05 January 2016

Inside the US Deep State: An Interview with Mike Lofgren

Attached herewith is an interview with my good friend Mike Lofgren.  The subject is Lofgren’s important and timely new book entitled The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government, which hits the stands today. Mike’s new book builds on his excellent essay, Anatomy of the Deep State, originally posted on Bill Moyers’ website.

Lofgren diagnoses the sorry state of governance in the US democratic system.  This may well be the most serious problem facing our nation since the 1850s during the lead up to the Civil War.  It is, therefore, a problem every serious citizen should make a concentrated effort to understand and act on — our future depends on an informed citizenry rising up to demand change.  That is a tall order, given the sorry state the information produced by the 4th Estate.
Chuck Spinney
[... excerpt ...]
Controlled by shadow government: Mike Lofgren reveals how top U.S. officials are at the mercy of the “deep state” 
A corrupt network of wealthy elites has hijacked our government, ex-GOP staffer and best-selling author tells Salon 
ELIAS ISQUITH, Salon, TUESDAY, JAN 5, 2016 09:40 AM EST 

One of the predominant themes of the 2016 presidential campaign thus far — and one that is unlikely to lose significance once the primaries give way to the general election — is the American people’s exasperation with a political system they see as corrupt, self-serving, disingenuous and out of touch. 
It is not an especially partisan or ideological sentiment; you can just as easily find it among supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders as among fans of Donald Trump. You can even find those who support paragons of the status quo, like Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush, making similar complaints. It’s about as close to a consensus position as you’re likely to find nowadays in American politics. 
Yet despite the widespread agreement that something is seriously wrong with democracy in the U.S., there’s much less of a consensus as to what that something is — and, crucially, how to fix it. The answers Bernie Sanders offers, for example, are not exactly the same as those proffered by Donald Trump. Is the problem too much government? Not enough government? Too much immigration? Not enough immigration? Too much taxing and regulating? Not enough taxing and regulating? 
Our lack of a systemic analysis of the problem is part of the reason why our answers are so diffuse and ill-fitting. And that’s just one of the reasons why “The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government,” the new book from ex-longtime GOP staffer turned best-selling author Mike Lofgren, is so valuable. Lofgren puts a name and a shape to a problem that has often been only nebulously defined; and while his conclusions are not exactly uplifting, the logic and sophistication of his argument is hard to resist. 
Recently, Salon spoke over the phone with Lofgren about his book, the deep state and his read on the current sorry state of American government and politics. Our conversation, which also touched on President Obama’s relationship with the deep state, was edited for clarity and length. ... continued