Ten Things We are Asked to Believe about Jeffrey Epstein’s Death

We are asked to believe the following basic “facts” about the pedophile [Strictly speaking, pedophilia is sex with prepubescent children, generally before age 13 — DV Editor] philanthropist’s death, some more credible than others:

1. On August 23, Jeffrey Epstein attempted suicide in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. (But it was reported at the time that Epstein may have been attacked by a fellow inmate in jail, and the matter was not well covered in the press.) The coroner handling Epstein’s autopsy notes that this attempt has “never been definitively explained.”

2. Epstein was consequently placed on suicide watch, subject to intensified monitoring.

3. On August 29, he was for some reason removed from that suicide watch, although still subject to monitoring every half hour; and the rules called for him to have a cell-mate. Pundits have suggested that he protested the increased intrusiveness and asked to be removed, but I have seen no evidence of this.

4. At some point–the day before by one report–for some reason the cell-mate was removed, in violation of the rules. One report says he was released from jail.

5. On the night of August 10, Epstein hung himself with a sheet attached to the upper bunk of a bunk bed, by leaning forward on his knees. (He was not supposed to have shred-able material in his cell.) The autopsy shows two broken bones in his neck consistent with strangulation–but more common in homicidal strangulation than those self-performed.

6. The corporate press suggests that Epstein wanted to kill himself. (But he had been spending a lot of time with his lawyers possibly discussing how to minimize his likely sentence by spilling the beans on his friends. He had been avoiding contact with other prisoners, possibly fearing attack; see point 1 above.)

7. Epstein was able to commit suicide while not one but two different guards were sleeping on the job, during an interval currently reported as three hours, and then tried to cover up by falsifying the record. A colossal failure, especially when combined with the lack of cell-mate and availability of material that could be used in a suicide. But surely not willful or planned; it was due to under-staffing, under-funding, too much overtime, prison workers sleeping in their cars, recruitment of unqualified prison guards…

8. The Justice Department is responding to Epstein’s death responsibly. The warden of the MCC has been “reassigned” within the Bureau of Prisons and two unidentified guards have been placed on administrative leave, following Attorney General William Barr’s expression of displeasure at Epstein’s death.

9. The truth will be revealed by the FBI investigation. (But what a peculiar irony that the Justice Department that controls the FBI is headed by Barr, whose own father Donald Barr hired Epstein for his first job, teaching at a Manhattan high school where he got a reputation for paying inordinate attention to his girl students in the 1970s. And recall that Barr became a member of the law firm in Florida that arranged Epstein’s 2007 plea-bargain.)

10. To think that the demise of Epstein is anything other than what the MCC has reported, and echoed by the mainstream press–as a suicide–is to engage in wild-eyed “conspiracy theory.”

Okay, fine. Tell me if the above isn’t an accurate summation of the official account. But some comments:

Never mind that in 2008 billionaire [To be accurate, a half-billionaire — DV Ed] Epstein was able to negotiate via his lawyers including Alan Dershowitz (who has been implicated in Epstein’s crimes by one accuser) and Kenneth Starr and with the cooperation of then-Miami prosecutor R. Alexander Acosta (former Secretary of Labor who as you recall resigned in shame over his role in the plea-bargain Epstein was able to pursue in Florida at that time) a crazily lenient verdict understandable only as a statement of billionaire white male privilege.

Never mind that the list of powerful men (and women) known to have been close to Epstein, flown on his jet, attended his parties, and/or visited his island includes such names as Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, Bill Richardson, George Mitchell, Alan Dershowitz, Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, Erik Prince, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed, and Donald Trump. (That has nothing to do with any of the above. Think logically and avoid sensationalistic conclusions!)

Never forget that powerful wealthy men often lie and that Big Lies are common in our era. Recall how Dick Cheney, after the Big Lie that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction justifying the vicious, criminal, disastrous U.S. invasion and occupation had been discredited, attributed the embarrassment to “intelligence failures.”

Human error. Gosh, someone screwed up! Similarly, the MCC now says: Gosh. These two poor tired incompetent clowns messed up somehow, dozing off while the most important inmate in our custody hung himself; so sorry, will never happen again.

Never underestimate the cleverness of evil. To take labor issues (long hours, overtime, exhaustion, low pay, schedules causing employees to sleep in their cars) and attribute the–posited–successful suicide to them, is to tap into public sympathy for the prison guard as worker. It is to make the whole MCC facility the victim–of underfunding–and to appeal for sympathy for the poor prison guard sleepyheads (who may not, we’re now told, have actually been trained prison guards) in their merely human failures.

The image of the snoring bumbling fool is a powerful antidote to the image of the underpaid employee-cum-conspirator paid to look the other way during a quick operation in which someone strangles the prisoner and arranges the sheet to indicate suicide.

Not that it’s immediately relevant, but do not underestimate the moral depravity of a U.S. president unwilling to recognize and condemn the murder of Jamal Khashoggi ordered by the above-mentioned MsB, or his unrivalled power to act against any perceived threat to himself–including from Epstein, whom one California woman has stated both Trump and Epstein raped her when she was 13.

Do not imagine that a president, who may indeed have violated an underage girl with Epstein in the 90s, once boasted publicly of his friendship with a man who likes “very young” women, has deliberately in often juvenile fashion sought to promote his reputation as a Lothario, is plainly amoral and methodically dishonest, is reckless regarding rules, and surrounded by sycophants and yes-men, would be incapable to authorizing something like what his Saudi friend did some months back.

Never mind any of that. The suicide thesis is so rational, the foul-play thesis just too farfetched. Let us denounce conspiracy theories and accept the judgment call of the CNN and MSNBC news directors. They will (unless they see immediate evidence for a Trump involvement) stick with the suicide story.

But if they smell blood in the water, post-Russiagate, they will hone in on any further evidence of Trump-Epstein ties to produce impeachment hearings more explosive and interesting than those that once revealed blowjobs involving consenting adults in the Clinton Oval Office.

Kenneth Starr, the special prosecutor who persecuted Bill Clinton for his relations with Monica Lewinsky, then went on to defend his pedophile friend Jeff, may have skeletons in his own closet. Would it not be fair for him to suffer too, as the FBI investigates, and the Congress probes, and Epstein’s victims start speaking out in court?

Gary Leupp is a Professor of History at Tufts University, and author of numerous works on Japanese history. He can be reached at: gleupp@granite.tufts.edu. Read other articles by Gary.