Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Tangled Web

("When a Predator Collides with a Fabricator")

It makes for uncomfortable considerations. Where do my sympathies lie in a matter such as this? And is sympathy even a word that should have application here?

As DSK emerged, smiling and obviously confident that the case against him had just collapsed, I wondered whether this man was but a victim in a charade perpetrated upon him and the prosecutor by a con artist and manipulator. But there was that evidence of force, there was no denial of the sexual encounter and there were those nasty allegations of past sexual attacks. So, it is hard for Mr. Strauss-Kahn to garner my allegiance.

And the hotel maid, who now appears to be nothing like we imagined, can she be wrong in so many areas of her life, but still right about what took place in Suite 2806? A recent television documentary followed an alleged rape case involving a prostitute. The head of the special victims unit of the prosecutor's office praised the courage of the complainant in pursuing the case and strongly stated that this woman, no matter her calling, deserved to be treated with basic human dignity. As much as the tale of the woman who emerged from that hotel room 7 weeks ago now seems to be undeniably and irreparably compromised, there is a lingering concern that, much like the situation involving the prostitute, the truth is being discarded in the midst of all the collateral noise. While she does not win my affection, neither can I say with certainty that she deserves my disdain and contempt.

And what of Mr. Vance, the prosecutor, who pulled DSK off that plane and perp walked him into court? Can his decision to believe what seemed most credible be seen as foolish and improvident? What else was he to do as his perpetrator was heading off to wage a battle, not for his personal freedom, but for the possible presidency of France? And when I read on today's editorial page ("The D.A. Stole His Life, Justices Took His Money") of the abuse of the system by other prosecutor's offices, in which failing to reveal and even destroying exculpatory evidence is just the way business is done, can I not find that Mr. Vance, more than any other in this tangled triangle, is the one truly deserving of my sympathy and praise? Did he not show courage and proper judgment in his recent admissions and actions?

My internal debate rages on, as matters like this do not fit easily into the various compartments of my brain. It appears that soon DSK will be free of the charges, and free to pursue the life that awaited him as he boarded that plane. I know, given what has now come to light, that is the right and proper course of action. But in this complicated matter, right and proper leaves me with a feeling of wrong that I can't shake.

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