So far, Dominique Strauss-Kahn has primarily left the job of speculating about whether he was set up on charges of attempted rape to others, but in an interview with The Guardian, he established just how paranoid he is about that. He's not so paranoid that he thinks his Sofitel Hotel incident with Naffisatou Diallo was staged as a trap for him, but he's paranoid enough to think that his subsequent arrest and prosecution were the work of his political enemies.
Actually, The Guardian story, by Edward Jay Epstein, is really more of a preview of the ebook Epstein's got coming out Monday about the Strauss-Kahn affair. Epstein, you'll remember, wrote last year's New York Review of Books feature all about a possible set up at the Sofitel. It's the first time Strauss-Kahn has spoken at any length to any newspaper since his New York arrest on May 14, 2011, and it's no surprise he Epstein was the journalist he agreed to let interview him, since Epstein had already raised some of the same questions Strauss-Kahn has in his New York Review feature. On Friday, Epstein wrote:
In the more than two hours we speak, it becomes clear that Strauss-Kahn is convinced that his downfall was choreographed by his political enemies. They may not have gone so far as to set up the encounter with Diallo, he now accepts, but he believes they did play a role, through intercepted phone calls, in making sure that the hotel maid went to the police and thus turned a private tryst into a public scandal.
The media in France has recently reported, based on interviews with French intelligence officers, that he had become a target of the country's intelligence service in 2011. I ask him whether he believes the targeting of him by French intelligence, the interception of his calls, and the surveillance in New York are related. "It would appear that more was involved here than mere coincidence," he replies, with characteristic understatement.
Next week is going to be big for Dominique Strauss-Kahn: A New York judge is due to rule Tuesday on whether Diallo's lawsuit against him can proceed, and if it can't, then his legal troubles will be over in the United States. Then he'll just have to worry about that whole aggravated pimping thing back in France. Since he's still under investigation there, he couldn't talk to Epstein about that whole mess. But given what he's said about the New York troubles, we won't be surprised to hear later that the Carlton Affair was more than a coincidence as well.