Lessons From the Deep State
On the eve of the Democratic National Convention, WikiLeaks — the courageous international organization dedicated to governmental transparency — exposed hundreds of internal emails circulated among senior staff of the Democratic National Committee during the past 18 months.
At a time when Democratic Party officials were publicly professing neutrality during the party's presidential primaries, the DNC's internal emails showed a pattern of distinct bias toward the candidacy of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a marked prejudice toward the candidacy of Sen. Bernie Sanders. Some of the emails were raw in their tone, and some could fairly be characterized as failing to respect Sanders' Jewish heritage.
The revelation caused a public uproar during the weekend preceding the opening of the Democratic convention in Philadelphia last week, and it caused the DNC to ask its own chairwoman, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, to resign. When she declined to do so, President Barack Obama personally intervened and implored her to leave. She submitted to the president's wishes, gave up her public role as chair of the convention and eventually resigned as chair of the DNC late last week.
In order to take everyone's eyes off this intrusive and uncomfortable bouncing ball, the leadership of the DNC, in conjunction with officials of the Clinton campaign, blamed the release of the DNC emails on hackers employed by Russian intelligence agents. Many in the media picked up this juicy story and repeated it all last week.
Clinton promptly named Wasserman Schultz as a campaign consultant and complained that the Russians are trying to influence the presidential election. She did not complain about the unfairness manifested in the emails, complete with their religious prejudice; she only complained about Russian President Vladimir Putin's helping Donald Trump.
But the Russians had nothing to do with it.
Last week, William Binney, a 30-year career official at the National Security Agency turned whistleblower, revealed the unthinkable. Binney, who devised the software that the NSA has used to capture the contents of emails and cellphone conversations of all in America but resigned from the NSA because of the unlawful and unconstitutional manner in which the software was used, told a Philadelphia radio audience that the DNC hacking was most likely done by NSA agents.
Why would the NSA hack into DNC computers, and why would the NSA leak what its agents saw?
Here is where the deep state meets the political world. The deep state consists of intelligence, military, law enforcement and administrative agency personnel who aggressively protect their own interests, which transcend elections. Stated differently, many of these folks remain in opaque positions of power, and the governmental departments and agencies for which they work continue to expand, no matter which party wins the White House or controls Congress.
The deep state stays in power by a variety of means, some of which are lawful and not the least of which was visited upon the DNC last week. Binney knows the inside workings of NSA computers because he designed them. He knows how easy it would have been for any of the NSA's 60,000 agents, many of whom have great antipathy toward Clinton, to employ their skills to frustrate her drive toward the presidency.
The intelligence community's antipathy toward Clinton has two general sources. One is her misuse of emails containing state secrets. Among the top-secret emails that the FBI discovered on Clinton's non-secure private servers were some that revealed the names of U.S. intelligence agents operating undercover in the Middle East. Because Clinton emailed secrets to others who the FBI found were hacked by hostile foreign intelligence services and because she used a non-secure mobile email device while inside the territories of hostile governments, her "extremely careless" use of her emails resulted in the termination of the undercover work of those whose cover she caused to be revealed. Many in the intelligence community also suspect that in some cases, U.S. undercover agents lost their lives because Clinton failed to keep their identities secret.
The other source of intelligence community antipathy to Clinton stems from her secret war waged against the late Libyan strongman, Col. Moammar Gadhafi. When she waged that war — using intelligence, not military, personnel — with the approval of the president and a dozen members of Congress, she exercised her authority as secretary of state to grant exemptions to a U.N. arms embargo of Libya. She wanted Libyan militias to have heavy-duty, military-grade arms with which to topple the Libyan government.
But the CIA and others warned her that she was arming terrorist groups, which was potentially lethal for some American intelligence personnel and which is a felony under federal law. One of those groups may have used Clinton-authorized, embargo-free weapons to assassinate Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, at Benghazi. Clinton disregarded the CIA's advice and didn't worry about anyone's finding out about it because she thought her emails would remain secret.
Binney's conclusion that the NSA and not the Russians hacked the DNC is further supported by official White House silence. Last year, when Chinese intelligence agents hacked U.S. government computers and accessed personnel records of millions of federal government employees, the White House lodged long and loud protests with Beijing. This time, there have been no such protests to the Kremlin.
What does all this tell us?
It tells us that Hillary Clinton continues to be the queen of deception. It tells us that some of those in whose hands we repose our freedom for safekeeping do not wish to see her in the White House because of her demonstrated lawlessness and indifference to their work. And it recalls to our attention the danger and power of the deep state and its willingness to break the laws it has sworn to uphold.