On May 14 International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK) was arrested at JFK International Airport and charged with raping a motel maid. As head of one of the most powerful financial institutions in the world and possible Socialist candidate for the French Presidency, the news rapidly spread all over the world, was repeated constantly, and led to the French lamenting his “trial by media.”
DSK Trial By Media
Much moralizing and soul-searching about attitudes toward women and the sexual activities of powerful men appeared in news outlets. Conspicuously missing from news stories was any suggestion that DSK was not guilty of rape, as he had insisted from the beginning. The concept of “innocent until proven guilty” was discarded, as it so often is in cases involving charges of a sexual nature.
DSK Accuser-Credibility Questioned
On June 30, 2011, the New York Times released information that cast severe doubt on the legitimacy of the charges. The prosecutor’s investigation had found holes in the accuser’s stories, as well as large bank deposits in the past two years, which the accused claims she didn’t know about. A recorded conversation between the accuser and an incarcerated drug dealer, discussing the advantages of pressing charges against DMK, is in the possession of the police conducting the investigation.
DSK, Assange: Attempted Sex Scandals
No one is disputing that sexual contact took place between DSK and the maid, but the charge of sexual assault as opposed to consensual sex is disputed. This scenario is similar to the sex charges against Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks and embarasser of important people. Assange has been under house arrest in the U.K. for six months, while admitting having had sex with the two women accusers in Sweden but steadfastly denying that any force was involved.
Ralph Nader Dodged Sex Scandal Bullet
It would not be the first time that false sexual charges have been used to discredit public figures who have made enemies in high places. In 1970, General Motors, seeking to discredit consumer advocate Ralph Nader, hired prostitutes to entrap and discredit him. Nader, however, did not fall for it and eventually sued GM, winning the case.
Who Benefits: Sex Scandals
General Motors would have benefited from Ralph Nader’s being discredited. Although Nader was single, the 1970s attitude toward a supposed crusader who frequented prostitutes may have brought him down. The U.S. State Department has benefited from discrediting Assange, who released embarrassing diplomatic documents and Pvt. Bradley Manning’s disturbing video “Collateral Murder,” depicting U.S. military shooting Iraqi civilians from a helicopter.
DSK Sex Scandal and the IMF
Who benefits from DSK’s being discredited? Perhaps the IMF, which continues to loan money to developing nations and then insisting that they implement “austerity measures,” privatize holdings, and open their nation up to corporate investment. One week prior to his arrest, DSK announced a new direction for the IMF, stating that social equality and social justice should be used as measures of the stability of a country. Social justice does not sit well with the IMF, as evidenced by uprisings all over the world against the austerity measures being forced onto populations from Greece, the U.K., Jamaica, and everywhere nations owe money to international banking cartels.
DSK may have behaved badly, but that is between him and his wife. The lesson to take from this is not how badly men have behaved, since that is not in our control. What is in our control is gullibly swallowing news accounts of every sexual scandal coming down the pike, without waiting for evidence, court decisions, or asking “Who benefits?”