DRESDEN, Germany – In the gray villa at No. 4 Angelikastrasse here, perched on a hill overlooking the Elbe River, a young major in the Soviet secret police spent the last half of the 1980s recruiting people to spy on the West.
Vladimir Putin looked for East Germans who had a plausible reason to travel abroad, such as professors, journalists, scientists and technicians, for whom there were acceptable "legends," or cover stories.
The legend was often a business trip, during which the agents could covertly link up with other spies permanently stationed in the West. According to German intelligence specialists who described Putin's task, the goal was stealing Western technology or NATO secrets. A newly revealed document shows Putin was trying to recruit agents to be trained in "wireless communications." But for what purpose is not clear.
Putin defends the Soviet-era intelligence service to this day. In recent comments to a writers' group in Moscow, he even seemed to excuse its role in dictator Joseph Stalin's brutal purges, saying it would be "insincere" for him to assail the agency where he worked for so many years. Fiercely patriotic, Putin once said he could not read a book by a Soviet defector because "I don't read books by people who have betrayed the Motherland."
Such is the professional background of the man who emerged unexpectedly last month as Russia's new leader. Today, Putin is acting president and the clear favorite to win the March 26 election and a four-year presidential term. Yet a review of his career shows that Putin previously has thrived in closed worlds, first as an intelligence agent and later in city government.
Until he was handpicked in August by then-President Boris Yeltsin to become prime minister, Putin had never been a public figure. He spent 17 years as a mid-level agent in the Soviet KGB's foreign intelligence wing, rising only to the rank of lieutenant colonel. Later, as an aide to a prickly, controversial mayor of St. Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city and Putin's home town, he made a point of staying in the background.
Yet Putin's career also suggests that he witnessed firsthand the momentous finale of the Cold War. From the front line in East Germany, Putin saw how the centrally planned economies of the East staggered to disintegration. In St. Petersburg, he had a taste of the ragged path of Russia's early transition to a free-market, democratic system.
What Putin has taken from these experiences is not entirely clear. He has embraced the conviction that "there is no alternative" to market democracy, and soberly acknowledged Russia's economic weaknesses. But he also has expressed enthusiasm for reasserting the role of a strong state. He has said the Russian economy has become "criminalized," but so far only hinted that he would tackle the powerful tycoons who lord over it. Putin has vowed Russia will not revert to totalitarianism, but he has not demonstrated much skill working with Russia's fledgling, competitive political system.
Putin has never campaigned for office, and he told an interviewer two years ago he found campaigns distasteful. "One has to be insincere and promise something which you cannot fulfill," he said. "So you either have to be a fool who does not understand what you are promising, or deliberately be lying."
Stasi and 'the Friends'
Putin, an only son, was born in Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, to a factory foreman and his wife in 1952, shortly before Stalin's death. He entered Leningrad State University's law department in 1970, but the Soviet Union was not a state governed by the rule of law. Valery Musin, then a university lecturer, said the law department was a training ground for the KGB, the police and the bureaucracy.
Putin later recalled that the KGB targeted him for recruitment even before he graduated in 1975. "You know, I even wanted it," he said of joining the KGB. "I was driven by high motives. I thought I would be able to use my skills to the best for society."
After a few years spying on foreigners in Leningrad, Putin was summoned to Moscow in the early 1980s to attend the elite foreign intelligence training institute, and then was assigned to East Germany. He arrived in Dresden at age 32 when East Germany was a major focus of Moscow's attention. The German Democratic Republic was home to 380,000 Soviet troops and Soviet intermediate-range missiles. Berlin was a constant source of Cold War tensions and intrigue.
At the time, several thousand KGB officers reported to a headquarters at Karlshorst, outside Berlin; Soviet military intelligence also was stationed in East Germany. But the biggest intelligence operation was the East German secret police, the Stasi, who monitored hundreds of thousands of citizens and kept millions of documents on file.
The broad Stasi network was used often by the KGB, and the raw intelligence sent directly to Moscow. The East German dictatorship, headed in those years by Erich Honecker, remained steadfastly rigid even as Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was beginning to experiment with political and economic reforms at home.
In Dresden, the KGB outpost at No. 4 Angelikastrasse was located directly across the street from the city's main Stasi headquarters. The Stasi poked into every aspect of life; in Dresden alone, the documents they preserved on citizens now stretch nearly seven miles in the archives here, according to Konrad Felber, a spokesman for the commission that maintains the documents.
There is little information about Putin's specific tasks in Dresden, but specialists and documents point to several assignments, including recruiting and preparing agents. The work likely involved Robotron, a Dresden-based electronics conglomerate, which was the Eastern Bloc's largest mainframe computer maker and a microchip research center.
At the time, a major KGB effort was underway to steal Western technology. The Soviet Bloc was so far behind, according to a German specialist, that agents at Stasi headquarters often preferred to work on a Western-made Commodore personal computer rather than on their office mainframe.
The presence of Robotron may have provided Putin with legends for sending technicians to the West, or for recruiting Westerners who came to East Germany from such large electronics companies as Siemans or IBM. Putin may also have been interested in military electronics and intelligence about NATO from informers in the West.
The KGB was known to the Stasi as "the friends," and it relied on the Stasi for support. For years, the Stasi prepared fake passports and driver's licenses for "the friends" to create cover stories for agents. Tens of thousands of people in East Germany were "registered," or marked in the secret files of the Stasi, as being "of interest" to the KGB. According to the German specialist, some were marked because the KGB was searching for people with plausible cover stories for trips abroad.
"You needed a guy with a background that looked good, a professor who had to go to an international conference or had to do business in the West," he said. "You needed such a legend."
Later, Erich Mielke, the East German state security minister, tried to rein in the Stasi's assistance to the KGB, which led to one case in which Putin is known to have been involved. On March 29, 1989, Maj. Gen. Horst Bohm, then the head of the Dresden branch of the Stasi, wrote a memo to Putin's boss, Gen. Vladimir Shirokov. While some names in the letter are blacked out, sources said the case involved Putin.
Bohm complained the KGB was recruiting reservists from the East German military who had gone into civilian life. They were being recruited "frequently" for temporary, special missions, Bohm said.
One reservist was called in, he said, to the Dresden "recruitment center" and was sent to talk with two Soviet civilians. "These talks included the issue of special training for wireless communications and also a short mission once each quarter of the year," the letter says. But Bohm complained that the agent was already working for the Stasi and urged the KGB to keep its hands off. "It is not possible" to recruit the East German army reservists for wireless communications training, he insisted.
Bohm later committed suicide, but one of his aides, Horst Jemlich, said in a brief telephone interview that the KGB was interested in procuring Western technology.
A puzzling and unexplained aspect of the Bohm letter is a reference to Soviet "military intelligence," which was a different agency from the KGB, to which Putin belonged. It is possible Putin was targeting Western military operations.
Putin also turned to the Stasi for help with routine logistics, such as obtaining a telephone – they were strictly controlled – and apartments. Putin was formally assigned to run a Soviet-German "friendship house" in Leipzig and carried out the duties, but this apparently was his own cover story. Intelligence specialists and political scientists said Putin may have had a political assignment to make contact with East Germans who were sympathetic to Gorbachev, such as the Dresden party leader Hans Modrow, in case the Honecker regime collapsed.
Putin's work with the Stasi won him a bronze medal in November 1987 from the East German security service, but the reasons for the award are unknown. It was described by one source as the next level up from the lowest, basic award for service.
Clearly, Putin was on the seam of East-West confrontation at the end of the Cold War, and the lessons were self-evident. In East Germany, Putin "must have noticed the system did not work anymore," said the German specialist. "If he was not stupid he would have noticed the East Germans were the losers of economic history."
The Soviet economy was also in trouble. Yuri Andropov, the KGB boss and later Soviet leader, had responded in the early 1980s by trying to impose more discipline on the ailing system, and many in the KGB shared his hope it could be saved from within. Others thought this to be unrealistic and believed the system itself would have to be junked. Putin, in a newspaper interview last year, hinted that he believed the system could have been salvaged. He said that "few people understand the magnitude of the catastrophe that happened late in the 1980s when the Communist Party had failed to modernize the Soviet Union."
'In the Farthest Corner'
When Putin returned to St. Petersburg, he took a job for a year and a half as assistant to the rector of the university, dealing with "international relations." However, that was partly a cover story. He was still working for the KGB, recruiting or spying on students. Putin acknowledged recently that he was "a KGB officer under the roof, as we say," noting that the rector knew about it.
Putin told a journalist, Natalya Nikiforova, that he did not move up higher in the KGB ranks because he did not want to move his family to Moscow. "I have two small children and old parents," he said. "They are over 80, and we all live together. They survived the blockade during the war. How could I take them from the place they were born in? I could not abandon them."
Putin also said then that he wanted to write a dissertation "on a subject I always knew and understood, I mean international private law." Musin said Putin came to him to make preparations for the dissertation but then dropped it when he got reacquainted with one of his old law professors, Anatoly Sobchak.
Sobchak, a leader in the first wave of democratic reformers in the Gorbachev years, was elected chairman of the Soviet-era Leningrad council. Putin quit the KGB, at the rank of lieutenant colonel, to work as Sobchak's aide. In 1991, the city governance system was changed, and Sobchak became St. Petersburg's first post-Soviet elected mayor.
Sobchak, like many of the early democrats, "was not prepared to govern," recalled journalist Sergei Shelin of New Times magazine. Sobchak constantly collided with members of the newly renamed legislature, the city Duma. Putin often was dispatched to repair relations. "Sobchak often asked Putin to go to the deputies," recalled Mikhail Amosov, a member of the Yabloko party. "Sobchak had bad relations with the lawmakers. There were always frictions. Sobchak always wanted to put them in their place; he treated them like an enemy force."
Putin quietly played a key role for Sobchak at the moment of the 1991 Soviet coup attempt. Sobchak, in Moscow at that moment, vowed to defend Yeltsin and fight the coup, and took the risky step of flying back to his city to oppose the putsch. Putin, with good ties in the local security services, showed up at the airport with armed guards to protect Sobchak, who was potentially vulnerable as a leading democrat.
In the early days of the new Russia, Putin headed a committee to woo overseas companies to St. Petersburg. But the city primarily needed humanitarian aid. "There was no food in the city at all," recalled Marina Salye, who was then a member of the legislature's food committee. "There was no money. Barter was the only way – say, metals for potatoes and meat."
St. Petersburg was a port and military city, and the state-owned shipbuilding and defense factories were stocked with precious metals. Salye said contracts were signed to trade metals for food, but she discovered the metals had been sold at discount prices, the food prices were inflated, and the food never arrived. Then it turned out that front companies had taken the profits and disappeared. Salye said she thinks Putin "was manipulating these contracts and was directly involved. But it hasn't been proved."
Salye confronted Putin, she recalled, but he brushed off her inquiries. "Everything is correct," she said he told her. "You are just making up things." Salye demanded an investigation, which was referred to a Moscow auditing commission and then dropped without explanation.
Putin, who speaks German, brought some companies to St. Petersburg, including German banks. A currency exchange was opened, and hotels were privatized. "All the work we did on privatization was supported by Putin, and not everyone was for it," recalled Sergei Belyaev, a former deputy mayor and later a member of the Russian parliament. But St. Petersburg never lived up to Sobchak's dream of becoming an international financial center. Moscow attracted far more foreign investment, while St. Petersburg lagged.
Putin's influence grew under Sobchak, but he remained in the shadows. "In the Petersburg days, it was always other people in front of the television cameras," said Igor Artemyev, leader of the Yabloko party. "Almost all the other vice mayors lined up next to the boss. Putin was always in the farthest corner."
After Sobchak was defeated in 1996, Putin left for Moscow. There, for reasons which remain largely unexplained, he suddenly moved onto a remarkably fast career track. After first serving on the Kremlin staff, he became director of the Federal Security Service, the domestic successor to the KGB, in 1998, and later added duties as head of the Kremlin Security Council. He was picked for prime minister last August because he appears to have impressed Yeltsin's inner circle and friendly tycoons, who were scrambling to find a premier and a potential Yeltsin successor.
During the same period, Putin apparently somehow found time to complete a postgraduate dissertation, which usually takes three years of study. He got a prestigious "candidate of science" degree, the equivalent of a PhD, from the Mining Institute in St. Petersburg in June 1997, a time when he was also working in the Kremlin.
Earlier, Putin had said he wanted to research international private law, but his 218-page dissertation was completely different. The title is "Strategic Planning of the Renewal of the Minerals-Raw Materials Base of the Region in Conditions of the Formation of Market Relations." Much of the document is a discussion about the cost-effectiveness of building a port and roads in St. Petersburg, and offers little insight into Putin's views of the market economy. The Mining Institute recently refused to show Putin's thesis to a reporter. When a copy of a summary was found by the reporter in the institute's library, officials snatched it away, saying it was private.
Mikhail Mednikov, a professor at the St. Petersburg Technical University, who was one of the "opponents" or reviewers at Putin's oral defense of his dissertation, said, "The defense was brilliant. It's a paper written by a market-oriented person."
But while Putin has promised to keep Russia on a market path, his critics worry about his commitment to Russia's young democracy. The institutions of a broad civil society – the press, political parties, free associations and others – are not yet well developed. The rule of law has not been well entrenched. And these weaknesses are, in part, a legacy of the Soviet police state of Putin's early career, when the Communist Party had a monopoly on power.
In a long, private talk recently with the Moscow PEN writers group, Putin tried to evade the question of the KGB's role in the Soviet system's legacy of terror. Referring to the Stalin-era purges, in which millions were sent to prison camps and death, Putin said, according to a transcript, "Of course, one must not forget about the year 1937, but one must not keep alluding to only this experience, pretending that we do not need state security bodies [such as the KGB]. All the 17 years of my work are connected with this organization. It would be insincere for me to say that I don't want to defend it."
Putin then went on to offer a strangely oblique explanation for the Great Terror, which seemed to avoid blaming the KGB.
"The state security bodies should not be seen as an institution that works against society and the state; one needs to understand what makes them work against their own people. If one recollects those hard years connected with the activities of the security bodies, and the damage they brought to society, one must keep in mind what sort of society it was. But that was an entirely different country. That country produced such security bodies."
He added, however, that if Russia will "treasure elements of civil society that we have got, our only gain over these years, then gradually we will be creating conditions under which those horrifying bodies of security will never be able to revive."
Putin's role in the blatantly misleading information issued by the government about the Chechnya offensive also has been criticized. His talent for creating legends has been evident in his explanations about the war. For example, Putin told the writers group that the military had been open with the news media, when the military has in fact hidden information about casualties, combat events, attacks on civilians and its goals and methods.
I have translated this French article as well as I could. Its content is just unbelievable and I couldn't wait any longer for someone else to translate it so that I could share it.
Frankly, I don't know how it is that a MAJOR French newspaper reports such news and it is not headlines all over the world... We have been saying in this blog that Sarkozy has Zionist 'preferences'... We were saying that Sarkozy was a Zionist agent... Well take a Xanax and read this article...
INTERNET The PJ (Police Judiciere) investigates an electronic mail that was sent during the presidential election to one hundred top responsible of the police force. The email affirms that Sarkozy, like Balkany, Lellouche, Devedjian and Aeschlimann were connected to Mossad. Did a dispensary want to destabilize Nicolas Sarkozy during the presidential campaign? An inquiry entrusted to the Police Judiciere (Judiciary Police) must establish this. At the end of March, 2007, in the 'last right' of the election, all departmental managers of the Public Security, around one hundred senior civil servants, were sent a strange electronic mail. The future president was bluntly accused of having been recruited in 1980s by Mossad, the Israeli secret service.
The sent text comes in the form of a “synthesis “ of two pages. Its title is: « The infiltration of the Israeli Mossad in the UMP. Nicolas Sarkozy: the fourth man. » Above, a pseudo-logo of the "DGSE". « All this smells heavily of manipulation, with reek from the extreme right », warns a senior executive in the ministry of the Interior.
According to the author of the email, in 1978 the government of Menahem Begin ordered the infiltration of the Gaullist party to make a kind of partner of it for Israel. The operation was set up by Rafael Eytan, an Israeli spy-master. « Three French citizens predisposed to collaborate » would therefore have been targeted: Patrick Balkany, Patrick Devedjian and Pierre Lellouche. Balkany is introduced as the leader of "network".
In 1983, Patrick Balkany would have recruited the "young and promising" Sarkozy, the « fourth man of the Mossad ». The fifth recruit came to complete the implement in the 1990s: Manuel Aeschlimann, deputy-mayor of Asnières (Hauts-de-Seines). The cyber-raven affirms that this one is close to Sarkozy « and is in charge of establishing contacts with Iranian representatives in France ». A proposition all the more perfidious as his city of Asnières really receives a strong Iranian community.
Embarrassed, the police at the time must have reported the contents of this strange email and the quality of its addressees in high places. Immediately, an inquiry was carried out diligently and entrusted to PJ. The policemen discovered that the message came from a cybercoffee in Vald' Oise.
But the raven chose well the place from where to blow the whistle in a trade where anonymity is the rule. He chose a cybercafé where law does not impose to introduce papers to access computers and there was no video surveillance. No footprint and no trace of DNA could be exploited. The expertise of machines gave nothing. No more than the semantic analysis of the text.
And the inquiry continues at the request of the Office of Public Prosecutor. At the risk of giving in this affair an importance which it did not deserve.
Nicolas Sarkozy (IPA: [nikɔla saʁkɔzi] — pronunciation (help·info) born Nicolas Paul Stéphane Sarközy de Nagy-Bocsa on January 28, 1955 in the 17th arrondissement of Paris) is the President of France and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. He assumed office on 16 May 2007 after defeating the Socialist Party contender Ségolène Royal ten days earlier.
Before his presidency, he was leader of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) centre-right party. Under Jacques Chirac's presidency, he served as Minister of the Interior in Jean-Pierre Raffarin's (UMP) first two governments (from May 2002 to March 2004), then was appointed Minister of Finances in Raffarin's last government (March 2004 May 2005), and again Minister of the Interior in Dominique de Villepin's government (2005-2007).
Sarkozy was also president of the General council of the Hauts-de-Seine department from 2004 to 2007 and mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine, one of the wealthiest communes of France from 1983 to 2002. He was also Minister of the Budget in Édouard Balladur (RPR, predecessor of the UMP)'s government during François Mitterrand's last term.
Sarkozy is known for his strong stance on law and order issues and his desire to revitalise the French economy. In foreign affairs, he has promised closer cooperation with the United States and a strengthening of the entente cordiale. His nickname "Sarko" is used by both supporters and opponents.
Nicolas Sarkozy is the son of a Hungarian immigrant father, Pál Sárközy de Nagy-Bócsa (Hungarian: nagybócsai Sárközy Pál; some sources spell it Nagy-Bócsay Sárközy Pál; Hungarian pronunciation (help·info)) and a mother of French Catholic and Greek Jewish descent, Andrée Mallah. His Greek-born grandfather, Benico Mallah (former Aaron Mallah), was a physician from Thessaloniki. Benico, who left for France to become a doctor, was the son of Mordechai Mallah, one of the eight sons of Aaron Mallah, founder of the Rabbinical School of Thessaloniki.
Pál Sárközy was born in 1928 in Budapest into a family belonging to the lower nobility of Hungary. The family possessed lands and a small castle in the village of Alattyán, near Szolnok, 92 km (57 miles) east of Budapest.  Pál Sárközy's father and grandfather held elective offices in the town of Szolnok. Although the Sárközy de Nagy-Bócsa (nagybócsai Sárközy) family was Protestant, Pál Sárközy's mother, Katalin Tóth de Csáford (Hungarian: csáfordi Tóth Katalin), grandmother of Nicolas Sarkozy, was from a Catholic aristocratic family.
As the Red Army entered Hungary in 1944, the Sárközy family fled to Germany. They returned in 1945 but all their possessions had been seized. Pál Sárközy's father died soon afterwards and his mother, fearing that he would be drafted into the Hungarian People's Army or sent to Siberia, urged him to leave the country and promised she would eventually follow him and meet him in Paris. Pál Sárközy managed to flee to Austria and then Germany while his mother reported to authorities that he had drowned in Lake Balaton. Eventually, he arrived in Baden Baden, near the French border, where the headquarters of the French Army in Germany were located, and there he met a recruiter for the French Foreign Legion. He signed up for five years, and was sent for training to Sidi Bel Abbes, in French Algeria, where the French Foreign Legion's headquarters were located. He was due to be sent to Indochina at the end of training, but the doctor who checked him before departure, who happened to also be Hungarian, sympathised with him and gave him a medical discharge to save him from possible death at the hands of the Vietminh. He returned to civilian life in Marseille in 1948 and, although he asked for French citizenship only in the 1970s (his legal status was that of a stateless person until then), he nonetheless gallicised his Hungarian name into "Paul Sarközy de Nagy-Bocsa". He met Andrée Mallah, Nicolas Sarkozy's mother (known as Dadu), in 1949.
Andrée Mallah, then a law student, was the daughter of Benedict Mallah, a wealthy urologist and STD specialist with a well-established reputation in the mainly bourgeois 17th arrondissement of Paris. Benedict Mallah, originally called Aaron Mallah and nicknamed Benico, was born in 1890 in the Sephardic Jewish community of Salonica (Thessaloniki), Ottoman Empire. Resettled in Provence, southern France, the family had moved to Salonica a century later. Benico Mallah, the son of a jeweller, left Salonica, then part of the Ottoman Empire, with his mother in 1904 at the age of 14 to attend the prestigious Lycée Lakanal boarding school of Sceaux, in the southern suburbs of Paris. He studied medicine after his baccalaureate and decided to stay in France and become a French citizen. A doctor in the French Army during World War I, he met a recent war widow, Adèle Bouvier (1891–1956), from a bourgeois family of Lyon, whom he married in 1917. Adèle Bouvier, Nicolas Sarkozy's grandmother, was a Catholic like the majority of French people. Mallah, for whom religion had reportedly never been a central issue, converted to Catholicism upon marrying Adèle Bouvier, which had been requested by Adèle's parents, and changed his name to Benedict. Although Benedict Mallah converted to Catholicism, he and his family nonetheless had to flee Paris and take refuge in a small farm in Corrèze during World War II to avoid being arrested and delivered to the Germans. During the Holocaust, many of the Mallahs who stayed in Salonica or moved to France were deported to concentration and extermination camps. In total, 57 family members were murdered by the Nazis.
Paul Sarkozy and Andrée Mallah settled in the 17th arrondissement of Paris and had three sons: Guillaume, born in 1951, who is an entrepreneur in the textile industry, Nicolas, born in 1955 and François, born in 1957 (an MBA and manager of a healthcare consultancy company ). In 1959 Paul Sarkozy left his wife and his three children. He later remarried twice and had two more children with his second wife.
Olivier Sarkozy, his half-brother, was chosen by the Carlyle Group, in March 2008, as co-head and managing director of its recently launched global financial services division.
During Sarkozy's childhood, his father refused to give his former wife's family any financial help, even though he had founded his own advertising agency and had become wealthy. The family lived in a small mansion owned by Sarkozy's grandfather, Benedict Mallah, in the 17th Arrondissement. The family later moved to Neuilly-sur-Seine, one of the wealthiest communes of the Île-de-France région immediately west of the 17th Arrondissement just outside of Paris. According to Sarkozy, his staunchly Gaullist grandfather was more of an influence on him than his father, whom he rarely saw. Sarkozy was, accordingly, raised in the Catholic faith of his household. Nicolas Sarkozy, like his brothers, is a baptised and professing Catholic. Sarkozy also said recently that one of his role models was the late pope John Paul II.
Sarkozy's father Paul did not teach him or his brothers Hungarian. There is no evidence suggesting that there was an attempt to educate the Sarkozy siblings about their paternal ethnic background.
Sarkozy has said that having been abandoned by his father shaped much of who he is today. As a young boy and teenager, he felt inferior in relation to his wealthy classmates. He suffered from insecurities (his physical shortness of 1.65 m, 5 feet 5 inches, or his family's lack of money, at least relatively to their 17th Arrondissement or Neuilly neighbours), and is said to have harboured a considerable amount of resentment against his absent father. "What made me who I am now is the sum of all the humiliations suffered during childhood", he said later.
Sarkozy was enrolled in the Lycée Chaptal, a state-funded (public) middle and high school in Paris's 8th arrondissement, where he failed his sixième. His family then sent him to the Cours Saint-Louis de Monceau, a private Catholic school in the 17th arrondissement, where he was reportedly a mediocre pupil, but where he nonetheless obtained his baccalauréat in 1973. He enrolled at the Université Paris X Nanterre, where he graduated with a Master in Private law, and later with a DEA degree in Business law. Paris X Nanterre had been the starting place for the May '68 student movement and was still a stronghold of leftist students. Described as a quiet student, Sarkozy soon joined the right-wing student organisation where he was very active. After graduating, he entered the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris (1979-1981) but failed to graduate due to an insufficient command of the English language. After passing the bar, he became a lawyer specializing in business law and family law.
Sakozy wed his first wife Marie-Dominique Culioli on 23 September 1982; her father was a pharmacist from Vico (a village north of Ajaccio, Corsica). They had two sons, Pierre (born in 1985) and Jean (born in 1987). Sarkozy's marriage witness was the prominent right wing politician Charles Pasqua, later to become a political opponent. Sarkozy divorced Culioli in 1996, although they had already been separated for several years.
As mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine, Sarkozy met former fashion model and public relations executive Cécilia Ciganer-Albéniz (great-granddaughter of composer Isaac Albéniz and of a Russian father), when he officiated at her wedding to television host Jacques Martin. In 1988, she left her husband for Sarkozy, and divorced Martin one year later. Sarkozy married her in October 1996, with witnesses Martin Bouygues and Bernard Arnault. They have one son, Louis, born 23 April 1997.
Between 2002 and 2005, the couple often appeared together on public occasions, with Cécilia Sarkozy acting as the chief aide for her husband. On 25 May 2005, however, the Swiss newspaper Le Matin revealed that she had left Sarkozy for French-Moroccan national Richard Attias, head of Publicis in New York.  There were other accusations of a private nature in Le Matin, which led to Sarkozy suing the paper. In the meantime, he was said to have had an affair with a journalist of Le Figaro, Anne Fulda.
Sarkozy and Cécilia ultimately divorced in October 15, 2007
The French weekly magazine L'Express published photos of Sarkozy in Disneyland Paris with singer and ex-model Carla Bruni in December of 2007, sparking international attention. The couple were later spotted spending Christmas holidays together in Egypt. They married on 2 February 2008 at the Élysée Palace in Paris.
Sarkozy declared to the Constitutional Council a net worth of €2 million, most of the assets being in the form of life insurance policies. As the French President, he earns a yearly salary of € 101,000 and is entitled to a mayoral pension because he was mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine until 2002. He also receives a yearly council pension, because he has been previously a member of the council of the Hauts-de-Seine department. Sarkozy's salary will more than double to € 240,000 as a result of an amendment to the 2008 budget.
In 2002, however, after his re-election as President of the French Republic (see French presidential election, 2002), Chirac appointed Sarkozy as French Minister of the Interior in the cabinet of Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, despite Sarkozy's support of Edouard Balladur for French President in 1995. Following Jacques Chirac's 14 July keynote speech on road safety Sarkozy as interior minister pushed through new legislation leading to the mass purchase of speed cameras and a campaign to increase the awareness of dangers on the roads.
In the cabinet reshuffle of 31 March 2004, Sarkozy became Finance Minister. Tensions continued to build between Sarkozy and Chirac and within the UMP party, as Sarkozy's intentions of becoming head of the party after the resignation of Alain Juppé became clear. It became increasingly apparent that Sarkozy would go on to seek the presidency in 2007; in an often-repeated comment made on television channel France 2, when asked by a journalist whether he thought about the presidential election when he shaved in the morning, Sarkozy commented, "not just when I shave".
In party elections of November 2004, Sarkozy became leader of the UMP with 85% of the vote. In accordance with an agreement with Chirac, he resigned as Finance Minister. Sarkozy's ascent was marked by the division of UMP between sarkozystes, such as Sarkozy's "first lieutenant", Brice Hortefeux, and Chirac loyalists, such as Jean-Louis Debré.
Sarkozy was made Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) by President Chirac in February 2005. He was re-elected on 13 March 2005 to the National Assembly (as required by the constitution, he had had to resign as a deputy when he had become minister in 2002).
On 31 May 2005 the main French news radio station France Info reported a rumour that Sarkozy was to be reappointed Minister of the Interior in the government of Dominique de Villepin without resigning from the UMP leadership. This was confirmed on 2 June 2005, when the members of the government were officially announced.
Towards the end of his first term as Minister of the Interior, in 2004, Sarkozy was the most popular and also the most unpopular conservative politician in France, according to polls conducted at the beginning of 2004. His "tough on crime" policies, which included increasing the police presence on the streets and introducing monthly crime performance ratings, were popular with many and unpopular for many others.
During his second term at the Ministry of the Interior, Sarkozy was initially more discreet about his ministerial activities: instead of focusing on his own topic of law and order, many of his declarations addressed wider issues, since he was expressing his opinions as head of the UMP party.
However, the civil unrest in autumn 2005 put law enforcement in the spotlight again. Sarkozy was accused of having provoked the unrest by calling young delinquents from housing projects "rabble" ("racaille") in Argenteuil near Paris. After the accidental death of two youths, which sparked the riots, Sarkozy first blamed it on "hoodlums" and gangsters. These remarks were sharply criticised by many on the left wing and by a member of his own government, Delegate Minister for Equal Opportunities Azouz Begag.
After the rioting, he made a number of announcements on future policy: selection of immigrants, greater tracking of immigrants, and a reform on the 1945 ordinance government justice measures for young delinquents.
Sarkozy's government issued a decree on 7 August 2007 to generalise a voluntary biometric profiling program of travellers in airports. The program, called Parafes, was to use fingerprints. The new database would be interconnected with the Schengen Information System (SIS) as well as with a national database of wanted persons (FPR). The Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés (CNIL) protested against this new decree, opposing itself to the recording of fingerprints and to the interconnection between the SIS and the FPR.
AKA 'Papa Doc' (François); AKA 'Baby Doc' (Jean-Claude).
Kill tally: 20,000-60,000.
Background: Haiti gains its independent on 1 January 1804, becoming the world's first black republic. Its history then follows a pattern of violence and political instability, with a succession of rulers being overthrown by revolution or assassinated.
At the start of the 20th Century the United States becomes involved in Haiti's internal affairs. US marines occupy Haiti from 1915-1934. Indirect US influence lasts to 1947. More background.
Mini biography: François Duvalier is born on 14 April 1907 in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. His father is a teacher and journalist. His mother works in a bakery.
Duvalier studies medicine at the University of Haiti. He graduates in 1934. Working as a doctor he is given the nickname 'Papa Doc' by his patients.
While recognised as a humanitarian and intellectual, Duvalier also develops a deep interest in the African roots of Haitian culture, helping to found 'Le Groupe des Griots', a group of writers committed to black nationalism and voodoo mysticism, in 1938.
Among the poor and the superstitious Duvalier will gain a reputation as a practitioner of voodoo sorcery.
1939 - Duvalier marries Simone Ovide Faine, a nurse, on 27 December. The couple will have four children, three daughters (Marie Denise, Simone and Nicole) and a son (Jean-Claude).
1943 - He participates in a US-sponsored campaign to control the contagious tropical disease yaws, an infection of the skin, bones and joints.
1946 - Duvalier joins the government of President Dumarsais Estimé, becoming director general of the national public health service. In 1948 he is appointed as minister of public health and labour.
1950 - President Estimé is overthrown in a military coup on 10 May. Duvalier returns to his medical career. Behind the scenes, however, he begins organising against the military regime. By 1954 he is the central opposition figure and goes underground, hiding in the interior.
1951 - Jean-Claude Duvalier is born on 3 July in Port-au-Prince.
1956 - The military relinquishes power in December. A general political amnesty allows Duvalier to come out of hiding. Six governments are formed in the following 10 months.
1957 - With army backing, Duvalier is elected president for a six year term on 22 September. He promises to end the privileges of the mulatto elite and bring political and economic power to the black masses. However, the political climate remains unstable.
1958 - After an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow him in June, Duvalier takes steps to consolidate his position. Senior officers in the military are replaced with younger men, the size of the army is reduced, the military academy is closed, political parties are banned and curfews are introduced.
Duvalier also takes control of the Presidential Guard, turning it into the army's elite unit.
With chief aide Clément Barbot, he organises the Volontaires de la Sécurité Nationale (Volunteers for National Security), or Tonton Macoutes (Bogeymen), a private militia estimated to number 9,000-15,000 that will be used to terrorise and murder opponents.
Recruits are drawn initially from the slums of Port-au-Prince. They receive no salary, relying instead on protection rackets and crime to support themselves. The Tonton Macoutes act as Duvalier's front-line security force and as a balance to the political power of the armed forces. Their chain of command reaches directly to the Presidential Palace.
1959 - Duvalier suffers a heart attack in May. Barbot acts in his place but is promptly imprisoned when Duvalier recovers.
On 12 August a group of Cuban guerrillas and Haitian exiles lands on the southern most tip of the country in another attempt to remove Duvalier. They are defeated by the Haitian Army, with the aid of US marines.
1961 - Duvalier manipulates elections to have his term extended to 1967, winning the vote with an official tally of 1,320,748 votes to zero.
"Latin America has witnessed many fraudulent elections," the 'New York Times' reports on 13 May, "But none will have been more outrageous than the one which has just taken place in Haiti."
Following the election, the US raises concerns about the misappropriation of aid money by Duvalier. In 1962 US aid is suspended. The following year diplomatic relations are also suspended and the US ambassador withdrawn.
Meanwhile, Barbot is released from prison. He begins plotting to overthrow Duvalier but the attempt, which is to take place in July 1963, is uncovered at the last moment and Barbot is killed.
1963 - Attempts to remove Duvalier continue, reportedly with backing from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Duvalier's leadership becomes more extreme. He fosters a personality cult, exploiting his reputation as a sorcerer and portraying himself as semidivine, the embodiment of the Haitian nation, a voodoo Jesus Christ.
"I am the Haitian flag," Duvalier proclaims, "He who is my enemy is the enemy of the fatherland."
With corruption endemic, the elite gets richer and the poor suffer badly. The per capita annual income sinks to US$80, the lowest in the western hemisphere. The illiteracy rate remains at about 90%.
1964 - Duvalier has himself elected president for life in April. Haiti is now almost completely isolated. Duvalier's isolation is more profound. He is excommunicated by the Vatican for harassing the clergy and will not be readmitted to the Church until 1966.
Discontent with the regime continues to grow, despite the tight security imposed by the Tonton Macoutes. Conspiracies and dissent proliferate. Duvalier responds with a reign of terror and is able to stay in power longer than any of his predecessors.
1971 - The constitution is amended in January to permit Duvalier to name his son, Jean-Claude, as his successor. Jean-Claude comes to be known as 'Baby Doc', echoing his father's nickname.
François Duvalier dies on 21 April in Port-au-Prince. Power is transferred to Jean-Claude, who, at the age of 19, becomes the youngest president in the world.
However, Jean-Claude is not interested in the details of government and leaves much of the running of the country to his mother, Simone Ovid Duvalier, and his dead father's cronies.
Bending to pressure from the US, and at home, Jean-Claude agrees to economic and judicial reforms, the reopening of the military academy, the release of some political prisoners and the easing of media censorship. But no political opposition is tolerated and the president retains the power to appoint officials and judges.
Though US aid is restored, Haiti remains diplomatically isolated. Corruption reaches new heights. The US Commerce Department reports misappropriation of 64% of Haiti's government revenues. Tens of millions of dollars are diverted from public funds for "extra-budgetary expenses," including deposits to Jean-Claude's Swiss bank accounts.
1980 - In May Jean-Claude marries Michéle Bennett. The lavish wedding, estimated to cost US$3 million, and marriage alienate much of the population. Bennett is considered to be an elite mulatto and her family is implicated in corrupt business ventures, including drug running.
1983 - On a visit to Haiti in March Pope John Paul II declares that "something must change here."
1985 - Jean-Claude gets 99% of the vote in a fraudulent election. Popular demonstrations against high unemployment, poor living conditions and the lack of political freedom break out late in the year and early in 1986, beginning in the provincial capital of Gonaives.
On 28 November 1985 soldiers in Gonaives chase demonstrators into a schoolyard and shoot and kill three schoolboys who were not involved in the protest. The incident leads to more demonstrations and riots.
1986 - With the Tonton Macoutes unable to repress the mounting social unrest and the military pressing for his resignation, Jean-Claude and his wife accept assistance from the US and flee the country for France on 7 February. The couple take up residence in a villa in Mougins, near Cannes. They will later divorce.
Jean-Claude leaves behind an impoverished and ruined country. Well over half of Haiti's workers are unemployed. Over 80% of Haitians are illiterate. Almost a third of Haitian children die before their fifth birthday. Life expectancy is 53 years. Per capita income is US$300 a year.
2002 - In a television interview broadcast in the US on 17 December Jean-Claude reveals that he would like to return to Haiti. "It is my firm intention as soon as conditions allow," he says, adding that he wants to take part in "rebuilding" Haiti.
According to Jean-Claude, there are no legal reasons for him not to return. He claims that Haiti has "gone backward by 50 years" since he fled the country and calls on the current president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, to retire.
"(Aristide) does not have the possibility of ruling Haiti any more," Jean-Claude says, "He has been rejected by the vast majority of the population. He should, according to me, retire. ...
"People are suffering a lot. It is not bearable. It is revolting. I know parents who can't have their children go to school any more. Some families eat every other day."
When questioned about his alleged misappropriation of tens of millions of dollars of Haiti's state funds, Jean-Claude challenges his accusers to provide the evidence.
2003 - Jean-Claude tells the 'Wall Street Journal' that he neither stole state funds nor organised the murder of opponents. "If I were dictator, I would have done everything in my power to stay in power," he says.
"I laugh when I hear the amounts: $400 million, $800 million. It's a lot of blah, blah, blah. ... There were the children to care for, school expenses, other bills. ... We were not perfect. Perhaps I was too tolerant."
2004 - On 29 April President Aristide is forced out of office by an armed rebellion. Jean-Claude quickly restates his wish to return to Haiti, telling a French journalist on 1 March that he wants to put himself "at the disposal of the Haitian people."
"I think I'm getting close and that I will soon have the opportunity to go back to my country," Jean-Claude says, revealing that he had requested a diplomatic passport several weeks earlier.
According to Duvalier, while he is in constant communication with contacts in Haiti, he is not involved with the rebel movement and is not planning to run for president if he returns.
Meanwhile, on 25 March the international anticorruption organisation Transparency International (TI) places Jean-Claude at number six on a list of the world's most corrupt political leaders of the past two decades.
According to TI, Jean-Claude is alleged to have embezzled between US$300 million and US$800 million from Haiti.
2007 - In September the Transparency International estimates are quoted in a report by the Stolen Assets Recovery Initiative, a joint venture of the World Bank and the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime.
"According to the numbers ... Jean-Claude Duvalier allegedly stole the equivalent of 1.7 to 4.5 percent of Haitian GDP for every year he was in power," the report says. "The only other two kleptocrats to come close as a percentage of GDP were Ferdinand Marcos (of the Philippines) and Sani Abacha (of Nigeria)."
Comment: François Duvalier's story mirrors the history of Haiti - a promising beginning completely despoiled by ambition and greed. On the one hand a humanitarian apparently committed to social justice metamorphoses into a corrupt dictator. On the other the world's first black republic turns on itself in an ongoing cycle of political and economic impoverishment that not even world superpowers seem able to halt. Ultimately the solutions to Haiti's problems will have to be born from within, and it is unlikely that Baby Doc Duvalier would make a suitable parent.
News stories about President John F. Kennedy, his administration, his policies, his assassination, and related events.
The “fiscal cliff” is another hoax designed to shift the attention of policymakers, the media, and the attentive public, if any, from huge problems to small ones.
The fiscal cliff is automatic spending cuts and tax increases in order to reduce the deficit by an insignificant amount over ten years if Congress takes no action itself to cut spending and to raise taxes. In other words, the “fiscal cliff” is going to happen either way.
The problem from the standpoint of conventional economics with the fiscal cliff is that it amounts to a double-barrel dose of austerity delivered to a faltering and recessionary economy. Ever since John Maynard Keynes, most economists have understood that austerity is not the answer to recession or depression.
Regardless, the fiscal cliff is about small numbers compared to the Derivatives Tsunami or to bond market and dollar market bubbles.
The fiscal cliff requires that the federal government cut spending by $1.3 trillion over ten years. The Guardian reports that means the federal deficit has to be reduced about $109 billion per year or 3 percent of the current budget. More simply, just divide $1.3 trillion by ten and it comes to $130 billion per year. This can be done by simply taking a three month vacation each year from Washington’s wars.
The Derivatives Tsunami and the bond and dollar bubbles are of a different magnitude.
Last June 5 in “Collapse At Hand” I pointed out that according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s fourth quarter report for 2011, about 95% of the $230 trillion in US derivative exposure was held by four US financial institutions: JP Morgan Chase Bank, Bank of America, Citibank, and Goldman Sachs.
Prior to financial deregulation, essentially the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act and the non-regulation of derivatives–a joint achievement of the Clinton administration and the Republican Party–Chase, Bank of America, and Citibank were commercial banks that took depositors’ deposits and made loans to businesses and consumers and purchased Treasury bonds with any extra reserves.
With the repeal of Glass-Steagall these honest commercial banks became gambling casinos, like the investment bank, Goldman Sachs, betting not only their own money but also depositors money on uncovered bets on interest rates, currency exchange rates, mortgages, and prices of commodities and equities.
These bets soon exceeded many times not only US GDP but world GDP. Indeed, the gambling bets of JP Morgan Chase Bank alone are equal to world Gross Domestic Product.
According to the first quarter 2012 report from the Comptroller of the Currency, total derivative exposure of US banks has fallen insignificantly from the previous quarter to $227 trillion. The exposure of the 4 US banks accounts for almost of all of the exposure and is many multiples of their assets or of their risk capital.
The Derivatives Tsunami is the result of the handful of fools and corrupt public officials who deregulated the US financial system. Today merely four US banks have derivative exposure equal to 3.3 times world Gross Domestic Product. When I was a US Treasury official, such a possibility would have been considered beyond science fiction.
Hopefully, much of the derivative exposure somehow nets out so that the net exposure, while still larger than many countries’ GDPs, is not in the hundreds of trillions of dollars. Still, the situation is so worrying to the Federal Reserve that after announcing a third round of quantitative easing, that is, printing money to buy bonds–both US Treasuries and the banks’ bad assets–the Fed has just announced that it is doubling its QE 3 purchases.
In other words, the entire economic policy of the United States is dedicated to saving four banks that are too large to fail. The banks are too large to fail only because deregulation permitted financial concentration, as if the Anti-Trust Act did not exist.
The purpose of QE is to keep the prices of debt, which supports the banks’ bets, high. The Federal Reserve claims that the purpose of its massive monetization of debt is to help the economy with low interest rates and increased home sales. But the Fed’s policy is hurting the economy by depriving savers, especially the retired, of interest income, forcing them to draw down their savings. Real interest rates paid on CDs, money market funds, and bonds are lower than the rate of inflation.
Moreover, the money that the Fed is creating in order to bail out the four banks is making holders of dollars, both at home and abroad, nervous. If investors desert the dollar and its exchange value falls, the price of the financial instruments that the Fed’s purchases are supporting will also fall, and interest rates will rise. The only way the Fed could support the dollar would be to raise interest rates. In that event, bond holders would be wiped out, and the interest charges on the government’s debt would explode.
With such a catastrophe following the previous stock and real estate collapses, the remains of people’s wealth would be wiped out. Investors have been deserting equities for “safe” US Treasuries. This is why the Fed can keep bond prices so high that the real interest rate is negative.
The hyped threat of the fiscal cliff is immaterial compared to the threat of the derivatives overhang and the threat to the US dollar and bond market of the Federal Reserve’s commitment to save four US banks.
Once again, the media and its master, the US government, hide the real issues behind a fake one. The fiscal cliff has become the way for the Republicans to save the country from bankruptcy by destroying the social safety net put in place during the 1930s, supplemented by Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” in the mid-1960s.
Now that there are no jobs, now that real family incomes have been stagnant or declining for decades, and now that wealth and income have been concentrated in few hands is the time, Republicans say, to destroy the social safety net so that we don’t fall over the fiscal cliff.
In human history, such a policy usually produces revolt and revolution, which is what the US so desperately needs.
Perhaps our stupid and corrupt policymakers are doing us a favor after all.
Sheriff was bribed to shelter drug dealer for 15 years
4 more Mass State Police troopers are eyed in overtime fraud scandal
Crooked Manhattan NYPD cop pleads guilty to bribery, cocaine possession
By SHAYNA JACOBS
| NEW YORK DAILY NEWS |
AUG 14, 2018 | 2:55 PM
When the institution is inherently evil (FBI) it becomes a evil magnet and toxic waste site contimating entire cities (Boston)’ States (DC) and countries (USA)
You understand that FBI Director Comey got Donald Trump elected President by declaring Hillary Clinton under investigation 3 days before the Election and by committing voter fraud since at least the 1980’s.
J Edgar Hoover and James Comey?
The FBI protects the Deep State,eh?
HACK YEAH: 11-year-olds infiltrate, change results on mock version of Florida election site in minutes
By SKYLER SWISHER | SOUTH FLORIDA SUN SENTINEL | AUG 14, 2018 | 2:00 PM
Hackers take on new voting machines at Defcon From The 3:59 show: Here’s a vote of no confidence. 1:41 / August 13, 2018
Why won’t the Department of Justice (DOJ) investigate electronic vote fraud? Is it because the DOJ and FBI have long been involved in it, themselves?
“If you did it right, no one would ever know,” said Craig C. Donsanto, head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Election Crimes Branch, Public Integrity Section (from 1970-2010) in a July 4,1989 Los Angeles Times article about electronic voting machines and vote fraud.
EXCLUSIVE: Black NYPD lieutenant sued for mocking cop's interracial relationship, calling her a 'Kardashian chick'
By THOMAS TRACY
AUG 14, 2018 | 1:00 PM
One cop came forward to expose secrets in his own ranks. The revelation rocked the court system
By MAYA LAU
AUG 14, 2018
| PITTSBURG, CALIF.
STATE POLICE TURMOIL
State Police got many warnings on payroll abuse. And they did nothing
JOHN TLUMACKI/GLOBE STAFF/FILE
Colonel Kerry Gilpin, now head of State Police, had written at least three inspection reports that flagged some troopers for remarkable overtime hours but didn’t probe further.
AUGUST 13, 2018
Internal affairs investigators for the Massachusetts State Police spent much of 2014 searching for evidence that two troopers were secretly escorting funeral processions and taking cash under the table.
August 13, 2018
Cooking with FOIA: The CIA’s classified crab dip
Agency kept recipe a national security secret for over 30 years
Written by JPat Brown
Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe
Article (PDF Available) in The Open Chemical Physics Journal 2(1) · April 2009 with 548 Reads
Case sealed after Denver sheriff’s deputy acquitted of assaulting inmate at downtown jail
Video shows former sergeant grabbing inmate by the neck and taking him to the ground
North Liberty man part of FBI ‘invisible army’ that protects infrastructure
Peter Strzok, the FBI agent who made anti-Trump comments, fired by the bureau, report says
Caught on video: Detective allegedly uses banned chokehold on man during routine noise complaint call
NYPD cops heckled and cursed by tenants of Bronx apartment building
Juror in FBI agent acquittal: 'It's possible someone is lying'
Updated Aug 11, 1:15 PM; Posted Aug 11, 10:00 AM
D.C. police officers suspended amid allegation they failed to help family under threat
POLICE DEPARTMENTS NEED TO STOP POSTING MUGSHOTS ON TWITTER
Anti-fascists confront police in Washington
Police unions urge members to boycott Dolphins over anthem demonstrations
Trump Says He’ll ‘Get Involved’ After FBI Fights to Keep Texts Secret
By Joe Saunders
August 12, 2018 at 10:21am
Newly Unearthed FBI File Exposes Targeting of Folk Singer Dave Van Ronk
How Memphis Police Created an Undercover Operation to Spy on Black Lives Matter Activists
Cynthia Bailey pumps her fist outside the National Civil Rights Museum following the annual Martin Luther King Day march on January 16, 2017 in Memphis, Tennessee.Photo: Mike Brown (Getty Images)
A federal judge has ruled
Stop and account: 'Stopped under a police power I'd never heard of'
BBC News - Aug 10, 2018
UK police forces spend £1.7bn on overtime in five years
BBC News - Aug 10
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