The Deep State never sleeps. It’s always doing something. Doing something, that is, to undermine the Trump administration. And sometimes, in its zeal to de-Trumpify its home turf of Washington, DC, it jeopardizes American national security. The Deep State doesn’t seem to care much about that, but maybe the rest of us should.
As Virgil wrote back in December, the Deep State can be defined as, “The complex of bureaucrats, technocrats, and plutocrats that likes things just the way they are and wants to keep them like that—elections be damned.”
So let’s take a look at some of the latest Deep State doings:
As part of its continuing its effort to subvert, in every way possible, the Trump administration’s January 27 Executive Order 13769, the Deep State has resorted, once again, to one of its favorite tools—the media leak.
That Executive Order, of course, sought to limit the inflow of people from seven countries, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. The order touched off a vast firestorm of protests, followed by an infinity of legal challenges. (Virgil has written about the full plenitude of Deep State activities, in a satiric manner, here and here.)
So now let’s take a look at a February 24 story from the Associated Press, headlined, “Homeland Security intel report disputes threat posed by travel ban nations.”
At first glance, this news seems to be a big deal. The innocent reader might see that headline and perhaps think, Gee, if even the experts at the Department of Homeland Security think Trump is wrong, maybe I should think so, too.
So is that really what the report said? Uh, not quite. Actually, not at all.
It seems that the AP got its hands on an undated draft document from the Department of Homeland Security written in response to Trump’s Executive Order. Entitled “Citizenship Likely an Unreliable Indicator of Terrorist Threats to the United States,” it asserts that people from those seven countries are “rarely implicated in US-based terrorism.” Got that? Only rarely. So what is there to worry about?
We might note that the total population of the seven countries in question is 218 million; in other words, that’s a huge pool of people—and potential trouble. Even if only a relative few of them are bad hombres, that could be disastrous if they get to the US. And did Virgil mention that the ultra-discount airline Norwegian Air will soon be offering flights across the Atlantic for $85?
So maybe we should take a closer look at this DHS document. Although come to think of it, maybe calling it a “document” gives it too much credence. Maybe it’s better simply to call it “three sheets of paper.” For all we know, it could have been written by a single DHS employee, or by a contractor, or even by a clever intern. Or perhaps it was composed by someone not even connected to DHS: With anonymous sources, the reader has to take the reporter’s word for it.
But who knows: Maybe the document is truly the considered opinion of the career staff at DHS. If so, then career-staff opinion is not at all aligned with the view of President Trump, who is, after all, their commander-in-chief. For his part, Trump has declared many times that immigration, absent “extreme vetting,” is a serious national security threat.
So we can see: The issue of immigration, connected, as it is, to the larger issues of globalization and sovereignty, is perhaps the ultimate disagreement between Trump and the liberal Establishment, of which the Deep State is a key component.
And one of the Deep State’s favored tools, of course, is the leak—the ambush-type unauthorized disclosure. Trump understands all that; as he tweeted on February 16, in regard to an earlier off-the-books disclosure, “Leaking, and even illegal classified leaking, has been a big problem in Washington for years.”
Yes, covert leaking is a problem, but perhaps an even bigger problem, from Trump’s point of view, is the overt willingness of executive branch officials mostly to confirm the essence of the leak. For example, we might consider the statement from a DHS spokesperson in response to the AP story; as we can see, the denial is actually a kind of confirmation:
While DHS was asked to draft a comprehensive report on this issue, the document you’re referencing was commentary from a single intelligence source versus an official, robust document with thorough interagency sourcing. The . . . report does not include data from other intelligence community sources. It is incomplete.
We can observe: In saying, merely, that the paper was “incomplete,” the DHS spokesperson gave it legitimacy. That is, the implication is that the paper, as written, will be a key element of the forthcoming overall picture.
By contrast, if the spokesperson had really wanted to knock the paper down, she could have said something more like this:
The paper in question is complete garbage. It does not reflect, in any way, the opinion of Homeland Security Secretary Kelly or the Trump administration. It’s another example of some rogue operator issuing an unauthorized, and probably illegal, leak. In other words, it’s “FAKE NEWS, and the AP should be embarrassed to print it.
So Virgil sees the hand of the Deep State twice: First, in the composing of, and leaking of, the original paper. And second, in the non-denial denial.
It’s a safe bet that Deep State-types are high-fiving each other in Northwest Washington, celebrating their latest acts of resistance against Trump. Northwest DC is the location of the DHS headquarters, and where many DHS-ers live. As an aside, it might be worth noting that in the election last year, Trump received less than eight percent of the vote in Ward Three, which is the heart of Northwest. That’s the culture from which this leak originated, and is now celebrated.
If this case were just a matter of Beltway word-play, it might not be such a big deal—even if it is, of course, a violation of rules guiding the conduct of the federal civil service. (Needless to say, there’s virtually zero chance that the leaker will be identified, let alone punished.)
Instead, the real question is what happens to the safety and security of the American people if the thinking revealed in that paper is allowed to flourish.
We can ask: Don’t people at DHS pay attention to current events? Are they so buried in intelligence reports—or, more likely, dunked in their own ideology—that they are heedless to the news that’s available to the rest of us as we peruse the headlines?
Let’s get specific. One of the countries on the Trump list is Iraq. And here, screamingly, we recently got a reminder of just how wrong the “experts” can be about who’s a threat.
Leaving aside the endless skein of violence in that country over the last few decades—which has killed millions of Iraqis and radicalized many more—let’s examine the single case of Abu Zakariya al-Britani, a suicide bomber who died on February 21 while attacking Iraqi government forces in Mosul.
Al-Britani was an interesting figure. He was born Ronald Fiddler, a British citizen of African descent. In 1992, he converted to Islam and became more radicalized over the years. He traveled to South Asia and was detained as a suspected terrorist in Afghanistan.
By then he had his new nom de guerre, al-Britani; in Arabic, it simply means, “The Briton.” After his capture, he was remanded to the US detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Meanwhile, back in the UK, activists launched a coordinated legal and political campaign for his release. And in fact, he was not only released but rewarded. According to CBS News:
He was one of 16 men paid a total of 10 million pounds (now worth $12.4 million) in compensation in 2010, when the British government settled a lawsuit alleging its intelligence agencies were complicit in the torture of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
After his release and enrichment, al-Britani could have lived a life of luxury, thanks to British taxpayers. And yet, true to his radical faith, he chose to go to the Middle East for jihad, and, as we have seen, he died in suicidal service of his god.
So one might wonder: What were the British, and American, authorities doing all this time? Did they care that al-Britani was an Islamist radical? Did they even notice?
Britain’s left-wing Guardian newspaper, which in the past had championed the cause of al-Britani’s release, reports that the authorities didn’t think of him as a threat. To which the rest of us can say, Nice work, guys.
So let’s step back and further consider the case of al-Britani. Having been captured as a terrorist, he was then released and showered with money. And once he was out, he was then free to resume his jihadi lifestyle. Does anyone doubt that he left a trail of personal associations and electronic social media that would have made his true nature obvious to any onlooker?
Perhaps the British authorities were clueless about al-Britani. In fairness to them, there are lots of potential suspects—and more coming in every day.
Or, perhaps, the authorities knew all about al-Britani, but they were too cowered by PC orthodoxy to do anything about him. That is, if they had made a move against him, the old accusations of improper imprisonment would have been raised, plus perhaps racism, Otherism, Orientalism, and on and on. Only the toughest law-enforcer is willing to put up with that sort of grief, and not all law-enforcers are tough.
So the British should count themselves as lucky that al-Britani chose to end his life in Mosul, as opposed to, say, London. And oh, by the way, what about the other 15 men who were released from Gitmo at the same time as al-Britani? Is anyone, anywhere, keeping tabs on them?
Thus we can see that the bureaucratic habit of turning a blind eye to terrorism, on both sides of the Atlantic, is fraught with real-world consequences.
Here in the US, the Deep State-ocrats are playing with fire. Yes, they can sting the Trump administration with pin-prick leaks, and yet the ultimate issue isn’t keeping on’s neighbors in Northwest DC happy, or being written up favorably by the Main Stream Media—it’s whether or not we are safe in our homeland. We pay the salaries of the people at the Department of Homeland Security to protect us; let others dream up MSM gambits.
Of course, it’s always possible that DHS could surprise us. We could wake up tomorrow and learn that the department has tracked down and fired this latest leaker, as well as all the other leakers, and, moreover, instituted tough policies to prevent further leaks.
Sure, anything’s possible. But it’s more possible that the Deep State culture of DHS will stay exactly as it is: so hostile to Trump, so addled by PC ideology, and so relentlessly leaky that the mission of the agency is jeopardized.
And that could have tragic consequences. Truly tragic.