Doctor supervising official CIA torture
The Geneva Conventions(16) prohibit torture and inhuman, cruel or degrading treatment with respect to certain categories of protected persons (including civilians and protected prisoners of war) in times of armed conflict or in post-conflict occupied territories. Breach of this prohibition is considered a war crime and states parties have an obligation to investigate such breaches and prosecute or extradite perpetrators regardless of the nationality of the victim or the perpetrator, or where the act took place.
Lets hear the perverse "educated" elite talk about torture, waterboarding and psychological abuse:
Tue, Nov 6, 2007 -- 10:00 AM
Forum examines the U.S. government's rendition program under which the CIA transfers terrorism suspects to foreign countries to be held and interrogated.
Download audio (MP3)
Host: Michael Krasny
* Stephen Grey, investigative journalist, director of the PBS Frontline - World program "Extraordinary Rendition" and author of "Ghost Plane: The True Story of the CIA Rendition and Torture Program"
* Trevor Paglen, co-author of "Torture Taxi: On the Trail of the CIA's Rendition Flights."
Amy Goodman and Antonia Juhasz, Arundhati Roy and Noam Chomsky. About the Iraq oil law and rendition.
United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
The Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees(15) provides an explicit prohibition against transfer to torture. Article 33 prohibits the refoulement of a refugee to any place where his or her life or freedom would be threatened on account of his or her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. However, unlike CAT and the ICCPR, this provision is not non-derogable.
Gulfstream V Turbo, tailfin number N379P was owned by Premier Executive Transport Services, incorporated in Delaware, a brass plaque company with nonexistent directors, hired by American agents to revive an old CIA tactic from the 1970s, when agency men had kidnapped South Americans
United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
The United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)(10) provides another explicit prohibition against torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Article 7 states that:
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.
The UN Human Rights Committee is the treaty body responsible for monitoring implementation of the ICCPR, like the Committee Against Torture. Again, states parties must submit regular reports to this Committee, usually every four years. The Committee has been called upon a number of times to interpret the Convention’s prohibition of torture. In its General Comment on article 7, the Committee emphasizes that the prohibition of torture is non-derogable, stating that:
The text of article 7 allows of no limitation. The Committee also reaffirms that, even in situations of public emergency… no derogation from the provision of article 7 is allowed and its provisions must remain in force. The Committee likewise observes that no justification or extenuating circumstances may be invoked to excuse a violation of article 7 for any reasons, including those based on an order from a superior officer or public authority.
This General Comment also explicitly extends the article 7 prohibition against torture to include transfers to torture, stating that “States parties must not expose individuals to the danger of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment upon return to another country by way of their extradition, expulsion or refoulement.” It is important to note that, unlike under CAT, the Human Rights Committee has interpreted article 7 to include transfers to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in its prohibition of refoulement.
The Human Rights Committee has issued another General Comment on the general legal obligation imposed on states parties to the ICCPR, stating that
[T]he article 2 obligation requiring that States Parties respect and ensure the Covenant rights for all persons in their territory and all persons under their control entails an obligation not to extradite, deport, expel or otherwise remove a person from their territory, where there are substantial grounds for believing that there is a real risk of irreparable harm, such as that contemplated by articles 6 and 7 of the Covenant, either in the country to which removal is to be effected or in any country to which the person may subsequently be removed.
Finally, the Human Rights Committee has interpreted article 7 as requiring states to prohibit acts of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment committed within the physical territory of a state; that may be imputed to a state if the perpetrator was in power or effective control of the state; committed within a state’s territory where the acts’ effects occur outside that territory; and those acts were committed by state actors, regardless of where, if the state fails to exercise due diligence obligations in relation to violations.
United States killing approximately 10,000 Iraqis every month
International Law Prohibitions Against Torture and Extraordinary Rendition
A. Jus Cogens and the Non-Derogable Nature of the Prohibition of Torture
A number of international conventions outline the explicit prohibition of torture, cruel inhuman and degrading treatment, and rendition to torture. Numerous United Nations monitoring bodies have also declared the practice of extraordinary rendition to be a violation of the international law prohibition against torture.(3)
However, before delving into the individual conventions, it is important to note that the prohibition against torture is universally recognized as a principle of customary international law. The international community understands the prohibition of torture to be jus cogens – a peremptory norm of international law from which no derogation is permitted, and which binds even states that have not ratified the conventions enumerated below. Thus, the international law prohibition of torture is absolute and non-derogable – no exceptional circumstances or emergencies may be used to justify torture, including terrorism and national security concerns.
Waterboarding was not done by backroom operators, it was officially ordered with supervision by doctors (to tell when to stop) BY THE PRESIDENT (evidence Bush is a war criminal!)
Reinforcing this view, soon after 11 September 2001, the United Nations Committee Against Torture issued a statement condemning the terrorist attacks but reminding states of the non-derogable nature of their obligations under the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The UN Committee expressed confidence that no matter what responses to the threat of international terrorism were adopted, they would be in conformity with a state party’s obligations under the Convention.(5)
Ultimately, international law stipulates that states have an obligation to bring their domestic laws into line with the international prohibition against torture and to interpret all treaties they have ratified in context and in good faith – outsourcing torture beyond a nation’s borders is not consistent with these obligations.
B. United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
Foremost among the international law prohibitions against torture is the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT).(6) Article 1 of this Convention sets out the definition of torture, which includes conduct undertaken by state actors or persons acting with the consent or acquiescence of a state for the purposes of obtaining information:
Art. 1(1) For the purposes of this Convention, the term “torture” means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.
Beyond this definition there is no internationally agreed-upon threshold for what specific acts constitute torture. In the context of CAT, such determinations are made on a case-by-case basis by the UN Committee Against Torture, the treaty body responsible for monitoring implementation of the convention. Other forms of mistreatment involving less severe physical or mental pain or where the necessary intention to torture is not present are also prohibited under article 16 of CAT: the right not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman, or degrading punishment.
Article 2 of CAT requires states parties to take measures to prevent torture in any territory under their jurisdiction. It also clearly states that torture is never justified – there can be no derogation from a state’s obligation to prevent and prohibit torture, even in times of war, threat of war, internal political instability, or when facing any other public emergency such as terrorism.(7)
Article 3 sets out the prohibition against “refoulement,” which most clearly prohibits extraordinary rendition:
Art. 3(1) No State Party shall expel, return (“refouler”) or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.
(2) For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the State concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights.
The UN Committee Against Torture has stated that article 3 requires a state considering transferring an individual to another state to conduct an objective assessment of the conditions in the state to which an individual will be transferred, and a subjective assessment of the danger particular to the individual. An individual must not be transferred where these assessments lead to a finding of a substantial likelihood of danger of torture that is greater than mere suspicion. There need not be a high probability of torture for the prohibition to apply.(8) It is important to note that the prohibition against refoulement extends only to transfers to torture, and not to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
Articles 4 to 7 of CAT require states parties to ensure that all acts of torture are offences under domestic criminal law, to investigate and prosecute all acts of torture, and to assert jurisdiction over torture offences where such offences are
1. committed in a territory under the state’s jurisdiction,
2. committed by a national of the state, or
3. perpetrated against a national of the state.
The UN Committee Against Torture was established under CAT as a monitoring body to both provide interpretations of the Convention for all states parties and to monitor the individual actions of states parties. Those states who have ratified the Convention must submit reports to the Committee every four years outlining their progress in implementing the Convention. The Committee examines these reports, hears from the states parties, and then issues Concluding Observations with recommendations for how the state party can improve its compliance with the Convention. The Committee’s pronouncements are non-binding in law, but are a significant source of moral suasion in the international community.
"September 17, 2007: Wafaa Hussein mourns her son, Thaer, 6, at a Baqouba morgue, northeast of Baghdad. The boy was shot by a sniper while he was riding with his family in a bus from Baghdad to Baqouba. A new survey suggests the civilian death toll from the war in Iraq could be more than one million.
====== USA DOES NOT OUTLAW TORTURE?? ====
The United States has ratified most of the primary conventions prohibiting torture, as well as the civil aviation convention. However, it has effectively withdrawn its ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and has resisted all progress by that Court, and has not yet signed the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. It is important to note that the United States ratified CAT subject to a declaration that the Convention was not self-executing and needed domestic implementing legislation to take effect. The government also included a reservation,(26) clarifying that to the United States, article 3 refers to situations where it is more likely than not that an individual would be tortured if transferred to another country:
That the United States understands the phrase, ‘where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture,’ as used in article 3 of the Convention, to mean ‘if it is more likely than not that he would be tortured.’
This position is in contrast with the standard established in CAT, which refers to substantial grounds for believing that an individual would be subject to torture.
There is no one piece of federal legislation in the United States that prohibits torture – this is an offence that is dealt with primarily through state law. However, a number of laws and regulations at the federal level implement CAT and other international law on torture domestically.
The Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act 1998 sets out a significant portion of this legal framework. Section 2242 of that Act states that the United States has a policy such that the government cannot
expel, extradite, or otherwise effect the involuntary return of any person to a country in which there are substantial grounds for believing the person would be in danger of being subjected to torture, regardless of whether the person is physically present in the United States.
All appropriate agencies were to promulgate regulations to implement this policy. The Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the State Department have issued regulations in the context of removal and extradition proceedings, but it is unclear as to whether such regulations have been developed by the Central Intelligence Agency or the Department of Defense.(27)
Section 235.8(b)(4) of the regulations under the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act states that although the Immigration and Nationality Act(28) allows an immigration officer who suspects an individual arriving in the United States of terrorism-related activities to begin proceedings for his or her summary removal, the Immigration and Naturalization Service shall not execute the removal order under circumstances that violate article 3 of CAT. However, the Act also emphasizes that, to the extent consistent with the United States’ obligations under CAT, regulations implementing article 3 can nevertheless exclude aliens described in section 241(b)(3)(B) of Immigration and Nationality Act. This would mean that the following individuals could be excluded from the non-refoulement to torture prohibition – those who:
* Assisted in Nazi persecutions or engaged in genocide;
* Ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of an individual because of the individual’s race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion;
* Having been convicted of a particularly serious crime, are a danger to the community of the United States;
* Are strongly suspected to have committed a serious non-political crime outside the United States prior to arrival; and
* Are believed, on the basis of reasonable grounds, to be a danger to the security of the United States.
However, despite this provision, to date, all United States regulations concerning the removal of aliens have prohibited the removal of all persons to states where they would more likely than not be tortured.(29)
With regard to removal decisions, regulations(30) implementing article 3 of CAT permit the consideration of diplomatic assurances that an individual will not be tortured in receiving states. The regulations state that the Secretary of State may secure assurances that the person subject to return would not be tortured. These assurances must then be deemed “sufficiently reliable” by the Attorney General. This reliability assessment cannot be reviewed in court, and individuals facing removal orders have no procedural opportunity to challenge the credibility of diplomatic assurances.
Sections 2340 and 2340A of the United States Code on Crimes and Criminal Procedure(31) criminalize acts of torture occurring outside United States territorial jurisdiction. The American government has jurisdiction over such offences where the offender is a United States national or is present in the United States. Those found guilty of such offences are liable to a fine or up to 20 years’ imprisonment. Where death results, the offender is liable to imprisonment or death. Conspiracy to commit torture is accompanied by similar penalties, excluding the death penalty.
The War Crimes Act, as amended by the Military Commissions Act, is the United States legislation implementing the Geneva Conventions. This Act imposes criminal penalties on United States nationals or Armed Forces members who commit one of the listed offences violating the laws of war already discussed in the context of the Geneva Conventions.
The Uniform Code of Military Justice 2000(32) also regulates the conduct of individuals serving in the United States Armed Forces, as well as the behaviour of certain civilians accompanying such personnel. This Code applies wherever such individuals may be in the world, and contains a number of criminal laws for offences such as cruelty, maltreatment, assault, rape, murder, and dereliction of duty (for those who know of offences committed by others but fail to report them). The Code outlines procedures for courts martial and for matters relating to the detention and interrogation of persons subject to the Act, such as prisoners of war. In particular, Article 55 states that
Art. 55 Punishment by flogging, or by branding, marking, or tattooing on the body, or any other cruel or unusual punishment, may not be adjudged by any court-martial or inflicted upon any person subject to this chapter. The use of irons, single or double, except for the purpose of safe custody, is prohibited.
Finally, the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act 2000(33) provides a jurisdictional basis for the prosecution of individuals in the military, as well as certain civilian personnel, for acts committed outside the United States that would be criminal offences if committed in the United States.
Originally N581GA, it became N379P in 2000 when it was acquired by Premier Executive Transport Services. In December 2003, it became N8068V. On 1 December 2004 it was reregistered N44982, and ownership was transferred to Bayard Foreign Marketing, an apparent shell company registered in Portland, Oregon. Its registration was changed once more on January 20, 2006 as N126CH to XXXXX, 2930 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33137-4122. It was sold and reregistered to Wilmington Trust Company, 1100 N Market St, Wilmington, Delaware on August 18, 2006
Business daily Handelsblatt reported November 24, 2005, that the CIA still uses an American military base in Germany to transport terrorism suspects without informing the German government. The Berliner Zeitung reported the following day there was documentation of 85 takeoffs and landings by planes with a "high probability" of being operated by the CIA, at Ramstein, the Rhein-Main Air Base and others. The newspaper cited experts and "plane-spotters" who observed the planes as responsible for the tally
The executive jet with the tail number N44982 (the registration is no longer current; it was also formerly N8068V, N379P and originally N581GA) has been reported in several press sources as a U.S. Department of Defense prisoner transport, also known as "Guantánamo Bay Express".
The executive jet with the tail number N379P was again brought to public attention by Swedish TV4's documentary, Det brutna löftet ("The broken promise"), aired 17 May 2004. The documentary claimed that the expulsion of two men, Ahmed Agiza and Muhammad al-Zery - ordered by the Cabinet - to Egypt on December 18, 2001 was carried out by hooded U.S. agents. The plane booked by the Swedish Security Police (SÄPO) was cancelled when another plane arrived - N379P - a Gulfstream V executive jet supplied by the firm (Premier Executive Transport Services, Inc.) which works exclusively for the U.S. Defense Department.
Hobbyist plane spotters reporting the plane's whereabouts somewhat confirm the flight logs. On September 22, 2003 the plane flew directly from Kabul, Afghanistan to the Szczytno-Szymany International Airport in Poland, which is close to a Polish secret service training base located near the town of Stare Kiejkuty. The following day it arrived Mihail Kogălniceanu Airfield, Romania, from whence it departed to Morocco and ultimately Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
On September 24, 2007 N987SA crashed in the Yucatan, Mexico, carrying 3.2 tons of cocaine. The Gulfstream II business jet was registered to Donna Blue Aircraft, Inc.
The Gulfstream with tail number N987SA has been involved in the transport of extraordinary rendition victims to Guantanamo Bay. Logs also show that the plane flew twice between Washington and Guantanamo and once between Oxford, Connecticut and Guantanamo. The American flights would have been CIA and Pentagon interrogators being ferried to interrogations at Guantanamo. At the time of the Guantanamo flights, the plane was managed by Air Rutter International, a California-based air charter service. It was then sold on August 30 to Donna Blue Aircraft, owned by two Brazilians and sold on to two Florida men on September 16.
European Parliament investigating CIA torture flights
USA Law ...
The French army systematically used torture and murder in Algeria against its opponents. For several months now this topic has been openly discussed in France, since two high-ranking retired generals admitted last November that in the 1954-62 Algeria war members of the Algerian liberation movement (FLN) were tortured, abused and executed.
This was confirmed in the French daily Le Monde by 92-year old general Jacques Massu, who in 1957 was in charge of the notorious "Paras" (10th Parachute Division), and his deputy, the 82-year old general Paul Aussaresses, then director of the French secret service in Algiers, who admitted that over 3,000 prisoners considered to have "disappeared" at that time had in reality been executed. Aussaresses explained that in 1957, torture and murder were an integral part of France's war policy. He boasted that methods were employed that were not covered by the conventions of war , that he had given his subordinates orders to kill and had personally liquidated 24 FLN members, telling Le Monde, "I do not regret it."
An earlier report in Le Monde by one of the torture victims had set the ball rolling. The then twenty-year-old Algerian partisan Louisetta Ighil Ahgiz, who fell into the hands of the torturers in September 1957, still suffers today from the physical and psychological consequences of the torture at the age of 64. Together with an FLN group, she fell into an ambush by general Massu and was taken, seriously wounded, to his headquarters. Here she was subjected to almost continuous torture for three months. Louisetta reported how Massu and General Marcel Bigeard insulted and degraded her, before they gave the instruction for the torture to begin with a hand movement. "It was as if a secret code existed", she said. She only survived thanks to an army doctor, who discovered her in December 1957 and took her to a military hospital, hiding her from the torturers. Louisetta said she hoped to find the doctor through the article published in Le Monde and thank him.
The report about Louisetta Ighil Ahgiz unleashed a tide of readers' letters and articles throughout the French media. Another former FLN fighter, Noui M'Hidi Abdelkader, who had been arrested in Paris in 1958 and was then imprisoned in Versailles, confirmed that torture was also used in the French capital. He is convinced that unopened archives still contain the statements of thousands of torture victims.
The Algerian war 1954-62
In 1954, Algeria's smouldering independence struggle erupted into a war. Just before, the French army had been forced to withdraw from Vietnam following its historical defeat at Dien Bien Phu. France moved the largest part of the Foreign Legion to Algeria, its largest and oldest colony. As the attacks mounted by the FLN increased during 1954, the French government decided it would not abandon Algeria, which had been a French colony since 1830. For the first time conscripts were despatched to a colony, and by mid 1956 half a million French soldiers were stationed on Algerian soil.
By 1962, 1.7 million French soldiers had fought in the Algerian war. Over 25,000 of these were killed and 60,000 wounded, while on the Algerian side, over half a million died. Despite these enormous numbers, for a long time no one was officially allowed to use the word "war". One spoke only of the "events in Algeria" or of “preserving order” in the three Algerian provinces. Only in October 1999 did the French National Assembly (parliament) decided to officially permit the term "Algerian War".
It was the social-democratic government of Guy Mollet that had given a free hand to the occupying forces in Algeria to carry out torture. In June 1956, shortly before the notorious battle for Algiers, the National Assembly accepted Mollet's proposal to set aside individual freedoms in Algeria and permit the gendarmes and soldiers stationed there to use "extended questioning," "coercive measures" or "special treatment". General Aussaresses now confirms, "We were given a free hand to do what we considered necessary."
The French Prefect in Algeria at that time, Robert Lacoste, was also a social democrat. The social democratic Interior Minister François Mitterrand, who later became president, said in parliament on November 5, 1954: "The Algerian rebellion can lead to only one conclusion, that is, war." He declared that Algeria was part of France: the Mediterranean separates Algeria from France just as the river Seine separates the two halves of Paris. When he became Justice Minister two years later, he rejected the clemency request of the Algerian communist Fernand Iveton made on February 10, 1957, thus assuring his death.
France's colonial policy won the support of the Stalinists, when the Communist Party under the leadership of Jacques Duclos supported the state budget in 1954 and in 1956 voted for the special measures proposed by the government, at a time when there were already mass demonstrations taking place in Paris against the Algerian war.
The eyewitness reports and recently published documents leave no doubt about the brutality, extent and systematic use of torture in Algeria. Part of the daily practice included mass rapes, submerging victims in freezing water or excrement, and repeated use of electric shocks. Even in the Algerian hinterland where there was no electricity, electric shock torture was carried out using the so-called " Gégène", utilising the pedal-powered generation system used for the radio stations.
Command over Algeria was exercised by a group of top generals, who had fought under Charles de Gaulle against Nazi Germany during the Second World War. De Gaulle became president of France in 1958, following a putsch by French settlers and the military in Algeria. In 1959, when de Gaulle tentatively moved towards allowing self-determination for Algeria, these same generals organised a second putsch attempt in April 1961; under the battle cry "Algeria must stay French!" After it failed, they created the terrorist Organization Armée Secrète (OAS—Secret Army Organisation), which carried out numerous killings of civilians in Algeria and also in France. Thanks to the amnesty announced in the declaration of independence signed at Evian in July 1962, as well as a further amnesty at the end of the 1960s, these generals have never faced any criminal charges for the attempted coup or for the systematic use of torture.
Some of these military figures, such as general Marcel Bigeard, who achieved the highest military honours in the post-war period, continue to resist any uncovering of the crimes committed in Algeria. Bigeard, the Algerian Commander and a former OAS member, is today the spokesman of a parliamentary group of yesterday's men who dispute all accusations of torture in the public debate. In agreement with people such as Jean-Marie Le Pen, the leader of the extreme right-wing National Front and a former paratrooper who served in Algeria, Bigeard speaks of the "network of lies", which in his opinion is "destroying everything that remains decent in France".
Bigeard, Le Pen and a number of old stalwarts from the Algerian war polemicised sharply in le Figaro against the "slandering of the French army." They were joined by Philippe Séguin, the failed Gaullist candidate of the Rassemblement Pour la Republique (Assembly for the Republic) for Paris mayor and an opponent of French integration into the European Union, who vehemently opposed any new debate about France's activities in Algeria. Charles Pasqua, the former Gaullist Interior Minister, who belongs to the Euro-sceptic Rassemblement pour la France (Assembly for France), harshly condemned an initiative by the Communist Party calling for an official committee of inquiry into the Algerian war.
In the 1950s, numerous accounts already testified to the systematic use of torture in Algeria. Even before the outbreak of open war, the newspaper L'Observateur reported in December 1951 on torture practices in Algeria. In 1958, the book " La Question " (The Question) by Henri Alleg was published, in which he exposed his own torture at the hands of the French. In 1960, a group of intellectuals around Jean Jean-Paul Sartre, including Simone de Beauvoir, André Breton, Simone Signoret and many others protested against the war with a "Manifesto of the 121". The historian Pierre Vidal Naquet attacked the use of torture as a break with France's liberal traditions in his book, " Torture dans la République " (Torture in the Republic).
Nevertheless, after the 1962 amnesty the topic was generally regarded as a social taboo. When the satirical weekly Le Canard enchaîne reported in the 1980s that Jean-Marie Le Pen had participated actively in carrying out torture as a second lieutenant in the paras stationed in Algeria, the paper was hauled before the courts, eventually losing the case before the appeal court.
It is only more recently that there has been any open talk about this chapter of French history. A number of people directly affected by the events have now spoken out: primarily of course, the torture victims, who have yet to receive any compensation. A number of veterans have also come forward, who have had to endure the trauma that they experienced as young soldiers in Algeria for forty years without being able to speak about it. Others now speaking out include the Pieds Noirs, the white Algeria settlers who had to flee the land in 1962; as well as the Harkis, Algerians who fought on the side of the French army, and who can neither return to Algeria nor find recognition in France.
Almost all the French press are taking part in this debate, films are being shown, and in December 2000 a seminar took place at the Sorbonne university with French and Algerian historians chaired by the president, Jacques Chirac.