Nifong, Fitzgerald, and American â€œJusticeâ€ Defiled
By: Christopher G. Adamo
So the State of North Carolina is finally officially recognizing what has been blatantly obvious to every honest and objective observer of the Duke Lacrosse Team debacle since it first made national news. The supposed rape never occurred. Crystal Gail Mangum, the accuser, fabricated her victimization. And Durham County Prosecutor Michael Nifong willingly collaborated in the scam by deliberately suppressing decisive evidence that would have instantly vindicated the accused players.
When declaring their innocence, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper not only acknowledged the defendants to be the undeniable victims of false accusations, he castigated Nifong for conducting his â€œinvestigationâ€ in a plainly unethical and unprofessional manner.
Unfortunately Cooper let Mangum off the hook on the spurious basis that she â€œreally believedâ€ the numerous and often conflicting stories she concocted against the Lacrosse players.
This view constitutes dubious grounds on which to uphold or sidestep the law. Mangumâ€™s outlandish flight of imagination, for whatever reason she invented it, cost innocent people tremendous amounts of money. It further subjected them to enormous attack and condemnation from a local community that, as a result of the dominating influence of Duke University, has become too perverted by the venom of â€œpolitical correctnessâ€ to retain any sense of real justice or decency.
Moreover, were the notion of â€œinnocence,â€ based on belief in oneâ€™s own imaginings, to carry any legitimate weight outside of this case, the vast majority of rapists and child molesters might themselves be likewise immune to criminal charges, since they often entertain delusional beliefs that their victims desire the assault.
Criminal acts did indeed occur in Durham County North Carolina, and innocent people were undeniably harmed by them. Yet the perpetrators of those acts, Mangum and Nifong, are in no way being held responsible to the degree that they should, if the legal system and American â€œjusticeâ€ are truly intended to protect the innocent from deliberate and malicious harm. Yet the ramifications of the Duke Lacrosse travesty reach far beyond a single confused and corrupted county in North Carolina.
It took about a year to clear the players of such obviously bogus charges. But does anyone doubt that, had the case instead dragged on for two and a half years, and had Nifong been allowed unlimited opportunities to question the players not only in regards to the accusations against them, but also every other aspect of their lives throughout that period, he might have been able to stumble them up on some particular point of their testimony?
Surely, had he been given unlimited opportunities to question the defendants and unrestricted grounds on which to accuse them, he could have found at least one of them guilty of something.
Perhaps one or more of them might once have given the wrong day of the week for some event relating to the party, its planning, or the chaos that ensued in its aftermath. Would anyone in the North Carolina justice system then claim vindication for Nifong and Mangum, all on the basis that although the original rape charge was clearly false, the particular defendant did not testify with one hundred percent accuracy?
Most importantly, would such a scenario then be treated as reason to justify Nifongâ€™s despicable withholding of critical exculpatory DNA evidence? Yet that is exactly how another abomination of the U.S. Justice system has played out, except that in this case, the out of control prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, continues his charade of upholding American law.
Even Nifong did not attempt to extricate himself from the mess he created by absurdly claiming that â€œalthough nobody is being charged with rape, and we have no evidence that a rape was committed, by pursuing the Lacrosse players on ancillary charges, we are helping to protect women everywhere from violent assault.â€
Nor is it intellectually honest to suggest that although nobody was charged with revealing the identity of CIA employee Valerie Plame, convicting Lewis I. Libby of delivering false testimony during the unnecessarily prolonged investigation henceforth bolsters protection for other agents.
Yet Fitzgerald, with a totally straight face, makes just such an assertion. Clearly he expects the media and partisan Democrats on Capitol Hill to continue his charade, despite the ultimate harm it does to Americaâ€™s real efforts to bolster its security. Admittedly, it is a safe bet.
Like Nifong, Fitzgerald had full knowledge and access to the most significant piece of information pertaining to his investigation, specifically the individual who confessed to the non-crime of passing Valerie Plameâ€™s identity to columnist Robert Novak. At the beginning of the investigation, former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage admitted to Fitzgerald that it was he who had leaked the information in question.
Yet Fitzgerald deliberately withheld this crucial fact from the jurors. As with Nifongâ€™s suppressed DNA evidence, it was Fitzgerald, not Libby, who obstructed justice by hiding Armitageâ€™s identity, along with the truth of Plameâ€™s publicly known status as a CIA employee.
Which incident constitutes the more flagrant attempt to manipulate a jury by withholding vital evidence from them, Libbyâ€™s transposition of the dates from a two-year-old conversation, or Fitzgeraldâ€™s deliberate decision to conceal his full knowledge of Plameâ€™s identifier?
It is Nifong, Fitzgerald, and others like them who destroy careers and cause innocent people to struggle to restore their ravaged reputations. It is they who pose the greater danger to honest citizens in a free society and therefore should be kept under lock and key for the protection of all good people.
If the Constitution and Bill of Rights are to mean anything, law-abiding Americans deserve protection from the extreme abuses perpetrated by unscrupulous power mongers like Fitzgerald and Nifong who will gladly annihilate the lives and liberties of their fellow citizens in pursuit of career and power.
Christopher G. Adamo is a freelance writer and staff writer for the New Media Alliance. He lives in southeastern Wyoming. He has been active in local and state politics for many years. His contact information and archives can be found at www.chrisadamo.com
Christopher G. Adamo has been active in Wyoming politics for many years and is a managing partner in Best American Buy (www.bestamericanbuy.com), an e-commerce business that markets American made products including the incomparable Abigail Adams Bedspread Set from Bates Mills. Contact information for Chris Adamo, and his archives, can be found at www.chrisadamo.com