One of the great mysteries so far in the fascinating Jeffrey Epstein saga is one that doesn’t seem to have gotten the kind of prime attention it deserves: What exactly do the cameras show? Where were they positioned? And who has examined the footage? 

If you read news reports, some simply say it is not known what the cameras show, or if there were even cameras at all — or, if so, whether those cameras were functioning when Epstein died. Other outlets report that there were cameras but not inside of Epstein’s cell for privacy reasons. 

Eric Young, president of the national council of union locals that represents guards at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, told the New York Times that there were cameras in hallways and common areas, but not in the cells of the unit where Epstein was being held. 

We’ve also seen unproven claims of camera malfunctions before Epstein’s death, stoking unnecessary speculation. 

It seems amazing that nearly five days after this high-profile death, the most basic questions have not yet been definitively answered by the people whose salaries are paid by US taxpayers. 

So we contacted the Bureau of Prisons. They asked us to send our questions, which we did. Here they are: 

  • Are there cameras in the cells at the Metropolitan Correctional Center?
  • Are there cameras in the corridors?
  • We’ve seen reports saying that the FBI has not looked at the video footage yet — is this true?
  • Has the FBI not asked to look at the video footage?
  • Why do these questions remain unanswered this many days after Epstein’s death?

And here’s their reply:  


     We decline to comment.

It is the failure of the authorities to answer the most basic of questions that should prompt outrage. 

To play devil’s advocate, journalists today usually expect to be told that officials do not comment on ongoing investigations. And we still make calls for comment knowing we won’t get satisfaction.

But really — not even able to say if there are cameras in a federal jail building? 

Have we all become so used to a lack of public accountability on the part of the government that we don’t even bother to sound the alarm? 

Surely the failure of the authorities to answer such a basic query, given the public’s right to know, should prompt demands for full transparency.

Research assistance: Katie Nixdorf

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robert e williamson jr
robert e williamson jr
2 years ago

The same can be said about the death of Seth Rich, Danny Casolaro, Col. Sabo, Vince Foster and JFK and a long list of others.

You damned right I’m an old man, bit with a great memory. Judith our government since 1941 has always shoved way too much under the rug. So much so the some of it is showing on the opposite side of the rug.

So much so that the emperor ( in this case the CIA) is watching as his concealing clothing falls to the ground!

Charles R Drago
Charles R Drago
2 years ago

Traffic cameras malfunction at a critical time along a critical stretch of Diana’s fatal motorcade route.

Never explained. Nothing to see there.


Judith K Zitko
2 years ago

I agree with Mr.Payne. Way too much stuff shoved under rugs these days which begs the question as to what are they hiding? What happened to “the people have a right to know” from our media – and I mean ALL of our media. All of a sudden when it’s come out that the damage to bones in his neck are more common with a homicide than suicide Trump fires up his tweets to push media away from the story. It’s how the man operates. Plus he’s got his toady of a lawyer, William Barr, the cover-up king going back to Iran-Contra and HW Bush, Reagan, etc. as US AG who oversees everything. Just look at Barr, who first recused himself from the Epstein case because first of all he’s known the man all his life and Trump, his boss, was a personal buddy then almost immediately reverses that decision and decides NOT to recuse himself when judicial integrity would warrant he do so. Why? To cover up more Presidential lawlessness ?

larry payne
larry payne
2 years ago

We don’t have the right to see the alleged security camera videos of the Tsarnaev brothers placing the backpacks at the Boston marathon. This was the only concrete evidence of their guilt (if it existed).
We don’t have the right to see the security videos confiscated by the FBI at the Pentagon on 9/11.
Why should we be allowed to see a video of some thugs entering Epstein’s cell on the morning of Epstein’s death?

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