They're watching the Epstein case from abroad, too
Perhaps the most disturbing thing about the mishandling of the Jeffrey Epstein case is that the eyes of the world, including those of unfriendly powers, are watching.
What would they make of a justice system that first goes for years allowing a well connected pedophile to operate, and then, when the law finally catches up to him, allows him to mysteriously die in prison, a claimed suicide. And to make us all believe the unbelievable, a new tale is now being spun about guard incompetence, mysteriously non-recording cameras, a few screams at dawn, a missing roommate, someone who wasn't a guard guarding, an irregularly placed bed sheet, questions of why the inmate was or wasn't on suicide watch, and other errors?
These don't occur in civilized countries within systems that employ prison guards making six-figure incomes, or at least, not until now. The whole thing suggests some kind of payoff, some kind of arranged death or intentional failure to prevent one. It's believable based on the powerful political players looming in the background, the ones who took the trips to Epstein's pervert island and enjoyed the kiddie sex the way he did. There certainly was motive to make Epstein a dead man who tells no tales, and then cover the matter up as something chaotic — something that would make them roll their eyes in even a country such as, say, Uganda. All we have are explanations nobody believes.
These kinds of deaths do happen, occasionally, in countries you never immigrate to. The 2009 prison death of Sergei Magnitsky in Russia springs to mind. The 2015 Alberto Nisman assassination in Argentina also reverberates. Like this Epstein case, both were extralegal killings of people with too much information implicating powerful political players. The state is the prime suspect in both instances. And no one was ever punished.
This in fact is why the Epstein case is so dangerous. Up until now, the world's despots have been pretty restrained about killing off people they don't like. They know that non-believable explanations about state killings will get them a massive round of sanctions from the civilized world — the few instances in which this happened demonstrate exactly that. They know that they need to tread carefully about putting dissidents away because they know nobody's going to believe them if they throw out clownish excuses of incompetence. Up until now, that has been a kind of check on their behavior.
Now they see this clown show coming from the states, an obvious likely power struggle between President Trump and his Deep State and Democratic opponents, and it's very likely their certainties are shifting. U.S. domestic incidents are watched closely abroad, and often have extremely strong foreign policy repercussions. Think of how President Reagan's 1981 firing of illegally striking air traffic controllers affected the minds of the Soviets. That incident set in their minds that Reagan was a serious man and affected how they dealt with him. So now, if America can put on this farce of fantastical excuses for what very clearly appears to be an effort to wipe out a man who knew too much, what's to stop them from picking off the opponents who've vexed them and, like America, claim incompetence?
What does Nicolás Maduro think as he watches this Epstein drama unfold? Would he really have the low ground if he now sent an assassin in to kill interim president Juan Guaidó? Does he now have free rein to finally get rid of Maria Corina Machado? With the Epstein case, the U.S. has lost its moral authority on extrajudicial killings, and anyone can make similar claims to cover up deaths now. It's likely that Maduro going to feel emboldened.
Same story in Russia. They've got Alexei Navalny, the chief Kremlin critic, in jail now, and the streets of Moscow are engulfed with protests. With the Epstein clown show going on in the states, what's to stop Vladimir Putin from allowing an "accidental" death of that thorn in their sides in prison? The Kremlin's explanations would be as credible as the ones from New York now. What's to stop him?
Another same-story in Hong Kong. What's to prevent the Chicoms from picking off choice protesters and then contemptuously giving phony explanations of prison suicides that happened with the cameras off? They know it's been done before. The U.S. can't say a thing.
All of this underlines how important it is for U.S. attorney general William Barr to get hard to the bottom of this case and punish anyone who could be involved in a cover-up. If the only thing he can find is incompetence, his team will have to punish that to the maximum extent the law allows and probably monitor for evidence of payoffs (maybe bitcoin? good luck) for a long time. Something very fishy is afoot with this case and its wild series of claimed incompetence, even as big political players with an interest in this outcome hover in the background. Thus far, Barr seems to understand what's at stake and vows to get the story and is now a target of his political opponents, too.
What's scary is that the fate of the whole world probably rides on it.
Image credit: Photo illustration by Monica Showalter from public domain sources.