Thursday, May 19, 2011

No Presumption of Innocence Here ...

In Taiwan, little is left to the imagination:

Brutal Justice?

Frank Browning in Dissent:

What my French friends also seem not to notice is how the European Court of Human Rights, and even France’s Constitutional Council, have denounced France’s own version of pretrial holding procedure: the so-called garde à vue jails. As an example, one friend, himself a high civil servant, found himself thrown into a garde à vue tank, stripped naked, and held for forty-eight hours without access to a lawyer on the strength of a letter of denunciation for personal verbal harassment. The French police say access to a lawyer “would hinder the search for the truth.”

The End of Omertà

Two témoignages.

DSK-Gary Hart Comparison

From Arun Kapil:

The DSK affair reminds me of Gary Hart in 1987. He was the Democratic front-runner in the early stages of the ’88 race and the party’s best hope to take back the White House from the Republicans. No other presumptive Dem candidate at that point could rival him. Politically speaking, Hart was very similar to DSK: moderately left-of-center, with appeal to educated voters, yuppies, centrists, and independents—and with less of an appeal to working class voters (a problem)—; smart, intellectual, and with a mastery of economic policy; and with an overall modern persona (they were also similar in some non-political respects as well, as we know…). But then Donna Rice and the Monkey Business came along, which happened so suddenly and threw the Dems into momentary disarray (including myself, as I was a Hart supporter—and very much in the minority on this among my friends at the time). But the Dems recovered quickly and ended up with a decent field of candidates for the primaries. Michael Dukakis was a perfectly fine nominee and led a good campaign until the final two months, when he made a couple of crucial mistakes and it all came apart. But Bush Sr was going to win in ’88 in any case, even if Hart had behaved himself and been the nominee. No Democrat could have defeated the GOP that year.

Review of La Conquête

Denis Podalydès plays Nicolas Sarkozy in the film La Conquête. A very good review by Roman Pigenel here.

Kahn Retracts

Jean-François Kahn now recognizes that what he said "in the heat of emotion" about the DSK case was "une connerie." Thank heaven. (h/t RD)

Journalists Debate Coverage of DSK Affair

Here. I participated in a similar discussion on WGBH radio yesterday. And I will be on WGBH TV's "Beat the Press" on Friday night. The crew arrives here in a couple of minutes for taping.

David Rieff on DSK

In The New Republic (may be behind paywall). He is critical of BHL (but who cares what he says?), Jean Daniel (who is usually worthy of respect), and Robert Badinter (a jurist honored and appreciated in America) for their criticism of the American judicial system, which they manifestly do not understand, and for the implicit suggestion in all of their pieces that DSK deserves special treatment no matter what he may have done, since he is not a defendant like any other. With sadness I must tell my French friends that this kind of argument is repugnant to American ears. We have our flaws (many flaws), but when it comes to criminal charges, the idea that a person's status in the world or past achievements require that he be accorded special privileges is just simply shocking. Jean Daniel concludes that France and America belong to "different civilizations." He may be right, but in my eyes, the difference does not work to France's advantage. And please remember, in the United States I am seen as a fanatical defender of France, practically un-American in my willingness to defend France's right and duty to put her own interests first. So, if you've lost me, France, you've lost nearly all of my compatriots. Sort of like when Lyndon Johnson lost Walter Cronkite and realized he had lost America (toutes proportions gardées). (h/t MT)

DSK Resigns; Lagarde Favored to Replace.

On Lagarde, here. I'd still rather have Stanley Fischer. And isn't the IMF concerned that Lagarde is embroiled in a scandal of her own, involving Bernard Tapie, which could prove very embarrassing now that it's in the hands of the courts?