Shortly after Strauss-Kahn's arrest, Kerwyn and I were discussing the case and as she laid out the facts, it was pretty obvious that from the start, the police and, more important, the Manhattan district attorney's office, were telling Mike Nifongesque lies. Remember that he supposedly left the hotel immediately after the attempted rape, being in such a rush that he left his cellphone behind in an attempt to quickly get out of the country?
It turns out that he checked out of the hotel in an orderly fashion, went to the airport, and then called the hotel to see if they could deliver his cellphone to him. None of his actions seemed to be those of a man desperately trying to leave the USA, although given the state of "law enforcement" in this country, I can't blame him for wanting to get the heck out of this place.
Even those lies from the police and prosecutors aside, it gets even better, much better. However, we first must travel down a short memory lane, courtesy of our friends at the Grey Lady, who always are outraged, OUTRAGED at the mere accusation of sexual assault or sexual harassment. Let us look at the various statements coming from the DA's office right after the arrest (this is significant because of what the NYT NOW is claiming about Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance, Jr., and his underlings):
Artie McConnell, assistant district attorney, at Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s arraignment in Criminal Court on May 16:Of course, what sexual assault claim would be complete without the editorial page angst that came from the opinion folks at the NYT? Here is Maureen Dowd, who never seems to be without a stupid and poorly-informed opinion:
“The victim provided very powerful details consistent with violent sexual assault committed by the defendant, which establishes all the necessary elements of the crime he is charged with.”
“She made outcries to multiple witnesses immediately after the incident, both to hotel staff and law enforcement. She was then taken to the hospital and was given a full sexual assault forensic examination. The observations and findings during that exam corroborate her accounts.”
Mr. McConnell at a bail hearing on May 19:
“The complainant in this case has offered a compelling and unwavering story about what occurred in the defendant’s room. She made immediate outcries to multiple witnesses, both to hotel staff and to police.”
“The victim was given a complete and expert forensic examination and the findings from that examination are consistent with her account. The Crime Scene Unit processed the hotel room and the scene, and while those scientific tests have not been completed, the preliminary indications are that forensic evidence that supports the victim’s version of events may be found.”
In the wake of the Dominique Strauss-Kahn scandal, as more Frenchwomen venture sexual harassment charges against elite men, the capital of seduction is reeling at the abrupt shift from can-can to can’t-can’t. Le Canard Enchaîné, a satirical weekly, still argues that “News always stops at the bedroom door,” but many French seem ready to bid adieu to the maxim.Just as the NYT immediately jumped to the conclusion that Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans had raped Crystal Mangum, writers at the paper quickly assumed that the Strauss-Kahn accuser was telling the unvarnished truth. The letters that the paper saw fit to publish were full of the rush to judgment. This piece by Linda Martin Alcoff, a philosophy professor in New York, was pretty typical of the mindset of the NYT crowd.
As Libération editor Nicolas Demorand wrote in an editorial: “Now that voices have been freed, and the ceiling of glass and shame has been bashed in, other scandals may now arise.”
After long scorning American Puritanism and political correctness on gender issues, the French are shocked to find themselves in a very American debate about the male exploitation/seduction of women, and the nature of consent.
In other words, it was assume guilt first and always believe the prosecutors, especially when they are prominent Democrats like Vance who have political ambitions. But, as in the Duke case, truth has carved a bit of a wedge in the NYT's narrative:
The sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn is on the verge of collapse as investigators have uncovered major holes in the credibility of the housekeeper who charged that he attacked her in his Manhattan hotel suite in May, according to two well-placed law enforcement officials.I have no doubt that the story that police and prosecutors fed the media -- that this large, naked man jumped from the bathroom and forced this poor, African immigrant to give him oral sex -- is utterly false. First, keep in mind that she is from Guinea, and is a French speaker. Second, I suspect that the encounter not only was mutual, but she planned it in advance, and most likely with some of the people with whom she is associated.
Although forensic tests found unambiguous evidence of a sexual encounter between Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a French politician, and the woman, prosecutors now do not believe much of what the accuser has told them about the circumstances or about herself.
Since her initial allegation on May 14, the accuser has repeatedly lied, one of the law enforcement officials said.
Senior prosecutors met with lawyers for Mr. Strauss-Kahn on Thursday and provided details about their findings, and the parties are discussing whether to dismiss the felony charges. Among the discoveries, one of the officials said, are issues involving the asylum application of the 32-year-old housekeeper, who is Guinean, and possible links to people involved in criminal activities, including drug dealing and money laundering.
The article continues:
According to the two officials, the woman had a phone conversation with an incarcerated man within a day of her encounter with Mr. Strauss-Kahn in which she discussed the possible benefits of pursuing the charges against him. The conversation was recorded.I smell a setup from the beginning, one that even a semi-competent investigator would have found. However, given that the original investigation was done by the New York police and the DA's office, competency really is not in the job description; however, being able to act in an ideological manner that fits with the mentality at the NYT IS part of the job.
That man, the investigators learned, had been arrested on charges of possessing 400 pounds of marijuana. He is among a number of individuals who made multiple cash deposits, totaling around $100,000, into the woman’s bank account over the last two years. The deposits were made in Arizona, Georgia, New York and Pennsylvania.
The investigators also learned that she was paying hundreds of dollars every month in phone charges to five companies. The woman had insisted she had only one phone and said she knew nothing about the deposits except that they were made by a man she described as her fiancé and his friends.
In addition, one of the officials said, she told investigators that her application for asylum included mention of a previous rape, but there was no such account in the application. She also told them that she had been subjected to genital mutilation, but her account to the investigators differed from what was contained in the asylum application.
Nonetheless, the NYT continues to protect Vance and his crew, declaring:
In recent weeks, Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers, Benjamin Brafman and William W. Taylor III, have made it clear that they would make the credibility of the woman a focus of their case. In a May 25 letter, they said they had uncovered information that would “gravely undermine the credibility” of the accuser.Right. It seems that no one at the NYT has managed to deal with what is obvious: If government investigators had found this damning evidence on their own, then why were Vance and company continuing to claim that the accuser was truthful and that they had a strong case? In other words, if their investigators found out these things, either one of two things happened, neither of which would reflect well on NY authorities.
Still, it was the prosecutor’s investigators who found the information about the woman. (Emphasis mine)
The first would be that investigators told them what they had found, but Vance's charges continued to spout the same narrative, hoping that their rhetoric would overcome any problems. In other words, they knew the truth but lied.
The second would be that the investigators withheld information and gave it to their superiors only long after they had found out the truth, leaving Vance and the other prosecutors in the dark. This one makes no sense, which means that if what the NYT is saying is true, then Vance and those prosecutors involved with the case should be disbarred at the very least for knowingly making false statements in a very high-profile case.
There is a third possibility, and that is that the private investigators for the Strauss-Kahn defense did their own work and presented the facts to the Manhattan DA and warned them that if they did not act, the defense would make sure that the material would be leaked in a very unceremonious way. Any way one slices this material, however, it is clear that Vance and his employees have a lot of explaining to do.
Don't expect the mainstream media to ask those questions. Vance and the editorial staff at the NYT are joined at the ideological and political hip and the paper will do everything it can do to protect him. Likewise, the fact that Strauss-Kahn over the years has had the reputation of acting as, well, one might expect from someone who is known to be sexually-boorish, I doubt that too many mainstream reporters are going to invite the rage of the Maureen Dowds.
Nonetheless, we see yet another example of the Government-Media Alliance making false accusations, bringing false charges, and then ending up with egg on some collective faces. This is not the last time we will see this sorry scenario, and I only can feel for the next person who is caught in the crosshairs.