Blackmail Friday Transcript (Patreon Members Only)

Ari Ben-Menashe:  Except what happened was Maxwell introduced him to us, and he wanted us to accept him as part of our group. 

I’m not denying that we were at the time a group that it was Nick Davies, it was Maxwell, it was myself and our team from Israel, we were doing what we were doing. 

Speaker:  September the 22nd, Iraqi planes attacked Mehrabad Airport outside … 

Interviewer:  Selling arms via … 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  There was a project. It wasn’t selling arms. It was transferring arms to Iran. 

Interviewer:  So we’re talking about Iran-Contra basically. 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  Yeah. 

Interviewer:  We’re talking about that same arms deal as Iran-Contra. 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  Yeah, Israel was very concerned about the Iraqis taking over Southern Iran. 

Interviewer:  So Maxwell introduces you. He says, “Here’s this young guy.”

Ari Ben-Menashe:  Yeah. 

Interviewer:  And did he go by the name Jeffrey Epstein or did he go by a different name? 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  I remember Epstein, Jeff Epstein. 

Interviewer:  Okay, because he had a different passport that he was traveling in and out of …

Ari Ben-Menashe:  Yeah, that’s right. Yeah, but that came later. 

Interviewer:  Okay, so he says to you, he has this guy Jeffrey Epstein who I know from … just know him from around. 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  Uh-hmm. And your Israeli bosses have approved. 

Interviewer:  Oh, okay.

Ari Ben-Menashe:  Already approved. 

Interviewer:  So he came down from up above. So what did he do? Can you say what he did for you? Like, what kind of work did you guys do together? 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  No, no, he didn’t do anything. 

Interviewer:  Oh, you … just you met him and that was it? 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  I met him a few times in Maxwell’s office, that was it. 

Interviewer:  And did he do any arms deals for anybody else that you’re aware of? 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  Not that I’m aware of. 

Interviewer:  Because there was, you know, there’s the … I guess it was an MI5 operation. 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  He didn’t … He wasn’t very competent, he didn’t seem to be a competent guy, he doesn’t seem to be. But he was a good looking guy. And Miss Maxwell … 

Interviewer:  Ghislaine, yeah. 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  … feel for him. 

Interviewer:  Early … that early, 1980’s.

Ari Ben-Menashe:  That early. See, how old was she? She was … 

Interviewer:  Maxwell she was … She was young. 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  Yeah. 

Interviewer:  But most of the reporting about her and him only started in 1991 when they go to the United States. 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  Yeah, I realized that. But they were already … 

Interviewer:  They’re already dating. 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  Call it dating or whatever. 

Interviewer:  So he was part of the family business. 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  Yeah, and Maxwell sort of started liking him, and my theory is that Maxwell felt that this guy is going for his daughter. 

Interviewer:  Right. 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  He felt … 

Interviewer:  He felt that he could bless him with some work and help him out in like a paternal. 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  Because his daughter wasn’t exactly the (think of the day?). 

Interviewer:  Meaning? 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  She wasn’t so beautiful and so … 

Interviewer:  Okay.

Ari Ben-Menashe:  And she wasn’t very bright either. 

Interviewer:  Was she part of the business too? Was she involved in what you were doing over there? 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  No, no. But later on she got involved with Israeli intelligence together with him. But not in this arms deal with Iran business. 

Interviewer:  Would you say she was an agent as well? 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  Yes. 

Interviewer:  Was she someone working for the Israeli intelligence? 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  Oh, definitely. 

Interviewer:  Military intelligence as well? 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  Yes, yes. 

Interviewer:  And when that happens, because I have no idea how that world works, so I’m learning a little bit …

Ari Ben-Menashe:  It happened by accident. 

Interviewer:  Do you get orders and you have to do certain things or is it more like …

Ari Ben-Menashe:  No, no, no. You get projects. In this case what really happened, my take on it, in the later thing, is that these guys were seen as agents. They weren’t really competent to do very much. And so they found a niche for themselves – blackmailing American and other political figures. 

Interviewer:  For the Israelis? 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  Yeah. 

Interviewer:  But, you know, for most people it’s hard for them to think of Israel as being … blackmailing their leaders in the United States, it’s a very … 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  It was quite their M.O. Sleeping around is not a crime, it may be embarrassing, but it’s not a crime, but sleeping with underage girls is a crime. 

Interviewer:  It was a crime in 2000 as well, but they let him off that. 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  And that it’s always so he made sure these girls were underage. 

Interviewer:  Why is Ehud Barak associating with this man? Why do you think Ehud Barak spent all these years associating with this man? 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  After a while, you know, what Mr. Epstein was doing was collecting intelligence on people in the United States. And so if you want to go to the US if you’re a high profile politicians you want to know information about people. 

Interviewer:  So he was getting that information. He’s getting the dirts. 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  Huh? 

Interviewer:  He was receiving the dirt from Epstein basically. 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  Yeah, that’s right. 

Interviewer:  I heard that one of the things that Epstein liked about the relationship with military intelligence is the ability to access all these very high tech spy gear, which he was able to use.

Ari Ben-Menashe:  Yeah, listening stuff, I’m sure. 

Interviewer:  So was Epstein and Barak is that what they were doing basically, they use part of this blackmailing scheme? 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  Epstein was blackmailing people. 

Interviewer:  But was Barak part of that blackmailing scheme? 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  He would benefit. 

Interviewer:  He would benefit from it. But he was driving technology for it. 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  It was too high up to do it directly except if you’d give the go ahead to do it. 

I spent 11 months and 3 weeks in the same place Epstein was and it would have been impossible to commit suicide. Impossible. 

Interviewer:  So you were at MCC in New York? 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  I was in MCC in New York, same place. 

Interviewer:  No one commits suicide in MCC. 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  It’s impossible. Impossible. 

Interviewer:  Right. So who did it then? 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  Huh? 

Interviewer:  Who did it? 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  I’m not saying anything. All I’m saying is it’s impossible. 

Interviewer:  Yeah. 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  I mean, there’s no way you can hang yourself in the cells. 

Interviewer:  Well, they say off the bunk bed, right? 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  Huh? 

Interviewer:  They said he tied himself onto the bunk bed and lean forward. And like how do you die that way? It’s not even … 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  I don’t know. Maybe he was specially gifted, but I doubt it. 

Interviewer:  The other rumor is that he was given space to commit suicide, that he was sort of … And I don’t know if this just happens in agent world or in espionage where you’re like, “You’re going to have to kill yourself because you’ve lost …” 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  Yeah, that’s right. 

Interviewer:  “… you’ve lost usefulness. You’ve become a liability.” 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  And I have theories about who wanted him dead. Probably there’s quite a number of people in the States wanted him dead, but I would think mainly the Israelis. 

Interviewer:  Mainly? I mean, look at this, they have the most to lose from all of this coming out. 

Ari Ben-Menashe:  Yeah, because (you?) really didn’t want the stories to come out.