The corporate-deep-state theory
In a recent UNZ article titled: Political science’s “theory of everything” a concise map of the US establishment, both the visible and invisible government was mapped. Based on this map a theory emerged that showed how the visible government has been subverted by an invisible unelected government that was described as a corporate-deep-state. The levels of the US establishment were identified as a power elite conspiratorial leadership overseeing a corporatocracy and directing a deep state that has gradually subverted the visible US government and taken over the “levers of power.”
The power elite
The invisible rulers of the US establishment were revealed by Professor C. Wright Mill in his article titled, The Structure of Power in American Society (The British Journal of Sociology, March 1958), in which he explains how, “the high military, the corporation executives, the political directorate have tended to come together to form the power elite of America.”
He describes how the power elite can be best described as a “triangle of power,” linking the corporate, executive government, and military factions: “There is a political economy numerously linked with military order and decision. This triangle of power is now a structural fact, and it is the key to any understanding of the higher circles in America today.”
The 2016 US election, like all other US elections, featured a gallery of pre-selected candidates that represented the three factions and their interests within the power elite. The 2016 US election, however, was vastly different from previous elections. As the election dragged on the power elite became bitterly divided, with the majority supporting Hilary Clinton, the candidate pre-selected by the political and corporate factions, while the military faction rallied around their choice of Donald Trump.
During the election campaign the power elite’s military faction under Trump confounded all political pundits by outflanking and decisively defeating the power elite’s political faction. In fact by capturing the Republican nomination and overwhelmingly defeating the Democratic establishment, Trump and the military faction not just shattered the power elites’ political faction, within both the Democratic and Republican parties, but simultaneously ended both the Clinton and Bush dynasties.
During the election campaign the power elite’s corporate faction realised, far too late, that Trump was a direct threat to their power base, and turned the full force of their corporate media against Trump’s military faction, while Trump using social media bypassed and eviscerated the corporate media causing them to lose all remaining credibility.
As the election reached a crescendo this battle between the power elite’s factions became visible within the US establishment’s entities. A schism developed between the Defense Department and the highly politicized CIA. This schism, which can be attributed to the corporate-deep-state’s covert foreign policy, traces back to the CIA orchestrated “color revolutions” that had swept the Middle East and North Africa.
The covert invasion of Syria
A US Pentagon, DIA report, formerly classified “SECRET//NOFORN” and dated August 12, 2012, was circulated widely among various government agencies, including CENTCOM, the CIA, FBI, DHS, NGA, State Dept., and many others.
Astoundingly, the declassified report states that for “THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY [WHO] SUPPORT THE [SYRIAN] OPPOSITION… THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME…”.
The document shows that as early as 2012, US intelligence predicted the rise of the Salafist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), but instead of clearly delineating the group as an enemy, the report envisions the terror group as a US strategic asset.
At the time this was the highest level internal US intelligence confirmation of the theory that western governments fundamentally see the Islamic State as their own tool for regime change in Syria. The military faction began a steady stream of “one-sided” leaks to Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh who published one article after another that undermined the political (Obama administration) and corporate (CIA and intelligence) factions of the power elite, while painting the military faction in a positive light.
The first article entitled Whose Sarin? was published on 19 December, 2013 and concerned the East Ghouta sarin gas attack of August 21, 2013. Hersh documents a clear campaign within the power elite’s military faction to “foot-drag” and hopefully block the planned US retaliation for crossing President Obama’s “red line”: “[S]ome members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were troubled by the prospect of a ground invasion of Syria as well as by Obama’s professed desire to give rebel factions non-lethal support. In July, General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, provided a gloomy assessment, telling the Senate Armed Services Committee in public testimony that ‘thousands of special operations forces and other ground forces’ would be needed to seize Syria’s widely dispersed chemical warfare arsenal, along with ‘hundreds of aircraft, ships, submarines and other enablers’.”
A cornered Obama welcomed a draft UN resolution calling on the Assad government to get rid of its chemical arsenal. The political faction’s step-down pleased many senior military officers, explains Hersh: “One high-level special operations adviser told me that the ill-conceived American missile attack on Syrian military airfields and missile emplacements, as initially envisaged by the White House, would have been ‘like providing close air support for al-Nusra’.”
The Red Line and the Rat Line
The second article titled The Red Line and the Rat Line was published on 17 April, 2014 and explains why Obama delayed and then relented on Syria when he was not shy about rushing into Libya: “The answer lies in a clash between those in the administration (political faction) who were committed to enforcing the red line, and military leaders who thought that going to war was both unjustified and potentially disastrous.”
General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs had irritated many in the Obama administration by repeatedly warning Congress over the summer of the danger of American military involvement in Syria. The military faction also had the advantage of a British intelligence report of a sample of sarin, recovered by Russian military intelligence operatives, proving it was not from the Syrian army. Further suspicions were aroused within the military faction when more than ten members of the al-Nusra Front were arrested in southern Turkey with two kilograms of sarin. Hersh quotes his internal military source: “‘We knew there were some in the Turkish government,’ a former senior US intelligence official, who has access to current intelligence, told me, ‘who believed they could get Assad’s nuts in a vice by dabbling with a sarin attack inside Syria – and forcing Obama to make good on his red line threat.’”
Further revelations included how the Obama administration, through the CIA, had by early 2012 created a “rat line”, a back channel highway into Syria, used to funnel weapons and ammunition from Libya via southern Turkey and across the Syrian border to jihadists, some of them affiliated with Al-Qaeda.
Hersh’s source explains how a Senate Intelligence Committee report on the assault by a local militia on the American consulate and a nearby undercover CIA facility in Benghazi, which resulted in the death of the US ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and three others in September 2012, revealed a secret agreement for the “rat line” reached in early 2012 between the Obama and Erdoğan administrations: “By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi’s arsenals into Syria.”
After Washington abruptly ended the CIA’s role in the transfer of arms from Libya the “rat line” continued and became more ominous: “‘The United States was no longer in control of what the Turks were relaying to the jihadists,’ the former intelligence official said. Within weeks, as many as forty portable surface-to-air missile launchers, commonly known as manpads, were in the hands of Syrian rebels.”
The Killing of Osama bin Laden
The third article titled The Killing of Osama bin Laden was published on 17 April, 2014. The Obama administration needed a public relations win on the eve of his second term election and according to Hersh’s military source: “‘the killing of bin Laden was political theatre designed to burnish Obama’s military credentials.’”
Hersh’s article goes on to systematically debunk the Obama administration’s entire clumsy cover story while implicating the Saudis and Pakistanis who financed and protected Osama bin Laden. He goes on to reveal that once he had outlived his usefulness, to the Pakistanis, he was traded to the Americans who murdered him in cold blood and tossed his mutilated body parts over the Hindu Kish mountains.
The article further reveals how the Senate Intelligence Committee’s long-delayed report on CIA torture, released in December 2013 concluded that the CIA lied systematically about the effectiveness of its torture programme in gaining intelligence that would stop future terrorist attacks in the US.
Military to Military
Hersh’s fourth article titled Military to Military was published on 7 January 2016, and details how an exasperated military faction continued to repeat warnings that the fall of the Assad regime would lead to Libyan style chaos and, potentially, to Syria’s takeover by jihadi extremists. They were continuously ignored by both the political faction and the intelligence services: “[A]lthough many in the American intelligence community were aware that the Syrian opposition was dominated by extremists the CIA-sponsored weapons kept coming… General Dempsey and his colleagues on the Joint Chiefs of Staff kept their dissent out of bureaucratic channels, and survived in office. General Michael Flynn did not. ‘Flynn incurred the wrath of the White House by insisting on telling the truth about Syria,’ said Patrick Lang, a retired army colonel who served for nearly a decade as the chief Middle East civilian intelligence officer for the DIA. ‘He thought truth was the best thing and they shoved him out. He wouldn’t shut up.’ Flynn told me his problems went beyond Syria. ‘I was shaking things up at the DIA – and not just moving deckchairs on the Titanic. It was radical reform. I felt that the civilian leadership did not want to hear the truth. I suffered for it, but I’m OK with that.’”
Hersh’s paper further highlights a rebellion under the leadership of Joint Chiefs of Staff that was then led by General Martin Dempsey. He began to send a flow of US intelligence through allied militaries to the Syrian Arab Army and he orchestrated a deliberate plan to downgrade the quality of the arms being supplied to the rebels by the CIA. The military’s indirect pathway to Assad disappeared with Dempsey’s retirement in September 2015. The political faction then replaced Dempsey, as chairman of the Joint Chiefs, with General Joseph Dunford who advocated a “hard line” on Russia.
The power elite’s military faction realised that radical reform could not begin until the military faction had full political support behind them.
Rise of the Generals
In the 2016 US election Trump with the full weight of the military faction behind him pulled off a stunning victory against the entire political faction – defeating both the Democratic and Republican Party machines – and the corporate media.
The cornerstone of the corporatocracy, the Wall Street lobby, due to the sheer amount of fiat petrodollar based money it generates, and the influence it has over the US establishment was officially dethroned. The locus of power within the power elite had suddenly and dramatically shifted from Wall St to the Pentagon.
Although the situation is very fluid on the eve of the Trump presidency a map highlighting the US establishment entities supporting either Trump or his defeated opponent Clinton can be arguably mapped below.
Trump quickly named security hardliners including past and present generals and FBI officials, to key security and intelligence positions while the corporate media accused Trump of having a starry-eyed fascination with the brass of America’s losing wars.
Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, who was forced from his position as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014, will be President-elect Donald Trump’s national security adviser. Army retired Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg will be serving in a supporting capacity to Flynn as chief of staff of the National Security Council (NSC).
Trump selected retired General James Mattis to lead the Department of Defense. Mattis, a documented war criminal, had helped cover up the 2005 Haditha massacre of 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians by US soldiers. His soldiers also directly committed war crimes in the US sieges of Fallujah in 2004, when his forces not only used white phosphorus but fired on and killed up to 5,000 innocent civilians. General Mattis has called for a “new security architecture for the Mideast built on sound policy … Iran is a special case that must be dealt with as a threat to regional stability, nuclear and otherwise.” On a positive Mattis also got Trump to reconsider his stance on torture stating, “’I’ve never found it to be useful.”
General John Kelly, another long-serving Marine with a reputation for bluntness, has been picked to head the Department of Homeland Security. He is the most senior US officer to have lost a child in the “war on terror”. His son Robert, a first lieutenant in the marines, was killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2010. He therefore strongly opposed efforts by the Obama administration to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, claiming that the remaining detainees were “all bad boys,” both guilty and dangerous.
And in selecting career military men like Flynn, Mattis and Kelly as his senior civilian advisers on military matters, Trump is in essence strengthening defense while creating rival intelligence entities that will remain loyal to his military faction.
Meanwhile Big Oil’s Rex Tillerson — the former CEO of world’s largest oil company, ExxonMobil — is to be Secretary of State. He has a two-decade relationship with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, who awarded Tillerson the Order of Friendship in 2013.
Mindful of others who defied the US establishment, Trump’s supporters delivered an ominous warning to rival power elite factions that should Trump be assassinated then a civil war would follow. In reality an assassination in today’s climate, without the support of the corporatocracy’s now discredited media, would usher in martial law and further ensconce the military faction within their seat of power.
Playing chess like Putin
Trump and his military faction appear to greatly admire Putin personally, and in September 2016 during the NBC Commander-in-Chief Forum Trump stated: “I will tell you that, in terms of leadership, he’s getting an ‘A’ and our president is not doing so well.” Trump’s military faction, unlike the other two factions sees Russia as more of a partner than an adversary and he is deeply committed to reorienting American foreign policy in a pro-Russian direction.
Trump knows Putin’s history well and appears intent on following in his footsteps. Putin took office by striking a deal with Russia’s political elite to protect former Russian President Yeltsin and his family from prosecution in exchange for Putin becoming Prime Minister and later President.
Then on July 28, 2000, after they had funded his election campaign, Vladimir Putin gathered the 18 most powerful businessmen (corporatocracy) in Russia and denounced the corporate elite as creators of a corrupt state. During the transition from Communism in the 1990s these oligarchs – the majority Jewish – had taken control of every single lever of power in Russia including the central bank, the mass media and even the Kremlin.
In a second meeting on January 24, 2001, Vladimir Putin met with 21 leading oligarchs and stressed that the Russian state had no plans to re-nationalize the economy, but added that they should have “a feeling of responsibility [to] the people and the country” and asked them to donate \$2.6 million to a fund he was setting up to help families of soldiers wounded or killed in action.
True to his word the oligarchs that complied were allowed to keep the money they had looted from the Russian people. Those that didn’t comply, like Berezovsky and Gusinsky, Russia’s two most infamous and hated oligarchs, were gradually pushed out, and in some cases even imprisoned.
After defeating the oligarchs and gaining control of their media Putin then began to methodically cleanse the Russian government and the Kremlin of corporate influence.
Professor Jeffry Sachs calls the US corporate conspiracy The Rigged Game in which the political system has come to be controlled by powerful corporate interest groups – the “corporatocracy” – who dominate the policy agenda. Sachs explains how “[a] healthy economy is a mixed economy, in which government and the marketplace both play their role. Yet the federal government has neglected its role for three decades.”
President Trump appears to have taken a page from Sach’s book and, even before taking office, is signalling that his government will not neglect its role.
During an interview with Fortune on April 19, 2016, Donald Trump explicitly explained how he planned on taking back the economic “levers of power” from Wall Street’s Federal Reserve by supporting: “proposals that would take power away from the Fed, and allow Congress to audit the U.S. central bank’s decision making.”
On December, 6, 2016 it was the military industrial complex’s Boeing that felt the brunt of his attack when President-elect Donald Trump called for the scrapping of multi-billion dollar plans for Boeing to build a new Air Force One, calling the costs “ridiculous and totally out of control.” He then followed this up on December 12, 2016, when he took on the Lockheed Martin by attacking the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter on Twitter, saying the cost of the next-generation stealth plane is “out of control,” stating: “Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases after January 20th.”
In an early December interview with TIME ahead of his selection as TIME’s Person of the Year, Trump railed against the Healthcare lobby when he stated that he doesn’t “like what’s happened with drug prices” and that he will “bring down” the cost of prescription medication.
Even earlier, on January 2016, at Liberty University, Trump had startled Silicon Valley when he promised to punish companies that offshore production by placing tariffs on their imports coming back to the US: “We’re going to get Apple to build their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries.”
The Big Oil lobby, initially ambivalent, now appears to have put its weight behind Trump. There are signs that the Big Oil lobby may have fallen out with the corporatocracy over the economic sanctions on Russia and access to its vast untapped oil fields, as well as Saudi Arabia’s two years of flooding the global market with cheap crude in order to drive oil prices down and economically damage the Russian economy. This policy had made both US shale oil and US energy independence unsustainable.
While the corporatocracy will survive, the days of crony capitalism appear to be coming to an end.
The death of neoliberalism
The Trump election, much like Brexit before it, signals an entirely new development not witnessed since the shift towards neoliberalism under President Reagan over 40 years ago. Trump has promised to end the neoliberal, hyper-globalisation ideology in which the interests of the working class have been sacrificed in favour of the corporatocracy that has been encouraged to invest around the world depriving Americans of their jobs.
The global financial crisis of 2008, the worst since the great depression of 1931, saw Wall Street bailed out by the taxpayers while the responsible bankers were not prosecuted for their crimes. Under the Obama administration this was further compounded by rejecting bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality, militarisation, covert operations and the facilitating of overseas war crimes.
Meanwhile, nine years on, the neoliberal practice of quantitative easing has failed to revive the economic patient who remains on “life support.” This after effect of the global financial crisis has served to undermine the peoples’ faith and trust in the competence of the power elite’s political faction and the corporate media. Trump’s ascendency thus signals the beginning of the end of the neoliberal era.
Trumps promise to, “Put America first,” pulls the plug on neoliberalism’s economic life support and imposes a new era of economic nationalism. The military faction will abandon unfettered capitalism, free trade agreements and globalisation in favour of de-globalisation, economic nationalism, rebuilding of infrastructure, the middle class and manufacturing.
The table below is fluid but is based on current policy details, revealed by Trump, and details how the current neoliberal policies may gradually shift to policies of economic nationalism.
|Government departments||Masses’ Policies||Neo-Liberal Policies||Economic nationalism Policies||Corporatocracy lobbies|
|Dept. of State||Establishment of friendly relations with other nations.||Maintenance of the petrodollar through the support of compliant authoritarian nations or covert funding of unstable extremists to overthrow non-compliant nations||Maintenance of the petrodollar through the support of compliant authoritarian nations. Multilateral approach of working with Russia while continuing to isolate China and Iran||Wall Street-Washington complex|
|Dept. of the Treasury||Lower and fairer tax system that incentivises workers and savers||Financialisation, corporate subsidies, tax loopholes and overseas tax havens.||nationalisation, cutting of corporate subsidies, closing of tax loopholes and overseas tax havens.|
|Dept. of Commerce||Open trade and protection of key industries||“Free” trade Agreements (Inc. TTP & TTIP), Economic sanctions||protectionism, tariffs, economic sanctions|
|Dept. of Justice||Universal human rights, equal justice and fair trials||Non-prosecution of criminal bank leaders, with prosecution of deep state whistle blowers.||Prosecution of corporate crime, Non-prosecution of military and police crimes, continued prosecution of deep state whistle blowers.|
|Dept. of Housing & Urban Development||Affordable and easily accessible housing.||Financialisation, housing speculation and homelessness.||Removal of “red tape”, opening up of land for building|
|Dept. of Defense||Security and Defense of citizens against foreign enemies||Maintenance of the petrodollar, full spectrum dominance, exceptionalism, war on terrorism and the militarization of foreign policy .||Maintenance of the petrodollar, full spectrum dominance, multi-polarity, war on terrorism||military-industrial complex|
|Dept. of Veterans Affairs||Support and subsidies for veterans||Cheap outsourced care facilities and abandoned veterans.||Renationalisation of care facilities and housing, medical and mental care for war veterans.|
|Dept. of Transport||Electric vehicles, subsidised transport and easily accessible transportation grid.||Subsidised car-centric policies and urban planning.||Subsidised car-centric policies and urban planning.||Big Oil-transport-military complex|
|Dept. of Energy||Environmental protection, reliable and nationalised mostly renewable energy supply.||Subsidised fossil fuel energy dependence and debunking of climate change.||Subsidised fossil fuel energy dependence and debunking of climate change.|
|Dept. of the Interior||Management and conservation federal land and natural resources.||Waiving of environmental protection, access for sea lanes, pipelines, mining and resource extraction.||Waiving of environmental protection, access for sea lanes, pipelines, mining and resource extraction.|
|Dept. of Health & Human Services||Subsidised and universal Healthcare.||mandatory healthcare and privatisation.||privatised healthcare||Healthcare industry|
|Dept. of Homeland Security||Security and Privacy.||Mass Surveillance and copyright enforcement.||Mass Surveillance||Silicon Valley|
|Dept. of Agriculture||Healthy, nutritious and affordable food.||Food monopolisation and dependence through patented GMOs.||Breaking up of monopolies, increased competition.||Big Ag (Monsanto)|
|Dept. of Education||Subsidised and universal education.||Class-based privatisation and outsourcing.||Increased investment in education.||Organised Labor|
|Dept. of Labor||Jobs and decent wages.||Outsourcing, mass immigration to lower wages, commodification of Labor, deregulation, deindustrialisation, under employment and unemployment.||Reshoring, border controls to boost wages, return of skilled labor, reregulation, reindustrialisation, full employment, lower taxes||All lobbies|
Monetary hegemony strategy
The power elite’s monetary hegemony petrodollar strategy will remain unchanged under Trumps’ military faction. However, Trump’s foreign policy signals the end of America’s unipolar moment, the period that was called the “new world order” by George Bush after the collapse of the former USSR and the US’s 1991 Gulf War victory.
It took the actions of former rogue CIA operatives, called Al Qaeda, to give the US an excuse to invade and conquer key economic chokepoints and geopolitical pivot nations, in the heart of the world’s oil reserves that would give the power elite global economic and military dominance. These power elite plans were given to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the time, and documented in a memo that a puzzled senior staff officer showed to General Wesley Clark:”[W]e’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”
The Republican-led neoconservative “war on terror” phase, that took place from 2001 to 2011, symbolised the overt US invasion, occupation and destruction of primarily Afghanistan and Iraq. When worldwide condemnation combined with Iraqi military resistance proved too great, the power elite were forced to switch to more covert means.
Under the new Obama administration, a Democratic-led, CIA-orchestrated “Arab Spring” took place from 2011-2016 and symbolised the covert invasion of Libya and Syria using reconstituted terrorist death squads. The power elite had not only used the 9/11 attack conducted by elements of their rogue terrorist death squads to invade Iraq and Afghanistan, but they were now going to reconstitute a compliant group of the same terrorists and use them to covertly invade Libya and Syria.
With the Syrian government’s capture of Aleppo in late 2016, it became apparent to all observers that both the overt and covert US invasions were soundly defeated primarily by heroic resistance forces in Iraq and Syria, respectively.
With the barbaric US invasions blunted, the Trump administration now represents a rear-guard attempting to hold onto key nations in the heart of the world’s global energy reserves and maintain the US’s petrodollar monetary hegemony backing, while Trump transitions his economy from a financial to an industrial economy. Trump will thus continue to secure the GCC nations, especially Saudi Arabia, provided they reign in their terrorist death squads, plaguing the Middle East. Israel will also be fully supported and used to maintain the current Middle Eastern stalemate against Iran.
It is however Trump’s détente with Russia that is truly significant as it signals the end of the unipolar “new world order.” Russia will once again be allowed its own “sphere of influence.” This will most likely see Crimean reunification accepted the return of economically plundered Ukraine to Russian influence and the Russian presence in Syria acknowledged.
In return the military faction wants to desperately break up the tripartite strategic Eurasian team of Russia-China-Iran. The military faction wants Russia to help block China’s rise in the South China Sea and to contain Iran. The military faction appears to have been inspired by documented war criminal, Henry Kissinger, who at the Primakov lecture in February 2016 stated: “The long-term interests of both countries call for a world that transforms the contemporary turbulence and flux into a new equilibrium which is increasingly multipolar and globalized…..Russia should be perceived as an essential element of any new global equilibrium, not primarily as a threat to the United States.”
Draining the swamp?
For the first time in memory the US establishment, consisting of the visible US Government and the invisible corporate-deep-state that has subverted it, have had a dramatic schism. Contrary to corporate media hand-wringing, the 2016 US election for the masses was never about a choice for Trump over Clinton, it was in reality a choice of, the same united power elite maintaining the same US establishment under President select Clinton, versus a divided power elite led by Trump’s military faction.
This seminal moment represents a change of both US strategy and tactics that have been used to maintain the US’s economic and military power.
Strategically, while the power elite have finally abandoned America’s unipolar moment, they will now maintain the US as a multipolar global hegemon receiving its petrodollar tribute. Their plans are to finally grant Russia, but not China, its own “sphere of influence” and to cleave it away from its Eurasian and Middle Eastern allies.
Economically and tactically neoliberalism, as an ideology, is now officially dead. The power elite’s corporatocracy (corporate faction) will be tamed and replaced by a protectionist, localised, rebuilding of America’s manufacturing base.
While not exactly “draining the swamp,” the new Trump administration plans on “fencing off some of the alligators” that have devoured so many innocents during 40 years of neoliberalism at home and militarism abroad.
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