According to critics, the Washington Post boss’s CIA ties represent a serious conflict of interest that, under basic ethical standards in journalism, must be disclosed to readers — at least whenever the paper is reporting on the “intelligence community” and its activities. So far, however, the Post has not publicly announced whether or not it will acknowledge what analysts say is a cut-and-dry conflict of interest.
Also troubling to critics of Bezos and his budding media empire is the billionaire’s intimate ties to the very pinnacle of the establishment. Bezos, for example, has in recent years become a regular attendee of the annual Bilderberg meetings. The deeply controversial and secretive gatherings feature top international figures in government, the establishment media, military, business, banking, royalty, intelligence, academia, and more. While the outfit is fiendishly obsessed with secrecy — its attendees claim they just want to discuss global issues in private — critics have long pointed to admissions from its luminaries to suggest that Bilderberg plays a crucial but largely hidden role in directing world trends.
Another controversy emerging around Bezos and his acquisition of the Post surrounds Amazon’s treatment of WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group that helps whistleblowers expose government crimes by releasing secret documents. As the transparency organization was publishing U.S. State Department cables documenting myriad crimes and scandals, Amazon’s web services division infamously pulled the plug on WikiLeaks’ website. The extraordinarily controversial decision came shortly after politicians in Washington, D.C., such as Sen. Joe Lieberman, began hysterically melting down over the public exposure of their machinations.
The alternative media, of course, has seized on the conflict-of-interest story, citing the massive CIA contract with Amazon as yet another example of the establishment press run amok — Big Business and Big Government joining forces against the public. Experts in communications, media, and intelligence have also been slamming the paper and its owner for the controversial and shadowy dealings. As the public learns of the news, meanwhile, anger is growing as well. Tens of thousands of people have already signed a petition calling on the newspaper to provide full disclosure on its links to the shadowy espionage agency — especially when reporting on the CIA and related agencies or activities.
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