Justice Integrity Project
George de Mohrenschildt, a friend of accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, is back in the news following his mysterious death in 1977.
His death marked the beginning of the end of official investigations of the JFK murder. The circumstances showed that neither Congress, most media, nor the justice system dared confront that historic tragedy even though important witnesses remain alive today.
As for the recent news, CNN reported this month that Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly lied about hearing the fatal shot killing de Mohrenschildt in Florida. JFK researcher and former Washington Post editor Jefferson Morley revealed the fabrication on his blog JFK Facts.org two years ago and repeated it March 1 under questioning by Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter in a CNN segment entitled Stelter: Audio tapes disprove O'Reilly's reporting.
Even more important than O’Reilly’s boast has been the timidity behind his bluster on the JFK issue, much like the stagecraft of many other journalists, authors, professors, and public officials.
O'Reilly's dubious claim in his best-selling book Killing Kennedy reminds us how the top-rated cable commentator evolved from a hard-charging young reporter seeking the facts about the JFK assassination to his current position: a bombastic pundit who disdains citations while parroting the misleading conventional wisdom that Oswald acted alone to kill Kennedy.
Hence the significance of de Mohrenschildt, shown in a file photo below.
Describing himself as "The Baron," he was a well-born oil engineer, professor and CIA asset whose friendships included members of the Oswald, Kennedy and Bush families. At the time of his death, he had just been invited by a congressional investigator to repeat his claim for the record that he was part of a "Dallas conspiracy" of oilmen and Cuban exiles planning on settling a "blood debt" — and that he instructed Oswald on how to act.
He was prepared to testify that Oswald did not kill the president, according to the Kennedy researcher Morley, who more than anyone else has highlighted O'Reilly's false statement about hearing the gunshot that killed the prospective witness.
At roughly the same time de Mohrenschildt was found dead of a shotgun blast that local authorities ruled self-inflicted, congress in effect sabotaged its own probe. It replaced its chief counsel, Richard Sprague, with a play-it-safe substitute, Robert Blakey. Blakey deferred to the CIA instead of investigating it, as he conceded last fall at a major Warren Commission 50th anniversary conference. I participated as a speaker and in coverage. I reported on Former U.S. House JFK Murder Prober Alleges CIA ‘Lied,’ Seeks Hidden Records and gave an address k carried on C-SPAN, The JFK Murder 'Cover-up' Still Matters -- As Does C-SPAN's Coverage.
Partly as a result of the probe's late 1970s breakdown in Washington, the late congressional investigator Gaeton Fonzi recalled in his memoir The Last Investigation that federal authorities failed to confirm the circumstances of de Mohrenschildt's death. He saw also first-hand that authorities failed to move after the death to nail down the investigative leads the dead man could have provided.
Today's column, Part 24 of the Justice Integrity Project's "Readers Guide" to the JFK assassination, explores why the corporate-owned mainstream media self-censor so much evidence of CIA involvement in the Kennedy assassination and similar news items that extend to the present. Be advised that this column is unusually long at five thousand words. But that length is necessary to document the tale sufficiently, especially for new readers. The topic of media manipulations from the JFK era to the present has huge impact but is carefully hidden.
As an overview, the shortcomings of O’Reilly and Fox News exemplify a pattern that pervades all of the major media, including liberal and alternative outlets.
This Readers Guide series began in 2013 to make sense of the varied JFK assassination evidence and theories, much of it suppressed. As indicated in an appendix below, our first Readers Guide columns listed all important books, videos, and events in comprehensive fashion with minimal commentary. Later columns based on additional research analyzed evidence and expert opinion.
Our most recent commentaries build on that foundation to show that the Warren Commission's key findings could not have been true. The presidentially appointed commission chaired by Chief Justice Earl Warren claimed in 1964 that Oswald acted alone in firing three shots from the rear, killing Kennedy. The commission also claimed that nightclub owner Jack Ruby had no mob ties. Ruby killed Oswald, as portrayed below, at the Dallas police station on Nov. 24, 1963, two days after the president's assassination.
The Warren Commission, whose members included former CIA Director Allen Dulles, could not have been correct since evidence now indicates that Kennedy was shot at least once from the front. Furthermore, Oswald had covert colleagues, and Ruby was indisputably a longtime figure in organized crime. The latter fact helps contradict the notion that he was such a good citizen that he stalked Oswald to kill him.
So, we must conclude (as does the majority of the American public according to many years of polling) that the Warren Commission misled the public.
Further evidence shows that the CIA, FBI and their powerful allies Wall Street, the media and elsewhere have enforced massive self-censorship and other evidence suppression that has continued to the present on issues on the assassination and its more current consequences. Just last fall, former Cuban exile assassination group leader Antonio Veciana described publicly for the first time that he saw his CIA handler David Atlee Phillips meet with Oswald in Dallas six weeks before the assassination.
Today's series segment begins with a summary of the recent controversy over O'Reilly's claim in his best-selling book Killing Kennedy and elsewhere that he traveled from Texas to interview de Mohrenschildt and was present at his death in Florida.
We next show that the dispute is part of a massive, ongoing propaganda campaign involving all major media to sell the public immediately after the 1963 presidential assassination on the theory that Oswald acted alone.
Such major institutions as Time-Life Inc., then controlled by Publisher Charles Douglas "CD" Jackson, a longtime CIA asset, played a vital role in shaping news coverage of the story, as did then-emerging network stars such as Dan Rather and White House communications director Bill Moyers.
The successful sales job has continued. O'Reilly's book was a well-reviewed best-seller even though it has scanty sourcing for its rehash of the discredited Warren Commission conclusions. Furthermore, his book spawned a widely watched television special and was republished in a children's version that serves to propagandize the next generation.
Finally, we show the enormous career benefits for those journalists, other researchers and government officials who adhere to official claims on matters like the major assassinations in the 1960s and subsequent events extending to the present. Their cowardly actions fostered what has become the well-grounded fear of prospective whistleblowers like de Mohrenschildt that their attempts to speak up will go unheard.
Such fears extend to those at the top of our system. As reported in my book Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters, President Obama has feared taking on the CIA, explained also in such news reports as Obama Team Feared Coup If He Prosecuted War Crimes.
A former State Department foreign service officer’s new book provides a shocking, timely, and credible circumstantial case that ties the U.S. training of Islamic radicals to our nation’s major foreign policy disasters in the Mideast during the past quarter century.
The book is Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked the World — An Insider's View. Author J. Michael Springmann (shown at right) is the former chief of the visa section at the U.S. consulate in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. He launched the book last week with his first lecture and book-signing, which admirers organized at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
“It’s past time to expose murder, war crimes and human rights violations by the United States of American and its ‘intelligence’ services,” Springmann says. He continues:
Using the dubious claim of "national security," the United States, though the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency (NSA), has engaged in and/or organized coups and destabilization efforts around the world, most notably in the Middle East.
From Libya to Iran, governments have been overthrown, politicians assassinated, and everyday citizens murdered — all with the knowledge of not only the president of the United States and the executive branch but with the legislative and judicial ones, as well.
The essence of his first-hand experience is that he was required as chief visa officer in Saudi Arabia to issue what he regarded as illegal visas to large numbers of U.S.-backed Islamic fundamentalists transiting through Jeddah from multiple Islamic nations so they could visit the United States for secret purposes.
Those purposes, Springmann later concluded, involved covert training at such locales as "The Farm," a CIA training facility in Williamsburg, Virginia. The trainees, he alleges, were vagabond Islamic mercenaries, revolutionists and jihadists — an "Arab-Afghan Legion" — who could be unleashed on America’s enemies.
All of this, he argues in Visas for Al Qaeda, was without adequate consideration of the “blowback” to the United States from uncontrollable jihadists sometimes recruited from prisons and with the help of ultra-radical clerics.
Spymasters made the recruitment process so complex, he says, that most of the radical clerics and U.S. government workers involved would not have known the funding and evolving goals of the process. But at the top, he shows, NATO-allied Gulf oil monarchies and their charities often served as intermediaries for the West in joint operations that cannot withstand public exposure.
In his view, the State Department, the CIA, and higher-ups have created an ongoing disaster for the United States, our allies, and the rest of the world.
It began with President Carter's decision via his National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski to fight Soviet power in Afghanistan by supporting radical Islmamists on the borders of the Soviet Union.
Brzezinski, shown in a file photo, later held the national security advisor post for 2008 Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, thus illustrating a long continuum of policy and personal connections seldom explored by the mainstream media, which includes the advisor's daughter, Mika Brzezinski, co-host of the MSNBC "Morning Joe" show.
Springmann shows U.S. complicity in arming the Mujahideen, Taliban, Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan during the 1980s when both Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were United States operatives.
His story draws on his first-hand experience in fighting State Department and CIA higher-ups who enabled this rootless, radical fighting force to evolve into the modern-day Al-Qaeda and ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State.
His book could not be more timely.
Right now, the U.S. Congress is likely to authorize war against ISIS/ISIL (the Islamic State of Syria/Islamic State of Levant).
Few in government or the major media dare voice the hidden history of the nation’s previous wars in those regions, much less discuss current covert operations. These have led to up to six trillion of dollars in U.S. taxpayer expense for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars so far since 2001, according to some estimates. A half million to a million are dead and millions more have become refugees in those broken nations, according to other widely reported estimates.
Without that debate and history, neither Congress nor the public can create logical limits on presidential war-making in terms of an enemy, geography, or a time-frame.
The NoVa (Northern Virginia) Writers Group hosted me Feb. 28 for a lively public discussion of Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters at the Lorton Library near Washington, DC.
The hour-long discussion in cooperation with the Washington Authors Meet-up process addressed the mysteries unraveled by the research, their relevance to top news stories today -- and how authors in the audience can beat the odds to bring their own books to public attention.
The events followed my hour-long interview on the Phil Mikan Show in Connecticut Feb. 26 in which we revealed and analyzed a new set of outrages imposed on the public by puppets on behalf of what I describe as "puppet masters."
Others have different names for such entities, such as the title of a chart below at left published by the Brookings Institution, which is itself tightly aligned with the power structure and thus more knowledgeable than most regarding specifics.
On March 7, President Obama is scheduled to speak in Selma, Alabama for the 50th anniversary of the historic "Bloody Sunday" civil rights march of 1965. Local authorities so brutally beat civil rights marchers that the nation responded by passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, thereby helping enable blacks to register and vote in significant numbers for the first time in the region's modern history.
News coverage this year will be especially strong because of the 50th anniversary and the Oprah Winfrey movie Selma, winner of an Oscar for best theme song and nominated for the best picture award.
Present also will be many civil rights advocates who have long advocated for the Obama administration to undertake far more serious reforms to the justice system than it has.
As in the past, a heavy focus will be on the plight of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman (1999-2003), who remains imprisoned for 1999 actions many experts regard as non-criminal, especially because of the gross prosecutorial and judicial misconduct during his trial on corruption charges.
We attended last year's march and related events in Selma for nearly a week, and have often reported on Selma, Siegelman and other Alabama legal controversies.
They include especially dramatic cases that are replicated across the nation and even internationally.
Our recent column on Attorney Gen. Eric Holder, was reprinted in Indonesia Feb. 27 by the Fifth Estate blog, which goes to ex-patriates and others in the Far East who follow the effectiveness of democracy in the United States.
The big media fail to report rampant abuses at the U.S. Justice Department. Too often timid and craven, journalists protect a Puppet President, his team, and the masters they serve. Next month, President Obama and celebrities from the hit film "Selma" will attend the 50th anniversary of the 'Bloody Sunday' civil rights march in Selma, Alabama -- a state notorious also for current state and federal abuses.
How should the public react?
Attorney Gen. Eric Holder polished his legacy Feb. 17 with a National Press Club speech that illustrated the sharp limits of political accountability and media curiosity in the nation’s capital.
Holder received for the most part the standard deferential treatment accorded to high officials. Moderators screened audience questions, as commonly the case, thereby keeping discussion focused within comfortable parameters.
Holder, shown in a photo by Noel St. John, projected a benign presence after presiding over some of America’s most controversial decision-making of the Obama administration.
He announced that his “sentencing reform” initiative has deterred federal prosecutors from advocating mandatory minimum sentences “while reserving stricter sentences for more serious offenders.”
The Justice Department billed it as one of his final public appearances before he steps down as the nation’s 82nd attorney general when his successor wins Senate confirmation, as seems likely. An official photo shows the nominee, Brooklyn-based federal prosecutor Loretta Lynch.
Sunday’s award of an Oscar to the film “Selma” helps underscore the positive, as does President Obama’s planned speech in Selma March 7 celebrating the iconic civil rights march in 1965. Update: The celebrity-laden positive coverage continued in such stories as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the basketball icon, reinvented as culture vulture (with the former basketball star interviewing Holder) Obama bids farewell again to Attorney General Eric Holder, (with Aretha Franklin serenading at a Holder-focused ceremony) and Holder Tears Up As DOJ Celebrates 80 years in Main Justice Buildiing.
In contrast to the professional camaraderie at the press club, New York Times investigative reporter and author James Risen, who was not present for Holder's speech, reacted from afar in revulsion by tweeting that Holder's legacy is a "wrecked First Amendment."
Risen described the Obama administration as the "worst" enemy of press freedom in American history. “Eric Holder has sent a message to dictators around the world that it is okay to crack down on the press and jail journalists,” Risen tweeted. A sample of other controversial issues and ironies is listed below in an appendix.
Today’s column examines how the club's speaker process, like similar programs featuring government officials in Washington, side-steps blunt exchanges about sensitive issues that might better inform the public at the risk of antagonizing a speaker and reducing future appearances by similar guests.
The stakes are high. Holder, one of President Obama’s closest friends and advisors, presides over a Justice Department with vast clout over the nation’s criminal and civil law enforcement system. Its oft-discretionary and subjective application of law impacts also the economy and even foreign affairs. Thus, Holder influences jobs, savings, and national security and many individuals caught up in those vital matters.
President Obama held an outwardly inconclusive bilateral strategy meeting this month at the White House with German Chancellor Angela Merkel that masked a deep struggle between war hawks in the United States and European allies. They are shown below in a White House photo taken in the Roosevelt Room.
So far, the president and several of his advisors have resisted intense, bipartisan pressures from Congress, Wall Street and the establishment media to escalate U.S. arms support for the faltering Ukrainian government.
Such shipments would almost inevitably mean more U.S. training and other escalation. Although Russia has incurred serious hardship from sanctions and oil drop prices as widely reported there are countervailing developments little noted that help sustain its position and hurt Europe and the United States. Russia has been taking long-term measures, for example, to win such allies as the other BRICS nations (Brazil, India, China and South Africa) in trade agreements that reduce the impact of sanctions and dollar-based trading.
March 4 Update: Despite Russian Warnings, US Will Deploy a Battalion to Ukraine by the End of the Week from Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge. See also previous update: Defenders of the Donbass region under attack by NATO-backed Ukrainian forces reported on Feb. 17 a major victory underway in Debaltseve, where Donbass separatists surrounded between 5,000 and 8,000 Ukrainian troops before last week's ceasefire that took effect for the most part on Sunday except for the Debaltseve area.
The Saker, the pen name for a widely read pro-separatist military analyst based in the United States, wrote that field reports indicate that "All this is truly catastrophic news for the junta in Kiev" because their troops' capture or killing would represent a serious blow to the U.S.-backed Kiev government. That government has long denied that its troops were have been surrounded or seriously endangered in the "cauldron" in Debaltseve, which is a war-devastated city with a strategic railway junction between two rebellious regions with large Russian-ethnic populations.
Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department said U.S. interests are not served by a "proxy war" with Russia. The State Department statement at a press conference suggested that the Obama administration continues to resist congressional pressure for arm deliveries, especially in view of opposition of European powers and battlefield reverses for Ukrainian troops supported by NATO.
We have followed this debate closely for more than a year since taped conversations revealed the United States had orchestrated the coup in February 2014 that changed the country’s government and installed the current leaders.
Our research spans a full range of commentators. This editor attended, for example, the announcement at the Atlantic Council Feb. 2 of its major position paper seeking escalation and participated in a conference call the next day with the Ukraine’s new finance minister, U.S. native and former State Department employee Natalie Jaresko. She has lived in the Ukraine the past two decades and become a player with the help of $122 million in U.S. Agency for International Development funding. She answered questions from prominent news organizations. Our research includes also alternative commentators from the United States and Europe, including from the rebellious and largely Russian-speaking sectors of Eastern Ukraine known as the Donbass. Its residents are key players yet receive little coverage.
The Kiev-based NATO-backed new government has been encountering recruiting difficulties also, as indicated by this video clip on YouTube headlined, "Ukraine woman from Zaporozhia region brilliantly takes down the war and the draft."
Regarding the dangerous situation, Reuters reported over the weekend, Merkel defends Ukraine arms stance in face of U.S. criticism.
Her concerns were pooh-poohed by those making the case for U.S. escalation at an important forum hosted in Washington, DC by the Atlantic Council Feb. 2, "The Ukraine Crisis: Withstand and Deter Russian Aggression."
The New York Times broke the story U.S. Takes New Look at Arming Ukraine Forces, Officials Say of the new pressure by the neo-conservative and neo-liberal opinion leaders to double-down the United States investment in the Ukraine in the face of military, diplomatic and financial reverses for the West there during recent weeks following the overthrow of Ukraine's government a year ago.
Brookings Institution President Strobe Talbott helped lead the way last week in a joint report by him and seven other prominent centrist former diplomats and military leaders in urging a $3 billion "non-lethal defensive" arms and training rescue package for the Kiev-based Ukrainian government to begin as soon as possible and extend over the next three years. Talbott said Russia has committed "act of war" in the Ukraine.
Russia denies sending organized troops, only permitting volunteers. Virtually no debate has occurred in Western media regarding amounts of Western military and intelligence help so far for the Kiev government backed by the West. At the Atlantic Council forum, however, speakers estimated 150 to 200 Russian military personnel in the Ukrainian and an unspecified number of U.S. personnel.
NATO's top commander in Europe, General Philip Breedlove, shown in his official photo, has said weapons and equipment and other equipment are an option. As a sign of the pressures for escalation, his statement was unusual but little noted as such. The United States tradition has been for the military to defer to civilian leadership on policy.
Commentator Robert Parry, who broke the Iran-Contra scandal in the 1980s as an Associated Press and Newsweek reporter, wrote this week in Wretched US Journalism on Ukraine that he has never witnessed the media march so much in lock-stop to the leaks and pronouncements of the U.S. Department of State and other Western authorities. This includes, he wrote, the media’s parroting of the “Weapons of Mass Destruction” canard enabling the Iraq war in 2003.
Parry's warning is apt and worrisome, especially given the seldom reported historical background, recent events, and imminent decision-making.
Famed educator and legal scholar Ken Starr led a forum last week at the National Press Club to inspire faith-based instruction — and then was asked to describe why he had helped billionaire Jeffrey Epstein avoid serious prison time in 2008 on allegations Epstein had molested dozens of underage girls.
The president and chancellor of Baylor University, responding to a question after the close of a forum he led Feb. 4 on “The Calling of Faith-based Universities,” told me he was “very happy” to help serve a client of his former law firm, Chicago-based Kirkland & Ellis. Starr, a former federal judge and U.S. solicitor general, is shown at left.
Thus, as so often the case in public life in the nation’s capital, a stark contrast arose between high-minded rhetoric and subservience to the wealthy.
Today’s column summarizes the perverted practices of the globe-trotting Epstein, 62, shown in a photo at right. We next examine Epstein’s powerful friends, allies, and lawyers on a legal dream team that included Alan Dershowitz, Roy Black, Jay Lefkowitz, Gerald Lefcourt, and Martin Weinberg.
Following that, we report how the attorneys arranged a sweetheart plea deal for Epstein in 2008. Starr played a key role in arranging lenient treatment for Epstein, whose federal-state prosecution a decade ago occurred concurrently under the administrations of President George W. Bush and his brother, Florida Governor Jeb Bush (1999-2007) and Jeb Bush's successor Charlie Crist (2007-2011), who had been state attorney general during the beginning of the Epstein case.
The Daily Mail of London reported new developments Jan. 2 in Andrew and the under-age 'sex slave': Duke denies claim in court papers that teen was picked to sleep with him by Robert Maxwell's daughter. According to recent court filings in Florida's federal court:
A plaintiff "Jane Doe 3," later identified as a California native Virginia Roberts, accused Epstein as treating her as a "sex slave" beginning when she was 15 as part of a massive sex trafficking operation he ran exploiting girls in their mid-teens, below the legal age of consent.
Roberts, now 31, claimed that Epstein farmed her out to other men, including Prince Andrew of the British royal family, Epstein's attorney Dershowitz, and French modeling scout Jean Luc Brunel.
The California native said the photo below left portrays her at center with Prince Andrew, also known as the Duke of York, on a trip to London when she was 17 in 2001. At right was Ghislaine Maxwell, the socialite daughter of the corrupt newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell, who drowned in 1991 after toppling overboard from his yacht Lady Ghislaine. The death left one of the world's largest media empires with a reported $3 billion in debts.
Roberts alleged that the Ghislaine Maxwell was girlfriend of the never-married Epstein's who helped him both maintain contacts to top levels of society, recruited teenage sex consorts, and sometimes participated in the sex abuse, including of Roberts. The Roberts claims are part of her effort along with a Jane Doe 4 to join a suit filed six years ago by Jane Doe 1 and 2 against the federal government for violation of civil rights in agreeing to an overly lenient state plea deal for Epstein in 2008.
The federal-state agreement enabled Epstein to spend just eight hours a day in a county jail and for authorities to agree not to prosecute anyone else. South Florida lawyer and Ring of Fire radio host Mike Papantonio commented last week that the no-prosecution deal "is unheard of....That never happens."
Maxwell, Epstein, Andrew, and Dershowitz are among those who have denied the major allegations by Roberts, as have federal authorities. Epstein, in his first formal remarks on the revived scandal, last month condemned the “media frenzy” surrounding the case. He wrote that he and his associates “have been the subject of the most outlandish and offensive attacks, allegations, and plain inventions.”
The prince issued a strongly-worded denial via Buckingham Palace, saying "any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue."
As a big picture, Epstein's money-making talents were exceptional.
A list of Epstein's contacts compiled by a Florida house manager listed access information for the Queen of England, the current King of Saudi Arabia, former President Clinton, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, rock stars at the Mick Jagger and Michael Jackson level, fashion gurus, media moguls, and financiers at the Rothschild and Rockefeller level, among dozens of others wealthy, powerful contacts.
Their precise relationships with Epstein remain unclear in many instances, which is a natural consequence of the slap-on-the-wrist plea deal for him that short-circuited disclosure in the courts.
A week ago, the Daily Beast focused heavily on Starr's role in a column entitled, Conservative Scold Ken Starr Got A Billionaire Pedophile Off. Reporter M.S. Nestel described how Epstein faced life sentences if authorities pursued their heavy documentation that he had assaulted and exploited high school girls on a systematic basis. Instead, the billionaire was sentenced for a single state charge of soliciting a prostitution.
Epstein went to jail nights for 13 months in a special wing of a local jail, maintained his freedom during the day, and emerged in 2011 to scoff at his critics, as reported by the New York Post in Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein: I’m a sex offender, not a predator. The newspaper reported that imperious ex-con used his $50 million New York City mansion to celebrate his release from a Florida jail "with his close pal, Britain’s Prince Andrew."
Starr is, of course, the former federal judge and the independent prosecutor whom fellow judge David Sentelle, a Federalist Society activist supervising the nation's independent counsels for 14 years, had appointed to replace a prior investigator of President Bill Clinton's Whitewater financial transactions.
Failing to find actionable evidence on his mandate of investigating Whitewater, Starr aggressively expanded his $70 million probe to pursue sex scandal allegations after he received a tip about about consensual sexual activity by youthful Defense Department employee, Monica Lewinsky, shown at right in an April 1997 photo.
Under Starr in January 1998, federal authorities ambushed Lewinsky while she was shopping at a food court in January 1998. She described in a 2014 Washington Post article, Lewinsky mistreated by authorities, her tears and panic while authorities held her during a 12-hour interrogation without a lawyer in a hotel room.
Agreeing finally to wear a wire to incriminate the president, Lewinsky helped Starr secure evidence that the president engaged in oral sex, leading to Clinton's false denials of the acts. The House then impeached Clinton before he saved his presidency by narrowly winning acquittal in the Senate.
The Epstein case is worth studying in part because of the high stakes for sex scandals and blackmail at such levels. The Epstein scandal illustrates, yet again, a two-tiered American justice system where wealth and political influence can often win lenient treatment even in heinous, well-documented cases.
Furthermore, as we explore in a second part of our ongoing coverage this week, suppressed but videotaped sex scandals at this level of society and governance poses a serious threat of blackmail and other corrupt influence-peddling on major government and business decision-making.
As a preview: The Guardian on Feb. 7 published Video exists of underage sex with powerful men, based on a new affidavit Roberts filed the previous day. Her claim that the FBI likely possesses video alleges the goal of blackmail.
The plaintiff filings also claimed, "Epstein instructed Jane Doe #3 that she was to give the prince whatever he demanded and required Jane Doe #3 to report back to him on the details of the sexual abuse." Roberts claimed that Epstein’s "‘lending’ of young girls to prominent international figures – foreign presidents and U.S. politicians and businessmen among them – was to ‘ingratiate’ himself and ‘so that he could potentially blackmail them."
Roberts wrote also: “There were times when I was physically abused to the point that I remember fearfully thinking that I didn’t know whether I was going to survive,” Roberts said in a new court filing last week.
We have examined such matters for years at the Justice Integrity Project and in my recent book, Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters Too often, the bottom line in a court case is not merely the law but hidden politics.
In sum, the Epstein saga raises serious question about favoritism if not corruption in the courts even if plaintiffs' allegations are overblown. The immunity agreement for alleged co-conspirators is so irregular that it reeks of a cover-up.
For busy readers, that is this column's gist. Others should read on if interested in more detail.
This material includes amplification of Starr's explanation of his work for Epstein and Starr's advocacy, delivered last week along with the presidents of Yeshiva and Catholic Universities, for faith-based instruction to help guide students in navigating through difficult ethical issues they will face in their lives.
Justice Scales For Jet-Setter Jeffrey Epstein
The Brooklyn-born Epstein started his career as a seventh-grade school teacher at the Dalton School, a private school on Manhattan's East Side, then became a trader with Bear Stearns in the mid-1970s.
Epstein he built up assets of at least a billion dollars by astute investments, often in private trading with minimal disclosure requirements.
His homes included those in Manhattan, Florida's Palm Beach, London, Paris, a ranch in New Mexico, and a private island called Little Saint James near St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.
The Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation has reportedly donated more than $200 million to individual scientists since 2000, including Stephen Hawking, Marvin Minsky, Eric Lander and many others. His foundation has convened many of these scientists in conferences to discuss such topics as gravity, threats to the earth, language, and cure for cancer.
We now focus on a darker side. A dozen years ago, the mother of a Florida high school student complained to authorities that her 14-year-old daughter had been paid $200 at Epstein’s mansion in Palm Beach.
This prompted an investigation that collected witness statements claiming that the never-married Epstein and his female cronies systematically recruited high school and other young girls to engage in sexual activities for money.
Much of it allegedly involved massages by girls stripped-down to their underwear of a naked or near-naked Epstein, who purportedly masturbated during the sessions and at times engaged or attempted to engage in other sexual activities. Walls of his mansion were reportedly profusely decorated with photos of naked or near naked girls from previous visits.
The definition of those underage for purposes of consent varies by state but is usually age 14 to 18.
Meanwhile, Epstein had pursued a jet-set lifestyle, sometimes accompanied by young females and famous political, business and other companions. The roster included Prince Andrew, 54, who is the second son and third child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. Prince Andrew was second in line for the throne at one point.
Epstein's friends and contacts included large numbers of other wealthy and powerful men and girls, according to an address book kept by Epstein's Florida housekeeper Alfredo Rodriguez.
The Daily Mail reported last month that Rodriguez, who died Dec. 28 at age 60, kept a detailed 'black book' of dozens of young women that Epstein abused. "The houseman was sentenced to 18 months jail — the same term as his boss — in 2011 for failing to hand the journal to prosecutors. Instead he tried to sell it to defense lawyers for $50,000." Rodriguez circled the names in the book he claimed were involved in sexual activities and we have reviewed that list, although it is of course unsworn and otherwise unauthenticated evidence.
The Smoking Gun reported that Epstein's contacts, not necessarily sexual, included names like Bronfman, Rothschild, Stern, Bloomberg, Koch, Wexner, Zuckerman, Kravis, Rockefeller, Trump, plus celebrities, journalists, and socialites. "Some of the individuals listed appear to primarily be friends of Epstein’s ex-girlfriend/longtime sidekick Ghislaine Maxwell, who has been accused of wrangling underage massage talent for the shadowy investor."
Epstein's contacts, further illustrated by flight logs from his airplanes, contain names involved in the glamorous fashion, modeling, rock music, and race car worlds that would be especially alluring to young girls being recruited for Epstein's sex trafficking operations. Despite pointed inquiries from the student Harvard Crimson newspaper, the university said after the scandal broke that it would keep a $6.5 million donation from Epstein because it funded important work. Epstein is shown relaxing with his counsel, Dershowitz.
The scope of the allegations and names of Epstein’s companies were kept low-key during the prosecution. The defendant accepted a plea deal with an 18-month part-time sentence on two counts, and emerged to freedom after 13 months, albeit with the label of sex offender.
Importantly in the view of critics, his conviction was a triumph of defense lawyering. The charge of soliciting a prostitute did not carry the stigma and penalties of systematic sexual abuse of girls not old enough to provide informed consent under the law. The age of legal consent varies widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction in the United States, but most states set the age between 14 and 18. Those adults found guilty of sexual activities with mid-teen minors are liable to such charges as child sexual abuse, statutory rape, illegal carnal knowledge, and corruption of a minor.
With the new allegations, newspaper headline writers have recently been describing Epstein as a "pedophile" based on his conviction and the scope of his activities. Roberts has described them as including filmed orgies and reflecting his interest in three girls as young as 12 sent as a so-called "gift" from Eastern Europe.
Many professionals, however, restrict the term pedophile to those focused primarily on child sex victims aged 13 or younger. Most of the evidence against Epstein suggests his focus was on those in the mid-teens. Furthermore, Epstein's allies have denounced Roberts as a liar and "fantacist," as reported the Guardian column Feb. 7, among other places. For such reasons, the description "pervert," not "pedophile," suffices here for now.
Update: A reader provides a legal filing containing allegations of sufficient seriousness so that, upon reflection, Epstein can be fairly described as a "pedophile."
A 39-page exhibit by a Palm Beach attorney, Bradley Edwards, cites evidence that Epstein molested one girl more than 50 times beginning at age 13 and that she was paid $200 apiece for recruiting more than 70 other underage girls to submit to similar treatment. Edwards cited evidence of other young female recruiters who brought multiple victims into Epstein's mansion for similar fees. The evidence was for defense of a state court suit, Epstein v. Rothstein and Edwards, that the billionaire brought against two lawyers trying to make money by representing underage victims. Epstein dropped the suit in 2012 after defendant Scott Rothstein was charged with a major Ponzi scheme described below.
The lenient plea deal for Epstein without thorough follow-up infuriated one or more grunt-level investigators. At what must have been great risk for reprisal, one of them helped make sure the evidence became public on the Internet and elsewhere, usually with the victim names deleted to protect privacy.
The prosecution plea deal let authorities provide Epstein a modest sentence and barred prosecution (and thus even investigation) of any of Epstein's many world-famous guests, traveling companions, sex trafficking junior accomplices, and other cronies.
The Plea Deal Reexamined
Columnist Wayne Madsen has combined the tabloid elements of the Epstein case with investigative dimensions based on his 14 years experience as a Navy Intelligence officer and recent inspection of the federal court file in West Palm Beach.
In four columns last month, Madsen reported that Epstein's lawyers have fought a fierce but so far unsuccessful effort to seal documents.
Madsen has often reported that prominent members of politics and the media have secret intelligence ties. Madsen has, for example, reiterated Seymour Hersh's 1991 scoop that the press lord Maxwell had been a longtime asset for the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad before his death.
Madsen is among those who have also reported that the world's largest insurance company, the American International Group (AIG), became after its founding by Ken Starr's uncle, the late Cornelius V. Starr (1892-1968), a vital component of CIA operations in high-level intrigues spanning the globe.
Cornelius Starr's successor beginning 1960 was his chauffeur's son Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, who would become both a multi-billionaire and a serious candidate in 1996 to become CIA director after authoring "Making Intelligence Smarter: The Future of U.S. Intelligence," a major strategic memo published by the Council on Foreign Relations.
During the financial crisis of 2008-09, AIG received from the holdover Bush and incoming Obama officials approval for $182 billion in federal bailouts from taxpayers under suspicious circumstances -- and then awarded its senior executives more than a billion dollars in bonuses.
Several years earlier, New York Attorney Gen. Eliot Spitzer, right, had infuriated AIG and other Wall Street executives by his aggressive investigations of AIG along with other Wall Street defendants whom Spitzer accused of securities fraud and similar white collar offenses. With complex operations in more than 100 nations, AIG had been reporting for years false profits on a massive scale.
But Spitzer's bank reported to the U.S. Treasury Department financial transactions involving Spitzer, a Democrat who was by then New York's governor potentially poised for a bright future as a corruption-fighter. Agents traced the governor's spending to the Emperors Club, which turned out to be an escort service providing expensive call girls. The New York Times obtained leaked information from authorities. The newspaper reported on March 10, 2008 that Spitzer had used prostitutes on multiple occasions, including one repeatedly profiled.
In disgrace, Spitzer resigned as governor the same week, thereby illustrating to court watchers the dangers a corrupt life-style -- especially when combined with investigating powerful entities. Clearly, even an investigator's supposedly confidential personal banking information could find its way to the front page.
Wayne Madsen's Jan. 23 column, Epstein plea deal with feds protected Bill Clinton and the House of Bush, reported how Madsen had obtained the "heretofore sealed Non-Prosecution Agreement (NPA) struck between lawyers for billionaire Florida registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and George W. Bush-era federal prosecutors." The excerpt is cited with permission from his subscription-based site, The Wayne Madsen Report:
Epstein received the NPA after he was charged with soliciting sex from an alleged "prostitute." However, the so-called "prostitute" was actually a 14-year old girl who was recruited by a network of Epstein's employees who basically served as child sex traffickers and pimps. Lawyers for Epstein attempted to block federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida Kenneth Marra from unsealing the NPA as per the wishes of attorneys for four child sex trafficking victims known as Jane Does 1 through 4. However, Marra decided to unseal the NPA on January 21 and WMR was present at the Paul G. Roberts Federal Building to obtain a copy of the NPA.
The NPA was agreed to on October 30, 2007 by U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta. Although Acosta later criticized the plea deal in an open letter, he did not respond to WMR's request for an interview on the current case in which four of Epstein's victims are suing the U.S. government claiming that the NPA violated their rights under the Crime Victims' Rights Act (CVRA). The victims, who are now adults, claim that the federal government's NPA with Epstein violated the 2004 CVRA.
The government argues that because Epstein was never charged with a federal crime, the victims have no rights under the CVRA. In their request to Marra to unseal the NPA, the attorneys for the Jane Does, said that the federal government and Epstein colluded "to avoid a firestorm of public controversy that would have erupted if the sweetheart plea deal with a politically-connected billionaire had been revealed."
The NPA was signed on behalf of Acosta by A. Marie Villafana, the then-Assistant U.S. Attorney for Southern Florida, who is now the U.S. Attorney under Attorney General Eric Holder. The plea deal with Epstein was concluded after the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami and the FBI investigated Epstein separately from the investigation conducted by the Palm Beach County Police Department and the Florida Attorney General's Office. The deal cut between Acosta and Villafana and the state of Florida, which was then under the governorship of then-Republican Governor Charlie Crist and Republican Attorney-General Bill McCollum stated that the federal government would defer to Florida the prosecution of Epstein. Acosta has gone on to become the dean of the law school of Florida International University in Miami.
The NPA also stipulated that a list of individuals who the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami and the FBI has identified as victims of Epstein's sexual abuse and trafficking would be provided to Epstein's attorneys, who included Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz.
Jane Doe 3, identified as Virginia Roberts, has claimed that Dershowitz has sex with her while she was a minor. Dershowitz has vigorously denied the allegations and he has cited a "conspiracy" against him by anti-Semites who are getting even for his longtime support for Israel. Unsubstantiated conspiracy theories by Dershowitz aside, the fact remains that the NPA immunized all of Epstein's co-conspirators -- who allegedly include Dershowitz -- former President Bill Clinton, and Prince Andrew of Britain from future federal prosecution.
The NPA states: ". . . the United States also agrees that it will not institute any criminal charges against any potential co-conspirators of Epstein, including but not limited to [alleged Epstein accomplices] Sarah Kellen, Adriana Ross, Lesley Goff, or Nadia Marcinkova." The NPA also suspended the federal grand jury investigation against Epstein and held in abeyance all federal grand jury subpoenas in the case against Epstein. These subpoenas presumably included those directed to witnesses in the case, individuals that likely include Dershowitz, Clinton, and Andrew.
Epstein finished his part-time jail sentence in 2011. Vanity Fair, New York Magazine and the New York Post were among the occasional adverse profiles he endured. The Post reported in Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein: I’m a sex offender, not a predator that Epstein was still scoffing at his critics.
As it turns out, Epstein had cause for complaint. Scott Rothstein, a Palm Beach lawyer, developed a Ponzi scheme by which he boasted of huge settlements, including in Epstein case spin-offs, and then invite "investors" to share in the proceeds. Rothstein was sentenced to a 50-year prison term in a scam that bilked investors of $1.2 billion, as prosecutors described in this Palm Beach Post article in 2012: Billionaire sex offender drops suit against Scott Rothstein and one of his partners.
The filing by Virginia Roberts last year to join the ongoing "Jane Doe" case revived interest by making specific claims about debauchery by high-level figures.
Shown in a recent photo at right, Roberts, 31, said she was a runaway at age 11, and a "sex slave" for Epstein beginning at 15. At age 19, she said she received indications she was getting too old for him, and married an Australian. As reported in the Guardian story Feb. 7:
Dismissed as a liar and a fantasist by Epstein allies, Roberts filed with her affidavit on Friday previously undisclosed receipts for a flight from New York to Thailand in September 2002 and a stay costing several thousand dollars at the Royal Princess hotel in Chiang Mai. All the bills appeared to have been paid for by “J Epstein.”
Roberts, who says she was recruited for Epstein at 15, has previously alleged that she was sent on the Thailand trip by Epstein to learn Thai massage and interview a Thai girl “to bring back to the United States” for him. Instead, she says, she met a man whom she married and fled with him to Australia for more than a decade.
Government prosecutors say that Roberts was properly notified about the plea deal at the time it was struck and has waited too long to join the lawsuit. Roberts argues that she did not fully understand the letter sent to her by prosecutors and was too scared of repercussions from Epstein’s powerful friends to come out of hiding.
Prince Andrew is shown in a 2011 photo with U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, a former CIA director, at a function at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. The prince holds the title of Duke of York. Born on Feb. 19, 1960, he is the second son and third child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. At the time of his birth, the prince was second in the line of succession to succeed his mother. He is currently fifth in line.
The Smoking Gun (TSG), for example, reported this week in Inside Wealthy Pervert's Massage "Black Book," Senator's galpal listed in Jeffrey Epstein's rub roster Epstein’s “black book,” an exhibit to a court filing in a civil suit brought against Epstein by two of his minor victims, consisted of 181 pages that contain contact information for billionaires (Bronfman, Stern, Bloomberg, Koch, Wexner, Zuckerman, Kravis, Rockefeller), multimillionaires (Trump), celebrities, journalists, and socialites.
The Roberts claims alleging sexual exploitation by author, attorney and longtime Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, now a resident of Miami Beach, have been particularly prominent because he was a member of the Epstein legal team who helped choose Ken Starr. She claimed to have had sex with him six times.
Dershowitz denied assaulting Roberts or ever meeting her.
Miami television station WPLG and its reporter Bob Norman broadcast a two-minute interview on the topic Jan. 22: Alan Dershowitz: 'Sex slave' accuser is serial liar, 'still a prostitute.' The station provided a transcript.
"This is a woman who is a serial liar," Dershowitz said. "She's lied, lied, lied, lied."
The law professor called her a "prostitute." When the reporter asked whether she could have given informed consent to sex at such young age, Dershowitz said that's a question for authorities, not him.
Ken Starr's Full Response
We now revisit the Ken Starr-led forum Feb. 4 at the National Press Club, which was part of a series of Washington programs organized by Baylor, which is based in Waco, TX.
Baylor, founded in 1845, defines itself as a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution."
Starr moderated a discussion with two other university presidents, John Garvey of Catholic University of America and Richard Joel of Yeshiva University. Baylor bought a promotional ad in the Sunday Washington Post for Feb. 1.
Samuel Smith of the Christian Post summarized the discussion as follows under the headline, Purpose of college is not to get a job, is to instill ethical responsibilities: university presidents, summarized the main discussion:
Although all the presidents agreed that that it is imperative for colleges to provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in a career, what is equally as important and often overlooked by state and secular schools in today's secular environment, is making sure that students are prepared to make tough moral and ethical choices when they are faced with many of life's tough dilemmas....Joel explained that Yeshiva University strives on the motto that "education is meant to Ennoble and Enable."
Garvey agreed with Joel's notion that education's role is to "ennoble and enable" and put it into his own context of providing "wisdom and virtue." Starr said that at Baylor University there is a Christian calling to ensure that the students understand the concept of maintaining a "caring community" and living to serve the needs of others.
"The creation of a very purposeful community, what we call the caring community, is vibrant and evident. It makes for a joyful place that sets us apart in terms of degrees of happiness," Starr told reporters after the event. "We talk about 'live life greatly.' That means in our Christian tradition, 'don't live for yourself.'"
All three university presidents held J.D. degrees and have been law school professors. So, part of their remarks focused on the role of law in inspiring students and otherwise shaping a moral society. During Q&A, Starr read from audience questions submitted on cards. Each of the questions chosen dealt generally with the previous discussion.
None mentioned what I regarded as an elephant in the room: namely questions of morality faced by clerical leaders contending against human failings as old as human history.
Most notable in my mind was the Epstein case. But resonating also in the Washington area especially has been the arrest of a prominent rabbi, law professor and educator accused of secretly videotaping young female members of his congregation and at least one of his students at a local university while they took ritual baths at his suggestion. The New York Times reported the story as, Prominent Rabbi Arrested on a Charge of Voyeurism.
At the end of the last week's event, I discovered an old friend was among the attendees and together we decided to approach the forum moderator, Starr. My friend's father had been a White House correspondent in the 1960s. He has long been concerned (like the forum speakers) with the harm that lax moral standards cause society. As part of that, he is sensitive to gross injustice.
As Starr gathered up his lecture notes and prepared to leave, I took the lead in thanking the speaker for an enlightening discussion. He smiled in friendly fashion. What follows are my notes reconstructing the conversation immediately afterward.
"But since it is the Press Club," I continued, "I hope you don't mind if I ask a question."
"Fire away!" he responded cheerfully. The Duke Law School graduate, a former law clerk to the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger from 1975 to 1977, has argued 36 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including 25 during his service as solicitor general from 1989 to 1993. So, he has every reason to be confident in handling any question.
"In view of the topic of tonight's discussion," I said, "isn't it incongruous that you chose to represent Jeffrey Epstein?"
"I don't think I want to answer that. This involves the attorney-client privilege."
"I appreciate that because I'm a lawyer also. But I'm not asking for any privileged secrets. And I understand that everyone's entitled to a lawyer. But why you?"
He paused a moment, and responded with slightly more formality, "I was very happy to respond to the needs of a client of the firm."
We thanked him for his time and moved on. In a post-mortem outside, my friend told me, "Well, you got your answer. It's about the money, isn't it?"
This column could have ended right there.
But the situation points to a more important story that his actions, which we shall address soon in a Part II of this column.
Influential though the Baylor president has been, Ken Starr is a symptom of a much larger problem. The standard human frailties -- summarized in the Ten Commandments, among other places -- persist and often seem to prevail in the nation's capital, as in so many other places.
As the Epstein case shows, society at its highest levels is rife with leaders skilled in rhetoric and other image-making. But many have achieved “success” in significant part by repulsive actions or at least tolerance of such practices among their colleagues.
A true test is whether each individual -- and those coming up through universities, the Palm Beach police department's grunt-level investigators, and elsewhere – fulfills ethical duties.
In that sense, the rhetoric of Starr and the two other faith-based university presidents last week serves an important purpose. So does, I hope, this column providing what the late newsman Paul Harvey used to call, "The rest of the story."
Jeffrey Epstein's Little Black Book: A Sampler
Daily Mail, Houseman who cleaned pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's sex toys and feared he would make him 'disappear' takes billionaire's secrets to the grave after he died just last week, Martin Gould, Jan. 5, 2015. Alfredo Rodriguez, Epstein's houseman for many years, passed away last week, his widow Patricia Dunn told DailyMail.com. Court papers reveal that Rodriguez claimed he witnessed nude girls whom he believed were underage at the pool area of the home. He also claimed that Epstein viewed pornographic images of underage girls on his home computers. Rodriguez kept a 'black book' of Epstein's -- which he referred to as 'The Holy Graiil.' He tried to obtain $50,000 from lawyers for Epstein's book. Ex-butler called it an 'insurance policy' because he was afraid Epstein would 'make him disappear.' The houseman went to jail in 2011 for failing to turn over the book. Alfredo Rodriguez, who was Epstein's houseman for many years, passed away last week after a six-month battle with cancer, his widow Patricia Dunn told DailyMail.com. He carried many secrets of Epstein's scandalous activities to his grave.
Black Book Names
Editor's Note: Here are some of the better known names listed in a list of Jeffrey Epstein contacts maintained by his late, longtime Florida housekeeper Alfredo Rodriguez and now entered into the federal court docket in Miami. We put top royalty and financial royalty in the first section and list others in alphabetical order. Rodriguez reputedly circled those names he believed involved in improper sexual activities in Florida. Of those on the top part of the list, only Prince Andrew was circled. David Rockefeller -- the last surviving grandchild of the nation's richest person (inflation-adjusted), John D. Rockefeller -- is scheduled to celebrate his 100th birthday this year.
Prince Andrew, Duke of York
Saudi Arabia's Prince Salman (recently named king)
Edward de Rothschild
Evelyn de Rothschild
Jean Luc Brunel
Princess Firyal, wife Prince Muhammad bin Talal of Jordan
Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore (Formula One)
Steve Forbes (Forbes magazine)
Katie Ford (former Ford modeling agency CEO).
Lord Peter Mandelson
John Micklethwait (Economist editor in chief)
Related News Coverage
Epstein Case General Background
Editor's Note: Virginia Roberts, portrayed on her Facebook page, now alleges that she was a teenage "sex slave" in Florida under the wing of billionaire Jeffery Epstein.
Daily Mail Online, New lives of the girls in Andrew sex claim row: Epstein's aides who refused to testify are now a pilot and a designer, Sam Greenhill and Daniel Bates, Jan. 7, 2015. Jeffrey Epstein allegedly made huge efforts to ‘look after’ those who kept quiet about his crimes. Both operate from £1.5m addresses in building owned by Epstein's brother.
Ring of Fire (radio), Epstein Scandal Just Got Crazier — Enter Ken Starr, Mike Papantonio and Sam Seder, Feb. 7, 2015. The mainstream media has largely ignored the Jeffrey Epstein child sex scandal, even though the details of the case keep getting crazier and crazier. Ring of Fire’s co-hosts discuss this. (8:04 min. segment). Famed educator and legal scholar Ken Starr led a forum last week at the National Press Club to inspire faith-based instruction — and then was asked to describe why he had helped billionaire Jeffrey Epstein avoid serious prison time in 2008 on allegations Epstein had molested dozens of underage girls.
Palm Beach Post, Billionaire sex offender drops suit against Scott Rothstein and one of his partners, Jane Musgrave, Aug. 17, 2012. Billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has dropped his lawsuit against convicted Fort Lauderdale Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein and one of the disbarred lawyer’s former associates. Since Rothstein is serving a 50-year sentence for bilking investors out of $1.2 billion, the focus of Epstein’s lawsuit has long been attorney Bradley Edwards. The Fort Lauderdale lawyer, who worked at Rothstein’s now-defunct firm, became Epstein’s nemesis when he filed civil suits on behalf of five women who claimed Epstein sexually exploited them at his Palm Beach mansion when some were as young as 14. While Epstein ultimately settled the suits, along with roughly two dozen more filed by other women, he claimed Edwards trumped up the allegations to perpetuate Rothstein’s fraud. As part of his scheme, Rothstein would falsely tell potential investors that he had reached large settlements in various lawsuits and they could share in the riches. In the 2009 lawsuit, Epstein said Rothstein falsely claimed he had gotten the billionaire financial manager to agree to settle the women’s lawsuits for as much as $200 million. Despite three years of trying, Epstein never produced any evidence to shore up his allegations, said attorney Jack Scarola, who represents Edwards. Epstein dropped the claims against Edwards on Thursday, a day before Scarola was going to ask a judge to throw out the suit. “He filed these baseless, scurrilous claims for the purpose of trying to extort Mr. Edwards into abandoning the lawsuits on behalf of Mr. Epstein’s young victims,” Scarola said. Attorney Tonja Haddad Coleman, who represents Epstein, didn’t return a phone call for comment.
New York Post, Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein: I’m a sex offender, not a predator, Amber Sutherland, Feb. 25, 2011. Billionaire pervert Jeffrey Epstein is back in New York City — and making wisecracks about his just-ended jail stint for having sex with an underage girl. “I’m not a sexual predator, I’m an ‘offender,’ ” the financier told the Post yesterday. “It’s the difference between a murderer and a person who steals a bagel,” said Epstein. Epstein’s flippant reasoning aside, a New York judge ruled at a hearing last month that the moneyman is the most dangerous kind of sex offender: a Level 3. That means, according to the state, Epstein is at “high risk” to repeat his offense and poses “a threat to public safety.” But Epstein doesn’t seem bothered by the designation. “The crime that was supposedly committed in Florida is not a crime in New York,” he said. Epstein recently returned to his $50 million East 71st Street mansion and celebrated his release from a Florida jail with his close pal, Britain’s Prince Andrew.
Daily Caller via Stone Zone, The Strange Case of Jeffrey Epstein and Bill Clinton, Roger Stone, Feb. 17, 2015. From 2006 to roughly 2008, hedge fund billionaire Jeffrey Epstein was the subject of extensive criminal investigations by both state and federal authorities for child sex crimes. When all was said and done, the authorities had compiled copious witness evidence establishing that Epstein had been serially molesting dozens of underage girls for years, literally as a lifestyle. For over a year the Palm Beach Police scrupulously built a multi-layered case against Epstein centered on his repeated sexual abuse of five minor children, with a lead victim just 14 years old. Many more victims either came forward or were uncovered by Palm Beach detectives. The Palm Beach investigation substantiated Epstein extensive child sex crimes, leading to what was to be Epstein’s only prosecution. Despite a plethora of evidence establishing that Epstein, along with adults he employed to procure young girls on his behalf, had engaged in serial child molestation if not systematic child sex trafficking, an Epstein-friendly prosecutor in Florida, Barry Krischer, led a grand jury by the nose to indict Epstein on just one single charge: solicitation of prostitution, the sex crime equivalent of jaywalking. Considerable public outrage in Palm Beach forced prosecutors to up the ante, but barely. The state cut a sweetheart plea deal resulting in Epstein’s conviction on just one count of the solicitation of a minor. As if the minimized charge in the plea deal wasn’t grotesque enough the sentence was even more outrageous. In the immediate wake of the astonishing abdication of duty by Florida prosecutors to pursue criminal justice against a dangerous and prolific child sex predator, Epstein’s varyingly famous and infamous defense attorney, Alan Dershowitz, along with a platoon of high-dollar lawyers including Kenneth Starr of Clintonian Special Prosecutor fame, cut a mystifying deal with federal prosecutors by which everyone in Epstein’s camp, including Dershowitz, was granted immunity from any further prosecution.
Enter Michael Wolff, an Epstein confidant and supposed journalist (Wolff now writes a regular column for British GQ), who recently penned a withering, faux-flummoxed attack in USA Today pooh-poohing the “new age” media and the American legal system, along with Epstein’s persistent “Jane Doe” accusers and their pertinacious Florida attorneys, Paul G. Cassell (a former federal judge) and Bradley J. Edwards. Wolff exudes the preening condescension and huffy indignation that is the hallmark of elite deviant cover-up artists, rushing to excuse one of their own. Wolff’s somewhat flustered yet strangely navel-gazing editorial conveniently skips right over the part about his child-molesting pal Jeffrey Epstein’s buying himself and his confederates a free-pass from any criminal punishment commensurate with the scope and extent of their heinous child sex crimes. In his op-ed published on January 11, Wolff leaps right to the offensive against those forces, whether human or systemic, that he believes unduly besmirched Epstein’s elite sex cronies Alan Dershowitz and Britain’s “Prince” Andrew.
Prince Andrew, Epstein Case and Videotape/Blackmail Claims
Guardian, Jeffrey Epstein accuser: Video exists of underage sex with powerful men, Jon Swaine, Feb. 7, 2015. The woman who alleges that she was made to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17 has told a US court that she believes video footage exists of her having underage sex with powerful associates of Andrew’s friend Jeffrey Epstein. Virginia Roberts also alleged in a new affidavit filed on Friday that she was so badly assaulted by Epstein’s friends that she thought she might die.
IBCTimes, Roberts claims FBI have videos of her having sex with high-profile people, Priya Joshi, Feb. 7, 2015. Virginia Roberts said she often feared for her life after being subjected to physical abuse by Epstein's friends. "Without going into the details of the sexual activities I was forced to endure, there were times when I was physically abused to the point that I remember fearfully thinking that I didn't know whether I was going to survive." She adds that when she told Epstein about the abuse, the billionaire responded saying "you get that sometimes." In an unprecedented move, demonstrating the highly damaging nature of the accusations, Prince Andrew addressed the allegations during a televised speech at a World Economic Forum event in Davos. Addressing 200 leading figures from the worlds of business and politics, the 54-year-old said: "I just wish to reiterate and to reaffirm the statements which have already been made on my behalf by Buckingham Palace." The latest revelations come a week after Epstein hit out at 'outlandish attacks' by the 'gossip media' over the case. The former financier was jailed for 18 months in 2008 for soliciting paid sex with minors under a secret deal which saw more serious federal charges dropped. Court documents filed in Florida and obtained by the Sunday Times allege that Epstein used his "significant social and political connections" to secure the secret deal. According to the documents, the Duke and former US president Bill Clinton helped Epstein obtain a more favorable deal. Last week, Prince Andrew was pictured as he returned to his royal duties after a second attempt to have him testify about the sex slave allegations failed.
Mirror, Prince Andrew may have been secretly filmed with underage girl he is alleged to have abused, Matthew Drake, Jan. 3, 2015. Prince Andrew's tycoon pal may have taken compromising photos of him with the underage girl he is alleged to have abused. Details buried in original court papers filed against pervert Jeffrey Epstein, 61, reveal that he recorded the sordid orgies he threw for VIPs at his luxury homes using cameras hidden in the walls of guest bedrooms. The financier, who was jailed for 18 months in 2008 after pleading guilty to solicitation for prostitution, kept a sickening stash of images on a computer seized at his Palm Beach mansion in 2006.
Daily Mail, Prince Andrew's guards 'turned a blind eye': Yard officers watched as Duke partied with young girls, says Epstein's butler, Stephen Wright and Sam Greenhill, Jan. 11, 2015. Prince Andrew's bodyguards were accused yesterday of turning a blind eye during his visits to a pedophile friend's 'house of sin.' Protection officers accompanied the royal to Jeffrey Epstein's Florida mansion where he allegedly partied with naked young women. Juan Alessi, who was Epstein's butler for 11 years, said: 'Andrew was with security. He had his two bodyguards from Scotland Yard. I can remember their names. 'The bodyguards were off duty and they slept in one of the guest bedrooms.'
Daily Mail, The Prince and the paedophile: How Andrew enjoyed sensual massages at sex offender friend's Florida mansion... and Duke invited him into the heart of the Royal Family, Sam Greenhill, Jan. 3, 2015. Jailed as a paedophile, Jeffrey Epstein found many of his wealthy friends quietly melted away. But there was one long-standing associate on whose loyalty he could rely – Prince Andrew. The pair had been chummy for years, and not even Epstein’s conviction for abusing underage girls appeared to dent their bond. Three years after Epstein’s downfall in 2008, the friends were photographed strolling together in New York’s Central Park. It caused acute embarrassment and cost the prince his job representing Britain as a trade envoy. Even his staunchest defenders at Buckingham Palace ‘had their heads in their hands’, according to an informed source. ‘This is just indefensible.
Ken Starr and the Epstein Case
Daily Beast, Conservative Scold Ken Starr Got A Billionaire Pedophile Off, M.S. Nestel, Jan. 30, 2015. Many believe Jeffrey Epstein dodged certain doom — he could have remained behind bars for the rest of his life given the number of alleged victims (some say it’s as many as hundreds, while his attorneys suggest it’s barely double-digits). Starr served as a judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. and later became the country’s solicitor general back in the 1980s. But he became a household name in the ’90s when he went after a president. As a self-appointed moral sheriff, Starr almost seemed to trumpet Bill Clinton’s fall from grace — winning him friends on the Christian right and turning him into a witch-hunting pariah with the left.
Christian Post, Purpose of college is not to get a job, is to instill ethical responsibilities: university presidents , Samuel Smith, Feb. 5, 2015. The presidents from three leading American faith-based universities convened Wednesday to discuss the role of faith-based colleges in an increasingly secular society and agreed that faith-based schools, more so than secular schools, stress the importance of living lives filled with morals, ethics and responsibility to others. John Garvey of Catholic University of America and Richard Joel of the the New York-based and Jewish Yeshiva University participated in a Wednesday night discussion on the state of higher education and the calling of faith-based universities, which was moderated and hosted by Baylor University President and Chancellor Ken Starr at the National Press Club.
Baylor University, Religion News Service: Religious college presidents agree on common threats to their schools, Lori Fogleman, Feb. 3, 2015. For the first time, the top officials of Baylor University, Catholic University of America and Yeshiva University will lead a discussion Wednesday (Feb. 4) in Washington, D.C., on the “calling” of faith-based universities. Quoted in the story is Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr, who said faith-related schools are charged with helping students learn about “living life purposefully,” which he said goes beyond simply helping students get jobs and be productive citizens. “That’s very good, but is that enough? We want to take the conversation to a broader level of what is in fact the education enterprise all about at its very best, at least from our perspective.”
Baylor University, President and Chancellor Ken Starr. A distinguished academician, lawyer, public servant and sixth-generation Texan, Judge Ken Starr serves as the chief executive officer of Baylor University, holding the titles of President and Chancellor. On June 1, 2010, Judge Starr began his service as the 14th president to serve Baylor University and was named to the position of President and Chancellor on November 11, 2013. In providing the additional title, he is charged with the task of increasing Baylor’s influence in the nation and around the world. Judge Starr also serves on the faculty of Baylor Law School as The Louise L. Morrison Chair of Constitutional Law and teaches a seminar on current Constitutional issues. Judge Starr is a member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) and currently serves as President of the Southern University Conference. In addition, he serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Baylor College of Medicine and the Board of Trustees for Baylor Scott & White Health. In September 2010, Judge Starr established his first fundraising priority: The President’s Scholarship Initiative, a three-year challenge to raise $100 million for student scholarships which was completed five months ahead of its goal. He also is leading Baylor into the future under Pro Futuris, a new strategic vision developed with the collective wisdom of the extended Baylor family. Judge Starr has argued 36 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including 25 cases during his service as Solicitor General of the United States from 1989-93. He also served as United States Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1983 to 1989, as law clerk to Chief Justice Warren E. Burger from 1975 to 1977 and as law clerk to Fifth Circuit Judge David W. Dyer from 1973 to 1974. Starr was appointed to serve as Independent Counsel for five investigations, including Whitewater, from 1994 to 1999.
Alan Dershowitz and the Epstein Case
National Review Online, Alan Dershowitz’s Curious Denials, Ed Whelan, Jan. 7, 2015. Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz has vehemently denied allegations that he had sexual relations with an under-aged girl who says she had been made a “sex slave” by businessman Jeffrey Epstein. I hope very much that Dershowitz is telling the truth, but there is something about his denials that I find curious. Dershowitz proceeds to mischaracterize Jane Doe #3’s allegations and to specifically deny the mischaracterized allegations. Editor's Note: Whelan in effect retracted his analysis Jan. 12 with, In Defense of Alan Dershowitz, noting that Dershowitz supplemented the specifics in his original denial with a more general denial.
WPLG (Miami) Channel 10, Alan Dershowitz: 'Sex slave' accuser is serial liar, 'still a prostitute,' prostitute article, Bob Norman, Jan. 22, 2015 (2:41 min.). Transcript. Well-known attorney and Miami Beach resident Alan Dershowitz emphatically denied allegations made in newly-filed court papers that he had sex six times with an underage girl who at the time was serving as a "sex slave" for wealthy financier -- and convicted sex offender -- Jeffrey Epstein. "This is a woman who is a serial liar," Dershowitz told Local 10 News reporter Bob Norman. "She's lied, lied, lied, lied."
Bill Clinton and the Epstein Case
Daily Caller via Stone Zone, Will The Jeffrey Epstein Pedophile Case Snare Clinton? Roger Stone, Jan. 13, 2015. Former President Bill Clinton visited the hedonistic private island of a billionaire pedophile who police found was engaging girls as young as 12, multiple times. Now a new lawsuit may compel the former president to testify under oath about what he was doing there. The New York Post reported that Hillary is furious that Bill is mired in the scandal. Democrat mega donor and billionaire Jeffrey Epstein was tied by Palm Beach Police to as many as 40 underaged girls and allegedly provided minor girls to Prince Andrew and lawyer Alan Dershowitz, among others. Now, a lawsuit to overturn a secret and controversial sealed wrist slap plea deal that got Epstein a mere 15 months in a Palm Beach Halfway house, may reveal what Clinton was doing on the island and why Clinton flew on Epstein’s plane 10 times to party abroad, according to FAA Logs. One woman abused on the island by Epstein told the UK Daily Mail Clinton was provided with two women “no older than 17″ when he visited Epstein’s island. A lawsuit to overturn the secret plea and a secondary defamation suit deal filed by a respected former Judge and a Fort Lauderdale lawyer m
Sydney Morning Herald, Bill Clinton drawn into Prince Andrew sex scandal, Nick O'Malley, Jan. 7, 2015. Former U.S. president Bill Clinton has been drawn into the scandal surrounding Virginia Roberts' allegations she was instructed to have sex with Prince Andrew by American financier Jeffrey Epstein. Court documents show Mr. Clinton was one of many high-profile friends of Epstein to visit his private island and fly on his jet, and that Epstein's phone directory showed he had 21 phone numbers for Mr. Clinton or his aides. The documents suggest no wrong-doing on Mr. Clinton's behalf, but they have set off speculation – particularly on the part of conservative online media – about the potential impact of the scandal on Hillary Clinton's presumed run for the White House. "Bubba and the Palm Beach Pedophile" screams a headline on the Drudge Report, the conservative blog made famous by its Monica Lewinsky scandal revelations, in a headline today. "The [flight logs] clearly show that Clinton frequently flew with Epstein aboard his plane, then suddenly stopped – raising the suspicion that the friendship abruptly ended, perhaps because of events related to Epstein's sexual abuse of children," says a statement lodged by Ms. Roberts' lawyer in a civil case.
New York Observer, The Jeffrey Epstein Affair Imperils Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Prospects, Ken Silverstein, March 25, 2015. The case of the high-flying (alleged) pedophile reveals a broken American political process. Why is no one in the D.C. political class and media bubble talking about the Jeffrey Epstein affair? Well, it’s not true that they’re not talking about it at all; they’re just not (for the most part) talking about it honestly or asking the right questions. This earlier investigation of Mr. Epstein, led by the FBI, was reportedly closed and the evidence sealed after Mr. Epstein pleaded guilty to two “minor” counts related to charges that he was involved in underage sex. (How crimes involving sex with underage girls can be deemed “minor” is something of a mystery.) Mr. Epstein has reportedly been a significant donor to the Clinton Foundation, before and after he was implicated in sex crimes.And the right questions are:
- Exactly how tight is the friendship between former President and potential future first gentleman Bill Clinton and Mr. Epstein, who owns a private island in Florida and is now accused of having sex with girls as young as 12 and procuring young girls for sex with other friends of his? What was Bill Clinton doing on the island with Mr. Epstein on multiple occasions and why did he fly overseas on Mr. Epstein’s plane at least 10 times?
- What hardball PR and legal tactics will Hillary Clinton’s campaign use to try to make this potential problem—which could potentially derail her planned presidential bid—disappear? Will those tactics work, or is Ms. Clinton’s campaign already dead, even if the exact time of the funeral is not yet known?
Commentary On Other Scandals
New York Times, Prominent Rabbi Arrested on a Charge of Voyeurism, Michael Paulson, Oct. 14, 2015. An Orthodox rabbi who presides over a prominent Washington congregation was arrested on Tuesday and charged with voyeurism. Although the police in the District of Columbia confirmed the arrest of Rabbi Barry Freundel, they declined to provide details or a copy of an arrest report for the misdemeanor charge. Rabbi Freundel is accused of placing a hidden camera in a changing area used by women, as well as some men, to disrobe before they enter a ritual bath called a mikvah, according to a person familiar with the allegation who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the case. The congregation’s mikvah is in a building next to the synagogue, Kesher Israel. The congregation’s board of directors said it had notified law enforcement authorities of its concern about Rabbi Freundel’s behavior, and had suspended him without pay.
Washington Post, Lewinsky mistreated by authorities in investigation of Clinton, report says, Rosalind S. Helderman, Oct. 23, 2014. When onetime White House intern Monica S. Lewinsky broke her silence with a major speech this week, one subject brought her nearly to tears. Lewinsky’s voice cracked as she recalled the moment in January 1998 when she was first confronted by FBI agents and lawyers working for Kenneth W. Starr’s Office of Independent Counsel, who threatened her and her mother with criminal prosecution if she did not agree to wear a wire against President Bill Clinton. Lewinsky, now 41, has long felt that she was mistreated by authorities in the 12-hour marathon session, which began as an ambush at the food court at the Pentagon City mall and then moved to a hotel room at the mall’s adjoining Ritz-Carlton hotel.
Wayne Madsen Report (WMR) Columns
WMR, Epstein's helicopter shared FAA tail number with State Department counterinsurgency aircraft, Wayne Madsen (shown in a file photo) (subscription required), Jan. 28, 2015. Billionaire pederast Jeffrey Epstein, who has been accused of trafficking in at least and perhaps as many as 103 underage females according to documents filed in the U.S. federal court in West Palm Beach, Florida, shared the tail number of his Bell Long Ranger 206L3 helicopter (tail number N474AW) with a U.S. State Department OV-10D Bronco.
WMR, Epstein "sex slave" jet reportedly exported to Venezuela, Jan. 26, 2015. According to Federal Aviation Administration registration records, the Gulfstream II model G1159B jet used by billionaire teenage sex slave ringleader Jeffrey Epstein was "exported" to Venezuela on Dec. 2, 2014.
WMR, Epstein plea deal with feds protected Bill Clinton and the House of Bush, Wayne Madsen, Jan. 23, 2015. WMR obtained the heretofore sealed Non-Prosecution Agreement (NPA) struck between lawyers for billionaire Florida registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and George W. Bush-era federal prosecutors. Epstein received the NPA after he was charged with soliciting sex from an alleged "prostitute."
WMR, Epstein underage sex slave scandal threatens to bring down Hillary and Jeb, Jan. 6, 2015. Former President Bill Clinton's inane accusation that Russian intelligence is behind news reports concerning the involvement of Duke of York, Prince Andrew, to an underage sex slave ring run by convicted pederast and Florida billionaire Jeffrey Epstein is a last-ditch attempt by the former president to salvage the flagging 2016 presidential prospects of his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.