Tag Archives: Jeff Bezos

JEDI Mind Tricks: Amazon versus the Pentagon and Trump, by Thomas Knapp

Jeff Bezos’s animus towards Trump put him at the back of the line for supplying the Pentagon an unnecessary cloud computing system. Now Amazon is suing. From Thomas Knapp at antiwar.com:

Amazon is one of the largest companies in the world, boasting revenues of more than $230 billion last year. But last month the company sued the US Department of Defense over a paltry potential $10 billion spread over ten years.

Amazon lost out to Microsoft in bidding for the Pentagon’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (yes, JEDI, because the most important part of a government program is coming up with a cool acronym) cloud computing program.

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The Tech Giants Are a Conduit for Fascism, by Michael Krieger

The tech giants are aiding and abetting the government’s ever-increasing repression and curtailment of liberty. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

A second former Amazon employee would spark more controversy. Deap Ubhi, a former AWS employee who worked for Lynch, was tasked with gathering marketing information to make the case for a single cloud inside the DOD. Around the same time that he started working on JEDI, Ubhi began talking with AWS about rejoining the company. As his work on JEDI deepened, so did his job negotiations. Six days after he received a formal offer from Amazon, Ubhi recused himself from JEDI, fabricating a story that Amazon had expressed an interest in buying a startup company he owned. A contracting officer who investigated found enough evidence that Ubhi’s conduct violated conflict of interest rules to refer the matter to the inspector general, but concluded that his conduct did not corrupt the process. (Ubhi, who now works in AWS’ commercial division, declined comment through a company spokesperson.)

Ubhi worsened the impression by making ill-advised public statements while still employed by the DOD. In a tweet, he described himself as “once an Amazonian, always an Amazonian.”

– From the must read ProPublica expose: How Amazon and Silicon Valley Seduced the Pentagon

That U.S. tech giants are willing participants in facilitating mass government surveillance has been widely known for a while, particularly since whistleblower Edward Snowden risked his life and liberty to tell us about it six years ago. We also know what happens to executives who don’t play ball.

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The Real Big Brother, by Eric Zuesse

Jeff Bezos is a prime exponent of US interventionism. He’s got a lot a ways to make his views known, and a very receptive audience in Washington. From Eric Zuesse at consortiumnews.com:

It’s a billionaire’s world and the biggest of them all is in the thick of it, as Eric Zuesse explains.

Jeff Bezos is the owner of The Washington Post, which leads America’s news-media in their almost 100 percent support and promotion of neoconservatism, American imperialism and wars. This includes sanctions, coups, and military invasions against countries that America’s billionaires want to control but don’t yet control — such as Venezuela, Syria, Iran, Russia, Libya, and China.

These are aggressive wars against countries which have never aggressed against the United States. They are not, at all, defensive, but the exact opposite. It’s not necessarily endless war (even Hitler hadn’t planned that), but war until the entire planet has come under the control of the U.S. Government, a government that is itself controlled by America’s billionaires, the funders of neoconservatism and imperialism — in both major American political parties, think tanks, newspapers, TV networks, etcetera.

Bezos has been a crucial part of neoconservatism, ever since, at the June 6-9 2013 Bilderberg meeting, he arranged with Donald Graham, the Washington Post’s owner, to buy that newspaper, for $250 million. Bezos had already negotiated, in March of that same year, with the neoconservative CIA Director, John Brennan, for a  $600 million ten-year cloud computing contract that transformed Amazon corporation, from being a reliable money-loser, into a reliably profitable firm.

That caused Bezos’s net worth to soar even more (and at a sharper rate of rising) than it had been doing while it had been losing money. He became the most influential salesman not only for books, but for the CIA, and for such mega-corporations as Lockheed Martin. Imperialism has supercharged his wealth, but it didn’t alone cause it. Bezos might be the most ferociously gifted business-person on the planet.

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Jeff Bezos Protests the Invasion of His Privacy, as Amazon Builds a Sprawling Surveillance State for Everyone Else, by Glenn Greenwald

The hypocrisy is obvious. From Glenn Greenwald at theintercept.com:

THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER HAS engaged in behavior so lowly and unscrupulous that it created a seemingly impossible storyline: the world’s richest billionaire and a notorious labor abuser, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, as a sympathetic victim.

On Thursday, Bezos published emails in which the Enquirer’s parent company explicitly threatened to publish intimate photographs of Bezos and his mistress, which were apparently exchanged between the two through their iPhones, unless Bezos agreed to a series of demands involving silence about the company’s conduct.

In a perfect world, none of the sexually salacious material the Enquirer was threatening to release would be incriminating or embarrassing to Bezos: it involves consensual sex between adults that is the business of nobody other than those involved and their spouses. But that’s not the world in which we live: few news events generate moralizing interest like sex scandals, especially among the media.

The prospect of naked selfies of Bezos would obviously generate intense media coverage and all sorts of adolescent giggling and sanctimonious judgments. The Enquirer’s reports of Bezos’ adulterous affair seemed to have already played at least a significant role, if not the primary one, in the recent announcement of Bezos’ divorce from his wife of 25 years.

Beyond the prurient interest in sex scandals, this case entails genuinely newsworthy questions because of its political context. The National Enquirer was so actively devoted to Donald Trump’s election that the chairman of its parent company admitted to helping make hush payments to kill stories of Trump’s affairs, and received immunity for his cooperation in the criminal case of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, while Bezos, as the owner of the steadfastly anti-Trump Washington Post, is viewed by Trump as a political enemy.

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Jeff Bezos Puts the Pentagon on His Monopoly Board, by Jason C. Ditz

Jeff Bezos wants Amazon to be the Pentagon’s go-to supplier. From Jason C. Ditz at theamericanconservative.com:

While employees at Google and Microsoft are wary of collaborating with the military, Amazon revels in it.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons and Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

Speaking at the Wired 25th anniversary last month month, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced that his company will continue to accept Pentagon contracts. That includes a very controversial cloud-computing contract that Google and Microsoft have already backed out of due to vocal employee opposition to working with the U.S. military.

Amazon was long considered the front-runner for this contract, but Bezos’s rationale for taking it goes well beyond its being low-hanging fruit. He’s argued that the government’s job is to “make the right decision, even when it’s unpopular,” and that large tech companies should support those decisions irrespective of politics.

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Bezos’ Decision to Raise Wages is Largely a Machiavellian Distraction, by Michael Krieger

Jeff Bezos wants to dominate the world’s retail. He’s well on his way. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

For the many low wage Amazon workers — both full time and temporary — set to receive a raise thanks to the just announced boost in minimum pay to $15/hour, the news is certainly a big plus. It should also be noted that had Amazon not been subject to intense scrutiny and criticism from the likes of Bernie Sanders and others, Jeff Bezos never would have responded with such an aggressive move. That said, if you think a little beyond the surface level about why he’s doing this now and what his real motives are, it becomes clear nobody should take this move at face value.

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Amazon is Far More Dangerous and Powerful Than You Want to Admit, by Michael Krieger

No question but that Jeff Bezo and Amazon are in bed with the government and Deep State. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

The sneaky thing about Amazon’s increased dominance in so many key aspects of our lives is that much of the perniciousness is hidden. No one’s going to tell you about all the retailers who have gotten pressured or destroyed via its tactics while you’re happily clicking “add to cart” and smiling about 2-day free shipping. In this sense, it can be best compared to the evils of factory farming. Most people just simply have no idea about the immense damage going on behind the scenes as they indulge in incredible convenience and what looks like a good deal.

– From my November 15, 2017 post: Amazon Poses a Serious Threat to Freedom and Free Markets

Today’s post should be seen as an update to last year’s article referenced above. In the months that have followed, I’ve been consistently frustrated by the lack of interest when it comes to the dangers presented by Amazon and its richest man in the world ($165 billion as of last count) CEO Jeff Bezos. The following Twitter exchange is a good example of what I mean:

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