[lbo-talk] Strauss Kahn

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Wed Aug 24 11:51:55 PDT 2011

On Aug 24, 2011, at 2:30 PM, Dissenting Wren wrote:

> SA and Doug were right that I should have read the prosecutor's motion before getting into the particulars of this case. So, now I have, and clearly I got some things wrong. Amending those, what do we have?
> --An untrue story about rape in Africa, which was not made part of her asylum application, but which was part of a concocted story she had memorized in order to gain asylum.

Which she nonetheless didn't use as part of her asylum application.

> --A series of three inconsistent stories about what she did immediately after the incident with DSK. One of them, belied by the time-swipe evidence, she told to the grand jury.

And you don't think that, plus the previous, matters? And that it would destroy her case at trial?

> Against that, we have:
> --Consistency in her story of what happened during the incident itself.

Which might have been persuasive, had it not been for the other stuff (see above).

> --DSK's semen on the floor (not around the room, as I earlier said - my mistake).

Doesn't prove force at all.

> --DSK's DNA on her outer pair of panties, and rips in both pairs of pantyhose she was wearing - consistent with her story that DSK grabbed her genitals.

Inconclusive, said the prosecutors.

> --Redness observed in the genital area when examined in hospital

Inconclusive, said the docs.

> --Report of shoulder pain at the hospital

And then she comes back a month later with some tale about serious shoulder pain, which is medically incredible?

I have shoulder pains sometimes, and I haven't been raped.

> Then we have DSK's pattern of conduct:
> --Tristane Banon's case against him in France (she published her version of events in 2007, but did not name the man involved at the time)
> --DSK's long history of sexual harassment (see http://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2011/05/16/l-etrange-omerta-des-medias-sur-le-cas-dsk_1522552_3232.html)

He's clearly un cochon.

> So, is it true that Nafissatou Diallo shot herself in the foot by making false statements to the prosecutors? Surely. (Though the problem is not that she's a "proficient fabricator". By all evidence, she's not very good at it.) Is it also the case that DSK sexually assaulted her? Oh hell yes.

Probably yes, not "oh hell yes." But the standard of proof involves that reasonable doubt thing.

> Now, here's what creeps me out about this whole discussion:
> --Lots of talk about the things that make the complainant less than credible; none about similar features pertaining to DSK.
> --SA's willingness to proffer the alternative scenario that she's a prostitute, in the absence of any evidence.
> --Turning my reference to a real and difficult conflict between the rights of the accused and common tactics used by the defense in rape cases to "a 180-degree U-turn on the basic principles of criminal justice".

Except this wasn't the defense - it was the prosecution.

> --A certain delight in piling on Nafissatou Diallo for bringing this on herself after the fact, rather than considering how an asylum applicant's experiences with the U.S. justice system might conclude that the maxim "just tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth and the justice system will do right by you" might not always work.

The $60,000 in bank deposits from the drug-dealing boyfriend are problematic for the naif case.

> --No real attempt to contextualize this case either in terms of the difficulties of rape victims seeking justice or the vulnerable position of women who clean hotel rooms.

True enough, but I'll bet it's a rare rape victim or hotel maid who invents such stories.


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