17:36 GMT +327 March 2017
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    WashPost Owner Secretly Doing Business With the CIA

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    Cassandra Fairbanks

    The owner of the Washington Post, a newspaper that has done little to hide its contempt for the current US president, has been quietly doing business with the CIA for years.

    In 2013, it was revealed that Jeff Bezos, the owner of the Post and retail behemoth Amazon, had secured a contract for $600 million with the intelligence agency — an agency that also happens to be seemingly rebelling against President Donald Trump. The contract came just four months after Bezos purchased the newspaper.

    “News media should illuminate conflicts of interest, not embody them. But the owner of the Washington Post is now doing big business with the Central Intelligence Agency, while readers of the newspaper’s CIA coverage are left in the dark,” Norman Solomon wrote for AlterNet. Despite requests to disclose its affiliation, the Washington Post repeatedly refused to post disclaimers confirming its owner’s business ties with the agency.

    The contract was for a computing cloud developed by Amazon Web Services, which services all 17 agencies within America’s intelligence community.

    Jeff Bezos
    © Flickr/ Dan Farber
    Jeff Bezos

    “For the risk-averse intelligence community, the decision to go with a commercial cloud vendor is a radical departure from business as usual,” Frank Konkel noted in the Atlantic at the time.

    The news of the secretive deal sparked outcry within the journalism community.

    “If some official enemy of the United States had a comparable situation — say the owner of the dominant newspaper in Caracas was getting $600 million in secretive contracts from the Maduro government — the Post itself would lead the howling chorus impaling that newspaper and that government for making a mockery of a free press. It is time for the Post to take a dose of its own medicine,” journalism scholar Robert W. McChesney wrote in a statement released by the Institute for Public Accuracy in 2013.

    Bezos had previously received criticism for using his companies to do the bidding of the intelligence community, as well. Shortly after Wikileaks published US State Department cables, the website was kicked off of Amazon’s web-hosting service

    “WikiLeaks was booted from Amazon’s webhosting service AWS. So at the height of public interest in what WikiLeaks was publishing, readers were unable to access the WikiLeaks website,” media watch group FAIR noted at the time.

    John Schindler, former NSA analyst and national security columnist for the Observer, published an article on Sunday titled, “The Spy Revolt Against Trump Begins,” which asserts that the intelligence community is rebelling against Trump not only for the President’s belligerent remarks but also because some of his senior officials are alleged to have ties to the Kremlin.

    On Wednesday, Schindler was asked on Twitter, “what do you think is going on inside NatSec right now after Trump's ‘intelligence’ tweet this morning?”

    The intelligence insider responded, “now we go nuclear. IC war going to new levels. Just got an EM fm senior IC friend, it began: ‘He will die in jail.’”

    The situation between the White House and the intelligence community is so bad, according to an explosive report from the Wall Street Journal, that agents are now beginning to withhold intelligence from the administration — a claim which the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has denied.

    The intelligence community has also been leaking information from phone calls within the administration, including with the President himself.

    Earlier this week, the leaks claimed their first victim: now-former National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn.

    Flynn resigned on Monday night from his role in the Trump administration following a massive media campaign accusing him of contacting Russia’s ambassador to the US about sanctions placed on the nation by then-President Barack Obama, and then misleading Trump’s administration about his conversations.

    “I don’t think he did anything wrong, if anything he did something right,” Trump said during a news conference on Thursday. “He was just doing his job.”

    The leaked information was first reported by none other than Bezos’ Washington Post.

    “What emerges now is what, in intelligence parlance, is called an ‘agent of influence’ owning the Post — with a huge financial interest in playing nice with the CIA,” former CIA official Ray McGovern told AlterNet in 2013. “In other words, two main players nourishing the national security state in undisguised collaboration.”


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    • NATOisEVIL
      I am afraid the Donald have a bigger enemy than he will imagine and that they will make it very hard for him to be a president.
    • playnice
      Don't order anything else through Amazon. And, of course, discount anything the Washington Post prints. Better yet, just believe the opposite. The USA is in the middle of a coup and this is a color revolution. Got to hope Trump triumphs or we can forget any illusion of a democracy.
    • avatar
      Antares Prime
      The hypocrisy never ends. If the Washington Post is becoming state-owned, so to speak, then so much for any more illusions about the so-called "free press." At least let's accept that America is no more what it once was. The political system has changed from democracy to a type known as state corporatism.
    • avatar
      Many articles are composed by the CIA and signed off by reporters on the CIA payroll. That was revealed by the editor of that paper in Germany who recently died.
    • rogertidy
      The intelligence establishment is out to get Trump, one way or the other. But he won't necessarily end up in jail, as some people are suggesting. The Kennedy option will always be on the table if all other measures fail. Trump needs to mobilize his base to protect himself from his powerful enemies. Clinton (and Soros) are not the only ones who can put their supporters onto the streets. And, if it comes to a confrontation, I bet that the Trump supporters are better able to assert themselves than the soft, pampered and privileged rabble of useful idiots that the opposition can mobilize
    • bobbibrestel
      What a joke!
    • siberianhusky
      It looks like that the presidency in nothing more then windows dressing and cover for the American intelligence community to run the country / World as they see fit.

      America is now in a self destruction mode and will be a nobody in this world when this is all revealed and over and done with.

      What is that Japanese phrase it that the US political system is committing Hara-kiri
    • Hermes
      It's a coup and Trump should recognize it as such. Send the army over to Langley, surround the place and arrest everybody.
    • avatar
      This is probably one of many corrupt deals we will learn about. The Democrats thought Clinton would be elected. I suspected something like this.
    • avatar
      If you are unfamiliar with it, just look up & read about the Joe Nacchio saga. He was ontime CEO of former telecom giant Qwest Communications.

      Back when the NSA was first setting up backdoor deals with corporations to gather online & communications data against most all of those corporations customers (that's you, Mr Joe & Jane Public), Joe Nacchio refused to provide those details. The government (mostly security & intelligence agencies) then subsequently canceled their telecom contracts with Qwest, which were, and are, a boon to most businesses. They then jailed Mr Nacchio, for allegedly misstating company revenue, which decreased drastically due to the drop in business pulled from the government. They severely punished him, and his company, for refusing to comply with their demands. Those that comply (like Amazon, Verizon, Microsoft, Apple, Google, AT&T, etc.) thrive with massive service contracts. Those that refuse to comply, are destroyed.

      These companies like Amazon (and those listed above), are rewarded for cooperation.

      Sadly, politicians only complain when this pay-for-playing scheme works against them. Every American citizen deserves freedom from these government-corporate collisions, and from the privacy violations. Trump is a hypocrite, like most politicians.
    • avatar
      BobbyMysehin reply tojas(Show commentHide comment)
      Wow, you need to read more.
      The government-corporate partnerships run way deeper than this. All major telecoms & data providers are working with the security & intelligence agencies. The government is the largest creator of millionaires & billionaires, via lucrative government contracts to those that comply with government operations.

      This is part of the same stuff that has kept Snowden in refuge. Trump is calling Snowden a traitor, for blowing the whistle on out-of-control security & intelligence operations, yet Trump complains when those operations work against him.

      Perhaps politicians like Trump should consider the implications of these covert operations on each & every citizen, not just on themselves.
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