A Letter to Sheriff Dupnik from Former Durham County Prosecutor Mike Nifong
Dear Sheriff Dupnik:
My name is Mike Nifong. You may not know of me, but I was once was a liberal democrat prosecutor from Raleigh, North Carolina. I am writing you, because I have seen you on the television over the last few days making serious allegations against people claiming they were, in part, responsible for a hideous crime without a shred of evidence to support such a charge. I know you would like nothing more than to smear those people in the hopes of advancing a political agenda—and believe me when I tell you, a more understanding supporter of your cause than I, you will not find.
My purpose in writing this letter is to warn you of the possible pitfalls and consequences that could possibly occur for misusing the power of your office for political gain, as well as offer advice in the hopes that you will have greater success in you endeavor than I did when placed in a similar situation. That, and the fact you bear a striking resemblance to my favorite childhood cartoon character Mr. Magoo.
As you may remember, a few years back, I almost pulled off convicting a few white Duke University Lacrosse players for raping a helpless black stripper. At the time, I was in the midst of campaigning in the Democratic Primary for prosecutor of Durham County, a bastion of liberalism in an otherwise conservative state, not unlike Tucson. My decision to indict, arrest, and prosecute those boys was a tremendous help in securing votes within the liberal base of the Democratic Party and the African-American community. And boy did it work! I easily won the primary, and because there were so few Republicans in the county, I was a shoe-in for prosecutor in the upcoming general election.
Not only did the accusations help me politically, I became famous! The national media interviewed me daily; just like it interviews you now. And in those interviews, I slandered them boys. Accused them of all kinds of terrible things; just like you are accusing those rotten conservatives today. Doesn’t it feel great sheriff, to have the whole country listen to your opinions? Just as exciting, in my case, were the angry marches and protests by the New Black Panthers and those feminist woman’s groups. Hell, even the Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton came to speak to me! I got this county, as well as the entire nation riled up. The media and public hated those boys so badly for what I accused them of doing; we almost had an old-fashion 1960’s race riot on our hands! Good Times.
To be honest Sheriff, every time I think about how close I to convicting those rich, spoiled, conservative, white boys, it makes me crazier than Crystal Gail Mangum when she’s off her medication and swinging upside down from a stripper pole. I just hope your exploitation of the psychotic assailant in your case is more helpful to your cause than my sociopathic non-victim was to mine.
I know you may be thinking our two cases are not analogous, because you have not charged those whom you have falsely accused of inciting Jared Loughner to commit mass murder with a crime. However, the similarity lies in the fact that we both used our elected office to publicly slander individuals for the exact same motive: to further our own political agenda.
Sheriff, I want to caution you that now you have made those allegations, and have stood by them, even when given several opportunities to clarify or take them back all together, you have to be careful. Believe me when I tell you the media today is not the same as it were fifteen or so years ago when a public official could unjustly smear conservatives or rich white folk; and in the process, not only advance his or her political career, but become a hero to the liberal media. Former news anchor Dan Rather and I are just two examples of how the internet and other mediums have altered the news business.
As both “Gunga Dan” and I painfully discovered there are now a plethora of damn conservative talk radio shows, at least one objective cable news network; and websites whose members wanna get all up in a political player’s “bidness;” if you know what I mean. They are always poking around asking all these questions about an accuser’s motives and background or demanding actual evidence to support accusations. It’s enough to make a progressive sick, I tell ya. Damn idealistic fools. They can’t handle the truth! Can they Sheriff? I can’t wait for the day, when we criminalize the whole godforsaken conservative/libertarian/tea party ideology, and silence the purveyors of it. Free speech be damned!
Oh, how I pine for the days when there were only the three TV news networks, along with CNN, the Washington Post and New York Times dispensing the news! In those days, all of them worked together to advance the liberal cause, and there were very view outlets that carried opposing viewpoints. As such, a democrat or liberal elected official, like the both of us, could use our office to execute political hit jobs on our conservative enemies, without consequence.
I truly believe had it not been for those in the “new media” asking the tough questions; investigating me and my staff; as well as the accuser’s background; and then reporting the actual facts; I would have convicted those boys (all I had to was get the case heard by a liberal, mostly black jury ala O.J.), and then, quite possibly, have been elected governor of North Carolina. Further, we would still be watching Dan Rather say “courage” at the end of his CBS Nightly News broadcasts. Don’t ask me Sheriff; I don’t know what the hell the man was talking about either.
Hopefully, the day comes when we can legally halt the conservative and tea party movements by enacting speech regulation legislation. However, some liberal prosecutors refuse to wait any longer. They are taking the initiative and have instituted a de-facto criminalization of conservatism via the court system. For instance, Tom Delay was, for the most part, prosecuted out of revenge for the crime of being an effective conservative politician. In that case, charges were brought by the extremely partisan liberal District Attorney of Travis County Ronnie Earle under a very broadly written obscure Texas statute that proscribed the distribution of certain campaign funds. In truth, if a prosecutor was creative enough, he or she could have indicted almost any Texan elected official under the statute. Especially, if grand jury members were of the defendant’s opposition party.
In Delay’s case, the trial was held in one of the most liberal cities in Texas, Austin. No question the man was railroaded, and the only reason Ronnie Earle got away with it was because the media was basically silent. It knew the whole thing was a political hit job, but the target was a conservative. The poor bastard was found guilty and sentenced to three years. Good riddance, eh sheriff.
We did the same thing to Scooter Libby. Now his case was the schizzle. What American citizen actually gets prosecuted and convicted on a perjury charge for allegedly lying to cover up a non-existent crime? A high-profile republican political operative who was an aide to then Vice President Dick Cheney, that’s who: the most despised man in Washington D.C. The same city where his trial was held and 94% of the district, and thus the jury pool, voted for the democratic nominee in the 2008 presidential election.
I was in the process of employing the same trial strategy in the prosecution of the Duke boys. All I had to do was get the case in front of a jury made up of a few guilty white liberals; a feminist or two; and some angry African Americans, or at least they would be angry by the end of the trial. However, the Delay and Libby cases had the one thing mine lacked: a minimal amount of evidence in which to at least get to trial.
The only evidence I had was a junkie stripper’s ever changing series of events. You know she changed her story twelve times on me sheriff? Twelve times! By what the crime lab report said about the multiple “DNA deposits” from different male subjects (not a damn one from a Duke player) found on her under garments, that was more times than she changed her panties every month. Looking back, when I received that particular lab report, I should have dropped the whole charade, with the deepest apologies to the boys, their families, and the whole country. But a case with an underprivileged black girl, being ganged rape by rich white boys? The story was better than a god damn John Grisham novel sheriff. That coupled with my liberal white guilt; I just could not let go of it at that stage.
Anyway, that’s why I support your mission to promote the propaganda linking conservatives in some way to this horrific event. To shut them right wingers the hell up! If you succeed in actually duping the public into believing conservative hate speech was culpable in the shooting of a congresswoman; the murder of a federal judge; and five other people, including a nine year-old little girl, maybe we can start the process of enacting legislation to quiet their rhetoric or get them off the airways altogether.
However, in addition to the new media, there is another group you have to be careful and suspicious is the American people as a whole. Unfortunately for guys like us sheriff, most Americans are reasonable and fair-minded. So they might get a little upset, if you provide no proof to support your claim that your boy Jared there targeted that congresswoman, because of talk radio or Sarah Palin’s election map. They will become even more outraged, if Loughner’s defense team uses your outspoken public indictments against conservatives that will in some way gain him favor with the courts or a jury as the case moves forward.. If that happens, be prepared to hear and see your name being used as a verb, like the public did to me, after I falsely accused those boys; to wit:
Nifonged: a verb that describes the railroading or harming of a person with no justifiable cause to do so, except for one’s own political gain. It can be used as a substitute for unjustly accused and many other similar words and phrases.
Imagine hearing for the first time, “I was dupniked by the local prosecutor” or “we were dupniking this guy even though we know he did not do it,” and “Afterwards, even though there was no proof of a connection between talk radio and the mass murders, the radio host, who had been dupniked by the local sheriff’s office, became a target for violence himself.”
I tell you what sheriff you never get used to having your name, for the lack of a better word: nifonged.
To be on the safe side though, I would just stick to being interviewed by MSNBC’S Chris Mathews and Keith Olberman. That way, not only will you get easy questions, it will be a virtual slobbering love fest; and if you are lucky, the three of you may even achieve simultaneous thrills up your legs.
Anyway, my break was over about ten minutes ago, and my eighteen-year old boss Shawneequa will get all ghetto on my ass, if I don’t change the grease in the deep fryer, before the next shift. And, in this economy, I can’t afford to lose another job. Good luck to you Sheriff Dubnik and be careful out there.
Former Durham County Prosecutor