The UK bribery investigation of BAE, a defense and aerospace company, hasn’t received above-the-fold attention in the U.S. but maybe it should. The British aerospace giant stands accused of bribing Saudi officials for the Al Yamamah contracts that have netted the company £43 billion or roughly $80 billion over the last twenty years.
At the center of the controversy is a familiar figure in American politics, Bandar bin Sultan, the former Saudi ambassador to the U.S. It’s believed that the Saudi Prince, now the head of the Saudi National Security Council, received £1 billion in bribes to secure orders for BAE.
From The Guardian:
Saudi Arabia’s rulers threatened to make it easier for terrorists to attack London unless corruption investigations into their arms deals were halted, according to court documents revealed yesterday.
Previously secret files describe how investigators were told they faced “another 7/7” and the loss of “British lives on British streets” if they pressed on with their inquiries and the Saudis carried out their threat to cut off intelligence.
Prince Bandar, the head of the Saudi national security council, and son of the crown prince, was alleged in court to be the man behind the threats to hold back information about suicide bombers and terrorists. He faces accusations that he himself took more than £1bn in secret payments from the arms company BAE.
The Saudis are notorious bribers or “donors” to American politicians. Ex CIA agent turned author Robert Baer reported extensively on the House of Sa’ud’s generosity as have many others.
$1 million to Nancy Reagan’s “Just say no” campaign
$500,000 to launch the Bush Scholarship Fund at Phillips Academy from Prince al-Walid (the infamous Prince whose $10 million was rejected by one irate New York mayor)
$23 million to the University of Arkansas’s new Center For Middle Eastern Studies
$10 million to the Clinton Presidential Library
$10 million to the George HW Bush Presidential Library
But by far the most disturbing donation by the House of Sa’ud, more specifically the cherubic Prince Bandar, was made by Bandar’s wife. In Sleeping with the Devil, Baer reports:
Princess Haifa’s contribution to a Saudi who aided two of the September 11 hijackers added up to $130,000. Throw in $550,000 that a mysterious Saudi donated to a San Diego mosque that served as a forward base for the same two hijackers, and the money exceeds the roughly $500,000 the FBI estimates as the total cost of the 9/;111 attacks.
The Saudis have spent billions exporting an ideology aimed to preserve their strangle-hold on power by lobbying for the annihilation of the west. Unfortunately, the U.S hasn’t a card to play. The Wahabbis help finance our $3 trillion debt, fuel our SUVs, and even fund our Presidential libraries.