Deep State, Part III

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Above photo: AP, John McCain at the US funded protests in Kiev that overthrew an elected president, replacing him with a prime minister and president who were friendly to the United States. Wikileaks documents show President Petro Poroshenko was an informant for the US State Department for nearly a decade and known as “Our Man in Ukraine.”

This is the third and final installment in “The End of Democracy As We Know It,” an in-depth three-part series on the Deep State. It provides a comprehensive understanding of the global power structure and the role of the United States. This is essential reading for understanding the political environment and developing an effective strategy..

In reality, the world is increasingly governed by the Deep State (also called the Secret Government, Moyers, B. 1987 [21]), uncontrolled by democratic mechanisms, time and again discussed by some “conspiracy theorists”, with massive evidence only recently revealed by Wikileaks and Edward Snowden. Although President Obama cannot enact his domestic policies and budgets due to incessant Republican stonewalling, he can liquidate alleged terrorists without due processes, detain prisoners indefinitely without charge, conduct dragnet surveillance without judicial warrant and engage in unprecedented witch hunts against federal employees (the so-called “Insider Threat Program”). Within the United States, this power is characterized by massive displays of intimidating force by militarized federal, state and local law enforcement. Abroad, he can start wars at will and engage in virtually any other activity whatsoever. In 2011 when political warfare over the debt ceiling was beginning to paralyze Washington, the government somehow summoned the resources to overthrow Muammar Ghaddafi’s regime in Libya and to provide overt and covert assistance to French intervention in Mali. “At the time of heated debate about continuing meat inspections and civilian air traffic control due to the budget crisis, the government was somehow able to commit $115 millionto keeping a civil war going in Syria and to pay at least £100m to the United Kingdom’s Government Communications Headquarters to buy influence over and access to that country’s intelligence. Since 2007, two bridges carrying interstate highways have collapsed due to inadequate maintenance of infrastructure, one killing 13 people. During that same period of time, the government spent $1.7 billion constructing a building in Utah that is the size of 17 football fields. This mammoth structure is intended to allow the National Security Agency to store a yottabyte of information, the largest numerical designator computer scientists have coined. A yottabyte is equal to 500 quintillion pages of text. They need that much storage to archive every single trace of our electronic life” (Lofgren, M., 2014) [22].

“Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose.” (ibid.).

The Deep State is a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies: the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Justice Department. I also include the Department of the Treasury because of its jurisdiction over financial flows, its enforcement of international sanctions and its organic symbiosis with Wall Street. All these agencies are coordinated by the Executive Office of the President [23] via the National Security Council. Certain key areas of the judiciary belong to the Deep State, such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, whose actions are mysterious even to most members of Congress.

“There are now 854,000 contract personnel with top-secret clearances — a number greater than that of top-secret-cleared civilian employees of the government. Since 9/11, 33 facilities for top-secret intelligence have been built or are under construction in and around the Washington suburbs. Combined, they occupy the floor space of almost three Pentagons — about 17 million square feet. Seventy percent of the intelligence community’s budget goes to paying contracts. And the membrane between government and industry is highly permeable: The Director of National Intelligence, James R. Clapper, is a former executive of Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the government’s largest intelligence contractors [Edward Snowden’s former employer; owned by the Carlyle Group]. His predecessor as director, Admiral Mike McConnell, is the current vice chairman of the same company; Booz Allen is 99 percent dependent on government business. These contractors now set the political and social tone of Washington, just as they are increasingly setting the direction of the country, but they are doing it quietly, their doings unrecorded in the Congressional Recordor the Federal Register, and are rarely subject to congressional hearings”(ibid.).

The executives of the financial giants even have de facto criminal immunity. On March 6, 2013, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Eric Holder stated: “I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy” (ibid.). They are deeply dyed in the hue of the official ideology of the governing class, an ideology that is neither specifically Democrat nor Republican. Domestically, they almost invariably believe in the “Washington Consensus”: financialization, outsourcing, privatization, deregulation and the commodifying of labor. Internationally, they espouse “American Exceptionalism”: the right and duty of the United States to meddle in every region of the world with coercive diplomacy and boots on the ground and to ignore painfully won international norms of civilized behavior. Through long established though more and more intensified forms of cooperation, the Deep State reaches far beyond the borders of the US (ibid.)

According to documents leaked by Edward Snowden to the Washington Post, the classified black budget of the sixteen US intelligence services together was 52.6 billion dollars, and their employed staff was 107,035 [24]. When the House voted not to rein in the NSA’s phone-spying dragnet, it turned out that the 217 “no” voters received twice as much campaign financing from the defense and intelligence industry as the 205 “yes” voters. The investigation showed that defense cash was a better predictor of a member’s vote than party affiliation. House members who voted to continue the massive phone-call-metadata spy program, on average, raked in 122 percent more money from defense contractors than those who voted to dismantle it. Political action committees and employees from defense and intelligence firms such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, United Technologies, Honeywell International, and others ponied up $12.97 million in donations for a two-year period ending December 31, 2012. Lawmakers who voted to continue the NSA dragnet-surveillance program averaged $41,635 from the pot, whereas House members who voted to repeal authority averaged $18,765 (Boehm, E. 2014).

America’s national-security elites act on the assumption that every nook and cranny of the globe is of great strategic significance and that threats to US interests are everywhere. Not surprisingly, they live in a constant state of fear. There must be a policy of global domination to make the world safe for America. A short look at the map shows that this perception is ridiculously wrong for geographical reasons. On the other hand, however, the ruling class is constantly creating those very enemies it strives to combat. The national security state is remarkably unchecked and unbalanced. In recent times, that labyrinthine structure of intelligence agencies has morphed into war-fighting outfits: the US military (with its own secret military, the special operations forces, gestating inside it), and the Department of Homeland Security, a monster conglomeration of agencies that is an actual “defense department,” as well as a vast contingent of weapons makers, contractors, and profiteers bolstered by an army of lobbyists, has never stopped growing (Kravets, D. 2013; London, E. 2014). Among private corporations, “Google’s creeping militarization” has recently been exposed (Cleland, S. 2014).

“Obama is just a willing executioner. From the ruling class’s point of view, he’s the perfect figurehead because his mere appearance confuses and disarms so many. He seems to have spent his whole life trying to get chosen to play Judas. And that’s all there is in his resume” (Whitney, M. 2014b; see also Ford, G. 2014a; Ford, G. 2014b; Chomsky, N. 2014). His speeches often sound like from an office in clouded cuckoos land, so distant from the real world [25].

A stunning new report compiles extensive evidence on how some of the world’s largest corporations have partnered with private intelligence firms and government intelligence agencies to spy on activist and nonprofit groups. Environmental activism is a prominent though not exclusive focus of these activities. One of the groups targeted the most, and by a range of different corporations, is Greenpeace. In the 1990s, Greenpeace was tracked by private security firm Beckett Brown International (BBI) on behalf of the world’s largest chlorine producer, Dow Chemical, due to the environmental organization’s campaigning against the use of chlorine to manufacture paper and plastics. Other Greenpeace offices in France and Europe were hacked and spied on by French private intelligence firms at the behest of Électricité de France, the world’s largest operator of nuclear power plants, 85% owned by the French government. Oil companies Shell and BP had also reportedly hired Hackluyt, a private investigative firm with close links to MI6, to infiltrate Greenpeace. Many of the world’s largest corporations and their trade associations – including the US Chamber of Commerce, Walmart, Monsanto, Bank of America, Dow Chemical, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Chevron, Burger King, McDonald’s, Shell, BP, BAE, Sasol, Brown & Williamson and E.ON – have been linked to espionage or planned espionage against nonprofit organizations, activists and whistleblowers” (Ruskin, G. 2013).

The Deep State is built on the structural advantage the executive has over the legislative and the judiciary; thus, the executive is the prime target of lobbying and donations – it has direct access to law enforcement and repressive intelligence agencies, a partner in international negotiations, the focus of the media, and regularly confers with economic giants. Members of the executive are professionals with a large advantage of information, where members of the legislative are amateurs. While in theory democracy rests on checks and balances, historically, the executive has a tendency to undermine democratic control. A disturbing result of such imbalance is the incredible amount of money dumped in the military without any proper accounting (Black Budget 2013). Most of the official excitement over NSA’s spying is deeply hypocritical. Of course intelligence services were not only spying on other countries and dissident groups, but they were also spying on industry. This was already the case under the Echelon spy system. As long as executive branches perceive each other in the framework of a competitive world this reality is unlikely to change. Quite opposite: The more IT technology advances, the more are surveillance means available to different actors. Despite political rhetoric there is little in sight to change this. Democratic control mechanisms are much too weak to be effective. Very often governments are being kept in the dark about their own spy agency’s cooperation with the NSA (Greenwald, G. 2014; Counter Intelligence: The Deep State).

 

Covert operations are usually criminal activities conducted by states or state-like institutions and so could be considered as a form of state terrorism, which includes torture, renditions, false flags, regime change, war mongering, warrantless spying, and drone warfare, which along with illegal (by international law) military campaigns such as “shock and awe” qualify as war crimes. There is also criminal behavior in corporations [26].For example, corporate lobbies, together with bribed politicians, make laws to protect and facilitate unlawful behavior, which is then shielded from law enforcement. Also, money laundering helps to wash money of criminal origin so that it can be invested in legal businesses (see Ruppert, M. 2004). The borderlines between legal and illegal behavior has become increasingly blurred. This is especially true at the top of the social hierarchy. Financial industries are especially affected [27]. Operation Gladio, has used Mafia killers to prevent leftists from being democratically elected into office, and the German BND uses right wing extremists and criminals to infiltrate neo-Nazi parties. The “enemy within” theory is used to justify internal repression, practiced for decades to control opposition and dissent. Vice President Dick Cheney was said to have commanded his personal killer squadron, and he personally approved torture, as does Obama (Harris-Gershon, D. 2013; Zenko, M. 2013).

Neoconservative ideology has helped to dismantle state regulations and transfer wealth to the 1%. Now, they are in a position to influence much of state legislation in their favor. They and their fortunes are protected by hosts of lawmakers, managers, accounting firms, lawyers, tax consultants, think tanks, radio stations, film studios, publishers, media outlets, researchers, ghostwriters, lobbyists, body guards and other lackeys in their service. As private property is the golden calf of capitalism, and unregulated capitalism has become the bible of the ruling class, they can even mobilize police forces and ultimately the military on their behalf. Here, the nation-state and its government remain important agencies since they can easily be played off against each other (e.g., tax evasion). Still the rich manage to be admired in public as the true heroes of society, the stars of success, and the personification of what was once called the American Dream (Polk, S. 2014).

This is the end of democracy as we knew it, and the definite takeover of plutocracy.

3. Case Studies

3.1 9/11 – Crime Covered up

The amended Set of Principles for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights Through Action to Combat Impunity, submitted to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on 8 February 2005, defines impunity as: “the impossibility, de jure or de facto, of bringing the perpetrators of violations to account – whether in criminal, civil, administrative or disciplinary proceedings – since they are not subject to any inquiry that might lead to their being accused, arrested, tried and, if found guilty, sentenced to appropriate penalties, and to making reparations to their victims”[28].

There are serious doubts with respect to the 9/11 Commission report: Members of the 9/11 Commission, as well as its executive director Philip Zelikow, had conflicts of interest. Zelikow had closer ties with the White House than he publicly disclosed and had tried to influence the final report in ways that the staff often perceived as limiting the Bush administration’s responsibility and furthering its anti-Iraq agenda. Zelikow had at least four private conversations with former White House political director Karl Rove, and appears to have had many frequent telephone conversations with people in the White House. White House lawyers attempted to stonewall the creation of the commission and to hamstring its work from the outset (Shenon, P. 2013).

The two co-chairs of the Commission, Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton, believe that the government established the Commission in a way that ensured that it would fail. In their book Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission (Kean, T.H., Hamilton, L.H. 2006) describing their experience, Hamilton listed a number of reasons for reaching this conclusion, including: the late establishment of the Commission and the very short deadline imposed on its work; the insufficient funds, initially allocated for conducting such an extensive investigation (later the Commission requested additional funds but received only a fraction of the funds requested and the chairs still felt hamstrung); the many politicians who opposed the establishment of the Commission; the continuing resistance and opposition to the work of the Commission by many politicians, particularly those who did not wish to be blamed for anything of what happened; the deception of the Commission by various key government agencies, including the Department of Defense, NORAD and the FAA; and, the denial of access by various agencies to documents and witnesses. “So there were all kinds of reasons we thought we were set up to fail.”

Troubled by the fact that so many of the facts related to 9/11 remain uninvestigated, in 2013 I asked about a dozen friends and colleagues in the US academe: “Could you please help me to understand why nobody takes the perpetrators to court with all the evidence provided?” I only received one serious reaction which I quote here in anonymity:

“First, I cannot say I believe the official narrative because there was no careful scientific study of the event by government officials. The events of September 11, 2001 are therefore open to alternative theories. All theories about this event, including the official one, are by definition conspiracy theories, i.e. explanations for criminal events by reference to a plot conceived by two or more persons in secret. To trust any theory about a conspiracy (or anything, for that matter) without a careful review of all the evidence would be irresponsible. I remain agnostic on the matter.

Second, I do not believe that the US government will conduct a careful scientific study of the event. Not given things as they stand today. If the official version were shown to be false in any nontrivial regard, then that might risk delegitimizing the war on terror. As a rationale for imperialism and domestic repression, the war on terror is much too important to lose in these times of crisis. Even the perception that things didn’t happen the way the government says they did could mean trouble. Therefore the matter is closed. The Commission Report is definitive. There will be no criminal investigation.

Third, anybody in the United States who espouses alternative theories, especially in the academy, is ridiculed and marginalized. The people I know who find several aspects of the official narrative problematic have reckoned that, in light of the almost certain truth that speaking up will have no effect, the personal costs of challenging the government theory are greater than the public benefits. The United States is now a closed and punishing society. People are hunkered down. Why risk one’s career for nothing? No alternative theory will gain any popular traction.

Fourth, even if we accept the official narrative, key acknowledged facts prove criminal negligence by the Bush Administration. This event would not have happened had the government dedicated itself to preventing it. However, for reasons already noted, these facts have and will continue to amount to nothing. Bush and his staff will never be held responsible for the worst security failure in US history. Obama is continuing – indeed expanding and entrenching – the neoconservative policies of his predecessor. He has no interest in pursuing a criminal investigation into criminal negligence.

So, in a real sense, the question of whether this happened the way the government says it did, is somewhat beside the point. It happened the way they did because that’s the way they need it to be. However it happened, they would have used it to devastate society.”

To be sure: The point here is not about finding out the truth of what happened how, and who is responsible. Rather, the question is who is actively preventing a new investigation with all the doubts on the table.

“The
 9/11
 attacks
 were
 used
 to
 justify
 an
 institutional
 revolution
 meant
 to
 complete
 a
 process
 of
 integration
 and
 coordination
 of
 all
 the
 assets
 of
 US
 national
 power
 through
 a
 strategic
 communication
 (SC)
 campaign
 deployed
 on
 a
 global
 scale.
The
 ‘Global
 War
 on
 Terror’
 (GWOT)
 nurtured
 a
 narrative
 of
 crisis
 associated
 with
 this
 unprecedented
 public
 education
 effort.
 In
 order
 to
 sell
 its
 approaches,
 the
 United
 States
 government
 relied
 on
 a
 network
 of
 ‘experts’:
 military
 veterans,
 high‐ranking
 officers
such
 as
 Admirals
 as
 well
 as
 professional
 journalists
 and
 academics
 who
 contributed
 to
 forging
 a
 consensus,
or,
 as
 Michel
Foucault
 would
 call
 it,
 a
 ‘regime
 of
 truth’
 that
 claims
 a
 certain
 interpretation
 to 
be 
right 
and 
true, 
while
 ignoring 
or 
discrediting 
critics 
and 
dissenting 
narratives” (Gygax, J., Snow, N. 2013”). Much of the official narrative of 9/11 was based on the confessions of Khaled Sheikh Mohammad which, however, were pressed out of him under torture not only of himself but also of his son in his plain sight. [29]

3.2 Ukraine – Regime Change

For years, the association agreement between the EU and Ukraine was of minor importance. Many European politicians, first of all the German Chancellor, showed provocative disinterest in Ukraine. When, in November 2013, Russia asked for access to the negotiation table, it was rebuffed by the EU.

While Brussels was playing for time, the US was preparing the overthrow of the government. Since the end of the Cold War the United States has been surrounding Russia, building one military base after another, ceaselessly looking for new ones, including in Ukraine. The US deployment of new weapon systems in Eastern Europe is consistent with a plan for antagonizing Moscow that was proposed in the Washington Post by the Obama administration’s ideological godfather, Zbigniew Brzezinski, immediately after a group of self-proclaimed Maidan leaders chased away the elected government. It betrays all those who suspect that he might have changed his position in his recent publications: “The West should promptly recognize the current government of Ukraine as legitimate. Uncertainty regarding its legal status could tempt Putin to repeat his Crimean charade. … Meanwhile, NATO forces, consistent with the organization’s contingency planning, should be put on alert. High readiness for some immediate airlift to Europe of U.S. airborne units would be politically and militarily meaningful. If the West wants to avoid a conflict, there should be no ambiguity in the Kremlin as to what might be precipitated by further adventurist use of force in the middle of Europe” (Brzezinski, Z. 2014).

The US had tried, but failed, to take Ukraine in 2004 with the Washington-financed “Orange Revolution.” According to Assistant Secretary of State (and wife to PNAC godfather Robert Kagan) Victoria Nuland, since this failure Washington has invested $5 billion in Ukraine in order to foment agitation for EU membership for Ukraine [30]. EU membership would open Ukraine to looting by Western bankers and corporations, but Washington’s main goal is to establish US missile bases on Russia’s border with Ukraine and to deprive Russia of its Black Sea naval base and military industries in eastern Ukraine. EU membership for Ukraine means NATO membership (Roberts, P.C. 2014b).

When President Yanukovich declared on 21 November he would not sign the EU association agreement, clashes erupted in the streets of Kiev. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets and to Maidan Square on December weekends. This was the critical stage of a campaign fueled by the three opposition parties „Fatherland“ (Yuljia Tymochenko, Arsenji Yatsenyuk), „Bang“ (German Konrad Adenauer Foundation funded box champion Vitali Klitschko) and „Freedom“ (Svoboda leader and closely tied in the network of European fascist parties, Oleh Tjahnybok). Their common goal was to oust President Viktor Yanukovych whose Party of the Regions had succeeded in the 2012 elections. Kiev’s membership in the EU would then not be far off; after which the country could embrace the joys of neo-conservatism, receiving the benefits of the standard privatization-deregulation-austerity package and join Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain as an impoverished orphan of the family. Crimea’s deputy prime minister, Olga Kovitidi, described as predatory the terms of an agreement Kiev is ready to accept from the International Monetary Fund (Voice of Russia, 2014).

Since the 2004 revolt, fascist militias had been built up and paid for who would now ignite the actual uprisings and prevent compromise (Svoboda, Right Sector). They call for violence, and occupy provincial governments in the mostly agricultural and right-wing West of the country. In the Western regions of Lwow, Ternopol, Rovno, Luzk and Iwano-Frankowsk and others, they stormed office buildings and pressed governors to sign their resignations. While thousands of people took part in anti-government protests in Kiev, a small group of radical fighters were at the core of the violent clashes. Judging by their looks and actions, they are armed, trained and prepared for war. Apart from individual gear, the rioters know urban guerrilla tactics. The protesters were also well-prepared for offensive. They had a wide assortment of melee weapons.

The National Endowment for Democracy website [31] lists 65 projects that it has supported financially in recent years in Ukraine. Their programs impart the basic philosophy that people are best served under a system of free enterprise, minimal government intervention in the economy, and opposition to socialism in any shape or form. A free-market economy is equated with democracy, reform, and growth; and the merits of foreign investment in their economy are emphasized. The NED would do somewhat overtly what the CIA had been doing covertly for decades, and thus eliminate the stigma associated with CIA covert activities. NED receives virtually all its financing from the US government. Why were Washington officials grooming a replacement for President Yanukovych, legally and democratically elected in 2010 who, in the face of protests, moved elections up so he could have been voted out of office – not thrown out by a mob? Yanukovych made repeated important concessions, including amnesty for those arrested and offering, on January 25, to make two of his adversaries prime minister and deputy prime minister; all to no avail. Key elements of the protestors, and those behind them, wanted their putsch. Ukraine’s junta prime minister announced March 7 that he has invited the NATO Council to hold a meeting in Kiev over the recent developments in the country. “I invited the North Atlantic Council to visit Kiev and hold a meeting there,” Arseny Yatsenyuk said during a visit to Brussels, where he met with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and EU officials. “We believe that it will strengthen our cooperation” (Blum, W. 2014a).

In addition to NED, the foreign donors included the U.S. State Department and USAID along with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the International Republican Institute, the NGOFreedom House and George Soros’sOpen Society Institute (Ames, M. 2014).They all have supported non-governmental democracy-building efforts in Eastern Europe since 1988.Each of these social movements included extensive work by student activists. The most famous of these was Otpor, the youth movement that helped bring in Vojislav Koštunica. In Georgia the movement was called Kmara. In Ukraine the movement has worked under the succinct slogan “Pora“ (“It’s Time”). Pora was built up in Ukraine in 2004 in order to assist in regime change. “We trained them in how to set up an organization, how to open a local chapter, how to develop a brand with logo, symbols, and key messages”, said an Otpor activist in the US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. “We trained them in how to detect societies‘ weaknesses and what the most burning problems of the population are.” Srdja Popovic, Otpor’s founder and director, was found to have close working relationships with US intelligence firm Stratfor. He boasted to be a revolutionary for hire (Gibson, C., Horn, S. 2013;Traynor, I. 2004). Many of the protest actions including criminal offenses against security personnel and the takeover of government buildings, accompanied by assassinations and acts of violence against many had been supported, organized and planned in cooperation with the US embassy and representatives and politicians of the EU who not only meddled into the inner affairs of Ukraine but also by the fascist guerrillas they raised up and made them commit acts of aggression against the country, among them the sniper killings of February 20 and the Odessa massacre of May 2, 2014 [32].

Already in 1992-95, the IMF imposed structural adjustment program had reduced Ukraine’s GDP by sixty per cent. Now, conditions for new credits include doubling gas prizes, increase fees for public services, cut social services and funds for education, limit wages and pensions, lay-offs in the public sector, investment guarantees for foreign private corporations, and devalue the currency, thus raising the prices of imports which include Russian gas, and open Ukrainian assets to takeover by Western corporations (Burke, M. 2014). Ukraine’s agriculture lands will pass into the hands of American agribusiness.  “For Ukraine, the association agreement with the EU means to transfer to Brussels all sovereign tasks for the regulation of commerce and external relations, technical standards, veterinary, hygiene and disease inspections and to open its market to European goods. The agreement contains some thousand pages of EU directives to be followed by Ukraine. Every chapter demands that Ukraine’s legal system must be brought to correspond to the European system. Moreover, Ukraine not only accepts the obligation to follow EU’s present directives but also future ones without being eligible to contribute to their wording” (Glazyev, S. no date). It was all too clear for President Yanukovych and his partisans that the elections of 2015 could not be won on this basis. Permission to set up a missile shield, also included in the IMF package, was a pure provocation to Russia. Also, the 11 billion euros that the EU is offering Kiev is not aid, it is a loan. It comes with many strings, including Kiev’s acceptance of the IMF austerity plan.

The Obama administration’s rationale for supporting the fascist-led coup in Ukraine collapsed on March 7 when a hacked phone call between EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet revealed that the snipers who fired on protestors in Maidan Square in Kiev on February 20, 2014, were not aligned with President Yanukovych, but with the protest leaders themselves. Estonian foreign ministry has confirmed the recording of his conversation with EU foreign policy chief is authentic. Urmas Paet said that snipers who shot at protesters and police in Kiev were hired by Maidan leaders.

With pro-Russian candidates off the ballot, Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok is a dominant political power in Ukraine. He certainly is a bigger votegetter than Yatsenyuk, whose main responsibility is to negotiate with the West over financial aid and the EU package, and Vitali Klitschko who announced he will be running for mayor of Kiev. In recognition of Tyahnbyok’s clout, Svoboda members got the posts of Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Ecology, and acting prosecutor general. A founder of the Social Nationalist party was made secretary of the Ukraine National Security and Defense Council. Several hundred members and supporters of the militant nationalist Right Sector swarmed Ukraine’s parliament building for the second day in a row on March 28 to demand the resignation of Interior Minister Arsen Avakov and an investigation into the suspicious death earlier in the week of one of its leaders [33]. This new though illegal government composed according to US wishes and flattered by Western heads of state, has announced to sign the EU association agreement successively. It has asked the US for far-reaching military assistance. And it has brought the country’s gold reserves into US custody (Chossudovsky, M. 2014).

They did not wait until a legitimate government were elected on May 25 but were eager to create faits accomplis.

Not only had the members of the “government” been handpicked by the US State Department, but also President Poroshenko, oligarch and close State Depatment affiliate (Collins, M. 2014). The National Guard mostly recruited from Svoboda and the fascist Right Sector, is commanded by the Ministry of Domestic Affairs, and equivalent to the US Department of Homeland Security, and openly displays a symbolic swastika as their emblem, and so does the Azov Battallion. “The American public does not know that their government continues to support neo-nazi groupings with money, arms and training. Nobody in the US knows this because the words neo-nazi, or fascist, in connection with the Ukraine are taboo (Chossudovsky, M. 2014b). Claims have often been made that mercenaries of the firm formerly known as Blackwater operate in the city of Donetsk. Numerous FBI and CIA agents assist the putsch government to combat “criminal elements” in the Eastern parts of the country. The alleged peace plan submitted by Poroshenko was intentionally unacceptable by the pro-Russian side because it demanded their disarmament but not disarmament of the government forces.

„The conflicts in Ukraine, Venezuela, and Syria have one thing in common: In all three cases there are leading groups steering the “opposition” that want absolutely nothing to do with democracy — these groups are as far-right as politics gets: European-style fascism in Ukraine, Islamic extremism in Syria, and in Venezuela the elite-favored tradition of military dictatorships. But there has been a virtual U.S. media blackout as to the leadership of the movements in Ukraine, Syria, and Venezuela, and for good reason; if these groups come to power, the country will be far worse off than it is now. The American public would give zero support to these groups if they knew the truth, which is why the level of U.S. media misinformation about these groups is as Orwellian as the workings of Obama’s NSA. (Cooke, S. 2014). A State Department official was quoted saying that the US would “affirm our support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of both countries and for all post-Soviet states” (Brunnstorm, D. 2014).

What is this all about? What interests does the US government have in Ukraine? In a process of steady hegemonic decline, the US has deliberately provoked the Ukraine conflict in order to prevent the deeper cooperation between Europe and Russia. Should it succeed it might even open doors to export American fracking gas to Europe. Ukraine could even invent arguments to encourage a direct NATO-Russian confrontation. “As with the ruins of Iraq and Afghanistan, Ukraine could then develop into a theme park for the CIA – personally directed by CIA director John Brennan from Kiev, with dozens of special forces of FBI and CIA to build a “security structure” to prosecute all those not in agreement with the February coup” (Pilger, J. 2014). Above all, the sanctions and pinprick policy against Russia is of little cost for the US as it has close to no commercial exchange with Russia – quite contrary to the EU. Their economic decline in consequence of the sanctions is most welcome as it preserves the US hegemonic role for the time being.

In strange uniformity the Western mainstream media have adopted an interpretation of events which ignores Western provocative actions as well as selfish interests of the West, and demonize President Putin and Russia (Smith, P. 2014). Interestingly enough, this goes to a large extent against public opinion as revealed in opinion polls. It is mostly the Western media which foment Cold War sentiments and thus play into the hands of neocon politicians. Most presumably the shooting down of Malaysian flight MH17 and the almost total secrecy in which the US intelligence and the expert investigations are veiled must be seen in this context.

3.3 TISA, TIPP and TTIP

In 1995 the World Trade Organization (WTO) grew out of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Its first and most important project was the Multilateral Agreement on Investments (MAI) planned to concede to transnational corporations far-reaching rights against member states. After first draft texts were leaked and developing countries opposed the thrust of the negotiations, the negotiation process was transferred to the OECD, the organization of highly industrialized countries in order to “avoid undue politicization”. When draft texts were passed over to NGOs, a broad public campaign began to oppose the agreement which finally led first to a moratorium, then to an end of the negotiations. However, some of the intended contents became included in numerous bilateral agreements. Now new efforts are being made to once again establish agreements friendly to TNC wishes: the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). While both processes are kept behind closed doors in almost total secrecy, it happens, once again, that NGOs could get hold of individual sections of drafts under negotiation.

TISA is being prepared as an international trade agreement between the US, the EU and 21 additional countries. It is supposed to liberalize some seventy per cent of worldwide service industries. In both the US and the EU some 75 per cent of the GNP fall in the service category. Negotiations began in March 2013 and partners have submitted their offers by the end of that year. In June 2014 WikiLeaks published the draft chapter for financial services. The agreement is supposed to extent “regulatory principles” to all service sectors including many public services (water and transport, public libraries, theaters, sports facilities and many more). The rules would allow all foreign competitors to access domestic service markets to the same conditions as domestic suppliers, and would restrict government capabilities to regulate, to buy or to offer such services. Thus, regulation of many public or commercial services would no longer happen in the interest of the common good but rather in the interest of foreign corporate profits. The agreement should not only be kept secret during negotiations but also for five years after entering into force [34].

“Today, 13 November 2013, WikiLeaks released the secret negotiated draft text for the entire TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Intellectual Property Rights Chapter. The TPP is the largest-ever economic treaty, encompassing nations representing more than 40 per cent of the world’s GDP. The chapter published by WikiLeaks is perhaps the most controversial chapter of the TPP due to its wide-ranging effects on medicines, publishers, internet services, civil liberties and biological patents.” The TPP is the forerunner to the equally secret US-EU pact TTIP, for which President Obama initiated US-EU negotiations in January 2013. Together, the TPP and TTIP will cover more than sixty per cent of global GDP. Both pacts exclude China. Since the beginning of the TPP negotiations, the process of drafting and negotiating the treaty’s chapters has been shrouded in an unprecedented level of secrecy. Access to drafts of the TPP chapters is shielded from the general public. It has been previously revealed that only three individuals in each TPP nation have access to the full text of the agreement, while 600 ’trade advisers’ – lobbyists guarding the interests of large US corporations such as Chevron, Halliburton, Monsanto and Walmart – are granted privileged access to crucial sections of the treaty text. The Obama administration is preparing to fast-track the TPP treaty in a manner that will prevent the US Congress from discussing or amending any parts of the treaty. The longest section of the Chapter – ’Enforcement’ – is devoted to detailing new policing measures, with far-reaching implications for individual rights, civil liberties, publishers, internet service providers and internet privacy, as well as for the creative, intellectual, biological and environmental commons. Particular measures proposed include supranational litigation tribunals to which sovereign national courts are expected to defer, but which have no human rights safeguards. The draft states that these courts can conduct hearings with secret evidence [35].

On April 30, 2007, a Framework Agreement was signed between the EU and the US. With it, the Trans-Atlantic Economic Council was set up to prepare negotiations which then started formally by mid-2013. A High-Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth chaired by US Trade Representative Ron Kirk and EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht was entrusted with bringing the negotiations forward. Its membership was not publicly disclosed until the Corporate Europe Observatory revealed their background in Business Europe and the Bertelsmann Foundation, both with strong neoliberal inclinations. None of them had a democratic mandate.

Primarily, TTIP is about the abolishment of non-tariff trade barriers, rules and standards. This includes, e.g., the clear declaration of genetically manipulated organisms in food which is mandatory in the EU but not in the US. Corporations like Monsanto have since long been critical of such regulations and lobby their being abolished, so they can sell their seeds and products on the European market. Hydraulic Fracturing is common in the US but forbidden in the EU, including the import of shield gas. Another issue on the agenda is the withdrawal of controls and restrictions, introduced after the financial crisis of 2008, for the financial sector, with City of London lobbies on the forefront.

TTIP is heavily criticized by NGOs for being negotiated without any democratic participation. The effects on economic growth and employment put in favor of it by its proponents are expected to be only marginal while being more than offset in a race to the bottom by undermining environmental, health and work standards in the sole interests of corporate profits. A major critical issue is the planned Investor-State Dispute Settlement which gives corporations a one-way right to sue governments in case they see their profits endangered by public regulation, while states would not have similar rights. This mechanism would exclude any resort to the judiciary. Once signed, the convention could not be altered without unanimous consensus among all member parties.

As is the case with TPP, TTIP negotiations exclude not only the public but also members of national or European parliaments, even members of national governments from insight into the documents. Parallel to attempts to fast-track ratification in the US, it is under debate in the EU whether or not the European Commission shall be the only responsible to sign the final legally binding contract.

The hurry which the US government is imposing on the negotiations is easily understandable: With European Parliament elections on May 25, and Obama’s term of office expiring, with Russia’s gas deal with China and its efforts to get rid of its US-dollar reserves, with the BRICS understanding to set up an own version of the World Bank and the IMF, and with increasing opposition in civil society, the agreements are on high risk, indeed. They might not survive public scrutiny once the texts are fully exposed. The secrecy of the negotiations despite the fact that those agreements, once ratified, would have deep implications on everybody’s life demonstrates to what extent democracy has already been damaged by our governments, the takeover by the Deep State.

4. Conclusion

“Illegitimate authority is on the rise and democracy is gradually succumbing to the disease of neoliberal ideology so that more and more functions of legitimate government are being assumed by illegitimate, unelected, opaque agents and organizations. This is the case at all levels, national, regional and international…. It is not exactly news that governments have always governed on behalf of certain class interests but this is different from allowing those interests to actually write the legislation and to make policy directly, including budgetary, financial, labor, social and environmental policy in the place of elected legislators and civil servants. It is different from allowing private corporations deliberately to disseminate deception and lies and undermine the public’s right to know. It’s not just their size, their enormous wealth and assets that make the TNCs dangerous to democracy. It’s also their concentration, their capacity to influence, and often infiltrate, governments and their ability to act as a genuine international social class in order to defend their commercial interests against the common good” (George, S. 2014). Susan George accurately describes the paths our Western societies are following, the US most advanced, others lagging somewhat behind. It seems to be a one-way process without any escape towards democracy. The three case studies demonstrate convincingly the degree to which the Dark State has already overtaken our political systems, both domestic and international.

The global ruling class feeling that US world hegemony is approaching its end and uncertain about its own fate seems to be obsessed by paranoia, and running amok with only one goal left: to fill as much as possible into its own coffers. It even abstains from the impression of following the rule of law [36]. Belligerent behavior towards other countries goes hand in hand with sharply increasing social tensions and conflict within.

US exceptionalism, by its very definition, is the deep conviction of one’s general superiority over others. Thus, it is a fundamentally intolerant and pre-enlightenment attitude. At the same time, it tends to turn a blind eye against own shortcomings, deficits and wrongdoings. From it follows the self-attributed right to teach others, to impose on others one’s role model of morale and of social organization, to exert power on others, to maintain the role of world policeman. Contempt of international law follows from the idea that law is as we do. Little wonder that others in the course of political, economic, and cultural emancipation, decreasingly accept this master-and-serf model of power distribution. There is revolt in other parts of the world, and sometimes violently critical of “the West”. The world will de-Americanize, as one Chinese diplomat put it. In fact it already does [37]. Washingstons aggressive and provocative foreign policy, short-sighted, arrogant and egomaniac, will not pay out. The BRICS 2014 Fortalezza summit clearly send signs of a new world order with a multipolar power structure.

But real and lasting change must come from within US society [38].

 

Notes

All internet sources have been checked end of June 2014

[21] One of the few who have intensively written about the Deep State is Peter Dale Scott (see, for a fist intro, Peter Dale Scott, “The American Deep State, Deep Events, and Off-the-Books Financing,” The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 12, Issue 14, No. 3, April 6, 2014; and his website with large amounts of material: http://www.peterdalescott.net/q.html); see also Curtin, E. (2014)

[22] Ubiquitous surveillance is making fast and frightening progress: U.S. Funds “Terror Studies” to Dissect and Neutralize Social Movements, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39009.htm; The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39211.htm; The Rise to Power of the National Security State. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39323.htm; How America’s Police Became an Army: The 1033 Program, http://www.newsweek.com/how-americas-police-became-army-1033-program-264537; Pentagon’s 1033 Program is Preparing for War Against the Civil Population, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39451.htm; US police given billions from Homeland Security for ‘tactical’ equipment, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/20/police-billions-homeland-security-military-equipment

[23] which also houses OIRA, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, an agency primarily concerned with shielding private corporations from regulations to be enacted by Congress, along with the Council of Economic Advisors, the National Security Staff, the Office of Management and Budget, the National Security Advisor, and others

[24] http://de.scribd.com/doc/164056434/FY-2013-Congressional-Budget-Justification

[25] So, e.g., in a recent interview: “If you had to choose any moment to be born in human history, not knowing what your position was going to be, who you were going to be, you’d choose this time. The world is less violent than it has ever been.” http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2014/06/11/obama_the_world_is_less_violent_than_it_has_ever_been.html

[26] http://www.corporatecrimereporter.com/, see their archives; The examples are too many to be cited; a few recent headlines must suffice: 26 top American corporations paid no federal income tax from ’08 to ’12, http://rt.com/usa/low-corporate-tax-rates-275/. Nader, R., (), Medical Price Gouging Skyrocketing, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37383.htm; Parramore, L.S., (), The Ayn Rand-Worshipping Sears CEO That Blew Up His Multibillion Dollar Empire, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37069.htm; Buchheit, P., (), 5 Ways Our Lives Are Being Violated by Corporate Greed, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37028.htm; Reich, R., (), The Year of the Great Redistribution, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37305.htm; Hudson, M. (), The “Iron-fisted Kleptocratic Financial Oligarchy”. 95% Income Growth Goes to the 1%. Video. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37389.htm

[27] Eskow, R., (2014a), Now We Know. JPMorgan Chase is Worse Than Enron, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37445.htm; Eskow, R., (2014b), Crime Doesn’t Pay? JPMorgan Chase Begs to Differ, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37481.htm; JPMorgan gives CEO Jamie Dimon a raise despite shelling out $20 bln in fines, http://rt.com/usa/jpmorgan-dimon-raise-fines-165/; £2m: average pay award for JP Morgan’s top staff in 2012 revealed, http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jan/01/2m-average-bonus-jp-morgan-bankers?CMP=twt_fd; JPMorgan Chase Nears a $2 Billion Deal in a Case Tied to Madoff, http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/01/05/jpmorgan-chase-nears-a-2-billion-deal-in-a-case-tied-to-madoff/?_r=0; Bank pays bribe to avoid jail, http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/01/07/jpmorgan-fined-in-madoff-case/4354087/; New Revelation : AG Eric Holder Is Protecting JPMorgan Chase NYC From Criminal Investigation: http://www.truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/item/18387-new-revelation-that-attorney-general-eric-holder-is-protecting-jpmorgan-chase-nyc-from-criminal-investigation

[28] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impunity

[29] http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/04/guantanamo-detainees-father-says-son.php

[30] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSxaa-67yGM#t=89

[31] www.ned.org

[32] http://nsnbc.me/2014/05/10/odessa-massacre-detail-investigation/. A leaked telephone conversation between High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security PolicyCatherine Ashton and Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet revealed that the snipers who killed people protesting on Maidan Square, Kiev, on 20 February 2014 were not part of President Yanukovych’s forces as claimed by many western media but rather belonged to the protest leaders themselves. The Estonian Foreign Ministry has confirmed the authenticity of the conversation.

[33] http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/right-sector-pickets-parliament-demands-avakovs-resignation-341218.html

[34] https://wikileaks.org/tisa-financial/

[35] https://wikileaks.org/tpp/pressrelease.html

[36] the latest example being General Keith Alexander, retired chief of the NSA: “Perhaps you already assume that there’s some kind of twisted marriage between Wall Street megabanks and the U.S. global surveillance regime. Why wouldn’t there be? But not even a total cynic could have anticipated spymaster Keith Alexander cashing in this hard, this fast. As Bloomberg recently reported, the former National Security Agency chief, who resigned in March at the age of 62, quickly offered his cyber-security expertise at the eye-popping price of $1 million per month to an assortment of shady business lobbies.” http://www.vice.com/read/nsa-surveillance-mastermind-keith-alexander-selling-us-secrets-to-wall-street-630; The NSA’s Cyber-King Goes Corporate: Here’s why Keith Alexander thinks he’s worth a million dollars a month. http://tinyurl.com/q88snwd; Son of U.S. Vice President joins Board of Directors For Ukraine Gas Company, By Dispatch News Desk. Kiev: Hunter Biden is now on Board of directors of Burisma Holdings, Ukraine’s largest private gas producer. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38486.htm

[37] De-Americanization and the decline of US global hegemony have been predicted by many, including Johan Galtung, Chalmers Johnson, Emmanuel Todd; the process seems to accelerate partly in consequence of the US meddlings in Ukraine, the ongoing attempts to antagonize Europe and Russia, and its continuing support to the criminal Netanyahu government. See, e.g., “China calls for new Asian security structure based on group with Russia, Iran that excludes U.S.”, http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/05/21/china-calls-for-new-asian-security-structure-based-on-group-with-russia-iran/. As a reaction to the stonewalling of the US against reforms of the IMF and the World Bank decided in 2010, the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) are setting up alternative institutions which escape US and Western control; Durden, T. (2014); Snyder, M. (2014) discuss the de-dollarization of the global economy; China is publishing its own annual human rights report and sets up its own rating agency; see also James Petras, Positive Thoughts on Dark Times, Current Affairs, 14 July 2014, available at https://www.transcend.org/tms/2014/07/positive-thoughts-on-dark-times/; Currency Wars – Europe Seeks Alternative To ‘Dollar Imperialism’: Today in Brussels the French Finance Minister, Michel Sapin, will start a debate with his EU counterparts on how the European Union can reduce its dependency on the U.S. dollar. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-08/currency-wars-europe-seeks-alternative-dollar-imperialism

[38] Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers are observing a “Democracy Rebellion Rolls Across United States as Americans Are Repeatedly Shown How Anti-Democratic the Government Really Is,” http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39077.htm

 

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This paper was written for a special edition of FORESIGHT on Who Rules the World? edited by Dennis Morgan, to be published this fall by Emerald

Bernd Hamm is professor emeritus of sociology, University of Trier, now living in Berlin, Germany. His recent publications include Devastating Society – The Neo-conservative Assault on Democracy and Justice (London 2005), Cultural Imperialism – Essays on the Political Economy of Cultural Domination (ed. together with Russell Smandych, Ann Arbor 2005) and Umweltkatastrophen (Environmental Catastrophies, Marburg 2011). He can be reached under hamm@uni-trier.de