Monday, May 16, 2011

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Dirty Tricks?

Since becoming aware of this Truthout article I have relegated the original article to second in line while maintaining my original header.

Like any of us, I have no way of knowing what allegedly took place in a New York hotel room, but reading this first report, it didn't strike me as behaviour typical of a man in Strauss-Kahn's position. Couple that with the second article, one that delves into the politics surrounding Strauss-Kahn, which was in fact the first report that I read, and you might appreciate my scepticism regarding the whole thing. My apologies to the victim if indeed she turns out to be such.

Police Seek Evidence From IMF Chief on Sex Attack
Monday 16 May 2011

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the leader of the International Monetary Fund, spent most of Sunday at the Manhattan Special Victims Unit in East Harlem as prosecutors sought additional evidence, including possible DNA evidence on his skin or beneath his fingernails, to bolster allegations that he had sexually assaulted a maid in a $3,000-a-night suite at a Midtown hotel, officials said.

Shortly before 11 p.m., Mr. Strauss-Kahn, 62, wearing a black jacket and pants and a gray shirt, and looking haggard, was taken from the Special Victims Unit, near the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge, in handcuffs.

About an hour before that, his lawyers, William Taylor and Benjamin Brafman, emerged from Manhattan Criminal Court in Lower Manhattan and announced that Mr. Strauss-Kahn had agreed to “a scientific forensicexamination tonight.” Mr. Taylor, who described his client as “tired but fine,” provided no other details but said that Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s arraignment would not take place until Monday, nearly 48 hours after he was taken off an Air France plane at Kennedy International Airport just as it was to take off for Paris on Saturday afternoon.

The long wait for Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s arraignment unfolded as an international corps of reporters, photographers and camera crews were deployed both in East Harlem and at Criminal Court. Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s accuser picked him out of a lineup and new details emerged on how he came to be taken into custody.

The authorities said they had moved to obtain a court order granting them a search warrant to examine Mr. Strauss-Kahn for signs of injury that he might have suffered during a struggle or for traces of his accuser’s DNA.

“Things like getting things from under the fingernails,” a law enforcement official explained, “the classic things you get in association with a sex assault.”

The official, who insisted on anonymity because the investigation was continuing, added that since the authorities believed there was a high likelihood that Mr. Strauss-Kahn would be allowed to post bail, investigators feared that he might leave the country with whatever clues his person might yield.

As the court order was being sought, the woman who told the police on Saturday that she had been attacked by Mr. Strauss-Kahn identified him in the lineup, the police said.

After identifying Mr. Strauss-Kahn about 4:30 p.m., the woman, a maid at the Sofitel New York on West 44th Street, where Mr. Strauss-Kahn was a guest, left the Special Victims Unit in a police van. A blanket was covering her head.

The police were called to the hotel about 1:30 on Saturday, but when they arrived, Mr. Strauss-Kahn had already checked out. At some point, Mr. Strauss-Kahn called the hotel and said that his cellphone was missing. Police detectives then coached hotel employees to tell him, falsely, that they had the telephone, according to the law enforcement official. Mr. Strauss-Kahn said he was at Kennedy Airport and about to get on a plane.

The police have provided few details about the woman at the center of the case beyond saying she was 32 and an African immigrant.

According to the law enforcement official, the woman entered Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s suite early Saturday afternoon by saying “housekeeping.” She heard no answer and believed that the suite was unoccupied. She left the door open behind her, as is hotel policy.

She went to the bedroom and a naked man rushed from the bathroom to the bedroom. She apologized, the law enforcement official said, and tried to leave.

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But according to the official, the man chased her, grabbed her and shut the door, locking it. He then pulled her toward the bedroom, the official said, and tried to attack her there.

He dragged her to the bathroom, the official added, and forced her to perform oral sex. The police said the woman eventually escaped from the suite and reported the attack to other hotel personnel, who called 911.

The woman lives in the Bronx with a daughter who is in her teens. The building’s superintendent said she moved in a few months ago.

“They’re good people,” said one neighbor, another African immigrant. “Every time I see her I’m happy because we’re both from Africa. She’s never given a problem for nobody. Never noisy. Everything nice.”

At the Sofitel New York, a maid, who refused to give her name, described the woman as friendly. “In the world, she is a good person,” she said.

The maid added that her superiors had asked other hotel employees not to question the woman about what happened.

“The office said, ‘Don’t ask too much because she is sad,’ ” the maid said. “Just give her a hug when she comes back.”

A guest at the hotel, Mortem Meier, 36, a sales director visiting from Norway, said the livery driver who drove Mr. Strauss-Kahn to Kennedy Airport was also his driver on Saturday night.

“He said Strauss-Kahn was in a huge hurry,” Mr. Meier recalled. “He wanted to leave as soon as possible. He looked upset and stressed, the driver said.”

At Criminal Court downtown on Sunday, crowds of reporters kept watch throughout the day for Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s arraignment, sitting through dozens of more prosaic cases involving offenses like subway fare jumping, marijuana possession and, in one instance, charges of possession of a stun gun.

Journalists began arriving at the courthouse in the morning and their numbers increased as the day went on. By the time the night court session broke for dinner at 9, more than 60 reporters — many working for French newspapers, television stations and wire services — had assembled and were taking up most of the space on the long wooden benches that lined the rear of the courtroom.

Ira Judelson, a bail bondsman involved in the case, said earlier in the day that a comprehensive bail package would establish specifics of where Mr. Strauss-Ka would stay as the case proceeded. He added that the bail amount could be in the millions of dollars.

Mr. Brafman, a prominent New York criminal lawyer, has represented the hip-hop impresario Sean Combs, the Manhattan jeweler Jacob Arabov and Plaxico Burress, the New York Giants wide receiver.

Reporting was contributed by Al Baker, John Eligon, Joseph Goldstein, Colin Moynihan, William K. Rashbaum, Nate Schweber and Rebecca White. Truthout

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IMF chief Strauss-Kahn caught in "Honey Trap"

By Mike Whitney
May 15, 2011

I have no way of knowing whether the 32-year-old maid who claims she was attacked and forced to perform oral sex on IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, is telling the truth or not. I'll leave that to the braying hounds in the media who have already assumed the role of judge, jury and Lord High Executioner. But I will say, the whole matter smells rather fishy, just like the Eliot Spitzer story smelled fishy. Spitzer, you may recall, was Wall Street's biggest adversary and a likely candidate to head the SEC, a position at which he would have excelled. In fact, there's no doubt in my mind that if Spitzer had been appointed to lead the SEC, most of the top investment bankers on Wall Street would presently be making license plates and rope-soled shoes at the federal penitentiary. So, there was plenty of reason to shadow Spitzer's every move and see what bit of dirt could be dug up on him. As it turns out, the ex-Governor of New York made it easy for his enemies by engaging a high-priced hooker named Ashley Dupre for sex at the Mayflower Hotel. When the news broke, the media descended on Spitzer like a swarm of locusts poring over every salacious detail with the ebullient fervor of a randy 6th-grader. Meanwhile, the crooks on Wall Street were able to breathe a sigh of relief and get back to doing what they do best; fleecing investors and cheating people out of the life savings.

Strauss-Kahn had enemies in high places, too, which is why this whole matter stinks to high-Heaven. First of all, Strauss-Kahn was the likely candidate of the French Socialist Party who would have faced Sarkozy in the upcoming presidential elections. The IMF chief clearly had a leg-up on Sarkozy who has been battered by a number of personal scandals and plunging approval ratings.

But if Strauss-Kahn was set up, then it was probably by members of the western bank coalition, that shadowy group of self-serving swine whose policies have kept the greater body of humanity in varying state of poverty and desperation for the last two centuries. Strauss-Kahn had recently broke-free from the "party line" and was changing the direction of the IMF. His road to Damascus conversion was championed by progressive economist Joesph Stiglitz in a recent article titled "The IMF's Switch in Time". Here's an excerpt:

"The annual spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund was notable in marking the Fund’s effort to distance itself from its own long-standing tenets on capital controls and labor-market flexibility. It appears that a new IMF has gradually, and cautiously, emerged under the leadership of Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Slightly more than 13 years earlier, at the IMF’s Hong Kong meeting in 1997, the Fund had attempted to amend its charter in order to gain more leeway to push countries towards capital-market liberalization. The timing could not have been worse: the East Asia crisis was just brewing – a crisis that was largely the result of capital-market liberalization in a region that, given its high savings rate, had no need for it.

That push had been advocated by Western financial markets – and the Western finance ministries that serve them so loyally. Financial deregulation in the United States was a prime cause of the global crisis that erupted in 2008, and financial and capital-market liberalization elsewhere helped spread that “made in the USA” trauma around the world....The crisis showed that free and unfettered markets are neither efficient nor stable." ("The IMF's Switch in Time", Joseph Stiglitz, Project Syndicate)

So, Strauss-Kahn was trying to move the bank in a more positive direction, a direction that didn't require that countries leave their economies open to the ravages of foreign capital that moves in swiftly--pushing up prices and creating bubbles--and departs just as fast, leaving behind the scourge of high unemployment, plunging demand, hobbled industries, and deep recession.

Strauss-Kahn had set out on a "kinder and gentler" path, one that would not force foreign leaders to privatize their state-owned industries or crush their labor unions. Naturally, his actions were not warmly received by the bankers and corporatists who look to the IMF to provide legitimacy to their ongoing plunder of the rest of the world. These are the people who think that the current policies are "just fine" because they produce the results they're looking for, which is bigger profits for themselves and deeper poverty for everyone else.

Here's Stiglitz again, this time imparting the "kiss of death" to his friend Strauss-Kahn:

"Strauss-Kahn is proving himself a sagacious leader of the IMF.... As Strauss-Kahn concluded in his speech to the Brookings Institution shortly before the Fund’s recent meeting: “Ultimately, employment and equity are building blocks of economic stability and prosperity, of political stability and peace. This goes to the heart of the IMF’s mandate. It must be placed at the heart of the policy agenda.”

Right. So, now the IMF is going to be an agent for the redistribution of wealth.... (for) "strengthening collective bargaining, restructuring mortgages, restructuring tax and spending policies to stimulate the economy now through long-term investments, and implementing social policies that ensure opportunity for all"? (according to Stiglitz)

Good luck with that.

Can you imagine how much this kind of talk pisses off the Big Money guys? How long do you think they'd put up with this claptrap before they decided that Strauss-Kahn needed to take a permanent vacation?

Not long, I'd wager.

Check this out from World Campaign and judge for yourself whether Strauss-Kahn had become a "liability" that had to be eliminated so the business of extracting wealth from the poorest people on earth could continue apace: more ICH

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