Five days after Jeffrey Epstein was reported arrested by the FBI-NYPD Crimes Against Children Task Force, the rumors and conspiracies are, unsurprisingly, growing.
The conspiracies come despite widespread knowledge and extensive reporting on the case, which is interesting because usually conspiracies grow when there is an absence of information. In this case there is a plethora. The Miami Herald has reported about how Epstein appeared to avoid justice years ago. The paper noted “Palm Beach multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein has been a free man, despite sexually abusing dozens of underage girls according to police and prosecutors.” Julie K. Brown at the Miami Herald has been credited with keeping the case in the public eye. The November article about how Epstein got a “deal of a lifetime” in 2007 is worth reading.
After news of the arrest broke major media have been seeking out victims to tell their stories. CNN reported about a woman who says she was raped at age 15. The details here are excruciating, and they are quite detailed. That’s worth remembering as we go into the conspiracies and rumors. Now new reports examine why Epstein registered as a sex offender in certain states, where he had “his own lodge,” and how he hired private investigators. The New York Times described his acts as “despicable.” Another report called it horrifying. Other finance professionals speak about their knowledge of the allegations. Twelve more women came forward on July 11.
The Daily Beast broke the story of the new arrest. Then the same site published an opinion article on July 9 with new innuendo about Epstein. He was “Useful, too. He knew a lot of rich Arabs, including the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, and, further, he had clever ideas about creating bond issues for them.” The article says that Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, when he was being interviewed by the Trump administration’s transition team, had an interesting response. This is the excerpt:
He’d cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys because he had “been told” to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone,” he told his interviewers in the Trump transition, who evidently thought that was a sufficient answer and went ahead and hired Acosta.
The article goes on to note “For almost two decades, for some nebulous reason, whether to do with ties to foreign intelligence…” It also includes this sentence: “Epstein had also leaned heavily on my ex-husband’s uncle, Conrad Black, to try to exert his influence on me, which was particularly unwelcome, given that Black happened to be my ex-husband’s boss at the time.”
Once the Daily Beast article alleging “intelligence” connections was out, another article appeared in The Observer which claimed “it sure looks like Jeffrey Epstein was a spy – but whose?” This article repeats the claim about Acosta, noting:
So, Acosta, according to himself, backed off on prosecuting Epstein back in 2007, despite the possession of ample evidence proving his guilt, because he “belonged to intelligence.” Whose intelligence, exactly? is the first of many questions that arise here.
In fact the story about Acosta hasn’t been confirmed. The Daily Beast article that alleged the Acosta quote in an opinion piece notes “The Labor Department had no comment when asked about this.” The claim is hedged with terms like “evidently” and presumably, but it becomes more fact in the Observer piece. But Acosta was asked about whether Epstein was an “intelligence asset.” An article at Raw Story on July 10 has a headline about Acosta’s “cryptic response.” The full response in the article goes like this:
Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta on Wednesday refused to confirm or deny that financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was an intelligence asset.
“So there has been reporting to that effect and let me say, there’s been reporting to a lot of effects in this case, not just now but over the years and, again, I would hesitant to take this reporting as fact,” Acosta said during a press conference.
The Observer piece then characterizes that Acosta remark this way:
To anyone acquainted with our nation’s capital, that’s a non-denial denial of an epic kind. Given the chance to refute Ward’s report, specifically that the Epstein case involved intelligence matters, Acosta did nothing of the sort. Indeed, he functionally admitted that it’s true.
The article claims “? It appears that Jeffrey Epstein was involved in intelligence work, of some kind, for someone—and it probably wasn’t American intelligence either. ” So who could it be? Well now we learn that “it seems awfully coincidental that Epstein’s best pal and business partner for decades has been Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite and daughter of the late Robert Maxwell, the media mogul who died under mysterious circumstances in 1991.” Maxwell is alleged to have been “working for the KGB” and alleged to be “working for Mossad.”
So, the Observer piece then explains that “the lines between Russian intelligence, Israeli intelligence and organized crime can get remarkably blurry” and therefore that a sex trafficking ring with “global VIPs in compromising situations” could be of interest to intelligence services.
Now, what’s interesting is if we go back and read the actual reporting that involves the women victims, who were children at the time, they don’t seem to mention being part of a complex global intelligence conspiracy. In fact many of them didn’t seem to mention the high-profile friends of Epstein.
But, with a few words at the Daily Beast and allegations at the Observer and the claims of Acosta’s “cryptic response,” we get to the next level of claims that circulate on social media and websites that need to find a complex global intelligence conspiracy behind this story.
For instance, one author who has already been at the center of the “America’s Jews are driving America’s wars” writes “did Jeffrey Epstein work for Mossad.” This article goes beyond the mention of Russian intelligence. “But whose intelligence service? CIA and the Russian FSB services are obvious candidates, but they would have no particular motive to acquire an agent like Epstein. That leaves Israel.” This article is now making the rounds, and unsurprisingly feeding the need for a more complex, and more simple, explanation of the whole affair.
The progress of the stories and conspiracies from “intelligence” to “intelligence asset” to “who was he working for” to “Mossad” is interesting. It’s not surprising, because this is the usual way that something begins as innuendo and allegations or “just asking questions” and then becomes a “fact” and then the fact is laundered into the foundation for some complex conspiracy.
These kinds of innuendo and conspiracies unsurprisingly tend towards ending up as a whispering campaign against Israel and then usually find their way into open anti-semitism or innuendos that are clearly marked by anti-semitism.
Why is a complex “intelligence” conspiracy more reasonable than a more simple story of a powerful man with political connections in 2007 getting a local case closed. Isn’t that what we’ve learned about how other powerful men operated, whether Harvey Weinstein, Michael Jackson, R. Kelly or even cases of celebrities accused of things like faking hate crimes. People seem to avoid justice more often because of connections and pressure and other factors, than necessarily because someone “belongs” to intelligence communities. Celebrities have gotten away with murder because of high profile defense teams. Powerful people tend to be able to avoid justice or get sentences reduced.
If the story of the “lolita express” or “orgy island” or all the other parts of this current case are true, and if it was all really a giant honey pot being used by foreign intelligence then why would the US government lean on a local US attorney, like Acosta (who has now resigned on July 12) to stop the case. It doesn’t make sense. If it wasn’t a US intelligence operation, then why get a lenient sentence the first time around. Also the list of “VIPs” that allegedly includes Bill Clinton, were out of office at the time, right. So how is that a successful “honeypot.” Don’t you want to get dirt on people before they are on in office, not after? The other high profile friends don’t seem to be especially useful for “intelligence.”
All that’s left is the typical, so-and-so knew so-and-so, with the innuendo of Epstein knowing Maxwell who was the daughter of Maxwell. So? Important and wealthy people tend to know eachother. And what is the Conrad Black connection? Just because person A knows person B who knows person C who then exerts pressure on person D not to report about person A, doesn’t produce a complex conspiracy. It could be a more mundane reason: Person A doesn’t want reports about their abuse of young girls to be in the press.
But that doesn’t matter when it’s easier to just throw out allegations, most of which can’t be denied because who will deny them. The whole nature of alleging a “foreign intelligence conspiracy” is that just be denying it the person somehow affirms it. Just by someone alluding to it, or asking it in a press conference, it becomes “fact” and people are “linked” and it has been “suggested.”
There are entirely plausible reasons why the Epstein story feeds both rumors and also other, more plausible conspiracies. For instance a New York Magazine article discusses the “mystery” of how Epstein got clients and investors. The article notes:
Naturally, this air of mystery has especially piqued the interest of real-life, non-pretend hedge-funders…Given this puzzling set of data points, the hedge-fund managers we spoke to leaned toward the theory that Epstein was running a blackmail scheme under the cover of a hedge fund.
The article then goes on to assert:
In the 2015 filing, Giuffre claimed that Epstein “debriefed her” after she was forced into sexual encounters so that he could possess “intimate and potentially embarrassing information” to blackmail friends into parking their money with him. She also said photographic and video evidence existed — an assertion that looms especially large now that federal investigators have found a trove of images in Epstein’s home safe.
Not long after a 14-year-old girl reported Jeffery Epstein to authorities in 2005, she says she received a warning from someone who claimed to be in contact with the well-connected financier. The girl would be paid cash if she agreed not to cooperate with law enforcement.
Why would someone who supposedly had “intelligence” connections need private investigators and to tamper with witnesses, if all they had to do was call their handler and have the case slowed down?
Epstein loaded his legal team with some of the biggest names in the defense bar. He hired Alan Dershowitz and Roy Black, the attorney who helped exonerate William Kennedy Smith in a rape trial, eventually switching to an all-star line-up including Jack Goldberger, Jay Lefkowitz and Ken Starr, the special prosecutor who investigated President Bill Clinton’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky…By 2006, the FBI and the US attorney’s office for the Southern District of Florida were investigating Epstein and had identified 36 potential accusers. In September 2007, Epstein’s legal team had negotiated and signed a nonprosecution deal. But his lawyers, led then by Leftkowitz and Starr, weren’t satisfied and appealed to Acosta challenging the terms of the agreement.
In addition, Acosta, who has now resigned, described a “year-long assault on the prosecution and prosecutors” in a 2011 letter, according to CNN.
But wait, according to the “intelligence” line of reasoning Acosta had been told that Epstein “belonged to intelligence.” So why would someone who belonged to intelligence, and who Acosta had supposedly been made aware of that, need to have a “year-long assault” on the prosecution and hire high powered attorneys. Don’t people who “belong to intelligence” meander through life more easily because their intelligence connections make the call and things happen quietly?
There are many things that don’t make sense about the “intelligence” conspiracies. For instance the claim that Epstein supposedly knew the crown prince of Saudi Arabia years ago, when he wouldn’t have even been crown prince, nor nearly as important as he eventually became. It only makes sense in retrospect to drop the Saudi connection, now that the Saudi-Trump angle is of interest.
But, like most things, not all of it has to make sense. Today the Epstein story is a media feeding frenzy. Every minute brings new stories about the private jet, what happened on it, and the private island and more about the island and a mysterious safe and the “temple” there and the pedophile claims and on and on.
The case is serious. It’s important to know why the well-connected seem to avoid justice. But whether it is a complex conspiracy is more opaque.