From today's Wall Street Journal -
Until his arrest, Mr. Strauss-Kahn was viewed as the only politician who could defeat France's President Nicolas Sarkozy in next year's election. Although Mr. Strauss-Kahn has yet to reveal his plans, few French Socialists believe the former chief of the International Monetary Fund can revive his presidential ambitions.
I think I owe Nafissatou Diallo an apology. In a previous blog entry I questioned her competence as a perjurer. But if the Wall Street Journal is correct, then she did exactly what she was sent to do. Success is the measure of a job well done.
Here I am speculating, but one could make the case that her story came unglued at exactly the right time. She was credible enough to convince the hotel management and security people that she was telling the truth. She was credible enough for the police investigators to believe her and the Manhattan prosecutor to file charges, ruining Mr. Strauss-Kahn and assuring the re-election of President Sarkozy.
This is the woman who was able to bring herself to tears in describing a gang-rape in her native Guinea that was later determined never to have happened.
But she was not credible enough to get the case brought to trial. Which prevented her from being investigated and cross-examined and subjected to deposition after deposition, during the course of which she might have revealed who put her up to it.
When one consider the Dreyfus Affair, if the French military establishment had merely disgraced Dreyfus, drummed him out of the army, and sent him to prison for a few years, nothing much else would have happened to him nor to the Army. Nobody would have investigated. They would have gotten away with it.
But instead they sent Dreyfus to Devil's Island for life. Which was dramatic enough that when exculpatory evidence came to light, it was worth Emile Zola's time to write 'J'Accuse' and worth
Georges Clemenceau's time to publish it in his newspaper L'Aurore.
The subsequent investigations and unraveling scandal between 1895 and 1906 permanently damaged the reputation of the French Army and of the class it was part of.
So Diallo had just the right amount of credibility - enough to knock Strauss-Kahn out of the race for the presidency of France - but not enough to convict him and make him a martyr, nor to risk too much investigation into who sent her.
Diallo, so far being an example of the difficulty of getting competent help in New York, is an example of to what high levels the arts of skulduggery, lying, and manipulation have been raised in our time.
What happened in New York was a seizure of the Elysee Palace for the next seven years, a clandestine coup d'etat. And it appears that they got away with it, in plain sight.