The Various Reincarnations of the Rollback Faction
The Deep State underwent a period of reorganisation in the 1970s. The CIA survived the various commissions which though revealing tremendous amounts of information functioned in many ways as a means of damage control. Cynicism set in but society marched on. The 1970s were an era of social darkness, a time of intrigue, lies exposed and deeper lies being hidden.
The various forces at work were not idle. The Deep State continued to function. This was the era of Detente and Rockefeller-connected figures like Kissinger and Brzezinski had a free hand and wielded tremendous power.
But the Rollback faction as I keep calling it had not gone away. Within the Ford White House figures like Cheney and Rumsfeld sought to reinvigorate the imperial presidency through the doctrine of the Unitary Executive. Others operated in the shadows turning ever more to a new model, not just of the tried and true front company, but genuinely turning to privatised for-profit contractors. These firms were of course totally dominated by figures still affiliated (in some sense) with the intelligence services.
This period saw the rise of many mercenaries. There were wars abroad to be fought where a man with a gun or a chopper pilot could make money. There were disgruntled generals and other operatives who embittered toward the American Establishment stayed on overseas and worked in Asia, Africa or wherever their services could command a price.
The Deep State persevered, morphed and resuscitated itself. They found an ally in Ronald Reagan, or rather the figures who surrounded his campaign. The schemed to help him get elected and to destroy the credibility of Jimmy Carter. Under Reagan the CIA was revamped and put under a new unconventional figure. It was effectively reinvented by a new Wild Bill figure for the new era... William Casey.
The new CIA would make use of all forces at its disposal to wage war against the Soviet Union. Casey boosted the CIA's ranks with Roman Catholics, schemed with John Paul II and utilised the newly deregulated climate of Wall Street.
After the pivotal and dangerous year of 1983, Reagan began to question the policy and with the ascension of Gorbachev in 1985 a throttling back took place. The overt and aggressive Rollback policy was transformed into an aggressive posture of Containment. This generated some cracks within the Reagan White House and when the Iran-Contra scandal broke in late 1986, another chapter of 'cleaning house' began to take place.
Despite the setbacks and the necessary sacrifice of scapegoat Oliver North, the exposure of Poindexter and others, the Deep State weathered the storm. It could be argued the convenient death of Casey as well as the outsourced and privatised nature of modern intelligence operations afforded not only plausible denial for the executive but a means for figures such as Secord, Singlaub and others to escape conviction. The reinvigorated Executive under George HW Bush felt confident enough to pardon any who were actually convicted. Virtually no one was held accountable for the scandal. The principals such as the infamous Hunt family stayed in the shadows. What should have been a story and scandal bigger than Watergate resulted in next to nothing.
By the end of the 1980s Wall Street was happy, Langley was happy, and the Pentagon was certainly beaming. While they were not happy with Reagan's shift vis-à-vis the USSR, the money was flowing.
Perhaps the one major setback generated by Iran-Contra was that the move away from Rollback had been accentuated. The Rollback faction of the Deep State had been briefly exposed and forced into the shadows. The wounds were minor but the great changes unleashed by 1989-91, solidified the grip of the Containment and now Globalist wing of the Establishment. George HW Bush, Jim Baker and others associated with them represented this impulse as did the Clinton administration. This was further strengthened by the Blair faction coming to power in the UK which marked a shift away from the more aggressive and principled position represented by the Major government and certainly what was seen under Thatcher.
Or to put it another way the 1990s saw a complete change in the situation. Containment no longer meant the same thing. Containment was reinvented for a new context. Economics through globalisation, humanitarian justifications for war and the consolidation of power through multilateral frameworks was now the agenda. Russia was contained to be sure, but in the 1990s Russia was barely a factor. The new ascendancy represented almost a fusion of the Containment and Detente tendencies.
Those discontent with this approach, those remnants of the Rollback faction who wished for a more aggressive line began to coalesce around a rising political bloc, the Neo-Conservatives and their 1997 Project for a New American Century a think-tank which would go on to wield tremendous direct influence on the George W Bush administration.
As stated in previous pieces the Globalist faction of the Establishment, (the Detente factions and the softer side of the Containment spectrum) actually shares goals that are similar to the Neo-Conservatives. They too believe in American empire but their style and form are very different. And they understand the world in a much more complex way than the unilateralist approach of the Neo-conservatives. In fact they view the Neo-conservative agenda and methodology as being ultimately harmful to the objectives of US power.
The American Culture Wars played a large part in bringing the Neo-conservatives into power and this points to the ascension of additional elements within the Deep State equation... the Christian Right and Israel's Likud. Powerful figures within these factions now had not only a seat at the table but a real and influential voice in the shaping of the political order.
Just months after George W Bush took office the terrorist attacks on September 11 allowed these factions to take the gloves off. They aggressively pursued their domestic and geopolitical agendas. The Constitution was dismantled, restrictive treaties, statutes and conventions were dispensed with, an endless global war was initiated and the US sought to solidify absolute global dominance. The forces which had been brought so low in the 1970s and had self-destructed once more in the late 80s, were now at the pinnacle of power.
But as is so often the case, no sooner had they built the tower... it came crashing down. They would survive but the stage would be set for the Deep State Civil War that is rapidly developing in our own day.
Continue reading part 4
Continue reading part 4