Readers Note: Liestoppers Meeting blogger skeptical has criticized me for posting KC Johnson Now as I was attempting to close down JinC.
Sceptical and others say I shouldn't have waited until the last minute to criticize Johnson.
In that, they are wrong.
A fair reading of KC Johnson Now leaves no doubt much of the post documents questions I asked KC and criticisms I made of his work as early as Dec. 2007.
I’ve ignored most of the "last minute" criticisms based on the wise adage: “Consider the source.”
But sceptical and a few others making that criticism are people whose past thoughtful Duke lacrosse commentary entitles them to considered responses.
I told sceptical that on the thread of KC Johnson Now.
My first response begins now. There’ll be other responses in subsequent posts.
There should be no misunderstanding between us that I waited until "the last minute" before calling attention to some of the important errors and omissions KC Johnson’s Duke lacrosse work.
The KC Johnson Now post includes extensive paste-ins from a Dec. 2007 post to which I twice link and which I cite once by month and year.
As for those who say I tried to have “the ‘last word’ and run,” I ask that you please gently remind them there’s no “last word” in the blogosphere.
KC and anyone else is free to comment and attack as they choose “‘til Kingdom come.” They started doing that as soon as the post went up.
My being “shut down” simply means I’m less likely to see what they put out or care about it.
Mind you, I’m not saying I wouldn’t respond in certain circumstances.
In your first comment you said in part:
I believe [KC Johnson Now] was a petty choice on your part, when there are so many others still in power who promoted the hoax: Ron Hodge, David Addison, Kammie Michael, Patrick Baker, Bill Bell, Dick Brodhead, Sue Wasiolek, Theresa Arico, most of the Group of 88, and many others.In a subsequent comment you said in part:
In my quick list, I left out the initial cause-- Crystal Mangum. She should not get a pass despite her history of mental illness.Those parts of your comments helped me realize I should have, in the closing weeks, made at least a few “summing up” comments about those you mentioned, among whom are some of those who did the greatest harm to the individual victims and to Duke and Durham.
I also left out the N&O hierarchy, who you have so rightly criticized, including Linda Williams, Ted Vaden, Melanie Sill, etc.
They poured gasoline on a fire and then refused to take responsibility for their mistakes.
Furthermore, they reined in Joe Neff after Nifong was ousted, not allowing him to investigate the police misconduct and malfeasance.
I’ll begin with false accuser Gail Crystal Mangum.
I said often in Spring 2006 that she was entitled to a full, fair investigation of her charges.
In hindsight it appears she got that or most of that even before the Raleigh N&O “broke” the case on Mar. 24 in a shamelessly biased story which repeatedly called her “the victim,” thereby casting the innocent lacrosse players as her victimizers.
I’m very glad I supported full, fair treatment of her claims. If that had been all that happened, it would have been “case closed” and no Duke lacrosse frame-up attempt.
I knew who she was from day one but didn’t name her until late December 2006 after Professor Coleman’s comment that it seemed she and Nifong were almost “mooning the system” after she “revised” her story yet again.
This time it was so that her story would comport at least somewhat with the latest revelations in a Dec. 15 court hearing that Nifong and DSI’s Brian Meehan had conspired to withhold DNA evidence exculpatory for the players.
Right after Mangum’s “revision” and Coleman’s comment I named her.
I don’t regret not naming her at the outset because, while I knew the story of the 30 minutes of beating, chocking and rape in the bathroom was absurd, I couldn’t be sure in Mar. and early Apr. that something didn’t happen at the party that sexaully victimized her.
But I do regret not naming Mangum by no later than the beginning of May.
Had I done that, I’d have better served JinC readers and made a contribution to those struggling at the time to defend the victims.
The Johnsville News was right to criticize me in Spring ’06 for not naming Mangum. I thanked TJN for the criticism when I finally named Mangum; I repeat that thanks here.
As to what should happen now to Mangum, given the current circumstances, I think this:
NC attorney general Roy Cooper is someone I grew to respect while watching him as a young, new member of our state legislature.
I respect the full, fair investigation his office conducted of all the case evidence which led to the only honest conclusion possible: “Innocent.”
Cooper thought it best not to prosecute Mangum.
The players and their families seem resigned, at this point at least, to leave matters where Cooper left them, even as they carry heavy scares Mangum inflicted and has never had the sense or decency to ask forgiveness for.
To the extent I think of punishment for Mangum, Cooper and the victims’ actions weigh heavy with me.
Any mention of Mangum always brings Nifong to mind.
Was there ever a false accuser and DA more suited for each other?
There are many DA’s in America who I’ve no doubt are fine upholders of justice, just as there are many who aren’t what they should be.
From among all of America’s venal DA’s, it was geography that brought together the irresponsible, disingenuous, at least episodically addled, and always money-seeking accuser Crystal Mangum and Durham County DA Mike Nifong, an ethic-less, conceited, corruptible and blindly-ambitious man.
Nifong may have been the only one among all of America’s venal DAs dumb enough to seize on her wildly improbable, self- contradicting stories and attempt to turn them into a credible felony frame-up and his ticket to election to a full term as DA.
For want of a nail the kingdom was lost; and from a geographical coincidence the tragedies and injustices of the Duke lacrosse case were born.
Sceptical, as I look back over my work regarding Nifong I think it all stands up pretty well; and I see no place where I treated him unfairly.
I continue to believe he knew of the case well before what Joe Neff reported in Apr. 2007 without a hint of skepticism and which account Nifong related in June 2007 at the State Bar trial which resulted in his disbarment: that Nifong first learned about the case late on the afternoon of Mar. 23 when he allegedly “discovered” a signed copy of the NTO sitting on his office copier and exclaimed: “Holy crap! What is going on?”
That story is baloney.
I’ve no doubt Nifong knew about the case well before Mar. 23 and strong reason to believe he knew of it on Mar. 14.
I've no doubt discovery will confirm what I've just said.
Ruth Sheehan’s statements in It’s Not About The Truth naming Nifong as the anonymous source for her May 27 column will stand up during discovery as well.
I want to end this post because it’s gotten awfully long.
So I’ll just say this about Nifong and come back in a day or so saying more about the others you said I should have commented on.
Nifong has lost a lot already: his office, his law license, considerable income and the respect of most decent people.
He has been found in open court to be a liar and served a day in jail.
He must now arrange for his own defense in suits I believe will go forward and cost him greatly in time and money to defend himself.
But for all of that I believe he should be tried for the very serious crimes he has committed.
Those crimes targeted three young men Nifong knew were innocent but indicted anyway to serve his and others’ malicious purposes.
In doing that he committed wrongs of the most grievous and dangerous kind.
He struck at the Constitutional foundation stones of America criminal law. His actions were those common in every police state that’s every inflicted itself on honest citizens.
He should go to prison for all of that and as a lesson to others.
If in the passage of time during a lengthy prison sentence he genuinely begins a process of redeeming himself, he’ll have my admiration and support for that if I'm still around.