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January 23, 2007

Shut Up, He Explained: Duke Provost Claims Karla Holloway Is The True Victim

A call for "respect" from bloggers towards their professorial betters, who, as it turns out, are not really better than a lynch mob:

[quoting Provost Lange:] "As we all are aware blogs and email have "democratized" communication; anyone with access to a computer can get in the game as writer or spectator. In many ways this is a very good thing, for it reduces the elitism of "publication" and the control of opinion by opinion "sellers". Nonetheless, this "democracy" is also permissive of saying almost anything, about almost anyone or anything, using any language, no matter how distasteful, disrespectful or dismissive. We can spread our ideas faster, and without the mediation of others, but we can also control neither their dispersion nor the nature and distribution of reactions to them. In fact, if those reactions distort the account of what we have said, there is likely no way to correct the record for the large number of people who may have secondarily received those distorted interpretations.

"This is a condition of our era. No one can provide relief and these conditions do not change the basic fact that one must take care to say what one intends and be prepared to be accountable for and to defend the substance of ones ideas, and correct or incorrect interpretations of them. Free speech must continue to be vigorously defended, but speaking freely has become potentially more consequential."

[the blogger's commentary:] The statement goes on for pages, but you can read it from beginning to end and not find out that this whole obscene incident is about how some folks were attempting to frame a group of Duke students for a felony that they did not commit. Lange makes it sound like the real victims are the notorious Group of 88 Duke faculty members who issued a statement back in April saying "thank you" to the group of protestors who had branded the students rapists and clamored for their hides. There's not a trace of embarrassment over their behavior. Instead, Lange argues that the attention the matter has now been getting is not "productive of the best virtues for free speech." He criticizes the "merciless attention that the emailers and bloggers have been paying" to the Group of 88.

I guess I have to disagree. It seems to me that the best virtues of free speech have indeed been served. These poor kids might be rotting in prison without it.

I respect Karla Holloway's right to eat my balls.

It's all about the "meta-narrative" anyhow, right? So what does specific harm to specific people matter anyway?

K.C. Johnson and Stuart Taylor sum up the facts of the case:

It has been clear for many months that the rape claim is almost surely a lie. But not until the DA's dramatic dismissal last Friday of the rape (but not the sexual assault and kidnapping) charges did Mr. Nifong enablers such as the New York Times and Duke President Richard Brodhead begin distancing themselves from his oppression of three innocent young men.

How can we be confident that the charges are false? Let us count the ways: The police who interviewed the accuser after she left the March 13-14 lacrosse team party where she and another woman had performed as strippers found her rape charge incredible, and for good reason. She said nothing about rape to three cops and two others during the first 90 minutes after the party. Only when being involuntarily confined in a mental health facility did she mention rape. This predictably got her released to the Duke emergency room for a rape workup, whereupon she recanted the rape charge.

Then she re-recanted, offering a ludicrous parade of wildly implausible and mutually contradictory stories of being gang-raped by 20, five, four, three or two lacrosse players, with the other stripper assisting the rapists in some versions. After settling on three rapists, the accuser gave police vague descriptions and could not identify as a rapist any of the 36 lacrosse players whose photos she viewed on March 16 and 21. These included two eventual defendants: Dave Evans, whom she did not recognize at all, and Reade Seligmann, whom she was "70%" sure she had seen at the party, but not as a rapist.

All of the 40-odd other people at the party have contradicted every important part of the accuser's various accounts. The second stripper called the rape claim a "crock" and said they had been apart less than five minutes. The accuser told doctors she was drunk and on the muscle relaxant Flexeril, whose side effects include badly impaired judgment when taken with alcohol. She has a history of narcotic abuse and bipolar disorder, a mental illness marked by wild mood swings from mania to depression, and spent a week in a mental hospital in 2005.

In court filings last week, even Mr. Nifong conceded that, contrary to his claims since March, medical records show no physical evidence of rape--let alone injuries consistent with the accuser's April claim of being beaten, kicked, strangled and raped anally, orally and vaginally by three men in a small bathroom for 30 minutes. Above all, DNA tests by state and private labs, which Mr. Nifong's office had said would "immediately rule out any innocent persons," did just that. They found no lacrosse player's DNA anywhere on or in the accuser and none of her DNA in the bathroom.

Yet two weeks ago we learned--only because dogged defense lawyers cracked a prosecutorial conspiracy to hide evidence of innocence--that the private lab did find the DNA of "multiple males" in swabs of the accuser's pubic hair, panties, and rear after the supposed rape. None of this DNA matched any lacrosse player.

I'll say one thing for the "victim:" She made it as clear as possible that she was just using the rape charge to get out of the mental health/criminal system. She really, really could not have made it more clear to anyone that she was concocting the most transparent of lies to buy herself a little leeway.

Having "danced," or stumbled, for the Duke lacrosse players, certainly she could have given ballpark-accurate descriptions of "her rapists" which matched them. Instead she offered up descriptions of 270 pound redheads with moustaches (of the handlebar variety, I'd guess).

I'm only mildly surprised she didn't claim all three "rapists" wore eye-patches.

I've called her a shakedown artist before. I don't think that's correct, now that I think more about it. After all, if she had really pre-planned a false-rape shakedown, she could have, um, done a better job of it, no?

A stripper who can't manage to coax some DNA from a single one of 40 beer-chugging college athletes really isn't trying terribly hard, is she? Good Lord, I probably could have managed to get some DNA at that party, at least if I were wearing my cutest shoes.

So her heart plainly wasn't in this lie.

So whose heart was in the lie? And why?

This is an avenue of inquiry that Provost Peter Lange -- academic defender of one's right to seek the truth at all costs -- seems to think is unworthy for discussion.


If Only A Moron Would Go On TV To Defend Nifong, Who Can You Get For Your Shouting-Head Shows? Why, a moron, of course. Who else?

K.C. Johnson notes that one of Nifong's more ubiquitous, and stupid, defenders is someone claiming to have been a former federal prosecutor, now a lawyer in a single-woman firm who is also (I'm not kidding) a fitness trainer. The world's only Pilades & Personal Injury practitioner, I guess.

Anyway, this observation of hers is a real gem:

There was evidence of DNA of Seligmann [sic] who lived in that house [sic].*

Really? The guy's DNA was found in his own home?

Well. Case closed, I guess. The smoking gun.

Meanwhile, in Ace of Spades HQ, some of my wayward DNA has actually accumulated into IKEA-style "casual furniture."

Be careful -- that only looks like an ottoman.

* PS, it turns out this wasn't even true. But how stupid do you have to be to even allege it as "evidence"?



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posted by Ace at 01:02 PM

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