OpEd by: Tracy Beanz
Jeffrey Epstein has been arrested. Just like in the case of Harvey Weinstein, his arrest has evoked a flurry of #MeToo type reactions- “We’ve seen this and its about time something was done about it”. But an often overlooked fact is how many people KNEW this was going on, and did not say anything?
Investigative reporter Vicky Ward recently shared a thread on twitter reminiscing about a piece she wrote back in 2002 for Vanity Fair.
In the thread she made a point to say that she had been contacted by victims in her investigation for the piece, and that she had included their stories in her final draft. She was even using the names of the victims, doing what any investigative reporter should do- bringing the stories of the wronged to light, so that the powerful people behind those wrongs can be held accountable. The courage those young women and their mother must have mustered to come and talk to Vicky sends shivers up my spine.
What is the problem, you may ask? Vicky goes on to state that editor Graydon Carter cut the testimony of these victims from the piece, supposedly after Epstein met with the magazine to keep it quiet. Vicky goes on to lament that if her “piece had been published in full—with the names and stories of these women—the FBI may have come after Epstein sooner and perhaps some of his victims would have been saved.” She then states that people KNEW about Epstein and his power and wealth insulated him from any accountability. And then, she goes on to name his supposed connections to Trump peripheral figures, of course omitting the fact that there are GLARING connections to the Clinton's and other major DNC players.
This is the problem, and it's twofold. Why didn’t Vicky bring these victims to the FBI, rather than idly sitting on her hands as she let her story about them die? If she did, she certainly doesn’t say she did, and the posturing of the rest of her testimony makes it clear this wasn’t something she took upon herself. In addition, why let a blatant partisan bias infect the story? This is terrifying.
The real problem is that it didn’t start and end with Vicky Ward. This sort of a “I know but don’t say anything because it could harm my career” mentality has been going on for decades in the halls of power and elsewhere. It has been systematic throughout institutions and industries in our country, and quite frankly, even the world.
So as not to leave Vicky hanging alone and out to dry, I turn your attention to a few of the more telling tweets from the weekend. Noah Shachtman, Editor in Chief at the Daily Beast, the outlet that was the first to break the story of Epsteins arrest stated on twitter:
"I'm seeing lots of folks on the left and the right who seem absolutely sure that Epstein is going to give up their political enemies. Hot tip: he's just as likely to give up your allies.”
This tweet shook me to my core, and not for only the partisan bent it contains.
The tweet itself tells a story all to often ignored. It gives us raw fact: people on both the left and the right inherently KNOW that Epstein likely procured young children for high powered political figures, and no one has done anything about it up until now.
That should send chills down the spine of any American who cares about our most valuable asset- our children.
In addition to Noah’s admission, we also had a very shocking tweet from Nancy Pelosi’s daughter, who also works for the DNC.
She wrote: “ This Epstein case is horrific and the young women deserve justice. It is quite likely that some of our faves are implicated but we must follow the facts and let the chips fall where they may - whether on Republicans or Democrats. #WeSaidEnough #MeToo”
Hold on a second- faves?? Again, Pelosi alludes to the fact that Epstein has been working to provide powerful people, possibly some of her “faves” with young children. Pelosi is the daughter of the Speaker of the House of Representatives. It isn’t a leap to think that if the younger Pelosi has information that this has gone on, the elder Pelosi must as well. This is abhorrent. And I don’t see anyone talking about it. It’s particularly telling, because not only did Nancy Pelosi take to social media to demand the resignation of Trump Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, but her fellow democrats in congress, Chuck Schumer and Stacey Plaskett amongst many others, accepted tens of thousands of dollars from Epstein in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, and even as late as last year. OpenSecrets a non partisan group that tracks political contributions writes:
“From 1989 up until 2003, Epstein donated more than $139,000 to Democratic federal candidates and committees and over $18,000 to Republican candidates and groups, according to data from OpenSecrets. Notable recipients include former President Bill Clinton and former Senator Bob Packwood, a Republican. In 2003, a couple of years before a full-scale investigation into the allegations of sexual exploitation of underage girls, his political giving abruptly stopped.”
Further pushing the partisan divide, is the fact that tech giant Google is now filtering search results to remove all traces of Epstein standing together with his decades long pal, Bill Clinton, leaving in its wake only the few public appearances made between Epstein and Donald Trump.
Lawyers for the victims have publicly stated that Donald Trump, far from partaking in any misdeeds, assisted them in their search for information used to hold Epstein accountable. Not only do we know that they KNEW, but we know that they are now also desperately trying to cover it up for political gain.
Labor Secretary Acosta in his press conference yesterday, made it clear that the world expects more transparency now. It is true, in today's day and age of social media, transparency is all but a necessity. The nasty political climate has guaranteed that any sliver of dirt- any little misstep, will be used and exploited by your political enemies to make a point. However, what Acosta didn’t realize, is that there is also a concerted effort to mask these horrific crimes and hide them from the people, thus maintaining the status quo, and ensuring that the power structure doesn’t crumble under the weight of itself. This is absolutely abhorrent, for we as a moral society, regardless of political leanings, have an abject duty to stand up for the well being of our nations future, our children. We shouldn't be having a discussion about this. It is something that people on ALL sides of the political spectrum should get behind, and shame on those who not only kept this to themselves for all of these years, only now to come forward when it is convenient- but shame on those who chastised the people reporting on this before it was "hip" and easy to do so.
Follow Tracy on Twitter @Tracybeanz