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.


Anonymous said...

Immigration needs to do the right thing and deport Diallo. Her lawsuit should go in the same trash the rape charges went. Vance should not be reelected, and I guess that's the end of any political career he imagined, especially with a high profile trial. It may not be justice, but satisfying to know that Diallo is out of the country, and an inept district attorney has lost his job and his political career.

A rape is a grievous crime that should be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly. Victim and accuser must be treated fairly. Unfortunately, Strauss-Kahan was not treated fairly.

Anonymous said...

If Diallo commits felonies by lying, it doesn't make Strauss-Kahn entirely innocent. Here is what Digby said today:

"There is a silver lining in all this. The French have awakened to the fact that sexual harassment and assault are not laughing matters. DSK's aggressive behavior toward women was legend and they never took it seriously. Since the charges,however, women have come forward and the nation has done some soul searching.

It always takes something like this for otherwise modern cultures to understand that sexual freedom doesn't equal coercion. That seems definitional to me, but some people seem to have a really hard time with it."

I think Strauss-Kahn was treated fairly and perhaps he will treat women differently in the future. He dodged a bullet this time and it may make him more circumspect. All women deserve to be treated with respect, including those who work for low wages and who lack power. That you rush to claim he is innocent suggests you have also not believed any of the other women who have had encounters with him, nor any of the French commenters on this situation. He is not the victim here.

Marc Rubin said...

"I think Strauss-Kahn was treated fairly.."

you could not be more wrong. And you have not paid enough attention to what the prosecutiors said which was essentially that they were convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that she lied about the assault. I will go further. Every shred of evidence and logic shows that she lied about everything beyond any shadow of a doubt. Strauss-Kahn was entirely innocent,he committed no assault of any kind which if you read her preposterously dishonest account of what she said happened,couldnt be clearer, and she deserves to go to jail for all her felonies and then deported.

the only lesson to be learned from this is that the news media needs to give an accused the same anonymity they give an accuser.

How in the world you think Strauss-Kahn having to resign as president of the IMF and having his candidacy for president of France badly damaged because of the flagrant lies of Diallo who saw Strauss Kahn as a means to get rich quick as being treated fairly is as preposterous as Diallos lies and false allegations themselves.

James Ala said...

"Immigration needs to do the right thing and deport Diallo."

Not going to happen Anonymous. No Prosecutor in their right mind would do such a thing. The whole case is radioactive and it is in everyone's interest that no further criminal prosecution of any kind come out of this incident.

There will be no follow up from ICE/ the Feds,and there will be no follow up via the Manhattan DA's office. That is political reality. The criminal justice system is going to bury this case in the Meadowlands, right next to Jimmy Hoffa.

James Ala said...

"the prosecutiors said which was essentially that they were convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that she lied about the assault."

As you should well know, since you have banged on about this point Mr. Rubin, it matters not a whit what the Prosecutors or you think, but what a jury would conclude.

The case was dropped because the prosecutors felt they had a weak case that could not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

On that note, be aware that under law lying is not perjury. Carl Rove proved that you can "revise" your testimony any number of times and not suffer any legal consequences.

We will have to agree to disagree on the "no assault of any kind" bit too. There was physical bruising and other documented physical injuries that Ms. Diallo suffered. It would seem a little extreme for the woman to self-inflict those injuries, or have someone inflict those injuries, just to get at DSK.

James Ala said...

I do find the rank hypocrisy of your last to posts on this matter almost amusing.

Having fiercely defended DSK in your posts (even though he had no real need of your assist because his money bought the best of legal minds) you now go gayly accusing Ms. Diallo of the most grievous crimes base on nothing other than the same suspect media reports you attacked when the subject was DSK. You cry oceans for DSK but have nothing but scorn for Ms. Diallo.

Having never met Ms. Diallo, or interviewed her, or even spoken to anyone who knew her, you have somehow managed to look deep into her soul and found it black as pitch.

Interesting, how you were able to disregard the chatter surrounding DSK, the rumors, the accusations, the speculations, all put forth sotto voce by unnamed persons in the media, but have gone whole hog for the very same dreck when the subject became Ms. Daillo.

It is just as believable, Mr. Rubin, to believe that Ms. Daillo is now using the civil process as her last resort to get some sort of justice from DSK as to believe this was a money grab from day one. I have no idea myself, I can not read minds. I only cringe at how brutal the discovery phase will be for both parties. This circus is not done, not by a long shot. We are going to be treated to every last sexual peccadillo of DSK and to every dodgy aspect of Diallo's life. It will be catnip for our celebrity obsessed culture, but it won't be edifying.

DSK walks a free man, good for him. As for his reputation, screw that. All the man had to do to keep his reputation was keep his dick in his pants. As Arnold the Governator found out, it never pays to screw around with the hired help.

Anonymous said...

James Ala:

I suggest you read the prosecutor's motion in toto. Not only does the office believe it could not prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, it does not believe that a crime occurred. To allow Diallo to testify under those circumstances would be to suborn perjury.

Further, Diallo would not release her medical records so there was no way to determine if her "injuries" were preexisting or caused by some encounter.

If anything, Diallo, by her repeated lies, has damaged the argument that DSK is an unmitigated cad. I urge you to read the prosecutor's motion to dismiss. It is a devastating expose of Diallo's lies.

The truth matters.