Ann Coulter

Or at least that's what Gottlieb wrote four months after talking to the nurse. It's not what the nurse wrote the night she examined the accuser. To the contrary, the only sign of physical trauma the nurse noted in her written report immediately after examining the accuser were some superficial scratches on the woman's knee and heel.

Indeed, in all 24 pages of the report prepared by doctors and nurses who examined the accuser the night of the alleged rape, there is no mention of any "blunt force trauma" or any injuries other than the scratches.

Also contradicting Gottlieb's hindsight memo were the notes taken by another policeman during their interview with the accuser -- not four months later -- saying she described her assailants as "chubby," with a "chubby face" and weighing "260-270" pounds.

That description fit none of the eventual defendants -- whom she repeatedly failed to pick out of photo lineups until Gottlieb finally gave up and presented her with a photo lineup of only Duke lacrosse players, to ensure that she couldn't guess wrong.

But according to Gottlieb's hindsight memo, the accuser described one of her rapists as "baby-faced, tall, lean" -- just like one of the actual defendants!

In repeatedly citing Gottlieb's after-the-fact memo as if it were the Rosetta stone of the case, the Times also neglected to mention Gottlieb's dark history with Duke students.

Gottlieb repeatedly jailed Duke students charged with minor infractions such as carrying an open beer or playing loud music, often throwing them in cells with violent criminals. He was not so tough on nonstudents, releasing one caught with marijuana and a concealed .45-caliber handgun.

A review of Gottlieb's record published in the Durham News & Observer showed that, in the previous year, when he patrolled an area that included both a "crime-ridden" public housing project and Duke off-campus housing, he arrested 20 Duke students and only eight nonstudents. During that same period, the three other officers in that district arrested two Duke students and 61 nonstudents.

At this point, Gottlieb's memo is the linchpin of the prosecution's case, and every single other fact in the case exonerates the defendants.

I mention all this to point out the Alice-in-Wonderland quality of the Times Jan. 15 editorial titled "Politicizing Prosecutors." The editorial had nothing to do with lunatic Southern prosecutors like Mike Nifong, Barry Krischer and Ronnie Earle threatening to put innocent people in prison for being Republican or "privileged white males."

No, the Times was upset because the law allows President Bush to fill vacant U.S. attorney slots with temporary replacements. The Times is enraged that Bush may be choosing prosecutors he likes, rather than prosecutors Sen. Dianne Feinstein likes, for these interim appointments.

If Bush were choosing the most hack, unprincipled, out-of-control Republican party operatives for these temporary U.S. attorney positions, they could not match the partisan witch-hunts of the prosecutors and policemen the Times lies to defend.