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Tommy_Carcetti

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Member since: Tue Jul 10, 2007, 03:49 PM
Number of posts: 38,475

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Question about instances where someone accuses a high-profile person of a long ago sexual assault:

Note: I have to be very careful about how I go about phrasing this because I don't want to be insensitive about people who were legitimately sexually assaulted but did not report their attack immediately. It's a real problem and I'm not saying that it doesn't happen. However, it should not stop us from asking questions that might deserve to be asked.


On the surface, Tara Reade, Juanita Broaddrick and Christine Blasey-Ford appear to be all similarly situated. All three have alleged that decades ago, they were sexually assaulted by a high-profile political figure. None of them reported these alleged assaults when they claim them to have occurred. None of them have any physical evidence to prove that the attacks occurred. None of them have any witnesses who can contemporaneously verify the alleged attacks as it happened, although all three of them claim to have told people about their alleged attacks at some point after they claimed them to have occurred.

I'll cut right to the chase: I find Blasey-Ford's allegations far more credible than I do either Reade's or Broaddrick's.

And I know the instant response a skeptic might give me: Oh course you do. It's all about politics, right? You're a Democrat, Reade and Broaddrick accused high profile Democratic politicians, whereas Blasey-Ford accused a Republican-nominated conservative Supreme Court justice.

And yes, that's not an irrational response at all. Cognitive dissonance due to one's own biases and ideologies is a very real thing. And certain times you are faced with a reckoning where you are forced to put all your personal beliefs aside and weigh matters on the objective, cold hard facts. I remember when the story of John Edwards fathering a child out of wedlock first broke. I didn't want to believe it at first, but the facts fell where they did and I was forced to admit them as true.

But even still, political bias aside, I find Blasey-Ford's allegations far more credible than I do either Reade's or Broaddrick's.

So why? The answer's simple.

Sworn testimony.

Christine Blasey-Ford was willing to go to Capitol Hill, raise her hand, take an oath under penalty of perjury and give her account where she alleged that when she was a teenager, a person she believes was Brett Kavanaugh attempted to have sex with her against her will. On live television, we were able to judge her testimony, her body language, her recollection, her response to skeptical questioning, everything. And in the end, I found she made a convincing witness that suggested sincerity and credibility.

Now, would her sworn testimony alone be enough to convict Kavanaugh beyond a reasonable doubt if it were a criminal trial? I can't honestly say. But I can honestly tell you it was credible enough to raise enough questions about Kavanaugh's personal fitness for the Supreme Court to the point where he shouldn't have been confirmed. And you don't need a criminal standard of burden of proof for that.

So Christine Blasey-Ford testified to her attack under oath; Tara Reade and Juanita Broaddrick to date have not. The chances seem increasingly unlikely that Reade ever will; when she recently filed a police report as to her alleged attack, she did not even identify her supposed assailant, which made the chances of her filing a false report far less likely.

Broaddrick's situation is even worse. She actually has offered sworn testimony about the allegations that Bill Clinton raped her; unfortunately though for those wanting to believe her as credible, it was an affidavit denying any such attack on her by Clinton. Now, she since has claimed she was merely pressured into filing that affidavit and that her unsworn claims are in fact the true story. However, at no point in the 20 plus years that she has publicly lodged these allegations has she ever recanted under oath her sworn testimony or offered new sworn testimony that she was, in fact, sexually assaulted by Clinton.

(And I will add that matters of credibility aside, Broaddick's public persona is just rather vile. A quick review of her activity on Twitter reveals her to be highly partisan when it comes to matters of accusations of sexual misconduct against political figures. Not only has she doubted people like Blasey-Ford--which is well within her right to do so--but she has cruelly and childishly mocked their physical appearances, called them terrible names, etc., apparently because they have accused a figure on the political right. Meanwhile, she freely boasts of her love, undying loyalty and personal connections to Donald Trump, a man who on videotape once bragged about kissing women against their will and desiring to "grab them by the pussy," and a man she was happy to sit next to at a political stunt right after those comments came to light.)

Now, am I saying anyone who makes an allegation under oath is automatically telling the truth? Certainly not. Many people have perjured themselves over the years.

Am I saying that anyone who does not swear to their sexual assault under oath is automatically fabricating their claim? Again, absolutely not.

But I do think in situations where it may be the only evidence there is, where there is no physical or eyewitness testimony to the alleged attack, sworn testimony over unsworn allegations goes a long way in considering credibility. It's not the end-all, be-all, but at least it gives us something to consider, something to put our minds around.

And sworn testimony also is a way I use to supersede personal biases. I mean, I loved Bill Cosby. I hated the idea that he might have actually been a sexual predator when all we knew him as was a funny comedian and actor and lovable, avuncular celebrity. But after reading the sworn testimony of his accusers, and his own sworn testimony, I was forced to come to the sobering conclusion that the allegations against him were most likely true.

On the other hand, I have given pause whether or not to believe accusers of Donald Trump who have not put their allegations under oath. Even though I certainly think--given his own comments and behavior--that he might be capable of such things, and my own personal animus against him for all that he has done, on a case-by-case basis I'm not ready to make a judgment without something more concrete than just unsworn claims.

So I guess my question for everyone to comment on is this:

When it comes to allegations of sexual assault (especially against high profile individuals), allegations that are years ago in the past and have no physical evidence or eyewitness testimony to back them up, should someone who is willing to go under oath as to these claims be given more credibility than those who refuse to do so?

I'll leave it up for you to debate and consider.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Thu Apr 30, 2020, 11:17 AM (20 replies)

Popular right-wing social media figure drops all pretenses, goes full Neo-Nazi.

Note: Normally, I would not want to give these cretins any attention. But given that this guy has over 80,000 followers on Twitter, 128,000 followers on Youtube, and nearly 800,000 followers on Facebook, and given that he's made the primetime Fox News circuit on shows like Laura Ingraham, I think it's worth showing this guy for who he is.

Albert "AJ" Faleski, who goes by the name "An0maly" on social media, was a little known struggling wannabe rap artist before 2016. However, he quickly skyrocketed to internet notoriety after first using his "talents" to court disgruntled Bernie Sanders primary voters before then shifting his full attention and admiration towards Donald Trump after his election. And if you don't have a right wing "friend" on Facebook whose cited to one of his video posts since the 2016 election, you've probably at least had a friend of a friend whose done so.

I actually wrote about Faleski/An0maly here at DU a little over two years ago:

https://www.democraticunderground.com/100210325606

Anyways, Faleski/An0maly--as well as anyone who might be behind his efforts--seem to target a definite sort of demographic. He trades heavily in wide ranging conspiracy theories, from the argument there is a "Deep State" attack on Donald Trump, to a claim that the moon landing was a hoax (yes, it's true!), and now, naturally, has focused much of his work on perpetrating claims that the coronavirus is either a man-made biological weapon, or alternately, that the numbers from the virus have been fabricated.

But this morning on his Twitter account, it seems our friend has taken a much more overt term to out-and-out antisemitism.

This isn't vague positions that might be interpreted as being antisemitic, mind you; this is "Jews control the media" balls to the wall antisemitism.

As of this morning, his postings on Twitter are still up (I've screen capped in case he attempts to coward out).

Anyways, here are some of the things he wrote:

https://twitter.com/LegendaryEnergy/status/1252555149119193088


An0maly‏ @LegendaryEnergy · 3h3 hours ago

Jewish Geraldo Rivera pretending to be the voice of Hispanic conservative America literally insinuates @michellemalkin is a Nazi in this clip for wanting to enforce illegal immigration.

The hypocrisy, subversion & dual party deception just never ends.

7:09 AM - 21 Apr 2020


https://twitter.com/LegendaryEnergy/status/1252535980743110664


An0maly‏ @LegendaryEnergy · 4h4 hours ago

What do Epstein, Weinstein & 85% of the writers, producers & media execs making the most subversive programming have in common?

I’ll give you a hint, Trump & Republicans pass speech orders trying to stop you from saying the truth about it.

But it’s cultural to blame “white ppl”

5:53 AM - 21 Apr 2020


And then there was this attack of his on the HBO miniseries The Plot Against America, which is based on a Phillip Roth alternative history novel about a Jewish family living during World War II where a fascist, antisemitic administration lead by Charles Lindbergh has come to power. The series' creator, David Simon (who most famously created The Wire), is Jewish.

https://twitter.com/LegendaryEnergy/status/1252526549284392962

An0maly‏ @LegendaryEnergy · 4h4 hours ago

“The Plot Against America” is trending because it’s the new brainwashing programming all the sheep are watching.

How did I know it was going to be written & produced by the subversive ones without even looking?

Is it never not?

5:16 AM - 21 Apr 2020



It's easy to dismiss An0maly/Faleski for what he is, a social media jackass. But when that social media jackass has hundreds of thousands of followers and gets interviewed on Fox News as some sort of authority, and you see his posts coming up time and time again on you own social media feeds, I think it bears importantance for showing the world exactly who this scum is.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Tue Apr 21, 2020, 10:12 AM (2 replies)
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