How in the name of sanity did this happen?
Wealthy financier, 66, had been accused of sex trafficking and was being held without bail after being arrested on 6 July
Wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein has killed himself at a New York jail, according to authorities in New York and media reports.
“Saturday, August 10, 2019, at approximately 6.30am, inmate Jeffrey Edward Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell … subsequently pronounced dead by hospital staff,” reads a statement from the Metropolitan Correctional Center where Epstein, 66, had been held without bail since his arrest on 6 July on charges of sex trafficking girls as young as 14.
Multiple media reports said Epstein had died by suicide.
The FBI is investigating the incident, and the attorney general, William Barr, said he had also opened an investigation by the Department of Justice’s inspector general and was “appalled” by the death. “Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered,” Barr said.
In case readers weren’t aware, the Manhattan Correctional Center is one of the most tightly run and secure facilities in the US. It is a federal facility with highly trained staff who have received special training to deal with high profile prisoners like Epstein. It is sometimes referred to as “Guantanamo of New York” and housed such notables as John Gotti, Bernard Madoff, Omar Abdel Rahman and, recently, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.
As former US Attorney and Washington Post contributor put it, Epstein’s apparent suicide is unfathomable.
[C]onsider the BOP’s suicide prevention protocol. Epstein was found last month unconscious in his MCC cell with marks on his neck. If he was not on suicide watch, it would be astonishing. Yet if he were on suicide watch, his death would be virtually inconceivable.
The BOP’s suicide prevention protocol entails, first and foremost, human eyes on the prisoner 24 hours a day. It also requires a strict deprivation of anything — shoelaces, sheets, pillowcases — that could possibly be used to hang oneself. It also requires disabling anything that could be used to tie a noose — vents, sprinkler heads, etc.
Finally, we are not talking about inexperienced yokels. BOP personnel, especially at MCC, are the best professionals in the corrections industry, and they receive special training in administrating suicide prevention. Who better to guard against such a horrific development?
At this point, questions abound, and BOP has to address them promptly.
The first: Was Epstein on suicide watch, and if not, why not? Among the reports cascading out in the few hours since Epstein’s body was found are anonymous statements that Epstein had been on suicide watch but was taken off it. If so, the decision to remove him appears to have been a colossal error that must be thoroughly probed.
The second: How exactly did Epstein manage to kill himself, and why exactly was it that he had access to the tools?
Third, is there a video of Epstein’s cell at the crucial time? There should be, and it will reveal exactly how and when Epstein killed himself.
Attorney General William Barr in a statement Saturday morning stated the he was appalled om learning of Epstein’s death and would consult with the FBI and Inspector General on their investigations. The problem there is who is going to take Barr’s word on anything after his blatant lies about the Mueller Report? As Jon Cole at Balloon Juice astutely noted: “the thing to remember is that whether it was suicide or murder, NOTHING scares the rich and powerful men like accountability for their actions. Nothing. They’d rather kill themselves or have someone killed that account for their actions.”
Somebody definitely has a lot of ‘splainin’ to do.