On some level, in order to understand the society they live in, most people have to be conspiracy theorists. Forming correct conspiracy theories is a critical and essential part of understanding politics, international relations, and the justice system. Genuine conspiracies between people are a fact of living in an industrialized, highly populated globe. There are actual intelligence organizations, law enforcement agencies, insurrectionist militias, and organized criminal enterprises which by their nature create secrets, and clandestinely plan murders and arrests. We don't generally regard them as spectacular, because you can read about most of the important (and publicly disclosed) ones on Wikipedia.

Clearly, then, there are key differences between the regular conspiracy theorist, which almost all of us are, and the cultural conception of a "conspiracy theorist". One common difference is an implausible level of sophistication and ability assigned to the schemers. When working in their near lives, people have an intuition about how many people can be told about something salacious without it becoming public knowledge. Even in circumstances where everyone is properly motivated and there are low rewards for becoming an informant, like a middle school classroom, we understand intuitively how hard it is to keep everyone from leaking information to the teacher. The airquoted "conspiracy theorist" first and foremost rejects their internal social navigation sensors. Instead, in order to make their ideas plausible, they tend to see intelligence officers who are really just bigger LARPers than the "conspiracy theorist" as supernaturally competent and cooperative within their in-group.

A second thing the "conspiracy theorist" will do is assign demonic or otherworldly values to large groups of people, lacking any backstory for why they seem to have these strange motivations. Now, in real life, people can have very strange reasons for their actions. I find it hard to imagine that it'd be possible to successfully gather nineteen people for the 9/11 terror attacks, and end up without a single person who'd object and alert the FBI. But that's just a failure of my own imagination. There is a huge amount of indoctrination, socialization, and child rearing before someone is entrusted with a task like driving a plane into the pentagon - and on top of it the 9/11 hijackers were born into almost as different a culture from mine as you could find. Sacrificing yourself and thousands of others in the name of God is not an implausible story, given the enormous amount of brainwashing that goes into preparing someone for the role. It's just hard for me to empathize as some atheist American.

On the other hand, the "conspiracy theorist" will just call all government and business leaders pedophiles. They will usually not go far enough to suppose an actual source for these wildly dissimilar and almost universally abhorred preferences. They don't claim (usually) that elites grew up in a different culture where pedophilia is promoted and instilled as a norm in youth. They'll just claim that - for some reason - those are the people we tend to elect, and they also tend to be inhumanly good at trusting the right people and at prisoners' dilemmas.

A third, and perhaps the primary, social signal that we use to label someone a conspiracy theorist is that they are simply making outrageous seeming claims about powerful (or imagined powerful) entities like the U.S. federal government. Most people, probably quite reasonably, just take what they have been told about their institutions their entire life as a baseline. If you ask them as they're walking down the street, they probably won't be able to come up with principled objections to 9/11 truthers. They will reject it (rightly or wrongly) because they need to go to work, and it's simply not in the category of things they're willing to believe.

It's of course still easy to make fun of the Alex Jones tier conspiracy theories. But if we're being honest, it's still really hard for any regular person to model opaque organizations like their local police department, their district attorney's office, the FBI, the NSA, the state department, or Congress. Most people believe silly things about one or more of the above institutions, and I think they believe them simply because they do not have the tools equipped to understand those organizations. Some of this is due to a lack of knowledge about what these organizations do and what their internal politics are. Some of this is due to the fact it's socially encouraged to have a non-sensibly cynical attitude when it comes to clandestine organizations, lest we be accused of being too naive by our wizened and grizzled friends. But a lot of it is just because, by default, we no longer get to use the operationally important reasoning for understanding the behavior of people we actually know when trying to understand the behavior of clandestine organizations. Instead we feel free to shift into far-mode thinking, and posit relationships and arrangements that do not actually occur in the wild. The things our theories say about us and let us get to believe become more important than their predictive value. We don't actually see any of these grand coverups happen, but it's cool to imagine they do, especially when we get to imagine our political enemies doing it. Sometimes the long downtime between regime changes are so boring that it's easier and more exciting to just assume it's happening all the time, everywhere, right out of sight.

How can rationalists prevent themselves from making these mistakes? There is one strong trick I know of and it's actually quite powerful, if you have the intellectual honesty for it. First, learn how your local criminal organizations, justice system, political organs, and intelligence agencies work, so that you have a solid understanding of the institutions you're trying to model. Easier said than done, I know, but that's the first part of modeling any institution or population well. You don't need to know everything, just enough to understand where risks to parties involved actually come from. 

Let's take the business of drug dealing for example, where due to your research you find the vast majority of people are caught via compelled police informants. Now imagine you're the founder of the conspiracy to sell drugs. How would you attempt to make money selling drugs, if you actually didn't want to be looking at 30 to life after five years of median income? What risks would you be willing to take and why? How would you gather the introductions necessary to order large quantities of drugs without running into a police officer or informant first? How would you distribute them? Would you try to sell them yourself? Via other dealers who you'd have to recruit? Would you try to just mule the drugs and not distribute? Is it really a good idea to try to bribe a powerful state senator with no incentive to keep quiet if caught, and little reason to risk his position for drug money anyways? 

This hypothetical planning technique doesn't just work because it prevents you from assigning implausible motives or actions to these shadowy people. It also works because these shadowy people, themselves, are often professional LARPers. The stupid mistakes you make coming up with a plan to sell drugs are going to be very far from the stupidest mistakes drug dealers have ever made, because there are no apprenticeships for drug dealers. Most of their tradecraft is just made up on the fly, not an insignificant amount gathered from impressions gained in TV shows and movies. In fact, when media depictions of criminal organizations like the movie The Godfather become extremely popular, a half a decade later there are often accounts from informants about how kingpins began to adopt the mannerisms and speech patterns of the characters they saw in the movie theater.  

To a lesser extent, this also applies to longstanding government bureaucracies like the FBI and CIA - which are, in fact, bumbling government bureaucracies, and, for the most part, are not nearly as effective at espionage or crime deterrence as Google is at search. These political organs act the way they act because of political and historical happenstance, not because they out-competed their peers. It is understandably more difficult to model them correctly, because they hold private information, are sometimes staffed by smart people, and are much more complicated entities than a typical drug cartel. However, this works both ways - the more organized and well-documented the institution, the more you can benefit by reading about their history from insiders and historians.

The CIA has some terminology it uses to explain why people give state secrets to an enemy government, called MICE. It happens to be broadly applicable to a lot of conspiratorial motivation, and not just the motivations of spies. The acronym stands for Money, Ideology, Coercion, and Ego. Those first two reasons for a conspiracy are self explanatory - they make money, or they believe in what their doing for political or religious reasons. In espionage, the 'C' usually refers to blackmail (often by threatening to expose the information the agent has already passed on to their home government). In cases of criminal informants, it's threats of jail time for charges the prosecutor is willing to drop if the criminal helps arrest co-conspirators. The fourth is perhaps the most obvious to people who are thinking clearly, and yet one the "conspiracy theorist" will seldom acknowledge at all. Can you guess it? Have you really attempted to put yourself honestly in the shoes of a conspirator?

It's because conspiracy is cool! On some level, getting away with crimes or plots makes the average conspirator feel good about themselves, and not just because they've made money or advanced their political ambitions. They feel powerful, intelligent, and sophisticated. This is why would-be serial killers feel embarrassed if they get caught after a single murder, and would rather attempt to falsely claim dozens of other murders to look accomplished than leave a possibility of parole. Sure, the [CIA officer] might be [interned at ADX Florence for the rest of their life over some money they can't even really use without looking incredibly suspicious]. In the meantime though, the conspirator get to experience the thrill of being an actual spy/drug dealer/corrupt cop! The conspirator is a real person - just as incapable of keeping a secret as the rest of us - and also capable of doing something like take bribes mostly because he is bored and wants his life to be more cinematic. 


Jeffrey Epstein is not Neo from the Matrix, or John Wick from John Wick. He did not live in an alternate shadow universe where logic and reason do not apply. He was a rich and a prolific sex offender. Everything that happened to and around him has a real and consistent mechanical explanation, whether we are capable of understanding the details or not. 

There are basically two mysteries regarding Jeffrey Epstein - the first is how he died, and the second is how he managed to get the plea bargain wherein he served twelve months in para-prison for creating a network of dozens of underage prostitutes.

I have little insight to give on the first mystery, which I think is actually the less enlightening one. Jeffrey Epstein probably killed himself. 

Every opinion (I can find) given by people with actual private knowledge of or investigating his death, from correctional officers, law enforcement, to neighboring inmates, says he killed himself. The FBI and the Office of the Inspector General both extensively investigated his death, up to producing a 15-page psychological report reconstructing the motives for his suicide.

You are probably aware of the details of his death that make it seem suspicious, such as the camera malfunction in front of his cell, the guards not following protocol, and the very few suicides at the prison prior to his death (not one for 21 years). Here I'll make some points you may not have heard:

  • The base rate of cameras in government buildings not working is high.
  • The cameras in front of his cell were torn apart by the FBI for analysis and apparently, there was no evidence of tampering.
  • Epstein had his lawyers draft his will two days before he died.
  • The other cameras adjacent to his cell were working. No one entered the area he was housed the night he died. The Attorney General, the highest ranking law enforcement official in the country, personally reviewed the footage surrounding Epstein's prison block to confirm this for himself. This is probably the most damning evidence because it means one of the other seven inmates in Epsteins' prison tier may have basically had to escape their cell during night hours and murder him, without being noticed by any other inmates.
  • Fundamentally, lots of people who are arrested have dirt on other criminals. Some 10-15% of our prison population is comprised of drug traffickers, who almost always possess the opportunity to lower their sentence by becoming an informant. It is suspicious that Epstein died the way he did at all, but not particularly suspicious that he was also a well connected criminal. The MCC itself has housed El Chapo, Paul Manafort, John Gotti, Michael D'Amico, Bernie Madoff, and several Al Qaeda operatives while they awaited trial. All of these people were either capable of, or currently in the middle of, providing incriminating information against people significantly more well-equipped to murder inmates than Alan Dershowitz. None of them were prophylactically murdered, probably because our maximum security jails are designed to prevent that sort of thing from happening.

So here is the most plausible murder scenario I can come up with:

  1. A co-conspirator finds out the tier of the prison in which Epstein was housed, and compiles information on the other 7 cellmates, and selects someone willing to murder him.
  2. They then take the extraordinary risk of approaching that person and giving them the means and motive to go along with this murder plot. I want to underscore how hard this is. Prison calls/visits are heavily monitored, and so you might have to not only trust that this person won't immediately rat you out to get out of the MCC, but also trust that a correctional officer or lawyer you're using to deliver the message will go along with the plot. And few rational people are willing to risk life in prison for murder conspiracy so they don't have to do what would maybe be seven years after a plea bargain for statuatory rape.
  3. That inmate or maybe the second recruited correctional officer disables the cameras in front of Epstein's cell without leaving any indication of tampering.
  4. The prisoner-ninja then breaks out of their cell at 3:00 AM, then breaks into Epstein's cell without alerting him or causing him to scream for help, chokes him to death neatly enough for a medical examiner to pronounce him dead by suicide (no thrashing around by Epstein in a way that would leave bruises or undeniable evidence), then re-lock both cells and return by morning, all without leaving any evidence of this assassination for the FBI or correctional officers, or getting witnessed by the other inmates in the same tier, or getting caught on the adjacent cameras.

Now, I'm only 75%[1] certain he wasn't killed. Maybe there's some other scenario I'm not thinking of that fits the crime. Maybe I underestimate the ruthlessness and sophistication of the parties that Epstein was affiliated with. Maybe the FBI has uncovered evidence of a murder and is being unusually good at practicing discrete investigation. I will say this - in the 25% scenario he was killed, I think we'll have a 75% chance of learning how in the future. I seem to be the only person on the planet who believes a murder plot this complicated can't go uncovered for long. 

But from the facts I have in front of me today, organizing his death and getting away with it really does sound basically impossible. At least it sounds like a lot of work. Real sex offenders or turned LEO just take their retirement savings and fuck off to Guam at some point, or do nothing and pray to God that he doesn't mention anything.


That leaves the second mystery. How did Jeffrey Epstein get 12 months in prison along with 12 hours a day of "work release" for raping dozens of underage girls? 

He was probably a CIA agent.

Of course, a CIA agent isn't (usually) someone who works at the CIA. In espionage they use really confusing terminology, wherein an "officer" is someone who works for an intelligence agency and an "agent" is someone who passes along information. If you talk to someone who works for the CIA and refer to them as an "intelligence agent", they might nervously smile before correcting you that an intelligence agent would be someone who spied on the CIA for a foreign government. A "double-agent", then, is a "fake" spy, someone who is believed to be a spy for Agency A in Agency B, but is actually feeding Agency A misinformation on Agency B operations on behalf of Agency B. Much of the time double agents are regular agents who were caught, tortured or threatened with jailtime, and then forced by their home countries to act as double agents. 

Contrary to popular belief, attempting to cultivate genuine "agents" and process their information is 97.5% of what the Central Intelligence Agency does. They're also the designated clandestine services arm of the U.S. government, so it's not all they do, but what they and other intelligence agencies around the world primarily do is play rat handler. Their job is to cultivate and analyze the reports of people with privileged information about the plans and military operations of other governments, and then they sit there looking over those reports a hundred times to see if they spot any terrorists within the margins. When analysts find something interesting, they pass it up to the White House and the State Department decides if/how SEALs need to be deployed. But aside from a hundred or two hundred members of its Special Activities Center, the CIA's job is to collect information.

Epstein was an intelligence agent because as a founder of the consulting firm Intercontinental Assets Group, which assisted clients such as Adnan Khashoggi in recovering stolen money from fraudulent brokers and lawyers, he represented an almost perfect source of intelligence. One could not imagine a better opportunity for an intelligence officer, in the abstract. Unlike most spies, he was already an American. The people around him (aside from the ones he raped) uniformly described him as charismatic and sociable - Epstein practically got off on being well connected. And his actual job was to travel all over the world and track down the assets of scores of powerful people, whose connections he had a habit of maintaining for the rest of his life. There is no reason one can find without the benefit of hindsight why American intelligence services would refuse to accept his help, and they certainly accept help from people worse than Epstein in the course of doing their job.

That's not why I claim he was an intelligence agent. The first reason I know that he was an intelligence agent is because, at least according to Evening Standard, Epstein literally bragged about being an intelligence agent to his friends while he was spying on behalf of the United States. Not something you'd typically expect someone committing capital crimes in foreign countries to do, unless you remembered that spies are sometimes, like Epstein, actual megalomaniacs who can't wait to tell acquaintances about the whole spy thing. The second reason I know this is because the prosecutor in Epstein's first trial seems to have definitively stated during his Trump transition interviews that the reason he gave Epstein such a nice plea deal was because the Department of Defense interceded on his behalf. He was later offered a chance to rebut this in front of reporters and instead stated an extraordinary non-denial denial:

Reporter from AP: "Were you ever made aware that Jeffrey Epstein was an intelligence asset of some sort?"

Acosta: "So there has been reporting to that effect and let me say, there’s been reporting to a lot of effects in this case, not just now but over the years and, again, I would hesitant to take this reporting as fact. This was a case that was brought by our office, it was brought based on the facts and I look at the reporting and others, I can’t address it directly because of our guidelines, but I can tell you that a lot of reporting is going down rabbit holes."

Perhaps there is some sort of guideline preventing him from speaking about this, but I have not heard of it. District Attorneys and the FBI publicly announce people were informants all of the time, as long as the people they're prosecuting are already prosecuted. They certainly don't swear an oath not to comment on the subject even in the event of the persons' death.

While it's uncommon for a career criminal like Epstein to give information to an intelligence agency rather than law enforcement, it's standard enough procedure. Acosta was probably not fazed by the ask to drop charges in response to claims that Epstein had been a high-level informant. Why? 

Cop shows are filled with wild chess matches between criminal masterminds heading vast conspiracies and (basically lone) law enforcement officials. Unfortunately in real life there are only two surefire ways to prove criminal conspiracies and attack criminal organizations that have already begun to sprawl. The first is to listen to the conspirators talk to each other as they plan out the conspiracy. Any conspiracy, whether its a terrorist network, drug cartel, or burglary ring, needs its members to coordinate with one another. Otherwise, its regular boring crime. 

Sometimes bugs and communication intercepts are impossible. It's relatively easy for a competent group of U.S. citizens to talk to each other without U.S. law enforcement listening, allowing for some simple but aggravating precautions. If everyone involved agrees never to talk indoors or near a phone, and instead walk two miles in a random direction from whatever building's nearby while they discuss their criminal activity, that's enough for 99% of U.S. organized crime to communicate without worry.

The second surefire way to attack conspiracies is by performing a memory dump on the people involved in them. Now, (thankfully) world governments haven't invented the brain scanner. This means that lots of conspiracies must be dismantled by accepting the testimony or leads to incriminating information from a defecting member. And so the only way a government can continue to exist and prevent insurrections, sans torture, is if it maintains a credible pledge to give leniency to criminals in exchange for cooperating. Under extreme circumstances, this leniency covers serial murder. Exerting powerful coercive pressure on insurrectionists, in some form or fashion, to inform on their co-conspirators, is a requirement if you want your government to last more than twelve months. It's only by this system that governments can prevent most wannabe kingpins from coordinating with more than three or four serious felons before running an unacceptable risk of someone getting caught for a "side hustle" and then snitching.

People with worse crimes than Epstein are regularly given immunity or greatly reduced sentences for this. Samuel Gravano admitted to killing or being directly involved in the deaths of nearly twenty people - more than most serial killers - and he currently makes candid podcasts on YouTube about his time as a mafioso, because he was critical witness against a large ongoing criminal organization. You can complain that giving amnesty is immoral or that it creates "bad incentives" or that it encourages corruption, and attempt to vote politicians in to dismantle it, but your elected officials are highly incentivized to dismantle plots to murder elected officials. A stable world power like the United States has to be able to, on occasion, turn people that are literally willing to die in the process of accomplishing their goals. 

I don't know what information Jeffrey Epstein gave the U.S. government in exchange for an intelligence officer interceding on his behalf, but since all that his handler did was tell Acosta to "leave him alone", I don't think it needed to be much. 

Does that mean Epstein didn't or wouldn't try to lever his wealth and influence? Not at all! He certainly poured an enormous amount of money on an army of lawyers for the case, so that he'd be in the strongest possible position to negotiate his fake sentence.  He hired Alan Dershowitz, someone he'd previously trafficked underage women to, as part of his defense team (and therefore, by implication, blackmail him into doing a swell job on the charges). He sent private investigators to regularly harass and intimidate potential witnesses during and after the trial. If you were a psychopath facing thirty years in prison, would you let the one reference from CIA John be the only thing keeping you free?


I think speculating like this about world events and opaque organizations is healthy and practical. Taken at face value, one of the most famous findings of the Good Judgement project is that regular people have enough information to do it. In fact, I'd go as far as saying that for a lot of you, making bets or pseudo-bets like I just gave above probably represents a pretty well fun+learning optimized method to test your rationality:

  • Predicting conspiracies and future evidence requires you to estimate probabilities for discrete events and in low-information settings, much more analogous to the scenarios you might run into in real life than predicting someone's net worth.
  • Doing necessary research about tradecraft or international relations, for many, is much more interesting than the other things that aren't that.
  • A lot of people on this website are under the age of thirty. If you expect to live to 70-80 years, that means you're going to be alive in 2080. It is difficult to know what the political situation of your country is going to look like in forty or fifty years. Sometimes conspirators win, and it tends to catch people off guard. It always sounds extreme to people living in currently peaceful nations, but understanding how and why countries undergo large-scale political change may save your life, or the lives of your family members.
  • If you vote for someone in local or national government, you should probably know what it is that person does and what their motivations are.

If it gets enough interest, I'll make this post the first in a sequence about the push and pull between law enforcement and organized criminal conspiracies. As a pedagogical tool (and for fun) we'll design a generic paramilitary organization for subverting U.S. government laws, and perhaps overthrowing the U.S. Hopefully, the sequence will improve your ability to accurately predict the actions and scope of our public safety institutions - not just by following the broad strokes of some ideology, but by mechanically understanding their behaviors.

  1. ^

    2022-01-01: Most of the above analysis I still consider correct, but I've realized an alternate murder scenario is possible. I now think there's a 40% chance he was killed. At some point I may write a shortform explaining how.

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54 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 9:24 AM

This is pretty good, although you ought to actually link more of the citations for specific facts. Court documents, testimonies, company docs, even Wikipedia would've been helpful for the part about IAG.

Yeah... I made the mistake of only citing it halfway, which makes my uncited claims look even more suspicious if you didn't google it 😅. Depending on how lazy I am tomorrow I'll go back and add more citations for the remaining portions. For now...

Also, to the LW staff - it would be great if we could have a wikipedia style citation system? Some of these I'd like to add more than one reference to, but it's difficult to do that by making certain portions of the text links. There's not even a footnote system I can use to add ^1 and then list the references at the bottom.

You can do footnotes, like this[1].


  1. You do it by having a [^1] inline in the text, then a corresponding [^1]: dsfsdf as the footnote ↩︎

Ah, thanks! I think it's an exclusive to the markdown editor.  I will convert everything to that format at some point.

Nice article all around!

Another error that conspiracy-theorists make is to "take the org chart literally".

CTists attribute superhuman powers to the CIA, etc., because they suppose that decision-making in these organizations runs exactly as shown on the chart. Each box, they suppose, takes in direction from above and distributes it below just as infallibly as the lines connecting the boxes are drawn on the chart.

If you read org charts literally, it looks like leaders at the top have complete control over everything that their underlings do. So of course the leader can just order the underlings not to defect or leak or baulk at tasks that seem beyond the pale!

This overly literal reading of the org chart obscures the fact that all these people are self-interested agents, perhaps with only a nominal loyalty to the structure depicted on the chart. But many CTists miss this, because they read the org chart as if it were a flowchart documenting the dependencies among subroutines in a computer program.

Woah.... I don't know what exactly I was expecting to get out of this article, but I thoroughly enjoyed it! Would love to see the possible sequence you mentioned come to life.

 

As brought up elsewhere, this seems to be treating the FBI as both competent and honest in this interaction. I don't see a reason that has to be true. Yes, it would have been hard to de novo corrupt all of the relevant officers- but a culture of looking the other way on behalf of other law enforcement seems more likely than not. And it may not be the difference between a not saying "the CIA was here" vs. reporting no tampering, it may be more like "detecting tampering is noisy, things fail all the time, people will definitely overreact if I give equivocal results, so why don't I just say it definitely wasn't tampered with?"

A counterargument to this is that the CIA and FBI have been antagonistic in the past, but law enforcement is really good about closing ranks against outsiders.

If it gets enough interest, I'll make this post the first in a sequence about the push and pull between law enforcement and organized criminal conspiracies

Yes, please. 

I continue to be puzzled at how most people seem to completely miss, and not discuss, the extremely obvious-to-me literal assisted suicide hypothesis.  He made an attempt at suicide, it got blocked, this successfully signified to some very powerful and worried people that Epstein would totally commit suicide if given a chance, they gave him a chance.

I do in fact discuss and conclude assisted suicide in the addendum, just not in the manner you describe. Assisted suicide orchestrated by someone incidentally connected to the case is an unreasonably more complicated and unlikely explanation than that Epstein himself coordinated with guards with direct oversight of the prison. If you propose that someone connected to the Epstein case gave him a chance, then they either have to be the warden or directly or indirectly order prison officials they don't personally know to turn off cameras. No such orders were disclosed by those guards who were convicted of breaking protocol on their own volition, which is at least a little odd because they could have avoided a prison sentence by doing so. It becomes less odd if your explanation is that they were promised payment by Epstein himself to do it (payment which may or may not have actually been carried out).

I'd consider this quite unlikely.  Epstein, weakened and behind bars, was very very far from the most then-powerful person with an interest in Epstein's death.  Could the guards even have turned off the cameras?  Consider the added difficulties in successfully bribing somebody from inside a prison cell that you're never getting out of - what'd he give them, crypto keys?  Why wouldn't they just take the money and fail to deliver?

See: don't take the organizational chart literally. Also see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermann_Göring#Trial_and_death

Epstein, weakened and behind bars, was very very far from the most then-powerful person with an interest in Epstein's death.

Meaning what? Presumably when you propose assisted suicide, you mean assistance via disabling the cameras, preventing the ordinary checkups from happening, or moving him to a single person cell against regulation. Just because someone is labeled Powerful! in the laminated monkey hierarchy doesn't mean they can do any of those things. The people most able to turn off cameras deliberately inside a particular jail without getting caught after a follow-up investigation (as they haven't in the Epstein case) are its correctional officers and warden, not the AG or President or something, definitely not some high status billionaire outside the bureau of prisons chain of command. Those latter Powerful! people have the unenviable position of having to visit the MCC to make eventual-subordinates they don't personally know commit crimes in a way that violates traditional chain of command and then shut up about it. And in this particular case, since those subordinates were in fact convicted of criminal charges, your explanation fails to explain why they didn't tell the prosecutor they were ordered not to check on Epstein even as they were being handed criminal charges for it. You don't even get Mitchell Porter's excuse that they were scared because correctional officers understand how prisons work and know the order was just to turn off a camera.

Consider the added difficulties in successfully bribing somebody from inside a prison cell that you're never getting out of - what'd he give them, crypto keys? Why wouldn't they just take the money and fail to deliver?

Why wouldn't Epstein just promise the stupidest correctional officer at hand money upon completion of task and then fail to deliver? Epstein just needed to tell the guards that he was a very rich man, oh yes, and his lawyer would pay them a year down the line after the deed was done, and then not follow through. Some people are actually that dumb, correctional officers don't get paid a whole lot of money, and it's not unreasonable at that level of intelligence to think, this guy is gonna get life imprisonment, who am I to refuse 100,000$ in cash to let him take his own life? If he stiffs me, whatever, he's a degenerate anyways.

In my scenario, the guards have no incentive to reveal the plot to investigators and put themselves in for more crimes, and the conspiracy is limited only to perhaps just one or two people, which helps explain why it's still officially unsolved. Your scenario doesn't explain any of these details, and requires us to postulate a fictionally powerful G-man both connected to the Epstein case and whom can turn off cameras in specific cell blocks or change inmate housing conditions in arbitrary prisons without the FBI getting wind of it later. Doesn't make any sense.

He could be pressed into suicide by blackmail: if some credible says that he would kill him and his children (or whatever he cares), if he will not commit suicide. 

In that case it is still a type of murder. 

  1. Why not just say "I'll harm {X} if you say anything to the police?" Why force the person to specfically commit suicide?
  2. Most people say Epstein pretty much cared about no one else but himself. I don't know how they would threaten him at this point. He was about to go to jail for maybe forty years after being one of the most privileged people on the planet, and had no kids.
  3. How do you get this blackmail message into the prison? Seriously, this is an important consideration that people always forget.
  1. To be dead is the best guarantee of not saying anything ever, even under torture or deal with police.
  2. The real point of blackmail may be future torture somewhere in prison.
  3. Te message could be delivered even before he went to jail, so it was some kind of agreement between the members of the band. It could be even "delivered" acausally as an reasonable expectation. There could be other ways like a secret message via a client's attorney. 

That makes a lot more sense, but I don't think it would prevent him from testifying to get out of prison or to reduce his jailtime. The witness protection program in the United States also has a perfect record at protecting informants from threats of death, even high level cartel informants that aren't able to destroy the organizations they testify against. 

Do you have a source for the perfect record of protection?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00309SCOY/

A caveat is that the perfect record doesn't include people who voluntarily left or violated WITSEC rules and were kicked out of the program - some of those people did indeed end up getting murdered. 

One thing a lot of people don't know about WITSEC is that it also maintains its own set of prisons to keep informants from the general population - which would literally kill them within hours.

If the 100% success rate excludes every witness unwilling to follow all the rules, then it seems like the real success rate is unknown? 

Jeffrey Epstein could ensure such rules were followed as a member of witness protection. The biggest reason people get kicked out is because they continue to commit serious crimes.

But do we know all the other reasons why people get kicked out? An inconvenient witness could get kicked out for a technical fault to make the numbers look better, etc. See moral mazes and so on.

Well, apparently the organizational issues are small enough that criminals haven't stopped testifying against one another, so.

Which suggests the success rate is somewhat less than 100% and somewhat greater than 0%.

[+][comment deleted]1y 1

The cameras in front of his cell were torn apart by the FBI for analysis and apparently, there was no evidence of tampering.

This isn't the evidence you think it is. Pretty much every publicly discovered piece of high-end malware has a component designed to clean up and remove all evidence of its passing. It isn't particularly difficult to do that 100% perfectly. In fact I'd even go so far as to say that if evidence was found, the simplest explanation would be that the someone was trying to leave fake evidence to implicate someone else. This is squarely within the expected behavior of LARPing intelligence officers, and I believe there are public reports of intelligence agencies localizing their malware's string tables into each others' languages for just this reason.

 I don't think it was a software issue. I forget the document I was reading, but I vaguely remember hearing it reported that a hardware malfunction that caused the cameras to fail. If it was a "bug" that turned the camera off at all I would have considered that suspicious, because it would probably be the easiest way of disabling a prison camera.

I completely disagree in general with your sentiment about computer forensics. It is very difficult to cover up evidence of a breach 100% perfectly. Of course, it's not necessary to do so in most cases, because it's usually much easier to let there be no investigation at all, but just covering your tracks by e.g. deleting and then shredding windows log files is much less difficult than rigging your malware to remove all evidence of compromise, and removing all evidence of your removing evidence, etc. This isn't really relevant because I'm not saying the NSA couldn't do it, but the obvious methods that occur to regular software engineers or malware developers won't fool the FBI. The first thing they do is check to see if there are suspicious gaps in records or event logs. 

I don't think it was a software issue. I forget the document I was reading, but I vaguely remember hearing it reported that a hardware malfunction that caused the cameras to fail. If it was a "bug" that turned the camera off at all I would have considered that suspicious, because it would probably be the easiest way of disabling a prison camera.

What I would find convincing is if there was a specific diagnosed hardware issue, which couldn't be triggered by software at all, like one of the chips had a bad solder joint or there was a burnt insect lying across two contacts. I haven't heard anything like that, though.

I completely disagree in general with your sentiment about computer forensics. It is very difficult to cover up evidence of a breach 100% perfectly.

I think you're really overstating the difficulty. Especially in the context of a denial-of-service attack on a camera system, which really is easy mode: there's no need for persistence, the storage is being continuously rewritten so there's not much free space to worry about, and an approximately-identical copy of the whole security system can probably be bought from the same camera vendor to use as a testbed.

I think you're really overstating the difficulty. Especially in the context of a denial-of-service attack on a camera system, which really is easy mode: there's no need for persistence, the storage is being continuously rewritten so there's not much free space to worry about, and an approximately-identical copy of the whole security system can probably be bought from the same camera vendor to use as a testbed.


The best analogy I can make: Start with editing and submitting a spliced Zelda speedrun to speedrun.net before you say it's easy to keep the FBI from uncovering pretty clear evidence of a your DOS attack against CCTV inside a monitored internal network.

I found this post quite helpful, thank you. I think there’s a 40% chance I would find a sequel very illuminating again.

On the other hand, the "conspiracy theorist" will just call all government and business leaders pedophiles. They will usually not go far enough to suppose an actual source for these wildly dissimilar and almost universally abhorred preferences. They don't claim (usually) that elites grew up in a different culture where pedophilia is promoted and instilled as a norm in youth. They'll just claim that - for some reason - those are the people we tend to elect, and they also tend to be inhumanly good at trusting the right people and at prisoners' dilemmas.

Billionaires do essentially live in a different cultural environment than the rest of the population. 

The immoral mazes sequence has a lot about how people's ability to signal that they are trustworthy and won't defect is a key way to rise to power inside of an immoral maze. Immoral mazes do foster divergent moral ideas from the general population.

If you take the story (which might be true or not) of David Cameron fucking the head of a dead pig at a fraternity ritual, it makes good blackmail material in case Cameron defects on other elite members. Elite fraternities are powerful institutions. The 2004 presidential election was between two members of the same fraternity, Skull&Bones.

Being okay with moral transgressions and freely committing your own moral transgressions is a way to signal trustworthiness inside an immoral maze.

The immoral mazes sequence has a lot about how people's ability to signal that they are trustworthy and won't defect is a key way to rise to power inside of an immoral maze. Immoral mazes do foster divergent moral ideas from the general population.

Yet the "conspiracy theorist" still has a lot of legwork to perform with this argument! It's not just any moral transgression. The moral transgressions encouraged by an immoral maze are the ones that sacrifice morality in furthering the interests of the organization, so that they show the transgressor values the organization above all else. Raping children doesn't typically show you are a trustworthy and card-carrying maze member - in fact quite the opposite. Unless your organization is some sort of ring dedicated to doing that, you will instead probably lose your job, because a compulsion to rape children is also a competing interest! At least according to Vicky Ward, Epstein's plea agreement is apparently what kicked him out of the circles he was previously in -  he was no longer someone the CIA or any of his former contacts wanted to work with, not insignificantly because they viewed him as a loose cannon and a liability in case he was ever prosecuted.

If you take the story (which might be true or not) of David Cameron fucking the head of a dead pig at a fraternity ritual, it makes good blackmail material in case Cameron defects on other elite members. Elite fraternities are powerful institutions. The 2004 presidential election was between two members of the same fraternity, Skull&Bones.

I really don't think it's possible to build any kind of criminal community based on the threat of mutual blackmail. If that were true it'd be easy to start a drug cartel. Every conspiracy includes the threat of mutual blackmail by default. The problem of organizing a successful conspiracy is mostly making sure those people you select to organize it are not ones who would ever would reveal secrets, and/or are correctly incentivized not to, and/or will never be in a position where it's necessary.

It would be nice if you included a brief summary of your post in the beginning. The title didn't seem like a very appetizing read to me, and the first paragraph wasn't very enlightening as to where you were going. Based on this information alone you could have been an insane person trying to convince people you're right about your pet Epstein theory, and I would have wasted 22 min of my time if I stuck around to the end. Or more realistically, however long it took me to determine conclusively that you were insane.

The only reason why I chose to read it was because it had an abnormally high karma count, and I'm glad I did, as this seemed like a sane, and grounded attempt at analyzing Epstein's case.

Contrary to popular belief, attempting to cultivate genuine "agents" and process their information is 99.5% of what the Central Intelligence Agency does. They're also the designated clandestine services arm of the U.S. government, so it's not all they do, but what they and other intelligence agencies around the world primarily do is play rat handler. 

How do you know?

Without whistleblowers, it's very hard to understand what goes on in organizations like that. 

Annie Machon is a good view into what went on in MI5/MI6.

This question is akin to "How do you know the FBI investigates crime?", or "How do you know the NSA records and analyzes signals intelligence?" It is the charter of the organization and the basic description of the duties of pretty much everyone who says they worked there. Even the whistle-blowers in the CIA or MI6 explain the criminal or unethical activity, torture, etc., as something done in the execution of or in addition to their main duties as intelligence officers. 

When working in their near lives, people have an intuition about how many people can be told about something salacious without it becoming public knowledge. Even in circumstances where everyone is properly motivated and there are low rewards for becoming an informant, like a middle school classroom, we understand intuitively how hard it is to keep everyone from leaking information to the teacher. The airquoted "conspiracy theorist" first and foremost rejects their internal social navigation sensors.

I'm confused about this.

On the one hand, keeping secrets is hard. There's the aphorism that "two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead". It's been well-argued on LW that once you lie or keep a secret, you quickly get into epistemic problems, e.g. because keeping one lie continually requires further lies. And so on. I don't dispute this. And that doesn't even get into other topics like how most organisations lack security mindset and practice security through obscurity, so that e.g. a sufficiently motivated hacker should be able to uncover their secrets.

On the other hand, ignore conspiracies for a minute. Private information definitely exists. We don't actually know particularly well what goes on in the day-to-day of corporations or government agencies, whether in democratic countries or dictatorships. China has a population of 1.4 billion, which necessitates an enormous bureaucratic apparatus; how do they keep any information private? Also, if keeping secrets was sufficiently hard, surely the concept of "whistleblower" wouldn't be as newsworthy as it is, right?


And yet, how can both points be true in the same universe? Keeping information private can be hard or easy, but not both. Is the synthesis supposed to be that powerful organisations can't keep secrets, but that they can keep uncovered secrets from becoming public? Is it that the Internet is so saturated with conspiracy theories that we can't distinguish true whistleblowers from invented nonsense? Is it that, against all intuition and logic, secrets somehow become easier to keep as organisations increase in size?

Or is this whole line of thinking fundamentally confused?

I'm glad you're confused! You will find the next few posts helpful. But as a teaser: I absolutely hate it when people outright say something like "only N people can hold a secret at the same time". Most people have all worked in offices where, for example, one person had a crush on another person and literally everybody in the office knew except that person. Or for another example, in an office where everybody but the floor manager knew that the work they were doing was pointless. It's the circumstances that determine the half life of private information. There's no "upper limit" to the amount of people that can "hold a secret" "in general" - the question is always, which people, from who, what information are they hiding, and for how long do they need to keep it under wraps? 

Factors can certainly pull in opposite directions and vary in importance by situation.  Noise is a very real issue and I think there is a threshold on the amount of incriminating evidence a wistleblower needs to have of a conspiracy before being credible and that increases with the size, profile, etc of the group in question.  You'd naturally expect the number of people making up stories to go up with the number of people aware of the alegedly conspiring group's influence.  Or maybe another way, we should expect information about small conspiracies to be filtered differently from serious criminal ones and again differently for nation state level ones.  The level of coersion a state like the US or China can apply when sufficently inconvenienced is also a world beyond other actors.

The stupid mistakes you make coming up with a plan to sell drugs are going to be very far from the stupidest mistakes drug dealers have ever made

Was this supposed to read, "are not going to be very far from"? (It sounded in context like you were saying that drug dealers' thinking might not be too different from our own, so I'd expect you to say the mistakes in our hypothetical plans wouldn't be too different from the mistakes in their real plans.)

Edit, 2022-01-01: Not striking through the above analysis, but I've realized an alternate murder scenario is possible. I now think there's a 40% chance he was killed. After reading the rest of the post below, check out this shortform.

Also, was the "this shortform" part supposed to be a link?

Given the conditions that Epstein ran a conspiracy in which he personally had sex with underaged women plus provided young underaged women for other powerful persons to have sex with, and that he was a CIA agent, how likely is it that the CIA did not know of his pedophile ring?

I think you need to reread my post - my thesis is that they did, and that they specifically used his status as an informant to keep him from getting prosecuted to full extent.

I don't think your posts suggest or says anywhere that the CIA knew about Epstein's ongoing pedophilic operation. If you think it does you should quote that relevant section instead of telling me to re-read the post. But if you're saying here that you do think that the CIA knew about Epstein's pedophilic operation then that's well and good.

Now, the analysis that I'm thinking of is connecting this inference to the ability of conspirators to murder Epstein. The fact that the CIA knows about and actively encourages the pimping out of underaged girls implies that the CIA really is full of absolute rule-followers who would kill their own grandmother if the agency asked them to. That means that it really doesn't make any sense to trust any report made by them or a sister agency on potential security breaches at Epstein's jail.

edit: tone

I think we miscommunicated. The entire third portion of my post is dedicated to the possibility that Epstein was a CIA agent and that his handlers vouched for his status as an informant with his prosecution. Clearly, in order to do that, they need to eventually become aware that he founded a ring of underage prostitutes, and protect him either as a reward for past information or so that he can be of more help in the future. Just to be clear, this is the opening to that portion of my post:

That leaves the second mystery. How did Jeffrey Epstein get 12 months in prison along with 12 hours a day of "work release" for raping dozens of underage girls? 

He was probably a CIA agent.

I think what you were asking is actually whether or not they became aware of this before the plea. Of that I'm not sure. However, in response to your second paragraph: 

The fact that the CIA knows about and actively encourages the pimping out of underaged girls implies that the CIA really is full of absolute rule-followers who would kill their own grandmother if the agency asked them to.

I think you're conflating possibilities. There's:

  1. The possibility that the CIA did not know about his crimes until the FBI investigated and charged him. This is something I actually find very plausible. The CIA's job isn't to investigate its sources for personal vice crimes, it's to gather and verify the integrity of information pertinent to national defense. The CIA probably has an incentive not to uncover criminal or unethical activity by its agents, especially American agents, because that would start pesky ethical dilemmas. Perhaps that's a different sort of moral failure, but that's besides the point.

    Thereafter, there's a 1a and 1b possibility, that the CIA either broke off contact with him after the plea agreement, or at least intended to keep him on as an agent despite obviously being aware of his crimes. I think both are possible - the CIA might have decided he was too risky an agent to conduct business with and burned him, or maybe they decided they'd try to milk him further anyways. Either way, most of the investigative journalists like Vicky Ward suggest that he was of little use. When it became public knowledge what he'd gotten himself into, he was cut out of most of the elite circles he was previously part of and most of his former business contacts no longer trusted him to be a reliable partner.
  2. The possibility that the CIA eventually learned about his criminal activity and looked the other way. This is also plausible. Just like the FBI, the CIA is pretty comfortable with, and is often forced to, take the help of very evil people. In certain circumstances the CIA has maintained relationships with active terrorists like Ali Hassan Salameh. I find this unlikely however, simply because it means they'd have to find out before the FBI did. I also find it unlikely in a smaller sense because handling an agent committing crimes against Americans is a different political and legal minefield altogether than handling a criminal or even a terrorist against people of a different nation.
  3. The possibility that the CIA used his status as an American brothel-master to blackmail and turn other agents. This I find pretty unlikely partly because it would explicitly make those CIA officers criminals and put them at risk of prosecution, partly because I suspect it'd be beyond the pale for at least some of the CIA officers that would have to be involved, but primarily because none of the people accused by Epstein's victims seem all that useful for the purposes of national intelligence. The only foreign person of interest that I know of that's been fingered by his victims is Prince Andrew, who I don't think has much access to military intelligence and is already a citizen of America's strongest military ally. His ring of pedophiles just seems way less useful to the intelligence community than the Middle Eastern contacts he developed in his dayjob.
  4. The possibility that the CIA actively helped Epstein developed his prostitution ring in order to trap potential agents, and then along the way stringed a bunch of random Americans and American-allies as some sort of false flag. This I find ridiculous.

And then there's this:

That means that it really doesn't make any sense to trust any report made by a similar agency on potential security breaches at Epstein's jail.

The FBI and the CIA are staffed by very different people and have pretty different recruitment processes and requirements. Knowing that the CIA acted unethically in this way would say something about the potential of misconduct inside the intelligence/LEO in a first world country, but they're not really "similar agencies" in the sense that's probably relevant. I wouldn't assume that just because CIA officers are willing to break the law that FBI agents are.

Edit suggestion: 'statutory' seems to be misspelled as 'statuatory'.

Great read, btw.

A few comments: 

Designing an organization to overthrow your government is a dangerous form of "fun". 

To explain the motives and solidarity of 9/11 hijackers, one does not need to overemphasize the role of religion, at the complete expense of politics and warfare. They were Arab Muslims aiming to drive the US and Israel out of their world. I do wonder about their counterintelligence though - what they did to throw off detection. 

In devising a scenario for Epstein's murder, you don't explore how it might have further been facilitated, if the order for it came "from above", i.e. from persons with authority over the prison and the subsequent investigations. 

You suggest that he was a rich and powerful sex offender who was given immunity in exchange for providing intelligence e.g. to the CIA. Well, he may have had a kind of immunity, but it seems unlikely that his status as a brothel-master with the capacity to blackmail VIPs is something that he developed independently of his liaisons with intelligence agencies. Then there's his relationship with the Maxwells, and his keen interest in bringing science and technology pioneers into his web... Concubines and imperial harems have been a playground for spycraft and political intrigue for as long as they have existed. I suspect Epstein was simply the public face of an operation designed and operated by experienced professionals. 

In devising a scenario for Epstein's murder, you don't explore how it might have further been facilitated, if the order for it came "from above", i.e. from persons with authority over the prison and the subsequent investigations. 

I don't because I view that as less plausible than the scenario I came up with. The number of people that would have to be planted in the investigation is pretty immense; his death was carefully investigated by dozens of FBI agents and at least several people from the AG's office. And if the security footage is genuine, and I really doubt it isn't, those LEOs still have to contact and arrange his murder by a neighboring inmate. I also find it unlikely that Epstein just so happened to have some sort of direct incriminating connection with the warden or correctional staff of the prison he happened to be housed in, which would reduce the number of people involved. And I don't think the FBI or the OIG is structured so poorly that one overseer, no matter how highly placed, can reach around both ends of an entire high profile investigation like this. 

Something that I didn't really get to in the post - as far as we know, all of Epstein's victims are still alive. They have accused specific people of crimes. None of those people accused were involved in investigating his death. None of them even seem like people the CIA would be interested in blackmailing. Perhaps you're suggesting his CIA handler(s) masterminded this, but a foot soldier in the CIA wouldn't have any authority over the prison or FBI - they're two distinct agencies.

Well, he may have had a kind of immunity, but it seems unlikely that his status as a brothel-master with the capacity to blackmail VIPs is something that he developed independently of his liaisons with intelligence agencies.

This is a tad too cynical a take for me. The furthest I'm willing to go is that perhaps at some point his status as a brothel master was, against CIA policy, used to blackmail and milk an agent for information. My impression talking to former officers and reading about it is that the modern CIA has way too much oversight for its employees to organize or facilitate an american child prostitution ring as an operation. You have to understand that there is an entire counterintelligence branch of the CIA devoted to going over assets, making sure they're not double agents, and ensuring the information they're passing is good. This is in addition to an internal affairs agency that all government bureaucracies have, and other special oversight that's been added to the CIA over the years by Congress. If any of those people have any moral compunctions at all and decide to pursue the matter with the OIG or send an anonymous telegram to the New York Times, you're going to jail. Even the most ambitious and psychopathic intelligence officer would have to realize that whatever professional boost he was after wasn't worth this absurdly risky crime.

Designing an organization to overthrow your government is a dangerous form of "fun". 

I think you'll find that a lot of what I will say throughout the sequence is already pretty well understood by the people trying to do this. Conspirators aren't stupid; they think about this stuff too.

Perhaps you're suggesting his CIA handler(s) masterminded this, but a foot soldier in the CIA wouldn't have any authority over the prison or FBI - they're two distinct agencies.

There would need to be existing relationships for that. It might be that the CIA has a relationship with the prison that they have facilitated to be able to put pressure on individuals of the prison. Bribe someone who actually controls cell distribution and put people from whom the CIA wants intelligence together with someone who's likely going to rape them.  Then blackmail the person to give up the intelligence in return for the rape to stop. 

Such a relationship can then be used in a case like this to get the prisoner who's otherwise bribed to kill Epstein into the right cell block. You also shouldn't underrate the capability of the CIA to blackmail people to get what they want through their surveillance infrastructure.

If any of those people have any moral compunctions at all and decide to pursue the matter with the OIG or send an anonymous telegram to the New York Times, you're going to jail. 

That assumes that the New York Times would actually do anything with the information. If they got such a letter they would go to their CIA contact person and ask them for more information and then the pressure would be created to keep them silent. 

The fact that Epstein could openly operate for so long without places like the New York Times holding him to account.

I don't think the CIA has a general moral code where they have a problem with killing people who are clearly bad people if that's required to keep secrets that the agency wants to keep secret out of the open. Torturing people is a strong moral violation and CIA officials who engaged in it weren't punished after it came out in the open.

This is in addition to an internal affairs agency that all government bureaucracies have, and other special oversight that's been added to the CIA over the years by Congress. 

That's like the nuclear safety rules that nuclear weapons have to have special codes to be activated. The US military set them to 000000000 in the beginning to fulfill the legal obligation. The CIA does not have effective oversight by congress. 

I'm not trying to be condescending, but a hundred thousand people have worked for the CIA since its inception - you need to pick a book written by one of those people, or a historian, or an investigative journalist, or a defector, or a state department official, or politician, and read it. You do not have an accurate and discrete enough mental model of the incentives and pressures of CIA work, or a strong enough understanding of what CIA officers take up the job for or do, and so you're supposing plots that make no sense. I could sit here and go over them mechanically, but I suspect you will just move onto a hypothesis slightly more outwardly reasonable that I ultimately find the premise for to be ridiculous. If you want to suggest the current layers of congressional oversight of the CIA are just for show, then need to know what those layers are. Or maybe you need to try to tell a traffic officer that you're a CIA officer and have the special bribing authority the next time he tries to give you a ticket and see how well that goes.

The CIA is not a person, and it's unhelpful to think of it as if it were. Just because you perceive a moral equivalence between the MKULTRA program in the 1970s, or torture of foreign terrorist detainees during the 2000s, and the "bribing" of an American prison warden to facilitate the murder of a high profile American prisoner in 2019, doesn't make the latter at all plausible. I'm not trying to argue with you about how ethical the CIA is or whether or not Mr. CIA has the moral compunctions to do such a thing, I'm trying to explain why I don't think with 80% probability three or four low level rat handlers have the means or motive to arrange the murder of an American citizen inside the country's highest security jail. 

Epstein was hanging out with a variety of billionaires and other very powerful people. There's no reason to assume that only low-level people had an incentive to get rid of him. It's again a similar strawman as focusing on Alan Dershowitz as being the height of people with incentives to kill Epstein.

Let's just agree to disagree then, at least until I write the next few posts in the sequence. Again, I do think it is at least more plausible that a billionaire or one of the friends he made outside of his contact with the CIA arranged a murder, I just find it too just-so that they had much authority over the prison or his death investigation. I could be wrong, but I don't think I am.