Epstein's Death: A Predictable 'Surprise'

The death of the wealthy pedophile sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, right, on Aug. 10 in a New York prison has been expected in investigative circles.

His death became almost foreordained by recent revelations publicly linking him ever more closely to powerful foreign intelligence assets, financial moguls and mob figures — and not simply to underage girls and the celebrities who socialized in his circle.

jeffrey epstein new mug cropped july 2019Although there are many people and institutions that bear some responsibility for Epstein's death and the trafficking cover-up that existed for years, prime responsibility for the death falls squarely on U.S. Attorney General William Barr, a master of covering up deadly and otherwise sinister crimes of massive historical importance, as we reported this May in Trump Found His Roy Cohn In Deep State Fixer Bill Barr.

The column documented Barr's work first as a CIA operative working with CIA Director George H.W. Bush in 1976 and then as a cover-up maestro in the Reagan-Bush Justice Department.

There, Barr became Bush's U.S. Attorney General after he helped thwart massive investigations of government-enabled narcotics and arms smuggling and hundreds of billions of dollars in financial frauds that helped fill Republican Party coffers around the nation, as we reported. We noted also that the crimes Barr was helping to hide implicated members of both major U.S. political parties, who were thus deterred from investigating aggressively via congressional hearings.

Then in late 1992, Bush and Barr orchestrated pardons of six high-level Iran-Contra U.S. government officials, thereby ensuring that Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh's investigation would fail.

william barr new oBarr, left, is implicated in Epstein's death even if Barr's role was merely of the "let it happen" method whereby Barr's subordinates in the U.S. Bureau of Prisons created the conditions enabling either Epstein's suicide or murder in the high-security, federally run Manhattan Correctional Center (MCC) in lower Manhattan.

That prison has been entrusted with housing some of the nation's leading criminals in recent decades, including New York Mafia leader John Gotti. Based on a tip from former Gotti moneyman Lewis Kasman, the Murdoch-owned New York Post reported this weekend that Barr made a "hush-hush" visit to the prison two weeks ago about the time Epstein first suffered a supposed suicide attempt, a report unconfirmed elsewhere.

The paragraphs above summarize this editor's opinions after reviewing closely the news reports and commentaries this weekend about Epstein's death.

Previously, I reported in depth on the careers of Epstein, Barr, Donald Trump and others involved with them. The details are intriguing. Barr's late father Donald Barr, for example, had worked at the CIA-forerunner Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II.

He later served as headmaster of the Dalton School, which hired Epstein as a teacher in 1974 even though Epstein had no college degree. The elder Barr, who combined advanced literary and engineering skills, also authored a novel, Space Relations, about elites who used sex slaves and space travel.

The opinions here are derived also from daily conversations and emails from fellow investigative reporters who for years have researched Epstein as well as other mob- and intelligence-affiliated sex traffickers who specialize in providing underage sex victims to important government, business and media leaders, in part for the purpose of political blackmail.

nicholas tartaglione facebook CustomOne of those investigative reporters is former Navy intelligence officer Wayne Madsen, who predicted Epstein's death in two columns published last month in The Wayne Madsen Report, "WMR," a daily subscription investigative report. Its first post-Epstein death analysis was Epstein-Barr: “Justice” in a quasi-dictatorship known as the United States.

His reports on July 25 and 26 came after Epstein was found with bruises on his neck in his MCC cell. Authorities ascribed the bruises either to an attempt at hanging or strangulation. Madsen's reports noted the odd presence in Epstein's company of a muscular former New York City policeman, Nicholas Tartaglione, who reportedly said that he helped rescue Epstein after a suicide attempt.

Tartaglione, shown on his Facebook photo, is a former policeman in Otisville, NY, among other Hudson Valley locales. He is facing trial on charges of murdering four Columbian drug-runners in an alleged murder-for-hire killing. Madsen noted the suspicious circumstance of the former policeman possessing a cellphone in a supposedly secure prison, thereby enabling communications with the outside world. Also, Epstein purportedly complained that his injuries came from an assault.

maria wmr jip waterbury graphic 1 8 18 Custom

 

In early 2018, this editor collaborated with Madsen on a multipart series Welcome To Waterbury: The City That Holds Secrets That Could Bring Trump Down.

We reported in depth on allegations that Epstein and Trump had raped a 13-year-old "Katie" and a 12-year-old "Maria" belonging to Epstein's friend Leslie Wexner, founder of the L Brands retail empire.

"Katie" dropped her 2016 lawsuit making rape allegations after receiving death threats shortly before the 2016 presidential election. We reported also that "Maria" had been kidnapped from her home in Waterbury, Connecticut with apparent mob involvement, and that several news organizations suppressed their reporting on the case at the time of the 2016 presidential elections.

The result is that the complainants understandably remain fearful that no one with clout would protect them if they continued to tell their stories.

michael cohen ap file croppedNew York federal judge Ronnie Abrams had shown a keen interest in the case before it was dropped shortly after the election. But Justice Department prosecutors have so far shown no public sign of bringing forward witnesses like former Trump counsel Michael Cohen, who presumably could shed light on such situations.

Cohen, right, has admitted involvement in threatening and bribing women and news organizations during that period regarding their aborted investigations into Trump sex scandals.

Cohen's admitted bribery and intimidation of news organizations focused heavily on tabloids, which are most likely to dig deeply into sex scandals involving celebrities.

Madsen also is close to that world. The National Enquirer, controlled until recently by Trump ally David Pecker, has repeatedly cited Madsen as a knowledgeable expert on political sex scandals, particularly on those targeting Trump's 2016 Republican primary opponents.  

Not just victimized girls but Cohen himself, who is now serving a three-year sentence in the federal correctional center in Otisville, New York, surely must have observed with dread the federal malfeasance leading to Epstein's death, particularly after Trump's veiled threats against "rats" and leakers.

Citing specific clues, Madsen predicted Epstein's death last month in his WMR column: Is Epstein the target for a mob hit, as follows:

What is apparent with Epstein’s so-called “attempted suicide” in the Park Row jail is that some very powerful interests do not want to see Epstein come to trial in New York.

These individuals, who include Donald Trump, would rest much easier if Epstein died either by suicide, murder, or murder made to look like suicide. It matters very little if Epstein died while ensconced under tight restrictions at his Upper East Side mansion or in the MCC with access to him by other inmates.

bernard kerik portraitAmong others who have voiced astonishment that the Bureau of Prisons would allow Epstein to die in federal custody are law professor and former federal prosecutor Harry Litman (Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide is unfathomable) and former New York City Police Chief Bernard B. Kerik, right.

Kerik, a Republican, supervised New York City's corrections system from 1995 to 2000 before becoming city's police chief under Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Kerik then became President Bush's first nominee (later withdrawn) to become Secretary of then-new Department of Homeland Security.

Kerik, writing Jeffrey Epstein's suicide makes no sense for the Capitol Hill tabloid The Hill, commented over the weekend in an op-ed:

Accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s death this morning — reportedly a suicide, according to federal officials — is an inexplicable end to a bizarre, tragic case that only got more disturbing the more we learned about it.

The fact that one of the country’s highest-profile federal prisoners could even commit suicide defies all logic and belief.

His death raises doubts about officials’ actions. The FBI says it will investigate; Attorney General William Barr says he is “appalled” by what happened; members of Congress such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) are demanding answers. Indeed we all need answers, before we lose all faith in our justice system.

Trump has responded to Epstein's death by retweeting an allegation by a right-wing propagandist that the Clintons are somehow responsible for Epstein's death. Vanity Fair reported: Trump’s Epstein Response: The Clintons Are Definitely Pedophile Murderers, "The president plumbed new depths by retweeting conspiracy theories about Epstein’s suicide, in lieu of making a public statement."

Meanwhile, the Washington Post has reported the disappearance of Epstein's former girlfriend and fellow trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell, heir to newspaper magnate and purported Mossad asset Robert Maxwell. The Post article Epstein’s death leaves prosecutors with prime target: Ghislaine Maxwell by Marc Fisher said: 

Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts and Ghislaine Maxwell, 2001It was through a 2015 defamation lawsuit filed against Maxwell by one of Epstein’s alleged victims, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, that thousands of pages of documents containing detailed accounts of Epstein’s alleged abuses became public last week.

Johanna Sjoberg, a student at Palm Beach Atlantic University when she said Maxwell hired her as an assistant, said in a 2015 deposition that was released Friday that it was Maxwell’s job to ensure that three girls a day were made available to Epstein for his sexual pleasure.

Giuffre, who says she was recruited by Maxwell at age 17 after being a towel-girl at Trump's Mar-a-Lago club, is shown at center in a 2001 photo with Maxwell at right and Prince Andrew, Duke of York, at left. In 2015, she filed a defamation lawsuit against Maxwell for denying misconduct.

The presiding federal trial judge ordered release of thousands of pages of litigation documents on Aug. 9, possibly triggering Epstein's death. Those released documents are available at the Blackstone Vault: Epstein files.

With so many new developments each day, our Justice Integrity Project coverage includes multiple subsites that we update daily. They focus on overlapping dimensions of the scandals as follows: #MeToo News (including sex trafficking and major sexual harassment scandals); Media News (including allegations of cover-up and propaganda); Deep State; and Trump Watch.

The latter includes major developments last week as U.S. House of Representatives leaders move towards court challenges of the president as part of an impeachment process. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) told reporters that an impeachment inquiry is formally underway, with the first step demands via courts for documents and witnesses withheld by Trump.

jeffrey epstein trumps cropped ghislaine maxwell Photo by Davidoff Studios Getty Images vanity fair

Jeffrey Epstein (highlighted) with the Trumps and Ghislaine Maxwell, right, at Mar-a-Lago (Photo by Davidoff Studios/Getty Images). Photo-graphic below by the Wayne Madsen Report.

les wexner mansion jeffrey epstein wmr graphic maria

Commentaries on Epstein Death

Below are links to notable expert commentaries about the death of Epstein and its implications for the Justice system and the Trump presidency:

What About the Clintons?

In recent years, Republican partisans, including their well-funded propagandists, have developed the "what about...?" meme to deflect specific evidence or allegations against their leaders by changing the topic, often with the battle cry "What about Bill Clinton?" or "What about Hillary?"

There is some relevance in the case of Epstein because the former president is listed as having traveled on Epstein's airplane. Also, Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell did interact socially at times with the Clintons and Epstein did contribute to the Clinton Foundation. The Daily Beast documented number of those interactions in a July 25 column, Jeffrey Epstein Visited Clinton White House Multiple Times in Early ’90s by Emily Shugerman and Suzi Parker:

Days after Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest on sex-trafficking charges in New York, Bill Clinton distanced himself from the high-flying financier and convicted sex offender. The former president owned up to just six encounters with Epstein, starting in 2002: four flights on the billionaire’s private jet, a single trip to his Harlem office, and one “brief visit” to his New York apartment, all with staff and security detail in tow.

Now, a Daily Beast investigation has uncovered ties between Epstein and the Clinton administration that date bill clinton wback to the president’s earliest days in the White House, casting doubt on the oft-circulated narrative that the two only began associating after Clinton (shown in a White House photo) left office.

As early as 1993, records show, Epstein donated $10,000 to the White House Historical Association and attended a donors’ reception hosted by Bill and Hillary Clinton. Around the same time, according to a source familiar with the connection, Epstein visited presidential aide Mark Middleton several times at the White House. Two years later, businesswoman Lynn Forester de Rothschild wrote a personal letter to Clinton thanking him for their talk about the financier.

DJT jeffrey epstein cheerleaders party cropped mar a logo screenshotHowever, those interactions with the Clintons in no way compare in scope with the those involving Trump (shown with Epstein at a wild Mar-a-Lago party in 1992 as they ogled cheerleaders in scenes captured on video). The locale was a mile from Epstein's Palm Beach mansion.

No reasonably credible allegation has yet surfaced that Clinton engaged in sexual activities in Epstein's circle although any leads to the contrary are welcome here.

If Epstein were part of an intelligence operation, as appears likely, any involvement with a former president would be useful for control purposes. Epstein's political, charitable, academic, financial or other prestigious ties would have been useful to provide him useful access to famous opinion leaders, who would not necessarily all of have been involved in nefarious sexual activities. For intelligence and/or blackmail purposes, those relationships are useful for other purposes, including guilt-by-association.

Democrats — including former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell — were named by Giuffre as her partners when she served as what she called a "sex slave" for Epstein and Maxwell. Those officials have denied culpability.

Importantly, the former president, Richardson and Mitchell and most of the other alleged abusers did not hold relevant government power over criminal proceedings when Epstein was being criminally investigated by federal and Florida authorities on sex trafficking charges during the Bush Presidency in 2007-2008 or more currently.

Regarding the Trump / Epstein relationship in the 1990s, Epstein has frequently bragged that he introduced Trump's future wife Melania to him in 1998, according to a New York Times profile on July 9, Jeffrey Epstein Was a ‘Terrific Guy,’ Donald Trump Once Said. Now He’s ‘Not a Fan.’

The article Annie Karni and Maggie Haberman wrote "Through a mutual appreciation of wealth and women, and years of occupying adjacent real estate in Palm Beach and on Page Six, the lives of the two men routinely intersected for decades — until the connection turned from a status symbol into a liability, and Mr. Trump made sure to publicize the fact that he had barred his onetime friend from his clubs."

They continued:

But while Mr. Trump has dismissed the relationship, Mr. Epstein, since the election, has played it up, claiming to people that he was the one who introduced Mr. Trump to his third wife, Melania Trump, though neither of the Trumps has ever mentioned Mr. Epstein playing a role in their meeting. Mrs. Trump has said that her future husband simply asked for her phone number at a party at the Kit Kat Club during Fashion Week in 1998.

melania trump ny post cover aug 1 2016If Epstein's claim remains unproven it is not necessarily incompatible with the limited information that the Trumps have provided about her arrival in the United States and launch of a modeling career and her immigration status upon arrival with a non-work, tourist visit.

melania trump ny post nude cover july 30 2016Her endeavors in what apologists describe as "fashion modeling" (and possibly breaking U.S. immigration law on her tourist visa, as Epstein may have known) included full-frontal nudity and girl-on-girl nude poses that New York City's tabloids featured on their front pages (as shown at right) during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The above-referenced Karni / Maggie Haberman New York Times story last month contained another anecdote that goes far beyond anything currently reported about Epstein socializing with the Clintons:

It was supposed to be an exclusive party at Mar-a-Lago, Donald J. Trump’s members-only club in Palm Beach, Fla. But other than the two dozen or so women flown in to provide the entertainment, the only guests were Mr. Trump and Jeffrey Epstein (shown together in a file photo).

The year was 1992 and the event was a “calendar girl” competition, something that George Houraney, a Florida-based businessman who ran American Dream Enterprise, had organized at Mr. Trump’s request.

djt epstein headshot Custom“I arranged to have some contestants fly in,” Mr. Houraney recalled in an interview on Monday. “At the very first party, I said, ‘Who’s coming tonight? I have 28 girls coming.’ It was him and Epstein.”

Mr. Houraney, who had just partnered with Mr. Trump to host events at his casinos, said he was surprised. “I said, ‘Donald, this is supposed to be a party with V.I.P.s. You’re telling me it’s you and Epstein?’”

The Acosta Sweetheart Plea Bargain

In 2007-2008, Bush-appointed Alexander Acosta as U.S. Attorney for Miami. Acosta arranged a highly unusual plea deal whereby Epstein served just 13 months part-time in a Palm Beach jail.

Authorities promised not to investigate his fellow traffickers or others (including celebrity friends) involved with his network, despite evidence that more than a hundred junior high and high school girls were victimized from Florida alone. Epstein had homes in Manhattan, New Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and traveled widely around the world.

alexander acosta o cropped CustomThis editor is among those who call for vigorous prosecution of all abusers, whatever their political affiliation and whatever their other status. Yet it is only Trump who appointed Acosta as Secretary of Labor, which carries primary federal responsibility for investigating sex trafficking. , Acosta is shown at left as Trump's Secretary of Labor beginning in 2017.

And it was only Trump who appointed Barr, whose control over federal prisons and prosecutions makes his promise to investigate Barr's death a travesty given Barr's own sordid history, including his zeal in protecting Trump from investigation.

One of many signs that Barr puts loyalty to Trump and party above rule of law is Barr's obvious conflicts of interest in Epstein matters. Barr was ken starr baylora partner at the elite law firm Kirkland & Ellis, where Epstein was a valued client.

Other top members of the firm early this century included Acosta and two of the prominent Epstein attorneys and Republican partisans who would negotiate the sweetheart plea deal with Acosta, Jay Lefkowitz and former Independent Counsel and Clinton sex sleuth Kenneth Starr, shown at right.

Starr told this reporter in an interview that he had represented Epstein out of loyalty to the financier's support for the law firm, as we reported in Moralist Ken Starr Explains His Help For Billionaire Pervert Jeffrey Epstein. Starr, who was serving as counsel to Kirkland & Ellis while holding top leadership posts at Baylor University, was forced to resign from Baylor in disgrace over a sex scandal involving female student hostesses encouraged to help recruit high school athletes in circumstances making the girls vulnerable to sexual assault. 

Barr has asked for Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horwitz to lead an investigation into Epstein's death but that is surely too little too late for Barr, who of course retains ultimate authority over all federal prosecutions and the largely opaque operations of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

What Spies? What Intelligence Connections?

Some readers here might also question references in this column to potential intelligence connections in the Epstein scandal, particularly because the mainstream media have ignored those story leads almost entirely.

True, such ties are inherently covert and controversial, in part because Jewish leaders have worked with intelligence sources (including the intelligence-linked Anti-Defamation League) to label reporting on such themes as inherently anti-semitic.

Nonetheless, several expert reporters have made compelling cases that Epstein was not simply a self-indulgent pedophile but also a "Deep State" operative who followed a tradition dating back more than half a century whereby intelligence agencies and law enforcers like FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover worked with corrupt operatives to obtain blackmail material on U.S. leaders for later use in influencing policy.

whitney webb twitterInvestigative reporter Whitney Webb, right, published a compelling three-part series on this history in MintPress News on July 18, July 25 and Aug. 7. She tied Epstein, Wexner and a number of their associates to support for Israel via its foreign intelligence agency, the Mossad, and otherwise.

Her most recent column was headlined: Mega Group, Maxwells, and Mossad: The Spy Story at the Heart of the Jeffrey Epstein Scandal (Part III). Webb, right, began:

The picture painted by the evidence is not a direct Epstein tie to a single intelligence agency but a web linking key members of the Mega Group, politicians, and officials in both the U.S. and Israel, and an organized-crime network with deep business and intelligence ties in both nations.

As billionaire pedophile and alleged sex-trafficker, Jeffrey Epstein sits in prison, reports have continued to surface about his reported links to intelligence, his financial ties to several companies and “charitable” foundations, and his friendships with the rich and powerful as well as top politicians.

While Part I and Part II of this series, “The Jeffrey Epstein Scandal: Too Big to Fail,” have focused on the widespread nature of sexual blackmail operations in recent American history and their ties to the heights of American political power and the U.S. intelligence community, one key aspect of Epstein’s own sex-trafficking and blackmail operation that warrants examination is Epstein’s ties to Israeli intelligence and his ties to the “informal” pro-Israel philanthropist faction known as “the Mega Group.”

leslie wexner youtube cropped screenshot american academy of achievementThe Mega Group’s role in the Epstein case has garnered some attention, as Epstein’s main financial patron for decades, billionaire Leslie Wexner (right), was a co-founder of the group that unites several well-known businessmen with a penchant for pro-Israel and ethno-philanthropy (i.e., philanthropy benefiting a single ethnic or ethno-religious group).

However, as this report will show, another uniting factor among Mega Group members is deep ties to organized crime, specifically the organized crime network discussed in Part I of this series, which was largely led by notorious American mobster Meyer Lansky.

Dr. Philip Girardi, a think tank leader and former former CIA and military intelligence officer, is among those who have written similar reports in recent days. His column, Jeffrey Epstein RIP: But Many More Questions Remain to be Answered, appeared in the Unz Review, among other locales.

Girardi wrote that in his experience a foreign intelligence service would not be able to operate assets like Epstein quite so brazenly as it appears without approval by at least some well-connected U.S. government officials.

In that vein, Girardi wrote:

My belief that Jeffrey Epstein was an intelligence agent is based principally on Acosta’s comments when being cleared by the Trump transition team. He was asked “Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?”

Acosta testified that he’d had just one meeting on the Epstein case. He’d cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys because he had ‘been told’ to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. ‘I was told [Acosta purportedly said] Epstein belonged to intelligence and to leave it alone.’”

The questions about Epstein remain even though he is gone, but one fears that the authorities will be disinclined to further investigate a dead man. It appears that no one in the various investigative agencies or the mainstream media has been interested in what Acosta meant, even though it would be simple enough to ask him.

Who told him to back off? And how did they explain it? And then there is Epstein’s Austrian passport. Was it fake or real, with a real name and photo substitution or alternation of both picture and name? How did he get it? Austrian passports are highly desirable in intelligence circles because the country is neutral and its holders can travel just about everywhere without a visa.

Girardi continued:

And there’s more. As a former intelligence officer myself, there is little doubt in my mind that what Epstein did and how he did it was an intelligence operation. There is no other viable explanation for his filming of prominent politicians and celebrities having sex with young mossad seal Customgirls.

And as for the question of whom Epstein might have been working for, the most likely answer is Mossad. The CIA would have had no interest in compiling dossiers on prominent Americans, but American movers and shakers like Bill Clinton, with his 26 trips on the 'Lolita Express,' former Governor Bill Richardson, or former Senator George Mitchell are precisely the types of “agents of influence” that the Mossad would seek to coerce or even blackmail into cooperation.

Other compelling evidence for a Mossad connection came from Epstein’s relationship with Ghislaine Maxwell, who reportedly served as his key procurer of young girls. Ghislaine is the daughter of Robert Maxwell, who died or possibly was assassinated in mysterious circumstances in 1991. Maxwell was an Anglo-Jewish businessman, very cosmopolitan in profile, like Epstein, a multi-millionaire who was very controversial with what were regarded as ongoing ties to Mossad. After his death, he was given a state funeral by Israel in which six serving and former heads of Israeli intelligence listened while Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir eulogized: “He has done more for Israel than can today be said.”

Israel and high-profile Jewish players also have continued to turn up like bad pennies in the Epstein case, but no one seems to be interested in pursuing that angle. Epstein clearly had contact with former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak and Wexner also had close ties to the Jewish state and its government.

In a similar column alleging that Epstein had sinister and deep ties to the financial world, British entertainer Johnny Vedmore last month published The Epstein Associate Nobody's Talking About: The IDF-Linked Bond Girl Infiltrating the UK NHS. As in most such stories, those named denied any culpability.

Treatment in the mainstream media of these topics is virtually non-existent despite the scores of supposedly in-depth treatments of the Epstein case that have been appearing recently.

Part of the reluctance, undoubtedly, is the difficulty of documentation and fear of reprisal from powerful figures, some of whom (like Wexner) lead giant retailing companies and thus spend heavily on media advertising as well as on philanthropy for causes that some media decision-makers doubtless find attractive.

Despite those obstacles, independent researchers have undertaken much spadework on Epstein for years. They include Vicky Ward (whose pioneering report for Vanity Fair was gutted in significant part before publication in 2003) and Nick Bryant, author of The Franklin Scandal on child sex trafficking, co-author of Confessions of a DC Madam about the 1980s "call boy" scandal involving GOP lobbyist Craig Spence. Bryant was also the first reporter to break the story of Epstein's "black book" of celebrity addresses compiled by Epstein's house manager, who was sentenced to prison for trying to sell it and who died soon after his release.

Among other cutting-edge researchers for years on Epstein are the accomplished tabloid reporter/editor and author Sharon Churcher, Filthy Rich author James Patterson, and Trafficking author Conchita Sarnoff.

A number of victims' lawyers and citizen sleuths are also involved providing essential documentation, pressure on lawmakers, and ongoing social media coverage that mainstream media — claiming that they avoid "conspiracy theory" — are often reluctant to provide on the most sensitive issues, including evidence of flaws in the 1964 Warren Report ascribing all blame on Lee Harvey Oswald for the President John Kennedy's assassination.

True, some claims of government wrongdoing are created by wackos and propagandists. But those denouncing "conspiracy theory" almost never evaluate evidence on a case by case basis, as they should and as we recently reported regarding a fraudulent, evidence-free smear by minions of NBC News against the JFK research community.

perversion of justice miami herald logoThe Miami Herald's investigative series on Epstein last fall, "Perversion of Justice," raised the scandal's profile immensely with interviews of Epstein's victims, primarily by lead reporter Julie K. Brown and video producer Emily Michot.

wayne madsen may 29 2015 croppedWayne Madsen (shown in a 2015 photo), the former Navy intelligence officer and NSA analyst who has authored 16 books, also has provided cutting-edge reporting through the years. He and this editor interviewed experts on organized crime three years ago on a trip to Columbus, Ohio, where we learned of Wexner's and Epstein's relationships dating back decades with prominent mob interests in the region.

And the day after Trump nominated Acosta in February 2017 to join his cabinet, Madsen published the first part of a series documenting Acosta's nefarious work as a cover-up mastermind in the Epstein case.

Meanwhile, the U. S. Senate largely ignored Acosta's multiple scandals as U.S. attorney during confirmation hearings, much as the Senate did with Barr's decades of cover-up scandals during this confirmation hearing in January. The Senate confirmed Acosta narrowly with a vote largely along party lines.

'A Lawless, Criminal Nation?'

There's much more to say. But since something new seems to be reported every few minutes we point readers to the above-mentioned special sites updated each day, particularly the #MeToo site on trafficking.

david talbot facebookDavid Talbot, shown at right, is the best-selling author of The Devil's Chessboard, Season of the Witch and Brothers. Talbot also founded the Salon Media Group. He wrote on his Facebook page over the weekend a powerful denunciation of the U.S. legal system that allowed Epstein's corruption and demise.

"Well, it's official," he wrote. "We now live in a criminal, lawless nation where people who know too much about the sleazy lives of the rich and powerful can be 'suicided' to death — even when they're on suicide watch in a New York City jail cell!"

He continued:

The "suicide" of Jeffrey Epstein — oh what the hell, let's call it what it really was, a politically necessary execution — reeks of the "suicide" of Craig Spence back in 1989.

Spence (below), a Republican lobbyist with deep ties to the Reagan presidency, ran a Washington call-boy service and, like Epstein, had the craig spencegoods on many of America's decadent elite. After his sex racket exploded in the headlines, Spence told friends he would probably be murdered — a termination that would be called a suicide. And guess what? In November 1989, Spence was indeed found "suicided" in a Ritz Carlton hotel room in Boston....

A final note on this flaming conspiracy to silence the latest man who knew too much.

For decades, the corporate media have been ridiculing and condemning those who believe that power in the U.S. often operates in darkly clandestine ways. The New York Times, Washington Post, TV networks et al have worked feverishly to marginalize the deep investigative work done by citizen researchers and independent journalists (including me) to shed light on the national security assassination of President Kennedy.

Eye-opening investigations into 9/11 — and the undeniable web of connections between Saudi royalty and the hijackers, U.S. agencies' foreknowledge of the hijacker plots, and the Bush-Cheney administration's cover-up of inconvenient 9/11 truths — also are routinely blacked out by the mainstream media.

But in the wake of this Epstein bombshell, the C-word (as in 'conspiracy') is creeping into the prose of even NY Times columnists like Paul Krugman. Sometimes the criminality at the top of America becomes so brazen, so obvious, that even our press watchdogs are stirred from their slumber.

 New York's Metropolitan Correctional Center (Photo by Jim Henderson via Wikimedia Commons)

New York's Metropolitan Correctional Center (Photo by Jim Henderson via Wikimedia Commons)

Gloom, Doom & 'Strange Bedfellows' Fighting For Country

Amid legitimate fears of a fascist, unconstitutional takeover by essentially lawless elements holding power, there exist (for those who dig deep) encouraging signs that the current threats to the United States justice system are persuading at least some experts to put institutional reform ahead of their longstanding political loyalties. 

Former New York Police Commissioner Kerik's oped this weekend blasting federal law enforcement authorities over Epstein's death surely falls into that category. Kerik, an outspoken Republican and law enforcement supporter throughout his career, is now a security consultant who is doubtless financially dependent on political goodwill, at least in part.

But he is also a prison reform advocate after being ruthlessly and in many ways unfairly prosecuted and imprisoned in a case that the Justice Integrity Project covered closely and with clear sympathy to his position, as reflected in our 2014 column and its appendices Bernard Kerik Delivers Compelling Call For Prison Reform.

In sum, Kerik knows many things about many people and institutions, and in this instance chose to speak up for the powerless, who are in no position to help him or his beloved family.

Somewhat similarly, but from a different political perspective, reporter Wayne Madsen has published oped columns in several major newspapers this year advocating for former Vice President Joe Biden presidential candidacy. Madsen argues that mainstream Democrat Biden is best-positioned to fight the threat of lawless fascism and pro-Russian election interference represented by Trump and his puppet-masters.

Madsen's stance represents an ongoing shock to many of his audiences, who know him from his commentaries on international networks or articles exposing dirt in the Obama-Biden administration or smear tactics employed by mainstream media flunkies who call him a "conspiracy theorist."

We debunked such hoked-up smears in a 2013 series. Its third part, For Trustworthy Commentary, Beware of Wikipedia, Daily Beast, CNN, Poynter -- and Many More, has now reached more  than 397,000 "hits" on the Justice Integrity site. This shows an audience for evidence-based reporting challenging the "conspiracy theory" smear that mainstream media often use to avoid reporting evidence necessary to understand  sensitive issues.

Madsen also has reported that Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman is credited with being a major backer of "Megan's Law," which is instrumental in fighting teen kidnappers and other traffickers. Berman is a Trump appointee who is widely suspect in Democratic circles because he is former law partner of Trump advisor Rudy Giuliani. 

The gist of all this is that crime and cover-ups may not last forever, especially if authorities and the public are sufficiently revolted by the crimes and inspired to reform.

"Politics makes strange bedfellows" wrote Hartford Courant and Harper's Magazine editor Charles Dudley Warner (1829-1900) in an oft-quoted 1870 observation that is often misattributed to his Hartford neighbor Mark Twain.

We may be seeing the ongoing power of that saying now, but centered around patriotism, not "politics," as providing (at least for some who care to dig deep) civic unity to preserve and protect the Constitution.

This column was updated on Aug. 12.

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