Unless you are living under a rock, or studiously avoid American news, you likely did not miss the greatest shot across the bow in a long time. Jeff Bezos published a doozie on this platform. He accused the National Enquirer of extortion. You give us what we want, or we will expose more…shall we say, embarrassing pictures of you? Incidentally, no editor in a reputable publication will threaten a target with an email. This is literally not how it’s done.
So here are the players involved…a Dramatis Personae if you will. Because this play needs a program.
Jeff Bezos, who announced his divorce. This was followed by a National Enquirer story exposing his affair. He is the wealthiest man in the world, and among other things owns both Amazon and the Washington Post.
Lauren Sanchez, the object of Bezos’s current attention. The reason for the divorce and the original scandal.
His brother Michael, who may have had a role in extracting the data from Bezos’s phone.
MacKenzie Bezos who is the soon to be a divorcee.
Roger Stone could have carried some of the photos to the Enquirer. Mules are not just used for drugs. There is synergy between Stone, President Donald Trump, and David Pecker, as well as Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen.
David Pecker, a close friend of President Donald Trump, and whose actions may violate the law. He is the publisher of the National Enquirer and president of American Media Incorporated, AMI. Did we mention he has an immunity plea with the Mueller team, and that he promised not to break the law for three years? This matters.
Part of the question is how were the photos obtained? And is one of the nude selfies allegedly in the bands of the Mueller team one of these photos? Enquiring minds want to know, no pun, but somebody’s pecker likely is in federal hands already.
This is where the soap opera, described as such by a Saudi spokesperson during the Sunday shows, enter into international intrigue territory. The other in the cast of characters are the Washington Post, and stories on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Saudi Prince Mohamed Ben Salman (MBS) and a third party.
This third party may very well be an Israeli software company that sold Pegasus to the Saudis some time back. Pegasus is a piece of
malware (that) can operate on both Android and iOS devices, albeit it’s been mostly spotted in campaigns targeting iPhone users primarily. On infected devices, Pegasus is a powerful spyware that can do many things, such as record conversations, steal private messages, exfiltrate photos, and much much more.
This sale means that the Saudis have the means, why Bezos made the references he made about the Saudis. They also had a strong motive. What would be their desired result? For the WaPo to stop any coverage, or questions, on a murdered reporter who happened to be a US resident, and still a Saudi citizen. The soap opera involves Congress trying to apply the Magnitsky Act to the Saudis in-spite of presidential objections. This came originally against the Russians, which are incidental to this dramatic personae, for this corner of the story. This would lead to sanctions, perhaps all the way to MBS.
The Enquirer May have bit a tad too much. In fact, this may very well rise to criminal activity. And the soap opera has risen to the level of international incident. If any of us tried to sell this as a spy thriller, most editors would probably call it too far fetched. The last two years have been precisely that. This is just a small corner of crazy-town.
Perhaps this will be the end of the National Enquirer, catch and kill tactics. Maybe, we will see the source of real news for the Men in Black go away. But Pecker chose to go after the wealthiest man on earth, who can afford to punch back on these bullying tactics. As is, it’s clear now that Pecker is part of the Trump cleanup crew, and these mafia-like behaviors have to stop.
Incidentally, Ronan Farrow has also emerged as a person threatened, mafia-like, by AMI. I am sure this is the tip of the damn iceberg.
The next act may involve a lawsuit against AMI…stay tuned…this clash of titans is hardly begun.
Oh, and there is one more in the Dramatis Personae…that be Jared Kushner. Time will tell just how much shit he is willing to do to serve his father in law. Or how deeply he is compromised. Your mileage will vary on this. It could very well be both.
And this is just breaking…things just got weirder. AMI asked the Department of Justice if they had to register as foreign agents for the Saudis last year…no I kid you not. To paraphrase the great bard, something smells…
The company that publishes the National Enquirer was concerned enough that it may have acted as an agent of Saudi Arabia that it asked the Justice Department last year whether it needed to register as a foreign lobbyist, a person with knowledge of Saudi Arabia’s lobbying efforts in the U.S. confirms to NBC News.
Communications between the Justice Department and American Media Inc. offer the fullest picture to date of interactions between the tabloid publisher and the Saudis ahead of AMI’s release last year of a fawning magazine about Saudi Arabia’s young leader. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who has accused AMI of blackmailing him with intimate photos, has questioned whether Saudi Arabia may have been involved, a claim the kingdom denies.