withheld... because the Deep State, at least, in its current form within the Obama administration, is just extremely arrogant... and incompetent...

--- end quote ---

Good comment. I lean towards #3 with a dash of #1, and discount #2 (intentionally providing grist for conspiracy-theorist mills).

#3 because, as you note, simpler explanations are better. Occam and all that. The bigger and more prominent the conspiracy, the harder it is to keep the secrets. This one wouldn't be as grand as the faked Apollo moon landings [/sarc], but not that far behind.

#1 because we already know that Pakistan is a wheels-within-wheels place, and a nuclear-armed failed state ("the AIG of nations"). Pak/US relationships have been fraught since its independence, and the conflicts and dissonances have grown much more acute since 2001. Pak/US? More like Pak-military/US-military/Pak-gov't/USG/Afghan/India relationships. And why stop at six? Add A.Q. Khan, China, Iran, North Korea, and so on.

There are a number of pending questions. The answers to some would be awkward for some of the first four above-named parties. "Better not to display the evidence" is a normal bureaucratic response.

Some of these quandaries have already been mentioned. For another, consider Osama's kidneys -- they've been reported to have been non-functional for years. Meaning that he survived thanks to regular expert care, e.g. dialysis. Provided either on-location, or at a nearby facility. Thus, an autopsy had the potential to convert a well-founded speculation into a fact with obvious and highly disruptive implications.

Has to be said...

There is no such thing as the "Deep State", either here, or in the Mediterranean or the Middle East. Especially not in the Mediterranean or the Middle East. There is a widespread belief in the existence of such a state; there are even a few deluded personages that think they are a part of one and imagine that the pull the strings. But in reality it's all chaos. Competing interests, incompetence, feuds, left hand that doesn't know know what the right hand is doing, and so on. There is no plan, rhyme, or reason.

DCThrowback said...

In a piece a few days ago on thise site, a commenter noted how cool Obama looked when Seth Meyers made the OBL joke about C-SPAN.

What if it wasn't coolness, but absolute and total ignorance of the operation at hand?

I mean, who goes GOLFING the day of an operation of this geo-political magnitude?

Albert Magnus said...

Jesus Alou was very good at hitting hard liners to right field. He was a good RBI man and situational hitter. The sort of guy you want in the #5 or #6 slot, but not in the #3 (where your best hitter goes and he has to be able to take work the count, unlike Jesus who never, ever walked).

He played the peak of his career in the Astrodome when it was the ultimate pitcher's park. Also, the Astros were pretty terrible during the time he played with them.

AMac said...

Another aspect of the raid that has an awkward explanation, whatever it is -- The White House and the Pak Gov't agree that the Pakistani Air Force scrambled jets upon learning that something was happening in Abbottabad. The reason that the U.S. helicopters were not intercepted, but instead returned to Afghanistan, is ...

Kylie said...

"I was interrogated by the police once over whether I was attempting to assassinate Baroness Thatcher with a letter bomb..."

Steve Sailer as the Adolf Verloc of SoCal.

It boggles the mind, this mind anyway.

Has to be said...

"People living in Russia from 89-91 didn't realize that they were in end times."

That's right, they didn't. Here in US, on the other hand, you've people prophecising the end every minute of the day.

Jeff Burton said...

Anyone still following "White House Insider"? The latest was linked from instapundit. Last piece was like out of Seven Days in May.

Udolpho.com said...

You know what's funny? People in these comments saying that if Osama's body had been "buried in a secret location" that this would have completely dispelled all these wacky conspiracy theories!

I laughed for what seemed like years. I guess people sometimes don't think about what they're really saying.

Anonymous said...

The best evidence seems to be that we have a small but significant hidden government presence in the military. That comforts me.

Why the military? First of all in unstable regimes around the world the military usually has a role when the official and/or constitutional authorities fail. When Egypt rioted it was the military which came forward - it was not the Post Office or the Department of Agriculture. It is always the military and only the military.

So does our own military have an extra-constitutional mission? Obviously yes. I mentioned Bradley's keeping Truman in the dark over the Venona secrets. That procedure is not to be found in your high school civics text. It is a clear example of "Deep State" functioning.

I speculated in these pages a year or two ago that the Joint Chiefs of Staff probably had a contingency plan to deal with an unstable Barrack Obama. I said then and I think it's still true that Obama by himself can't actually nuke anyone. The button just wouldn't work.

But if that is true, does that mean that the military is secretly in charge? Not really. If General Petraeus for example wanted to enact school vouchers or build a border fence, how would he do it? The networks wouldn't give him air time for a press conference. Any loose talk by the General and the President would just fire him and his poll numbers would soar.

Some people like to say that the "neocons" who advocated the invasion of Iraq were secretly in charge. This is a variant on the "nine Jews in a Geneva bank vault" theory of world government.

If there were a Deep Government why does it continually fail to act? Obama hesitates on Libya and hesitates in the Gulf. Yet no formerly secret strong man steps forward to the mic and announces his action plan. Obama seems adrift. I think that's not an act. It's real.

Albertosaurus

Pawky G said...

Steve, I'm a fan since I discovered your writings a bit less a year ago.

Re. Bin Laden

You seem to assume that our intelligence people didn't know his whereabouts and that the Pakistani government was hiding him from us. We may never know, and you may be right, but another explanation is just as probable.

Perhaps our "leaders" have known that Bin Laden was gravely ill for years. They were complicit in allowing him to "hide” in a specially constructed compound near two hospitals in the heart of Pakistan where he could receive necessary care. In this manner he has been kept under wraps while massive sums are wasted, sorry, "spent", on military bases, infrastructure, operations, etc. ostensibly to look for him and to perform other important tasks vital to our national security.

Why was he "found" now? Again, perhaps we will never know, but perhaps he was about to die, or did die, of natural causes.

Why burial at sea? Perhaps, following the MO of Black Ops, they wanted to stoke the fires of conspiracy theorists and create more diversion, or perhaps they just didn't want the emaciated corpse of a terminally ill "mortal enemy" around.

We ordinary folks will never know the truth, but this explanation fits the information we have.

Keep up the good fight.

Fake Herzog said...

Steve,

This just came in my email via Jim Geraghty's NRO newsletter:

Apparently in last night's Frontline special, a Taliban commander is quoted as saying, "Pakistan could, if it chose to, arrest us all in an hour."

Anonymous said...

Wes: It seems amazing at first that Obama had these connections early in life, but is it possible that people who are up-and-comers are that way from an early age? If we go back to the early history of most Presidents, would we find them making contacts with the high and mighty from the start?

I remember the picture of a young Bill Clinton shaking hands with JFK. He seemed very attracted to that scene...


Steve Sailer: John F. Kerry went sailing with President John F. Kennedy in 1962...


Will  the  Gipper  now prove to have been the last president of our lifetimes to have lived a relatively "normal" life, and, especially, to have experienced a relatively "normal" childhood & adolescence?

Surely that's one of the reasons why it is so urgently imperative for the elitists [both Frankfurt School DEM and Country Club GOP] to destroy Sarah - because she represents the "other".

And we certainly can't have the "other" running the show.

airtommy said...

I find it even more concerning that, when W. was still deciding whether to run in '97, his father chose Saudi Prince Bandar as the guy to fill him in on foreign policy.

Wrong! It was Richard Perle who coached Dubya on foreign policy while he was in Texas preparing to run. I wouldn't be concerned if Saudis influenced our foreign policy, since they are a major ally and business partner. Israel, on the other hand, is an archenemy. Their interests run directly against American interests. They want chaos in the Middle East, we want stability. They want to wreck the Middle Eastern business that we are trying to conduct.

The evidence suggests that our interrogations of terrorists in the 2002-2006 era led to us finding Osama Bin Laden's courier.

Evidence? There is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that. There is merely conjecture and rumor.

Big bill said...

I think Bush Jr. and Obama are sock puppets for other money interests. Both were catapulted from obscurity to fame on empty résumés. Both have disappointed their voter/boosters: Bush with his insane 2005 open borders plan, and Obama with his many, many banker suckups warmongering, and support for continuing the Bush civil rights violations.

Please Mr. President, now that Osama is dead, can we have the writ of habeas corpus back?

Camlost said...

I see a lot of plausibility in that insider's account of the Gates/Panetta/Clinton faction needing to circumvent the Valerie Jarrett influence to get this mission done.

Anonymous said...

Stupid, stupid, stupid--

It's just been announced that Obama will not release the photos.

You know what? Every American, esp. anyone who lost someone in the attack, has a damn right to see that bastard blown apart.

Just when I think Obama is "getting it," he turns soft again.


As if not showing it will protect us from attack....gawd.

Whiskey said...

Steve, there is no deep state. That's some BS the Islamists in Turkey cooked up to try the secular military in their own purges. Not even the USSR had a "deep state" just factions. Human beings are not built that way ... they are corrupt, faction-driven, incompetent, venal, and lazy.

Obama is a perfect example -- his idiot ideology conflicts with his getting re-elected. So he dithers and votes present for 8 months, before finally rolling the dice. Meanwhile Egypt hails bin Laden and blasts Obama under the Muslim Brotherhood, and Iran edges towards nuclear status, and Pakistan could tumble into an Islamist coup. SuperGenius!

ben tillman said...

George W. Bush seems like the Jesus Alou of Presidents....

Haha - awesome.

Whiskey said...

The link about Obama dithering and Panetta and Clinton taking over is interesting, and revealing if true. But that would not be a "deep state."

A deep state requires real power to exist in "hidden" institutions, that acts to protect itself to the detriment of the people / outward institutions. And is moreover partly hereditary. That's a fantasy borne out of the X-Files or Hollywood (akin to the Magical Black person of infinite wisdom or Black tech genius).

Power is NEVER hidden, power has to be flaunted to get money, sex, and deference. Osama bin Laden did not pretend to be the innocuous gardener at the estate, he was the big man.

Wandrin said...

If ISI were holding OBL, and AQ kept quiet about it so OBL would get his dialysis then most of the US story could be true. The US gradually find out where he's being held and believe it's OBL's compound not the ISI's compound. They raid it and find it's a prison not a hide-out then what?

If they come clean that's a major diplomatic incident which they can't afford because they need Pak help over Afghanistan. So they dump his body in the sea and simply cover up the ISI side of it.

The thing to understand is the US has a shallow state (Obama, Bush, Palin, Trump and the rest of the media circus), a proto Deep State (neocons) and a real Deep State that is a legacy of the Cold War.

The CIA-military Deep State REALLY don't want another war as they want the military to have a long, long spell of R&R to make up for being ground down so hard by Iraq and Afghanistan. The neocons don't care about that and want to attack everybody all the time so they keep trying to stir trouble.

That's the real battle. The new elite have taken over the Shallow State but haven't completely taken over the old Deep State. Hence why the Panetta-Petraeus moves are so important.

Tino said...

The Indians reportedly told the U.S twice Bin Laden was around Islamabad.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-had-twice-told-US-about-Osamas-likely-presence-close-to-Islamabad/articleshow/8156230.cms

M.G. Miles said...

This guy claims to have a source in the WH who essentially confirms the deep state theory:
Obama hesitated, Panetta issued order


This was disturbing reading. If it's true--and doesn't it harmonize well with that 'War Room' photo?--this must have been leaked by someone very, very high up indeed. Internal coup? Are there precedents?

Anon 4:17, that site also published this last week ('Obama's West Wing Civil War'), which I hadn't seen, and, wow. If true--and ring true it does--I shamefacedly admit I had not imagined it was this bad up at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Anonymous said...

"Yeah, Lee."

What a smartass.

Anonymous said...

If ISI were holding OBL, and AQ kept quiet about it so OBL would get his dialysis then most of the US story could be true. The US gradually find out where he's being held and believe it's OBL's compound not the ISI's compound. They raid it and find it's a prison not a hide-out then what?

If they come clean that's a major diplomatic incident which they can't afford because they need Pak help over Afghanistan. So they dump his body in the sea and simply cover up the ISI side of it.




Exactly.

Dump this body in the sea means no autopsy to find out that Osama Bin Laden was getting kidney dialaysis and other medical treatment from Pakistan..

Saying we put Osama in the sea to "respect Islam" is just so much ridiculous BS. Saying Osama was armed one day, then now saying he was unarmed, is very suspect too. There was a concerted effort to make sure Bin Laden didn't talk and we didn't see the body.

RKU said...

Wandrin: The thing to understand is the US has a shallow state (Obama, Bush, Palin, Trump and the rest of the media circus), a proto Deep State (neocons) and a real Deep State that is a legacy of the Cold War...That's the real battle. The new elite have taken over the Shallow State but haven't completely taken over the old Deep State. Hence why the Panetta-Petraeus moves are so important.

Well, I think that's a crucial aspect of what's going on, but I'd say that despite all the Afghan/Iraq disasters, the new Deep State (unfortunately) still possesses many more levers of power than the remnants of the old Cold War Deep State.

That the Iraq War itself. In the run-up, the old Deep State and some of whom I'd regard as its leading figures---Zbig, Zinni, Baker, etc.---did everything to block it, and just got rolled over. Then in late 2006, the Baker Commission, representing the same sort of old elite DC power consensus, said we should pull out immediately, and the neocons crushed them. Just consider of all the top generals and admirals, including in the Obama Administration, who've been fired over the last few years for opposing additional wars and expansions or otherwise running afoul of the neocons. I think the key factor is that the MSM is the most important power-center in today's America, and while the old Deep State is relatively weak there, the new Deep State has a near-stranglehold.

Here's an indicator. America's top civilian official for Af-Pak is Marc Grossman, a name *very* familiar to anyone who pays attention to things, and an extreme example of a new Deep State figure. I think if the old Deep State had any real political muscle, he wouldn't be there.

dearieme said...

"Why does the story keep changing?"
Because the first instinct of the American military is to assume that their fellow Americans are largely gullible hicks.

Similarly, the story about how the intelligence was gathered is almost certainly a lie - but so it should be; it is the duty of a secret intelligence service to lie in such circumstances.

sj071 said...

Re: 'Obama hesitated, Panetta issued order.'
For the record, Mr. Panneta's ancestors hail from an extremly pictoresque, yet very old-fashioned part of Italy. This headline pulls the curtain to reveal a completely new angle to a 'Nature versus nurture' debate, so beloved by readers of iSteve.

David said...

"In May 1975, Cambodian Communists, known as the Khmer Rouge, seized an American cargo ship — the Mayaguez — and its thirty-eight American crew members. President [Ford] and his advisers, determined to demonstrate American toughness to both the world and the U.S. public, ordered a commando raid to free the crew. More than forty Americans died in the complicated operation, but the Khmer Rouge released the crew and abandoned the Mayaguez in the middle of the U.S. attack.

"Ford and [Secretary of State Henry] Kissinger portrayed the return of ship and crew as a great American military victory, and the American public seemed to agree: Ford's public-approval rating soared eleven points. Looking back on the incident, historian John Robert Greene has raised questions about whether the Ford administration's rescue operation was unduly risky and focused more on punishing the Khmer Rouge than retrieving the American sailors." Cite.

Severn said...

Off topic/getting back to the real world ...

To date, the U.S. government has brought few cases against big Wall Street banks in response to the mortgage crisis that nearly toppled the world's financial system almost three years ago. But the Justice Department today filed suit against Deutsche Bank for hundreds of millions of dollars, alleging that the banking giant unfairly stuck taxpayers with the tab for bad home loans it issued.

The complaint, filed in Federal District Court in New York, accused Deutsche Bank of failing to adequately scrutinize potential borrowers, then lying to government officials about its lapses of due diligence.

The bank "ignored every type of red flag and breached every duty of due diligence before underwriting thousands of federally insured mortgages," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara charged in a statement to reporters. "While the homes the defendants issued loans for may have been built on solid ground, the defendants' lending practices were built on quicksand. Ultimately, prudence was trumped by profit, and good faith took a back seat to good fees."


Link

Wandrin said...

RKU

Yes i'd agree with most of that except i wasn't intending to mean the neocons and CIA-Military are fundamentally at odds with each other. I don't think the CIA-Military lobby were opposed to either Iraq or Afghanistan. I'm saying they've been quietly fighting behind the scenes for the last few years to prevent the neocons starting any new ones until Iraq-Afghanistan are fully over and the military is fully recovered.

Anonymous said...

MG Miles, the link you gave has this quote which shores up the credibility of White House Insider: "...[Jarret has] pissed off the military – oh that’s another story I’ll have to share with you soon. That one is still playing out right before our eyes though, so we gotta let that one turn out first. She’s gonna get burned on that too." Note that it was published on 28 April.

RKU said...

BTW, here's an additional datapoint in support of my analysis of the relative power of the old Deep State vs. the new...

As the four-star hero-general commanding CentCom now moving to CIA, Petraeus has received massive media adulation and is sometimes described (foolishly) as the most important American general since Eisenhower and a possible future presidential candidate. Yet remember at one point last year, he accidentally let slip some phrase about Israeli actions sometimes having some sort of negative impact on our own Mid East problems, and was immediately transformed into a hunted rabbit, desperate to escape. Someone obtained and published on the Internet a fawning email he'd sent to a second-rate fortyish neocon named Max Boot, saying how eager he was to somehow redeem himself, what a close friend he'd always been to Elie Weisel, and how he'd like to arrange a private dinner or something like that.

For better or (mostly) for worse, we live in a society controlled by the media, so those who control the media control the society.

David said...

Steve, this doesn't prove the existence of the Shallow State.

It might show only that the Deep State employs figureheads (airheads).

Anonymous said...

But the Justice Department today filed suit against Deutsche Bank for hundreds of millions of dollars, alleging that the banking giant unfairly stuck taxpayers with the tab for bad home loans it issued.

Hmmm, help me out here.

Deutsche Bank - sued by Justice.

Goldman Sachs - walks away, ah, "Scot" free.

Sorry, but I just can't see the pattern.

headache said...

@dearemie,
Israel Shamir states in Counterpunch that the US were aware of OBL's whereabouts since 2005, and only killed him now coz. Wikileaks had recently published the data about his courier:

http://counterpunch.com/shamir05042011.html

Apparently there is also competition between the NYT/Guardian and Wikileaks, with the former using a "stolen" file from Wikileaks.

Anonymous said...

Lol, that 'White House source' is bullshit.

SEALs don't take orders from the head of the CIA. The only Special Forces teams the head of the agency can issue orders to are the SAD.

If he tried to bump Gates off the chain of command, not only would he get no response but he'd be risking capital punishment.

Felix said...

Isn't the existence of US senators with sub 1000 SAT scores and "directors of intelligence committees" who don't know the difference between Sunnis and Shiites concrete proof that the people truly running the country are not in the spotlight? America has many people of vast wealth and superior intellect, and it's preposterous to believe that those people just sit there and react to decisions made by the second rate, baby-kissing buffoons that are our "elected officials." It's very obvious that real decisions don't get made in the oval office or in congress.

rob said...

No body and no photos because either would clearly show that the bullet entered Bin Laden's head from above and behind: he was shot execution style.

Cameron said...

-airtommy

State of Denial by Bob Woodward, Chapter 1. Bandar was they guy chosen by G.H.W. Bush to brief his son when he was deciding whether to run or not.

'I wouldn't be concerned if Saudis influenced our foreign policy, since they are a major ally and business partner'

Unfortunately they do influence US foreign policy. 'Ally and business partner'? You mean just like Pakistan's an ally?

Israel is top dog in the middle east. They want stability.

Wes said...

Felix, I think we would all be surprised at how often low IQ people have risen in politics and wielded real power.

ben tillman said...

For better or (mostly) for worse, we live in a society controlled by the media, so those who control the media control the society.

What's come over you lately? Your comments are all right on the money these days.

ATBOTL said...

"I was struck, however, by how Bush Jr., even if he couldn't remember his name, had such a strong positive opinion on the new dictator of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf. Clearly, he had picked it up somewhere, but where? And why? From reading the newspaper?"

The American ruling class has long looked fondly upon third world dictators. They don't need to know anything about a country to want a corrupt dictator to run it because they know dictators will give their corporations resources at criminally low prices.

"For better or (mostly) for worse, we live in a society controlled by the media, so those who control the media control the society."

Do you think that it's okay for a tiny, hostile, alien elite to control America?

ATBOTL said...

Why do these morons running our country feel the need to release so much information, but not the one thing that would be most useful?

They should have said "we got him in Pakistan, here's the pic" and left it at that.