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.

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NBC Attack On Alec Baldwin, JFK Research Hurts Truth, Democracy

An NBC News column smearing actor and social critic Alec Baldwin as a "conspiracy theorist" because of his views on the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy constituted an attack, in effect, on NBC's consumers, particularly those who care about truth and other democratic values.

That is because the July 19 column, From Trump to Alec Baldwin, conspiracy theories, narcissism and celebrity culture go hand in hand provided no evidence whatsoever that anything Baldwin, shown at right, had said was untrue or otherwise dubious.

alec baldwin pr headshotNBC's method was what we might call "The Big Lie and make it come true" via constant repetition.

The column by freelancer Lynn Parramore, Ph.D., continued a long-running campaign by the corporate media establishment — working cooperatively and covertly with government cover-up experts at times and via well-funded private foundations — to smear anyone of stature who disputes the facts about the JFK murder that have been established by well-credentialed independent experts, brave witnesses and other surrogates for the public interest like Baldwin.

russ bakerThat pattern has occurred for decades, according to a statement on the problem drafted in reaction by WhoWhatWhy investigative site founding editor Russ Baker, the best-selling author of Family of Secrets. The subtitle is: "The Bush Dynasty, America's Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years."

Also, he is a former Columbia Journalism Review staff writer who has been published through the decades on varied topics by a large number of nationally prestigious American newspapers. 

Baker, above left, wrote this week about the column published by NBC:

The JFK assassination is one of the most widely investigated — yet paradoxically poorly understood — major events in American history. The reason for this is willful blindness, ignorance and self-interest in carrying the preferred narrative.

Shocking fact: The corporate media’s claims on this consistently run counter to what an army of experts of all kinds have actually found. On almost every front, when the public is presented with established facts, from FBI interviews, documents, testimony, it concludes that Kennedy was the victim of an organized operation, not a “lone nut.” (Thus it was entirely consistent with long-standing, documented and well-known US policy of supporting the violent removal of world leaders who were seen as not in line with establishment views, goals and priorities).

However, members of the working press, like university professors and other so-called “experts,” have been for half a century under pressure to promote the “official story” that was put out by the government right from the start. There never was any intent to seriously investigate what happened.

A premium was placed on preserving order, keeping the public calm, and making sure the system churned on. This is not only true of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Many major events, including the assassinations of other leading individuals, were also swept under the rug. That this happened, and is still covered up more than half a century later, reminds us that all is not well in America. Unless the truth is known about how we got where we are today, we cannot truly claim to be in control of our destiny.

We shall expand upon his powerful statement in a future segment of this series, which is broken into several parts for reader convenience.

The rest of this first segment addresses this question:

  • Why Make A Fuss?

In the second segment, to be published next week, we'll examine more closely the economics of the news industry. The economics include the seldom-reported connections between some major news organizations and the intelligence / defense sectors. These connections help make understandable a reluctance to report on such sensitive matters as the JFK assassination.

We'll also examine the specifics in Parramore's column this month.

We contacted her for comment via the Institute for New Economic Thinking in New York City, where she is a senior research analyst working at a financier-led think tank co-founded by George Soros and Michael Janeway, the latter a son of Eliot Janeway, a late advisor to President Lyndon B. Johnson. We have not yet received a reply. 

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Democrats Dally While Trump Guts Constitution, Decency, Democracy


While the tyrant Donald Trump has rewarded Republican donors with prime seating for his taxpayer-funded July Fourth political rally on the National Mall, the public deserves answers about why other top officials cannot muster effective responses to his years of law breaking, including his corrupt giveaways as president to family and business cronies — and his financial alliances with murderous dictators.

democratic debate june27 2019 nypost health for illegals SmallNBC's Democratic 2020 presidential "debates" last week showcased 20 Democratic candidates who specialize for the most part in self-righteous grievances, soaring personal ambition, and impractical giveaways that they promise for their own hoped-for voting blocs.

Meanwhile, the candidates provided diminished hope that one of them can win next year's election and carry into office a Senate majority, as a New York Post front page at right aptly noted. 

The Democratic contenders launched the most visible phase of their primary campaign with two nights of debates on June 27 and 28 in Miami.

They pushed their failed themes of "identity politics" near-certain to fall flat at the same time that Trump's corrupt political machine is raising record amounts from GOP donors to fund the kind of propaganda and election-rigging that brought him into office in 2016.

This cycle, Trump is augmenting his chances by ruthlessly exploiting his presidential power, including via the greedy and craven Senate GOP majority and an increasingly partisan federal judiciary. They are delivering a radical right overthrow of U.S. government Constitutional checks-and-balances and other norms.

Such Democratic "solutions" as non-criminal status and free health care for illegal immigrants and "free college" for students loom as failed democratic 20 debate candidates Smallstrategies to win the presidential and Senate elections. They are transparent leftist sops to presumed voting blocs.

Even Democratic-leaning pundits are pointing out their economic and other structural flaws, as in a column by Washington Post business commentator Steve Pearlstein. Regarding "free college," for example, he noted that turning a slogan into a program would create many problems, including unfairness to non-college youth and those who have paid off their student debt.

The real trouble would begin when the well-funded and right-dominated media ramp up their ridicule against Democrats for their poorly conceived policy programs.


Meanwhile, Democrats have failed to put their self-centered ambitions and flawed strategies aside long enough to expose in an understandable way the deep and sinister corruption of the Trump Family regime.

One such way would be to shorten the 11-day congressional Fourth of July holiday and convene high-profile public hearings to bring forward such compelling witnesses as former President Jimmy Carter.

The usually mild-speaking U.S. president from 1977 to 1981 has assessed the current president in the kind of frank language never voiced publicly by any of his predecessors about one another.

jimmy carter portrait deftnewsSpeaking at the Carter Center in his native Georgia, Carter made the little-noticed but vitally important historical judgment that Trump is an illegitimate president who stole the 2016 election with the help of Russians, as reported here by the Washington Post: Jimmy Carter says Trump wouldn’t be president without help from Russia. The Carter Center is a world-renowned locale for human rights, including advocacy for honest elections worldwide.

“There’s no doubt that the Russians did interfere in the election, and I think the interference, although not yet quantified, if fully investigated would show that Trump didn’t actually win the election in 2016,” said Carter, shown in a file photo. “He lost e jean carroll twitterthe election, and he was put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf.”

Yet the former president failed to garner the front-page coverage such comments deserve even though they were backed by similar words from his vice president, Walter Mondale of Minnesota. Similarly, few in the press covered Carter's comments several years ago that the United States may not be a democracy any longer.

Democrats should lead the way in providing a Capitol forum for such a unique voice. Separately, they should invite journalist author and advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, shown right in a file photo, to answer questions posed by her rape allegation against the president, as first reported June 21 by New York Magazine in E. Jean Carroll: “Trump attacked me in the dressing room of Bergdorf Goodman, excerpting her new book.

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Appendix: Democrats Dally While Trump Guts Constitution, Decency, Democracy

This tab provides supplementary reading, including source articles, for the Justice Integrity Project column published for the July 4, 2019 holiday, Democrats Dally While Trump Guts Constitution, Decency, Democracy.

The column began:

While the tyrant Donald Trump prepares to reward his Republican donors with prime seating for his taxpayer-funded July democratic debate june27 2019 nypost health for illegals SmallFourth political rally on the National Mall, the American public deserves answers about why the nation's other top officials cannot muster effective responses to his years of law breaking, including his corrupt giveaways as president to family and business cronies --  and his financial alliances with murderous dictators.

The materials are arranged in reverse chronological order below. They total too much material to include as an appendix to the column.

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Trump Lied About His Planned Iran Strike, Following A Pattern


President Trump's clumsy explanation on June 21 of his planned military strike against Iran rapidly collapsed. But it falls within a longer tradition of Executive Branch secrecy and deception regarding history-making United States military and intelligence developments.

Trump claimed via Twitter and then during an interview with NBC's Meet the Press host Chuck Todd that he learned from military officials for the first time just 30 minutes before a planned retaliatory attack on Iran that it would cause an estimated 150 Iranian deaths.

djt chuck todd june 23 2019 nbc SmallTrump is shown in an NBC News photo with Todd at right during the June 23 interview at the White House.

Trump said that he cancelled the Air Force attack on Iran just before launch because the effect would be disproportionate to Iran's downing of an unmanned drone with no casualties.

Experts, including pundits quoted by name and unnamed sources, promptly disputed Trump's version.

Former U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, told an MSNBC audience, for example, that military officials always gave her casualty estimates early during any advance briefing for her as a senator — and that the military would certainly provide an even more thorough briefing to a president before a major strike. Military and intelligence experts concurred on air.

The New York Times first reported that airplanes were already in the air when Trump aborted the mission, contradicting his account. The Washington Post later reported that Trump had in fact been briefed on casualty estimates early on Thursday, unlike his claim that he raised iran flag mapthe issue for the first time just 30 minutes before the attack and that "generals" had to research the matter and then get back to him in time for his executive decision.

Other critics roundly criticized Todd and NBC. Aaron Rupar of Vox, for example, published a June 24 column, Chuck Todd’s Trump interview, and the backlash to it, explained. Rupar wrote: "At numerous points throughout the interview, Todd let Trump get away with blatant falsehoods and gaslighting. Todd also teed up a number of softball questions for the president, like 'Do you think you’ve been more successful in business or the presidency?'”

Similarly, the conservative but anti-Trump Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin wrote on June 24Trump’s lies need to be exposed in real time.

The dispute over Trump's veracity raises many issues. One involved the sudden resignation of Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan after someone leaked rumors of a long-ago domestic scandal.

Some mark espercommentators have claimed that the replacement of Shanahan smacks of internal Trump Administration intrigue.  Shanahan's replacement is Secretary of the Army, Mark Esper, (shown at right), a West Point classmate of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a purported ally of the administration's most extreme hawks like Pompeo. Shanahan is reported to have been more cautious about embarking on war against Iran than Pompeo.

Whatever the facts on that, one issue noted all too seldom by major media is that dissembling and secrecy have a disturbing history in such presidential decision-making on the most important matters, typically involving war, assassinations and covert backgrounds of elected office-holders.

With a few exceptions, such as the "Weapons of Mass Destruction" hoax leading to the 2003 U.S. coalition attack on Iraq, the mainstream, corporate-owned media are especially reluctant to reassess the past even, or especially, in historically important "national security" matters.

The reasons?

Journalists fear of lost access to powerful officials. By contrast, NBC's Todd showed his eagerness to host Trump and feed him questions regarded as "softballs" by some news colleagues. Journalists often fear also that if they dig too deep they might expose their own news  organizations' mistakes or complicity in suppressing previous stories.

Regarding government lies to promote venal policies under the rhetoric of "national security" or other foreign policy goals, the major media may serve as silent partners in elite government intrigues -- and not independent voices, as promoted in conventional wisdom.

For example, our most recent column here, Trump Found His Roy Cohn In Deep State Fixer Bill Barr, reported how the major media and Congress alike have been extremely reluctant even to mention Attorney General William Barr's disgraceful record as a CIA operative and Justice Department apparatchik decades ago in helping cover up heinous, state-sanctioned narcotics and arms smuggling along with associated financial crimes totaling hundreds of billions of dollars in victim losses. 

william barr prin dep asst ag edward ocallaghan rod rosenstein april 18 2 2019 SmallAttorney General William Barr, center, is flanked by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, right, and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Edward O'Callaghan of the National Security Division,as Barr used pro-Trump language to dismiss the findings of the Mueller Report at Justice Department news conference on April 18, 2019.

In the time since that column, there are new examples of how secrecy surrounds even the most important foreign policy decisions and even when enough time has passed so that they become the focus of historical inquiry.

ash carter CustomA vivid example occurred two weeks ago when former U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter spoke at the Atlantic Magazine's headquarters at the Watergate about his new book, Inside the Five-Sided Box): Lessons from a Lifetime of Leadership in the Pentagon.

Carter, shown at right on the cover of his book, had spent three decades at the Pentagon before his promotion from deputy defense secretary to the cabinet position during President Obama's second term.

During Q&A, this reporter noted that the book briefly addressed Obama's failure to enforce his "red line" in Syria during the late summer of 2013 but failed to describe who advocated for war authorization from Congress and who advocated for an immediate strike against the Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad.

Carter, now director of Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and no longer an administration employee, is writing and speaking for "history," I mentioned as a preface to my question.

"I'm not going to tell you that for two reasons," Carter responded. "One, I'm not sure I know because I was deputy secretary at the time....Second, I don't remember that kind of detail and I would never betray that kind of confidence."

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Appendix: Trump Lied About His Planned Iran Strike...

This tab provides supplementary reading, including source articles, for the Justice Integrity Project column published on June 24, 2019 Trump Lied About His Planned Iran Strike, Following A Pattern.

The column began, "President Trump's clumsy explanation Friday of his planned military strike against Iran rapidly collapsed. But it falls within a longer tradition of Executive Branch secrecy and deception regarding history-making United States military and intelligence developments."

The materials are arranged below in reverse chronological order below. They total more than 4,300 words, too much material to include as an appendix to the column.

Read more ...