Democrat presidential aspirant Senator Barack Obama of Illinois's words in a reply to a constituent: were measured: "Congressman Walter Jones has asked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to initiate a federal inquiry into Mr. Nifong's prosecution of three Duke University student athletes accused of an alleged sexual attack on a woman at a party earlier this year. Specifically, Rep. Jones asked the Attorney General to review new evidence that Mr. Nifong withheld exculpatory DNA results from the defendants in order to determine if his conduct has illegally denied the students their civil rights as U.S. citizens under federal law. This independent inquiry is needed, and I will be following its progress closely."
It is noteworthy when a liberal Democrat like Senator Obama supports a conservative Republican like Congressman Jones, or vice versa.
And all the Senator said was that an independent inquiry into the Duke case was needed!
He did NOT speculate or predict how it should end.
But, even that was too much for North Carolina journalist and television commentator Cash Michaels, who has been covering the Duke case for America's Black press.
Mr. Michaels, in an article entitled "Obama blasted for backing fed Duke case," relied on two Hoax hypers--North Carolina Central University Law Professor Irving Joyner, a black man, and the dark-haired wicked witch of the Hoax, Wendy Murphy, a white female--to discredit Senator Obama.
Mr. Michaels opened by suggesting that Senator Obama is, gasp, a politician: "Is presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama’s backing for a federal 'independent inquiry' into the Duke alleged sexual assault case a genuine concern that the civil rights of the defendants may have been violated or just simple political pandering to secure more broad-based support for his campaign?"
Amazingly, Mr. Michaels, who attacked the late Ed Bradley and "60 Minutes" for not being balanced in the Duke case expose broadcast on October 15, 2006 and applauds himself for being balanced, did not find a single "expert" supporting the Senator's statement.
The key question is whether there is good cause for "genuine concern that the civil rights of the defendants may have been violated."
These days it's obvious that there is.
Ironically, it's been obvious to Mr. Michaels for a long time.
Last year (after Election Day 2006), Michael Richards' ridiculous racist rant somehow led Mr. Michaels to publicly post his opinion on the merits of the Duke case. Mr. Michaels referred to the members of the 2005-2006 Duke Men's Lacrosse Team as "a bunch of drunken, perverted, dishonest athletes who went behind their coaches back to commit a minor crime, only to be accused of a major crime, just because they thought they were men enough to hire lost women to debase themselves for their pleasure."
I interpreted that as Mr. Michaels finally conceding that the lacrosse players had NOT committed a MAJOR crime (like kidnapping, rape or sexual assault) and pointed out that bit of good news.
Mr. Michaels then claimed that I had deliberately misrepresented him.
But he had previous emailed me, privately: "'What evidence does the DA have,' and 'Can he prove this case?'... I've gotten answers to both — Nothing and no."
That's ample justification for a federal investigation.
There is good cause for a federal investigation, whether or not Mr. Michaels wants one. Even wealthy white males have civil rights, including the right not to be discriminated against on account of race or color. If the Duke Three were black instead of white, would Mr. Nifong have requested that they be indicted? Or directed an identification procedure that Duke Law Professor James Coleman (a black man) has explained on "60 Minutes" violated federal, state and local guidelines? Or proceeded after the DNA results were received? Or made outrageous public statements? Or concealed important exculpatory evidence?
I don't think so.
Mr. Michaels: "At least one legal expert has chastised the Black Illinois Democrat, saying, 'Having a federal civil rights investigation [in this case] is such a joke.'"
The Duke case is the joke, a terrible, racist one.
Mr. Michaels: "Another legal scholar added that Obama’s statement 'doesn’t mean much' if he’s 'stating a position without a valid examination.'"
Senator Obama supported a call for a federal investigation. He did not prejudge what the results would be. By the time he supported the call, the North Carolina State Bar had filed an ethics complaint and an amended complaint against Durham County, North Carolina District attorney Michael B. Nifong, North Carolina's 99 other district attorneys had called for him to recuse himself from the Duke case, Mr. Nifong had requested replacement and North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper had appointed replacement prosecutors and North Carolina Governor Michael Easley had expressed disappointment in his appointment of Mr. Nifong and claimed that Mr. Nifong had misled him into believing him would not seek election.
Mr. Michaels acknowledged that unnamed Duke Three supporters "have hailed" Senator Obama's support for a federal inquiry, but did not report why and instead mentioned that United States Attorney General Alberto Gonzales had concluded that a federal inquiry would be "premature."
Mr. Michaels: "Generally, federal authorities mount investigations into possible civil rights violations only after a trial is over, not before or during. This way, if anything occurred that indeed deprived the defendants’ of their constitutional rights to a fair trial, those violations and their impact would be evident upon review."
The Duke case is atypical, however, and constitutional rights are not limited to a fair trial. The North Carolina State Bar did not wait until it was over before initiating an ethics proceeding against Mr. Nifong, and the United States Justice Department should not dawdle.
The person to whom Mr. Michaels referred as a "legal scholar" is Professor Joyner, who told Mr. Michaels that he did not think that Senator Obama's statement "means much within the scope of things other than his stating a position without a valid examination.”
That's nonsense. (Otherwise, why did Mr. Michaels write an article about it for America's Black press?)
To his credit, Senator Obama was supporting LaShawn Barber, a black female who recognized the hoax and its racist nature quickly, and wrote on December 13, 2006:
"If DOJ opens an investigation, which I’m praying it will do, first on the list will be the photo ID process. In violation of standard procedures, the photo ID array did not include photos of people not associated with the so-called crime. The stripper-accuser looked at photos of white Duke lacrosse players and pointed to random men she wanted to frame for the alleged gang-rape.
"My opinion of this case, especially of the stripper-accuser, is well-documented (30 posts and counting)..... What’s happening in Durham is akin to what happened 75 years ago to the 'Scottsboro Boys.' No matter how much hate e-mail I get, I’ll continue comparing the two cases."
"Attorney Wendy Murphy, a former sex crimes prosecutor and currently an adjunct law professor at the New England School of Law, stated, 'Barack Obama’s support for a federal inquiry makes me wonder whether he understands these difficult issues. It doesn’t appear that he does, and I’m very concerned that he doesn’t seem to care one whit about the treatment of the victim, the violation of her civil rights or maybe most important of all, that this case is being described as a "fraud," etc. by lawyers—officers of the court who are ethically obligated not to lie or mislead the public.'
"Atty. Murphy continued, 'At a minimum, Obama should call for a full disclosure of all the facts before anyone passes judgment on this case.'"
It's Ms. Murphy, not Senator Obama, who publicly stated conclusions--that Crystal Gail Mangum is "the victim," their her civil rights were violated and that the lawyers describing the Duke case as "a 'fraud'" are lying and misleading the public.
Reality: All of Ms. Murphy's conclusions are wrong and it is Ms. Murphy who "doesn’t seem to care one whit about the treatment of the" actual victims, the members of the 2005-2006 Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team, especially Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans, and their families and friends, and duped Durhamites who elected Mr. Nifong in 2006] and "the violation of [the] civil rights" of Messrs. Seligmann, Finnerty and Evans and the resultant vilification of them by much of the biased mainstream media and the Group of 88 and their ilk.
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.