If you’ve been following the developments associated with the Steele Dossier or the allegations that President Trump colluded with the Russians to disrupt and win the 2016 election, then you will know that February 2, 2018 could go down as a pivotal moment in the history of the United States.

According to “The Memo” released on that date, “the FBI and DOJ knowingly used Democratically-funded opposition research to obtain warrants to spy on the Trump Campaign and failed to disclose this fact to the FISA court.”

In other words, if The Memo is correct, then high levels of the U.S. Government partnered with members of both the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign to spy on a presidential candidate with the goal of defeating him. Let that sink in.

Worse, if The Memo is true, then the highest levels of our government have been utterly corrupted and weaponized to serve nefarious, partisan purposes. The implications of which are quite grave.

In this moment of disbelief, I am reminded of the warning given to Americans in 1974 by Victor Marchetti and John D. Marks when they published The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, the first book to ever be censored by the federal government. Here’s what they had to say:

There exists in our nation today a powerful and dangerous secret cult — the cult of intelligence.

Its holy men are the clandestine professionals of the Central Intelligence Agency. Its patrons and protectors are the highest officials of the federal government. Its membership, extending far beyond governmental circles, reaches into the power centers of industry, commerce, finance, and labor. Its friends are many in the areas of important public influence — the academic world and the communications media. The cult of intelligence is a secret fraternity of the American political aristocracy.

The CIA is both the center and the primary instrument of the cult of intelligence. It engages in espionage and counterespionage, in propaganda and disinformation (the deliberate circulation of false information), in psychological warfare and paramilitary activities. It penetrates and manipulates private institutions and creates its own organizations … when necessary. It recruits agents and mercenaries; it bribes and blackmails foreign officials to carry out its most unsavory tasks. It does whatever is required to achieve its goals, without any consideration of the ethics involved or the moral consequences of its actions…

Romanticized by myths, the operations of the CIA are also beclouded by false images and shielded by official deceptions. Its practices are hidden behind arcane and antiquated legalisms which prevent the public and even Congress from knowing what the mysterious agency is doing — or why. This the cult of intelligence justifies with dramatic assertions that the CIA’s purpose is to preserve the ‘national security,’ that its actions are in response to the needs of the nation’s defense. No one … need know more than that.

…Its adherents believe that only they have the right and the obligation to decide what is necessary to satisfy the national needs … In their minds, those who belong to the cult of intelligence have been ordained and their service is immune from public scrutiny.

Please consider rereading that passage and at each point the CIA is mentioned, substitute “the Deep State”. With that alteration and a second read, it becomes clear what We the People are up against and why it is so hard to effect change.

If our government colluded with Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee in an effort both to destroy Donald Trump’s candidacy and ensure a victory by Hillary Clinton, we must inquire about other elections and government officials. Was this the first time? If not, for how long have similar things been taking place? Furthermore, who else has been targeted, spied upon, and either defeated or manipulated by the Deep State? The mind boggles at the possibilities for abuse and corruption.

And if one is honest and The Memo is true, then ultimately the government does not belong to We the People and the legitimacy of much of our government and its highest officers, elected or not, is called into question. Indeed, we are likely staring down one of the greatest crises in American history.

The question is, what happens next?