The American Deep State: Big Money, Big Oil, and the Struggle for U.S. Democracy (War and Peace Library)

Now in a new edition updated through the unprecedented 2016 presidential election, this provocative book makes a compelling case for a hidden “deep state” that influences and often opposes official U.S. policies. Prominent political analyst Peter Dale Scott begins by tracing America’s increasing militarization, restrictions on constitutional rights, and income disparity since World War II. With the start of the Cold War, he argues, the U.S. government changed immensely in both function and scope, from protecting and nurturing a relatively isolated country to assuming ever-greater responsibility for controlling world politics in the name of freedom and democracy. This has resulted in both secretive new institutions and a slow but radical change in the American state itself. He argues that central to this historic reversal were seismic national events, ranging from the assassination of President Kennedy to 9/11.
Scott marshals compelling evidence that the deep state is now partly institutionalized in non-accountable intelligence agencies like the CIA and NSA, but it also extends its reach to private corporations like Booz Allen Hamilton and SAIC, to which 70 percent of intelligence budgets are outsourced. Behind these public and private institutions is the influence of Wall Street bankers and lawyers, allied with international oil companies beyond the reach of domestic law. Undoubtedly the political consensus about America’s global role has evolved, but if we want to restore the country’s traditional constitutional framework, it is important to see the role of particular cabals—such as the Project for the New American Century—and how they have repeatedly used the secret powers and network of Continuity of Government (COG) planning to implement change. Yet the author sees the deep state polarized between an establishment and a counter-establishment in a chaotic situation that may actually prove more hopeful for U.S. democracy.

About the Author

Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, is a leading political analyst and poet. His books include Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina (R&L) and American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan (R&L). His website is
  • File Size: 1426 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; Updated edition (May 2, 2017)


Editorial Reviews


We are living under a government that in certain respects is increasingly lawless and out of control’ Scott writes in his latest examination of the alleged underbelly of the U.S. Government. The milieu he shows is rife with shady business deals with the Mafia, as well as terrorists and the countries that harbor them, while encouraging war and eroding personal liberties, all with the stated goal of protecting the country. Scott argues for the existence of what are essentially two governments—the one we’re familiar with and the ‘deep state,’ actually running things. In this telling, the latter has been in the works for some time, under the auspices of the need to keep the government running in the event of a major attack or national disaster. Skeptics will be quick to dismiss Scott as a tinfoil-hatted loon looking for conspiracies and collusion under every rock, but the volume of his cited sources begs to differ, suggesting that our current political climate truly is a toxic one in dire need of fixing. He offers a handful of suggestions for doing exactly this in the closing pages of this alarming and thought-provoking work. (Publishers Weekly)

Scott makes some cautiously positive noises at the end of this terrific book about the possibilities of mass action to affect the changes. (Lobster)

Peter Dale Scott unveils the hidden springs of American politics in his book . . . a disturbing investigation [that] revisits the history of the war against terrorism. . . . [He] explains the development, in the aftermath of 11 September 2001, of ‘projects envisaged long before by a restricted circle of senior American authorities’—intervention in Iraq, a new zone of influence in Central Asia, the Patriot Act. . . . Scott explains why the Bush Administration classified the section of the Joint Congressional Inquiry on 9/11 dealing with Saudi officials, the same who today would play with the sorcerer’s apprentices in Iraq and Syria. (Paris Match)

Once again Peter Dale Scott illuminates the workings of the American deep state in this fascinating and seminal study of how and why the country’s foreign policy has gone off the rails and is even destroying democracy at home. This indispensable book is brilliantly researched and reasoned, persuading us that we cannot hope to save the republic unless we look far enough beneath the surface to observe the hidden dark forces that have been long calling the shots, most dramatically and dangerously since 9/11. (Richard Falk, Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University)

When the authentic intellectual history of our era is written, Peter Dale Scott will be honored for his insight and honesty. In The American Deep State, Scott again sees reality precisely, brilliantly, and with courageous integrity, warning us once more against lethal illusions. This is one of the most important books of our time. (Roger Morris, author of Richard Milhous Nixon: The Rise of an American Politician)

TheAmerican Deep State encapsulates Peter Dale Scott’s decades-long research into the hidden aspects of American deep politics. The result is an unparalleled perspective on the real system of U.S. governance. His analysis is meticulous, masterful, and brilliant. (Daniel Ellsberg, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers)

Peter Dale Scott is our most provocative scholar of American power. Scott picks up where the pioneering C. Wright Mills left off, shining a light on the dark labyrinth of power—a shadow world that has only grown more arrogant and wedded to state violence since the days of the ‘power elite’ and the ‘military-industrial complex.’ There is no way to understand how power really operates without daring to follow Scott’s illuminating path through The American Deep State. (David Talbot, Founder of Salon)

Peter Dale Scott has pioneered the systematic study of the national security state and its hidden impacts on all areas of foreign and domestic policy. With this new book, Scott outdoes himself with a truly comprehensive birds-eye analysis of the increasing encroachment of the unaccountable ‘deep state’ into democratic politics through the postwar period until today, offering a window into a grim future if business-as-usual continues. This is a brilliant, incisive, must-read work for anyone who wants to understand the interplay between global capitalism, national security, and the dubious agendas of the most powerful yet secretive agencies of national governments and the complex network of vested criminal and corporate interests that drive them. (Nafeez Ahmed, investigative journalist, the Guardian)

Peter Dale Scott digs deep into every aspect of Orwellian homeland security—from warrantless surveillance to warrantless detention and martial law, showing how the US government and military have become permanently involved in law enforcement. This system of secrecy—or secret government—is essentially the ‘deep state,’ the real, powerful layer that overshadows an open government. Yet public institutions account for just one level of the deep state. They also derive their power from key connections outside government—as in the case of the CIA, very much rooted in Wall Street. Scott also shows how their power has expanded as the deep state went more and more multinational, in parallel to the expansion of major multinational corporations. Orwellian? No: more like political realism. It’s all here. An absolute must read. (Pepe Escobar, roving correspondent for Asia Times and author of Empire of Chaos)

In this excellent book, Peter Dale Scott shows how U.S. restrictions on its intelligence services made the American deep state fuse with a foreign service to operate from outside the United States. Saudi oil and U.S. weapons deals formed a special relationship. Scott argues that the American deep state has always been linked to Wall Street bankers and Big Oil with former CIA Director Allan Dulles as the archetype, who looked at the elected political leaders as narrow-minded nationalists unable to run global politics. (Ola Tunander, Peace Research Institute Oslo)

Amazon Reviews:
Five Stars
Fascinating account of the Deep State in the US, with impeccable footnotes and links.
Excellent and informative book…
Excellent and informative book which lays bare the truth about the Deep State and COG and the threat they pose to all American citizens.
Names and Organizations named
Want to know about the deep state?

Flawless explanation of the Deep State
Peter Dale Scott unloads a lot of info. He is a left wing type. the COG who cares on that part. Come on. However, as a history and explanation of the Deep State. Flawless The Deep State exist. This book is a must read. Learn it. Scott is wrong to go after Trump. Also he could have gone a bit deeper. However, he is quite a good writer. This is again a must read.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *