Belmont Club

A Reversal of Fortune

The case against Dominique Strauss Kahn, which once seemed unassailable, now seems founded on a questionable complaint. Reuters says prosecutors have found patent falsehoods in the accuser’s story. “The complainant (accuser) has since admitted that this account was false and that after the incident in Suite 2806, she proceeded to clean a nearby room and then returned to Suite 2806 and began to clean that suite before she reported the incident to her supervisor”.

That now makes sexual assault allegations far more unlikely. It also calls into question some of the commentary and exegesis that I’ve made about the incident. While I carefully refrained from concluding DSK was guilty, the premise was that he might be and what would be true if it were. Even if that were hypothetical, it tended to assume villainous behaviour which may not now have occurred. And if the crime never happened, the speculation would have been pejorative and an injustice to the former IMF head. I guess the best policy going forward is to adopt Rod Blagojevich’s dictum after the trial: to keep mum for a while and see what happens.

Update:

The Wall Street Journal says that Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr is deeply embarrassed.

Steven Miller, a criminal defense lawyer in Chicago and former federal prosecutor, said that in light of the fact that Mr. Vance had brought such serious charges so quickly and had personally touted the government’s evidence, the case had become “a gigantic embarrassment” to Mr. Vance.

“I mean, this case altered the landscape of international politics,” said Mr. Miller. “You have to wonder what message this sends to the rest of the world about the U.S. criminal-justice system.”

Update 2:

The NY Post says the chambermaid was a prostitute who may have plied her trade with the connivance of the union.

The woman was allegedly purposely assigned to the Midtown hotel by her union because it knew she would bring in big bucks.

“When you’re a chambermaid at Local 6, when you first get to the US, you start at the motels at JFK [Airport]. You don’t start at the Sofitel,” the source said. “There’s a whole squad of people who saw her as an earner.” …

Sources also told The Post Strauss-Kahn’s probers uncovered evidence that she was part of a pyramid scheme that targeted immigrants from her native Guinea.

“We have people who have been victimized, who have claimed she ripped them off. Nice working people from her neighborhood,” a source said.

The whole saga is dismaying but ultimately enlightening. It shows the perils of trusting anybody. If the reports are even partially true, then they were all mudwrestling in the same pigpen. The French politician’s choice in entertainments exposed him to contact with the lowlife, possibly supplied by the union. Which in turn put him the toils of an aspiring American politician, whose hunger for publicity may have motivated him to act rashly.

Before too long we are all going to be asked to replace the rock and forget what we saw wriggling underneath. But before we do, one can’t help but think that its better to stay where the money is not rather than where the packaging is nicest. You may in fact meet a better class of people at airport motels simply because the really nasty critters haven’t got the incentive to lurk there. The glittering facades of investment banks, world-class hotels may really be the equivalent of waterholes in the Serengeti plain, places chock-a-block full of crocodiles and fanged predators just waiting for Gnu to take a drink. Willy Sutton was once asked why he robbed banks and answered “that’s where the money is”. The Gnu should gnow this.