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As Leaks Multiply, Fears of a ‘Deep State’ in America (nytimes.com)
35 points by aburan28 34 days ago | hide | past | web | 20 comments | favorite



Oh, there's definitely a deep state and has been for decades. It's the same deep state that tried to get MLK to commit suicide. It's almost impossible to get rid of without burning down the intelligence agencies. It's got a long history of fair-to-disastrous interventions in other countries. It's not going to go away no matter who you elect, but it might be reined in a bit.

The deep cynic in me is enjoying watching the CIA flail helplessly as someone inflicts on them what they've inflicted on other countries: a disruptive right-wing leader supported by the intelligence services of a hostile power.

They've talked up "cyberwar" for so long without realising that it wouldn't be big fat obvious targets like power plants that got hit, but the machinery of civil society, parties and media. Or that internet astroturf could be so effective.


Whether you are a Trump supporter or not, I appreciate the NYTimes having the journalistic integrity to print this. The current media urge to uncritically bash Trump at every opportunity--whether substantiated by evidence or not--is very real. I am not a Trump supporter.

Greenwald:

>1) Trump presidency is dangerous. >2) CIA/DeepState abuse of spy powers to subvert elected Govt is dangerous.

> One can cogently believe both.

Source: https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/831850140940005377


The article reads more apologetic than anything. "True, the deep state is sabotaging Trump, in principle a bad thing, but here are a lot of good reasons why they would do that."

In fact it is the typical hypocrisy: We like our democratic system, greatest in the world. Except when things don't go the way we want - then it's okay to circumvent it.


From the article:

>So is the United States seeing the rise of its own deep state?

>Not quite, experts say, but the echoes are real — and disturbing.

I don't agree with the NYT here. 8 years ago I'd think the below linked juxtaposition of American leaders was a bit paranoid. Today I think it's more important than ever. Eisenhower warned us of the Deep State. Truman warned us of it. JFK warned us of it, said he was going to destroy it, and was assassinated.

Obama told us not to worry: https://files.catbox.moe/sa27od.jpg

Sources: Truman: 'the CIA has turned into cloak and dagger operations within the USA' https://theintercept.com/2016/02/22/in-1974-call-to-abolish-... Eisenhower - http://coursesa.matrix.msu.edu/~hst306/documents/indust.html JFK - said 'he wanted to splinter the CIA to a thousand pieces' http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive/pdf?res=9400E4DB1639E63...


I can't edit my post but I should make note the meme I linked to references a spurious Jefferson quote: https://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/when-government-fe...


I wouldn't call that hypocrisy per se. Democracy is not an end in itself, and it's quite possible that a conviction/ideal/value is considered more important to someone.

Now whether it's a good idea to (potentially) damage the democratic system because of those ideals is a more complicated issue. I think sometimes yes.

Of course, in context of the NYTimes it might well be considered hypocrisy.


> I think sometimes yes.

Damaging democracy to impose your ideal on the majority is called tyranny. Simply put, you are a totalitarian. Now note that I am not judging. I'm just trying to be accurate and to the point.


I'm absolutely not in favor of totalitarianism, and I don't really see why you'd jump to that extreme right away. But perhaps I was just too vague.

What I meant to say was that there are many scenarios where a person's own moral beliefs conflict with a democratically elected government's stance, and the moral beliefs win out. I belief that in some cases that is justified, and I also belief that believing so is not even close to being in favor of totalitarianism. I'm speaking of individual convictions, not making some claim about how to rule a society.

Some examples where I feel moral beliefs rightly trump the democratic consensus:

- a couple I know taking in asylum seekers about a decade ago because of a whole complicated kerfuffle, risking quite a bit because it's against the law.

- releasing classified documents such as these

- downloading tons of JSTOR publications because they should be publicly accessible

- the many people engaging in unsanctioned but otherwise peaceful protest, often leading to arrest.

Edit: In hindsight I could've simplified this comment by saying that it is an unfair and somewhat incendiary leap to equate promoting totalitarianism with a personal moral belief applied to specific circumstances.


So the US Supreme Court ruling that gay marriage is legal is tyranny?!


It's a tricky issue, someone like myself might argue that activist judges who believe in "living, breathing documents" is somewhat tyrannical as such decisions should be legislated instead while the courts stick to trying to interpret the law as it was intended.

For the case of gay marriage, I don't believe the constitution is written so as to exclude it as a valid marital contract.


I think it's good that the times is printing this, but I also think that it is good that the bureaucracy is resisting Trump. Flynn was a bit of a nut job, so this seems like a good place to resist. While there's a lot of anger, it seems that in general people are resisting things that seem atrociously stupid.


I can accept that there may be some good in the bureaucracy resisting Trump. But for the long term, I worry that encouraging the bureaucracy now will come back to haunt us after Trump is gone.


>But for the long term, I worry that encouraging the bureaucracy now will come back to haunt us after Trump is gone.

I also worry about that. Once you put personal convenience above the rule of law and order, you pave the way for everyone to throw justice aside, paving the way to the path to tyranny.


I think this assumes that this is a new development, which I don't think it is, people were writing books on the topic when Obama was in power.

In some sense Snowden was the same thing, and a big chunk of the public was happy about what he did.

The scale of resistance is new, but the fact that the president is so wilfully incompetent is also new.

Maybe they will feel emboldened, but it seems more than likely that heads will roll as a result. Congress is already starting a review into the leaks.

It might be quite healthy for some heads to roll to show that you can't use leaks to amass power.


Deep State implies coordination. While all these leakers have taken action to ostensibly subvert Trump or his policies, the leakers do seem to have their own individual agendas. ergo, no deep state.

I'd posit the leaking comes from the license plate maxim, "Don't tread on me."


It's probably too optimistic to believe they'll decide that the way to prevent leaks is to be transparent.


Optimistic indeed, but it would certainly solve the problem, in a sense; when everything's public record, what's left to leak?


I think it is a great idea. Ideally you could have everything the government done be public, except for maybe nuclear launch codes and specific military maneuvers.


The government serving the public being idealistic and too optimistic is 2017.


Classic m.o. of a fledging dictator. Begin to instil mistrust into the people of the very core of the political system, then once this mistrust permeates society enough, come in with an alternative system which, surprisingly, consolidates power at the top.

Bring in the family as well, because everyone else is untrustworthy; a classic ploy used in North Korea, Iraq (Hussein), and virtually every other dictator.




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