FRANCE: The Archangel

To his friends, Gabriel Aranda, 33, a slight, bald onetime journalist and former government civil servant, is known as "the Archangel." But to France's ruling Gaullists, he is something else again. For a week Aranda flooded the press with photocopied letters and documents that made high-ranking Gaullist ministers. Deputies and party leaders look like influence peddlers for private interests. In the process, he became something of a public hero, and left the government of President Georges Pompidou in embarrassed disarray.

Aranda claims to have obtained 136 documents implicating 48 public officials. He leaked 15 of the papers which involved ten...

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