Daily Archives: July 1, 2011

DSK, and the Rush to Judgement

I think I am entitled to claim some wisdom in what I wrote about the DSK rape allegation, which was this:

The allegations against Dominique Strauss Kahn are of a different order as they do seem to involve violent assault and non-consensual sex acts. Plainly there is a very serious case to answer, especially given his known highly charged sexual history.

But I have been given pause today by learning that the police have amended their accusation to say that they were one and a half hours mistaken in the time that the rape took place. Given that it was reported pretty well immediately, how can there have been this confusion about when it happened? A ten minute mistake would be natural, but one and a half hours wrong in a period of three hours?

The difference is very significant, because the police were alleging that he raped her, then rushed from the hotel to the airport to flee. They now acknowledge as true the defence statement that he actually went to a lunch engagement quite close to the hotel before going to the airport. Given that his alleged hurried running away was a major factor in not granting him bail, this seems to me inportant. I repeat – how on earth could an investigation make such a very fundamental mistake?

My feelings of unease were then increased by US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner coming out to lead international demands for DSK’s replacement – as the prosecuting authority, surely it would behove the US government to shut up until he has been found innocent or guilty? Since then I have been listening to Ghanaian radio (I am in Accra) where callers are more or less unanimous that as the woman is from Guinea, in Francophone Africa, the Sarkozy connection is to blame. That fact is certainly a boon for conspiracy theorists.

DSK deserves the benefit of the presumption of innocence for now. We just don’t know what happened yet. The failure to grant him bail appears to me completely unjustifiable – where on earth do they think he will vanish, and how? There seems something peculiarly vindictive in the handling of this – of which his bail appearance without being allowed clean clothes or a shave was a stark symbol.

I have added the emphasis because I had got hold of absolutely the key point. It turns out the woman lied to the police, and in fact had gone back to cleaning rooms after the alleged assault, before reporting it – but then not told the truth about that. it also turns out that the woman – who you may recall we were told at the time was a very quiet religious Muslim – has a long term relationship with an imprisoned drug dealer and had received US $100,000 in recent months, largely from him. It is also the case that she had admitted to a flase claim of gang rape in her political asylum claim, and she has been taped discussing how much money she might make from the case.

Here is part of the prosecutor’s letter to the court:
“Additionally, in two separate interviews with assistant district attorneys assigned to the case, the complainant stated that she had been the victim of a gang rape in the past in her native country and provided details of the attack. During both of these interviews, the victim cried and appeared to be markedly distraught when recounting the incident. In subsequent interviews, she admitted that the gang rape had never occurred.”

Actually, for me the scariest and most evil thing about this entire episode are the warped feminists at the Guardian who conflate the terms “men” and “rapists” as though they were the same thing. As in this:

How do we get men to stop raping lesbians or independent or highly sexual women as a “corrective act” rather than addressing the forces and powers they are truly angry at? How do we get men to understand the impact of rape: how the external bruises are internalised and remain for ever?

The hate speak involved in conflating “Men” and “rapists” in this way is a vital insight into the viciousness of the militant feminist movement.

None of that, of course, makes it impossible that DSK raped her. But I considered it unlikely before, and I consider it still more unlikely now. Fascinating that the Guardian chooses to lead the first of their articles I link to with the ludicrous bluster of her lawyer, rather than the damning facts about her which come right down later.

It is an unfortunate boon to the Daily Express tendency that it turns out this case plays right into so many of the stereotyped categories Black Americans still have to struggle against – lying asylum seekers, convicted drug dealers, out to make crooked money. But in a criminal trial, Strauss Kahn, wealthy white banker though he is, still has as much right to have his story heard as her. That is what the equality of human beings means. And bluntly, from what we know at this moment, his side of the story seems a great deal more believable than hers. That may change as more evidence emerges; but the public bluster of her attorneys to date outlines an extremely weak case.

Talking of which, yet further evidence of stunning illiberalism by the coalition was revealed in Teresa May’s unjustified – in the literal sense of the term – action against Sheikh Saleh. What precisely is Sheikh Saleh alleged to have done that made his visit to the UK so harmful? Is there any evidence of any Lib Dem influence in any direction that can be described as liberal, in any area of government policy? Answers on a postcard please.

It is worth noting that in the two occasions I have stood for parliament, just as independent me with no party behind me, no organisation except this little blog and definitely no Deputy Prime Minister to back me, I have always obtained more votes and a higher percentage vote than the Liberal Democrats did at Inverclyde in the early hours of this morning. Unless the Scottish Lib Dems abandon the hard line unionism they have adopted – which would not have been supported by either Jo Grimond or Russel Johnson, and certainly not Rosebery – they are going to be annihilated.

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Separated at Birth

A reader has pointed out that Sherard Cowper Cole’s new book. Cables from Kabul, looks uncannily like Dirty Diplomacy, the US version of Murder in Samarkand, published four years previously. The books are indeed very similar. Except that Dirty Diplomacy has a sexy picture of a young lady on the spine – and the content is interesting.

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