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DSK Arrested

by afew Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:26:21 AM EST

IMF managing director and leader in the French presidential election polls is under arrest in New York.

IMF chief expected to be charged with sex attack | Reuters

(Reuters) - IMF chief and possible French presidential contender Dominique Strauss-Kahn was taken into police custody and is expected to be charged on Sunday with an alleged sexual assault of a hotel maid in New York City, police said.

Strauss-Kahn, a key player in the world's response to the 2007-09 financial meltdown and in Europe's ongoing debt crisis, was removed from an Air France plane 10 minutes before it was to take off for Paris from John F Kennedy International Airport, New York police spokesman Paul Browne said.

Browne said police expected Strauss-Kahn would be formally arrested and charged: "He will be charged with a criminal sexual act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment."

In the circumstances - the maid escaped from the room and immediately alerted hotel staff who called the police, DSK left so hurriedly he forgot his cellphone - it doesn't sound a priori like a stitch-up. In any case, it looks likely to put an end to DSK's career at the IMF and his candidature for the French presidential.

[UPDATE 16/05/2011] Still in custody, DSK has been charged with "criminal sexual act, unlawful imprisonment, and attempted rape" and is expected to be in court this (Monday) morning. He will plead not guilty, according to his lawyer.]

Further news and comment below.


Display:
See the discussion in the Open Thread.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:32:12 AM EST
Well, M. Sarkozy just got reelected. What a surprise!
;-)
by Xavier in Paris on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 03:11:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
However this turns out in terms of facts and legal consequences, I don't see how DSK can live it down faced, as IMF chief, by American prudery (oh, that sin-and-crime-laced word "sodomy"!), and as French presidential candidate, by the pile of hay the Sarkozistani will make of it.

Unless he can quickly and convincingly demonstrate it was stage-managed, he's finished.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:37:49 AM EST
afew:
Unless he can quickly and convincingly demonstrate it was stage-managed, he's finished

Indeed. Just yesterday, I was mentioning that we were just seeing the bare beginning of the 2012 campaign dirty tricks (Porschegate). But I couldn't make that up.
by Bernard on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:59:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I read your comment and was thinking of a diary on it. But this blows it all away.

Unless there is convincing evidence it was a sting. Even doubt won't help him.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:06:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rather than a sting, I should say a complete fix. But it's not very likely...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:07:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed how could he explain the cell phone? Stolen from him just for the purpose to have fake evidence?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:19:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I left my cell phone at the car mechanics yesterday. In a bit of shock at the price charged to replace a tiny gadget for my VW...

It happens.

by Upstate NY on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 10:06:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that he phoned the hotel from the airport so they could send him his cellphone, which he had forgotten. This was the "tip off" which enabled the police to find him.

Hardly the behaviour of a guilty man on the run.

The thing about a man whose errors of judgement in private affairs are legendary, and who suffers a Clintonian difficulty with keeping it in his pants, is that he would be phenomenally easy to stitch up in an affair like this.

If he was stitched up... (they are currently doing medical and DNA tests to see if he has scratch marks etc. in conformity with the maid's version) then it will take months, at least, to get him off the hook... and he's finished for this electoral cycle (but could be reborn later in French politics)

If the maid's story holds up... then he's finished for good, and good riddance. Whatever the political reservations I had about him, and all moral questions aside (not wanting to make light of a case of rape, but presidents necessarily do worse things in public life), I don't want such a dangerous man in charge.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 03:19:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am reminded of how Spitzer fell, in the same town, after going after the big banks.

Me thinks that somewhere in the surveilliance state is a group with the mission to keep tabs on the habits of powerful men and hold on to it just in case. I am not surprised if the habits of powerful men is often in contradiction to the law, which they can get away with by being powerful.

Anyway, was not DSK to the right on the PS field? So hopefully someone better will win it now and go on to defeat Sarkozy or Le Pen in the second round.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:54:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DSK was hardly my preferred candidate, but I'm not heaving a sigh of relief. Because this will smear the entire left side of the political spectrum at the same time as it clears the shit away from Sarkozy.

Within a week or so, with media magnification (but that is part of the game), DSK has succeeded in wiping Sarko's inconveniently bling-bling slate clean.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:02:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
two incidents in a row just at the time he was supposed to be coming back to France to start his campaign? How convenient...

I would have preferred DSK in 2007 to Royal, and would prefer Aubry this time round, but this smacks of something dirty. Moon of Alabama suggests something more linked to the IMF's relative reasonableness towards Greece, à la Spitzer, and even if that seems a bit more far-fetched, this new event is sure to have an impact there too.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:25:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Porsche thing was entirely his fault: it wasn't a set-up.

Whether this NY hotel affair is a fix or not, I'd say he has a day or so to convince people of his innocence, because the damage will be done beyond that, and even reasonable doubt won't save him.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 06:05:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's nothing in these pictures, it's not even his car; in fact, if there is to be something shown there, it's not what they're shown for: his appartment Place des Vosges, which is much more out of reach of a commoner than whatever Porsche.

The media blitz was clearly orchestrated. I haven't seen anyone but pundits comment on it.

Now as for him being a sexual predator ... well there seems to be quite a history, and it's actually better that he be exposed now rather than this shit happens after the primaries.

A 'centrist' is someone who's neither on the left, nor on the left.

by nicta (nico@altiva․fr) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 04:37:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spitzer (the self-proclaimed steamroller) was caught after a stay at the Mayflower Hotel in DC, not New York. Perhaps what is more similar is two powerful men acting as if they were invincible.
by Jace on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 10:36:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Acting invincible is a so-called public servant staying in a $3,000 a night hotel suite. Not at all uncommon I suspect - nevertheless...

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 11:22:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It may be more similar but in the Spitzer case, his behavior was a lot less disconcerting than the way his affair was discovered. There is reason to be a lot more concerned about illegal surveillance of politicians than there is about prostitution.
by Upstate NY on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:36:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What could be easier? Persuade him he has a date with a high-class prostitute, insert a room service request into the hotel system - or just make a call from 'his' suite, and presto! Phone could be stolen in an elevator while he was leaving. In short, nothing a reasonably competent team of operatives wouldn't be capable of.
by Sargon on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:06:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The discussions that will bring old friends out of lurkerdom...

Welcome back.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:43:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks!

I got interested in how this world seems to rotate around perceptions rather than realities these days, and how the perceptions got fabricated and manipulated. This one looks like an especially ugly example.

by Sargon on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 07:27:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This thread is interesting in that we're all pretty much commenting in character.

The world is not so much a stage as a Rorschach test.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 07:28:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
The world is not so much a stage as a Rorschach test.

heh, true dat. to complete the triangle, acting is a rorschach test too.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 01:42:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But now I'm in conspiracy theory mode...

Let's have a vote : is this a stitch-up
a) concerning the French political election
b) concerning the Euro crisis?

If you had billions riding on a run on Greek banks, for example... would you be likely to have scruples about ruining a politician's career?

My novel in gestation feels validated, in any case.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 04:15:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Neither.

If - big if - this is a set-up, it's more likely about the IMF. DSK has allowed it to drift off-mission (that is, he has allowed it to drift towards the mission specified in its charter, which is not coterminous with its mission as envisaged by the people who own it).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 04:26:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd say Euro crisis.

DSK was about to fly for a Sunday morning meeting with Merkel, to discuss Greece.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 04:28:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If this had been any other politician, I would have said that it strains credulity that he would commit such an easily revealed crime just when he is in the crosshairs of Sarko's character assassins. However, DSK showed lack of wisdom in sex affairs before.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:17:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He is well-known for it. Other French politicians too - Chirac notably - but the French don't take it seriously as long as it's discreet and "gallant". Attempting to rape a chambermaid and bringigng France into international disrepute as a result doesn't enter into that category.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:25:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the French don't take it seriously as long as it's discreet and "gallant"

But he did it with a subordinate abroad as IMF chief last time, so the 'audience' wasn't just the French, and he could have foreseen the consequences.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:35:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Given his poll ratings in France, that incident seems to have been understood to be in the discreet and gallant category...

Though obviously it did his international reputation little good. His work as MD of the IMF since then has been generally considered (Seriously™) as competent, so he was back in relative favour.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:41:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Given his poll ratings in France, that incident seems to have been understood to be in the discreet and gallant category...

Nevermind that this 'gallant' affair with a subordinate was confirmed to have been less than consensual by the 'seduced' woman, who said

Strauss-Kahn had abused his position to get in touch with me... I was not prepared to advance to the Director of the IMF... I felt that if I accepted I was losing, and losing if I refused.

...and also

I fear that this man has a problem which, perhaps, made him unfit to lead an organization where women work.

But, more importantly, the lack of wisdom I meant was in thinking that foreign authorities and media will keep things discreet and won't get on the case like it would happen in France (though the IMF's investigation was ended exonerating DSK without asking the woman).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 07:08:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(The quotes are from a letter, first published by L'Express in French.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 07:18:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Strauss-Kahn had abused his position to get in touch with me... I was not prepared to advance to the Director of the IMF... I felt that if I accepted I was losing, and losing if I refused.

And this, boys and girls, is why you should not fuck people in your own chain of command. The situation is inherently coercive.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 07:45:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I doubt most Americans care about the use of the word "sodomy".  But I suspect most would care about the head of the IMF forcing himself on a maid in his hotel room.

Why this would be a sign of "prudery," I don't know.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 08:30:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...adding: And, of course, when you think "prudery," the first place that comes to mind in America is New York City.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 08:46:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hence the famous dictum: "How would it play in Peroria?"  :-)

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 09:59:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What was the "chambermaid" doing in the room at 1:00 pm? They come in in the morning and change the linens, then leave. And if there's somebody in the room, they don't come in anyway, regardless of time of day.

Fishy.

by asdf on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 12:49:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One can forget the "do not disturb" sign. One can also "forget" it intentionally. On the other hand, they probably  wouldn't come and change the linens just before the guest was about to leave.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 12:56:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not really. If the suite was marked as a 12.00 check-out, it would be cleaned immediately if there was a new booking. Possibly the agreed checkout time and the actual checkout were confused. In any case, with those room rates you get a lot of leeway. It could easily be miscommunication between the cleaners and the front desk.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 12:57:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not really true.  They knock on the door and say, "Housekeeping," and you either tell them it's okay or tell them it's unnecessary.

1PM isn't uncommon either.

Granted, it may be different in a $3k/night hotel.  I don't think I've ever spent more than a hundred and twenty bucks.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:06:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've never been in a $3000 room, but I doubt it's that different from multi-hundred dollar rooms. They usually knock, but not always - and if you are in the bathroom (especially in a suite) you may not hear it, so coming out naked and finding a maid is not in itself completely surprising.

What happened next is something else.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:13:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The other obvious point about the 1PM thing: Check-out -- at least in the hotels I've stayed in -- is usually noon.  Check-in is usually 3PM or 4PM.  So coming in at 1PM would seem logical.

That's obviously meaningless to the allegations though.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:35:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Repeating my comment from the open thread, I always thought that electing Mr. IMF President would be the self-burial of the French Left. The symbolic angle would be ruinous alone. So if DSK is toast, I wonder who is the most likely candidate.

Bernard:

Several PS big shots had already announced they'd be running in the primary: Ségolène Royal, François Hollande (Ségo's ex-partner), Arnaud Montebourg and Manuel Valls.

As for Martine Aubry, it is rumored that she and DSK have "a pact", whereas if DSK runs she won't and vice-versa.

Do I guess right that Aubry would have more chances than those who already announced?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:22:51 AM EST
I think Hollande is quite well set, having prepared ground-level support in the PS for some time now. But Hollande v Aubry would be a difficult match to predict.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:27:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 04:17:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See Les Echos on how Sarko was actually more afraid of Hollande than of DSK and this is "misleadingly good news" (fausse bonne nouvelle) for him.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 04:28:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
False good news, rather?

DSK y était crédité de 65 % des voix au second tour face au chef de l'Etat sortant si ce dernier parvenait à se qualifier. Contre 60 % pour François Hollande, 56 % pour Martine Aubry et 50 % pour Ségolène Royal.DSK was credited with 65% of votes in the second round against the outgoing head of state if the latter are successful at qualifying. Against 60% for Francois Hollande, 56% for Martine Aubry, and 50% for Ségolène Royal.

Though Bernard said so, I'm surprised Hollande is such a strong candidate, I recall different polls. I wonder if there will be mutual destruction negative campaigns between him and Royal.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 04:56:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
While we wait for the expert translators into French (afew) I don't like false in English for that nuance. I suspect in German falsch would be spot on, though.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 05:06:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Your translation seems closer. For example, the expression "une fausse bonne idée" means an idea that looked good at first sight but (turned out/may be considered likely to turn out) to be not so good after all.

So here, what might have appeared good news is probably (examined more closely) not such good news after all.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 05:27:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
even if she doesn't appear to know it yet.

I quite liked the concept of her campaign last time round; the only real problem with her is that she's not very bright.

Aubry is behind Hollande because she hasn't been campaigning, whereas he has upped his profile considerably in recent months (also relooked himself fairly successfully, losing a considerable amount of weight)

Aubry's main handicap so far is that she doesn't really look like she wants the job. This, of course, adds considerably to her qualifications! My gut feeling is that she'll now step out of the shadows and comprehensively clean the clocks of her concurrents.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 06:45:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What an ass! They're killing each other in Greece. We're at risk to suffer Sarko for another five years. And this guy jumps a chambermaid in a $3000 per night hotel suite. What an ass!

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:26:41 AM EST
Yeh. Bleegh.
The whole thing strains credulity, if for no other reason than it's cartoon-like stupidity.
I've never liked Strauss-Kahn, thinking him primarily an opportunist, but now-- psychophant? Or another setup? If so, they must have drugged the champagne with elixir of stupid.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:36:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately, no amount of stupidity strains my credulity any more.

These days I'm more inclined to doubt assertions of intelligent action.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 08:14:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
These days I'm more inclined to doubt assertions of intelligent action.

Especially when the genitalia are involved. To paraphrase: "Man has a brain and a penis -- and enough blood to run one at a time!"  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 10:06:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is just confirmation of what we already knew. Out of touch, he likely came out of the shower expecting a willing chambermaid to do what they do in pornos he was probably watching on Sofitel's pay-per-view the night before.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 06:33:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reuters Breaking Views:

Questions for Strauss-Kahn raise more for world | Reuters Breakingviews

Even before Saturday's arrest, Strauss-Kahn would have needed to step down from his IMF post had he decided to throw his hat into the ring for the French presidency. But in such a scenario, the fund's normal process for nominating a successor -- that is, with liberal French and European political influence -- would have been intact. If Strauss-Kahn's exit occurs because of the situation in New York, it's not clear how a replacement would be found.

That could have serious ramifications on global affairs. Indeed, some have argued the IMF has acted too softly in its response to the debt crises afflicting Europe, reflecting a more politically sensitive leadership under Strauss-Kahn given his designs for the Elysee Palace. By extension, an abruptchange in leadership at the IMF could push the agency towards a more confrontational, if traditional, stance with countries like Greece.

Until more is known about the arrest, of course, these are all hypothetical outcomes to hypothetical questions. But it's fair to say the financial markets will have as much interest in the outcome as New York's tabloids do.

Emphasis mine.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:37:04 AM EST
Oh, let's fob off Stark or some other stark raving lunatic on them. Do less damage there than at the ECB.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:39:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This Reuters columnist is suggesting Europe might have less clout in the choice after this. So we might not be "fobbing" anything off.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:49:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There were already suggestions that the emerging economies were pushing to hold the post next.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:52:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would probably be a good idea.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:59:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 06:06:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is Cameron really in favour of this, or is it just anybody but Brown?
Several high-profile candidates are already available in Europe, including Britain's former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is highly regarded in various European capitals. However, his candidature is likely to be shot down by none other than Prime Minister David Cameron who said on record that the next IMF chief should be from "India, China, or Southeast Asia since the organisation needs someone who understands the dangers of excessive spending."

[...]

One of the persons tipped to succeed Mr. Strauss-Kahn is Montek Singh Ahluwalia. Other names include Mohamed A El-Erian, the American-born son of an Egyptian diplomat and an economist who leads the giant bond investor Pimco, and Arminio Fraga and Guillermo Ortiz, former heads of the central banks of Brazil and Mexico respectively.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 02:43:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
People were wondering about Lorenzo Bini Smaghi....
What about Lorenzo Bini-Smaghi?

There is a lot of newspaper speculation this morning about the future of Lorenzo Bini-Smaghi. It seems that Vittorio Grilli, Giulio Tremonti's number two and head of the EFC, is headed for the Banca d'Italia, and there is now speculation about what Bini-Smaghi might do. Will he stay put, in a demonstration of the ECB's independence? Some rumours have him as the successor of Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the IMF, but will they tolerate another European? We treat all rumours with caution. This issues is clearly not settled.

(Eurointelligence, 13.05.2011)

As for LBS's stark raving lunacy credentials...

Lorenzo Bini Smaghi ... says a bond restructuring would lead to a breakdown of the financial, economic, and social structure of our societies.


Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:58:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The more I think about this, the more suspicious I get. This falls into the "too good to be true" category in so many respects...

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:04:53 AM EST
At the very least, the police or press seem to have been embroidering it. "Fled" to the airport, when he had a scheduled meeting with Merkel the next day anyway?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:13:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The alleged assault took place at 1pm and he was taken off the plane at 2:15 am - that is, 13 hours after the assault. Why was he not arrested on check-in?
Strauss-Kahn, a key player in the world's response to the 2007-09 financial meltdown and in Europe's ongoing debt crisis, was removed from an Air France plane minutes before it was to take off for Paris from John F Kennedy International Airport on Saturday, New York police spokesman Paul Browne said.

Browne said Strauss-Kahn was formally arrested at 2:15 a.m. on Sunday on charges of criminal sexual act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment.

...

A 32-year-old maid filed a sexual assault complaint after fleeing the $3,000-a-night hotel suite at the Sofitel in Times Square where the alleged incident occurred around 1 p.m. on Saturday, Browne said.



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:22:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
2:25 am would be the European time fro the flight. There are AF flights at 4:40pm, 6:15pm, 7:15pm and the last one is at 11:20pm

From the airline code (AF23, he was on the 4:40pm flight), which departed at 5:13 yesterday.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:29:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He was removed from the aircraft at 4.40pm but was "officially arrested" at 2.25am. That's why there is this confusion with the timing.

"Eurozone leaders have turned a Ä50bn Greek solvency problem into a Ä1,000bn existential crisis for the European Union." David Miliband
by Kostis Papadimitriou on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 06:01:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Set up operations traditionally play at the target's weakness. It made sense to have a quiet affair with a staffer, and quietly apologize about lack of judgement. Much less likely he'd allow himself to be so compromised as to be accused of rape or near rape, much less on an accidental visit by a "chambermaid."

(But then again, absolute power corrupts absolutely. The room was reputedly $3K/nite.)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:17:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
so what?

Does having money disqualify you from being on the left?

And do you think that the head of the IMF should not travel in the best conditions available? You're flying to the US often enough - how you travel makes a rather big difference on how operational you are the next day.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:22:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If he was meeting Merkel in Europe the following morning a 2:25am flight in first class is basically a substitute for a hotel bed. At about the same price as the hotel in NYC...

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:24:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it's stuff like this which disqualifies you from being on the left.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:25:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wait J, i never said anything about left qualifications, i mentioned the symptoms of power corrupting, which is human across all stripes.

And i thought, what's wrong with a $800/nite room, though on second thought if it's a suite and used for meetings, ok.

(And you know i don't begrudge comfortable travel, for the operational benefits as you say.)

I'm also not forgetting that he may NOT have been set up, that this is an example of his own weakness, and that's what drove my comment. In fact, for me, both the set up and the story as reported strain my credibility.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 06:52:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
was he set up with the porsche pic too?

and what is it with that anyway? because it wasn't a french sports car?

are there any?

when the guy spends $35,000 for a freaking suit, one assumes it doesn't have a hairshirt under it!

while i wouldn't mind seeing a saint francis lookalike running from the left, (might pick up a surprising amount of the religious vote), traipsing the campaign trail in birkenstocks on a bike, isn't there a middle way between the two?

maybe he should have borrowed a tesla...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 01:38:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's probably common for org. heads to fly first and stay in expensive suites.  Sec State does, but US ambassador's are expected to fly coach except on their initial arrival flights to country of future accreditation and probably departure as well. Nevertheless, many find ways to mostly fly business or first.  Can't say I blame them. Coach is fit for cattle. Moo!

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 04:02:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We certainly do have some recent precedent here, and those who have been following Julian Assange's takedown, as well as Elliot Spitzer's political demise may note once again that the most convenient, most favorite weapon against a political or other enemy seems to be sex.  

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:48:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is going to be Spitzer, Polanski and Assange all rolled up into one.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:51:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure if your intent was to portray Spitzer as some sort of victim. He was not. He was simply after power. He was fighting for it (in quite an arrogant fashion) against, and at the expense of, the rather nasty State Senate majority leader Joe Bruno. Bruno got a gift when Spitzer's name came up on a prostitution ring that was being wire-tapped. But in the end, nobody won: they took each other out with Bruno retiring while facing charges of wire and mail fraud.
by Jace on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 10:56:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The prostitution ring was being wire-tapped AFTER Spitzer transferred money to them. That's an important fact, don't you think? Hundreds of thousands of money transfers of exactly that sort are made each and every day, and we're supposed to believe that just by chance the FBI lasered-beamed onto this particular transfer? Like finding a needle in a haystack.

How many of those money transfers are investigated by the FBI? Hundreds of thousands a day.

by Upstate NY on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:39:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
According to wiki they started investigating the wire transfers on the off chance he was taking bribes.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:42:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But, the thing that tipped everything off was a bank report of wire transfers to the FBI. Before that, there was no official surveillance. The name on the bank account was not reported. That the FBI decided to focus on this particular account, and that the account belonged to Spitzer, was all a product of chance--supposedly. It was a 1 in 500,000 chance.
by Upstate NY on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 11:39:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spitzer had been using these prostitures over a period of six months before he got caught after his night at the Mayflower. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Bruno was both tailing Spitzer and also got the FBI involved. Spitzer for his part was using the State Police to monitor Bruno. They were after power, trying to fuck each other, and they did.
by Jace on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 05:23:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The point is though that the prostitution ring came under the FBI's purview after a 1 in 500,000 chance that a single wire transfer would attract the FBI's interest on that particular say, and that that account would belong to Spitzer.

It's a lot more likely that someone was tracking that account (and that's quite beyond Joe Bruno) and researching who was receiving the money.

by Upstate NY on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 11:42:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, in my case you are quite right. I admire Spitzer, in spite of his tendencies to like pretty women as bedmates, and his poor judgment in paying for them.

I followed the Spitzer case quite closely, including the side sources less slavishly repeating the salacious details for public tittilation, and Spitzer was caught in a "Honey Trap" of the most ordinary kind.
He too had powerful enemies, and was well down the road on at least four investigations that looked likely to put some huge names in the investment banking world to work usefully, for perhaps the first time in their lives. Breaking rocks.
He was probably more feared than any other man among the circles of New York Predatory finance.
Had he been a compliant dupe, like so many of the current administration, his "peccadilloes" might just have been saved as insurance. But he was effective, and according to people not in the line of fire, honest.
I would not stoop to brand his motives as crass power seeking, or altruistic public service since I know no more than you about his internal motives. I do know what he DID, and I admire him for it.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 01:50:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To a politician dying young.
by Jace on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 06:04:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't forget the allegations against Al Gore (with a room-service masseuse) as well.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:19:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"She told detectives he came out of the bathroom naked, ran down a hallway to the foyer where she was, pulled her into a bedroom and began to sexually assault her, according to her account."

"She pulled away from him and he dragged her down a hallway into the bathroom where he engaged in a criminal sexual act, according to her account to detectives. He tried to lock her into the hotel room," Browne added.>

I'd be wary of believing a word of this without corroborating evidence - because it's so obviously bonkers.

It's more plausible that he hired some executive relief - as men like DSK often do - and the executive relief had already been hired by someone else to do an acting job. This wouldn't be difficult or expensive to set up.

Of course if the ¨maid¨ turns out to be someone who really is employed to restock the drinks cabinet and change the towels, I'll take that back.

But otherwise, as everyone else has noticed, this seems remarkably convenient and well-timed.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:50:23 AM EST
"Hmm, I have to be at the airport in two hours. I think I'll take a shower and hire myself some flesh-and-blood executive relief rather than executively relieve myself and then shower. Good thing my carry-on is already packed..."

Is that it?

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:54:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That makes as much sense as ¨I'm just starting my run for president, so I'll improve my chances by raping a hotel maid.¨

In the interests of market efficiency, it's not unusual for executive entertainment requests to be made at the same time a room is booked.

(There is a reason it's called a lay-over.)

If he was travelling first he'd get speedy expedited check-in and security, so there wouldn't be quite so much of the milling around and waiting that we get in cattle class.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 06:42:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
just starting my run for president, so I'll improve my chances by raping

I'm sure it would work for Berlusconi...

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 07:27:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Without being over-conspiratorial, it is also possible that the maid was/is legitimately employed by the hotel AND working for one of the US security agencies. I think we can take is as fact that these agencies have many people placed in hotels on general surveillance, and, when required, additional duties. A 3000 dollar a night hotel might be a high priority target.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 06:32:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I doubt if the hotel would be informed of the presence of undercover or controlled people, even though the hotel would obviously cooperate with government security people simply to help protect its high-flying clientele (and reputation).

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 06:36:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I'll await DSK's claims of defense before conspiracy theories.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 06:35:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm thinking DSK thought that the $3000 per night price tag included a little "nookie." Sounds reasonable to me!

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:56:58 AM EST
Try to be a mensch, LEP ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 06:38:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm trying, but it's not easy ;)

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 07:01:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I know, I know...

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 07:47:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
aptly put it, another deserving Galtian overlord has found that the world on the ground doesn't see things they way they do in their IMF towers.

We cannot replace one set of elites with another, now that our elites are so out of touch so as to expect a blow-job here, austerity there, all the while they are protected in their increasingly security-enhanced fortresses. People are increasingly cynical about their "democracy," and why? Because they are increasingly wary of their elites. And this is why.

If "democracy" actually worked, we wouldn't have it anymore.

Good on the cops in NY to not let this pass, though I wonder if it were the parquet here in Paris would the "affair" have been handled differently?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 06:39:00 AM EST
a "Galtian" overlord? And thus guilty?

As far as I know, he was an excellent socialist minister of the economy last time round and co-inventor of the 35-hour week), and he has put the IMF on a much better path than before.

As to what happened last night, let's see, but so far we have the accusations by one side, with no response provided yet; a history of having relationships with various women is maybe something we don't like (and something which his wife more than anyone should judge), but it's not illegal and certainly not the same thing as rape.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 06:54:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The rumors I had heard about his reputations were a bit stronger than "sleeping with various women"... And would at least had fallen in the "sexual harassment" category...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misŤres
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 07:04:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As in the Piroska affair.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 07:10:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That sounds predatory and exploitative - but it's still some way short of trying to lock someone random in a room. (To what end?)

I don't have a problem believing DSK is a generic corporate sleazeball, because sleazeball behaviour is normal for his class. (q.v. Berlusconi etc.) Pols/executives and prostitutes seem to find it hard to survive without each other. Exploiting interns and other lower level employees isn't unusual either.

But forcefully raping a random stranger goes beyond sleazeballery into criminal psychosis. Unless he has a long history of exactly this, it's qualitatively and psychologically different.

Given that we have Clinton, Spitzer, Assange, and others as political precedents, some skepticism seems reasonable.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 07:59:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Exploiting interns and other lower level employees isn't unusual either.

It's not unusual, but it is not mere "sleazeballery" either. At any rate, there was this, too:

French voters can separate scandal from politics | Melissa Bounoua | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

That wasn't the only scandal. There was a fuss last year when a young French author, Tristane Banon, described her encounter with him. She explained that she had interviewed him for a book about public figures and their missteps, and claimed she had to fight him off physically. She said she hadn't made a complaint at the time, because she didn't want to be "the girl who had a problem with a politician".


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 10:41:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's the video in question for those who are fluent in French: an excerpt of a TV show (93, Faubourg Saint-Honoré on Paris Première, hosted by Thierry Ardisson.

Ms.Banon relates her encounter with DSK in an empty Parisian apartment, that she had indeed to fight him off after he removed her bra strap and tried to open her jean. She said he was very self-assured and not afraid about about possible rape attempt lawsuits ("as if he was used to it."). After she left the apartment, he sent him several "provocative" SMS; she added she went to see a lawyer ("who had a pile that high about DSK") and prepared a dossier for filing a lawsuit, but ultimately relented because she didn't want to be "to the end of her days, the girl who had a problem with a politician".

All in all, her account is eerily similar to the Sofitel employee's, right down to the complete sense of impunity. Sounds like we'll see plenty of skeletons like this falling off the cupboards over the next couple of days...

by Bernard on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:58:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed he could have ignored the consequences like this based on the 'experience' of earlier 'success'...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:31:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Partial transcript of Tristane Banon's story translated into English here (Business Insider).
by Bernard on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:04:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
watching Thierry Ardisson in your quest for the truth.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 04:31:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The rumors where already going beyond "basic" sexual harassment...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misŤres
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 11:52:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
he has put the IMF on a much better path than before

Has he? Is the IMF not the point man trashing Portugal and Greece at the moment (even if the ECB is the true mover of things from behind the scenes)?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 07:13:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, IMF has been the slightly less deranged psychopath in teh IMF/ECB team. Also there has been some reports that has been commented upon as less fantasy based then expected for IMF.

While not earth-shattering, I find it a reasonable improvement for a term in office. Organisations like this has great inertia.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 08:09:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In addition to Migeru's cite below, I can say that under him IMF became less ideologically correct and willing to contemplate usefulness of things such as capital controls, (probably extensively discussed here). Olivier Blanchard has definitely played a leading role there, but you'd never enact such a shift of policy at the IMF without a 'go' from the very top.
by Sargon on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 09:04:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's hardly DSK's achievement:

She said the shift has been "in response to pressure from rising powers within the fund," such as Brazil and India, which have gained voting clout as their share of the world economy has grown.

The French and German governments also called for capital controls at the time if I remember correctly. As for what it was worth:

Such controls should be applied only after countries strengthen their banking systems and adopt economic measures such as building up reserves, tightening fiscal policies and lowering central bank interest rates, according to the draft guidelines, obtained by Bloomberg News.

"In the past, capital controls were not in our toolkit," IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said separately in a statement posted on the fund's website. "Today, we see them more as part of the toolkit, although only in specific circumstances and not, of course, as a substitute for good macroeconomic policies."

Well, there are so many ifs and buts, that you have to colour me unimpressed. These are cosmetic changes, not a real left turn, just like DSK's persistent rhetoric about "protecting the most vulnerable" doesn't change the fact that all the while countries were trashed with lasting "structural reforms" from Latvia to Portugal. Though DSK leaked in at least two cases (Hungary 2008, Greece 2011) that it was the local governments who really wanted to be nasty, trying to imply that the IMF was merely used as cover.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 10:29:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, India and Brazil don't get much vote - they are members of country groups that together account for about 5% of votes in the IMF Executive Board. And France and Germany together are another 10%.

More to the point, you can hardly imagine how difficult it'd be to counteract an ingrained IMF culture of USA calling all the shots.

Finally, not really being left-wing myself, I can hardly blame him for not carrying out the left turn. Rest assured that his policy clearly ruffed some feathers on the right wing.

What I do credit him for is for doing sensible things that appeal to me as a professional economist.

by Sargon on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 10:58:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Such controls should be applied only after countries strengthen their banking systems and adopt economic measures such as building up reserves, tightening fiscal policies and lowering central bank interest rates

This is a significant, if stealthy, amendment. The past recommendation - as late as a decade ago - was to raise interest rates, in an effort to "strengthen the currency."

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:26:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As they say in the States, innocent until proven....

But, politics and justice are not the same.

Not sure about what he's done at the IMF...still the same IMF as far as I can see, as any unemployed Greek youth in the street can tell you. I'll leave the 35 hour week discussion to another thread ;-)

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 07:37:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From the Reuters story:
Since taking over the IMF, he has won praise for putting the fund at the center of global efforts to cope with the global financial meltdown.

He introduced sweeping changes to ensure that countries swamped by the financial collapse had access to emergency loans, and was pivotal in brokering bailouts for Iceland, Hungary, Greece, Ireland, and recently Portugal.

He has overseen changes that have given emerging market countries, such as China, India and Brazil, greater voting power in the IMF, and weighed into thornier issues by urging China to let its currency rise in a dispute with the United States.



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 07:41:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The question is, by whom?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 07:42:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why, Jerome.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 07:43:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Am I too Serious for you?

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 07:57:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suppose this from El Pais: No, he Kahn't
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, detenido anoche por una supuesta agresión sexual, ha conseguido en los últimos años revitalizar un Fondo Monetario Internacional que languidecía -en el mejor de los casos- en su papel de bombero económico del mundo, ignorados sus consejos tras unos años en los que el FMI imponía a los países con problemas (latinoamericanos y asiáticos, durante los ochenta y los noventa) una severa cura de adelgazamiento con el sesgo neoliberal -y hoy totalmente desfasado- del Consenso de Washington. En estas llegó el huracán financiero internacional. Y el FMI, con Strauss-Kahn a la cabeza -socialista y francés, para más señas, en una institución acusada de ser el patio trasero de EE UU y el epítome de su política económica de desregulación y capitalismo de casino-, resucitó entonces a Keynes. Pidió estímulos fiscales en todo el mundo, consiguió que los emergentes -China, India y Brasil- contribuyeran a las arcas del FMI para volver a ejercer el papel de bombero en los países con problemas, fue uno de los ideólogos de sustituir el G-7 por el G-20 y, en fin, se le considera uno de los personajes capitales a la hora de impedir que la Gran Recesión fuera aún peor: una Gran Depresión en toda regla, al estilo de los años treinta del siglo pasado.
is as good as any summary of the conventional wisdom on DSK at the IMF.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 08:23:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If only he made movies that the Villagers loved....

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 07:47:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Leaving aside the French presidential election, which is still l ways away...
Strauss-Kahn was on his way to Europe for a meeting on Sunday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the European debt crisis, and then was to attend a euro zone finance ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday.
Does the IMF have stand-ins for these meetings?

I can't wait to read the Eurointelligence morning newsbriefing tomorrow morning...

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 07:23:08 AM EST
Eurointelligence Daily Briefing: A game changer for the eurozone
The arrest of Dominique Strauss Kahn raises further doubts about the eurozone's capacity to resolve its debt crisis; DSK was expected to deliver a firm message to Angel Merkel and to eurozone finance ministers about the need for further lending support; Schäuble denies impact; DSK's arrest also affect negotiations on the payment of the fifth tranche of the loan  to Greece, which is due next month; Lipsky takes over as acting director; Alan Beattie writes that DSK's abrupt departure will make it more difficult for a European as his successor; the French press excludes the possibility that DSK' may somehow still emerge as a presidential candidate; les Echos writes that Sarkozy never considered DSK to be his strongest rival but Francois Hollande; DSK's arrest has given risen to conspiracy theories that DSK was set up; the Finnish parliament approved the loan to Portugal, but attached some conditions, including a Vienna Initiative style process; Jyrki Katainen plans a five-party government that would exclude the True Finns (but includes a small Swedish party); a third of FDP delegates voted in favour of a motion to reject the European Stability Mechanism; the Bundestag's legal service warns of liabilities inherent in the various rescue packages; the eurozone grows by 0.8% during Q1; Wolfgang Münchau, meanwhile, says the eurozone rescue strategy is immensely risky, and could be derailed by a simple accident.
(Google link)

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 04:23:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hints of past aggressions?

http://www.agoravox.fr/tribune-libre/article/les-coulisses-de-la-nouvelle-46280

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!

by LEP on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 08:35:02 AM EST
I find it rather disturbing how quickly many here are discounting the maid's story and instead speculating that she was simply an agent provocateur (at best). Perhaps she is the victim?
by Jace on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 11:02:00 AM EST
 I agree.  On the other hand, there's a problem: none of us knows what really happened.

  I don't think intelligence agencies keep agents in under-cover posts as actual employees as hotel maids.  It's a great waste of important resources and, so, incredibly stupid.  You don't spend the time and money to train an agent and then have her spend 99% of her time in a post where she makes the bed and cleans the rooms in a hotel--no matter how ritzy.  How often would she reliably be able to service the rooms of the guests in which her agency is interested?  Silly.

   If an agency wants such a service, it can buy it "off the rack" from a known cooperative real employee who has little actual spy experience but can do simple, routine snooping.  That wouldn't include enticing a "mark" into making a sexual advance but it would include planting and recovering surveillance devices, looking into belongings, etc.

   A key question is whether or not the maid is a long-standing and thus almost certainly legit employee.  If so, then it looks quite bad for DSK because of his (deserved, in my opinion) reputation as a slimey arrogant sexually-predatory high-flyer in the politcal and financial stratosphere.

   I imagine that, if he's in fact guilty of the allegations, his lawyers are frantically trying to buy off this poor maid offering her a big chunk of money---which she'd deserve and, in her place, I'd hire a lawyer who'd negotiate an out-of-court settlement and agree not to press charges in return for damages paid in the neighborhood of 3m to 4m USD, which DSK would, should leap at as a great bargain for being such a fool.

  It makes no sense to me that she'd have been there in the role of a prostitute, somehow intercepting DSK's own request for such a visitor.  He'd have called someone known and trusted or at least someone like that as an intermediary.  Come on, people: the hotel intercepts his supposed call for a hooker and has some interested third-party send one of their own
  as a agent doing their bidding to entrap DSK?  You're watching/reading too much dime-novel spy silliness.

   Yes, it's his word against hers; the problem is that if she's telling the truth, she may have, from every examined angle, a fully convincing profile--no record of any past false allegations, with everything about her being straight as an arrow; that doesn't mean she'd never once have told a white lie or boosted packs of sugar from the hotel kitchen.  It means a normal and normally honest ordinary individual.  If she happens also to have a picture-book home/family life and background, that's a very bad indicator for DSK.

    One thing is fairly certain in my view: whether or not DSK committed the alleged acts, his is by no stretch an "innocent" guy.  The guy is a serial sexual predator, a creep and, with a long history of a life of indulgence and all the perks which go with travelling in his circles, he's habituated to living in a bubble of pampered deference from all around him.  As Clinton regarded Monica Lewinsky, he, Clinton, as a very big big-shot felt entitled to her, to use her for his own passing gratification.

   What I'd like to know is why any intelligent public so consistently tolerates political systems--supposedly democratic!!  LOL!!---which routinely, "systematically" put people such as the creepy DSK to the forefront of power and influence and so often in charge of such fortunes in public money.  The scandal is only secondarily that he may have assaulted a hotel maid.  First, the scandal is that such a guy was so much considered a shoo-in for the candidacy and the victory over Sarkozy---himself, creepy enough in his own ways---for the French presidency.

   If DSK was set up, his manipulators had lots of help---starting with DSK himself being so ready to take such potential "bait", if bait it was.

   Unless the maid wasn't legit, she'd be the only party involved deserving of any sympathy.  

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:04:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You are correct about the hotel maid.

I think the story we have heard leaked from staff at the hotel and was distributed by right-wingers in France.  This information probably did not come first-hand from NYPD to the media.  They would not have information this quickly about details, etc.    This means that the 'story' as we know it now will probably change.

For what it's worth, Clinton did not really use Lewinsky.  There was little sordid about their relationship.

For DSK, a guest in a nice hotel, to go after a maid, would be rather sordid.  We will find out, but if he did have a "relationship" with her that can be demonstrated, it probably was not consensual.

by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:44:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]

 I can accept all that about the Clinton/Lewinsky affair.  For one thing, Ms. Lewinsky wasn't "just there", she was clearly in a real sense, dazzled by the president and in a way that can't be compared to a hotel maid--or at least as we's suppose--"available" to him.

  On the other hand, what Clinton couldn't and didn't do was exercise the adult responsible perspective to grasp that in his position, she could not be fairly considered entirely free of his undue influence.  In other words, a better person, even tempted by her as an object of lust, might have reasoned that his power and authority over her made any such relations, no matter how consensual, improper and out-of-bounds.  That's the very thing that such sexual obsessions make next-to-impossibe for those in power.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:23:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
proximity1:
 I imagine that, if he's in fact guilty of the allegations, his lawyers are frantically trying to buy off this poor maid offering her a big chunk of money---which she'd deserve and, in her place, I'd hire a lawyer who'd negotiate an out-of-court settlement and agree not to press charges in return for damages paid in the neighborhood of 3m to 4m USD, which DSK would, should leap at as a great bargain for being such a fool.

I'm not sure that would do it at this point. We're talking a felony here, so I don't think the maid can simply withdraw the charges. Also, the district attorney has everything to lose by letting DSK off the hook, and everything to gain by sticking it to him.

He needs the best lawyer money can buy.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:27:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If DSK has no sexual relationship with the woman, he can be confident that it can be proven.  He was either set up, or he was messing around with a maid which is bad bad bad for him.  There is no middle ground.
by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:37:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]

  The potential charges are very wide and varied in sexual offenses in New York.   Depending on the circumstances, he could face anything from a misdemeanor to a felony.  It depends on a combination of the factual details of the case and the District Attorney's judgement as to the gravity of the case, the probability of a successful prosecution--requiring provable facts in court, of course--and what this can and should cost the public purse.  Many factors come into it and the prosecutor has very wide discretion in determining what to charge.

  Also, if the key witness/complaintant is determined (for whatever reason) not to cooperate with the prosecution, then the prosecutor's range of options and liklihood of success suddenly become dramatically reduced.

   for sexual assault classes and descriptions in N.Y. state, see:

  http://ypdcrime.com/penal.law/article130.htm

   and search (CTRL-"F")  "misdemeanror" or "felony"

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:54:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]

  I think, in effect, she can choose at any time prior to actual conviction, to withdraw her criminal complaint.  I think in general this results in most D.A.s deciding to drop the charges---though AFAIK nothing requires one to drop them.

   A very expensive high-profile criminal case which fails to enjoy the primary victim's active support and testimony, and, as a result, fails to win a conviction, looks very bad for the prosecutor.

  As for the best lawyer money can buy--you needn't worry there.  If nothing else, he'll have that.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:59:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
proximity1:
As for the best lawyer money can buy--you needn't worry there.  If nothing else, he'll have that.

DSK has reportedly retained William Taylor and Benjamin Brafman.

by Bernard on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:32:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What I'd like to know is why any intelligent public so consistently tolerates political systems--supposedly democratic!!  LOL!!---which routinely, "systematically" put people such as the creepy DSK to the forefront of power and influence and so often in charge of such fortunes in public money.

Given some of the common metaphors of power (having them over the barrel, ram this bill down their throats...), I'd say there's not a whole lot of difference between the quest for (political) power and rape.

by Jace on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:05:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 
One thing is fairly certain in my view: whether or not DSK committed the alleged acts, his is by no stretch an "innocent" guy.  The guy is a serial sexual predator, a creep and, with a long history of a life of indulgence and all the perks which go with travelling in his circles, he's habituated to living in a bubble of pampered deference from all around him.  As Clinton regarded Monica Lewinsky, he, Clinton, as a very big big-shot felt entitled to her, to use her for his own passing gratification.

   What I'd like to know is why any intelligent public so consistently tolerates political systems--supposedly democratic!!  LOL!!---which routinely, "systematically" put people such as the creepy DSK to the forefront of power and influence and so often in charge of such fortunes in public money.

It's reactions such as these that make assassination by sexual innuendo so effective. I don't agree that enjoying a blow job from a pretty intern is an act at all degrading, to either consenting party, nor do I see all commercial sex as exploitation. But that's not the point.
When I was living in the 9th, during the Clinton follies, the most common reaction from my French friends ranged from those who would ask, "-- your're not really going to do this, are you?" to "--but,

-what does any of this have to do with his competence as a president?"

Same here.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 03:20:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reading my comment, I can see the handle left dangling.
To save everybody time, let me say that
 rape is never anything but barbaric.
It's the tendency to condemn, to slip into lurid pontificating I want to avoid.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 03:30:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  To clarify, I'd like to state my agreement with these views of yours,

   " I don't agree that enjoying a blow job from a pretty intern is an act at all degrading, to either consenting party, nor do I see all commercial sex as exploitation. But that's not the point."

  If Monica Lewinsky was solely responsible for all the initiative in her personal relations with President Clinton, then I'd fully agree that it was no one's business but their own.  However, to think that his singularly superior station had no role in their relationship and no influence on Ms. Lewinski (whether she was aware of any influence or not) strikes me as quite naive.

  it's fine with me to raise the point if you find it pertinent.  However, my objections concerning DSK character don't turn on anything relating to sexual relations between actually consenting adults.  In DSK's case, there are examples (plural) of his having played on his official authority and used it to impose sexually on people in subordinate roles to his.  Beyond that, my view of DSK--and of the general run of his class of colleagues, whom I condemn regardless of party--is that he is an eager "player" and promoter of the corrupt system which serves his over-sized ego.  He and all like him are absolutely instrumental to arranging and maintaining the corrupt political and financial systems which prevail.  

  The sexual adventures--to put it mildly--are, in my opinion, just another manifestation of a personal character which is in general disdainful of the very idea of accountability to the public, of a character who seeks power and wealth for their own sake and enjoyment rather than as means to a more respectable end: to serve larger public needs and interests of ordinary people---the kind with whom DSK and his professional fellows are spared almost completely from having any contact with except on their own terms.

   He lives in a bubble of privilege and is continually surrounded by deferential people.  Some of this is now inevitable under the circumstances of the modern technological societies in which we live but it seems to me that DSK and all or nearly all of his cohort wouldn't have it any other way.  They live for the use and abuse of power, wealth and privilege and it is this, above all else, rather than the particular sexual nature of the current affair, which most disgusts me about the man and all who resemble him in it.

   

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 04:06:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Clinton, as president, strikes me as a true alpha-male. He followed the typical pattern: first he fucked over the other males in the group (most notably Newt Gingrich), establishing dominance and only then was he selected by females like Monica Lewinsky. It's worth noting that this pattern is followed by many other creatures including birds.

If you have to buy or force your way onto females you're not an alpha-male. Spitzer showed he wasn't one as governor, nor apparently is DSK (based only on his past indiscretions). The real alpha-male(s) in the group should be able to recognize this and severely limit their ability to rule or dominate. Power to me is this basic.

by Jace on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 09:54:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
@REUTERSFLASH  (H/T HuPo)

Lawyer representing IMF chief Strauss-Kahn says Strauss-Kahn "will plead not guilty"

Unless there is a witness or a recording, either of which would raise questions by themselves, and regardless of the existence, but not of the nature), of physical or DNA evidence, there remains the issue of what actually happened -- he said, she said. And regardless of the actual acts and intent, absent clear evidence to the contrary, DSK would be advised by any competent criminal defense attorney to plead "not guilty". Beyond that, things get murky.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 12:01:05 PM EST
Let the character assassination begin.
by Jace on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 12:44:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IMF's Dominique Strauss-Kahn faces sex charges  Reuters

Strauss-Kahn's wife Anne Sinclair said in a statement: "I do not believe for a single second the accusations leveled against my husband."

She added: "I do not doubt his innocence will be established. I appeal for restraint and decency."

One of the IMF chief's French-based lawyers, Leon Lef Forster, said: "We must wait until things settle and see if it's true or a provocation. We must be especially careful not to get into a media circus."

A 32-year-old maid filed a sexual assault complaint after fleeing the $3,000-a-night hotel suite at the Sofitel in Times Square where the alleged incident occurred around 1 p.m. (1700 GMT) on Saturday, Browne said.



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 12:11:09 PM EST
She is just a maid after all. Pfff.
by Jace on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 12:20:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It would appear we are about to find out. Her personal and employment history are about to get a thorough examination by DSK's defense team -- who would expect anything else -- in either case of DSK's culpability. I think all sorts of things are possible here and can only hope that some clarity emerges.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 12:42:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've already said - the time window is limited if DSK wants to media-convince that this is a stitch-up. In other words, whatever the truth (and I have no idea), the truthiness is currently against him, and changing that won't be easy.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 12:56:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If there is anything doubtful about this claim based on the hotel evidence then it is unlikely the case will move forward after even a few days.  This just happened and the police would not have had time to review the hotel evidence.  The arrest would be made entirely based on the fact that the maid had to have been attacked in some way, by some body, and there is physical evidence.

One thing to know is that if the maid had a consensual interaction with DSK and another staff in the hotel found out about it, she would definitely be fired.  As she is in a very precarious position this might cause an extreme reaction (such as accusing rape to protect herself).

The key questions become:  Did DSK actually have a sexual interaction with the maid in his room?

Next, did DSK and the maid show any strange behavior immediately after leaving the room?  The maid would have had to see other hotel staff almost immediately.  Did she make any phone calls?  Etc.

It is very possible that if a guest made an advance at a hotel maid that she would not know how to react at all.  The power gap between DSK and a NYC hotel maid is enormous.  The hotel staff are trained to be polite and agreeable with guests.   It would be very difficult for her to react to a situation where a guest approached her.

by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:22:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
paving:
It is very possible that if a guest made an advance at a hotel maid that she would not know how to react at all.  The power gap between DSK and a NYC hotel maid is enormous.  The hotel staff are trained to be polite and agreeable with guests.   It would be very difficult for her to react to a situation where a guest approached her.

From what I have read, being sexually assaulted is not very uncommon for women working with cleaning the homes of the rich and powerful, in particular if they are perceived as illegal immigrants. I would not be surprised if this also is true for hotel maids. So there might be hotel maid lore that is different from the official training.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:01:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I work in hotels and asked others as well, we've never heard of a case where a hotel maid messed around with a guest.  You have to realize that cleaning rooms in a hotel is hard work.  They are tired and under pressure, it's a crappy job.  The last thing they are thinking about in the middle of their shift is a quickie with the guy whose filthy bathroom she cleans.
by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:59:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now you totally misunderstood me. I meant that if hotel maids are sexually assaulted on the same frequency as cleaners in the homes of the rich and powerful, there might be informal training as in "you might be assaulted: kick, scream, run away and then go straight to the security manager and report it" on a maid-to-maid basis.

But I do not work in hotels, so that part was pure speculation.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 06:15:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's already clear to me how this is going to play out: drag her through the mud, question her character any way his surely high priced legal team can, make it so that he's the victim. Try and force her (pun intended) to drop the charges. With any luck she'll get a good lawyer in need of attention to represent her for free.

Poor guy:

"he came out of the bathroom, fully naked, and attempted to sexually assault her," Mr. Browne said, adding, "He grabs her, according to her account, and pulls her into the bedroom and onto the bed." He locked the door to the suite, Mr. Browne said.

"She fights him off, and he then drags her down the hallway to the bathroom, where he sexually assaults her a second time," Mr. Browne added. (NYT)

by Jace on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:16:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The hotel door locks will show the exact time she entered the room with her key card.  If another lock was closed during that time, there is a good chance that the hotel system records that information.   Again, if the story from the maid is not accurate, it will be clear relatively quickly.
by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:24:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  I think these are the factors on which the case is going to turn.  Due to the now-ubiquitous electronic trails, especially in places like luxury hotels, the entries and exits are going to be logged and subject to review.

   This means that every detail of the maid's time-line can be checked for accuracy.  The hotel will be able to document every entry and exit to the room; DSK's departure from the hotel would have to correspond down to a matter of, say, less than a minute, in order for the maid's account as I've read it (in today's Libération daily paper) is going to stand up.  

   For instance, there are twenty minutes --from 13h00 to 13h20--between the time the maid claims she entered the room to clean it and the time she says she managed to escape and raise the alarm.  For starters, that length of time engaged in either struggle or some mix of assault and resistance and forced sexual encounter seems too great a time at first glance, even if it's assumed that she's in the room for as much as 60 to 90 seconds before DSK is supposed to have emerged from the bathroom.  I have a hard time imagining that they physically battle for some 18 or more minutes before she's able to break free--even in two episodes of capture, resistance, escape and recapture.

  Then, upon escaping, she alerts the hotel staff who call 911.  That call, of course, would be logged and the exact time known.  Apparently, the police respond within literally a few minutes--hardly surprising given the location of the hotel.  When isn't there a police patrol within seconds of Times' Square and this hotel?

   So, the first police response arrives within say two or three minutes of the emergency call.  And, DSK is not to be found in his room.  He'd had to have dressed and left the hotel within less than four minutes of her getting free and out of his room.  Question: do the video surveillance cameras show him leaving (and not returning) prior to that time?  If so, her story falls apart right there.  In the contrary case, if he's found on camera leaving at the very time that her account would have it, then that is very strong corroborating circumstantial evidence against him.

   So, I think one way or the other, her story is going to either be found to correspond with the electronic indicators of movement, or it won't match them in which case it will quickly fall apart and so will she when pressed to explain how he could have assaulted her after having already been filmed leaving the hotel, etc.

 

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 04:29:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
this has nothing to do with it.

Whoever made such an accusation, it is so grave and it comes at such a strategic moment for DSK and French politics that you have to ask the question.

I mean, this is the kind of accusation which, at this point of time, is effective even if false because it builds on the well known foibles of DSK (unseemly womanising) and is so damaging even if false.

Attali, the high-priest of leftish Seriousness, is already saying that he can't run even if the accusations are false. That tells you something.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:23:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are three possibilities:

  1. DSK did what he is accused of.

  2. DSK messed around with the maid but it was consensual.

  3. The whole thing is a set-up and didn't actually happen.

If option number 3 is what happened, it will be clear, because of the hotel setting.  In this case DSK would be viewed as a victim and there will be fairly solid proof of his innocence.

If option number 1 or 2 occurred, he is fucked.  In truth, it would be nearly impossible for option 2 to have happened.  He would have to show that he had a relationship with the maid.  How long was he in the hotel?  Was she cleaning his room every day, which would give them some time to get to know each other?   If she had never been in his room with him before, and there WAS a sexual encounter, then option number 1 is most likely how it went down, unless this maid is very shady, which won't be hard to prove by looking into her background.

by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:29:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Personally I'm filing this under "too early to tell."

We'll see what evidence appears over the next few days.

My main problem with the story is that it would show a fantastic lack of judgement for DSK to do something like this now - especially in a country like the US, where he wouldn't have the feudal protection and support network he likely has in France, and where there's a real prospect of extended jail time in an environment that's known for its harshness.

I have no doubts about DSK's aggressive sleazery, but I'm assuming - even though he's director of the IMF - he's not a political idiot, and wouldn't do something this suicidally stupid for no reason other than penile blood misdirection.

That may not be a good benchmark given that pols regularly go down in flames over sexual indiscretion. But it really would take a rare kind of idiocy, lack of awareness, and lack of control to attack someone in a foreign country when the only possible consequences are so immediately self-destructive - and when there's already an obvious PR campaign against him.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:44:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DSK would not feel like he was in a "foreign country" when staying at a fancy NYC hotel. It is quite plausible that a maid entered room while he was in shower, and he came out naked and proceeded to behave badly.  He could have thought in his mind that the maid had flirted with him or was interested, partly because her job pays and trains her to behave a certain way and be helpful to the guest.

Again, if the story is bullshit, we will be finding out soon.  

by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:02:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]

  A sexual compulsion is a very powerful problem;  and even very smart, very powerful people are subject to them.  As for "timing" and other supposed indicators of a conspiracy to scuttle his potential candidacy, then thing is, there's no such thing as a "good" time for something like this to happen.

   By the way, there is a complete conspiracy to prevent DSK's nomination/election, etc.  It's called "politics as usual" and it means that people (inside and outside the PS, by the way) are interested in trying to stop his very obvious rise to what appeared to be ineluctable appointment (annoitment, really) to the race for the presidency.

   So, from a detective's point of view, the trouble with all the conspiracy theorizing is that, alas, in such cases as this, there is and there ALWAYS will be BOTH "motive" and "opportunity" ---the real issue turns on what's called "evidence" and particularly physical evidence.  That would involve the "crime" scene and the victim's physical appearance.  In addition, there are lots of hotel cameras so they'd show DSK leaving his rooms, appearing at the desk--unless he'd already checked out--and, finally, departing the premises.  So, how did he appear in these?  Cool as a cucumber?  Nervous?

   And,there'd be other witnesses to question: his transporter to the airport and everyone else with whom he'd have come into contact, not to mention his appearance and demeanor at the time of his arrest.

   Appearences, of course, are not always accurate indicators.  The innocent can appear terribly disturbed and worried, and a practised, accomplished bad guy can look calm and collected even when caught red-handed.  All the details have to be considered together, a picture formed and solid reasoning applied to it.  All of which many people are ill-prepared to do.  

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:16:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(and not commenting on how true that is)

France 2 news interviewed a (French female) client of the Sofitel who said she saw him check out and he look absolutely normal and relaxed.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:27:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Appearances are deceptive.

As an extreme example, a sociopath could appear calm 10 seconds after murdering someone just as you or I would after killing a mosquito.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:49:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This must indeed be the event of the decade if it singularly brings all the lurkers out of the woodwork.

Welcome back, you too...

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:24:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From what I have read about studies on convicted rapists, they often really does not se that they did anything wrong. Really being unable to take no for an answer, she always wanted it because he wanted it. So if he is the sexual predator that some data points indicate, it would not so much be a planned crime as it would be making a pass on the maid.

Besides, do french politicians go down in flames regularly over sexual indiscretion? I thought that was more an anglo thing.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:11:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A swedish kind of death:
Besides, do french politicians go down in flames regularly over sexual indiscretion? I thought that was more an anglo thing.

That's bollocks: Sex between consenting adults is one thing, and politicians may not necessarily go down in flame for that, but we're talking about sexual assault and attempted rape here, not "sexual indiscretion". This doesn't go down any better in France than it does in Sweden, period.

by Bernard on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:28:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I meant legal sexual indiscretions.

As I understand it, legal sexual indiscretions are often the basis for the fall of anglo politicians.  I understood this to be part (not a key part though) of TBG's reasoning, as TBG used the phrase sexual indiscretions. Since I can not remember any case a swedish politican falling based on legal sexual indiscretions, I figured this could be a cultural reference thing. Thus the question about France.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 06:21:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, all previous French presidents since VGE, at least (another "French thing": the use of acronyms to name politicians) have been known womanizers. Sarko's private life (messy divorce followed by re-marrying with an Italian model cum singer) has been part of his PR strategy. So yes, no "legal indiscretions" between consenting adults has caused the downfall of French politicians AFAIK.

Crime, again, is another ball game all together.

by Bernard on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 02:09:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If that were true he would have had an extended history of this kind of behaviour - not just harassment and inappropriate professional behaviour, but regular attempted rape.

Compulsions are compulsive, and it makes no sense that he would suddenly do something like this after a lifetime of not doing it.

It's possible that all previous events have been covered-up, but with this kind of profile going beyond the usual "indiscretion" would be a regular thing.

So the corroborating French story is bad news for him.

Or it's possible The Rich Are Different™. I used to know someone who worked as a peripatetic chef for various rich idlers and self-styled important people, and she had some hair-raising stories to tell - not just of sexual assault, but of other kinds of casual violence and gun crime.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:34:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're right, this isn't about her.

There is one other question to ask: was this (subconsciously) self-inflicted?

by Jace on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:31:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pu-leeze! Whatever happened to the presumption of innocence? I thought we were above this crap.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 03:35:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
self-sabotage...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 11:23:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
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.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/plot-dominique-strauss-kahn-complot-2011-5#ixzz1MRPmkWOb

by asdf on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 12:58:42 PM EST
That is interesting. Here's more:

What Are The Odds There's A Plot Against Dominique Strauss-Kahn?

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.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:10:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  Whatever occurred at the hotel had to have happened some hour or more prior to DSK's flight departure.  Even if he's going by limo to the airport, he'd need at least an hour to get there and go through the routines.

   So, the incidents, including the call to 911 by the hotel's staff, (as reported in the NYT) would leave some hour or more in which those in and around the hotel would have been in a position to learn of part of the story's details.

   That's plenty of time for a NYer (whether french or not) to hear and send a note to someone in France who in turn puts it out on Twitter--the gossip-idiot's favorite pastime.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:20:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
people at the hotel did not know that dsk had been arrested because it occurred at the airport

people at the airport did not know what happened at the hotel

to have someone in France know the whole story before it was printed in the NY Post means they must have known someone in the NYPD or at the Post, not at the hotel or at the airport

by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:26:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The maid would have gone to her management at the hotel first.  There would be several people at least in the hotel who knew the details of the accusation right away.  The information that was leaked to the press is probably sourced to a hotel employee.

There are many French and francophone managers in NYC hotels.

by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:32:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it doesn't explain the fact that the person knew the chain of events -  from the hotel to the airplane which is under port authority jurisdiction, not nypd.

if french intelligence is that good, I am surprised the french aren't running the world.

by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:34:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Find out who is the security manager for the Sofitel.  That person would have been in contact with the NYPD and would have friends there.  Security and some managers at the hotel would know the full story of what is said to have happened in the hotel and could easily have been told by NYPD what happened afterwards.  

Security for a hotel like this is a big deal.  They deal with VIP guests all of the time, foreign heads of state, celebrities, etc.  There are procedures, relationships with police, etc.  

by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:38:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
he was arrested by port authority police

and again, just a few weeks ago, air france pilots in the usa refused entry to some american police (fbi I think) because the plane is considered french territory

so, there was no way to know how this one would turn out

by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:44:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I guarantee that is not true.  Hotel security contacted police, probably NYPD.  NYPD would contact Port Authority or whomever had jurisdiction to find the suspect.  The NYPD officers handling the case would know exactly what their Port Authority friends were up to, and would probably tell the hotel Security director, because they know each other and are friends.

Probably what happened:

  1. A hotel manager who heard about the incident contacted french media/tweeters about the incident and the "details" from inside the hotel

  2. Someone in media contacted police and got information about the arrest

  3. The two were combined into the story, but it is not sourced from just one place.
by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:47:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hotel Security at these toff hotels HAVE TO have good contacts with the local police and contacts within the FBI and Secret Service aren't that uncommon either.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:57:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I doubt the NYPD would be reporting back to the hotel security or manager.  that would be a breach of professional ethics.
by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:15:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually not.  If somebody has raped an employee at the hotel, and fled, the security manager would very much be interested in knowing if they have been apprehended.  Otherwise they have to be on high alert as the criminal may return!  As for ethics, we're talking about cops.  The director of security at Sofitel could easily be a former NYPD.
by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:34:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
police information is still considered confidential, as far as I know.  once he is arrested, then of course it would be public knowledge, but he wasn't arrested immediately, but only many hours later, after questioning.

your theory doesn't hold water, imho.

by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:04:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cops gossip like washerwomen and radio information can always be overheard ... accidentally-on-purpose or accidentally.  You can get a ton of information if you are a member of the Kewl-Kidz Club.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:07:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
so, what? the guy in france has a police scanner for nyc?
by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:14:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
sigh

You have the DIC, a forensics team, interviewing detectives, hotel security people, miscellaneous hotel staff wandering around, hotel managers, uniformed police officer, and the odd random guest floating around the hotel all jabbering away.

And several yards of yellow tape predominately displaying "Crime Scene."

The hotel is chock-a-block with telephones, mobile phones, faxes, and the internet.  

You don't need a "police scanner in Paris."

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:28:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
nope.  sorry but I think you are very wrong here.  the suspect has rights.

a police file is confidential, even the victim can't see it.  

by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:15:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The information about the incident in the hotel was leaked by SOMEBODY AT THE HOTEL, not the police.  No way the police would let that information out, certainly not so quickly.  But the maid would have reported this to her management and there are probably 5 or more people at the hotel who would know all of the details for good reason.

The fact that he was apprehended would not be secure information, and somebody would have heard that from the police in an "informal" way.  

by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:21:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If hotel gorillas work the same way in New York that they do everywhere else, the hotel security manager either is or knows someone who is a retired cop. It's not so much "reporting back" as "tapping into the grapevine."

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:35:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That there are former French police on the Security Staff cannot be discounted.  Makes sense on all kinds of levels.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:42:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that I highly doubt.  sorry, but there are enough security people in NYC without having to import them.
by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:01:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I work in a 5-star hotel in NYC.  This is absolutely correct.  I am 100% certain that the director of security at Sofitel knows exactly what happened after the report was filed.  Further, several other managers of the hotel would be privy to all the details of the complaint by the maid.

The french sources found out from someone at the hotel, not police.  The arrest was reported by police back to security at the hotel most likely.  His arrest is not a confidential matter nor a secret of any sort.  The details of the complaint would NOT be released by the police, but they can't prevent hotel staff from tweeting to their right-wing friends in France.

by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:23:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you're wrong about his arrest - he was brought in for questioning, and yes, it is confidential as he is not considered to be legally under suspicion until after he is charged.
by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:18:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If the NYPD leaks half as bad as the Scandinavian police, "confidential" means fuck all when you're dealing with a high-profile suspect.

And even if they don't, they'd keep the hotel in the loop because they need the maid's testimony to be able to make a case.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:53:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm with Setevsim on this one, the most that could be known from police is that he was apprehended. If you've apprehended someone and are questioning them, it's premature to label it an arrest. That information couldn't have come from police until the wee hours of the morning.
by Upstate NY on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:52:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
.. and it didn't, until 2:25am.  When the police announced that.

The initial report of "arrest" was just somebody mixing up the fact that he was detained for question.  The difference is more subtle than most people care to note, but ultimately he was not arrested until they decided for sure a crime occurred and he was suspected of committing that crime.  He was pulled off the plane for questioning because he was about to leave the frickin' country!

by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 06:03:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is movie stuff - the police driving up to the top of the runway to board a plane about to take off on an international flight...

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 06:07:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, keep in mind there's undoubtedly some sensationalizing going on.

The rules of Cop MathTM still apply.  When the cops bust some dumb college kid who's got a dime bag in his pocket, the value will undoubtedly be reported as in the billions the next day in the newspaper.

Similarly, the cops racing across the runway to bust DSK probably means they had some damned rent-a-cop in a golf cart escort him over to the airport police station.  DSK may never have even made it to the plane.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 08:02:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bad movie stuff.
And we are playing our part pretty well.
As each snippet of evidence leaks out, the preponderance suggests that it is indeed preposterous. And so, we leap on the fragment, whatever it says, and talk endlessly about compulsive, psychopathic sex crimes.
I'm with Stevesims here, and afew. Let's collect facts more.
Let's wait a bit more before we start foaming.
 

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 03:51:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As to that, a taking a high-ranking official off a plane minutes before it leaves the gate is sufficiently visible and unusual that text messages were probably flying before the Port Authority cops got him into the car.

With that information, any journo with a quarter of a brain could fill in the blanks in a NY minute.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:33:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
don't you have to turn off your cell phones while the engines are running?  and they would be running to provide air conditioning while boarding.
by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:00:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You can use your phone well after you've boarded.  They don't make you turn it off until just before the plane begins backing out from the gate.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:07:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]

 My thoughts exactly.

   I also read, to my great surprise!---maybe it's not true, I don't know, of course---that the arresting officer(s) didn't handcuff DSK while on the plane.  I wondered about that.  That shows rare consideration on the part of the police; I can't recall another such example.  

   Still, I can see the other 1st class passengers buzzing away on their cell phones:

   "You won't believe what I just saw!...."

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:14:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I understand it, he was not actually under arrest until several hours after they took him off the plane, so they would have had no cause to cuff him.

Yeah, I can just imagine the passengers texting the French equivalent of OMG COPS JUST TK DSK OFF R PLANE! WTF!?!

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:36:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, but it could be for a variety of reasons - his wife being killed in an accident, for example, or a threat against his life.
by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:28:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Several French TV crews went to CDG airport this morning to interview passengers arriving on flight AF23: none of them had any clue as to what had happened minutes before their departure.
by Bernard on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:43:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  As a practical matter, any police officer in the same situation though dealing with a lesser mortal would immediately (certainly according to standard arrest procedure, anyway) handcuff the suspect who at the time of being stopped is almost always nothing more than a suspect.  That (his being "just a suspect") doesn't, either legally or practically, mean the police are less inclined to apply handcuffs.  The nature of the charge is important.  Here, they're apprehending a suspect in an assault case and even if it's only a misdemeanor assault, cops routinely handcuff any such suspect regardless of his dress or other outward incidental details.  Very rich people are routinely handcuffed prior to being taken off in a patrol car.  So, here, the sole factor that I can see is DSK exalted status as an international power figure.  As soon as his name became mentioned at the scene, the very highest officials in the NYPD would have been notified and probably the mayor personally, too, within a matter of minutes.  The chief of NYPD would probably be called by the mayor and asked to use the least possible restraint in taking  DSK into custody; but many a pop star isn't shown that level of consideration when brought in drunk and disorderly--a very minor charge by comparison to misdemeanor or felony assault.

   In a normal case, he'd have been cuffed and read his rights while standing in the First Class section of the plane.  Port Authority police--taking people away in handcuffs, even nicely dressed apparently well-off people, that's their daily job.

   The formal charges, though filed only later, after some investigation and questioning, don't generally save anyone from the humiliation of being handcuffed behind the back and read their rights and taken away.  And, strictly speaking, although they certainly aren't "free to leave", neither are they formally charged with any criminal offense.

  Or, in short, mere suspects are routinely handcuffed ---not to mention stripped and searched thoroughly prior to being put in a holding cell during processing, though that humiliation, too, may have been spared to DSK---as soon as they are apprehended in any case of this kind.  DSK is one of the jet-set power-class and if he wasn't handcuffed, it was surely because the officers of the Port Authority were under instructions not to do that (unless of course he resisted arrest).

   The police (in the U.S. and France at least) under the law and courts' interpretations of suspects' rights, still have immense powers of coercion and control before any formal charges are ever filed.  And they know it and make use of them, too.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:52:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We could write our own script for a tv show.
We could call it "Repressive Realities", and Fox would snap it up- as long as it focused on sex crime.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 04:00:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ha! Well, about such examples. I was on a plane to Mexico City when the Mexican-Stripper-Chippendales group, Solo Para Mujeres (a bunch of buff 35 year olds) sent most of the women on the plane atwitter. Most of the stewardesses couldn't keep their hands off of them. I'm sure it sexualized the flight because before we knew, we had to make an unplanned pitstop in Guadalajara. After having all the passengers disembark and be transported to the terminal, they lead an older gentleman off the plane unhandcuffed. What had he done? He had grabbed breast and behind of a stewardess, and rather than arrest him, or cuff him, or even escort him off the plane, they decided to save him the humiliation by offloading the passengers instead.
by Upstate NY on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:56:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]

  No, the plane isn't immune from police access due to its being a french airline.  State, federal and local police have authority to board a plane and arrest a passenger whether the pilot approves or not--and in this case, the pilot would know only that the police are interested in intercepting a passanger.  Why would the pilot refuse?  He (or she) is a friend of the suspect?

   If the police are denied access, they can simply hold the plane, blocking it from moving.  Once off the ground, and out of U.S. airspace, the plane is under its national registry authority, yes, but not while on the ground.  Only an accredited diplomat could claim immunity and, oddly, just last week I was actually wondering to myself whether DSK flies regularly scheduled airlines or his own private planes, and whether he has a diplomat's immunity.  Sheesh!  Here are my answers.  Eeery, no?  Am I "in on it"?  ;^)

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:53:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am sure I read of such a case just a few weeks ago, and being surprised by it, but can't seem to find a trace of it now.
by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:26:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have a very difficult time believing this precisely because the USA's customs agreements with Canada have been extraordinarily difficult to negotiate when they involve joint customs facilities. When you are in Canada, say Vancouver, and have a flight for the USA, you go through USA customs IN Canada, and once you land in the USA, you don't need to go through again. But the agreement is written in such a way that the host country has absolute control, to the degree that America customs and immigration officials are not allowed any reign over criminal matters.
by Upstate NY on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:59:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  I looked for some statute or case law on the controlling authorities in police searches and seizures of foreign aircraft on the ground and couldn't find anything that clarified this point.  I'm basing my view on common sense.  In general, a pilot (commander, captain, etc.) is the ultimate legal authority on board his craft when its in the air or on the sea--outside territorial airspace or waters; but it makes no sense to me that a pilot could get away with denying official law enforcement from boarding a plane or ship prior to scheduled departure in order to seek a criminal suspect on board.  If a carrier made a habit of that kind of thing, I think it would quickly find its landing rights revoked in the country concerned.  No regular commercial carrier would allow it to go that far.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge
by proximity1 on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 04:51:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Only "diplomatic" aircraft or vessels have immunity from entry or search by host/foreign authorities. These matters are usually "cleared" or agreed upon between the sending and receiving states long before such an aircraft or vessel lands.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 05:27:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]

  True, the erroneous report of the arrest happening at the hotel is not confidence-inspîring.

   So, it could indeed be a clumbsy mistake tipping off an insider's knowledge.  Or, it could be simply due to a error in the source's assumptions---ie. the police are called to the hotel in response to a 911 call; it somehow involves DSK, an officer takes a criminal complaint on the scene (and an arrest warrent is issued for the pick up of DSK.  That would in fact go from the NYPD to the Airpory (Port Authority) police, to hold the flight and board the plane.

  Maybe the source assumed too much in his report to his french-based friend, or, as apparently suspected, the U.S. source and his friend in France "knew" too much too soon.  Either is entirely plausible.

   Suppose you're DSK and you're actually (somehow) entirely innocent of the allegations:  do you offer to settle with the "aggreived party" in return for not pressing charges or do you stand firm and deny them and fight it out in criminal court?

 

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:38:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Real Time information flow is "noisy" on both the sending and receiving side.  This is especially true when the info flow is direct, not subject to filters and verification procedures.

Shouldn't overlook the fact the Sarko "people" knew about DSK's proclivities and were gleeful they had a chance to damage DSK.  

When noisy info comes in, supporting previously received info, and you want the info to be true the Decision Maker almost always accepts the info as accurate.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:06:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
who just happens to be a senior UMP operative.

While your suggestion is credible, this still opens questions.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:26:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are several interesting things about this story:

  1. The fact that the maid's story has been released to the media is very suspicious.  Typically in such a case we would not hear the accusation laid out so quickly as it was by the police, especially before even taking a statement from DSK.  At the very least, this was viewed immediately as an opportunity to smear.

  2. I work in a high-end NYC hotel.  3k/night for a suite for a man such as DSK is not terribly extravagant (well, it is, but relative to his position no).  

  3. The maid is most likely an immigrant, probably chinese or maybe from southeast/eastern europe.  She would be assigned rooms by a manager and this will be closely supervised.  She probably does not speak English (or French) very well and is not likely to be hanging around talking to the guests.  Her job is to get into the room quickly, do the tasks she is assigned, and go to the next room.  

No escort would come in the guise of "hotel maid."  

What people who know and work with the maid say will determine her credibility.  If she is a long-time employee of the hotel that is more damning for DSK.  If she just started recently and does not fit the typical profile of a NYC maid (background, education, etc) then maybe it is a setup.

4. The hotel has cameras.  In particular they will show what the maid did after leaving DSK room and also DSK leaving the hotel.  This evidence will be important to determine the reaction of both.

That said, I find DSK distasteful and this does not strike me as out of the realm of possibility for him.  If it is a set-up it will fall apart fairly quickly as the hotel checks into the maid and her story.  My first question would be did SHE call the police or did she speak to her hotel managers and security and THEY called the police?  If she did not speak to her management first it is much more questionable.

Like the case with Assange, the accuser in this case will tell us if this case is for real or not.  In Assange's case, it was clear that the accuser was not very credible and highly likely to be involved in a setup.  This is much tricker to pull-off with the scenario described, and there is little incentive for a hotel maid to make this accusation on her own.

From what is known right now, it seems MORE LIKELY that DSK was drunk, taking a shower, and the maid entered the room.  He came out of the bath naked and maybe "misinterpreted" her reaction and behaved out of line.   The other LIKELY scenario would be that the entire thing is a ruse on him and there was no incident at all in the room with a maid.

by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:10:45 PM EST

   He's the executive director of the IMF and, somehow, if nothing unusual occurred, he forgot his cell phone (and other unspecified personal effects) when leaving his hotel room.

    There's a good reason this detail is repeatedly mentioned: it's significant and does not help his case as an innocent victim of a mistake or a set-up.

  Apparently, he left so hurriedly that he forgot his cell phone.  You have to imagine, then, those circumstances and account for them innocently.

   And so?....

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:29:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To leave the cell phone is not alarming, but if he left many personal affects, and in a way that suggests he did not plan to leave the room so quickly, it would be alarming.

There are MANY people around a hotel and many things that can be checked on in this story.  It would be quite difficult to set this all up and have the evidence from the hotel back you up.  I can promise there are some very stressed people working at the Sofitel right now!  Incident management is a big deal.   It is very common for a guest to say they left a purse, or something was stolen from their room.  The hotel will have many ways of verifying and checking on such claims.

by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:35:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I happen to know that Richard Branson forgets/loses his cell phone every 2-3 days, and I forget mine all the time, without having raped anyone.

That's no proof of anything.

by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:36:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  Really?  So Richard Branson, company executive,  routinely forgets his cell phone leaving it behind in his hotel room?  And he travels alot!  (So does DSK!)

   You'd think that with such frequent travel, such important people would develop better & more careful habits in leaving their rooms for the airport.

   Forgetting the cell phone "somewhere"---the office desk,  the conference room, etc. is one thing.  Leaving it in your hotel room as you depart definitively---that's what we're considering.

   R. Branson does this often?  I don't think so.  They're not the same thing.

   Try to think carefully.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:45:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, Richard Branson does.  sometimes a few times in the same day.  
by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:49:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]

  Branson stays in several hotels in one day and forgets his personal cell phone when leaving, not once but several times a day?

  Either you're kidding me or you're just mistaken.  Nobody does that.  Sorry, I wasn't born yesterday and if it's a joke, then "Ha, ha, ha!"  Very funny.

  Important People who are so prone to forgetting their cell phones would then have an aide "hold it for them" or they'd soon remember better.

   Let's stay in the realm of reality here, huh?

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:58:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you would think he would have his aides hold it for him, but he is using it constantly, so he keeps it close, or tries to.  since he owns the telecom company, it's not a big deal to have a new one programmed for him immediately.  
by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:13:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Someone who travels as extensively as DSK probably has a pretty different conception of his hotel room than you and me - he probably stays at that hotel often enough to leave some stuff such as clothes all the time, cared for by the hotel staff...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misŤres
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:49:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, he probably is a frequent guest and the hotel would know him well if this is his "regular" spot in NYC (where I'm sure he stays frequently).  

To me it is VERY interesting that this happened in a hotel.   There will be a lot more evidence and details available because of this.  If DSK is a regular Sofitel guest, the staff will know his reputation, how he acts, what he does, etc.  If the story is complete bullshit, we will know by Wednesday at the latest probably

by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:52:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I forget my phone at home when leaving for work in the morning with some regularity.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:39:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have left my cell in clothes that have subsequently been laundered -- with the cell inside a pocket -- twice.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 06:02:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would forget my name if no one mentioned it every so often. Right now I'm getting close because mostly I just hear "papa" these days.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 05:36:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
paving:
In Assange's case, it was clear that the accuser was not very credible and highly likely to be involved in a setup.

As someone who followed the story from its begining I disagree. One of the accusers - not the one for which he is facing rape charges mind you - was thourghly smeared in the swedish blogosphere, something Assange's legal team picked up and continued.

But nevermind, once Assange is delivered to Sweden, there will be a trial which will hopefully answer most questions.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:28:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i think anybody reasonable who looks at the details of the Assange/Sweden case can see quite clearly that nothing criminal occurred.
by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 06:07:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Erm... I'm not so sure. The key point of doubt was the Assange legal team's lie about being contacted by the investigative judge.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 04:01:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think he was set up, but I still want to avoid becoming a bit player in a movie script written for the express purpose of sucking me into just that role.
IF there is a trial, let's see if the facts come out.
IF there is a clear source of info about the Strauss-Kahn affair, let's look at the facts, and decide then.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 04:07:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If she just started recently

Latest:

The woman has not been named. In a statement Jorge Tito, managing director of Sofitel New York, said he could not comment on the case.

"However we want to stress that our employee has been working with Sofitel New York for three years and we have been completely satisfied with the quality of her work and behaviour."

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 02:28:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the news was tweeted in France BEFORE it was printed in the ny post and the person who tweeted it had more information than expected - they said it was at the hotel where he was staying which would not have been known if someone had just seen him arrested in the airplane

and the second person who tweeted the info, the guy who picked up on it, was Sarko's campaign manager in 2007.

 

by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:15:34 PM EST
It's a French hotel chain, so Sarkozy's people may have contacts in the management. They could have been the source of the quick information.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:29:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
they would not have known that he was arrested at the airport.  just a few weeks ago, someone who was on an air france plane was sought after by some american police but the air france pilot said that the plane was french territory and that american police had no jurisdiction.

so, someone at the hotel had to have a contact at the airport, but then again, they would have to know that the police decided to contact the port authority police, and to decide to arrest dsk immediately rather than at some date in the future when he stepped on american soil once again, for example.

by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:32:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The article says that the tweet was before the time of the arrest, so anything it said about the arrest would be speculation anyway.

I don't see the point of the police rush anyway (other the result of having watched too many police movies). If he did get away, France does have an extradition treaty with the U.S. Imagine running the IMF and campaigning for president while fighting extradition....

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:39:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
no, France does not extradite its own nationals.

remember Roman Polanski.

by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:41:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An IMF head who is afraid to go to Switzerland would be interesting....
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:45:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
is Switzerland even in the IMF?  they didn't join the UN until a few years ago.
by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:48:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They joined the IMF in 1992.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:56:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If there is physical evidence from the maid for her sexual assault claim, the police would detain the suspect.  The hotel would have known that DSK was headed to airport and given the police that information, who could very easily verify/get details from Transportation Security.

The most damning part of this is the suggestion that the maid has physical evidence, either showing she was attacked and has injuries and/or rape kit evidence.   If there was not evidence that SOMETHING had happened to her, he probably would not have been pulled off the plane.

by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:50:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It doesn't strain credulity Gueant's, or someone close to him, email address and telephone number is on file in the Sofitel chain.  There was plenty of time for the information to be passed.  These people have 24/7 staff and it would be sufficiently important news to be quickly passed up the ladder.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:51:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
with the right-wing getting this information so quickly it does suggest that DSK is a frequent guest at Sofitel and a manager there has probably been leaking information about him back to right-wing friends in France for some time.
by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:03:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it still doesn't explain how they knew what happened at the airport.
by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:11:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Security at the hotel would know what happened at the airport right away.  They would be kept in the loop by police.
by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:33:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think so.  Police information is considered confidential up to the arrest, and then some.
by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:57:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not really.  It depends on the importance of keeping the information confidential.  It's not at all unthinkable that they would be in touch with the hotel.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:01:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I totally disagree.  the last thing the cops have time to do is keep the hotel updated, and this is seriously unprofessional behaviour as they don't want to contaminate the witnesses' statements and lose the case on that.  

besides, they questioned him for hours before they arrested him.  at this point, they would already have the statements from the maid and the security.

by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:09:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not an agree/disagree thing.  The police are free to say, "We've brought the suspect in for questioning."  The police keep things confidential when they're either required by law to do so (handling sensitive documents, etc) or because they don't want people knowing.

How would you contaminate the witnesses' statements by letting them know DSK was in custody?  It's pretty routine for the police to keep you in the loop about a crime that you were either a victim of or that occurred in your business.  The employer has an interest in seeing DSK brought to justice here, too, if he indeed committed the act.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:21:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
police information is confidential.  victims cannot see the police file.  only the defendant can.
by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:16:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The victim isn't seeing the file, as far as I know.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:22:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
neither would any of the other witnesses, which would be hotel staff who would be giving evidence about how the keycards work, and who was logged in as being in the room.

if they are witnesses, they have no business knowing anything about the case except what they have to give as evidence.

by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:30:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Meh. We're dealing with a celebrity here. De facto, different rules apply.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:42:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Americans don't know who DSK is, and the French would know better than to spread rumours that could cost them, especially someone as powerful as DSK.
by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:58:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He runs the IMF. That makes him a low B-list celeb - sorta like a redstate congressman with a wide stance.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:03:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wouldn't it be more likely to be someone on the Security staff?

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:14:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, yes.  In my experience the only right-wingers in a NYC hotel probably ARE the security staff.  
by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:32:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's note that French expats in NYC, even hotel workers, would have a pretty different political profile than the average local worker...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misŤres
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:38:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That one of the French mid-level managers would be both able to hear that DSK had raped a maid and was to be arrested ; and be a friend with some UMP militants, doesn't sound all that unbelievable...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misŤres
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:35:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hmm.  he wasn't going to be arrested, but brought in for questioning, and only arrested after many hours and supposedly when the cops were happy that they had a good case.

the tweet was that he had been arrested, even before he was.

there was also the question of his diplomatic immunity.  apparently, nobody was quite sure if he had it or not, even at the Elysée, so arrest was doubtful.

this aspect of the story stinks.

by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:11:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the tweet was that he had been arrested, even before he was.

One reason why I think the source for the tweet was at the hotel.  A member of the Security Staff could easily have known DSK had been detained and jumped to the conclusion he had been arrested.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:16:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
if he was a member of the security staff, he would know the difference between questioning and arrest, and also know about diplomatic immunity.  i was quite surprised that he didn't have it, as my co-worker in IT has it, because his wife is a nurse at the WHO.
by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:28:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Again, the fact that he was detained/arrested is not confidential at all in the US.  The police would not confirm this to the media/public as matter of policy, but they certainly could.  For certain the fact that he was picked up was passed around the police/authorities, and that would include hotel security.  It would be irresponsible for the police NOT to inform hotel security if they were unable to apprehend someone suspected of such a crime.  Hotel security are not mall cops.  They work closely with official police, sometimes hire them for additional security, and constantly work with them to handle VIP's, something that a 4-star hotel in NYC would deal with constantly.
by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:28:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know from experience that police try to stay impartial in such cases because they don't know who is innocent and who is guilty.  they could be setting themselves up for a huge lawsuit.
by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:34:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On what grounds would DSK sue the police?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:39:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
let me see

gee, I can count about 20 different reasons.  

have you noticed that newspapers never identify someone that has been brought in for questioning, only arrested?

 

by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:52:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Okay, so give me one of those reasons.

I've noticed that newspapers do that in some cases, but those cases nearly always involved multiple persons of interest (which I usually take to mean the police don't want to show their hand).  In this case, there's only one suspect.

Not to mention that the girl had already gone to tell coworkers after it happened.  There's no mystery as to the suspect's identity.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:01:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
they will not name the person who is being questioned, but say "a suspect"

for obvious reasons.  

by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:05:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, again, what would be an obvious reason?

They don't mention the suspect's identity when they're not sure they've got the right guy because they don't want to damage a person who was not at all involved in the case.

That's not an issue in this case, because they already know the suspect is DSK.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:10:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
wow.

I don't know if you realize this, but suspects aren't automatically guilty, and aren't even accused of anything.

they had to question this guy for hours before he was charged. the police, who had all the facts at their disposal, weren't sure they could charge him, and you are!

by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:15:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know if you know this, but I actually deal with confidentiality issues regarding legal proceedings on a daily basis, so I'm pretty familiar with what is and is not normal.

The police apprehended him for questioning, notified the alleged victim and hotel security management, questioned him, and charged him.

This strikes me as a pretty straightforward process.

Someone who was either on the plane or at the hotel leaked word that he'd been taken in.  They probably used the term "arrested," because people use the term in casual speech to mean almost any instance where they see the police take someone away.

I know, we're all shocked to find regular people don't use technical terms properly.  "Film at 11."

Maybe I'm missing something, but this all seems utterly predictable.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:25:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
why would they notify the victim before he was charged?  they might have to let him go, for example, and then what?

until they charge him, he is only considered a witness to the events.

they don't actually apprehend him as he is only being sought for questioning, so they are asking for his voluntary cooperation until they get a warrant

and, I am very surprised you would be working with legal confidentiality

by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:34:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
they might have to let him go, for example, and then what?

Then they tell the victim, "Sorry, but there's no case here."

He's a suspect, not a witness.

It's not really voluntary.  Do you actually think the cops are going to respond to a "No" by saying, "Oh, okay, on your way then"?

Do you not remember the Ben Roethlisberger cases?  We knew it was him from the beginning, and he was never arrested.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:41:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you seem to have a good mind for film scenarios.
by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:44:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I should add that my wife's father was a cop, and her best friend is currently an agent with a state bureau of investigation (along with her husband).

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:46:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
suing the police in the US is completely pointless, even for the rich.
by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 06:08:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed - and much less than suing them.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 06:18:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Your sitting on an airplane. The cops come in and haul some guy off the plane just before they close the door. Do you think, man that poor guy just got hauled in for questioning?
by Jace on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:17:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you mean you're sitting on an airplane?

if you're french, and you know about the libel and privacy laws there, no, you would be very careful or else you might find yourself being questioned by french police especially with someone as powerful as dsk

someone was sentenced in france for having a poster with what sarkozy had told some poor schmuck at the agricultural expo;  Tasse-toi pauvre con.  

by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:24:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
there are only 4 seats in the plane in 1st class, and nobody else would see what happened in that section.


Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:40:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Only if they'd closed the drape that usually separates first-class from coach, which they usually don't do that until departure.  Had they?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:43:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
good God man, are we arguing about if the drape was closed or not?

 

by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:54:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We're not really arguing.  The drape being closed is relevant to the number of people who would've seen DSK apprehended, and thus the likelihood that word would spread quickly.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:56:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
apprehended?  If I saw DSK surrounded by police, I would not assume he was being apprehended but protected or something to do with his office.

and yes, we are arguing about the drape being drawn.

by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:59:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you saw police walk up to him on a plane and escort him away you'd assume he was being protected?  Not to mention his demeanor during the apprehension probably would've been a giveaway.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:03:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
now we are arguing about his demeanour, which we know nothing about?

yes, I would assume that someone who holds an important office being surrounded by police was being protected, or else I would have always thought that Bush was being brought in for questioning.

by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:08:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know about you, but I've never been arrested before, and I'd be pretty freaked out if a bunch of cops walked up to me and said, "Mr Jones, we need you to come with us."

You're just being ridiculous comparing a constant Secret Service presence with cops randomly walking up to DSK and taking him away.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:15:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have been arrested and have been a witness in many criminal and civil cases.
by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:21:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Once he was taken off the plane by cops in plane sight, the story was bound to spread like wildfire. Somebody texted it from aboard the plane, somebody else called a buddy with the city, some clerk called the NY Post for twenty bucks... Once DSK was taken off the plane, it was only a matter of hours - at most - before the whole thing went public.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:47:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hmm.  Americans can't even find their country on a world map.  I doubt they can recognize DSK.
by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:55:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because everybody on the New York-to-Paris is obviously American?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:57:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
no, but the French would draw the drapes.
by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:00:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect there was at least one French national on with a cellphone on that - Air France - flight...

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:05:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and he happened to know what happened at the hotel?

wow.  what a set of unusual coincidences!

by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:10:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Taken off the plane by cops? That's enough to get people asking questions.

From then on it's just a matter of time.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:39:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
again, it could be for a variety of reasons -  family emergency, etc.
by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:42:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not a right-winger in first class, possibly.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:46:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I mentioned earlier: several TV crews talked to the AF23 passengers upon their arrival in CDG this morning. None mentioned having witnessed the "arrest"; only one had noticed DSK's presence on board (Source: Le Parisien).

And even then, it's not so strange that no passenger noticed anything was amiss: I happen to have in the past, at least once, boarded a plane with a high-profile guy already sitting in first class (Shimon Peres, I think it was); wouldn't have surprised me one bit to see the guy walking surrounded by cops and security guards (DSK was reportedly taken off the plane by plain clothe detectives, not uniformed cops).

by Bernard on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:17:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you for reminding us, Bernard.
This is getting completely crazy, my friends.
A year from now, we all should come back and re-read this thread.
In the light of our well-known progressive, justice-and -reality-centered focus.

There will be some embarrassment, I predict.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 04:27:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Except if this is revealed as an UMP setup, that this scandal is taken as credible by the French press - and that will be coming out in that process - is enough to take DSK out of the running...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misŤres
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 01:43:05 PM EST
There does appear to be some chance of a frame-up here.

DSK has a reputation for misbehavior.  

DSK most likely stays at the Sofitel NYC frequently.  

The hotel staff will know him, and he will have a reputation as a guest.  Some of it will be documented.

If he ever hit-on an employee or acted inappropriately, it was probably recorded by staff into a file for their protection.

If he ever had a consensual relationship with a staff-member of the hotel it would probably be known by some other staff-member.  

The very rapid leak to right-wing French political figures suggests that there is a staff member at the hotel that has communicated with them before.  Anyone likely to be working a NYC hotel and also give a shit about French politics is sure to be a higher-level employee, definitely not a maid.

A higher-level employee would know how the hotel systems work, how the locks are recorded, phone calls, how housekeepers are assigned to rooms, etc.  

A higher-level employee would be able to get staff hired.  Placing a maid, for example, would be extremely easy.  Likewise they would be able to get to know existing employees and maybe find a willing participant.

Knowing this, let us say that a manager of some type at the Sofitel is a right-winger and pulls this off.  French right-wingers pay for a maid, the manager can get her placed in the hotel and/or the room where DSK stays.  The manager would know enough to coach a story that could be backed up by hotel evidence. Depending on DSK's habits, they may even have access to "personal evidence" to support such a claim.  It is gross, but it is certainly possible.

The maid is the key to the whole story.   It should take less than a week to look into her and her background to figure out if she is credible or not.  Other staff in the hotel will know who she talks to and what she is up to.  if her behavior was suspicious this will be known.  She is not a super agent, if she is she was recently hired by the hotel (suspicious on its own).  

My thinking is that this is a SPECTACULAR and HUGE story because it can go only one of two ways, really.

Either DSK has raped a hotel maid and is totally fucked, or DSK has been completely set-up and the ruse will be revealed, which might actually be a bigger "dirty tricks" story.

by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:27:53 PM EST
Have to be a complete idiot to run a "Sting Operation" operation like this one.

Pols have a sterling ability to grandly shoot themselves down.  IF the claims now emerging about DSK's 'proclivities' are accurate all his enemies had to do was exercise some patience.

I note if this news had broke about Sarkozy we'd be all over ourselves with glee.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:40:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm actually fine with it, I think DSK is garbage and if this ruins his ability to run for President I think it is fantastic news for the left.  I am certain that Aubry and Hollande both can whip the pants off Sarkozy.  Also, without DSK I think De Villepin is more likely to run and have voters.  

I would also be far less inclined to believe this story if it were about Sarkozy himself, who does not strike me as being this stupid or deviant.  

That said, it is POSSIBLE that this is a moronic set-up.  The presence of management in the hotel who apparently know top-level UMP political operatives makes it so.  That is strange and unusual, and a hotel manager has the means to attempt such a thing.   Also, the timing is admittedly suspicious, especially after the obviously trumped-up "porsche" incident and the latest IMF rumblings.   DSK has many enemies.

Again, either this happened as the story largely suggests, or it's a set-up.  There is little middle ground.  Either way this is a huge story.

by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:32:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would actually like to see justice done.

I don't know if he is guilty or not.  It sounds like there are some political overtones which makes me doubt the story, but he seems capable of it, so who knows?

As for him running for president, I think he and/or the FRENCH should decide.  

by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:37:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
is a good goal, yes

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:43:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I honestly think the smear/etc is more about him leading IMF and less about the French presidency.  Especially in that his position as head of IMF lets him have a huge impact on current world events and if he took a certain stand with an eye toward domestic french politics he might push the IMF in a direction that some very powerful people would prefer he not.  Note that his "replacement" appointed today is a US banker.

The comparison to the Eliot Spitzer bust is very apt.  If this is a setup, I think the target was the head of the IMF, not a potential candidate for the Presidency of France.

by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 03:45:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]

 This fairly well expresses my sentiments, too.

   Also, the insider reactions are predictable:

   We're reminded of the sanctity of the presumption of innoncence---though, until recently, french law didn't bother to even pretend to protect the rights of those accused of a crime by requiring the presence of a legal advisor throughout arrest and detainment.  An important (on paper, that is) step has (seemingly) been taken, though the means to make it effective are sorely wanting.

  But, as one of their "own"--even if many of his own competing party fellows privately relish this set-back or side-lining--the insiders are quick to give the general public lessons on the importance of fairness in treatment and judgment.  It's quite different when the accused are adolescent immigrants living in the urban ghetto-burbs.  For them, it's "immediate appearance and hearing" before a magistrate who dispenses justice in summary form in a matter of minutes while a public defender is fumbling for the right page of text.

   DSK might or might not have assaulted the hotel maid, but his word will probably count many times more than hers in the "did" - "did-not" dispute.  If, on the other hand, she'd taken his cigarette lighter, she'd certainly lose her job and she might even face jail time as a consequence---her lawyer's fees wouldn't run to tens or hunderds of thousands of dollars, either as she'd have to take what she could get.  

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:23:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it depends on how expensive the cigarette lighter was.  
by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:30:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, and also the hotel staff are generally VERY skeptical when guests claim "the housekeeper stole my XXXX."  Always bullshit.  The housekeeper has far more to lose, they don't risk their shitty jobs over dumb things like that.  
by paving on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 06:10:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is possible that someone not officially connected to UMP, but a wealthy supporter with questionable judgment, recruited a like-minded French employee of Sofltel in NYC to destroy DSK politically. And if it is shown to have been a set up, that is certainly the story that the UMP would prefer.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 06:25:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 I have no sympathy for DSK and won't miss his departure from the electoral scene.  That he and others are viewed by many as being in or of or on the French "Left" only fills me with dismay and is a gross corruption of what I think of as the "Left".  For me, he's neither "Left" nor "Right" but simply truly and fully a creature of the very milieu in which he has so long lived and moved--a corrupt and destructive system which profits the privileged within it and promotes their personal fortunes at the expense of the rest of the public.  

   I consider all or very nearly all the rest of his political play-mates little or no different, whether it be Royal, Holland, Sarkozy, De Villepin, Melanchon, or any other notable party figure within a mile's shot of a presidential candidacy.  The system itself is grotesquely corrupt and these people thrive in it and use it.  Sometimes they become its victims but that is the lot they share and the risks they quite willingly take in order to enjoy their share in the spoils.

   U.S. politics is no different either.  In each case, a corrupt and mutually self-serving and reinforcing bunch help themselves and each other against the rights and interests of the general public which is too detached, ignorant or ill-informed to pose any counterweight to their misrule.  Now, the news and information media and the so-called justice systems are deeply and fully implicated in this charade called democracy but which is, instead, the general evisceration of publicly-sanctioned government to the benefit of a cohort of high-power actors who move so effortlessly between the private and the once-existing "public" realms that these have come to be in effect melded into an indistinguishable mish-mash.

   For a riveting account of what has happened and how, you could do well to read Jeanine Wedel's book, "Shadow Elite" (Basic Books, N.Y.)  It is the picture of our corrupt times---though I don't in the least mean to suggest that the facts of today are in any important sense completely novel or unprecedented.  All of this has happened over and over throughout the past.  That, however, shouldn't excuse it today nor leave us resigned to it; the stakes and the current outcomes for such corruption, these, are in their peculiar ways, quite different from what was the case over centuries and millenia past.  We are watching a sordid lot play with the fate of the planet now, and not merely a nation or region.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:07:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed.

And you have to wonder what it would be possible to find out about the other players if one happened to start digging.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:54:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Time soon revealed gaping holes in the rape story about Assange, but the case progresses nonetheless.
One could say the Assange job was done by idiots. That's not to say that it won't work.
It's a dangerous assumption that all plots, when later revealed, show the workings of finely-honed minds.

Sometimes it's true. Sometimes it looks more like an episode of "The Muppets meet the Mafia".
Wait.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 04:34:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it looks like that french reporter who was harassed by DSK will press charges against him for attempted rape in France
by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:32:15 PM EST
Tristane Banon?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 02:48:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes; her mother, Anne Mansouret (a PS elected official in Normandy), reportedly told so on TV channel i-tele.
by Bernard on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:57:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hm? My French is very basic, but doesn't she actually say according to your linked article that she discouraged her daughter in 2002 from pressing charges and now she regrets doing so?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 04:20:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What's the statute of limitations in France, anyway? It's been 9 years.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 04:25:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, she did acknowledge having discouraged her daughter to press charges at the time. She is an elected official (vice-president of the Eure département) and her family is close to DSK's: Tristane's godmother is DSK's second wife...

At the time (2002), Tristane Banon was starting a journalism career and her mother felt such a scandal would kill her professional life, she would be "the girl who had a problem, etc..." see upthread.

Yesterday, Anne Mansouret declared she was now regretting her advice of 2002, and that she went to Paris yesterday in emergency to comfort her daughter.

As for the statute of limitation in France, it's 10 years. Hence, the possibility that Ms. Banon may soon file charges in France, now that the scandal (and the omerta)has been broken by a 32-year old maid in NYC.

by Bernard on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 08:37:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
so according to nouvel observateur

Selon les informations d' i-Tele, l'hypothèse de la fuite précipitée semble de moins en moins probable. D'après la chaîne, une contre-enquête a été menée par les proches de DSK.

Cette contre-enquête a mis en évidence certains éléments : la place d'avion pour le vol New York- Paris avait été réservée en avance, le voyage était donc prévu.

I-Tele affirme que Strauss-Kahn a déjeuné avec sa fille à l'hôtel Sofitel et que le téléphone portable qu'il a laissé derrière lui n'est que l'un de ses sept téléphones. Quand DSK s'est aperçu de l'oubli il a demandé à son chauffeur d'aller le chercher.

so he has 7 cell phones, and forgot one, and asked his chauffeur to go retrieve it.

by stevesim on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 04:40:26 PM EST

  "I-Tele affirme que Strauss-Kahn a déjeuné avec sa fille à l'hôtel Sofitel et que le téléphone portable qu'il a laissé derrière lui n'est que l'un de ses sept téléphones. Quand DSK s'est aperçu de l'oubli il a demandé à son chauffeur d'aller le chercher."

  I learn something every day!

   And I guess they were going to send it on after him in a Fed-Ex overnight dispatch, then; I don't see the plane waiting for the chauffeur to go fetch the phone and bring it into First Class, where DSK was seated and waiting for take-off.  Apparently (some of) his (seven) phones aren't that important.  What a surprise.

  I wonder when he became aware that one (or more?) of his phones wasn't on his person.  When he went through airport security, I guess the phones got scanned along with the contents of a bag, not emptied from his pockets into a bin.  What a world, what a life these people lead!

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:03:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So DSK carries 7 phones around?

I can see him carrying one phone for IMF business, one for the French Socialist Party, one for Sciences-Po where he's a professor, and one personal phone for each country where he habitually resides which is at least France and the US...

I have both a UK and a Spain SIM cards and two phones, and I'm nobody.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:36:28 PM EST
I have one phone.  Yurp needs new wireless contracts. :)

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 05:48:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep.

That's one of the things the EU has been regulating. To much gnashing of teeth among the phone companies, I imagine.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 06:00:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are multi-SIM phones you know.

Which I know as I have had multiple phones too.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun May 15th, 2011 at 06:27:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"He will be charged with a criminal sexual act....."

Note that, under Section 255.17 of New York State law that can mean adultery....The other charges sound more serious.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 02:05:43 AM EST
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon May 16th, 2011 at 04:51:03 AM EST


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