Diversity Macht Frei
July 24, 2018
The scandal known in France as the Benalla Affair has mushroomed over the last week to the point where it is now being called a French Watergate.
It seems that every few hours, some new revelation comes along.
Here’s what we know so far.
Macron’s bodyguard, known as Alexandre Benalla, who is 26 years old, asked to accompany the French gendarmerie on 1 May, a day on which major demonstrations of a left-wing character are traditionally held. The trade unions had organised a massive protest against President Macron’s policies on that day.
Benalla was filmed roughing up people at the event, who may have been participants in the demonstration or were perhaps just passive observers.
There is no obvious reason why Benalla wanted to attend the demonstration or participate in the police operations. He seems to have been just doing it for the lulz. Perhaps he just likes beating up white men and grabbing white women.
Benalla, in conjunction with the footage, somehow disappeared security cam footage of the incident. He was caught out later by other film that had been taken by bystanders.
Benalla was originally “punished” by being suspended for 2 weeks. This provoked an outcry and he has now been charged with group-based violence and tampering with evidence.
Benalla’s father was Moroccan. He, the son, changed his first name to Alexandre to sound more French.
Macron’s office asked for him to be given the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the gendarmerie and this was done.
Benalla’s associate, the former lawyer Karim Achoui, who has long been linked to Islamic radicals, says Benalla is “very sensitive to the Muslim cause”.
Benalla had been given the “secret défense” security clearance, meaning he could read highly classified documents containing military secrets.
Macron wanted Benalla to set up a French “secret service” similar to the one in the US which would be exclusively responsible for presidential security.
Benalla had many privileges that seem anomalous for a mere bodyguard.
These are the facts known so far. But the story could still take some interesting twists.
There are rumours that Benalla was a Moroccan agent. Anything confirming this would be explosive.
Why did Benalla have so many strange privileges?
It has been said that Benalla is close to the “Grand Orient” Masonic lodge and to the “Emir Abdel Kader” Masonic lodge, founded to establish a connection between Freemasonry and Islam.
There have been rumours that Macron is gay. Could Benalla actually have been his gay lover?
French media reported that Benalla not only earned a monthly wage of €10,000, but also had a government vehicle and lodgings paid for by the state. Hinting at previously unknown proximity with the presidential couple, he was also reported to possess keys to their home in Le Touquet, in northern France, where Macron and his wife, Brigitte, often retreat.
Christian Jacob, group leader of Les Républicains, the mainstream right-wing party in France, raised some interesting questions in an interview with Valeurs Actuelles.
Interviewer: What does this affair reveal about how our institutions function?
Christian Jacob: That under Jupiter [Macron’s nickname] there are privileges and there is “unhealthy cronyism”, as the the Paris police prefect Michel Delpuech put it during his hearing this afternoon. On what basis can a 26-year-old man, a “nightclub bouncer”, without skills, without experience and without having the status, be responsible for handling presidential protection for a country that is the 5th global power? Why does Benalla have a home on Quai Branly, a car with a chauffeur and a flashing light, a fabulous salary, a gun, a police armband…and accreditation to the National Assembly, a sacred precinct to which even the President of the Republic does not have access? Does this individual, who is at the president’s side daily, have some means of pressuring the president? Faced with so many privileges, we have the right to ask this question.