Sunday, August 3, 2008

Taking Care of Business, Part 2

We continue from Part 1 reviewing the Judgment Approved by the court for handing down in the UK's BAE Case; the judgment was dated April 10, 2008, with the hearing dates of two months earlier, February 14th and 15th.


8. Since this case has aroused public concern, we should stress that which is well-recognised in the field of public law. This court is not concerned to conduct an enquiry into the facts which led to the Director's decision, save to the extent necessary to reach a conclusion as to whether that decision was lawful. The defendant has disclosed facts which are sufficient for the purpose of reaching a conclusion but they are not comprehensive and it is no part of the court's function in these judicial review proceedings to achieve a more complete account of the events, unless omission inhibits a correct legal conclusion. We emphasise that, through the efforts of Treasury Counsel and those by whom he is assisted, there has been sufficient disclosure to enable us to reach a solution to the essential question whether the Director acted lawfully. We turn, then, to the facts on which the court needs to rely.

9. On 14 October 2005 the SFO issued a statutory notice to BAE requiring it to disclose details of payments to agents and consultants in respect of the Al-Yamamah contracts. On 7 November 2005, in response to that notice, BAE's solicitors wrote to the Attorney General in a memorandum described as "strictly private and confidential" seeking to persuade him to halt the investigation on the grounds that it would be:-

"seriously contrary to the public interest on the grounds that it would adversely and seriously affect relations between the UK and Saudi Arabian Governments and would almost inevitably prevent the UK securing its largest export contract in the last decade".

The adverse and serious effect on relations between the two kingdoms (the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) is described in an article that was published the day the above-quoted judgment was released (Graft inquiry linked to Saudis and BAE was terminated illegally, U.K. court rules):

LONDON: The quashing by the British government of an inquiry into a lucrative arms deal between Saudi Arabia and BAE Systems was illegal, two judges ruled Thursday.

The High Court did not immediately order the investigation into BAE Systems to be reopened, but the judges said they would hear further arguments.

The U.S. Justice Department opened an investigation last year into BAE Systems, one of the world's largest arms makers. BAE has been accused of funneling money to Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia to help win a multibillion-dollar weapons deal.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair shut down the investigation in 2006, claiming it threatened national security.

That decision was challenged by the Campaign Against Arms Trade and social lobby group Corner House.

The Serious Fraud Office was looking into allegations that BAE maintained a slush fund to pay off Saudi officials for lucrative contracts.

The director of that office and the government were wrong not to allow the investigation to go forward, the judges ruled.

"No one, whether within this country or outside, is entitled to interfere with the course of our justice," the judges said. "It is the failure of government and the defendants to bear that essential principal in mind that justified the intervention of this court."

Dinah Rose, an attorney representing the groups that wanted the investigation to continue, argued the government's decision was swayed by illegal considerations, notably threats from senior Saudi Arabian officials that BAE would lose a £10 billion, or $19.7 billion, contract for Typhoon Eurofighter jets if the investigation was allowed to go on.

Rose said government lawyers had not disputed an allegation that Prince Bandar, the former ambassador to the United States and now head of Saudi Arabia's National Security Council, told Blair during a meeting in July 2006 to stop the inquiry or lose the Typhoon contract.

Rose told the court that Bandar then met with officials from the British Foreign Office in December - shortly after he reportedly told the government the contract would be canceled within days and held talks with former President Jacques Chirac of France about an alternative purchase of Rafale fighter aircraft.

Days after that meeting, Blair sent a letter to the attorney general, Peter Goldsmith, telling Goldsmith to stop the investigation.

Blair said he was concerned about what he called the "critical difficulty" in negotiations with Saudi Arabia over a contract for Typhoon fighters, as well as "a real and immediate risk of a collapse in U.K./Saudi security, intelligence and diplomatic cooperation," the letter said.

These threats included the threat of stopping Saudi cooperation with the United Kingdom in the "War on Terror"!

I transition to yet a third source, before returning to finish the article we began above. From Blair: BAE investigation would have 'wrecked' UK, June 13, 2007:

Tony Blair has defended the government's decision to halt the Serious Fraud Office's (SFO) investigation into alleged bribery surrounding BAE Systems' contracts with Saudi Arabia.

The prime minister told the House of Commons continuing the investigation would have damaged the UK's relationship with Saudi Arabia.

However, he refuted allegations the attorney general Lord Goldsmith had attempted to block a subsequent Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) investigation as "completely and totally unfair and wrong".

It had been alleged Lord Goldsmith had warned officials not to disclose information to the OECD investigation.

Quizzed in prime minister's questions, Mr Blair defended the decision not to pursue an inquiry.

He said: "First of all these allegations are strenuously denied by the Saudi royal family, secondly if we were then going to conduct an investigation then that might last two, three years into these allegations that frankly I think would lead absolutely nowhere.

"What it would lead to is the complete wreckage of a relationship that is of fundamental importance of the security of this country, to the state of the Middle East, and to our relationship with countries in the Middle East."

Mr Blair continued: "I was asked for my advice as to what damage this investigation would do if it continued. I gave that advice because of the huge importance of working with Saudi Arabia on the Middle East peace process, on counter-terrorism, on the situation in the Middle East.

The fact that cooperation in the "War on Terror" was a bargaining chip says a great deal.

It screams to us that Saudi cooperation is a charade to begin with, something they do to pacify the public in the West; it allows us to understand the passage quoted in Part 1 from Congressional testimony last year, U.S. RELATIONS WITH SAUDI ARABIA: OIL, ANXIETY, AND AMBIVALENCE:

Then there is the issue of terrorism financing. It is no secret that large sums of money flow from Saudi Arabia to bad people and organizations all over the world. And as with all things Saudi, the picture of government's response has been mixed. They have signed the U.N. International Convention for the Suppression of Financing of Terrorism, but haven't ratified it. They have announced that a single-government entity, the Non-Government Commission on Relief and Charity Work Abroad, would be formed to control overseas charitable activities, but it hasn’t been established yet.

They have established new rules and regulations regarding money laundering and financial transfers, but they have yet to prosecute any prominent Saudis accused of violating these laws, as Under Secretary of the Treasury, Stuart Levey, reminded us last week.

It is an open secret that Saudi cooperation in the "War on Terror" is a charade; our government officials lyingly assure us Saudi Arabia is our ally, not our enemy, except for a few who go through the motions of questioning that lie.

This, in turn, places another passage from U.S. RELATIONS WITH SAUDI ARABIA: OIL, ANXIETY, AND AMBIVALENCE, not previously quoted in this series and from a little above the passage I just quoted, into context:

The Saudis, on the other hand, see the current government of Prime Minister al-Maliki as a tool of Tehran, and refer to our presence in Iraq as illegal occupation. Potent code words in the Arab world. And we believe the Saudis have been turning a blind eye to the movement of Saudi jihadis into Iraq.

Our "ally" in the "War on Terror" sends jihadis northward to battle us in Iraq, and we scream about their enemy, Iran!

(Maybe we should try reaching out to Iran? Turn the tables on Riyadh a little?)

Keep this in mind when you read Part 3 and beyond.

We continue now with Blair: BAE investigation would have 'wrecked' UK:

"I stick by that, and the idea frankly that such an investigation could be conducted without doing damage to our relationship is cloud cuckoo land, which after all is the natural habitat of the Liberal Democrats."

The Liberal Democrats have called on Mr Blair to confirm what he knew about the alleged bribery and when – noting that bribery of a foreign official became illegal in 2002.

Since 1985, BAE Systems has signed £43 billion worth of arms contract with Saudi Arabia. But it was alleged these were agreed in return for payments totalling £1 billion to Prince Bander.

The government halted a SFO investigation in December 2006 and the case has since been investigated by the OECD.

Tony Blair is a coward and a traitor. Bowing to the pressure of his Muslim overlords, the Saudi royal family, B-liar sold out the UK for a few (billion) pounds sterling worth of arms contracts.

The weakness he showed, and which the British government continues to show, dealing with the source of radical terrorism in the Middle East - Saudi Arabia - guarantees more 7/7-like incidents in the future.

British soldiers are fighting and dying in foreign lands in vain, because their efforts have been sabotaged by those who ordered them into the fray; British military personnel will sacrifice, and return to a UK that is across between a terrorist-targeted "House of War" and a dhimmi vassal state of Riyadh.

Returning to Graft inquiry linked to Saudis and BAE was terminated illegally, U.K. court rules:

Shortly afterward, despite Goldsmith's unease, according to documents tendered to the court, the director of the fraud office, Robert Wardle, confirmed the investigation had been dropped.

The judges said they relied on claims by Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade, based on media reports, that the threat to drop the Typhoon contract was made directly by Prince Bandar to Blair's chief of staff, Jonathan Powell.

Government lawyers did not dispute that, the judges said.

"Had such a threat been made by one who is subject to the criminal law of this country, he would risk being charged with an attempt to pervert the course of justice," the judges said.

British news media reported last year that more than $2 billion ended up in Washington bank accounts controlled by Prince Bandar, and that the payments coming from BAE were linked to an arms deal negotiated in 1985.

The prince has denied accepting "improper secret commissions."

Finally, the next short passage from Judgment Approved by the court for handing down:

The Group Legal Director told the Attorney General that he had discussed those issues with the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence. The Legal Secretary to the Law Officers replied that it was not appropriate for law officers to receive a memorandum cloaked with confidentiality. The representations were then sent to the Director of the SFO. The foundation for BAE’s fears, described in its memorandum, was that compliance with the Statutory Notice would be regarded by the Saudi Arabian Government as a serious breach of confidentiality by BAE and by the UK Government.

10. On 15 November 2005 the SFO’s Case Controller, Matthew Cowie, questioned BAE's solicitors as to:-

"...why the pursuance by the SFO of its independent statutory powers of investigation could properly be regarded as a breach of duty of confidentiality by the United Kingdom Government." (our emphasis)

He reminded the solicitors for BAE that it was a participant in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) process, committed to the principles of the OECD’s Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions 1997 (The Convention), and set out the terms of Article 5 of the Convention:

"Investigation and prosecution of the bribery of a foreign public official shall be subject to the applicable rules and principles of each Party. They shall not be influenced by considerations of national economic interest, the potential effect upon relations with another State or the identity of the natural or legal persons involved."

British law was broken, outrageously so, as the country was sold out by big business and big politics - sold to those who are really behind the continued violence that takes British lives overseas and threatens them at home.


From Former FBI Translator Sibel Edmonds Calls Current 9/11 Investigation Inadequate by Jim Hogue, May 07, 2004:

JH: Here's a question that you might be able to answer: What is al-Qaeda?

SE: This is a very interesting and complex question. When you think of al-Qaeda, you are not thinking of al-Qaeda in terms of one particular country, or one particular organization. You are looking at this massive movement that stretches to tens and tens of countries. And it involves a lot of sub-organizations and sub-sub-organizations and branches and it's extremely complicated. So to just narrow it down and say al-Qaeda and the Saudis, or to say it's what they had at the camp in Afghanistan, is extremely misleading. And we don't hear the extent of the penetration that this organization and the sub-organizations have throughout the world, throughout their networks and throughout their various activities. It's extremely sophisticated. And then you involve a significant amount of money into this equation. Then things start getting a lot of overlap -- money laundering, and drugs and terrorist activities and their support networks converging in several points. That's what I'm trying to convey without being too specific. And this money travels. And you start trying to go to the root of it and it's getting into somebody's political campaign, and somebody's lobbying. And people don't want to be traced back to this money.

Tony Blair and other big wigs in UK politics and business are obviously among those who can "be traced back to this money".

In Part 3 we have a teaser, then in Part 4 we will begin to take a closer look at Prince Bandar, and his relationship with Blair's close ally in the "War on Terror", President George W. Bush.

1 comment:

Jaxon said...

I just found this pretty awesome article, The Last Patriot, that sheds some light on the first encounters America had with Jihadis back in the late 1700s. Its a really interesting article worth checking out.