After watching the Netflix documentary series on Jeffrey Epstein, I wondered, why isn’t Ghislaine Maxwell in custody? Apparently she was on the lam. The FBI arrested her yesterday in her luxury New Hampshire hideout. She will have to be refused bail, because she is an extreme flight risk. But the government ought to put her in a glass cell in the middle of Times Square. Ghislaine Maxwell is likely to end up dead like Jeffrey Epstein, for whom she pimped.
Don’t tell me that you are one of those people who believes Epstein really killed himself. Back in January, Mickey Kaus pointed to this autopsy photo of the laceration around Epstein’s neck (it’s mildly gross, so beware) [UPDATE: Sorry, the previous link was to an Oren Cass book I recommended to a friend today; it’s fixed now), saying that it is impossible to look at that and believe that he was killed by hanging himself with a sheet. He’s right; that laceration was clearly made by a wire, possibly a garrotte. The sheets, by the way, had no blood on them, even though Epstein’s neck clearly bled.
Guardian columnist Marina Hyde roasts Ghislaine and Jeffrey’s close friend Prince Andrew, who claims to be “bewildered” by the turns the case is taking. Of Andrew, she remarks with lip-smacking Britishness: “Oh dear. One finds oneself karma’s bitch.” More:
This, alas, is why it’s so hard to believe all the frightful bollocks about “not knowing” being spouted by so many rich and powerful former friends of Epstein. One of the most telling admissions in Filthy Rich, the Epstein documentary currently showing on Netflix, comes from the former telephone engineer on Epstein’s private island. “You tell yourself that you didn’t know for sure and you never really saw anything, but that’s all just rationalisation. Jeffrey Epstein, he was a guy who concealed his deviance very well – but he didn’t conceal it that well.”
Well, quite. There are many cases of huge and systematic abuse where we still pander to the people who turned a blind eye to it, by saying that it was “a sophisticated operation”. Epstein’s operation was certainly expensive. But was it sophisticated? How sophisticated is it really when your private Caribbean property is known locally as “Paedophile Island”?
Hyde compares it to Michael Jackson, who was obviously a pedophile, though a lot of people preferred to avert their gaze. You can understand Jackson’s servants doing that, she says — after all, he was their source of income — but Epstein’s rich and powerful friends? Hyde:
But please don’t suggest Bill Clinton, an extremely clever man, was too stupid to make basic assumptions, or that even Prince Andrew couldn’t have glommed on once Epstein had been convicted of procuring an underage girl for prostitution. Those are just the presidents and the prince; there are countless others besides. Perhaps Ghislaine Maxwell will fill in some of the blanks behind their blankness.
For now, you might think the truly bewildering thing is that so many people didn’t say anything. You might think it’s absolutely bewildering that these intelligent, privileged, financially cosseted individuals never confronted Epstein about something even they must have felt iffy calling a “lifestyle”. And yet, it isn’t bewildering. There is, of course, a perfectly simple reason why they never did the right thing. They didn’t want to.
And if you haven’t watch the Netflix documentary, please do. I thought I knew everything there was to know about the Epstein case, but the ins and outs of how in 2007, the then-US Attorney Alex Acosta worked a sweetheart deal with Epstein’s lawyers, and cut local law enforcement and the victims out of the loop, was news to me. (Not that it hasn’t been reported — I think the Miami Herald had it when the story first broke — but I either hadn’t read those details, or had forgotten.)
US Attorney General Bill Barr has said that Epstein’s alleged suicide was because of “a perfect storm of screw-ups.” Well, maybe. I don’t believe it for a second, but maybe. But now, if Barr doesn’t have his own agents guarding Maxwell 24/7, and something happens to her, then it will be impossible to deny a conspiracy, and impossible to believe that he wasn’t part of it.
Ghislaine (pron. “gullayne”) Maxwell is many things, but stupid isn’t one of them. Were she and Epstein working for the Mossad, as a new book claims? Last year, Vicki Ward, one of the journalists who has bird-dogged the Epstein case most aggressively, wrote about her interview with “a former senior White House official”:
Epstein’s name, I was told, had been raised by the Trump transition team when Alexander Acosta, the former U.S. attorney in Miami who’d infamously cut Epstein a non-prosecution plea deal back in 2007, was being interviewed for the job of labor secretary. The plea deal put a hard stop to a separate federal investigation of alleged sex crimes with minors and trafficking.
“Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?” Acosta had been asked. Acosta had explained, breezily, apparently, that back in the day 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 Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone,” he told his interviewers in the Trump transition, who evidently thought that was a sufficient answer and went ahead and hired Acosta. (The Labor Department had no comment when asked about this.)
Members of Congress should start making noise about protecting Maxwell, to send the strongest possible signal that what happened to Epstein in custody will not be allowed to happen to her.
For the uninitiated, here’s a good ten-minute backgrounder on Maxwell from Netflix: