Friday, July 01, 2011

Back to Bizarro: The Lynch Mob

The arrest of the head of the IMF (who, at the time, was also a prominent candidate for the French Presidency) on sex charges in New York six weeks ago was a bizarro world bombshell, expecially when police started leaking incriminating details.  Today he was released from house arrest and the case against him is in tatters

Twenty-eight hours after a housekeeper at the Sofitel New York said she was sexually assaulted by Dominique Strauss-Kahn, she spoke by phone to a boyfriend in an immigration jail in Arizona.

Investigators with the Manhattan district attorney’s office learned the call had been recorded and had it translated from a “unique dialect of Fulani,” a language from the woman’s native country, Guinea, according to a well-placed law enforcement official.

When the conversation was translated — a job completed only this Wednesday — investigators were alarmed: “She says words to the effect of, ‘Don’t worry, this guy has a lot of money. I know what I’m doing,’ ” the official said.

It eventually became clear that the accuser had done a lot of lying, including fabricating much of her life story.

After the accusation, the lynch mob formed quickly (though our commenter Cynthia was one of the few to object and suspect a rat). Partly the lynch mob was Strauss-Kahn's own fault, as it seems that he had something of a record of bad behavior. Neither is it clear that he is an innocent party here, but it is clear the the prosecutor jumped the gun, and probably destroyed his own career as well as DSK's in the process.

Kahn now seems very likely to escape further prosecution, and perhaps the French will even be outraged enough to elect his President regardless. If so, I wouldn't count on him being a particular friend of the US - much less NYC.

Kahn's defenders - including Bernard Henri-Levi and Nouriel Roubini as well as our Cynthia, took a lot of heat in the height of the hysteria. They have got to be having some bitter satisfaction.