In recent times we’ve heard much about something called the “Deep State.” But if it truly exists, where is it? Who lives there? Who created it? And who are its citizens? In my lifetime I’ve visited forty-six of the fifty U.S. states and at least sixteen foreign countries and I have never found a sign welcoming me to the Deep State. So, call me a “Deep State doubter” if you will… until now, that is.
In the Trump-Clinton political era it is clear that an entity known as the Deep State does exist. Without it, much of the political intrigues of recent decades would not have been possible. It has caused me to reflect on my own 55-year career in the political arena and has forced me to conclude that I have been a repeat victim of the Deep State. I have finally become a believer.
For example, in 1968 I was contacted by the Nixon for President Committee, asking me to serve as regional field director for a five-state Midwest region. And although my immediate superiors approved, saying that, while several months away from my responsibilities as senior project engineer for a major oil company could only improve my resume and advance my career development, it would be wise to run the idea past the head of our Washington office… a former confidential assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and a White House congressional liaison in the Eisenhower administration.
We followed that advice and within a week I found that I was deemed far too valuable to ongoing engineering projects to be away from my desk for any period of time. Somewhere, somehow, my opportunity to move up in the political world had been deftly scuttled.
Four years later I served as a regional campaign manager for the Committee to Reelect the President in southeastern Pennsylvania. In 1972, Richard Nixon not only wanted to win reelection, he wanted to defeat Senator George McGovern (D-SD) in an electoral landslide. To accomplish that ambitious goal key regions were identified throughout the country, with each target region assigned a specific vote quota.
With a campaign organization of more than 600 (salaried and volunteers combined), the campaign in my region was a huge success. When the votes were counted in November we found that we’d exceeded our 60% vote quota by nearly 10%, producing 70% of the vote for President Nixon.
No sooner was the election over than the stampede to re-staff the White House got under way. The chairman of the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee, with the enthusiastic support of both Pennsylvania senators, Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott and Richard Schweiker, recommended me for appointment to the White House staff. After, undergoing two intensive interviews at the White House, one of which took place in the president’s hideaway office in the Old Executive Office Building, I was ultimately offered a position as a principal U.S. Department of the Interior representative to the Governor of American Samoa in the South Pacific. It was not something I’d ever sought for myself and it occurred to me that some very powerful person might be trying to get me out of the way… but who? I respectfully declined the offer.
In 1981, as Jimmy Carter moved out of the White House and Ronald Reagan moved in, my employer, the Sun Oil Company, was asked to loan two executive-level employees to the Reagan Administration for a period of two years. As Director of State Relations and principal in-house political guru, I was one of the two chosen, along with the then-Director of Corporate Planning. He was named a deputy director in the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), while I was slated to serve as a deputy to White House Counsel Ed Meese.
My Sun Oil associate moved to Washington and provided valuable service to the White House OMB staff for two years. However, in spite of Ed Meese’s enthusiasm over the quality of my resume, my appointment was “misdirected” before I could arrive in Washington.
Finally, in January 1985, as Ronald Reagan re-staffed for his second term in the White House, I was recruited to serve as Special Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs by two senior members of the President’s Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Affairs.
Following two very successful interviews at the White House I was informed by the White House Political Director and the Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs that I was the “only candidate on a list of one.” However, in spite of those assurances, I knew what it meant to pursue a position as an assistant or special assistant to the president of the United States. It is a game of power politics – nothing more, nothing less – and whoever comes to the table with the biggest guns, at just the right moment, gets the job. I was advised that, while I was the only candidate for the position, I would be well advised to recruit a top-level support team.
During the following weeks I concentrated on nothing else but recruiting my support team. Having been through the presidential appointment wringer before, I didn’t want to take any chances, so my plan was to assemble the most influential support group that I could possibly attract. By late March 1985, my support group included: Governor Dick Thornburgh (R-PA), a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Affairs; Drew Lewis, former secretary of transportation and the president’s principal political advisor; Robert G. Dunlop, chairman emeritus, Sun Oil Company, fellow trustee of the University of Pennsylvania with White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan; Frank Fahrenkopf, chairman of the Republican National Committee; Senator H. John Heinz, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee; Senator Phil Gramm (D-TX), President Reagan’s favorite Democrat; Congressman Dick Schulze (R-PA), member of the House Ways & Means Committee; as well as the presidents and/or executive directors of three of Washington’s top conservative think tanks, two of whom were also members of the President’s Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Affairs.
It was a large support network. It was also the most influential network I could possibly assemble. Unfortunately, in the days following a phone call from the Director of the Office of White House Personnel, informing me that my appointment was finally being made, I received a terse letter from the White House. White House Chief of Staff Don Regan had traded away my appointment to a member of Congress whose vote he needed that day. Just one word from just the right person, at just the right time, was sufficient to wipe out an entire year of tireless effort.
By early December 1980, I was finally made aware of who it was who had taken it upon himself to “mismanage” my career development for so many years. He was generally recognized as the “dean” of Washington oil lobbyists and a leading member of what we now know as the Deep State.
What has changed in recent times is that Deep State swamp creatures no longer lurk in the shadows of official Washington. Instead, they now ply their trade out in the open, for all to see.
For example, in January 2017, the outgoing Director of National Intelligence, Gen. James Clapper, announced that it was the unanimous assessment of some 17 agencies of the U.S. intelligence community that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin had personally ordered the hacking of Democratic National Committee computers and the emails of Clinton campaign manager John Podesta.
That was to be the official storyline disseminated as fact by Democrats and by their allies in the mainstream media. However, it flew in the face of a December 12, 2016 finding by a group of longtime intelligence professionals called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), led by scientists William Binney, former NSA Technical Director for World Geopolitical & Military Analysis; Skip Folden, retired IBM Program Manager for Information Technology US; Ed Loomis, former NSA Technical Director for the Office of Signals Processing; Raymond McGovern, former U.S. Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and CIA analyst; and Kirk Wiebe, former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA. The VIPS experts asserted that “we make our technical judgments based on given facts and do not speculate without a factual basis…” They wished to know which “handpicked” analysts from the CIA, the FBI, and the NSA found that the Russians hacked into the DNC but provided no hard evidence.
According to the VIPS, “We have gone through the various claims about hacking. For us, it is child’s play to dismiss them.” What they found was that the email disclosures in question were the result of a leak to Wikileaks, not a foreign or domestic hack. They found that, on the evening of July 5, 2016, 1,976 megabytes of data were downloaded from the DNC server. The download took just 87 seconds, yielding a transfer rate of 22.7 megabytes per second.
According to the VIPS analysis, no Internet service provider available in mid-2016, was capable of downloading data at that speed. To the contrary, VIPS analysts Folden and Loomis reported that a survey published August 3, 2016, by www.speedtest.net/reports indicated that the highest average ISP speeds of first-half 2016 were achieved by Xfinity and Cox Communications. These speeds averaged 15.6 megabytes per second and 14.7 megabytes per second, respectively, leading to one indisputable conclusion: since transfer rates in the neighborhood of 22-23 mbps were unattainable by a hacker anywhere on Earth, the theft of data from the DNC and Podesta computers was an inside job, downloaded to a USB-2 flash device, known as a “thumb drive.”
Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his band of Democrat hatchet-men continue the fiction that whatever steps the Russians took to damage Hillary Clinton’s electoral chances were taken as a means of electing Donald Trump. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is entirely possible that the Russian efforts were undertaken for the sole purpose of defeating Hillary Clinton, while Donald Trump was merely the unwitting beneficiary of their anti-Clinton animus.
Yes, Martha, there really is a Deep State, but there is also a very dangerous Shallow State, led by the likes of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, DNC Chairman Tom Perez, and party spokeswoman Maxine Waters. They are enemies of the state and must sooner or later be dealt with as such.
Paul R. Hollrah is a retired government relations executive and a two-time member of the U.S. Electoral College. He currently lives and writes among the hills and lakes of northeast Oklahoma’s Green Country.