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American Thinker
American Thinker
21 Oct 2023
Janet Levy


NextImg:Government Gangsters: How the Deep State Imperils National Security

Like most Americans, Kash Patel grew up believing that the country was run as a democracy, with a government that honors the will of the people and is accountable to them. 

It was only much later, as an attorney and then as a senior advisor to former president Donald Trump, that he encountered – and confronted – what has come to be called the Deep State, people at the highest levels of government, business, and culture who subvert democracy to serve their own ends.

In his recent book Government Gangsters: The Deep State, The Truth and the Battle for our Democracy, Patel describes the Deep State in broad terms as the politicization of core American institutions and the federal government.  More specifically, this oligarchy includes elected leaders, journalists, business leaders, and NGOs with leftist ideologies.  But its most entrenched and active arm comprises “members of the unelected federal bureaucracy who think they have the right to rule America, not Congress or the president.”

Courtesy Post Hill Press

The agents of the Deep State operate through a series of networks, violating their oaths of office, weaponizing the law, and spreading disinformation for political or personal gain at the expense of equal justice and national security.  He saw them in operation as the lead investigator of the Russiagate hoax. His book is not just the story of how he battled the leviathan, but also about how the Deep State can be defeated for good.

Patel knows from where he speaks.  In his 14 years as public defender and federal prosecutor, and later as a key Trump aide, he has had ample opportunity to trace the insidious machinations of the Deep State within the Department of Justice (DoJ), the FBI, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), the Department of Defense (DoD), the National Security Council (NSC), and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).  He has been inside the belly of the beast.

During his stint at the DoJ, Patel saw selective prosecution and the unequal application of the law at work.  Former CIA director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper, both of the Obama administration, were never charged with perjury for lying about NSA programs collecting data on citizens.  But Steve Bannon, former Trump advisor, was charged with criminal contempt of Congress for refusing to depose before and submit documents to the January 6th committee.  January 6th protestors were characterized as “insurrectionists,” locked up, and denied bail, but BLM-Antifa rioters were mostly exonerated.

The DoJ refused to investigate Joe Biden and his family or bring charges against his son Hunter Biden though their influence peddling with foreign governments and taking cuts on business deals is well documented.  The Deep State, in collusion with social media giants, worked to squelch these stories to secure the election for Biden.  When the contents of Hunter’s laptop came to light, it was dismissed as “Russian disinformation.”

In these and other instances, Patel saw the subversion of due process and the politicization of prosecutorial discretion.  He also learned firsthand that to uncover the corruption and incompetence of the FBI, DoJ, or other agencies, and stand up to their pursuit of political optics rather than justice is to risk one’s reputation.  Prosecuting an ISIS operative, he found himself berated and unceremoniously thrown out by a judge for not wearing a tie when he rushed to court in Texas after a flight from Tajikistan.  Though he was in the right, the DoJ did nothing to back him in the media. 

In 2017, he was appointed to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) as counsel on counterterrorism, and within a few months became senior aide to its chair, Devin Nunes.  He played a prominent role in investigating RussiaGate, an attempt to falsely charge President Trump with colluding with Vladimir Putin to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s campaign.  The charges were based on the Steele Dossier, so called because it was put together by Christopher Steele, a former MI6 operative who was then running a private business intelligence firm.

Patel was the primary author of the 2018 Nunes memo in President Trump’s defense.  The memo pointed out FBI misconduct in applying to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court for a warrant to surveil a Trump campaign aide.  The memo questioned the legitimacy and the legality of the application, which was based entirely on the Steele dossier.  Patel found that the dossier had been paid for by Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee through a Perkins Coie attorney.  None of this was disclosed in the FBI application.

So, Russiagate was essentially a taxpayer-funded hit job by government operatives who hated Trump.  Though Trump had not committed a crime nor obstructed justice, the hoax was kept alive for several years.  None of the key players have been held to account.  But though it damaged the country and undermined the presidency, Russia Gate, says Patel, served a useful purpose: it unmasked the Deep State.

Later, at the NSC, Patel fought yet another attack on Trump.  NSC staffer Eric Ciaramella, a career CIA analyst, had filed a whistleblower report that Trump was influencing foreign governments to interfere in the 2020 elections by investigating Biden.  Ciaramella had left the NSC but seemed to be getting his information from his successor, Alexander Vindman, the director of Ukraine policy at the NSC.  For his defense of Trump, Patel ended up being labeled Trump’s “back channel” on Ukraine.

At the DoD, Patel found that instead of following presidential orders with haste and abiding by the chain of command, swamp dwellers slow-walked orders, hid intelligence, leaked classified information and private communications to the press.  Patel estimates that about 95% of the national security bureaucracy had donated to Clinton’s campaign.  So, it is no surprise that declassifying the documents of Russiagate and the Clinton email scandal met with resistance.  In fact, Patel marvels that Trump got anything done at all during his four-year tenure.

Patel also uncovered the workings of an incestuous relationship – the Defense Industrial Complex – between senior military leaders, officers in charge of procurement of military equipment, and defense contractors.  These players work to keep America engaged in military conflicts abroad, enriching each other in the process.  Patel was disillusioned to find that Mark Esper, Trump’s secretary of state, was a major lobbyist for defense contractor Raytheon and received significant payouts from the firm.  Esper thwarted Trump’s agenda for Afghanistan, refusing to draw down troops in Afghanistan, opposing a hostage rescue op, and preventing counterterrorism raids. 

Trump had set up conditions for withdrawal from Afghanistan – that the Taliban should repudiate al-Qaida; that the U.S. would work with the Afghan government to run the country; and that our troops would keep Bagram airfield, a U.S.-built compound holding thousands of suspected terrorists and a launchpad for our special forces.  This plan, supplied to the incoming Biden administration, was ignored.  The disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan a few years later has jeopardized American security.

Patel was witness to a witch hunt mounted by the Deep State at the ODNI, where intelligence and security agencies abused unmasking and declassification processes to target Mike Flynn, a former general.  Leftovers of the Obama administration went after him for telling the truth about the ISIS – that it remained a threat and wasn’t on the run as Obama was fond of proclaiming.  They succeeded in thwarting Flynn’s appointment as Trump’s national security advisor.

The Deep State kept up its attack on Trump even after he left office.  Under the pretense that Trump had kept classified documents, the FBI raided the former president’s home with the approval of Attorney General Merrick Garland. 

But shocking as its workings are, and powerful as it may seem, the Deep State, Patel writes, can be fought and defeated.

Government Gangsters – published with redactions after an eight-month delay as officials tried to block it – is a testimony to that, besides being a tour d’horizon of the Deep State’s subversive omnipresence.  With creditable even-handedness, Patel notes that though the Deep State may seem to be with the Democrats, the fight isn’t partisan.  If the Democrats, see it that way, he writes, they are striking a devil’s bargain, for at stake is the survival of the American Republic.

Image: Post Hill Press / by permission