Saturday, May 13, 2006

Clearstream Affair ... Update!

The talk of the nation in France is the Clearstream Affair. The latest news is the leak of the top figure in French military intelligence (Philippe Rondot) who investigated on prominent political leaders whose names appeared on a bogus list of people involved with bribe-ridden sale of French frigates to Taiwan in 1991.
The funny thing is that it looks like not only the guy's terstimony to the magistrate was leaked but also his personal notes. Yes, a top spy was taking notes while working on one of the most senseitive issues of the decade! What a moron! It seems to me that any 24 episode or even the most basic spy movie would teach you about destroying notes and evidence.
The general's testimony suggests that he was asked to investigate the political implications of the lists, and especially the involvement of M. Sarkozy by De Villepin (long-time rival of Sarkozy). All that with the knowledge of the president.

What is important is that the leak shows evidence against Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin AND President Jacques Chirac. The investigation is still going on.

The notes also show, among other things that the President asked Rondot to find out if officers of the DGSE (intelligence service) had been digging up dirt on him with a view to helping Jospin (Socialist, then Prime Minister) win the presidential election that year - including a secret investigation on an alleged bank account of Chirac in Japan. The Canard enchaîné reports that Chirac has visited Japan around fifty times over the past years. Rumours award him a secret mistress and child in the country. (more details here in English)
Given that the previous French president did have a mistress and a child, nothing could surprise me these days. This is really making politics more interesting though. It's like a thriller. Can't for the next episode!

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