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Harvey Weinstein’s Stasi

Here’s more reporting by Ronan Farrow that suggests a good reason why people were afraid to speak out about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assaults: [1]

In the fall of 2016, Harvey Weinstein set out to suppress allegations that he had sexually harassed or assaulted numerous women. He began to hire private security agencies to collect information on the women and the journalists trying to expose the allegations. According to dozens of pages of documents, and seven people directly involved in the effort, the firms that Weinstein hired included Kroll, which is one of the world’s largest corporate-intelligence companies, and Black Cube, an enterprise run largely by former officers of Mossad and other Israeli intelligence agencies. Black Cube, which has branches in Tel Aviv, London, and Paris, offers its clients the skills of operatives “highly experienced and trained in Israel’s elite military and governmental intelligence units,” according to its literature.

Two private investigators from Black Cube, using false identities, met with the actress Rose McGowan, who eventually publicly accused Weinstein of rape, to extract information from her. One of the investigators pretended to be a women’s-rights advocate and secretly recorded at least four meetings with McGowan. The same operative, using a different false identity and implying that she had an allegation against Weinstein, met twice with a journalist to find out which women were talking to the press. In other cases, journalists directed by Weinstein or the private investigators interviewed women and reported back the details.

The explicit goal of the investigations, laid out in one contract with Black Cube, signed in July, was to stop the publication of the abuse allegations against Weinstein that eventually emerged in the New York Times [2] and The New Yorker [3]. Over the course of a year, Weinstein had the agencies “target,” or collect information on, dozens of individuals, and compile psychological profiles that sometimes focussed on their personal or sexual histories. Weinstein monitored the progress of the investigations personally. He also enlisted former employees from his film enterprises to join in the effort, collecting names and placing calls that, according to some sources who received them, felt intimidating.

Weinstein’s lawyer, the cream-of-the-croppy David Boies, knew a lot about this. Farrow also reports about how Weinstein allegedly conspired with the owner of the National Enquirer to dig up dirt on those who accused him.

Read the whole thing.  [1]

Harvey Weinstein is a monster. After reading this piece, it is easier to understand why people stayed quiet about his behavior.

64 Comments (Open | Close)

64 Comments To "Harvey Weinstein’s Stasi"

#1 Comment By JCM On November 9, 2017 @ 12:48 pm

I hope that I am not abusing Rod’s patience in continuing this. But I want to thank you, Siarlys, without sarcasm or satire, for the opportunity to have had this exchange.

Upon reflection, I can see why it was not simple hard-headedness or hard-heartedness that would compel a new socialist, revolutionary regime to prevent an old lady from charging customers for upholstering metal buttons with fabrics matching the intended dresses. She undermined the new Order.

In this particular case, my grandmother had some degree of CHF that prevented her from doing the family wash in Cuba’s heat. She did not have a/c or a washing machine or dryer.

So, the extra money went to pay a neighbor who took in wash. To complicate further the matter, my grandmother’s work complemented those of the women who made dresses at home.

So, in a centrally planned economy, you had there at least three women undermining the system. Multiply that by hundreds of thousands across the island and you would have had a socialist system that failed before it ever had a chance to take root.

Today, when you see photos of people in Cuba you observe what would have been considered disgusting before 1959–lots of old, shirtless men and women wearing tight tank tops. No buttons.

#2 Comment By MEOW On November 9, 2017 @ 3:04 pm

“Black Cube, which has branches in Tel Aviv, London, and Paris, offers its clients the skills of operatives “highly experienced and trained in Israel’s elite military and governmental intelligence units,” according to its literature.” Involved in ?????

#3 Comment By Youknowho On November 9, 2017 @ 3:30 pm

At least, when exposed, Weinstein, and Spacey, were ostracized, and lost professional standing.

Will the GOP show the same fortitude with Roy Moore?


#4 Comment By Mia On November 9, 2017 @ 8:52 pm

Finally some of this is coming out. So what if this is more widespread than just some Hollywood mogul?

#5 Comment By cka2nd On November 10, 2017 @ 7:39 am

I shed no tears for Ceaucescu. Nor do I celebrate Pol Pot, whose origins as a political leader Siarlys described, but whose “government-in-exile” maintained its seat at the UN, and armed fighters in the field, thanks to the Carter and Reagan administrations. To give credit where credit is due, it was the Vietnamese Stalinists who drove Pol Pot from power, ending the worst of the madness of the Khmer Rouge regime.

JCM, have you ever thought why some Russian in 1918 might have the feelings expressed in that poem? After millions of Russians had died in World War I? After the Provisional Government of the bourgeoisie and petit-bourgeoisie had tried to continue that war at the urging of their British and French counterparts? Leaders, be they political, cultural, religious or ethical, need to control such sentiments, or channel them into the most productive possible avenues, but the avenues available in the midst of foreign invasion and civil war are rarely bloodless or of the highest ideals.

Siarlys is wrong about Trotsky (Bronstein), who foresaw that invading Poland was a mistake, and who believed in proper planning where Stalin first groped around and then swung from one extreme to another, always ready to launch a fight too late, after it had already been lost due to his dithering. A Bolshevik government with Trotsky still part of its collective leadership would not have overseen the massacre of Chinese communists, workers and peasants carried out by Chiang Kai-shek and would have supported a joint effort by the social democratic- and communist-led workers of Germany to prevent the rise to power of Hitler and the Nazis. And such a government could have planned and carried out collectivization and industrialization with far less brute force and bloodshed than Stalin and his band of mediocrities.

Youknowho, apparently the Republican establishment is throwing Moore over the side, thank goodness.

#6 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 10, 2017 @ 5:01 pm

I think I’ve hit the magic political center, fending off the “extremes” of JCM and cka2nd. Actually, I’m a Fifth Internationalist, as championed by Wyoming Knott in Robert A. Heinlein’s classic The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. (Leavened of course by the rational anarchism of Professor Bernardo de la Pax, who could only win a revolution with the aid of a central government computer that had developed its own personality, even if Prof could “get along with a Randite”).

I won’t try to debate Stalin v. Trotsky any further — the percentage of the working class who give a flying leap at a rolling donut about either one is just about nil. And vanguards who know the real secret don’t have a good track record either.

JCM might want to take a look at John Reed’s colloquy with Emma Goldman in the movie “Reds.” Its not so much that “the revolution” was hard hearted. Its more that a lot of pent up passions exuberantly burst out in all kinds of irrational ways… which is why a slower but more sober approach is preferable. The worst of revolutions generally result after ancien regimes have failed to do much that they could have done and everything piled up… not always to the good. How well did the slogan “after Hitler, us” work out?

#7 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On November 10, 2017 @ 7:09 pm

Or that in 1958 black Cubans preferred the mixed-race Batista (white, black, Chinese, and indigenous–just look at the old photos)–to Fidel Castro, the son of a Spaniard who had fought against the US in the 1898 war?

Um, yes. The Communist Party of Cuba and the Soviet leadership also preferred 1958 Batista to 1958 Castro, because in 1958 Castro wasn’t yet a communist and was expressing standard liberal, mildly left-populist ideas. That changed after he got in office, and the line of black Cubans or communists prior to 1959 is very different from the line they took afterwards.

#8 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On November 10, 2017 @ 7:17 pm

I wonder why Mr. Weinstein didn’t save himself the trouble and hooked himself up with A-list call girls. I can’t imagine that a sense of morality would have kept him from consorting with prostitutes.

Because in Mr Weinstein’s case, this is one of those situations where the “rape is about power, not sex” dictum really holds true. He wanted to humiliate and degrade women, and a consensual prostitute wouldn’t fit the bill.

Could you elucidate on that? What were the other 16,743,297? I could probably agree with Elijah on most of the personnel and priorities for a provisional government, but Castro did put together one of the best systems of universal health care in the world, make sure every child had a quart of milk a day, and stopped South Africa cold when they tried to take over Angola via proxie

I’m pretty pro-Cuban, but Castro’s greatest mistake, and it was a big one, was trusting Che Guevara’s instincts and ideals when it came to running the economy. Contrary to what a lot of conservatives seem to believe, Che Guevara was not a butcher nor was he a particularly unjust executioner. He was, on the other hand, really terrible at running the economy. (You can see this from the GDP trendline: Cuba’s economy contracted in the 1960s and then started picking up again after he was sent off to the Congo and the Cubans adopted more ‘orthodox’ Soviet planning, complete with moderate pay differentials, incentives for hard work and so forth).

Guevara was always much more of a radical thinker than Castro was, and he’s the one who came up with the idea of replacing financial incentives with ‘moral incentives’.

#9 Comment By JCM On November 11, 2017 @ 3:45 pm

Siarlys Jenkins, I am with the “extreme” that believes in liberal democracies with strong constitutional protections for minorities and for those holding opinions different from those of the party in power.

I also think that the non-violent option exemplified by Jesus, Gandhi and King is humanity’s best, only hope. However, monstrous the Kim regime is, a pre-emptive strike of any kind would be wrong.

The West, however, should stop identifying the nuclearized missile system as the key problem instead of the death camps. A clear call to conscience might make a difference in how the world deals with NK.

NK is not evil because it arms; it arms because it is evil. Perhaps, we may end this discussion on a note of unity.

Can we agree that the North Korean network of death camps is not necessarily something to be praised, regardless of the underlying ideology?

#10 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 12, 2017 @ 4:36 pm

Where did my answer to JCM go? Does Rod object to jokes about Al Franken?

[NFR: Huh? — RD]

#11 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 13, 2017 @ 12:32 am

OK, let’s see, what was it I wrote… Rod is just saying “Huh?” so he’s not going to check the spam bucket.

After having a good run as a comedian, JCM is now trying to ask a serious question. Forgive me if Al Franken comes briefly to mind.

I don’t recall that I, or cka2nd, or Hector, have ever said anything complimentary about L’il Kim and his regime. Nor am I motivated to do so now. I will question the pat statement that it is not evil because it is in arms, it is in arms because it is evil.

History is seldom that simple. Historically, the kingdom of Korea included agricultural regions in the south and mountainous, mineral-rich regions in the north. As a united kingdom, the different regions complemented each other. Dividing the nation at the 38th parallel was an economic and social disaster. Fundamentally, the DPRK has recurrent famines because it was never agriculturally self-supporting by itself. Combine that stark fact with a regime committed to “juche” (self-reliance) and a fanatical belief in itself… its a recipe for disaster.

Of course the DPRK is neither democratic, nor a state of the people. The Kims appear to be an early version of the recurrent pattern in Africa that two ethnic rivals continuing an endless war found that one could get Soviet arms by crying “socialism” while the other could get American arms by crying “democracy” without either one having a clue what either was, or an intention to implement either. Korea had little to no experience with democracy, but Kim fancied himself the leader of a national resistance to Japanese occupation, and if he talked a good socialist line, the USSR would give him refuge, training, arms, and money.

The ROK, incidentally, only developed a prosperous economy by economic development that imported raw materials and manufactured finished goods for export. It was both poor and governed by ruthless evil regimes until just a few decades ago.

It goes downhill from there. Yes, we can agree that a network of death camps is not to be praised. Did you ever doubt it?

#12 Comment By Elijah On November 13, 2017 @ 8:47 am

“Contrary to what a lot of conservatives seem to believe, Che Guevara was not a butcher nor was he a particularly unjust executioner.”

The evidence is pretty clear that Guevara relished killing anyone who he felt was standing in the way of his vision, i.e. laws are not necessary, just revolutionary fervor.

“not particularly unjust executioner” is perhaps the parsing of the century.

#13 Comment By JCM On November 13, 2017 @ 10:10 am

Siarlys, I only wondered if some might still view the death camps to be, alas, eggs to broken in the making of that elusive omelette. So, seeking a conciliatory end note, I sought a mild enough formulation of disapproval that just might have the needed elasticity for us to join in one last,great chorus of “Imagine,” “We are the world” or the now notorious “Kumbayah.”

I love how the Left insists that Stalin, Pol Pot, Ceaucescu, Hoxha, Kaganovich, Mao, etc., don’t really count for more than being mere missteps on the road to earthly paradise. They are dismissed as just unfortunate reminders that the terrain is rough and steep.

#14 Comment By JCM On November 13, 2017 @ 1:54 pm

Mr. Jenkins: I recommend highly “The House of Government” by Yuri Slezkive that was recently reviewed in the NYT and elsewhere. At 1128 pages, it takes the kind of commitment that marriage used to, but it’s still worth the slog.

Well read as you are, you probably are familiar with its thesis that Marxism-Leninism was a form of “millenarian metaphysics.” When it failed, its failure was attributed to the lack of faith and “prayers” of its adherents.

The reason that I mentioned the NK regime is because it is one more sect, heresy (or mutation if you prefer) of that original faith. The Kims basically claim that they have found the theological key (themselves and their Jusche idea) that will make their iteration of Marxism-Leninism work. And, if it hasn’t, it is the fault of those who refuse to believe.

“Believe or die” may be a better maxim of Communism in practice than “Workers of the world unite.”

Communism is really a rejection of the Enlightenment and a resort to the wars of religion of the 16th century–with dogma, inquisitors and the divine right of kings (or Party Chairmen, Great/Dear Leaders, Jefe Maximos, Geniuses of the Carpathians) restored. Its pretty words mask its medieval roots.