Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Himan Smoking Gun

Officer Ben Himan, recounting Mike Nifong's initial reaction after Himan and Sgt. Mark Gottlieb briefed him on inconsistencies in Crystal Mangum's story and the lack of a toxicology report. Later in the hearing, the Bar would introduce evidence showing that Nifong already had several interviews scheduled, with both the state and national media, immediately after his briefing with police ended.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are we seeing another Bono/FCC moment here?

And, in retrospect, Mr. Nifong was indeed "Fonged".

It is interesting to see Ofc. Himan on television - after reading his name for over a year I now have a face to associate with the name. I could swear I have seen him around town or even spoken to him upon occasion. Just won't swear under oath.

Such language! LOL!

Jamie said...

There's the problem, isn't it? "You know we're fucked" (if you wish, toss some %$#'s in there).

Not:

- "You know, this theory of the case is..."
- "You know, this accuser's story is..."
- "You know, as it stands this prosecution is..."

...instead, "We". And so, naturally, what are we going to do about it? Well, real quick-like, we better find a way to get un-fucked.

When a prosecutor starts thinking like this, the accused - and ultimately, justice - is what is most likely to wind up fucked.

Anonymous said...

Jamie,

At least Nifong was prescient enough to predict his own career outcome. But it was a close thing.

hman said...

A central mystery of this whole matter, imo, has been the interior thoughts of M. Nifong. Watching him testify convinced me that was not unintelligent. He has created a solid impression, at least to some who knew him well, of being an honorable DA. So, why did he act in such a blatantly stupid, evil way in this high profile case?
I recall reading about the mental transformation that often occurred with people in authoritarian regimes who were required to do things that their core sense of morality could not support. As an example; police involved in the "dirty wars" against various insurgents in S. America.
By no means were these men amoral thugs. Quite the contrary, for the most part. But this is how it went: They would participate in an extrajudicial killing - once. Then they thought;"Either I have just violated the most fundamental moral belief, or not. If what I did was right, then I must continue." And in fact, by continuuing a certain kind of benediction was spread over the prior acts. Concentration guards often showed the same progression towards ultimate brutality. Because to really see the humanity of the later victims one would have to see the humanity of the first - and doing that was the same as seeing that one is a murderer.
Come we now to M. Nifong. Maybe he did, for a short while, believe he was on the side of Right. But very early in this case he had done great harm to the Lax guys. Maybe, there was no going back for him. Because after he had slandered them on National TV, then either 1. They deserved it, or 2. He was the most evil, hurtful, shameful person working in the profession he had chosen.
We could see it all clearly because we did not have to give up anything to acknowledge every truth here. For M. Nifong, he would had to give up the best part of his self image to do the same.
I am guessing of course about his mind-set and I do not think that anything like mercy should be considered here. It is simply way too late. But you cannot help but wonder how this happened the way it did.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

After seeing all of this testimony, anyone who harbors the fantasy that "the system works" and/or "justice was done" must believe that the justice system was designed from the start to mete out it's 'justice' on a random basis.

There was nothing that "worked", justice was never "done". What we have is a railroading that turned into a train wreck by the good fortune of Brad Bannon's accidental discovery.

When the tip of the iceberg of this size surfaces as it has in this case, you can't adopt the attitude of a commenter from an earlier post "I don't care about the ADAs, the DPD or Durham. Justice has been done - an effort to prolong this case will not work".

jamil hussein said...

. What is his religious affiliation, if any? Some fundamentalist Christians are prone to self-destructive behavior.

Don't try to drag faith into this mess. Nifong was a typical far-left liberal, "conscientious objector"/ traitor during Vietnam era and active member in democratic party. In other words, the exact opposite of conservatives who believe in god.

Anonymous said...

He was a Quaker, when it was convenient, but good of you to trot out the "Christians are evil" meme. Well played.

Truth is, he is a self serving egotist of monumental proportions. He was his own God.

And, 4:45, someone does know if that rumor is true.

Anonymous said...

4:45:
"Some fundamentalist Christians are prone to self-destructive behavior" is utter tommyrot.It is one of the stupidest remarks posted in this life of this blog.
Tom

Anonymous said...

4:46

Well, I do think justice was done. It revealed corruption and dealt with it.

There was no attempt to cover-up for Nifong. He was given all due process.

I think had this gone to trial, the judge would have dismissed the charges, although that wouldn't have cleared the boys' reputations as thoroughly.

Corruptions begins when any motive other than justice takes over.

rod allison, detroit said...

Oh my goodness. Another priceless video.

That was reminiscent of the scene in the movie "Lenny" where Lenny Bruce is on trial for obscenity and they repeat the word "cocksucker" multiple times.

Vitruvius said...

Jackie Mason on "Nifong and Duke Rape Case":

http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=-7748907857437547242

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

What happened to Nifong is that he was in his view, in his little world appointed god. From the point of view of a drone ADA like Nifong the DA answers to nobody.

Thus the "we" in the "you know "we" are f'ed" was the Royal "we" That is Nifong was saying you "know I am f'ed." Certainly Himan, Gottlieb nor anyone else was invested in this case like Nifong.

Now I am going to say something very very controversial next. It fits in my political bias, but I think it also has some merit.

I think when presented with this problem, Nifong reacted like Bill Cliton when his lie in testimony to a federal court got out. Each decided that then they had to win this. I think Bill Clinton due his apparent charisma could do that and get away with it. Nifong does not have that charisma.

And of course winning in the Clinton case meant fighting off removal from office, but not further harm unless one counts to lying in federal court testimony without sanction damaging the justice system. [Each can make their own comment of whether Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann would not have been even indicted had Nifong not had the Clinton example.] What was done to the women who were suing Clinton was done and they were only seeking to be made whole. Winning in the Nifong case required harming three people and ruining their lives which of course made it more difficult for Nifong to win since the defendants would naturally fight back hard.

Anonymous said...

Oh no.

Now all you Talk Radio Limbaugh/Hannity sheep are going to write the FCC again "to protect the children".

Anonymous said...

If Nifong had dropped all charges in Dec he would have gotten away with it.

After have been told the value of the DNA evidence and re-interviewing the victim, I feel I have no choice but to dropped the charges, I believe something happened, but the state can not prove it.

Anonymous said...

5:08 PM
How did we get to this point? Nifong got caught.

Why did he almost not get caught? Because, for over 9 unbelievable months, nobody is obligated to speak out against a railroading effort.

"Sharon Alexander (panelist): You can commit fraud by being silent."

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

Nifong also certainly would have suffered no more than a slap on the wrist had he dropped the charges last summer when the Duke students were out of school.

I kept pointing out on various boards that various points last summer were the perfect time to drop the charges. Most Duke students would be away from Durham and thus there would be fewer retribution targets for New Black Panther Party types.

But the infamous Nifong stuborness came out and he was just going to win. And if Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann are ruined by him winning, it was their fault for getting in the way of what the Nifong the god of Durham wanted and needed.

I think Nifong would have been penalized a good bit more had he dropped the charges after the 15 December hearing. I think the bar was on to the fact that this was a cyncal political hijacking of a case.

Anonymous said...

Reply:Jun 17, 2007 4:45:00 PM

3. What is his religious affiliation, if any? Some fundamentalist Christians are prone to self-destructive behavior.



That is such an asinine statement to even think, let alone speak. You owe a great many Christians an apology who you have manage to slander today!

Vitruvius said...

The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.
-- Plato

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Michael said...

Wow -- just unbelievable.

If I hear anyone express sympathy for Nifong,
I don't know if I am going to blow my top or
puke. What Nifong did for publicity almost got
people killed and almost got three fine young
men thrown in jail for 30 years.

And for Nifong to say during his trial that he
was always trying to do the right thing - oops,
I just puked ...

Anonymous said...

Michael,

I feel that people are overlooking how close Nifong came and how only a few strokes of luck on his end could have ended with a guilty verdict.

What if she hadn't had the DNA from 4-10 men on her? It wouldnt' change the fact the boys didn't rape her, but there would have been no exculpatory material for him to hide.

What if she had chosen 3 guys who were at the house the entire time instead of 2 out of 3 who had strong alibis? It wouldnt' ahve changed the fact that nobody raped her but could have easily led to a conviction.

What if Nifong had just turned over the DNA and said it was inadmissable under rape shield law?

He IS an idiot, but even a dolt like Mike Nifong only needed a couple of things to break in his favor to get a conviction

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Nifong:

1. Started off as honest incompetence in handling a case with this much national attention. He thought he was doing the right thing.

2. As time went on, he dug himself a huge, huge hole. Public comments, hiding the DNA, faulty line-up, etc.

3. Decision time: "Do I swallow my pride, drop the charges and admit I was wrong all along or do I purposely try to frame innocent people?"

4. Too much pride. He can't be this evil as to actually want to send these 3 boys to prison.

He probably figures that his Precious will change her mind, a judge will throw out the line-up or that, worst case, a jury will find them "not guilty".

5. His plan is to eventually get past this case so he can save face and say "I believed in my client, unfortunately the judge (or jury) saw it differently".

6. The "save face" plan wasn't working.

7. Conclusion:

At the very, very end, he still had a chance to drop the charges and maybe slither away, but at that point I think he knew he had been caught and was ready to *finally* start to do the right thing: End the bullshit and turn the case over to the DA, let the State Bar have their day in court, then volunteer to resign, turn in his license, vow not to appeal and apologize.

Anonymous said...

6:27 - not bad, but you have to include the election campaign in your timeline. That and his overwhelming desire to increase his pension. Crystal was a gift that just keeps on giving.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

It's ok for Jamil Hussein to drag his anti-liberal crap in this forum, but not ok for someone to drag religion into this. It's an open forum, dude. Except for the blog administrator, no one can dictate the kind of comments people can leave here. People might not think you're such a troll if you brought sensible arguments here with putting liberal in every other sentence. After all, justice knows no ideology.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

re: 6:27

Let me try to follow your analysis of the time line:

1. No honest incompetence at all. It started out with a PC complaint that ALL modern police departments are required to treat seriously. [I think they should treat all complaints seriously but skeptically.] So the police investigated. [I am not sure if we yet know WHY the police investigated much at all after the first night since she was not believed.

2. That Himan testimony is about THE INTIAL DPD BRIEFING OF NIFONG ON THE CASE. Nifong saw the case from the start as a way to win the primary. So he did what he had to do to win the primary. That is not digging a hole and while Nifong is a programmed PC leftist, he was doing this to win his primary.

3. On point 3 I think you are correct, his pride would not allow him to drop the charges last summer when he could have gotten out clean.

4. But sorry he is every bit this evil. He views himself as superior to those outside the Durham legal system. They must kneel to him. He viewed himself as untouchable. Might he have dropped the charges had Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann and their representatives showed him the in his view correct respect? We will never know. Had they hired Woody Vann rather than Chesshire etal, would he have dropped the charges? We will never know. But certainly there is a chance had the kneeled at the foot of the sovereign and kissed his ring, he would have dropped the charges.

I think you might be right that Nifong figured a judge would get him out of this mess by supressing the IDs. If he wanted Mangum to recant or back out, he would have pressed her on her inconsistencies.

5. I believe you may be right particularly when he got the initial bar letter, he might have felt he need a suppression of evidence to end the chance for a trial or to get this to a jury to avoid sanction.

6. The save face plan might have worked but the bar viewed his behavior even before the 15 December hearing as bad as it was, a cynical use innocent people to win a primary. So he was not going to escape.

7. But I disagree with your conclusion. Nifong was forced out of the case. He was going to try to fight to get this to a jury. He never WANTED to do any right thing. He did not even care what was the right thing. He cared about what was the Nifong thing.

Anonymous said...

OR.....

Nifong:

1) Despite his word to the Governor, he runs for DA solely out of greed to retire with a higher pension.

2) He trails his old rival Freda Black by 17 points and knows that if she wins he not only loses his higher pension, but he is out of job altogether.

3) Mangum comes along with a black lynch mob powder keg behind it.

4) Nifong throws in the match and begins a carefully orchastrated and sinister series of cold-blooded actions: refusing the interview Mangum, ordering a rigged line-up, indicting without reading the transcripts, refusing to hear alibis or other evidence, purposely withholding other evidence - all designed to send 3 innocent men to a long prison sentence if it means furthing his career and retirement objectives.

5) Months drag by and, even in December, he still refuses to drop all the charges.

6) Consumed with power and arrogance, he is genuinely shocked and surprised when he is charged with ethics violations and VERY relunctantly turns the case over to the State AG.

7) He vows to fight, saying he's down nothing wrong. Hires a lawyer. He absolutely refuses to resign.

8) The State Bar Trial finally starts and he is as arrogant and cold-hearted as ever, "something happened", "oh maybe I got a bit out of hand".

9) Finally, as the case reaches his conclusion for the first time he wakes up, he snaps out of his trance and realizes the depths, the magnitude and the pure evil nature of his actions.

10) He then, for the first time does the right thing: acknowledges he should be disbared, offers not to appeal, etc.

No Justice, no peace said...

The following remind you of any in Durham? Duke University? The MSM?

“For Intellectuals, far from being highly individualistic and non-conformist people, follow certain regular patterns of behavior. Taken as a group, they are often ultra-conformist within the circles formed by those whose approval they seek and value. That is what makes them, en masses, so dangerous, for it enables them to create climates of opinion and prevailing orthodoxies, which themselves often generate irrational and destructive course of action. Above all, we must at all times remember what intellectuals habitually forget; that people matter more than concepts and must come first. The worst of all despotisms is the heartless tyranny of ideas.” – Intellectuals, Paul Johnson

Intellectuals is a great book, check it out. It will cost you much, much less than the $60k/year Duke tuition will set you back.

jamil hussein said...
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Anonymous said...

How easily will the parents be able to sue what is left of Nifong's carcass? How much legal protection from civil lawsuits can he expect as a D.A? I hope very little after yesterday.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

Nifong also certainly would have suffered no more than a slap on the wrist had he dropped the charges last summer when the Duke students were out of school.

I kept pointing out on various boards that various points last summer were the perfect time to drop the charges. Most Duke students would be away from Durham and thus there would be fewer retribution targets for New Black Panther Party types.

But the infamous Nifong stuborness came out and he was just going to win. And if Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann are ruined by him winning, it was their fault for getting in the way of what the Nifong the god of Durham wanted and needed.

SteveDinMD: Nifong COULDN'T drop the case last Summer, even if he wanted to -- at least he couldn't drop it and be assured of keeping his phoney-baloney job. Though he won the Democrat primary, the general election was months away, in November. Under ordinary circumstances he might have let the case quietly slip away, but he wasn't facing ordinary circumstances.

Nifong's mishandlinhg of the case generated strong political opposition almost from the beginning, and he could anticipate a serious challenge in the general election despite Durham being a one-party town. He HAD to keep the case going at least through November. Unfortunately for him, the inherent weakness of the case meant that it couldn't sustain itself that long without some help. As it turned out, in the interest of carrying an obviously false prosecution past the November election, Nifong engaged in willful deceit and witheld evidence. Though he might have survived all that came before, it was ultimately with this last act that he destroyed himself.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this KC. I had been looking for it and couldn't find it anywhere.

Anonymous said...

"No justice, no peace" --

Will you stop shilling for that goddamn book already. I now know that I will never open its covers, since it would not be necessary to keep quoting the same dead lump of assertions-with-no-support-visible if the book had actual content that could be quoted when it had relevance.