Nafeez Ahmed interviewing Mike Lofgren:
My first question to Lofgren was about the Deep State itself. What is it, and how did you come across its existence?
“Well I discovered it in the run up to the war in Iraq after the 9/11 terrorist attack. It was pretty evident that the proximate cause of the problem was coming out of Afghanistan from a radical apocalyptic Islamic religious cult,” he said.
“And yet the George W. Bush administration was somehow tying this to a secular gangster-ish family business in Iraq known as the Saddam Hussein regime, which was at total loggerheads with Islamic extremism – all because the Bushes didn’t want Saddam cutting in on their business. And it was quite logical if you paid attention to the news that this was the case. We also had people like Scott Ritter, the American military person who worked for the UN weapons inspectors, who said ‘Our best estimate based on being on the ground and checking things out for a long time is there are no weapons of mass destruction’. But we had this huge organized campaign that swept the media along in favor of invading Iraq. And that’s what caused the little light to go on in my skull. Already in December of 2001, US forces were fighting the battle of Tora Bora and Osama bin Laden escaped because there were too few troops.”..
After eight years of what he describes as “a debacle” in Iraq, his view was reinforced when “the new President Obama allowed himself to be basically mouse trapped by his advisors into a silly and immoral invasion in Libya, which has caused no end of problems. So Obama was supposed to be the anti-Bush, but ended up having similar foreign policies. So I concluded there’s a definite continuity there.”..
For Lofgren, the Deep State is not just the national security apparatus. It also includes Wall Street, think tanks, and other interlocking agents of influence.
“You had Hank Paulson, the secretary of the Treasury and Ben Bernanke, the chairman of Federal Reserve Board, come on – I think it was a Thursday or Friday afternoon – to Capitol Hill. I was there after work. Session was over, but there was something going on, there was kind of a buzz in the air. They were holding a meeting with the leadership of the House and the Senate, and telling them if you don’t do what we say — in other words just throw unlimited money at the banks, stop the crash — we won’t have an economy on Monday.
“And it struck me as the same sort of fear-mongering that went on in the financial sector, as we saw with Saddam’s alleged weapons of mass destruction: to stampede Congress into giving them carte blanche…
How do you think President Donald Trump, the self-styled King of Dealmakers, fits into all this, given as you’ve said that he’s got so many billionaires in his cabinet?
“Trump’s not Sir Galahad against the evil Deep State. Of course, they completely ignore the fact that, one, he’s a product of it – that whole New York high finance world is one adjunct of the Deep State. Second, Trump showed it to us with his cabinet picks for the economy. And third, he is advocating a 10 percent increase in military spending. How could this guy be opposed to the Deep State?”..
“The problem with looking at this as ‘poor, poor innocent snowflakes Trump and Flynn are up against this terrible octopus’ — well, their actions today show if anything they’re reinforcing it [the Deep State] with the wall building, the surveillance, the treatment of immigrants and so forth. This is stuff that the Deep State would never have tried to get away with, just for appearances’ sake. They thrive on a kind of normality, that this is just democracy, and everybody can go back to sleep. He’s heightening the contradictions.”..
Even though there appears to be this conflict between Trump and the Deep State — what you’re saying is that Trump is not really outside of the Deep State but he represents a certain element of it, or certain faction?
“He’s kind of a mutated gene of the Deep State.”
So you’ve got this mutated gene of the Deep State which is now saying, ‘we need to change the way we do things’. And actually the rest of the Deep State is really upset about it, and saying ‘but why are you giving the game away’? You’re saying that the conflict is not really about what so much of the media says it’s about.
“These are people who in their own minds see themselves as patriotic custodians of the national interest. And they see Trump as this sort of golem, shambling through the marketplace, knocking over the stall.”