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Sep 26

Liveblogging will be at Inquirer Current.

See Attack of the Romulan.

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  1. DevilsAdvc8

    ay oo nga, discreet pala. anyway, what i meant was inconspicious – same thing.

    what i see wrong with the suspension was that after trying so hard to push the deal through, they’ve suddenly flopped when the heat was greatest. (and that coming from an administration supposedly proud of governing whether its policies were popular or not) you think that if they really believed the deal was above board they’d reason this out with the public. the public isn’t unreasonable you know. the problem is that they won’t disclose fully the details of the deal.

    what bugs me is that our govt will cave in jz to pander to PR needs. if the deal was warranted and govt really needed it, why scuttle it at all? shouldn’t the gov’t have bunkered down and prepared to fight the SC’s TRO?

    you see, if pandering to PR need is what all an administration is interested of, then you can be sure it has no interest in governing at all.

    lumaki kasi si Gloria watching her dad doing photo ops and ribbon cutting. yun lang ang definition nya ng governing. amp.

  2. grd

    what a disgusting conduct of some senators and their line of questioning. never mind madrigal but pimentel asking abalos about his alleged “other woman”. i thought i was watching a showbiz talk show. why drag the name of that woman and their alleged love child? what has it got to do with the ZTE deal? pimentel has been acting like a tabloid reporter lately (i remember that incident about the chance encounter of abalos w/ the zubiris). he should stick to the issue and not behave in an unparliamentary conduct. he used to be very good. maybe aging is a big factor. he’s getting senile just like the others. i think he should retire from politics before tarnishing further his good name.

  3. Bencard

    i could just imagine jinggoy’s reaction to pimentel’s line of questioning re child with another woman. it came very close to home, huh? you think jinggoy would ask those same questions? or bong revilla (if he was there)?

  4. DevilsAdvc8

    sobrang bitter na kasi yan si lolo pimentel. natalo na nga anak nya, di pa sya naging speaker.

    i think we can all agree na kasuka suka lahat ng mga senators natin ngayon.

    disgusting talaga ginawa ni Pimentel. and following the next day pa eh lumabas na yung babae na nili link nya ki Abalos eh nag issue ng categorical denial. amp. mas pinaniwalaan ko pa yung babae kesa sa kanya.

  5. grd

    si pangilinan naman, ang tanong ay “sino nagbayad ng laro at sa restaurant?” susmaryosep, multi-million anomalous project ang pinag-uusapan eh pag-aaksayahan pa ng oras yung barya? what a smart-alecky question (ika nga ni bencard). abugado ba talaga yan?

  6. Manila Bay Watch

    grd,

    Pangilinan’s question was very important – you cannot dismiss barya bribe because in any civilized nation acceptance of barya as a form of bribe is bribe. It’s graft and again, in any civilized nation, those officials caught getting wined and danced by proponents of grossly exagerrated deals are sent to prison.

  7. Manila Bay Watch

    Bencard,

    “i could just imagine jinggoy’s reaction to pimentel’s line of questioning re child with another woman.”

    why is that? Does Jinggoy have kept women or concubines?

  8. grd

    mbw, and what is that? you call it bribery say if zte paid for their golf rounds and dine out? is that enough to send some people to prison or bring them to court? don’t be so naive. in any civilized world paying for dinner or a round of golf is nothing when transacting business deals. mendoza or abalos could have even paid the bill. you expect them to make kanya-kanyang bayad? that’s funny.

    have you heard about the bribery scandal involving the british aerospace and the members of the saudi royal family regarding huge military supply contracts? what was the reaction of the british government, a highly civilized nation?

    as for the statement of bencard, of course, he was referring to the father. isn’t it so obvious who has concubines in the family?

  9. Manila Bay Watch

    GRD,

    WRONG! Government officials are not allowed to accept any kind of freebie from any company, particularly foreign companies that are lobbying for a project in their country.

    If it shows that the said govt officials who had received said freebies are directly connected to the foreign company lobbying efforts in the client country, they are subject to suspension, prosecution, fines, or fines plus prison sentence.

    Some governemtn officials may take liberties with this particularl OECD rule but that’s alright if they don’t get caught.

    OECD REGULATIONS and RICOH LAW!

  10. Manila Bay Watch

    And yes, “you expect them to make kanya-kanyang bayad? that’s funny.”

    To give you an example: At NATO where companies lobby all the time to sell equipment, lemme tell you that NO NATO official WILL ACCEPT a lunch appointment with the propent of an equipment. From time to time, one might accept but that official WILL PAY FOR HIS OWN LUNCH.

    That’s how it should be!

    Don’t dimiss barya bribes. That’s how corruption snowballs big time.

  11. Manila Bay Watch

    Re: “isn’t it so obvious who has concubines in the family?”

    Honestly, I wouldn’t know. I thought that Jinggoy might have concubines too so I was asking.

  12. Manila Bay Watch

    And GRD,

    ” in any civilized world paying for dinner or a round of golf is nothing when transacting business deals. ”

    True! If the busines is between two private corporations.

    In Europe, if the Minister of Interior (who’s in charge of elections) accepted a golf party by a commercial corporation trying to do business with his government and if to get there he accepted plane tickets, hotel accomodations, lunches and other freebies, believe he would be out of his job right away followed by intense police investigations, etc. WALANG PATAWAD!

    As I said, never ever dismiss barya bribe. That’s how corruption snowballs big time.

    And really if you would like to know, part of my job before and after is lobbying with government so I know what I’m talking about!

  13. Bencard

    thanks, grd for answering mbw question re jingoy. i thought it was public knowledge.

    mbw, now i know, you’ve been away so long. but i thought you were out of sight but not of mind. you could have fooled me.

  14. Manila Bay Watch

    Bencard,

    Was never really interested in Estrada’s^progenitures.

  15. grd

    “ in any civilized world paying for dinner or a round of golf is nothing when transacting business deals. ” grd

    “True! If the busines is between two private corporations.” mbw

    mbw, I asked you if you knew about that BAE money laundering and bribery scandal of the century. it was highly publicized that the british govt has to conduct an investigation (a staged one?) but dismissed it later supposedly for the interest of the country (or maybe because the Saudis threatened them cancellation of a new multi-billion dollar patriot fighter jets supply deal?). an outside whistleblower exposed that BAE operated on a £60m slush fund used to bribe Saudi officials with exotic holidays, expensive cars and lavish entertainment.

    here’s one story below:

    CRIMES AND CORRUPTION OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER NEWS”
    i’m breaking the link here: (http://) mparent7777-2.blogspot.com/2007/06/larouche-pac-p.html

    this world wide web of corruption, didn’t you hear it being discussed in NATO’s vicinity? you and NATO people should know this being within your expertise. did I hear a sound of protest from the European unions particularly your adopted country? or maybe if it’s between two highly civilized countries, then the OECD REGULATIONS and RICOH LAW are being respected, specially between European nations. why are you focusing much on that barya bribery(?)instead of that 200M which was my point? you should look first into your own backyard .

    “WRONG! Government officials are not allowed to accept any kind of freebie from any company, particularly foreign companies that are lobbying for a project in their country.” mbw

    tell that to the Brits and the Saudis plus the kano and of course to all big time arms dealers. and Miriam thought corruption was invented by the Chinese? come to think of it, it was the jews who invented corruption first when those rabbis bribed Judah to betray Jesus.

  16. grd

    “ in any civilized world paying for dinner or a round of golf is nothing when transacting business deals. ” grd

    “True! If the busines is between two private corporations.” mbw

    mbw, I asked you if you knew about that BAE money laundering and bribery scandal of the century. it was highly publicized that the british govt has to conduct an investigation (a staged one?) but dismissed it later supposedly for the interest of the country (or maybe because the Saudis threatened them cancellation of a new multi-billion dollar patriot fighter jets supply deal?). an outside whistleblower exposed that BAE operated on a £60m slush fund used to bribe Saudi officials with exotic holidays, expensive cars and lavish entertainment.

    here’s one story below:

    CRIMES AND CORRUPTION OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER NEWS”
    i’m breaking the link here just add http://
    mparent7777-2.blogspot.com/2007/06/larouche-pac-p.html

    this world wide web of corruption, didn’t you hear it being discussed in NATO’s vicinity? you and NATO people should know this being within your expertise. did I hear a sound of protest from the European unions particularly your adopted country? or maybe if it’s between two highly civilized countries, then the OECD REGULATIONS and RICOH LAW are being respected, specially between European nations. why are you focusing much on that barya bribery(?)instead of that 200M which was my point? you should look first into your own backyard .

    “WRONG! Government officials are not allowed to accept any kind of freebie from any company, particularly foreign companies that are lobbying for a project in their country.” mbw

    tell that to the Brits and the Saudis plus the kano and of course to all big time arms dealers. and Miriam thought corruption was invented by the Chinese? come to think of it, it was the jews who invented corruption first when those rabbis bribed Judah to betray Jesus.

  17. grd

    here’s another one for your entertainment:
    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2006/dec2006/bae1-d29.shtml

  18. grd

    here’s another one for your entertainment (add http:// in front):
    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2006/dec2006/bae1-d29.shtml

  19. grd

    sorry for the double postings manolo.

  20. grd

    correction: it’s typhoon (euro)jets and not patriot jets.

  21. Manila Bay Watch

    GRD,

    I think you’ll find that it’s members of the Saudi govt who are suspected of having received bribes from British industries.

    OECD regulations state that these British industry people (private corporation people) are subject to investigation and if it could be proven that they paid bribes to these foreign govt officials, they can be fined and put in prison.

    Tony Blair, whom I don’t – but not at all – and his govt were the ones that tried to bury successive inquiries into the allegations that BAe bribed their way to win contracts in Saudi Arabia.

    The issue you raised here GRD, is you implicitly, and flippantly dismissed potential bribes TO GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS because they are “barya” and my contention is that IT IS NOT RIGHT for government officials to accept bribe BARYA OR NOT.

  22. Manila Bay Watch

    Ooops, “Tony Blair, whom I don’t – but not at all – LIKE and his Labour govt were the ones that tried to bury successive inquiries into the allegations that BAe bribed their way to win contracts in Saudi Arabia.”

    Your comparisson there could be mistaken as a DEFENCE of ZTE officials, with their attempt to bribe their way, even if only by lavishing what you call “barya” on Abalos, into landing a contract with Philippine govt by wining and dancing the nation’s then election boss.

    Do you really think it’s right for both parties – ZTE & RP govt official, i.e., Abalos to engage in such act?

    I don’t deny that there are occassions when private British corporate officials WILL TRY TO BRIBE foreign government officials to land a juicy (and even a not so juicy) contract but my point here is it is WRONG!

    If these PRIVATE corporate officials are caught doing that and are proven to have done it in order to win a contract in that foreign country (or in Britain) and that they won that contract because a bribe had been paid to a government official or officials, foreign or not, the OECD can slap the said private entity with sanctions and the erring officials of that company directly linked to the acts of bribing foreign government or public officials risk prison terms. I kid thee not.

    It’s been done and can be done again.

  23. Manila Bay Watch

    Furthermore, re BAe: in order for the investigations on the bribery allegations against BAe to fluorish in Britain, it is imperative that Saudi Arabian officials cooperate in with investigators. Unfortunately Saudi Arabians are not cooperative.

    The EU, much less the OECD cannot do anything against BAe if the Saudi Arabians (whom I believe are not signatory to the OECD treaty of anti-corruption) will not testify to the fact that they had received bribes – so, it’s not the rules that are wrong but the actors that are wily.

    It is therefore in RP’s honour that Senate is looking at this, i.e., they themselves are determining whether there’s enough guilt to condemn their compatriots. You can’t do this in Saudi Arabia! So, you should encourage your Senate or any group of RP officials in bringing this out officially, investigating RP officials being accused of corruption as well as to determine the scope of bribing attempts by ZTE.

  24. grd

    MBW,

    re corruption: don’t get me wrong I deplore corruption in any form or kind. corruption scandals such as this zte deal should be exposed and investigated w/o let-up (not just for media mileage by those senators) till those people involved are brought to court and punished although realistically speaking, I doubt it’s gonna happen. if it does well & good. as I’ve commented in the other thread, the best that can be accomplished from this investigation is the cancellation of this NBN deal. I really don’t see anyone going to jail or gma getting thrown out of office because of this.

    but I maintain that it’s a cheap shot when pangilinan asked about who paid for the golf rounds and the dinner. he blurted it out para lang may masabi siya sa hearing. anyone among those in wack-wack could have easily afforded to pay the bill. you cannot build a case on that. but if you’ll tell me that they played golf and dined say in Hongkong or China, then that’s another story. but do you really think this kind of rendezvous just happens in the phils and highly unusual in other countries?

    well, congratulations for bagging a govt project in the phils or any other country without bribery in any form.

    now going back to that money laundering and bribery scandal between BAE and the Saudi govt official, it seems you did not read the link I mentioned above. did you know that the tornado supply deal back in 1985 was negotiated by Margaret Thatcher while this latest eurofighter typhoon supply contract was done by Tony Blair? you see it’s not BAE but the british government who actually negotiated for the contract just like what the Chinese govt did with this NBN deal. are you absolving the british govt from this web of corruption due to this contract just because the saudis are not cooperating? end of the story? that’s strange. you think the saudis will ever cooperate? the absence of any cooperation is a deadlock, case close and no need to pursue? again I find that logic strange. anyway, what has the OECD done so far? I have not heard any action from them or an independent inquiry maybe. you think European companies really follow OECD’s regulations to the letter? well, I myself know what’s the conduct of some companies being connected to a European company myself and under the contracts department. i know that europeans are corrupt from top to bottom. but did you know that the investigation of the british govt prior to it’s dismissal last December 2006 by Tony Blair dragged already for about 3 years?

    I’m posting below one of the many articles about this anomaly just for you maybe to read and understand clearly what’s the story behind this.

  25. grd

    Blair government cancels British Aerospace-Saudi arms inquiry
    By Jean Shaoul
    29 December 2006

    Use this version to print | Send this link by email | Email the author

    This is the first of a two-part article

    On December 15, the Labour government called off the three-year long investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) into the alleged bribery of the Saudi ruling family by British Aerospace (BAe) in the multibillion-pound Al Yamamah defence contract.

    Prime Minister Tony Blair accepted “full responsibility” for dropping the inquiry. “Leaving aside the effect on thousands of British jobs and billions of pounds worth for British industry . . . Our relationship with Saudi Arabia is vitally important for our country in terms of counter-terrorism, in terms of the broader Middle East and in terms of helping in respect of Israel and Palestine,” he said.

    The decision, following an orchestrated campaign by BAe and intense political pressure from the Saudi royal family, has grave implications. It marks a significant stepping-up of the government’s offensive against democratic norms and underscores the utter contempt of the ruling elite for any notion of popular accountability.

    The Attorney General Lord Goldsmith, Britain’s senior law official and member of the government, had sought to bury the decision by making the announcement in an almost deserted House of Lords on the day the long awaited Stevens Inquiry into Princess Diana’s death was released.

    Goldsmith had consulted the prime minister, the foreign and defence secretaries and the security services. He relayed a statement by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), justifying the actions taken after these deliberations: “It has been necessary to balance the need to maintain the rule of law against the wider public interest.”

    In what must rank as one of the more disingenuous statements made in recent times, he then claimed, “No weight has been given to commercial interests or to the national economic interest.”

    What Goldsmith means by the “public interest” is the interest of the British ruling class. He came close to saying as much when he added that the SFO had dropped its inquiry “to safeguard national and international security.”

    Both Blair and Defence Secretary Des Browne had argued that to continue with the investigation would damage “UK-Saudi security, intelligence and diplomatic cooperation,” he added. Yet he also denied that this meant that the government had abandoned the investigation because of the “potential effect on relations with another state.”

    Later, Goldsmith insisted that the SFO had taken the lead in dropping the case. In a radio interview, he said that the SFO said to him, “‘Our judgement is that in the national interest this should not go ahead—what do you think?’ After looking at the case and taking advice, my judgement was, ‘Well, actually, I agree that this case should be discontinued’, although for somewhat different reasons, because I didn’t just think the case was uncertain. My judgement at this stage was that it wouldn’t go anywhere at the end of the day.”

    SFO director Robert Wardle immediately contradicted Goldsmith. He issued a short statement saying that he had dropped the Saudi end of the wide-ranging investigation, not because of insufficient evidence for a prosecution, but “following representations that have been made to both the attorney general and the director of the SFO concerning the need to safeguard national and international security”

    The SFO team carrying out the inquiry was ordered to surrender 20 boxes of files relating to the allegations of Saudi bribery. Investigations into BAe’s activities in Romania, Chile, the Czech Republic, South Africa and Tanzania are supposed to continue.

    The attorney general was forced to abandon the SFO inquiry not only because it had become a major political embarrassment, but it was also a real danger to the economic and political interests of British imperialism.

    The inquiry was into long running allegations that BAe, Britain’s leading defence contractor, operated a £60 million slush fund to oil the wheels of its largest-ever overseas arms deal, the Al Yamamah contract for Tornado jetfighters. Secured by Margaret Thatcher in 1985, the deal has brought BAe £42 billion ($84 billion) in the 18 years since it began and staved off BAe’s near-bankruptcy during the lean years of the early 1990s. At the end of 2005, after Blair’s personal intervention to clinch the deal, BAe secured a third order—for 72 Eurofighter Typhoon jet fighters, variously stated in the press to be worth between £6 billion and £40 billion. Prior to that, the Typhoon had failed to secure any significant export orders.

    Ever since 1986, when allegations of corruption first began to circulate, successive governments have maintained that no bribery was involved. The SFO inquiry into BAe was only set up in 2004 following revelations in the press that could no longer be ignored.

    In 2003, the Guardian disclosed that accidentally-released Whitehall papers, including a telegram from the head of Defence Exports Services Organisation (DESO), showed that the price of the Tornados had been inflated by 32 percent due to commissions and bribery. Another document from the archives cited a dispatch from a British ambassador saying that the family of Prince Sultan, who held the defence portfolio for many years, “had a corrupt interest in all contracts” The newspaper also published details from two travel agencies used to funnel funds for the hospitality BAe lavished on Saudi officials when they visited the UK.

    The government could not ignore these revelations because in 2002 it had finally introduced legislation outlawing overseas bribery, as a result of pressure from the US, whose corporations, facing slightly more restrictive laws, found themselves at a competitive disadvantage.

    The decision to ditch the inquiry that has already cost £2 million came after intense campaigning by BAe. In the last few weeks, lobbying from BAe, its public relations consultant Tim Bell, and the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Exports Services Organisation was intense. DESO is dominated by BAe. Some of its 500 employees, whose task is to promote arms sales, are located at a BAe site in Saudi Arabia—at taxpayers’ expense.

    BAe and its engineering suppliers claimed that tens of thousands of British jobs were at stake, although York University’s defence economics expert Professor Keith Hartley’s report last June showed that only 5,000 jobs were involved.

    Last November, the Saudi royal family threatened to cancel the third phase of the deal for 72 Eurofighter Typhoon jet fighters agreed at the end of 2005, and buy from France instead.

    As well as the political embarrassment that any detailed exposure of their own avarice and corruption would cause them, the Saudis feared it would fuel resentment against the ruling family in both Saudi Arabia and throughout the Muslim world. The head of the Saudi National Security Council, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, warned that the Saudis would withdraw their cooperation on security, including intelligence gathering on Al Qaeda and downgrade their embassy in London.

    The Saudis piled on the pressure and reportedly issued a 10-day ultimatum after the SFO gained access to the normally highly secretive Swiss bank accounts whose records contain details of BAe’s recent offshore banking transactions with key Saudi intermediaries. These would show whether BAe had made payments to Saudi princes, committed offences under UK law, and lied to the government to secure insurance cover from the Export Credits Guarantee Department for the deal with its claims that it had complied with recent legislation that outlawed bribery overseas.

    These broader economic and political realities counted for far more than any possible political fallout from Labour’s abandonment of the investigation. BAe and the defence corporations were delighted with the announcement and shares in the company and its major suppliers rose immediately after the news.

    The Independent on Sunday has even reported that the police believed that they were bugged in an attempt to stop the inquiry. One senior figure involved in the SFO’s investigation into BAe said that its security had been frequently compromised. “I was told by detectives that the probe was being bugged. They had reached this conclusion because highly confidential information on this inquiry had been reaching outside parties,” he told the press.

    That the government should be able to abandon the inquiry is in no small part because the Conservative Party, industry and the trade unions were foursquare behind the decision. Only the much smaller Liberal Democrats, sections of the liberal press and pressure groups such as the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT), Corner House, and Transparency International have opposed it. CAAT and Corner House have hired a leading QC, David Pannick, to mount a legal challenge via a judicial review. Pannick is expected to argue that the decision to drop the inquiry contravenes the OECD’s convention on corruption that outlaws consideration of relations with another country in deciding whether to prosecute.

    Saudi Arabia’s ruling clique and the Al Yamamah deal

    The House of Saud, with its 7,000-plus princes, rules Saudi Arabia as a fiefdom. In defence terms, dynastic considerations demand a National Guard based in the cities, not an army that might rise up against it. In the context of the air force, the need is for high-tech unmanned planes and manned planes piloted overwhelmingly by junior members of the House of Saud and “reliable families.” But they lack the training and technical support to operate such equipment effectively.

    Surrounded by enemies, Saudi Arabia has no friendly neighbours. There are long unresolved border conflicts in the region, particularly with Iraq, with Iran over its claims to Bahrain, now linked to the mainland by a causeway, and with Yemen, the product of earlier imperialist intrigues. Israel’s warplanes routinely make unauthorised flights over Saudi airspace.

    The 1979 Iranian revolution installed a Shi’ite theocracy which the Saudis opposed. One consequence was an intensification of the traditional rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran for regional dominance. Within Saudi Arabia, it led to a radicalisation of the more impoverished and restive Shi’ites who live in the oil rich Eastern province. The brutal suppression of riots there in 1979 and 1980 cost dozens of lives.

    All this plus the eight-year-long Iran-Iraq war that Iran appeared to be winning provided the Saudis with the justification for a massive arms build-up. The Campaign against Arms Trade’s report, “The Arabian connection—the UK arms trade to Saudi Arabia,” provides an insight into the shameless fraud that was perpetrated via Britain’s arms sales on both the Saudi and British people for the benefit of their ruling and financial elites. BAe’s profits came courtesy of taxpayers, not the much vaunted free market.

    Britain had longed courted the Saudis as a trading partner, with the Duke of Edinburgh and Conservative Foreign Secretary Francis Pym attending King Fahd’s enthronement in 1982, at the height of the Malvinas (Falklands) War.

    The Al Yamamah deal was secured in 1985 after the personal intervention of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Britain won the deal over its US and French rivals at a time when US-Saudi relations were strained, in part due to Riyadh’s refusal to allow an American base on Saudi soil and opposition from the pro-Israel lobby in the US.

    The deal was controversial from the start. Worth $8 billion over six years, it required Britain to equip, organise and train the Saudi air force, with the recently privatised BAe as the prime contractor. Most of the Tornados were strike planes and the British placed no restrictions on their use, despite fears about the Middle East arms race.

    Allegations of corruption surfaced almost immediately. The Guardian spoke of “bribes of £600 million in jets deal” Some newspapers claimed that up to 30 percent of the cost of the deal was inflated by the rake-offs. Said Aburish, in his book House of Saud (written in 1994), said that BAe had never denied using agents and paying commissions to secure arms deals and that he had documents confirming BAe’s willingness to pay commissions.

  26. grd

    here’s another one. the thing is, this anomaly is way above OECD.

    Sunday, June 24, 2007
    Will BAE Scandal of Century Bring Down Cheney?

    by Jeffrey Steinberg

    June 21, 2007 (LPAC)–With the U.S. Department of Justice now confirmed to be investigating money laundering and bribery by the British aerospace giant, BAE Systems, Congress and the American people must make certain that the investigation does not turn into one more Bush-Cheney-Gonzales coverup. The issue on the table is far bigger than the alleged $2 billion in bribes that BAE Systems paid out to former Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States Prince Bandar bin-Sultan, through the now defunct Washington, D.C. based Riggs Bank. As Executive Intelligence Review revealed in a stunning expose appearing in the June 22, 2007 edition (“Scandal of the Century Rocks British Crown and the City”), at least $80 billion in unaccounted for loot has been generated by the Al-Yamamah oil-for-jet fighters barter deal, since it was first signed in Sept. 1985.

    While British news organizations, led by The Guardian and BBC have published revealing details of BAE bribery and slush funds, involving Prince Bandar, former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet, and the late Dutch Royal Consort, Prince Bernhard, none of the British media have touched upon the full magnitude of the scandal–the approximately $160 billion in secret oil revenues, generated by the BAE-Saudi Al-Yamamah deal, over the past 22 years (see accompanying chart for the year-by-year cash value of the Saudi oil shipments to BAE, through British Petroleum, Royal Dutch Shell and the British government’s Defence Export Sales Organization).

    British author William Simpson, who wrote the 2006 authorized biography of Prince Bandar, The Prince–The Secret Story of the World’s Most Intriguing Royal, on the other hand, provided authoritative details “right from the prince’s mouth” that should be of great interest to American Justice Department and Congressional investigators. What Simpson hinted at is perhaps the biggest covert Anglo-American slush fund in history –one that the author openly acknowledged had been used to fund clandestine wars, including the Afghantsi Mujahideen war against the Soviet Army in Afghanistan, and other covert military actions in Africa.

    Citing his interviews with Tony Edwards, the one-time head of the British government’s Defence Export Sales Organization (DESO), which administered the Al-Yamamah project, Simpson wrote:

    “Edwards admitted that for the Saudis the use of oil meant that the contract was effectively an off-balance-sheet transaction: it did not go through the Saudi treasury. Edwards also confirmed that one of the main attractions for the Saudis in this unique arrangement was British flexibility. ‘The British were much more flexible than the Americans,’ he said. ‘The Americans went through the Foreign Military sales system, which has congressional law behind it. If the customers get out of line and they fail to pay the money, then they are cut off. In this country, it was quite flexible; sometimes the oil flow and the associated monies that were received by selling it were ahead, at other times it fell behind.'”

    Simpson continued, “The phenomenal amount of money generated from the sale of oil comes through DESO, before being paid to British Aerospace. Edwards admitted that the government does charge a little commission for administering the contract, money that attracted the attention of the Treasury as it built up a considerable surplus.”

    What neither Edwards nor Simpson chose to point out was the fact that the oil revenues generated from the 600,000 barrels per day that the Saudis paid into the Al-Yamamah fund from 1985 through to the present, amounted to an estimated $160 billion–four times the actual cost of the entire military package delivered by BAE to Saudi Arabia. Nobody in London is talking about where the rest of the money landed–and what it was used for.

    DESO was established as a British government entity in the mid-1960s, and has been the private domain of Britain’s main defense manufacturers and allied financial institutions, ever since. Throughout its history, the director of DESO has always been a director of a major British arms manufacturer, responsible for hawking as much business as possible for the Anglo firms.

    But beyond the increase in British portion of the global arms business, DESO also aimed to secure British control over the entirety of the Western arms business, through off-balance-sheet arrangements that would be impossible to pull off under American law. Simpson revealed that, under Al-Yamamah, American and other foreign firms were also allowed to cash in on the deal:

    “The Al-Yamamah deal Mrs. Thatcher negotiated placed British Aerospace as the prime contractor for the provision of any other military equipment purchased for Saudi Arabia. ‘By supporting not just the British aircraft but the American aircraft too,’ said Edwards, ‘Al-Yamamah was an integral part of supporting the Saudi Air Force in total.’ He stressed that DESO and British Aerospace have thus ended up supporting all Saudi aircraft–the Peace Shield program–all funded through Al-Yamamah. Edwards concluded, ‘In other words, the value of this stream of income and what it is used for has drifted a little bit over the years into things other than it was originally destined for.’

    “In effect,” Simpson admitted, “Al-Yamamah would become a backdoor method of covertly buying U.S. arms for the kingdom; military hardware purchases that would not be visible to Congress. It specifically had been structured to provide an unparalleled degree of flexibility whereby the Saudis could purchase military equipment under the imprimatur of DESO and British Aerospace.”

    Simpson, who wrote The Prince as virtually a ghost autobiography of the enigmatic Saudi diplomat, Prince Bandar, openly acknowledged that the sheer magnitude of the oil-for-jets deal raised serious questions of corruption.

    “The ingenious diversity of Al-Yamamah,” he wrote, “together with the British government’s discretion and liberal approach to a unique finance deal, largely founded on the undisputed collateral of the huge Saudi oil reserves, could explain the financial black holes assumed by a suspicious media to be evidence of commissions.”

    But, Simpson explained, “Although Al-Yamamah constitutes a highly unconventional way of doing business, its lucrative spin-offs are the by-products of a wholly political objective: a Saudi political objective and a British political objective. Al-Yamamah is, first and foremost, a political contract. Negotiated at the height of the Cold War, its unique structure has enabled the Saudis to purchase weapons from around the globe to fund the fight against Communism. Al-Yamamah money can be found in the clandestine purchase of Russian ordnance used in the expulsion of Qadaffi’s troops from Chad. It can also be traced to arms bought from Egypt and other countries, and sent to the Mujahideen in Afghanistan fighting the Soviet occupying forces.”

    “Arguably,” Simpson admitted, “its consummate flexibility is needed because of inevitable opposition to Saudi arms purchases in Congress… The oil barter arrangement circumvented such bureaucracy.”

    Simpson quoted “sources close to Bandar,” who explained: “What Al-Yamamah did, because it is oil for services, is to say: Okay. Al-Yamamah picks up the tab; Saudi Arabia will sign with the French or whoever, and Britain pays them on their behalf. So suddenly the Saudis now have an operational weapons system complete with its support that doesn’t reflect on Al-Yamamah as a project. Therefore, if Saudi Arabia wants some services from the Americans, or some weapons system that they have to buy now, otherwise Congress will object to it later, and they can’t get it from their current defense budget, then they simply tell Al-Yamamah, ‘You divert that money.'”

    Between the more than $80 billion in untraced funds generated through Al-Yamamah, according to EIR’s conservative estimate, corroborated by U.S. intelligence sources, and the use of the project as a cover for covert activities around the globe and unauthorized weapons purchases, both the Justice Department and the U.S. Congress have a much bigger series of crimes to probe than the $2 billion in fees allegedly conduited through the Saudi accounts at Riggs Bank. The issue is the British corruption and subversion of American law on a grand scale.

    Prince Bandar’s ghost writer, William Simpson, has revealed that Al-Yamamah provided off-balance-sheet covert funding for the decade-long Mujihadeen covert war to drive the Soviet Red Army out of Afghanistan. U.S. intelligence sources have independently confirmed that at least some of those funds went to the recruitment and training of foreign Muslim fighters, who were sent to Afghanistan. Some of those fighters, following the Afghan War (1979-1990) would later surface in such far-away places as Algeria, the Philippines, Indonesia, Yemen, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as Islamist insurgents, including members of Al Qaeda.

    Simpson also revealed that Al-Yamamah funds went to the purchase of Soviet-made weapons, that were provided to Chad, to drive Libyan forces out of that African country. John Bedenkamp, a onetime top aide to Rhodesia’s apartheid-era President Ian Smith, and a major arms broker throughout Africa, is currently under investigation by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) for his role in BAE arms dealings in South Africa. U.S. intelligence sources have identified Bedenkamp as a conduit for Soviet arms into African insurgents, raising questions about his earlier involvement with the Al-Yamamah project in these weapons deals fueling wars in Africa.

    Cheney On The Hot Seat

    Washington sources have reported to EIR that the Al-Yamamah revelations have sent shock-waves through the City of London. According to one senior U.S. intelligence source, who spoke to EIR on condition of anonymity, “the Al-Yamamah story opens a window into the inner world of Anglo-Dutch financial power. While Al-Yamamah is not the only such off-budget arrangement, it is one of the largest, and it provides a clear picture of a mode of operation–totally outside the control of any government agency, especially the U.S. government. Ultimately, this is a London scandal, not a Riyad scandal.”

    One consequence of those shock waves is that Vice President Dick Cheney, according to knowledgeable Washington insiders, is in deep trouble with his London friends. Cheney, the sources report, was the guarantor that the story of the $80-100 billion dollar fund would never see the light of day. And, while the American and British establishment press have attempted to bury the scandal, either through blacking it our altogether, or focusing attention on tertiary features, like the relatively small flow of cash into Prince Bandar, the EIR revelations have saturated the U.S. Congress and have been picked up around the world.

    The next chapter is now being written in the scandal of the century, and that could mean the political doom of Dick Cheney. Ironically, it could come at the hands of his own political boosters in the City of London, rather than from Congressional Democrats, who remain divided on the issue of Cheney’s impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors. Ultimately, the real powers behind the throne in London have very low tolerance for failure.

  27. Manila Bay Watch

    Grd,

    You ask, “are you absolving the british govt from this web of corruption due to this contract just because the saudis are not cooperating?”

    Personally? NO!

  28. Manila Bay Watch

    I’m fully aware of this scandal in the UK. I said, Tony Blair’s government buried all posibilities of investigating into the allegations of bribery committed by BAe officials. (Margaret Thatcher’s government may have done it but it was Tony Blair’s Labour govt that decided to scuttle investigation efforts.)

  29. Manila Bay Watch

    For your govern, Grd, I worked for a company that is one of the largests competitors of BAe so I’m aware of the story.

  30. Manila Bay Watch

    Re: ” i know that europeans are corrupt from top to bottom.”

    That’s rather a blanket statement. You sure of what you are saying?

  31. grd

    mbw, i told you i work for a european company. it’s first hand information based on personal experience. from the managing director down to the supervisor, all are corrupt. europeans are not only corrupt they are racist too. you think they just manifest this behavior when they are overseas?

  32. grd

    mbw,

    re: bae, you don’t get it. the corruption did not stop when the british bagged the contract. it was infact, just the start of the web of corruptions that took place. the bigger one is the money laundering (where the money trail lead to an account in a swiss bank of a saudi billionaire brokering between the british and saudi govt) . the corruption and the cover-ups continued up to the present govt. and since the british govt will not incriminate themselves for the british people interest, what did the OECD do during those 3 years of inquiry up to present? did they do their own investigation if you say it’s a powerful tool of the EU against corruption? IMHO OECD is inutile on this case.

    that’s why I’m congratulating you and your company if you’re saying that 100% of your dealings are corruption free. plus the fact that you’re one of the competitors of Bae, that is truly awesome. how does your commercial managers do it? you can’t even play host on meetings with your clients since that will be a form (as you said) of bribery. and how do you lobby? just wondering how you do it.

  33. Manila Bay Watch

    Re: “mbw, i told you i work for a european company. it’s first hand information based on personal experience. from the managing director down to the supervisor, all are corrupt. europeans are not only corrupt they are racist too. you think they just manifest this behavior when they are overseas?”

    Grd,

    Why don’t you resign if they are all that corrupt?

  34. grd

    mbw, why should i? it’s not my money they are stealing but the company’s. and i’m not going to stay here forever as well. while mine is contractual they are regulars. it’s the mother company who should do a life style check on their regular employees.

    but you have not answered my question re: bae, your company and OECD.

  35. Manila Bay Watch

    Grd,

    Which questions on “bae, your company and OECD?” Is it “did they do their own investigation if you say it’s a powerful tool of the EU against corruption?”

    You must understand first that the OECD rules stipulate that member nations are bound by an inter-nation agreement to exhaust their own legal tools and to use every legal avenue to bring the culprit to justice. If you like, OECD as a body, becomes the final offical arbiter or judge and disseminate their findings and rulings on a corruption case to the rest of the member nations.

    As to whether they’ve done any ‘investigating’ into the allegations that BAe corrupted Saudi Arabian officials, don’t honestly know the answer.

    I can only speculate at this point: There could have been official investigations into the allegations but couldn’t indict BAe for wrongdoings most likely because evidence is weak.

    I can see why indicting BAe would be difficult: the act of corrupting of government officials, if it was committed was done overseas, in Saudi Arabia, hence there is a NEED to obtain the testimony of the Saudis to charge BAe before the OECD. Understand that alleged BAe act of corruption was NOT committed ON UK government officials, in other words, I myself don’t believe BAe officials CORRUPTED UK government officials to win the contract in Saudi Arabia – just doesn’t make sense. Internal anti-corruption laws in the UK are very tough and I don’t believe BAe’s top officials would take the risk of corrupting British government officials.

    Also, OECD can act only if its own investigators have completed the evidence gathering and proofs of wrongdoing are assembled from member nations. Just like in any court of law. But I don’t believe that can be done without the help of current UK govt, i.e., Labour. You must also understand that OECD cannot act when there is no legal complaint to speak of or when a complaint file is not complete. They also rely heavily on findings by a nation’s official bodies and European NGOs which are having a hard time obtaining evidence, eg, from the UK. (By the way, one good NGO, Tranparency International is all over – trying to help out in curbing or stamping out corruption at home and overseas, you might want to reach them if truly you believe your company is corrupt.)

    Having said that, I do believe that if BAe officials are found to have corrupted Saudi Officials to win the contract, they are liable to be charged in their own home country’s tribunals (UK’s) and bound by OECD rules to go the whole hog but for any charge to stick, AGAIN, testimonies from Saudi officials need to be heard. (But don’t ever believe this is forthcoming from the Saudis…, no way!)

    But in spite of this BAe scandal, you shouldn’t lead yourself to believe that there’s widespread corruption IN governments here in Europe or that all Europeans are corrupt.

    Your assertion that “All Europeans are corrupt from top to bottom” is really NOT credible.

  36. Manila Bay Watch

    Grd, and Re: “mbw, why should i? it’s not my money they are stealing but the company’s.”

    But if you know that there’s theft being committed, why don’t you report it to the company hqs or if not, you can contact the OECD yourself and reveal the corruption practices being committed by your company?

    Bottom line is if you truly believe that the company is that corrupt, why receive money emanating from corruption? Don’t understand! Why be complicit or be an accessory to corruption? Resign!

  37. grd

    “Citing his interviews with Tony Edwards, the one-time head of the British government’s Defence Export Sales Organization (DESO), which administered the Al-Yamamah project…”

    “Simpson continued, “The phenomenal amount of money generated from the sale of oil comes through DESO, before being paid to British Aerospace. Edwards admitted that the government does charge a little commission for administering the contract, money that attracted the attention of the Treasury as it built up a considerable surplus.”

    Mbw,

    I’m quite disappointed with your explanation re: OECD. In a way, if there’s no complainant then OECD can do nothing. But what if the host nation is an accessory to the crime? In the Phils there was this famous line “ang dagdag, ang dagdag” or say “may 200 ka”. In this case, it’s “ ang DESO, ang DESO”. But I thought your company has interest on this case since you’re the competitor, you can actually file a complain to OECD. But then again as what you’ve said, the evidence is weak even though a lot of these incriminating evidences has been reported already in the media like BBC’s investigative report ala PCIJ. Of course, all these can be considered as HEARSAY without concrete evidence. You can attest to that fact. By the way, those high priced prostitutes are from the UK (part of that lavish gifts to the Saudi officials as reported in the media.

    Now, we go back to the Phils, what I don’t understand with you and your ilk specially your compatriots in ellenvile, you take everything that is reported in the local media, ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION AND WRONGDOING BY GOVT OFFICIALS as the GOSPEL TRUTH. You’re all too fast to jump the gun with everything that the media reports about wrongdoings, specially those stories written by ellen. Generating all those hatred from your fellow bloggers, very fast to pounch on commenters with different views (experience first hand by Devils), making fun of people, the cursing and everything.

    Could it be that our local media is more credible than the western media that’s why they are more believable when they report allegations of corruptions? While you treat western reports with skepticism, in the Phils, there’s no second thought, no rationalizations, everything’s just spontaneously explosive. What could be the explanation behind this double standard? anyway, my last take on the subject re: Bae.

  38. grd

    “But if you know that there’s theft being committed, why don’t you report it to the company hqs or if not, you can contact the OECD yourself and reveal the corruption practices being committed by your company?

    Bottom line is if you truly believe that the company is that corrupt, why receive money emanating from corruption? Don’t understand! Why be complicit or be an accessory to corruption? Resign!”

    Mbw,

    Ah, you’re too naïve about what you say report the corruption to the higher ups. It’s not really for us to do it. Just an analogy, your company cannot even report or complain to OECD the anomalous practices of your competitor how much I who’s just an ordinary employee? But don’t get me wrong again, our projects are legitimate. It maybe overpriced (I don’t know the figures) based on the lavish spendings of our officials and their families but it doesn’t concern us anymore.

    As what Cat commented in the other thread re: Emron, “It is not only greed. It is also power and accessibility to the resources.” It’s what driving these people to commit such abuses. But what we filipinos (I and the other staffs) receive here are the fruits of our hardwork. I never stole anything from the company and I am not complaining either. I’m just giving you the facts about corruption that it happens everywhere big and small. It’s not us only but also our other competitors, clients, suppliers, etc.. In an imperfect world that I and others live, these corruptions that you are defining exist and thriving normally. We see it face to face everyday. Treating our clients, giving them favors for their personal requests, likewise, our suppliers treating us also, giving us company souvenirs, you name it. That’s how it is in our world. And yes, in a way I am not clean since I’m part of that system. I have endured and tolerated it. Now, I don’t know with your perfect world you might be doing things differently.

  39. Manila Bay Watch

    Re: “But I thought your company has interest on this case since you’re the competitor, you can actually file a complain to OECD.”

    Grd,

    You’re going way over the top… how on earth did you even presume that my company was asking for another company, their competitor in general, for an investigation into your BAe scandal?

    Problem with you is you think that because you thought then it’s what things are supposed to be.

    Get a grip!

  40. Manila Bay Watch

    Are you trying to discuss the alleged act of corruption by BAe or are you trying to get back at me for being a regular poster at Ellenville (just like I am here)? I honestly can’t understand what you’re trying to drive at?

    Anyway, this is not going anywhere — an exercise in futility.

    Have tried to answer your questions but you are not prepared for anything other than what you “THOUGHT”…

    You need to overhaul your thinking, discover other places, talk with people other than your corrupt superiors, read things other than your “sex scandal” in Saudi Arabia, etc., perhaps then you will realize that your blanket assertion that “Europeans are all corrupt from top to bottom” is just a pure product of your imagination.

    You are too warped in your own cynicsm that it would take a great deal of patience to get you out of that sorry state of mind. I can’t be your father confessor (and I don’t want to be) so I don’t see any point continuing this discussion – much too difficult to play father confessor to a cynic for a simple sailor like me.

    Last thing: “Now, I don’t know with your perfect world you might be doing things differently.”

    You wouldn’t know now, would you? Not unless you carry out a re-hauling of your entire thinking but if I have a piece of advice, take it or leave it, this is what it is: There’s a whole world of politics that that you should try to discover beyond the confines of the corrupt company that employs you…being an eternal cynic will not help.

    End of story!

  41. mlq3

    grd, ellen is a reputable and conscientious journalist. she does not print what she hasn’t verified through her own research or cross-checking via various sources. people wouldn’t be issuing death threats if she weren’t on to something. neither does she try to hide her sympathies, to which she’s entitled, and disclosure of her sympathies is all she owes her readers.

    she’s a brave woman, does not take payola, and does not lie in her writings.

  42. grd

    Mbw,

    I’m a failure. I can’t get through your vaunted jagged wits. Oh well, I can live with that.

    Re: your being regular of both blogs, did you spot the difference? What’s anyway with that dual personality? I mean, here being prim and proper while over there like an unchained wild cat ala lady Miriam together w/ your ilk spewing tons of volcanic hatred in all directions (ahh cynicism ). But does it really help? Some kind of a therapy maybe as advised by doc (I understand the stress with your line of work). Or it’s just really about that old adage “when you’re in Rome, act like the Romans”. But you know, over there you’re committing also the C act. It’s called CORRUPTION OF THE MIND.

    As for Europeans being corrupt, okay, I’ll qualify my statement. Could it be that only when they are overseas?

    Anyway, agree with what you’re saying, this is an exercise in futility. So better end the story now.

    But I wish I can experience living in your “real” world maybe just for a moment. It must be heaven in there. 🙂

  43. grd

    “grd, ellen is a reputable and conscientious journalist. she does not print what she hasn’t verified through her own research or cross-checking via various sources.”

    mlq3, maybe on her obsessions about issues such as the military activities, coup trials and all about gloria. but how sure are you about her being a conscientious journalist at all times? i think that’s disputable. there’s one article she wrote in her Malaya column (it’s in her blog too) printing a report about a school sent by one anonymous parent(?) complaining about certain school policies/activities. isn’t it the normal thing for a journalist to check the veracity of that letter before even printing it? the principal of that school sent her own letter to clarify the said complaint and explain her side of the story. she further said something about her good reputation being tarnished because of this unverified report and without the writer even bothering to check or clarify things w/ her office. that letter again was bombarded w/ insults from the regulars (of course in defense of ellen). is it the other way around now? the accused has to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he/she is not guilty of the crime? i really can’t see the fairness with that act. it’s really disappointing. how can you repair the damage if it has been done? being a journalist or in the media profession, you have that power and undue advantage to make or destroy someone’s reputation. but responsibilities also comes with it. it should not be abused. what i’m saying is, there should be some kind of self-regulation w/in your ranks.

  44. mlq3

    grd, a reporter has to get all sides. a columnist, if presenting something and later someone onjects, should then accord the other side a chance to rebut if they want to.

    you have to presume that ellen didn’t print the letter without doing her own checking to see if the matter was sufficiently important to publish. where ellen would be culpable is, if after her column came out, she refused to give the side of the principal. there’s also the possibility that informing the principal beforehand might have led to reprisals against the student(s).

  45. grd

    ok manolo, got it and thanks for the clarification. appreciate it.

  46. Manila Bay Watch

    Grd,

    OK, Re “As for Europeans being corrupt, okay, I’ll qualify my statement. Could it be that only when they are overseas? ”

    Maybe so, can’t honestly be categorical but has it ever occurred to you that they may just be following the old rule “When in Rome do what the Romans do?”

    Also, as to your “being prim and proper” resentment, are you happy about that or unhappy? Besides, I believe you should look back at hundreds of my comments in Mlq3’s blog so you can properly determine what you really mean by being prim and proper.

    Let’s say that I’m perfectly capable of throwing you turd if you start going overboard but again, that would be useless. I’d rather focus on throwing turds at corrupt politicians, corrupt powers that be, etc. I wouldn’t want to waste my time on you unless you are one of those powers that be. (As it is, I should be reading the latest blog thread by Manolo here more seriously – instead of typing away to exchange “pleasantries” with you, talk of wasting time!)

    So till the next time, I propose we agree to disagree.

  47. grd

    mbw, agree. i wont fan the flames any further. sorry for wasting your time. not for me though. i’m just one persistent person. my only regret, the response did not reach 200. 🙂 till the next time and peace.

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