Tuesday, May 24, 2011


In my blog post of 16 May 2011 concerning the DSK affair [display], I said that I "smell a rat". I was incapable, though, of being more explicit. No matter how hard I tried to analyze the available facts, they simply didn't "add up" in any plausible fashion. On the one hand, I was unable to formulate any kind of logical demonstration capable of condemning convincingly Dominique Strauss-Kahn as the rapist of an innocent Manhattan chambermaid. But, on the other hand, if Strauss-Kahn were indeed guiltless, then I couldn't understand the logic that would have led to the maid's accusations. Since I could make no headway in grasping the situation and forming hypotheses in my imagination, I had nothing whatsoever to say. So, I've remained silent, but nevertheless highly intrigued, for I'm still convinced that there is indeed a rat in the vicinity, somehow, somewhere… but I've never succeeded in obtaining even a fleeting glimpse of the rodent's shadow, let alone learning how he was being fed, and how he might be caught. I've merely continued to smell the rat's presence, but that's all. No more, no less.

Meanwhile, like countless French spectators of the DSK affair, I've learned a lot about the US legal system. Retrospectively, I'm a little ashamed to have been so ignorant, for so long, in this domain. I imagined naively that I'd obtained a vague understanding of US justice through having watched countless movies, but I now realize that I knew next to nothing about this fascinating aspect of the American way of life. At the same time, I was dismayed to find that many observers were not respecting the presumption of innocence that must prevail concerning DSK, while they were quite happy to respect the presumption that the plaintiff was an innocent young woman who had been the victim of a hideous act of rape.

The other day, I was greatly surprised when I heard that Benjamin Brafman had dared to suggest explicitly to an Israeli newspaper that DSK would probably be acquitted. Surely, the experienced lawyer wouldn't talk that way unless he had good reasons for believing that DSK had been "set up" in one way or another. But how could this possibly be?

As of today, I'm starting to envisage the DSK affair in a clearer light, while assembling the hypothetical fragments of the possible logic of the real events that took place. In my mind, the global situation is now understandable, if not clear. I have the impression that I'm starting to "see" exactly what might have happened up in that hotel suite.

We're in an Agatha Christie situation where there could well be only one single scenario that makes it possible to integrate all the various constraints of which we're more-or-less aware. Obviously, some of these constraints might have been presented incompletely or even erroneously, and there may well be further constraints of which we still know nothing. But we seem to be moving rapidly towards a plausible synthesis of all the known facts.

For the moment, I don't intend to explain how I see things, because I might be totally mistaken, and I'm not keen on making a fool of myself by rash declarations of my beliefs. All I wish to say is that I'm convinced that we're in for a few big surprises, during the coming week or so, and that these surprises will concern primarily the character and behavior of the young woman who continues to be thought of as the presumed victim in this affair. To my mind, that presumption is legitimate, but it is also flimsy, indeed tenuous, because this woman has not yet come out into the glaring lights. When she does, I'm convinced that several surprising facts will start to unfold...

One final point. Sooner or later, to "evaluate" the behavior of a sexually-aroused Strauss-Kahn, commentators will have to abandon language and judgments based upon would-be moral principles. If ever this turned out to be a setup situation organized essentially by the maid (nothing to do with a conspiracy), then even the concept of consensual sex would lose its relevance. From that point on, we would be obliged to speak rather of sexual commerce. And the sole question, then, would be: Was this commerce conducted within acceptable legal bounds? Or were the transactions finally nudged—maybe subtly—into a criminal arena? In that last rhetorical question, it goes without saying that my use of the adjective "criminal"—which has nothing to do with any alleged kind of sexual immorality—is not meant to apply to DSK.

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