The word 'cabal' has been used in connection with the dirty dealings scandal and trial going on in France at the moment. The cabal is a group of politicians who supposedly undermined President Sarkozy (story here).
Some internet sources say that the word 'cabal' is made up of the initials of the five ministers of Charles II, who signed the Treaty of Alliance with France for war against Holland in 1672; the ministers were Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley and Lauderdale. This is not true. There were more than just these five men in the so-called Cabal, or Committee of Foreign Affairs, and these five were not particularly united in opinion, anyway. The word 'cabal' was in use before 1672; the OED's first citation for cabal as 'a secret or private intrigue of a sinister character formed by a small body of persons' is dated 1646-47. It comes from the French word cabale.