Band of Insiders
Eliot Weinberger · BHL on DSK
In 2009, Bernard-Henri Lévy circulated a petition complaining that his good friend, confessed and convicted child-rapist Roman Polanski, though known as an 'ingenious filmmaker', had been apprehended 'like a common terrorist'. Scores of writers and movie people in his circle signed.
Now, predictably, Lévy is back, defending his good friend, accused rapist Dominique Strauss-Kahn, in The Daily Beast – a web magazine that finally lives up to its name.
Once again, Lévy claims that the rules of law do not apply to those with whom he dines:
I hold it against the American judge who... pretended to take him for a subject of justice like any other.
Even more incredibly, he writes:
I am troubled by a system of justice modestly termed 'accusatory', meaning that anyone can come along and accuse another fellow of any crime.
One wonders what system of justice Lévy would propose. Meanwhile, the facts are that the Sofitel chambermaid – a West African young widow, a devout Muslim who wears a head scarf – went screaming down the corridor that some naked guy in the $3000-a-night suite had assaulted her and forced her to perform oral sex. She alerted hotel security, who called the cops. Strauss-Kahn had left to have a tranquil lunch with his daughter, which, if the rest is true, suggests psychopathic behaviour. The police finally caught up with him on his Air France flight.
Strauss-Kahn has selected as his lawyer the man who defended Michael Jackson on paedophilia charges – he is apparently unperturbed at the prospect of guilt by celebrity-creep-lawyer association. The lawyer is unsurprisingly claiming 'consensual' sex – meaning either that young African women are immediately smitten by elderly fat Frenchmen who suddenly appear in the nude, or a religious single mother with precarious immigration status is willing to jeopardise a job she’s held for three years by engaging in prostitution.
More depressingly, in the familiar 'blame the victim' strategy, the lawyer has hired private investigators to look into the poor woman’s past. No doubt they’ll find something – we all have something – that can be twisted against her. American newspapers do not publish the names of alleged rape victims, but the French papers do, and her apartment is under siege by reporters and TV cameras. One other woman who says she was assaulted by Strauss-Kahn has come forward – according to Lévy, she 'pretends to have been a victim'. There are French reports of at least 14 more. Perhaps it’s time for Davos to be relocated to Devil’s Island.