Justice Integrity Project
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.
Spring 2015 Updates:
- Daily Mail, Woman who claimed she slept with Prince Andrew while working as a sex slave is facing a legal backlash from two other men she claimed had relations with her, April 10, 2015.
- Newsmax, Judge Sides With Dershowitz, Strikes Claims in Epstein Case, April 8, 2015.
Earlier, 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
Daily Mail, Woman who claimed she slept with Prince Andrew while working as a sex slave is facing a legal backlash from two other men she claimed had relations with her, Daniel Bates, April 10, 2015. The woman who claimed she slept with Prince Andrew while working as a sex slave is facing a legal backlash from two other men she claimed had relations with her. Virginia Roberts is being sued for defamation by US attorney Alan Dershowitz, who says he wants her jailed. Dershowitz said Roberts, 31, would have to give evidence under oath – and will perjure herself if she repeats her claims. Roberts has also been branded ‘despicable’ by model agency owner Jean Luc Brunel who said he is considering legal action of his own. Earlier this week, Judge Kenneth Marra ordered Miss Roberts’ claim that she was a ‘sex slave’ to pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, a former friend of Andrew, to be struck from the record. Amid the other ‘lurid’ allegations removed from the record were claims that she slept with the Duke of York, Dershowitz and Brunel.
Newsmax, Judge Sides With Dershowitz, Strikes Claims in Epstein Case, Staff report, April 8, 2015. A federal judge today granted law professor Alan Dershowitz’s request to strike allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct from an ongoing lawsuit against convicted sexual offender and former Palm Beach financier Jeffrey Epstein. The lawsuit, filed in 2008, seeks to undo a non-prosecution agreement between federal prosecutors and Epstein, who the woman said arranged the sex with Prince Andrew and Dershowitz. Dershowitz has vehemently denied the claims as has the prince. Epstein has called the claims old and discredited. U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra in West Palm Beach, Florida, ruled that it was unnecessary for the woman, known in court papers as Jane Doe No. 3, and another known as Jane Doe No. 4, to join the lawsuit at all, and struck down the sexual misconduct allegations. The judge wrote that he could still consider relevant evidence from Jane Doe Nos. 3 and 4, but that their participation in the case "as listed parties is not necessary in that regard." Lawyers for the four women did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Editor's Note: The judge's dismissal of Jane Doe Nos. 3 and 4 from the case does not mean that the judge ruled on their credibility, only their standing to join the case.
Newsmax, Alan Dershowitz: I Will Now Confront My Lying Sex Accuser in Court! Bill Hoffmann, April 7, 2015. Famed legal scholar and author Alan Dershowitz tells Newsmax TV he's going after the woman who accused him of sexual misconduct — after a federal judge on Tuesday ordered her allegations to be removed from an ongoing lawsuit against convicted billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. The lawsuit, filed in 2008, sought to undo an agreement between federal prosecutors and Epstein, who the woman said arranged the sex with Dershowitz and Britain’s Prince Andrew. "We've been legally vindicated but my reputation has still been, unfortunately, tarnished in the minds of at least some people by a woman who just lied and made up a story out of whole cloth," Dershowitz said on "The Steve Malzberg Show." "I don't know this woman, I never met her, and she made these false accusations, and there are some people who still believe it. Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor emeritus and Newsmax contributor who represented Epstein in his plea deal, said his team will now depose the woman, known as "Jane Doe 3." "We will persuade the world that she made up the whole story out of whole cloth," he told Malzberg. In addition, Dershowitz said he is suing his accuser's lawyers for defamation. "And we're considering suing her for defamation as well, but right now she was trying to hide in Colorado and avoid service, but we found her and we served her and now she'll be subjected to a deposition," he said. "And if she repeats what she said previously under oath, she will go to jail because what she said is a complete, total, made-up lie. Not only about me but about many other people."
Daily Beast, Poor Guy, M.L. Nestel, March 26, 2015. Model King Sues Billionaire Perv Jeffrey Epstein. In a new lawsuit, the modeling mogul who has been accused of supplying Jeffrey Epstein with underage girls says the billionaire ruined his brand. The modeling agency kingpin who allegedly teamed up with pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein to supply his underage beauties is broke and wants payback. Jean Luc Brunel, the septuagenarian French co-owner of MC2 modeling agency and Karin Models, has filed a lawsuit against his convicted pal Epstein for supposedly losing him millions in profits and sending him into deep depression (he’s displaying the prescriptions and psychotherapy forms to prove it!), and he’s also picking a fight with with a no-name hosting website for tarring his rep. The fall from grace over the past six months for the 71-year-old Brunel has been steep. The man who claims he discovered and “molded the careers” of Christy Turlington, Sharon Stone, and Milla Jovovich is apparently panicking and fears his modeling agency MC2 may be underwater, according to the lawsuit. In the suit, which was filed in a Florida court in January, Brunel paints a grim snapshot of his personal hell and claims it’s all because of one man, the guy with the ear-to-ear grin: Jeffrey Epstein. (Attempts to reach Epstein’s attorney for comment were unsuccessful.) Once Epstein landed back in the news over allegations he and his rich, powerful friends bedded underage girls, Brunel seems to have become radioactive. In the lawsuit, Brunel says he can’t recruit any more because the European gals know how to search his name online. In South America, moms refuse to entrust their daughters with a man who has been branded a sex trafficker. (Brunel has denied that he supplied girls for Epstein or his pals.) The effects, Brunel says, have him bleeding millions.
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.
On April 19, 1969, more than 80 African-American students at Cornell University seized a student center a day after a cross burning on campus. The occupiers emerged 36 hours later brandishing weapons in one of the most iconic images of the 1960s student protest era.Last month, a journalism expert claimed publicly for the first time that black students covertly burned the cross to dramatize their grievances by falsely invoking a racist symbol.
Today’s column examines the evidence revealed by former Cornell Daily Sun editor-in-chief and Washington Post alumnus Stan Chess, a 1969 Cornell graduate.
More generally, alleged "false flag" events challenge each of us to decide whether we object to such tactics by kindred spirits.
I argue that the facts of the Cornell situation, whatever they are, deserve to be exposed — and justice demands at least as much effort regarding comparable situations then and now.
False flags (the name comes from deceptive flags used to gain advantage in naval warfare) are reputed in some quarters to have included the 1960s political assassinations that arguably set the background for 1960s student protests, among many other intrigues.
The Cornell building occupation, which I covered at the time as a student newspaper reporter, holds historical importance.
Photos of armed black students made front page news across the nation and won a Pulitzer Prize for an Associated Press photographer. Cornell's John Henrik Clarke Africana Library displays a collection of photos here, including that shown at right. The protesting students ousted several sleeping parents from rooms at Willard Straight Hall, the student union. The lawless action hurt the school's image with several key constituencies, including parents of students and prospective students. But the takeover ended peacefully.
The Cornell administration's relatively lenient treatment for the protesters (amnesty for occupiers and reprimands for three ringleaders for their previous actions) enraged some faculty, alumni and political commentators. Along with protests elsewhere, the controversies helped empower a conservative reaction to black, student, and anti-war protests of the era, while a number of the erstwhile radicals involved went on to mainstream careers.
My reporting on the takeover began as a student newspaper writer-editor at the Cornell Daily Sun. A decade after my graduation in 1970 as a history major, I drew on extensive research to publish “The End of a Bizarre Era,” an essay about the takeover's historical importance. The essay was one of the first chapters in A Century At Cornell, a book published by the Sun about the university.
Relevant also is that two of my government studies professors — Walter Berns and Allan Bloom — resigned from Cornell in protest over what they regarded as administration and faculty cowardice in punishing protesters. The two went on to become leaders in the neo-conservative movement in American politics.
Regarding the basics:
Cornell is located in Ithaca, NY. Western Union founder Ezra Cornell, a one-time carpenter and traveling salesman for plows, co-founded the university in 1865 with a $400,000 donation and brainstormed on educational innovations along with a fellow New York State senator, Andrew Dickson White, the university's first president.
Cornell is the federal land-grant institution of New York State, as well as a private endowed university, a member of the Ivy League, and a partner of the State University of New York. It describes itself "as the first truly American university because of its founders' revolutionarily egalitarian and practical vision of higher education, and is dedicated to its land-grant mission of outreach and public service."
Unusual for its time, the school has no formal religious affiliation. It was the first Ivy League school to admit women (in 1880) and its and its president advocated intercollegiate sports as an important educational tool. As a bias disclaimer, I was a scholarship student grateful for the education there and would highly recommend the university to others.
Regarding the 1969 protests:
At Wari House, a black women’s cooperative residential unit, authorities discovered the burning cross as fire alarms rang out across the Cornell campus during the early morning of April 18, a Friday. An Ithaca Police Department detective kicked the cross off the porch and extinguished the fire. Authorities contended with nearly a dozen false alarms elsewhere on campus. None of the 12 Wari House residents were injured.
The New Yorker Magazine's legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin last week advocated a presidential pardon for former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman.
In writing Why Obama Should Pardon Don Siegelman, the commentator understated in erroneous fashion the gross injustice of the prosecution, according to Siegelman's co-defendant Richard Scrushy.
The former HealthSouth CEO commented that Toobin is among the many journalists who have accepted a false prosecution narrative that Scrushy donated $500,000 in 1999 to the non-profit Alabama Education Foundation in order to obtain appointment to a governor-appointed regulatory board.
Scrushy, shown a photo with one of his nine children during his five years in prison, said the sum was $250,000 and it came from HealthSouth at the request of a fellow businessman, not Siegelman -- and Scrushy did not want to serve on the board.
Update: Scrushy's expanded comments are shown below in an appendix, reported here exclusively.
The developments were among several last week in the federal-state prosecution that has become a human rights disgrace for the American judicial system.
Additionally, Siegelman's friends reported that the defendant has spent a month in remarkably uncomfortable transit and in solitary confinement surrounding his so-far unsuccessful federal hearings Dec. 15 and Jan. 13. Siegelman sought release on bond Dec. 15 before U.S. District Judge Clay Land in Montgomery, and then argued his appeal last week before a three-judge panel in Atlanta.
Earlier this month, legal blogger Roger Shuler argued Siegelman lawyers claim that U.S. Magistrate Charles Coody lied about reviewing Leura Canary documents. Coody failed to respond to our request for comment last week.
In 2004, the Bush Justice Department failed to win convictions in separate trials of Siegelman and Scrushy but succeeded in a second joint trial in 2006 with a new judge, Chief U.S. District Judge Mark E. Fuller of Alabama's middle district based in Montgomery.
Siegelman was Alabama's most prominent Democrat when he was governor from 1999 to 2003, but has been continually investigated, prosecuted, or imprisoned since his first months in office in 1999, beginning by then-Alabama Attorney Gen. William Pryor, who now sits on the federal appeals court.
Toobin, a graduate of both Harvard College and the university's law school, has been a staff writer at the New Yorker since 1993. In the late 1980s, he was a federal prosecutor working on the Iran-Contra case. Adding to his influence, he is the author of multiple books on legal affairs and has been the senior legal analyst for CNN since 2002.
A federal appeals court in Atlanta hears on Jan. 13 the latest appeal of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, one of the nation’s leading political prisoners.
His imprisonment for 1999 actions not considered a crime by other political figures has been compounded by more than a month of harsh confinement over the holidays preventing family visits and communications with his lawyers in advance of his hearing, aside from one phone call.
“Don has spent more than a month in solitary confinement, 24 hours a day for more than 36 days,” wrote his friend Anita Darden, who has maintained the Don Siegelman website for years. “What a shock and disappointment this must be to a man so hopeful for release a month earlier. How did this happen?” she continued in a column posted Jan. 12 on a supporters' website.
Update from New York Times: Lawyers for Don Siegelman, Ex-Governor of Alabama, Again Seek His Release From Prison.
In a case brought by the Bush administration and vigorously endorsed by the Obama Justice Department despite evidence of massive irregularities, Siegelman’s appeal focuses on two arguments:
He asserts that Alabama Middle District U.S. Attorney Leura Canary, in office from 2001 to 2011 and shown in a file photo, failed to recuse herself from decision-making despite a conflict of interest because her husband, William Canary, was campaign manager for a Siegelman rival. Leura Canary claimed she recused but the government has denied since 2006 the defense requests for evidence on the issue.
As a second ground for appeal, Siegelman says that his trial judge, then-Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller, improperly imposed a sentence for charges for which Siegelman had won jury acquittal.
The Anniston Star in Alabama editorialized last week regarding Siegelman’s 78-month sentence for actions not normally considered criminal. The newspaper said the tough sentence contrasts sharply with the 24-month sentence a Virginia federal judge imposed this month on Republican former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell, who with his wife accepted some $170,000 in gifts from a lobbyist.
U.S. authorities must stop protecting those foreigners who funded the 9-11 terrorists. That was the theme of speakers at a Capitol Hill press briefing Jan. 7 who made compelling arguments against continued secrecy and cover-up.
Former Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Bob Graham (D-FL) and Congressmen Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-MA) were joined by representatives of 9/11 families. They urged passage by the new Congress of a resolution declassifying the 28 pages of the 2002 congressional joint inquiry on 9/11 that identified funders of the 19 accused hijackers.
Jones opened the briefing by noting the Jan. 7 terrorist attack in Paris earlier in the morning that killed at least 12 at the Paris newspaper Charlie Hebdo. Details: Gunmen storm Paris satirical newspaper.
“Just like the tragedy in France today,” Jones said, “no nation can defend itself unless the nation knows the truth, and especially when there’s been an attack like 9/11.” Jones, Lynch, and U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) won 10 other co-sponsors to House Resolution No. 428 from among the 435 House members.
A nearly hour-long video of this week's briefing shows Lynch at left and Jones:
“Money is the lifeblood of terrorism,” added Terry Strada, national co-chair of 9/11 Families United Against Terrorism.
The widow of World Trade Center victim Tom Strada and mother of three continued: “By hiding the truth about who financed 9/11, the guilty parties have gone unpunished, free to continue financing terrorist organizations. As a consequence, we have witnessed the creation of branches of al Qaeda like ISIS grow at an alarming rate.”
Update: New York Times, Claims Against Saudis Cast New Light on Secret Pages of 9/11 Report, Carl Hulse, Feb. 4, 2014.
Graham, as co-chair of the joint congressional investigation of 9/11, co-authored the 28-page section of its report that Presidents Bush and Obama have suppressed.
Graham, 78, is shown in a photo from his senate career. He served three terms after two term as Florida governor. He retired in 2005 after exploring a presidential candidacy.
This week, he recalled being shocked upon completion of the report and learning that the Bush White House was going to suppress findings vital to a key point – did the hijackers act alone? Graham said the 28 pages remain vital also to the country’s ongoing need for justice and national security.
Graham and others who have read the report face arrest if they describe what is in the top-secret section. Since July, members of Congress have been able to read it in a guarded room so long as they take no notes. About thirty members have reportedly seen it so far.
At the Jan. 7 press briefing, officials cited non-secret investigations for their conclusions: Evidence suggests the Saudi Arabian government and its controlled entities funded pre-attack expenses of some of the accused hijackers. Of the 19, 15 were Saudi natives. Independent research suggests expenses could be substantial. Author Daniel Hopsicker, for example, described in his Welcome to Terrorland book extensive flight school training expenses along with a lavish life-style for several of the now-dead accused. The Egyptian native Mohammad Atta, for example, was a flashy dresser, and heavy drug and alcohol user, Hopsicker reported, based in part on a taped interview with Atta's former girlfriend, a stripper.
“Al Qaeda was a creature of Saudi Arabia,” Graham said. “And now, ISIS is a creature of Saudi Arabia.”
Graham then cited the Jan. 7 killings at the Paris newspaper.
The Washington Post reported Jan. 2 important conflicts of interest involving the career of liberal commentator Bill Moyers. The newspaper omitted an even bigger conflict regarding Moyers’ role in the JFK murder investigation.
To commemorate Moyers’ last scheduled "Moyers & Co." show this week on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), the Post’s Paul Farhi reported financial relationships regarding the 1967 creation of PBS and some of its operations since then.
Omitted from the Post profile A Crusader’s Quiet Farewell was Moyers’s key role helping his mentor Lyndon Johnson coordinate news coverage of President Kennedy’s 1963 assassination. That killing enabled the Johnson presidency, of course, and also propelled the aide's career. Three recent books have alleged that Johnson helped coordinate the murder. Many others have argued that Johnson orchestrated a cover-up of the murder, at the minimum, via the Warren Commission's claim that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone to kill JFK with three shots from behind.
We start with recognition of Moyers's impressive career. He has provided a rare and often brave window via mainstream media into the inner councils of the powerful and the harm they inflict on the public.
So it is with that high standard in mind that we report on the singular omissions below. We hope Moyers one day soon will fill in the gaps speaking bluntly with his rare combination of eloquence, experience, and audience.
In a 1963 photo, Moyers is shown as an aide to President Johnson in the weeks after the assassination when Moyers was coordinating media coverage.
The establishment liberal media have been less than aggressive in probing the JFK assassination, thereby illustrating the overlap of journalism and politics.
For such reasons, we at the Justice Integrity Project draw what we can from the mainstream media and augment that information with alternative sources. The Moyers story provides an apt kick-off for our 2015 efforts. This is our first column of the year.
Kennedy’s murder remains at the heart of recent American history. Among the many impacts: Kennedy had tried to stop the Vietnam War but Johnson promptly countermanded Kennedy's order and greatly increased U.S. involvement. The record is inevitably mixed, of course. Johnson, a Texan and longtime segregationist, pushed civil rights legislation through the Southern Democrat-dominated Congress in ways that would have been difficult for Kennedy, a Massachusetts native.
Whatever the case, the public deserves full disclosure especially on matters involving the media itself.
Some commentators, including Moyers (shown in a 2005 photo), have argued that the United States has endured a long-term destruction of democratic institutions and Constitutional freedoms. But few in the traditional media, including its liberal outlets that Moyers has helped fund, dare try to connect the JFK murder to subsequent events in direct fashion.
Retired professor and diplomat Peter Dale Scott, for example, argued last fall at a conference on the Warren Commission that the commission's cover-up of the JFK murder led oligarchs to use similar methods to oust Richard Nixon from the presidency, sabotage the re-election of Jimmy Carter, undertake heinous arms and drug smuggling in the Iran-Contra scandal, and obscure (at the minimum) important facts about 9/11, such as funding of the hijackers.
Scott's new book The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil and the Attack on U.S. Democracy, parallels arguments by others that gain relatively little traction in the media.
We now know about the once-secret 1960s Operation Mockingbird program and a 1967 CIA directive to smear government critics as "conspiracy theorists." CIA Dispatch 1035-960 instructed agents to contact their media contacts and urge them to disparage those who criticize the Warren Commission findings. The 150-page CIA document is here in the original, and here in reformatted text of its summary.
Even in media circles or popular discussions today about civic affairs, many people respond to new information by stating they are not interested in criticism of government on sensitive matters because it might be considered "conspiracy theory." Few repeating such adages seem to know that a secret government plan in 1967 popularized those words to immunize government in effect from any suspicions of gross misconduct in major events.
We have described that process in Washington Post Still Selling Warren Report 50 Years Later. That column was a segment of our recent 22-part "Readers Guide" to the JFK assassination. Today's column is part 23 in our series, and breaks additional ground below: