Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the IMF, jailed yesterday for the alleged sexual assault of a 37 year-old female maid at the Sofitel hotel in New York City. Before the day was out, other allegations of assault were coming forward from France where charges were not filed against Strauss-Kahn.
This man was in New York on private business, so he is not claiming diplomatic immunity. Experts say that in a violent crime such as this, diplomatic immunity would not protect him in the U.S.
It sure begs the question if he has done this before, if he used diplomatic immunity in France to keep his tail out of jail. This man wields a lot of power as head of the IMF, but remember the old saying,”Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely!”
He may be a person who has been corrupted by absolute power as the head of the IMF. With the thought that he can do whatever he wants, he may have thought, I can do it in the U.S. and get on the plane and off to France.
However, he left his cell phone according to published reports and called back to the hotel and asked them to deliver it. Two uniformed police officers did deliver it with an arrest warrant. Now the cell phone may have diplomatic immunity if it belongs to IMF. Wouldn’t you like to belong to a powerful entity like the IMF and have your cell phone have diplomatic immunity?
If these charges are true and if the alleged incidents in France earlier are true, then it does seem that when someone feels they have no consequences their abuse mounts and they get bolder in what power they will exert over someone. Having such power should bring understanding and grace, but we have seen this over and over where this is not what happens, and it brings down the person and many others.
Abusing others for one’s own gain will always result in the loss of the corrupt person’s power eventually. Hollywood will have field day with this one.
I can see a “Law & Order SVU” case coming to the future ripped from the headlines with this case. It is made for TV drama, it is also the result of too much given with no checks and balances to keep power in check.
When no one oversees the accountability of someone over others, the person in power will abuse that power. The IMF Board may be open to lawsuits by the alleged women this man has harmed. I wonder how many bonus checks the head of the IMF received over the years. Without proper accountability, the Board may have given up their rights to protect themselves.
This is like a boss who creates a hostile workplace and his supervisors know what he does, but they take no steps to correct his behavior. In the meantime, people keep quitting, because of the boss’s abuse, but his superiors take no steps, because he gives different reason why they left.
Unless proper investigation is done to see why someone is having high turn-over, his supervisors will never discover the real problem. I’m not an attorney, but I would not want to be in the IMF Board’s place or in someone’s place where they ignored a problem hoping it would go away, but then the problem grew out of control, until no one could bring it back under control.
The IMF Board may have not exercised their power over the head of the IMF to protect others. The Board will be accountable if they knew about his sexual proclivities and did nothing to stop him, in my opinion. These type of lawsuits could go on for years. If I were the IMF Board, I would name someone else to run the organization, and move this man out of the Head of the IMF. At least then, the IMF can continue to do business and let Strauss-Kahn worry about his own legal matters.
- What Role Diplomatic Immunity May Play for IMF Chief (propublica.org)
- IMF chief jailed on Rikers Island, charged with attempted rape (cnn.com)
- Pressure rises against IMF chief held at NYC jail (ajc.com)