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Hillary Clinton Has Important Things To Do, This Is Not One of Them…

September 29, 2009

roman_polanskiAm I missing something? Why is it so terribly unjust that Roman Polanski may have to be extradited to the U.S to face the justice which he skipped out on, so many years ago?

From what I can tell, his supporter’s arguments in favor of him allowing to remain free boil down to:

1. He’s a fabulous director and far too good to have to eat in the prison mess hall with the rest of the riff-raff, the whole child-rape thing notwithstanding;

2. He’s been globetrotting about Europe for years and thus it’s terribly unfair to all of a sudden show up and arrest him as thought he’s some sort of common criminal!; and

3. He’s a fabulous director and far too good…oh, wait, I already said that…never mind…

As I have been reading up on this a bit- not too much mind you, because it’s time I will never get back, I understand that perhaps the original prosecuting team was perhaps a bit media-conscious dealing with a celebrity and that may have resulted in their being over-zealous. I know, imagine that! However, he did plead guilty and then not show up for sentencing. Don’t get me wrong, if there was any sort of prosecutorial misconduct, I certainly am not condoning that, but it seems like Mr. Polanski and his high-profile friends are being a bit, ummm, entitled?

And then there’s this:

His high-ranking supporters in France, Poland and Hollywood are to lobby Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on his behalf.

The office of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said the governor has authority to grant clemency in some cases – but has not been approached over the Polanski matter.

Polanski has been in a Swiss prison since Saturday night when he was detained on arrival at Zurich Airport on a 1978 U.S. arrest warrant for having sex with a 13-year-old girl.

‘He is in a fighting mood and determined to defend himself,’ said Herve Temime, Polanski’s lawyer.
‘There is no reason in law, or regarding the facts or in terms of the most basic justice, to keep Roman Polanski a single day in prison.’

[emphasis added]

You know not for nothing, but Secretary Clinton is busy dealing with the effects of two wars, has been in NY all week at the United Nations, is trying to secure the release of American hikers detained in Iran, working to end sexual violence against women and girls in conflict zones, prioritizing global food security, running the State Department, preparing to chair the UN Security Council session on Women, Peace and Security tomorrow and getting ready for high level talks with Iran, among others. Why on earth should Hillary Clinton have to waste one minute of her time on a bunch of Hollywood narcissists who think springing their pal out of jail should be moved up to priority #1 on her list?

And if Polanski were a film lighting assistant instead of say, an award winning film-maker, do you think these Hollywood types would be lobbying anyone for his release? Of course not.


32 Comments leave one →
  1. September 29, 2009 6:45 pm

    Spot-on, Stacy! And I need to mention here the person who got on my nerves the MOST: Debra Winger. She, evidently, in the waning of her acting career is the executive of the organization that was planning to honor Polanski and argued for his release. Based on her argument, it would make equal sense to let Garrido go – after all that kidnapping occurred so many years ago. Why should HE suffer just because his victims escaped? I think I have an axe to grind with her superior air. *rant over*

  2. September 29, 2009 6:45 pm

    I agree with you. I hope one of Madame Secretary’s assistants nips this in the bud and tells him and his loyal following not to bother.

  3. rachel permalink
    September 29, 2009 6:53 pm

    I mentioned this. I think it’s dispicale that they would even try to Bring her in on this. Yeah she just went to the Congo and heard stories of women raped and beaten. I am sure she will get right on trying to give clemncy to someone who drugged and rapped a 13year old no matter how long ago it was. The only thing that would give me pause is that woman who was involved doesnt want it brought up. That’s all fine and well, but who knows if he did this to someone one else while he exscaped justice. for decades. I don’t beleive all the people jumping to his defense.

  4. September 29, 2009 7:04 pm

    QUESTION: So I’d like to ask a question about the filmmaker Roman Polanski. The French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner sent a letter to the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the issue. I was just wondering if you can enlighten us about what he may have been asking for, and if you can tell us a little bit more about the —

    MR. CROWLEY: Well, if he sent the letter, I’ll defer to the minister to describe its contents.

    QUESTION: But what sort of – what is happening in terms of discussions about the possible extradition of Mr. Polanski to the U.S.?

    MR. CROWLEY: Well, for the most part, I’ll defer to the – to California authorities and to the Department of Justice regarding this legal process. I mean, there will be a period of time, I think two months, for the state of California to make a formal extradition request. The role of the Department of State will simply be to review that request to make sure it meets the sufficiency in terms of our extradition treaty with Switzerland.

    QUESTION: So just a clarification – I actually had that same question, but a little bit different – there is no formal extradition request at this stage?

    MR. CROWLEY: I think there is a preliminary request that was made by the state of California, and I believe that the action taken was based on that – I mean, there’s a legal terminology for it. But I think for now, there’ll be a more detailed, a formal extradition request. We will review that to make sure that it is sufficient under the terms of the extradition treaty that we have with Switzerland.


    I think the review will be the task of somebody of her staff at the State Department plain and simple she´s got more important things to do.

  5. September 29, 2009 7:16 pm

    Thanks for that. I just find it so repulsive that just because he’s a famous director, all these people are shamelessly advocating for his release. Part of their argument seems to be that because he’s been free this long, he should be allowed to remain free. And lets just PRETEND for a moment that someone in the State Dept said “ok, no extradition” can you imagine the outcry? And rightly so! It’s really shitty for people like Weinstein and other Hollywood big wallets to try to lobby the SOS. I mention Weinstein just because I just read an article that mentioned him- oh, it was in my first link in this post- to the CNN article. I’m a bit bummed Tilda Swinton has apparently signed the petition. I like her.

  6. Terry permalink
    September 29, 2009 7:22 pm

    With Hillary’s strong position on sexual violence against women and girls, it is absurb to lobby her about this issue. It offends me that she should even have to comment about this. Polanski is a great director but a little screwed up in the head. Maybe he wasn’t in his right mind at the time, maybe still grief stricken over his slain wife but it’s still a crime.

  7. Tara Linda Wortman permalink
    September 29, 2009 8:20 pm

    Relax everyone. Think about it, Hillary is the biggest support of women who have been raped. Why on earth would she support this?

    Secondly, I personally think that 1) There is a question about her Mother, who brought her to the house with her, and consent on her part 2) Polansky is a 76 year old man. What unearthly good would it do to throw him in prison for the rest of this life? I personally don’t think this case now speaks for other women though I have heard three lawyers on CNN say so. If they would have been able to bring him back closer to the actual crime that’s a different story.

    Just my opinion, and I don’t support child rape. This is not black and white from what I’ve heard, and there responsibility of the Mother who was in the house at the time, and knew where she was going. And, still brought her daughter anyway.

    • September 29, 2009 8:38 pm

      Tara- I don’t think anyone here thinks Hillary would support this – the point of the post and I think also the gist of everyone’s comments, seems to be that she shouldn’t even have to waste her time with this. I don’t get the sense that anyone thinks Hillary is going to stand up and defend a child rapist. It’s just annoying that some people would even attempt to drag her personally into this in light of all the other important, pressing issues she is dealing with.

      As for your other comments, the problem I have is that a) he pleaded guilty- this isn’t about re-adjudicating the case at this point- he admitted to being guilty of giving a 13 year old alcohol, then drugging her and then performing sex acts–all that has already been determined, he just then skipped out on sentencing and by doing so, missed some likely jail time and b) the mother may well have demonstrated poor judgment but last I checked, she wasn’t/isn’t on trial. The fact is, while parents who put their kids in situations where they are vulnerable should obviously be held to account depending on the situation, the notion that that somehow argues for leniency for Polanski, strikes me as rather strange- he admitted essentially doing what he was accused of doing- the fact that the mother is/was an idiot doesn’t change that fact.

      And again, this isn’t the evidence stage- that stage passed a long time ago- all the evidence and possible mitigating factors (such as what the mother did or what she didn’t do) have been hashed out, this is simply about whether or not somebody who admitted to committing a crime, should be held accountable for it even after a long time period has passed. The problem I have is that nobody would be defending Polanski were he not a famous director- we really shouldn’t be so blatant about striving to have two different justice systems- one for famous, so-called important people and one for the average Joe or Jane.

      The other problem I have is that the argument of “well, so much time has passed, what’s the point now” could be used in a lot of cases- and more importantly, abused in a lot of cases. And the only reason a lot of time has passed is because Polanski ran away- he is responsible for HIS actions- it’s really frustrating to me to hear him portrayed as a victim. He wouldn’t have to deal with any of this right now if he had just shown up at his sentencing hearing and done the time. But he CHOSE not to.

      • Nicholas permalink
        September 30, 2009 5:06 am

        Yes, Polanski pleaded guilty, **as a part of a deal** with the prosecution under which he would serve no prison time. I think it is unfair for you to now list his guilty plea as a reason for why he should go to jail. When you sign a contract, you can’t pick and choose which parts of the contract you will follow. The contract in this case was, plead guilty + no jail time. In Polanski’s case, the judge was about to ignore the deal. The judge also made several other procedural errors, which are very well documented in the “Wanted and Desired” documentary. So, if you were Polanski, a foreigner in a foreign country (US), and you saw that the judge is mishandling your case, breaking the deals, and if you saw that the public wants to lynch you, then what would you do ? Yes, surely you would say, let the justice prevail, let me go to prison for 5 years just so that US justice is preserved. And especially so if your mother was gassed to death in Auschwitz and if your wife was murdered, stabbed 18 times, completely senselessly, while pregnant with your child. Surely you would believe that justice works in this world and that the judge will not send you to jail for 5 years ? The real world does not work like that!

        Likewise, you should understand that Europeans have different values – and this reflects in the differences in their legal system. In Europe, the statue of limitation would have long closed Polanski’s case, even if a fugitive from justice. Only in US is there this notion of persecuting somebody till the end of their lives – a rather vindictive, cold, and non-forgiving position as far as Europeans are concerned. So, you should expect the public opinion in Europe to be strongly in favor of Polanski. Europeans simply don’t want to live in a world where people are never forgiven, where people are chased, and sent to jail decades after an alleged crime was committed.

  8. Jeremy permalink
    September 29, 2009 8:39 pm

    I would like to say, that it doesn’t matter how old you are, you do the crime you pay the time, this man ruined this woman’s younger years.

    Of course if she had a large settlement, she would want to keep it silent since they have moved on, however not everyone could pay the large settlement, what if she had been raped by someone poor, do you think she would call for justice on this.

    This is a typical case, regardless, no matter how smart, sexy, or how much of a contributor to the film industry, this man should feel shame and he skipped the country when there was a court proceeding going on.

    Those advocating for his release, well you are shaming yourself by supporting a rapist whom used drugs to induce sexual intercourse from a 13 year old girl!

    On top of this, this is the only one he was caught for? Where there others that went by unnoticed.

    I hope and pray the US will deal with this properly, please. Do you want to make rapists think they can rape a young woman, go to another country and get away with it. Wake the hell up.

  9. Tony in Chattanooga permalink
    September 29, 2009 8:44 pm

    Im am SO SICK, of famous people being given special treatment.
    If Polanski made a film of this, everyone would be wanting the person to be brought to justice.
    This is just another prime example of rich, and famous people get special treatment in court cases. I do NOT have to go into the list.
    If I was in his place, I would be jerked back into the US and taken to court, no matter what. The big difference is, nothing would be national news and I wouldnt have all these other film makers and famous actors rallying to support me.
    The court wouldnt give a dang either, my butt would be in court.
    If they can go after war criminals 60 years after the fact, they need to go after a child molester, that in fact PLEAD GUILTY to the crime.

  10. Staley S. permalink
    September 29, 2009 9:11 pm

    Of course his friends try to pretend that he being arrested now is an outrage. They would like to reinforce their often privileged status. What is outrageous is that he got away for so many years. People tend to discount too easy that this guy was 43 when he drugged and raped a 13 year old kid, and that he is a fugitive for 31 years now.
    It’s not relevant that the victim settled with him. Letting him free would suggest that if you are rich enough you can get away with almost anything: just pay off.

  11. Tom Amlie permalink
    September 29, 2009 9:29 pm

    Maybe he’ll get a big, hairy, strong, smelly, horny “boyfriend” in prison. It might seem like poetic justice that he have to endure the same unwanted attentions that he forced on a 13 year old girl all those years ago.

  12. David G. permalink
    September 29, 2009 9:34 pm

    It amazes me to see how many people actually support pedophilia. Well, more sickens then amazes me.

    I bet if he was a blue collar they would not be supporting him.

  13. god forgive us permalink
    September 29, 2009 9:47 pm

    of course Woody Allen would (demand) he be let go …. says one pedophile to another … he got away with it too! I’m sure if it was his daughter and another older degenerate he might just complain.

  14. Wibuyu permalink
    September 29, 2009 10:46 pm

    Yeah, seriously. I don’t think I would have Woody Allen come to my defense, considering his previous actions, but w/e.

    I won’t watch another Scorsese film again. I am not a prude, but the guy fled the country for a crime he admitted to, why is this unjust? We’re talking about a filmmaker here, not the guy who just figured out the cure for cancer, and even then, he would need to serve his time as well.

    I am huge movie/tv buff, but it really disgusts me that these people believe they are above the law. They seriously are upset at will happen in the future if this is allowed to happen? Oh No! We’re going to start catching criminals in all countries now! PLEASE STOP THE MADNESS!

  15. clr permalink
    September 29, 2009 11:08 pm

    Maybe I missed it – but is the list of all of the people who signed this rediculous petition available somewhere? I will never watch movies, TV shows, created by anyone that advocates that Polanski sould get off of these charges. That pervert PLEADED GUILTY! Some of these actors/actresses/film directors have had the audacity of making money playing “victims” of rape – or making movies on the subject… and then petition our Govt to get a rapist freed after 30 years on the run?? I am sick and tired of these eletists. Please post the list or link to it if there is one – I would be very greatful to know who I won’t support in the future!

  16. September 29, 2009 11:11 pm

    He admitted it happened. His accuser sticks to her story, but regrets where it has gone. The bottom line is he was convicted of a felony, a crime against the state, and left the jurisdiction of the courts rather than face whatever punishment he would get. I’M ASTONISHED that anyone else is ASTONISHED at the arrest as he traveled to a film festival. Is that supposed to be a free pass? He needs to come back to the US and deal with his conviction. If there was any prosecutorial or judicial misconduct (good chance there was), he’ll have grounds for appeal.

  17. Jack permalink
    September 29, 2009 11:18 pm

    The man is a CHILD RAPIST!! Have you all lost your mind? Do you all support PEDOPHILIA?? This is insane!! The man pleaded guilty and then RAN! And everyone is so forgiving! This is absurd. I love how Woody Allen, the other PEDOPHILE is so upset. The man that was messing around with his kids when the were young and then married the daughter. You people make me sick. You are all Pedophile supporters in my mind. Just like the Governors who won’t support Jessica’s law. Like Corzine here in NJ. If they don’t support a law like this then there is only two other possibilities. They support Pedophilia or they are Pedophiles themselves. I was attacked as a child from a pedophile neighbor. I was lucky enough to get away. There are many children that are not so lucky. This sick person was only going to be sentenced to something like 45 days in jail. For drugging and molesting a 13 year old girl. It does not matter how long ago it was. This man was GUILTY by his own admission and he RAN! Stop supporting PEDOPHILIA. It messed up lives.

  18. michael mcmillan permalink
    September 29, 2009 11:46 pm

    based on my estimates as a master of estimation……

    i estimate that given the opportunity, more than half of all living men in the world would attempt to have sex with a woman/girl/tranny if they found themselves in a hot-tun in the 1970s at jack nicholson’s house. some might be passive in their attempts. some might be suave. some might be aggresive.

    you cannot equate the desire to have sex on drugs in the 70s with a malicious act. sorry. i wish i was having sex at 13.

  19. Mark permalink
    September 30, 2009 12:07 am

    The victim says she wants the case dropped. She is married with kids and she just wants to live life.

    Now, can anyone give me any advise about buying an Oreck or Riccar lightweight bagged vacuum cleaner. The Riccar has stiffer brushes will that damage my carpet?

  20. S Weinberg permalink
    September 30, 2009 12:29 am

    Amen! He is an ADMITTED sex offender. He admitted drugging her, having sex with her, sodomizing her…what more do these people need? He skipped out on sentencing after pleading guilty. What do they want the Secretary of State to do??? She has much more important things to do with her time! Send him here and sentence him to the original 48 days he was to have gotten…and multiply it by the 30 years he avoided serving his time! That still doesn’t do it justice. Today he would go to jail for life for such a crime!

  21. Stacy permalink
    September 30, 2009 1:10 am

    This makes me sick! He belongs in prison for what he did, no matter how long ago it happened. Imagine if the rapist was a guy who was living in a trailer somewhere.. and imagine that it was a famous movie director’s 13 year old daughter who was raped and sodomized. THEN WHO would be crying for his release!?! This situation reeks of elitism…the rich and famous who think they should be able to get away with rape and sodomy. The perverts like Woody Allen and the rest who also think it’s OK what he did to her. It’s NOT OK. He did the crime, he needs to serve the TIME.

    • anglela h. permalink
      September 30, 2009 1:22 am

      i am imagining this is happening in a trailer. and you know what, it actually is…right now…as we speak.

      instead of focusing on expunging your guilt by hauling a celebrity before the courts, why not focus your great blooging eye on the just one of the THOUSANDS of more brutal and violent inequities that occur every day…

      oh wait…you are an armchair reactionary…

      • September 30, 2009 6:01 am

        Angela- Yeah, one little blog makes me an armchair reactionary- all I do is focus on celebrities all day long while ignoring the violent inequities. Did you even read the post above or God forbid, anything else on this blog? The point of the post was that this celebrity issue was hardly worth anyone’s time because of all the other as you say, “violent inequities that occur every day”…

        oh wait… you don’t read before you drop little judgment bombs…

  22. John permalink
    September 30, 2009 1:49 am

    They might as well let him go. The big donors to the Democratic Party are: Hollywood, Trial Lawyers, Unions

  23. Militarymale permalink
    September 30, 2009 7:05 am

    The real question i have seeing how many people come to defend this pedophile and his admitted sex with a 13yr old is would they be ok if it was their 13 year old daughter. I guess so or maybe he already has slept with them and they dont want it to come to light so they are taking up for him now. Regardless of some agreement, or the fact he was a foreigner in the USA he committed a crime and should be punished as anyone else would be regardless of his F….. Status i am tired of High profile people getting special treatment i defend this country so everyone gets equal treatment, punishment, and rights. Lawyers with their special deals, prisons with early release, and Judges that dont throw the book at criminals that mess up everyone elses life screw this up daily.

    Treat him like anyone else, judge him with a panel jury, and let him do his time. Let the chips fall otherwise you write the ticket that having sex with a minor is ok regardless of consent or not.

    Clinton shouldnt even bother responding to this case, He fled justice now he is on his way back. Charge him with fleeing the law and punishment on top of this.


  24. Terry permalink
    September 30, 2009 4:01 pm

    Lots of commentary on this issue at the NYTimes:

  25. Ashley permalink
    January 16, 2010 7:40 pm



  1. Oh Logic! Celebs Want Hillary Clinton To Speak Up For Polanski! « The Department of Homegirl Security

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