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Published on Voltairenet.org, 15 May 2008.
Ever since it was created, the Voltaire Network has relentlessly opened debates and triggered controversies. Its foes have launched smearing campaigns aimed at intimidating its members and discrediting its activities. Today, they would like to see it disappear.
During the past six years, the U.S. Defense Department has forbidden mainstream media from reporting our activities, threatening to lift journalist accreditations; the State Department has included us among “the main anti-american misinformation sources in the world” (probably a tribute vice pays to virtue); envoys from the U.S. National Security Council have attempted to bribe us; a specialized Tsahal team hacked our website; contracts were made on our president and some of our South-American contributors. However, until May French authorities had guaranteed our physical security, freedom of circulation and expression. Today this is over: pressure is mounting, extending to our relatives, and we can no longer rely on France’s benevolence.
Not only our main Paris-based collaborators’ communications were tapped, but they were also closely and extensively investigated in order to track down our sources of information. From peer to peer, this surveillance was eventually extended to our families and friends.
Last July 17th and August 1st, George W. Bush signed two executive orders (# 13438 and 13441) criminalizing opponents to his Iraq and Lebanon policies. Bank accounts belonging to our Middle-Eastern collaborators were immediately frozen, they and their families were banned from entering U.S. territory. According to our information, last August, under the pretext of mutual defense agreements, U.S. authorities asked their French counterparts to take identical measures against members of our French team who were already banned from U.S. territory.
During the months of August and September, French and U.S. officials, abusively resorting to laws against money laundering and terrorism financing, lead investigations to try and identify our regular donators and pressure them.
Furthermore, some of our writers were addressed spoken, yet credible threats by individuals working for the French and U.S. governments … (full text).