Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Charges against Strauss-Kahn dismissed but justice still not done.
The Manhattan District Attorney has formally dismissed all charges of rape against Dominique Strauss Kahn.
But that still leaves justice undone.
As was presented here on this blog the day after the charges were filed, while the press did their usual water buffalo-like stampede and others assumed Strauss Kahn guilty based on nothing except their own prejudices relating to class, race and gender, the accusations made by Nafissatou Diallo accusing Strauss Kahn of rape were from the very beginning preposterous to anyone who read her version of events and were in possession of any of the facts.
It was Diallo's knowing that rape accusations would be taken seriously by the DA, no matter how preposterous, and her knowing that rape is a crime where it is more likely that an accused would be considered guilty until proven innocent, that led her to make her charges in the hopes of one thing -- making money. Her charges led the press and many others to take the knee out of knee jerk assumptions and most decided that because she was black, an immigrant, a single mom and worked as a hotel maid, she had to be telling the truth while Strauss Kahn, white, male, prominent, a person of financial means and someone in a position of power and authority, had to be guilty in spite of the fact that every shred of logic and piece of evidence pointed to the opposite.
The clearly false allegation of rape made against him by Nafissatou Diallo caused immeasurable damage to Strauss Kahn, but also caused damage and altered world politics since he was not only the head of the International Monetary Fund but the leading candidate to be president of France. Her false accusations, motivated by her own greed and dishonesty and not caring who she harmed in her scheme to get rich, has had repercussions around the world. And justice will not be done until she pays an appropriate price.
The only person to have provably committed a crime in this whole fiasco is Diallo herself. It is a fact that she lied to investigators about different aspects of her story including her whereabouts after the alleged rape, which is a felony in itself. It is a fact that she lied to prosecutors about different aspects of her story and changed them repeatedly which is another felony. She has admitted to lying to the grand jury about different aspects of her story which is a third felony. And all those felonies leads to another -- obstruction of justice. She also admitted to lying under oath on her immigration form in requesting asylum and admittance into the United States, concocting a detailed and totally fabricated account of a gang rape which is another felony and grounds for deportation.
So Diallo has committed five provable felonies and that doesn't even include the felony of filing false charges against Strauss Kahn.
Hopefully the DA will pursue criminal charges against Diallo for all of her felonies. Justice demands that she be sent to prison and do at least some time in jail and that her perjury on her immigration application results in her deportation when she has served her time. It would be another crime for the DA to just let her walk free.
If any good has come out of this its that members of the New York City Council are considering a bill to put an end to the "perp walk" which plastered Strauss- Kahn all over the news media not just in New York but around the world, caused him to have to resign his position at the IMF and threw French politics into turmoil. Had there been a system as I argued at the time, which gives the same anonymity to an accused as it does to an accuser until there is evidence which proves guilt, the damage to Strauss Kahn by Diallo's fabricated charges would never have happened.
While that might take the fun out of it for those who were self righteous over Diallo's charges which let them find justification in their ideas regarding class and gender war fare even at the expense of an innocent man, there is no reason not to give the same cloak of anonymity to an accused in a sex crimes case as an accuser. It would also remove any motivation someone might have in making false accusations for the purpose of ruining someone's reputation. Or, as in the case of Diallo, extortion.
Hopefully justice will be blind and no one will take race, class or gender into consideration and Diallo will be going to prison and then deported back to New Guinea. And hopefully in the future, the press will think twice before splashing someone's name and picture all over the front pages and on television as having committed a sex crime without a shred of evidence to support it. The City Council ending the perp walks would be a good start.
A few weeks ago Diallo began an orchestrated PR blitz including an interview for Newsweek trying to drum up sympathy for herself. after filing a civil suit against Strauss Kahn. Diallo said she was doing it because all she wanted was justice. Obviously Diallo has never heard the old adage, be careful what you wish for, you'll probably get it.