Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sarkozy's Secret Weapon

Éric Besson, the minister of industry, used to be a national secretary of the Socialist Party and knows Hollande intimately. As Frédéric Martel details in this lengthy piece, he will provide the president with invaluable insight into the thinking and strategy of his former boss Hollande as well as the psychology of the people around him. Raphaelle Bacqué picks up on the same theme, noting that Hollande will rely on Julien Dray and Manuel Valls for similar insight into Sarkozy.


Mitch Guthman said...

If I understand what I’ve been reading in Le Monde this morning, Sarkozy would seem to have some far more powerful (if illegal) weapons in his arsenal.

Perhaps now that he's finished with DSK, Sarkozy will turn Les Barbouzes loose on Hollande?

Arthur Goldhammer said...

Oh, come on ... Le Monde is a bit disingenuous here, since it broke the Bois de Boulogne story itself months ago. I even blogged about it. You could look it up. Much as I dislike Guéant, he's just revealing public knowledge.

Mitch Guthman said...

I do remember reading about the Bois de Boulogne story here. But you must admit this does seem to be a pattern developing. There are the persistent stories about corruption and various UMP figures. There seems to be a new affair being revealed in Mediapart almost every month.

There also seem to be suggestions of a pattern of using the security/police services as an arm of the UMP. I don’t know whether Epstein is an hysterical scaremonger but there are a lot of details in his article to suggest Sarkozy and the UMP have spent years placing political operatives in key positions in law enforcement and business. And that they may have used those networks to frame DSK rape in New York.

I remember reading about the burglaries at Rue 89 and thing that they were so absurdly paranoid. But then came the surveillance of Le Monde to identify their sources, the actions against Mediapart and other journalists described in Le Canard enchaîné. And there is also the very creepy interview in L’Express of Frederic Pechenard, the director general of the police nationale (and close political ally of Sarkozy) on the subject of the revelations in the Canard in which he famously said “Je ne suis pas le chef des barbouzes”.

Maybe this is just a handful of disconnected, isolated incidents. But I’m not so sure. There’s too many things going on. I don’t know exactly why I think it but I do have a feeling that we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg.