Tuesday, September 18, 2018


When I learned that James O'Keefe was about to release a new series of videos called "Deep State Unmasked," I wondered: Could he actually have found people who are openly subverting the Trump administration from within the government and are willing to talk about this to a stranger?

That's what O'Keefe's title implies, but that's not what he delivers, at least in the first installment. His opening sequence may include clips of John Brennan and Loretta Lynch, but his first subject isn't leaking White House dirt or sabotaging executive branch policy. The featured bureaucrat is a low-level functionary whose principal crime is trying to do campaign work for Democratic Socialists during office hours.

Stuart Karaffa has a job at the State Department, which sounds Deep State-y, but, in fact, he merely "works in the Office of Program and Policy Analysis at the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations." And that bureau does what exactly?
The Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) directs the worldwide overseas building program for the Department of State and the U.S. Government community serving abroad under the authority of the chiefs of mission. In concert with other State Department bureaus, foreign affairs agencies, and Congress, OBO sets worldwide priorities for the design, construction, acquisition, maintenance, use, and sale of real properties and the use of sales proceeds.
Prior to that, he had a job in the Defense Department. This would also seem like an opportunity for Deep State subversion, but, again, not really -- Karaffa was
a Research Specialist for the National Security Education Program (NSEP), which is a component of the Department of Defense. The mission of NSEP is to expand U.S. expertise in foreign languages and cultures, thereby enhancing America’s national security capabilities. Mr. Karaffa’s position focuse[d] on DoD-funded study abroad scholarships for college students learning critical languages. He also manage[d] several IT and administrative contracts.
Dude, where's my Deep State?

Karaffa boasts about doing non-government work on government time, and he really does have quite a few irons in the fire -- he's a commissioner on the Advisory Neighborhood Commission in D.C.'s Mount Pleasant neighborhood, and, as noted, he works on Democratic Socialist campaigns -- here he's identified as a contact person for the campaign of Lee Carter, an ex-Marine and DSA member who was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2017, in an upset victory over the Republican who was the House majority whip, Jackson Miller.

Should Karaffa be doing DSA or neighborhood commission business on work time? No -- but this isn't the Deep State.

Over the weekend, O'Keefe spoke at a St. Louis gathering at which Mike Flynn was given a "Service to America" award by the late Phyllis Schlafly's Gateway Eagle Council. At the gathering, O'Keefe tried to link his new project to "resisters" within the federal government -- but notice how he was lowering expectations for the series:
"To some, this deep state is an anonymous, faceless resistance. To others, it is a vast unaccountable government bureaucracy or some would it an extra-legal state within a state," O’Keefe [said].

"Some call it a conspiracy theory. But that conspiracy theory recently took out an op-ed advertisement in the New York Times," he joked.

“At the most fundamental level, Americans make their voices heard through elections, and these people are circumventing that,” he told the audience, adding, “A lot of them brag about how they can’t get fired.”
Karaffa says in the video that he's safe because it's impossible to fire federal workers. O'Keefe didn't get what he presumably wanted -- evidence of federal employees working to thwart Trump -- so he defined "Deep State" down. Now it just means "government bureaucrats who bunk off work."

No comments: