The State Of The Deep State - The Monster In America's Closet

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by James Howard Kunstler via Peak Prosperity,

We’ve been hearing a lot about the so-called Deep State lately. What to make of this shadowy monster? Some observers link it to the paranoid fantasy called the New World Order, a staple of political talk radio (and a hobgoblin I don’t believe in). In popular movies such as the Jason Bourne epics and Mission Impossible, the Deep State launches hyper-complex schemes that work flawlessly and never fail. That is exactly why they have such high entertainment appeal. Viewers are thrilled by the precision, by the conceit of seeming infallibility. The Deep State definitely exists; it just doesn’t work the way it is depicted in the movies. 

I like to say that I’m allergic to conspiracy theories because human beings are generally too inept to carry out schemes at the grand scale, as well as being poor secret-keepers. Insider knowledge is almost always swapped around, even in secretive organizations, often recklessly so, because doling it out confers status, tactical advantage, and sometimes money for the doler-outer. But the Deep State isn’t a secret. It operates in plain sight.


First, of course, is the Pentagon leviathan plus all of its suppliers, enablers, and lackeys — the beast that President Eisenhower warned his fellow citizens to beware of in his farewell address, calling it “the military-industrial complex.” It’s worse than ever, especially having engaged in two major fiascos on Asian soil the past decade, pointless escapades that cost the lives of 8,000 soldiers in action, many more maimed for life, and in suicides of servicemen returning home in despair to a spavined economy and the manifold indignities of a cruel and incompetent veterans’ bureaucracy completely unable to care for their needs. Iraq and Afghanistan proved the futility of America’s neurotic mission to try to control everything and every place in the world. In fact, the US military could not control the only two things that mattered in those faraway lands: the terrain and the behavior of the population. What else is there in a military campaign?

This did not stop President Obama from almost repeating the fiasco in Syria in 2013. Only some reality-testing by Vladimir Putin put the schnitz on that operation. For the moment, Putin has also juked Obama and his Secretary of State Kerry from further shenanigans in Ukraine, but the US looks like a sloppy drunk in a barroom at last call spoiling for a fight. We’d better hope we don’t find it. It’s one thing to fight a band of ragged Taliban in the Helmand highlands; it’s another thing to poke a country (Russia) with a thousand nukes targeting everything from Bangor to Bellingham.


Then there are the multiple vampire squids of Wall Street (shorthand for all of finance) engaged in funneling as much wealth out of the disintegrating middle class as possible, creaming off gargantuan transaction fees, premiums, and spreads from every transaction in the entire universe (especially in their carry-trade with the Federal Reserve), and buying off elected officials wholesale, by the hundredweight, to ensure that their swindling operations go unimpeded. Wall Street’s hired servelings now write the latest laws for financial regulation. It is nothing but racketeering on the grandest scale, plain and simple, and it is sponsored wholeheartedly by the Deep State. The Supreme Court has lent a hand in this by defining corporations as persons entitled to express political fellowship via unlimited cash contributions to election campaigns. Wall Street is assisted in turn by the thoroughly corrupt two major political parties. The fabled “revolving door” that shuffles Wall Street executives in and out of government now spins so fast that it is more like a turbine than a door. The degeneracy of Wall Street is covered sufficiently elsewhere in my writings to leave it at that for the purposes of this essay.


Present worries over the Deep State are focused on its massive security apparatus, made up of a combination of venerable old institutions such as the CIA and the Defense Intelligence services with some newer ones such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Transportation Safety Agency (TSA), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the good ol' IRS, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), and God knows how many out-of-sight “security” offices in the dark precincts of seemingly benign agencies like the National Parks Service and the Bureau of Weights and Measures. On top of all that, add the newly militarized local police all across this land with their camo-clad SWAT teams, bomb-proof Hummers, grenade-launchers, surveillance drones, 20-ton Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs), military-grade helicopters, and in the case of one Arizona sheriff’s department, a pre-owned US Army tank.

The sheer multiplication of “security” officialdom ought to give a sentient citizen a case of the vapors. The work of these outfits is supposedly coordinated by the new umbrella entity, the National Security Agency (NSA), but that’s probably too slippery a description for the organized chaos it represents. The NSA can only pretend to manage all these posses of tech-drunk cowboys. The NSA is a pretense wrapped in a wish shrouded in techno-narcissism.

Grafted onto this armature of old and new bureaucracies is a matrix of private contractors who do much of the actual dirty work and heavy lifting for the official agencies. These private contractors are hugely overpaid (by taxpayers) and are subject to little oversight outside the agencies who hire them — who, in turn, have a keen interest in concealing any misbehavior perpetrated by their private contractors. Outside of that ring of techies, hit men, and errand boys is an asteroid belt of domestic spying infrastructure based in the internet, featuring companies that, willingly or not, funnel information about the myriad activities of individual citizens to the government. These include online retailers, Google and other search engines, banks, credit card companies, health care orgs, phone companies, universities, etc. Then, of course, there is the gigantic corps of lobbyists, public relations spinners, media pimps, corporate consultants, legislative staffers, and other enablers and fixers of Deep State operations. These highly-paid parasites are the ones largely responsible for Washington becoming the third-richest ranked metro area in the nation.

This ever-growing network has been constructed right out in the open with a long lead-up after World War Two, and then an exponential ramp-up following the attacks of 9/11/01 and the paranoia entailed by it. It is surely a remarkable thing that there have been no terror acts on the grand scale in America since 9/11. The 2013 Boston marathon “pressure cooker” bombs that killed 3 people and maimed over 250 others was a way smaller op than 9/11 and relatively amateurish, and the Deep State did not prevent the Chechen Tsarnaev brothers from pulling it off despite the fact that the elder brother, Tamerlan, had been on an FBI watch list for two years prior to the bombing. The Fort Hood massacre of 2009 (13 fatalities) was perpetrated by, of all things, an army psychiatrist Major Nidal Malik Hasan. You’d think the army would have been onto this fellow… he being right under its nose… but what better illustration of basic institutional failure?

There has been surprisingly little else. Perhaps that is due to the diligent work of these bureaucracies. But I find it hard to believe that they had much to do with the absence of terror acts against the countless “soft targets” across the nation. For instance, a small squad of half a dozen jihadists might have entered any one of a thousand big regional shopping malls across America with enough ordnance in a duffle bag to kill a few hundred people. It hasn’t happened, but can anyone say it’s because the National Security apparatus prevented it? I’ve been in many malls the past thirteen years and none of them had any security screening at their doors whatsoever. Anyone could stroll in with an Uzi tucked under his London Fog and blast away. Yet, the known attempted dastardly deeds that were prevented by the Deep State — the 2010 Times Square car bomber, the airplane underwear bomber — you can count on the fingers of one hand.  Of course, the airplane shoe bomber wasn’t stopped until the very moment he tried (and failed) to light his Nikes. Lucky he was a klutz.

In any case, the monumental new combined security apparatus has been given carte blanche to elaborate itself, to grow ever more branches and buds so that it is now a kind of creeping, suffocating, parasitical vine entombing the edifice of the Republic behind a scrim of toxic administrative overgrowth. The remarkable thing all along has been the lack of protest from just about any quarter of the American polity, either the citizens themselves or their elected representatives. Now and again an elderly airline passenger will complain about being groped by an ardent TSA officer, but on the whole the broad public does not seem to care about having its privacy stripped away, even after Edward Snowden burst on the scene with his revelations of what should have been perfectly obvious to anyone who thought about it for half a minute — namely, that government agents could not possibly resist the temptation to harvest those bounteous crops of data accumulating in all the humming server farms all over the country.

It was really only a few weeks ago when one politician did offer a few yelps of objection. That would be Senator Diane Feinstein who, as chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, was investigating torture carried out by the CIA following 9/11 and in the wars engendered by it. The CIA response to the committee’s requests for information was a 6.2 million-page data-dump of un-collated, un-indexed memos and cables — obviously designed to confound, impede, and delay any discovery of misconduct. On a number of occasions both the CIA and White House staff lied to the committee about the handling of documents, which, of course, distracted attention from the substance of what was in the documents: evidence of programmatic torture. It would be fair to say that CIA personnel jerked the committee around in every way possible to avoid providing coherent answers to straightforward questions and requests. CIA Director John Brennan repeatedly stonewalled Senator Feinstein’s letters, simply refusing to reply. As the tussle heated up, the CIA hacked the Senate committee staff’s computers. Then they went a step further and referred senate committee staffers to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution in mishandling secret documents. The CIA’s general counsel who made the referral was, in fact, a lawyer in the CIA’s counter-terrorism unit when the alleged tortures took place  — meaning, he had approved them — and his name appeared 1,600 times in the Senate committee’s report.

Senator Feinstein, formerly a dogged supporter of the CIA and its redundant cousin agencies, finally lost it. She held a press conference and pretty much denounced the whole wicked business as an attempt to intimidate the committee and obstruct constitutional oversight of the CIA’s activities.

Who Is Watching The Watchmen?

The affair raises very troubling questions, chiefly: has this vast “security” apparatus become by stealth a fourth branch of the United States Government?  Does it think itself to be more equal than the other branches? Does its existence undermine the rule of law in this nation? And what do we ordinary citizens of this republic do about it? (Assuming we are still a republic.) We’ll touch on these matters in Part 2: How To Oppose The Deep State

Click here to access Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access).


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Cattender's picture

the NWO is real.

john39's picture

You have to willfully blind to miss that fact.

observer007's picture

MERS deadly disease: First victim in US


Health officials have confirmed the first case in the United States of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome , a virulent and relatively new condition first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. The unnamed healthcare worker arrived in Chicago about a…


Battleaxe's picture

If you are reading this then you are a TERRORIST.

mvsjcl's picture

The Deep State without NWO doesn't make sense. There's a Deep State everywhere that there is a Rothschild-controlled central bank. I posit that they are inextricably entwined.

Davalicious's picture

"Some observers link it to the paranoid fantasy called the New World Order...a hobgoblin I don’t believe in... because human beings are generally too inept to carry out schemes at the grand scale, as well as being poor secret-keepers."

Jews are the exception. Their ethnic networking is a racial feature. Genetic studies show a high similarity (70%) between Jews all over the planet. Look at the way they dominate us, in our own countries, in finance, politics, the media. There is even a Jew in charge of the US Global Nuclear Strike Force.

From his wiki:

James Howard Kunstler was born in New York City to Jewish parents



james.connolly's picture

KUNSTLER has a website I dare say any of you go to that website,

If you so much as MENTION: TRIBE, or AIPAC, ... or ZION you will be deleted, IP BANNED, in ONE NANO-SECOND.

KUNSTLER is not your friend FOLKS, he is an ENEMY 'CONTRACTOR'.


KUNSTLERS job is to sell the peak oil narrative, ... that the reason for ameriKKK'as decline is peak-oil, and to take everybody away from the real reason ameriKKKa died, AIPAC, aka zionism.



Riprake's picture

Sounds like a good policy to me. Goose-stepping Hitler rimjobbers like you belong in padded cells, not on the internet.

james.connolly's picture

James Kunstler, welcome to ZH.

Cass Sunstein, has a condo waiting for you in Tel-Aviv with your name on it.


New Ordnance's picture

J.H. Kunstler: Theater Major at SUNY Brockport, father in the diamond trade.

He was a regular for years at The Oil Drum before it closed for lack of content after the Baaken cranked up.

Nothing ad hominem intended but he always struck me as a strange and acerbic little word-smith.

Serenity Now's picture

Kunstler's job is to sell central planning, period.  

The Profit Prophet's picture

Everyone who frequents this site has a file, and critical commentors on the State are likely on a watch list.

DeadFred's picture

The secret to success is the use of sardonic humor on a sizable fraction of your posts, then they won't know if you're serious or not. 61.8% is the proper ratio. Of course this is just make believe since we're all going to the camps anyway (except the trolls who will be going to a place much lower than that).

prains's picture

In the camps they'll need blokes with baton and dog to keep us in line, this job will be filled by trolls like mister kitty

mvsjcl's picture

"MERS deadly disease: First victim in US"


I thought MERS claimed millions of victims during the housing bubble?

X_mloclaM's picture

or think Rockefeller lied in his own book on his families intent ...

Zadok's picture

That I dont believe in...

Almost stopped there, skimmed the rest, willfully stupid. Sorry if it offends, it's true!

what's that smell's picture

i the great and powerful kunstler with my mighty power of observation have declared all conpiracies void because the wealthy and the powerful are stupid.

there. fixed.

Buck Johnson's picture

It sure is, and it's getting worse.



Fred C Dobbs's picture

And have conquered America.  Kunstler should be following and not trying to lead.  

The Tylers should know this.   

escargot's picture

As soon as I read the words "paranoid fantasy", I stopped reading any further.

No really, it would be foolish to think that powerful interests would conspire to rule the world.  Why would they do that?  Nobody has ever wanted to rule the world!  That's just a crazy paranoid fantasy!




Monty Burns's picture

As soon as I read the words "paranoid fantasy", I stopped reading any further.


Me too.  Kunstler is one of those media pimps he allegedly calls out.  'Nothing to see here, move  along now'

Cheduba's picture

I agree - guys like Kunstler get me because they act like all of life's events were random, with language like this:

"Of course, the airplane shoe bomber wasn’t stopped until the very moment he tried (and failed) to light his Nikes. Lucky he was a klutz."

I guess it was just an accident that this guy was guided onto a plane in order to terrify Americans and justify the TSA's existence.


"Has this vast 'security' apparatus become by stealth a fourth branch of the United States Government?"

Uh oh!  Sounds like a conspiracy!  But there can't be any masterminds behind the organization of the security apparatus he described.  Everything probably just happened to fall into place on its own.

TruthHunter's picture

"Any conspiracy involving two or more people includes a publicist!"

Robert Anton Wilson

LetThemEatRand's picture

"has this vast 'security' apparatus become by stealth a fourth branch of the United States Government?  Does it think itself to be more equal than the other branches?"

The vast security apparatus is the government.  The rest is theater.

McMolotov's picture

The Deep State is the reason voting changes nothing.  Red Team, Blue Team — it doesn't matter because they're simply cosmetic. The Deep State is the foundation, the girders, the walls of the prison. Politics is merely decoration, paint on the bars.

LetThemEatRand's picture

I'm starting to think that Ron Paul was just the equivalent of a visit from Johnny Cash.

Jack Burton's picture

The Deep State is so powerful that there is no need for it to try and hide, after all, if you can't fight city hall, imagine what the deep state is like to fight. Whenever taxpayers are forced to fund a Government Deep State apparatus to the tune of around 1.25 trillion dollars a year, the combined military and security budgets, then that buys a hell of a lot of real power. If you look at what Israel is so proud of calling "Facts on the Ground", you can see that the Deep State is the Lawn Mower and our asses are grass. The power and the wealth has gone to their heads, they have come to view themselves as all powerful and untouchable. The present nightmare in Ukraine, was planned and funded by America's Deep State, in the belief that their power is unlimited.

To the Deep State above, I want to add two other major Deep State players, one is a major tool, "The Corporate Media" the other is a major power player and Deep State Regular "Israel and AIPAC". The Deep State has armed Israel with many hundreds of nuclear weapons and built them s delivery systems, so that Israel alone is a planet killer on it's own, with every major city in Euroasia and the middle east targeted 24/7. Without the American Deep State, a tiny nation of a few million would not be one of earth's most powerful nuclear weapons powers, and ready and capable of ending life on over half the earth in a single afternoon.

Crawdaddy's picture

Check my past comments and you will see who I think is behind the throne. I do not think it is the Jews. There is another country, comprised of 835 people according to their website, that I think is the true puppet master behind the NWO. If you don't believe me, ask yourself why it is not uncommon to find politicians that point a finger at AIPAC but ZERO who will diss the little country with 835 citizens?

Davalicious's picture

Are you talking about the Vatican city? The population is about 920.Jews have been infiltrating the Catholic Church since its inception. Have a look at this article in the Jewish Forward on Jews who changed the church (got them to dump warnings about Jews). Sure, this guy converted but supported Israel his entire life. Right..

You forgot the smallest country which is arguably SMOM - population 3.

There is no hiding the fact that Jews control our countries and farm us. John Kerry (Jewish) instructs Victoria Nuland (Jewish) to install a Jewish head of state in Ukraine who promptly installs three Jewish oligarchs as regional Governors. Jewish people are a tiny fraction of the population. What are the odds? Even the public are starting to notice that whever our freedoms are taken away some Berg or Stein is always behind it. If we don't remove these people from power they will destroy us.





Crawdaddy's picture

Yes the vatican is what I am talking about. Why do you work so hard to make Jews the problem? Just follow the money. You will find the Jews are minor league. A few are special monkeys on strings in the grand scheme of things.

Davalicious's picture

Jews are the problem. No heavy lifting needed. Jews advocate open borders for white nations, limitations on freedom of speech to accomidate the invaders, gun control. In Israel black Jews are given contraception without their knowledge, African refugees are jailed, then deported, it is illegal for non-Jews to marry Jews.

Monty Burns's picture

"it is not uncommon to find politicians that point a finger at AIPAC"


Yeah, happens all the time.  Off the top of my head I can straight away  think of........not a single one. 

LetThemEatRand's picture

"Without the American Deep State, a tiny nation of a few million would not be one of earth's most powerful nuclear weapons powers, and ready and capable of ending life on over half the earth in a single afternoon."

For her pleasure.

easypoint's picture

I hear that train a comin'…

Crawdaddy's picture

Or a visit from Bubba Hotep

"If Priscilla knew I was alive would we have to fuck or would we just have to talk abut it?"


Tao 4 the Show's picture

The "Deep State" is simply a Doppelgänger serving to distract from his original and darker twin.

Payne's picture

Big problem is they have control but no intelligence.  They will control our economy into the morgue.

jaxville's picture

"I like to say that I’m allergic to conspiracy theories because human beings are generally too inept to carry out schemes at the grand scale, as well as being poor secret-keepers."


  Hmmm...Where to begin? Kunstler spends a great deal describing symptoms while completely ignoring the illness. The current government excesses are merely a reflection of the direction society is being conditioned into. Academia sets direction, banking finances it and the media sells it to the public. There is a common denominator within those three groups which has always worked for it's own interests and excluded others not in their group. That group is even over represented in the government that ultimately applies the violence to force that direction where needed.

  There is a reason the public is not too concerned about living in a decent society. Freedom, peace, sound money, limited government and all the other constructs that result in a decent society are totally contrary to the interests of that group.

  Who are they, that "group". Put on your thinking cap and figure it out but I will leave you with a hint...Most are not even American citizens.

  Somehow I don't ever see Kunstler going there.

tulip_permabull's picture

Kunstler is either a Zionist hack or is a very interesting case study in how the conscious mind (of the writer) does not recognize how it is directed by the unconscious mind. I am yet to decide which of the two it is. Case in point is his (of course mostly well written and engaging) novel "World Made by Hand".

SPOILER ALERT -- If you have not read this book, I am about to give away key plot points.

As in most novels, this book has two faces, one is the supeficial story line and the other is the ideological burden. In this case it is the burden of its sado-masochistic, Zionist supremacist fantasies. Let me explain.

The story takes place around a small town in NE USA, post some not clearly identified Armgeddon involving possibly nuclear weapons but certainly Peak Oil. The chief protagonist is "Robert", a fifty-ish childless widower and a man of no particular power in the community. Before Aramgeddon he was a paper-pusher but now he is the town Carpenter (the insinuation is clear enough).

Robert's best friend (in a way) is the local protestant cleric, a weak man of weak faith who struggles even to go through the motions of belief. Robert is screwing this cleric's wife, something to which the cleric is apparently compliant. (Takeawy: Robert is virile, more virile than the cuckold cleric).

As the novel begins, a new force arrives in town (I forget what Kunstler called it...hmm, let's just call it NJ, "New Jerusalem). This force is a communiity of strong, forceful, and armed evangelical Christians, with plenty of members who are former soldiers back fom what the novel calls "The Holy Land". These evengelicals are led by a clever, iron-steel pastor. They set up just outside the town. Initially they appear to be a threat to the status quo in the town.

The final important ideological feature of the book is the existence on another side of this town of a community of white trash (of course) types who make their existence by scavenging (Palestinian-like) on the old trash heaps. These low-lifes are presented as a constant threat to the town.   

Like any good middle-brow novel, the book is full of pacily-presented incidents but the sketch of main characters and storylines provides enough background for an understanding of the zionist supremacist fantasy themes. Now I skip quickly through the main action.

* Friend of Robert, a returned soldier  is killed by trailer trash. Leaves behind pretty/buxom widow.
* Robert continues to screw cleric's wife.
* Robert becomes new mayor of town
* Robert bonds with armed evangelicals. They attack and defeat trailer trash.

The key to identifying this book as a Zionist fantasy is found about 3/4 into the book where, in a bizarre and entirel out-of-place scene, the wife of the leader of the evangelicals is revealed for the first time. She is depicted as an enormously fat woman who does nothing but reside abed while consumely an endless stream of cream cakes. I am not joking.

It seems that this creature (she must be depicted as a creature as she is not sexually available to Robert/Kunstler) is blessed with psychic powers.

This is how, 3/4 of the way through the novel, and a propos of absolutely nothing story-related, she announces to Robert that she has divined that he is Jewish! He concedes this is so.

As i have said, this is the keystone information for the entire book. All that was formerly random events can now be seen as part of a coherent ideological tapestry as it explains

> the presentation of Robert (why not a Jewish name?) as Carpenter (i.e., Saviour of the community and its only viable leader)

> the dichotomous presentation of Christian religions as either weak cuckolds or as usefuls militants to be turned agains the enemeies of Jerusalem) but in either case their existence is interpreted not on their own terms but ONLY in terms of their functionality for the Jew

>Robert's remarkable virility relative the non-existent or disfunctional sexuality of every other male in the book, typically with the wives of Christians (the well-known Jewish fantasy of every christyian woman a shiksa), and ultimately where Kunstler Robert does the beautiful wife of the fallen soldier the great favor of access to his heroic bed.

But I leave it there. As I suggested in the beginning, Kunstler can at first seem like a funny, mixed up case, however, (tho I agree with him on Peak Oil/Peak Debt) his fundamental ideological role seems very consistently to be to act as an agent of the Frankfurt School, putting into action what I call its "Walls of Jericho" strategy, a childish but effective strategy of incessant wailing and complaint and blame-shifting intended to make the conscious/adult mind give in to its bullying demands.

In that capacity, it seems that Kunstler's role is the same as that of the MSM and Hollywood, to take the battle to the Id of white Christian (male) family/culture and at every opportunity to delegitimize it, demoralize it, marginalize it and BLAME it. You can see this everywhere. It has been the dominant media/political culture for decades now. That is always the ideological purpose of his writing, and is present in everything he writes. It is his one consistent theme despite the fact that it is presented to us superficially wrapped in the narrative of Peak Oil.

fiatmasochist's picture

                   WOW....impressive analysis...and you write really well, too!

TeamDepends's picture

Deep State knows your deepest, darkest desires.  And fondles them.

davidalan1's picture

deep state = inept state, plus printing press voila'

creditor nation to debtor nation in one or two generations. just wow.

we are sooo effing doomed

Come soon lord

q99x2's picture

This guy still believes in the existence of a United States Government.

Oldwood's picture

Are the locust plagues of crops a deep state organized conspiracy or do the insects simply share a common agenda?

thamnosma's picture

Kunstler voted for Obama twice.  Why go further?   Geez, he doesn't believe in the NWO.  Maybe he missed a few speeches by old Bush and his pal Kissinger.

Ignatius's picture

Kuntsler's recurring 'argument' against a larger conspiracy -- say, like 9/11 -- is his own incredulity.

Incredulity is not an argument.

Evidence makes arguments.

To your point, the 'NWO' isn't coming... it's here. 

That said, I never use "NWO" when speaking of these topics as the hyperbole distracts from what can actually be pieced together with some careful reading and dilligent research.

harposox's picture

Well said, Ignatius. As much as I generally enjoy his writing, Kunstler is obsessed with this "incompetence" meme, which is utter nonsense. The NSA, for instance, has created the means to eavesdrop on every digital communication on the planet... sounds like there are some frighteningly competent people running THAT show.

Given what we now know of the NSA's capabilities, pulling off a simple act of industrial sabotage like 9/11 would have been chlld's play. And the old "conspirators can't keep a secret" idea completely misses the point. 9/11 was a brutal, naked exercise of power. Broadcasting this message to the rest of the world – particularly to foreign leaders and intelligence services, many of whom clearly understood the real game afoot – was part of the point.