From Secondhand Bookseller to Surveillance Capitalist
In 2013, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the murder of JFK, the filmmaker Alex Cox released a book, The President and the Provocateur, which compared the lives of John F Kennedy and the man commonly referred to as his assassin — Lee Harvey Oswald.
Here it is on Amazon:
Alex Cox in 2013 on the President and the Provocateur
At 4pm on the day of the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination, I walked into Housmans, a radical peace bookshop on Caledonian Road, near Kings Cross in London.
Staring at me was a copy of Peter Dale Scott’s Crime and Cover Up.
I picked it up.
The man who sold me the book, Tim Gluckman, told me that the author, Peter Dale Scott, had invented the term parapolitics which wasn’t conspiracy theory but Deep Politics — a theory of how the state really works.
I told Tim about my then plans to write a play about the attempted assassination of Oscar LaFontaine the ex-head of the German Social Democrat Party (SPD) in 1990 in Cologne.
Tim said he was in Cologne that night – recalling the hullaballoo.
A couple of days later, I was reading Crime and Cover-Up on a bus when I remembered that it was Sunday 24th November 2013 — the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald.
I called a friend who had told me about a spoken word event he had tickets for. We attended, thinking the main draw would be the news presenter Jon Snow. It turned out that Alex Cox was speaking – presenting his new book.
The New York Times 2011 Umbrella Man video by award winning director Errol Morris
Alex Cox replies to Errol Morris over the New York Times Umbrella Man video
The New York Times longer 2013 video also by Errol Morris
I have to admit I have a bit of a soft spot for Errol Morris.
I watched his documentary Fog of War about former US Defence Secretary Robert Macnamara several times in the cinema.
I saw it at the London Film Festival with my mum. She had taken me to see Oliver Stone’s JFK at the cinema years earlier.
My mother and Errol Morris both feature in the interview I did with Eric Olsen about how he coped with the CIA murdering his dad, an American biological weapons scientist, in 1955.
Errol Morris had made a six part Netflix docudrama – Wormwood – about it.
Eric fell out with Errol and reporter Seymour Hersh, over compromises he felt they had made.
At one point in our interview Eric referred to his dad’s fateful meeting with brainwashing expert William Sargant.
Eric told me Sargant was MI6 & CIA. Frank Olsen had confided in him but Sargant ratted on him.
Frank Olson was a potential whistleblower. Sargant told the CIA he wasn’t ‘with the programme’.
Sargant himself used deep sleep techniques.
For many years my mother was a psychiatric clinician at the William Sargant ward in Ealing Hospital in West London. But till I met Eric I had no idea what Sargant did .
The Family, a cult that Julian Assange was exposed to, through a step-father, in the late 70s early 80s, were also said to have used deep sleep techniques.
My own father worked for the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO), as a systems analyst on mainframe computers throughout the eighties and much of the nineties. This was in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
It was against everything he stood for.
I believe my father was a former Marxist.
We would likely have given money to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Was that before or after we knew children were being given guns and cyanide pills?
Either way, he told me the Tories had done him more good economically than Labour had, but he could NEVER VOTE TORY.
On the evening of New Years Eve 1999 / 2000 my dad told me that while everyone got all all excited about the millennium, the thing his mind was on was the fortieth anniversary of the Cuban Revolution.
Forty years previously he and his friends crowded round a radio in Sri Lanka listening to how a tiny island had taken on and were beating the regional superpower.
Back to the chase
After Alex’s talk we went to the pub in Camden somewhere. I asked if he’d chosen to do the event because it was the 50th anniversary of Oswald’s murder. He said this was just a co-incidence. His agent booked everything.
Had JFK managed to stay alive, today, May 29th 2019, would have been his hundredth birthday.
His apparent killer, Oswald, born in October 1939, was only 24 when the President was killed.
I’m only halfway through Cox’s book.
At this stage, as Cox makes clear in the first video, it all seems a bit much for one man to have masterminded.
And Oswald doesn’t appear to have been very stable. Hardly sniper material.
There’s plenty of photo-doctoring happening too. At which Oswald himself appears to excel. Oswald has a Zelig-like ability to pop up in all sorts of places. Occasionally in two places at once.
Cox points out that in Cuba and New Orleans Oswald was said to have attended meetings and made inquiries about hiring cars for Cuba – at exactly the same time as he was getting engaged to his new wife Marina in Minsk, Belarus.
This is a photo if Oswald on a boat with John Wayne (or is it?):
Photo and film-tampering is still an issue today Facebook is refusing to take down known Nancy Pelosi Deepfakes.
Big tech appear to be deciding what people get to think about.
Bernard Cohen said in 1963:
The Press “may not be successful much of the time in telling people what to think, but it is stunningly successful in telling its readers what to think about. The world will look different to different people,” Cohen continues, “depending on the map that is drawn for them by writers, editors, and publishers of the paper they read.”
Back to Bezos
As the title suggests, my main motivation for writing this article was to do a rudimentary character analysis of Jeff Bezos.
I would also like to compare and contrast with Julian Assange.
The Richest Man in the USA Vs The Most Wanted
Amazon Vs WikiLeaks
Although the thought experiment seemed a bit weird at the start, the more I think about it, the better it feels.
I remembered what Alex Cox had done with JFK and Oswald.
I also thought of Post-Freudian child psychotherapist author Adam Phillips:
What would he make of JFK, Oswald, Bezos and Assange connections?
In particular their obsessions, their families, their patronage?
Apparently JFK’s dad, Joseph Kennedy, wasn’t the most likeable of chaps. He bankrolled his son’s political career and had strong Mafia, Union and Democrat connections. He was the first Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and US Ambassador to the UK from 1938-1940.
JFK’s sister Rose was put into a mental home and had part of her brain removed on the understanding she was “retarded”.
Maybe her dad simply feared she would go ‘off-message’ — thus undoing his investments in his sons John and Robert Kennedy.
Oswald’s father died before he was born. He and his mother moved many many times during his childhood and adolescence. This mysterious character appears to have been a bisexual left wing double agent of sorts who had backing from various parties, all of whom seem to have eventually deserted him.
His apparent love of communism and hatred of racism was so out of place in early 1960’s Dallas but for some reason his views appear to have been tolerated by all.
Assange’s father split from his mother before he was born and, like Oswald, he lived in many towns before settling down in Melbourne as a teenager.
This was used as part of his defence when he was prosecuted by Melbourne police for computer hacking as Mendax in the early nineties.
According to wikipedia between 1979 and 1981 Assange’s step-dad was a member of the Australian cult known as The Family which was later revealed to have starved, drugged and sexually abused many of its members – particularly children.
Such exposure to cults might also explain Assange’s perceived Messiah Complex. The need to construct an image of a figure that can really be trusted in a world of government & media BS & PR.
Bezos’s step-father Mike (Miguel) left Cuba for Miami in 1962 aged just 16.
This was part of the CIA’s Operation Peter Pan, designed to create a brain drain in Cuba and supposedly to save children from being sent to the Soviet Union where their families were told they would end up in camps.
Though Operation Peter Pan started before Kennedy became President, he knew about it and fully approved. Peter Pan went on throughout America’s failed Bay of Pigs invasion and during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was also around this period that Kennedy set up the NSA surveillance agency.
Mike learned English and became an engineer for Exxon – a company that were very big in Cuba before Castro kicked them out.
Mike Bezos adopted Jeff when Jeff was just three years old.
Jeff’s maternal grandfather Lawrence Preston Gise looked after him on his ranch in Texas every summer from when he was four to when he was sixteen.
Gize had been a senior manager at the Atomic Energy Commission and before that at the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) that later became DARPA, frequently referenced as the agency that created the internet.
So Bezos is an extremely well connected creature of the cold war.
This is very well signalled in Plutocratic Mirage of Self Made Billionaires.
It’s funny that Trump hates Amazon and has previously referred to how much he loves WikiLeaks.
At last week’s Amazon Annual General Meeting (AGM) 12 proposals were made by shareholders and employees to improve the way Amazon does business.
Some related to climate change and Amazon’s carbon footprint.
Others were in relation to Facial Recognition.
Amazon have a product called Rekognition which is being marketed to the military, police and border cops.
Proposals were made to have an ethics committee to study the effect of Amazon’s facial recognition on human rights.
Jeff Bezos and the majority of his shareholders, are not particularly bothered about Amazon’s environmental impact or human rights violations.
Although he made that noise earlier in the week about having a dad who is an immigrant / refugee this was just an amazing PR exercise to distract people from the evils of facial recognition.
There is plenty of evidence that the facial recognition algorithms discriminate against non binary, women and people of colour.
This was raised in a committee on facial recognition in the US last week.
Here Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks about gait and voice as well as facial recognition.
She points out that white males are more likely to be correctly identified with this technology – but all other groups are prone to being misidentified.
Amazon defeated the Facial Recognition proposals by a large margin
Some businesses welcome government contracts:
This ex-Facebook exec is completely ok with doing business with the military:
But the Government is definitely being targeted by Amazon too. This piece appeared in Monday’s Financial Times. It doesn’t seem to have sparked much discussion. Public Procurement policies were one of the main obstacles for the large trade agreements that Trump eventually ripped up such as TTIP and TPP. The Buy America policy insisted that every part of every product bought by US states as well as the federal government had to be sourced from within the US. I think it’s good he got rid of the trade agreements but now Jeff Bezos is going to clean up! :Government-contracts-become-Amazon’s-new-target-market-Financial-Times
There are arrows at the bottom of the article above that you have to press to get onto the next page.
Anna by Ella Hickson is on at the National Theatre in London at the moment. It’s about living in a surveillance state and has plenty of Stasi action. Should it have been called Alexa?:
And what about “Dark Kitchens”?
BBC News – Does your dinner come from a ‘dark kitchen’? https://t.co/pQfXI75uuc
— Ranjan Balakumaran (@financialeyes) May 29, 2019
In conclusion, Assange and Oswald both smart guys, were always on the move as kids and in that sense parts of their emotional “development” may have been affected. Oswald seems a bit more like Chelsea Manning than Assange. Chelsea Manning is current in jail, unlike Hope Hicks, Trump’s former adviser, who is also not co-operating with government enquiries.
— Ranjan Balakumaran (@financialeyes) May 29, 2019
Assange’s contact with the Family may have prepared him psychologically for anything the rest of the world can throw at him. If many children that he knew, and quite possibly himself, were drugged, hypnotised and sexually abused when growing up that would also explain his need to right wrongs on a global scale. How could the security services shills at the Guardian, Times, New York Times or Washington Post possibly understand such a motivation. All they see is a white guy who hates them. These journalists have historically put more effort into ignoring government and security services sponsored paedophilia than reporting on it.
Check out the latest development in the Inquiry into Historic Child Sexual Abuse.
Tech firms to give secret evidence at child sexual abuse inquiry https://t.co/vBcvfhgCr2
— Ranjan Balakumaran (@financialeyes) May 29, 2019
— InquiryCSA (@InquiryCSA) May 24, 2019
The little contact I’ve had with them tells me the thing is a joke. They spend a lot of money on media and television adverts but deliver very little by way of communication or interaction. The main priority seems to be on not inquiring into anything.
Earlier this year the BBC reported that paedophiles were escaping with impunity due to staff shortages at sexual assault referral centres. The problem is that the three day window within which forensic evidence has to be collected so that the CPS could secure a conviction is being regularly breached. This is often due to privatisation.
I contacted the Home Office and the Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry about this. I got nowhere. They gave me a press release from the forensic regulator. But nothing from Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, or Victoria Atkins, the Minister for Women, Sexual Violence, and Safeguarding.
Atkins is a nasty piece of work.
As Women’s Minister she blocked full gender pay gap reporting in this country. That’s right, she put her career first and blocked the Treasury Select Committee recommendations to widen the criteria for gender pay gap reporting in financial services.
She gave no reason for this.
Her husband makes his money selling cannabis for Brtish Sugar but she is the drugs Minister. Theresa May’s husband’s firm is involved in all this too. NHS contracts for purchasing medicinal cannabis have all been allocated and May’s husband is invested in the firm with the monopoly. So rival cannabis producers are criminalised while the profiteers are quids in.
We covered some of this here, as well as hacking vs journalism:
Unsurprisingly Surveillance Capitalist Jeff Bezos’s Washington Post is calling Assange a spy today. Bezos’s relationship with the CIA explains everything we need to know about his paper’s idiotic line.
If you want to click on Bezos’s site you are offered a cheaper subscription is you agree to be tracked / targeted. The guy doesn’t miss a trick.
I think Jimmy Dore covered some of this well a couple of days ago.
So happy 100th Birthday JFK. The more I read about you the less I like.
For anyone who is interested in Assange’s case, there is another hearing tomorrow morning at Westminster Magistrates’s Court: