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Career “Officers” and the “Deep State”

October 11, 2019

The concept “Deep State” is derided as a conspiracy “theory,” but there is a very large administrative “state” that administers the powers of government agencies. Employment in government agencies attracts college graduates imbued with favorable views of the powers of government (to do good) and to enjoy the benefits of career “service.”

If you are a political appointee, as I was, in a Republican administered government and are committed to reducing the power of government, you will circumvent the career officers by seeking to make political appointments to key offices in your Department. I did that and that action raised eyebrows.

Career “officers” have the advantage when confronted by an astute political appointee. They have contacts in major media organizations and are prepared to use them to alert the reading public that barbarians have entered their sacred precincts and are engaged in violating a fundamental protocol of success in government service: To get along, go along.

During my service in the Bureau of Education at USICA in what is now the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, I placed political appointees at the head of every Bureau under my control. Career “officers” were astonished and then angered at the audacity of that action. When I left, one heard a collective sigh of relief.

Today major media is expressing horror at removal of a career ambassador for Ukraine and I must laugh at the “chill” going through the deep state as if faces a real barbarian, President Donald Trump.

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