The FBI's (maybe) a Girl's Best Friend
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I'm writing this on October 2, 2018, in the midst of the FBI's "be thorough but get it done quickly" investigation of the Brett Kavenaugh attempted rape incident. The end of this story is still to come and may well leave issues unresolved.
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The FBI's (maybe) a Girl's Best Friend
by Pam Green , © October 2, 2018
to the tune of "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend"
A kiss on the hand may be inconsequential,
Was he drunk as a skunk, so impaired, so demented,
Dr Ford, we weren't bored by your heart-breaking story
"Statute" is the Statute of Limitations which designated the time period within which a crime can be prosecuted. However in the state where this incident occurred, there is no Statute of Limitations for Rape or Attempted Rape.
The possibility of getting a criminal conviction for an incident this far back is always low, which is why Statute of Limitations exist for all but the most serious crimes.. Witnesses forget or become unavailable, physical evidence decays or dissappears or was never collected. In 1982, a lot of the forensic tools we have today did not yet exist : no ability to do DNA matching on tissue under fingernails or hair from assailent or semen stains.. The only direct witness, Mark Judge, has claimed he cannot remember anything, presumably because of high alcohol intake, though with some cross-examination perhaps he'd at least remember that Kavenaugh was often his drinking buddy and got just as totally "four sheets to the wind".
Had Christine Blasey reported the incident to her parents that same night or next day, it's possible that they would have taken this to the police. That might have resulted in a prosecution, probably as a Juvenile Offender, and record of conviction would then have been sealed. But convictions for this type of crime are hard to obtain without a third party witness who is willing to testify. Here the third party was an accomplice, liable to conviction as such. Maybe a good interrogator could have made a plea deal that would have offered Mark Judge immunity in exchange for testimony. That could have gotten a conviction. (I can just imagine him being questioned by Brenda Johnson from "The Closer" or Sharon Raydor from "Major Crimes" or Olivia Benson from "Law and Order SVU".)
But the criminal standard of evidence is not the standard applicable here. All that is needed is the "job interview" standard, where really once doubts about the candidate are clearly raised, the burden to refute them should shift to the candidate. Especially when there are others waiting who are well qualified for that job.
I'd like to suggest that , like Caesar's wife, a Supreme Court Justice must be above suspicion. For the Court to retain public respect, all the Justices must be worthy of respect. They cannot have any stains on their character. Not the stain of an unprovable-and-undisprovable crime. Remember that attempted rape is a serious crime, not just a boyish prank. Not the stain of being unable to control displays of anger. One may feel anger, but should be able to still display calmness and reason.
(While an innocent man wrongly accused would be entitled to feel anger , that anger is nothing compared to the anger that would be likely in a guilty man whose long-ago crime has finally caught up with him. We may never know for sure which of these accounts for Kavenaugh's displays of anger towards his questioners and his opponents.)
While I do not find it incredible that someone would keep a calendar or diary and preserve same for many years, perhaps to look back on happy memories, there's an open question as to whether Kavenaugh's entries were made contemporaneously and honestly. Forensic tests could verify age of ink and paper, but cannot verify if the entries represent truth or fiction, perhaps fiction made up a day later to present an alibi, perhaps an alibi to be coordinated with his drinking buddies ?
(personal note : I use a pocket month-at-glance calendar with aproximately one square inch of space per day as my own reminder of future plans, appointments, etc. And I still have all of those from 1982 onwards in one of my filing cabinets. Some of the entries are ones the meanings of which I can still understand. Some , such as veterinary appointments and symposium attendance, would have had independant records made at the time and some of those may still exist. But some important entries were never made, eg the date of my puppy Keya's death, but then that's something I don't enjoy remembering.)
UPDATE Oct 7 :
Well the FBI didn't do much of an investigation. FBI ignored over 30 people who wanted to speak to them, people who thought they had relevant material to offer. Probably at least some of them would have contributed highly relevant material. While this probably couldn't have proven or disproven Kavenaugh's identity as juvenile rapist, it might well have brought out other incidents of drunken aggressiveness, sober aggressiveness, or drunken blackouts. Or perhaps other aspects in which he lied during hearings.
The FBI must have been ashamed of the inadequacy of their work or else there was something in their report that they didn't want the public to see. Otherwise it's impossible to understand why there was only one copy presented for 100 Senators to view for just one hour each. The public will never know unless at least one Senator had the wit to bring a mini-camera to snap each page and send results to public exposure, eg to NY Times. Maybe we will see a leaked copy now that it is too late. Maybe some of those ignored 30 will come out publically now that it's too late.
If "hearing" means a quest for truth, this was not a hearing. It was theater. Perhaps this should be called "The Assassination of Truth at Ford's Theater".
None of the Senators wanted to genuinely contemplate any evidence that might shift their vote from strict Party line. Only one vote shifted in each direction,
It seems as if if Kavenaugh were to have assaulted Senator Collins right on the Senate floor, thrown her to floor and jump on her, probably there would still be no votes shifted to "don't confirm". maybe not even her vote. (As for her stated belief that she can count on him not to over-turn Roe v Wade because "precedent is enshined in our Constitution", well I've got a bridge to sell her, any of our US bridges that are likely in need of major repairs or perhaps that famous "Bridge to Nowhere".)
The swearing in was rushed to occur right after the confirmation vote, some Senators perhaps remembering that if Thomas's swearing in had been delayed a day or so, added complainants would have come foreward in time to be heard and ignored.
Now that he's confirmed and sworn in, he could assualt a woman in Times Square and there'd be no unpleasant consequence for him. Or he could emulate O.J. Simpson and say "if I did it, I was too drunk to remember doing it." He is now serving in a position of power for life, when probably he should be serving some years in prison with a cell-mate who might teach him what it really means to fear being raped.
(And really the very best that can be said for Kavenaugh is that he probably was too drunk to remember. And that his drunkenness so disabled his brain that he lacked the capacity to control his behavior, thus behaved in a way he would normally consider wrongful and would refrain from doing.)
By the way, as for Dr Ford's inability to remember whose home (ie whose parent's home) the party was at or which street it was located on, quite aside from her very lucid lesson in brain chemistry, it's not uncommon for teen partygoers not to know or care whose house the party is at. They may not even know who invited them. Hey, it's a party ! And when one is not driving the car or acting as navigator, one usually pays little attention to the route being driven. (at least that's my own experience as a passenger. I don't have a lot of experience as a teen party-goer.)
Elizabeth Cady Stanton repeatedly called for the formation of a Women's Party that could promote reforms. While some of those reforms eventually happened, some are still lacking.
In summer of 2020 it will have been 100 years since women were finally allowed the normal right of an adult citizen, the right to vote. I hope that in our November 2018 elections and again in 2020 enough of us will use our votes to radically change paradigms to finally make us less unequal as human beings.
How much longer will we wait ? This is more than just a simple twist of fate.
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