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Miami Herald journalist Julie Brown noted the presence of countless unanswered questions in association with her research into Jeffrey Epstein’s Lolita industry. The full accounting of who, what, where, and why would today seem largely absent and sealed by Epstein’s own hanging, but perhaps there’s one aspect that bears further attention in this most distracted age: Epstein’s Russian interests. The powerful personal brands associated with the Epstein vortex range from Alan Dershowitz to Prince Andrew — so how deep and how wide the damage done?

State secret?

Anything’s possible.

Former American President Donald Trump has had his allegiance questioned quite famously in relation to the Steele Dossier, but what of his noted and more accessible financial entanglements with Russian money?

Whether by way of fear of being found out or found guilty of one crime or another, when have the business and political leaders of a nation been compromised enough to accept bridling by the state’s foremost enemy?


Should you pick up American Kleptocracy by Casey Michel, you will learn (here cribbing direct from the book’s title) “How the U.S. CREATED the WORLD’S GREATEST MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME in HISTORY”. Forget expensive cars and real estate, at least until one has established sufficient anonymous businesses- as-persons courtesy of Delaware, South Dakota, Wyoming, for a start.


Before Maria Butina, the “illegal”, got caught, American Administrations, including Trump’s, had given the boot to Moscow’s spies-under-diplomatic-cover. The question to which only the state, actually the CIA and FBI, might respond would be “How many more Maria’s might there be?” Doing what? How? And where?


With respect to East-West Rivalry and Moscow-Washington Relations, just how bad might compromise, corruption, and infiltration serving Russia’s defense and promotion of political absolutism and kleptocracy be here in the United States?

We know of at least one former American President having been up to his eyeballs in Russian money related to real estate (and few will ever forget or forgive his “Helsinki Moment“).

Whatever Washington’s true state of affairs might be with Russia — and a kleptocratic Russia unrelenting in its will to confuse and degrade EU/NATO cohesion and coherence — one may hope the open democracies of the west and their allies will renew their vows (for Americans, see “Basic Training” on this blog) and rediscover and reaffirm their commitments to American and modern civility, ethics, principles, rights, and values without compromise and, always, with compassion, humanism, and reason.

CBS News. “Russian spies livinig among us: Inside the FBI’s “Operation Ghost Stories.” October 13, 2020.

CBS SF Bay Area. “Alleged Russian Spies Told to Leave SF Include Consulate’s Chef.” December 30, 2016.

Cenziper, Debbie and Will Fitzgibbon. “Rogue Americans Stashed Assets Offshore, Eluding Victims and Impeding Investigators.” The Washington Post, October 4, 2021.

Cenziper, Debbi and Will Fitzgibbon. “The ‘Cowboy Cocktail’: How Wyoming Became One of the World’s Top Tax Havens.” The Washington Post, December 20, 2021.

Epstein, Adam. “The stranger-than-fiction story of the real Russian spies who inspired “The Americans”. Quartz, March 7, 2017; updated November 21, 2019.

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Michel, Casey. “How Delaware Became the World’s Biggest Offshore Haven.” Foreign Policy, November 19, 2021.

Michel, Casey. “It’s Put Up or Shut Up Time in the Fight Against Global Corruption.” The New Republic, December 27, 2021.

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Michel, Casey. “The United States of Anonymity.” Hudson Institute, November 3, 2017. Separate PDF Report, 44 pages.

Michel, Casey. “The United States of Dirty Money: How landlocked South Dakota became one of the world’s hottest destinations for offshore funds.” The Atlantic, October 5, 2021.

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