Thursday, April 21, 2011

Known Unknowns

Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld defined the concept as “things that we now know we don’t know.” It didn’t help him much in planning the Iraq war, but I thought I would more usefully apply it to the items raised by Duke’s factual response, the first time the University has gone on record regarding the specific allegations against it.


(1) When did senior administrators become aware that—in violation of FERPA—Duke Police Officer Gary Smith provided the lacrosse players’ keycard information to the Durham Police?

(2) What was the rationale employed by Duke’s senior administrators in electing not to inform dozens of their own students that a Duke employee had violated their FERPA rights? Is this “wall of silence” (to borrow a phrase) the normal approach Duke takes when its employees violate the FERPA rights of its students?

(3) As to why Duke remained silent when a court proceeding took place regarding Mike Nifong’s attempt to subpoena the keycard information he already possessed, the Duke filing suggests the University’s reasoning (substitute “FERPA-protected material” for “NTO application”): “Duke University Defendants . . . further deny that they had any authority or obligation to rebut or correct any assertions in any NTO application regardless of the truth of the allegations.”

Former SANE-nurse-in-training Tara Levicy

(1) When did senior administrators at Duke learn—as they concede in their filing—that Levicy had examined Mangum even though Levicy was not yet credentialed as a SANE?

(2) When did Levicy’s supervisors first realize that Levicy’s stories constantly shifted, always in ways convenient to Nifong and contrary to the written record of her exam? Why did they not take steps at the time to properly supervise their rogue employee?

(3) What transpired at the June 2006 meeting between Levicy and Nifong? Were any other Duke employees (perhaps Levicy’s immediate supervisor, Theresa Arico?) present?

(4) Is it normal practice at Duke Hospital to allow someone (like Levicy) who hadn’t even been a nurse for a year to enter the SANE program?

The Duke Administration

(1) What steps, if any, did former BOT chairman Bob Steel take to correct the record regarding something the Duke filing implies he never said—his statement to the New Yorker that the season was cancelled not to protect the lacrosse players or to punish them for their alleged misdeeds, but because “we had to stop those pictures. It doesn’t mean that it’s fair, but we had to stop it. It doesn’t necessarily mean I think it was right—it just had to be done”?

(2) During his tenure as president, how many other athletic events had President Brodhead canceled because members of the team had engaged in underage drinking—which the filing suggests was (contrary to Steel’s “Kinsley gaffe”) one of the two reasons Duke cancelled the March 25, 2006 lacrosse game?

(3) What contemporaneous evidence exists to sustain the second proffered explanation for this extraordinary decision—Brodhead’s alleged concern with the safety of the lacrosse players? Why didn’t he mention this alleged concern in his statement announcing the cancellation?

(4) Duke’s filing concedes that a Duke employee (Sam Hummel) likely used Duke equipment to photocopy a “wanted” poster containing the lacrosse players’ photos, while at the same time maintaining that this action constituted protected speech and not harassment. Would Duke have adopted the same conception of its anti-harassment code if the photographs xeroxed by Hummel were of minorities?

The Group of 88

(1) When did Brodhead and other Duke senior administrators learn that—in violation of Duke rules—official university funds had been used to pay for an advertisement denouncing Duke students? What steps, if any, did the university take to discipline the sponsors of the advertisement, the African-American Studies program?

(2) Given that Duke administrators surely knew of AAAS’ unprofessional behavior by December 2006, why nonetheless did the Trustees (unanimously!) elevate the program to departmental status?

Officer Christopher Day

(1) What pressure, if any, did his supervisors or Duke administrators place on Day to “modify” (as he eventually did) his March 14, 2006 operations report, which (accurately) portrayed false accuser Crystal Mangum as spinning fantastic, mutually contradictory tales?

(2) Why is the Duke filing so coy about exactly who might have interacted with Day between March 14 and March 30, and what reasons he might have had to have “modified” his operations report?

Duke’s Legal Strategy

(1) In its defense of Tara Levicy’s going rogue, how aggressively will Duke’s attorneys attack the integrity of the AG’s investigation? In particular, will they continue down the path offered in their filing of portraying Levicy as an objective truth-teller, even as the AG’s report established that “the SANE based her opinion that the exam was consistent with what the accusing witness was reporting largely on the accusing witness’s demeanor and complaints of pain rather than on objective evidence”?


Anonymous said...

K.C. Good questions.

Another one (off-topic): Do you know the dimensions of the bathroom where the 'rape' didn't happened? Other posts implied bathrooms in those houses were tiny.


Anonymous said...


What kind of daily or weekly briefings did Brodhead and Steel receive about the frame?

What communication between the Allen Building and Lubiano occurred before or after the publication of the AAAS ad in the Duke Chronicle by the Group of 88?

What criteria does Duke have to elevate a study area to departmental status?

Did Dean Sue tell the lax boys that she was giving advice to them that would be in the best interest of Duke and not the students?

Anonymous said...

"Do you know the dimensions of the bathroom where the 'rape' didn't happen"

IIIRC a previous tenant said it would be hard to fit more than two people inside. This is certainly true of similar houses built at the same time. In addition, the door presumably opens inward, making it extremely difficult (if not impossible) to close the door with more people inside.

It remains one of the mysteries of the case that the media would never run a photo of the "crime scene" (likely because it would spoil the narrative).

Alas, the house, which should have been preserved both for historical reasons ('Scottsboro II') and so that the public could satisfy their curiosity on this very point, was destroyed by Duke with unseemly haste (early in the morning and without any notification to the press).

"Preservation Durham" didn't seem to care that the house was destroyed either. (So much for their understanding of what is and what is not historical in Durham.)

Anonymous said...

That bathroom is gone with the wind. It's dimensions can be found in the twighlight zone. Next stop, Durham NC.

Anonymous said...

They are commentating on this post over at, and Baldo had this to write:

"Follow Sam! I have always suspected the 610 potbanger protest were encouraged by the Core members of the 88.

There were more Duke employees involved."

That makes a lot of sense to me. That whole "community" is intertwined, and I'm willing to bet that Sam was doing his thing while looking around to make sure Lubiano and Holloway noticed. Discovery is going to be fun! MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

I would have thought Eric Holder's handling of the Black Panther voter intimidation case would have been more analogous and timely of not known but now known, unknowns with which to preface your current blog. Maybe Obama's personal history including his college writings, his passport, his official birth certificate or just as importantly, why he spent 20 years worshiping at and supporting a church which is openly anti-American and racist.

The metanarrative behind the election of Mr. Hope and Change even closely parallels those exhibited by many during the entire RCD fiasco.

Politics does indeed make for strange bedfellows.


Anonymous said...

Obama administration is leading a push for a more aggressive pursuit of sexual assault charges on college campuses, including policy changes that would strip important protections from the accused.

Gary Packwood said...

It Begins Again at The University of Houston

Gregory 4/22/2011 :: 5:16 AM said...
...They are commentating on this post over at, and Baldo had this to write:
"Follow Sam! I have always suspected the 610 potbanger protest were encouraged by the Core members of the 88.
...There were more Duke employees involved."
...That makes a lot of sense to me. That whole "community" is intertwined, and I'm willing to bet that Sam was doing his thing while looking around to make sure Lubiano and Holloway noticed. Discovery is going to be fun! MOO! Gregory.
Gregory and Baldo are correct and it is now possible to see what the 'beast' looks like at the beginning of the process. Especially the beginnings of the 'potbanger' group and the 'castrate' marching group.

The 'Take Back The Night' group is now up-and-running at the University of Houston with the same group of university employees talking about the same statistics (without references) that we saw at Duke in 2006 and 2007. This time the university employees are working on the public dime. UH is a tax supported university.

'Take Back The Night' is a national Not-For-Profit charitable organization...IRS 501 (c)(3)

It is just astonishing to witness how easy it is for campus employees to start this type of campus propaganda with administrative people - apparently - just oblivious to the process.

The potential future for this group at The University of Houston is ...KNOWN.

KC Johnson said...

To the 9.47:

I'm not aware of Holder (whose performance as AG I consider to be mediocre at best) to have ever used the phrase "known unknowns," or to have analyzed policy through this prism (which, as I noted in the post, I consider a useful approach). So I'm not sure why I would have mentioned him.

As for the NBPP affair, I agree, as I do on so many issues, with the analysis offered by Abby Thernstrom in National Review.

To the 7.50:

Terrifying news.

Anonymous said...

It seems a stretch that your reference to the Iraq war little more than Monday morning quarterbacking.

It's also interesting to me how critical of Nifong you were when the NBPP were terrorizing RCD and others on the Duke campus.

. In his court hearing in May, Reade Seligmann received a death threat from a member of the New Black Panthers party, who sat directly behind him in the courtroom. What did Durham County’s “minister of justice” do? Nothing. (One observer even said he smiled.) To my knowledge, Nifong has never publicly condemned the death threat, much less promised to investigate it.

Yet when the NBPP are videotaped acting in ways which appear to violate the voter's rights act you seem to agree with your "conservatitve" friend.... it's "small potatoes". My guess is that Holder smiled as well on the efforts of "his people".


Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if Linwood Wilson could fit into that bathroom?

Also, is there any connection between Linwood and Levicy or Mangum?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

You might add
Does SANE training instruct nurses to report based on demeanor and complaints or on physical examination?

Did the facts of Mangum's demeanor and complaints change in such a way as to justify the changes in her story?

When and how did Duke learn that Tara's evaluations were based on demeanor and not on the physical facts and what did they do as a result.

Should Duke have reasonably known that Tara was not properly using her SANE training in making evaluations of this case?

In what other instances did Duke commit or allow similar violations of SANE training and why?

Anonymous said...

Is Donald Rumsfeld a communist?

Anonymous said...

As someone who has had a fair amount of experience, in a healthcare setting, in dealing with individuals who have, or, who say they have just been raped.....I can say, without hesitation, that there is NO set pattern of "demeanor" or behavior that one can attach to a rape vicitim. Some real victims (or hoaxers) present with hysteria, cowering fear, terrified of medical staff, deep sobbing and shuddering disgust. Others present with coma-like withdrawal, rigidity, zero speech, and flat affect. For Levicy to base her conclusions on CGM's "demanor" and though there was a rape victim profile/checklist that CGM fit, is pure balderdash. Add likely ingestion of alcohol and maybe drugs to the mix...and it would, in my mind, virtually impossible to draw ANY conclusion about whether there was ANY evidence upon which to base her findings. Levicy saw and heard what SHE wanted to see and hear. Zero competence. Zero supervision.

Anonymous said...

According some original floor plan descriptions I remember seeing, very early on....the bathroom in the house was about 3' by 7'. In this bathroom was an old style sink, a toilet and a tub. It would have been physically impossible for the three (four?, seven? twenty?) so-called attackers and Mangum to fit in this room.....engaging in physical assault with, by her account, her struggling violently to get free........and, of course, without leaving even one tiny DNA fragment anywhere in or on her body.
I don't recall where I saw the dimensions....the house was very small and, if you look at floor plans for houses built in same era on the same block, the size of the bathroom is consistent for comparison.

Anonymous said...

Was Linwood Wilson in the bathroom with the dancers?

JHS said...

KC, i haven't followed the story in a while, but was it ever resolved how/when/who the hacking into the student's email with the quote from American Psycho occured?

Anonymous said...

"Is this “wall of silence” (to borrow a phrase) the normal approach Duke takes when its employees violate the FERPA rights of its students?"

It is a culture of criminality and silence which TREASON REBELS will gte to the bottom of!

Anonymous said...

Frank Sfarzo, the KC Johnson of the Amanda Knox trial, just had his Durham in Wonderland style blog shut down by Google pursuant to an Italian court order out of Florence requested by the prosecutor Mr. Mignini. Mr. Mignini was convicted some time ago of abuse of office in an unrelated case (the Monster of Florence case) yet remains largely in control of the Knox prosecution.

It is absolutely stunning.

Imagine the Duke case if Mr. Nifong had been able to exercise this kind of control.


Anonymous said...

More on the removal of the blog...and wondering what we would have done if Durham in Wonderland had been removed from the Internet.


Sam said...

Dear Mr. Johnson, despite having different political opinions from you, I respect you greatly, and I greatly respect the amazing work you have done on behalf of truth and justice when it comes to the Duke Hoax. Nobody will ever be able to take that from you no matter what else you do.

On the other hand, I find your attempts at connecting the behavior of the people involved in the Duke Hoax with that of unrelated politicians you don't like irrelevant, inadequate and unconvincing.

By the way, I am an independent who thinks the US is alternately led by incompetent morons from both "major" parties. Even so, your attempts at drawing connections between Republican, not Democratic politicians and the bad actors involved in the Duke imbroglio strike me as the weakest points you ever make.

A marginal observation, but perhaps worth making, given how honorable and respectable you are to begin with.

Best wishes to you. If more (a majority of) Democrats would be overall like you (they aren't and there isn't) I would vote Democrat every time.

Anonymous said...

Nifong's legacy? NC about to pass law requiring earlier discovery, with or without request:

M. Simon said...

Been a long time.

I just left a comment at Pajamas that should drive some traffic your way.

And MOO and Gary Packwood? Seems like old home week.

M. Simon said...

Comment thread referenced by Gregory - 4/22/11 5:16 AM


Anonymous said...

Remembering Manju Rajendran the Durham-based activist, and number one ‘Potbanger’.

Ranting then:
“There is a sense that Duke students need to be protected from Durham, but rapes are happening off East Campus at the hands of Duke students,” said Manju Rajendran, an organizer of the event. “We are here to break the silence around sexual assault and violence.”

More Recent:
-Revolutionary Work in Our Time: Can’t Keep Quiet, This Time Gon’ Be More Than a Riot-
By Manju Rajendran

“Most of us who read and write for Left Turn are working to build a juicier, more effective left. We believe in revolution and our visions are diverse. We are communists, socialists, anarchists, revolutionary nationalists, anti-authoritarians, autonomists, anti-racists, anti-imperialists, anti-capitalists, decolonizers, feminists, queer liberationists, disability rights warriors, transformative justice visionaries, leftist organizers, healers, artists of all kinds, combinations of the above, and so much more.”
Manju forgot to include Marxist college professors and the Journolistas in her “juicier” left building group. No doubt the slighted, delusional, and self anointed some bodies are stamping their little feet and banging something or the other in protest.

IMHO, Maxwell

Anonymous said...

What is the latest on Mike Nifong? Is he working at McDonalds? Is he a crossing guard? What? I remember when I wrote to California Supreme Court Chief Justice, Rose Bird. I sent her a scathing "cartoon" with a caricature of her as a witch, pointing to the tombstone of an 11-year-old murder victim. She said to the tombstone, "You have the right to remain silent." That wench Rose Bird wrote back and thanked me for sending it to her. She was subsequently recalled by California voters for reversing every single death sentence that came before her. She took out two other justices with her.

In shame, she worked as a lowly law clerk until she died a few years ago.

To this day, California almost never executes any monster, no matter how many victims he has killed, even confessed to.

Liberals love this almost as they love aborting innocent, unborn babies.