The full sordid web of Jeffrey Epstein is still to be revealed

Branko Marcetic writes that while the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell did not blow the lid off the whole sordid Epstein saga due to the prosecutors being cautious in their efforts to secure a conviction, the process did produce quite a lot of information that did not get much media attention, that showed the web of high profile people who were part of his circle and traveled around with him. He concludes:

The Jeffrey Epstein saga is the story of the world’s most prolific child sex trafficker who operated more or less unhidden for decades, but was able to consistently escape media scrutiny, legal punishment, and, finally, justice by dying before he went to trial. In a normal world, this tale of sprawling criminality and public corruption would be the subject of an intense, wide-ranging government investigation that would expose the conspiracy’s full scope and the identities of those involved.

Instead, information about the case continues to come in dribs and drabs, thanks only to the work of a few dogged reporters and the occasional fortuitous legal disclosure, limited in this most recent trial by the judge’s order to avoid “needless” naming of names, and prosecutors’ decision to leave tens of thousands of photos seized from Epstein’s home by the FBI unreleased. The public may end up having to wait for the civil suit against Prince Andrew or for Maxwell herself to strike some kind of deal to learn more.

Just as with the John F. Kennedy assassination, obscuring the full truth of the crime has only fed the growth of disreputable nonsense like QAnon, which serves to launder and distract from the intimate involvement of elites like Trump in Epstein’s crimes, turning them into yet another culture war sideshow. This is the double tragedy of Epstein’s death: it’s denied many of his survivors full justice, and turned the terrible truth of his crimes into a shield for his fellow perpetrators.

Marcetic thinks that the Prince Andrew case, if it ever goes to trial, may reveal more details.


  1. seachange says

    Marcetic spends a lot of time connecting Israel to all of this. It doesn’t seem to be relevant or benefit his point in any way or have anything to do with his headline. Gosh, does he have an opinion? Or maybe he’s being paid by the word, and is throwing that in, just for funzies? Wikipedia describes Jacobin as socialist publication and well, as a socialist, I can tell you the antisemitism runs deep. Unfortunately.
    I do love his quote on the word needless. That says it right there, doesn’t it?

    He appears to be optimistic in the case of Andrew Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, given what he already has written.

  2. says

    I wish one of the suits against Epstein would uncork his video archive.

    Everyone is playing “watch the birdie over here” and ignoring the fact that, like many pedophiles, Epstein kept a video archive of his antics. Somewhere, out there, I hope that one of the girls Maxwell pimped to Dershowitz or Clinton is talking to a lawyer… I guess the question is whether Epstein had a good indexing system. How long will it take to find the video of The Andrew Formerly Known As “Prince” or the Clinton formerly known as President. Because they’re in there in pixellated form, bouncing up and down.

  3. sonofrojblake says

    @seachange, 1:

    Marcetic spends a lot of time connecting Israel to all of this

    Let’s test that assertion:
    In a 2,500 word essay, the word “Israel” or anything to do with it doesn’t even appear until nearly 2,000 words in. Paragraph 26, of 34. In total it takes up less than 400 words (in fact less than 15% of the whole article), and doesn’t feature in the conclusion at all.

    Whereas you spend most of what you’ve posted at one snidely and pretty directly accusing the author of anti-semitism, the most toxic possible accusation one can make in the current political climate with the possible exception of “transphobe”.

    Personally, I’d be frankly suspicious if someone wrote what purported to be a deepdive article about a dodgy billionaire criminal with the surname “Epstein” and the topic of Israel didn’t at least peripherally come up, as it does here. It would just seem weird.

    I’d also be surprised if someone didn’t immediately upon mention of Israel pop up and make the usual anti-semitism canard. There’s always, always one.

  4. sonofrojblake says

    Whatever he thinks, his point is valid -- the full truth has been deliberately obscured for nearly 60 years. Surely nobody sensible thinks Oswald fired all the shots?

  5. sonofrojblake says

    (To be clear: I’ve heard a “conspiracy theory” I believe could be true, and it goes like this: Oswald fired the first shot, and the third shot. That’s consistent with a mostly-competent shooter cycling a bolt-action rifle in a stressful situation and still managing to get two shots reasonably accurately downrange, if not completely on target. The shot that came between was fired from the car behind JFK, by one of his security detail, negligently as he picked up the loaded, cocked assault rifle in the footwell where he was standing. On hearing the first shot, he grabbed his weapon and attempted to draw a bead on where the shot had come from, but never pulled the trigger… or so he thought. It was some time (seconds? minutes?) later that he realised he had in fact negligently discharged the weapon as he picked it up, and incredibly the shot took of the top of JFK.

    At that point, perhaps three or four people including the chap who may have fired the fatal shot knew what had happened, and they very rapidly decided between themselves that this was NOT a thing anyone else ever needed to know about. So Oswald was elevated to a superhuman shooter.

    The reasons I believe this to be plausible include:
    -- fuckups are more plausible than carefully-laid plans that go perfectly
    -- three or four dudes ashamed and scared witless can more plausibly keep a secret than however many dozen implacable badasses it would have taken to arrange the more outre conspiracy plots usually proposed. Sooner or later one or more of thos implacable badasses is either going to turn out to be a Soviet asset, or in need of money, or just nearing retirement and/or death from cancer and think “why the fuck not?”, whereas accidentally killing the President really is the kind of thing you’d take to your grave and not even tell your wife.

    But whatever the truth -- we don’t know it. Whatever the truth, a LOT has been very deliberately concealed for a long time. The US did the same for a long time with UFOs, to cover the development of the F-117 and other odd toys. It’s NOT a sign of paranoia to say the US is covering shit up. The signs of paranoia are how wacky you’re prepared to get when imagining WHAT they’re covering up.

  6. says

    That’s consistent with a mostly-competent shooter cycling a bolt-action rifle in a stressful situation and still managing to get two shots reasonably accurately downrange, if not completely on target.

    Oswald’s shots were easy. I did them with my bolt action at 3x the range in 3 seconds and did a sniper’s triple tap in the bargain (2 in the chest 1 in the head) -- and I was never USMC.

    I should re-post that over at stderr…

  7. lochaber says

    granted, I’m inclined to disbelieve conspiracy theories in general, but I never really got the appeal of the Kennedy shooting one.

    looking at maps and diagrams, it’s only a bit over ~200 ft from oswald to the motorcade, and the direction of travel was mostly in line with the shot, so movement would be almost negligible.

    As Marcus just posted, it’s not a very difficult shot to make. People without any firearm experience whatsoever are expected to be able to hit a head-sized target at 200 yards after just a week of training in USMC Bootcamp.

  8. says

    That’s consistent with a mostly-competent shooter

    USMC who qualify with a rifle are not “mostly competent” shooters. They are rapid and deadly shots and nobody would want to be within 300yd downrange of one.

    I qualified sharpshooter in army basic with a crappy Vietnam-issue M-16 that had an upper/lower that rattled like a garbage pail with each shot. After a few weeks going to the range for hours every day I could consistently hit the 300m popups with iron sights.

    The fact is that modern weapons make shooting pretty easy. Rifles are, basically, damn good technology for what they are for.

  9. sonofrojblake says

    Well, I’m not going to argue with people who can do it. I’ve only shot semi-auto so I’ve no experience of trying to maintain a target while cycling a manual bolt. I found it hard enough reacquiring centre mass after the gas has done the work, but I’m no kind of a shot, and give all the credit for my scores to the rifle and the SUSAT. I’d hate to try to hit a target with an iron sight and even something semiautomatic that’s got less raw accuracy than an L85. (Whatever criticisms you may have of the SA80 family, they are indisputably very, very accurate. Indeed, one of the guys who trained me regarded the support variant, the LSW, as TOO accurate -- in his opinion what you want out of a support weapon is an entire area peppering with shots, not pinpoint accuracy. He preferred the GPMG for that job, but then he didn’t have to carry the damn thing most of the time.) Oswald getting two accurate shots off always seemed plausible to me, it was three in the same time that seemed it bit suspect, but if people who have shot similar weapons say it’s doable -- well, it’s doable.

    As to why it’s an attractive conspiracy theory -- come on! Good looking young president who was literally banging Marilyn Monroe among many others gets offed in broad daylight right in front of the assembled masses in front of his security detail. This has to hit hard at the heart of American masculinity. It surely can’t have just been some weedy looking loner with a grudge. There simply HAD to be some massive machinations behind it -- you can’t just walk up to a window and shoot the damn president, without a huge buildup, Soviet/CIA/Mafia/Cuban/alien help. Can you? What next? You’ll be telling me next that all you need to bring America to its knees is a couple dozen suicidal nutters with box cutters and pilots’ licences. It doesn’t fit the narrative and demands more comforting explanation.

  10. birgerjohansson says

    The obvious problem with JFK is, he was a moving target. Can the average USMC marksman replicate that at the range and within the time span? I am genuinely asking, I have no idea.

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