“There was a powerful group of very high ranking state officials that some referred to as ‘The 7th Floor Group’ or ‘The Shadow Government.’” [Wikileaks, Emails from John Podesto, Clinton's Campaign Chairman, Dated August 26, 2009]FBI's own docs literally say a "shadow government" protects Hillary Clinton.
There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power. 
Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country…
Despite the habitual cant of congressional Republicans about executive overreach by Obama, the would-be dictator, we have until recently heard very little from them about these actions — with the minor exception of comments from gadfly Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. Democrats, save a few mavericks such as Ron Wyden of Oregon, are not unduly troubled, either — even to the extent of permitting seemingly perjured congressional testimony under oath by executive branch officials on the subject of illegal surveillance.
THE STATE WITHIN A STATE
My analysis of this phenomenon is not an exposé of a secret, conspiratorial cabal; the state within a state is hiding mostly in plain sight, and its operators mainly act in the light of day. Nor can this other government be accurately termed an "establishment." All complex societies have an establishment, a social network committed to its own enrichment and perpetuation. In terms of its scope, financial resources and sheer global reach, the American hybrid state, the Deep State, is in a class by itself.
That said, it is neither omniscient nor invincible. The institution is not so much sinister (although it has highly sinister aspects) as it is relentlessly well entrenched. Far from being invincible, its failures, such as those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, are routine enough that it is only the Deep State's protectiveness towards its higher-ranking personnel that allows them to escape the consequences of their frequent ineptitude. 
GOVERNMENT LIFE AND GROUPTHINK
How did I come to write an analysis of the Deep State, and why am I equipped to write it? As a congressional staff member for 28 years specializing in national security and possessing a top secret security clearance, I was at least on the fringes of the world I am describing, if neither totally in it by virtue of full membership nor of it by psychological disposition. But, like virtually every employed person, I became, to some extent, assimilated into the culture of the institution I worked for, and only by slow degrees, starting before the invasion of Iraq, did I begin fundamentally to question the reasons of state that motivate the people who are, to quote George W. Bush, "the deciders."
THE STATE WITHIN A STATE IS A HYBRID OF NATIONAL SECURITY (DEFENSE AND INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES) AND LAW ENFORCEMENT
- the Department of Defense,
- the Department of State,
- the Department of Homeland Security,
- the Central Intelligence Agency and
- the Justice Department.
All these agencies are coordinated by the Executive Office of the President via the National Security Council.
Certain key areas of the judiciary belong to the Deep State, such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, whose actions are mysterious even to most members of Congress. Also included are a handful of vital federal trial courts, such as the Eastern District of Virginia and the Southern District of Manhattan, where sensitive proceedings in national security cases are conducted.
The final government component (and possibly last in precedence among the formal branches of government established by the Constitution) is a kind of rump Congress consisting of the congressional leadership and some (but not all) of the members of the defense and intelligence committees. The rest of Congress, normally so fractious and partisan, is mostly only intermittently aware of the Deep State and when required usually submits to a few well-chosen words from the State's emissaries.
PRIVATE ENTERPRISE IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE DEEP STATE'S OPERATIONS
WALL STREET, WITH DE FACTO CRIMINAL IMMUNITY, SUPPLIES THE CASH TO THE DEEP STATE AND MAY BE THE ULTIMATE OWNER OF IT AND ITS STRATEGIES
The executives of the financial giants even have de facto criminal immunity. On March 6, 2013, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Eric Holder stated the following: "I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy." This, from the chief law enforcement officer of a justice system that has practically abolished the constitutional right to trial for poorer defendants charged with certain crimes.
It is not too much to say that Wall Street may be the ultimate owner of the Deep State and its strategies, if for no other reason than that it has the money to reward government operatives with a second career that is lucrative beyond the dreams of avarice — certainly beyond the dreams of a salaried government employee. 
THE IVY LEAGUE AND MILITARY TOP BRASS DOMINATE THE DEEP STATE, WHICH IS NEITHER SPECIFICALLY DEMOCRAT NOR REPUBLICAN
Not all the traffic involves persons connected with the purely financial operations of the government: In 2013, General David Petraeus joined KKR (formerly Kohlberg Kravis Roberts) of 9 West 57th Street, New York, a private equity firm with $62.3 billion in assets. KKR specializes in management buyouts and leveraged finance. General Petraeus' expertise in these areas is unclear. His ability to peddle influence, however, is a known and valued commodity. Unlike Cincinnatus, the military commanders of the Deep State do not take up the plow once they lay down the sword. Petraeus also obtained a sinecure as a non-resident senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. The Ivy League is, of course, the preferred bleaching tub and charm school of the American oligarchy. 
Domestically, whatever they might privately believe about essentially diversionary social issues such as abortion or gay marriage, they almost invariably believe in the "Washington Consensus": financialization, outsourcing, privatization, deregulation and the commodifying of labor.
Internationally, they espouse 21st-century "American Exceptionalism": the right and duty of the United States to meddle in every region of the world with coercive diplomacy and boots on the ground and to ignore painfully won international norms of civilized behavior.
To paraphrase what Sir John Harrington said more than 400 years ago about treason, now that the ideology of the Deep State has prospered, none dare call it ideology.  That is why describing torture with the word "torture" on broadcast television is treated less as political heresy than as an inexcusable lapse of Washington etiquette: Like smoking a cigarette on camera, these days it is simply "not done."
SILICON VALLEY IS A VITAL NODE OF THE DEEP STATE
THE CENTER OF GRAVITY OF THE DEEP STATE IS FIRMLY SITUATED IN AND AROUND WASHINGTON D.C., THE RICHEST METRO AREA IN THE NATION
1. First, that the Deep State is so heavily entrenched, so well protected by surveillance, firepower, money and its ability to co-opt resistance that it is almost impervious to change.
2. Second, that just as in so many previous empires, the Deep State is populated with those whose instinctive reaction to the failure of their policies is to double down on those very policies in the future. Iraq was a failure briefly camouflaged by the wholly propagandistic success of the so-called surge; this legerdemain allowed for the surge in Afghanistan, which equally came to naught. Undeterred by that failure, the functionaries of the Deep State plunged into Libya; the smoking rubble of the Benghazi consulate, rather than discouraging further misadventure, seemed merely to incite the itch to bomb Syria.
Will the Deep State ride on the back of the American people from failure to failure until the country itself, despite its huge reserves of human and material capital, is slowly exhausted? The dusty road of empire is strewn with the bones of former great powers that exhausted themselves in like manner.
IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE EDWARD SNOWDEN REVELATIONS, THERE ARE SIGNS OF RESISTANCE TO THE DEEP STATE
As more people begin to waken from the fearful and suggestible state that 9/11 created in their minds, it is possible that the Deep State's decade-old tactic of crying "terrorism!" every time it faces resistance is no longer eliciting the same Pavlovian response of meek obedience. And the American people, possibly even their legislators, are growing tired of endless quagmires in the Middle East.
WALL STREET'S FUNDING OF THE TEA PARTY TO ADVANCE ITS OWN PLUTOCRATIC AMBITIONS HAS BACKFIRED
SILICON VALLEY IS JUMPING SHIP FROM COOPERATING WITH THE DEEP STATE BECAUSE ADVERSE REACTIONS TO THE NSA SCANDALS THREATEN ITS PROFITS
THE TWIN IDOLS OF NATIONAL SECURITY AND CORPORATE POWER: SEVERING THE ARTERY OF THE MONEY BETWEEN THE CORPORATE COMPONENTS OF THE DEEP STATE AND THE FINANCIALLY-DEPENDENT ELECTED OFFICIALS
The outcome of all these developments is uncertain. The Deep State, based on the twin pillars of national security imperative and corporate hegemony, has until recently seemed unshakable and the latest events may only be a temporary perturbation in its trajectory. But history has a way of toppling the altars of the mighty. While the two great materialist and determinist ideologies of the twentieth century, Marxism and the Washington Consensus, successively decreed that the dictatorship of the proletariat and the dictatorship of the market were inevitable, the future is actually indeterminate. It may be that deep economic and social currents create the framework of history, but those currents can be channeled, eddied, or even reversed by circumstance, chance and human agency. We have only to reflect upon defunct glacial despotisms such as the USSR or East Germany to realize that nothing is forever.
1. The first strategy, reflecting the ossification of its ruling elites, consists of repeating that nothing is wrong, that the status quo reflects the nation's unique good fortune in being favored by God, and that those calling for change are merely subversive troublemakers. As the French ancient régime, the Romanov dynasty and the Habsburg emperors discovered, the strategy works splendidly for a while, particularly if one has a talent for dismissing unpleasant facts. The final results, however, are likely to be thoroughly disappointing.
2. The second strategy is one embraced to varying degrees and with differing goals, by figures of such contrasting personalities as Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Charles de Gaulle and Deng Xiaoping. They were certainly not revolutionaries by temperament; if anything, their natures were conservative. But they understood that the political cultures in which they lived were fossilized and incapable of adapting to the times. In their drive to reform and modernize the political systems they inherited, their first obstacles to overcome were the outworn myths that encrusted the thinking of the elites of their time.
1. The first, the declinists, sees a broken, dysfunctional political system incapable of reform and an economy soon to be overtaken by China.
2. The second, the reformers, offers a profusion of nostrums to turn the nation around: public financing of elections to sever the artery of money between the corporate components of the Deep State and financially dependent elected officials, government "insourcing" to reverse the tide of outsourcing of government functions and the conflicts of interest that it creates, a tax policy that values human labor over financial manipulation, and a trade policy that favors exporting manufactured goods over exporting investment capital.
All of that is necessary, but not sufficient. The Snowden revelations (the impact of which have been surprisingly strong), the derailed drive for military intervention in Syria, and a fractious Congress, whose dysfunction has begun to be a serious inconvenience to the Deep State, show that there is now a deep but as yet inchoate hunger for change. What America lacks is a figure with the serene self-confidence to tell us that the twin idols of national security and corporate power are outworn dogmas that have nothing more to offer us. Thus disenthralled, the people themselves will unravel the Deep State with surprising speed.
 In 2008 the average federal worker earned twice that of his private-industry counterpart in wages and benefits: $120,000 per year versus $60,000. Federal pay and benefits are up 58% since 2000 compared to just 28% in the private sector. Of course, when you consider the massive productivity advantage government workers enjoy over their private counterparts, it all makes sense. WTF? Well, it's all the Democrats fault undoubtedly. Wait, looks like it was Bush. If you drive through Northern Virginia, you will find nearly entire neighborhoods of $500,000 to $900,000 homes owned by government workers or contractors. Then you can drive five streets over and find $200,000 to $400,000 homes owned by those who pay the salaries for those government employees. It’s a fascinating distribution of wealth. Most government employees and contractors could not earn more than $60,000 on the free market. Their only chance to make that kind of money comes from having an employer that not only never has to make a profit but can forcibly take money through taxation. The answer is that both are deeply to blame. Don't be fooled. There's nary a difference between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to growth of government. Both parties are completely, sadistically, out of control. There is NO spending restraint on either side of the aisle, just hot air, promises, and purple unicorns. Oh and bubbles. [Public Servants Live Better Than the Public, and Federal Pay Continues to Skyrocket, The Daily Bail, October 26, 2009]
 Meanwhile, the US government took the lead in restoring Baghdad's sewer system at a cost of $7 billion.
Deep Politics: Institutionalized Corruption at the Top and the Corporate Assault on Democracy (Excerpt Below)
DC insider Mike Lofgren has said that “There’s a shadow government running the country, and it’s not up for re -election.” Defense expert William Arkin says that a “terrified government is destroying the constitution.” But neither of these individuals ever gets around to naming any names. From a reading of their accounts, one could only conclude that no actual, specific human beings are responsible, only vague institutions like Wall Street, the Military Industrial Complex, and a “terrified government”. Obviously, however, institutions are made up – entirely – of human beings. And the good news is that sociologists know, to some degree, who they are. In this white paper we're going to introduce some key players to you, an d we’re also going to tell you what they’ve been up to the last few years. (Unfortunately, it could hardly be more alarming.)
One faction of the “shadow government” is comprised of “defense” contractors and revolving - door, ex -government “neo -cons” a l a Dick Cheney. Another faction is made up of executives of transnational financial institutions, corporations and banks. All are politically active; but, as we’ll see, there exists an inner core which has long focused on the executive branch. More peripheral organizations, though related, and certainly significant, have other priorities.
The primary aim of this document is to provide a quick and very rough introduction to this inner core, which is largely (though, of course, not exclusively) responsible for many of the problems that concern most Americans. To do this we’ll focus on the most tightly-integrated core players only.
The core faction in question is comprised of the CEOs of a relatively small group of cross-affiliated corporations, including, crucially, media corporations. We’ll refer to this Executive branch insider clique as the Business Roundtable/Council on Foreign Relations Nexus. (Because that’s a bit of a mouthful, from this point forward we’ll also just call it “the Nexus” or the “BRT/CFR Nexus”.) We’ll see that these corporations have long cultivated an intimate relationship with the Executive branch (that is, the Presidency) of the United States, as well as with the NSA and (previously unknown) FBI mass-surveillance programs.
And we’ll also see that they are a key force behind the “trade accord ” known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which Chris Hedges calls “the most brazen corporate power grab in American history.” Because it would be easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees even in this sort of simplified account, it should be stated clearly that the “brazen corporate power grab” Hedges is talking about is, incredibly, like something straight out of a Bond movie: the CEOs and bankers involved are seeking nothing less than total global political, economic, and military control by the owners of transnational corporations and banks. If it passes, the TPP will hand over to them a big chunk of what they want on a silver platter.