Friday, July 25, 2014
THIERRY LACOSTE 8: MR. CONFLICT OF INTEREST
On Retainer to Prince Albert of Monaco
I was back in Monaco two days later, June 11th, for meetings with operatives and assets—and to brief the Prince.
Though I presented myself at the residence entrance, as stipulated by the Prince, the Carabinieri (Palace Guard) sent me to the wood-paneled waiting room, where passage of time is slowed and accentuated by the ticking of an old clock.
When I was summoned to the private parlor seventy-five minutes later, the Prince apologized. “They don’t know what they’re doing around here—they should have brought you here and given you something to drink.”
We faced one another in a pair of wing chairs beneath a high ceiling and picture window looking toward the Tete de Chien.
I reemphasized the importance of making the right personnel decisions up front, to make a bold statement that the corrupt status quo is no longer acceptable, that the Prince is firmly in control of his principality.
I suggested a zero based review, whereby everyone in official positions would be required to offer their resignations while their status and records were put to review by a new chef de cabinet.
The important thing, I advised, was for the Prince to flex muscle and exert power, not be frightened of making dramatic decisions against the status quo.
The less power the Prince exerted, the more others would exert theirs and chip away at his authority.
With hindsight, it was probably a mistake for the intelligence apparatus I had created to delve into internal corruption.
This was a police matter; law enforcement, not intelligence.
But as the Prince himself pointed out to me:
a) the police had not been doing its job properly;
b) he did not trust the police;
c) whatever police reports were issued to the interior ministry were either filtered or blocked entirely from reaching the Prince.
Morale within the police force was at an all time low, and many in its ranks complained about their alcoholic chief.
With regard to CIA issues: if ever there were an Islamic terror incident in Monaco, we now knew exactly whose real estate holdings to seize.
Quipped the Prince: “We’ll have M-Bases everywhere!”
With these more substantive issues out the way, I regaled the Prince with FLOATER’s latest Operation Hound Dog exploits.
More journalists and sources had been met, providing us with hard information about who leaked what from the Prince’s royal court.
And, of course, FLOATER’s recent meeting in Paris with Steven Saltzman and Thierry Lacoste.
I read FLOATER’s report aloud:
A bizarre situation from the start with Steven Saltzman (SS).
He’s loud, rude, aggressive, obnoxious and overbearing. SS played the dominant role while Thierry Lacoste (TL) patiently listened to me and played off SS’s commentary.
SS took the meeting as a way of assessing if he, with TL’s assistance, could take control of the project under an “authorized” agreement.
“Listen,” said SS loudly, “you can do this two ways. The first is make this an authorized biography for which Thierry will write a legal agreement that gives him full editorial approval, including galley proofs. In return, you get access to extraordinary sources, some of which have never been heard from before. You also get access to the subject of your book.”
“You could have an attorney,” TL interjected, implying that going forward was based upon retaining him for a fee. “Or you can go the unauthorized way, which means you’ll get nothing from me or anyone else who asks the Palace if this has approval.”
Trying to ingratiate myself, without committing this project to them, I said I would not travel to Togo to exploit recent news coverage about Nicole Coste and her son.
TL smirked at SS and said, “Well maybe you should.”