Unanswered Questions From Elizabeth Holmes Trial...
Was she a construct of a foreign intelligence operative?
Five months is a long time for any trial and to be honest, I could’ve loved another five months.
I have followed the Elizabeth Holmes scandal long before it was even broken in the Wall Street Journal by the estimable John Carreyou.
My then-wife was a newly minted pharmacist working for Walgreens in the Fresno area — they had paid her a bonus if she stayed there for three years — and I spotted the brochures touting a partnership between Walgreens and Theranos. Another family friend worked for Walgreens’s head office in Deerfield, Illinois.
I was intrigued and living in Fresno so I had time on my hands. I started researching, and fearful that what Theranos really was was a massive genetics operation and that I might be left out of the future, I proceeded to do some calculations. Were they going to sequence all those drops of blood? I even wrote a letter to Elizabeth Holmes asking her that very question but I didn’t hear back.
I knew a little bit about Holmes’s background after reading Ken Auletta’s embarrassingly fawning profile of her for The New Yorker. I was particularly struck by her time spent working at the Genome Institute in Singapore.
All told Walgreens put some $140 million into Theranos if its CFO is to be believed. At roughly $60-$80 a sequenced sample — current prices — Walgreens could have built one of the largest biobanks in the world. Why didn’t they?
My old friend Peter Smith, whose own ties to Robert Mueller’s Russian investigation were well probed and who was once a big backer of Newt Gingrich, was particularly enamored of Elizabeth Holmes. That is, before he killed himself. Allegedly.
Smith assured me repeatedly and emphatically that Theranos was the new hotness and that I should “go back to introductory chemistry” if I couldn’t understand what Secretaries of State Schulz and Kissinger and Secretaries of Defense Perry and (later) Mattis saw in the blonde Stanford dropout. As Smith was in the Four Seasons living large in his dotage and I was living in suburban Fresno in my misspent youth I didn’t press it. “What do they know that I don’t know?” I wondered.
Am I a dummy or are they? Holmes was simply anomalous — she was the only female cofounder of a company worth north of a billion dollars that wasn’t married to her cofounder — was she the beginning of a rising trend?
Was this a rich person affinity scam? Or was something more interesting going on?
I don’t think we yet know the answer. It smacks of an intelligence operation, especially given the foreign ties of her investors Tim Draper to Russia and Larry Ellison to Israel and especially Netanyahu, but whose op and for what purpose?
One of her earliest investors was the Lucas family, whose late patriarch, Don, was a member of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, according to his obituary.
I think Theranos investor and board member Henry Kissinger is right writing for Time in 2015 that “Elizabeth Holmes’ [sic] is a story that could happen only in America.” And that isn’t a good thing!
Was Henry swindled or were he and George Shultz engaging in a bit of their own intellectual cul de sac behavior — leading Americans down a false path to preserve other foreign powers’ preeminence in genetics while blowing the cash of some of the wealthiest families in America?
Given the close ties of both Shultz and Kissinger to Russia and of Kissinger to China we can only wonder. A friend close to Kissinger says backing Holmes was a “senior moment.” Maybe but I’m not so sure. He puts the finger solely at the late Shultz, whose grandson was a whistleblower. I think that’s a little too generous.
We’ve hitherto probed the question of whether or not the Cold War really ended and whether or not the movement of the Refusenik Jews from the Soviet Union into Israel and America was part of something more sinister.
“End of History”? More like beginning of Boomer nap time.
Was Elizabeth Holmes, in fact, a patsy?
This writer asks the key questions:
Honest question: what’s harder — landing on the Moon, or faking the Moon landing and getting everyone involved to keep the secret for 50 years?
What’s the easier scam? Tricking a dozen senior military / intelligence commanders into paying you a billion dollars for bullshit, or getting a dozen senior military / intelligence commanders together to realize a billion dollar plan while pretending to be bullshitting? We’re really supposed to believe Elizabeth Holmes conned the Joint Chiefs and they just shrugged and moved on because they were embarrassed by it?
Enron (where Holmes’ dad was a VP) wasn’t a ponzi scheme, and it wasn’t a failure. Enron was a vehicle that leveraged law, financial speculation and energy infrastructure to turn working-class equity, in the form of pensions and infrastructure, into speculative liquidity. It fully succeeded in its mission. Enron didn’t “lose” $65 billion dollars in its bankruptcy. That wealth wasn’t destroyed. It was stolen, from workers in California and India and elsewhere, and laundered via the trading floor to members of the ruling class who were in on the scheme.
Are we really to believe that Theranos board member and former Clinton Defense Secretary Bill Perry — who built spy satellites and later did deals with the newly former Soviet Union’s rocket program — was just on a lark?
Carreyou noted that Holmes’s Svengali defense didn’t work but I must say I wonder if it might be true.
Consider the following:
Holmes’s family members are Deep State as all get out. Her father is Christian Holmes IV, a former Enron vice president and descended from the family that founded Fleischmann’s Yeast and has worked for USAID, while her mother, Noel Daoust, was a congressional aide for the House International Relations committee, before becoming a stay at home mom. Holmes’s great uncle, Julius, was even ambassador to Iran before the Shah fell.
Are we allowed to talk about Enron’s ties to the Russians? Or is that not permitted?
Let’s look at this press release from 2002.
When former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay and former Secretary of State James Baker welcomed Mikhail Gorbachev to Houston in 1997 to receive the Enron Prize for Distinguished Public Service, more was at stake than toasting corporate America’s victory in the Cold War.
Russia and the Central Asian Republics of the former USSR have the world’s second largest proven reserves of oil and gas. Russia also has the world’s largest electric power grid.
All of it was socialized, owned and developed by the skill and toil of Soviet oil and gas workers, miners, hydroelectric and power station workers. Grabbing those energy resources would be theft on a scale that exceeds all Enron’s global privatization scams rolled together.
On hand at Rice University’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy for the three-day celebration were [Theranos Board Member] Henry Kissinger, Warren Christopher, Cyrus Vance and Baker – all former secretaries of state. Baker told the crowd that Gorbachev had “demonstrated incredible personal and political courage” in his role in the downfall of the Soviet Union.
Was Holmes selected because of these family ties to Enron? Undoubtedly yes. So the question becomes “Was Holmes duping all these people — some of the most shrewd in the world to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars — or being paid for services rendered or not yet delivered?”
What exactly was the role that Henry Kissinger played in corralling the money for Holmes? Did he get a fee? (Kissinger tried to invest in Clearview, my facial recognition start up.)
An estate lawyer [Daniel L. Mosley] for Henry Kissinger revealed that he helped Theranos Inc. line up investments totaling $370 million from from some of the wealthiest families in the U.S. -- the Waltons, the Coxes, the Oppenheimers and the DeVoses -- four years before the blood-testing company collapsed in scandal.
Consider this information about Dr. Kissinger and his relationship with Mosley.
How should we think of General Jim Mattis’s involvement, he, who served for six years on her board? Are we really supposed to think that Holmes and Balwani conned the entire military, most of corporate America, and a few billionaires and they all just sort of didn’t care all that much?
Did David Boies know all of this while he was providing a platform for Virginia Giuffre to sue Prince Andrew. Or for Harvey Weinstein to silence his victims?
Who does David Boies really work for? If his firm is on the up and up why have so many people left the firm?
The most curious of all is who really is Sunny Balwani?
Given the role that Pakistani intelligence has played penetrating the Pakistani community we have to ask: Was he a spy?
He seems to have had a penchant for secrecy. Why?
What was he doing in China when he first met Elizabeth Holmes?
If, as his lawyer claims, his family moved to India because being a Hindu in a mostly Muslim country was difficult, why did he join the Pakistani Students Association, which was presumably a very Muslim group?
Where did Sunny come from? Why was he married to a Japanese artist who he divorced in 2002? Why is he “a virtual ghost”?
What’s the real story about the company he formed that got bought and sold right before the financial crisis?
He seems to have controlled Elizabeth Holmes. Was this about sex? Power? Money? Or what?
What’s the deal with Balwani’s lawyers? Here’s Jeffrey Cooper introducing Nancy Pelosi at Esther Coopersmith’s home. What’s up with that?
And finally, do you think that that operation that made Holmes possible has ended?
Or has it simply moved on to someone new?
Was the collapse of the Soviet Union merely the beginning of its tech integration with the West?
We could go on and on and on.
How should we consider the role of her neighbor Richard Fuisz, a former (ha!) CIA agent, who appears to have had Holmes’ number all along? Fuisz recalls:
Noel [Her mother] programmed Elizabeth to be like me, invent and learn a language. I am a psychiatrist and family practitioner and would tell a father and mother not to treat their child that way. She'll be what she'll be. Don't drive her into something she doesn't want to do. In the pictures I have with our family she is withdrawn. She is always pulled to the side and was not naturally emotive as a child.
Perhaps the biggest author of the Holmes’ construct was not foreign intelligence but her parents.
But it does seem quite the jump from Holmes being praised by Bill Clinton to marrying the guy wearing the MAGA hat and the Grateful Dead shirt down below. Maybe it’s true love. Here’s hoping.
Oh, and who paid for the lawyers?