Does the Law Serve?
Paul Craig Roberts
by Paul Craig Roberts: Will
Washington Foment War Between China and India?
When my book
(with Lawrence Stratton), The
Tyranny of Good Intentions, was published, progressives
and the left-wing refused to believe that the rich suffer frame-ups
from prosecutorial abuse. Their response was that law is controlled
by the rich and functions in their service. Only the poor and minorities
suffer at the hands of the law.
left knew that Michael Milken was guilty, because the rich "junk
bond king" financed takeovers of corporations that threw workers
out of jobs. Leftists accepted the Justice (sic) Departmentís fanciful
claim that the Exxon Valdez oil spill was a criminal act, not an
accident for which civil damages were the remedy. Leona Helmsley
was guilty, because she was a rich bitch. So was Martha Stewart.
The left-wing was firm: all rich white people in prison are guilty,
and the only reason they are in prison is that they are so obviously
guilty that the system couldnít let them off. In other words, they
were so audacious in their crimes that the crimes couldnít be covered
The same mentality
now dominates discussions of the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case.
who was at the time of his highly publicized arrest the head of
the International Monetary Fund and the expected winner of the next
French presidential election, was arrested on sexual abuse and attempted
rape charges on the word of an immigrant hotel maid in New York.
police are required to respond to charges by questioning the accused,
they are not supposed to make a public spectacle of him in order
to create the impression that he is guilty before he is even charged.
Yet DSK was arrested aboard an airliner as it was about to depart
for France and portrayed by the police as a fleeing criminal. Photos
were released of him in handcuffs and stripped of his business attire.
The judge refused
bail to one of the Westís most high profile persons on the basis
of the prosecutorís statement that DSK would flee the country and
hide out abroad. All of this quickly was passed to reporters, who
obliged the prosecutors and police by portraying DSK as obviously
guilty as he was apprehended fleeing from the country.
even planted the story that DSK was in such a hurry to flee that
he left behind his cell phone and that that is how they found him.
This was a ball-faced lie. The fact of the matter is that when DSK
arrived at the airport, he discovered that he had left his cell
phone and called the hotel, the scene of the alleged crime, to ask
that it be retrieved and brought to him at the airport. When the
police boarded his flight, he asked them, "Did you bring my
cell phone." He had no idea the police were there to detain
him for questioning.
raises serious problems for the leftist myth that law serves the
interests of the rich and powerful. If law was the preserve of the
rich and powerful, DSK would never have been taken off a departing
airliner and made a public spectacle on the basis of an immigrant
hotel maidís accusation. The airliner would have been allowed to
depart and the case would not have been pursued. If the maidís story
was ever reported, the police would have dismissed it as the story
of a hysterical person or a person out for money. In the unlikely
case that the police were pressed by reporters, the police would
say that DSK had left the country before they could find him and
that they were arranging to question him in France. In the very
least, DSKís detention would have been very discreet, and he would
have been given the benefit of "innocent until proven guilty"
and granted bail.
DSKís case, the law is not serving the rich and powerful. Moreover,
there are powerful biases against him. Feminists "know"
that DSK is guilty, because "all men are sexual predators."
Progressives and leftists "know" that DSK is guilty, because
"as a person of wealth and power, he is used to getting away
When it became
known that the police had "found" DSK only because the
alleged fleeing suspect telephoned the hotel and asked for his cell
phone, leftists did not wonder why the police had painted DSK guilty
with a false story. Instead, they explained the alleged criminalís
revelation of his whereabouts on the basis of their myth that as
one of the rich and powerful, he expected to be able to rape women
at will with nothing ever done about it. Soon the story was that
attempted rape was ordinary behavior on DSKís part. But leftists
did not explain why this time the law failed to protect him from
a hotel maid when it had protected him from higher placed women.
know by now, I have little patience with those who let their emotions
determine their analysis. Letís look further at this case. It is
a known fact that Sarkozyís political operatives in France knew
of Strauss-Kahnís arrest before it was announced by the New
York police. French, but not American, newspapers have wondered
how this could be.
hotel maid thought to call up Sarkozyís people and tell them.
Note also that
the alleged victim has a very high-priced major league lawyer representing
her that she not only does not need but also obviously cannot afford
to pay. It is not up to the maid to prosecute the defendant. That
job is done at public expense by the New York attorney general.
The alleged victim has another high-priced lawyer in France whose
job is to round up Strauss-Kahn victims among French women with
the prospect of sharing in a settlement.
mean one of two things: The "victim" is after money, not
justice, and the lawyers are operating on contingency with shares
in a settlement between DSK and whatever the collection of women
turns out to be. Alternatively, Strauss-Kahn was set-up, as he predicted
that he would be, but there is no evidence other than a disheveled
woman performing for the hotel security camera. Therefore, whoever
is behind the set-up sent the fancy lawyer to the maid Ė certainly
the emigrant maid would not have known how to find such a lawyer
Ė with the instructions to drive the case toward settlement.
regards large financial settlements as evidence of guilt, and thus
a settlement is all that is needed to terminate Strauss-Kahnís career.
The left-wing would scream that money again had defeated justice.
As DSK has already been convicted in the media, he no doubt would
welcome a settlement rather than risk a trial by jurors prejudiced
by the media.
of course, has to be blamed on DSK, not on the maid or her attorneys.
This is impossible to do, because if the maid was not after a settlement,
she would not have two attorneys driving the case in that direction.
How to pull this rabbit out of the hat?
accounts are correct, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz has
stepped up to frame the story. If a crime actually occurred, a settlement
between the two sidesí lawyers would be obstruction of justice,
itself a crime, and the lawyers know it. But the maidís attorneys
know that the big money belongs to DSKís wife, not to DSK.
out the maid getting much out of a civil suit for damages following
a felony conviction of DSK. To get a settlement, the maid needs
to get money from DSKís wife by agreeing not to testify, thus collapsing
a trial. The path to a settlement, Dershowitz, says, is for DSKís
lawyers not to negotiate with the maid or the maidís lawyers, but
with the maidís family as long as it is done outside of New York
and her home country of Guinea.
that in Dershowitzís explanation, it is DSK who initiates the settlement
talks. Dershowitz says that the maidís lawyer "may want to
see justice done, but ultimately, money is more important."
If justice were the goal, the maid would not need a lawyer.
So who is using
the law against who? In the event of a settlement, the left-wing
will say that DSK or his rich wife bought his way out of a crime.
They will not consider the possibility that the law served an immigrant
maid who bilked a wife out of millions of dollars and destroyed
the reputation of a member of the establishment who was in the way
of those more powerful than he.
The only way
the left-wingís myth about law being the servant of the rich can
be saved is by seeing the case as a set-up of DSK by someone who
is richer and more powerful than he is. This someone could be the
current president of France and the financial and political forces
behind him, which includes the US government for which Sarkozy has
been a reliable puppet.
Craig Roberts [send
him mail], a
former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and former associate
editor of the Wall Street Journal, has been reporting shocking cases
of prosecutorial abuse for two decades. A new edition of his book,
Tyranny of Good Intentions,
co-authored with Lawrence Stratton, a documented account of how
Americans lost the protection of law, has been released by Random
© 2011 Paul
Best of Paul Craig Roberts