Thierry Meyssan

It’s a strange comeback – a 20-year-old story has resurfaced via the improbable route of the attack against Charlie Hebdo. Claude Hermant, who was at that time one of the principal figures in the media revelations concerning the illegal activities of the DPS (Department for Protection and Security), in France as well as abroad, has been convicted and incarcerated for arms trafficking. In particular, he is suspected of having transported part of the weaponry used by Amedy Coulibaly, the author of the kosher grocery murders. Claude Hermant, who for several years had been animating a paramilitary structure close to the milieu of the autonomous nationalist movement, insists that the traffick for which he has been charged had been approved by the administrative authorites, and served to infiltrate criminal networks for the purposes of the Gendarmerie.

Alexis Kropotkine : Thierry Meyssan, while we were preparing an article on the Hermant-Coulibaly connection [1], we rediscovered the Front National’s Departement of Protection and Security affair, in which you and the Réseau Voltaire played an important part. This harks back to the 1990’s. What was it about?

Thierry Meyssan : In September 1996, as national secretary of the Radical Left Party, (PRG) I took part in the creation of the National Vigilance Committee against the Extreme-Right, which we founded on the model of the Vigilance Committee of Anti-Fascist Intellectuals that our party had created in 1934 [2]. It concerned the weekly meeting of the 45 main political parties, trade unions, associations and left-wing Masonic lodges in order to coordinate our responce to the rise of racism and political violence in our country. Of couse, I represented the Réseau Voltaire.

However, I realised very quickly that most of the participants were only interested by the struggle against racism and political violence insofar as it was a means of stigmatising the Front National, which represented for them a useful electoral scapegoat. In any case, we decided to offer the National Vigilance Committee a careful surveillance of the so-called « right-wing » publications. We subscribed to about fifty publications, some of them very confidential, and began to read and analyse them. We also went to many demonstrations and conferences, always with the aim of understanding our adversary. Finally, we interviewed several extreme right-wing personalities. I realised that the label « extreme-right» had no real lmeaning – it was used to identify schools of thought which were very different from one another, not necessarily racist, nor violent, nor even right-wing, but which had all been excluded from the game of national politics.

Alexis Kropotkine : So what was the result of this surveillance?

Thierry Meyssan : During that period, several people had been murdered by militants of the Front National. They were the victims of fights between poster-stickers during an election, or of racist or homophobic aggressions. When we studied our material, we noticed that the people suspected by the Ministry of Justice of committing these crimes were all members of the security contingent of the Front National - the Departement of Protection and Security (DPS).

Alexis Kropotkine : How did you make the connection between the DPS, ’France-Africa’ and the intelligence services?

Thierry Meyssan : At the time, I was also working with François-Xavier Verschave on the France-Africa networks [3]. Ours were the first investigations on the subject. François-Xavier had started by looking at the articles in the national press. They were crammed with mistakes and inaccuracies, but nevertheless, his study revealed a whole world of secrecy, and became the basis for our knowledge of the subject. Obviously, I noticed that the names of the mercenaries who worked for French interests in Africa were the same as those of the leaders of the DPS.

At first, I thought that these mercenaries were simply being recruited from the « extreme-right ». Then I saw that it was an organised system – these men worked alternately in France for the DPS, and overseas for the French secret services.

Alexis Kropotkine : How did this revolving door between the French secret services and the DPS evolve? Why choose the FN ?

Thierry Meyssan : By investigating the Front National, I learned that it had been created by François Duprat [4] and Ordre Nouveau at the demand of Jacques Foccart [5] at the start of the 1970’s. Jean-Marie Le Pen only became its leader after the assassination of Duprat, in 1978. Duprat had also been a mercenary in Africa, and Jacques Foccart was the head of the secret services of Gaullist France.

One thing led to another, and I arrived at three major conclusions :

 The Front National was as creation of the Gaullists, aimed at stabilising the different groups who were excluded from national political life (as the losers of the Second World War, and losers of decolonisation) and re-inserting them into the political arena.

 From its creation, the FN was piloted by the secret services under the vigilant eye of the Elysée.

 François Mitterrand had reactivated the hold of the Elysée over the Front National, in such a way as to reintroduce its historical leaders into national political life. He used secret funds to finance the electoral campaigns for the European elections in 1984, and modified the voting system for the election of the Assemblée Nationale in 1986. Unfortunately, the FN deputies behaved in a pitiful and ridiculous manner, which caused President Mitterrand to retreat. The best he could do was to pardon the generals of Alger.

Alexis Kropotkine : What’s the connection with the exterior operations of the French intelligence services?

Thierry Meyssan : My vision of things changed when I learned of the role played by the FN’s security contingent in France’s secret operations in Chechnya. Officially, these « extreme-right » heavies went to Russia to support the Chechnyan revolutionary « good guys » against the post-Soviet « bad guys ». In reality, the French secret services had infiltrated the Islamic Emirate in Itchkeria and offered their chief, General Djokhar Doudaïev, a satellite portable telephone. Shortly afterwards, the Russian services were able to localise him via this telephone, and killed him with a guided missile. Consequently, the people I believed to be extreme-right gorillas were in reality French agents in the service of President François Mitterrand, who was working hand in hand with the services of Vladimir Putin.

I was finally convinced, in discussion with members of the DPS, that it was a creation of the secret services within the FN, and had nothing to do with the desire to re-instate old political or military leaders. That’s when I discovered the plan for a DPS listing of personalities to be neutralised in case of necessity. It was in many ways comparable to the preparation of a coup d’état. The DPS had become a tool for poltical control in the service of the DPSD (military counter-espionnage) [6], which in turn operated under the control of NATO’s Gladio network.

Alexis Kropotkine : What was the reaction of the political world?

Thierry Meyssan : With the support of the the Radical Left Party (PRG), we requested the creation of a parliamentary inquiry commission. At first, the Elysée was obstinately opposed to the idea. But after some intensive lobbying of all political parties, and once they had seen our documents, François Mitterrand changed direction. Jean-Michel Baylet, the president of the PRG, lodged a request with the Seante for the creation of the commission, but in the end, it was the proposition presented to the National Assembly which was adopted.

Our work was hindered by Charlie Hebdo’s campaign demanding the dissolution of the Front National, and by the numerous obstacles that Jean-Christophe Cambadelis [7] put in our path.

Alexis Kropotkine : Why did J-C Cambadelis try to block your investigations? Wasn’t he a political ally? In clear terms, what were the manoeuvers for which you hold him responsible?

Thierry Meyssan : Jean-Christophe Cambadelis suddenly became the representative of the Socialist Party within the National Vigilance Committee, when he had earlier defended the title of « Manifesto against the FN », of which he was the president. He came every week with a delegation and contested my research by suggesting that it was nothing more than primary anti-Mitterrandism. Since the majority of the members were Socialists, or in debt to the President, it cast a chill over the proceedings. However, I managed to convince the National Vigilance Committee, who had adopted a position in favour of the Parliamentary Inquiry Commission. But when I began to talk to the deputies and senators, most of them told me that they had been contacted by Jean-Christophe Cambadelis and asked to abstain. I later learned that Mr. Cambadelis had been trained by Irving Brown [8], one of the founders of the Gladio network.

Alexis Kropotkine : What were the conclusions of the Inquiry Commission?

Thierry Meyssan : As the work of the Commission advanced, the deputies began to realise that I had put my finger on something extremely important, but that it was impossible for them to reveal the truth. Consequently, they refused my proposition that we should perquisition the DPSD – as the law allows them to do – and whose headquarters are only a few minutes distant from the Assemblée Nationale. So we never knew how the story ended. The conspiracy had not been developed by the leaders of the FN, but either by the Elysée, which doesn’t seem very probable, or by a dissident group inside the DPSD, which is plausible.

For the Front National, Jean-Marie Le Pen first of all dragged me before a judge, where he lost his case. He then realised that he himself had been manipulated, and began to look for the people close to him who were working for the DPSD. He decided to exclude Bruno Megret from his party, and closed the DPS. The explosion of the Front National made legal pursuit an impossibility and the Inquiry Commission left it at that.

Alexis Kropotkine : So in your opinion, the split between the FN and the National Republican Movement (MNR) had little or no connection with Bruno Megret’s desire for independence and respectability?

Thierry Meyssan : Certainly not. The initiative was taken by Jean-Marie Le Pen and no-one else. Bruno Megret attemted to hang on to his name, then to create a new political party, the MNR, but never managed to exist on his own. Furthermore, I can’t see how someone who surrounds himself with racists can hope for respectability.

Alexis Kropotkine : That reminds me of the MNR’s campaign clips - in fact I believe that Courcelle, the head of the DPS, together with C. Hermant and his best men, immediatement joined Bruno Megret’s party... But how were your relations with the Front National after all that?

Thierry Meyssan : Later on, I enjoyed personal friendly relations with Jany le Pen and Bruno Gollnisch, but I never approached the Front National, with whom I have very little in common. The articles by Renaud Dely which claim that I had left the PRG for the FN are pure diffamation.

During the electoral campaign of 2007, I believed that Jean-Marie Le Pen would take the step to transform his party of losers into a National party. At least, that’s what his speech at Valmy led us to expect. Contrary to other left-wing militants, and in the light of what I have just explained to you, I consider that Mr. Le Pen served the Republic by stabilising the different groups that are arbitrarily described as being « extreme-right ». Besides this, I think he’s a man who has considerably changed for the better – if you watch the videos he made during his Poujadist phase, you see a man who’s uneducated, brutal and vulgar, whereas today he’s a cultivated and thoughtful personality. Unfortunately, by bequeathing his party to his family rather than allowing Bruno Gollnisch to become president – even though Gollnisch keeps bad company and sometimes commits excesses which are hardly compatible with his function – he has not managed to complete this transition.

Alexis Kropotkine : This old affair of the DPS has suraced in the context of the Jnauary attacks. La Voix du Nord writes that part of the weaponry found in the possession of Amedy Coulibaly was transported via Claude Hermant’s networks, who is speifically an ex-DPS who rallied to the cause of the MNR. Until his arrest at the end of January, he animated certain paramilitary groups in the national-revolutionary milieu, structures which we should remember have nothing to do with the contemporary FN. Claude Hermant’s degree of implication is not yet known, and he seems decided to defend himself. He claims that he was working for the administrative authority in the context of an infiltration mission , and has divulged to the regional press a number of e-mails from the Gendarmerie which seem to corroborate his claims. Which brings us to the attacks against Charlie Hebdo. You have been copiously criticised for having quickly dismissed the jihadist lead. What is your position today concerning the events of the 7th, 8th and 9th of January?

Thierry Meyssan : I have never dismissed the jihadist lead - I explained that the sponsors of the action were not Islamists, but probably Atlantists. This does not exclude the possibility that they might execute their actions by using jihadists, quite to the contrary.

The idea of the « war of civilisations » is completely foreign to Muslims, who are not aiming at annihilation, but conquest. The war of civilisations », like that of Apocalyptic destruction, only exist in the Jewish and Western cultures. Historically, this concept has been developed as the justification of an offensive strategy by Bernard Lewis in the United States Security Council, then was presented as a fatality by the propagandist Samuel Huntington, who was also a member of the US Security Council.

The difficulty for the West lies in the fact they can no longer understand the subject reasonably. It is in fact propaganda which is not the science of lies, but the science of indoctrination. When, by cowardice, we accept to opt for positions we know to be false, we find ourselves embarked upon a succession of lies without being able to return.

Alexis Kropotkine : What do you mean by that?

Thierry Meyssan : For example, in France, we pretend to have lived through the Second World War, whereas from June 1940 to June 1944, the country was at peace, and only France Libre and the Resistance were fighting – we pretend to believe that the Third Reich had planned the massacre of European Jews, while its official and public objective was to massacre all the Slavic people and colonise Eastern Europe – we are convinced that we were colonialists, though every time the French People was consulted on the subject, they opposed it, etc. Please note that I’m only using old examples in order to avoid annoying you.

But if you want current examples, here’s one – we pretend to believe that the citizens of the United States elect their president by indirect universal suffrage, although he is in fact elected by the delegates of the state governors. As a result, we are unable to explain why the Supreme Court judges declared, in the year 2000, that they were uninterested in the result of the popular vote in Florida. We pretend to have « common values » with the United States, despite the fact that we have none – we are Republicans, while they believe on the contrary that the idea of « general interest » leads to a dictatorship – we are democrats, whereas the authors of the US Constitution were not – we are universalists, they are supremacists.

To return to your question about the January attacks, when you revealed the implication of ex-members of the DPS in the Coulibaly affair, I couldn’t help remembering my opening hypothesis – what if this whole affair was also a manipulation by the NATO secret services?

Alexis Kropotkine : Why would NATO get involved in a false-flag operation on the national territory of one of its primary members?

Thierry Meyssan : If, for you, NATO is a defensive alliance, originally constituted to oppose the Soviet menace and which has been perpetuated, there is no logic to this sort of manipulation. But, on the one hand, NATO was never constuted to face up to a threat, but rather to threaten the USSR, which was then obliged to create the Warsaw Pact. And, on the other hand, NATO has never defended one of its member states. On the contrary, NATO organised a terrorist campaign in Serbia, then used the argument of a disproportionate reaction by the Milosevic government in order to destroy Yugoslavia - NATO pretended that the Taliban were co-responsible for the 11th September in order to occupy Afghanistan - NATO fabricated false testimony at the Human Rights Council in Geneva to argue the case of a threat to the Libyan population and overthrow the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, which was in fact massively supported by gigantic popular manifestations.

Far from being a defensive alliance, NATO is a system of suzerainty and vassals, which is contrary to the United Nations Charter, according to which all states are soveriegn and equal. Historians have shown that NATO has organised a number of attacks and assassinations in their member states, and their work has been confirmed by official documents taken from the United States archives. However, these works only concern the first few years of NATO’s existence, due the difficulty of gaining access to more recent archives. In France, in 1951 in the département of Gard, NATO tested drugs on civilians without their knowledge, and then NATO, from 1961 - 1966, financed about forty tentatives to assassinate President Charles De Gaulle by the OAS.

It is extremely unpleasant to think that we are often pawns in the hands of Washington, but nonetheless, it’s a proven reality in the past, and evident today. This is why we should have paid attention when Jean-Marie Le Pen declared that the jihadists of the Charlie Hebdo attacks bore the hallmarks of the secret services.


This interview deals with the Hermant-Coulibaly affair – however, during the course of the interview I touched on certain other subjects without developing my ideas, which may leave an opening for some errors of interpretation.

 I intended to demonstrate that our analysis of the Second World War is founded on false parametres. This was a classic imperialist conflict in which the Nazi project, aimed at the colonisation of Eastern Europe, used the same methods as those employed in the rest of the world. Indeed, it also led to genocides, but this time against Europeans.

 Concerning colonialism, I wanted to emphasize that, despite the brainwashing used in Jules Ferry’s schooling system, French citizens, once they were confronted with the violence of colonisation, often took the side of the colonised peoples. However, I must admit that in metropolitan France, there was never a great anti-imperialist movement .

 Concerning the qualification of the Front National as an « extreme-right party », I believed at first that it associated all the small groups who claimed that society should be organised according to a natural order which would create a hierarchy of men at their birth, and would cultivate the creed of violence. During my enquiry, at the end of the 1990’s, I realised that the problem was more subtle that that, because many members of the FN used to believe, but no longer believed, in an ontological hierarchy of human beings, and that other groups were « pacifists » in the meaning used during the Second World War, in other words, cowards and not fascists.

 Concerning Jean-Marie Le Pen and the present Front National, I would have done better to keep my mouth shut, because my comments were not backed up as firmly as those I had expressed during the period when I lived in France. For my own safety, I had been obliged to avoid travel in the NATO zone since 2007, and only knew about current political life through the press, which is to say very superficially.

 Finally, to get back to our subject, I invite you to read my deposition to the National Assembly in the framework of the Commission for Parliamentary Enquiry on the DPS. This exchange clearly reveals a secret operation, managed by a service of the state via the Front Nationale’s security brigade.

Pete Kimberley

[2The Vigilance Committee of Anti-Fascist Intellectuals (Comité de vigilance des intellectuels antifascistes, CVIA) was a French political organization created in March 1934, in the wake of the February 6, 1934 riots organized by far right leagues, which had led to the fall of the second Cartel des gauches (Left-Wing Coalition) government. Founded by Pierre Gérôme, philosopher Alain, physicist Paul Langevin and ethnologist Paul Rivet, it edited a newsletter, Vigilance, and boasted more than 6,000 members at the end of 1934. The CVIA had an important role in the unification of the three left-wing families (Radical-Socialist Party, French Section of the Workers’ International (SFIO, socialist party) and Communist Party) which led to the Popular Front in 1936.

[3François-Xavier Verschave (October 28, 1945 – June 29, 2005) was primarily known as one of the founders of the French NGO Survie ("Survival"), over which he presided since 1995, and as coiner of the term Françafrique, an expression designating the specific form of neocolonialism which has been endured by the former French Colonies.

[4François Duprat (1941–1978) was a member of the Jeune Nation wing of the French nationalist students’ federation (Fédération des étudiants nationalistes FEN). Strongly opposed to Algerian independence during the Algerian War (1954–62), Duprat later supported Arab states as an anti-Zionist. After the March 1962 Evian agreements granting independence to Algeria, he traveled to Katanga, supporting the secession led by Moise Tshombe. He became Tshome’s Director of Propaganda on Radio-Katanga. Thereafter, he returned to France, where he became a member of Occident. Duprat then took part in the Ordre Nouveau movement (New Order). In 1972, François Duprat co-founded the National Front (FN) headed by Jean-Marie Le Pen, and was part of its political bureau until his assassination in 1978.

[5Jacques Foccart (31 August 1913 – 19 March 1997) was the President of France’s chief of staff for African and Madagascar matters for both Charles de Gaulle and Georges Pompidou (1960 to 1974). Foccart played such an important role in French policies in Africa, that after de Gaulle, he was seen as the most influential man of the Fifth Republic. But through Service d’Action Civique (SAC), he was considered to be involved in various coups d’état in Africa during the 1960s. In 1974 Valéry Giscard d’Estaing replaced Foccart with the young deputy whom he had himself trained. He was then rehabilitated in 1986 by the new Prime minister Jacques Chirac as an adviser on African affairs for the two years of "cohabitation" with socialist president François Mitterrand. When Chirac finally gained the presidency in 1995, the 81-year-old Foccart was brought back to the Elysée palace as an advisor.

[6DPSD is the abbreviation of Direction de la Protection et de la Sécurité de la Défense, a French security agency which is part of the Ministry of Defence. DPSD succeeded the former military security agency in 1981. Its roles are: counter-intelligence, general intelligence, counter-terrorism, and counter-subversion concerning national defense. The military, national defense institution, and defence industry are within its area of responsibility. It is also responsible for ensuring the security of personnel, information, materiel and sensitive facilities within national defense.

[7Jean-Christophe Cambadélis (born August 14, 1951) is a French politician who has been First Secretary of the French Socialist Party since April 2014.

[8Irving Brown (Bronx, 1911 - Paris, July 14, 1989) was an American trade-unionist, member of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and then of the AFL-CIO, who played an important role in Western Europe and in Africa, during the Cold War, in supporting splits among trade-unions in order to counter Communist influence. While he was a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent, he founded in 1962 the American Institute for Free Labor Development along with former Communist Party of America member and CIA agent Jay Lovestone.