Where are the Epstein tapes?
#28 -- And some non-obvious theories of the case
|Mickey Kaus||Sep 10, 2020||5||3|
Where are the Epstein blackmail tapes? Epstein died over a year ago, on August 10, 2019. By then, federal agents had already raided his townhouse and uncovered a "vast trove of lewd photographs" including"CDs with handwritten labels including the description "“Young [Name] + [Name]." You'd think we'd have heard something about their contents by now. We would if it were a Republican scandal, no? Unless the Republican is Donald Trump — in that case we probably won't hear about the tapes until right before one of the debates. Soon!
P.S.: I was suprised to hear veteran Epstein-watcher Eric Weinstein argue (in his March 2020 “Portal” podcast) that Epstein wasn't engaged on behalf of some nation's intelligence service in a "pedophilic honey trap using kompromat ... in order to gain some sort of a geopolitical strategic advantage."** I was surprised because that's pretty much exactly what I've come to suspect was happening. Weinstein seems to think it was a non-pedophilic honey trap -- using overage bait -- and that Epstein's own predilections were not essential and in fact got in the way.
This makes a certain amount of sense -- how many pedophiles are there, after all? You'd think many more politicians, CEOs and scientists (Epstein's apparent target groups) would be interested in people of legal age. On the other hand, photos of politician X having sex with a 15-year-old make for more powerful blackmail material.
And there's another factor, confirmed by Weinstein himself, that suggests his ‘non-pedophilic’ take might be misguided. The argument requires a bit of speculative foundation. Here goes:
1) Mafia, not sting: The theory that Epstein routinely blackmailed the businessmen and celebs who visited his sin sites always seemed implausible: Did he really sit down with each of his marks and surprise them with the news that he could now blackmail them? Without one of these titans blowing the whistle on him (or figuring out some other way to, um, cancel him). All while continuing to attract more marks who somehow hadn't heard the news?
But what if (and I’m stealing this theory from a friend) the marks willingly volunteered to be compromised? Joining Epstein's sex club would be more like joining the mafia -- you give them some power over you, but you'd get something (including potential protection and support, as well as potential sex) in return. No need for Epstein to sit you down after an orgiastic encounter and burst your bliss. (That's a lot of work!) The implicit deal would be understood from the start.
2. Transparency: The idea of an implicit ‘deal’ is reinforced by two bits of high-grade gossip I recently heard. One is that it's silly to think the flights down to Epstein's island were centered on anything other than sex — and that most participants knew it. The other is that Epstein's various 'blackmail cameras’ -- "toilet, toilet, bed, bed, toilet, bed" -- were not especially well disguised. Even an untrained eye might spot them. Indeed, Eric Weinstein himself spots one (embedded in a piece of art) almost immediately in his one visit to Epstein's N.Y. townhouse — and he almost immediately starts to wonder if he was suppposed to spot it.***
All this ‘transparency’ makes the idea of a 'deal’ (not a sting) much more plausible. You didn't visit Epstein's island, sleep with someone, and then discover to your shock you'd been taped. You probably knew all along you'd be taped, and you went ahead with it, aware of the score.
But here's the thing: How many politicians would be willing to go along with this deal -- voluntarily opening themselves up to blackmail -- in exchange for ordinary, legal, consenting-adult sex? Couldn't they get laid without the blackmail? It might be plausible if the women to whom Epstein provided access were espectially attractive -- which apparently they were -- and if Epstein were especially trustworthy, which he wasn't. It makes much more sense that powerful men would take this blackmail risk in exchange for something nearly unobtainable outside of Epsteinworld -- or rather, unobtainable without taking a far greater risk of getting busted and prosecuted.
** — The relevant portion starts at 54:00 in.
*** — 30:00 minutes in.
BMW has done it and finally produced a car that looks like a Toyota. They never recovered from Chris Bangle.