Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Where Duke Is Now

Readers Note: You’ll best understand the post following this note if you’re familiar with the contents of these posts – Duke BOT Steel Questions ,

Responding to "Call home immediately" comments ,

Duke's Simple Questions Problems – and their comment threads

John
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This is a 1, 2, 3 post.

1) The full text of Red Mountain’s comment in response to Duke's Simple Questions Problems.

2) My response to RM’s comment

3) A few thoughts and an invitation to you to comment.

Let’s begin ----

1 – Full text of RM’s comment on the thread of Duke’s Simple Questions Problems:

John,

You are arguing a point I didn't make. I agree with your post and I agree that the answers are No as well. Once I accept the fact that Duke did many things wrong in it's handling of this situation, the next question becomes; Why? The lawsuit implies an evil and malicious intent on the part of the Duke administration to railroad the Lacrosse players. That is the answer to my question the lawsuit gives, and it seems that you agree with that.

I believe the intent was to resolve the case as quickly as possible because Duke believed that the accusations were false and they felt the sooner the investigation was completed the sooner it would be resolved in the favor of the players. That in no way justifies the actions that Duke took that were potentially harmful to the players. Duke made some major mistakes and I even pointed out a few other mistakes I believe are going to be hard for Duke to justify. If this lawsuit goes that far and a jury is at the point that it feels Duke is liable for these errors, the amount of the award could hinge on the jury answer to this question.



2 – My response to RM - - -

Dear Red Mountain:

I continue to appreciate your civility and avoidance of ad hominems.

I was glad to see you acknowledge the only correct answer to each of the four questions I posed was “No.”

That each of them can only be answered in the negative is a major problem for Duke and those claiming it acted last March with concern for the students’ legal rights, safety and emotional well-being.

In the threatening circumstances the lacrosse players faced, what sort of university administrators would fail to urge students to “call home immediately?”

And for what reason(s) would they fail to do that?

A reasonable person needn’t accept Ekstrand’s major contention in order to reject your major contention:

“I believe [Duke’s] intent was to resolve the case as quickly as possible because Duke believed that the accusations were false and they felt the sooner the investigation was completed the sooner it would be resolved in the favor of the players.
When President Brodhead and the rest of Duke’s Crisis Management Team read and discussed the Raleigh News & Observer’s Mar. 25 front page story about a night of “sexual violence,” they knew it contained many falsehoods, including the claim that the players had formed a “wall of solidarity” and were refusing to cooperate with police.

Yet when Brodhead issued a statement later that day he said nothing about the players’ cooperation and instead urged everyone to cooperate with police.

Where’s the “intent was to resolve the case as quickly as possible” in that?

Why didn’t Brodhead say something like: “I urge everyone to cooperate in this investigation as have the lacrosse players?”

Duke “believed that the accusations were false.”

OK.

On Mar. 28 DPD began circulating the libelous Durham CrimeStoppers Wanted poster about “this horrific crime.”

Why didn’t Duke University Police Director Robert Dean, who then chaired the Durham CrimeStoppers board of directors, demand the retraction or at least a correction of the poster?

Why wasn’t Dean joined in that request by his fellow CrimeStoppers board member, Duke’s Dean of Students Sue Wasiolek?

There’s a lot more I could cite that argues Duke did many things and failed to do other things it should have done.

Together Duke’s actions and failures to act had the collective effect of not simply enabling the initial investigative travesties but of advancing and sustaining the attempted frame-up of three of its students.

You say, “Duke believed that the accusations were false.”

As regards Steel, Brodhead, most of its trustees and “Dick’s senior team,” I strongly suspect you're right.

Given they very likely knew the accusations were false, and given what Duke did and didn’t do, can’t you see that your claims Duke worked on the students’ behalf are absurd?

If we ever learn something close to the full truth of what happened, everything in Ekstrand’s filing will likely not stand.

But based on what we already know that’s indisputable, nobody should doubt a great deal of what Ekstrand’s asserted will prove true.

Sincerely,

John
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3 - Folks, how did Duke ever go from being a place led by President Terry Sanford to a place led by BOT Chair Bob Steel and President Dick Brodhead?

I want to say more but I’ve a meeting coming up and I want to get this posted.

Anyway, it’s your turn to comment.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the more I read about the actions of the Duke Administration the more I have come to realize that Duke does not appear to care about its students.

Two more examples:
The new standard for Judicial Affairs:

http://www.dukechronicle.com/home/index.cfm?event=displayArticlePrinterFriendly&uStory_id=0a1d1c28-2311-41c0-9b4e-3e1ffe5319c4

as well as the civil rights violation of disabled students:

http://www.dukechronicle.com/home/index.cfm?event=displayArticle&ustory_id=a0825998-1be7-4a62-9b9e-553f4a035810

Ralph Phelan said...

Folks, how did Duke ever go from being a place led by President Terry Sanford to a place led by BOT Chair Bob Steel

From what I understand about Duke's corporate structure: "Because the leaders of the Methodist churches of NC decided so."

Now the question becomes "WTF happened to the Methodists?"

RedMountain said...

John,
My impression is that the first official 'word' that Duke got about the seriousness (or lack thereof) of the charges was from the Duke Police. What I recall is that they had heard Durham Police talking about this case and the accuser being drunk, not credible, and changing her story about if she was raped or not and by how many. The media was all over the story and early reports were all negative toward the players. Duke was also embarrased about the party, the strippers, the underage drinking, and the reports of racial remarks. The statements they made reflected a stance that the authorities would handle the case and make a fair assessment of the charges and they were happy to let the DPD handle this rather than the Duke Police to avoid the appearance of favoritism.

Certainly, if the DPD had done things properly, the questions regarding Dukes early mistakes would have been moot, and they would probably have been praised for the cooperation and restraint they showed. The time for fighting a media that was in a frenzy was not that point. The players caught on to what was going on much quicker than Duke did, and fortunately, got some good advice and did call home at that point, I suspect.

I am sure that Brodhead and Steel were not happy with the Lacrosse players, nor were they happy with some of the exteme members of their own faculty, much less the early press coverage. So what would have happened if Brodhead had stated in March: The accusations are false, the accuser has a history of false rape accusations as well as a history of mental and drug problems and prostitution. The DA is trying to frame these players to advance a political cause. Our faculty members that are supporting demonstrations and ads are complete idiots and nutjobs. The DPD is corrupt and will do anything and everything to find a way to put a few of these players in jail.

I think Duke still felt that the case would be investigated fully by the DPD simply because of the public pressure and outcry. And the sooner that the investigation was complete, then the sooner that there would be an announcement of no charges and Duke could move on with it's life. To think that Duke was in on a conspiracy even at this eary point is not being reasonable, in my opinion. They did not put the player's interest to the front of their list, that is also true, but I still believe that the actions they did take were made with the best interests of Duke as a whole as the motivation for those actions.

Anonymous said...

I think it helps to understand the attitude of the Duke administration throughout if you realize that Brodhead definately and probably Steel as well as many others have the insane mindset that all whites are racist.

Furthermore they believe that to even utter the N word is a crime against humanity.

Brodhead believed the players were guilty of something horrible, it didn't matter if it was rape or sexual assault or any other actual crime. They were white, privileged, etc. they were guilty. They deserved to be punished. Whatever happened to them, being slandered, harassed, even framed and railroaded, they had it coming.

Even knowing they were not guilty of rape, when Brodhead said "whatever they did was bad enough" I think he meant their "white supremacy," their "secret" "silent" racism. I don't think he could have imagined that they were actually, very nearly choir boys.

Just as Nifong and the DPD believed they could eventually get them for something or get them to plea to something (they had to be guilty of something) Brodhead et al never expected them to be completely vindicated which was the only way Duke's actions would be called into question.

To this day, none of the bad actors seem to believe it happened.

Anonymous said...

John:

I note where Red Mountain continues with his fantasy

"I still believe that the actions they did take were made with the best interests of Duke as a whole as the motivation for those actions."

The mere fact that Duke officials did not advise the accused to seek help confirms that they threw the boys under the bus.

When the boys were finally exonerated, this cesspool of virtue didn't have the guts to meet with the parents of the accused to offer a sincere and long overdue apology.

They are ghouls without souls.

Ken
Dallas

RedMountain said...

Ken,
Regarding your fantasy comment; I have found that the more complex and involved a theory is, the less likely it is to be true. Take for example just this 'overheard' comment I mentioned in my first post. In the lawsuit this is described as more of an official briefing (on a loading dock?) and it is also alledged that Duke had these officers cover up their knowledge of excupatory information by forcing them to write false and misleading bystander statements. It also seems to imply that 2 of these officers no longer work there because of that. So here you have just in this one instance another 3 law enforcement officers that somehow participated in the 'frame', yet have not 'blown the whistle' on Duke.

Which is more likely to be fantasy?

Anonymous said...

We know that Duke officials conspired with Durham authorities in a fraudulent scheme to cover up Duke's unlawful release of the players' key card information to Durham police. We also know that Bob Steel told Jason Trumpbour that he wanted the case to go to trial ; Brodhead made similar statements publicly.

We also know that Tara Levicy lied to accommodate the lies told by the DA and Durham police. It also appears that she falsified medical records, after the fact, to support the frame up.

At least one Duke police officer was forced to amend his initial report on the case which indicated that the accuser was not credible and that the alleged crimes likely did not occur.

There was a conspiracy, for sure. It's just a question of how far up in Duke's organization it went. There is a fair amount of evidence, some yet to emerge, which will show that the conspiracy was at or near the top.

BN

Anonymous said...

Red Mountain:

"Which is more likely to be fantasy?"

I can't say because I have no knowledge of the invovlvement of the officers in question.

I do know, however, that Bob Steel and Richard Brodhead never reached out to the falsely accused students and to their parents either during the time of the accusations or after they were exonerated.

They have rewarded and promoted Duke personnel who had castigated the falsely accused.

You may defend these low lifes as long as you wish. It won't change the despicable way they treated the students who trusted them.

Ken
Dallas

Ruth said...

Sorry redmountain after reading this set of comments I would have to say this round clearly goes to Ken.

Occam's razor simply does not apply when the facts are against you.

RedMountain said...

Good catch Ruth, I wondered who would remember that reference. I don't mind 'losing' a round. John presents his side well and has been very civil toward me. Sometimes a discussion like this is in itself a search for truth. I may be wrong here and I have no problem stating that my opinion is not certain.

To quote John Stuart Mill: "There is the greatest difference between presuming an opinion to be true, because, with every opportunity for contesting it, it has not been refuted, and assuming its truth for the purpose of not permitting its refutation. Complete liberty of contradicting and disproving our opinion, is the very condition which justifies us in assuming its truth for purposes of action; and on no other terms can a being with human faculties have any rational assurance of being right."

Anonymous said...

Redmountain:

John Stuart Mill may not be readily known reference to many. A more recent sage may be more appropriate.

To quote Bill Parcells: "It is what it is"

Ken
Dallas

Ralph Phelan said...

It also seems to imply that 2 of these officers no longer work there because of that. So here you have just in this one instance another 3 law enforcement officers that somehow participated in the 'frame', yet have not 'blown the whistle' on Duke.

Which is more likely to be fantasy?

Whistle-blowing, even on a former employer, tends to be very bad for one's career. I find totally believeable the hypothesis that people were told to "shut up or else" and did so.