Monday, March 24, 2014

The Deep State spies on itself and others

Kunstler has spent the past week talking about the "Deep State," first in Deep State Descending and again in Deep State Blues.  In both of them, he's complaining about the U.S. role in Ukraine and how Americans are (not) dealing with it.  However, he really doesn't go into the idea of the "Deep State" much beyond using it in the title except for mentioning how the U.S. was involved in destabilizing Ukraine in the first place.*  That meant that he ignored a really good example of the Deep State, a Turkish term for what is otherwise called a "'state within the state'...a political situation in a country when an internal organ ("Deep State"), generally from the armed forces, intelligence agencies, or police, does not respond to the civilian leadership," the alleged spying by the CIA on staff of the Senate Intelligence Agency.  I came across a story about that two Saturdays ago that I included under "Science Crime Scenes" in Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Happy Pi Day) on Daily Kos.  Take it away, Temple University!

Temple student exposes alleged spy activities in U.S. Senate
March 12, 2014
A senior journalism student has broken a major, national news story she believes exposes an example of government officials operating secretly, away from the accountability of the public eye.

Ali Watkins, 22, of Fleetwood, Pa., co-wrote a March 4 article for McClatchy DC News that details an apparent feud between the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee over a congressional report on the CIA’s “secret detention and interrogation program.” The article cites sources who say the CIA monitored computers Senate aides used to prepare the report.

That story (and several more to come) was the result of tips Watkins received from unnamed sources with whom she has developed trusting relationships since she began reporting for McClatchy’s Washington bureau as an intern in May 2013. Watkins currently freelances for the bureau and hopes to work as a reporter in Washington, D.C., after graduating from the School of Media and Communication in May.
Welcome to the Deep State, Senators.

Follow over the jump for more in this vein, including another example of Green is the New Red and how the Deep State was fought the last time it became an issue.

First, Al Jazeera America's Stream Team reported on The heat on 'green' activism on January 2, 2014.
Could protesting for a ‘green planet’ land you in jail? The recent arrest of anti-fracking protesters in Oklahoma on terrorism-related charges has some activists pointing to corporate influence in law enforcement. However, some argue legal measures are needed to counter protest activity that is disruptive and costly. So, when does environmental activism cross the line?
Al Jazeera America asked me on Twitter what I thought of this.  In response, I told them "Green is the New Red."  The reporter handling their Twitter feed was amused by that, but found it thought provoking.  In response, I told him that the phrase wasn't mine; it originated with the author of "Green is the New Red."  That proved to be a rich tip for AJM, as one could see by reading the article at the link.

Of course, domestic spying and police harassment of environmentalists is not new, as Nixon spied on Earth Day participants.

Speaking of the FBI, it's time to go full circle and return to Temple University, who posted The burglary that exposed illegal surveillance by the FBI on the same day the university issued the press release about their student writing her story about spying on the Senate, March 12, 2014.
Temple’s John Raines, emeritus professor of religion, has been all over the national news lately. The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, National Public Radio, NBCNews and more have all covered the story of the burglars—of which Raines and his wife Bonnie were two—who broke into an FBI office nearly 43 years ago and made off with numerous documents.

The stolen documents, mailed anonymously to newspaper reporters and government officials, revealed details about illegal surveillance and harassment techniques employed by the FBI against antiwar protesters and political dissenters.

“We knew the heavy-handed methods the FBI was using, but we had no documentation. That’s what we were trying to get,” Raines said.

The history of that episode, and the revelations the stolen documents helped expose, are covered in a new book, The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover's Secret FBI, by Washington Post reporter Betty Metzger.
Here's the video accompanying the article: Professor's role in FBI Burglary Exposes Surveillance.

Religion professor John Raines breaks the law to bring down J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. He and his wife explain their roles in what was an unsolved burglary... 43 years later.
Nowadays, people who do this have to leave the country to avoid prosecution, like Edward Snowden.  The Deep State is much more effective these days.

*He's since delved into the idea more in this week's essay, Weak Sister, calling it "that matrix of bureaucratic toxic sludge that labors to pretend to control everything and succeeds mainly in embarrassing itself in a world that is now deeply tending away from the centralized control of anything."  He can only hope so.

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