Dancing To The Saudi Tune 17

As the British government carefully looks the other way while democracy movements are bloodily crushed in the Gulf, here is some good reading for anyone who doubts the influence wielded over the British government by Saudi oil money and by the armaments industry. This wikileaks cable catalogues one of the most shameful moments in the long history of the British state. I strongly recommend that you read the whole thing. Here is a taster.

reported that SFO and MOD Police investigators had expended more
than 2 million pounds sterling on the BAE investigations. She
said on December 14, SFO Director Robert Wardle had decided to
discontinue the joint SFO/MOD Police investigation based on his
personal, independent judgment. Garlick then described four
distinct parts of the BAE/Saudi Arabia investigation:

¶4. (C) First, the relationship between BAE plc and Prince Turki
Bin Nasir: evidence indicated payments had been made by two
subcontractors to Prince Turki, who, as Deputy Commander of the
Royal Saudi Air Force during the involved period, was in a
position to exert influence on the al-Yamamah contract.
Payments fell into three time periods: before the
implementation of the U.K.’s 2001 Act (effective February 14,
2002); during a transition period; and following full
implementation of the Act. Evidence indicated that payments of
up to 70 million pounds had been made to Prince Turki prior to
implementation of 2001 Act. SFO had evidence indicating BAE had
conspired to circumvent the 2001 Act and another 3 million
pounds were paid to Turki following implementation;

¶5. (C) Second, payments made to BAE’s overseas agents:
evidence indicated that substantial payments were made by BAE
through XXXXXX XXXXXX to marketing consultants employed at
the behest of the Saudi government after implementation of the
2001 act, but no documents were produced to substantiate the
provision of any genuine services by the consultants;

¶6. (C) Third, payments made under the al-Yamamah contract to an
unnamed senior Saudi official: Garlick advised that in October
2005, the SFO had demanded BAE produce documents including
payments related to the al-Yamamah contract. The company made
representations to the AG on public interest grounds (political
and economic considerations) as to why the investigation should

be halted. The AG undertook a Shawcross Exercise and sought
representations from various British officials regarding the
case. The SFO Director wanted to continue the investigation.
On January 25, 2006, the AG agreed that there was no impediment
to continuing the investigation. The SFO sought Swiss banking
records regarding agents of BAE. The SFO found reasonable
grounds that another very senior Saudi official was the
recipient of BAE payments. The SFO was poised to travel to
Switzerland in connection with its Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA)
request when the decision to discontinue the investigation was
made; and

¶7. (C) Fourth, potential fraud against the U.K.’s Export Credit
Guarantee Department: the SFO investigated potential fraud
against the EGCD and discovered false representations by BAE to
conceal the corrupt dealings, which would constitute conspiracy
to defraud under U.K. law.

¶8. (C) Garlick noted a number of difficult legal issues
involved in the case, which put into question the sustainability
of corruption charges for payments made prior to 2002. Under
U.K. law, the informed consent of the principal to the agent’s
actions may be offered as a defense, making possible an
exception to the prohibitions on foreign bribery where the
individual receiving the bribe acts with the consent of the
principal. Evidentiary problems were also presented in a case
involving the Saudi absolute monarchy. Garlick said information
was being shared within the British government with a view to
the wholesale reform of UK law on corruption. She expressed
concern that the BAE investigation had not concluded, but said
while the Saudi Arabia case had been discontinued due to
unusual/extraordinary circumstances, other investigations
involving BAE activities in South Africa, Tanzania, Romania,
Chile, and the Czech Republic continued.

¶9. (C) Jones cited public interest as the reason for
discontinuation of the investigation, based on risks to
international and national security and to the lives of U.K.
citizens. He said the U.K. was not seeking to avoid giving
offense to another State or harming diplomatic relations with
another State, and “still less” to avoid harming British
commercial interests. Jones said U.K. authorities do not
believe the Anti-bribery Convention requires parties to pursue
cases if doing so would compromise the fight against terrorism
or the safety of citizens. He said U.K.-Saudi cooperation was
critical and that Saudi Arabia was the source of unique strains
of intelligence on al-Qaida. If Saudi Arabia were to withdraw
such cooperation, the UK would be deprived of a key source of
information. Jones also cited UK-Saudi cooperation related to
the Middle East Peace Process.

As I have said in relation to so many other such lying claims by the British government, if there were really thirty active terrorist plots by genuine determined terrorists, is it not astonishing that between them they did not manage to kill a single person? Doubtless they included the “lyrical terrorist” and the deadly poems for which she was jailed (before thankfully being freed by the Court of Appeal, a fact the mainstream media missed). As for the Saudi contribution to the so-called Middle East Peace Process as the reason not to prosecute anybody, the concept is so far beyond rational as to be unanswerable.

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17 thoughts on “Dancing To The Saudi Tune

  • Courtenay Barnett

    The UK like the US finds nothing paradoxical or contradictory in bombing Libya which has the best distribution of its oil wealth for social upliftment of its people ( second to none in the Arab world or across Africa) and does educate and provide routes of advancement for its women; Saudi Arabia by contrast is busy chopping off hands and torturing and repressing women and suppressing free speech in the extreme – yet somehow Saudi Arabia with its vast oil supplies must be distinguished, cosseted and supported in its backwardness. Not at all to say that there are no human rights transgressions in Libya – it is just the stark contrast that I am commenting on relative to the UK’s and Western countries’ manifestly hypocritical responses.

    PS. Anyone recall the BAE case?

  • Courtenay Barnett


    Craig – you will find it interesting that Helen Garlick is presently the chief prosecutor in the Turks and Caicos Islands, about to advance charges against former Premier Michael Misick and politically associated persons accused of corruption.
    The nexus between Lord Ashcroft, the chief funder for the Conservative element of the present British government, is one aspect of the cases that Garlick will have to grapple with – if the prosecutions are to be seen as so framed to advance cases that go to the head of the stream. Whether it is a BAE style cop-out in the Caribbean, or a genuine set of charges that fully and fearlessly attack the corruption at all levels – remains to be seen. I have my doubts.
    See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h24HKlR6glA

  • anno

    the question is whether a different UK government or a different Saudi government would do differently, even if Democracy, Islam, or some other force for good suddenly took hold of the world. In my opinion, until the political minds of democracy or Islam act seriously by the rules, which they will never do, the surplus slush of cash will continue to flow into the pockets of the politically minded, and continue to be a source of retribution for them on the impending day of judgement.

  • Paul Johnston

    You could argue that "Libya which has the best distribution of its oil wealth for social upliftment of its people" only show what a clever operator Ghaddafi is! When the pressure came on Mubarack since he had only enriched a small circle of friends and family, when push came to shove no one came out to support him. Saddam favoured both his tribe and Sunni's such that he did had a level of popular support.
    In Saudi the local population is so small it needs huge numbers of immigrant workers who are dreadfully treated and the locals do actually have it very good. This was what I was told by my collegue who was recently on the Hadj. He is a devote Muslim but you could tell what he had seen on what should have been one of the high points of his life left a rather nasty taste. If you want to read about "human rights transgressions" I prefer the term massacre, look at: Abu Salim.
    Re language especially the use of the word genocide I think "human rights transgressions" describes something akin to minor discrimination not what has been going on in Libya fro several decades.

  • Courtenay Barnett


    Still trying to make sense of the Western aggression and bombings of Libyans:-
    A. It is said that regime change is not the objective – yet Gadaffi before the bombing announced a ceasefire ( if so or not the truth would be told on the ground – not by the Western mainstream media).

  • Courtenay Barnett

    B. Bombs rain down on Libya – so it must be assumed that two contradictory positions are being held. The bombs, presumably have human intelligence attached all the way once same are launched and these will be termed, a la Iraq – “surgical strikes” – only that, truth be told – Libyan civilians are on the receiving end on the death and destruction directed against their country. So, as with the general in Vietnam who said:-
    "We had to destroy the village in order to save it." – here we go again.
    Peter Arnett attributed this statement to an unnamed source when he was writing about the provincial capital, Bến Tre, on February 7, 1968.
    So, history repeats itself, with perfect logic.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    C. Militarily, there is bombardment, with no US ground troops being committed – so you destroy Libya with bombs to save Libyan people from bombs then complain that Gaddify was throwing bombs at rebels to maintain power as the established government and the only present viable unifying force in Libya, as even the CIA’s own analysis confirms ( note: “James Clapper, the US national intelligence director, has told U.S. Senate today that Muammar Gaddafi will defeat the rebels.”).
    Perfectly sensible – but only if you apply what I now term Barack “Bush” logic. If there is a power vacuum created by these bombings with no commitment to send in ground troops ( because we are told that regime change is not the mission’s objective) – so how do the bombings do much more than fan the flames of civil war – with support from the West which clearly wants to install some non-nationalistic leader who can then be manipulated with eyes focused on the prize all the way – Libyan oil.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    The Arab league leader immediately realising the transgression from the mere “No-fly zone” embargo – finds it necessary to condemn France, US and the other Western aggressors.

    But –as the logic goes – they must bomb Libya to save the people. They say Gaddafi is eccentric and a bit touched in the head – but – goodness knows when one rationally considers these attacks, Obama and Sarkozy are giving him a good run for the top lunatic prize with these bombings. Stay tuned – more bombs to follow.
    Have we all gone loony here?

  • Michael.K

    Empires, and great powers, are bloody things on the way up, rising. However, it's perhaps less understood that they are often even more bloody on their way down, falling.

    As the economic and material foundation for the prosperity of the empire begins to crumble, they have tendency to lash out militarily in prestige wars which are "disigned" and pursued like a ritual, as a way to prove to the world and to themselves that they are not declining at all, but are still full of vigour and powerful. The tragic irony is that these needless wars of choice, virility wars, on militaristic viagra, rather than averting decline and signalling strength, do the opposite and speed up the inevitable trajectory of imperial decline. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, where to next?

  • mark Golding

    Craig’s last paragraph is crucial to understanding the ongoing deception by successive governments to continually enforce a terrorist threat deemed essential to sustain a framework of control, manipulation and media propaganda that justifies war.
    Sadly we are at a point in time where human social progression insists one must conform to government myths to maintain one’s integrity or be labelled a conspiracy nut-case. In that respect I am a rebel dancing to the tune of social change from the ground up in memory of the children massacred by greed and advantage gained by fire-power, corrupt influence and warped pragmatism devoid of humane ideology, love and integration.

  • mark_golding

    What has happened to my last post?

    I note this Courtenay:

    The UK government has provided a one off discretionary grant of £6.6m (c $10.5m) to the Turks and Caicos Islands Government to reimburse the costs incurred in the past year pursuing corruption and violent crime.

    “It is for the Special Investigation and Prosecution Team, related civil recovery work, and the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police.”
    On Thursday evening Governor Gordon Wetherell officially announced news of the “exceptional” grant in a statement to the press.

    “I am pleased to confirm that the British Foreign Secretary has today announced that he has approved a discretionary grant of £6.6m to the Turks and Caicos Islands Government (TCIG),” he wrote.

    “This one-off grant will cover the full costs incurred by the Special Investigation and Prosecution Team (SIPT) and by EAPD, the firm of lawyers engaged on civil recovery work.

    £6.6 million? Remember that figure when the budget is announced.

  • mark_golding

    Samina Malik – the "lyrical terrorist" won her appeal presumably on the loose meaning of section 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000 – that states there is suspicion that an article is possessed "for a purpose connected with" terrorism. The section was written for a noble cause, to prevent a terrorist act, where 'possession' was construed as owning timers or chemicals, NOT hand-books, manuals and information on terrorist training and tools easily found on the Web or local library. Since the deception of 2001, courts have been under pressure to make section 57 'workable' – Which in my opinion mean't – to feed the 'war on terror' propaganda machine. Hats off to Lord Phillips a very wise Lord Chief Justice.

  • DRE

    Glad she got out on appeal. It should of never been prosecuted. Made me ashamed to be British. The poetry was however rubbish, she should of been convicted for crimes against art.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Thanks Mark.
    My legal comment is that the TCI is a British territory and de jure the responsibility for its finances rests with Her Majesty’s Government.
    I ask this:-
    A. What sense does it make to have a commercial loan of some $200m underwritten by HMG at some 6% when contingent liability reverts to HMG? Would it not make more sense to provided a 1 or 2% soft loan – then have the TCI repay over time?

  • Courtenay Barnett

    C. So what if 6 plus million is provided – isn’t it a British territory. How do you rationalise 70 million to Pakistan or so-called aid to several independent countries – but somehow can’t find a basis to support the territory in a timely manner to the finaicial levels required for viability? Is there not such a stark contrast between the French in Martinique and Guadalope and the Dutch in the ABC islands – when juxtaposed against the TCI?
    Either there is a legal responsibility – or – there is not.
    Nuff said.

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