Saturday, July 02, 2011

Like It or Not, DSK Reveals a Lot About Ourselves

Don’t worry, this guy has a lot of money. I know what I’m doing.’

There has been no shortage of supposedly progressive bloggers who were more than ready to assume Dominique Strauss-Khan guilty of sexually assaulting a New York hotel chambermaid and who became infuriated when reports came out that the case against DSK was crumbling - because of the purported victim herself.   Some even went so far as to indignantly claim that it was all because the woman wasn't perfectly chaste.   The poor getting hammered by the privileged rich and powerful again.   Nice narrative and oh so convenient but a smear job based on deliberately twisted facts.

When you're out well on the left or out well on the right there seems to be an inability to accept the presumption of innocence for someone you perceive to be on the other side.   I suppose it's that Jacobin reflex coming into play.   Forget the fact that fundamental rights, such as the right to be presumed innocent until convicted, instantly turn into mere privileges when they're extended selectively.

But to say this woman was being persecuted because of her past sexual history is to stand reality on its head, to jettison the real facts of the case as not fitting the convenient narrative.

Don’t worry, this guy has a lot of money. I know what I’m doing.
Those lines, spoken  by the supposed victim to her boyfriend in an immigration jail in Arizona the following day, sent alarm bells ringing for investigators.   This guy has a lot of money.  I know what I'm doing.  Would you prosecute a case knowing that was going to be laid before the judge and jury?
It was another ground-shifting revelation in a continuing series of troubling statements, fabrications and associations that unraveled the case and upended prosecutors’ view of the woman. Once, in the hours after she said she was attacked on May 14, she’d been a “very pious, devout Muslim woman, shattered by this experience,” the official said — a seemingly ideal witness.

Little by little, her credibility as a witness crumbled — she had lied about her immigration, about being gang raped in Guinea, about her experiences in her homeland and about her finances, according to two law enforcement officials. She had been linked to people suspected of crimes. She changed her account of what she did immediately after the encounter with Mr. Strauss-Kahn. Sit-downs with prosecutors became tense, even angry. Initially composed, she later collapsed in tears and got down on the floor during questioning. She became unavailable to investigators from the district attorney’s office for days at a time.

There's no doubt that DSK had been the head of the big, bad International Monetary Fund and that this can easily be spun into a powerful abuser versus powerless victim soap opera but that is to utterly torture truth and to cast away all notions of principle and fairness.  What's progressive about that?


Dr.Dawg said...

‘Don’t worry, this guy has a lot of money. I know what I’m doing.’

Those lines, spoken by the supposed victim to her boyfriend in an immigration jail in Arizona the following day

Er, no. Go back and read the article again.

She also described her rape in this conversation in the same way as she did to the prosecutors.

LeDaro said...

Dr. Dawg, I will like to feel sympathy for the victim but her story is bizarre. She got raped by a man and then she calmly went and cleaned the next room. Came back and cleaned the rapist’s room. Did not report any injury and now she complains of shoulder injury. How was she able to continue cleaning when her shoulder was injured? Should she not have reported that right away? There is too much fishy stuff in her story. Looks it was a money extortion scheme which backfired on her.

Anonymous said...

"She also described her rape in this conversation in the same way as she did to the prosecutors."

Where in the article does it say that? I may have missed it, but I didn't see that.

I have no doubt that the woman in question did say she was raped in the recorded conversation--yjr article sure would have mentioned it had it been otherwise. But that wouldn't really tell us much because she simply may have been lying to her boyfriend as well.

Still, I don't see where any of this is confirmed in the article.

Renter said...

More rape apology. DSK is well known - celebrated in fact - because it is unsafe for his female colleagues to be in a room alone with him.

But we trust his world over a poor, black immigrant because she grew up knowing that the world is not on her side.

As for why continue "calmly" cleaning?
1. Shock and trauma messes with your brain. A return to routine is often the easiest thing to do - take the example of the person who looses a loved one and they bury themselves in work or in care taking of the rest of their family.
2. Sometimes you do whatever it takes to keep the job that keeps a roof over your head, food on your table, and your green card in your pocket.

Combine that with a distrust of authority and there is a very easy explanation as to why she returned to the job as she processed what had happened to her.

I "love" how she is being regarded as guilty because she is not the perfect victim while DSK's history is "off limits".

The Mound of Sound said...

It's not that I trust his word, Renter, but knocking down that straw man never gets old, does it? I just don't trust her word at the time with her word subsequently or in contest with demonstrated fact. And that is how one determines which evidence is truly probative. There's a doctrine in the law of evidence known as "inconsistent previous statement."

When the prosecution's case rests almost entirely on the statements of a purported victim to prove - beyond any reasonable doubt - the commission of a crime, those statements had better be watertight.

I won't seek to dislodge your stereotypical pity party with drawn out explanations of jurisprudence but, trust me, we have these principles for very good reasons and you'll be grateful for them indeed if you're ever accused of a crime.