Mar 15, 2017 by CLIFF KINCAID
One of The Washington Post’s big disclosures on Sunday was a front-page story about President Donald Trump’s choice of a cemetery. It was the latest contribution from reporter David A. Fahrenthold, whose job it is to probe every aspect of the life of the new President, no matter how esoteric and trivial. On the other hand, when it comes to covering the paper’s owner, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and his ties to the CIA and the National Security Agency (NSA), the paper is AWOL.
Bezos is known for Amazon.com, the world’s largest online shopping retailer, and said at the time he purchased the paper for $250 million in 2013, “The Post has the good fortune of being the newspaper of the capital city of the United States of America. That’s a great starting point to being a national and even global publication.”
During and after the 2016 presidential campaign and election, writes Cheryl K. Chumley of the Washington Times, a competitor, Bezos decided to “sic his Post team on Mr. Trump.” This is evident in the paper’s obsessive focus on Trump as an alleged Russian agent of influence, a charge also peddled by the U.S. intelligence community. She notes the CIA’s “shady background with media infiltration,” as well as the “present-day tight, multimillion dollar relations” between the Post (via Bezos) and the CIA.
This untold story involves an important global aspect of his business—the secretive Amazon Web Services (AWS), which specializes in cloud-computing systems for storage. It advertises its wares to the federal government by saying, “Our cloud services can be employed to meet mandates, reduce costs, drive efficiencies, and increase innovation across Civilian agencies and the Department of Defense.”
In 2015, Amazon reached $100 billion in annual sales, while AWS reached $10 billion in annual sales, according to Bezos’ letter to stockholders.
It appears that much of the growth for AWS has come because of relationships with the intelligence community.
Post reporter Amrita Jayakumar wrote a story published on April 23, 2015, mentioning that Amazon Web Services “is widely known for providing computing power to start-ups and companies such as Netflix and Airbnb, and media organizations, including The Washington Post.” The next to the last paragraph of the story noted, “The company also won a $600 million contract to design a private cloud for the CIA, and prevailed against a bid protest, cementing its status as a trusted vendor, analysts said.”
This is journalistic jargon designed to conceal the fact that Amazon’s bid was $54 million higher than IBM’s. The Government Accountability Office (GAO), which reviews contract-bidding processes at government agencies, looked into the matter and urged the CIA to re-open the bids. IBM eventually gave up the fight.
After the CIA began using Amazon cloud services, it was announced that the NSA was moving some of its IT infrastructure to AWS.
But how secure are these cloud networks?
At a conference in 2015, representatives of the CIA and NSA were said to be confident and happy with Amazon’s cloud services. “Intelligence community loves its new Amazon cloud” was the headline over a Fortune story by Barb Darrow on June 29, 2015. Amazon senior vice president of web services Andy Jassy said that security-conscious companies would use the same kind of services because they figured that “if the security and performance is good [enough] for the CIA, then it’s probably good enough for us.”
Now, that security is being questioned. The highly classified CIA documents released by WikiLeaks originated from an “isolated, high-security network” at the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virginia. The leaks involve tools that the CIA can reportedly use to hack smartphones, apps and other gadgets for surveillance. The hacking tools can be used against terrorists and other foreign enemies and adversaries. But the purpose of the leak from WikiLeaks, a known conduit for Russia, is to create the impression that the hacking tools are being used on ordinary Americans.
An AP story carried by the Post said, “It was not immediately clear how WikiLeaks obtained the information,” but that it could have come from a rogue employee, a federal contractor or penetration of a staging server where such information might have been temporarily stored. A staging server can be in a cloud.
Don’t look for the Post to investigate the source of the leaks. After all, it is dependent on similar leaks for stories damaging to the Trump administration.
But wouldn’t it be interesting to discover that one of Amazon’s cloud services had been penetrated by the Russians or their agents? It would mean that the paper is attacking Trump for ties to the Russians when an associated company was aiding them.
The Post is so bad on reporting on the CIA—in contrast to using information supplied by the CIA—that on February 20 it published an article from a former agency official who took a shot at President Trump without disclosing his own partisan connections. “I didn’t think I’d ever leave the CIA. But because of Trump, I quit,” was the headline, with the author’s bio as the following: “Edward Price worked at the CIA from 2006 until this month, most recently as the spokesman for the National Security Council.”
“Nearly 15 years ago, I informed my skeptical father that I was pursuing a job with the Central Intelligence Agency,” Price said. He added that he intended to pursue a career there. “That changed when I formally resigned last week. Despite working proudly for Republican and Democratic presidents, I reluctantly concluded that I cannot in good faith serve this administration as an intelligence professional.”
The allegations were picked up by many other media organs. “Veteran CIA Analyst Quits Agency Over Trump’s Intel Moves, Criticism,” was an NBC headline. “CIA analyst quits over Trump disregard for intelligence,” was the MSNBC headline. Mediaite ran with, “Former National Security Council Spox Writes Op-Ed to Explain How Trump Led Him to Quit CIA.” Real Clear Politics proclaimed, “Former CIA Analyst Edward Price: I Left the CIA Because Of Trump.”
But his alleged bipartisan credentials were a lie. This “professional” had been acting in an unprofessional manner.
The Post was forced to add a clarification which said, “This column should have included a disclosure of donations made by author Edward Price in support of 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. In August, Price gave a total of $5,000 to the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party.”
It apparently didn’t occur to anyone at the Post to question this former CIA official’s credentials before running his misleading piece.
If the standards are this low for an op-ed contributor to the Washington Post, you can imagine that the owner’s relationship with the CIA will be treated in strictest confidence and never questioned.
The investigative engines of the paper were revved up to cover his purchase of the biggest house in Washington, D.C. Digging through real estate records, the paper determined that Bezos bought the house through a front company for $23 million in cash. The buyer of the house was identified as “Cherry Revocable Trust.” The Post unleashed its investigative reporters and revealed that Bezos was the purchaser.
The Bezos house is located in the Kalorama neighborhood, one of the most expensive, where the Obamas live. Just a coincidence, we’re sure.
MEDIA KISS BRASS AS AMERICA’S ENEMIES GROW STRONGER
With massive leaks of classified information, some of them stemming from undiscovered moles in the intelligence community, the media continue treating former officials of the CIA and NSA who have presided over this debacle with honor and respect.
The Business Insider article, “7 things the CIA looks for when recruiting people,” is one of the worst examples of this obsequiousness. It is a plug for a book by former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden, Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror. Hayden was once photographed with former CIA/NSA analyst Edward Snowden, who fled to Moscow after disclosing classified information that helped our enemies. Snowden posted the photograph on his Twitter page.
Hayden can’t be personally faulted for Snowden’s betrayal, but the series of leaks from the intelligence community certainly has cast doubt over hiring practices within the CIA and the NSA. Ironically, this is the subject that Business Insider wanted to know more about. In a video interview with the publication, Hayden “explains what the Central Intelligence Agency looks for in a candidate.” He listed the following characteristics as being attractive in a candidate: a second language, life experience, success, foreign travel and living in a foreign country.
He failed to mention love of country and living a moral lifestyle. He did say that the CIA goes to college fairs looking for candidates, and “We go to Arab-American week up in Dearborn, Michigan.” He explained, “Have a big tent up there where we talk to Americans of Arab descent. We recruit just like any other enterprise.”
The recruitment of Muslims during an “age of terror” involving radical Islamic terrorism is obviously problematic. But the idea of recruiting college students is also questionable. I asked former CIA intelligence officer Michael Scheuer who was behind the most recent leak of classified information from the CIA and he suggested it might be a product of our “rotten educational system that offers nothing in civic education or loyalty to the country.”
Scheuer, who ran the Osama bin Laden unit and retired in 2004 after a 22-year career, told me in an interview that when he joined the agency he was interrogated over potential background problems such as homosexuality and narcotics. By contrast, Obama’s CIA director John Brennan said he joined the agency after voting for the Communist Party USA ticket and got accepted anyway. Under Brennan, Scheuer noted, the CIA held a month-long celebration of LGBT “nonsense.” He added, “They’ve staffed the whole agency with it. The Obama administration definitely salted our security services and military services with people who felt like the Democrats are their protectors.” The implication is that these people may be behind the anti-Trump leaks coming out of the intelligence community.
The intelligence community is spared serious scrutiny for the obvious reason that journalists depend on their “anonymous sources” for news, leads and tips. In this case, the name of the game is taking down Donald Trump. But they could take America down with him.
Hayden wrote his own anti-Trump piece, “Donald Trump Is Undermining Intelligence Gathering,” for the March 9, 2017 New York Times. Interestingly, his book thanks Vernon Loeb, formerly of The Washington Post, for proposing that Hayden write his book. Loeb was supposed to be his collaborator but took a job with the Houston Chronicle instead. Loeb had covered the CIA and the Pentagon for the Post before becoming its metro editor.
With people like Hayden so clueless about the failures of U.S. intelligence in “the age of terror,” we have to wonder if the Trump administration will seek major changes and budget cuts in the intelligence community, which spends $50 billion a year.
Since President Trump first expressed reservations about the work of the intelligence community, the problems have only gotten worse. Scheuer told me that the recent CIA leak gives terrorists the ability to evade hacking tools that were used on their methods of communication.
But rather than examine the hiring practices at the CIA and other agencies, the House and Senate intelligence committees are mostly looking at allegations launched by anonymous sources from within the intelligence community against Trump and his “Russian connections.” These leaks appear to be the fulfillment of what Scheuer alluded to—the revenge of the Democratic staffers and sexual minorities put in place by the Obama administration. They have taken the offensive against Trump in order to protect their privileged positions.
Going beyond this dreadful possibility, the leaks could be a way to divert attention away from moles for Russia or China in the CIA and other agencies. This would be a classic case of communist-style disinformation.
Meanwhile, we can expect more damaging leaks, leading to possible terrorist attacks or blindness regarding the nuclear capabilities or intentions of countries like North Korea and Iran.
If this traitorous conduct within the intelligence community continues, and Congress spends its time on other matters, the only alternative Trump might have is to drastically cut the intelligence community’s $50 billion budget. Perhaps that would get their attention.
DEMOCRATS AND THE MEDIA: TWO HEADS OF THE SAME EVIL BEAST
While many Americans have been unwilling to admit it in the past, most are now becoming acutely aware that the mainstream so-called “news media” is nothing more than public relations office of the radical Democrat party. The 2016 presidential election was an outright rejection of the fatally-flawed tyranny, extremism and recklessness of the previous administration. It was also stunning validation that the independent American spirit is alive and strong in the greatest part of the country.
Most of us do not consider ourselves to be helpless victims of the nation’s past sins or current inequities and, therefore, we are not seeking salvation from a government program or political party. We recognize that equal opportunity cannot guarantee equal outcome and that freedom to succeed comes with the risk of temporary failure. Unlike the noisy and obnoxious left, we do not harbor hatred toward the United States or search for someone to blame for our own mistakes and poor decisions.
Today, the relationship between the Democrat party and the news media, is much like that of the Antichrist and the false prophet of Revelation. The Democrat party is devoted to immorality, sexual perversion, limiting religious liberty and freedom of speech, while promoting governmental tyranny and death of the innocent. The liberal party disguises its sinister policies by cloaking them with misnomers such as fairness, social justice, reproductive freedom, civil rights, common-sense regulation and privacy rights.
The crooked media then proliferates the DNC’s deceptions in the stories they report and those they refuse to report, by using false and misleading labeling, through intentionally bogus implication and outright lies. Phony news media no longer make any effort to conceal their attempts to deceive and distort the truth and fabricate false narratives. Often, media propagandists will even use identical words and phrases in their bogus reporting. One well-worn example is Russian election hacking.
While there is no evidence and certainly no “proof” that the Russian government was successful in any way to influence the 2016 presidential election, the fake news media continues to broadcast the false story. Charges of a Russian connection with Donald Trump’s campaign were created ex nihilo out of the bombastic unfounded accusations of Democrat candidate, Hillary Clinton. Nevertheless, the same dishonest reporters harass and badger the administration for proof of President Trump’s claim that Trump Tower was under surveillance by the Obama administration. Most networks have suggested that the White House is lying.
Just last week, Sarah Carter and John Solomon of Circa.com reported that the FISA court issued a warrant to conduct surveillance on Trump Tower in October, 2016. This was the third FISA petition tendered by the Obama administration to spy on Trump Tower last year. The previous two were denied.
Using failed campaign charges to undermine an administration is not a new strategy for Democrats and the media. NBC used false accusations of racism to attack President Bush in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The now-discredited NBC news anchor, Brian Williams, along with reporter Andrea Mitchell, kept the false narrative alive for weeks without a shred of evidence to support it.
Williams and Mitchell conveniently failed to mention that President Bush had pleaded with Louisiana’s Democrat Governor, Kathleen Blanco, prior to the storm’s impact, to declare a state of emergency in order to activate the National Guard as a first line of support and aid. Governor Blanco ignored the President’s plea leaving tens of thousands of people in her state without power, food or water.
NBC repeatedly interviewed New Orleans Mayor, Ray Nagin, in order to bolster the network’s claim of Bush racism. They perpetrated this fraud by implying that the slow FEMA response to the predominantly-black 9th Ward in New Orleans was Bush’s intention, neglecting the fact that the area was completely isolated by flooding. Nagin and his assistant rode out the storm in a hotel room, failing to evacuate the city prior to the storm and leaving dozens of unused buses underwater in the aftermath. Mayor Nagin, who later claimed he wanted to make New Orleans a “chocolate city” began serving a ten-year prison sentence for bribery and corruption in September, 2014.
The mainstream news networks have forfeited every last remnant of credibility they once enjoyed. They are not reliable sources of information. Nearly every story they report is designed to advance the same reckless, fatally-flawed and godless radical agenda. Unlike President Bush, Donald Trump has demonstrated that he will not allow the media’s incessant lies and baseless accusations against his family or his administration to go unanswered.
Christians and freedom-loving Americans have rejected the distorted, backward and anti-American worldview of Democrats and the crooked news media that portray the desire for economic success as selfishness, religious faith as ignorance or weakness, and government theft as compassion. While we have the freedom to do so, it’s crucial that we inform the ignorant and confront lies with truth at every opportunity.
Deceit is the primary weapon of man’s eternal enemy. It cannot be engaged with negotiation or compromise and cannot be tolerated. It must be defeated and destroyed with the bright light of truth.