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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Duke/Nifong Hoax: Day #301

Updated - today's items:

405 Gattis St. - site of a party Sat. night where a Duke student said she was raped.Iza Wojciechowska, Duke Chronicle:
Off-East rape investigation continues — The Durham Police Department is continuing to investigate allegations that a female Duke student was sexually assaulted at an off-campus party early Sunday. According to police reports released Monday, the 18-year-old woman reported forcible rape that took place at 3 a.m. at 405 Gattis St., where a party was hosted by some members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.

The alleged victim "is doing as well as can be expected," Dean of Students Sue Wasiolek said. University officials said Monday that they had met with members of the fraternity after the report was filed by the alleged victim, who Wasiolek confirmed is white. Some of the students living at the house in which the party took place are in the process of relocating either temporarily or permanently, Wasiolek wrote in an e-mail.

"The University has been assisting the students to identify their housing options," she said. Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, said the administration is now awaiting DPD investigation results...

Anne Blythe, News & Observer:
Duke waits on inquiry results — Duke University administrators will wait for Durham police to finish their investigation of a freshman's allegations that she was raped at an off-campus party before doing an inquiry of their own. Larry Moneta, Duke vice president of student affairs, said he heard about the incident early Sunday. "We're providing direct support to the woman," he said.

Durham police were called to 405 Gattis St. at 3 a.m. Sunday after an 18-year-old reported being raped in a bathroom there. No charges had been filed late Monday.

Members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., one of whom lives at the Gattis Street address, organized the party that started Saturday night and continued into the early hours of Sunday. As police investigated the sexual assault allegations Sunday, their inquiry took a different turn . Neighbors and bystanders reported seeing a duffel bag plummet to the ground from a second-story window...

At 11:11 a.m. Sunday, police filed an incident report for three drug violations: possession of marijuana, Oxycontin and cocaine. No corresponding arrest report was available Monday...

KC Johnson: Kudos to Blythe — "But in the lacrosse case," Blythe correctly notes, "Nifong assumed control of the investigation, according to police reports, before any charges were filed." Russ described how the procedure is supposed to work. So why did the Durham Police yield control to Nifong in the lacrosse case?

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity founded 1914Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. was founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C., January 9, 1914, by three young African-American male students. The founders, Honorable A. Langston Taylor, Honorable Leonard F. Morse, and Honorable Charles I. Brown, wanted to organize a Greek letter fraternity that would truly exemplify the ideals of brotherhood, scholarship, and service.

The founders deeply wished to create an organization that viewed itself as "a part of" the general community rather than "apart from" the general community...
LieStoppers forum: HERE YOU GO !!, I told ya it was coming..
LieStoppers forum: Black Fraternity threw the Party, 3 different types of drugs found

TalkLeft: TOTAL VINDICATION — comment: I understand the media double standard at play here, but for the three accused lax players, and for this 18 year old woman, there's no "vindication"...
Ray Gronberg, Herald-Sun:
Police mum on status of rape investigation — City police didn't report making any progress Monday in their investigation into the reported rape of an 18-year-old Duke University student at a weekend party at a 405 Gattis St. duplex...

The woman told investigators she was attacked in a bathroom at about 3 a.m. Sunday. An incident report filed by Office Kevin Bobbitt alleged she was forced to lie on the floor and that the suspect disrobed the victim and himself. Bobbitt's report also alleged that hands and feet were used as weapons, and that drugs and alcohol were not involved...

Police said that in connection to the rape charge, they're looking for a black male in his late teens or early 20s. He is said to be 6 feet 1 inch tall and at the time of the incident was wearing a black do-rag, a gray sweat shirt and blue jeans...

KC Johnson:
The Group of 88's Latest Defense — Yesterday’s Chronicle of Higher Education—the most widely distributed journal among academics—has a lengthy, fascinating, and well-reported article (available here for subscribers) about the Group of 88 and the campus reaction to them. Authors Thomas Bartlett and Sara Lipka allow members of the Group, plus two of the “clarifying” faculty, to speak in their own words. Most would have been better advised not speaking at all...

4.) No Transcript — The Bartlett/Lipka article solved one of the many mysteries of the Group of 88’s ad: why the alleged quotes from students were anonymous. I had—quite erroneously—assumed that at least these quotes were legitimate, taken from a transcript of the session.

In fact, these “quotes” came from “notes” of the event taken by Lubiano. It does not appear that she verified their accuracy with the speakers. Indeed, we have no way of knowing whether the speakers were even Duke students, or were potbangers or other habitual protesters who happened to show up for the event.

This revelation yields some intriguing questions:
  • What steps, if any, did Group of 88 members other than Holloway or Lubiano take to ensure the accuracy of the student quotes to which faculty allegedly were “listening”?
  • Did other Group of 88 members ask Lubiano how she obtained the quotes, and whether she had received students' permission to use their words in such a fashion?
  • Did they even read the final text of the ad, with the 11 “quotes” ultimately selected, before signing?
LieStoppers forum: No Regrets, Group of 88 In Chronicle of Higher Ed

comment: So Holloway or Lubiano probably invented some of their "listening" statement quotes that allegedly came from anonymous students? Shocking! Who would have thought the author(s) of the "listening" ad might have been fudging things in the interest of creating a more compelling advertisement? It was an "advertisement" after all, who said advertisements had to be truthful?
The Johnsville News: Did the Duke "Gang of 88" falsify their 'listening' statement?
Gang of 88 at their 'Shut Up' eventNaureen Khan, Duke Chronicle:
Faculty speak out on threats, intimidation — Six members of the Duke faculty said Monday night that they refused to be silenced by what they termed as attempts by critics to intimidate them or censor their opinions.

The charged panel discussion-entitled "Shut Up and Teach?"-addressed criticism toward academics who comment on controversial social and political issues.

The panelists at the talk-five of whom were signatories of an advertisement called the "listening statement" that was published in The Chronicle April 6, 2006-said the problems of faculty repression go beyond the events of last spring.

"We're talking about decades of the rhetorical tarring and feathering of faculty who step outside the confines of their research or their classroom," said Wahneema Lubiano, associate professor of African and African-American studies.
comment: Didn't Wahneema Lubiano get the faculty memo? Another idiot Duke professor, Robyn Wiegman, unilaterally banned the use of the phrase "tarred and feathered" on the Duke campus because it offended her. See TJN: Policing Vile Metaphors & Idiot Professors

And very predictably the Gang of 88 resorted to the old reliable stupid debating tricks: attack the messenger (KC Johnson), enter the straw man, bait and switch, history will be kind to me, I'm not hearing you..La, La, La, and that's Mean! Mean! Mean!
LieStoppers forum:
Shut up and Teach Grp of 88 Enabling Forum, Tonite 2/12/07 6:30 pm — [LieStoppers member attended the event and reported on it] — Here goes nothing. This is as close as I could get with pen and paper to the events of the evening. This was done late at night and I completely disclaim its accuracy. If anyone feels misrepresented then please feel free to release the video so that your point of view can be judged on what you said as opposed to what I say you said. I would have done the video for you but it wasn't permitted. In other words, don't come crying to me. YOU HAVE ONLY YOURSELF TO BLAME.
When I arrived one hour early with my video equipment I sat in the front row with my video equipment and busied myself listening to my iPod. I was chased out by "Sally" who informed me that this was really a student "teach in" and not a media event and that no video or photos would be allowed. Duke technical services and African and African American Studies (AAAS - or triple A/S in their parlance) were making videos....
Kristin Butler, Duke ChronicleKristin Butler, Duke Chronicle:
A CLASS ACTION — Last week, Durham resident Beth Brewer did a courageous thing: She asked the Durham Superior Court to remove Mike Nifong as district attorney in a sworn affidavit. I wish I had thought of that.

How fortunate, then, that imitation is the highest form of compliment, because Brewer is onto something. As we near the 12th month of the lacrosse case, Duke students unfortunately cannot make the wheels of justice turn any faster for our three accused classmates. But we can and should work to ensure that future Dukies will never again be systematically mistreated by Durham's judicial system.

Emblematic of these concerns are September 2006 revelations that Durham police officers disproportionately targeted Duke students for arrest in 2005 and 2006. In fact, Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, who went on to become the lead investigator in the lacrosse case from March until September, was the worst of the offenders. One can only imagine how different the lacrosse investigation might have been if Gottlieb's one-man reign of terror had ended with his first violent or inappropriate outburst.

Unfortunately, though, this is probably just the tip of the iceberg. To show how prevalent the inequality is-not to mention how easily it can be documented-let's compare one small (if especially curious) episode from the lacrosse saga: the $400,000 bail the players were initially required to post. As it turns out, this figure is exactly double the amount recommended by six-year-old Durham county guidelines governing bail. It is also many times greater than the sums assigned other defendants in comparable cases-oftentimes with significantly weaker ties to the community...

John Stevenson, Herald-Sun:
Lawyer urges action on DA filing affadavit — An Asheville lawyer urged Durham's senior judge Monday not to delay action on allegations that District Attorney Mike Nifong engaged in willful misconduct and brought his office into disrepute in connection with the Duke lacrosse sex-offense case. Lawyer Betty Tenn Lawrence also asked that independent counsel be appointed to help get to the bottom of the allegations, which are contained in an affidavit filed last week by Beth Brewer of Durham. But Lawrence did not request that she personally be named to the role of independent counsel.

Brewer's affidavit is not her first effort to oust Nifong. She was active in last year's general election, prompting voters to recall the district attorney by casting ballots for County Commissioner Lewis Cheek, even though Cheek vowed not to serve if elected. Nifong prevailed anyway...

Joan Foster, LieStoppers:
Sgt. James Regan — comment — For all of us who are wrapped up in the Duke Lacrosse Hoax (probably more than we ought to be), trying to unravel the mess created by Nifong and his enablers, principally including the G88/87, with its "listening" ad, reflecting faculty members' hostility against Duke students and due process, it is important to step back, see the bigger picture, and recognize the true heroism and dedication to community and service which Sgt. Regan represented.

Mike Lopresti, Indianapolis Star:
Here's a Duke lacrosse player you need to know about — For a year now, since the rape charges first hit, we've heard the uproar about Duke's lacrosse players. Their faces looked at us from magazine covers and talk shows, the battle lines of their guilt or innocence set by race, gender, class. Ugly business, and not over yet.

But here's another Duke lacrosse player you ought to meet. At the end of the day, there should be no disagreement about him.

Jimmy Regan went from his Long Island roots to Duke as a determined athlete and student."Just a terrific personality. Always a smile on his face. His teammates just loved to be around him," his coach, Mike Pressler, said over the phone Monday. "He was the kind of kid that every coach in America would be proud to call his own. I can't imagine a better teammate or a better friend."...

Somewhere in Iraq last week, Sgt. James John Regan was killed in action. No other details. He had served double tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, returning to harm's way again and again and again. He had been awarded a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, other medals. He was 26 years old...

Randolph Parrish, Op-Ed, North Country Gazette:
Duke Accused Still In Jeopardy — The problem is that the Duke Lacrosse Frame/Hoax is still going on. And there still exists the very real possibility that the Special Prosecutors assigned to examine the case are primarily focused on finding SOME KIND OF CHARGE to get this case to trial, and not on a search for justice. ANY KIND OF CHARGE would help save the state of North Carolina the legal and financal embarassment having to declare that this was only “a hoax and frame-up conducted by the state’s agent, Michael Nifong”, from the beginning.

One of the Special Prosecutors is James Coman, who insisted on proceeding with a second trial for Alan Gell, even after it was discovered that the DA in his orginal trial knew there were seventeen eyewitnesses who could prove his innocence, but had refused to divulge this information to the defense. If convicted, Gell would have again faced the death penalty, for a murder Coman knew he did not commit. Joe Cheshire and James Cooney were part of Gell’s defense team (and are now part of the Duke defense team). Coman is said to harbor a considerable personal animosity towards both of them, and also against Wade Smith, another defense attorney.

Mary Winstead, the second Special Prosecutor, worked with Nifong trying to secure a conviction in the Malloy rape case. Crucial taped evidence in that case was somehow erased by Winstead (recall the erased tapes and cell phone evidence in the Duke case); she protested vigorously against bringing in out-of-state experts to try and reconstruct the tape. When the tapes were restored, Malloy was aquitted.

These are about the last two people I would assign to examining the lacrosse case...

Garlin II (Microsoft software engineer), SuperSpade blog:
Unraveling the Duke DebacleLast April, we were delighted to have special guest Sakara R. give a perspective of what is now commonly known as The Duke Rape Case. Sakara has written a follow up to that perspective, that is a reflection on how the situation has changed and what has been learned from it. Read. Learn. Respond...

The poison in the wound. Two words: Mike Nifong...Simply put, the man we thought would champion this case has turned out to be its weakest link, by all accounts...

But let’s not kid ourselves. The rape charges have been dropped. I can say that there is an overwhelming preponderance of evidence that shows that a woman was brutally assaulted at a party thrown by the three co-captains of the Duke lacrosse team.

It is likely that she does not know for certain who these men were, nor what they looked like. It is likely that they did not leave any DNA evidence on her body, and it is likely that she was slipped a drug in the drink given to her at the party, which caused her to appear overly intoxicated and confused. It is all likely, but it cannot be proved, and in a game where the stakes are the futures of three, upper class white men, circumstantial evidence simply will not do. Because of the prosecutor's misconduct- not the memory lapses or inconsistent stories of the alleged victim- these men will never be convicted; there is too much reasonable doubt...

As I combed through all of the documents, articles, interviews and files, I fully expected to come out convinced the alleged victim lied to the world when she claimed she was raped. Instead, I am convinced more than ever that the assault took place- in part, because the physical evidence is overwhelming.

I am angered, not at her, but at the prosecution, a man sworn to uphold the law, who instead cut corners, told half-truths and withheld evidence, a man who refused to look at the picture presented by the evidence, rather than forcing the evidence to fit the picture in his own mind...
comment: The above post represents the current "state of the art" regarding re-engineering this hoax as a criminal conspiracy that was simply messed up by Nifong's misconduct. The overwhelming physical evidence of a crime is never presented by the author. Instead the history of a hoax that has crumbled is offered as proof? The author concludes that the three Duke lacrosse players "have jumped on the wave of reasonable doubt and will surely ride it all the way to a mistrial or “not guilty” verdict." The presumption of innocence is not granted to the "privileged." Because, the "privileged raping the not-so-privileged is one of America’s oldest past times." Raping the truth is the past time for this blogger.
Dahlia Lithwick, Slate.com:
Hack AttackPlease reinvent me as a right-wing blowhard (2/12) — You've got to feel a little bit sorry for the Weekly Standard. They've become so starved for hysterical, knee-jerk, left-wing columnists to tear apart that they've retreated en masse to their basement to sew up pretend ones from hopsack and straw. A few weeks ago, the magazine ran a cover story by Charlotte Allen called "Duke's Tenured Vigilantes." The piece was a takedown of all the overheated, politically correct, believe-the-victim blather that broke out on campus and in the media in the early weeks of the Duke rape scandal. Allen's Exhibit "A" of the reflexive all-white-men-are-rapists opinion columns on the subject was a piece I did last April for Slate. Here's the piece...

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