Inept or Evil

11 July 2019


Cogito Ergo Non Serviam

Labor Secretary Acosta Must Go


Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta used to be the US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. Back in 2008, he agreed to a non-prosecution deal with admitted child rapist Jeffrey Epstein. As a result of this arrangement, Mr. Epstein did not face federal charges and got a very lenient sentence from state authorities. He spent 13 months in a county jail being free to leave six days a week to go to work, and he had to register as a sex offender. After the authorities arrested Mr. Epstein in New Jersey Saturday on similar charges, the story has returned to the front pages. In reviewing the matter, it is clear that Mr. Acosta was either inept or evil, and in either case, he has no business serving as the top official protecting against human trafficking.

Mr. Acosta spent an hour in a press conference yesterday trying to explain to skeptical media that he was the hero in all of this, that without his intervention Mr. Epstein would not have gone to jail. He argued that the 30-odd victims were young and in no position to undergo the brutal cross-examination Mr. Epstein's lawyers would undertake. "We now have 12 years of knowledge and hindsight, and we live in a very different world. Today's world does not allow some of the victim shaming." It really didn't allow it in 2008 either. 

While the story is complicated, and while Mr. Acosta spent much of his time at the podium yesterday muddying the waters even further, there is one simple fact that weighs heavily against him. In his own office's data dump yesterday, the fact emerged that three of the victims were informed of the deal, and that further notification of others was stopped -- at the request of Mr. Epstein's attorneys. This is in violation of the Victims' Rights Act, and a federal judge has ruled that Mr. Acosta must be sanctioned in some way as a result.

Two matters arise from this knowledge. First, the prosecutors were willing to do things for Mr. Epstein that they would never have done for a man of lesser means and fewer connections. Hushing things up for Good Ol' Jeff fails the victims and the American people, but that's what happened.

Second, and perhaps most damning, Mr. Acosta betrays a guilty conscience in hushing it all up. If the agreement were really the great deal that he claims, he would not have hidden it but rather would have held a press conference to hail it as a triumph.

Those of a conspiratorial mindset have already begun to suggest Mr. Epstein and his pals Donald Trump and Bill Clinton are part of a global conspiracy of human trafficking and child molestation. They used their power and influence to save Mr. Epstein from the fate he deserve so that he would keep his mouth shut. Conspiracies of this sort are impossible to keep quiet, and as such, this interpretation of facts is highly improbable. It's more likely that the prosecutors wanted to give a rich guy a break because he was rich and gave away as much as they could.

Mr. Acosta is hardly a poster-boy for driving a hard bargain, and one doubts his ability and tenacity to serve adequately as Secretary of Labor. Like most of the Trump administration his a sycophant who is bad at his job or who abuses the power of his office for private benefit of himself and his friends. His resignation or firing is overdue.

© Copyright 2019 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.

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