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BOOKS From Star-Telegraph

DECEMBER 29, 2015 10:30 AM

New & notable books: ‘The Deep State’

Mike Lofgren spent nearly three decades working on the Hill

He contends that there is the visible government and the Deep State

The Deep State operates no matter which party is in power

Who’s really in charge in Washington?

Bestselling author Mike Lofgren (The Party Is Over) offers his theories in The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government. And he should know. Lofgren spent 28 years working as a Beltway insider in Congress as a GOP aide, sitting in primarily on budget meetings.

With the 2016 campaign season in full swing, he argues that there are actually two governments in D.C.: the one everybody sees and the Deep State that operates off the grid and with an agenda that never really varies despite which party is in control. There’s a reason President Obama hasn’t been able to close Guantanamo Bay.

“The Deep State is a shadow government whose career personnel ensures that basically the same policies remain in place regardless of who gets elected,” Lofgren says in press materials. “By policies, I mean the big, lucrative stuff: national security, fiscal and trade policies, economic regulation. The topics that often roil the electorate and media — gay marriage, abortion, racial and gender issues — are viewed simply as distractions.

“The term originated in Turkey and describes a fusion of top military and intelligence officials, business leaders and even organized crime figures who work to keep the power, money and influence in the same hands.

“In America, it is a portion — but not all — of our federal government: the big defense contractors, the top layer of Wall Street and the developers and controllers of highly useful intellectual property in Silicon Valley.

“There is also a kind of informal communications structure consisting of corporate media, the major Washington think tanks and the prestige universities.”

While Lofgren says 9-11 put the Deep State “on steroids,” fear not: He offers nine reforms to get America back on track, including immigration reform and abolishing corporations’ personhood claims. There are extensive notes and a handy index at the back of the book.

Celeste Williams