Thomas Sowell
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In his book "The Great Crash 1929," John Kenneth Galbraith said: "The worst continued to worsen." The same can be said of the Duke University "rape" case and District Attorney Michael Nifong.

After all this time, it finally came out in court last week that the DNA samples collected from the underwear and private parts of the alleged victim contained DNA from other men -- but none from the Duke lacrosse players who were accused of raping her.

The head of the DNA testing laboratory testified in court under oath that both he and Nifong knew this and kept it secret.

You think that is incredible? How about a statement made afterwards by District Attorney Nifong that he didn't say anything about this publicly because he was "trying to avoid dragging any names through the mud"?

He certainly did not avoid dragging the names of the Duke lacrosse players through the mud. He not only denounced them, they were paraded in handcuffs in front of the national media. Their pictures were on every television news program across the country.

If these young men get completely exonerated, this episode will still follow them the rest of their lives. Yet they have not been convicted of anything and have not even gone to trial -- which is scheduled for next spring, if it ever takes place.

Indeed, they have not even been interviewed by the police or by the District Attorney who issued denunciations of these white lacrosse players when he was running for office and making a play for the black vote.

Nor has the District Attorney interviewed the woman who claimed to have been raped. In a "he said, she said" situation, anyone interested in the credibility of the two sides would at least have tried to find out what specifically they claimed.

But that is only if you care about the truth, rather than the politics of the situation. Politically, the District Attorney had a black woman who claimed that white men had raped her. That's all he needed to get elected.

Nifong has shown from day one what he was interested in. Showing the "rape" victim only photographs of white Duke lacrosse players was a violation of the basic principles of a lineup.

People who are known to be innocent are included in lineups just to test the credibility of whoever is identifying those picked out as guilty.

If you pick out somebody who was known to be overseas at the time, there goes your credibility. But District Attorney Nifong was not about to risk having the accuser's credibility tested, and certainly not before his election.

All the evidence that has come out has pointed the other way. One of the alleged rapists has a paper trail that shows he wasn't even there when he was supposed to be raping the "exotic dancer."

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Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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