The picture painted by the documentary was of someone who had a pathological interest in sex. The facts reported dovetailed with various reports I'd heard elsewhere but hearing all of them in relatively quick order jarred a few thoughts loose.
Every once in a while I am struck with how pathetic it is for a man to be so obsessed with a bodily function (admittedly pleasurable) that he essentially builds his life around sating his urges. We only really hear about it when it's someone rich and powerful and connected, as Epstein was.
But it always occurs to me: how small a man is, who can amass a fortune numbered in billions of dollars, yet who does nothing with it but screw underaged girls. And to help other rich and powerful perverts screw underaged girls.
What a pointless life.
When a man gets to that point he is literally no better than an animal. What else does he aspire to but to rack up notches on a bed post and figures in a ledger, when he lives that kind of life? What is there that makes him a man, and not a beast?
The answer is that some people delight in being animals rather than humans. They not only prefer the pointless lives they choose, but actively reject the idea that there can be anything more than that.
* * *
I wonder about Trump.
Trump met Epstein, moved in the same circles as he did; but abruptly ceased all unnecessary contact with him (outside of pure business) after a seminal event. And I look at all this and have to wonder: did Trump run for President because he wanted to do something about the perversity in the elite?
The tabloids and the celebrity gossip magazines and the other nonsense--always lurid accusations of misconduct between popular figures, and there's even some truth to them. But stories come out like the Epstein one, and then we hear about this or that Hollywood figure, and so on, which make it plain that there is some truth behind the hype.
Perhaps Trump saw something that sickened him to his core, and determined to do something about it...and that's why the elites are so dead set on stopping him. As President he has a lot of power and is the de jure head of law enforcement in the country; and I don't think it's coincidental that Epstein's plea deal was overturned after Trump was President.
It's pretty commonly accepted, I think, that Epstein got that sweetheart deal because too much dirt on too many rich and powerful people would come out in an actual trial. Epstein would not cop to anything above a misdemeanor, and his connections meant that he wouldn't have to. In the documentary they ran a piece of audio in which Epstein complained about how onerous the plea deal was, how the crimes to which he'd pled guilty normally sustained a $100 fine per occurrence.
Alexander Acosta, himself a deep state man, was willing to close the case with that plea deal because it kept other deep state people from getting caught. (He was in that position because George W Bush put him there, and I expect that Trump appointed him to Labor Secretary based on recommendations of others.) The deep state squelched the FBI's investigation of Epstein, making it safely a state-level operation, which could be handled with a minimum of collateral damage, and so Acosta was able to push the plea deal through without any members of the deep state getting implicated.
So what happened? Epstein kept on with his schtick, to the point that after most of a decade the FBI was able to nail him again, and this time the President in charge was someone who wasn't willing to look the other way. Was not himself someone who'd partaken of the forbidden fruits offered by Epstein, and who was not seriously connected in any way to someone who had. And who had good reason to want to do damage to the deep state, more than he already had.
Of course Epstein was murdered.
Think about it: Epstein had dirt on people like Bill Clinton. Clinton rode the "Lolita Express" no fewer than 26 times, eyewitnesses place him on Espstein's island, but no one has proof that Clinton did anything other than go there. Except that Epstein himself had cameras all over the place, and he knew where the video files were stored; and to save himself from spending the rest of his life in a maximum security federal penitentiary--which, given his reputation as a convicted pedophile, would not be a very long time--he would have given up that blackmail material to the feds.
Imagine the feeding frenzy in the press should all those tapes appear. Even if they kept strictly mum on the Democrats found there, the news would get out, and they could not keep Clinton's name out of the headlines no matter what. Let's face it: when a former President is credibly accused of multiple accounts of statutory rape and sexual abuse of a minor, it makes the headlines.
No, Epstein had to be killed, lest all this come out; and so he was. There were far too many powerful people who would be hurt if he had not been killed. Bill Clinton is only one of them, but he's the headliner, and the Clintons have been associated with a lot of mysterious, sudden, and uncharacteristic "suicides" over the years.
With Epstein dead, the case was be closed, as there is no point to trying a dead man.
So now, Ghislane Maxwell is on the chopping block. I'd bet money she doesn't have what Epstein had; she might be able to say this and that about important people but she can't produce video evidence like Epstein could have. It devolves into "he-said-she-said" and as a notable co-conspirator of Epstein's she's not going to have the necessary weight behind her accusations. A victim could stand up and say, "I was raped by Bill Clinton," except that no one who could credibly make that assertion and who wants to live past next weekend would do so in a court of law, at least not before the statute of limitations runs out.
And it's important to remember that Bill Clinton is just one of the rich and powerful elites who had reason to shut Epstein's mouth. I'd wager there are a hundred other names on that list, ones we wouldn't recognize, but who are movers and shakers in government or finance or both, who could (and would) pay a hit man to protect his cushy life.
And they are desperate to be rid of Trump because if Trump finds a way to get at Epstein's cache of blackmail material....
* * *
I would say that about a third of what Epstein's victims said rang hollow to me. I was hearing a lot of "therapy speak". I was also hearing a lot of rationalization.
I am not saying that Epstein did not prey on girls; he did. I am also not denying that these women were victimized by a rich and powerful man; they were. I will not argue that these women should not be saying what they are saying; they should.
The overall impression I got from the victims' testimony was that Epstein lured them to his private island and then abused them, to one extent or another. But in some cases, the rationalizations started: "I think I told myself X or Y," they'd say, which was obviously their answers to the questions, "Why did you stay?"
Like the one who was ostensibly hired to be his private masseuse. She says he raped her; but then she went on a "once-in-a-lifetime" trip to Africa with Epstein and Bill Clinton and other people. Nothing bad happened on that trip, she said, but why was she there if not to be Epstein's personal masseuse? If he raped her--if he actually forcibly raped her--why was she still there?
One of the things that Trump was pilloried for in the 2016 election was the attempted October surprise, "Just grab her by the pussy!" Very rich men can get away with a hell of a lot, and when you reach "billionaire" you are in that set of men. Some of the girls that Epstein had around him were there for the money, no matter what they say now, and willingly took part in all of it. Maybe not the ones in the documentary--and maybe just for part of it.
It's the oldest damned thing in the world: a rich older man with bevies of young girls around him, solely because he is rich. Some of them were there for the money, and it's possible that a couple may have changed their minds later on. "I wasn't there for the money. I was there because I was forced to be there."
Not casting aspersions here--just noting that this is how people are.
* * *
The prominent victims, the ones in the documentary, were reportedly unhappy at the news that Epstein had "committed suicide".
"He managed to get out of it, once again!" Uh...he's dead, you know? You can't take any satisfaction from that?
No, they wanted him to suffer, you see, and mere death (however managed) is insufficient. They wanted him in shackles and an orange jumpsuit in court every day (he would have been allowed a suit, though, I do believe) and they wanted all the crimes and pictures and videos put on display for the world to see. And when they talked about this, that was when the most "therapy-speak" came out, when they talked about "taking back my power" and all the other lefty-touchy-feely-feminist horseshit.
There is no way he could pay for the magnitude of his crimes, though. Not in any legal sense; proper consequences for something like Epstein would require exceeding the constitutional mandate against "cruel and unusual punishment". Even spending fifty years in prison--at his age, that would have exceeded his life expectancy--would not be enough to atone for his deeds. Prisons are shitholes, but people live in them, and living conditions in modern American prisons are still better than lots of places in the world in history, and even now.
* * *
Ultimately, there's nothing good here. He was a piece of shit, he treated people like pieces of shit, and he died like a piece of shit. He left a lot of misery and despair in his wake.
It's one of those things that seems almost to be designed to be as rotten as possible for everyone concerned. There is no upside anywhere in it; it's low and tawdry and disgusting, and the mere knowledge of the events is disheartening.
If it had led to the arrest of just one other perpetrator (other than Ghislane Maxwell) it might have been worth something; but so far it's a horriffic mess that has done nothing for anyone. I said earlier that Ghislane Maxwell is "on the chopping block" because she is; if she has anything at all on anyone, useful solid proof, she's going to "commit suicide" one way or another--just as suddenly and inexplicably as Epstein did.
A sordid, useless mess.