Stuck at the airport again…..

UPDATE: Since people are determined to make hay over this quick shot of a post, I’m deleting it and here’s my official stance. The prosecution in the Duke case fumbled the ball. The prosecutor was too eager to get a speedy case and make a name for himself. That is my final word.


  1. 1 MAJeff

    Flight delays are no fun, but it’s even less fun when they re-route you but don’t bother to tell you until you show up at the airport. That happened to me over christmas. I set my alarm for 3:45 am so I could shower and catch my 4:30 cab to the airport. I get there about 5:00 for what i thought was a 6:05 flight to Cincinnati, then to Minneaplis. I finish checking in and the desk person says, “OK, your checked in to Atlanta, then Minneapolis.”

    “Um, no, I’m supposed to be flying through Cincinnati.”

    “They rerouted you.”

    “Well, when am I leaving, then.”

    “7:45.”

    I had to call my sister, who was picking me up at the airport, and say, “They re-routed me. Here’s my flight number from Atlanta, not Cincinnati. You’ll have to look it up online so you know when to be at the airport.”

    So, I got to spend a bit more time doing nothing (the restaurants hadn’t even opened yet) at Logan airport, and arrived in Minneapolis three hours later than I was supposed to. Did I mention this was on Christmas day?

  2. 2 Lamb Cannon

    Forgive me for saying this but the whole rape thing seemed either fabricated or greatly misrepresented… if it did happen, the victim shot herself in the foot by not being consistent with her stories…. fortunately or unfortunately dna does cut both ways.

    for me, the real nausea is generated by the entire college-jock-fratboy culture, and this “miscarriage of justice” (and now we’ll never know) if anything has reinforced that whole universe. i’d like to see the entire lacrosse team with a few phat shovelfuls of dirt across their whitey, privileged faces, but that ain’t what’s gonna happen, now we have to hear about how they were “Wronged”, pass the sick bag Amanda (if ya ever got on that flight)

    which isn’t to say that yes, CNN is the personal agent of Satan

  3. 3 Natalia

    I’m not going to score any points with this one, but:

    I doubt they fucked her against her will.

    I’m a survivor of sexual assault and abuse, so I too know how hard it is to stay focused and remember every detail when relating the story to someone else (particularly if said someone else is not someone you trust, like a law enforcement official) - but I think these drastic changes in her relation of the story are very suspicious. I think the line-up was tainted and due process was not what those lacrosse players got. Procedure was violated, more than once. I’m glad they got their season thrown out (no matter how much people scream about it being “unfair”) for having that party in the first place, but I also feel that this case has been used by so many, for so much, that few people even care about the facts anymore.

    I think that if the lacrosse players conducted themselves in a disrespectful or thoughtless manner, if they tried ANYTHING with her, they should be punished accordingly. However, what they were accused of, and the manner in which they were treated, and the manner in which the entire thing has progressed (or regressed, for that matter) no longer leaves me certain that justice will be served.

    A lot of these lacrosse kids can behave like immature little pricks, but did they do what they’re being accused of? I no longer think I believe it. And I was one of the first to believe it and scream my head off when the allegations first came out. As a Duke alum and a Duke employee, I’ve been told that “feminists have been dealt a decisive blow,” I’ve been dragged through the mud by both lefties and righties alike.

    People have threatened my job when they found out I was wavering in my opinions. People have also accused me of “not giving these upstanding young men their due.”

    There is so much swirling around this case, it’s hard to stay focused. But I don’t think that I, or CNN for that matter, am evil for saying that I no longer trust what’s going on.

    Had to get that off my chest. Thank you. Thankyouvermuch.

  4. 4 Natalia

    I’m not going to score any points with this one, but:

    I doubt they fucked her against her will.

    I’m a survivor of sexual assault and abuse, so I too know how hard it is to stay focused and remember every detail when relating the story to someone else (particularly if said someone else is not someone you trust, like a law enforcement official) - but I think these drastic changes in her relation of the story are very suspicious. I think the line-up was tainted and due process was not what those lacrosse players got. Procedure was violated, more than once. I’m glad they got their season thrown out (no matter how much people scream about it being “unfair”) for having that party in the first place, but I also feel that this case has been used by so many, for so much, that few people even care about the facts anymore.

    I think that if the lacrosse players conducted themselves in a disrespectful or thoughtless manner, if they tried ANYTHING with her, they should be punished accordingly. However, what they were accused of, and the manner in which they were treated, and the manner in which the entire thing has progressed (or regressed, for that matter) no longer leaves me certain that justice will be served.

    A lot of these lacrosse kids can behave like immature little pricks, but did they do what they’re being accused of? I no longer think I believe it. And I was one of the first to believe it and scream my head off when the allegations first came out. As a Duke alum and a Duke employee, I’ve been told that “feminists have been dealt a decisive blow,” I’ve been dragged through the mud by both lefties and righties alike.

    People have threatened my job when they found out I was wavering in my opinions. People have also accused me of “not giving these upstanding young men their due.”

    There is so much swirling around this case, it’s hard to stay focused. But I don’t think that I, or CNN for that matter, am an evil person for saying that I no longer trust what’s going on.

    Had to get that off my chest. Thank you. Thankyouvermuch.

    (P.S. sorry if this is a double post - my browser appears to be dying on me in mid-transmission)

  5. 5 J. A. Baker

    And just think - they (”they” being white, Southern, conservative males) used to lynch black men for doing less in the direction of white women.

  6. 6 hydropsyche

    Imagine living in Durham, working at Duke, hearing about it everyday in the local news as well as the national, having every person you’ve ever known all over the country have an opinion about your vote in a local election, having your relatives telling you at Christmas dinner how wrong you are to support your local justice system or like living in your town since it’s obviously corrupt because it believes poor black women over rich white men. It’s like being stuck at the airport…forever.

  7. 7 ginmar

    You know, if you look at the actual records of lynchings, approximately two thirds of them were ‘for’ crimes other than having something to do with women. How come people are so fixated on that?

    The minute this case popped up, you had to know the victim was going to be lynched in the press. Too many white frat boys have the same sense of entitlement for people not to look at the same behavior and go, “But….wow, they all alike about women. Does that mean they’re all sexist scumbags?” It’s like you’re not supposed to look at egregiously sexist and racist behavior and culture before hand and draw any conclusions about it once the offenders are charged with rape. But there IS a connection, and these guys don’t have a leg to stand on. HOw come nobody looks at the past behavior of these guys and points out it’s a clear precursor to rape? Well, except for feminists.

  8. 8 Rob

    The largest sign that this whole case is about using power to protect Duke is what has been brought to bear against the former prosecutor of the case. There has been a complaint brought up against him with the North Carolina bar because he publicly called the accused rapists. Yes, he’s surely the first prosecutor to call people brought up on charges as if they been convicted already of the crime. So now he faces disbarment for daring to upset the Duke way.

    If people have never been to Durham, you need to understand that Duke isn’t like most universities in the middle of a city or town. It has basically sealed itself off from the locals. Its at least 1/2 mile to go from the campus entrance to an actual city street.

  9. 9 ginmar

    Disrespectful? Immature? Is that what being sexist assholes is being called these days? Also, Natalia, I don’t think anybody cares if you’re a rape victim and you toe the party line when it comes to “But what about the menz!”

  10. 10 ilyka

    I’m with you, Natalia. I didn’t realize you’d been harassed over it, though–I’m sorry to hear that.

  11. 11 Alon Levy

    Amanda, the weakest link right now isn’t the rape, but the identification. The identification was based on showing the victim pictures of all the team players and asking her which of them did it. That’s a technique that generates a considerable number of false positives, especially when it’s interracial.

  12. 12 trillian

    How come nobody looks at the past behavior of these guys and points out it’s a clear precursor to rape? Well, except for feminists.

    This kind of thing would bother me less if it cut both ways. In our judicial system, we’re supposed to stick to the facts of the event in question; the accused’s prior behavior, even convictions, is for the most part inadmissible*. Fair enough, as long as it applies all around. But because most rape trials do come down to she said/he said, the easiest tactic for any defense is to assassinate the character of the accuser. No one (heh, well, except for feminists) seems to even question the relevance of the victim’s prior behavior, like what clothes she put on, where she decided to be and when, and, at least in South Dakota, whether or not she’s been “saving it for marriage.” The woman’s past, particularly any sexual history, is routinely taken as proof that she welcomes sex from anyone and everyone (and therefore can’t be raped, right?), and the burden rests on her to prove otherwise. This case is an especially glaring and sad example of that imbalance.

    *I know there are plenty of exceptions, but at least that’s the general attitude of the law in most states

  13. 13 ginmar

    Yeah, and there’s curious resistance to the notion that sexist behavior by men means something. These guys were sexist assholes. What’s the defense? That it’s harmless or that it’s so common it can’t possibly be criticized? These guys were sexist assholes, therefore they were likely to be rapists, especially when you add in what seems to be a very entitled male tendency toward escalating to physical violence over imagined slights. That’s what all the rapist apologists don’t get—or do they?

  14. 14 Heraclitus

    Yes, CNN makes me hope there’s a hell.

    Speaking of which…Why is it that so few people discuss the disgusting, unspeakable barbarism everywhere on display in accused’s social milieu? Why is it that no one wants to ask why, in the most powerful and allegedly most civilized country in the world (okay, I know many would dispute that, but just for the moment let’s pretend), at the upper echelons of power and privilege you have the most repugnant and vile forms of barbarism imaginable? And it’s not just Duke — almost all of these kids were from solidly blue neighborhoods in solidly blue states. I don’t really have a point here, just that it seems to be the case that the higher you stand in our little societal pecking order, the more likely you are to be a subhuman piece of filth.

  15. 15 Amanda Marcotte

    It’s indisputable that one of them wrote this email the day after:

    tommrow night, after tonights show, ive decided to have some strippers over to edens 2c. all are welcome.. however there will be no nudity. i plan on killing the bitches as soon as the walk in and proceding to cut their skin off while cumming in my duke issue spandex.. all besides arch and tack please respond

    Sweet boys, those.

  16. 16 Jeff Davis

    Did you know or care that the cab driver, Moez Elmostafa, that took Reade Seligmann back to his dorm was Black?

    Did you know or care that Nifong had Moez Elmostafa, arrested on a trumped-up charge of shoplifting?

    Did you know or care that the Durham police asked Moez if he wanted to change his story on Seligmann?

    Did you know or care that when Moez refused to change his story he was subsequently arrested?

    Did you know or care that Moez Elmostafa was acquitted in court?

    Did you know or care that under North Carolina law, one can impeach the testimony of criminals?

    Do you think that was why Nifong had Moez Elmostofa arrested?

    These are all facts (except for the last question). It seems that facts and logic are disposable items these days. Especially, when they come in conflict with pure hatred, animosity and poisonous venom.

  17. 17 Ms Kate

    All I can say is that I wanted to smack that one mother’s priveleged little pointy face with a solid shovel. How dare she say “all mothers of boys should be afraid”? I am thankful that I am a mother of boys because GIRLS GET FAR WORSE from assholes like her priveleged little snot nose jock jerk, as do boys who don’t play the jock game.

    Chances are, if her jockweed ever laid a hand on my boy when he was “just playing” around”, he’d have a bent in head courtesy of Her Worst Nightmare - i.e. ME!

    Zog has a book on bully culture in schools. My and how did that bitch piece of work parrot the whole “priveleged bully” bullshit line. Meanwhile, it is too amazing that everyone seems to have forgotten one of their hellspawn’s e-mails about skinning strippers alive? Rigggght. Just kidding around.

  18. 18 George

    MS Kate, what is the title of the book?

  19. 19 Alon Levy

    Actually, it’s somewhat of a serious moral dilemma about what to do when you have 42 people of whom you know 3 committed rape but have no way of telling which 3.

    It might be another Tawana Brawley case, of course. But I don’t think rape kits lie; so far, it’s far more plausible that the accused players are guilty but got away with it because the prosecutor was an idiot, or that the accused players are innocent but other players are guilty.

  20. 20 druidbros

    Amanda, I’m confused. I thought the DNA they collected didnt match any of the Duke players charged? Please advise?

  21. 21 Lorelei

    druidbros –

    ‘didn’t match’ can mean a lot. DNA is quite sensitive and can get too fucked up to match any DNA rather easily, as I understand it.

    i’m sure there’s people more experienced on the DNA matching front than I am, though, so I’ll stop here in case I’m wrong…

  22. 22 ginmar

    The Tawana Brawley case seemed really off from the get go. Racists who commit a hate crime want it to get attention; that didn’t seem to fit in the Brawley case. It had a lot of the hallmarks of a staged crime, and that’s what it turned out to be. She was afraid of her parents. In this case, the victim had every reason to keep her mouth shut or claim robbery and battery or something.

  23. 23 D

    Regarding the DNA, if I’m remembering correctly the vaginal swab came back with a match for her boyfriend. Other swabs from her body and effects came back with mainly inconclusive, but with some matches to two of the suspects. I could easily be getting something mixed up though. I mainly remember the defenses preemptive obscuration.

  24. 24 anonycat

    I’ve tried to stay out of this fray for the most part, because as a Duke student I’m really not capable of being completely unbiased, so I apologize in advance for what will no doubt be a tedious essay.
    It isn’t possible to stand firmly on one side or the other here on campus without being vilified; anyone who points out that the lacrosse players haven’t been proven guilty of rape is accused of being a racist, sexist, classist pig, and anyone who points out that we should evaluate the victim’s claims rationally before dismissing them is accused of ignoring the principle innocent-until-proven-guilty and hating Duke’s athletes. It’s an ugly quagmire, and the only thing everyone agrees on is that the situation was handled extremely poorly.

    It is my belief that the victim was not raped by Duke lacrosse players. This was not my original opinion; when the story first broke it seemed clear to me that she must have been raped, but based on the lacrosse players’ later actions, the lack of DNA evidence, and the glaring inconsistencies in the victim’s story, I no longer think she was.
    But that shouldn’t be the point. The sad thing is that the focus on the alleged rape has shoved every other aspect of the case into the background; no matter that the players were drinking, had hired strippers, physically assaulted said strippers, and generally exhibited completely reprehensible behavior; if they didn’t actually rape her, public opinion will completely exonerate them. This is the real problem, not the fact that the victim’s claim of having been raped is not being taken as given.

    The charges of rape have been thrown out because of DA Nifong’s horrid conduct. The accused are still facing charges of kidnapping and sexual offense; they have not received a blanket pardon for everything that went on that night. Nifong is not facing disbarment solely for having called the players rapists before the trial. His accusations are brought up because of his (stated) absolute certainty that the rape occurred, followed by the rape charges being dropped; the appearance, then, is that his original statements were made for political gain, without regard to due process, and the complaint is that a prosecutor’s sole motivation should be justice, which he has pretty well shown was not foremost on his mind. He deliberately withheld the DNA evidence from the defense, but prosecutors are forbidden to withhold potentially exculpatory evidence. And he charged a player who was almost certainly not present when the worst behavior occurred: there are records of someone using his debit card elsewhere in Durham, using his student ID card to gain access to his dormitory, and spoke to his girlfriend for several minutes on his cellphone during the time the rape was supposed to have happened.

    None of this excuses any of the Duke students involved. They behaved reprehensibly that night; the rampant underage drinking on campus is still a problem; the town-gown relations are more strained, not less; the campus culture is quite sexist; rape apologists everywhere will point to this case when they want to claim that rape victims are lying to get teh menz in trouble; overall, it’s an ugly situation, and none of the underlying problems can be fixed any time soon. But all of that is, for the most part, separate from the legal proceedings. There’s plenty to be angry about, on both (all?) sides; can’t we all acknowledge that, and let go of the knee-jerk bile that will make it impossible for anything good to come of this awful mess?

  25. 25 Bretto

    Btw, I’m really sick of everyone acting like “these poor boys” have now been exonerated too. My own mother is like there #1 defender. Every time I go home, she goes off on how horrible it is, what’s been done to these boys. Bleh. I’m a Duke alum, and I didn’t know any of these guys, but I knew what the players were like when I was there. The frat that was unofficially the Lacrosse frat, was kicked off campus the year I graduated, ‘01 for various aweful behaviors. I lived down the hall from them for two years, and I hated those guys.

  26. 26 Natalia

    ***Its at least 1/2 mile to go from the campus entrance to an actual city street. ***

    No. That’s not true at all. East Campus is smack in the middle of the residential areas - in fact, that party on March 13, 2006 happened across the street from campus.

    Amanda, I know what the accuser has said, and I know that she has radically changed her story, many, many months after March 13, 2006. I know that the line-up she used to identify her alleged attackers was a corruption of standard police procedure. I know that Kim Roberts, the other dancer present, has said that she was called “nigger” during an argument - but not by anyone among the three that have been accused. Whoever called her “nigger” is still out there, chilling, and it seems that the prosecution couldn’t give a hoot about him.

    That e-mail you brought up - it was written by a lacrosse player. It channeled the movie “American Psycho,” and was indeed frightening and disgusting. The lacrosse player has since been suspended. The search of his room has revealed no criminal evidence that we know of.

    The player in question, Ryan McFayden, is not the one being charged with any criminal offense.

    The people charged are: Seligmann, Finnerty, and Evans.

    As for the accuser - I’m not sure what you mean when you say that she “looooved” what happened. Are you suggesting that I think she had consensual sexual relations with these men? I don’t think that’s what happened at all. I don’t think that the men accused were the ones involved. I think there is a good chance that she could be blaming the wrong people; there is also a good chance that she if she was attacked, it wasn’t even at that party.

    When I moved into my freshman dorm at Duke, our RA told us that a rape occurred in one of our hall bathrooms the year before. A couple of years later, I think in my junior year, the woman who had claimed she was raped in that bathroom went to the police with a new report; someone allegedly choked her on a jogging trail. Dukecard evidence and security tapes were reviewed, and serious inconsistencies in her story came to light. The police told her, “wait a minute, something doesn’t add up.” When confronted, she said that she made the whole thing up, including the rape in the freshman dormitory. Her family claimed she need psychological help, and she left campus for a while. The police handled this situation fairly well, they saw that she had a problem, and nothing much was made of it. When I look back on that story, I realize that these things happen - false accusations, accusations against the wrong people, they do occur. We can only put our trust in the justice system - but in the case of Nifong, my trust has long since run out.

    I’m not here to change anyone’s mind, but I do thank you for the opportunity to express my opinion, Amanda. I hope you don’t hold this against me.

    Ilyka, yes, I’ve been harassed, and people have told me that they will get me fired. I was really scared for a while, but so far, nothing has come of it, and I’m thanking my lucky stars. *knock on wood*

  27. 27 Heraclitus

    Well, one plausible scenario is that she made up the rape story to get them back for all the horrible shit they said to her that night. I’m not saying that’s what happened, just that it’s a theory that would answer your questions here.

    We’re twenty-five comments into this discussion on a progressive, even feminist, website, and already someone has trotted out ye olde “she’s a lying, vindicative bitch” pony. Sweet.

    Perhaps if the accusser had been, to quote Sideshow Bob’s brother Cecil, living on the moon in a cave with her fingers in her ears and her eyes closed, she would think this was an effective way to get revenge. As it is, I’m sure she knew what was coming her way once she dared to say she was raped. It would have been more rational to piss in the local reservoir and hope those douches ended up drinking some of it.

  28. 28 Natalia

    Just to clarify one thing so no one gets the wrong idea,

    When I said that people had threatened to get me fired, I did not my employers or coo-workers. What happened was that several students whom I was talking to about the case, accused me of slandering Duke and said that I shouldn’t be working for the University.

    They threatened to go to my boss and tell them I was dragging Duke through the mud.

  29. 29 ginmar

    Let’s see if Bretto responds to that.

  30. 30 Bretto

    ***Its at least 1/2 mile to go from the campus entrance to an actual city street. ***

    No. That’s not true at all. East Campus is smack in the middle of the residential areas - in fact, that party on March 13, 2006 happened across the street from campus.

    Fair enough, but the descriptioun of Duke being cut off from the rest of Durham is still very true. West campus, which is much larger than East is set in at least 1/2 mile from anything Durham. And even East isn’t integrated into the city. It’s very much separated out. Hell there’s a wall that surrounds all of east campus clearly marking the border. A low 3 foot stone wall, but a wall none the less. The Student body comes from everywhere but Durham which adds to that separated feel.

  31. 31 ginmar

    Um, Natalia, you’d think as a rape victim what would bother you would be all the unavenged rapes out there, but funnily enough, you’re worried about all those lying women. How odd. If the issue of false accusations is so bothersome to you, you can allay those worries by consulting the FBI—-not a bastion of feminist thought—and consoling yourself with the reality that false rape accusations are no more numerous than are false robbery accusations. Except in one particular: we call them false when in fact there’s not enough evidence to convict. That is not the same as false.

    As to her changing her story, it’s pretty common that trauma victims have difficulty remembering everything all at once. Details come back bit by bit.

    And finally, one thing which is disturbing is not the fact that you cite one unnamed false rape charge—-but I’ll get to that—but that you appear to be so eager to extrapolate from there to other cases. Do you have any documentation for this incident you describe?

  32. 32 MattP

    Anyone who wants to read a comprehensive blog, focusing exclusively on the Duke case, should check out the archives of http://durhamwonderland.blogspot.com/, written by a professor at Brooklyn College.

  33. 33 ginmar

    Is that the blog by the guy who uses his status as a professor to prop up his all too commmon sexism?

  34. 34 Bretto

    Is it necessarily anti-feminist to consider the possibility that an alleged victim isn’t telling the truth? I don’t think so, but maybe I’m wrong. Maybe feminism has laid to rest that possibility and I’m just ignorant. I am not trying to undermine any discussion here, and I sincerely apologize if my post was insensitive. Everyone sees things a little differently. To clarify my point of view, I’m skeptical of the narrative that suggests this was all a made up story motivated by revenge precisely for the reasons stated by Heraclitus. Everything that has “come to light” about this case in recent months seems to me to be the result of a coordinated, well-funded, well-connected response. In other words, the priveleged are closing ranks and regardless of what happened, they aren’t going to let their sons be brought down.

  35. 35 MattP

    Ginmar,
    You don’t have to read his commentary to get a benefit from the blog. He links pretty much everything written on both sides of this case. You can read the blog and disagree with him, but at least your disagreement will be based on the evidence that exists surrounding this case, of which there is volumes.

  36. 36 ginmar

    Bretto, how come you jump over a whole bunch of options to land on ’she’s lying’ instead of the motives you’d give to somebody you even had the pretense of sympathy for? Nope, it’s either lying or truth. Why is that?

    MattP, that doesn’t answer my question, does it?

  37. 37 MattP

    I suspect that you would consider him sexist. I’m not sure that he justifies his position by appeal to his authority. The sidebar has a bunch of links to documents involved in the case.

  38. 38 ginmar

    Then that takes him out of the running, doesn’t it?

  39. 39 MattP

    Takes him out of the running for what, exactly? I didn’t say to go there and read his editorializing and agree with it. He has links to documents, not prepared by him, as well as news articles and commentary from both sides of the issue. His archives go back to April ‘06, so he has coverage from the beginning.

  40. 40 odanu

    One thing that hasn’t been brought up in this commentary is that in NC, “rape” must specifically involve penis in vagina penetration, whereas “sexual assault” does not.

    Now, if three men held me down on a bathroom floor and penetrated me with a frigging cucumber or broomhandle, I’d consider myself raped, but apparently NC does not. And if I was face down, I wouldn’t be at all certain what penetrated me, let alone who

    Interestingly, while the rape charges were dropped, the sexual assault charges were not, nor were charges of unlawful imprisonment, leaving open the possibility that the men will yet be convicted for crimes against the victim.

    It’s entirely possible that the young lady had sex with her boyfriend/s in the day or so before the event and was still penetrated by the Duke students with an object against her will. Given the evidence of the rape kit, it’s even probable. And it’s completely plausible, considering the mess that was made of the lineup, securing the scene, chain of evidence, etc., that she identified some or all of the wrong three men. That doesn’t change the probability that some men in that building did sexually assault her.

  41. 41 ginmar

    I don’t waste my time with sexists. Anybody whose default belief about rape victims is, “She’s lying” is sexist. Their level of education doesn’t mean a damned thing.

    Of course the real question, which I asked Bretto, and which I’ll now ask you, is this: Why is the default option she lied when there’s many other options?

  42. 42 Allison

    (Disclaimer: I graduated from Duke in May.)

    Bretto,

    “The Student body comes from everywhere but Durham which adds to that separated feel.”

    That’s an oversimplification. The plurality of Duke students are from North Carolina, and of those a significant number went to Durham Academy or East Chapel Hill.

    It would be more accurate to say that many of those students who are from North Carolina represent the state’s upper class, but that’s really not a departure from what others have said about the role of class at an elite university.

    ginmar,

    “Bretto, how come you jump over a whole bunch of options to land on ’she’s lying’ instead of the motives you’d give to somebody you even had the pretense of sympathy for? Nope, it’s either lying or truth. Why is that?”

    I am not Bretto, so the question is not for me, but can you clarify it? What kind of motives are you referring to?

  43. 43 MattP

    I can only speak for myself, but I don’t think the default position should be: she’s lying. That the accuser was assaulted is a wholly separate issue from whether the prosecution committed misconduct or mishandled the case.

  44. 44 ginmar

    Well, whenever one of these discussions arises, people immediately leap all the way up the continuum to the position at the far end: “She’s lying.” At the opposite end of the continuum is, “She’s telling the truth.” In between are, “She’s telling what she saw, she’s telling what she can remember, she’s confused, she’s traumatized, she’s in shock, etc., etc.,” Yet those options are brought up usually only by feminists, and are then sneered at by MRAs, who cry loudly that she’s a lying, vengeful bitch. For an example of this, see the dipshit above, who speculated that charging rape was an option for revenge for the victim. Um, yeah. That’s like how women just love to trap men by getting pregnant—you know, nine months of weight gain and nausea and shit like that are so pleasant.

    It’s pretty obvious that anybody who makes the ’she’s lying’ charge is sexist because it reveals that they’re not only willing to think the worst of any woman, in fact they’re positively eager to do so. Meanwhile, the defendants’ sexist behavior and words before are not considered to be indicative of their character.

    Finally, doesn’t anyone know one damned thing about crime victims and the effect trauma has on memory? Eyewitness IDs are problematical at best. NOt only that, but trauma victims often rememeber traumatic events in pieces, as they gain distance from the crime. This very thing is called ‘changing stories’ by people who, once again, are eager to blame the victim. I’d like to see people get called on that way of thinking.

  45. 45 helen h

    MAJeff,

    My husband and I have a saying about fling out of Manchester (usually we try to go out BOS, but sometimes the timing doesn’t work). “What airline are you starting with today?”
    I once started with American through Chicago was changed to Continental through Newark and ended up on Delta via Atlanta. At least I got where I was going just a little late. And the people are nicer and parking cheaper, not to mention easier getting to from my house (though about the same distance).

  46. 46 Heraclitus

    I don’t want to attack anyone personally here, but the suggestion that she’s lying is based on at least two highly questionable assumptions, 1) that she thinks accusing these gents of rape will do more harm to them than to her, and 2) that falsely accusing people of rape is an appropriate or proportionate response to a barrage of racial slurs. She would have to be more than vindictive for number two to be true. So one does wonder why people are so quick to suggest she’s lying for some kind of revenge. I consider the dispatch with which that suggestion appeared even on a blog like this less evidence of the evil of one person and more syptomatic of our society’s attitude towards rape victims and women generally (speaking of which, it appears Kobe Bryant is back in the endorsement game).

  47. 47 Bretto

    Let me just respond that, in retrospect, I can see how it looks pretty shitty, for a white (maybe you didn’t know that, but I’m telling you now) male from an upper-class economic background, and who attended Duke no less, to raise the “she lied” possibitlity in this case. Doubly so since it’s been raised, like, for every rape trial ever. I can only immagine how horrible it must be to be victimized and then have society repeatedly tell you that it didn’t happen, liar, stfu.
    I posted because I thought that’s what Natalia was suggesting, and Amanda’s reply didn’t seem to address it. It seems that I think it’s a more likely possibility than you or Heraclitus do (and this could very well be in part due to all the privelege I have), but I would add that hardly makes it my default position, nor does it mean that I have no sympathy for rape victims. When the story first broke, I thought it sounded like something those guys I knew back then would do. And I still think it’s highly likely that some of the men from the lacrosse team committed sexual assault.
    So, I guess I’m just saying I wasn’t jumping over to the default “she lied” position that our patriarchal society endorses, just that I was dubiously raising the point to see what Amanda and everyone elses thought about it now that the campain to discredit the prosecutions case has started to come about in full force.

  48. 48 Firebug

    Amanda, you simply do not know what you are talking about with regards to this case. Had you studied the facts behind this issue, you could not hold this position in good faith.

    When I first heard about the alleged rape, I was inclined to believe the accuser. It didn’t surprise me that a couple of wealthy preppies at an exclusive university might rape a stripper at a frat party. But every single piece of actual evidence that has come out since then has tended to show that no such assault took place.

    There is absolutely no forensic evidence. How likely is it that a brutal gang rape took place, was promptly reported, yet NO traces of DNA whatsoever were found?

    One of the suspects has an ironclad alibi - ATM records showing he was miles away at the time of the alleged offense.

    The photo array procedure was incredibly flawed, the worst I’ve ever heard of. It was set up so that there were literally no wrong choices - no filler photos, just members of the lacrosse team.

    That leaves us with just the accuser’s statement. I realize that rape victims may be traumatized and unable to recall all specific details about the event, but, in this case, that isn’t what happened. Instead, we have a very specific and detailed statement that has changed over time to match new evidence. It doesn’t pass the smell test. We also have a credible motive for a false allegation (the accuser wanted to stay out of jail and was also outraged at the racial epithets some of the players reportedly used).

    The procedural improprieties in this case are shocking. If Nifong is willing to play this fast and loose with rich white boys, what do you think his office is doing every day to poor blacks in Durham? How rampant do you think “testilying” and planting evidence is in that jurisdiction?

    From a civil liberties perspective, this case is an outrage. I don’t see how anyone from the black or feminist communities can rally to Nifong’s side when these groups have historically been disproportionately affected by police and judicial misconduct. The only way anyone can argue guilt in this case is by looking at race and gender alone and completely ignoring the facts. This is a popular position in some circles of academia; fortunately, it is not particularly popular in the real world.

  49. 49 gayle

    All charges were not dropped in this case. Only the rape charge was. Obviously the prosecution feels they will have more success with the remaining charges. Translating this into “those poor boys are totally innocent” smacks of wishful thinking by people who never believed the victim in the first place.

    Amanda,

    Heart has a very good– albeit enraging- post up about what went on behind-the-scenes before, during and after a CNN segment. I think this may be the one you saw?

    It’shere

    A feminist and anti-racist activist was invited to appear on Zahn’s show for what she was led to believe would be discussion on racism in the media, using this case as the focus. In fact, she was set up as an example of how “overzealous feminists” created a vicious “rush-to-judgment” on this case.

    The details are disgusting, (she’s still receiving hate mail), but the story says a whole lot about the state of our media.

    The news source American’s trust the most- my ass.

  50. 50 gayle

    Okay, that link was a total failure.

    Here’s the long-ass url. Sorry! As of right now, it’s the first post on her blog.

    http://womensspace.wordpress.com/2007/01/21/left-and-right-wing-men-black-and-white-men-bond-publicly-over-the-terrorizing-of-the-duke-stripper-and-all-women/

  51. 51 ginmar

    Bretto, anything that requires that much qualification and explanation is not a deeply-held belief. If you don’t call the victim a liar, just relax—someone will. Furthermore, why you now have to explain this stuff is curious—-it should have been apparent. Anything you have to state is not clearly apparent. When you’re just another white guy saying the victim lied, am I supposed to care why and how?

  52. 52 Chris

    I think it’s a shame that the players were essentially prosecuted in the media, because that’s not how our justice system is supposed to work. They are, after all, supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. However, I think it’s downright disgusting that the accuser, whether she’s telling the truth or not, is assumed by many to be guilty of lying about the rape. Apparently in the case of rape, and especially white males raping a black woman, the accuser is automatically guilty until proven innocent.

    I hope that, somehow, after all the nonsense, this case gets a fair and accurate treatment by the justice system, but I no longer have any hope that will happen.

  53. 53 Quarterican

    I hope that, somehow, after all the nonsense, this case gets a fair and accurate treatment by the justice system, but I no longer have any hope that will happen.

    It won’t. And the sad thing is that not only is that the fault of the way this case was covered in the media - and by extension the fault of our culture - but it’s also the fault of the way the case was initially prosecuted; in essence, the person responsible for making sure this woman got justice helped make it highly unlikely that she will.

  54. 54 Paell

    “(stated) absolute certainty that the rape occurred, followed by the rape charges being dropped; the appearance, then, is that his original statements were made for political gain, without regard to due process, and the complaint is that a prosecutor’s sole motivation should be justice,”

    Yeah, but that’s exactly what every other DA in America does, unfortunately. Like someone said, this guy is being threatened with disbarment for following standard procedure. It smacks of selective outrage, unless there’s some movement in the country to hold all prosecutors to the same standards. It’s pretty rare to hear a DA say, “Oh yes, this is the murderer. Well, maybe. That’s up to the jury, I’ve got no opinion,” or “Yes, this is the mugger. Well, if indeed a mugging actually occured. All I have to go on is the victim’s testimony and the other evidence, so who knows. I’m taking the case to court, but don’t take that as a definitive statement that a crime actually occurred or that we got the guy.”

  55. 55 Lorelei

    Firebug, on what planet was there ‘absolutely no forensic evidence’? Can you provide some sort of cite for this, because last I’ve been hearing the entire time was that there was forensic evidence; whether or not the DNA was too damaged to actually use effectively is a different question, as is whether the injuries documented in the rape kit were ‘consistant with rape.’

  56. 56 Firebug

    From the San Francisco Chronicle:

    “On the stand at a pretrial hearing was Brian Meehan, director of a private laboratory that performed extensive DNA testing on swabs and underwear collected from a stripper only hours after she alleged that she had been gang-raped by three Duke lacrosse players after performing at a team party. Meehan’s tests had detected traces of sperm and other DNA material from several men.

    But his tests had found something else, too: None of that DNA material was from the three players, or any of their teammates.”

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/12/24/MNGDTN5CEO1.DTL

    There was simply no forensic evidence to substantiate the charge that three specific lacrosse players - David Evans, Colin Finnerty, and Reade Seligmann - ever engaged in sexual intercourse with the accuser. Furthermore, Seligmann in particular could not have committed the alleged crime since he had no opportunity - he was not at the location when the purported offense took place.

    How can the state prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt under such circumstances? How can it be ethical for Nifong to attempt to hide the evidence of actual innocence, as he did, and try to proceed to trial anyway?

    We cannot allow exceptions to basic principles of due process because we think the defendants are overall bad people. That is exactly what the Bush administration has attempted to do over the past several years, and it is alarming to see the same flawed thinking show up in those who claim to side with liberalism.

  57. 57 ginmar

    Um, Firebug, it’s often the case that rapists either do not achieve erection and ejaculation or have difficulty doing so. This is why they say rape is about power rather than sex.

    I don’t know why I bother. Firebug’s either an MRA or a future one.

  58. 58 ginmar

    Um, Firebug, it’s often the case that rapists either do not achieve erection and ejaculation or have difficulty doing so. This is why they say rape is about power rather than sex.

    I don’t know why I bother. Firebug’s either an MRA or a future one.

  59. 59 Natalia

    I never thought she was lying - I believed her - until I realized that something weird was going on with the entire judicial process.

    Now I’m tempted to say that if she was attacked, she may have been attacked by someone else.

    Possibly by someone at that party, possibly before the party. Seligmann in particular may have been picked at random.

    I can’t believe that Nifong appeared to have a profound lack of interest in someone like Ryan McFayden - a lacrosse player whose disturbing behaviour may potentially be the key to what happened.

    I wonder if Nifong was at all interested in the DNA evidence - who are the people that it belongs to? Other lacrosse players? Why aren’t they being charged?

    Who is the player who shouted “nigger” at Roberts? I’m interested in him being identified - if only so that I can keep the hell away from him on campus. Why didn’t Nifong care?

    Why did a thorough, detailed account of what happened change radically in December, and why was Kim Roberts being implicated at one point? Is anyone in law enforcement paying attention to the accuser’s statements regarding Roberts?

    What the hell is going on?

  60. 60 Libertarian

    Anonycat

    The charges of rape have been thrown out because of DA Nifong’s horrid conduct

    Actually, I believe they were thrown out because, AFTER no DNA evidence was found, the woman indicated that she could not remember if she had been penetrated by a penis, a required element for the rape charge. Were they thrown out? No, I think they were dismissed by Nifong.

    It’s hard to know who to criticise in this case, because almost everyone involved has acted badly.

    That includes commentators like Amanda, who say things like “I had to listen to how the poor dear lacrosse players at Duke are being persecuted just because they held someone down and fucked her against her will” when it’s pretty clear that did not happen at all (if it did, there would be SOME DNA evidence, whether ejaculated, or other). Or, at best/worst, we really don’t know what did or did not happen. We do know that she NOW says she can’t testify that ANYONE f…d her (at least from Duke).

    But Amanda’s no better or worse than just about everyone else involved.

  61. 61 Firebug

    ginmar, the accuser’s initial statement specifically included a claim that the alleged rapists did ejaculate.

    Is it your belief that every single rape charge is true, regardless of facts or evidence to the contrary? Do you reject the presumption of innocence in all criminal cases, or just those involving sexual assault? Do you think the Scottsboro Boys were guilty? Is logic and evidence a phallocentric conspiracy to oppress women?

    Would you favor sending alleged rapists to Gitmo to be subject to torture?

    This is a dangerous slippery slope. Your arguments for ignoring facts, evidence, and due process in this case are no better than Alberto Gonzalez’s arguments that the Constitution does not guarantee a right to habeas corpus, or the Bush administration’s claim that it’s OK to torture alleged terrorists because they are bad people.

  62. 62 Lorelei

    Firebug, a non-match for DNA can mean a lot of things. Especially in cases of gangrape or more than one sample in mixed together, the DNA often gets damaged and is *unable* to match. Of course, they don’t bother specifying this in the media.

  63. 63 oudemia

    Lorelei: They did find DNA from several men. They were able to isolate it and determine that none of it was from any of the lacrosse players; it isn’t a matter of corrupt, nonusable DNA evidence.

    From a 12/23/2006 NYTimes article that is now behind a firewall.

    On the stand at a pretrial hearing was Brian W. Meehan, director of a private laboratory that performed extensive DNA testing on rape kit swabs and underwear collected from a stripper only hours after she said that she had been gang-raped by three Duke lacrosse players after performing at a team party in March. Mr. Meehan’s tests on the swabs and underwear had detected traces of sperm and other DNA material from several men.

    But his tests had found something else, too: none of that DNA material was from the three players, or any of their teammates.

    Mr. Meehan had promptly shared this information with Michael B. Nifong, the Durham district attorney. Yet his summary report — the one that would be turned over to the defense — mentioned none of this.

  64. 64 Jesurgislac

    So the lacrosse players used condoms, which is not uncommon in gang rapes.

  65. 65 Libertarian

    DNA and other trace evidence is available from many sources, not just semen.

  66. 66 oudemia

    Libertarian — they checked for everything and found nothing on the victim’s person, but skin-cell DNA under an acrylic found in the garbage can matched one of the defendants:

    It was already clear from a state laboratory report in April that none of the lacrosse players’ semen, saliva or blood was found on or in the woman or her clothes. Mr. Meehan’s firm, DNA Security, was hired by the district attorney in April to conduct more sophisticated testing.

    The laboratory’s summary report described only one finding of significance: It concluded that DNA extracted from false fingernails found in a trash bin was consistent with the DNA of David Evans, a co-captain of the team and one of the defendants.

    Jesurgislac — perhaps the players did use condoms. The victim, however, has stated that she had not had sex for a week prior to her rape. I am not aware of her current statements on this matter, but as it stands, it seems that, if that statement is correct, then the semen had to have come from her rapists.

    The woman had told investigators that before the party, she had not had sex for about a week.

    For the record, I don’t pretend to have any idea of what happened at that frat house.

  67. 67 Firebug

    Jesurgislac, what would it take to convince you that the defendants did not commit this crime? What facts, evidence, or logic would sway your position?

    I realize that we’re not in a court of law and are therefore not required to assume, as the justice system is, that the defendants are innocent. However, I do believe that as responsible members of a free society, we are morally obligated to use a basic degree of critical thinking and common sense. Any one of the inconsistencies could be explained away, but all of them? By itself, the accuser’s changing stories could be explained by the trauma of rape. The prosecutorial misconduct, while it could not be excused, doesn’t prove innocence in and of itself. The lack of DNA evidence could be explained by the use of condoms, as alleged. But *all* of these factors together should cause anyone examining the case to seriously question whether the crime took place. I am 99.9% sure that Reade Seligmann is factually innocent; he wasn’t even there when the crime took place, and electronic records prove that. The only possible way he could be guilty is if you postulate a substantial conspiracy to alter electronic ATM records. I’m 90% sure that the other defendants are innocent, due to the lack of evidence, inconsistency (not merely incompleteness) of the alleged victim’s claims, and the egregious prosecutorial misconduct combined. If you believe differently, it is your obligation to provide facts, logic, and evidence - not just speculation - to support your position. Otherwise you are engaging in fantasy wishful thinking, no different than the neocons who believed that American soldiers would be greeted in Iraq as liberators.

  68. 68 Allison

    Thanks for the explanation way up there, ginmar. That’s what I thought you meant.

  69. 69 Libertarian

    oudemia

    That was my point.

  70. 70 has_te

    Thank you absolutely for that.

    CNN totally sucks…but I’m not mad at ‘em…
    I’m fuc*king mad at me for being sooo bloody slow ‘getting it
    about the sneaky duplicitous thing it is.
    Lies….a lot. A lot. A lot.

    Ted would be (is?) ‘turning’ if he was dead.

  71. 71 ginmar

    Um, Firebug, if you don’t pose your questions in a less snitty fashion, I won’t bother with you. Sending rapists to Gitmo? Rejecting all laws? Dude, get down off that cross. And stop putting words and phrases in my mouth.

    I’ve never understood why guys do that to blunt women like me, without realizing that in a discussion about rape, the last thing a guy should do is show that he rejects what a woman is actually saying in favor of his paranoid fantasies of what he thinks she means. You wanna know what I mean? Ask me.

  72. 72 Jesurgislac

    Oudemia: perhaps the players did use condoms. The victim, however, has stated that she had not had sex for a week prior to her rape.

    Well, that’s interesting. Are you then presuming that though she must have been lying about being raped in the Duke house, she must be telling the truth about not having had sex for a week before that?

    Firebug: what would it take to convince you that the defendants did not commit this crime? What facts, evidence, or logic would sway your position?

    Who do you mean by “the defendants”? The three men charged? Or do you mean all the men at the frat house that night? If the latter, what would it take to convince you that the woman who was raped wasn’t lying?

    The only possible way he could be guilty is if you postulate a substantial conspiracy to alter electronic ATM records.

    …or a less substantial conspiracy in which a guy leant his ATM card to a friend.

  73. 73 oudemia

    Jesurgislac: No — and if you read what I wrote you would know that. I in no way whatsoever claimed that she was lying about being raped. In fact, I went out of my way to — personally — make no claims at all. This is what I said:

    The victim, however, has stated that she had not had sex for a week prior to her rape. I am not aware of her current statements on this matter, but as it stands, it seems that, if that statement is correct, then the semen had to have come from her rapists.

    I am, in fact, assuming here that she is telling the truth about being raped. Having made that assumption, and the assumption that she is telling the truth about not having sex previously, I am saying that the semen found inside of her must belong to her rapists.

    You are attempting to demonize me for taking the victim at her own word.

  74. 74 Jesurgislac

    I am, in fact, assuming here that she is telling the truth about being raped. Having made that assumption, and the assumption that she is telling the truth about not having sex previously, I am saying that the semen found inside of her must belong to her rapists.

    And yet, if you’re assuming she is telling the truth about having been raped at the frat house, and that the DNA tests that apparently say the semen doesn’t match any of the 42 lacrosse players in the house are accurate, you are also assuming that she is lying when she says she was raped at the frat house by three of the lacrosse players, but that she was telling the truth when she said she hadn’t had penetrative sex for a week.

    You are attempting to demonize me for taking the victim at her own word.

    No, I’m just pointing out that while there’s a clear contradiction in her story - she said she hadn’t had sex for a week, yet the rape kit found semen that apparently doesn’t match any of the 42 suspects - you opt for the combination of truth and lies in her statement that doesn’t make a lot of sense but does acquit all the lacrosse players and makes her look like she’s bearing false witness against them.

    Whereas if I assume she was lying about not having had sex for a week because she thought it would sound better (Disco Ball knows a black stripper might figure she needed all the virtue points she could get when accusing rich white men of raping her) then everything fits: the semen belonged to a man she’d had sex with before the rape and the rapists used condoms. No need to assume she was bearing false witness against innocent people, which you want to believe.

  75. 75 oudemia

    Actually, I don’t want to believe anything.

    The default liberal position is skeptic, and that is as it should be. Particularly when it is a group of people one doesn’t like — and I don’t like frat boys.

    As I said, I have no idea what happened in that frat house. I imagine that folks are invited to their parties that are not on the lacrosse team. She could very well have been raped there, but by someone(s) who were not a member(s) of the team.

    And think about this: when the New York D.A. first came out saying that, due to DNA evidence, the person who raped the Central Park Jogger was not one of the guys in jail, the racist NYC Cops immediately came back with “they used condoms.” I judged their after-the-fact explanations as BULLSHIT. You are asking me to do the same thing. I cannot.

  76. 76 Firebug

    ginmar, politeness is a two-way street. If you make comments like “I don’t know why I bother. Firebug’s either an MRA or a future one,” then I will respond in kind. If you care to discuss the facts and evidence in a civilized manner, I will do so as well.

    The rationalizations here are starting to remind me of witchcraft trials. “It doesn’t matter if she has an alibi, Your Honor - the Devil sent a demon to impersonate her!” Not having the party on videotape, we can’t know with 100% certainty what happened there. But we can say that the facts and evidence point to the innocence of the accused in this particular matter. I have a hard time understanding why some people are so emotionally invested in the accuser’s credibility. Most women who file rape charges are telling the truth. This happens to be one of the relatively rare cases where the accuser was untruthful. Is that really so hard to admit?

    As I stated before, if Nifong and the police are willing to break every rule in the book to convict affluent white students, what do you think they’re doing every day among poor blacks in Durham?

  77. 77 Sicily

    I am a rape victim who is pressing charges…which let me tell you…is not an easy thing to do. It is hard to get the prosecutors to even look at your case. They typically prefer to dump any case that isn’t undeniably winnable. The criminal prosecution process is harrowing.

    It maybe true…that no one will ever know what happened the night of the duke rapes…but the men who were accused know. I wonder sometimes how my rapist cannot lose his mind with shame and admit his guilt. Justice is hard enough to get without the Media getting their dirty hands on it. I am speaking out for victims on my site. http://www.anallegoryofthecave.blogspot.com/

    NBC’s Saturday Night Live was brazen and pathetic to air the Nancy Grace Duke Rape Skit. I went on their blog to give feedback about why this skit was so offensive. There are heavy currents of this culture of rape that mesmerize and desensitize people to the degradation of women through the TV. Not only do I feel rape is not a subject for a comedy skit…they should also not have the subject of the skit speculating at the truth about what happened that night…before any information had been out on the case…before the case had a fair trial. It makes me sick that misreporting and rape and calling rape victims liars found its way on to SNL. I shared my opinions on the SNL Blog. Someone else who was also disgusted by this abhorrent parody started the blog thread. It is an intense thread in which I rape victims are belittled by meatheads. It is the only place where NBC invites people to share their opinions about the shows they air… Which is why I went there to begin with… Here is the link http://boards.nbc.com/nbc/index.php?showtopic=720319

    Recently the thread was inexplicably and mysteriously locked for further commenting.
    I contacted the person who started the blog thinking maybe they had the option to shut it down…But they did no such thing. NBC obviously has locked this site. If they don’t like these kinds of free speech conversations to be had then they should not invite angered rape victims to speak by airing comedy about a rape case. I had attempted to contact others at NBC about this and of course no one had responded…disappointing 
    Can NBC do this? Just shut down the embarrassing and difficult topic they threw around with disrespect?

  78. 78 Jesurgislac

    And think about this: when the New York D.A. first came out saying that, due to DNA evidence, the person who raped the Central Park Jogger was not one of the guys in jail, the racist NYC Cops immediately came back with “they used condoms.”

    And think about this: when two young women were raped in a London park six years ago, one of the defense lawyers said that the rapists’s use of a condom was “very sensible in one view and very polite in another” and actually claimed that the fact that the rapists had used condoms went to show it wasn’t rape.

  79. 79 ginmar

    Hey, firebug, sweetie, get off that high horse. You started out on the wrong foot and now you’re just being an ass. As Jesurgislac pointed out, you’re picking and choosing what you want to believe, so long as it gets your boys off the hook. You’re also putting words in my mouth. Oh, yeah, and a guy trying to use the witch trials to….excuse the witchhunt against this woman? Yeah, moron, that works really well.

    Do you even have any capacity for self-reflection? Here it is again, because you seem to be ignoring exactly what I said, and not asking me for clarification, either: why on earth do guys like you think that second-guessing a woman, putting words in her mouth, and not asking for clarification is even an option when discussing a rape case, historically a crime where women have been called liars and oh, witches? And where in hell does a man get off defending his witch hunting tactics by citing actual witch hunts? FYI, butthead, Matthew Hale—the Witchfinder General—had exactly your attitude toward rape victims.

    Get your head out of your ass.

  80. 80 Firebug

    ginmar,

    This conversation is over. I see no point in further discussing the issue with someone devoted to foul-mouthed personal insults and an apparent religious belief in the guilt of anyone accused of a specific crime, regardless of circumstances. Fortunately, I don’t need to continue this debate, because you don’t matter. Go ahead and continue writing your incoherent screeds along with Catharine MacKinnon. Meanwhile, the rest of the nation will continue to laugh at you.

  81. 81 Jesurgislac

    Firebug: I have a hard time understanding why some people are so emotionally invested in the accuser’s credibility. Most women who file rape charges are telling the truth. This happens to be one of the relatively rare cases where the accuser was untruthful. Is that really so hard to admit?

    And yet you are emotionally invested in the idea that the woman was telling the exact truth in one small area of evidence - her claim that hadn’t had sex for a week - but that she was lying about everything else. Why is it so hard for you to admit that that you want the lacrosse team to be innocent and are therefore arguing that the young black woman testifying against them must be guilty?

  82. 82 Jesurgislac

    Firebug: I have a hard time understanding why some people are so emotionally invested in the accuser’s credibility. Most women who file rape charges are telling the truth. This happens to be one of the relatively rare cases where the accuser was untruthful. Is that really so hard to admit?

    And yet you are emotionally invested in the idea that the woman was telling the exact truth in one small area of evidence - her claim that hadn’t had sex for a week - but that she was lying about everything else. Why is it so hard for you to admit that that you want the lacrosse team to be innocent and are therefore arguing that the young black woman testifying against them must be guilty?

  83. 83 dcarr

    Hey firebug there ain’t anyone laughing at ginmar. What made you think that?

  84. 84 Harkonnendog

    Rape is a crime unlike others. In any rape case, but especially in a rape case where a black woman accuses a white man, the rapist should be considered guilty until he proves his innocence. And he must prove his innocence not beyond a reasonable doubt, but beyond any possible doubt. The Durham rapists have not done so, by any means.

    People claim this is unfair, but 400 years of slavery and countless millenium of male on female rape make this not only fair, but necessary. Let’s just say the accusation of rape IS false, that doesn’t take away the rapists (yes, they’re still rapists even if these particular men didn’t rape this particular women) genealogical guilt. How many slaves have their forefathers raped? Nobody asks that question.

    And I”ve no doubt these men would be raping slaves if they could get away with it. They are white and rich, they are jocks, they attend an expensive university, (no doubt with money saved from when their families owned plantations) and they hired black strippers. Even worse, they requested white strippers first, which proves they are bigots.

    People who talk about the details of guilt in this particular case are missing the forest for the trees. The narrative is bigger than 3 white boys whose lives are inconsequential compared to the sweep of history- of the descendants of slaves getting just recompense on the descendants of slave owners.

  85. 85 Wahneema

    “It concluded that DNA extracted from false fingernails found in a trash bin was consistent with the DNA of David Evans, a co-captain of the team and one of the defendants.”

    This is erroneous and purposefully misleading - the DNA extract was not consistent with Evans’, it was non-exclusionary as to Evans.

    “Jesurgislac — perhaps the players did use condoms.”

    The accuser herself in earlier stories said, and in her latest story, still maintains, that the imaginary attackers didn’t use condoms. After no DLX player DNA was found in the accusers’ cheek swab, (but unidentified DNA was) she changed her story to say that a different player than asserted in earlier stories merely climaxed on the outside of her face.

    Don’t beat yourselves and others up just because you want to believe this false accuser. Concentrate on helping the actual victims of real assaults. I do.

  86. 86 A

    “In any rape case, but especially in a rape case where a black woman accuses a white man, the rapist should be considered guilty until he proves his innocence. And he must prove his innocence not beyond a reasonable doubt, but beyond any possible doubt.”

    Harkonnendog, please tell me you’re not serious. Why not just let black decendents of slaves rape while female decendents of plantation owners as a way of letting them get “just recompense on the descendants of slave owners?”

    As I reread your comments I have convinced myself that you cannot be serious, but I’m going to post this anyway in case there is a chance you really can be *this* ignorant.

  87. 87 Harkonnendog

    A,

    I don’t see why you would question my seriousness. I’m quite plainly stating what the majority of us who want justice believe. There is no real doubt about whether or not these 3 men committed that particular crime at that particular place at that particular moment- they didn’t. However, that has nothing to do with whether or not they are guilty of rape- they inherited the wealth and sense of privelege inherent in being the descendants of slave-rapers- they attended a university built upon slavery-derived wealth- they are the hubristic children of an evil nation with a blighted past.

    I don’t call for race-war, after all, whites are a majority in this country and own most off the guns and control the military. However, when and where a blow can be struck for justice, as is the case with these three white men, that blow should be struck. In fact, it MUST be struck. This is not about these three men, or even this poor woman. It is about history and justice.

    Nifong understood this- that’s why he was reelected. The group of 88 understands this- that’s why they originally wrote their billiant manifesto and that’s why they stand by it today- and most of American’s progressives know this- which is why the other professors and staff at Duke, and in all of America’s universities, stand behind the group of 88. I’ll go even farther- most of America, deep down, knows this. Look at the majority of posters on this thread! None of the group of 88 will be fired, Nifong will not lose his license topractice law, and will do better than land on his fee when this is all over.

  88. 88 Jesurgislac

    Wahneema, I’ve yet to see any good reason to doubt the victim’s testimony that she was raped in the Duke frat house. I notice, however, a good many people twisting themselves up in knots to persuade themselves that those nice white boys must be innocent and that black stripper must be a shocking liar.

  89. 89 Sicily

    MYTH…

    It is surprising what some people still believe.
    TRUTH: MEN WHO RAPE LIE ABOUT IT.

  90. 90 Sicily

    MYTH…Ther is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow …and most women who report rape are lying.

    It is surprising what some people still believe.
    TRUTH: MEN WHO RAPE LIE ABOUT IT.

    The Truth About Rape http://www.truthaboutrape.co.uk/4682/phase1.html

  91. 91 Ex-Fed

    I do not think that a malevolent knuckle-dragging reactionary seeking to promote a Limbaughesque, strawman vision of feminism could have penned a more effective weapon than this thread.

  92. 92 Wondering

    Ex-Fed has a point.

    Are the people posting here expressing their true feelings, or are they right-wingers trying to drum up sentiment against feminism?

  93. 93 MartinG

    And Amanda, my comment above isn’t supposd to be a personal attack. Just consider this: How easy is it for a dishonest prosecutor to railroad poor defendants to jail, if he can come this close to it with relatively wealthy defendants?

  94. 94 Wondering

    Mike Nifong’s world is caving in.

    “Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong withheld DNA evidence in the Duke lacrosse case and then lied about it to judges and the North Carolina State Bar, according to a complaint filed today by the bar, which licenses and regulates lawyers.

    “Today’s complaint ratchets up the legal troubles facing Nifong; in December the bar had charged Nifong with making inflammatory public statements to the media and misrepresenting the facts in the case.”

    http://www.newsobserver.com/1185/story/535642.html

  95. 95 Ex-Fed

    Wondering:

    No doubt rules against perjury and rules requring prosecutors to disclose exculpatory evidence are merely traditional tools of the patriarchy used to oppress women and normalize rape.

    Honestly, this thread makes me want to vomit. I know some of it is trolling and not sincere, but still. And it isn’t only because I am a defense lawyer.

  96. 96 Harkonnendog

    Ex-Fed,

    “No doubt rules against perjury and rules requring prosecutors to disclose exculpatory evidence are merely traditional tools of the patriarchy used to oppress women and normalize rape.”

    You are trying to be funny but honestly, are you going to tell me those rules have never been used by the powerful to downtrod upon the weak? Of course you won’t, unless you’re a fool or a liar.

    Once you’ve admitted that we’re just haggling over price. Can you honestly claim they’re never used today for the same reason? Again, of course not, unless you’re a fool or a liar. re you going to argue that men, the patriarchy, don’t dominate positions of power in our judicial and executive branches of every level of government? Of course you can’t.

    So yes, the rules against perjury and the rules requiring prosecutors to disclose exculpatory evidence ARE traditional tools used by WHITE men to oppress MINORITY women. Yes, they are used, as all tool of the majority are used, to normalize rape and every evil thing the majority does to the minority regularly and without repercussion.

  97. 97 ExtremeFajitas

    Harkonnendog- did you just say that TRUTH is used to oppress minorities?

    I guess you are resting your argument on the idea that the rules have “never been used by the powerful to downtrod upon the weak.” By this logic, cows are traditional tools used to oppress minorities - in a very real way (whips made out of leather) - that doesn’t mean that cows are used to normalize rape and every evil thing the majority does to the minority. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

    There are plenty of ways that minorities are legitimately disadvantage in American society, but rules against perjury and rules requiring prosecutors to disclose exculpatory evidence aren’t even close to being one of them (if a prosecutor was trying to bring a trumped-up charge against a minority individual, you’d be screaming for these rules).

    The take away is - fine, it’s possible that these rules can be abused, the way anything can be abused. But putting the argument out there that rules encouraging TRUTH oppress minorities really don’t help you convince people of your underlying premise.

  98. 98 oudemia

    EXTRA! EXTRA! Harkonnendog is a right-wing troll. Do not bother. He is baiting you and wants to try to get someone to agree with him.

  99. 99 Tareeq

    Harkonnedog:

    “So yes, the rules against perjury and the rules requiring prosecutors to disclose exculpatory evidence ARE traditional tools used by WHITE men to oppress MINORITY women. Yes, they are used, as all tool of the majority are used, to normalize rape and every evil thing the majority does to the minority regularly and without repercussion.”

    One may assume then that the exclusionary rule, which prohibits the use of illegally seized evidence, as well right to assistance of counsel for defendants facing imprisonment be provided legal counsel, and the privilege against self-incrimination, are tools used by the white man to oppress minorities as well.

    Thurgood Marshall was an Uncle Tom.

  100. 100 Wondering

    Harkonnedog actually is making a legitimate point.

    If it is assumed that in our society one group of individuals (white males) has absolute power, and that the other group (everyone else) has no power, then in any interaction between the two groups, all rules are charades.

    “All power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority.”
    - Lord Acton

  101. 101 Harkonnendog

    Busted.

  102. 102 Jesurgislac

    MartinG: There is no evidence that the woman had sex with any of the Lacrosse players, consensual or not. She had some other gigs the very same night, and not just as a dancer, but also as a prostitute. The physical symptoms that originally were interpreted as injuries from rape also later proved to be signs that could very well be the result of consensual sex.

    Riiiight… she’s a prostitute, she can’t have been raped. And Seligman can’t be guilty, because he left a party just when the strippers arrived to go by taxi to an ATM to get out cash. As any young man would naturally do. What man would want to see a stripper perform when you could get cash from an ATM instead, right?

  103. 103 theright

    Jesurgislac,

    Are you suggesting that the ATM receipt, cab driver’s account, and card swipe of Seligman entering his dorm during the rape is a convulated attempt by right-wing conspiracy organizers to oppress a stripper in Durham? Surely, that tops the list on important things to do to gain control and power for the right. In fact, I think Karl Rove personally orchestrated this alibi. Afterall, a striper (who falsely claimed rape years earlier) who said she was raped with no condoms (until no DNA was found) by a man who had an alibi (perhaps organized by Karl Rove himself) is probably telling the truth. She claimed rape, she has to be telling the truth.

  104. 104 MartinG

    Jesurgislac:

    Riiiight… she’s a prostitute, she can’t have been raped.

    I didn’t write that. I wrote that the physical symptoms that originally were interpereted as evidence for rape could easily have been signs of the consensual sex she did have that night at those other gigs. In other words, we only have her word for it that she was raped, withhout any evidence to back it up.

  105. 105 Jesurgislac

    theright: Are you suggesting that the ATM receipt, cab driver’s account, and card swipe of Seligman entering his dorm during the rape is a convulated attempt by right-wing conspiracy organizers to oppress a stripper in Durham?

    Nice straw man, troll.

    MartinG: In other words, we only have her word for it that she was raped, withhout any evidence to back it up.

    But we have no reason at all to suppose she was lying - except that the lacrosse players say she was lying. Now, why would we want to think that they’re more likely to be telling the truth than she is - except that they’re rich, white, and male, and she’s poor, black, and female.

  106. 106 MartinG

    But we have no reason at all to suppose she was lying - except that the lacrosse players say she was lying. Now, why would we want to think that they’re more likely to be telling the truth than she is - except that they’re rich, white, and male, and she’s poor, black, and female.

    She came up with multiple versions of what has allegedly happened. The lack of consistency isn’t exactly increasing her credibility.

  107. 107 Wondering

    Oh what a tangled web we weave,When first we practice to deceive.Sir Walter Scott

    When the telling of an alleged crime gets more and more confusing and self-contradictory over time, the simplest and by far most likely explanation is that it never happened.

    A less likely but reasonably simple explanation is that a crime was committed, but that the victim is lying about the circumstances out of fear or to protect someone close to them.

    What is crystal clear about this case is that the accuser is lying.













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