Friday 4 October 2019

Did Jeffrey Epstein and Robert Maxwell spy for Israel?

I was annoyed when someone (anonymous, of course) in a comment on my blog accused me of peddling conspiracy theories, simply because I don't think I ever have done. Not till today. 

I am always sceptical about them. I do not believe that George W. Bush was responsible for the September 11th attacks, for example, as most Russians do. Had he been they would have gone wrong. 

I assume that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone when he murdered John Kennedy and have not bestirred myself to see what counter-evidence there is. 

I see conspiracy theories on the net but they mostly sound very unlikely.  

I do not think Bush 2 or Tony Blair lied about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

However, all spying is a conspiracy and all theories about espionage are conspiracy theories. 

The net has been full of stories since his death that Epstein, the child abuser and friend of the Duke of York who killed himself, was an Israeli agent. I took, and take, no great interest in the matter but this story that I happened on by chance sounded plausible

It's an interview of Ari Ben-Menashe who was a senior figure in Israel’s Directorate of Military Intelligence from 1977 to 1987, conducted by an Israeli called Zev Shalev, who made news programmes for the US TV channel CBS and is described on the net as a left wing progressive.

There are such stories sloshing around the net but when I looked into Mr. Ben-Menashe I found he was a fascinating but unreliable narrator with a very interesting history straight out of a spy novel

He asserts that Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell were "intelligence assets" helping Israel by getting influential American men to sleep with under-age girls. Presumably this led to them being blackmailed by Israeli spies.

Interesting, if true. He is sure Epstein did not commit suicide, as are huge numbers of people on Twitter. 

He also said years ago that Diana Princess of Wales was being observed by several secret services at the time of her death, including Mossad, which I find highly likely (but so what?) and that George H. W. Bush conspired with Iran to delay the release of their hostages until Reagan won the 1980 election. I am sure this is rubbish.

Robert Maxwell, the crooked left-wing British newspaper owner and 'bouncing Czech' (in fact, he came from a village in Trans-Carpathian Ruthenia, now in Ukraine, that I once passed through) was another Israeli spy, so Mr. Ben-Menashe says, and involved with Epstein in the Iran-Contra scandal.

I remember being shocked as an undergraduate to find in the Cambridge University Library Ceausescu: Builder of Modern Romania and International Statesman (Leaders of the World), published by Maxwell's company Pergamon Press, with an approving forward by a Labour MP whom I had heard speak. 

I wonder what part Maxwell played in Eastern Europe where he travelled on business and had high level contacts. I am sure that Ceausescu: Builder of Modern Romania and International Statesman was not published to turn a profit but to please the Romanian government.

Did Robert Maxwell commit suicide, by the way, or did he accidentally fall off or was he pushed off his yacht?

According to the left of centre and misnamed British newspaper the Independent 
American officials have previously said that Israel tops the list of countries who aggressively spy on the US, next to rivals Russia and China.
I found a story in the left-wing Israeli newspaper Haaretz, about how Israeli spies in the USA let Israel get the bomb, here

There was, now I think of it, one conspiracy theory which, though at first I dismissed it out of hand, I later came to decide might be true, quite incredible though it sounds. 

It's the theory that the bombing of apartment buildings in Moscow in 1999, that was blamed on the Chechens and which helped bring Putin to power, may have been the work of the Russian secret service FSB (the former KGB or NKVD). Worth looking into, people. 


  1. Epstein’s name, I was told, had been raised by the Trump transition team when Alexander Acosta, the former U.S. attorney in Miami who’d infamously cut Epstein a non-prosecution plea deal back in 2007, was being interviewed for the job of labor secretary. The plea deal put a hard stop to a separate federal investigation of alleged sex crimes with minors and trafficking.

    “Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?” Acosta had been asked. Acosta had explained, breezily, apparently, that back in the day he’d had just one meeting on the Epstein case. He’d cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys because he had “been told” to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone,” he told his interviewers in the Trump transition, who evidently thought that was a sufficient answer and went ahead and hired Acosta.

    Vicky Ward
    Updated 08.19.19 2:33PM ET Published 07.09.19 4:35AM ET
    Jeffrey Epstein’s Sick Story Played Out for Years in Plain Sight
    How did the New York financier stay nearly untouchable for decades? Vicky Ward—who has reported extensively on Epstein, and on efforts to rehabilitate him—finds out what’s changed.

    1. I have not followed this and really don't know but it seems from what you quoted that he was a spy of some sort. Ann Coulter predicted his suicide before it happened. I suspected that the authorities were happy about it and that it might not be a suicide.

    2. This was published yesterday, Toma, and the whole article repays reading.

      'Despite Acosta’s conflicting stories and his transparently phony public statement, no one in the mainstream press or Congress has investigated the role played by US intelligence agencies in the Epstein case.

      'It appears that Democrats were initially willing to attack Acosta as a way to embarrass Trump. But apparently, once they realized that digging too deep would also embarrass their friends at intelligence — including the former agents who now work as analysts on cable TV promoting the story that Russia stole the election from Hillary Clinton — they decided to back off.

      'Had Epstein Lived…

      'One reason foul play should be suspected is that any criminal trial of Epstein or his co-conspirators would have been highly problematic for the federal government:

      'Epstein’s lawyers would have been obliged to explore whether Epstein believed that government officials with actual authority sanctioned his crimes because he was providing them with sexual blackmail material on targeted leaders.'

    3. Don't think it's the Feds.

      Jeffrey Epstein Raked In $200 Million After Legal and Financial Crises

      By Matthew Goldstein and Steve Eder
      Oct. 3, 2019

      Jeffrey Epstein’s biggest client had deserted him, his money management firm had lost more than $150 million during the financial crisis, and he was a registered sex offender. But after he started a new company with a wildly speculative business plan in 2012, Mr. Epstein had no problem pulling in cash.

      His start-up, Southern Trust, reported more than $200 million in revenues over the next five years, according to a review of previously unreported financial statements filed in the Virgin Islands.

      Despite a name that calls to mind a financial services firm, the fledgling company with a handful of employees said it was developing a DNA data-mining service. Southern Trust was trying to gauge customers’ predisposition to cancer by “basically organizing mathematical algorithms,” Mr. Epstein told Virgin Islands officials as he sought a lucrative tax break in 2012.

      Easy money. Also,

      The only trouble with the conspiracy theory that hundreds of prominent
      and powerful people wanted Jeffrey Epstein dead is that Jeffrey
      Epstein might have wanted Jeffrey Epstein dead even more than they

      James Howard Kunstler

    4. I am following this story lackadaisically. Yes I am sure the US Government did not kill him. Yes I suppose he killed himself. It would be pretty hard for another government to kill him in a US gaol.

  2. I tend to assume that everything that spies or former spies or defectors say is probably a lie. I also tend to assume that everything said by intelligence agencies (all intelligence agencies from the KGB to the CIA to the FBI to MI6) is a lie. They're in the business of lying.

    Fortunately they're also usually remarkably incompetent. Which makes sense. They can't even trust each other.

    Do you remember the 70s British TV spy series The Sandbaggers? The best part was that MI6 and MI5 hated each other more than they hated the Russians. And the MI6 guys spent most of their time sucking up to the CIA and the CIA despised them. I suspect it was a pretty accurate depiction of the sad seedy sleazy world of espionage.

    1. I don't remember that programme actually or ever heard of it and I have a very good memory for such things. I doubt if CIA despise MI6.

      It is remarkable how little effect the spies have had on history.

      I was told by my first boss in my first university vacation, who had been Secretary of State for Employment, that MI6 knew the heads of the biggest trade unions worked for the Russians. I was utterly shocked. It only became public long afterwards that Hugh Scanlon and Jack Jones, two very famous household names, were Russian agents.

    2. I don't remember that programme actually or ever heard of it and I have a very good memory for such things.

      It was a Yorkshire Television production. Ran for three seasons from 1978 to 1980. Ian Mackintosh who created the series and wrote the entirety of the first two seasons was also responsible for the quite interesting Warship series. He was reputed to be ex-MI6 and died at the age of 38 in genuinely mysterious circumstances.

      I doubt if CIA despise MI6.

      I'm sure they do. One of the delusions that the British cling to is the idea that they have the best intelligence services in the world and that just like in the James Bond stories they were the real heroes of the Cold War. The most effective spy the British ever produced was Kim Philby.

      It is remarkable how little effect the spies have had on history.

      Spies are generally social misfits and losers as well as pathological liars and fantasists. Occasionally they uncover real secrets but the problem is that it's impossible to tell the difference between the real intelligence they produce and the lies and fantasies.

      If spies were effective the Soviets would have won the Cold War.

  3. A friend of mine sent me this - the writer thinks Mr Putin wasn't responsible for the Moscow apartment bombings but the oligarch (and crook) Berezovsky might have been.

    I don't know. I do know that Berezovsky brought Putin to power but later accused the FSB of the bombings.

  4. When I was in Moscow I found that two intelligent, well informed people I asked thought Putin was guilty.