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12 June 2017


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I generally agree with PT in this piece but continue to believe that there is no "deep state" in the United States. "Deep State" implies a conspiracy to undermine and control the government as Erdogan asserts has existed in Turkey. I continue to think that "the Borg" better represents the consensus of opinion that exists in the US foreign policy community, a consensus born in graduate schools seminar rooms. this consensus has emerged as an underlying assumption in the foreign policy establishment that globalist internationalism is THE ONLY way to go. pl

 Ishmael Zechariah

Col. Lang, SST;
The term "deep state" is a literal translation of the Turkish term "derin devlet" which, AFAIK, was first used in 2005 by Suleyman Demirel, onetime president and prime-minister(many terms)of the Turkish Republic. A deep-state like organization was described in 1974 by Bulent Ecevit, (one time prime-minister of TC)who called this organization "Kontrgerilla(counter guerilla)". The current president, tayyip, pushes the meme that this organization originated in the "Teskilati-mahsusa" (special organization) which was a covert ops organization of the Ottoman Empire in its waning years. These three definitions are not identical. Demirel was talking about a group of nationalist Turkish officers, a part of the regular state apparatus, who would take over governance only to save the Republic. An example would be the 1960 coup which removed Menderes. Ecevit was talking about a group of IC professionals in and out of the armed forces who were first and foremost anti-communist; they were responsible for torture, disappearances, drug traffic, etc. in the pursuit of their goals and had strong NATO ties. The subsequent coups,especially 12 Eylul, 1980, are attributed to this group. I have no idea what tayyip is talking about. His definitions are somewhat fluid.

The following links might be useful to those wishing to examine the issue further:

Ishmael Zechariah


So Reality Winner didn't do anything wrong and they should not have arrested her? She released "fake intelligence"?


Keith Harbaugh

PT, your remarks are spot on, IMO.
The totally-uncalled-for hatred of Russia is running deep and wide
in media/political circles.
Look, e.g., at Congress champing at the bit
to impose yet more sanctions on Russia.
And BTW, for a real threat of something that could easily escalate out of control, consider

With regard to Col. Lang's lead comment to this post,
in particular his statement that:

I continue to think that
"the Borg" better represents the consensus of opinion
that exists in the US foreign policy community,
a consensus born in graduate schools seminar rooms.

[T]his consensus has emerged as an underlying assumption in the foreign policy establishment that
globalist internationalism is THE ONLY way to go. pl
The key point omitted by Col. Lang is that of money, specifically,
who is paying the salaries of all those graduates once they enter the work force,
especially the media and the think tanks
which do so much to influence American public opinion, and through that,
American policies.
To recall a phrase from the Watergate era:
“Follow the money.”

Look at the Washington Post opinion pages, for example.
The columnists all speak with one voice on most issues.
And never shall a Patrick Lang, Philip Giraldi, Ray McGovern, or Patrick Buchanan
sully their pristinely interventionist opinion pages.
The reason for that is simple:
the people who pay their salaries want that uniformity of opinion.

As another example, consider the "Institute for the Study of War".
I thought we already numerous such institutes in the govt.
But evidently some rich folks decided those weren't enough,
and we need a private "non-profit" institution to plump for hawkish positions.
Again, the issue is: Who funds the ISW?
IMO, we need some intelligence work done on
who is paying for all the hawkish propaganda that we read.


Peter Dale Scott has been describing the Deep State for many years......




Peter Dale Scott is full of crap. pl



What on earth are you talking about? She is IMO guilty of espionage and should be prosecuted for that. pl

Sam Peralta

"I continue to think that "the Borg" better represents the consensus of opinion that exists in the US foreign policy community, a consensus born in graduate schools seminar rooms. this consensus has emerged as an underlying assumption in the foreign policy establishment that globalist internationalism is THE ONLY way to go."

IMO, Col. Lang has described this PERFECTLY! My own view is identical. Consensus of opinion derived from self-selection and pruning those that stray from the groupthink. Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair, Fareed Zakaria epitomize this "consensus".

I extend this view, that there is also a consensus of opinion among the economic policy establishment, that the economy is a machine and can be tuned by enlightened technocrats. We are living this grand experiment of these technocrats, wherein it is considered perfectly normal, for example, that the Swiss National Bank can conjure up swiss francs with a keystroke, convert them to US dollars in forex markets and then acquire equity in publicly traded American companies to the tune of some $80 billion and growing.

This idea that there is a cabal of Rothschilds, Bilderbergers, Freemasons, et al, that are secretly exerting control of the levers of power from some smoke-filled backroom, is pure nonsense.



An example of how this consensus develops.


"Yousef al-Otaiba, the United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to the United States, applauded journalist David Ignatius for his writing on Saudi Arabia. Ignatius is notorious for fawning coverage of the kingdom, promoting its supposed efforts at reform and taking its line on regional conflicts without a shred of skepticism."


The Donaldo, simply put, just don't have enough balls to be prez. He's a whiner and an appeaser. He's allowed the borg to sidetrack him. Yes, I voted for him. There was no choice given the alternative. He has no autoritas, no dignity, no bearing. He behaves like a jackass.

The way I would have handled this "stoopid" Russia thing is like this: "Gotta a lot of important stuff to do together to make this country better. Our administration simply, utterly refuses to get sidetracked by this Russia hysteria that has no merit. Therefore, I am giving a blanket pardon to all my staff and associates for any matter, contact, conversation, transaction, with the Russian Federation & its representatives from this day past. finis! Now, let's move on. Let's proceed to make this country Great!"

Yeah, Right

I would suggest that a good litmus-test regarding "Borg" versus "deep state" is this: elect a President who has campaigned on a platform of "draining the swamp".

If that President is indeed able to drain that swamp then he is dealing with something akin to the Borg.

If that President drowns in that swamp then he has been defeated by something rather more akin to a Deep State.

After all, if what he is dealing with is "merely" the consensus of opinion that exists in the US foreign policy community then he possesses the authority to replace that entire community with his own acolytes.

Is it an argument that a President can't do that? Because he surely can.

Is it an argument that an alternative to the existing US foreign policy community doesn't exist? Because they surely do.


PT, IMO the Borg is punishing us the people of this country for not voting in, its preferred candidate to office, basically people rebelled against the system, by voting the only other choice they had, voting for the candidate of the only other major party. Now can one imagine, what and how would have Borg acted, if people would have elected any of the non-major party candidates, god forbid, our Borg controlled media, would be tasked to convince everyone, that the space aliens’ have invaded and our elected president is actually an alien.


If there is a difference between the members of the "Borg" and those of the "Deep State", I suggest you hang one group and shoot the other.


Sadly, "Deep State" has gone viral, here's an attempt to tame the ear worm:


Thank you, Keith, for bringing up the trillion dollar question. I agree there needs to be a thorough investigation into who, what persons/wealthy families, entities, corporations, etc are funding the borg. But, I won't hold my breath. It would be a thankless task because the report would be ignored by all MSM, vilified by whatever questionable "experts" the borg has on hand, or dismissed as just another conspiracy theory.

Aside from that, what would be the point? Americans are just not willing to believe anything that upsets their already precarious world view. We did not arrive at this point because we had an electorate who are critically minded and could actually think for themselves. And finally, any people or organizations who tried to do the investigation would be sidelined, silenced or "neutralized". There is absolutely nothing the borg or deep state would not do to keep this dirty secret from being widely known.

Old Microbiologist

Ah yes, Kimberly Kagan sister of Robert Kagan and sister-in-law of Victoria Nuland all associate with various neocons like Wolfowitz, Patraeus, McChrystal, etc. they are all in turn associated with the Clinton's, Podesta, etc. it gets even more interesting when you tie in the National Endowment for Democracy and USAID then toss in some Soros NGO action and you see a very large pattern which crosses all political lines. Call it what you want Deep State or Borg but they are all in cahoots.

Virginia Slim

Good post, PT, and nice discussion. James McCargar, in his excellent little book 'A Short Course in the Secret War' points out the hazards of an over-reliance on covert operations, one of which is a decrease in the morale, prestige (and ultimately effectiveness) of one's diplomats. When the 1st option is thus rendered ineffectual, we are bound to get more policy choices involving the 2nd and 3rd options (open belligerence, covert action). It is thus something of a positive feedback loop.

As to the deep state, it seems to me this is a concept with two parents:

1. The very real bureaucracy in Washington DC, the constituents of which often span multiple administrations.

2. The necessity of keeping much of what the IC does secret.

Of course, the actions of "I'm protecting the Constitution!" vigilantes who leak sensitive and classified information for political purposes only add bulk to the deep state myth, but I suspect this will change if/when more of these bastards are caught and prosecuted.



If there were a US Deep State one would necessarily have to be a member of the apparatus of the state to belong to it. OTOH any fool who went graduate school in poly sci or who is armed with a degree in journalism or communications can be a Borgist. pl


Yeah, right

You are an Australian and have no idea of the scale of the US foreign policy community. Countries like Australia and Canada have foreign ministries the size of departments in medium sized US states. Canada's foreign ministry is housed in an Ottawa building the size of one of the buildings around the "campus" of the state capital at Richmond, Virginia. If the US government part of the Borg were that size it would be easy to replace those who are presidentially appointed (a minority) with the president's cronies but, in fact it is only theoretically possible because there are so many political appointees and the president has little ability to get rid of a civil servant who are the great majority of government employees. And then, much of the Borg resides in the media, academia, think tanks, etc. where the president has little effect. pl


John Helmer has many posts "following the money" supporting relevant DC think tanks and some columnists like Anne Applebaum. Helmer regularly demonstrates the potential of quality investigative journalism and gets much of his information/insight from on line court records, etc.

Publius Tacitus

Colonel Lang did not "omit" anything. I wrote this piece.

Eric Newhill

Your concept of The Borg makes sense to me and we can certainly observe it and assess it. It clearly is as you say.

However, would a Borg not strive to create a deep state? Fully assimilated bots with the right credentials, connections, generally fitting the suit, would be promoted to become high ranking members of the apparatus and would be protected by the wider Borg. So Deep State as one available job description for Borgists (other Borg order of specialties would be Journalist, College Professor, Elected Representative, Campaign Worker, Think Tank Wonk, Lobbyist).

In other words, the Borg is all and all is Borg, yet there is still a Deep State as a defined subset of the Borg.

David Habakkuk


Thanks for that lucid explanation. It is obviously important to be aware that ‘deep state’ can mean many things, so that disagreement about whether such a thing exists in the United States – or indeed Britain – can sometimes reflect different meanings attached to the term, rather than substantive disagreement.

Also, one should not assume that interference in politics by unrepresentative figures in the intelligence services and military must inevitably be a bad thing.

The opposition to Hitler that mattered was concentrated in the Abwehr, the military intelligence service, and sections of the military, as well as the Foreign Office – partly because the spooks and diplomats had seen the hero of the German masses close up, and knew that he really was a fruitcake, not just pretending to be one for rhetorical effect.

Had the British Government listened to such figures, and been less impressed by the fact that Hitler had the overwhelming support of the German people, the world might have been a different place.

But then, there are few things stupider than comparisons between Trump and Hitler – particularly as so much of the campaign against him relates to those parts of his platform which were likely to reduce, rather than aggravate, risks of war. And so far the effect of his opponents appears to have been to push him towards the Saudis and Israelis.

A couple of questions about Turkey.

In relation both to the Khan Sheikhun atrocity and previous incidents in Syria where chemical weapons use has been claimed, the OPCW patently has not been conducting a properly impartial investigation.

For example, the ‘status update’ of the ‘Fact-Finding Mission’ on the Khan Sheikhun incident, which was forwarded by the Director-General, Ahmet Üzümcü, to the UN Secretary-General on 15 May, begs a whole range of questions.

(See http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/N1714412.pdf .)

I had assumed that this was due to the fact that, like the UN, the OPCW was not prepared to stand up to the United States.

However, noting that Üzümcü is a Turkish career diplomat, I wonder whether he may also be influenced by the agendas of the ‘tayyip’. If he does, it could be because he sympathises with them – or simply reflect the fact that he has to think of his future, and may want to keep on the right side of the powers-that-be in his native country.

(Don’t think this is prejudice, incidentally. If someone like our UN Ambassador, Matthew Rycroft, was ever appointed as head of the OPCW, I would expect the worst.)

One reason why all this matters is that the reports of autopsies carried out on three victims from Khan Sheikhun in Turkey, whose blood was reported by the OPCW to have tested positive for ‘sarin or sarin-like substance’, have played a critical role in the accusations against the Syrian government – and that the test results on these from two of the organisation’s ‘Designated Laboratories’ are featured in the FFM report.

The fact that ‘sarin or sarin-like substance’ was present in blood samples however does not establish that this was what killed them. And there appear to be large questions as to whether the autopsy results actually suggest that the three were killed by sarin.

If the source of death was different – perhaps ingestion of another chemical agent – then this would be very powerful evidence indeed what what was at issue was a ‘false flag’, and that a co-ordinated effort was under way to obscure the fact.

On 6 April, ‘Hurriyet’ carried a story entitled ‘Turkish Health Ministry says initial findings point to sarin gas in Syrian attack.’

(See http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-health-ministry-says-initial-findings-point-to-sarin-gas-in-syrian-attack.aspx?pageID=517&nID=111682&NewsCatID=352 .)

The Health Ministry was quoted as saying that: ‘Based on the test results, evidence was detected in patients which leads one to think they were exposed to a chemical substance (sarin)’. The autopsy apparently suggested that both ‘pulmonary edema’ and ‘bleeding in the lungs’ were detected in the initial findings of the autopsy.

These are the symptoms which one might expect if the victim had died of acute inhalation injury – which could be caused if, for instance, they had been exposed in a confined space to a gas like chlorine that injures the lungs. By contrast, sarin kills by paralysing the respiratory muscles.

It is, as I understand it, conceivable that asphyxiation could then cause pulmonary edema, but it would not be the cause of death.

So while it is possible that the autopsy results suggested sarin was the cause of death, it is also quite possible that they suggested that another chemical agent was to blame.

Meanwhile, the reference in the ‘Hurriyet’ report to sarin, placed in backets, raises the suspicion that someone might have added this to the original statement – particularly as it would not seem that results of tests on blood samples could have exposed that a ‘sarin or sarin-like’ substance was present by 6 April.

What is not clear is why the OPCW cannot release the autopsy results, so that competent people can analyse their implications.

Failing that, it would help if people could see the full Turkish Health Ministry report – rather than the account by ‘Hurriyet’. Obviously, in Turkey as elsewhere, there are many honest officials and experts, who are liable to have their findings distorted by the powers-that-be.

If either you, or any of the other Turkish-speaking members of this committee of correspondence, knew where it could be located, this would be a great help.


Col: Deep state sounds more impressive than Self-Interested Elite, loosely described by Chris Hayes in his book "Twilight of the Elites."

Like the British with "Ox-bridge," we have replicated a community of leaders who all attend the same cocktail parties and echo all the same ideas.

The only fatal mistake in DC, it appears, is to dissent from the Collective Wisdom.


It's not nonsense, it's very effective camouflage. A chaff meme...

Rooting distractions and misinformation out of peoples' minds is usually the hardest part of getting them to see objective reality as it really is.

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