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Polanski and Unmitigated Gall

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Posted on Jul 12, 2010

By Eugene Robinson

For Roman Polanski, the long, unspeakable nightmare of being confined to his three-story chalet in Gstaad, the luxury resort in the Swiss Alps, is finally over. The fugitive director is free once again to stroll into town, have a nice meal, maybe do a little shopping at the local Cartier, Hermes or Louis Vuitton boutiques. 

Or he could just scurry like a rat into France or Poland, the two countries where he has citizenship—and where authorities have a long history of acting as if Polanski’s celebrity and talent somehow negate his sexual brutalization of a 13-year-old girl.

I’m betting on the rodent option, even though Swiss authorities are doing their best to convince Polanski that he can relax and enjoy the fondue without ever having to answer for his crimes. After all, they did force him to wear an electronic ankle bracelet for several whole months. The horror. The horror. After authorities announced Monday that they were denying the U.S. request to have Polanski extradited, one of the famed auteur’s lawyers called the decision “an enormous satisfaction and a great relief after the pain suffered by Roman Polanski and his family.” That statement should stand as the definitive textbook example of unmitigated gall.

Anyone tempted to feel Polanski’s pain should take a closer look at the case. In 1977, when he was 43, Polanski lured a 13-year-old girl to a house in the Hollywood Hills owned by Jack Nicholson—the actor was not home at the time—and plied her with drugs and champagne before having sex with her.

Polanski and his lawyers claimed that the sex was consensual. That’s absurd as a legal argument, since the girl was too young to give her consent. But the girl’s grand jury testimony makes clear that this was anything but a no-fault romp. She testified that Polanski, on the ruse of photographing her and wanting to make her a star, convinced her to pose nude and then assaulted her.

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She testified that Polanski raped and sodomized her, against her will, and that she was distraught before, during and after the act. The director was indicted on six felony charges, including rape by use of drugs and child molestation, but was allowed to plead guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse. Polanski, who spent about a month and a half in jail, thought he had a deal that would get him off with nothing worse than 90 days in confinement under psychiatric observation. But when the judge had second thoughts about going through with such a lenient deal, Polanski fled. He has been on the lam ever since.

Polanski is a great filmmaker, and his Hollywood friends and supporters have blithely taken the position that his genius outweighs his crimes. Whoopi Goldberg opined last year that what happened between Polanski and the child “wasn’t rape-rape.” More than 100 movie-business luminaries—including Martin Scorsese, Mike Nichols, Harvey Weinstein and, yes, the inappropriately libidinous Woody Allen—signed a petition asking Swiss authorities to set Polanski free. I hope they’re satisfied now that their prayers have been answered.

The decision by Switzerland to release the artist from his gilded cage was based on a technicality. The issue was “not about deciding whether he is guilty or not guilty,” Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said. She’s right; Polanski is guilty by his own admission. What the Swiss have decided is that despite admitting his crimes and fleeing from U.S. justice, Polanski will never have to be punished.

It’s relevant that Polanski has never shown remorse. He claimed in a 1979 interview that he was being hounded because “everyone wants to [have sex with] young girls.” It’s irrelevant that the victim, now a middle-aged woman, has no interest in pursuing the case and reliving a traumatic episode. What matters is what Polanski admitted doing to her 33 years ago—and the fact that Polanski decided to run away rather than face the music.

Swiss officials noted the obvious: that Polanski never would have visited Switzerland if he had thought he was putting himself in legal jeopardy. Since he’s not a legitimate candidate for kidnapping and rendition by the CIA, he’s now home free—unless he somehow makes another mistake. He’ll always have to look over his shoulder.

That’s punishment of a sort, but not nearly enough. How about this: As long as he steers clear of U.S. justice, why don’t we steer clear of his movies?

Eugene Robinson’s e-mail address is eugenerobinson(at)washpost.com.
   
© 2010, Washington Post Writers Group


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By REDHORSE, July 18, 2010 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

Teens and pre-teens (both boya and girls) are routinely sexualized, and exploited for profit, by corporate American MSM, and the film industry, as is, the wounded sexual/emotional psyche of the American public. For years, Wall Street, and their Madison Avenue minions, have been allowed to airbrush genitalia and psycho-sexual imagery, into advertising films and photos, with no concern to consequence, for the sake of financial profit. Only death imagery is second, to the sexual manipulation, used by our national industrial pornographers, to twist and pervert the emotional inter-relational familial/societal dynamic. It is a literal emotional mind#$ck. It is about power.                                                                      Please spare me, your acted out “croc tear” concern, and voyeuristic sado-masochistic punishment fantasies, about the pitiable Roman Polanski, and his damaged victim. I think you “protest too much”. American Teen porn and prostitution, is a billion dollar industry. Neither you, nor I, know the facts of what happened, or possessed any power before, or after the fact, to alter the incident. Who does send a 13 year old girl alone, to a nude photo shoot?

      The fact is, you, like the girl, have been so damaged and victimized, by your fascist overlords, and left so powerless, they only have to manipulate you with a sexually charged, tidbit news item like this one, to turn you, into an emotional hydrophobe. This is exactly the kind of irrational, hopeless, rage, Hitler tapped, to destroy what was left of German sanity. SEIG HEIL puppets!!

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By Inherit The Wind, July 18, 2010 at 5:32 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, July 17 at 10:04 am #

ITW—I don’t know how to break this to you, but you don’t get to dictate the terms of this discussion or any other discussion.  “You have not denounced X, therefore you support X” is great for gutter politics, but I’m not interested in it.  Maybe you can find someone to play with whose tastes are more like your own.
*********************************

I don’t know how break THIS to you, but when you play word sophistry, I’m going to call you on it.

You have questioned the testimony of the victim, questioned the original verdict, questioned the original judge’s sentencing, denounced everyone who argued this fugitive should be returned and then have the TEMERITY to claim you are not defending Polansky. 

You’ve trotted out the “lynch mob” card, avoided the question of whether he should face American justice or not, and even tried to make light of his confession of guilt.

You have even tried to blame the victim described a 13 year old as “a fully developed, sexually precocious female teen-ager” to lessen Polansky’s guilt.

Your statement about denunciation is simply not applicable.  You have actively defended Polansky in multiple ways, even implying it’s not HIS fault he knowingly had sex with a minor.  After all, she was “a fully developed, sexually precocious female teen-ager.” so I guess he just HAD to have sex with her.

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By Leefeller, July 17, 2010 at 7:05 am Link to this comment

It seems the long arm of justice took 34 years to get its hand out of its pocket. So now we see justice working like the smooth chuck hole infested roads covering our nation like wounds, for the rule of law has to fill or cover something, it sure as hell is not interested in bigger fish to fry, like people going to war for no reason at all, except accusations and propaganda. 

When one thinks about it, the rule of law is a joke when it comes to reality of what it does and does not do, sort of like a drunk going through the motions of doing something important only in the mind the solipsists own drunken stupor.

It seems those who call the shots choreograph the choppy crappy world we all live in, so people are fed an illusion something is being done which really does not matter or effect them in anyway or form, except in a deluded denial.

Offersince72, Labor has been screwed since the beginning and has seldom not been manipulated by those in power, for this seems the job of power. From kings and emperors to what is now, apparently Republicans like it that way and Democrats act like they do not
like it that way.

That way! The way it is!

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By Anarcissie, July 17, 2010 at 6:04 am Link to this comment

ITW—I don’t know how to break this to you, but you don’t get to dictate the terms of this discussion or any other discussion.  “You have not denounced X, therefore you support X” is great for gutter politics, but I’m not interested in it.  Maybe you can find someone to play with whose tastes are more like your own.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 16, 2010 at 8:33 pm Link to this comment

It’s relevant in this way:  if you could read properly, you would know that I haven’t defended Polanski’s ‘evasion of justice’ even once, much less consistently.
********************

Nonsense.  Not once have you advocated his being returned to the United States to face the justice he evaded.  There is no mechanism you accept, even legal, to return him.  You questioned and challenged his arrest in Switzerland right from the beginning. You always argued that he should be released and not returned to the USA.  You further argued that anyone advocating his return had a “lynch mob mentality”.

And you have avoided the fundamental essential fact that he’s a convicted criminal who fled justice and is now a fugitive to re-create him as some kind of “victim”.

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By Anarcissie, July 16, 2010 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment

wildflower—Well, maybe he is crazy and needs supervision.  However, our legal system doesn’t seem to provide for anything but imprisonment and media circuses.

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By Anarcissie, July 16, 2010 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, July 16 at 3:46 pm:

‘Anarcissie, July 16 at 2:08 pm #

ITW—Your reading skills definitely need some work.

************************

They always do. How is that relevant to your consistent defense of Roman Polansky’s evasion of justice?’

It’s relevant in this way:  if you could read properly, you would know that I haven’t defended Polanski’s ‘evasion of justice’ even once, much less consistently.

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By wildflower, July 16, 2010 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

Re Anarcisse: “I believe the laws of the State of California distinguish between young children and teen-agers in regard to the legality of sexual acts.”

Yes, they do, which is why MDSO (Mentally Disordered Sex Offender) proceedings were instituted in the Polanski case. At that time, MDSO proceedings were mandatory in cases involving girls under the age of 14.

It’s my understanding that the psycharists who assessed Polanski decided the offense was an isolated instance.  If there had been more instances, their assessment might have been different and Polansky would have been required to register as a sex offender in the community in which he resided.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 16, 2010 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, July 16 at 2:08 pm #

ITW—Your reading skills definitely need some work.

************************

They always do. How is that relevant to your consistent defense of Roman Polansky’s evasion of justice?

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By Anarcissie, July 16, 2010 at 10:08 am Link to this comment

ITW—Your reading skills definitely need some work.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 16, 2010 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, July 15 at 10:37 am #

When defeated on the facts, go off into a flight of fantasy about another subject.  That’s what most of this discussion has consisted of anyway.  At least we seem to have retired the blood & guts element.

**********************************

How true!

Fact: Polansky admitted guilt to unlawful intercourse with a minor.

Fact: Polansky is a fugitive from American justice and has been for 34 years.

Fact: Polansky continues to seek to avoid facing the American justice system and remains a willful fugitive.

Fact: Anarcissie refuses to admit these facts.

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By Anarcissie, July 16, 2010 at 7:35 am Link to this comment

wildflower, July 16 at 10:27 am:

‘Re Anarcisse: “my statement that “it wasn’t rape, and it wasn’t a child,” is not my conclusion but the conclusion of the legal system of the State of California. ”

Are you claiming Polanski’s “guilty plea” involved something other than engaging in unlawful sex with a minor?  If so, exactly what crime (Penal Code Number will do) are you saying was involved in Polanski’s guilty plea?’

Lynch mobbers have been saying that Polanski forcibly drugged and raped “a child”.  I believe the laws of the State of California distinguish between young children and teen-agers in regard to the legality of sexual acts, a distinction which the lynch mob obviously wishes to erase in order to make his crimes seem more awful.  Also erased is the fact that Polanski did not use force.  As I’ve mentioned before, lynch mobs seem to have to amplify the offenses of their targets into atrocity stories—compare the Emmett Till case.


‘Re Anarcisse: “about getting a cut, I can’t help but regard sending a teenager to hang out unsupervised with Polanski, when he already had a wide reputation for unseemly interest in them, to be a very peculiar thing to do. . .”

And I just thought it somewhat insincere of you to be howling so profusely about a “lynch mob mentality” when it came to the concerns being expressed about Polanski’s conduct as you yourself were “lynching” in a sense the 13 year old victim and her mother – who had not been charge with any crime.’

No, if I were proceeding lynch-mob style, I would positively state, as if it were beyond all doubt, that the daughter was a prostitute involved in an extortion racket and that the mother was a confederate pimping her out.  Then I would demand that they both be tortured, raped, disemboweled and hanged.  And I would write this over and over again, in the crudest terms.  See the difference?

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By wildflower, July 16, 2010 at 6:27 am Link to this comment

Re Anarcisse: “my statement that “it wasn’t rape, and it wasn’t a child,” is not my conclusion but the conclusion of the legal system of the State of California. ”

Are you claiming Polanski’s “guilty plea” involved something other than engaging in unlawful sex with a minor?  If so, exactly what crime (Penal Code Number will do) are you saying was involved in Polanski’s guilty plea?


Re Anarcisse: “about getting a cut, I can’t help but regard sending a teenager to hang out unsupervised with Polanski, when he already had a wide reputation for unseemly interest in them, to be a very peculiar thing to do. . .”

And I just thought it somewhat insincere of you to be howling so profusely about a “lynch mob mentality” when it came to the concerns being expressed about Polanski’s conduct as you yourself were “lynching” in a sense the 13 year old victim and her mother – who had not been charge with any crime.

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By Anarcissie, July 15, 2010 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment

Wildflower—my statement that “it wasn’t rape, and it wasn’t a child,” is not my conclusion but the conclusion of the legal system of the State of California.  That this fact is more favorable to Polanski than the conclusions of the lynch mob is incidental.  It’s just a fact.  I have no special interest in Polanski or his fate.  Were you all howling for someone else’s blood I’d feel the same way.

As for my remarks about getting a cut, I can’t help but regard sending a teenager to hang out unsupervised with Polanski, when he already had a wide reputation for unseemly interest in them, to be a very peculiar thing to do, and that was my way of expressing it.  However, I suppose it’s irrelevant.  I certainly wasn’t presenting it as an excuse for anyone’s behavior.

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By wildflower, July 15, 2010 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

Re Anarcisse: “I haven’t concerned myself with Polanski’s problems at all. What I’ve been concerned with has been the lynch-mob mentality.”

You keep saying you’re not concerned with Polanski’s problems but your comments on this thread say otherwise.  Your comments also suggest that you have a very biased perspective in regard to this case – so much so you attempt to deny simple rule of law facts like the “child” status of the victim:

“If it’s the rule of law, then it wasn’t rape, and it wasn’t a child.” [Quote Anarcisse]

And as your so-called concerns about the “lynch-mob mentality,” it’s obvious that your claims are less than sincere.  An individual who is truly sensitive to a “lynch mob mentality” would not be so suggestive and eager to degrade a 13-year old girl and the motives of her mother without the benefit of a fair trial:

“If I had sent a fully developed, sexually precocious female teen-ager to be photographed unchaperoned by Mr. Polanski, given his reputation, the cut I’d be interested in wouldn’t be part of his anatomy.” [Quote Anarcisse]

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By Anarcissie, July 15, 2010 at 6:37 am Link to this comment

When defeated on the facts, go off into a flight of fantasy about another subject.  That’s what most of this discussion has consisted of anyway.  At least we seem to have retired the blood & guts element.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 15, 2010 at 4:03 am Link to this comment

Yeah, and nobody wants to believe it when little 12-year-old trouble-making Annie, who breaks every rule, who apparently has too many hormones for her own good, and dresses like a little skank, says that everybody’s-favorite-Uncle Fred has been molesting her since she was 8.

Howard Stern used to ask every porn star he had on his show if she was molested as a child, especially by a family member. Something like 9 out of 10 would say yes.

So in the “which came first, the molester or the Lolita”, it’s pretty damn obvious that the molester came first.

Polansky got CAUGHT with one 13-year old.  Does anyone believe she was either his first victim or his last?  By fleeing justice how many more girls were victimized by him?

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By Anarcissie, July 14, 2010 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment

wildflower, July 14 at 3:56 pm:
Re Anarcisse: “Haven’t we had enough witch trials?”

Witch trial?  Please, Anarcisse. It’s pretty darn obvious that Polanski is not being victimized by anybody. ...’
</i>

I haven’t concerned myself with Polanski’s problems at all.  What I’ve been concerned with has been the lynch-mob mentality here and elsewhere, of which Polanski is not the victim—you are.

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By American Mind, July 14, 2010 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Anyone interested in the Polanski case should view the documentary: Roman
Polanski, Wanted and Desired. It is available on Netflix as an instant play
selection. All the players are in the Documentary.

The current discussion is too focused on personal opinions—-sans facts of the
actual case. The Documentary provides the facts. For example, the plea offer
was pushed by the private attorney for the victim who did not want to testify.
After entering the plea a MDSO study and a sentence recommendation report
were prepared by the County Probation Dept. Polanski was found not to be a
MDSO and the sentence recommendation was for probation—-no jail time. The
media (a major villain in this story) had so stirred up the public that the judge
concluded he had to include some jail time. He decided to refer the case for a
90 day evaluation at a state prison. This, in itself, is not considered a jail
sentence. The purpose is to conduct an in depth evaluation to determine the
threat, if any, the defendant might be to the community. Judges, as done in
this case, sometimes use this provision to give the appearance that the judge is
being tough. The prosecutor argued that the 90 day evaluation should not be
used for punishment. The evaluation was completed in 42 days and the
evaluation came back the same as the earlier reports—-not a threat and
probation.

Now the interesting part begins. You really have to view the documentary to
understand what went on. The judge, now deceased, liked being involved in
Hollywood celebrity cases. At one point he even called a news conference,
unheard of for a judge who was sitting on a case. He actually scripted what the
prosecutor and the defense attorney would argue, before going into open court, 
and told them how he would rule. Probably best if you watch the documentary
and get this part of the story. Suffice it to say the the prosecutor stated that he
understood why Polanski left for France. Both the Prosecutor and the defense
attorney are quality attorneys.

The problem is with the judge. The sealed documents which the Swiss sought,
contain statements by the prosecutor and the defense attorney as to what went
on during the discussions with the judge and what, if any, agreement was
reached as to the final sentencing.

In conclusion, this case is interesting as an example of our inability to have a
serious public discussion. Instead, the discussion turns into a rant on child sex
cases and personal views of morality. I was surprised to read the tone and
contend of many of the comments—-expected more informed and thoughtful
comments from a Truthdig audience. . The original article, incidentally, I
thought, was very insightful.

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By Gordy, July 14, 2010 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment

Blah blah.  No one really has the whole picture but
everyone has an opinion.  People who know him say
he’s a great guy; people who don’t know him
disbelieve the people who know him.  Whatever - I
don’t care.  Crimes are being committed all over the
place.  A man shagged a teenager - big wow.  Sleazy
and coercive sexual encounters go on every weekend,
and both parties are complicit to some degree most of
the time.  Yeah, the guy probably deserves some
penalty and his artistic achievements don’t mitigate
this - apples and oranges.  But I just don’t see the
legitimate public interest, unless he goes out on a
child-molesting spree tomorrow and we all have to
watch out for our daughters.  Meanwhile, less
glamorous crimes go on all around us. 

The degree of attention is just silly.  I’ve already
given the matter more thought than it deserves.  Let
the authorities sort it out.

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By cootieville, July 14, 2010 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If I’m not mistaken, Mr. Polanski’s brand of unlawful carnal knowledge included anal penetration while his victim (an 8th grader?) begged him to stop. I point this out only as a comment on the inconsistencies of the French government in (1) providing unfailing support of Mr. Polanski through its Minister of Culture and (2) banning the burqa in France as degrading to women. Now, what I would like to see would be a burqa silkscreened with a frame from one of the more outre scenes from a Polanski movie. Zut alors!

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By wildflower, July 14, 2010 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

Re Anarcisse: “Haven’t we had enough witch trials?”

Witch trial?  Please, Anarcisse. It’s pretty darn obvious that Polanski is not being victimized by anybody.  He was an adult who chose his own path from day one and like every other adult living on this planet he is stuck dealing with the consequences of his conduct. . . and the facts - along with the rule of law - are:

“On 8 August 1977,[65] Polanski entered a plea of guilty to Charge III of the indictment, Unlawful Sexual Intercourse, in violation of California Penal Code § 261.5, a charge which is synonymous under California law with statutory rape.[64][66]

The judge, Laurence J. Rittenband, received a probation report and psychiatric evaluation, both indicating that Polanski should not serve jail time.[67] In response, the filmmaker was ordered to a 90 day psychiatric evaluation at Chino State Prison.[68]

On 28 January 1978, Polanski was released after undergoing the in-prison psychiatric evaluation, serving 42 days.[69] Despite expectations and recommendations that he would receive only probation at sentencing, the judge “suggested to Polanski’s attorneys” that more jail time and possible deportation were in order.[66][70]

Upon learning of the judge’s plans Polanski fled to France on 1 February 1978, hours before he was to be formally sentenced.[62] As a French citizen, he has been protected from extradition and has mostly lived in France, avoiding countries likely to extradite him.[71]

Because he fled prior to sentencing, all six of the original charges remain pending.[72]”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Polanski

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By Inherit The Wind, July 14, 2010 at 10:59 am Link to this comment

ITW—If I had sent a fully developed, sexually precocious female teen-ager to be photographed unchaperoned by Mr. Polanski, given his reputation, the cut I’d be interested in wouldn’t be part of his anatomy.
*****************************

Yeah, well, I guess because of his “reputation” it would excuse his raping that 13 year old, because YOU sent her, and because puberty hit her early. That’s your argument and why you are against the “lynch mob”.

No, A, it would not excuse him. HE is still totally responsible for being a pedophile rapist.  It’s on HIS head, as it should be.  He could have chosen not to force his penis into her anus.

There’s no such thing as a “fully mature” 13 year old.  Her body may be mature but she is still a child with many years of growth ahead of her. I have a teenager who is already shaving and yet there is NO WAY he could be considered mature enough.  Developing a full set of T&A does not make a 13 year old girl a woman.

The only time I can excuse a male desiring a 13 year old girl and say he’s NOT a pedophile is when he’s a 13 or 14 year old boy—her peer.

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By Anarcissie, July 14, 2010 at 8:20 am Link to this comment

If you believe in the rule of law, then Polanski is guilty of what the California law enforcement system determined he was guilty of, which was not forcible rape of a child but consensual sex with a person under whatever California’s age of consent was at the time—something probably hundreds of thousands if not millions of Californians are “guilty” of.

I’m not concerned with Polanski, about whom I know very little.  I’m concerned with the lynch-mob transformation of the facts into an atrocity story.  Since some of them seem to be halfway intelligent—I’ll provisionally include the author of the column above—I’m asking why they’re doing it.  Haven’t we had enough witch trials?

ITW—If I had sent a fully developed, sexually precocious female teen-ager to be photographed unchaperoned by Mr. Polanski, given his reputation, the cut I’d be interested in wouldn’t be part of his anatomy.

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By tedmurphy41, July 14, 2010 at 7:56 am Link to this comment

He fits in well within a Country of equally suspect morals; a child molester within a secretive society, it’s a paradise for anyone with plenty of money and a guilty conscience. Switzerland has always been a haven for those of suspect character and sick minds. The only key needed for entry is wealth.

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By PatrickHenry, July 14, 2010 at 3:16 am Link to this comment

Re: Anarcissie, July 14 at 12:22 am #

“The issue here is whether you prefer the rule of law or the rule of the lynch mob.”

Although I am not a big fan of plea bargining I believe in the rule of law and wish for it to be carried out.  Whether or not Polanski liked the sentence or not is a mute point, he pled guilty.

The new charge of flight from justice to evade jail time must be applied as well.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 13, 2010 at 9:20 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, July 13 at 5:08 pm #

  Inherit The Wind, July 13 at 3:47 pm:
  ‘If someone raped and sodomized YOUR 13-year old child you’d want him pursued to the ends of the earth, no matter how long it took, and when he was caught, you’d want his balls cut off and fed to him. ...’

Are we doing lynching here, or the rule of law?

If it’s the rule of law, then it wasn’t rape, and it wasn’t a child.  That’s because we’re going by the laws and legal procedures of the State of California, which determined otherwise.

If we’re doing lynching, of course, whatever the mob says goes.  String him up.

Which side are you on, ITW, the law or the mob?
***********************************

Don’t be dense!  The reason the father doesn’t get to cut the rapist’s balls off and feed them to him is that justice must be fair, and to be fair it must be dis-interested.

But that doesn’t keep every decent mother and father from wanting to cut the asshole’s balls off!

But “dis-interested” doesn’t mean you make excuses because he’s a famous and talented director.

My point is if it was YOUR child you’d damn well want justice served no matter what.  I think a 45 year old man forcibly anally sodomizing a 13-year old is a pretty heinous crime.  I just can’t get my head around how so many of you are making excuses for this prick.

The victim doesn’t want her story dragged out again.  Fair enough.  But what about the other victims for which he wasn’t convicted?  He is a fugitive from justice and along the way it seems he preyed on other underage girls.  You want THAT to keep happening?  You think he’s going to stop?

Do you really think he’s going to stop?

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By Anarcissie, July 13, 2010 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment

PatrickHenry, July 13 at 6:29 pm:

‘... Why do these Polanski apoligists…’

You don’t need to be a Polanski apologist to be disturbed by lynch-mob mentality.

If you believe in the rule of law, then Polanski is guilty of what he pleaded to and the District Attorney and the courts accepted.

Of course, if you prefer lynch-mob rule, then Polanski is guilty of whatever the mob says he’s guilty of.  They can just make it up, from, say, watching a movie or hearing an atrocity story.  Or anything at all.  The lynch mob wants blood, so they say Polanski is guilty of forcibly raping a child.

The issue here is whether you prefer the rule of law or the rule of the lynch mob.

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By PatrickHenry, July 13, 2010 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment

NABNYC, he plea bargined it down to statutory rape, however it was non-consensual - big difference.

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By NABNYC, July 13, 2010 at 6:12 pm Link to this comment

Wildflower:  I did not say this was not a sexual assault.  I said there was no evidence of violence. No claims that he hit her, or kicked her—things of that nature.  That’s what I meant.

Patrick Henry:  he pleaded guilty to statutory rape, which means sex with someone underage who is legally presumed incapable of consent.

The crime took place over 30 years ago.  There was a plea arrangement entered into between Polanski and the D.A., and the judge reportedly accepted it, but then later changed his mind.  This is very odd and unexplained behavior by the judge.  It has been suggested that the plea would have been routine in most cases, but the judge at the last minute decided Polanski should be punished more because he was a celebrity.  That’s not right.

Nobody did much of anything for over 30 years which suggests the criminal justice system just didn’t care all that much, and nobody saw him as a threat to society.  The only reason they started going after him again is because a documentary came out suggesting the judge had acted improperly in backing out of the plea deal.  That’s why this appears to be a personal vendetta pursued first by the trial judge then by the D.A. who is running for political office.

I’m not saying that this was not a serious offense.  It was.  But it was 30 years ago, the system screwed it up, nobody pursued it until the judge got insulted by something, and now it appears to be an irrational pursuit of an old man. 

And once again, the victim has asked that the matter be left alone.  Why is it these men who annoint themselves the defender and protector of the female refuse to acknowledge women have their own voice, which should be respected.

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By PatrickHenry, July 13, 2010 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

Polanski pled guilty and fled the country to avoid prison, that in itself is a separate crime which there is no statue of limitation.

Rape is a criminal statute, it doesn’t matter if the victim forgave him 30 years later or not.  It is a societal crime which we as a society have chose to weed out and incarcerate these individuals before thay can attack someone else. Which he did.

Why do these Polanski apoligists link Bush-Cheney crimes to Polanski’s rape case?  Thats a more serious issue involving extrajudicial murder and deserves another thread instead of being used as a false arguement to deflect from Polanski’s guilty rape verdict.

NABNYC, to falsely envoke male irrationality regarding females has no bearing on the law which is specific in this case.

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By wildflower, July 13, 2010 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment

Re NABNYC: “If you really care about the issue of violence against women (and there’s no evidence of violence in this case) then go out and work to stop that. . .”

You can’t be serious about this statement.  Polanski may have used drugs instead of threats and a weapon, but it’s still a sexual assault.

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By Anarcissie, July 13, 2010 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, July 13 at 3:47 pm:
‘If someone raped and sodomized YOUR 13-year old child you’d want him pursued to the ends of the earth, no matter how long it took, and when he was caught, you’d want his balls cut off and fed to him. ...’

Are we doing lynching here, or the rule of law?

If it’s the rule of law, then it wasn’t rape, and it wasn’t a child.  That’s because we’re going by the laws and legal procedures of the State of California, which determined otherwise.

If we’re doing lynching, of course, whatever the mob says goes.  String him up.

Which side are you on, ITW, the law or the mob?

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By NABNYC, July 13, 2010 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

Inherit the Wind:  you prove my point.  You, a male, have decided that it is your job in life to “protect” the female, regardless of the costs to society, and in complete disregard of the wishes of the female involved.  Go you, a male, the sexual violation of a woman is the ultimate offense against you—potentially against your property, your daughter.  Men rarely get so hyped up about anything as they do about the thought of some other man having any sexual contact with their property—their wife, girlfriend, and/or daughter.  It’s absurd.

Second, the victim has said she does not want this pursued.  You don’t care what she wants.  You are more important than she is.  Your “feelings” of outrage have nothing to do with her.  You can “feel” a good deal about this complete stranger because it plays into your macho male view of yourself as some heroic owner of female body parts, out to avenge anyone who trespasses. 

Third, are you kidding that Polanski is like a Nazi?  The Nazis caused a war which resulted in 80 million deaths.  Take a breath buddy, this isn’t the same.  Again, your male ego is confused.  The fact is, this is none of your business.  If you really care about the issue of violence against women (and there’s no evidence of violence in this case) then go out and work to stop that, that which goes on today in every community by men who think they own women.

Finally, my point is valid.  Where is your outrage at bush-cheney for international war crimes which have brought about the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people?  No talk of cutting their balls off, I see—just a punishment you reserve for a man who had sex with a 13-year-old.  Your priorities are very odd when you think the male’s claimed ownership of a female’s sexual parts (if somebody raped YOUR 13 year old daughter) shows that this is just a ridiculous response.  Why not show some real courage and get out and demand prosecution of bush cheney.  Or the people on Wall Street who have destroyed our country.  Or the politicians who sell their votes.  But no, venting this male possessory response is easier and probably makes you feel important.  The victim of this crime has repeatedly requested that it be dropped.  Is your personal fantasy of revenge more important than what she wants?  I’m betting it is, because I don’t think you are at all concerned about women’s rights.  This is about your ownership rights.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 13, 2010 at 11:47 am Link to this comment

If someone raped and sodomized YOUR 13-year old child you’d want him pursued to the ends of the earth, no matter how long it took, and when he was caught, you’d want his balls cut off and fed to him.

It’s much easier to “forgive” when it’s some total stranger’s child that was raped and sodomized.

Plus he continued to rape under-age girls after he fled.

Why do we pursue 80 and 90 year old Nazis?

Because what they did was SO despicable that they and the world should know, in the end, they STILL had to pay for their crimes.

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By NABNYC, July 13, 2010 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

I am offended by all violence against women, whenever, wherever, by whomever. 

But you cannot ignore the facts to embrace the current public outrage over this incident, which apparently allows the public to ignore the far more serious crimes of bush-cheney and every single person on Wall Street.  No outrage over them.  They get a walk. 

For Polanski, there was a plea agreement of statutory rape, sex with an underaged girl.  I suspect the fact that there was anal intercourse has increased the public’s reaction because many find that appalling, but it should not change the viewpoint.  It was statutory rape with an impaired young girl.  Whose mother sent her off to be photographed by a much-older man, let’s remember, so the mother had some involvement as well. 

The girl is now a grown woman and she does not want this pursued.  She knows Polanski, close to 80, is not a threat to anyone.  If she’s ready to let it go, and has been for decades now, why would all these men in the public decide to adopt this outraged persona?  Isn’t that a lot like men who want to decide when women can have sex, or when they must have children?  She says it’s done.  Is her voice to be ignored because she’s female?  Isn’t that just another version of public mistreatment of women?  If she said no back then, Polanski ignored her.  She says no today and all these strange men ignore her.  What’s the difference?  When does a woman’s opinion get considered in this country?

He had a plea agreement.  The judge later backed out and Polanski fled to avoid jail time.  This was over 30 years ago.  Nobody got too excited.  So why the recent hysteria?  Somebody made a movie about Polanski, and he made comments about the judge who refused to accept the plea deal.  The judge got his panties in a wad, and decided to work with the D.A. (who has political ambitions) to use the meager resources of the state of California to begin a personal vendetta against Polanski, to pursue him to his grave.  Jean-Val-Roman, if you will.

How about this?  How about if the Republican D.A. and the now-dead trial judge indict bush-cheney for war crimes?  How about if they indict every person who worked on Wall Street?  How about if they bring anti-trust lawsuits to bust up the monopoly corporations that are destroying this country?  No?  They just want to go after an 80-year-old man.  For personal and political glorification, that’s it. 

It’s like Mel Gibson and Lindsay Lohan:  everybody gets so excited, everyone has lots of opinions.  Why don’t those same people use their energies going after the people who are destroying our country?  Why can’t they get outraged over the hundreds of thousands of people murdered by this country in Iraq and Afghanistan?

I’m tired of this obsession with celebrity, people who are by definition trivial and of no significance.

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By wildflower, July 13, 2010 at 6:51 am Link to this comment

Re moonraven: “I don’t see Kissinger rotting in jail for HIS crimes against millions of Vietnamese, thousands of Chilenos. . . “

True, but what is your point?  Surely, you’re not suggesting that we eliminate the criminal justice system because we can’t convict every criminal?

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By Anarcissie, July 13, 2010 at 5:26 am Link to this comment

The constant, hysterical flogging of the Polanski story is telling me far, far more about the floggers than I ever wanted to know.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 13, 2010 at 4:17 am Link to this comment

Leefeller:

You wanna get stoned?  How 1970’s of you!

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By Leefeller, July 12, 2010 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment

The rule of law promotes hypocrisy with constancy equal
to religion.  One question I have, is why now? is their
some political motive for this sudden jump to see
justice happen all of a sudden 30 years later, is
someone running for office?

People of power wealth or authority take advantage of
others with the regularity of ExLax, so what is new?

Taking advantage of a 13 year old girl seems like a
Catholic pedophile thing, and people do not seem to care
about little boys, or is a 13 year old girl, to old for
a pedophile?

Now if someone is in need of stoning, I can think of a
few names.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 12, 2010 at 8:25 pm Link to this comment

I KNEW Moonraven would leap to Polanski’s defense.  Naturally.  I predicted it (until a certain serial poster assumed I was talking about Oliver Stone).

And I’m delighted and amazed yet again to find my views exactly the same as Patrick Henry’s.

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By moonraven, July 12, 2010 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

A little PS to Patrick the Patriot:  You are way over the top, man!

I mean talk about chewing all the scenery (worship them, put them under your pillow—what crap)....

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By moonraven, July 12, 2010 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment

Considering that the victim has maintained that SHE is not in favor of Polanski being hounded further, nor placed behind bars (he’s already been there for this case),

I fail to see how this is any skin off any of your butts.

Chaplin and Fatty Arbuckle ran afoul of the US “justice” system for the same issues.  Does that mean Chaplin’s films should be destroyed?  Seems to me I remember a biopic starring Robert Downey, Jr….back in the day.

There used to be statuatory limits on crimes—also back in the day before the Patriots acted and took away guarantees suchas habeas corpus from the folks in Gringolandia—unless they were crimes against humanity.

I don’t see Kissinger rotting in jail for HIS crimes against millions of Vietnamese, thousands of Chilenos (including the murder of Allende that he planned and financed), nor the ad nauseum of his other crimes.

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By PatrickHenry, July 12, 2010 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and those who feel Polanskis films are art….well buy them and put them in your DVD collection, worship them, place them under your pillow at night.

The guy escaped justice and continues to do so.  Many well meaning individuals have erred and are in jail to this day.

I hope Polanski meets a deserving end, looking over his shoulder, a victim like a subject in one of his B movies.

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By rpi, July 12, 2010 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sanctimonious BS of the first order.
US Justice is basically an oxymoron.
I suppose holding people for years without trial,
extraordinary rendition, an assault on habeas corpus,
a disproportionately massive number of young black
and ethnic males in prison, the worlds biggest prison
population and a two tier justice system which lets
white collar institutional crime get rewarded with
taxpayer subsidies all counts as US Justice.
I also suppose the attempt to resurrect this case co-
incident with the release of an overtly political
work of art like “ghostwriter” was just arbitrary.
Wake up dude, you are living in a fantasy realm
of Atticus Finch and twelve angry men, this is more
like the Dystopian vision of Orwell and Kafka

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By adc14, July 12, 2010 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

I wish our justice system would go after the corporate crooks who have destroyed the lives of millions of people with as much zeal as they are pursuing a 30 year old case in which the victim, herself, has said leave the man alone. Utter B.S.

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By Peter Z. Scheer, July 12, 2010 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

I don’t have any love for Roman Polanski the man but it seems to me the answer to this question is obvious: “As long as he steers clear of U.S. justice, why don’t we steer clear of his movies?”

Because they’re too damn good and we don’t deny ourselves access to a work of art because we don’t approve of its creator. Haven’t we been round and round on this with Wagner and countless others before?

The window is closing on Polanski and if his recent movies (I’m thinking “The Pianist” and “Ghost Writer”) are any indication, that is a cultural loss for the world.

Put a ball and chain on him, whip him at 5 past every hour, but make sure he’s behind a camera when you do it. If “U.S. Justice” means putting him in a hole somewhere, the rest of us lose, too. Even if he is despicable.

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