Well… damn. There’s some news for you.
Assuming latest reports are true (and given the twists and turns of this affair, that’s an important hedge) it looks as though the DSK case may collapse shortly. Current reporting is sketchy, and it’s unclear how much evidence about Monsieur Strauss-Kahn’s accuser simply undermines her general credibility as a witness and how much undermines the veracity of her specific story (as an aside, seriously, who doesn’t know they’re being recorded when talking on prison phones? I was empaneled on a felony trial once and the stupidly-incriminating stuff people say in such circumstances is mind-boggling), but it looks like DSK might not be quite the sociopath he initially appeared to be. Might still be (evidence of a sexual encounter is apparently “unambiguous,” the notion of it being consensual still seems a bit off to me, and the accumulated evidence that he treats women terribly in general seems beyond contest), but might not. I only mention this because I wrote at the time that Strauss-Kahn was “entitled to legal presumption of innocence and a public that’s willing, within reason, to reserve final judgment.” So this is me doing that. If he really didn’t rape this woman, well, that’s awful and he’s owed an apology. Also sucks for the French Left, but therein lies the danger of putting all one’s eggs in the same basket.
As far as I’m concerned, though, the main point of my post – that Bernard-Henri Levi was being a rape apologist asshat and should have been ashamed of himself – doesn’t change one iota. Levi was working off the same public reports as everyone else, and his reaction was to hysterically search for reasons why this was everyone’s fault but DSK’s. That’s an attitude that needs to be challenged, and I remain happy to have joined the chorus of people justly calling him out.
Brief Update: To the question of whether any of these new revelations are actually relevant to the incident in question, rather than just the Jury-friendliness of the accuser, the answer seems to be “sort of.” This is the letter from the DA outlining some of the problems. The fact that she cleaned a couple of rooms after the incident, rather than immediately reporting it as originally claimed, raises some plausibility issues; but again, given that sexual contact is basically uncontested, these should be weighed against the plausibility of a hotel maid walking into a room, seeing a sixty-something paunchy stranger in a towel, and saying to herself, “hey, you know what I’m just dying to do right now?…”
In any case, barring more twists it seems likely that DSK will be on his way back to France a free man before too long. I hope at a public level their remains some pressure to explain and account for his behavior. I’m not terribly optimistic. And Bernard-Henri Levi is still a dick.