I’ve talked about the deep state at length but the whole Epstein affair casts this dynamic in a much darker hue.
For instance, there’s no way that a serial pedophile blackmailer like Epstein went unnoticed by the vaunted intelligence agencies that make up a key node in our deep state. Or the corporate media, where proposed stories about him were killed at the behest of nervous editors.
And, what exactly does that say about the morality of the elite that govern us?
Personally, I think these despicable actions by Epstein and his enablers are emblematic of the decline of the US empire and that our elite are so desperate that they will do anything to stay in power. These are not the actions of a confident group.
What’s been fascinating about the Epstein affair is that it contains three overlapping themes–intelligence, finance and sordid criminality–that would seem to provide prima facia evidence of an American deep state. This deep state or national security complex or whatever you want to call it that directs the US empire ultimately represents the true power center–Wall Street and the too-big-to-fail banks that we bailed out in 2008.
Going further, the US maintains its empire largely through financial means where Wall Street is a major player. As Mike Lofgren describes in Anatomy of the Deep State–“It is not too much to say that Wall Street may be the ultimate owner of the Deep State and its strategies, if for no other reason than that it has the money to reward government operatives with a second career that is lucrative beyond the dreams of avarice — certainly beyond the dreams of a salaried government employee.”
And these bankers are desperate because the financial system is now sitting atop a $800 trillion derivatives bubble. Indeed, when objectively assessing the psychological state of our feral elite at this particular moment in history, it’s hard to not conclude that certain forces operating on behalf of the financial industry would go to any length– not excluding nuclear war- in defense of their failing system.
The enormous risk that these financial elite are taking in their quest to maintain global hegemony is not much different from a preemptive nuclear attack, (think an economic first strike). By attacking the price of oil to damage foes like Russia, Iran and Venezuela the deep state risks the shale gas industry in the US, where the whole edifice is propped up by massive loans that have to be repaid to the US banks. These loans would go up in smoke and with them, potentially, all the derivatives. A useful comparison to fully realize what numbers we’re talking about: the US public debt amounts to 18 trillion dollars. The derivatives markets, only of the six largest banks in America, amounts to almost 16 times the US debt!
The use of economic sanctions against enemies of the empire: the deliberate targeting of revenues from crude oil, freezing financial assets, rising inflation due to central bank money printing, and so on are the weapon with which the national security state is convinced that it can continue its role as a hegemon in the world.
Recent events in the Middle-East, with Iran shooting down an American spy drone and now the attack on a Saudi oil processing complex only add layers of intrigue while exposing the schism between the neocons and the financial operators of the deep state.
Neocon, Mike Pompeo, speaking to reporters on Wednesday about an attack on a Saudi Aramco oil refinery last weekend, proclaimed that not only was the attack definitely perpetrated by Iran, but that it was an “act of war” and a threat to American lives. “This was an Iranian attack,” Pompeo claimed without evidence. “We were blessed there were no Americans killed in this attack, but anytime you have an act of war of this nature, there’s always a risk that could happen.”
However, it’s obvious that Trump is listening to other counsel because so far he’s not taken the bait and ordered an attack on Iran. This was similar to when he was pushed to the edge of war over the downing of the spy drone in June and blinked.
I believe that the president is clever enough to understand that an attack on Iran would not only tank the financial system but also end his reelection chances. Indeed, if Trump ever strikes Iran he will be blamed for the disaster by the neocons, who despise him. And Bolton’s dismissal could be one of those Trump signals to the deep state stating that he does not intend to sabotage his re-election hopes in 2020 by starting a new war.
But, Trump being Trump is hastening the end of the American empire through his foreign policy decisions, where there is no longer even a pretense that the US might adhere to international norms, let alone laws or treaties. It is almost like a black political comedy.
That Chinese curse about living in interesting times sure seems to be coming true.