Sunday, May 15, 2011

DSK's Lone Defender

Politics makes strange bedfellows (er--perhaps that's not the best choice of metaphor under the circumstances). In any case, Christine Boutin is the only public figure I've heard so far who is willing to defend DSK:

Pour la présidente du Parti chrétien-démocrate: "Je pense que vraisemblablement on a tendu un piège à Dominique Strauss-Kahn et qu'il y est tombé. C'est une véritable bombe politique pour la politique intérieure mais aussi sur le plan international. Il peut y avoir beaucoup beaucoup d'origines à ce piège."
Et d'ajouter: "Ça peut venir du FMI, ça peut venir de la droite française, ça peut venir de la gauche française. Mais si c'est le cas, jouer avec l'image de la France comme cela n'est pas acceptable. Pour M. Strauss-Kahn, son avenir présidentiel est très compromis mais ceci n'est rien par rapport à l'image de la France qui est fortement abîmée aujourd'hui car naturellement il y aura des conséquences internationales."
Boutin is certainly not alone among the French public, however. Many people on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere have raised the specter of la barbouzerie: the claim is that DSK was targeted and set up by parties unknown. Some commenters on this blog have dismissed this theory out of hand, while others argue that even if he was entrapped, he "willingly" fell into the trap. I think everyone had better slow down and wait to see what defense DSK puts forward and what evidence actually exists. It is certainly not beyond the realm of possibility--I say again, possibility, not plausibility--that a person was hired to encounter DSK in some manner and then claim to have been attacked. Given his past history, the mere allegation would be enough to end his political career--and so it has. I know that it's quite politically incorrect even to hint at such a possibility, but it IS a possibility. As for plausibility, the alleged facts are also rather implausible on their face: How was the alleged oral sex coerced? Without a weapon? What is the supposed DNA evidence? From the sketchy details thus far released, it is not clear that the woman is claiming that ejaculation took place.

So let's all be calm and adult and wait for the DA to present his case and the defense to tell its side of the story. Of course, this could take months, so the political damage is done. But I really find most of the comments on this case thus far on the edge of hysterical--understandable, given the shocking nature of the allegations, but really quite unnecessary. I applaud the NYPD for doing its job despite the importance of the target. Now let's let the justice system do its job before we conclude that we know to a moral certainty what actually happened.

(As for the issue of flight, raised by one commenter and disputed by another, DSK was scheduled to meet today with Angela Merkel, so he surely had a flight booked. Whether it was the Air France flight he actually boarded has not yet emerged.)

And for those who REALLY like conspiracy theories, there's this.


Anonymous said...

Giesbert on France 2 also suggested that it was a trap, and the anchor seemed to want to go further in that direction. As if it is not possible that a man with DSK's reputation would go further than what he was used to doing.

He may simply be a sick sex addict with a serious problem, and he may have gone to far for once with someone who had no reason to not report him.

meshplate said...

Regarding plausibility: it would be very difficult to plant someone to tempt DSK (the planning, the knowledge in advance of where and when he was staying) Then for him to actually take that bait, there is no reason on earth to think that he would fall into the trap. Surely it's much more plausible that he did do something, what we don't know. As to coerced oral sex, ummm I would think that this is really rather implausible since one places oneself in a rather vulnerable position, but then in the end who knows.....

Anonymous said...

Art, what surprises me most is the French reactions.
The fact that they blame it on "puritanical Americans" or the use of "affaires de moeurs" because 'sexual assault' offends their lips. The way they were talking about it at first, the maid saw DSK naked and ran out of the room screaming...

Sure the maid could have made it up but the hotel would not seek such negative publicity.
And a maid at such a hotel does not engage in sexual advances.

If the maid was paid to make sexual advances the agents had to know he'd take the bait. Isn't that skeevy?
As for the oral sex, there may have been an unfulfilled request but it doesn't mean there was no assault of another nature.

The charges may be lessened to sth akin to indecent proposal, though - we'll know at 12-noon.

If it was a conspiracy and the maid only spoke up in order to ruin him... I don't know. Sounds far-fetched. More far-fetched than the breaking and entering at Royal's (fairly easy to set up, unlike this.)
Fact is, though, DSK's unlikely to be convicted so it's indeed the perfect crime (setting him up).
The NYPD are doing a good job. I'm sure they're under tremendous pressure and they stay stoic with waves of French journalists crashing upon their gates.
I can already imagine the new season's first SVU episode...

Robert said...

BFM-TV anchors were commenting on the different ways in which French and American media cover "affaires de moeurs" and extramarital affairs -- as if we were dealing with a guy having an affair behind his wife's back here.

Yasmin said...

I also heard a commentator on France Info last night talking about the DSK affair within the context of American prudery, and was appalled that someone at France Info made the decision to put this person on the air.