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Sex-Charged IMF Chief – Possible Set Up?


(540 Obama-dumping days until 2012 election-Hugh's Obama's Scandals List)

According to Mike Whitney in “IMF Chief Strauss-Kahn Caught in 'Honey Trap'” the dramatic sex charges are reminiscent of the Eliot Spitzer scandal.


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.

Whitney points out that Strauss-Kahn was the likely candidate of the French Socialist Party who would have faced Sarkozy in the upcoming presidential elections. Sarkozy hasn’t been doing too well in the polls due to his own scandals.

However, Whitney's real suspicions head to the bankers:

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.

According to Whitney, Strauss-Kahn was trying to protect countries from the ravaging of foreign capital that likes to "push up prices and creates bubbles" and then leaves "high unemployment, plunging demand, hobbled industries, and deep recession" in its wake.


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.


In an article today in the Washington Post, Howard Schneider writes that after the 2008 crash led toward regulation again of financial companies and government involvement in the economy, for Strauss-Khan "the job is only half done, as he has been leading the fund through a fundamental rethinking of its economic theory. In recent remarks, he has provided a broad summary of the conclusions: State regulation of markets needs to be more extensive; global policies need to create a more even distribution of income; central banks need to do more to prevent lending and asset prices from expanding too fast. 'The pendulum will swing from the market to the state,' Strauss-Kahn said in an address at George Washington University last week. 'Globalization has delivered a lot .?.?. but it also has a dark side, a large and growing chasm between the rich and the poor. Clearly we need a new form of globalization' to prevent the 'invisible hand' of loosely regulated markets from becoming 'an invisible fist.'" (Link---


There's not going to be any revolution at the IMF. That's baloney. The institution was created with the clear intention of ripping people off and it's done an impressive job in that regard. There's not going to be any change of policy either. Why would there be? Have the bankers and corporate bilge-rats suddenly grown a conscience and decided to lend a helping hand to long-suffering humanity? Get real.

Strauss-Kahn broke ranks and ventured into no man's land. That's why he was set up and then crushed like a bug.

(Note: Strauss-Kahn has been replaced by the IMF's number 2 guy, John Lipsky, former Vice Chairman of the JPMorgan Investment Bank. How's that for "change you can believe in"?)

Updated comment: The charge is serious and the IMF chief should be prosecuted and convicted if he perpetrated the sex crime. At the same time, the level of mendacity and thuggery employed by the banking gangster elite to protect their power is not to be underestimated either.

No votes yet


Roman Berry's picture
Submitted by Roman Berry on

I do agree that this is awfully convenient for Mr. Strauss-Kahn's political opposition and for whatever opposition he may have at the IMF and various other financial/banking circles. For that alone, it's a case that bears close examination. But I'm loathe to accuse a woman who may have been assaulted of faking it and filing a false accusation without actual evidence to support that theory. I see no need to abandon that here.

Bottom line? Wait for the evidence. She says she resisted and the police say she has minor injuries as a result. It seems possible (if perhaps not certain) there will be some visible evidence of her resistance on her accused attacker arising from her resistance. If there is, there is. And if there isn't...then we can perhaps reasonably go down the "honey trap" road. But not now. Not yet.

Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

analysis is made, and accusations hurled (in either direction).
Color me strange, but I like facts with my discussions. The facts R/T S-K's history are absolutely germane, but in this "fox nooz" society, it is probably wise to wait for information rather than speculation.

votermom's picture
Submitted by votermom on

The dood already had a "seducer" rep in France.

2008 -

he was forced to resign as minister of finance because of funds misuse

honestly, he reeks to me of being just another rich sociopath who likes to get pretend he loves the masses.

I am sick of rich faux lefties who are just addicted to power and adulation.

Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

and I have an innate distrust and disgust of the MOTU, (and anyone seen the news about Ahnold?), but really, the discussion should be conducted just as you've done, fact-based, with documentation, and as I've pointed out his history is germane.

Submitted by jawbone on

about a French blogger, supporter of Sarkozy, who reported the alleged rape before the news broke about it.... Okaaaay, then. No links, however.

This morning, on either NPR or BBC, it was reported that there were tweets from Sarkozy supporters about the bust before the news came out and that S-K was in such a great rush to flee that he had lunch with his daughter before going to airport for his flight to Europe to go to a scheduled meeting. So, maybe the commenter was correct? I asked for a link - need to check to see if there was a reply.

Now, it's possibe he is a sexual predator who had his tendences used by his enemies. Or he just got caught with his pants off....

Submitted by jawbone on

And I'd forgotten that commenter said the hotel chain is owned by a close friend of Sarkozy.

sapeurcamembert says:
May 15, 2011 at 11:58 pm
He was not in a private plane. he was on a regular Air France flight..first class.
I am French and I am more or less convinced that everything was set up, probably arranged by french secret service acting on behalf of agency vaguely associated with the french presidency (Sarkozy).
Blogger in France, associated with the political right wing announced the event (twitter) BEFORE it was public..highly suspect and the hotel chain where it was (SOFITEL) is owned by a closely friend of President Sarkozy. Made your own conclusions…

Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

documentation attached-could be there is, though, I just haven't seen it. That's what I mean about fact-based discussions. I've seen too many people I know destroyed by the media, to be able to jump on any bandwagon without some reality-based information.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

of course he could be guilty of the sexual assault ... but i myself have a negative attitude toward IMF, but hearing Whitney's take on him and how he stepped out of the rat bastard role there, I don't think the corporate press that will be trying him are gonna consciousness raise on the above as they frenzy onward. and timing is a big deal with trial by media. just bringing a few grains of salt to the scenario. Whitney is saying it SMELLS fishy. As for Spitzer, it also smelled fishy and the allegations were true.

RedQueen's picture
Submitted by RedQueen on

Strauss-Kahn could be a rapist AND this could be a set up. But libbyliberal beat me to it. See also OJ is guilty AND Mark Furman is a racist. Polanski occasionally makes decent movies AND he's a child rapist. Etc, etc. etc.

Submitted by lambert on

But big, big money does seem to exert a reality distortion field, both on those who possess it, and those who are only near it...

Submitted by Elliott Lake on

sexually (according to Yves and the commenters over there). I too hate to see a woman dismissed because she's a maid, and not a rich white male. Listening to the gaga French reporter on NPR gushing over how sad this accusation was FOR HIM, and applying my NPR 75% FactFree discount, I'm going with the police on this one.

lizpolaris's picture
Submitted by lizpolaris on

his high profile/level of responsibility, and the screeching pitch of the media circus around someone we'd never seen in a headline before - I suspected a takedown. From the linked article:

Strauss-Kahn has been replaced by the IMF's number 2 guy, John Lipsky, former Vice Chairman of the JPMorgan Investment Bank.

That says all you need to know about this coup.

Is the maid telling the truth? Maybe but was she paid by someone ahead of time? The comparison of this to Spitzer is spot on. Yes I know that in his case it was consensual and in this case the gal is asserting assault. But it surely is interesting that in every case where the banksters want their way, they use a sex scandal to get it.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

I have a REAL problem with the comparison to Spitzer. It could be a set up. It is NOT a sex scandal, even less a honey trap. An allegation of a serious crime has been made. Maybe, just maybe, it is a false allegation set up by corrupt elements. On the other hand, maybe this guy is a rapist and thought a maid would never dare to make an allegation.

but I have a real problem with any comparison to actual sex scandals.

lizpolaris's picture
Submitted by lizpolaris on

It's well known to his cronies but he's been paying off his victims after the fact for years to keep it out of the courts. This time, however, having ticked off his allies, they fed it to the media. That would be a manufactured sex scandal too.

I'm not alleging the guy's guilt or innocence - only the media frenzy sex scandal aspect of it.

Submitted by lambert on

... never makes it into the press, so, yes, both/and on this as well.

Nobody, including Spitzer, says he didn't do what he was charged with doing. Which doesn't answer the questions of "Why only him? And why right then?" -- which are the same questions asked, and with good reason, on Strass-Kahn.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

The allegations are about assault. Assault, assault, assault, assault. Assault.

Serialized sexual assault wouldn't make it into a sex scandal -- rape doesn't magically transform into sex based on volume.

If it turned out to be a false allegation, then that would be a scandal, but still not a sex scandal. No one is being taken down because they had, or were alleged to have had, sex.

If it turns out the allegations are true but his enemies never gave jack about whether he's a rapist until they needed to take him down, that might be a scandal, but still not a sex scandal. If anything, that would be a scandal because his enemies didn't have a problem with rape, not because they switched direction.

The idea that sexual assault and sex are somehow equatable is stunningly damaging, dismissive and horrible. It plays into almost every rape myth and sexual-assault apologetic ever.

Submitted by lambert on

.... I'm not at all certain that sex and assault are orthogonal, if and only if you're twisted enough; and our culture, and especially elite culture, provides plenty of opportunities for twisting. After all, IIRC, both torturers and the tortured agree that torture can be a horrid form of intimacy. Why isn't "sexual assault" a valid category here?

Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

It's the conflation of "sex scandal" with the charges that is inaccurate, and demeans victims of assaults everywhere. "Sex scandal" implies, to me at least, consenting adults engaged in "scandalous" (according to our society) activities, (eg, extra-marital affairs, 3-ways, SM, etc), but there is no use of a power differential, so they are equal, consenting, of-age humans doing so-called "scandalous" acts. Whereas "assault", "sexual assault", "rape", mean a non-consenting victim, a power differential of some sort (whether financial, physical, etc,), and it minimizes the effects of such an act on a victim when language is used to imply that it is equivalent to "people fooling around". Just my take.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

conflating sex and sexual assault, whether ignorantly, negligently, or intentionally* only enables the non-orthogonal thinking in rapists' minds which allows them to perpetrate it in the first place and then get away with with social approval it in the second place.

No one is trying to impugn Strauss-Kahn because he had sex. These are not interchangeable terms. Headlining one's arguments with references to a 'sex scandal' or a 'honeypot' or a 'honeytrap' blurs the distinction, a distinction which really just barely has a foothold in the public conversation about sexual assault as it is.

From the link:

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 doubt it's an accident that Strauss-Kahn's defenders are using conflating terms. A "sex scandal" can be laughed off (by "sophisticates") and facilitates dismissal of the experience of not only this victim, but all victims. This is just like the whole "sex by surprise" lie that was propagated by Assange's defenders. As in, even if he did it, it was just sex. Just lay back and enjoy it, whydoncha? No big deal. The comparisons to Spitzer fall into the same category. Spitzer wasn't caught assaulting someone, he was caught out have sex with someone.

It would be like if I ran up to you, grabbed your hand and crushed all your fingers, and then my defenders wrote a bunch of headlines about "Valhalla accused in handshaking scandal." What's the big deal? It was just a handshake. Of course, that doesn't really capture it, because we don't have a 1000 years of history of diminishing, demeaning, blaming hand-crush victims, or an equally long history of enabling, justifying and encouraging the powerful hand-crushing segment of the population.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

the bankster cartel. They will stop at nothing.

Finding truth in the age of psychopathic self-aggrandizing and homicidal mendacity.

Then again, sexual abuse and addiction, found in churches, found in the most inspiring of liberals as well as conservatives.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

And there is a long history of dirty tricks in French politics to bring down candidates. Some politicians on the French right warned darkly of hidden skeletons in Strauss-Kahn's closet that would come out should he decide to run.

Plenty of journalists and analysts in France are abuzz on Twitter and the blogs with conspiracy theories.

Some people say it would be unlikely that a maid would come into an occupied room to clean it. (Then again, according to an AP report on the allegations, the maid had been told the room was empty.)

Others point out that Sofitel, where DSK was arrested, is a French hotel chain. (What that proves, we're not sure.)

The allegation with the most meat comes from tabloid website Le Post, which notes that the first person to tweet the arrest was an activist in the French right-wing UMP party, Jonathan Pinet. He tweeted it before the time of the arrest, Le Post says.

The first person to retweet Pinet, according to Le Post still, was Arnaud Dassier, a spin doctor who had been implicated in previous embarrassing revelations on DSK's luxurious lifestyle. The first website to mention the news was 24heuresactu, a right-wing blog, way before the New York Post, which was the first US outlet to break the news.

Pinet says he got the news from a friend of his who works at the hotel and told him about the commotion.

Meanwhile Le Monde quotes an unnamed "right-wing heavyweight" as saying "It happened as expected." The person could only be saying that it was inevitable that DSK would commit a sexual impropriety given his proclivities.

Submitted by lambert on

... seem to have the same trouble as the French wingers who tweeted the story before it officially broke.

Rich sociopath or not, sexual assault or not, anybody who didn't just fall off the turnip truck is going to look at the clash of elite interests involved and put "set up" plus subsequent disinformation campaign on the list of possibilities to check out, just as one would have with Spitzer (or Assange (or, for that matter, Bill Clinton)). And, no, I'm not equating the "hook" for the scandal in each case.

And if DSK was taken out because the policies he was proposing for the European banksters meltdown were opposed by other powerful rentiers, I think that would be interesting to know. Particularly since these policies impact a lot of women immediately and directly in terms of employment, government assistance, and quality of life.

Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

seriously, will we ever find out? I mean, any reasonably smart person with the money these guys have can take anybody out, any way they want, and with their connections? (See Spitzer) By the same token they can hide whatever they want (see Ahnold). And the jury's still out on Assange.

Submitted by lambert on

Enough of the truth about Whitewater came out, after all. It's a big, complicated world.

Submitted by lambert on

See here:

As The Atlantic's Andrew Cohen points out, it's going to be this kind of hard evidence--the surveillance tapes, the physical evidence found in the room and on Straus-Kahn's body, the timing of the lunch date--that determines his guilt or innocence. "The shouting," as Cohen puts it, about diplomatic immunity, moral outrage, political conspiracy, must (and perhaps already has) fall by the wayside in a criminal case with such solid evidence available. "Right now, only 48 hours or so into this burgeoning international scandal, the people who know what is going on generally are not talking. And the people who are talking generally don't know what is going on."

Submitted by lambert on

Ben Stein (via Felix Salmon).

* * *

Then again, the glee with which some jump on the bankster-takedown bandwagon* is a little disconcerting, especially given the extreme disproportion between the banksters' destruction of the world economy in 2008 and almost all contemporaneous coverage. It's like DSK is dying for Lloyd Blankfein's sins, except three years late. And like Madoff and Raj Rajaratnam, DSK is peripheral: French, for pity's sake. International.

* * *

Stein does get one item so wrong it's right:

He's a short fat old man. They were in a hotel with people passing by the room constantly, if it's anything like the many hotels I am in. How did he intimidate her in that situation?

Assuming DSK's guilt, the same way any short fat rapist would, I should think. Perhaps the ability to intimidate despite an underwhelming physical presence is something like patriarchal rent, the exercise of power unearned because due to an accident of birth...

* * *

* NOTE I missed this from Robinson's "perp walk" editorial:

It’s almost enough to give socialism a bad name.

Right in the first line, too. And fairly transparent. One of the great things about scandals like this is that they will bear the weight of almost any agenda. Makes them hard to write about.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

Yes, the evidence is essential in this case. And I still contend that the banksters are capable of the most outrageous levels of entrapment to assert their craven wills. The IMF chief was a target for sure.

But reading up on Mr. DSK's "libertine-ness" sure the hell is troubling. I was troubled with him as a so-called "champagne socialist." Wanting to help impoverished nations but staying in a $3000 a night hotel? Shades of Edwards $400 haircut long ago. That Gucci-loafered political set, our American one, with their premier health care plans we pay for a lifetime for them and their families, are the ones with the political power and assume such entitlement is a given, bar maybe one or two who have some conscience for the double standard of the two Americas.

But setting those issues aside and going back to the case with DSK, looking at the "seducer" rep. Bedroom eyes is one thing. Wandering hands is another. Seducer or groper?

Reading more and more revelations of DSK's SOP around women, this incident seems more and more like it could be the escalation of a sex addiction into criminality. I am just sayin ... Addictive behavior jumps the bounds of morality and confounds those who compartmentalize someone as trustworthy due to cronyism and who do not appreciate, or are closely privy to, the cruel amoral destructiveness of addictions, in this case a possible sexual one. I still say possible.

Addictions are heart-breaking and dumbfounding to all involved. And crazymakingly confusing. Why would someone go to such repellent and horrifying behavior especially given their intelligence and position and advantage?

I have been reading articles in the Guardian about DSK and there seems to have been a buzz among women who had to be in DSK's orbit, political women, women journalists, to avoid being alone with him. One such case from Angelique Chrisafis in the Guardian:

The Socialist party MP Aurelie Filipetti recalled a "very heavy, very pressing" come-on to her by Strauss-Kahn. She said that afterwards: "I made sure I never ended up alone with him in a closed space."


Chrisafis goes on to explore the French all-rightness with extracurricular sex in marriages but how the assault specter is shocking, as well it should be.

Everyone in French political and media circles knew Strauss-Kahn's achilles heel was his attitude to women. Even his closest political allies admitted he was an inveterate seducer, an unashamed libertine. But what makes the scandal new and unprecedented in a presidential race is the crossing of the line to sexual violence, attempted rape and brutal assault.

Strauss-Kahn denies the charges, and his allies call him a seducer without the "profile of a rapist". But if, as the extreme-right Marine Le Pen affirms, all of Paris had long been abuzz with talk of his "rather pathological relationship" with women, why wasn't Strauss-Kahn pulled up on it before in France? He had already been chastised by the IMF over one affair with a junior in 2008.

It raises the uncomfortable question in the French media and politics of two parallel worlds: what is printed, and what is behind it, gossip, and what must officially remain "unsaid".

Consensual extramarital sex is a non-story in France, part of the right to a private life protected by fearsome libel and privacy laws. Having a mistress, philandering, even routinely propositioning journalists have been brushed aside for countless political figures. "How many senior male French politicians aren't either a groper, a cheater, a charmer or a serial seducer? And it goes right to the top of the political class," sighed one news editor. "France is still a kind of monarchy that kept the aristocratic morals of the 18th century. The lord of the manor has a right to the women; the king has his mistresses." If more allegations against Strauss-Kahn come to light and lead to criminal charges, it will call into question a taboo in France about speaking out.

Tristane Banon, the novelist and journalist is, according to her lawyer, preparing to go to police alleging Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted her in 2002. Her mother, Anne Mansouret, a senior Socialist figure, said that she advised her daughter not to file a lawsuit at the time because Strauss-Kahn was a politician with a bright future, as well as a friend of the family. But she said that even the fact that her daughter later spoke out publicly about the attack on TV had left her "traumatised" by the subsequent "harassment" in her professional life over having dared to speak out.

Her mother suggested there was a kind of "invisible barrier" put up on her work projects, as if media bosses and publishers feared the consequences of "what she could reveal". Strauss-Kahn's spokesman has previously denied the claim, and said Banon had invented the allegation to generate publicity for herself.

The journalists, Christophe Deloire and Christophe Dubois, broke a taboo in their 2006 book, Sexus Politicus, about politicians' sexual behaviour. They wrote of Strauss-Kahn's tendency to "seduction to the point of obsession", mentioning, but not naming, female journalists who had been irritated by his gestures towards them. They also referred to one senior civil servant who didn't take up his offer to "come up to his office to relax".

It seemed striking that when Strauss-Kahn left for the IMF in Washington in 2007, with many politicians privately wondering how he would cope in a puritan US which frowns upon sexual advances, only one journalist raised the issue. Brussels correspondent for Libération, Jean Quatremer, wrote on his blog: "Strauss-Kahn's only real problem is his relationship to women. Too heavy … it borderlines harassment." Strauss-Kahn's communications team asked him to take the blog down. Quatremer explained to Le Parisien that he had refused, saying if they thought it was libellous, they could sue. They did not.

Again, this is all food for thought. But will more women I wonder come forward to testify against DSK? I'm thinking ... if this has been an escalating pattern, yes.

I always had sympathy for Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton's other extracurricular women especially when I heard about how Bill's entourage of "handlers" cavalierly referred to the threat of publicity from these women as "bimbo eruptions" and the "whatever it takes" ends justifies the means efforts to protect the politician from career ending bad publicity, ethics at this point not being the over-riding compass, that is, if you need to sully the reputation of the woman do it to save the important sex addict, in this case Bill. Again, sexual addiction. I feel sorry for those with addictions, but when they abuse others, my sympathy goes to their victims NOT them. Sex addiction, like other addictions, can remove one from responsibility, the ability to respond, to others and to take responsibility for one's own behavior. And if it is not addressed it escalates. The narcissism of the hungry addict is daunting.

But then again, there is the entrapment scenario. When I was younger I thought that it was impossible for a woman to lie about something as horrifying as a rape. But I have seen sociopathic behavior in someone who did assert a rape charge for her own social convenience and was horrified. Sociopathy can prevail.

Maybe this case is worthwhile in the issues that it is raising. We live in a patriarchal universe and the patriarchy is becoming more and more wantonly destructive with each passing year. Misogyny strengthens.

What is the statistic for women entering our own military? 1 out of 3 will be sexually attacked? This is grotesque. This is evidence of a very sick and dysfunctional culture. The fact that it is not addressed along with so many other nightmares horrifies.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Wrapping my head around your thoughts on this.

In one sentence, you will cite facts, such as the 33% rape rate in the military, and in the very next, use one singular instance of a false accusation from someone with a mental illness, as a possible reason to discredit this situation.

What DSK did is familiar to rape victims all over the world, where a powerful man preyed on a weaker woman, and never expected to be caught, yet in your mind, it's still just as likely, that the victim is making it all up, because we live in a sick culture.

You've been called out on it. Everyone who is disgusted with your usage of "sex charges" and "sex scandal" agrees that if he wasn't a threat to Sarkozy's re-election, he'd have never been arrested. The fact that there is no disagreement on this, makes it even more mind boggling, that you will not stop making false equivalences, like the Spitzer case or hypothetical seduction scenarios, nor will you stop casting aspersions on the victim, based on one singular experience in YOUR life, that is very uncommon, and usually a tactic done by ill people against someone they have a grudge against, NOT random people they would encounter in the course of their jobs.

You've been told it's offensive and triggering. It touches a very raw nerve opened by the Assange case, another instance where aspersions were cast on the victims of a dishearteningly COMMON crime, in an attempt to protect the reputation of an alleged "lefty" ally, who didn't deserve such protection in the first place. An instance, I distinctly remember you being more interested in the optics and repercussions for Assange, than the damage being perpetuated on his victims.

So why, I must ask, do you take such effort at trying to show "both sides", when both sides are not equal, not equally probable, and has been demonstrated, DSK was no friend to lefties. (he's head of the IMF, a power position you don't get to by angering too many of the MOTU). Why invest the time, defending and protecting a man that doesn't need defending or protection, as he can afford the high powered lawyers to do it for him? I would rather focus my time on those without power, those without defenders, and that person in this situation, is NOT DSK.

Plus, on top of all this, you claim to know someone who once lied about being raped. Leaving aside the possibility that victims recant accusations to escape slut-shaming and victim-blaming bullshit that goes along with rape accusations, your own personal experience informs you of the fact, that such deception is difficult to downright impossible to maintain. If you truly wanted to take down DSK, why use such an unreliable way? Rape is hardly prosecuted, and false accusations never stand up to scrutiny. Why risk it, if that's the goal?

If I continued to find the excuses of men with power, more reliable than that of oppressed classes who make the radical statement to claim victim status, especially in this one topic, I'd really take the time to examine my thoughts on this. Especially, if 90% of the other stuff I said, is in accord with the feminist principles I claim to believe in.

If, as you claim, you are disgusted that sexual misconduct in treated unevenly, based upon the perpetrators political views, well, I would recommend sticking to that, instead of trying to explore how a man of power and influence, is being "set up". Because such questions come across as callous and unfeeling, inconsiderate of the very real problems faced by victims of rape. Because for every one of your "false accusations" I can name 5 women who weren't believed when they admitted their victim status to their family, or the authorities, and I can name another 10 who never told their family or authorities, out of fear of being disbelieved.

In your attempt to provide a "balanced" perspective, where none is needed, you are doing nothing more than being a tool for the patriarchy you claim to despise. You are perpetuating rape culture.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Highly emotional state, claiming to be more of a feeler, than a thinker, as a defense when others tell you they have a problem with your writing, and why you can't respond to criticism.

But when it comes time to take the feelings of others into account, you can't be bothered.

"I'm just saying" has been the primary statement of defenders of the status quo for decades, and that's all your doing, even though you dress it up by saying "responding to an unfolding situation".

You do a page a half impassioned response to the sexism and patriarchy in our society, but to top that off, in every comment with, "BUT bitchez lie" is a slap in the fucking face. We get that shit from MRAs, do we really need to get it from our fellow feminists? Do you think WE don't know, that yes, women are flawed fucking creatures who do terrible things? Do you think we live in a fantasy world, where women are paragons of fucking virtue? No, but sometimes I think you do, considering the ridiculous standard you seem to hold women politicians to, much different from the ones you seem to hold men to.

And note, that I'm not calling your feminist beliefs into question(faux feminist indeed, that's fucking ripe coming from a woman who continues to fall into sexist tropes when criticizing female politicians), I just point out a continued flaw in your reasoning. And I'll also note that the same courtesy wasn't extended to me. I don't feel the need to get into a "I'm more feminist than you argument" I suggest you take the time to look at your privilege, in that you believe it's less likely a powerful man raped a woman because he could, than a powerless woman would concoct a story likely to be disbelieved and dissected.

And you know, it's NOT like being a rapist is all that damaging to a person in our culture? Schwarzenegger is alleged to be a serial harrasser, got elected. Mike fucking Tyson is a convicted rapist, and was still featured prominently in the breakaway "comedy" success of the summer a few years ago, and an abuser would have been featured prominently in it's sequel, if a member of the cast hadn't balked. Hurting women doesn't hurt your standing in the world, so why use that to "take" someone down, when it's much easier to take advantage of a current true situation, an assertion NO ONE is denying.

Submitted by lambert on

So, is there a list of triggers that posters can check in advance?

Since the obvious editorial solution would be to announce that posts were sanitized for triggers, or to warn that they are not. Personally, I'd prefer to muddle through on a case by case basis. For example, are we not to post on torture or atrocities in war because that could trigger flashbacks in veterans?

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

is put trigger warnings in the front-page part of the post under the headline, so people can decide up front whether they should go ahead with reading the post. I don't have a complete list but I know I've seen ones for homophobia, sexual assault, misogyny and racism. Here's another example.

Here, it would be easy enough to add a trigger warning in the tags or at the beginning of the post.

In this case, greater care in the title would have also served as a warning.

Submitted by lambert on

And allows people to react to a story as it goes along.

Submitted by lambert on

It has nothing to do with you or the post (or, I might add, cronyism). If I had issues with the post, I would have thrown a warning flag by citing one of the rules at the Moderation link. I haven't, so I don't.

* * *

If some posters want to voluntarily help some readers avoid triggers by adding tags, then have at it, say I. There's no harm, and maybe some merit.

However, I think if readers want a "Guaranteed Trigger-Free!" environment, then they can seek out other blogs. I think, as you posted I believe, that people need to be free to react to stories as they go along.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

In the original post isn't the problem, and no I don't expect Corrente to go to such lengths to become a "safe space".

It's the fact that such troubling assertions have been called out, and the problems with them explicitly spelled out, yet they continue, without any engagement with those of us who have such problems, except for the claim that personal experience trumps that, even knowing that such personal experience is rare.

That's loathsome and callous.

And it continues to perpetuate the idea that women can't be trusted, which is the basis for almost all the patriarchy(except for the parts where its based on the idea that men can't be trusted i.e. the burka). Women can't be trusted to make decisions for their bodies, they gotta get the partners, pastors and legislators involved. Women can't be trusted to know if they wanna have sex with somebody, so we gotta see if she's a slut. Women can't be trusted with power, because PMS. This shit is perpetual, and it pains and angers me to see people I AGREE with, perpetuate this shit.

I expect better.

Submitted by lambert on

I'm not sure that's so, as a theory, the "trust" concept, at least as a first cause though I grant the effect or the human condition. I've been reading Temple Grandin again, and I'm thinking that the extraction of patriarchal rent might be better conceived of as a sort of predation [with women concieved of as prey animals rather than as (hat tip, Hipparchia) "fully human"]. That would fit very well with the nature of our political economy, which encourages predation [especially of "human resources"] at all levels. Gotta go, RL calls.

NOTE One of the reasons I like the Federalist Papers is the overarching idea that no human is fit to be trusted with power over others. The Framers (er, "Fathers") knew this, of course, being slaveholders, or one degree of separation from slaveholders.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

That first sentence was more complete in your head, because I am confused, and feeling that I'm missing something.

Extraction of patriarchal rent(good way to look at it) is a predation, but I don't get what that has to do with trust, except in relation to my last comment, about women with power, which is really not the point of my post.

Denial of agency is perpetuated on women, under the assumption that we can't be trusted with agency. That's the point of my post, and to do the work of the patriarchy, by perpetuating that mistruct, is a betrayal.

The percentage of false accusations in alleged rape cases, is way lower than the percentage of insurance fraud, yet we find the automatic denial of insurance claims, based on the possibility of fraud, a reprehensible act, but when a woman accuses a powerful man of rape, automatic denial is accepted and expected, and when people find issue with that, we're the bullies.

Submitted by lambert on

... and I don't have time to rewrite the first sentence; I'm seeing the trust issue as a second-order effect of a deeper (and nastier) system.

As for bullying, that's a matter of tone as much as content. Eh?

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Don't hold much water to me, since those play into sexist tropes(not saying you are doing that, I'm just speaking in general).

I also think it's much more bullying to continue to say the same hurtful things, with no acknowledgement of the pain they cause.

For example, I had a teacher in 6th grade, who continously referred to me by a nickname, that was a play on my last name. The word "belly" was a part of it, as it rhymes with my name. I was overweight and constantly tormented for it at the time, so it was quite hurtful for this TEACHER to do that, even though he always said it the most friendly, upbeat, "Aw shucks" TONE possible.

That teacher, was a bully.

I do understand you are not around to respond, and I'm not putting this there, to get a response, just want to put that out there, cuz hey RL calls and you gotta answer. I just wanted to get this rebuttal, that this is all about my "tone", out there.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

Lambert is saying lack of trust/lack of agency is the tool or method to achieve the goal not the primary goal (which is the powerlessness of women and ease of predation).

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

And it's the basis of my objections to large chunk of this discussion, in that's that denial of trust and agency are being perpetuated.

Submitted by lambert on

... is lower level ("nastier") than the trust level. Agency doesn't enter in. I'm not saying -- and I'm more thinking out loud, here -- that trust is unimportant, but a lion doesn't trust or not trust an antelope, for example. Or a cat a mouse, for that matter. Same deal on a macro scale with the social contract; it's not that the predator state violates citizen's trust, although that is the effect of its actions; on the inside, treating citizens as fully human isn't even a factor to begin with (not "on the table"). And humans are predators, biologically. Incisors, binocular vision, and so forth. I'm not arguing for determinism, but rather for grounding, a substrate.

Submitted by lambert on

On the maid, great photo and some information; she was Muslim, and I would imagine would have had to overcome considerable reluctance to come forward.

* * *

Adam Gopnik on French privacy law:

The pertinent point, in this case, is that every French writer, and every foreign journalist in France, is aware of the legal circumstance, and has to respect it. So, the next time someone says that D.S.K.’s acts were kept out of circulation from a sort of complacent French conspiracy to guard the reputation of a public man—or from a sort of garcons-will-be-garcons indifference—keep in mind that while there are unspoken agreements to protect public people’s privacy in France, they’re backed up by the law, and taken seriously.

* * *

More from the NY Daily News.

* * *

And requoting CounterPunch from the post:

Strauss-Kahn has been replaced by the IMF's number 2 guy, John Lipsky, former Vice Chairman of the JPMorgan Investment Bank. How's that for "change you can believe in"?

So, "both/and" seems like reasonable guess to me....

UPDATE To be more clear about the "set up" part: The use that the powers that be are making of the story stinks of set-up: Eugene Robinson making jokes about socialism, reinforcing Sarkozy's electoral position, Geithner getting his guy in to replace DSK, the IMF policies that DSK challenged going down the tubes (impacting unprivileged third world women, I might add), bankster scapegoating by the same crowds that gave the really and literally lethal banksters a Get Out Of Jail Free card and continue to do so, no doubt on the "Russian sleigh" theory of survival, and on and on and on.

That's not to say that the woman "concocted" her story; anybody with access to DSK's dossier would know, at some point, the desired opportunity would present itself, so all that would be needed would be surveillance and a press campaign after the inevitable incident; an opportunistic, rather than a conspiratorial, model.

votermom's picture
Submitted by votermom on

TPTB are mostly sociopaths who cover up for each other until it becomes convenient for them not to.
It is useful, in fact essential, for TPTB to know each other's dirt.
That's why they hate actual clean players. Look at the most villified pols around -- years of muck-raking and and the most they have on them is silly sneering stuff.
The favorites are the ones with actual secrets you never hear about until they are ready to be discarded.
I couldn't care less about DSK being set-up - just another case of rats devouring their own.
It does annoy me to see lefties latch on again to someone because of a label rather than looking at the record. So what if DSK was going to be a "socialist president" for France? He is a financially corrupt sexual criminal - does anyone really think that good policies would have come out of that kind of brain? I think France dodged a major bullet.

Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

The article quoted in the post has been vilified here, and rightly so, with it's dismissive language, and poor equivalences when it addresses the charges S-K was brought up on. (It may be well to divorce the poster from the article, hmm?) The point to the article was "why him, and why now?" (Rather a tacit admission that this kind of behavior is rarely confronted, let alone prosecuted, when it's a MOTU, eh?) This theory of selective media exposure and frenzied conviction has been noted by other pundits, as well ("are the MOTU's setting him up because he's threatening their MOTU-ness?) It's not as if more egregious assaults against women, whether political, physical, emotional, or economic, haven't been perpetrated (perhaps by the same actor, in this case), and ignored; or conversely, certain, select, over-zealous prosecutions have occurred against others (I'll leave you to remember your own examples). Any commentary is all conjecture at this point, barring factual statements, and we have not many facts to deal with.
The subject is a hot-button one, and can engender an incredible amount of emotional response from people who are painfully reminded of past experiences, whether their own, or people they care for. I, personally, can understand that type of response. However, I think it may be beneficial to pause, and step back, and understand that the discussion doesn't necessarily devolve to the personal life experiences of any here, it is, rather, a reflection of what the media is telling us, and an attempt to deconstruct that.

Submitted by lambert on

The point to the article was "why him, and why now?"


Submitted by lambert on

... not as a matter of censorship or even disagreement, but basically to throw water on what I saw as a flaming bridge (and I know how to burn bridges in threads!)

IOW, I thought it said something it would be impossible to unsay.

So, please don't ask "Why me and not this other person?"

I'm now closing comments on this thread so that the discussion can continue elsewhere. I'm doing this because I value all the contributors on this thread, in their different ways, and I believe that other readers do too.