The Strauss-Kahn case

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Calboner, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. Calboner

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    The news about this case has taken a disturbing turn just lately:

    The news of the original accusation and arrest was disturbing enough; the growing likelihood that the charge was false seems to me even more disturbing.

    (I take this occasion also to give a pronunciation lesson: Mr. Strauss-Kahn's name is pronounced in French according to French, not German orthography, so that the first half of it rhymes with "gross," not with "house.")
     
  2. Jason

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    The original case was implausible on two grounds:
    1) If DSK wanted a prostitute he was able to pay
    2) Posh hotels know whether suites are occupied - the idea of a maid walking into an occupied suite is a non-starter. Suites are cleaned by teams of maids, not one working on her own.

    That said stranger things have happened - maybe DSK is guilty as charged. The likely outcome seems to be that the case will be thrown out.

    Of course it could be that DSK has a mighty good legal team, and the whisper will be that he is guilty but has got off. But it is also possible that this was some sort of honey trap or a complete fabrication. If so it has been very effective - DSK has been removed from his job early, and the process of appointing a successor has been hurried. Additionally DSK is pretty much out of the running for president of France.

    If the guy is innocent what has been done to him is terrible. There are also shocking elements of the US legal system, eg denying an arrested man a razor and proper wash facilities so he appears in court to be charged unshaven and looking dreadful - the "walk of shame". These photos will have done his presidential ambitions as much damage as the charge against him.
     
  3. Calboner

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    I don't find either of those arguments persuasive, though on the second one, I can't say that I know enough about the operation of the hotel in question to reply. On the first one, I think that there are plenty of reasons why a man in Strauss-Kahn's position might be prone to think "no" means "yes" and prefer to get sex without paying for it--not out of stinginess but as a matter of pride. And I seem to recall that, after the news broke, there were two women in Europe who claimed that he had tried to force himself on them in years past.

    What I don't understand at this point is why the accuser, if indeed her charge is false, would make such a monstrous accusation.
     
  4. Jason

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    Assuming her charge is false, we're surely left with two possibilities:

    1) There was some form of consenusal sex that the maid subsequently felt unhappy about, and she came to feel that she had been raped.
    2) The maid was paid or threatened by someone to make the accusation. There is therefore someone who set this charge up to discredit DSK. That the case doesn't hold water doesn't matter - the damage has been done by the arrest.

    The consequences of the DSK arrest are complex. It almost certainly means he will not be President of France. It has made Lagarde's appointment as IMF head a virtual shoe-in (there would have been more discussion had he retired on schedule). There may well have been differences in the package offered to Greece had DSK been at the helm.

    We shouldn't forget the misery to DSK. The experience of arrest, being held in a US prison on suicide watch, a court hearing, house arrest and the nasty charge which has led to the world picking over his private life - all these are pretty nasty.
     
  5. Calboner

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    That is why I find the possibility that the charge was false so horrifying.
    Well, the NYT article that I first cited contains this, tucked away on the second page (on the Web version):
    Yikes.
     
  6. midlifebear

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    I'm sure he's smoking a pack of Gitanes and giggling.
     
  7. Jason

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    The dates are not good for him. The French primaries close 13th July. He does have time to stand, but he will be standing with an outstanding charge against him.

    It is possible that his party will go with him as candidate anyway, on the assumption that the case will be dismissed. However this is a big risk for the Socialists. There's also a big issue about how the story will play in France. It is possible that the French public will see him as a victim (this has been the spirit of much of the French reporting) and he may even get more votes as a consequence. However the revelations about his sex life may discourage people from voting for him. It is a tough call for the Socialists - my hunch is they will back him.

    I guess the USA will have taken on board the possibility that in a few months' time the President of France will be a man they arrested and put through the indignity of a "walk of shame". Having experienced it himself, he would be an excellent figurehead for the European condemnation of aspects of the US legal system, from Guantanamo Bay to judicial murder.
     
  8. B_lrgeggs

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    Very disturbing. Yet no one seems to care. (At least by the showing of the so few comments to this posting)
     
  9. b.c.

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    It's disturbing, but not for the reasons one would think.

    If not for the happenstance of the recorded conversation and the accuser's own amateurish bumbling of varied fabricated stories, he'd still be locked away.
     
  10. Hoss

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    That bothers me as well. I haven't heard what the timeline was on that call, if it was before or after DSK had been arrested.

    The U.S. as a country is not fully responsible for this, this was in a local jurisdiction known as New York state in a city with its own police force, this wasn't an arrest made on the federal level so it isnt the USA that will have to take this on board.

    I wonder what would reactions be if DSK hadn't been questioned and held, then there'd be screams that he was being given preferential treatment.

    The judicial system is constantly running into cases having verdicts thrown out for varied reasons. Even now the New York district attorney hasn't dismissed the case which doesn't mean that they believe the accuser fully or even in part any more. They are though having to reexamine everything which is what is supposed to be done and part of how they got to the place of learning about the accusers phone call with the prisoner.
     
  11. Cobalt Blue

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    Oh dear, this just gets worse and worse..
    This from Reuters:

     
  12. Jason

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    I don't doubt your facts are right. But in this case it's not the facts that matter. As far as the world is concerned the USA locked up and subjected to the walk of shame the head of the IMF and a leading candidate for the French presidency. I haven't seen a French paper yet today- I'll try to have a look at Le Figaro later - but I can imagine the tone will be that Obama personally humiliated a very senior French politician.

    It is concerning that the USA has the walk of shame. This has to be a human rights issue as a degrading practice.
     
  13. Calboner

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    And worse: The New York Post has a story saying that the maid was turning tricks. "The Sofitel housekeeper who claims the former IMF boss sexually assaulted her in his room was doing double duty as a prostitute, collecting cash on the side from male guests, The Post has learned."
    I hope that this event will bring the practice under serious reconsideration.
     
  14. Drifterwood

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    This is the point I originally made in the first thread about this.

    It now seems more likely than any assault that she was

    1/ trying to turn a trick
    2/ collecting money for previous services by herself or more likely someone else
    3/ trying to extort further monies for a previous trick
    4/ attempting a honey trap

    I still don't take to the man, but he appears a long way from guilty of the charges.

    Will the NY people recompense him?
     
  15. luka82

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    I seriously doubt that.
    His career is ruined, someone has achieved their goal.
     
  16. houtx48

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    maybe the maid just got rich to say she was lying.........or maybe that was the plan all along.
     
  17. Drifterwood

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    The implication seems to be that she was collecting for a prostitution racket run by some guy already in prison. It's a far cry from the victim description given by her lawyer.
     
  18. Mr. Snakey

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  19. hsarge

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    What Idiots do not realize that prison phone calls are recorded?
     
  20. Jason

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    We all know the answer. But even without paying compensation the loss to NY and the USA is huge. The Franco-American alliance has just got a bit rocky.

    The USA has an even bigger problem if DSK comes through from behind and still manages to become President of France. The French socialists have never been the easiest group for America to get along with, but the USA now faces the possibility of a President who may bear a grudge leading a France which is now wallowing in anti-American sentiment. It is hard to see how the USA could have done more in a few hours to damage its relations with France.

    The only way this could get worse for the USA is if DSK can show US political involvement. For example did the NY police really lock up DSK and subject him to a walk of shame without clearing this with their political masters? I don't know the US system - in the UK the police are accountable to elected politicians, and the decision to lock up the head of the IMF who is also the favourite to be the next President of France would not be taken without keeping the appropriate politician in the loop. For London's Metropolitan Police this is the Mayor of London, who would liaise with a government minister. I strongly suspect the UK approach for a crime by someone of this level of international seniority would be to deal with it without arrest. Indeed if we in the UK arrested every deviant foreign politician who commited a crime on our shores the third world war would have broken out long ago. The USA must have a comparable softly-softly approach. Why wasn't it applied?
     
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