The Dominique Strauss-Kahn Victory Dance

In May, Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK), as everyone knows, was accused of raping a maid. The story received huge worldwide coverage, reaching billions of people within days. Strauss-Kahn was greatly damaged. A week ago Edward Jay Epstein, whose work I’ve praised, published an article in The New York Review of Books with many new details that implied what happened was not as simple as the first reports suggested. Was DSK set up (a possibility not mentioned in the initial media reports)? New facts in Epstein’s article — which I called “great journalism” — made this a lot more plausible.

One such fact is that soon after the assault was reported to 911 (after a long delay), two men involved in the call performed what Epstein called a “victory dance”. A plausible explanation of the celebration (which Epstein doesn’t state, it’s obvious) is that they were celebrating because they had succeeded in entrapping DSK and would get a huge payoff from his enemies. Epstein’s article said the dance lasted three minutes. Critics of his article said the dance lasted eight seconds. Amy Davidson of The New Yorker had the poor taste to joke about it.”But maybe it’s all true, and the BlackBerry is not a red herring but the key, and another cell phone was passed in the soccer match box, with news of a character assassination, whereupon Sarkozy did his own dance of celebration,” she wrote. Yesterday The New York Review of Books issued a correction: The dance lasted thirteen seconds (a correction with which Epstein agrees). Davidson continued her dismissiveness. “The victim of some sort of insidious conspiracy.” The victory dance, she wrote, “doesn’t seem outlandish, given the sorts of things men do in New York, particularly when talking about sport.”

Missing from criticism of Epstein’s article, which does suggest conspiracy, was a plausible alternative explanation. Why were the men celebrating? They can’t remember. Both of them. In spite of all the attention. Which began within hours. Perhaps a sport event, they said, but no such event has been identified. Excitement usually improves memory. The men are clearly excited. Failure to come up with a plausible alternative explanation supports Epstein’s point that there is something very important about this we don’t know.

What makes this especially interesting, at least to me, is that you can judge for yourself. (This blog is all about that.) Epstein has posted on his website three items: (a) a recording of the 911 call that led to DSK’s arrest (“she doesn’t have any sustained injuries,” says the caller), (b) CCTV video showing the security area at the time of the phone call, and (c) CCTV video showing the victory dance, which includes one man picking up the other man and swinging him around.

 

7 Responses to “The Dominique Strauss-Kahn Victory Dance”

  1. dearieme Says:

    “At one point, the larger man lifts the well-dressed man off the floor. ”

    What mimsy stuff, especialy since both men are wearing jacket, collar and tie. There is another characteristic available to distinguish one man from the other, which would be quite unambiguous.

  2. spacenookie Says:

    yeah, but this was six months ago. Quick – “you were captured on video camera dancing and celebrating something for 8 seconds, six months ago. What was it?”

  3. Seth Roberts Says:

    yeah, but this was six months ago. Quick – “you were captured on video camera dancing and celebrating something for 8 seconds, six months ago. What was it?”

    I assume you’re a man. When was the last time you picked up another man and swung him around?

  4. Someduded Says:

    > The victory dance, she wrote, “doesn’t seem outlandish, given the sorts of things men do in New York, particularly when talking about sport.”

    Really ? There was NO sporting event of note that day. And cheering like that ONE MINUTE after having called the police, are you kidding me ?
    Also, how comes the two guys are both struck with amnesia about this event ? How comes they can’t remember having cheered about it ?
    The ACCOR group states they were cheering about a won bet on a (non existent) sport event. Given the way they cheered, obviously they won a LOT of money. How comes they can’t remember it ??

    That doesn’t make any sense. They are ALL lying, this is obvious to any person who looks at this with a fair eye.

  5. Somedude Says:

    Sorry, I should have read the whole post, I see that we share the same doubts.

    I want to add a few things that you guys may not know from your side of the Atlantic.

    1) The first person who twitted about DSK arrest is a guy who belongs to UMP youths, (UMP is Nicolas Sarkozy’s party). He twitted about something “exceptional” happening at the Sofitel about 15 minutes after the arrest. That’s WAY earlier than any journalist. That was one of the first facts that led to the Sarkozy conspiracy hypothesis.

    2) It seems to me that the Sofitel security called Paris BEFORE calling the NY police. They took one hour before calling the police.

    3) It is now clear (as written by daily newspaper Libération on 12/09/2011) that the french ministry of foreign affairs (quai d’Orsay) called the prosecutor Cyrus Vance Jr on may 15th, the day after DSK’s arrest, to weigh in to maintain him in prison. DSK’s name was cited in an investigation in an affair of prostitution. The quai d’Orsay illegally communicated to Vance elements of this investigation that are normally protected by the secrecy of judicial instruction (in France, Justice is not independant from the executive, leading to such problems…). DSK was about to be released on parole against $250,000, but after the call, the prosecutor changed his mind and DSK was incarcerated that very evening at Riker’s Island. The initiative came from Paris and was completely stranger to any judicial procedure.

    4) The director of security of the hotel is an ancient member of the DGSE/DCRI (the french secret services) who worked under the current chief of DGSE/DCRI.

    DSK was by far the most dangerous opponent of Sarkozy for the french presidential elections of 2012, beating him by more than 25 points in all polls.

  6. Somedude Says:

    To sum up, many (most ?) french people now firmly believe in a political plot. I don’t believe at all DSK is a rapist, but what is sure is, DSK’s appetite for prostitutes (or should I say sexual disorder) would have, sooner or later, undermined him politically. Yet multiple sexual scandals didn’t kill Berlusconi, the economical near collapse of Italy did.

    Still, DSK knew that his sexual misconducts would be the catalyst of his own demise. He also knew that Sarkozy knew everything about them, and that he would try to kill him politically with this weapon. So for me, everything was ready for a trap.

    I didn’t mention that the behaviour of Ray Kelly, the chief of NY police, looks to me extremely suspect in this affair. He is very well known to Sarkozy (who awarded him the Legion d’Honneur medal), and I believe he is at the source of numerous police leaks with blatant lies, like the fact that DSK fled the hotel in a hurry (which is proven false by the video). He also fired the police officer in charge of sexual affairs, who quickly discovered that Diallo was lying (as was accounted by the NY Times). I suspect him to have done everything he could to slow down the investigations.

    There are many unanswered questions:
    - what was the role of N. Diallo in such a plot ? What did she do in room 2820 ?
    - who was the occupier of room 2820 (the Accor group refuses to give his name) ?
    - where is the “FMI telephone” ?
    - what was the content of the conversations between the Sofitel management and Paris ?

    It is clear that in Paris, there will be NO serious investigation, as the power of the judges are dependent on the ministry of Justice, which is indirectly under the orders of Sarkozy. So the hopes for any full understanding entirely resides in America.

  7. Jean Says:

    “To sum up, many (most ?) french people now firmly believe in a political plot.”
    I dont it is crazy.

    Political plot to down DSK

    Actors
    2 Dancers
    I Hotel Maid with bad visa/status problems
    I Breakfast Waiter
    2 Security Officers Sofitel
    Sofitel management who put Diallo on that floor
    Sofitel management who gave DSK that room

    Scene
    Suite

    Script
    Client rushing to get ready to go to meeting with his daughter
    Wait until 15 minutes after he should have left
    Get Breakfast waiter to go into room and check he is naked
    Send in hotel maid
    Take advantage of clients inability to leave any orifice empty

    I cant even see French agents cooking up such a crazy plot