If all the other weirdness surrounding Jeffrey Epstein's death in federal custody last weekend had already generated widespread conspiratorial chatter and theories, several emerging reported details will turn up the volume to a low roar. We still have very few real answers, so allegations and rumors are flooding the zone. For example, was at least one of the guards watching over Epstein (and apparently flouting protocols)...not even a real corrections officer?
Breaking News: One of Jeffrey Epstein's guards was not a full-fledged officer, and he was not checked on for hours in the short-staffed jail where he died https://t.co/HV6am3eQ4Q— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 12, 2019
One of the two people guarding Jeffrey Epstein when he apparently hanged himself in a federal jail cell was not a full-fledged correctional officer, and neither guard had checked on Mr. Epstein for several hours before he was discovered, prison and law-enforcement officials said.
This development could play into the line of thinking that an under-staffed federal prison system, and over-worked employees, are a recipe for oversights, mistakes and abuses. Plus, as some have pointed out, America's jails and prisons have a suicide problem -- and preventing a determined person from harming themselves can be quite difficult. Two questions, though: Even if all of those factors are true, shouldn't extra attention been paid to arguably the most infamous federal inmate awaiting trial, especially someone who'd already either tried to kill himself or suffered an assault while behind bars? And especially someone who potentially-to-likely had significant dirt on a whole cabal of wealthy and powerful people?
Jeffrey Epstein once bragged to a New York Times columnist about having potentially damaging information on rich, famous and powerful people, including details about their drug use and sexual tendencies. The billionaire and convicted sex offender claimed in an interview last year that a number of influential people had told him their secrets. Epstein revealed the details to columnist James B. Stewart in an interview at the 66-year-old's Manhattan mansion on August 16 last year. 'The overriding impression I took away from our roughly 90-minute conversation was that Mr Epstein knew an astonishing number of rich, famous and powerful people, and had photos to prove it,' Stewart said. 'The overriding impression I took away from our roughly 90-minute conversation was that Mr Epstein knew an astonishing number of rich, famous and powerful people, and had photos to prove it,' Stewart said.
Next question: Was it even a suicide? Perhaps:
Jeffrey Epstein was found hanging in his lower Manhattan jail cell with a bedsheet wrapped around his neck and secured to the top of a bunk bed, The Post has learned. The convicted pedophile, who was 6 feet tall, apparently killed himself by kneeling toward the floor and strangling himself with the makeshift noose, law enforcement sources said Monday. He hadn’t been checked on for several hours, sources said.
Or perhaps not:
NEW: Shrieking heard from Jeffrey Epstein’s jail cell the morning he died at Metropolitan Correctional Center https://t.co/aEwiCXdDuA— Yashar Ali ?? (@yashar) August 13, 2019
On the morning of Jeffrey Epstein's death there was shouting and shrieking from his jail cell, a source familiar with the situation told CBS News. Corrections officers attempted to revive him while saying "breathe, Epstein, breathe."
These sentences seem to suggest that the shrieks came from the officers trying to revive him, but there's just enough ambiguity to justify the headline in the tweet above. Also, not to sound like a paranoiac, but "breathe, Epstein, breathe!" does not necessarily strike me as an authentic reaction a jail guard might have upon discovering an unresponsive prisoner. It feels more like what someone might shout to feign surprise. My conspiratorial thinking is running deep, folks. And I'm not the only one. On my radio show yesterday, the assiduously cautious and rational Dana Perino sounded like she couldn't stomach all the "serious irregularities" and "coincidences" that led up to Epstein's death:
.@DanaPerino is one of the most careful & level-headed analysts/hosts in the business. Based upon our discussion yesterday, she's on the Epstein conspiracy train -- and it's hard to argue with her. Really interesting segment: https://t.co/isizB8OEDW— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) August 13, 2019
Like me, Dana is intrigued by the intelligence angle, but wonders if it was necessarily US intelligence. Three possibilities here, in my view. Door A: Sweeping, mind-boggling, cascading incompetence. Door B: Low level conspiracy, like Epstein gaming the system and/or making payoffs to guarantee himself means and opportunity to end his own life. Hence all the blown procedures. Door C: High-level conspiracy, in which Epstein was offed by someone or someones over whom he held potent leverage. Leverage like, say, this:
"Maxwell also said the island had been completely wired for video; the friend thought that she and Epstein were videotaping everyone on the island as an insurance policy, as blackmail." https://t.co/6R7bIHrROb— Vicky Ward (@VickyPJWard) August 13, 2019
How would you rank the likelihood of those three scenarios? At the moment, I'm thinking B, then C, then A. As usual, I'm open to evidence -- but hot damn, the evidence will need to be overwhelming and clear-cut in this case. I asked callers on my show yesterday whether we'll ever know the full truth. Consensus: Nope.