Billionaire Bezos' Amazon/Washington Post/CIA Alliance
Jeff Bezos is the world's richest man, and his influence is becoming more problematic.
Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world, with a fortune now topping $100 billion, generated primarily by the astounding success of Amazon. Since 2013, he is also owner of The Washington Post, one of the most transparently anti-Trump newspapers in the nation. Bezos, Amazon and the Post are entitled to take whatever political positions they want. But Bezos’ relationship with the CIA is extremely troubling.
It’s no secret The Washington Post has force-fed America the idea that Donald Trump’s victory was the result of “collusion” between members of his campaign and the Russians, with the implication that Trump himself was involved. Consider the source, but columnist Glen Greenwald eviscerated one of its many stories on the subject, calling it “classic American journalism of the worst sort,” explaining that its “key claims are based exclusively on the unverified assertions of anonymous officials, who in turn are disseminating their own claims about what the CIA purportedly believes, all based on evidence that remains completely secret.”
That story — and the complete lack of journalistic integrity it demonstrated — was hardly an outlier. The Post published another piece so egregiously sloppy, Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi characterized it as an “astonishingly lazy report” that has “no analog that I can think of in modern times.” (Coming from Rolling Stone, that’s saying something.) It was about 200 websites the Post labeled as “routine peddlers of Russian propaganda.” Despite Post columnist Craig Timberg’s assertion there were independent teams of researchers making the claims, Taibbi reveals the meat of the report relied on an organization known as PropOrNot, which he describes as a group that offered “zero concrete evidence of coordination with Russian intelligence agencies.”
Zero critical skills have also been a staple at the paper. Post writer Adam Entous attempted to turn a joke made by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) — “I think Putin pays Trump” — into another piece about Russian collusion. The Post also ran a discredited piece insisting Assistant U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein threatened to resign. It was a lie about James Comey being fired after requesting more funds for investigations, and it was soon debunked by then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe. Then there was yet another deliberately misleading story about Trump “leaking” classified intel to the Russians — before the Post revealed that every president “has broad authority to declassify government secrets, making it unlikely that his disclosures broke the law” … in paragraph seven.
Post reporter Josh Rogin is in a class by himself. As The Daily Wire revealed last February, Rogin managed to get three major stories wrong in the space of only 10 days, two of which falsely perpetrated the Trump administration “chaos” narrative.
And last Friday it was revealed that ostensibly objective Post reporter Janell Ross joined George Soros and other Democrat donors at a secret meeting of the Democracy Alliance, where she gave a presentation to an organization that calls itself “the largest network of donors dedicated to building the progressive movement in the United States.” Ross attended “without notifying her superiors,” The Washington Free Beacon reported.
Whether Bezos merely abides these machinations or actively encourages his newspaper’s efforts to delegitimize Trump’s presidency is impossible to know.
What is possible to know is that in 2013, Bezos secured a $600 million deal with the CIA — more than twice what he paid for the Post itself that same year — to provide the agency with cloud services. Last Monday, the Post itself acknowledged that reality, revealing the service will be called Amazon Web Services Secret Region. In a statement posted by Amazon Web Services, CIA chief information officer John Edwards noted the development would be “a key component of the intel community’s multi-fabric cloud strategy.”
When it was initially announced, Post critics rightfully referred to this arrangement as a serious conflict of interest that should be disclosed to readers every time the Post is reporting on the intelligence community in any capacity. A petition was circulated by the RootsAction website stating any coverage of the CIA “should include full disclosure that the owner of the Washington Post is also the main owner of Amazon — and Amazon is now gaining huge profits directly from the CIA.”
RootAction co-founder Norman Solomon further explained why such a disclosure is critically important. “We should keep in mind that hundreds of newspapers around the country routinely publish articles from the Washington Post, and those articles are also widely read online,” he stated at the time. “Most days, millions of people are reading Post stories about CIA activities that do not mention that the Post’s sole owner is in a business relationship with the CIA via his company Amazon.”
As Greenwald reminds us above, that’s still the case. And while there’s a law that makes it a felony to leak classified information, it applies only to the leakers themselves. With rare exceptions, two different Supreme Court decisions have established the press’s right to publish such ill-gotten gains. That the same agency supplying the Post with illegal intel has a business relationship with its owner should trouble every American.
So should the paper’s attempt to manipulate an election. “The problem with the Washington Post’s scandal story about Judge Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for the Alabama Senate seat once held by now Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is that the Washington Post has become one giant editorial page, with no credibility on factual matters because it is so frenetically anti-Trump,” writes Washington Examiner columnist Daniel Oliver.
Moore’s denials are suspect, but so is the Post’s timing. The paper is certainly entitled to publish 38-year-old allegations, but it’s up to the public to determine whether they are true, or whether they are part of a grand strategy to make “guilty until proven innocent” the defining factor in political races, especially when those races accrue to Democrat interests. And that public must do so amid further efforts by the Post to conflate any support for Moore with immorality, despite his pro-abortion opponent, a binary choice election that may determine Senate control, and a Congress that created a secret slush fund to protect its own sexual predators.
In a shareholder conference last May, Bezos insisted Amazon will “not oppose or favor any presidential candidate or elected official, that’s not our job.” Instead, he said, “The right thing for us is to take a very measured issue-by-issue approach.” Yet one of those “measured approaches” was opposing Trump’s travel ban from terrorist-harboring countries — a stance “coincidentally” reinforced by a plethora of stories in The Washington Post.
Moreover, as Bezos’ empire expands, using what amounts to predatory pricing to drive competitors out of business, so do his powers of customer “persuasion” epitomized by Bezos’ assertion that his goal is to make people feel that if they fail to become an Amazon Prime member, they “are being irresponsible.”
Customers that now include the CIA.
Thus Bezos wields enormous power, whether his vehicle for its dissemination is world’s largest retailer, or a newspaper whose stories are taken as gospel by media outlets throughout the nation. That he also maintains a substantial relationship with the CIA makes an utter mockery of the media’s traditional role as government watchdog.
A 2013 biography of Bezos was entitled “The Everything Store.” Americans might be forgiven for wondering when “everything” ultimately includes an unprecedented amount of political power in the hands of a single individual — aided and abetted by the intel community.