by Ramin Mazaheri
Imagine my surprise when, on my flight back from San Francisco to New York, that’s what my trusty New York Times revealed to me.
My first thought was: I can’t believe how this horrible Donald Trump has set up a Deep State in less than a month?!
Surely Russia was involved in its formation.
Then again, I strangely find myself thinking a lot about Russia these days. I’ll admit it – when my morning breakfast was late it fleetingly occurred to me that the Kremlin was behind this slowdown in my hotel room service.
Putting that aside, I was immediately relieved when by the 3rd paragraph our nation’s paper of record had put to rest my fears of an unprecedented formation of a US Deep State with, “Not quite, experts say….”
I just don’t put anything past the evil capabilities of the Donald!
Reading the article I was surprised to find that the Deep State isn’t what I thought it was – apparently it’s only when the government leaks information to the media?
That’s funny, because one time on the SF-NYC “Job Creator Red-eye” I sat next to an Egyptian guy. Of course I was worried, at first, but I found out it he was a Coptic Christian, so that put me at ease. Who even knew they had those?!
This Egyptian told me about his country’s Deep State, and it sounded really bad:
He said that they colluded with “some Western countries” – he didn’t say which and looked kind of uncomfortable as he said it, for some reason – to stop that great Tahrir Square Revolution which was to guarantee that Israel would be safe.
“Mr. Gypsy” said that the Egyptian version of the Deep State was that their military controlled the economy, and that they bribed, imprisoned and killed people to keep their grip on the economy and control over foreign policy.
It sounded pretty bad.
I told him I was happy that Washington was supporting Al-Sisi’s military takeover with billions in aid, and that he didn’t have to thank me personally for that.
A “military” intertwined with the “economy”…I must admit, it did make me think.
Of Russia! I’m nearly certain that Putin created something similar over thereafter he banned elections, so why even verify it with some research?!
But this Egyptian must not have known what he was talking about, because the New York Times article didn’t say anything about the economy?
What they said was:
“Mr. Trump, apparently seeking to cut the intelligence community, State Department, and other agencies out of the policy-making process almost entirely, may have triggered a conflict whose escalation we are seeing in the rising number of leaks.”
Officials, deprived of the usual levers for shaping policies that are supposed to be their purview, are left with little other than leaking.”
Trump was clearly trying to cut public officials out of the democratic process, and they had no choice but to resort to these “illegal” leaks!
I mean, I’m pretty sure you don’t get elected to be a CIA spy or NSA agent, but somebody up top is and…well, I don’t know if they did the leaks…and I don’t know if the leaks are really true or not…but I’m telling you – we have to get Donald out NOW!
Anything that’s bad for Trump must be good. It’s really that simple, so case closed.
“We’re in a world now where the president is playing to the edge of his powers, and I think there are real concerns about the constitutional implications of some of the actions he’s taken,” said somebody who must be totally objective and perfect because why else would the New York Times choose them?
If there’s one thing Obama never, ever, ever did it was to expand his executive authority in ways unbeseeming to the presidential authority.
If Obama had done that, I would have been in the streets, you can bet! Trust me: I have my anti-Trump “pussy hat” in my closet and ready for the next protest!
Don’t bring up “drones”! You’ll just remind me of this guy at work nobody understands – Fazlollah “Lefty” Bittermani – he’s always doing that!
Between you and me, his last name ends in a vowel, so…you know….he may have certain sympathies. That guy really cheeses me off!
What Lefty doesn’t realize is that we are at war – not with Russia, yet – but with – not Muslims – but with…certain people, let’s just say. And the president has the right to fight war however he wants.
But when it comes to waging diplomacy the president must be restricted as much as possible!
We refuse to accept Hillary’s defeat until the Russians give back the Donbass to the Crimeans! This is simply a question of our humanitarian rights!
Trump is trying to make a liar out of not just Hillary, but of Sylvester Stallone and “Rocky IV” – even when the Russians cheat they are still supposed to lose to the Americans!
Was I back on Russia again? I don’t know…I’m like, obsessed with them, or something?
Back to the New York Times, which always reassures me when contradictions confuse me. Just after that last quote they wrote this:
That has forced officials in agencies to ask how far they will go themselves. As each side begins to perceive itself as under attack and the other as making dangerous power-grabs, it will justify more and more extreme behavior.
So clearly, these officials are justified more and more in extreme behavior…because it’s Trump!
I really wish we had some of these great, extreme officials during the Dubya era, but why bring up ancient history?
One thing is certain: During just four weeks in office Trump has clearly destroyed the culture and future of the United States and must be impeached. These officials – even if they are unelected – should absolutely not be listening to their elected leader!
Why? Well just read the next paragraph, another unassailable analyst of the Times:
“In President Trump, you have a president whose behavior shocks even more than the content of his policies.”
Yes! Behavior, not content!
I was telling my son this recently: He came in 19th place in a recent science competition (but out of 24!), and he was upset that his blue ribbon wasn’t an actual trophy.
I told him, “Son, I’m going to buy you that trophy because your behavior was correct, even if you totally screwed up measuring the contents of your volcano experiment, and it exploded and burned the girl next to you.”
I think the girl was Russian, anyway. She was certainly shocked.
Anyway, the Times goes on to say that now this dangerous Trump wants to appoint someone to review our intelligence agencies. Astounding, the gall of this man! I really think he’s psychologically insane.
“It looks, sounds and feels like a political witch hunt,” said Analyst #1 (the White one, not the Egyptian one). “It’s like pouring gasoline on the fire.”
It certainly does!
What else do you call our top elected official trying to find out what work is being illegally done in secret with taxpayer money?
I am certain this is something Putin would do with his KGB.
And that’s why Russia is not free – because the KGB cannot operate freely to undermine Putin’s attempts at diplomacy!
Don’t tell me I’m wrong, comrade!
“Mr. Flynn, in his short tenure, exemplified the breakdown between the president’s inner circle and career civil servants. He kept the National Security Council largely shut out of policy-making and sought sweeping changes in foreign policy.”
This is the US, not the USSR! Our career bureaucrats need to be in charge, not our elected officials!
Trump simply cannot make sweeping changes to foreign policy – even if he was democratically elected on that mandate – because career civil servants should run the show!
The next paragraph:
“For concerned government officials, leaks may have become one of the few remaining means by which to influence not just Mr. Flynn’s policy initiatives but the threat he seemed to pose to their place in democracy.”
Democracy is bureaucracy!
You vote for a person, they appoint an official, the person you voted for gets voted out of office, but the appointed official stays forever and amasses power – democracy!
I tried to explain this to that Egyptian guy, but he said, “Then what’s the point of demonstrating and facing down gun barrels if the people can’t demand change?”
I kept telling him: “But Israel is fine these days? Tahrir worked out great!”
He didn’t get it.
Anyway, Egypt is not the country who is threatening American democracy, and I don’t have to tell you who is, because I’ve just taken that pill that helps me with my compulsive psychological issues.
The Times continued:
“Even if each individual leak is justifiable, as insubordination becomes more sustained and overt, it inches deeper into the gray zone of counter-democratic activities.
I already had the feeling that every anti-Trump leaks was justifiable, and that we are still many, many inches away from counter-democracy, so thanks Gray Lady! I almost had to take that other pill for my anxiety!
And “insubordination” is clearly justified because, as I said, in 4 weeks Trump has already proven himself to be a new Hitler! Don’t get me started on Steve Bannon!
“I don’t think you can say in advance what inappropriate deep-state activity would look like, because we haven’t seen this before,” said Analyst #1.
Exactly – this is a totally new day, and this was all appropriate deep-state activity. We’ve never seen anything like this in the history of the world, much less America.
I told this to Lefty back at work and he started ranting about Kennedy. I totally did not see what Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy had to do with this, but who can fathom what goes on in the mind of a Fazlollah?
The main thing is that we get Trump before he does damage to free trade, because my corporation and all businesses are totally helpless against the government.
They have no influence at all…unlike Egypt.
“There, ‘the deep state is not official institutions rebelling,’ he said, but rather ‘shadowy networks within those institutions, and within business, who are conspiring together and forming parallel state institutions.’”
We all know that there is absolutely nothing like this which is happening in America.
And that’s why the idea of business being involved in America’s Deep State did not appear until the 7th-to-last paragraph. I almost didn’t read that far!
And that’s why the New York Times finished on this heartening note:
“This war between the intelligence community and the White House is bad for the intelligence community, bad for the White House, and bad for the nation’s security.”
See? Our so-called Deep State has nothing to do with business. The New York Times is right next to Wall Street, so they would surely know, right?
Now if you’ll excuse me I have to make a call to the Pentagon for my work.
No, I’m in defense contracting or anything, but the Pentagon is the world’s largest employer…hard to work around them in the United States!
And the profit margins – wow!
I’m so glad our owners had a personal contact in there.
Frankly, I thought the New York Times’ headline was a bit too alarmist: “As Leaks Multiply, Fears of a ‘Deep State’ in America”.
But I’m glad they immediately put those fears to rest.
With that content, I would have run a headline like: “Internal leaks justified as Trump could affect share prices”.
I think that would have been more accurate.
Frankly I’m a bit surprised such a non-story could bump Russia off the front page?
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television.