QUITE A DOGFIGHT has broken out in France, with just a week left before the election. Evidently, Dominique Strauss-Kahn is having a very hard time accepting that his oversize libido blew his chances to be president of France.
The story was detailed on Friday by the UK Guardian, which interviewed Strauss-Kahn, who vented his spleen over his poor rich man’s humiliation that was precipitated by his gargantuan ego and now infamous appetite for women.
In the more than two hours we speak, it becomes clear that Strauss-Kahn is convinced that his downfall was choreographed by his political enemies. They may not have gone so far as to set up the encounter with Diallo, he now accepts, but he believes they did play a role, through intercepted phone calls, in making sure that the hotel maid went to the police and thus turned a private tryst into a public scandal.
The media in France has recently reported, based on interviews with French intelligence officers, that he had become a target of the country’s intelligence service in 2011. I ask him whether he believes the targeting of him by French intelligence, the interception of his calls, and the surveillance in New York are related. “It would appear that more was involved here than mere coincidence,” he replies, with characteristic understatement.
He also blames French officials for the fact that he had to languish in jail in New York and had to undergo the public humiliation that brought. He thought he would be released immediately on bail – as would be normal for someone as prominent as he was. But later that day the deal was abruptly terminated. It has been reported in the French press that the New York prosecutor, Cyrus Vance, had received information bearing on the case from one or more French officials. At the bail hearing, the assistant district attorney said that unverified “additional information [was] being provided on a daily basis regarding [Strauss-Kahn's] behaviour and background.”
Strauss-Kahn’s unseemly whine has caused his last allies to bolt and the man who’s poised to be the next French president, François Hollande, to cut him off.
The BBC got Pres. Sarkozy’s response:
The charges were later dropped, but he has since been embroiled in new allegations that he was involved in a prostitution ring.
On the campaign trail Mr Sarkozy dismissed Mr Strauss-Kahn’s interpretation of events.
“Enough is enough!” he said, “I would tell Mr Strauss-Kahn to explain himself to the law.”
This comes as a delicious web rumor, which Sarkozy is calling “grotesque,” but further complicates his efforts to win reelection, which wasn’t going so well in the first place.
A left-wing political website, Mediapart, claims to have documentary evidence that Mr Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential campaign received 50m euros ($66m) from the Gaddafi regime.
The document – dated 2006 and written in Arabic – appears to have been signed by the then Libyan foreign intelligence chief Musa Kusa.
It refers to an “agreement in principle to support the campaign for the candidate for the presidential elections, Nicolas Sarkozy, for a sum equivalent to 50m euros.”