The Epstein Incident Another Blow to Government and Media Credibility
A very small number of people know exactly what happened to Jeffrey Epstein on the morning of August 10. The rest of us only know what the government and media tell us. These two are sources of increasingly dubious credibility. When their accounts don't agree, or don't make sense, "conspiracy" theories flourish. "Conspiracy theorists" are routinely dismissed as being on the fringes of society. However, in this case it will be difficult to dismiss the large number of well-respected individuals on the left and right who find the official account unbelievable.
Everything the government did with Epstein from his arrested on July 7 to his apparent suicide on August 10 was a predictable hurtle to disaster. Epstein was initially placed in a cell with a former police officer charged with murdering four people who was facing the death penalty. On July 24, he was found on the floor of his cell “semi-conscious, despondent and crying with slight bruising around his neck.” It was not clear whether his injuries were self-inflicted or the result of an assault. Nevertheless, Epstein was placed on placed on suicide watch. He was taken off suicide watch on July 29 or August 1 after a psychiatric evaluation. Bloomberg reported Epstein “was taken off suicide watch just hours before he killed himself.” He was back in the Special Housing Unit (SHU) with a cellmate. The cellmate was removed in during the evening of August 9, leaving Epstein alone.
Although Epstein was no longer on suicide watch, he was supposed to be checked on every 30 minutes. Reportedly, this was not done. The New York Post reported neither of the two guards “had checked on Epstein for several hours before he was discovered.” CBS News reported there was shouting and shrieking coming from his jail cell on the morning of the 10th. CBS claims corrections officers attempted to revive him while saying "breathe, Epstein, breathe." This does not make sense if Epstein was dead for several hours. The Daily Beast reported that "Epstein already had a death pallor."
It is no secret that many powerful people wanted Epstein silenced. He was perhaps the most important prisoner ever housed in the Metropolitan Correctional Center. To treat him like an ordinary prisoner suggests that the administration wanted Epstein to meet his end in its prison. The warden was aware of this staffing shortage and could have remedied the situation with a phone call. All of these factors have led to a great deal of skepticism among some fairly knowledgable and influential people.
Attorney General William Barr issued a press release stating, "Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered.” Former wardens and veterans of the federal prison system were baffled as to why Epstein wasn't under near-constant guard. Cameron Lindsay, a former warden who worked at three federal facilities stated, "For them to pull him off suicide watch is shocking. For someone this high-profile, with these allegations and this many victims, who has had a suicide attempt in the last few weeks, you can take absolutely no chances." Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara tweeted that he was “dumbfounded” by Epstein’s death. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams remarked, “Something doesn’t smell right – and it’s not his dead body.”
There are cameras in the Special Housing Unit but they do not point into the cells. There is no explanation why this is so. Perhaps it is a civil liberties issue adjudicated by the Civil Liberties Union. Officials are under the impression that the cameras are trained on the individual cells. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani claimed, "There is absolutely no excuse for this. It's impossible to happen. I do not understand how anyone can explain not having him under 24 hour surveillance or not checking the camera constantly. So that leads to all the speculation. The camera wasn't working." Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated, “There should be — and almost certainly is — video of Epstein’s suicide at MCC. One hopes it is complete, conclusive, and secured.” For whatever reason there is no video of Epstein's suicide.
Every effort is being made to limit the amount of information that goes public. A representative for the Bureau of Prisons announced that warden Lamine N'Diaye would not be made available for comment. There is an almost total lack of information on N'Diaye on the Internet. Following Epstein's death, MCC cancelled all visits, both family and legal ones, with prisoners. Investigators "are being stymied" by employees who are understandably "lawyering up." There may be, in spite of the fact that they work for the federal government, serious repercussions if they falsified records of their mandatory checks on the prisoner.
To further confuse the issue, a 4Chan post supposedly made by a prison employee claimed that a “…guy in a green dress military outfit… switched him out” with a lookalike. This claim was made nearly 10 minutes before Epstein's death was announced by the press. This claim is supported by photographs of the deceased ear and nose which apparently do not match photos of Epstein when he was alive. This claim cannot be proven or disproved without the body and on August 14 NBC News reported Jeffrey Epstein's body was claimed by unidentified "associate."
John Dietrich is a freelance writer and the author of The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy (Algora Publishing). He has a Master of Arts Degree in International Relations from St. Mary’s University. He is retired from the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.
Image credit: Photo illustration by Monica Showalter from public domain pictures