Dodge City on the Hudson – The Bizarre Dominique Strauss-Kahn Affaire
by Eric Margolis: Graveyard
Bleu! Last Friday, US prosecutors revealed that the hotel maid who
had accused former International Monetary Fund chief Strauss-Kahn
of raping her in his hotel suite was a serial liar.
She had lied
about being raped to get into the US, lied on her tax returns, and
lied on numerous other issues. She had been taped discussing $100,000
payments with jailed drug dealers. Media sources in New York asserted
she was a prostitute who routinely serviced hotel clients.
It is unprecedented
for prosecutors to discredit their own star witness. The city’s
red-faced DA, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., probably did so because of rumors
that the defense, which had assigned a number of crack investigators
to check into the maid’s background, was about to go public with
the embarrassing information.
(universally known as DSK) has now been released from house arrest
under which he had to pay for an armed guard to watch him. His cost
to avoid being locked up with murderers and armed robbers in New
York’s ghastly prison gulag, Riker’s Island, was said to be $100,000
bumbling prosecutors still insist they will proceed with the case.
So will the maid’s damage-seeking civil suit, at least for now.
But legal experts here say DSK is increasingly likely to be acquitted
now that his accuser has been exposed as a liar and fraudster.
circus puts the US justice system on trial before the eyes of the
world. The Wild West frontier arrest and treatment of DSK, the lynch-mob
mood, the media orgy, and his public humiliation make the US look
like a nasty third world state where prosecutors and media collude.
Such has often been the fate of people charged by the government
scalp of a famous Frenchman, not justice, was the goal of US prosecutors.
Many New Yorkers hate France for its past criticism of Israel and
its past insubordination to US political demands, and so were delighted
to see this French bigwig humiliated and debased.
near lynching of DSK also profoundly humiliated France. DSK was
expected to win next year’s French presidential election. France’s
current president, Nicholas Sarkozy, is highly unpopular with the
public and looked almost certain to be defeated by DSK - if he had
decided to quit as head of the IMF and run as the Socialist presidential
Friday, France’s Socialists appeared doomed to defeat. Their assorted
candidates induced sleep and yawns, not cheers of support. Sarkozy
must have thanked his lucky stars when DSK was arrested on sordid
charges that shocked and horrified France.
But now, in
an amazing reversal of fortune, DSK may actually beat the rap in
New York and return to France. The able Christine Lagarde has replaced
him at the IMF, relieving DSK the decision of staying on there or
returning to French politics.
is beyond elated by the impending collapse of the DSK trial. Not
only have the ruinous charges against him been exposed as lies,
but DSK may well emerge from the legal ordeal as a martyr.
noted the dignity and courage with which DSK and his wife Anne Sinclair
bore their public humiliation and the threats of 30 years in prison.
So if Strauss-Kahn
escapes the legal quick-sands in New York, he could quickly return
triumphant to France and begin campaigning against President Sarkozy.
That’s a big if. He may also sit on the sidelines until the next
presidential elections, five years hence.
a dizzying new twist to this drama, a French female journalist,
TristaneBanon, is apparently going to charge DSK with attempting
to rape her in 2003. She claims not to have reported the alleged
assault out of fear for her career. DSK claims she is delusional
and a publicity-seeker.
the next round of the war of the sexes.
will be convinced that their first impression after DSK was arrested
– that he was victim of a nefarious political plot or financial
shakedown – was correct. The finger of suspicion will point at those
who could have benefitted from his humiliation and conviction.
If the chambermaid
episode was indeed a plot, it was conceived and executed with great
skill and daring. DSK’s notoriety as a satyr, that is, a man obsessed
by sexual desire and conquering females, was artfully used to draw
him into this honey trap. Paris has long been abuzz with tittle-tattle
about his sexual escapades in private and public. We may see the
handwork of professionals.
who claimed the maid was a victim of male sexism and oppression
will be rightly embarrassed. Those males who claim that women are
too prone to untruths and fanciful accounts will feel vindicated.
Rape is a horrible crime, but the scales of justice in North America
have tilted too far to the accuser who is by now assumed to almost
always be speaking the truth.
important, the US prosecutors who allowed this circus to occur should
be fired and sent to North Dakota. America’s justice system is embarrassing
needs to be elevated to civilized standards.
humiliating DSK on trumped up evidence, and as if he was a notorious
mass murderer, is outrageous and dim-witted. If cleared of charges,
he should launch the mother of all law suits against New York’s
publicity-seeking legal vigilantes.
DSK is an unlikely model, but he may end up teaching the US a lesson
that it badly needs in civilized behavior and judicial caution.
him mail] is the author of War
at the Top of the World and the new book, American
Raj: Liberation or Domination?: Resolving the Conflict Between the
West and the Muslim World. See his
© 2011 Eric Margolis
Best of Eric Margolis