Saturday, October 06, 2007

Commenters, Ls v. Cs, & RFK

Readers Note: I'll post later tonight concerning yesterday's filing as it pertains to DPD Cpl. David Addison and his DPD supervisor, Maj. Lee Russ.

I'll also post concerning an email I received from Duke Professor Orin Starn following my posting of a letter to his department chair in which I demontrated how he had taken a very importent statement by Duke's Coach K and distorted it in ways that it is impossible to believe were anything other than deliberate.

Check back in after 8 pm Easten.


Something remarkable has been going on at JinC for about the last three weeks: commenters have been disputing as to who has done more in the pursuit of truth and justice during the Duke Hoax.

Some say Conservatives have; others say Liberals have done as much; others don’t think either Cons or Libs have done enough.

Some have asked, “What’s a C or L anyway?”

And there’s been more.

Now, I know most of you are saying, “John, what’s remarkable about Cs & Ls and others fussing back and forth?”

Just this: The fussing has been, on the whole, civil and informed.

You all know there isn’t a lot of that these days.

Now I want to recount an anecdote I hope interests and amuses you. I also mean it to serve as my lead-in to where I come down on the roles of the Cs & Ls & et al. in the Duke Hoax.

As soon as you read the anecdote, you’ll know where I stand, but I hope you’ll read the post because I’ll say a few things I think are important for us all to remember.

In 1961, following the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion, President Kennedy formed a committee to determine what went wrong. His brother Robert, then Attorney General, headed the committee.

As happens in Washington, all of the organizations involved in the planning of the disastrous operation – the CIA, the Defense and State Departments, the FBI, a White House planning group and others – were represented on this “fact-finding” committee.

Well, as you would guess, there was a lot of finger pointing and arguing over who was really responsible for the failed operation.

At one point RFK, who’d grown up in a family of nine children and had an ironic sense of humor, said to the group: “Please, there’s no need to fight like this. So much went wrong there’s enough blame for all of us to have a share.”

There are Cs & Ls who deserve praise for their Hoax efforts; and Cs & Ls who don’t. And there are Independents and “whatevers” who belong in one or the other category.

And that still leaves open the matter of just what is a C and an L. Let’s do that one another day.

Does April 15, 2061 work for you? It’s the 100th Anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion.

Now I promised to say a few other things.

I think we can fairly say it was almost entirely Libs, Leftists and PCers who initially exploited Mangum’s lies and the framing efforts of certain DPD officers and their supervisors teaming with Nifong and others in his office.

Those exploiters, usually called enablers, helped launch the witch hunt and give a seeming credence to Nifong and the others “investigation.” The enablers not only sustained the attempted frame-up, many of them continued to support it long after it was obvious David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann had been framed.

Among those who supported the obvious framing of the three young men were Duke’s President, Richard Brodhead, a PCer; the liberals and leftists who control the editorial page at the Raleigh N&O; and the “whatevers” at Bob Ashley’s Durham H-S who help Ashley edit his editorial page.

But it must be remembered that right from the beginning there were liberals who spoke out for due process and began challenging Nifong in late March. UNC-Chapel Hill Law School Professor Ken Broun comes to mind. So does Durham attorney and constitutional law specialist Alex Charns.

I’d mention KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor here but I’m not sure if either self-IDs as a liberal.

On the Conservative side, I’ll be very brief because this post is getting long.

One of the most important Nifong enablers has been Duke’s Board of Trustee Chair Robert Steel, who currently serves as Under Secretary of the Treasury in the Bush administration.

North Carolina’s senior Senator is Elizabeth Dole, a Duke alumna and former member of the University’s Board of Trustees. Our junior Senator is Robert Barr.

Both Dole and Barr self-ID as Cs, at least at election time.

Neither at present has called for a Department of Justice investigation into the Hoax’s injustices.

Yet it’s hard to see how, if our state’s two U. S. Senators called for such an investigation, the DOJ could refuse to begin one.

We shouldn’t fuss C v. L. Enough went wrong and is still going wrong in the Hoax that there’s plenty of blame to go around. And a lot of right was done so there's plenty of that to go around too.

On balance, I think the left hand side of the spectrum has an awful lot to explain following the Hoax, especially why so many organizations and "activists' from that side of the spectum abandoned what they say they’re about, and instead helped enable the Hoax.

I just don’t think we can distribute all the blame to one side of the political spectrum and all the praise to the other.


Anonymous said...

Call and write Dole and Burr. Urge them to do their duty: press for a federal investigation of this cold-blooded frame. The civil rights of the lacrosse players were violated numerous times by a corrupt DA, a corrupt Durham police department, a corrupt Durham city administration — all enabled by a too-cozy-with-Gottlieb/Nifong local press.

DukeEgr93 said...

John - you forgot one of the more vocal conservatives - Victoria Peterson. :-D

Jack said...


Elizabeth Dole is neither C or L, or she may be both. First and foremost, she is a Washington insider, and she does not want to upset the apple cart for GW or for her fellow insider, Bob Steele. So much for having Dukies in high places.

You'll get no response from her.

Anonymous said...

This is how K. C. Johnson self identified Friday, January 05, 2007 in his posting titled "Apologia for a Disaster"

"this site, which is run by a centrist Democrat who’s vehemently pro-choice and pro-gay rights, and who’s backing Barack Obama for president in 2008"

Jack Rutner said...

While I identify as a conservative libertarian, and KC identifies as a centrist-Democrat, I think labels are irrelevant in this matter. It was people of good will who saw throught the hoax and worked together to see the wrong, righted.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Republican, conservative, pro-family, Pro-life and NOT- for -Obama NC woman!

But I think KC Johnson's gift to all of us through the LAX scandal, and the book UPI, and his overall sense of fairness and honesty was absolutely stellar.

When we hide behind lables, we forget to listen to what each other is saying, because we assume that we are more identified by what divides us than what bonds us.

We need to stop that foolishness and start HEARING one another.

Anonymous said...


"you forgot one of the more vocal conservatives - Victoria Peterson."

Really? Thanks for educating us professor:-)

=>Instead, they endorsed former Republican Victoria Peterson -- who switched to Democrat six months ago....<=


Jim in San Diego said...

It is not constructive to use labels like L and C, and then try to have either take more credit/assume more blame on an issue like the Duke story.

What happens is BOTH L's and C's, on average, participate in identity politics. If you criticize L's, and your readers turns out to be L's, you will immediately alienate many L's. Likewise for C's. It is the way of the world right now. Both L's and C's are guilty.

You will thus lessen the chance you will persuade them with an argument that should not be either L or C: like due process for all, or fair and impartial administration of justice.

Here is a quick test. Is the following statement L or C:

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere".

Many of your readers know the author of this statement. Is there anyway a person of good faith could not agree with the immediate logical corollary: "we should oppose injustice everywhere"? However, labelling the ideas coming form an L or C will by itself raise resistance to the idea from one side or the other, like it or not.

The central isses of this blog are not L or C. They are American, in the best and broadest sense of the word.

Anonymous said...

While I tend to self-identify as being generally a centerist Democrat, I don't see this issue as liberal or conservative, left, center or right, Democrat or Republican. What was done to the Lax boys was just plain wrong. That has has nothing to do with one's political leanings.


Anonymous said...

From DIW board. Sorry for duplicating but it is relevant to this topic.

"I think I finally discovered a connection between the Silence of the NC Senators, who are conservative Republicans and would normally be ready to call for a Federal investigation of the Lacrosse Scandal and Steele, BOT Chairman, who is a Bush appointee as Undersecretary of the Treasury.

Such an investigation would mean that influential Republicans would be investigating other such Republicans.

Well, as far as I can tell, our Democratic friends mustered the courage to do just that to Nifong, et al.

Partisanship can only go so far.

Action by the NC Senators is WAY overdue... regardless of how much Steele may contribute to their campaigns.

(From a die-hard conservative NC Republican Duke alum)"