INTERPOL FLASH ALERT:
Wanted: on international arrest warrants issuing from France, two dangerous hacking financiers;
Crime: allegedly funded computer hacking/theft of authentic, sub–quality laboratory documents that proved French anti-doping incompet... *some text missing* ... or Alive.
Quite ironic, really:
... the Agence française du lutte contre le dopage (AFLD), which under Directeur Pierre Bordry was, merely weeks ago, deprived of an opportunity to inflict a penalty on Lance Armstrong, is back in the news with yet another headline–grabbing 'offense' claimed against Floyd Landis, or his close friends.
One might think that Bordry has become addicted to 'news–makers syndrome', à la Dick Pound, former WADA president and the veritable 'Mouth that never stopped'. Hearing Pierre Bordry and the names 'Lance...' or 'Floyd...' is liking hearing GW Bush saying 'Axis of Evil'... empty of meaning, truth very very questionable.
Actually, this recent 'Bordry news Flash' is twice very old news, centering on the claimed computer–hacking by 'someone' of the LNDD laboratory's computer system in 2006; a case which, of itself, took a two and a half–year submarine tour of the French legal 'instruction' system. However, as 'evidence' in Landis' original 'case', it was never mentioned by USADA and Richard Young, for reasons that can only be due to... the negative weight of these allegations?
From the French newspaper Le Monde, the story–breaking article poses nearly more questions than it resolves. And the date of Floyd's alleged 'convocation', May 5, 2009, means that it took the French media, and/or bureaucrats, nearly four weeks (online article dated 28 May) to get this story into Le Monde.
In its first paragraph, the disdainfully–toned lead–in offers a rebuke for Floyd and trainer Arnie Baker, for 'not appearing' in the Tribunal (Court) of Nanterre, a western suburb of Paris, under a 'convocation' sent to Arnie Baker by French judge Thomas Cassuto (more on him later). The third para. introduces the 'hacking case', filed 'three months' after Landis' July 20, 2006, testing results provoked the Doping Case of the Century. It carries on, stating that 'emails and mail' were evidently sent forth, containing 'LNDD internal documents' “... to sporting and international anti–doping authorities as well as to media with the purpose of discrediting [LNDD].”
The fourth para. then states that a French entity, the Office central de lutte contre la criminalité liée aux technologies de l'information et de la communication (OCLCTIC, literally the 'Central office for the fight against criminality tied to information and communication technologies') traced the IP (Internet Protocol) address (allegedly the 'origin' of 'sent' documents out to various recipients) to Arnie Baker's computer.
Unfortunately, OCLCTIC was not able to discern (or – we are not to know?) from which LNDD computer the original documents were found, hacked into, and then sent out... to how–many intermediates prior to Baker's 'receipt' of these? Impressive how their competence appears stronger for a computer nine time zones away, in San Diego, USA, then an Agency chock–full of computers in which the files originated, and located a mere cheap taxi fare away from OCLCTIC headquarters.
Anyone remember how AFLD, its hierarchically superior Ministry of Sport, and the then–denominated LNDD ('Laboratoire nationale du dépistage du dopage'; now the département des analyses, directly under AFLD control) used French legal procedure(s) to shield themselves from cooperation with the UCI–authorized investigation that produced the Vrijman Report, during the eight months' period from fall 2005 to spring 2006?
Without going into the reams of information in that report, readers should read sections §§3.6 through 3.9 (Chapter 3: 'Start of the Investigation') of Vrijman (Officially: Report: Independent Investigation – Analysis Samples from the 1999 Tour de France), which contains requests to the French Agencies or Ministries, whose replies WADAwatch is willing to summarize as:
Your independent and duly–authorized investigation's request for more information or documentation...
[ED: in this juncture, requested to resolve 'contradictions' between previous statements offered by LNDD and WADA officials]
... originating at the LNDD laboratory or AFLD Agency is not recognized as 'independent' under French law, as you are an opposing party....
[ED: there was no 'litigation' between UCI and AFLD/LNDD/Min. of Sport at that time, nor since, to substantiate such phrasing, yet this is the 'theory' that their legal office produced].
Therefore, unless you use appropriate French judicial procedures, ...
[ED: undefined by the cited French correspondence or omitted in Vrijman's report]
... we are very unfortunately not in a position to fulfill your requests.
SIDEBAR: The investigators (headed by Vrijman) apparently enjoyed refusing AFLD's subsequent request to 'preview' the first draft of the Vrijman report (ostensibly to contest or revise passages concerning the LNDD and AFLD), reminding them that, had they not refused its requests (above), they might have had fewer substantive problems with its published contents.
The current Le Monde article states (a Ww translation):
“Convoked the first time via the attaché de sécurité intérieure to come and explain before the French investigators, the American rider and his trainer were re–contacted a second time by email, on 27 April, through Baker's internet web site.” [ED: is that a web–page comments form, Arnie?]
Might this be a US Government “Homeland Security Attaché”? Or some American in Paris, attached to the US Embassy? Maybe it's an equivalent French official, stationed in Washington DC? One expects better writing from the renowned newspaper Le Monde...
Dr Baker is thus fully within his rights, we believe, to have responded to the Judge's 'convocation' as he did. The patronizing tone of the Le Monde writer surges forth again (whom, we presume, does not understand the simple, universal legal concepts of 'citizenship' or 'sovereignty'), as that writer asserts to the French readers that 'Baker bombarded the judicial police with questions'.
SIDEBAR 2: The French 'Civil Code' legal system uses much different pre-trial procedures than those known to the Anglo-Saxon 'common law' system. Not an expert, WADAwatch can add that there are 'judges of instruction', whose actions are designed to fulfill a neutral role, producing a complete packet of evidence, very unlike the US 'adversarial system'. Thus the DCPJ would act as investigatory staff with full police powers assigned to Judge Cassuto's 'instruction' investigation (this also accounts, somewhat, for the long period since this hacking case was first filed). Note that 'neutral' is a euphemism: French justice has been known for 'disappearing' or 'burying' files regarding cases indicting powerful politicians or commercial entities...
The questions Baker strafed (lobbed? drilled?... oh: 'bombarded') across the Atlantic into DCPJ's stronghold would be the same any foreign citizen might ask, when receiving such a bizarre request. We won't go into French legal theories of extra–territorial jurisdiction, but will return to the AAA/USADA hearing failed to use this hacking evidence against Floyd in the USADA/WADA/CAS hearings (below).
This Le Monde article ends with Bordry threatening Baker (and Landis? Unclear...) with an 'international arrest warrant' ('extradition' for a two thousand Euro hack job?). Readers of WADAwatch may remember our fixation with 'Notice' as a legal concept affecting the last AFLD–Armstrong 'dust–up' regarding a Control and a shower.
Evidently the DCPJ, under Judge Cassuto, are as unaware of the legal concept of 'Notice', as was the DCO who'd failed to advise Armstrong properly of the rules and penalties associated with out–of–sight showering. Baker's responses to the Judge indicate that he evidently wasn't made aware (was not 'put on notice' being the legal term of art), from the DCPJ communication(s), as to the 'theory of jurisdiction' (“I live in San Diego, CA?”), 'theory of law and charge(s)' (“what is the object for which you're convoking my presence?”), 'citizenship' (“Why is an American citizen convoked by French police?”), 'consequences', 'vagueness' (“What guarantee have I that I will return rapidly to the United States?”) and 'costs' (“Who's paying the travel costs?”).
WADAwatch would therefore suggest to Dr Arnie Baker that 'reciprocity' applies: Baker has no more need to respond to AFLD and Judge Cassuto, than AFLD had, in refusing to respond to Emile Vrijman and his team in 2005 and 2006, as (cough) 'Signatories in good standing' within WADA.
We know that, in French administrative cases, judicial opinions are not as forthright as those found in the USA: the Landis case opinion from the AAA/USADA Panel had a Decision of some 80–plus pages, and a 26–page Dissent, whereas the AFLD 'illegitimate second case' offered six pages... of anonymous participants, anonymous authors, anonymous experts (which we believe to be contrary to the WADA CODE Article 8 requirements for “... a timely, written, reasoned decision:”).
Regarding Dr. Baker's questions (paraphrased above), Le Monde tells its audience that Judge Cassuto didn't reply to them (evidently, he didn't instruct any subordinates to do so...). French hospitality again? One wouldn't expect such imprecise treatment from an internationally–recognized expert in corruption law.
Judge Cassuto is currently on a judicial 'roll' right now; if you could buy stock in his career, it's a zero–risk “BUY +++”.
Judge Cassuto is currently involved in another hacking case against the same firm – Kargus consultants – regarding the huge, nuclear–power heavyweight French company EDF (Éléctricité de France), who's been accused of financing Kargus' infiltration of French Greenpeace offices and computer systems. Kargus are the actual alleged 'hackers' in both cases, whose hacked information was subsequently sent out to multiple recipients, from an IP address that allegedly defines Baker's computer. There seems no evidence made public to date, that proves Baker is the 'client' of Kargus.
Maybe in France, a judge doesn't have to recuse him– or herself, when running two widely differing cases, each of which involve the same info–tech defendant? However, Judge Cassuto is apparently also an expert in high–level corruption – he was cited as a 'Visiting Expert' for a UN programme regional (Asia: Feb., 2008) seminar entitled:
138th International Senior Seminar on
“Effective Measures for Combating Corruption: A Criminal Justice Response”
In the report regarding this conference, a powerful paragraph reminds some readers of the 'near impossibility' of proving corruption by public officials. It states concepts that most reasoning people accept innately:
First, corruption is normally committed in a secretive manner between a very limited number of parties. Therefore, it is very difficult for the criminal justice authorities to obtain information on corruption allegations and to investigate them.
Second, since those involved in corruption are often powerful, for example, high-ranking officials, politicians or rich businessmen, they frequently try to jeopardize the criminal proceedings by using their influence to tamper with witnesses and evidence, or bribe, or put pressure on, criminal justice personnel.
Judge Cassuto's lecture/presentation isn't summarized, although he is 'named' in the body of this report as one of the 'two experts from Europe'. His own presentation was entitled:
Effective Legal and Practical Measures for Combating Corruption:
The French System
The court, or Tribunal in Nanterre, at which Judge Cassuto sits, is a specialized French 'commercial court'; it was notably involved in a 2001 case involving Microsoft, co–defendants Softimage, and plaintiffs Syn'x Relief (patent holding 3D CGI pioneers: subsequent to that company's bankruptcy, the owners took over the case in their persons), who'd claimed that Softimage (then being bought by MS) had failed in contract to adequately compensate Syn'x Relief in the acquisition of its rights and patents. Syn'x Relief's bankrupted owners sought monetary damages against the two defendants.
Attorneys preparing a case sometimes use a concept called 'making a decision–tree' for legal analysis, and we would wager that this concept is underutilized in France. Basically one tries to develop a series of argumentative 'branches', to assess probabilities, along these lines:
LNDD: was either hacked (see following) or not ('smokescreen' to create suspicions, as cover–up explanation for 'internally pathetic evidentiary standards');
If LNDD was 'hacked' [ED: which we are defining as 'intrusion for document search and 'theft''], it may have been 'done' internally (aggrieved or honest employee 'whistle–blowers'), or externally;
If LNDD was 'hacked externally', the perpetrators were either in cahoots with Floyd Landis, his legal team and/or any associates, OR: A) they were from a certain (unnamed) newspaper with close inside knowledge of all LNDD activities, tied to one Huge (unnamed), Powerful French commercial entity, and intelligent or malignant enough to know and act to protect weak evidence, or; B) they were a 'White Knight' with independent, anti–LNDD (or altruistic?) motivations;
And so on... remember that during the AAA process, Landis' attorneys had pointed to the 'impossibility of proving a negative' at several evidentiary arguments, such as the 'replaced Column' or the 'non–chronological chronologies'.
In this (potentially) Fourth Landis–Tour de France 2006 litigation, the issue is apparently past the first stage of our decision–tree question.
ONE: the 'legitimate' USADA/AAA/CAS 'case' (with 'improper' (IWwHO) WADA–provided funding of the CAS appeal by USADA) producing the two–year ban;
TWO: the 'illegitimate' French AFLD case, adding the 'banned in France' penalty;
THREE: the US Federal Court case (which case was 'withdrawn', settled and/or dropped) alleging gross, illegal conflicts of interest between the 'small group of insiders' who very profitably play musical chairs as advocates today, then Arbitration Panel 'judges' tomorrow, and;
FOUR: this 'hacking case' (which may actually be considered #2 or 3, chronologically).
AFLD Directeur Bordry knows and must believe in (and prove!) the authenticity of the 'hacked' documents, for this case to have any legs (a statement on VeloVortmax goes to this, but VV didn't cite a link... or 'we at WADAwatch' misread that article?). VeloVortmax reminds us that, ever since Baker first posted these, he claimed the 'documents' were 'sent to me, multiple times, from whistleblowers.”
Clearly, if the documents as sent forth by Baker (allegedly) were forged, then there was no 'hacking' (if forged, there could be grounds for 'interference' or 'defamation' of the Agency). Yet the French 'judicial instruction' by the DCPJ under Cassuto apparently has its hands on the 'defendant' (Kargus consultants), and is looking for the 'big wheel' that financed this 2,000 Euro (+/- $2800) contract.
Interestingly, the choice by Bordry to pursue this hacking case seems tantamount to an admission that LNDD laboratory documentation efforts (WADA certainly included laboratory security in its accreditation process) are substandard, and in need of intense WADA auditing.
Christopher Campbell's Dissent in the 'legitimate' AAA Arbitration procedure, began with this statement regarding the LNDD in France:
... at every stage of testing it failed to comply with the procedures and methods for testing required by the International Standards for Laboratories, Version 4.0, August 2004 (“ISL”) under the World Anti-Doping Code, 2003 (“WADA Code”). It also failed to abide by its legal and ethical obligations under the WADA Code. On the facts of this case, the LNDD should not be entrusted with Mr. Landis’ career.
Here is one small sub–Article of the 2004 WADA ISL (International Standards for Laboratories) regulations, which we believe LNDD violated (or failed to prevent any violation of):
22.214.171.124.1 Data and Computer Security
126.96.36.199.1.1 Access to computer terminals, computers, or other operating equipment shall be controlled by physical access and by multiple levels of access controlled by passwords or other means of employee recognition and identification. These include, but are not limited to account privileges, user identification codes, disk access, and file access control.
From the 1805 pp. PDF transcript of the 'legitimate' Landis arbitration hearing, it appears that 'computer security' as to hacking was never raised by either the USADA team under Richard Young, nor the Landis attorneys. A following sub–Article does appear when questioning two witnesses about the trail of 'corrections' or 'data protection' found in 188.8.131.52.1.4. Those two witnesses were LNDD lab staff member Cynthia Mongongu (transcript pp. 393–394) and Dr. Christine Alyote (transcript p. 647), who heads the Montreal anti–doping laboratory. No witness testified as to computer security breaches that may fall under 184.108.40.206.1.1, which evidence one presumes would have carried more weight than Young's using Greg Lemond in futile attempts at character assassination.
Fellow blog–master Rant, of Rant Your Head Off, directly contacted Dr Arnie Baker in April regarding his potential involvement. Rant transcribed Baker's response:
Thank you for bringing this to my attention.
I did not hack into, nor did I help or hire anyone to hack into the LNDD computer system.
WADAwatch has also corresponded on several occasions, some time ago, with Arnie Baker. We believe him to be an honest, intensely–focused man. However, WADAwatch would have appreciated his statement even more, had Baker added:
“... nor do I have any knowledge of any involvement by anyone associated in any way with Floyd Landis in this French 'lab hacking' affaire...”
(to make 'ironclad' what Rant calls 'unequivocal'; which is true, to the limits of Baker's alleged 'involvement').
However, where AFLD is involved, logic seems lost in France: Kargus consultants allegedly is owned by a former French 'Secret services' agent (thanks to Rant quoting Mark Ziegler of the San Diego Union–Tribune). Think about that: a 'Blackwater wannabe'...
Baker's ties to France are extremely limited. Whether Baker speaks French or not... On ne le sait pas du tout... (“we don't know that at all”)
Did you see the map above? The only player missing is Kargus, who are perhaps headquartered in Nantes, near the north end of the western coast.
Kargus' business evidently associates itself with the richest and most powerful in France, if it is doing similar hacking work for EDF against Greenpeace's computer system(s). Judge Cassuto seems to be known as one who fights against corruption by such people, and those in government who enrich themselves, and their career paths, in service of producing, performing or fulfilling the corrupt acts against which Cassuto fights. 'Anglo–saxon', used to describe the 'clients' of Kargus' LNDD hacking contract, seems a strange choice of words if one is describing one or more 'American(s)'. The normal usage of 'Anglo–saxon' by the French is primarily linguistic (this author is often asked where in England I am from: Minnesota is not Manchester!).
If Kargus is on a judicial hot–seat from the EDF/AFLD cases of hacking, it would be in their presumed interests to be slightly more precise as to their clients' origins... Non?
Citing Kargus in the Landis 'case', seems awfully paradoxical, given that its role in the EDF–Greenpeace case rises to that level of 'nasty behaviour' that leads to dissolutions of companies. One presumes that the 'bill' for Kargus' services against Greenpeace was modestly higher than the 2,000 Euros ascribed to the Landis hacking affair...
In premature conclusion, regarding a still–inconclusive case brought yet again by anti–American cylist–obsessed AFLD Directeur Bordry, we can only wonder if such desperate action is the only thing that is keeping him from losing his cushy job, offering office views of le Tour Eiffel or Notre Dame?
This author believes (and can no more prove than did Landis) that gross incompetence and constant violations of the WADA Code (the only legal vehicle anointing their laboratory, at the least, with any form of legitimacy), within the former LNDD (département des analyses) and AFLD, had serious repercussions, which in turn led to the 'atomic conjunction': 'back room' agreements between Madame la Ministre Rosalyn Bachelot, UCI President Pat McQuaid, and ASO owner Madame Amaury, as evidenced by Hein Verbruggen's resignation from UCI, Patrice Clerc's ouster from ASO, the questionable verdict(s) in the 'legitimate' Landis AAA/CAS arbitrations (as denoted by Landis' Complaint in US Federal Court), and, the pronouncement by Madame Amaury herself that her Equipe newspaper staff would no longer subvert the Athletes' rights to confidentiality in the period between A Sample analysis results and the requested B Sample process.
Such circumstantial evidence seems to lead to the 'conclusion' that one high–level French bureaucrat – AFLD's Bordry – has been reduced to a nervous, panicking, obsessional vestige of his former self. This premise originates from the circumstantial evidence found in the public record, and our consistent, previous reflections.
We also could 'go Sherlock', wondering how Bordry's career (or De Ceaurriz'?) was aided by Jean–Pierre Lamour, the former WADA VP, and runaway candidate for the WADA presidential post now held by John Fahey of Australia? Which could have him standing 'without necessary patronage' now... and simultaneously protecting his buffoon De Ceaurriz, the laboratory's Directeur.
Or maybe Plucky Pierre Bordry simply detested our last cartoon? (smile... c'était pour rire...)
Ask yourself why anyone French(!) would 'hack into' a French agency for only 2000 Euros, when you knew (or could reasonably presume): A) Landis had a huge (two–million dollar) legal budget; B) any documents found therefrom could be the “value–added” linchpin to his defense, and; C) you might have to appear in front of Judge Cassuto one day, as a defendant? If the facts as alleged are true, Kargus consultants are badly in need of a risk–analysis officer.
Maybe Baker and Landis should go to Paris, and visit the 'très aimable' Judge Cassuto (“very likeable”). We could, perhaps at last, get to the bottom of the Parisian anti–doping Triangle (AFLD, LNDD, Equipe)... and undermine the corruption that appears to allow these French/WADA Signatory Agencies to operate in a totally free–from–sanctions, “Peter Principle”–fulfilling environment?
Last thought: the French Legal system has more pressing legal crises to finance in this year of economic turmoil, than to allow itself to be 'hijacked' by Pierre Bordry and his obsessional intransigences... recently in Paris, three criminal cases were 'dismissed' due to the deplorable, Third World–ish sanitary conditions of the Palais de Justice holding cells... the funds spent by Bordry to harass Floyd Landis and Arnie Baker could be better spent replacing outdated machines and software, creating non–existent SOPs and improving computer systems protection within AFLD's département des analyses.
Ensuring that this happens is why WADA exists.