Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Culture Of Corruption Inc. - International Division

By Cernig

Bush and Cheney's bestest friend in Saudi Arabia, former ambassador Prince Bandar Abbas, has been implicated in a UK scandal involving an arms deal and millions of dollars in bribes, all approved by the Blair government. A BBC program on Monday will disclose new details of the accusations against the Prince.

The scandal was already causing waves in Britain because Blair shut down a police investigation, saying it would irrepairably harm national security. Many observers have said that the muzzling of the Serious Fraud Squad's enquiry was to prevent government embarassment and even perhaps criminal charges against cabinet members.

Meanwhile, The Guardian writes that there were allegations of corruption against the Prince involving a previous massive arms deal by the same firm, BAe, during the Thatcher years.

It also notes that BAe is attempting to purchase the US firm Armor Holdings and has promised since 2000 to abide by the provisions of Washington's Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bans payments to overseas public officials to win contracts.

British law made it illegal to pay bribes to foreign governments in return for business contracts or political favors in 2000. If the allegations are true, BAe would have broken the law in both countries.

Armor Holdings makes the up-armored Mummers used in Iraq and body armor for US troops, among other defense-related items. Over 90% of their political contributions, by both the parent company and its lucrative body-armor subsiduary, have been made to Republican candidates and the RNC.

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