Leave Dominique Strauss-Kahn alone! (part II)

I maintain that we have seen a tribunal of public opinion install itself around the presumably innocent Strauss-Kahn, one which, contrary to the other, doesn’t bother with evidence or proof or contradictory accounts. And I maintain that this pseudo-tribunal is too noisy, too spectacular, too powerful not to exercise a tremendous influence on the other one, the real one, the one that strives to establish the facts, just the facts, nothing but the facts, when the time comes. The United States dreads and sanctions any pressure on witnesses, and justly so; what can one say about this other pressure, none the less criminal, exercised on the judges by the self-styled DAs of the scandal sheets and, it unfortunately follows, the press in general?…

I maintain that those who are surprised that one doesn’t take the side of the “poor, immigrant woman” as a matter of principle against the “rich and arrogant white man” who supposedly has raped her are reinventing a kind of class justice in reverse. It’s no longer, as before, “poor bastards, the rich are always right” but “rich bastards, the word of the poor is sacred.” This prejudice is as disgusting, no more, no less, than the precedent, and this reversal recalls—at least in France—the notorious affair of Bruay-en-Artois of the early ‘70s, when, because he was a bourgeois, a notary was decreed guilty of a crime, one which, it was later determined, once the winds of hysteria had died down and his existence was already a shambles, he had not, in reality, committed. And thinking about it makes a shiver go down one’s spine.

I maintain that from now on, and more than ever, only one thing is urgent, faced with this drama: to make the howlers shut up; to protect the indicted with the same scrupulousness—and how far we are from that!—as that reserved for the alleged victim; to denounce those who are out for blood and moving in for the kill, like a punishment before the fact, a new episode of which we discover every day, as in a bad reality show (Just hours ago, a New York hotel, and then a university campus, refused to rent rooms to Strauss-Kahn the pariah and his wife, Anne Sinclair.) And let justice serenely do the work of truth.

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