Tuesday, July 5, 2011

l'Affair DSK - A Professional's Point of View

Dominique Strauss-Kahn

The DSK Thing was disturbing from the start, there were so many oddities: the head of the International Monetary Fund - about as high up there as the Pope - yanked out of a first class seat on an Air France jet, arrested for sexual assault at the Sofitel New York and slammed into Rikers Island; the hotel maid's tale of DSK's alleged bizarre sexual assault, and then the spectacle of DSK himself appearing with his très riche wife who bailed him out with her available millions.

The temptation of schadenfreude was there of course - not only is Strauss-Kahn of the highest elite classes, he's a French Socialist to boot! There seems a certain sense of justice in seeing a Champagne Socialist busted for his excesses, in this case exploitation of the working class on the most personal level. (Of course if he was a Kennedy this entire episode would have been a career enhancer.)

Now we learn that the story of DSK's accuser - the West African maid - has fallen apart. The prosecution has determined that she's a serial liar: she lied on her application for asylum from her native Guinea where she claimed she was gang-raped by soldiers, lied about the number of children she has, and most crucially for the DSK case, she lied about what she did immediately after the attack (initially, she said she called a supervisor, but later confessed to cleaning another suite first).

Apparently she's also a prostitute with a $100,000 bank account, and has allegedly been caught on tape expressing ambition to turn her supposed tragedy into a get-rich-quick scheme.

But wait it gets better; investigators discovered that she's been turning tricks at the hotel with other guests, which lends more credence to DSK's defense that the sex was consensual. She even resumed her "extra-curricular activities" at a Brooklyn hotel (reportedly) where the Manhattan District Attorney's office housed her while the investigation was carried out.

Sofitel Hotel New York, 44th Street Entrance

As a security professional, I have some questions of the security manager at the Sofitel New York:

Were you aware of these activities by a member of your cleaning staff? Or perhaps more apropros, how were you NOT aware?

Were you so unaware of the maid's character that - when the accusations were made - the immediate course of action was to have law enforcement corral such a high-visibility VIP, to drag him through such personal and professional humiliation?

One of the suites at the Sofitel New York

There appears to have been an unforgivable lack of situational awareness at the Sofitel; a security professional should have his finger on the pulse of his Area of Operations (AO). He should be out there walking the perimeter - in this case the floors of the hotel - at least twice every twelve hours, keeping tab on the comings and goings of the staff as well as the guests.

All I have to say is nobody is going to come out of this thing smelling like a rose. These days I'm expanding my personal security business; it would be interesting to learn if there's a vacancy to fill in the security office at the Sofitel New York.


Monday Mystery Bird HERE


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