Jeff Bezos, the world’s third-richest person and the owner of Amazon, uses The Washington Post and insider sources within the White House against the president. Will he win?
According to the narrative created by the U.S. media, the president disclosed top-secret information about the Islamic State to Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov. Impeachment, impeachment, impeachment.
The fury emerged from The Washington Post, decadently acquired by Jeff Bezos, whose family now owns the publication. A genius in the high-tech economy, who combines exceptional intelligence, business savvy and an understanding for opportunities on an almost superhuman scale, Bezos wants “to do good,” according to the narrative, and bring down Trump.
It’s been an epic fight. Over the course of the presidential campaign, the owner of Amazon, whose net worth is currently pushing $82 billion, said that he’d ordered his employees at The Washington Post to direct 20 reporters to scrutinize “all phases” of Trump’s life.
Without anything sufficiently seismic to undermine the election results, Bezos and his angry employees, among whom are some of the best journalists in the world, thought — and continue to think — that they’d eventually be able to dig up enough information in order to open up impeachment proceedings against Trump.
The Washington Post was famously the publication to get its hands on exclusive information that led to Richard Nixon’s resignation on the eve of his impeachment proceeding. As in the case of Watergate, The New York Times expounded on conversations — neither criminal nor scandalous — between Trump and the Russians. But, in the end, it’s hard to be remembered if you come in second place.
It’s still impossible to say whether history is going to repeat itself. The billionaire Bezos has at his side all of the American media, the Democratic Party, some part of the intelligence services and sources from within the White House that pass along information about Trump and his administration.
From the very first day of Trump’s administration, the White House has looked like a German submarine at the end of World War I: leaks everywhere. The goal of both the Democratic Party and the media has been for him to quickly sink to the bottom.
The problem is that his adversaries are in the throes of emotional reaction, which blurs the lines of rationality. To give an example, when Rachel Maddow, a cable TV news anchor who seems to suffer from a sort of “Trump obsessive disorder,” got her hands on his 2005 income taxes, she thought that the president was about to go down.
Instead, she was confronted with the undeniable fact that he’d paid $38 million in taxes on $150 million in income.
If anyone believes that Trump, over the course of his hectic financial and media life, didn’t hire the very best tax specialists in New York — that is to say, the world — you must be suffering from “Trump obsessive disorder” as well.
It’s not outside the realm of possibility that he’s incurred fines or that he’s contested expenses since he’s currently being audited. If any of what he’s been doing up until now had been illegal, he would’ve already been strung up by the feet at the entrance of Trump Tower.
The other “horse” that the media and the Democratic Party have seen pass them by, without being able to jump on, has been the issue surrounding the dismissal of FBI Director James Comey. Apart from it having been mafia-like in style — and purposeful, it can be assumed, since Comey found out about his dismissal on television, during an event — Trump acted strictly in accordance with his duties. You can’t open an impeachment proceeding over a question of style.
If he hadn’t acted, his adversaries would have been on cloud nine. Provided that suspicion over Trump wanting to stifle the FBI’s investigation into a conspiracy among him, those surrounding him and Russian intelligence in order to get a leg up on Hillary Clinton are proven true —suspicion that his adversaries have already twisted into “facts” — impeachment proceedings will be opened against him and, in short order, he’ll leave the White House.
Even if firm evidence doesn’t exist, the FBI will keep digging until it reaches Moscow. If it discovers evidence of criminal collusion, Trump will meet his end in the same way.
Smart people do stupid things when they love power (either their spouse or something immensely valuable) and they think that they’ll lose it, as Richard Nixon, among others, proved. Trump is still far from being at this point, but one thing he has revealed has been his gambling spirit — nothing strange since he’s a casino owner.
According to The Washington Post, Trump let it slip to the Russians who the informant was that passed along the Islamic State group’s plans to blow up planes using undetectable bombs implanted into laptops.
It was as a result of these plans by the Islamic State group, already underway, that Great Britain banned computers from carry-on baggage on board flights hailing from Arab and Asian countries.
It was the White House “deep throats” who passed along the information, which had been withheld by the White House itself. The press and the Democrats say that this was an act of betrayal of the country whose secret service had passed along the name and origin of the top-secret information.
Just to give a bit of perspective on this, it’s worth remembering that the Russians are also enemies of the Islamic State group, which is, in turn, the most brutal enemy of the Bashar Assad regime, which itself persists under Russian protection.
Deal with the Devil
When Julian Assange and Edward Snowden released tens of thousands of pieces of information taken directly from the limitless databases of the CIA and the NSA, the all-hearing, all-knowing spy agency, The Washington Post and The New York Times treated them like heroes.
The level of invasion of privacy practiced by these information-collecting agencies is nearly absolute, and revelations surrounding their modus operandi led to serious discussions about the “deal with the devil” that often goes unrecognized by ordinary people: more security in exchange for zero privacy.
The secret information that was revealed contained the names of all of the CIA’s informants in countries like Iraq, for example, which may have led to their swift deaths. The information likewise exposed methods used by American intelligence agencies to collect information, something that’s done immense harm.
Snowden lives in Moscow, and Assange actively collaborates with the Russians. During the presidential election, for example, Assange effectively imploded the Hillary campaign by revealing emails from her campaign officials. Trump thought it was great.
Leaking secret information to the Russians isn’t without precedent. President Franklin D. Roosevelt did it, as did Prime Minister Winston Churchill, when they warned Stalin of Germany’s imminent invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941.
Take note: Stalin, at that point, was still Nazi Germany’s ally, and militant communists around the world, including inside the United States and in Brazil, were campaigning against the “capitalist” war of World War II. They switched sides immediately when Stalin ordered it; in countries like France, Italy and others, communists took up armed resistance; many fought heroically and paid the ultimate price.
For the man who already has everything, The Washington Post was a creative present that Jeff Bezos gifted himself; a traditional journal of enormous influence, which he could revamp in order to function as a privileged conduit of information to the public from a billionaire, who, along with his exceedingly wealthy compatriots, aren’t always portrayed in a positive light.
Trump’s ascension to the political arena was a bonus for Bezos. In it, the billionaire from Amazon saw an opportunity to do what the ultrarich usually can’t: change the political discussion, and in the United States, at that.
Following Trump’s election, The Washington Post even created a new slogan: “Democracy dies in darkness.” If it sounds like something out of “Star Wars” it’s because many billionaires from the high-tech industry have infantile fantasies influenced by books, movies and TV series. Peter Thiel, the only person from this field that supported Trump, gives names taken from “The Lord of the Rings” to his ventures.
Maybe it’s because they want to turn into celebrities, and with good reason in the case of Bezos. His parents were only teenagers when they married. His father, a circus performer named Ted Jorgensen, quickly disappeared, never to return. Four years later, his mother married a teenaged Cuban man named Miguel Bezos.
Jeff gained a father and, eventually, a new last name. As the mythology of the field has it, it was in his adoptive father’s garage that Jeff Bezos began one of the best-known businesses of all time.
Much the same as his other compatriots from the high-tech Olympus, Bezos dreams of propelling us toward, and propagating, space travel. Before that happens though, he wants to shoot Trump into space. It seems like that will take a bit of work. This “Star Wars” keeps getting more interesting.