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Bring Polanski to Justice

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Posted on Sep 29, 2009

By Eugene Robinson

Editor’s note: For a different take, check out the HBO documentary “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.”

Hasn’t Roman Polanski suffered enough? Didn’t he endure all those cool, gray, rainy Paris winters? Wasn’t he forced—well, not forced, but strongly enticed—to subsist all those years on overpriced fare served up by haughty waiters in Michelin-starred restaurants? Didn’t he survive for decades having his vacation options limited, essentially, to the grim monotony of the south of France?

I’ve got a better question: Shouldn’t Polanski and his many apologists give us a break?

I’m a huge fan of Polanski’s work. “Chinatown” is one of my favorite movies of all time, “Rosemary’s Baby” is a masterpiece, and he richly deserved the Oscar he won as best director for “The Pianist.” He’s a great artist. Maybe his next film will be a prison movie.

Brilliant auteur or no, Polanski has been a fugitive from U.S. justice since 1978. And there was certainly no artistic merit in the crime he acknowledged committing: During a photo shoot at the Los Angeles home of his friend and “Chinatown” star Jack Nicholson, Polanski plied a 13-year-old girl with champagne and drugs and had sex with her.

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That is grotesque. In general, I agree with the European view that Americans tend to be prudish and hypocritical about sex. But a grown man drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl? That’s not remotely a close call. It’s wrong in any moral universe—and deserves harsher punishment than three decades of gilded exile.

Polanski went on the lam after pleading guilty to the crime. He had a deal with prosecutors under which he would essentially walk out of the courtroom a free man—he had spent 42 days in prison undergoing psychiatric evaluation, and the arrangement was that he would be sentenced to time served. But Polanski got wind that the judge in the case, said to be something of a publicity hound, was going to refuse to honor the plea bargain and instead impose a prison term. So the director skipped town and surfaced in France, where authorities ruled that his crime wasn’t covered by extradition treaties with the United States.

He was arrested Sunday in Zurich, where he had traveled to accept an award—and where the extradition treaty does cover his crime. Assuming that Polanski puts up a legal fight, it could be months or even years before he is sent back to the United States.

The Justice Department was right to have Polanski nabbed at the Zurich airport and should pursue the case to the end. We’ve waited this long; we can wait a little longer.

Polanski has dual French-Polish citizenship, and officials in Paris and Warsaw are outraged. Which makes me outraged. What’s their beef? That Polanski is 76? That he makes great movies? That he only fled to escape what might well have been an unjust sentence? Sorry, mes amis, but none of this matters. If you decide to become a fugitive, you accept the risk that someday you might get caught.

Much has been made of the fact that Polanski’s victim, now 45, has said she no longer feels any anger toward him and does not want to see him jailed. But it’s irrelevant what the victim thinks and feels as a grown woman. What’s important is what she thought and felt at age 13, when the crime was committed. Those who argue that there’s something unjust about Polanski’s arrest are essentially accepting his argument that it’s possible for a 13-year-old girl, under the influence of alcohol and drugs, to “consent” to sex with a man in his 40s. Or maybe his defenders are saying that drugging and raping a child is simply not such a big deal.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s a huge deal. Even in France, it should be a big deal. This isn’t about a genius who is being hounded for flouting society’s hidebound conventions. It’s about a rich and powerful man who used his fame and position to assault—in every sense, to violate—an innocent child.

And it’s about a man who ran away rather than face the consequences of his actions. Before any sentence could be imposed, he absconded like a weasel to live a princely life in France.

That’s the sort of protagonist, a great director like Polanski must realize, who doesn’t deserve a happy ending.

Eugene Robinson’s e-mail address is eugenerobinson(at)washpost.com.

© 2009, Washington Post Writers Group


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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, October 30, 2009 at 5:33 am Link to this comment

I thank MarthaA who on another forum referred to this one about the subject of
my comments.  A little late in arriving I realize, but it is never too late to give
voice to injustice.

No Gordy, it is not the end.  As long as these kinds of atrocities are committed
by the debauchery of men, it will only end when they are put out of their
misery, for it can only be misery that is their assignment in life.

The woman who was the 13 year old girl that Polanski drugged and viciously
raped is no longer important nor what she thinks about what happened to her
32 years ago.  She would be 45 now.  It is also beside the point if her mother,
who is equally depraved, sacrificed her daughter for whatever she got from the
perverted deed.  She will have to live with the self-knowledge that she offered
up her child to bestiality.  Aside from Polanski’s degenerate act, in all other
categories it is irrelevant.  The man is a monster with his penis, was then, is
now.  Whatever else happened to him, to his wife Sharon, or anything else, has
not even a minor relevance.  He is an immoral son-of-a-bitch and I think that
is a compliment to his mother.  It also describes every man, and woman, who
applauds Roman Polanski and who defends him today.  He has not paid his
price.  He needs to be prosecuted in public so that all men know how savage
they basically are and underlies how despicable men have been to women
throughout history.  It must stop and must stop here.  His is an indictment for
all men and all men who take affront at what I say, ought to think about their
own brutal proclivities.  It speaks to the pathetic self-perception that men
have, perhaps not every man, but almost every man, that they have the right to
sex and they have a right to take sex from whomever they choose, whenever
they choose.  He was merciless to the child, and the world should be merciless
to him.  It is more than lex talionis, it is justice.

There is no tragedy now, there was a tragedy then.  There is a misperception
that tragedy lasts forever.  It doesn’t.  Murders and unjustified executions, their
tragedies only last for the time of their event. The present is completely nihil ad
rem, completely beside the point, incidental.  The reality is that a man, Roman
Polanski, raped and sexually violated a 13-year old girl.  Even the fact that she
was 13 is irrelevant.  She was a human being who should not have been
violated. I quite understand that using the word ‘should’ is a moral judgment. 
And this society says it is wrong to violate anyone and especially the gullible
and unworldly children.  The fact that she was 13 makes it worse.  He violated
a child and as human beings we are supposed to protect children from
predators.

I suggest that those who have young daughters and are excusing and shelter
Polanski to imagine him raping your child. 

From his interview, in Gore Vidal’s case it is too loud a mind speaking with a
too small a voice.  (Small meaning ignoble)  Gore Vidal must keep up an image,
and his image is to be a front burner as well as a misanthrope.  At his advanced
age, he sounds like a growling bellyacher instead of the firebrand he was even
up to his middle years.  He must be made to sound recondite and cunning
when to my reality he sounds like a an aging bitter eccentric who will take sides
against female children and we are compelled to wonder if that is not the
pathology of an old gay man’s mindset.  To put any semblance of guilt onto the
girl child is rank and rancid of character.  In my book Gore Vidal is a cypher.

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By Gordy, October 2, 2009 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment

Um.  Okay.. why the palaver?  Why are Truthdig
readers so upset about this story?  He abused a kid
then ran from the law.  He gets protected and
defended because of his status.  That is unfair.  The
end. 

It’s a media matter people - Robinson presumably sees
fit to write about it in order to make a comment on
the media, not just to latch onto a salacious sex-
crime story.  There are respected media voices making
hypocrites of themselves by defending Polanski;
Robinson is right to pass comment.  He is right that
any movie where such a protagonist escapes justice
would be ultimately unsatisfying.  Most of all
because of his unrepentance.

Report this

By @CT, October 2, 2009 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

christian96 writes:
“I see where Chicago was turned down for the 2016
Olympics.  Does Obama think imperialist America can
make the world hate them and still expect to be
awarded the Olympics?  I hope he’s a little smarter
than that.

I hope he’s a little smarter
than that.”

Well, Der Won’s NOT smart enough to have

1. kept Michelle Obama from that ludicrous appearance, dressed all in yellow—reminiscent in Olympic history of Nancy Kerrigan, who came to the games dressed in gold and ... lost to Baiul

2. kept Robert Gibbs from suggesting, after the fact, that the REAL point of it all was to shoot the breeze with General McChrystal while HE was flying around

3. NOT have taken Oprah along

“Smart”? The reason people have thought Der Won is “smart” is that shills including Robinson have SAID he’s “smart”. If He were actually so “smart”, presumably his academic records wouldn’t be guarded like a state secret.

What Obama was, was over-financed, over-promoted, over-sold, and over-protected.

Robinson—who got his start with the politico-titillation Patty Hearst story, and has become a writer sufficiently rotten as to declare rehashing Polanski’s antique excess “a huge deal”—won’t get a chance to push the Obamas in any more elections.

Readers who can’t look away can probably look forward to Robinson’s rectitude-to-come on . . . oh, all the characters in the Letterman dustup, whoever.

One thing’s for sure—somebody in Pulitzer prize land is wishing, long about now, that last year’s had gone to Krugman.

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By christian96, October 2, 2009 at 10:59 am Link to this comment

I see where Chicago was turned down for the 2016
Olympics.  Does Obama think imperialist America can
make the world hate them and still expect to be
awarded the Olympics?  I hope he’s a little smarter
than that.

Report this

By herewegoagain, October 2, 2009 at 9:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Paracelsus, your assessment of the media as anti-humanitarian has a lot of merit. What is depressing is how low traditional, mainstream media has gone, specifically in the direction of sleazy infotainment and deliberately smarmy and snarky commentary.

It is worth noting that ABC’s news coverage of the Polanski story is listed in their “Entertainment” section. This is what is now considered entertainment??

We need the press and the media, but we don’t need this element. Thank goodness for thoughtful sites like Truthdig and other independent Internet news and commentary sites. It’s a lifeline.

By the way, I also agree with your assessment that the family is under corporate assault. You might be interested in the book “Consumed” for a very studied look at this situation and other casualties of hyper-consumerism.

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Virginia777's avatar

By Virginia777, October 2, 2009 at 8:09 am Link to this comment

Rosemary’s baby? the person here who needs to be brought to justice is the very suspect Mia Farrow for her approaching Eric Prince of Blackwater to help “Save” Darfur (yes, this really happened)

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Virginia777's avatar

By Virginia777, October 2, 2009 at 7:57 am Link to this comment

you are kidding me, Robinson has TWO Polinski articles up on Truthdig?

something is fishy here, I’ve seen other suspect journalists harping on this one. I do not trust Robinson’s motives.

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By Paracelsus, October 2, 2009 at 4:46 am Link to this comment

West Virgina is beautiful in the Appalacian mountains, or at least was before the coal companies got a hold of it.  Deep mining went out and strip mining went in, taking off the top of the peaks.  Many of the people in the hils are dirt scrabble poor and religious dingbats like yourself.  When the the mine union was strong they were all Dems, but last election, or the one before, went Gop.  Sad.

There is no law in West Virginia in regard to coal mining nor is there any in North Carolina in regard to industrial pig farming. In the end the psychopathic greed of a few is only stopped by the use of force, the threat and the act of violence. If they feel no pain or fear of death these despoilers will keep inflicting pain on others. The government will not be there. In third world countries where the threats to large numbers of people are similar by the mining industries, there are brush fire wars, and rebellions. I think of places like Colombia. In other parts of the world with similar destruction there would have been violence returned for violence. This is not advocacy of violence, only observation. For no people can forever watch their friends and family sicken and die from such devastation that has gone unanswered for so long. The prison camp of Appalachia will have to rebel. Government has not protected them, and it is government that is appealed to so that the weak are protected from the strong. These people have no government. What loyalty should be owed to a tyranny that enforces despoliation? I see this with a scientific gaze I assure you as much as any think tank would, and believe me think tanks would reach the same conclusions, except that their goals usually involve some infernal endgame in order to maintain the same miasmal swamp.

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By Paracelsus, October 2, 2009 at 4:21 am Link to this comment

@ herewegoagain

How do you know you’re not the one who is manipulated by the media? You appear to think that what Polanski did wasn’t that wrong. Is it possible you think this because you are constantly bombarded with media images of young girls plastered with make-up and skimpily dressed? Of teenage female popstars writhing around stripper poles?

The media seems to be anti-humanitarian. It is as if there is some perverse loathing of the human form. I see that with a movie like Antichrist or an article in Details magazine on death by autoerotic asphyxiation. Humans tend toward monkey see monkey do. Freedom of expression works in a culture where people have self restraint, otherwise it tends toward re-enactments of the self destructive. The solution is not the banning of freedom of speech but the encouragement of a moral society. That is a matter for the family, but the family is under assault economically, and culturally by a corporate media. Our culture is weaponized toward demoralization as in loss of confidence and strength. As for the old religion, it was as much a weaponized culture as the new paradigm. It encouraged gullibility and over deference to authority. There is this idea of going back to some golden age of culture except that that paradigm was as good at producing puppets as the new one. It is just that the puppets were instructed differently. Perhaps it is as Plato pronounced. That societies go through different eras of government through monarchy, republic, democracy, dictatorship, and then monarchy. The forms change but the agenda keeps rolling forward. We were in a buildup cycle, and now we are in a build down cycle. The elites do not need a large population of industrial workers. It is well that they produce a mass culture that encourages the disepicurean equivalent of copraphagy. I reminded how the British in India would force at gun point a Moslem rebel to eat pork and then shoot him in the belly. It is all the easier to finish off your enemy when he is demoralized. According to this mindset it would be easier to kill off the surplus population through encouraging every sort of excess.

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By herewegoagain, October 1, 2009 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Folktruther writes: “Americans, including American Progs, are so easily manipulated by the media that it may not be possible to develop a population resistence against the US plutocracy.”

How do you know you’re not the one who is manipulated by the media? You appear to think that what Polanski did wasn’t that wrong. Is it possible you think this because you are constantly bombarded with media images of young girls plastered with make-up and skimpily dressed? Of teenage female popstars writhing around stripper poles? Has regular exposure to these images played a role in convincing you that young girls are fully sexually mature - both physically and mentally?

As it happens, they are not, but enough Americans have been duped into believing differently (including, sadly, many of our young people). I can’t think of any other explanation to conclude why so many are defending the drugging and sodomized rape of a 13 year old by a 43 year old man. Well, other than the fact that he’s a famous and “serious” artist.

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By herewegoagain, October 1, 2009 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Anarcissie writes: “The judge reneged on a plea bargain, under which Polanski had already served some time.”

Right, SOME time. Not all the time the judge ordered him to serve. And when the judge ordered him to complete that sentence, Polanski bolted.

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By @CT, October 1, 2009 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment

Ray Duray writes:
“The WSWS editors strike a sensible note with this excoriation of the NY Times’ editorial on Polanksi”

WSWS writes:
“Under pressure over a tax-evasion scandal involving Swiss banking giant UBS, Swiss authorities—who never make a foreign policy decision without first calculating, down to the last franc and centime, its effect on bank profits—threw the US a bone by seizing the filmmaker as part of a cynical effort to protect their all-important financial institutions.”

. . . and don’t forget:
“As Obama Golfs with UBS CEO Days After Firm Avoids Criminal Prosecution, UBS Whistleblower Given 40-Month Jail Term

“On the first day of his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, President Obama spent five hours golfing with UBS executive Robert Wolf, an early financial backer of Obama’s presidential campaign. As the pair teed off, another UBS banker, Bradley Birkenfeld, had just been handed a forty-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to assisting a client evade taxes. It was the first sentence in a wider scandal that has seen UBS admit to helping wealthy Americans dodge their tax obligations. On his own initiative, Birkenfeld blew the whistle on UBS. His disclosure and cooperation with US authorities provided inside information into the bank’s conduct and sparked the massive federal investigation.”

At least Polanski paid blood money to those he wronged—more than can be said for Obama (or His Justice Department) in general, or for Robinson’s icky hit piece here: who-all’s really screwing whom with this story, and where and why and how is none too clear—except for the sensational re-humiliation of the former girl, now the mother of three, and her family.

Would the smarmily-“moral” Robinson pump out the prose (oy: “haughty waiters ... mes amis”) for some lewd political game that would humiliate, say, the Obamas’ family?

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, October 1, 2009 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

RobertinWestbury:
’“Polanski is belabored with crimes for which he was not convicted, for good reason—a lack of evidence—and for which he will not be punished, even if he is a celebrity.”

Really?  Then why did he flee???’


The judge reneged on a plea bargain, under which Polanski had already served some time.  If he does more time, it will be because he is a celebrity, not because of his crimes, for which, I understand, no one had done time in Los Angeles county for years and years.

Since you don’t know anything about the case, or want to know anything about it, why don’t you just stick to huffing and puffing and blowing up moral balloons with the rest?  Rewrite the facts as you please—it’s what everyone else is doing.  Stick to the important thing.

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By christian96, October 1, 2009 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther—-The deep mines have been given up to
mountain top mining.  The reason is the same as most
ventures.  For money.  People in coal mining towns
are religious, believe in the propaganda fed them
by the media, and will march off to war believing
they are fighting for America and God when they
are really fighting so the wealthy class can get
richer. People associated with the media and the
wealthy class have to die someday. Then they will
face THE judge and answer for their time on earth. 
Same for Polanski.  He may escape justice on earth
but he won’t escape it after he dies which should
be soon considering his age.  I know you don’t believe in religion but think about it.  You think
a God who created the complexities of our universe
is going to let people escape how they treated others
while spending their time on earth?  I don’t think
so.

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By Ray Duray, October 1, 2009 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

The WSWS editors strike a sensible note with this excoriation of the NY Times’ editorial on Polanksi:

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/oct2009/pola-o01.shtml

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By Folktruther, October 1, 2009 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

i grew up in a moing town near Uniontown.  They took us to Pitt as well to be recruited.  One of our running backs was foolish enough to go up againts the Pitt line in a scrmmage and was broken into a million pieces.  My permanent impulse when Pitt plays West Virgina is to get out of the way.

West Virgina is beautiful in the Appalacian mountains, or at least was before the coal companies got a hold of it.  Deep mining went out and strip mining went in, taking off the top of the peaks.  Many of the people in the hils are dirt scrabble poor and religious dingbats like yourself.  When the the mine union was strong they were all Dems, but last election, or the one before, went Gop.  Sad.

the people in the small towns are threatened by the future and are duped to turn their rage on those institutions and personages that help ameliarte it or are totally irrevelant to their plight.  they probably want to hang Polansky as well, or will when the news hits them in the media.  At least breaks the monotony and hopelessness of daily life.

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By christian96, October 1, 2009 at 9:48 am Link to this comment

Folktruther——By the way if you want to get a preview of what awaits the Pitt Panthers just watch
West Virginia manhandle Colorado tonight at 7:30 pm
on ESPN.

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By christian96, October 1, 2009 at 9:43 am Link to this comment

Folktruther—-So you are from Pittsburgh.  I was
raised in a coal mining town near Morgantown and
did my graduate work at West Virginia University.
Just wait for “the backyard brawl.” Let’s goooooooooooo! Mountaineers!

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By christian96, October 1, 2009 at 9:43 am Link to this comment

Folktruther—-So you are from Pittsburgh.  I was
raised in a coal mining town near Morgantown and
did my graduate work at West Virginia University.
Just wait for “the backyard brawl.” Let’s goooooooooooo! Mountaineers!

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By Folktruther, October 1, 2009 at 8:27 am Link to this comment

You’re from West Virgina, Christian?  How close are you to the Pittsburgh area where Big B and I hail from.  When I was on the highschool football team we went to Morgantown as a recruitment for West Virgina football.  They were huge mothers, we thought not.

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By @CT, October 1, 2009 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

Ray Duray writes:
“If Barack Obama isn’t some sort of a Trojan Horse created by wizards in our secret government’s psyops shops, he’s the greatest miracle for them that has ever occurred. As someone with a sneaking suspicion that miracles are more public relations than divine intervention, I have to wonder if the Left has been completely had.”

The creation and installation of swishy, prissy Obama, the corporate mobster with the borrowed slogans, was no miracle—but obviously those who created Him aren’t quite wizards, either: this supposedly-charismatic figure has nothing actually going for Him in the charisma department, for one thing—whatEVER His installers, from Eugene Robinson and his gray associates at NBC and CNN to Tom Hayden and Alice Walker, so tirelessly insisted.

Now that it’s all falling apart, nothing could be more fitting than that Der Won should undertake, at US expense, a commercial jaunt to shill for Chicago in the country where “The Emperor’s New Clothes” was written, while underclass black children there are beating each other to death with bullets, boards, whatever.

Meanwhile, the prospect of an endless series of style pieces in which Robinson talks dirty, under the guise of taking umbrage at the sexual transgressions of high-profile white guys, is grim indeed.

Think on this: if soldier-cultist saboteur John Kerry (who inflicted Obama on the national Democrats) hadn’t—with the corporate media—hijacked the Democratic nomination away from Dr. Dean, Dean would STILL be president.

Dr. Dean in 2012? Could be.

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By X in Paris, October 1, 2009 at 8:12 am Link to this comment

It was somewhat heartening to see a significant number of comments
regarding the double standards (here in Paris- deux poids, deux measures) of
American justice. After a few readings of Mr. Robinson’s pieces in the early
days of Truthdig I have since avoided him as a more innocuous version of the
awful T. Friedman of the Times, the subtitles being a dead giveaway.
Back in ‘67 at two Hollywood parties I sat on the floor in a room off the grand
salon with Sharon Tate and we talked about this and that. Two years later I ran
into him in London and immediately sensed his devastation.
As the Empire declines in reason, logic and principle; emotionalism prevails.
The witch hunters ride roughshod over even common sense. A man who is
guilty of war crimes lives free and easy in Dallas now that his ranchette in
Crawford is of no more use as a PR ploy. His cohorts are unmolested, rich and
invited as pundits on TV shows.
Leonard Pellitier is again denied parole, Mumia Abu Jamal is denied a new trial,
all in spite of prosecutorial, police, and FBI misconduct. The rapers and
sodomizers of Abu Ghraib go unpunished as do their superiors.
A feverish fervor has overtaken America in such asinine ways that it takes me
back to 1776 and Gibbon’s publication of “The Rise and Fall of the Roman
Empire” in which the “insensible progression of corruption” becomes all
pervasive, deep, broad and overwhelming; half of present company excepted.

So,  let the L.A. Attorney propose an iron-clad Six months jail time and be done
with it. And let’s get back to bringing war criminals to justice.
ps. I like Truthdig, I always read Chris Hedges, Scheer, Vidal, Pfaff,watch
Stewart, Colbert, the cartoons are great etc.

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By SusanSunflower, October 1, 2009 at 4:51 am Link to this comment

two small points:

First, Polanski’s lawyers have been in vigorous ongoing negotiations with the Los Angeles authorities. As was mentioned, an important hearing was/is scheduled within the next few weeks—this is the context within which this warrant was served and Polanski was arrested—again, so much for “good faith”

Second, the featured player in “the movie” has now said he lied—as far as I could tell to make himself look more important—that he never recommended, blah blah blah—yes, this is the relevation of a newly retired lifetime Los Angeles legal forces member — Tell me again about how Polanski should have worked within the system.

While I have heard said that Polanski fled to “avoid prison”, I think he may have fled—having cooperated fully for the prior year—when he realized that the anticipated end of his “limbo” was nowhere in sight—there would be appeals, there would be motions—sentencing had held the promise of getting his “life” back (even if it involved parole or whatever had been the original parameters of the plea agreement)—that had been wrenched away and there was no horizon—just endless “more” insecurity, more limbo.

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By Gmonst, October 1, 2009 at 12:27 am Link to this comment

One thing that seems to get missed is the sex was not consensual. The young girl, even under the influence of champagne and barbiturates, said no to his advances and expressed a desire to be taken home.  He kept going, that is straight up rape, and wrong with any age girl.

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LocalHero's avatar

By LocalHero, September 30, 2009 at 11:35 pm Link to this comment

PSmith (far below) is exactly right. This has NOTHING to do with justice (for the 13 year old OR Polanski) and everything to do with the Swiss caving to US pressure to hand over the names of US citizens with bank accounts in Switzerland. Polanski has been to Switzerland hundreds of times since his flight from the US and they arrest him NOW? If the Swiss had any balls left, they’d agree to produce Polanski only if the US delivered Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld & Wolfowitz (among others) to The Hague for War Crimes Trials. This Polanski thing is nothing but a dog & pony show to distract the sheeple from State Sponsored torture and a blizzard of War Crimes that MUST be prosecuted.

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By christian96, September 30, 2009 at 10:19 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther—-If you believe my comment “Hang him
by the penis” is sincere you are more of an idiot
than I thought.  I cannot make any sense of your
comment “you appear to be exhibiting the True
Christian spirit, so prevalent in Americans, including non-Christians.”  Aren’t you an American?
Could you please interpret your comment for me.  I’m
just a plain old country boy from West “By God”
Virginia.  I just responded to your ramblings on
another site where I suggested you consider changing
your name to “Folkopinioner.”  After reading some
of your posts on this site I’ve changed my mind.
How about “Folkidiot?”

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By Ray Duray, September 30, 2009 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment

folktruther,

Mighty impressive what you come up with. Your analysis of the shortcomings of the Left is spot on. I’m old enough to have been regularly tear gassed for opposing the rotten Viet Nam War that any sane person would say was an immoral war crime perptrated by the most evil military on the planet.

[Aside: Of course there are millions of apologists for this criminality, and many like John McCain even want to re-run that episode of America’s inexorable slide into insanity saying that if only we hadn’t fought with one hand behind our backs, we would have has “OUR GLORIOUS VICTORY”.]

After a several decade hiatus from active political engagement, I took up anti-war organizing in a big way in October, 2002. It was perfectly obvious that a criminal cabal in Washington was blatantly lying the nation into war. I fought on for several years, leading a number of demonstrations, creating seminars and teach-ins and exhibiting worthwhile documentaries. Alas, Barack Obama took all the wind out of my sails, and apparently that of other organizers as well. Witness the elimination of International A.N.S.W.E.R. and the emasculation of the anti-war movement by the likes of UFPJ.

If Barack Obama isn’t some sort of a Trojan Horse created by wizards in our secret government’s psyops shops, he’s the greatest miracle for them that has ever occurred. As someone with a sneaking suspicion that miracles are more public relations than divine intervention, I have to wonder if the Left has been completely had.

The only refreshing hint I’ve had of reality returning to the starry-eyed Obamatons was a rather starkly worded assault on “hope” I sent yesterday to some local Obama volunteers. Of the three I contacted, one is no longer deeply in love with Obama. I guess that’s a start on reality, but at the rate people are waking up to reality, we’ll all be in our graves before the people realize their complete enslavement to the mad world of Wall Street/MIC dominance of all aspects of our lives.

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By Folktruther, September 30, 2009 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment

Psmith says:

  RAPE
  “Having said which, anyone who has sex with a thirteen year old, with or without consent, deserves everything he gets and more.”

Americans, including American Progs, are so easily manipulated by the media that it may not be possible to develop a population resistence against the US plutocracy.

PSmith is one of the better commenters and hia making a statement like this tends to make one throw up ones hands.

Suppose the boy is thirteen as well and the sex is consenual. Being under legal age and sexual coercion are both called rape, but they are different things. Juveniles are now tried as adults in the US and sentenced to life in prison.  For fucking? 

Soppose the boy is thirteen and the girl is eighteen.
Suppose the girl comes from the pacific islands, such as Hawaii, where the girls mature faster sexually.  Suppose the girl is underage but looks older and fibs about her age.  Suppoose a hundred other things;  they deserve anything that the American Jusice System does to them?  Which routinely imprisions a larger proportion of its people than any other country?

Amereicans are routinely manipulated by fear; THE TERRORISTS ARE GOING TO GET US IF WE DON’T KILL THEM.  By race; GATES WAS AT FAULT FOR ENGAGING IN ‘DISTORDEERLY CONDUCT’ IN HIS OWN HOME.  By sex. Which sleazoids like Robinson use to combine perverted morality with tittilation.

My concern has been to help develop an ideology that could unite a cadrre to lead the American people to resist what is going to be done to them by the plutocrcy.  But you have to have something to work with.  If Americans want to be deluded as much as the plutocracy wants to delude them, then no such movement is possible in the near term.  Which means the US population will remain fragmented, disunited and disconnected with eath other, subject to the usual divide and conquer tactics.

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By SusanSunflower, September 30, 2009 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

I do hope that Kissinger, Cheney, assorted Bush’s, et.al., appreciate that with the U.S. having violated the “gentleman’s agreement” wrt that whole honoring of foreign warrants thing, they may find themselves in just a bit more jeopardy than previously.

The whole international relations issue of the Swiss honoring this warrant (and it’s being issued in the first place) may also have ramifications Team Obama will have to live with ...

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By @CT, September 30, 2009 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment

Starcats writes:
“I don’t think this issue is about Eugene Robinson ...”

Ew, but it IS—or, rather, about the Pulitzer (in which Robinson’s fairly-forgettable Obama campaign pieces (see http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/linkset/2009/04/20/LI2009042001830.html?hpid=opinionsbox1) unaccountably prevailed over reality-based commentary from Paul Krugman.

Post-Pulitzer, Robinson’s style’s gone from politi-groupie gush to sexy insult prose (adjudging, in the last couple of days, Edwards a “cad” and “brilliant auteur” Polanski a “weasel”), branching out—today—for some pompous second-guessing (“on balance, I think I’d have skipped it”) of his Obama cousins’ ill-timed Chicago boosterism in Denmark http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2009/09/obamas_display_of_immodesty.html

SURELY Robinson’s writing about Oblabla’s “display of immodesty” is a perfect case of pot versus kettle . . . but it reminds us that the distinction of embodying the Peter Principle is a field which, with Robinson’s Prize and Obama’s propaganda presidency, now looks to be perfectly level.

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By My3Cats, September 30, 2009 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment

I don’t think this issue is about Eugene Robinson, so a lot of the anger here is displaced. Polansky was charged with a crime to which he pleaded guilty. He then fled the jurisdiction based on rumors of judicial misconduct. Polansky has a duty to answer for the charges to which he plead.

If the girl in question were my daughter or sister, even now grown up, I would still want complete closure for her and for the tangled web around Polansky to be unraveled so that justice for all could be served.

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By My3Cats, September 30, 2009 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

I note that several comments by the males miss the point. One commentor raises the issue of “nuance” and did the 13 year old ever have intercourse before. These points aren’t relevant in cases of child molestation. It also doesn’t matter whether the victim, now an adult, claims to have moved on. Polansky fled and uses certain rumors of judicial or prosecutorial collusion or misconduct as a defense to flee the jurisdiction.

No matter how you slice it, Polansky is guilty. He’s a child molester. The commentor who opined that if Eugene Robinson were black he’d be saying something different is an insult to intelligent people. Robinson is a gentleman and hasn’t ever played the race card as an excuse for unequal justice under the law.

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By Blackspeare, September 30, 2009 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

I’m sure that if it were Spike Lee in the place of Roman Polanski, Mr. Robinson would be singing a different tune!

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By Ray Duray, September 30, 2009 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

For any who feel that their head isn’t spinning quite fast enough yet from this tempest in a thimble, here’s The Daily Beast’s take on the matter: http://tinyurl.com/y8jrkmv

Notice that it is because of a prosecutor lying that we’re aggressively seeking retribution against the prosecuted.

No wonder we gave up on Star Chambers.

The one clear conclusion I can take away from all of this is that justice is not being served here. But insanity is on the menu in very big dollops.

***
Now here’s something quite interesting to those thinking about this as a circus-like distraction for the masses:

http://bit.ly/1TRcyF

NPR’s Talk of the Nation spent about 20 minutes on this topic today (and apparently more time yesterday) and in the citations (links) at the bottom of the page we find that not only is Eugene Robinson’s WaPo piece listed, so are pieces by Anne Appelbaum and Richard Cohen of the Post also listed.

Which leads me to wonder… if the Washington Post is the Capitol’s more-or-less official newspaper, which stories are we being instructed by the editors to be distracted from?

Afghanistan, too frustrating. Health care, too likely to piss off the masses if they learn they are the designated chumps in the game. The collapse of the dollar, oh we really don’t want to dig our head’s out of the sand for this one.

I can see why the Washington Post would be so obsessed with the Polanski story. It’s the perfect distraction and little more.

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By don knutsen, September 30, 2009 at 10:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I suggest that our “justice dept.” should be spending its energies going after the war criminals of our last administration . This is just a vendetta and a usefull distraction at this point, with so many years passed. We have a former Pres. and VP and their cabinet members and underlings that prosecuted an illegal war that caused the death of over ahundred thousand and wasted untold billions. And were spending time going after this guy ? Seems terribly misplaced priorities.

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By Paracelsus, September 30, 2009 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

Roman Polanski will go through some sort of process, no matter the politics of his rape crime. I just don’t understand why there is no process for brutal rapes of Iraqis under American occupation. Polanski gets a lot of media exposure, but I don’t see Truthdig doing the same for the Obama administration’s after the fact accessory cover up of these brutal crimes in Iraq. Polanski will get his justice in some form. He may get an out due to illness as Augusto Pinochet did, but I don’t see any American generals getting court martialed. If only justice was as dogged as the Polanski case as it isn’t in the Iraqi war crimes cases.

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By Andress, September 30, 2009 at 10:14 am Link to this comment

RobertinWestbury, kudos on your post calling out the idiotic arguments of Ray Duray.  Anyone who defends child rapists deserves censure and opprobrium. 

The indefensible nature of the crime makes me believe that Polanski’s defenders are acting out from a natural urge to defend “one of their own”.  I have no doubt that if it were Karl Rove in the exact same situation as Roman Polanski, Ray Duray and the rest of Polanski’s defenders would be singing a different tune. 

Their defense of Polanski is not based on moral principle but on an astonishingly misplaced value system where the obligation of society to protect its most defenseless members is trumped by a fathomless self-centeredness.  These people can’t see past their nose.

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By rolmike, September 30, 2009 at 9:30 am Link to this comment

i gather from some women friends that roman used to be
a kind of serial rapist. but he isn’t any longer, a
little too old for that. so what’s the point? the one
victim who came forth no longer seeks revenge.

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By Folktruther, September 30, 2009 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

HANG HIM BY THE PENIS FROM THE COURTHOUSE STEPS
IN LOS ANGELES.

Christian, in your comment above, you appear to be exhibiting the True Christian spirit, so prevalent in Americans, including non-Christians.

Ray, I am arguing against puritanical punishment, not for diminishing our conception of the brutality of rape.

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By thomas, September 30, 2009 at 8:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We find ourselves, in this debate, being herded by the statutory rape statute…  Is thirteen too young for a child to be allowed to make their own decisions regarding their sexual behavior?  Probably, but shouldn’t this black and white view of “consent” give way to a more nuanced one?  Was the behavior risky, or not?  Had this girl engaged in intercourse PRIOR to this incident?  Was safe sex practiced?  Who seduced whom?  There is something wrong with calling consentual sex…. rape, based soley on age disparity.  If it needs to be criminalized, use another criteria.
What about the parents, what do they have to say.? 
What does the “victim” think?  I have certainly seen cases where “love” has been criminalized.  More and more we see that statutory rape laws are being adjusted
to fit with reality.  It should NOT be a felony for a 19 year old “man” to practice erotic love with the 17 year old “girl” next door….one he intends to marry.

In the end I believe that Polanski ought to be extradited to face these charges ONLY BECAUSE any ordinary Joe would have long since been caught.  It was his money and influence that has kept him [and us] from having to face this “complaint”..

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By @CT, September 30, 2009 at 8:24 am Link to this comment

Folktruther writes:
“Robinson has obviously become the go-to man for prog sexual sleaze, and truthdig is right there with the National Inquirer, apparently Robinson’s next gig. 

“But what I don’t understand is that these sexual sleazings are usual against progs that have committed some offense against the neolib ruling class.  Robinson’s last ejaculation was against Edwards who was the left candidate of the Dems, Robinson guarding Obama’s left flank.”

Ray Duray writes:
“Has Truthdig taken leave of its senses?”

—> Presumably Truthdig is demonstrating just WHAT mischief bestowing a feel-good Obama-related Pulitzer prize has produced—Robinson’s at LEAST as creepy as Polanski.

For comparison, see Robinson’s sappy piece on Michael Jackson: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/26/AR2009062603736.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

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By christian96, September 30, 2009 at 7:47 am Link to this comment

HANG HIM BY THE PENIS FROM THE COURTHOUSE STEPS
IN LOS ANGELES.

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By RobertinWestbury, September 30, 2009 at 7:44 am Link to this comment

“Polanski is belabored with crimes for which he was not convicted, for good reason—a lack of evidence—and for which he will not be punished, even if he is a celebrity.”

Really?  Then why did he flee???

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By RobertinWestbury, September 30, 2009 at 7:41 am Link to this comment

“my retort would be what the hell is wrong with YOU that you would be so small minded, so vindictive, so assuredly laughed at by the upper class playboys and playgirls who were partying that night in Hollywood, so abysmally naive about the nature of official corruption and apparently still so emotionally 11 years old as to make us think we should care about your puerile puritanical childishness? “

Ray Duray, you are an idiot.  A man admittedly rapes a 13 year old girl after drugging her, and you call the desire to see justice done ‘vindictive?’ 

I’ll tell you what is naive you fool…  It’s naive to think you can argue a crime like this should be brushed aside by comparing it with the crimes and misdeeds of Presidents and nations.  The vastness of their crimes is so great that focusing on the rape of a child 30 years ago must be worthless. 

Well it isn’t.  Nor is it puritannical childishness to insist he pay for the crime.  If you had children of your own you’d understand.  And if you do have children, then God help them.

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By Anarcissie, September 30, 2009 at 7:38 am Link to this comment

Polanski was brought to justice, and justice chose to clown around.  A brief survey of the comments thus far posted indicate the clowning is continuing; for instance, Polanski is belabored with crimes for which he was not convicted, for good reason—a lack of evidence—and for which he will not be punished, even if he is a celebrity.

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By melvin polatnick, September 30, 2009 at 7:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The judge at the Polanski trial tricked him into pleading guilty to a lesser charge.
The deal was for the judge and his partners to get half a million for no jail time.
But once Polanski pleaded guilty the price went up to an astronomical sum. He
was threatened with 50 years if he did not come up with the money. Polanski
would not give up all his assets and fled the country.

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By rolmike, September 30, 2009 at 7:25 am Link to this comment

ponlansky raped a lot of other women, women friends of
mine tell me. here’s spiked’s take on the controversy.
http://www.spiked-
online.com/index.php/site/article/7464/

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By christian96, September 30, 2009 at 5:32 am Link to this comment

Ray Duray—-You went from “gentlemanly” to “lecherous” in your description of Polanski. I
would suggest a little introspection of your cognitive processes.
I have no problem with children spending the night
with Michael Jackson at Neverland as long as there
is no conclusive proof he was abusing someone.  My
personal belief is that Michael loved children and
felt comfortable around them.  I wish some therapist
could have helped him better understand his diffculties relating to adults.  It’s too late now
but it’s not too late to help parents and children
understand the many difficulties they face.  I agree
wholeheartedly with you that our society needs to do
a better job teaching high school students how to
become parents and how to relate to their fellow
humans on earth.  If I was President I would first
send workers to build the intrastructure of the
countries we have attacked.  Secondly, I would try
to fix the national health care issue and thirdly,
I would help train students to become effective
parents, spouses, and responsible citizens.

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By Lucienette, September 30, 2009 at 3:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The victim doesn’t even care any longer. Her mother brought her to the house. Arrest the mother. Leave Polanski alone.

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By Gmonst, September 30, 2009 at 2:22 am Link to this comment

If its moral puritanism to think raping a 13 year old (or any age) girl is wrong, then I am morally puritan.  Rape seems to me to be one of the most heinous violations of another person, and in no way defensible.  She said no, he kept going, that deserves punishment.  I don’t see how other crimes unpunished or not have anything to do with this case.  What does Bush have to do with this?  How can anyone use the past cruelties of humanity as justifying this cruelty?  I just don’t get why people are so concerned about what happens to this guy.  He’s rich, he’s connected, he will be fine.  He played the game and ran. He took the risk and has to pay the consequences for that cause he got caught.  He could have faced the piper then and it would be in the past but he ran and eventually got caught.  Its as simple as that.

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By Ray Duray, September 29, 2009 at 10:08 pm Link to this comment

peterjkraus,

You wrote: “Polanski must atone for his heinous behavior,”

How do you feel about the heinous acts of George Bush and Dick Cheney and now, Barack Obama leading his nation inexorably into war crimes and atrocities across the planet?

Should they atone? Or would it be better if we behead them before they murder again? I’m a little unclear on how the Old Testament Christian would approach a crime of the magnitude as those perpetrated by the U.S. government. But I’m pretty sure that the nation would do well to be a lot less hypocritical. If you catch my drift.

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By Ray Duray, September 29, 2009 at 10:01 pm Link to this comment

Hi christian96,

You wrote: “What if the drug-induced 13 year old girl had been your daughter?”

In the first instance, she wouldn’t have been permitted to be so loosely regulated as have been in the company of such a lecherous and notorious man as Roman Polanski without suitable family supervision.

In the second instance, I would ask you what you think of the completely irresponsible parents who allowed their children to “overnight” at Michael Jackson’s Neverland and then were shocked that Jackson might be a pedophile. What kind of idiots do we have bearing children in America today?

To answer my own question, apparently Sarah Palin has completed her 400 page memoir in record time, about $50,000 per page. Soon we’ll learn more than we ever hoped to know about dysfunctional American families.

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By peterjkraus, September 29, 2009 at 9:41 pm Link to this comment

Polanski raped a child. He admitted his guilt.

In raping a child, he broke the covenant that states society will protect its children. That was very well known to him, yet he committed his crime.

Polanski must atone for his heinous behavior, just as any other member of society does in similar circumstances. Whoever wants to spare him the indignities of incarceration because he is a great director condones child molestation.

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By christian96, September 29, 2009 at 9:40 pm Link to this comment

Ray Duray——I am not 100% native American but I do
have Commanche and Cherokee blood running in my veins, if that means anything. You made the comment,
“Polanski rates as one of the tamest, most gentlemanly fornicators IMAGINABLE.”  It appears
your imagination has been corrupted by fire water.
I talked to the man face to face.  He was far from
being a gentleman. What if the drug-induced 13 year
old girl had been your daughter?  Would you fight
for your daughter or crawl into a corner and escape
reality with a bottle of alcohol in hand.  Stand up
like a man.  This man committed a heinous crime and
should stand before a judge for his crime.  He may
escape a human judge but one day he will stand before
the great spirit in the sky.  Let’s see if he can
escape that judge.

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By Ray Duray, September 29, 2009 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment

folktruther,

You wrote: “Wait a minite, Ray.  I think rape IS a big deal.”

I’m reminded of the female Lt. Col. in Gulf War I who had the misfortune of having had her helicopter shot out from under her behind enemy lines. She suffered a pair of broken legs, a broken collarbone and broken jaw. As she was laying in agony at the wreck site she saw that she was about to be overwhelmed by some Iraqi regular Army soldiers. And they raped her. After her ordeal she was put back together and made a pretty good recovery. Writing about the incident years later she reflected on what could have befallen her and said that of the available options, rape was probably the least of her worries at the time.

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By Laugher, September 29, 2009 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Its interesting to see how times change in just a few generations

100 years ago it was not uncommon at all for girls to marry at 13 to older men.  It actually used to be quite rare for a woman to be single past the age of 18 which is now the legal age of consent

Personally I’m not a huge fan of statutory rape laws.  Certainly not for women who are already sexually mature (meaning they can have kids). Pre-pubescent children is another thing, but then again, they aren’t likely to consent. 

Our founding fathers and their child brides would be shocked at all the outrage

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By Folktruther, September 29, 2009 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment

Wait a minite, Ray.  I think rape IS a big deal. Assuming it occurred, since I know nothing about that night over three decades ago. 

But Polanski has been punished, he made restittuion to the girl, and the whole episode is suspect becaue of the sexual purtanism of Americans.  Bringing it up again is simply another example of that moral puritanism.  Or of appealing to by a media sleazer.

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By Matt in CA, September 29, 2009 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Whether or not the initial victim wants this dropped is, ultimately, irrelevant.  If crimes were prosecuted based on whether or not victims wanted them prosecuted, it would be a short step to widespread intimidation of victims to keep silent.  Instead, this is a matter of justice - he raped a 13-year-old, and then fled the country.  There’s no 20th century (or, hopefully, 21st century) western society that would condone that behavior.

Yes, he’s a brilliant director.  But what he did falls on the wrong side of the line in almost every ethical system, and giving him a pass because of his artistic talent seriously undermines a justice system already shaken by the lack of prosecution of Bush administration officials responsible for illegal war and torture.

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By Paracelsus, September 29, 2009 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

I wonder when Obama is going to release those pics of 11 year old Iraqi boys being raped by America soldiers.

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/may2009/tort-m29.shtml

The photographic evidence of rape substantiates evidence Taguba gathered in his investigation, which only became public due to another freedom of information lawsuit. For example, in a sworn deposition Kasim Mehaddi Hilas said he witnessed US military personnel raping a boy. “I saw [a US military translator rape] a kid, his age would be about 15 to 18 years. The kid was hurting very bad and they covered all the doors with sheets. Then when I heard screaming I climbed the door because on top it wasn’t covered and I saw [the soldier] who was wearing the military uniform, putting his **** in the little kid’s **** and the female soldier was taking pictures.”

The sworn deposition also described the anal rape of prisoners with phosphorescent tubes and police clubs, as well as the use of wire in sexual torture.

The rape of Iraqi boys by US military personnel is corroborated by other evidence. Journalist Seymour Hersh, who played a critical role in breaking the Abu Ghraib story in 2004, has evidently seen all of the photos, and is aware of video footage depicting rape. He has not written publicly on their content, but a 2004 speech he gave to the ACLU indicates the sheer horror of the US military’s methods:

“Some of the worst things that happened you don’t know about, okay?” Hersh said. “The women were passing messages out saying, ‘Please come and kill me, because of what’s happened,’ and basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst, above all, of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It’s going to come out.” In another speech, quoted by Rick Pearlstein, Hersh spoke of “horrible things done to children of women prisoners, as the cameras run.”

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By Agentprovokaur, September 29, 2009 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m wondering how an article about the woes of an ADMITTED child rapist, who drugged his victim (which in and of itself is not only another crime but could have proved fatal) in his pursuit of his criminal acts, has become a sounding board for those questioning the morality and justness of the criminal justice system (apparently only the American system).

While many can question the “infantilism” of American sexual mores and how it plays out in our criminal justice system I doubt if you interviewed the “average” man or woman on the street of London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Moscow, Tokyo or any other city you choose, and told them of the FACTS of this act, without names or place or allegations of corruption that more the vast majority would say that what happened was wrong and that it should be punished.

They might disagree as to the punishment but not the malum of the act.

Instead of spamming this board with irrelevant comparisons of close cases (whether consent was or not effective due to the bright line test of age of the partner and the “horrible” effects of such close calls) as somehow excusing the actions of Polanski (who really is a poor poster child - rich, privileged person preying on childten), and using erroneously emotional arguments to justify his actions, you should put your time and effort to use in correcting what you think is wrong here.

Get involved with organizations that are trying to change the system:

http://www.thejusticeproject.org/

http://www.sentencingproject.org/template/index.cfm

http://www.soros.org/initiatives/washington/focus_areas/criminal_justice_reform

Otherwise you really do appear as deranged Quixotes, not just tilting at windmills but defending the actions of those who are beyond justification, the rich and privileged, preying on the poor, weak and vulnerable, the exact opposite of what others are railing about when they decry the corruption they perceive in the American justice system.

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By Ray Duray, September 29, 2009 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment

To our naive American readers,

What’s with you people? The world has been the scene of billions of rapes. Why do people get so exercised about this historical parallel to humanity’s oldest profession?

As Cole Porter rhapsodized, “birds do it, bees do it…” and as it turns out people do it, too.

When I first heard about the marriage practices of Central Asia, where the most common way to “take a bride” is to kidnap her, I thought it was quite extraordinary. But then I did a bit of reading about ancient (and present day) cultures with their harems, slaves-as-wives and all manner of concubinage, nymphomania, necrophilia, bondage, bare backing and bimboism and I have to say, Polanski rates as one of the tamest, most gentlemanly fornicators imaginable.

Entire generations of Venetians were wiped out by gonorrhea and syphilis.

The continent of Africa endures a permanent AIDS crisis.

And Truthdiggers have their noses riveted into Polanski’s past? Americans: you are an embarrassment of naivete and churlish prudery.

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By mackTN, September 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment

As is often the case, I have two minds about this. Yes, I agree that the law should not be applied selectively, prosecuting those who can’t afford to defend themselves and refraining the rich and celebrated.  Unfortunately, this happens regularly in this country. In other words, I suuport this argument but wish it was more often crafted for the people who don’t get their names in the paper or who suffer with public defenders who deal them away. 

I think the only people who care about Polanski are the LA Police Dept who seem to lack any kind of comprehensible code to explain their actions.  If they were so intent on prosecuting, why didn’t they throw Paris Hilton in population like others who are jailed for the kind of crime she committed?  But the real question is, why aren’t they focusing on stuff that matters? 

The judicial system missed its opportunity to serve justice here fairly.  It appears the judge wanted more spotlight and chose to renege on a plea bargain as a result.  I can understand Polanski saying, f this s.  I would have, too, and walked away.  Getting justice remains a struggle for most people.

As for justice in this case, I wonder why this girl’s mother wasn’t disciplined for leaving her lamb in a wolf’s den?  (Somewhat like all those parents who dropped their kids off at Michael Jackson’s house, hoping for a payday).  And what about Marc Rich, the thief living in Switzerland for years that Clinton pardoned?  Why wasn’t he arrested and brought back for justice.

We don’t have a fair system or one that’s available to everyone.  That’s the issue.

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By Agentprovokatur, September 29, 2009 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why the continuing cannards about “sexual puritanism” citations to ““droit du seignor”” and other irrelevant matters.

The man ADMITTED to a crime of rape.  Unconsented sexual intercourse.  Performed not with a minor “legally incapable” of giving consent.  With a woman he drugged and took advantage of.  Not with a near 18 year old whose mother was pissed and filed charges. 

He did the Crime.  He should do the time.

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By Kath Cantarella, September 29, 2009 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

‘maybe his defenders are saying that drugging and raping a child is simply not such a big deal’

This is the problem with not prosecuting crimes like Polanski’s. Eventually the crime is no longer considered a crime and victims are left to cope with the mess in their lives alone, blaming themselves, wondering why they are so widely considered less than human. Women and children are not things, they’re people. When you fail to prosecute a rape, you tell the world that the victim is a piece of property to be used at someone else’s discretion. A slave.

I have lost all respect for many of my favourite directors who have signed the petition. What are they saying? Are they saying laws criminalising rape should be repealed? Is this because rape is no longer a crime against a man’s ‘property’ and is now a crime against a woman? Or are they saying that artists of Polanski’s and their own calibre should be allowed to drug and rape whoever they choose? Are they saying they’d offer their own teenage daughters for the privilege? I am reviewing their work in the light of such manifest stupidity. Can they really be ‘cinematic geniuses’ with their social and political visions totally blocked by the inner walls of their own bums?

By the same token, I have more respect for Luc Besson these days for bucking the system.

And as usual I am totally baffled by the equation of advocating stronger rape laws/enforcement with the conservative side of things. It is about justice, not politics. There’s nothing conservative about wanting to properly prosecute rapists.

As it stands the vast majority of all rapes go unpunished, even unprosecuted. Therefore reported rapes continue to rise, and the view develops, especially amongst the youth in our society, that rape is not a crime.

Meanwhile we persecute the rape victims further by stigmatizing them as vindictive liars, as crazy women who can’t cope with life, as ‘vile’ women who abort their own babies, or as ‘vile’ single mums who are almost single-handedly responsible for all the ills of modern society.

I know where my finger is pointing and it’s not at the survivors in this world, but at the self-centred callousness of others they are forced to endure.

That is where the law comes in, and that is why Polansky should do hard time, willingly, if he has changed and is at all remorseful. Because it is about protecting the next young girl from being raped: not about protecting the cruelty of the powerful.

Thanks Mr Robinson.

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By Folktruther, September 29, 2009 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment

the sexual puritanism and punitiveness of Americans, including American Progs, in legendary, and has been incorporated into Amreican laws.

When I was in college at the U of Chicago, I met a guy who just got out of prison for rape.  He had gone to the nearby town of Calumet City in Indiana where bar girls sit with guys who ordered them drinks.  He was attracted to one and she him and they slept together.  After a few months they got maried and lived in Chicago where he taught school.

Meanwhile her mother filed a charge against him for rape, becuase the girl was a minor, a few months shy of 18.  Despite the girl and the mother pleading in his defense, he was found guilty of the charge, as he in fact legally was, and was sent to prison, Joliet as I remember.  On a long term.  Fortunately there remained a residue of common sense in the system at that time and the governor pardoned him.

The residue has apparantly evaporated.  When the guy got out of prison he couldn’t get a job teaching.  Who after all was going to hire a rapist to teach children.  When I knew him he and his wife were getting ready to go to Nassi, Idaho, whereever that is, where they couldn’t get teachers because it got down to 60 below in the winter.

This is not a rare story.  Joe Bagaent has printed some others about ‘Sexual Offenders’ that rival it.
When a young guy meets a girl he often doesn’t know or care how old she is.  People mature at different ages.  but some people and institutions never mature, and grow up to write dumb and oblivious calls for senseless punishment.  And they often get it.

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By Ray Duray, September 29, 2009 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

To those on the thread defending the L.A. prosecutors and the the annoyingly small-minded Eugene Robinson, I have a question:

Are you daft? Let’s review some recent history, shall we? Even the criminal George Bush has admitted that due to his lying the American Empire into a criminal aggession against Iraq that he is responsible for over 100,000 excess deaths in Iraq. Better actuaries, such as the statistical team from Johns-Hopkins University are currently estimating the death toll in Iraq since 2003 exceeds 1,300,000. Approximately 5,000,000 Iraqis are refugees. Now that is a crime.

What Polanski did used to be called “droit du seignor” by century’s worth of English nobles and regarded as the normal course of a girl’s life.

How in the world can anyone here actually give a damn about a Hollywood incident from 30 years ago in which I view the greatest transgression probably to be the completely irresponsible parenting of the 13 year old. Ask yourslf this? Are you the sort of parent who would allow your daughter to attend a party completely unescorted and without apparently any effort whatsoever to understand what your child is up to? Not to exonerate Polanski, but there is some horrible parenting being done in this nation today.

With regard to the psychology of someone who would say: “(w)hat the hell is wrong with you people who want to let him off because it was a long time ago” my retort would be what the hell is wrong with YOU that you would be so small minded, so vindictive, so assuredly laughed at by the upper class playboys and playgirls who were partying that night in Hollywood, so abysmally naive about the nature of official corruption and apparently still so emotionally 11 years old as to make us think we should care about your puerile puritanical childishness?

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By Agentprovokatur, September 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lots of broad statements about the Criminal Justice System and equally as many ignorant comments.

“Usually criminal offenses have a time limit, a statute of limitations, after which a person can’t be prosecuted.”

- True - but the SoL is tolled, i.e. does not continue to run, when the accused is not available for prosecution, such as here where he is beyond jurisdiction due to no extradition treaty.

“Who gives a shit about Polanski’s 30 year old crime, presided over by a crooked judge when there are so many serious problems facing the world. Even the victim is on record as not wanting to rehash this mess.”  and similar comments that the victim (who took a financial settlement) no longer wants to see him jailed.

- Umm, we as a society do.  Crimes such as this one are CRIMES and not only civil matters because they affect SOCIETY as a whole.  When a crime is committed the willingness of the victim to participate in a prosecution is only a secondary consideration as to the whether it will go forward.  There is also the DETERRENCE consideration.  We as a society want these miscreants prosecuted as we do not want others to think they too will be able to commit such acts and then just buy their way out of them.  And financial restitution can be, is sometimes ordered and made to victims - but it does not affect the judgment nor the sentence.

“We’re talking about, don’t forget, the American Justice Department.  The one without the backbone to prosecute executive war criminals who continue to have a gay old time all over its own backyard. “

- There is no “American Justice Department”.  There are local, state and federal laws that may have been broken and each would have a stake in prosecution.  The U.S. Department of Justice needs to be involved when foreign entities and extradition treaties are involved.  Sorry if it’s hard to follow but the United State’s criminal justice system is - due to the nature of our Republic and its history, very diffuse and not perfect, but certainly not a monolithic entity that is covering up crimes.

Bottom line, Polanski ADMITTED to a heinous crime.  He deserves to do the time that any other street punk who did so would have gotten, regardless of his wealth, his artistic value to society in general, the fact that he “paid off his vicitm” after the fact or that he didn’t get a “fair shake” by the judge.  Every criminal prosecuted makes those claims.  He can appeal the corruption and other crapola he raises IN COURT or from JAIL as do they and they do not do so AFTER admitting guilt.

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By RobertinWestbury, September 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment

“The 13-year-old girl Roman Polanski raped declared well into her adulthood that the case against him should be dropped. She forgave him and they settled out of court. Why that is not good enough for Eugene Robinson and the countless others who want to try this case in the public arena is utterly baffling.”

I’m baffled anyone could take this position.  What the hell is wrong with you people who want to let him off because it was a long time ago, or because teh girl in question forgave him.  So what? 

It is irrelevant whether she forgives him or not.  It doesn’t matter what her opinion is on what should be done to him.  He owes society a debt as well.  And government has the responsibility to bring him to justice. 

I am a fan of his movies, but THAT will absolutely have no weight in my decision to see him pay for the crime he committed.  The crime agains the girl, and the crime of fleeing.

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By SusanSunflower, September 29, 2009 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

and I’m baffled as to why the very serious judicial misconduct that led Polanski to flee seems to not register as important, even mitigating to that flight.  Polanski had pled guilty and cooperated fully based on that understanding—there was no going back and “deciding” to exercise his right to a trial—that door no longer existed.

Equally, the problem of underreporting of all sort of “intimate” crimes—sex crimes, domestic violence—imoh—is exacerbated when a victim, her violation, her behavior, her mother, her testimony, her later statements (ad nauseum) are still being exploited in this way ... it’s terrifying.

Coming so shortly on the heels of Mackenzie Philip’s revelations and all the folks calling her a liar ... and battered Rianna last seen in S&M garb (or was it her lip piercing?) ... this is far from “woman-affirming” or reassuring for the woman or girl who was assaulted last night presently considering whether or not to notify the authories ....

I really don’t get how anything in this thread could be construed as “defending” Polanski ... vigilantism rides again ...

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By John Zeller, September 29, 2009 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For the most part, I agree with Eugene. I only disagree with his and many other’s point that the French are to be condemned for not returning him.

For one thing, it would be against their laws to do so, and for another, why should they? For years, they’ve wanted Henry Kissinger for questioning on war crimes accusations. Have we turned him over?

I propose this. We keep Polanski and send him to sentencing (which will probably be thrown out in appeals court) and we send over Henry kissinger to appease their outrage.

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By Ray Duray, September 29, 2009 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment

Has Truthdig taken leave of its senses? I come to this website to escape the phony, sensationalized crap that the MSM is feeding a gullible public.

***
To the editors of Truthdig,

Please tell us what your purpose is in publishing such rubbish. If you are attempting to alienate your readership, you are succeeding.

To the commenters here, I commend your ability to seek out the ulterior motives of those granstanding L.A. prosecutors involved in this sordid affair. Sleazy justice has been a hallmark of the L.A. Hall of Justice for a long, long time. I’m currently having my eyes opened to the corruptions of the Flapper Era in L.A. via “A Bright and Dirty Place”. http://bit.ly/kMiku  Unlike the execrable provincial Eugene Robinson the author of “A Bright and Dirty Place”, Richard Rayner seems to have a more nuanced cosmopolitan appreciation that sometimes the cops are the bad guys. Imagine that.

Heck, you don’t have to imagine it. You can read about how awful our so-called law enforcement has become by reading about the thugs and brutes hired to hurt the concerned citizens of Pittsburgh this past weekend: http://bit.ly/f6yWk

Or you can read about the monstrous, Kafkesque nightmare imposed on this citizen of New Orleans: http://bit.ly/DOf1X

***
So again, to the editors of Truthdig: Why are you so intent on burying the truth by printing bilgewater by the likes of the sanctimonious and utterly superficial Eugene Robinson?

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By Alan Martin, September 29, 2009 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The 13-year-old girl Roman Polanski raped declared well into her adulthood that the case against him should be dropped. She forgave him and they settled out of court. Why that is not good enough for Eugene Robinson and the countless others who want to try this case in the public arena is utterly baffling.

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By mcthorogood, September 29, 2009 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

Now if only some country would arrest Dubya, Karl Rove, et. al.

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By christian96, September 29, 2009 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

I had an encounter with Roman Polanski.  In 1974
I lost a university teaching position for telling
my classes that the oil crisis we were experiencing
was a hoax.  The oil companies also owned coal mines.
I was raised in a coal mining town in West Virginia.
There was a coal contract coming up in December of
1974.  I told my classes the media would use the
oil crisis to make mostly religious coal miners vote
for a contract that would be bad for them.  The
miners didn’t want to vote against a contract just
before Christmas when America was experiencing an
energy crisis.  I hit the nail on the head.  It
happened just like I called it.  The miners passed
a contract which neglected widows. I was without a
job for 14 months.  I tried to get 60 minutes to
cover the story.  I had lunch in New York with someone from the program.  He reused to cover the
neglect.  When I came out of lunch I was walking
around New York and saw a window with Otto Preminger
written on it.  I caught the elevator to his office
and ask the secretary and ask if I could speak with
Mr. Preminger about a movie.  She excused herself,
walked into his office, returned shortly, and said,
“Mr. Preminger will speak with you.”  He had the
longest desk I had ever seen. After I explained the
neglect of widows he started laughing.  When I ask
why he was laughing he said, “The people who pay for
my movies are the same people who are neglecting the
widows!”  Then, I started laughing.  I went to
California to see if I could find help.  One day I
read in the newspaper that Roman Polanski was in
prison at Chino.  Many of the neglected widows in
coal mining towns were Polish.  Roman was Polish.
I drove to the prison at Chino and ask the guard if
I could speak with Mr. Polanski.  He ask if I knew
him and I told him I do.  The guards set me down
behind a glass.  Soon Mr. Polanski entered the room
and sat opposite me.  After I explained how widows
were being neglected in coal mining towns and ask if
he would make a movie about it, he started screaming
to the guards, “Get me out of here! Get me out of here!”  As I was leaving the guard said, “I thought
you said you know him.”  I replied, “I know him.
He doesn’t know me.” That was my encounter with Roman
Polanski.  Not a positive one!

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By Andress, September 29, 2009 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

Excellent piece by Eugene Robinson.  It would be an outrage to allow this repulsive crime to go unpunished.
I am incredulous at the number of negative posts on this article.

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By Folktruther, September 29, 2009 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

Thanks, Susan. apparently its a legal ruling that instigated the pick up warrent.  This was verified by the govenment denying it.  As Claud Cockburn, the father of the Cockburn clan, said, ‘never believe anything until the govenment denies it.’

Usually criminal offenses have a time limit, a stutute of limitations, after which a person can’t be prosecuted.  the US is so puritanical that this apparently does not apply to sexual offenses.  Pulanski spent a month and a half in prison, gave a financial settlement to the girl, was persecuted by a corrupt judge, was prevented from pursuing his career in the US,  and had this hanging over him for a lifetime.

But this isn’t enough for jackals like robinson.  Or some Progs.  Even if it harms the former victim.

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By Kanaschwiiz, September 29, 2009 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you, Mr. Robinson. I support your position 100%, and have been dismayed
at the artistic community (both here in Switzerland and apparently elsewhere)
making these absurd assertions that Mr. Polanski is somehow a victim.

This has been a fascinating example of the need to channel anger into blame: the
artists and politicians Mr. Polanski could charm at cocktail parties in Europe were
angry with his arrest. They couldn’t be angry with him (that would require
acknowledging he is an undisputed and unapologetic child rapist) or with the girl
herself, so they blame… wait for it… Switzerland!
It would be “blame-Canada” funny if it weren’t so offensive.

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By Gmonst, September 29, 2009 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

I think Eugene Robinson is right.  The crime was serious and Polanski should have to face justice for it.  Whether or not that means jail time is to be seen, but you can’t just rape a girl and then run from the consequences.  The red herrings of other problems in the world does not justify not punishing what is a serious crime against another person.  Just because he was rich enough to flee doesn’t make it right or justifiable no matter how long its been.

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By SusanSunflower, September 29, 2009 at 1:06 pm Link to this comment

okay, my old comment re WHY NOW has vanished in the ether of this poorly functioning web site:

From the nyt: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/29/movies/29polanski.html?_r=1&hpw;
=========================================================
Mr. Polanski’s lawyers, in an appellate court filing in August, said the district attorney’s office had avoided attempts at extradition, which might have resulted in hearings at which judicial misconduct would have been raised as an issue.

A July ruling by that appellate court has opened the door to a potentially volatile round of arguments as early as next month over whether lawyers for Mr. Polanski should be permitted, even without the director’s presence in the courtroom, to show that the case against him was tainted.

The question rises, in part, out of a documentary about the case released last year in which a deputy district attorney described how he had coached the now-deceased judge about Mr. Polanski’s sentencing.

For three decades, Los Angeles prosecutors have argued that Mr. Polanski forfeited his rights by fleeing and has no standing to challenge his treatment unless he returns. Mr. Polanski’s representatives have said the need to remedy corrupt justice in Los Angeles supersedes any requirement that Mr. Polanski return.

Precisely how Mr. Polanski came to be picked up so shortly before the crucial hearing remains unclear. Ms. Gibbons said the appellate court ruling had nothing to do with the extradition request, which, she said, was handled by David Walgren, a deputy district attorney assigned to Mr. Polanski’s case.

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By SusanSunflower, September 29, 2009 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

from the NY Times:

“A July ruling by that appellate court has opened the door to a potentially volatile round of arguments as early as next month over whether lawyers for Mr. Polanski should be permitted, even without the director’s presence in the courtroom, to show that the case against him was tainted.

The question rises, in part, out of a documentary about the case released last year in which a deputy district attorney described how he had coached the now-deceased judge about Mr. Polanski’s sentencing.

For three decades, Los Angeles prosecutors have argued that Mr. Polanski forfeited his rights by fleeing and has no standing to challenge his treatment unless he returns. Mr. Polanski’s representatives have said the need to remedy corrupt justice in Los Angeles supersedes any requirement that Mr. Polanski return.

Precisely how Mr. Polanski came to be picked up so shortly before the crucial hearing remains unclear. Ms. Gibbons said the appellate court ruling had nothing to do with the extradition request, which, she said, was handled by David Walgren, a deputy district attorney assigned to Mr. Polanski’s case.”

=========================================================

afaict, because a court was going to review the court ...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/29/movies/29polanski.html?_r=1&hpw;
=========================================================

Oh, and it’s neither Polanski’s “fault” nor “responsibility” that the original judge offered him a “sweetheart” deal (and I’m not certain that it was any sweeter than other deals offered to other fully-cooperative, white, well-educated, successful, a-lot-to-lose, FIRST OFFENDERS who agreed to plead guilty - as opposed to being FOUND guilty—etc. etc.—y’know? see also drug court)

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By Wolynski, September 29, 2009 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

That Polanski lives in luxury in France should be held against him?
Polanski has a house in Switzerland and has been going there for years - why suddenly arrest him NOW?
The mother practically delivered her own daughter to Polanski on a platter and she was made to look older.
Polanski has committed no further crimes, at least none that we know of.
Didn’t Jerry Lee Lewis marry his 13-year old cousin?
In view of the current economic crisis, we should be wasting taxpayer money on this?

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By Folktruther, September 29, 2009 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

Robinson has obviously become the go-to man for prog sexual sleaze, and truthdig is right there with the National Inquirer, apparently Robinson’s next gig. 

But what I don’t understand is that these sexual sleazings are usual against progs that have committed some offense against the neolib ruling class.  Robinson’s last ejaculation was against Edwards who was the left candidate of the Dems, Robinson guarding Obama’s left flank.

What has Polanski done?  What is his political offense that after 30 odd years the Justice (heh,heh)
Department would go after him?  Obviously the mainstream media like truthdig is not going to tell us.  Do commenters have any idea?  Inquiring minds want to know.

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By Michael Gass, September 29, 2009 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Robinson,

As well respected as your opinion is by many, including me, I feel you are wrong to write about this issue. 

It is true that, in the case of a minor, there is no statute of limitations in California.  Yes, Polanski fled prosecution to Europe.  But, we are talking about a crime committed 31 years ago and even the victim simply doesn’t care now. 

It is not that I am “defending” Polanski; let him be extradited and sentenced.  It is that this story rates very far down on everyone’s list of importance.  So, your voice is truly needed elsewhere, opining about matters of national importance.

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By Qwerty, September 29, 2009 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Regardless of what other people have done, *this* person pled guilty to a crime and then left the country before serving his sentence. He has flouted the US justice system for over 30 years, living out a full and happy life. He knew what he was doing at all points in this story. He knew he was drugging and raping a young girl, he knew that he was accepting a plea bargain, and he knew that by leaving the country he would be making himself a fugitive. So now he’s caught and it is time for him to pay his penalty. What will that turn out to be? That completely depends on the current judge who has this case. I suspect it will be negligible, just because he’s a celebrity, but he should still serve whatever sentence is imposed.
Maybe someday those other criminals will be brought to justice as well. If/when they are, will you be happy to see them jump off to France for 30 years without paying any penalty, knowing that “all will be forgiven/forgotten” when enough time has passed? For now, *this* criminal should finally face up to the consequences of his actions. Otherwise, it would seem that the easiest way to handle any “unfavorable” outcome of a trial would be to just skip the country. Unfortunately, that isn’t an option for most people, just the well-off. That is not justice in any way.

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By Bubba, September 29, 2009 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

Stories like this are complicated.  There are no optimum solutions: too many legitimate but irreconcilable factors.  The only happy ending would be to undo the past, but whether such a thing can be done is still under philosophical examination. 

That the now woman doesn’t want to see Roman jailed, however, is hardly irrelevant.  She has also received an undisclosed financial settlement which, even if it was something he could well afford, was also something he’d earned, and something she accepted. 

I also wonder how often Roman may look at someone who’s looking at him and wonder if that person is thinking, “Ah, yes, Roman Polanski: the grown man who drugged, raped and buggered a thirteen year old girl.”  That can’t do much for his self-esteem, surely. 

So, all in all, I’d say that even if justice hasn’t been exactly well done, it’s time to move on.  That is, for the Justice Department to move on.  After all, everyone else has.  But no.  We’re talking about, don’t forget, the American Justice Department.  The one without the backbone to prosecute executive war criminals who continue to have a gay old time all over its own backyard. 

Yes, those smug, sick little fucks who were/are responsible for the deaths of hundred of thousands of people, including plenty of thirteen year olds, girls and boys.  The same ones responsible for kidnappings, torture and, of course, many, many rapes.  Nope, no backbone for that but more than enough for Roman. 

My own sense of justice would be better assuaged if they started with Bush and continued on down the line until they finally, some day, got around to Roman.  If that’s how American justice worked, I imagine Roman would raise no complaints.

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By MB, September 29, 2009 at 11:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree with this.

If he had a bad trial where his rights were violated, then I might see it differently. But I haven’t seen the HBO movie and the news reports are not convincing me that a serious crime did not occur. Although I am curious about the Why Now?

The crime is serious in itself but considering the recent discoveries of the woman in Austria and the woman in California who were assaulted as children and then held captive for YEARS, it’s even more significant now. Plus, the tragic story of Mackenzie Phillips is another recent reason to take these crimes seriously (her story has a similar account of being drugged by her assailant). It’s not ok to commit sexual assault. And it’s not ok for rich people to use their wealth to decide their own terms of justice.

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Russian Paul's avatar

By Russian Paul, September 29, 2009 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

Anally raping a drugged 13 year old is pretty wrong, I don’t see why people feel
they need to defend him. I respect him as an artist, but he deserves what he is
getting.
I also don’t think this deserves that much attention, Robinson doesn’t write for
People, what the hell is this article doing here?

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By Super Lou, September 29, 2009 at 11:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Who gives a shit about Polanski’s 30 year old crime, presided over by a crooked judge when there are so many serious problems facing the world. Even the victim is on record as not wanting to rehash this mess.  Does she want to be subject to our pissy 24 hour news cycle and “exclusives” by Matt and Meredith, or Larry King?

What about REAL PROBLEMS like war criminals who continue to work for the Obama Administration, or grace the comfy confines of K St. lobby parlors, or who write prolific, mindnumbing bullshit in the process of their continued warmongering. We’ve all seen how much they’ve suffered and been penalized for their vicious lies, their traitorous conduct.  I’m confident that Eugene doesn’t shy away from these sordid types when the cross paths at DC soirees and cocktail circuit.  These uber men are held to a different standard, no doubt. For what they did was “in service of their country” not their bank accounts and Georgetown townhouses, or call-girls in the S. of France.

No doubt Mr. Robinson is drooling at the mouth to snatch these venal creatures up and put them away?

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By SusanSunflower, September 29, 2009 at 10:58 am Link to this comment

Sad that after all that Mr. Robinson fails to suggest what “justice” in this case might look like—and there in lies the 30 year old rub.

How about drawing me a picture of what this “justice” would look like ... this is looking more and more like legal “pissing match” ...

I suspect the State Department must had given a nod here ... just because they have the power to do something, doesn’t mean that it’s a good or right thing to do. IMHO, political gain remains the motive here.

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By Eso, September 29, 2009 at 10:58 am Link to this comment

What a horribly lewd man Eugene Robinson is. Perhaps he has already an auto da fe rigged up for Polanski in his back yard. No doubt he wrote the story drooling. I am horrified that Truthdig digs or is it scrapes the bottom of the barrel for articles. Truly fundamentalist garbage.

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