Saturday, May 03, 2008

Tracey Cline: The Nifongesque Choice

[At this stage, nothing should surprise me about this case, especially when the issue is Durham politics. Yet I confess that I am amazed that former Mike Nifong ADA Tracey Cline is a frontrunner for the position--endorsed by (of course) the Herald-Sun and several local PACs, despite the heavy shadow that Nifong should cast over her candidacy.

As of late, Cline has taken to rewriting history, claiming that she had little or nothing to do with the lacrosse case. Facts, of course, can be stubborn things. And what can also be said: if Durham County Democrats nominate Cline for district attorney, they would effectively be saying that they approve of a figure who aided the highest-profile instance of prosecutorial misconduct in recent memory.

As a reminder of Cline's real history, I'm reposting an item from last fall, when Cline first tried to run from her record of aiding Nifong in the case.]

From an October 2007 Herald-Sun, ADA Tracey Cline outlined the relationship between the lacrosse case and her bid for district attorney:

According to Cline, a major lesson was learned from the Duke lacrosse scandal: “The people of Durham expect one thing from the DA -- to do the right things for the right reasons. It’s not a popularity contest. It’s not doing anybody a favor. It’s knowing you have done the right thing and being able to sleep on it.”

Lesson No. 2: “You need to be transparent when you are district attorney. Everything should be out in the open. People might not agree with everything I do, but they should at least understand why I did it.”

Some suggested during the lacrosse meltdown that Nifong’s assistants dropped the ball by not reining in their boss, halting the scandal in its tracks.

Cline agreed last week that attorneys have a duty to report unethical conduct among their colleagues.

But she said she lacked insights into what Nifong was doing.

“I didn’t have any personal information about what went on in the lacrosse case, other than what the media reported,” she said.


1.) If she had no information other than what was reported in the press (which, as of March 23, 2006, was next to nothing), how, then, did Cline help Ben Himan prepare the fraudulent nontestimonial order that got the case rolling? Indeed, according to the Gottlieb deposition, he and Himan spoke to Cline, and then “the district attorney’s office thought it was a good idea to go ahead and do a Non-Testimonial.” [emphasis added]

To obtain an NTO, of course, authorities are supposed to have probable cause to believe a crime occurred, and a reasonable suspicion that the subject of the NTO could have committed the crime.

As part of her new commitment to transparency, will Candidate Cline reveal the evidence that gave her a reasonable suspicion that Brad Ross—who wasn’t even in Durham the night of the party—could have committed a crime?

2.) It came out during the Nifong ethics hearing that the ex-DA was planning to prosecute the case alongside Cline. Indeed, according to the Gottlieb deposition, Nifong told Crystal Mangum that “he would be working very closely with Ms. Cline.” [emphasis added]

Is Candidate Cline now asking the citizens of Durham County to believe that even though Nifong planned to prosecute the case alongside her, and even though he told Mangum he would be working “very closely” with her, and even though she was the office’s expert on sexual assault cases, and even though she was the office’s highest-ranking African-American and woman in a case charged on race and gender lines . . . that she and Nifong never spoke about the details of the case, and that she knew no more about the details of the case than what appeared in the paper?

If so, is Candidate Cline calling Ben Himan a liar? After all, in cross-examination from Lane Williamson at the Nifong ethics hearing, Himan said that Cline told him that she had read over some of the case file.

3.) It came out in the Kendra Montgomery-Blinn testimony at the ethics hearing that Cline implemented the “No-Drop” policy, in which the Durham DA’s office has adopted a policy of effectively abandoning even the fiction of prosecutorial discretion, but only on sexual assault cases. Does Cline still believe that district attorneys don’t have to exercise discretion in prosecuting sexual assault cases; and that they can and must take all such cases to trial, regardless of the evidence, as long as they, for whatever reason, happen to believe the accuser? And, given the facts of the lacrosse case—on which, according to her boss, Cline was going to serve as co-counsel,

Did she approve of the procedures used in the April 4 lineup?

Did she approve of the decision to seek an indictment against Reade Seligmann even though police didn’t even know if Seligmann attended the party?

Did she approve of sending Linwood Wilson to interview Crystal Mangum on December 21?

Did she approve of Nifong’s decision to treat Mangum’s December 21 story—which included a wholly new timeline and description of the “attack”—as reliable?

As part of her stated commitment to transparency, no doubt Candidate Cline will be eager to answer these questions.


Anonymous said...

Frankly, Nifong does not appear to be a reighenable type of guy. Nothing and no one was going to be stopping Nifong in his quest to gain votes and get himself elected. Who can understand this nut?

Anonymous said...

"no doubt Candidate Cline will be eager to answer these questions"

No doubt. And no doubt that the voters of Durham will ignore it all.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it:there's been no revolution here -- why should we be expecting a major behavioral change?
Candidate Cline is responding exactly as expected.

Anonymous said...

I heard that Cline was actively seeking a case for Nifong to take over for publicity. Maybe Cline knows more than she admits? Maybe Cline was more responsible for this Hoax than we know? Who knows maybe Cy & Tracy talked Nifong into taking this case?


Anonymous said...

So, apparently, transparency is about as see through as a solid oak door in Wonderland.

Debrah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

A one-way mirror is transparent, one way. The rose colored glasses worn by the voters of Durham are transparent. One can only assume Cline is banking on the same group of voters Nifong counted on to advance her pension level in the DA's office

Anonymous said...

Rape Case? What Rape Case? Did Durm have a Duke Rape Case? There are soooo many to remember, and it's not my case anyway.

Another reason for the civil cases to continue, the amnesia developing is going to be epidemic in its scope.

Anonymous said...

Cline's comments are an outrage. First, she demands an overtly unconstitutional (read that, illegal) DNA fishing expedition. Second, as K.C. has pointed out, she was involved in this case up to her eyeballs.

She was going to try to convict three people of a crime she now admits was fiction? Don't tell me that she suddenly has seen the light and come to realize that her beloved lacrosse case was a fraud.

No, she was going to willingly and enthusiastically engage in a crime: framing innocent people.

Anonymous said...

“I didn’t have any personal information about what went on in the lacrosse case, other than what the media reported,” she said.

But what the media reported ("Hooligans", "If they're innocent, why do they need a lawyer?", "I don't want Durham to be known as...", Not dropping the case after the DNA evicence came out) was certainly "bad enough".

In an honest jurisdiction everyone in the office would have sending public WTF?! letters to the SAG.

Anonymous said...

KC - good questions. I look forward to having them answered when the civil case goes to trial.

Anonymous said...

Is Cline a Communist?

Anonymous said...

The e-mails exchanges among the abettors of the hoax would make a great book.

The Dallas Morning News reports this morning...

"City (Dallas) must provide messages from officials' personal accounts...

(A) State District Judge... ruled ...the city...must release e-mails requested more than 22 months ago by The Dallas Morning News, including messages from city officials' personal accounts or hand-held devices used to conduct city business...

Freedom of Information Act... access to several Dallas officials', including City Manager, former Mayor, and housing director...

The News filed a lawsuit after exhausting other efforts...

"This case is very significant. It's the first Texas court decision addressing whether e-mails relating to city business that are sent or received on a personal e-mail accoutn are subject to disclosure under the Texas Public Inforamtion Act." - David Starr, vice president and deptuy general counsel of Belo Corp. (parent of the DMN).

"...position government business is government business, no matter where or how transacted..."

Anonymous said...

Certainly Cline isn't being forthright, but, isn't the ultimate responsibility for the fraudulent issuance of the NTO, the judge's? What evidence did Cline present to the judge? If it wasn't sufficient for the NTO, then why did the judge order it?

Just wondering.

Debrah said...

H-S letter:

Flinging racist rhetoric

The mayor, city manager, the City Council, the NAACP, and the old guard at the Police Department appear to have their whole purpose in life premised on the fear of racial unrest. Translated, black people get mad and shoot white people. That's kind of insulting to black people, don't you think?

Besides, if that happens, our police officers are perfectly capable of handling it, and if they can't, the governor or the president will call out the National Guard and take care of it. Let there be racial unrest. So what. As soon as a black person is involved, the city starts flinging around racist rhetoric.

Not everything is racism, and black people aren't the only ones who suffer injustice. This climate of racist hype means that the black leadership of Durham buffers accountability for their actions from the North Carolina politicians who live in fear that somebody from Durham is going to call them a racist before reelection. Get over it. Be men. Or call in the powers that can squash them like bugs: eg. the FBI, the SBI, New York lawyers.

You cannot put American citizens through egregious civil rights violations and expect to get away with it. Not if you're black, white, purple, pink or polka-dotted. I hope the white City Council members go to jail, too. And the women, too. How is that racist? That's just judging people people by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. Voila, we have arrived.

October 30, 2007

Anonymous said...

Great job, KC, exposing a clumsy attempt by Cline to reinvent history.

When I read her pronouncements, I could almost Bill Clinton, "I did not have ...."

Michael said...

Rewriting history is popular sport in Durham.

Anonymous said...

These clowns are the gifts that keep on giving. I'm setting up a Rent-A-Brinks-Truck location in Durham. There is going to be a great demand for them soon.

Anonymous said...

You guys really need to give it a break. I see no similar fawning over the recently corrected problems in Jena, LA or with the case of Genarlow Wilson.

Is skin color the issue? Hmmm.

Anonymous said...

Well, even if Ms. Cline only knew what she read in the public realm about the case, she knew the case was a hoax at least as well as we did and from the time we knew it--which was a long, long time before the December 15 hearing. (And I do not believe for even a minute that she had no more access to information than we did.) This is another extremely important reminder of how vital the civil lawsuit against Durham is. Surely the citizens will refuse to elect this person who helped (1) make Durham a pariah among small cities and (2) build what is a most unusual and probably costly case against the City.

The fact she has not been reassigned/fired is a disgrace. And the fact she is running for the position of DA is surely a sign that neither she nor Durham actually learned much at all.


Anonymous said...

jim2 said...

When I read her pronouncements, I could almost Bill Clinton, "I did not have ...."

To give credit to Bill, that was a bald-faced lie about something where the bpulic did not yet know the truth. Though there was certainly grounds for skepticism based on past behavior, you could still choose to give him the benefit of the doubt without having to forget things you already knew for certain about that particular case.

Cline's lie is much more insulting. She prepared the NTO, so she was involved. Her lie is based on the assumption that nobody's really paying attention. Unfortunately, for most voters that assumption may be correct. (It's certainly true of the press.)

Gary Packwood said...

According to Cline, a major lesson was learned from the Duke lacrosse scandal: “The people of Durham expect one thing from the DA -- to do the right things for the right reasons. It’s not a popularity contest. It’s not doing anybody a favor. It’s knowing you have done the right thing and being able to sleep on it.”
According to the laws of the State of North Carolina and the United States of America?

Or, according to the ability of ADA Cline to sleep on it ...with 'it' being whatever law she thinks the voters want enforced from month to month?

And here I thought our founding fathers and mothers were trying to escape that type of conduct when they came to this country and embraced the rule of law.

Is there something in the Durham water system that makes people delusional?

Anonymous said...

I hope they drill her hard and fast at the civil trial. She won't have time to make this ridiculous lies. I want to see her spin her words and weave her web. She will be called to testify as she was as invovled as Nifong. She was his right hand. Exactly what was in the NTO to get the judge to sign. What were Gotlieb and Himan told to say to the grand jury to sign the indictments. The ADA is as guilty as Nifong. She really must think the public is that stupid. But then if Durham elected Nifong, who knows.

Anonymous said...

In my jurisdiction, it is a violation of professional ethics NOT to turn in someone who you know is violating professional ethics. Is that true in North Carolina? This quote from K.C. Johnson seems to say it is:

"Cline agreed last week that attorneys have a duty to report unethical conduct among their colleagues."

Candidate Cline must now play dumb. Thank goodness someone is shining the light on this discrepancy. You just know that Freda Black would at least clean up the shop. MOO! Gregory

anon said...

The letter to the editor nails it. I am deeply, deeply troubled by the fact that Mangam is not being criminally charged and neither is the Durham Police Department or the District Attorney's Office. After all the complaining about how a meta-narrative was driving all the dispicable events surrounding the LAX case, the same people who were outraged refuse to do anything about the perpetrators (one day in jail is doing nothing IMHO) for the specific reason of avoiding charges of racism from the eternally outraged African American Industry. If the LAX players and their attorneys and supporters really wish to prevent this same thing from happening again, these perps need to be prosecuted. Other wise you get incidents like Jenna where the perps are called the victims. In addition, we have to endure talk of the outraged taking to the streets, committing violent acts, (all justified in the name of outrage doncha know) so public policy is made to avoid these possibilities from happening. Such flawed policy is aiding and abetting the kind of behavior we want to discourage. We must once again devote ourselves to being color blind and stop this destructive madness of PC. Even the players are afflicted with it, stressing in their public comments of how horrible it would be when innocent poor people are charged with crimes and do not have the money to fight it. No, that is not the reference I would consider constructive. No one should be charged without proper evidence, poor, rich, black, white, female, male. And the pathetic explanation that the powers that be in North Carolina do not want house cleaning because it would hurt the Democratic Party is the real outrage. Expect nothing to change, then. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

9:33am said....

"I see no similar fawning over the recently corrected problems in Jena, LA or with the case of Genarlow Wilson."

In case you missed it, this blog is called DURHAM-in-Wonderland. There are many other blogs addressing the injustices in those cases. DUH!

Anonymous said...

"Is skin color the issue? Hmmm."

Tell me, do you go to blogs devoted to the Jena 6 and tell them that they need to "give it a break" and ask if "skin color" is the reason that they haven't departed from the purpose of the blog to focus on the Duke Lacrosse Hoax instead?

Anonymous said...


Part II of I

Which is more dangerous: the racism wrought by the kind of people who populate Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nation shotgun shacks in the Tennessee mountains or the silent racism that becomes governmental or institutional policy? The KKK has enough respect for the opposition that it provides 800 count Egyptian to hide the identity of its general membership, and it perpetrates its crimes at night. On the other hand, racism supported by governments and institutions does not need to hide or act at night; rather, it can have an open, daily effect. Seriously, how threatening is someone who wears a pillowcase to a riot for head protection?

1. Diversity/Quotas

You cannot become a business major without our help. Unless governments, universities and business schools join forces with the specific goal to assist you, creating exclusive laws and policies, you cannot achieve what other people can without such assistance. Is that a racist message?

2. Native-American Mascots

We believe that you are so spineless and weak that we need to remove even the possibility that you might see a depiction of an Indian at halftime of the big football game. Is that a racist message? Before you answer that question, consider that cartoonists and comedians are earning six-figure salaries depicting the President of the United States as a big-eared buffoon and the senior Senator from Massachusetts as a fat, womanizing drunkard.

3. Speech Codes

Without express guidelines restricting speech in your presence and in the presence of people like you, we know that your feelings will get hurt so badly you may need hospitalization even though you have, on average, 214 misogynistic and homophobic songs on your IPOD. Is that a racist message?

4. Cro-Magnon House

If we ever do find real, not just television, cavemen, the first thing we will do is to ensure that they have a separate house on campus because all of those bright lights and that impossibly high score on the Frogger game at the Student Union would be just too intimidating. To promote diversity, we need to sep/a/rate you whenever possible. Maybe if you feel up to it, we can schedule a mixer with the Japanese Student Association next semester. Is that a racist message?

5. Dating Codes

In your 17 to 23 years on this Earth, you apparently have not learned how to say, “No, get your f#%king hands off me.” Seems like an important thing not to have learned. You are, in fact, so infantile, we must insist that you have your partner sign a contract in order to do what high school kids do in the hallway between classes. Is that a genderist message?

6. Termin/us

Should governments, businesses and schools be in the racism business? I believe that stock in the KKK and the Aryan Nation is selling at an all-time low as their hate-filled messages have lost out in the marketplace of ideas. Can the racist messages sent by governments and institutions be far behind? Racism stock - That's a SELL! MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

anon @10/30 9:57 AM

I see no similar fawning over the recently corrected problems in Jena, LA or with the case of Genarlow Wilson.

I don't think you'll see much fawning (toadying, truckling, cringing, cowering, or flattering) on this blog at all. Perhaps you were thinking of another monosyllabic verb.

You won't see much about Jena or Genarlow Wilson here, either, because this is a blog about Duke and Durham. That's Duke with a capital "D" - U - K - E.

Is skin color the issue? Hmmm.

That would be a question for Houston "farm animals" Baker or Mark Anthony "thugniggaintellectual" Neal, wouldn't it?

Anonymous said...

I tend to see the NTO as almost a non-factor. Was it unconstitutional? Damn straight. But let's remember that even though they could have, not a single member of the team resisted the NTO. They wanted the DNA evidence to be taken because they knew that it would exculpate them. While I disapprove of cutting corners, this one strikes me as akin to a stipulation.

Much more damning to Cline, in my opinion, is the institution of the No-Drop policy.

Anonymous said...


"she said she lacked insights into what Nifong was doing"

When the former Junior Miss was questioned about her insights, the interview was abruptly curtailed. Reports circulated that a new Miss Manners self improvement manual and a pair of binoculars had recently been delivered to the Cline household.


Anonymous said...

Gregory @ 12:03:

" is a violation of professional ethics NOT to turn in someone who you know is violating professional ethics."

That, of course, only applies to those who have ethics. When the law allows for the parsing of the meaning of the word "is" (which it did a few years ago), then it is all to easy to skate the edges of ethics and assert that a bright line "is" never crossed. Actually, it seems that Nifong et al really believed, or acted as if they believed, that their actions were required by their ethical obligations. While ADA Tracey Cline will now look anyone in the eye and say that she honored her ethical obligations (because she can rationalize the idea that she only skated to the edge), Nifong skated so far that he wasn't even on the ice.

Only when the Bar says that Cline (and those like her) "is" guilty of violating ethical obligations will problems such as this cease to occur. Until then, all those swarmy history-revising, self-serving, ethically-impaired "officers of the court" will maintain their get-out-of-jail card (which is often turned over to reveal that the other side "is" a race card.)

Two great white sharks were circling a swimmer, when a call from the shore alerted the swimmer to his peril. The swimmer calmly turned toward shore while the sharks continued to circle. The radius of the circle grew smaller and smaller -- yet the sharks never attacked. As the swimmer reached shore, they swam away.

The swimmer walked out of the surf,...while a group of bystanders stood agape. One incredulous onlooker asked the swimmer (who by the way was a lawyer): "How and why did that just happen?!!!"

The swimmer looked at the crowd and stated simply: "Professional courtesy."

Anonymous said...

January 20, 2007 11:42 pm
District Attorney Mike Nifong conceded long ago that he had become accustomed to receiving nasty mail about his handling of the Duke lacrosse sex-offense case, but now even his assistants have been badgered with invective by a New York law firm that wants Nifong ousted from his job.

Anton J. Borovina of the Melville, N.Y., firm Borovina and Marullo wrote Durham's assistant prosecutors this month, saying that if they had any sense of decency and honor, they would ask their boss to resign.

Attached was a letter to Nifong himself, calling him a "corrupt and morally bankrupt prosecutor" and a "low-life, a racist and a despicable human being." The letter asked Nifong to resign as district attorney for alleged "fraud and deception" and "gross prosecutorial misconduct" in his work on the lacrosse case, which he recently handed off to two special prosecutors appointed by the state attorney general.

Assistant Durham prosecutors contacted by The Herald-Sun on Friday said they ignored Borovina's message.

"I threw it in the trash," said Jim Dornfried.

Assistant District Attorney Tracey Cline said she did the same.

Anonymous said...

. . .

4-25-2006 USA Today

"Durham County District Attorney Michael Nifong said he plans to reinstate unrelated misdemeanor charges against some lacrosse players at Duke who had agreed to stay out of trouble in return for eventual dismissal of their cases.

Team captain David Evans was charged in August with possession or consumption of beer or wine on a public street and a noise violation in January, said Assistant Durham District Attorney Tracey Cline. Evans lived at the house where the alleged rape took place, and alcohol was provided to underage teammates, Nifong said."

. . .

Anonymous said...

12:24 says.. this one strikes me as akin to a stipulation

Didn't the NTO contribute to the media feeding frenzy? Wasn't it one of the first triggers to the whole hysteria? IMO, it was a strong signal that the DA took these charges to be very,very serious. It was political, it was premeditated and calculating, and it was heinous.

In a sane town, she'd have no chance of winning. But this is Wonderland, of course.

Anonymous said...

GP asks:
"Is there something in the Durham water system that makes people delusional?"


Anonymous said...

From the Herald Sun article on her decision to run for Durham DA, Tracey Cline said, “I’ve thought about it, talked to my family about it, prayed about it.”

So when did Ms. Cline start praying? Her assertion, that a major lesson she learned from the Duke lacrosse scandal was that “The people of Durham expect one thing from the DA – to do the right things for the right reasons,” is stunning.

Ms. Cline joined the DA’s Office in 1994 and, except for a brief period, has been there ever since. What principles guided her career before the lacrosse case? Did she actually think that seeking justice was a popularity contest? Did she actually think that it was doing somebody a favor? I seriously wonder if Ms. Cline has learned anything at all from the Duke fiasco.

She was a Nifong groupie throughout the debacle and her defense, in my opinion, that “I didn’t have any personal information about what went on in the lacrosse case” is “a crock.” Ms. Cline was one of the prime movers of the case in the DA’s Office. She conceived the idea to seek the NTO. She was the ADA responsible for the prosecution of sex crimes and I’m sure, embracing her “No-Drop” policy, she was salivating like Pavlov’s dog at the mere thought of bringing Duke students to trial.

I hope that Tracey Cline is deposed in the civil suit and I hope that the attorneys question her in depth about her involvement in the case. I wonder exactly what, if anything, Durham has learned from the Duke case. The outcome of the upcoming elections, as well as the outcome of the future DA’s race, will be some indicator of Durham’s resolve “to do the right things for the right reasons.”

I’m not optimistic.


Anonymous said...

who here wants to take a stab at guessing Tracy's margin of victory?

Anonymous said...

gregory @ 10/30 12:17 PM

Racism stock - That's a SELL!

Cal Banking and Finance Prof Terence Odean says: "Investors don't want to sell when a stock goes down because it closes the chapter of an unhappy event." (source: Kiplinger) Explaining why Duke U prefers an open wound?

This "loss aversion," he discovered, may account for why investors hold losing stocks for a median of 124 days, but hold winning stocks for just 102 days (and are 1.7 times as likely to sell their winners than losers!)

So perhaps the time will never arrive for some to SELL!-- but no one's buying anymore.


PS You've got to be next in line for the book and major motion picture release.

Anonymous said...

Reinventing History is Cline’s best bet to seek the DA post. If you can’t run on your record run on the record you wish you had.

A well-educated ethical public would laugh at this and not vote for her but this is Durham and this just might work.

Anonymous said...

The civil suit court date can't be soon enough! Mikey will be trying to blame everything on Cline, who of course "heard no evil, saw no evil and spoke no evil" and will only want to win her election. It'll be a race to see who can throw whom under the bus first!

Anonymous said...

gregory @ 10/30 12:17 PM

"Racism stock - That's a SELL!

Racism has about as much liquidity as Death Valley. So the obvious question is --

Sell? To whom?

Just when everyone has bought their tulip bulbs or favorite internet fantasy or utopian government ideal is not the time to yell "SELL!"

Me, ... I'm gonna just offer as much as the market can take without driving down prices. If I can sell any, well ... I'll just be that much better off.

By the way, what is the ticker symbol for "Racism" -- KKK? CGM? AAAS? SS?

Anonymous said...

I thought at the time and still think the NTO was a good thing. I do think it added to the media frenzy but helped the average Joe's perception of the team. Any half way intelligent person, except Nifong, knew the DNA did not lie and would clear the matter up immediately. It should have but certainly helped turn the case around. Foolin around with protesting the SCOPE of the test would only have hurt them in the eyes of Joe Average.

Anonymous said...

Debrah said...
Everyone needs to link over to John in Carolina for the excellent video which Locomotive Breath has devised.

Deva, That is a good video, but I didn’t see a clip of the Black Panthers. The pictures of them menacing people,and chanting “Dead men walking” chilled my blood.

Where is the outrage that a bunch of thugs can waltz into communities and scare people, just because someone black is involved in a case? I want to hear the G-88 say the Black Panthers had no reason to come to Duke.

I wonder if Charles Piot might admit that a group of ‘over-the-top’ Blacks made racial tensions worse. Something else happened, and it was “Racist Thugs Gone Wild.”

Anonymous said...

For Miss Cline to say she was not a part of the hoax is another bold faced lie from the cast of deviants in Durham. Does she expect us to swallow her cud of further deception? Numerous high ranking officials in Washington monitor these sites daily. You have to ask yourself, why? The answer is crystal clear. The "Powers That Be" do NOT want to become involved in any Federal Investigation. They most definitely fear the exposure of the corruption and abuses in office. Again I ask the media and readers to dig deeper into Durham's notorious past. From the prostitution ring being run from the DPD in the 90's to the most recent SBI "sting" into the La Zona, owned by a deputy sheriff. Reported and caught on tape admitting to murders for hire, trafficking women and children for prostitution, massive cocaine distribution, counterfeiting, and God only knows what else. 3 of these men were all deputies, one even the HEAD of the Gang Unit, and author. What has become of the people mentioned on the "hit" list? Were they ever even told they had even been mentioned? What happened to the poor innocent souls entrapped into sexual slavery, have they been rescued? Then too about the drugs, and other crimes committed by Durham's finest in Law Enforcement, does "ANYBODY" care?!

Has Miss Cline, or "ANYBODY" ever acknowledged these crimes against humanity, and put forth any effort to take action? The sheriff and his own spokespersons have been quoted as saying these "officers" were the BEST, and did not have enough evidence to bring further charges? Yet, they were more than willing to allow 3 innocent men go to prison for a crime they KNEW they did not do, all for political gain? Where is the outrage?! Murders go unsolved, drug abuses escalate, and all of these government entities are fully aware of these most nefarious deeds and fail to not only acknowledge them, but further conspire to hide these crimes to ensure they never see the light of day.

I personally beseech my request for citizens, legislators, journalists, and the Department Of Justice to take action! The LAX3 Hoax is but the tip of the iceberg. This is much larger then one man, (Nifong) and long past due to be addressed. Saying "I did not know" is not an excuse. Pleading ignorance proves just that, ignorance! Deeper issues beg for resolution, along with my own personal quest to find JUSTICE for my dearest brother, whose murder in Durham in 2005 remains unresolved. I DEMAND accountability, and will continue to fight until there is a roar so loud, "THEY" will have no choice than to open their eyes and ears and realize WE will not tolerate the denial any longer!

Rhonda Fleming
Cleveland, Ohio

Anonymous said...

"Does she expect us to swallow her cud of further deception?"

Rhonda Fleming
Cleveland, Ohio

That's an easy question to answer Rhonda.


The only people this woman needs to convince are those misguided individuals who voted for Nifong in the last election for DA.

Actually, Cline is at the same point Nifong was at during his campaign. She just needs to fool the ignorant voters long enough to vote for her as they did for him.

Cline and Nifong have been joined at the hip for years. What worked for him will work just as well for her.

Durham politicians will never change their ways. Sadly, they don't have to.

Anonymous said...

Inman asks:
By the way, what is the ticker symbol for "Racism"?


Anonymous said...

"Durham politicians will never change their ways. Sadly, they don't have to."

A large enough civil judgement might change that. If not to satisfy the voters, then to satisfy the banks whose help they'll need to avoid missing city payrolls.

Anonymous said...

Durham politicians will never change their ways. Sadly, they don't have to.

THAT is a very frightening statement. But, I have faith in GOD, and not mankind. Certainly he will be the ultimate judge.

Jim in San Diego said...

Opinion, weakly held: In the category of "the best is the enemy of the good", two questions:

1. Is there anyone better in Durham?

2. Surely there are many worse

Anonymous said...

I don't know why we're getting all hot and bothered about a few misstatements or deeds by Ms. Cline.

The fine folks of Durham are gonna vote for whomever they're told to vote for.


Anonymous said...

Actually. the Black Panthers did not chant "Dead Man Walking." This phrase was spoken in the courtroom by one of them. None of the Court officials did anything. What the Panthers did shout a few times was "You are going to pay rapist." A very sad commentary on Durham and the Panthers.

Anonymous said...

Nifong did not claim Cline was to blame at either hearing. I doubt he is starting to do so now. I believe in Democray - The people in Durham have a right to elect the official of their choice. It is not up to us out of staters to condemn them for their choice. In the end, justice prevailed.

Anonymous said...

In all fairness, Crystal's family, the major and other Durham officials told the Panthers not to come to Durham. In America, the streets belong to the people - that includes the Panthers. The right of the people to assemble peacefully in one of the things keep this country great.

Anonymous said...

One of the posters on this thread raised a question in my mind. What is on the computer memory of the ADA's? Did they visit Hoax blogs and post? Delicious discovery, there. I know that at least one private attorney faxed a letter to the DA's office with a numbered list of the evidence of exoneration back in May 2006. What happened to that fax? This stuff may be relevant to the civil damages suit and to the Cline campaign.

To Inman & Dave: Racism seems to me to be a commodity that will be there for the near future, but it will be sold as penny stock someday. I have seen way too many children who are 100% completely color-blind. Some ideas are just too stupid to last (or sell). MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

Let's be serious--who really cares what Cline says, about anything. Regardless of what Cline says, does, runs for, etc., even were she to win the DA position any such victory will be financially hollow. After all, as soon as Durham finishes paying off the civil judgments it will soon owe to the Hoax 3 victims, the city won't have any money to staff her office, fill it with office supplies, copier toner etc. Durham will soon turn into NC's version of New Orleans (apres Katrina). Heck, if CLine wants the position, let her have it. Only a fool or an idiot would want it (or someone without any *real* jobs prospects). It's a race to the bottom that even Cline can win.

Anonymous said...

"Didn't the NTO contribute to the media feeding frenzy? Wasn't it one of the first triggers to the whole hysteria? IMO, it was a strong signal that the DA took these charges to be very,very serious."

That the DA took these charges to be very, very serious is not actually the problem. That the DA persisted in charges when the evidence to support them was evaporating is the problem. Now, don't get me wrong -- I'm not saying that Cline's unconstitutional NTO was right to do, nor that she would have done the right thing with the results if Nifong hadn't stepped in to start calling the shots at that point. But let's assume for a moment that Cline would have been completely honest with whatever results she got back from the NTO, and had honored the assurance that DNA results would rule any innocent persons. Which of the players would have objected to being cleared so fast?

Anonymous said...

ChaCha personal guide research-First reply: D-I-W

Scripps Howard News Service
2007-10-30 00:00:00

WEEKLY WEB WONDER: If you don't find what you like on Google by yourself, I would suggest ChaCha ( that offers you a human guide(an expert in online research)for your search.

I think this service is phenomenal and the times I have tried it I was very impressed with the quality of assistance I received.

You have to register for the guide, but it just takes a minute. I asked for information about ‘ADA Tracey Cline.‘

The reply was today’s D-I-W.
We are on the cutting edge!

The ChaCha guide is helpful to young students with papers due.

Anonymous said...

FYI: "Most schools ban Wikipedia"

Wikipedia has worn out its welcome :
Today I won't go near it. What's changed?

Scripps Howard News Service
2007-10-30 00:00:00

Most schools already have banned Wikipedia from being used as a scholarly research source because the information can be supplied by anyone and can be involved in "he said/she said" editing wars.

Some pages are the subject of "WikiVandals" who like to add fake or destructive information.

In some cases this information has remained on the site for months while Wiki's editors were engaged in "edit wars" about arcane people or information.

Comment from

“Bad editing, agendas, facts wrong, lack of objectivity, questionable sources, making stuff up ... how's this different from the New York Times or CBS News? “

(Clever posters there also)

Anonymous said...


Cooney letter reveals Atty. Gen. Ciioer has asked for a joint criminal investigation with the DOJ.

Anonymous said...

Are Tracey and Precious sisters??? They both seem rather adept at making up stories on the fly to support whatever cause(s) need to be supported at the time.
Precious seems to be a victim of compulsive lying. Tracey seems to be suffering from a case of revolving excuses. At any rate, they are two peas in a pod.

Note to Tracey--the only running you need to do is out of Duhmb and into a community that will embrace you and help you learn the difference between truth and agenda.

Nice try, Tracey. Unfortunately, that dog just won't hunt. Matter of fact, that dog won't ever get up off the porch.

W. R. Chambers said...

Here is the North Carolina rule on a lawyer's duty to report professional misconduct. Comments to the rule can be found here:

Rule 8.3 Reporting Professional Misconduct

(a) A lawyer who knows that another lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, shall inform the North Carolina State Bar or the court having jurisdiction over the matter.

(b) A lawyer who knows that a judge has committed a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct that raises a substantial question as to the judge's fitness for office shall inform the North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission or other appropriate authority.

(c) This Rule does not require disclosure of information otherwise protected by Rule 1.6.

(d) A lawyer who is disciplined in any state or federal court for a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct in effect in such state or federal court shall inform the secretary of the North Carolina State Bar of such action in writing no later than 30 days after entry of the order of discipline.

Anonymous said...

That is a horrific statement. Then we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Debrah said...

Bring in THE FEDS

Debrah said...

News & Observer:
Cast the Duke Movie -- When word got out earlier this month that HBO had secured the rights to blogger K.C. Johnson's book about the Duke lacrosse case, the inner casting director came out in all of us. Who should portray Mike Nifong in the film version of "Until Proven Innocent"? What about the defendants? The accuser? The lawyers?We asked for suggestions on our online forum, and you responded with some interesting choices. Here are some of the best reader picks, along with a few of our own. Have other thoughts? Join the "Cast the Duke lacrosse movie" discussion at (

* Former Durham D.A. Mike Nifong
John Travolta (in his "Primary Colors" gray hair)

* Accuser Crystal Mangum
Jennifer Hudson of "Dreamgirls"

* Durham Police Chief Steve Chalmers
Bernie Mac

Anonymous said...


Dear Rhonda,

At this very moment America's jails house some two million inmates, one of the largest jail populations in the world. Now, let's pretend we're in Switzerland, where they don't entertain fancy notions about habeas corpus and discourage such concepts as parole and probation.
Woops! We'd have to pick up an additional two million former felons and toss them back in jail!!
So now our jail population would be four million Americans!!!
You decry the corruption of the relatively insignificant Durham criminal justice apparatus -- do you realize America imports as much illegal drugs as petroleum??
Or that America can boast of one the highest violent crime rate per capita in the OECD?

Debrah said...

New executive editor at the N&O

Anonymous said...

If Freda Black gets elected to DA, Nifong will go over the edge. I would like to see her win because anyone from the DA office is suspect. Would that not be a hoot, if Nifong saved her by firing her. Only in Durham. ,

Florida Gator said...

The N.C. Attorney General has asked for federal investigation of lacrosse case (finally).
Liestopper's forum thread: From N&O article: “The state attorney general has asked federal prosecutors to help conduct a criminal probe into former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong and other government officials involved with the Duke lacrosse case,
according to a lawyer representing one of the three exonerated players....”
Read the rest

John said...

New Orleans District Attorney Eddie Jordan resigned today, citing a $3.7 million discrimination verdict against his office for his decision resign. Jordan, who is Black, repeatedly lost appeals in a 2005 case by 35 White former office workers who successfully sued, saying they were fired for their race and replaced with Black workers. At a July 2007 City Council committee meeting, the largely African-American audience stood firmly behind the embattled DA, and bristled as white Council members questioned Jordan. “The community is outraged,” Councilman Fielkow said to Jordan about his performance. “No, we’re not!” someone shouted from the crowd. “We got your back Jordan!” another said. When Fielkow described Jordan’s conduct as “unacceptable” and “unfathomable,” the crowd shot back. “They’re tryin’ to enslave us!”, one shouted.

Anonymous said...

Cline said:

“You need to be transparent when you are district attorney."

Translation: You don't need to be transparent when you are an assistant district attorney.

Cline: Allow me to clarify. Elect me district attorney. Then I will implement my commitment to transparency. I promise.

Anonymous said...

9:33 AM --

Your comparison is not apples to apples.

The Jena 6 and Wilson might have been oversentenced for their actions. That's subject to opinion. What's fact is that both committed the crimes for which they were sentenced.

Duke lacrosse? The crimes for which they were indicted were not committed.

Anonymous said...

Sweetmick says: Melanie Sill gets a promotion to the Sacramento Bee. Unbelievable reward for one who had so much contempt for the Lacrosse defendants and their supporters. The one who stonewalled the public and whose efforts contributed greatly to this injustice, gets a reward. Yes, we won the battle, but we're still at war.

Anonymous said...

You said "Is skin color the issue? Hmmm."

I think you might have a point. Two of the convicted Jena were invited to the BET awards and given a standing ovation. They were even compared to Rosa Parks.

Wilson was given a full page spread on ESPN on what a wonderful guy he is. He is now making the rounds in the morning tv shows. He's even asked to be a role model.

I would certainly call that fawning over the 2 above. On the other hand, the drumbeat continues with the "something" happened bunch about the Duke lacrosse students--who did nothing to the woman!

mac said...

Didn't see Deborah's post, but I followed your lead and watched the video from Locomotive Breath - (always loved that song - actually the whole album.)

MOO Gregory is up to his superb form, I see! I'm waiting to see what he might have to say about, say, gender-stocks. Hmmm.

Most of all, Cline should be put in stocks. The old-fashioned kind. She's a collaborator, which is a much higher degree of involvement than a hoaxer.

And Bill Anderson wonders - rightly - if the DA's office has perhaps destroyed a great deal of material. Remember Rosemary Woods? What was NOT on the tape cooked Nixon's goose more than what WAS on it.

The DA's office can throw up their Klingon "cloaking technology," but in the end, they always got their asses shot out from under them. That kind of skullduggery might well have been the thing that Cooper was waiting for: once evidence begins to disappear, it's time to move, and there is a clear and legitimate reason for a full-court-press.

Making evidence disappear would have been one of the dumbest things the office could have done...but as with the DNA evidence, it's their M.O.

Not to be confused with MOO Gregory.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

The fact that Cline had to LEARN anything from the Duke lacrosse hoax at all means she did not pay attention in her law school ethics class and thus is unfit to be a DA anywhere in the country.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10/30/07 7:21 PM said...
"It is not up to us out of staters to condemn them for their choice."

This here Yankee disagrees - sometimes it is, and there is precedent for doing so.

Don't make us come down there again.

Anonymous said...

ralph phelan @ 9:13

Dear Sir:

It is my honor to address you at this time of great strife in the South, but I must admit my shortcomings allow the following thoughts.

If you goll durn damnyankees had done it right the first time and accepted a just peace after Chancellorsville, we wouldn't have that mess in Durham today. To a right large extent, I offer, Sir, that perhaps Lincoln is of questionable honor in this regard.

With respect and due regard for your intellect, but with no regard for your north-of-the-Mason-Dixon-line brethren, I remain your devoted and humble servant,


Anonymous said...

I'll freely admit that the handling of Reconstruction makes our current efforts Iraq look like a smooth operation.

Anonymous said...

JLS - How representative is Nifong of ADAs in the country. He could not get a job after law school and slid into Durhams' DA office by working for free for a few months. Any history on Cline's job prospects before the ADA hire?

Anonymous said...

You decry the corruption of the relatively insignificant Durham criminal justice apparatus -- do you realize America imports as much illegal drugs as petroleum??
Or that America can boast of one the highest violent crime rate per ca pita in the OECD?

Relatively insignificant criminal justice apparatus? Drugs and crime? Who do you think is responsible for this? Who controls our borders and streets? Crime is profitable, and necessary for the upper echelon to exist. Where would be the need to have so many over priced lawyers, judges and government officials who fill their pockets from the crimes of others if not for "criminals?"

IMO, these points are extremely significant! I don't know all of the answers, but I certainly find it reprehensible to call their deeds relatively insignificant.

Rhonda Fleming

Anonymous said...

Remember Durhamites, vote early and often, there's a big revenue stream or two to retain control of.

Anonymous said...

Habitual offender program funded - City Council agrees to spend $85,000 in grant money, despite concerns over whether blacks get the stiffest sentences
Herald-Sun, The (Durham, NC) - October 3, 2000
The Durham City Council agreed Monday to spend $85,000 in grant money to save a program targeting habitual offenders, despite some members' concerns that the program targets blacks.

District Attorney Jim Hardin had asked the City Council to find $130,000 to keep the two-member habitual offender prosecution team. The allocation will keep one position.

Hardin said he has emergency money from the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts to pay for the other prosecutor through October and hopes to get the county to cover the rest. Some council members also said they'd be willing to consider more money to help Hardin's office.

The special prosecution team builds the cases against repeat offenders that can increase some defendants' sentences by more than 17 times. The effort has played a key role in reducing the city 's crime rate in recent years, Hardin said.

"A very small percentage of the people who commit crime commit the vast majority," he told the council Monday. "I believe it is appropriate to focus on those people who have created the perception of a revolving door in the courthouse."

But at a work session Thursday some council members questioned whether too many black defendants were getting the stiffest sentences.

Assistant District Attorney Tracey Cline , who oversees the habitual offender program, disputed that contention during Monday's meeting.

Of those who qualify for prosecution as habitual offenders, Cline told the council that the office does not follow through with 45.6 percent of minority defendants and 31.6 of white defendants.

Debrah said...

Does anyone know who the N&O is backing for Durham DA?

Jamie said...

People on this blog are still proclaiming that nothing happened to Mangum, but in Durham, in "intellectual" circles of Duke, in fact, in cities and churches all around the USA, they know very well that something awful happened: no matter what, it happened.

The supposed welter of facts exonerating the players? Concocted by the all-powerful white establishment. The fantastically conflicting claims of the AV? Brought about by powerful white drugs. The bountiful evidence of the LAX players' guilt? Suppressed, made to disappear. That rape happened. It had to have.

In fact, I can't for the life of me figure out why Cline is distancing herself from Nifong. She probably secretly knows very well that something happened, and that poor, pure Nifong was punished for not supporting the thriving whites-can-rape-blacks-with-impunity industry.

Maybe Cline herself is in possession of proof that it all happened, and she's afraid of being treated like poor Nifong (or much worse, since she's black) because she knows too much. That's gotta be it. So she's backing off Nifong.

Hey, but it all happened.

Anonymous said...

The questions posed by KC are not going to be answered by Ms. Cline unless she is compelled to in a court of law - which is why the civil suits must go forward. I used to live in North Carolina (albeit in Charlotte) and thought it a decent state in which to reside. It is with great hesitation that I am advising my daughter to attend law school in the state.

Robert Zimmerman said...

"Facts, of course, can be stubborn things."


Anonymous said...

GP asks:
"Is there something in the Durham water system that makes people delusional?"

Ralph Phelan replies:

Ralph...lead makes you stupid, but MERCURY makes you crazy.

Durham has to have both as far as I can tell.

ES Duke 1990

Anonymous said...

Fascinating to read the historical record, including one's own comments. At first I thought someone was impersonating me. Then I checked the dates.

Oh well.

Anonymous said...

Extremely interesting to read the old comments. I, like Inman, thought that someone was impersonating me and I needed to e-mail KC right away. :)

It is so discouraging to see that Ms. Cline is a front runner. Here is yet another instance where major ethical transgressions seem to make little impression on voters. To me, though, this transgression is much worse than the usual political corruption involving bribes, kickbacks, affairs, use of prostitutes, misuse of government resources, etc. That stuff is outrageous, but the gross manipulation of the justice system, as seen in Durham under the watch of Ms. Cline, rocks the very foundation of the country. This was a galling breach of her oath of office.

Every day I become more convinced that the education system must teach the Constitution thoroughly starting in the early grades, including an explanation of what makes the document important in the context of World History and what makes it vital to each US citizen now. (I think we used to do this in a long forgotten class called "Civics.") Saving these lessons (as it appears we do now) for elective college courses and law school seems to be a huge mistake.


Debrah said...

Great interview with Obama on "Meet the Press" right now.

He's taking the questions head-on.

Anonymous said...

reharmonizer: what in the world are you talking about? "indeed" is your response to the quotation you posit "facts, of course, can be stubborn things". Yes, we all agree with the quote; but, what in the world does your "indeed" mean? It is either agreement with the quote; and, if so, why waste your energy. EVERYONE AGREES WITH THIS QUOTE. Are you are trying to make a point? WHAT IS THAT POINT? This, I must say is a continuing criticism of your comments. You are obscure when obscurity has no charm. If you wish to defend the gang of 88 or criticize KC please do it in a clear, logical fashion. If it is valid you may have made some converts; if not, at least there is something substantial to rebut.

Gary Packwood said...

Perhaps Rev. Wright was trying to tell us something profound about religion and politics

Tracey Cline in her zeal not to ride in the back of the bus, helped throw the lacrosse guys under the bus so that she can pilot the bus...politically speaking of course.

Suppose unsuspecting normal people in Durham have all discovered their inner Jeremiah Wright?

You just can't make this stuff up.

Debrah said...

I was on my way to bed when I saw a few interesting items in the Sunday N&O.

Coleman submitted an op-ed.

Debrah said...

And another by columnist J. Peder Zane.

Zane is an interesting writer for the most part.....even though his ultra-Liberal sensibilities usually taint his work.

I linked this column because he has featured both William Chafe and Paula McClain.

What is it about the N&O that they must rely on Duke professors for everything?

Zane constantly goes to Timothy Tyson, the editorial staff frequently publishes columns from the Gang of 88, and a recent issue they are covering regarding ministers and politicians relied on people from Duke's Divinity School, solely.

What is it lately with Duke and the N&O?

Debrah said...

NCCU's graduation ceremony was covered in an N&O article yesterday.

Here's a bizarre paragraph:

A FAMOUS GRAD: Crystal Gail Mangum, the woman at the root of the Duke lacrosse case and the phony gang-rape allegations dismissed by the state attorney general, was among the graduates Saturday. Mangum, in a cap and gown, flashed a smile to a friend after posing for an official graduation photo with her degree.


How ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

" Jena, LA or with the case of Genarlow Wilson."

Uh. Yes, Jena was similar to Duke Hoax. In both cases, liberal white elitists (NY Times crowd) and black thugs (Gang88, Al Sharpton etc) were actively involved.

In Jena, group of (black) teenagers tried to murder a (white) teenager (and continued to batter him while was knocked off). He is lucky to be alive. Many attackers had long criminal history (NYT and NAACP lied about that, as expected). The attack had nothing to do with earlier events in the same town (some news, such as "white-only-tree") were fabricated by local black activist.

Similarities to Duke Hoax are obvious.

Debrah said...

TO Steve in DC--

You've nailed it concerning "reharmonizer".

His schtick is trying to be obscure.....while pretending to take on an issue.

He's only been at Duke and in Durham a decade. And what he knows can be found in the Gang of 88 indoctrination manual.

I marvel how he tries to tell some of us who know the Triangle well what goes on at Duke and in Durham.

And then he wants to tease this subject further by making himself known on other blogs.

He allows every scurrilous and childish ad hominem against KC a prominent place on his blog, but when someone responds to such comments, they are sent to his prim little page of "extra comments" or he links them back to DIW.

This is typical.

People like him and the Gang of 88 are so insular they cannot recognize their insularity.

"Reharmonizer's" day-of-birth song is, after all, "Daydream Believer".

For explanation of the above, go to Cliopatria.

Everyone should know his/her day-of-birth song.


Debrah said...

Here's a bright and gleaming example of one-sided views and blatant dishonesty:

On another blog, the author makes a huge charade of being the height of integrity and good taste.

Well folks, that hilarious idea is nothing more than breath on a mirror partisanship.

Take a look at this comment that was allowed when the opinion and the ideology are the "right kind".


John: A friend just e-mailed me a definition of "Political Correctness" that I thought you might get a kick out of. I realize you probably cannot post this but I wanted to share it with you anyway. "Political Coeerctness is a doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."


After checking other blogs lately, we can only respect KC even more---if that's possible.

KC always allowed free speech. Many, many times there were attacks on him.

Most of the other blogs are tired and blatantly partisan dives where little cliques form to spew their repetitive mania.

I really fear for a few of these people when the elections are over.

What will they do with their mania?

Many were hiding behind the Lacrosse Hoax.

Many really are quite insular and bigoted......far beyond the importance of what happened in 2006, they are the flip side of Duke's 88.

Petty and small.

Anonymous said...

No suprise that the powers that be in Durham have anointed Cline. She is the most personally involved and thus, the one who will work the hardest to continue the cover-up. If she were out of work, she might get a crazy idea like writing a book.

People in Durham, even more than people generally, are all too eager to be taken in by agitprop that fits w/ their self-percieved identity, even when it is used to harm their own self interests. It is no accident that public schools don't teach Civics any more.

Anonymous said...

I see that you did let "The Debrah" slip in a little plug for "O".
I don't blame you. Every teacher has their brown.

Anonymous said...

To Steve in DC:

If you look at Reharmonizer's bio, his sole purposein life is to strive for ambiguity. Duke should be proud to have a professor who admits to such a worthy cause.

Myself, an ex NCAA lacrosse player, would call these kinds of people TOOLS and make fun of them to their face. Being ambiguous is there shot back.

Good Luck in Life

Anonymous said...

A must read, from Alan Charles Kors, via

Alan Charles Kors

Anonymous said...

Today is the primary day in Durham. I expect Rev Wright and his anti-semitist and Gang88 theories ("US gov created AIDS to kill black") to prevail. Any news about Gang88 campaigning?

Debrah said...


Anonymous said...

My most recent to Reharmonizer:

"The lawyers see this, and they're like, 'Oh my God. What were they thinking?'” -- Tony McDevitt, lacrosse player, on the attorneys’ reaction to the ad of 88.

As perhaps your only supporter at DiW, I hope you will keep that quote in focus as you read the rest of this comment. I say this because I know you have called the Listening Ad “a blip” and criticism of it “vastly overblown”.

It is true, as you say, that “attorneys have their way of looking at the situation and it’s quite different from [yours]”. Based on the events of this case I could say something similar about professors. At least, some professors. The distinction is important because I assure you that all attorneys had substantially identical reactions to the 88ers ad -- the lacrosse players’ lawyers, the university’s lawyers, lawyers who were uninvolved in the case, tall lawyers, short lawyers, black lawyers, white lawyers, brown lawyers, sober lawyers and drunk ones. You get the picture.

Some of us may be scoundrels of the first rank, but few of us are stupid. We are chosen on the basis of the LSAT which focuses most strongly on “reading comprehension”, “logic”, and the ability to “draw proper inferences and deductions”. Then we are subjected to three years of intense study designed mostly to make us better at these abilities. The reaction of attorneys to that ad, in a word, was “shock”.

In seven words, the reaction was what Mr. McDevitt reported above.

The word “tort” comes from the same French root that gives us “torque” – in other words, “to twist”. It means that something “is twisted”, is … wrong. These are actions that are not “crimes” (usually) but are recognized as being so harmful to society that a legal remedy is justified. There are four elements of a action for tort: Duty, Breach, Causation, and Damages. This was the type of action brought against Duke.

What you need to understand, Mr. Zimmerman, is that this ad – and Duke’s seeming to reward some of the 88ers and the 88ers own subsequent statements – was what lawyers call a “damages multiplier”. This is the kind of document that causes jurors during deliberations to send out notes asking, “Can we award more money that the plaintiff has asked for?” or, “How much is, ‘Every last cent the defendant has’?” If you don’t believe that, let me suggest to you to read the comments in The Chronicle to the above-cited article. That’s not Liestoppers, not DiW. That’s the jury pool.

In the above paragraph, I’ve probably just quoted, substantively, what Duke’s lawyers said to Pres. Brodhead and Chairman Steel. If you think otherwise, do this experiment: Find one or more lawyers who are familiar with the case. Ask them two questions: (1) “How much money do you think Duke paid to the three indicted players last year?” and then, (2) “How much money do you think Duke would have had to paid if not for the ‘Listening Ad’ and the fallout (university’s positive response and subsequent statements of 88ers)?” My guess is that a typical answer would be “the plaintiffs would get about 10-times as much with the Ad than without it.”

I think, given my reading of your past writings, that you are thinking at this point: “So what, I’m not addressing the legal case. I’m offering a critique of KC Johnson!” I submit, Mr. Zimmerman, that you are acting as a juror – and a bad one at that. First, you fail to understand the case at all. Second, you consider facts not in evidence – to wit, “I know some of the 88ers, and they are really nice people”. Finally, you fail to exclude unreasonable inferences.

You seem to think that (at least some) of these 88ers are “nice people” and that someone could “make sense” out of their writings. The only 88er of whom I’m aware who in this episode acted with any character is Arlie Petters – by quickly disassociating himself from the Group. From my personal perspective, Prof. Petters by his actions has absolved himself of blame in this incident. What an insult it would be to Prof. Petters for the other 88ers to be forgiven without repentance.

And repent for what, you ask? How about repent to you, Prof. Zimmerman? After all, their actions drained tens of millions of dollars in resources out of Duke – millions that good professors like you could have used. Do yourself a favor: Divide up what you think the Ad cost Duke (my guess $20 million) and figure out how much you or your department lost. Next time you see your friends in the 88, you can have that to talk about.

No one can “make sense” of what the 88ers say, not about this case. For an attorney, the prospect of getting Holloway or Lubiano on the witness stand – well, the testimony of each would be worth an extra $1 million in added damages. The Cathy Davidson article in which she tried to say the ad was “really” about “national healthcare, affordable childcare, and Canadian baby seal hunting”: An extra $1 million in damages even without her on the stand. Jurors hate people who try to insult their intelligence. (I made up the part about Canadian baby seal hunting.) I can think of at least one or two professors who might not even be allowed off the stand – by the time their testimony ended, the judge could be ordering involuntary psychiatric examinations.

I didn’t go to law school until my mid-thirties. I mention this only to show that I can recall a time when I “thought normally”. I realize that lawyers can seem cold – caring about little besides facts, logic, and “reasonable inferences”. I want you to know that I know very little about melody or harmony – and would never think that just because I can sing means that I can judge a piece of music half as well as you can. Is that a sugarcoated way of saying that I think you are out of your element? I plead guilty.

I hope you will accept this in the spirit it is written. I hate to see you looking like the constable who stands over the corpse -- ridden with bullets, pincushioned with knives, and decapitated -- and says, “What body? …. Oh, that one …. Well, it looks accidental.”

If you want to be a serious investigator -- even the investigator of the investigation -- first you have to acknowledge the crime.


AMac said...

RRH 5/9/08 3:53am --

Substantive, and eloquent.


Debrah said...

I must concur.

RRH @ 3:53 AM has taken it to "reharmonizer".

The feature of the music professor's personality that allows him to totally ignore core issues of what he tells everyone he is analyzing gives new meaning to the word.......


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Amac. Reharmonizer has now posted my comment (plus a follow along comment on a different but related subject) with his replies.