All three episodes of Epstein's Shadow: Ghislaine Maxwell were released on the Peacock Network (NBC's streaming service) on June 24th and Sky's streaming service in the UK on June 28th , 2021. Because of my long history of covering all things Epstein, it was of interest to me. It was billed as a documentary, although Blue Ant Media, the production company, claims it specializes in “factual entertainment”. A colleague and I settled on the term “Docutainment”, while discussing the biggest problems with the three hour media product.
A great many people have a great many things to say about Epstein, Maxwell, their activities and their associates. Some of these things are factual. Some of these things are speculation. Some of that speculation, including speculation this author has maintained, is well informed by facts. This is why Blue Ant Media, through a freelance production assistant, reached out to us for information. Aside from an archive dump, there were at least two hour long conversations about Ghislaine Maxwell's actual role in the Epstein affair. All available evidence points to Jeff Epstein as an asset of American and British intelligence and Maxwell as his handler. The most recent evidence and connections that have come to light reinforce the American portion of the operation.
Blue Ant media's product was designed to lead the viewer away from this conclusion in the direction of Israel. This was done with obvious intervention by American intelligence operatives including Valerie Plame, who appeared on camera despite having no connection, at first glance, to the entire affair other than being a “former” CIA operative. The dog whistle antisemitism of the production is very British and very upper class.
The Guardian.UK has already slammed the documentary, and the Rotten Tomatoes aggregation as of this writing was 60%, although many of the critics quoted there worked for British media outlets that had also lent talking heads to the production.
The critical reaction dovetailing neatly with the sourcing reinforced the overall inside baseball feel of the production. The first hour focused on Ghislaine Maxwell's father, Robert. The founder of the Maxwell clan already had a decades long reputation as an unpleasant and dishonest man. The corporate media war between he and Rupert Murdock and their respective tabloid publications is old news. So is his theft of his employee pension funds. What was a re-branding of persons was screen time from her “former friend” Lady Victoria Hervey, who was not mentioned as Prince Andrew's former girlfriend. Maxwell's participation in cleaning up after the antics of Randy Andy are not mentioned, but the Prince's freight wreck of a recent interview on Epstein was re-hashed in a later episodes where she also appeared without their relationship being disclosed.
It was during the first hour that the basic theme of Ghislaine as both victim and victimizer was established. The basics were that Daddy was a horrible man, and after he died she needed a new Daddy which she found in Epstein. Her father's well known ties to Israeli intelligence in the realm of early cold war arms dealing were established. MI6 was briefly mentioned, without evidence, and the KGB was mentioned, again without evidence. Backing this up was a talking head from “Israeli Intelligence,” without mentioning which branch he served in or in what capacity.
During the whole hour, the Maxwell family was examined, number of children given, mother focused on, and her brother's court cases to dodge responsibility for their alleged participation in her father's defrauding of investors and employees was touched on. This was done through a montage of archival video and photographs. During these scenes, the camera literally never focused on her two older twin sisters, both of whom were directly connected to Epstein and to the intelligence community as early and continuing cybersecurity vendors. The overall impression, given in the best BBC pronunciation, was of a British ruling class joining ranks to say “Not one of us.”
The second hour long episode focused on the criminality of Epstein. His co-conspirator in the largest ponzi scheme in history was interviewed. Epstein was not charged or convicted in that crime. The no longer young survivors of his rape and abuse are briefly interviewed and attention is given to his arrest, sweetheart plea bargain and relatively luxurious jail conditions. The fact that there were other unnamed child rapists and that everything was taped is mentioned. The tapes are in the hands of the FBI, yet attention is placed on the then Assistant United States Attorney Alexander Acosta because of his later role in the Trump administration as Secretary of Labor. Donald Trump's connections to Epstein are documented, but those of prominent Democratic Party Figures including Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy, former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson were ignored. The fact that Trump is directly named in court documents is not dealt with either, despite those documents being published in a myriad of places, including the Mockingbird.
Upon reaching the third hour, the clean up kicked into a much higher gear. The narrative extended the “Ghislaine will please and clean up after Daddy no matter what..” storyline to include his second arrest for additional sex crimes against children in the Southern District of New York. Focus is placed on the 71st street townhouse (purchased from Les Wexner) where many of his crimes took place. Curiously, the 66th street apartment that is listed in Epstein's phone book as “apartment for models” is not mentioned. The fact that Epstein used the word “models” as a code for his underage victims and “massage” as code for sex in his phonebook had already been established. This is despite the fact that the 65th street apartment was rented by Ghislaine Maxwell and owned by Lynn Forester. Forester is was a billionaire in her own right before she married Sir Evelyn De Rothschild and owned the Economist. Focus was again placed on missing video evidence and the fact that Maxwell is likely to know where it is. There was no effort to draw the obvious comparison to her 1991 boarding of her father's yacht immediately after his death and the burning and shredding of an unknown but large amount of papers.
This movement of Maxwell's narrative from “fixer” to “victim” and “woman adrift without Daddy” fit neatly with the end allegations. There are now two sets of missing videotapes and pictures. One had already been established to be in the hands of the FBI. The tease of what person or persons could be on these videos is repeated and finally Intelligence agencies are mentioned.
This is the part of the series where the most massive divergence from the information that the Mockingbird gave to Blue Ant Media and the narrative happened. Again, family photographs were quickly panned over, and again two sisters were omitted. Again intelligence agencies are mentioned, but this time, the only mention is Israel. How this was done involved serious cinematic slight of hand and sources that were either poorly vetted or somehow inserted themselves into the narrative at the development stage of the project.
The first thing that happened was the return of the talking head from the unnamed Israeli agency. Then CIA torture whistleblower John Kirakou appeared. [Disclosure: John Kirakou is followed by this Author, but did not respond to requests for comment]. He is a good choice to advance the narrative as a dissident former clandestine CIA special operations officer with Middle Eastern Counter Terrorism experience. He is also so shunned by both the Intelligence Community and corporate America that his appearance fee likely hovers around the cost of lunch at Denny's. What he actually confirmed was that there are families with histories in the Intelligence in America and this would hold true in other countries while not making a point to not directly say Israel. In short, he has no specific information, he just knows how things work. However, if Maxwell Sr. worked for anyone else, which he certainly did, this would also hold true. Ghislaine Maxwell's sister, Christine, had direct contracts for counter-terrorism database services with the FBI during the time that Ghislaine Maxwell and Epstein were most active in producing the video tapes in question. This second part, and Christine's very name, are never mentioned.
Kirakou was then followed up by another former CIA clandestine officer, Valerie Plame. Plame is an allegedly former officer because her cover was blown in the famous Plame affair. Since that time, she has made her public living as a fiction writer. She writes spy novels with plot synopses that read like crappy romance novels Tom Clancy style action thrown in for flavor. Her other written product consists of her story of her being outted illegally by the Bush Administration, Fair Game, which later became a movie staring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.
The CIA was sued for interfering in the publishing of Fair Game, and the CIA won the suit and prevailed upon appeal. Plame is specifically prohibited by both the CIA and the federal court system from revealing, at a minimum, her exact dates of employment at the CIA. Like all former clandestine officers she must clear her public statements with the Intelligence Community bureaucracy. Plame is unique in that her restrictions have been confirmed in a civil court and a very public trial. Those statements legally must include the ones she gave to Blue Ant Media via skype for this docutainment product.
Plame, who managed to get the promotional poster for her movie into only one of the two skype camera angles used by the editors, took the conversation on Intelligence and the Maxwell family in two directions: Tel Aviv and Moscow. Despite MI6 being mentioned in the first episode, she never mentioned them. She focused on Israel and mentioned Russia. The first red flag was her mere presence in the production.
Her statements were the second. Donald Trump has already been mentioned and video of him with Epstein shown. Donald Trump was the sitting President of the United States when both Maxwell and Epstein were arrested. Many of Epstein's victims were recruit at Mar-a-Largo. Trump is alleged to have assaulted some of the same victims as Epstein's in Epstein's home. Here we are being told in a round about way that foreign Intelligence services have compromising information on the President of the United States by an exposed CIA operative on British Television. The CIA vetted her statements.
Taking that line of logic a step further, and ignoring the damn near chanting of “Israel! Israel! Israel!”, the President was under investigation for ties between his campaign and Russia. Somehow, the missing video never came up in the Mueller investigation. Yet Valerie Plame goes on television claiming Russia has Epstein's tapes? Epstein's tapes came into the FBI's possession when Mueller was the director of the agency.
Only person who knows for sure what happened to the second set of tapes. These are the ones from Epstein's Ohio home, the 71st street Manhattan townhouse, the 65th street apartment of Ghislaine Maxwell and other places. That person is Ghislaine Maxwell. The first set of tapes, the ones made on Epstein's private island, are known to be in the hands of the FBI, which is neither Russian nor Israeli.
It is at this point that we have to raise another curious set of connections. Ghislaine has two sisters who are twins and were business partners in the tech industry. One of those two, Christine, as mentioned, provided counter-terrorism data services to the FBI. Christine Maxwell was also a trustee of a think tank called the Sante Fe Institute. This think tank received donations directly from Epstein. The Sante Fe Institute also employed Valerie Plame as a consultant, on what is not clear, from 2006 until 2016. Christine Maxwell paid Valerie Plame in part with Jeff Epstein's money. This information is not hard to find, it took this author about 10 minutes. At a minimum, Blue Ant Media knew about the connection between Christine Maxwell, Jeff Epstein and the Sante Fe Institute. The information was revealed in a Mockingbird article that this author emailed to a their producer at her request. Valerie Plame's unchecked comments in the documentary at best represent a criminal level of incompetence and at worst a total surrender of the narrative to the Intelligence Community's agenda.
That agenda neglected to mention the role and even existence of a third Maxwell sister even when such a mention could have been used to support the narrative direction. Isabel Maxwell is the twin sister of Christine Maxwell and ran their initial big tech company, the search engine Magellan, with her. Isabel remained on board after the company failed and oversaw it's purchase by rival Excite. Both twins moved on to other cybersecurity enterprises. Christine built Chilliad for the FBI while Isabel built a number of different firms that rose and exited. All were chartered in Israel and but did business primarily in the US.
Epstein himself also dabbled in cybersecurity investments with Israeli firms including a co-investment with former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Isabel began dating, and claimed to have married (although her husband never officially divorced is previous wife), Al Seckle. Seckle was a rare book dealer and by many accounts a con-man with forged academic credentials. He and Isabel Maxwell organized the Mindshift Conference on Epstein's private island in 2011. Attending the conference were Santa Fe Institute co-founder Murray Gell-Man and Santa Fe Institute Board member Frances Hamilton Arnold. Arnold currently serves of the board of Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google. Seckle is alleged to have died near the Maxwell family home in France. French authorities can not confirm his death.
Subsequent to Seckle's death, Isabel Maxwell was declared bankrupt by the High Court of England. Her listed address at the time of bankruptcy was 11 Oakshott Lane in the exclusive Highgate area of London in a two story home valued at $2.4 million in today's exchange rate. Property records list the home as not having changed owners since 1997, and it appears to be the place of business of a husband and wife health practice with the Husband listed as an Osteopath and Acupuncturist while the wife is a Hypnotherapist. Isabel Maxwell appears to be have primarily resided in California and France since the 1980s. Despite her bankruptcy, it appears hypnotherapy is paying her from her Highgate property that no record shows her ever having been to.
Where she has turned up since her husband died in France is New York at her sister's court hearings, where they wave to each other. Her lifestyle, taken with her investment history, taken with her direct Epstein connection, and coupled with her direct connection Israeli cybersecurity industry should have been a slam dunk connection for Blue Ant Media to make if they wanted to push Israeli angle. Yet they missed or ignored all of this publicly available information. Valerie Plame's specialty as a CIA operations officer was nuclear non-proliferation. Her job was following transnational cash flows and tech deals. She made the case without mentioning Isabel's name. This is not a mistake she is capable of making.
Another mistake Plame made in her social media life that does not track is her well publicized flirtation with antisemitism. In 2017 she had what seemed to be an unforced error on twitter where she retweeted an article entitled "America's Jews Are Driving America's Wars." She later deleted the tweet and appologized claiming she had only skimmed the article. This seems more like a deliberate act made to ingratiate herself to closet antisemites for some purpose later. Veteran intelligence officers do not cite articles they did not read from sources they do not know. She never would have achieved the position she did in the CIA being so sloppy.
If she were a rabid antisemite, she would have zeroed right in on Isabel Maxwell and her open connections to both the Israeli and American intelligence communities. She chose not to do this but instead to keep the attention focused on Israel without producing any evidence that has substance. She is doing while all her public pronouncements are still subject to CIA approval.
A goal of this production it would seem is to deflect blame to the dead (Robert Maxwell and Jeffery Epstein). According to the producer I spoke to the goal was to “examine the fascinating and complex character that Ghislaine Maxwell is”. Ghislaine Maxwell is more the a summation of her (likely very real) Daddy issues. A second goal would be to blame Israel without blaming Israel and to do so in a way that echos the all the bad “secret cabal of Jews controlling the world” conspiracy theories that the internet eternally necromances back to life and repackages like zombie memes for zombie nazis with zombie intellects. It muddies the waters of any real investigation and discussion of the Epstein affair, which has all the hallmarks of a classic intelligence honeytrap operation.
The key beneficiary of the Epstein operation was the American government. The American government is in possession of the one known set of tapes. The strongest proven Intelligence Community connection with the Maxwell family is that of Christine Maxwell's contracts with the FBI. The second likely beneficiary of the operation was the British government. Somehow, a Prince still walks free and a great many people with Lord or Lady in as part of their name are firmly in bounds because of their compromise. If Israel benefited at all, they were the most junior partner. Their exposure here, if real, is a limited hangout that obscures and deflects material partnerships between Isabel Maxwell and the Israeli defense establishment.
Blue Ant Media flatly refused to return my repeated requests for comment. The producer I was dealing with there has found other employment. She got herself a brand new professional website two days before the production aired and began using her married name when she had been using her maiden name professionally prior to that. She has not returned my calls. There is no way to tell if they are embarrassed or if they just cashed their checks and moved on after doing the job they were told to do.
However if you listen closely, their product does speak for itself.