D’Souza is Very, Very Sorry

Declaring himself “disgraced and humiliated” and “ashamed and contrite,” Dinesh D’Souza is throwing himself at the mercy of the court, asking the judge in his election law violation case to be lenient on him and give him probation and community service rather than a jail term.

The conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza has asked a federal judge to sentence him to probation and community service after pleading guilty to a campaign finance law violation.

In a Wednesday court filing, D’Souza’s lawyers said their client will present himself as a “disgraced and humiliated man” who acted out of character by having two “straw donors” donate $10,000 each to his friend Wendy Long’s unsuccessful 2012 U.S. Senate campaign in New York, and then reimbursing them.

The sentencing recommendation includes an unusual statement from D’Souza, 53, to U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan, who will impose sentence at a Sept. 23 hearing.

D’Souza said the means he chose to help Long, a Republican he had known since both attended Dartmouth College, was “completely aberrant,” and has led to his credibility as a public figure to be called into question. He added there was “zero chance” he would commit the crime again.

“I cannot believe how stupid I was, how careless, and how irresponsible,” D’Souza wrote.

“I took a short-cut, knowing that there was a campaign limit and trying to get around the limit,” he continued. “This should not have happened, and I am ashamed and contrite that it did.”

The Mumbai-born D’Souza, who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1991, proposed community service that could involve teaching, instructing new immigrants in English, or working at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater San Diego.

He faces up to two years in prison if the judge imposes the maximum penalty under the plea agreement D’Souza reached with prosecutors. You know, it would be a whole lot easier to buy this apology and declarations of humiliation and contrition if he hadn’t spent so much time after being charged accusing the government of selective prosecution and denying he had done anything wrong. That isn’t how contrition works.

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  • dingojack

    Oh I’m sure he’ll get a sentence of 18 months, but with time served…

    Pricks like him never see the inside of cell. And all the right people get appointed Judges. See how the whole prick-asshole machine lubricates itself.

    >:| Dingo

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    But… Conservatives favor ruthless justice. C’mon D’Souza why u no love america!?

  • steve oberski

    So let’s see, a Catholic apologist for Catholic clerical kiddy fuckers is asking for court sanctioned access to children.

    What could possibly go wrong ?

  • Michael Heath

    The article Ed quotes:

    D’Souza said the means he chose to help Long, a Republican he had known since both attended Dartmouth College, was “completely aberrant,” and has led to his credibility as a public figure to be called into question.

    If the judge follows the culture wars, this is where he’d no longer be able to contain himself.

    It’d be even funnier to see Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, Jim Inhofe, or Rush Limbaugh in the sentencing phase of a libel suit they just lost; where they claimed they’d never defame anyone again.

  • jeffreyfalick

    This is what comes of liberal immigration policies. The only acceptable conservative sentence would be to strip him of his U.S. citizenship and deport him. 😉

  • tuibguy

    Dear Dinesh;

    We wish to make an example of you. I am sure you will understand, and take proper care in your rehabilitation because it is the moral thing to do and you are Of God.

    Sincerely,

    The Rest of Society

  • http://zenoferox.blogspot.com/ Zeno

    a Catholic apologist

    By D’Souza’s own admission, he cannot be characterized as a Catholic, despite his upbringing. Most other terms of obloquy, however, seem perfectly fitting.

  • daved

    I think it’s clear that he’s very, very sorry that he got caught. At least, that’s how I interpret:

    I cannot believe how stupid I was, how careless, and how irresponsible

    The use of “careless” is particularly telling. Had he been more careful, he could have avoided being caught.

    This is also not an “aberration.” This is the kind of thing he and his cronies did all the time back in their college days at Dartmouth. Little things like stealing the membership list of an organization of gay students and publishing it. Or purloining the list of all alumni and sending everyone a copy of their crappy rag, The Dartmouth Review.

    Personally, I hope he does the max.

  • busterggi

    Hah! DD forgot to promise the judge that he’d never get caught again. That’s the most important lesson he learned.

  • garnetstar

    How about community service of living on the mimimum wage for two years? Working as a janitor or trash collector from the highways, or a fast-food worker, or working three part-time jobs while supporting his family solely from his income? How about living on food stamps and/or welfare for two years?

    Nah. Some people are incapable of learning anything even from personal experience.

  • favog

    He admits to complete guilt, but wants to get off just because he apologized, with community service. As noted above, that’s the opposite of really sorry. But having the nerve to try to pick what his community service is? If I were the judge, I’d feel like I had to give him the max just to make it clear to the community that he’s not paying me off as well.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Mark my words, he’s going to be sentenced to two years working under Holder’s Do”J” in Obamacare’s hollow point bullet armed army, building madrasas in the FEMA camps for the War on White People.

  • maddog1129

    Contrition is not something you can claim for yourself. It is the judgment of others, based on your actual behavior.

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    The Mumbai-born D’Souza, who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1991, proposed community service that could involve teaching, instructing new immigrants in English, or working at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater San Diego.

    Promising to shut his mouth forever would be suitable community service.

  • lofgren

    Oh for fuck’s sake. You can’t expect any human being to totally reverse their position instantaneously. Of course his first reaction was to rationalize his behavior. That’d be true of anybody. The fact that he is now openly and honestly admitting guilt without any attempt to obfuscate or mitigate his behavior is laudable. Obviously it’s a legal strategy, but you equally can’t blame the guy for using any method at his disposal to avoid prison. Can anyone here honestly say they wouldn’t do the same? If so you are either a liar or a moron. Hell our whole legal system is predicated on the notion that defendents will do everything they can to legally avoid prison. D’Souza is every bit as vile as he ever was, but he deserves points for honesty. (Yes, I feel ridiculous saying that Dinesh D’Souza deserves ponts for honesty.)

    And daved @8: pretending that you can discern how somebody “really” feels based on a single word in a legal document that was probably written by the defendent and like three lawyers and then editted and rewritten multiple times is every bit as stupid and dishonest as that shrink at WND who Ed frequently reports on who claims that Obama “really” hates white people based on a single word in the State of the Union.

    Just give it a rest. Doesn’t this guy do enough slimy, sleazy, dishojest things that we can just leave it alone the one time in his life hendoes something that is rational, honest, and appropriate?

  • JoeBuddha

    Didn’t he as much as admit he knew it was illegal and what he was going to do if called on it? I’d sentence him to the max plus another year or two just for being an ass.

  • dhall

    By asking friends to donate to the campaign, and then reimbursing them, it certainly appears to be something he knew bloody well was illegal, and although he was determined to donate more than he legally could, it also appears as if this was planned–at least a little ahead of time–and he just assumed it was such a clever plan that he would never be caught. For him to suggest now that it was a sort of aberration, that it was out of character and he just couldn’t help but obey that bad, bad impulse, is more than a little ridiculous. So is the claim that he’ll be the sweetest little thing from now on. I’ll be curious to learn how much of that crap the judge accepts.

  • daved

    lofgren@15

    D’Souza is every bit as vile as he ever was, but he deserves points for honesty.

    What honesty? Saying he took a “shortcut?” A shortcut is something you take to avoid traffic. He didn’t take a shortcut, he deliberately violated campaign finance laws and he got caught. And, as I said in my earlier post, it wasn’t an “aberration,” either, it was in keeping with his entire life, which is built around lying, and being a spoiled, privileged little jerk who thinks following the rules is for other people.

  • steve84

    No matter how much of a scumbag he is, jail time seems excessive considering the small amount of money involved and the offense in general. Just as there are too many draconian sentences in the US legal system for many other comparatively lesser crimes (compared to things like murder).

  • whheydt

    Re: steve84 @ #19….

    “Small amount”? “Small amount” to who? To d’Souza, certainly. Perhaps a “small amount” to you. But for a lot of people being out of pocket $10K would be anywhere from a sizable amount to life style changing.

    Throw the book at him. He knew better but figured that rich people don’t get caught, charged or convicted. At least if he gets a couple of years in the slammer, some of the other scum may think twice before trying the same stunt.

  • dfarmer1584

    Setting aside my bias against DD, I do not see that a long jail sentence in this case serves justice. DD, despite all his faults as a human, has never been convicted of a crime in his life; that does and should mitigate the length of a behind-bars jail sentence, for anyone, even the detestable DD. Fines, supervised probation, and an out-of-custody alternative sentence–such as community service, or “house arrest” (ankle braclet, restricted activities etc.)–are appropriate in this case.

    That said, I think justice would be served greatly if DD were given a “shock term” in custody. He should be remanded and booked into a real prison for a short term. He would then be strip searched, issued prison clothes (including clean, but wonderfully used underware!), and locked in a small cell for a period of days, eating and drinking only institutional meals. After a few days of prison shock, he could then be released to serve the remaider of his sentence on whatever program he gets. For a person like DD I think a “shock term” is enough, and essential. He needs to “feel” jail, but years there, for his crime, would be unjust.

  • felidae

    I have to say, Dinesh is a real sorry sonofabitch

  • lofgren

    What honesty? Saying he took a “shortcut?”

    For admitting that he knowingly violated the law. Yes, he characterized it as a shortcut. That doesn’t change the content of his statement. It’s certainly not dishonest to do so. Minimizing of the severity of his crime, sure, but that’s the whole purpose of this document and it’s natural for him to do so. Frankly a lot of people agree that this crime wasn’t all that serious, so he’s hardly alone in that regard.

    it wasn’t an “aberration,” either,

    Do you have some kind of evidence that this was not an aberration, or are we just libeling people for shits now?

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    The fact that he is now openly and honestly admitting guilt without any attempt to obfuscate or mitigate his behavior is laudable. Obviously it’s a legal strategy, but you equally can’t blame the guy for using any method at his disposal to avoid prison.

    Eh, right. But you can still make an issue of his hypocrisy. In case you didn’t know, D’Souza’s first line of defense was to go on the Fox News and argue repeatedly that he was the victim of the Obama regime’s thuggery, that he had been selectively targeted, and that he was wronged, a victimized victim of victiminitude. That’s just a wee bit inconsistent with his current contrition, in which he openly admits his guilt and demands mercy, no?

  • gerryl

    “This should not have happened, and I am ashamed and contrite that it did.”

    You’ll notice the usual ‘not-pology’ sentence structure. It happened and he’s ashamed that it happened. Still too hard to say he’s ashamed he DID it.

  • sugarfrosted

    @16 He should have been brought up on conspiracy charges because of that.

  • lofgren

    That’s just a wee bit inconsistent with his current contrition, in which he openly admits his guilt and demands mercy, no?

    Only as inconsistent as any other human being. As I mentioned in my first comment, expecting him to immediately admit guilt and completely reverse his position is setting yourself up for disappointment. It’s default human behavior to justify our actions, and deflecting the severity of those actions by pointing to bad behavior on the part of others is pretty typical.

    Yeah, sure, you can make a big beef about the fact that a guy caught doing something wrong tried to defend it before he admitted that it was wrong. Your beef there is with humanity, not that one guy. And to come around eventually and acknowledge that he did it and knew it was wrong at the time, even if only to avoid punishment, is pretty damn advanced. I’m sure we can all think of plenty of examples of people, even good people whose crime was less severe, who went down swinging without ever learning the first rule of holes.

    Ask yourself this: if D’Souza was continuing to insist that he did nothing wrong and he was being persecuted, would you be praising him for his consistency? Or are you just going to call him names no matter what he does? I say the guy is finally doing the right thing. The least we can do is grudgingly acknowledge that. You don’t have to praise him for it, or let up on him for any of the other truly awful things he has said and done, but it makes us look like petty assholes when we berate him for the one thing he did that wasn’t totally fucked up.

  • hunter

    “That isn’t how contrition works.”

    For D’Souza and his ilk, contrition is what you try after everything else has failed.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    Yeah, sure, you can make a big beef about the fact that a guy caught doing something wrong tried to defend it before he admitted that it was wrong. Your beef there is with humanity, not that one guy.

    He didn’t really try to defend it, he claimed he was a victim of a witch hunt personally orchestrated by the President of the United States, and went on national television to make those accusations. Plenty of criminals claim they were unfairly prosecuted, but very few allege a conspiracy of this magnitude and use it as a political weapon to inflict harm on innocent parties. This was scumbag behavior even by their low standards.

    Ask yourself this: if D’Souza was continuing to insist that he did nothing wrong and he was being persecuted, would you be praising him for his consistency? Or are you just going to call him names no matter what he does?

    The latter. After his initial behavior, he doesn’t come out looking good no matter what he does. I find nothing praiseworthy about his obviously self-interested contrition. If he continued to play the victim, it would at least be possible that he was sincere, if completely delusional.

  • lofgren

    After his initial behavior, he doesn’t come out looking good no matter what he does.

    Yeah, well, that makes you the asshole in this story. Congratulations. You managed to outdick Dinesh D’Souza.

  • Michael Heath

    lofgren writes to Area Man:

    Yeah, well, that makes you the asshole in this story. Congratulations. You managed to outdick Dinesh D’Souza.

    No; as hunter wrote:

    For D’Souza and his ilk, contrition is what you try after everything else has failed.

  • lofgren

    It doesn’t matter what Hunter wrote. You can’t put people in a situation where nothing they do is right. D’Souza reacted poorly to the accusation. That is wrong, but common. But then you have to ask what the appropriate next step is. It’s not fair to say that anything he does from that point forward is wrong. It may be that a person can back themselves into a corner where no options available to them are ideal, but some options must be better than others.

    After initially reacting poorly to the accusation, D’Souza still had options going forward. He could have continued insisting that he had done nothing wrong and was being targeted by a conspiracy. Or he could do what he has done, admit that he was wrong, that he knew he was wrong, and ask for leniency. He also could have admitted he was wrong and thrown himself on the mercy of the court but that is both unrealistic and contrary to the assumptions of our justice system. Nobody should be expected to do that. No matter the crime, a person should be expected (and is entitled) to pursue whatever legal methods are available to them to minimize their punishment from the justice system. To not do so would be crazy.

    Whatever your speculations about his motives, D’Souza is doing the right thing here. He admits his guilt and his premeditation. You may disagree with the way he characterizes his crime, but he does admit what he did, that it was wrong, and that he knew it was wrong at the time. D’Souza cannot go back in time and fix his initial response. If he could, then obviously the best thing to do would be to go back and never commit the crime in the first place.

    If you give D’Souza no way “out,” all you are doing is encouraging bad behavior. Why should he do the right thing when he will be judged equally harshly for doing the wrong thing? There must be a way forward. If you deny that for anybody then I see no reason to do it for you.

  • Michael Heath

    lofgren writes:

    If you give D’Souza no way “out,” all you are doing is encouraging bad behavior.

    Boy you need some remedial lessons in reading comprehension. hunter’s comment @ 28 specifically referred to the fact that D’Souza had other options available, but cowardly and deceitfully chose to not pursue them. Instead D’Souza initially responded by defaming others, which is what he does and why he deserves our condemnation here once again, ad nauseam.

  • lofgren

    Maybe I do. To me it appears that Hunter is suggesting that D’Souza and others like him only attempt contrition when other methods of avoiding responsibility for their actions have already failed. It’s an astute assessment, but it is still speculation. Moreover, it doesn’t matter. Regardless of why D’Souza has now chosen to do the right thing — or at least, the rightest thing that was available to him — he has at long last chosen it. If somebody is doing something wrong, they deserve criticism and even punishment for that. When they start doing the right thing, you stop criticizing them for it. That doesn’t mean that you don’t follow through with their punishment or remind them what they did wrong, but it’s simply immoral to mete out additional criticism and punishment for finally ceasing their wrongdoing. Otherwise we might as well just put kill him right now and be done with it.

    This attitude that once somebody has done wrong they can never do anything right again is inhumane and more importantly at the heart of many of the problems faced by our society. Redemption must always be an option, and the first step is to admit what you did.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    When they start doing the right thing, you stop criticizing them for it.

    When they do MANY wrong things, and only apologize for one of them, then no, we don’t stop criticizing them.

    lofgren seems to pick some pretty despicable assholes to stick up for. Check out his stunning defense of glibertarian propagandist “professor” Landsburg.

  • lofgren

    When they do MANY wrong things, and only apologize for one of them, then no, we don’t stop criticizing them.

    Of course you do not stop criticizing them for those OTHER wrong things, nor do you even stop criticizing them for the wrong thing that they apologized for. But you have to stop criticizing them FOR THE APOLOGY.

    Look, if a child hits another child, you might put them in time out. If they start screaming and throwing a tantrum, you might extend the time out. If they stop screaming and apologize, YOU STOP EXTENDING THE TIME OUT. They still have to do the time out, and you still have the “What did you do wrong?” conversation afterward, but when they start behaving properly you don’t make them pay EXTRA for it. That’s flat-out immoral. Unjust. Dickish.

    Check out his stunning defense of glibertarian propagandist “professor” Landsburg.

    Yep. I believe that a business should not be able to fire a person for positing hypothetical situations on their personal blog. I must be a monster.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Yep. I believe that a business should not be able to fire a person for positing hypothetical situations on their personal blog.

    It wasn’t just any hypothetical, it was a downright creepy fantasy of rape, which raised serious questions about his willingness to treat women decently. People are routinely fired for doing things on their own time that cause gross embarrassment to their employers. Many companies explicitly threaten to do so in their written rules of behavior. Why should a professor — a rather high-profile job — be any different?

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Also, lofgren, why should we take the apology of a chronic lying hack like D’Sousa seriously?

  • lofgren

    You don’t have to take it seriously. I have little doubt that it is completely self-serving, just as it usually is with children. He’s certainly never given any reason to think otherwise. But that’s not the point. Just like a child, whatever his motives he is doing the right thing.

    I guess I have said my piece here. Quite simply I do not think it is fair or just or moral to put people in a position where nothing they do is the right move. We’ve all put ourselves in difficult situations before. Nobody has the power to go back and change the past, so you have to do what you can to be the best person you can going forward. That doesn’t mean escaping the consequences of your actions, in fact usually it means quite the opposite. But if doing better and doing worse than you have done so far both get you equally cursed then nobody has any incentive to try to do better. When somebody responds to their situation by doing the morally responsible thing then they deserve to have that acknowledged. I believe that even if you are a glibertarian or lying tool. Even if you are only doing the right thing out of cynical self-interest. I don’t support treating people differently just because of their political beliefs, at least not in this regard.

    As for your other comments, I addressed them at the time in that thread and people can read for themselves.

    I defend people when I think that they are being treated unfairly. I don’t care what your political ideology is. Unfair is unfair. Wrong is wrong. Whether it’s an internet campaign to get you fired from your job for asking uncomfortable ethical questions on your personal blog, or being mocked and jeered for finally doing the right thing for once in your life just because you’re on the “other team,” I don’t think we should treat people unjustly because treating people unjustly is wrong.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Quite simply I do not think it is fair or just or moral to put people in a position where nothing they do is the right move.

    No one put D’Sousa in his current position except D’Sousa himself. Are you actually accusing US of maneuvering him to where he is now? If he’s in a position where nothing he does rescues him from the consequences of his actions, then he has no one to blame but himself. Are you saying he should be allowed to avoid the consequences of his own actions?

    PS: Here’s another thing about “professor” Landsburg that you don’t seem to get: professors are judged by the entire body of their work, not just by what they say in class. When a professor publishes a book, article, monograph, that makes a positive contribution, his stature and career are elevated by it. So why is it suddenly so horribly unfair to judge a professor by what he publishes? It’s not like he’s being judged for any private activities — his gratuitous and despicable “harmless rape” fantasy was published for all the world to see.

    Your concept of “fairness” is so totally at odds with basic ethics, I have to wonder why, and for whom, you’re making it all up.

  • EnlightenmentLiberal

    @lofgren

    Regardless of why D’Souza has now chosen to do the right thing

    He has done no such thing. He said: (emphasis added)

    I cannot believe how stupid I was, how careless, and how irresponsible

    This is not the words of a remorseful man who recognizes that what he did was wrong. He is not doing the right thing. He’s still a scumbag. His words are ambiguous. They barely admit fault. He’s still trying to dodge responsibility.

    If he ever gives an actual apology – that’s where he fully admits fault and takes full personal responsibility – then I can get behind what you’re saying.

  • Michael Heath

    If Mr. D’Souza wants good people to laud him. He’ll first need to gain some credibility. Right now he has zero given all the lies he’s told over the decades, and the people he’s defamed.

    For me the road to decency would mean noting every person he’s defamed and repenting of such. Where he lists the biggest whoppers he told against those whose influence was/is significant and was damaged because of his lies.

    Until then he has no credibility with me and therefore I can’t trust anything he says. He’s simply a liar and therefore not to be trusted. He’s undeserving of any positive reaction; he’s earned only condemnation – until we see a tangible road back to decency. Therefore I find lofgren’s argument ludicrous.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Yo, guess what — here’s an article that strongly implies D’Sousa’s apologies are not at all sincere:

    http://www.salon.com/2014/09/11/federal_prosecutors_dinesh_dsouzas_online_activity_proves_hes_not_sorry/

    Just sayin’…