IMF sexual assault case a win for American values

The French are apparently in high dudgeon over the treatment of one of their favorite sons, former International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was arrested on charges of sexual assault and subjected to a perp walk, just like any other alleged criminal. In service of their outrage, they’ve concocted conspiracy theories and allegations of prosecutorial overreach.
It’s the French commentariat that’s doing the overreaching. This is a case where the Americans involved — from the hotel security staff to police and prosecutors — behaved exactly as they should have, treating a suspect without regard to his social status. If you want to cheer the notion of American exceptionalism, this is a reason to do so.

From the WaPo:

The photos of potential French president Strauss-Kahn — handcuffed, stooped, unshaven, tieless and whisked away to court before photographers — knocked the breath out of the French public.

The initial response was a collective “that would not happen here.”

Not in a country whose laws protect even a petty thief from flashing cameras in a public space and televised court hearings like the one broadcast Monday from Manhattan Criminal Court. Not in a country whose traditions have long shielded the philandering of the powerful, at the risk of failing to uncover travesties of the law.

So different are French laws and mores, it is conceivable that Strauss-Kahn — innocent or guilty — failed to grasp the speed by which American justice runs its course, the weight given to alleged sex offenses and the egalitarian premise on which the U.S. judicial system is based (emphasis added) until he sat in the infamous Rikers Island prison.

Despite the weight of the charges, it is likely, experts say, that had the alleged hotel scene taken place in Paris, Strauss-Kahn’s dignity would have remained intact.

In France, unlike the U.S., the judicial process takes place largely behind closed doors and the political powers-that-be hold sway over prosecutors.(Emphasis added) It is also a country where for centuries, infidelities were a royal ritual and bedroom secrets known to all were never more than court chatter.

Strauss-Kahn’s alleged victim is a West African immigrant, while he is a very powerful man. (Until his arrest, he was considered a strong contender for the French presidency.) It would have been only too typical for her to be too intimated to report the alleged assault and only too easy for hotel security to ignore her complaint. Ditto the NYPD. Many police departments don’t take the charges of sexual assault or rape as seriously as they should, especially if the alleged victim comes from society’s margins. But the NYPD apparently behaved properly, collecting evidence and making an arrest.

None of this is to say that Strauss-Kahn is guilty. He has the constitutional right to be considered innocent unless proven guilty.

But the proceedings thus far do show a system working to preserve the concept of equal protection under the law, which is not always the case in this country. Cheers to the Americans who acted without regard to wealth or political prominence or social connections.

One more thing about this case: It should not be compared to the personal shortcomings of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The former California governor is apparently a jerk, a cad, a selfish lout. But he has not been accused of attempted rape.
Strauss-Kahn’s alleged failings are of an altogether different sort. And if he is guilty, he deserves to be sent to prison for many, many years, as any ordinary rapist would be.

119 comments Add your comment

Kamchak

May 19th, 2011
11:27 am

If the allegations about DS-K turn out to be true, he should be kicked in the balls — repeatedly.

A Lumpkin Resident

May 19th, 2011
12:07 pm

I believe the maid in this case. First… he is being “set up”. Then, it is “consensual”. The more information at comes out, the more it sounds like the maid is telling the truth. The hard part will be proving it, and we don’t know what physical evidence exists. If this turns into a “he said/she said”, the guy walks.

resno2

May 19th, 2011
12:09 pm

Weren’t allowed to do an entire blog about Arnold so you found another way to get your jab in? It’s none of yours, mine or anybody elses damn business. Get over it and move on!

jon

May 19th, 2011
12:10 pm

A nice article of propaganda pro-American and anti-French. We should ask Nicole Brown Simpson’s family what they think about the “egalitarian premise on which the U.S. judicial system is based”…

Peadawg

May 19th, 2011
12:10 pm

” treating a suspect without regard to his social status.” – I wish this was the case more often. You have people like Lawrence Taylor, who’s a Hall of Fame linebacker, get off on probation for having sex with an underage prostitute. He said he does ask for their age but “”I don’t card them or ask for a birth certificate.” While he was put on the sex offenders list, he should have gotten jail time. Period.

“And if he is guilty, he deserves to be sent to prison for many, many years, as any ordinary rapist would be.” – AMEN!!!!

David Granger

May 19th, 2011
12:16 pm

The French are all ticked off because we’re treating a sex offender like a damn sex offender…instead of like Bill Clinton.

Cynthia's Song

May 19th, 2011
12:17 pm

The French have a particular genius with food and fooling around. The French press have asked why the hotel maid was dressed in a hotel maid’s uniform, which in France is as enticingly suggestive as being in a bikini or being nude or wearing a Lady Gaga wig.

‘muff said.

morris wise

May 19th, 2011
12:21 pm

No man can feel secure knowing that the evidence of rape can be easily planted. That is why the charge of rape should be believed only if the accuser has at least two witnesses. Rape is wrong but it can be prevented by a woman knowing how to use the knife in her handbag.

TBone

May 19th, 2011
12:23 pm

A win for American values; just what values do you speak of? So this french pervert acting like one of those european elitists that the left in this country admires and emulates gets caught with his pants around his ankles and now that somehow translates into a win for American values? I think I’ll go watch some Gilligan’s Island re-runs.

B Cosby

May 19th, 2011
12:28 pm

One more thing about this case: It should not be compared to the personal shortcomings of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The former California governor is apparently a jerk, a cad, a selfish lout. But he has not been accused of attempted rape. CT, what the hell does Arnold have to do with this case? Just finding a way to take your usual cheap shot?

Peadawg

May 19th, 2011
12:30 pm

“CT, what the hell does Arnold have to do with this case? Just finding a way to take your usual cheap shot?” – I’m wondering the same thing.

Don't Tread

May 19th, 2011
12:36 pm

“The former California governor is apparently a jerk, a cad, a selfish lout”

So what does that make Bill Clinton? At least Ah-nold didn’t lie about it to a grand jury.

But Clinton’s still one of your heroes, regardless of what he does.

Derrick

May 19th, 2011
12:41 pm

@ jon

“A nice article of propaganda pro-American and anti-French. We should ask Nicole Brown Simpson’s family what they think about the “egalitarian premise on which the U.S. judicial system is based”…”

We should also ask the families of Black Americans who was hung, raped and beaten how they fill about the judicial system who let these Krackers off. You idiot!

Derrick

May 19th, 2011
12:42 pm

@ Peadawg

I don’t believe Rothlesberger asked for I.D. in either of his cases too.

granny godzilla

May 19th, 2011
12:46 pm

Kamchak

May 19th, 2011
11:27 am
If the allegations about DS-K turn out to be true, he should be kicked in the balls — repeatedly.

can they be removed first for a little game of rapist soccer

and

TBone

May 19th, 2011
12:23 pm
A win for American values; just what values do you speak of? So this french pervert acting like one of those european elitists that the left in this country admires and emulates gets caught with his pants around his ankles and now that somehow translates into a win for American values? I think I’ll go watch some Gilligan’s Island re-runs.

Your suggestion that all European elitists are rapists is just plain silly, but that kind of thinking seems to fit into a Gilligans Island mantality

granny godzilla

May 19th, 2011
12:48 pm

make that “mentality”….

Acer706

May 19th, 2011
12:49 pm

D S-K’s newly acquired status is far from that of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s.

Kamchak

May 19th, 2011
12:57 pm

Granny Godzilla

can they be removed first for a little game of rapist soccer

Kick first, while they’re still attached.

EGIMGIAFAD

May 19th, 2011
1:07 pm

CT – You nailed this one. The Arnold comments while not necessary (and they shouldn’t have been in this Op-Ed) are still accurate.

@Granny – The “penalty kicks” should be taken while attached.

Marie

May 19th, 2011
1:10 pm

So Cynthia who has compared Arnold and this case with the former IMF chief? Sorry but this really does seem like a reach on your part to just mention Arnold in this column. Arnold is not the first politician to father a child out of wedlock or cheat on his wife, rather he is one in a long list of jerks, cad and selfish pouts such as JFK, Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Elliott Spitzer, etc.

And please this case does nothing to restore anyone’s belief in the idea that we are all equal before the law. The NYPD had to hurry and arrest this guy because they knew that once he left and flew back to France they would be hard pressed to get their hands on this guy. I seriously doubt they would have done the same thing in arresting this guy so swiftly had this been Sen. Chuck Schumer or some other high profile politician or celebrity.

Mike

May 19th, 2011
1:18 pm

Schwarzenegger’s case is one that the French, and Americans, would rightly keep quiet unless the parties involved chose to speak to the press.

The whole DSK thing strikes me as odd. Generally, famous people get into sex scandals because they were dealing with prostitutes (Charlie Sheen, Elliot Spitzer, Hugh Grant). DSK has used the same “agency” as Eliot Spitzer. Why would he attack a stranger when he had the resources and the contacts to arrange for someone to act out his fantasies?

Blue

May 19th, 2011
1:35 pm

Marie; after her column yesterday on Newt’s “playing the race car”, you’re really surprised that she would “reach” for something?? :)

Blue

May 19th, 2011
1:38 pm

race CARD…not car!

The Leg Lamp is a "major award" much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel

May 19th, 2011
1:40 pm

Gee, real shock here, huh?

“OBAMA SIDES WITH PALESTINIANS”

Birds of a feather……

Blue

May 19th, 2011
1:41 pm

CNN Update: “Obama announces $1 billion in debt forgiveness for Egypt and $1 billion in loan guarantees to finance infrastructure”. Yeah, because THAT is how you handle finances when you are in trouble; let people bail on what they owe you, and then guarantee that you will “loan” (GIVE? them more!

The Leg Lamp is a "major award" much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel

May 19th, 2011
1:44 pm

“Obama says Palestine must be based in 1967 borders”

So this will bring peace, right?

Logical Dude

May 19th, 2011
1:45 pm

Mike; Why would he attack a stranger when he had the resources and the contacts to arrange for someone to act out his fantasies?

Maybe he did, and she knocked on the door, so he thought she was from the “agency”?

Atlanta Native

May 19th, 2011
1:45 pm

As exasperated as I generally am with Ms. Tucker, I liked this piece. It is much better than a NYT attack editorial about on Arnold I read today..
Also, the French system does not have the presumption of innocence we have here.

resno2

May 19th, 2011
1:48 pm

Well if obama said that Palestine must be based on 1967 borders, then Palestine MUST be based on 1967 borders. He is all knowing ya know….

Wonder how much this is going to costs us?

Kamchak

May 19th, 2011
1:48 pm

…rather he is one in a long list of jerks, cad and selfish pouts such as JFK, Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Elliott Spitzer, etc.

Odd that you didn’t mention by name:

Larry “Toe-Tapper” Craig
David “The Diaper-Boy” Vitter
John “I-Did-My-Best-Friend’s-Wife” Ensign

Purely an oversight on your part, I’m sure. :roll:

Chess

May 19th, 2011
1:57 pm

Lamp – The only reason Isreal is loyal to America is because of money. Period. We told them to stop building settlements in the 80’s 90’s and 20’s. And they did not. That is Americas artillary killing people in Gaza. If a country is founded on bloodshed so shall it live.

John Galt

May 19th, 2011
2:04 pm

But Cynthia, where’s the race angle?

Tundra Dude

May 19th, 2011
2:06 pm

” treating a suspect without regard to his social status.”

That actually happens, sometimes., but I’d bet if this were the head of , say, Goldman Sachs, he’d already be out on bond, the case would never come to trial.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

May 19th, 2011
2:09 pm

No man can feel secure knowing that the evidence of rape can be easily planted. That is why the charge of rape should be believed only if the accuser has at least two witnesses. Rape is wrong but it can be prevented by a woman knowing how to use the knife in her handbag.

Winner!!!! — Absurd multiple claims of the day

NAGA

May 19th, 2011
2:11 pm

Do not be so fast to judge Ms. Soros. Remember when you wrote a couple of pieces reaming the Duke Lacrosse team as privileged white boys???

NAGA

May 19th, 2011
2:14 pm

Keep – seems to have forgotten the absurd rape charges by one Crystal Mangum

Tundra Dude

May 19th, 2011
2:14 pm

A Lumpkin Resident wrote:

I believe the maid in this case. First… he is being “set up”

I might believe it was a setup, if she’d just been hired there, or if she entered the room wearing a Victoria’s Secret outfit,
Problem is, this guy has a long history. A novelist in France is now suing him, she claims her mom told her to hush about an incident 10 yrs ago. Other women suggested he has a “problem”. Also, another maid in Mexico never formally pressed charges, I think.

Billybob, aka 'tucker translator'

May 19th, 2011
2:18 pm

……fairness guy gotch’ yo’ back tucker
I will paraphrase for tucker…….
‘I have absolutely no clue what ‘american exceptionalism’ is or what it means! Thank you and goodnight……

Keep Up the Good Fight!

May 19th, 2011
2:19 pm

NAGA — you want to explain your statement in light of my post? I never claimed there have not been false allegations. There have also been many rapes that have been falsely denied by the rapist. The evidence ultimately proved Ms. Magnum, who may have had soem mental capacity issues, were false. The case however truly reflects not on Ms. Magnum but on a prosecutor trying to win an election by failing to perform his duty.

AngryRedMarsWoman

May 19th, 2011
2:23 pm

Mike; Why would he attack a stranger when he had the resources and the contacts to arrange for someone to act out his fantasies?

Because rape is not about sex for the sake of sex, it is about power and aggression. A person who likes kink can find someone to play along (hire if need be), but someone who really needs to dominate and debase another person has to do it to someone who is not willing. Notice I said “person” and not “man” – rape, like all violence, can travel both ways.

Kamchak

May 19th, 2011
2:39 pm

I will paraphrase for tucker…….
‘I have absolutely no clue what ‘american exceptionalism’ is or what it means! Thank you and goodnight……

Not intended to be a factual statement.

Tundra Dude

May 19th, 2011
2:41 pm

AngryRedMarsWoman wrote, in part:

but someone who really needs to dominate and debase another person has to do it to someone who is not willing.

BINGO! Good Wun!

0311/0317 -1811/1801

May 19th, 2011
2:42 pm

Cynthia:

I see you have already convicted him. That’s nice.

So far it’s he said she said.

jon

May 19th, 2011
2:43 pm

@Derrick

Yes you’re right but it has nothing to do with what I said.
Do you think the French (or any other country that signed the main human rights treaties) judicial system is not based on an egalitarian premise as well?
My point is that the judicial system is flawed here the same way it is in France and people are not always treated without regard to their social status either.
So chill out and stay polite please.

RGB

May 19th, 2011
2:48 pm

If you want to cheer the notion of American exceptionalism, this is a reason to do so.

I’ll bet the founders didn’t envision rape prosecution as an example of American exceptionalism. In doing so, you’ve lowered the bar for what that term means.

BTW, do you believe in American exceptionalism? Or do you share the president’s beliefs:

“I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism, and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.”

Keep Up the Good Fight!

May 19th, 2011
2:50 pm

I see you have already convicted him. That’s nice. So far it’s he said she said.

Someone needs to read the article then post:

None of this is to say that Strauss-Kahn is guilty. He has the constitutional right to be considered innocent unless proven guilty. But the proceedings thus far do show a system working to preserve the concept of equal protection under the law, which is not always the case in this country. Cheers to the Americans who acted without regard to wealth or political prominence or social connections.

c tuck daffy duck

May 19th, 2011
2:51 pm

“So different are French laws and mores, it is conceivable that Strauss-Kahn — innocent or guilty — failed to grasp the speed by which American justice runs its course, the weight given to alleged sex offenses and the egalitarian premise on which the U.S. judicial system is based (emphasis added) until he sat in the infamous Rikers Island prison.”

French laws and mores ARE different than in most American locations. Exceptions would be Little Rock, Arkansas and Chicago. Mr. Strauss-Kahn should have hired James Carville before he ever called a lawyer.

RGB

May 19th, 2011
2:52 pm

One poster named violent forcible rape as the absolute equivalent to an extramarital affair or failed homosexual encounter in a public restroom.

No wonder this country is in such a mess.

Nobody's Business

May 19th, 2011
2:52 pm

resno2, et. al.: “Weren’t allowed to do an entire blog about Arnold so you found another way to get your jab in? It’s none of yours, mine or anybody elses damn business. Get over it and move on!”

Uh, did you not even stop to consider that Cynthia was not making an incongruous attempt to denigrate Der Arnold but was simply comparing the situation surrounding DSK to that surrounding the former governor of California, the news reports of which both broke around the same time?

General Robert E Lee

May 19th, 2011
3:15 pm

One thing Cynthia Tucker NEVER has to worry about is being raped. Who in their right mind would touch her? LMMFAO!