Deep State or Rogue Network? Finance Oligarchs and Their Retainers in Unusual Discussion of Extra-Legal Methods of Control; Military Coups D’État Discussed for US and UK; Giraldi, New York Times Name Petraeus as US Deep State Figure
Amidst the incessant polling of the ongoing primary election contests, one recent poll stood out by asking respondents whether or not they would support a military coup d’état in the United States. As it turned out, 29% considered supporting such an illegal and unconstitutional military takeover as within the realm of possibility. We can take some comfort in the fact that 41% of those responding said they would never support a military coup. The poll concluded:
“Almost a third of Americans could imagine supporting a military coup against their own government, according to a new poll. The YouGov survey showed 29% of Americans could imagine supporting a coup. Yet, 41% said they could not imagine supporting such an event…..The overall numbers increased when participants were ‘asked whether they would hypothetically support the military stepping in to take control from a civilian government which is beginning to violate the constitution.’ 43% said yes to this, and 29% said no.”[i]
But the big issue here is why was such a poll ever conducted? Who commissioned it? Was it ordered up by a clique of ambitious and disgruntled military men eager to redeem their defeats on the battlefield with some kind of seizure of power here in the United States? Up to now, we do not know these answers.
However, it is clear from numerous media items that powerful forces, most likely the ruling class, invisible government, rogue state, or deep state, as the case may be, is considering making changes in the way the United States and the United Kingdom in particular are governed. This is a development which ought to cause grave concern.
At the same time, in the United Kingdom, there is no doubt that the British wing of the Anglo-American ruling elite is contemplating and indeed threatening a military coup to face down the relatively modest reforms proposed by the new Labor Party Leader, Jeremy Corbin.
According to that notorious but well-informed tabloid, the London Daily Mail:
“A senior serving general, speaking anonymously to the Sunday Times, said Mr. Corbyn’s victory has been greeted with ‘wholesale dismay’ in the army.”
“There would be mass resignations at all levels and you would face the very real prospect of an event which would effectively be a mutiny.
‘Feelings are running very high within the armed forces. You would see a major break in convention with senior generals directly and publicly challenging Corbyn over vital important policy decisions such as Trident, pulling out of NATO and any plans to emasculate and shrink the size of the armed forces…
The Army just wouldn’t stand for it. The general staff would not allow a prime minister to jeopardize the security of this country and I think people would use whatever means possible, fair or foul to prevent that. You can’t put a maverick in charge of a country’s security.’”[ii]
So there is a good chance that the Bonapartists — generals who want to take over the government. Just as Napoleon once did — are on the march. They are no doubt responding to the extreme financial fragility of the derivatives-based Anglo-American bubble economy. They may also be concerned about the growing strength of Russia.
Napoleon Bonaparte-The first Bonapartist crowning himself emperor at Notre-Dame Cathedral on December 2, 1804.
And if the Colonel Blimps of the British defense establishment are sitting around in their London clubs planning a putsch against a Corbyn government, they should hurry up: a scurrilous new scandal has now been dished up by the same London tabloids, as scandal more than powerful enough to end the political career of the plutocratic hack David Cameron. In his book about Prime Minister Cameron entitled Call Me Dave: The Unauthorized Biography, Michael Ashcroft, Cameron’s distinguished Oxford contemporary, now an MP, claims the current boss of Number 10 Downing Street “once took part in an outrageous initiation ceremony involving a dead pig.
The book tells how David Cameron took part in a sordid initiation ceremony after joining an Oxford University dining society as a student….Cameron…. got involved in a notorious Oxford dining society, the Piers Gaveston, named after the lover of Edward II, which specializes in bizarre rituals and sexual excess…. (See images here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2198939/The-Oxbridge-student-clu…)
The late Count Gottfried von Bismarck, an Oxford contemporary of Cameron’s, reportedly threw dinner parties featuring the heads of pigs. (He became notorious after Olivia Channon, daughter of a Tory minister, died of a heroin overdose in his Christ Church, Oxford bedroom.)
Meanwhile, Cameron had joined yet another dubious society — the notorious Bullingdon Club — a riotous drinking club for a highly select band of the super-rich.”
[iii] Recently made famous in the 2014 film The Riot Club, The Daily Mirror defines the Oxford University Bullingdon club: ‘We’d make women get on all fours then get whips out’[vi]
David Cameron – His career threatened by pig-gate.
Scandals like these make the coming of a Corbyn government much more likely than it otherwise would be.
Jeremy Corbyn- New Leader of the Labour Party
A few weeks ago, Philip Giraldi of the CIA offered a summary of the “deep state” or secret government of NATO member Turkey. This is the “Derin Devlet” which has been at the center of a number of recent trials. There has also been much discussion of the so-called Ergenekon network, a kind of anti-Islamist pro-Ataturk version of the NATO stay behind organization known through the title of its Italian branch, Gladio. (In retrospect, the exposure of Ergenekon appears as a means of clearing the way for the obscurantist and terrorist dictatorship of President Erdogan, who is close to the Moslem Brotherhood and ISIS.
Giraldi was writing in the context of attempts by Republican and Democratic party operatives to shut down the campaigns of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. The people trying to block these candidates, Giraldi suggested, are trying to act like a deep state. Giraldi’s article was originally published in The American Conservative, a relatively obscure magazine. But Giraldi’s ideas were mightily amplified when the house organ of the New York financier oligarchy, The New York Times, carried a summary of his original piece. Here we read:
‘In contrast to Turkey, where Mr. Giraldi said a covert “deep state” had taken root in the security realm, the American deep state of his description consists of visible people like the Clintons and the former C.I.A. director David H. Petraeus, concentrated around New York and Washington, who live at the fertile nexus of government and corporate power: Capitol Hill aides and legislators who cash in as lobbyists; former politicians who earn millions speaking to banks, or landing sinecures with them; technocrats who ricochet between Goldman Sachs and the Treasury Department; billionaire kingmakers dangling political donations; thinkers whose tanks are financed by corporations with a financial stake in their research.’[iv]
We note the prominent mention of General David Petraeus, one of the few to achieve a personal union of the top levels of the Pentagon with the directorship of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Giraldi asks “the question whether the United States of America has its own deep state.” He concludes that there is one here as well:
‘First of all, one should note that for the deep state to be effective, it must be intimately associated with the development or pre-existence of a national security state. There must also be a perception that the nation is in peril, justifying extraordinary measures undertaken by brave patriots to preserve life and property of the citizenry. Those measures are generically conservative in nature, intended to protect the status quo with the implication that change is dangerous….’
Giraldi rethinks that the US deep state began with the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, but that law merely consolidated and formalized power relations which had been created when Wall Street Democrat President Grover Cleveland capitulated to the blackmail of J.P. Morgan and his London backers who held the dollar hostage in February, 1895. It was at that point when the control of the public debt of the United States was turned over to the Morgan syndicate that the current deep state can be said to have emerged:
‘One critic describes deep state as driven by the “Washington Consensus,” a subset of the “American exceptionalism” meme. It is plausible to consider it a post-World War II creation, the end result of the “military industrial complex” that Dwight Eisenhower warned about, but some believe its infrastructure was actually put in place through the passage of the Federal Reserve Act prior to the First World War.’
Giraldi repeats the obvious when he places the banking establishment in the central position of power of the US version of such a secret government:
‘In truth America’s deep state is, not unlike Turkey’s, a hybrid creature that operates along a New York to Washington axis. Where the Turks engage in criminal activity to fund themselves, the Washington elite instead turns to banksters, lobbyists, and defense contractors, operating much more in the open and, ostensibly, legally. U.S.-style deep state includes all the obvious parties, both public and private, who benefit from the status quo: including key players in the police and intelligence agencies, the military, the treasury and justice departments, and the judiciary. It is structured to materially reward those who play along with the charade, and the glue to accomplish that ultimately comes from Wall Street. “Financial services” might well be considered the epicenter of the entire process. Even though government is needed to implement desired policies, the banksters comprise the truly essential element, capable of providing genuine rewards for compliance. As corporate interests increasingly own the media, little dissent comes from the Fourth Estate as the process plays out, while many of the proliferating Washington think tanks that provide deep state “intellectual” credibility are similarly funded by defense contractors.’
One hallmark of such a hidden oligarchy is the immunity of its upper echelon members from legal penalties or retribution: “…no one is punished, ever. Disgraced former general and CIA Director David Petraeus is now a partner at the KKR private equity firm, even though he knows nothing about financial services. More recently, former Acting CIA Director Michael Morell has become a Senior Counselor at Beacon Global Strategies. Both are being rewarded for their loyalty to the system and for providing current access to their replacements in government.”[v]
Giraldi also mentions the work of ‘Mike Lofgren, a Republican who spent 28 years as a congressional aide before quitting in 2011, has used “deep state” to describe a subterranean cross-party consensus on issues like “financialization, outsourcing, privatization” — a consensus, Mr. Lofgren has written, from which the public is distracted by above-ground debates over “diversionary social issues such as abortion or gay marriage.”
In our view, the most accurate name for the top level ruling class network, which tends to dominate much of US politics is probably the rogue network. It is a Wall Street network which cuts across the principle of federal agencies, and is not loyal to the Constitution, the laws, or the American people. It is focused on the interests of finance oligarchs and hedge fund hyenas, who are treated like a privileged class. But, as many authors on the subject failed to point out, the rogue network also makes its present state known through such events as the blowing up of the battleship Maine in Havana harbor, the attempt to assassinate Franklin D Roosevelt in 1933, the death of President Franklin D Roosevelt, the Bay of Pigs, the Kennedy assassination, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, Iran-Contra drug-running and gun-running, and the 9/11 events.
With the Iran nuclear accord and the presence of Russian forces in Syria, we are obviously approaching a watershed in the history of the modern Middle East. At the same time, financial volatility and fragility has returned to higher levels. The track record of the rogue network suggests that it may respond to these events with terrorist false flags or military provocations. There may also be some thought that the system of elections and representative government has outlived its usefulness. Let vigilance be the watchword.
To further develop the concept of the invisible government or rogue network, we offer this excerpt from Webster G. Tarpley, Surviving the Cataclysm (1999, 2009), Chapter IX: “The Age of Oligarchy.” This excerpt may serve to illustrate the point that an understanding of the functioning of the ruling class has to be obtained through rigorous historical and empirical research, and cannot be obtained through foolish sloganeering about illuminati, globalists, and the like.
Oligarchical tendencies have always been present in American life. They have tended to become stronger during those periods in which the Anglophile financial community has been more powerful, and in which mass organizations and movements of protest have been weak. The last quarter of the twentieth century has fulfilled both requirements. But the roots of the current problem go deep. After the death of Roosevelt and the coming of Truman, revived oligarchical tendencies were observable in many aspects of society. The research of C. Wright Mills on the question of a power elite dates back to this time. Mills saw the top levels of US society becoming more organized, even as the lower levels were losing such organization as the momentum of industrial unions ebbed:
What I am asserting is that in this particular epoch a conjunction of historical circumstances has led to the rise of an elite of power; that the men of the circles composing this elite, severally and collectively, now make such key decisions as are made; and that, given the enlargement and centralization of the means of power now available, the decisions they make and fail to make carry more consequences for more people than has ever been the case in the world history of mankind. I am also asserting that there has developed on the middle levels of power, a semi-organized stalemate, and that on the bottom level there has come into being a mass-like society which has little resemblance to the image of a society in which voluntary associations and classic publics hold the keys to power. The top of the American system of power is much more unified and much more powerful, the bottom is much more fragmented, and in truth, impotent, than is generally supposed by those who are distracted by the middling units of power which neither express such will as exists at the bottom nor determine the decisions at the top. [Mills 1956, 29]
Mills also chronicled the mid-century decline of the older, more autonomous middle class figures of the doctor, lawyer, small entrepreneur, family farmer, and others, as they were supplanted by the far less independent-minded white collar employees of large companies.
At the turn of the century, awareness of oligarchy as an accomplished fact in America is growing. Robert D. Kaplan, writing in the Atlantic Monthly of December 1997, found that “democracy in the United States is at greater risk than ever before, and from obscure sources; and that many future regimes, ours especially, could resemble the oligarchies of ancient Athens and Sparta more than they do the current government in Washington.” The emerging oligarchy of the United States holds the vast majority of the American population in deep contempt, considering them as Okies, bubbas, ghetto-dwellers, white trash, wetbacks, Appalachians, crackers, rednecks, losers, rubes, and hicks.
American oligarchs have been an important presence since the emergence of the Boston Brahmins, best understood as American satellites of the British East India Company: these included the Cabots, Lowells, Saltonstalls, Perkins, Cushings, Forbes, etc. The current American oligarchy goes back specifically to the Peabody and Morgan counting houses in the mid-nineteenth century. The House of Morgan was the principal US agent for the City of London. This group of families provided a key point of coagulation of the US Establishment, more precisely termed the Eastern Anglophile Liberal Establishment, or Eastern Establishment for short. The “eastern” should not be allowed to occasion any needless confusion: this Establishment is no longer a regional faction in any sense, has absorbed all competing regional groupings of any importance, and represents the united front of the finance oligarchs of the entire country. “Liberal” should also not be interpreted as meaning left-wing. This liberalism goes back to the Venetian and British liberalism of the Enlightenment, which might best be described as the oligarchy’s delphic response to the Italian Renaissance.
The core tenets of this liberalism are that human reason is weak and unreliable, that there is no verifiable difference between right and wrong, that there are no objective goals which human society must attain in order to survive, and that human society should therefore be ruled by opinion – so long as opinion does not attempt to interfere with oligarchical rule.
J.P. Morgan – The founder of the modern US invisible government in 1895.
The ruling elite of the United States, the tiny group that has been the beneficiary of recent changes, has been enjoying one of the longest free rides in its history. It has not been subjected to any significant restrictions since the 1930s, and lately has been spared even the scrutiny of muckraking journalists. The plutocrats who reap the benefits of the globaloney economy are very restricted in number. Inside the United States, an oligarchical ruling elite has entrenched itself and is consolidating its power. The Eastern Anglophile Liberal Establishment, national and not regional in scope, controls local affairs through its emanations in every part of the United States. This Anglophile elite tries to borrow its cultural ethos from the British aristocracy and the City of London, whose cynical and nihilistic cunning it admires, but does not possess. The center of gravity of the American ruling elite is composed of the chiefs of the largest commercial and investment banks, insurance and investment companies, and the top administrators of foundations and pension funds. Among the retainers of these financiers we find the members of the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve district presidents, the CEOs of the other Fortune 500 companies, media, broadcasting and publishing moguls, university presidents and trustees, chiefs of the leading law firms and HMOs, and top elected and bureaucratic officials.
This ruling elite is somewhat larger than the 400 families that dominated America around 1900, or Lundberg’s 60 families of the 1930s, and it is somewhat more restricted than the richest 1% of the population – the 932,000 families who together own more property than the lower 90% of Americans. The mass of these American oligarchs are not really capitalists, certainly not entrepreneurs, and do not represent a national bourgeoisie. They are financial administrators who serve the institutionalized family fortunes (fondi) and the agglomerations of finance capital which are at the heart of every bank, merchant bank, and insurance company. They are intellectually mediocre, blandly conformist in relation to the norms observed by their oligarchical confreres, and almost collectivist in outlook. They are still plagued by the personal psychological insecurity which the British and other self-assured continental oligarchs have always noticed among would-be American patricians. They are prepared to live with immorality and stupidity, but they fear “inappropriate” conduct.
As Michael Lind and others have pointed out, the American ruling elite is canny enough as to prefer anonymity to celebrity. For three decades and more questions like “Who rules America?” have generally not been posed. Lind’s The Next American Nation made a rare attempt to identify the emerging American elite, which he presents under the heading of “Portrait of an Oligarchy.” As Lind notes, “no ruling class wants the scandalous details of its maintenance and recruitment policies discussed in public. No secrets are more jealously guarded in any society than the truth about how power and wealth are actually handed on. The British establishment does not appear on TV with charts and graphs, detailing old school ties. The Soviet Academy of Sciences did not publish studies of nepotism in the nomenklatura. Knowledge of the inner workings of the Mexican oligarchy is limited to rumor, mixed with fantasy. The dominant class in every country would prefer to pass in silence over its own workings, and focus on the shortcomings of other classes….” [Lind 140]
The US Establishment combines the old Southern planter latifundists with the northeastern financiers. It is Anglophile to the core, a condition which is exacerbated by its nagging feelings of inferiority and illegitimacy. It is not self-assured, and it is not very bright. The Establishment cannot be simply identified with organisms like the New York Council on Foreign Relations, the Bohemian Grove meeting, or the Trilateral Commission, which it rather uses as a means for distributing its political directives. For a number of decades after World War II, the US Eastern Liberal Establishment was compact enough to thrust forward a person who was generally identified as its informal or de facto spokesman. Mark well that to be the spokesman does not mean that one is the dominant figure in policy making. During the late 1930s and early 1940s, the Establishment spokesman may well have been Col. Henry Stimson, the Republican who had served as Taft’s Secretary of War and Hoover’s Secretary of State, and who in 1940 became Secretary of War in the Franklin D. Roosevelt cabinet. George C. Marshall was in many ways the chief Establishment spokesman for the crucial half-decade after 1945.
The columnist Richard Rovere wrote in the American Scholar in 1961 that he had tried in 1958 to determine the identity of the Chairman of the Establishment. Rovere says that the economist John Kenneth Galbraith told him in that year that he knew who the chairman was, and challenged Rovere to guess the name. Rovere recounts that he considered answering that it was Arthur Hays Sulzberger of the New York Times, but then decided to guess that it was John J. McCloy, the Wall Street lawyer who had been the US High Commissioner for the occupation of postwar Germany, who was then serving as the chairman of the board of the Chase Manhattan Bank, of the Ford Foundation, and of the Council on Foreign Relations. Galbraith confirmed that his conclusion was also that McCloy was the man.
Again, this does not mean that McCloy was by any stretch of the imagination the secret dictator of the United States. We are talking about the public spokesman of an oligarchy. Averell Harriman was perhaps more powerful behind the scenes, and Dean Acheson and the Dulles brothers may have had just as much influence on foreign policy matters. When Lyndon B. Johnson wanted to curry favor with the Establishment a few years later, he asked National Security Council Director McGeorge Bundy for advice. Bundy replied with a memo in which he sketched the outlines of the Wall Street group, and concluded with the annotation: “The key to these people is McCloy.” (Isaacson 28) This was authoritative advice, since McGeorge Bundy himself later became the generally recognized spokesman of the Eastern Liberal Establishment. Bundy was a central figure in the GI generation of the American oligarchy, the generation described by David Halberstam in his book The Best and the Brightest. The Best and the Brightest were a new generation of the Wise Men, down to details like the fact that McGeorge Bundy’s brother William, a top government official and one of the architects of Vietnam intervention, had married the daughter of former Secretary of State Dean Acheson, one of Truman’s most active controllers. Unfortunately for the United States, the Best and the Brightest turned out to be a gaggle of mediocre bunglers who managed to wreck the dollar and cook up the Vietnam debacle, even as they squandered most of the formidable advantages this country had possessed at the close of World War II.
Since Bundy’s death, no clear successor has emerged. One contender might have been David Rockefeller, who, as recently as the fall of 1993, repeatedly expressed the consensus of the entire financier oligarchy that a failure to approve President Clinton’s request for fast-track authority for NAFTA would lead to an economic collapse and a depression. But David Rockefeller may not have possessed the mental capacity necessary for this demanding role. Volcker might have been a candidate, but even retired central bankers are traditionally too obsessed with secrecy to become public spokesmen. They may also be too widely resented. In any case, the post of spokesman would currently appear to be vacant. Whatever else this may mean, it is not a sign of health for the Eastern Anglophile Liberal banking establishment. If the policy making of the US Establishment has broken down, as this seems to indicate, we can be sure that the much better organized London finance oligarchy will make every effort to fill the void, as they have done increasingly since the end of the USSR through figures like Bush’s governess, Margaret Thatcher, and Clinton’s would-be Svengali, Tony Blair.
If McCloy and Bundy were spokesmen for the Board, who were (or are) the other members who might shift in and out of the “board” according to their prestige and ascendancy? Twenty or thirty years ago one or two dozen fairly obvious names would have been the starting point for a plausible answer, but today any answer would be highly speculative until more research can be done. If the US oligarchy is the leaderless and fragmented group that it seems to be, that would be another symptom of breakdown. In these matters, we must recall a celebrated speech made by Doge Marco Foscarini of the Venetian Republic. This speech was made in 1761 to defend the infamous Council of Ten and its steering committee, the Council of Three. Despite the mystifications contained in his remarks, Foscarini made important points about the nature of oligarchy and the indispensable conditions for its survival. Foscarini is reported to have told his fellow members of the Council of Ten:
This tribunal has frequently saved the State from dangerous conspiracies. Its impartiality is above suspicion if we remember that office lasts for one year only, and that its members can easily be removed by a decree of the Great Council. It is certain from the universal testimony of all statesmen that no Oligarchy can last for long unless it provide some corrective for its defects. Those defects are the lack of secrecy and rapidity. In some corner of the State we must place a rapid and secret authority. Thanks to the Great Council the State has been able to preserve in efficiency such a tribunal, while preventing it from affecting in the smallest degree the fundamental constitution of the republic. (Horatio Brown 172)
By 1761 the Great Council was a mockery, full of impoverished patricians whose votes were readily bought and sold by the half-dozen richest families in the city. The Council of Ten’s hegemony had meant a constant narrowing of the base of actual oligarchical power. But Foscarini’s comment about the need of an oligarchy for quick and secret action remains valid, suggesting that the US oligarchy is at the close of the 20th century a very imperfect oligarchical specimen, probably destined increasingly to undergo the influence of the London financiers, that is to say of an oligarchy which has shown itself more alert to the imperatives mentioned by Doge Foscarini.
[i] Ellen Brait, “Poll finds almost a third of Americans would support a military coup; Online survey shows 29% would support possible takeover while 41% said they could not imagine supporting such an event,” Guardian, September 12, 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/sep/11/military-coup-some-americ…
[iv] Anand Giridharadas, “Examining Who Runs the United States,” New York Times, September 15, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/15/us/examining-who-runs-the-united-state…
[v] Philip Giraldi, “Deep State America: Democracy is often subverted by special interests operating behind the scenes, The American Conservative, July 30, 2015, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/deep-state-america/