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Monday, July 23, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — July 23, 2007

Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't.
— Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)
Updated — today's items:

Myron Magnet, editor-at-large of City-JournalMyron Magnet, City-Journal.org:
In the Heart of Freedom, in Chains -- Elite hypocrisy, gangsta culture, and failure in black America -- [...] What the Duke “rape” case shows is that these attitudes about race have hardened into dogma among elites. Otherwise, who would believe for long the fishy charges of accuser Crystal Mangum, then 27, who kept changing her story about how many Duke students had assaulted her, what they looked like, and what they had done? Hired as a stripper for a lacrosse-team party (where she turned up “passed-out drunk,” a cop on the scene reported), the unmarried mother of two claimed that she’d been raped, beaten, robbed, and threatened with violation with a broomstick, by three or five or maybe even 20 members of the Duke team, though she picked out different young men from different arrays of police photos. Or maybe she hadn’t been raped but only assaulted—or perhaps suspended in midair and used sexually by three young men at once, in a tiny bathroom. State attorney general Roy Cooper understandably suspected that Mangum might have had a tenuous grasp on reality. “She may actually believe the many different stories that she has been telling,” the AG remarked, in declaring the students innocent. “You can’t piece it together.”

It’s clear why Durham DA Michael Nifong, facing a desperate reelection fight, would at first have viewed the case as a political godsend in a 40 percent black district. Here was his chance to step forth as champion of a black victim of privileged whites. But early on, he learned that, yes, his hired testing lab had found DNA from several men on Mangum—but none of it belonged to the accused. He let the lab withhold that fact for nine long months. No wonder he was disbarred and resigned in June.

But what led the Duke faculty and officials, along with the mainstream media, to treat this cock-and-bull story as gospel to the bitter end? ...
Betsy Newmark: Elites and the gangsta culture -- It's not racism that is victimizing young blacks today but something that will be just as insidious to remove.

Gus Van Horn blog:
Failure in Black America -- very perceptive article on what I think of as the death spiral of America's black culture, a phenomenon he correctly indicates as being not merely political (i.e., reinforced by the welfare state), but also cultural...

The liberation of black Americans will remain incomplete until reason and egoism replace whim and altruism as major components of their culture.
Weekly Planner, News & Observer:
NIFONG HEARING -- Thursday (July 26th), 11 a.m.: Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III hears motions in the criminal contempt case against former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong.
KC Johnson:
McClain as Convocation Speaker -- Group of 88 stalwart and incoming Academic Council chairperson Paula (“no to due process”) McClain will be the speaker for this year’s opening convocation for graduate and professional school students. (The convocation occurs on August 22.)...
John in Carolina:
INNOCENT: "If only" letters (Post 1) -- post the letters exactly as they appear in the papers’ achieves but change the names, home towns and tags identifying the writers...

--- offer brief commentary about “the writers” to whom I facetiously attributed the letters...
Clay Waters, NewsBusters.org:
After Awful Duke Coverage, NYT Shows Sudden Concern for 'Racial Overtones' in Rape -- "Charges Against a Star Linebacker Raises Questions About Justice" appears at first to be a run-of-the-mill example of politically correct crime coverage in the New York Times. Sports reporter Thayer Evans hinted at racism in a criminal investigation of a black college football player, Oklahoma State Cowboys linebacker Chris Collins, arrested on sexual assault for raping a 12 year-old. But then one remembers the Times' coverage of the Duke lacrosse case, and the politically correct becomes pathetic...
Michael Gaynor, WebCommentary.com:
Duke Case: Duke Still Must Account -- Jason Trumpbour of Friends of Duke University: "[T]he Duke administration chose to supply personal information about its students to a manifestly unethical and corrupt district attorney in connection with a politically motivated investigation. Do not be fooled by the administration’s story that they did not know what to believe or that they instinctively trust public officials. Duke had been told by the police that the case was bogus and the file would likely be closed after the police had interviewed that alleged victim."

With that, I agree completely...

Reportedly, key members of the Duke administration told players to tell them everything because they were protected by "the student/university privilege."


If a lawyer working for Duke dared to try to manipulate a player that way, then the North Carolina State Bar should be investigating.

That's not all...

LieStoppers blog:
Will Chief Chalmers testify before the City Panel? -- In a WRAL-TV report the question will Chief Chalmers testify before the City Panel investigation of the Duke Lacrosse Hoax was asked of the Chairman Justice Willis P. Whichard. He said is hopeful Chalmers will agree to voluntarily appear before the panel and answer questions, but it isn't resolved as of now...
KC Johnson:
Group Profile: Eduardo Bonilla-Silva -- Group of 88 signatory and “clarifying” faculty member Eduardo Bonilla-Silva teaches in the Sociology Department. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin; his academic career has promoted a structural explanation of racism in the United States. In effect, he has argued that a quest for white supremacy is embedded within American society, and can be overcome only through government intervention to create an “equality of outcome” between whites and minorites...
From the Weekend

John in Carolina:
INNOCENT: Duke’s FERPA Fakes -- Last April 18 Moneta and Duke did a FERPA fake: “The university is prohibited under federal privacy regulations from releasing ….” They even included the internet address where the editors could reference FERPA. Talk about slick faking.

Then Duke “threw the pass” to the editors: “Historically, it has been the university’s practice to issue an interim suspension ….”

Duke even gave the editors "quarterback" Moneta's name and title so they could report them along with Duke’s FERPA fake and de facto public disclosure the University was suspending Finnerty and Seligmann.

That Duke fake was pretty skunky, even for a university headed by President Brodhead and BOT Chairman Steel.

But now let’s look at a much more deceptive and very likely illegal Duke FERPA fake.
LieStoppers blog:
Durham has two Police Chiefs -- Durham City Manager Patrick Baker's year long search for a new Police Chief to replace the MIA Chief Steve Chalmers is over. By hiring Jose L. Lopez Sr., Baker eschewed Deputy Police Chief Ron Hodge, whose comment in a public forum that he "couldn't recall that the Durham Police Department has been involved in something where we made major mistakes in the past five years" brought snickers and laughter in the audience...

Meanwhile, City Manager Patrick Baker has another problem to solve. Apparently MIA Chief Chalmers will not be leaving the PD immediately but is staying until his pension benefits can increase...

It is heartening to note that in Durham we will have two police chiefs...
LS forum: Durham has two Police Chiefs
KC Johnson:
Sunday Roundup -- Joan Collins, looked at the role of faith for the players and their supporters throughout the case....

Jason Trumpbour has delved into the Bar depositions to explore some troubling connections between Duke and the police...

[Peter] Wood has announced his retirement, and officially moves to emeritus status this winter...

Liestoppers discussion forum: Officer Clayton had a busy day on Friday... onto the mean streets of a local bookstore, on Harry Potter patrol...

The Florida Bar News featured a lengthy profile of Joe Cheshire, Jim Cooney, and wade Smith discussing the case...
Officer R.D. Clayton at bookstore for Harry Potter releaserelated:
LS forum: Harry Potter and the Duke Case, Feeling like Elmostafa -- As midnight approached and the crowd was starting to be marshalled into lines prior to the queue at the cash registers, several Durham police officers were present to assure order was kept. I looked up and saw none other than R.D. Clayton giving that same expression we all remember from Elmo's trial. It really sent a chill through my body. I might even have been afraid except he is really short, not much taller than his diminutive female partner...

John in Carolina:
Whichard Com., Sgt. Shelton & Cpl. Addison -- Durham’s citizens have waited 16 months to learn why our police department’s spokesman, a sworn law enforcement officer, began making on March 24, 2006, the day former DA Mike Nifong took charge of the case, false statements about an “horrific crime” he knew never happened...

John in Carolina: Justice Whichard Bio Information
KC Johnson:
Group Profile: The Latin Americanists -- Duke’s History Department features three professors who study the history of Hispanic Latin America (Mexico, Central America, and South America outside of Brazil). Pete Sigal, Irene Silverblatt,* and Jocelyn Olcott are all members of the Group of 88. Each also signed the statement of the “clarifying” faculty...

In the end, Duke students who want to study the history of Mexico, Central America, and South America (other than Brazil) can choose between taking classes from:
  • a specialist in Mexican gender history;
  • a specialist in Maya gender history;
  • a specialist in Peruvian gender history.

That’s intellectual diversity, Group of 88-style.
FreeRepublic: Group Profile: The Latin Americanists [of Duke's Group of 88]
Aaron Beard, AP/MyrtleBeachOnline.com:
Defense attorneys blast Duke case -- Witnesses say rush to convict accused hurt investigation -- Police officers under the direction of former prosecutor Mike Nifong investigated rape allegations against three Duke University lacrosse players in hopes of proving guilt over all else as senior officers stood by while problems emerged with the case, defense attorneys told a city panel Friday.

"The investigation was directed largely toward proving the truth of her story and the guilt of these young men rather than trying to determine what happened," said Jim Cooney, who represented now-exonerated former player Reade Seligmann.

Attorneys for all three falsely accused players addressed a panel formed by city leaders to investigate the Durham Police Department's role in the case. Cooney offered a two-hour presentation outlining numerous problems that began surfacing shortly after a woman told police she was attacked by three players at a March 2006 team party where she was hired as a stripper.

Other attorneys questioned the role of the department's senior officers, who stayed in the background while the now-disbarred Nifong pushed forward with a deeply flawed case - one so troubled that Durham police Investigator Ben Himan asked "With what?" upon learning Nifong planned to secure indictments against Seligmann and teammate Collin Finnerty in April 2006...
TalkLeft: WrapUp and Thoughts on Police Review Pane
Anne Blythe, News & Observer:
Duke lacrosse case panel looks at police leadership -- 'Where were the captains? Where were the majors? ... Where was the chief?' a lawyer asks -- The panel looking into the Police Department's handling of the Duke lacrosse case has many questions for law enforcement officers. At the top of the list is: "Where was Chief Steve Chalmers when Mike Nifong took over the investigation?"

The panel met for the first time Friday for five hours to begin the task of finding out what, if anything, the department did wrong during its investigation into an escort service dancer's allegations that she was gang-raped at a Duke lacrosse team party in March 2006.

"I just sort of felt the chief was missing in action," said Ken Spaulding, a Durham lawyer on the panel...

Once Nifong took charge, defense lawyer Jim Cooney told panel members, "the investigation was directed largely toward proving the truth of [the accuser's] story and the guilt of these young men, rather than trying to determine what happened."

In a two-hour presentation, Cooney pointed out many steps along the way in which investigators did not follow up on evidence contrary to the accuser's story.

Investigators never sought cell-phone records and other time-stamped electronic information left behind in a world in which college students text-message each other, use bank cards to buy food and and gas, and swipe access cards to get into locked residence halls...
LS forum: I am struck -- I am struck by the fact that in the very first meeting - the initial meeting - the committee seemed to have so many pre-conceived notions...
Ray Gronberg, Herald-Sun:
Lacrosse defense: What of top cops' role? -- Defense lawyers and committee members said Friday that they want to know more about what, if anything, the leaders of the Durham Police Department did to supervise the investigators who were working on the Duke lacrosse case.

The focus on the department's upper ranks -- its captains, majors and chiefs -- emerged during the first meeting of the committee the City Council created to look into how police conducted the investigation.

Lawyers for now-exonerated players David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann told the 12-member panel that the role of the department's commanders is one of the biggest mysteries of the entire case.

"Where was the chain of command on this?" asked Seligmann's lawyer, Jim Cooney, who made that the first of 13 questions the defense lawyers think former N.C. Supreme Court Justice Willis Whichard and other panel members should try to answer...
Mike McCusker:
It's Nifong Time! -- After an exhausting first day of hearings, DPD Conduct Committee Chair Willis Whichard (seated, left) and panel advisor Wade Barber (seated, right) unwind over a few pints of Nifong Ale...

it's back to business as usual in Durm

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