President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, for the third day of his confirmation to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
We’re now a week into the Brett-Kavanaugh-Christine-Ford melodrama and my feelings on the issue have changed.
At first, I saw it as a he-said-she-said episode that could plausibly have happened. There were elements of the story that never made sense to me, more on that later, but now I’ve come to the conclusion that Ford is not mistaken, she’s simply a liar. Let me tell you why.
One of the staff assignments I had as an Army officer was as an Inspector General investigator. At the time I was a fairly senior captain. Our office received a complaint about an Army Reserve master sergeant in a full-time manning position wearing an unauthorized decoration. In this case, a Purple Heart. One look at the helpfully included Polaroid showed that he was wearing the Purple Heart ribbon without any of the usual campaign awards so it seemed like a slam dunk. Because we were looking at a senior NCO, I went out with our office sergeant major…a Vietnam vet who had three ‘wrong place, wrong time” awards.
We interviewed the reserve NCO, my sergeant major did the talking, I took the notes. After introductions, his first question was “when were you wounded.” He got back some hand-waving answer along the line, “it’s been so long ago, etc.” My sergeant major pointed to his own Purple Heart ribbon and said (I’m making up the date) “June 17, 1967.” He pointed to the first oak leaf cluster on it and gave another date. He did the same for the third oak leaf cluster. Then he said, “If you’ve ever been wounded in combat you never forget the day it happened.”
The interview lasted another five minutes and ended with a signed confession.
This doesn’t just apply to gunshot wounds inflicted by the North Vietnamese. Think about your own life-changing events, events that have had a major impact on how you have lived your life and the kind of person you are. Marriage? Graduation from college? Birth of a child? Death of a parent or loved one? Life changing accident? Divorce? How many of them do you have where you say, “Damn that was important but for life of me I just can’t remember where I was, what I was doing, who I was with, or even when it happened.”
Ford, I think, has this problem. She says it was so traumatic that it took her years to get beyond it but she can’t tell us where she was, when it happened, or how she got home. She’s saying it changed her life and at the same time, she’s telling us that she can’t recall anything about it.
She’s framing this as an unfair demand
“I’ve been trying to forget this all my life, and now I’m supposed to remember every little detail,” one of those friends, Jim Gensheimer, recalled Blasey Ford saying that summer day while watching her kids participate in a Junior Lifeguard program. “They’re going to be all over me.”
This, of course, is a misrepresentation. No one is demanding “every little detail.” But we do have a right to expect any allegation that seems to have as its objective the sandbagging of a Supreme Court nominee have some verifiable details, like whose house it was.
And Ford, for a psychologist of some kind, really miscasts how memory works. You can’t really “try to forget” anything. Perversely, the more you want to not think about something the more you think about it. And the more you think about it, the more details your mind creates to fill in the blanks of your memory. Logically, one would expect an event such as this to have more, not less, detail.
My gut is that Kavanaugh has been in Ford’s sights for a while. In 2012, about the time he was being touted as a logical Supreme Court pick by a Romney administration, she expressed concern to husband about Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice. She was a college professor and a leftist and she would have been acutely aware of how Title IX sexual assault/harassment allegations are handled on campus. In fact, she seems to act like she expected the Senate examination of her story to be conducted like a Title IX hearing where cross-examination and even details of the allegation are not permitted to the accused.
How did Mark Judge get rolled into it? He was a classmate of Kavanaugh’s who had fortuitously written about his struggles with alcoholism and his friendship with Kavanaugh. Given the vigorous alumni network of Georgetown Prep, it isn’t hard to see how another Kavanaugh friend, Patrick Smyth, was pulled into the story.
Why provide witness names? Why this detail when other details are missing? We live in a Bizarro world version of Sharia culture. Under Sharia, one man’s testimony is worth that of two women. In ours, if the subject is sexual misconduct, the word of one woman is worth that of any number of men. Why would Smyth’s or Judge’s denial that they were at this alleged event even be given a hearing?
The fact that Ford didn’t tell classmates, that she doesn’t know the name of the other girl who was at the party and didn’t warn her to leave the house, that her story of her escape is hugely improbable had a 17-year-old football player really desired to carry out a rape, and her refusal to cooperate with any investigation all lead me to believe that this is not a mistake. This is a lie calculated to damage Kavanaugh’s nomination.
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