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May 15, 2011

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Jeff

Was that a real rejection letter? If one assumes it is, it sounds like this person could be a central character in a new novel. Oh, but perhaps his or her understanding of reality is too farfetched.

Charlie

An elaborate FSB honey trap operation?

No, wait. The agency said they could arrange someone in a maid's outfit, yes. With role play, in character throughout, no safe words. For seven-fifteen. Eleven? No, I said seven. Seven.

pippakin

Of course you were right to reject this trash. Its far fetched in the extreme. A clear case of banker bashing by jealous unemployed, or soon to be unemployed, no bodies. The idea that such a plot could actually happen in real life is nothing short of laughable.

Charlie

Incidentally - and completely unrelatedly - the ArcelorMittal Orbit is coming along quite nicely. For a while, I was worried that it might turn out to look OK, and I'd have to recant. But no: horribleness is now pretty much a cert, I reckon.

Anon

I wonder if this will improve his election prospects. This is France after all.

ian

pity it isn't Italy, no problem there

Cian

I think even the french distinguish between rape and sexual affairs.

Richard J

I think even the french distinguish between rape and sexual affairs.

coughPolanskicough.

Alex

I can't see any realistic way he's even going to be at liberty to take part. Immunity? That dog won't hunt (the decision to invoke it or not is with the IMF director, and since yesterday's executive board meeting, that's his deputy pro tempore. further, his official duties most certainly do not include maids). Polanski scenario? After he got within 10 minutes of skipping town, will he get bail on any terms that don't include surrendering travel documents and checking into the nick daily? Fight the case and win? Theoretically possible, but it's not looking great - his behaviour immediately after the event looks guilty and will look guiltier in court, and he left his BlackBerry at the scene of the crime so absolutely no question of the identification. Anyway, by the time the trial is over it'll be academic. Some sort of diplomatic intervention? Why would Sarko's foreign minister, one of the three people in the world most interested in him not standing for president, lift a finger?

Also, the skeletons are already tumbling out of closets all over Paris. There's already one journalist who claims he raped her and her mum persuaded her to shut up. Mum is a reasonably important regional-level PS politico, in the same federation as yer man. The case is from 2002, so within the statute of limitations.

And there will be more, without a shadow of a doubt. This week's Canard Enchaine is going to read like bad porn.

CharlieMcMenamin

... SK is arrested for his alleged crime but there is no sense of justice being done. He simply waits, on bail, amid the general expectation that he may get away with it.

Except, now, who has any interest in seeing him 'get away with it' apart from the man himself ? (Note to the legally minded: this phraseology does not assume he's guilty,it just conflates his presumed innocence with the theoretical possibility of him being guilty but escaping sentence due to a clever lawyer or adiplomatic deal)

The PSF must want a great big hole to emerge in the centre of Manhattan and swollow him up; the Americans have to demonstrate to their domestic audience that even super-rich Eurotrash bankers aren't above the law; why would Sarokzy intervene since it helps him electorally to see a PSF 'elephant' hung out to dry. I suppose, as Ian suggests, one might imagine some howls of solidarity coming from the Villa Berlusconi, but that's about the beginning and end of the obvious constituencies of international support.

john b

It's the kind of scenario so utterly bizarre that I'm seriously considering ascription to "extortion or conspiracy" rather than "this really happened". Obviously, I'm only going to make this point on blogs which are left-liberal and with a strong military history quotient, for obvious reasons in both case.

Alex

See above, he's done it before, probably many times, everyone who mattered knew about it but bullshitted it out, this time he screwed up publicly where nobody gave a good shit about the Federation PS-Ile de France's good name or could place it on a map.

Alex

It is, in fact, the utterly classic "abuser gets found out" scenario.

john b

*New York*? With a sober hotel employee working on the clock, rather than a plausibly-deniable date-rape-y scenario? I mean, even SB hasn't done anything approaching those levels of stupidity in Italy.

dsquared

He might have been coked up or otherwise judgementally impaired. There might be all sorts of complicated backstory. I'm ruling nothing out at present - the fact is that nearly every single case where a famous man has committed rape, has been one in which he would have been utterly insane to do so, and also that nearly every single successful intelligence service frame-up has looked really very damning, and aimed at a man with a history of very bad behaviour toward women.

john b

Not that you're wrong - you're more likely right than not. Just that the only explanation of what's occurring is a level of either fervent-insanity or having-been-set-up, to the extent that neither seems particularly plausible.

(and the Assange shenanigans have confirmed that if you *do* want to set someone up, sexual offences are WINNING, since everyone who normally questions This Sort Of Thing loses their public scepticism when they find out being sceptical gets them attacked as rape-enablers in the national press. Hence my caveat at 11:36)

CharlieMcMenamin

Anyone wishing to get a taste of how this exchange might play out is advised to skip over to Crooked Timber, where the comments threads offer the opportunity for people to re-acquaint themselves with much missed B&T contributor Myles

john b

My comment and Dan's overlapped - his is better expressed than mine, and I agree wholeheartedly with it.

john b

The CT thread is predictably nasty; Myles is predictably a dickhead; his interlocutors are predictably likewise. Which is precisely why *here* is a better place than *there* for *any discussion of this kind*.

Alex

nearly every single successful intelligence service frame-up has looked really very damning, and aimed at a man with a history of very bad behaviour toward women.

Question: in what way does the "frame-up" even exist in that case? Doesn't the distinction between "rapist does his thing, picks wrong victim/time/place, stick a fork in him" and "rapist does his thing, picks victim/time/place that happens to be the KGB, stick a fork in him" actually collapse?

Alex

That said, isn't this just yet another case of the view that intelligence agencies' core business, in so far as they engage in direct action, is bigging themselves up to the finance ministry?

CharlieMcMenamin

nearly every single successful intelligence service frame-up has looked really very damning, and aimed at a man with a history of very bad behaviour toward women

OK - and I have a gloomy sense this is going to be a question I regret asking - can I ask for some examples of cases where (i) such a case has subsequently collapsed and proven to be the work of intelligence services; (ii) such a case was proven and yet widely suspected to be the work of intelligence services.

I'm totally ignorant in this field but surely the more common - or commonly rumoured,anyway - situation is where an intelligence service gathers information of sexual crimes (or simply sexual activity) for purposes of political blackmail or to force the person thus discovered to slip them clandestine information?

dsquared

Question: in what way does the "frame-up" even exist in that case?

Well it's just that if you're going to frame someone for something, it makes sense to frame them for something where people are going to say "yes I can believe that". So if you were going to frame George Osborne for something, it would involve snivelling underling relationships with Russian oligarchs, rather than being a member of the Chelsea Headhunters.

The example that comes to my mind is that of Paula Jones' accusations against Bill Clinton.

dsquared

Also, I don't know whether this counts under ii), but a number of American policemen over the years seem to have had a fetish for talking dirty to former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter while pretending to be 15 year old girls, although so far not pretending convincingly and/or specifically enough to convince a court that Ritter was aware he was acting the nonce. This might have happened as part of a succession of legitimate law enforcement operations (and I certainly would not allow Mr Ritter to be alone or online with my daughter) but it might not.

Cian

*New York*? With a sober hotel employee working on the clock, rather than a plausibly-deniable date-rape-y scenario? I mean, even SB hasn't done anything approaching those levels of stupidity in Italy.

Yeah. What tends to happen is somebody gets away with it in situations where there's ambiguity (date rape), pressure (in France where he has political clout/friends). Over time the situations become less 'safe'. Kind of the give 'em enough rope scenario.

The only intelligence agency I can see being involved in this would be the French one under the orders of Sarkozy. That sounds far fetched, but then so do lots of actual events that have happened. Currently, if the facts are as they seem, guilt seems like the more plausible explanation. I'm sure we'll find out soon enough.

dsquared

tangentially, btw, I see that the acronym "DNA" has now acquired the clear meaning in law enforcement contexts "semen"; the New York Police are advertising the fact that they have obtained "DNA evidence", which cost me a cup of tea and a bun's worth of thinking time trying to work out how one might spend the night in a hotel room without leaving DNA there.

Richard J

Speaking of criminal offenses by high-profile individuals, the Dizaei appeal judgment makes interesting reading. The BBC report on it is rather misleadingly slanted.

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Crim/2011/1174.html

john b

Dan - not sure your conjecture works. I've jizzed in several hotel rooms without raping anyone, some of them even whilst on solo stays (sorry, readers). Presumably they mean "DNA evidence associated with the victim, not just the room", which *could* mean semen, or his skin under her nails, or [list that's too obvious for people who are CSI/crime-fic fans and too minging for people who aren't].

dsquared

Other Bailli thrills today, the Imogen Thomas superinjunction looks rather different in Justice Eady's summary than in the newspapers:

http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2011/1232.html&query=eady+and+imogen+and+thomas&method=boolean

belle le triste

Perhaps to amplify CharlieMcMenamin's gloom, the first casethat sprang to my mind was the Roger Casement and his little Black Book example -- in which courageous anti-imperialist crusader (first in non-British Africa, latterly in still-British Ireland) is revealed to be/smeared as not merely gay (though this by itself was enough to cause much of his bien-pensant support to dry up) but a quasi-colonialist sex predator cruising young African men... To this day opinion seems bitterly divided whether the diary is a brilliant (and rather prescient) forgery, that manages to damn RC somewhat in modern as well Edwardian eyes, or horrible serendipity for MI6 (or whatever they were then called) to exploit. Anyway, they got him hanged.

Barry Freed

Scott Ritter was tried and convicted a month ago: http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110414/NEWS/110419856/-1/NEWSMAP
It does seem clear that law enforcement has long had a hard on for Ritter; unfortunately for Ritter, the guy really does seem to have a hard on for underage teenage girls. You would think he would have learned his lesson the first two times he got caught. Perhaps a good example of Alex’s 1:03.

dsquared

Oh I hadn't noticed that one had come to court ...

Well it's just that if you're going to frame someone for something, it makes sense to frame them for something where people are going to say "yes I can believe that".

AFAICS, Ritter looked very guilty on every occasion he was accused of noncery except the one in 2002 when the charges simply disappeared for no apparent reason just after the work had been done.

john b

"The jury at one point during deliberation had to ask for clarification on a few issues to help them reach a proper verdict"

Hmm.

Richard J

except the one in 2002 when the charges simply disappeared for no apparent reason just after the work had been done.

To be fair, I don't think that's necessarily evidence of skull-duggery, especially in court cases involving children, which have a greater degree of confidentiality about them than in normal trials.

Cian

Or another way of looking at it. No more skullduggery than you normally get in the US when it involves allegations of paedophilia. Which does rather fall into the category where I know that lots of men (and some women) engage in it, and I know that lots of people are convicted of it. I just wish that one could have more confidence that the second was a subset of the first.

There's an element of that with the Wikileaks thing, where even if he's guilty (and I think it quite likely that he is), it also quite likely that the trial will be dubious and the prosecution is extremely political.

CharlieMcMenamin

Belle - thanks. You haven't increased my gloom, you've pointed out a case I should have thought of. It is almost a century old though. And if DSK plays the Casement part by analogy it would leaves the French Secret Service playing the MI6 role in this case - or at least it would unless anyone of the financially informed people round here can point out any obvious state* enemies of the IMF itself....neither option seems especially likely to me (but then what does seem 'likely' in this case?)

But I tend to agree with Richard J that the Ritter case perhaps falls into a different category.

*if it is a set-up(of which I remain unconvinced) it would have to be done by a state...wouldn't it?

dsquared

it would have to be done by a state...wouldn't it?

Not really; we're not exactly talking minisubmarines and laser-microphones here. I would guess that if it was a set up (also not my #1 guess), it would be within the resources of an organisation no more massive than a single jealous husband.

Richard J

ISTR that one of the regular income streams of British private detectives (in the days before divorce rules were relaxed) was to surreptitiously photograph the husband going into a hotel room with a woman not his wife. The strange thing was that he'd have paid for the detective, the woman and the room, simply to supply the evidence of infidelity required for a divorce in those days.

CharlieMcMenamin

we're not exactly talking minisubmarines and laser-microphones here

No, certainly the mechanics could be organised by a somewhat less complex organisation than a state. Whether any such sub-state organisation would have the sheet chutzpah to go after the head of the IMF is rather more my point.

john b

RJ: except that the Ritter court cases, in their own terms, involve imaginary children who are actually federal agents. While I'm entertained by the concept that being an FBI agent who's an imaginary child makes you as vulnerable as a real one, there's a definite TYPE MISMATCH occuring here.

CMM: I thought "some grumpy sod whose wife DSK had shagged" would fit admirably, but maybe I read too much Agatha Christie as a kid.

skidmarx

After watching the bail hearing, it does seem that the defence put up a reasonable argument, the prosecution went "Polanski", and off to chokey for the week he goes. Perhaps Phil could tell us that there is a judicial interpretation of the meaning of things that tends to favour prosecutorial paradigms, if not to the extent facing less well represented defendants.

Max Keiser has the acronym.

Seeds

Absolutely OT (I would have posted in the earlier comments if they'd still been open) but a question about earth has apparently been answered - it was turned into cement.

On topic. If Phil can link to Hutton, surely I'm allowed to link to IOZ. Making much the same point as the CT post, but no Myles in comments as yet.

Seeds

It's a slow-motion car crash over there at the moment, btw. :(

des von bladet

Jean Quatremer, in 2007:

Le seul vrai problème de Strauss-Kahn est son rapport aux femmes. Trop pressant, il frôle souvent le harcèlement. Un travers connu des médias, mais dont personne ne parle (on est en France).

(I'm currently mostly curious whether Belgium (Quatremer writes for Le Soir) constitutes a work-around for French privacy laws and elite omertas.)

Barry Freed

You're not kidding, just wow.

Seeds

Polanski scenario? After he got within 10 minutes of skipping town, will he get bail on any terms that don't include surrendering travel documents and checking into the nick daily?

Nope - no bail at all, as it turns out.

Apparently the prosecution brought up Polanski in court themselves.

Alex

Well, being dragged off an aircraft is the visual definition of "flight risk", right?

skidmarx

Only Strauss-Kahn's liar said it was a pre-booked flight, and he'd told hotel security he was at the airport so they could return his cell-phone.

Alex

Further detail: AF apparently agreed to hold him a seat on any flight. (John Band would probably say they were trying to kill him.)

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