View Full Version : Smearing France?

May 18th, 2003, 08:09 AM
France says it is victim of smear campaign

Bush administration disputes charge

From Andrea Koppel and John King
CNN Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON (CNN) --France says it is the victim of a smear campaign by the Bush administration, charging some U.S. officials are leaking false stories about alleged French complicity with the Iraqi regime.

The Bush administration dismissed the charge.

The French government lays out its claim in a letter written by the French ambassador to the United States, according to a French diplomat familiar with its contents.

The letter was to have been delivered to the White House and members of Congress Thursday.

"This is not acceptable," said one French diplomat. France "does not consider it a policy, but considers that some people have done some damage to the relationship."

One U.S. official involved in national security matters said the French claim was baseless.

"There are a lot of things we don't like, and we have not been shy about that," said the U.S. official. "But there is no campaign against the French."

The Bush administration has made no secret of its anger following an intense campaign by France earlier this year to block a U.S.-led attempt to win the support of the U.N. Security Council for a second resolution authorizing military action in Iraq.

The French campaign succeeded and the United States, Great Britain and Spain instead went ahead with a "coalition of the willing" to invade Iraq without the backing of the United Nations.

In his letter, French Ambassador Jean-David Levitte cited eight examples of what he describes as proof of a deliberate U.S. campaign to spread misinformation about the French government. CNN has obtained a copy of the list, which accompanies the letter.

"We cannot accept to be accused repeatedly for stories sourced in the administration for things we have not done," said the French diplomat familiar with the letter. "Who did this? Why? For what agenda?" the diplomat wondered aloud.

Among the stories cited by the French:

• News reports, quoting administration officials, suggesting France might have sold weapons to Iraq in defiance of U.N. sanctions.

• A Washington Times story reporting U.S. intelligence sources had received information suggesting French officials in Syria were helping members of the Iraqi leadership escape the U.S. military by issuing French passports to them.

"The passport story had them really hot," said a senior U.S. official. "They delivered passionate, heated and repeated denials that any such thing was occurring."

The official said there was no evidence of the French issuing such passports, and noted the White House never said there was any such evidence.

On the day of the Washington Times story, however, White House press secretary Ari Fleischer suggested reporters would be better served asking the French whether they provided passports to Iraqi officials.

At the time Fleischer made that statement at the daily White House briefing, other senior officials privately suggested the story was based on one uncorroborated tip received by U.S. intelligence agencies, and that the information was being investigated but not being treated as true or even necessarily credible.

"That one put them over the top," this official said. Nevertheless, this official and the others denied any coordinated effort to smear the French. "Do we have reason to be mad? We think we do," the senior official said.

This official said the French letter had not been received at the White House, but that there had been "official communications" suggesting it would be delivered as early as Thursday.

This official suggested any assertion of an organized campaign "is ridiculous" and attributed the letter to "a sense of resentment" by some French officials that U.S. officials have talked of negative ramifications for U.S.-French relations because of the disagreements over Iraq.

Deputy White House press secretary Scott McClellan, when asked about the French complaint, recalled a recent quote from Secretary of State Colin Powell that "the United States and France have been in marriage counseling for 200 years."

McClellan also said the United States and France are allies and that, while differences persist, "We are looking to the future."

TLOZ Link5
May 18th, 2003, 03:36 PM
::mock chauvinism time::

Let's just send the Statue of Liberty back to France! *We don't need it anymore!

And let's also send back every Lycee Francais in the country and any Art Deco, Beaux-Arts and International-style building, as well as the Louisiana Purchase--but not before we rename New Orleans, St. Louis, Detroit, Louisville, Baton Rouge, and Des Moines!

May 18th, 2003, 09:07 PM
Aww! Come on! I think the French a okay. Just cause they didn't want to get into the war with us doesn't mean that we should hate them. And I guess we would send the Chrysler back to France! It's Art Deco!

(Edited by DominicanoNYC at 9:08 pm on May 18, 2003)

TLOZ Link5
May 19th, 2003, 05:00 PM
Lighten up, Dominicano. *I was joking, hence the "::mock-chauvinism time::" line. *It was sarcasm.

NyC MaNiAc
May 19th, 2003, 07:20 PM
I just think about all the battles where the U.S.A has come to aid the French...now, when we are in a time of help, they back down? I don't get it...

Also, the recent "Nazi Activities" going on in France don't help one bit...

I don't hate France, I just don't like the stand they are taking.

May 19th, 2003, 07:57 PM
Yeah okay TLZO.

May 21st, 2003, 08:55 AM
If you want to observe Nazi Activities, visit Idaho.

Lightning Homer
May 21st, 2003, 01:45 PM
Zippy, I think what NyC MaNiAc meaned is that there are no agressions against people just because they're jew, no synagogues or jewish schools burned or vandalized, no jewish or WWII British-American cemetery profanated in the USA, even in Idaho.

But this happened in France lately !

(Edited by Lightning Homer at 8:07 pm on May 21, 2003)

May 21st, 2003, 04:30 PM
Quote: from Lightning Homer on 1:45 pm on May 21, 2003
Zippy, I think what NyC MaNiAc meaned is that there are no agressions against people just because they're jew,

Are you serious?

May 21st, 2003, 05:04 PM
A Jewish cemetery was profanated a few years ago. The rest is either bullshit or grossly distorted. Apparently Homer barely has a brain.

NyC MaNiAc
May 21st, 2003, 07:46 PM
I recently read an article in Time which showed a train having hateful grafitti in the form of the word "Jude" Nazi Signs, crossed out Stars of Davids and "Heil Hitler."

Lightning Homer
May 21st, 2003, 08:10 PM
Maybe you're right, Christian, I don't have no brain.

And Mr Le Pen who reached 20% last year is a fine democrat !

May 21st, 2003, 08:27 PM
Congratulations, you are capable of stating a fact unaccompanied with inane fabrications.

May 22nd, 2003, 02:06 PM
To America, France is like your favorite lover who keeps cheating on you. America has always idealized France, Paris specifically. Most Americans have never been there, never will go there, and view Paris as some romantic grail that exists in myth (It's where American movie stars go on vacation, etc.). Everytime France needs someone to bail her out of trouble she coddles up to the US asking to be taken care of... Then, ever so often, she slaps America in the face in front of all our friends standing on the red carpet under a spotlight.

On the national stage, France is the most arrogant ingrate, and has no shame for it.

Colin Powel, "The US and France have been in marriage counciling for about 200 years."

Lightning Homer
May 22nd, 2003, 02:07 PM
Etaples War Cemetery (http://www.chez.com/jnf666/etaples_profanation.htm)

C:\Documents and Settings\Barnabé\Mes documents\Mes images\etaples02.jpg

(Edited by Lightning Homer at 6:10 pm on May 22, 2003)

TLOZ Link5
May 22nd, 2003, 10:03 PM
I'm sure that once in a blue moon there's the disgruntled outcast who defaces a monument to American soldiers. *Nothing more serious than that, I wouldn't think.

May 24th, 2003, 03:40 AM
If Belgium and France had wanted to Unite with Germany they could have done that 60 years ago. It would have saved 291,557 American lives.

TLOZ Link5
May 24th, 2003, 04:20 PM
It's quite true that, had it not been for U.S. intervention in World War II, the French would probably be speaking German today.

But it's also quite true that, had it not been for French intervention in the Revolutionary War, we'd still be singing God Save the Queen.

Lightning Homer
May 25th, 2003, 01:52 PM
Which means americans would still speak English anyways !

I don't know you all, but to my ears, "God save the Queen" sounds better than "Deutschland über alles".

Sorry for the german nationalists who may read this...

May 25th, 2003, 02:12 PM
This discussion is either going to focus on whether France is victim of a smear campaign or is going to stop. It's "Smearing France?", not "Smear France!".

Lightning Homer
May 25th, 2003, 03:41 PM
I don't smear France. I'm just trying to make people here understand that this lovely country is in GREAT DANGER !

And if I dare to give my opinion : I don't think a real French would write what you've seen above.

Translation :

-top left : unearth your dumps, they pollute our soil
-bottom center : Sadam will come and make you bleed
-top right : death to yankees
-bottom right : Bush, Blair to TPI -International Penal Court

Remember : I've told you that 33% people in France wanted Saddam to win, the poll doesn't say if they're Frenchs and it also means there's still 67% remaining !

And it's not to smear to say the truth, Christian.

(Edited by Lightning Homer at 3:42 pm on May 25, 2003)

May 25th, 2003, 04:42 PM
You said that there were "synagogues or jewish schools burned or vandalized". Unless you can prove this, it is smearing. But regardless, the topic of this thread is not France's flaws or "dangers". One can find at least as much dirt on the USA anyway.

May 25th, 2003, 05:20 PM