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Saudi Arabia: Mother of All Scandals

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    The Mother of All Scandals by Eric Margolis http://www.lewrockwell.com/margolis/margolis79.html Anyone who wants to understand what really goes on in the
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2007
      The Mother of All Scandals
      by Eric Margolis

      Anyone who wants to understand what really goes on in the Mideast
      should have a look at the scandal that erupted earlier this month over
      the outsized character of Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia.
      Bandar has long been a renowned mover, shaker, and charmer. As Saudi
      ambassador to the US, the influential Bandar schmoozed official
      Washington for two decades. He became an intimate of the Bush family.
      He invested a least $60 million in Saudi funds in the Carlyle Corp.,
      in which the Bush family has important interests. Equally significant,
      Prince Bandar was a particular favorite at the CIA, where he was long
      considered one of its prime Mideast "assets."

      Bandar flew in his own personal Airbus A-340 painted in the colors of
      his favorite US football team, and threw lavish parties in his $135
      million Aspen house and in Washington. He was Mr. SaudiAmerica.
      Congress, the media, and the rest of official Washington hailed Bandar
      as the kind of "good Arab" with whom the US was happy to do business.

      After leaving Washington, Bandar returned home to become the highly
      influential head of national security and chief foreign policy advisor
      to Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah. Bandar's father, Crown Prince Sultan,
      is the nation's powerful defense minister and next in line to the
      throne. Many Saudi observers believed Bandar was being positioned to
      sit one day on the throne of Saudi Arabia.
      On top of all this, Bandar is also a marketing genius.

      The UK Guardian newspaper and BBC recently revealed that Bandar
      personally received over US $2 billion in "marketing fees" from the
      British defense firm BAE as part of the huge, 1985 al-Yamamah arms
      deal. Al-Yamamah means dove in Arabic. Charges of massive corruption
      over the Al-Yamamah deal have swirled for years. But even for the rich
      Saudis, $2 billion is a lot of money. That's twice what Washington's
      most important Arab ally, Egypt, was given.

      For the Saudi royals, Britain's outgoing PM Tony Blair, and
      Washington, the "dove" and Bandar's $2 billion worth of payola have
      become one big albatross.

      During the 1980's, Saudi Arabia sought to buy modern US warplanes. But
      the US pro-Israel lobby blocked the sale, costing the loss of billions
      in sales by US industry and 100,000 American jobs. The Reagan
      Administration advised the Saudis to go buy their warplanes from Britain.

      Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was only too happy have the British
      defense firm, known today as BAE, sell the Saudis 120 Tornado strike
      aircraft, Hawk trainers, military equipment, and lucrative training
      and maintenance programs worth some $90–100 billion and the 100,000
      jobs America lost. Over their operational lives of 20 or so years,
      warplanes consume six times their original cost in spare parts. These
      supply contract also went to BAE and other British industrial firms.

      The Saudis could barely operate the modern military equipment they
      bought from the US, Britain, and France. Their military forces were a
      big zero. Most of it stayed in storage, or was operated by foreign
      mercenaries. The Saudi arms deals were really about buying military
      protection from the western powers.

      All arms sales to the west's Mideast clients routinely include 10–15%
      "commissions" to heads of state, generals, and their cronies. These
      funds are traditionally channeled through middlemen, the flamboyant
      Adnan Kashoggi being the most notorious.

      Kickbacks, rechristened "marketing fees," were of course expected in
      the Al-Yamamah deal. But Bandar's $2 billion set a record for size and
      venality. Thatcher ordered Bandar's payments carefully hidden from
      public gaze. They remained so until recent years when British and
      American government investigators began questioning secret,
      multi-million dollar payments to Prince Bandar routed from the UK to
      the shady Riggs Bank in Washington. Before it was shut down after a
      series of scandals, Riggs had become one of the favorite handlers of
      "black" money for pro-US autocratic regimes.

      When Britain's Serious Fraud Office began probing BAE's secret payoffs
      to Bandar, Tony Blair sanctimoniously ordered the investigation shut
      down for "national security" reasons. The Saudis threatened to cancel
      their arms deals with Britain if payoff charges were made public by
      HM's government. Blair was trying to sell the Saudis BAE's new,
      high-tech Eurofighter. He blocked similar investigations by OECD, the
      international anti-bribery watchdog agency which was also closing in
      on the Saudi money trail.

      Bandar denies any wrongdoing, claiming the "marketing" funds all went
      into a legitimate Defense Ministry account and were properly accounted
      for and audited.

      Few believe him. The only "marketing" effort in the arms deal was
      payola to high Saudi officials. If the funds were legit, why all the
      secrecy and money laundering? Were the payments simply western
      "baksheesh" for Bandar and his clan? Were they to help him against his
      main power rival, Prince Turki Faisal, who is not seen as amenable to
      US and British interests as Bandar?

      Could the billions have been used for covert operations, possibly with
      US participation? One recalls the Reagan years when money from
      Israel's secret sales of US arms to Iran were used to finance the
      Nicaraguan Contras.

      The most significant effect of this revolting scandal is being felt in
      the Muslim world. One of the major reasons for the fast-spreading
      influence of militant Islamic groups like Hezbullah, Hamas, and
      Taliban has been their success in uprooting the Muslim world's endemic
      corruption and nepotism. We are so used to Islamists being demonized
      as "terrorists" that their highly effective and popular social
      accomplishments are rarely noted. In fact, their appeal and popularity
      is based primarily on their welfare and incorruptibility.

      Islamic militants insist the west exploits their nations by keeping
      deeply corrupt regimes in power. In exchange for protection from their
      own people and neighbors, and fabulous wealth, these authoritarian
      Arab regimes – always termed "moderates" by western media – sell oil
      on the cheap to the west and do its bidding. US-installed governments
      in Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan are all noted
      for egregious corruption, including secret payoffs from Washington to
      their leaders.

      No wonder Prince Bandar was always so amiable and accommodating. Or
      that he managed to fly out a planeload of Saudis the day after 9/11
      when all US flights were grounded. Or that the Bush administration was
      trying to position the always amenable prince as the next Saudi monarch.

      The Bandar scandal is hugely embarrassing for Blair and Bush, who
      claim to be leading a crusade to bring democracy and good government
      to the benighted Muslim world. It starkly confirms Islamists'
      accusations that the west promotes corruption. And it dramatically
      exposes the dirty underbelly of the west's much-vaunted "special
      relationship" with the Saudi royal family.


      Top level Israeli/Saudi/French meet with US puppets to plan
      assassination of Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah

      I guess that we can see what the coming of a Zionist Israel-loving
      president in France actually means.

      Forgive the amateur translation of this article, but I didn't know if
      everybody could speak French. So anyway here is my translation as well
      as the original French article… and others.. also pointing at the plot
      to assassinate Sayyed Hassan.

      It is not new that the Israelis want to assassinate him. God knows
      that they have said it several times. What is new however is that the
      Saudis, the Israelis and that sissy Saad el Hariri (representing the
      US puppet regime in Lebanon) meet together to plot the assassination.

      Lebanon and Saudi Arabia don't even have official ties with Israel. It
      seems that the Americans are not the only people being sold out by
      their government.

      PS. One more point before you read: the militias (Fatah al Islam) that
      are fighting the Lebanese army from what used to be a Palestinian
      refugee camp in Lebanon (Nahr el Bared) are financed by the Hariri
      family, Saudi Arabia (which created the Hariri family out of nothing)
      and the US.


      Is France Conspiring to Assassinate Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah?
      30 August 2007

      Informal negotiations on the future of Lebanon have taken place on the
      French Riviera during the second week of August 2007. Parallel to
      those negotiations, a secret meeting was organized in the residence of
      prince Bandar bin Sultan at Juan-les-Pins. The Saudi national security
      counselor received Saad el Hariri the leader of the 14th of March
      coalition and a mysterious guest who was no less than Israeli Prime
      Minister Ehud Olmert. The Saudi ambassador in Beirut Abdel Aziz Khoja
      represented King Abdallah.

      Even though Quai d'Orsay refuses to confirm or to invalidate, the
      presence of French officials representing president Sarkozy, their
      presence has already been attested to by our sources. It is very
      improbable that the Elysee was not invited and represented in the
      meetings considering that it organized the discrete movement of PM
      Olmert on the Riviera.

      It is on the other hand more difficult to know with certitude the
      exact content of the meetings. However, diplomatic sources assure us
      that Saad el Hariri asked Ehud Olmert to get rid of Hezbollah and the
      Israeli Prime Minister responded by saying that Tsahal could not do
      this job alone.

      After this initial agreement, the conspirators agreed that it was up
      to Saad el Hariri to have Hassan Nasrallah assassinated; Once
      Hezbollah has been decapitated, Tsahah would crush the Lebanese

      Ambassador Abdel Aziz Khoja warned the other participants that any
      developments of such a scenario would lead to an implosion of the
      country of cedars. Upon his return to Beirut, the ambassador declared
      that he felt threatened by a terrorist attack and suddenly left Lebanon.

      Among the ruling elite in Lebanon, one is wondering about Nicola
      Sarkozy's new policy as well as the duplicity of the French
      authorities who just the other day invited all protagonists to debate
      the situation in Celle Saint-Cloud, then a few weeks later,
      participate in the planning of the assassination of the leader of the
      Lebanese Resistance.



      Another plot to kill Nasrallah
      Sun, 26 Aug 2007

      Informed sources have revealed a plot by Tel Aviv, Riyadh, Amman and
      the Lebanese March 14 bloc to assassinate the Hezbollah leader.

      According to the report, the Deputy of Israeli military intelligence,
      an advisor to the Israeli Premier, the Saudi ambassador to Lebanon,
      Deputy of the Saudi National Security Council and head of the
      Jordanian General Intelligence Department held a meeting in the house
      of Saad Hariri, the leader of the March 14 faction, on August 4 to
      discuss the assassination of Seyyed Hassan Nasrollah.

      The participants in the meeting believed that the move could deal a
      blow to supporters of Nasrallah in Lebanon. They also underlined the
      need for another Israeli war against Hezbollah.

      The reports added that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert- in an
      earlier secret meeting with Jordan's King, Abdullah II- had rejected
      launching a war to kill the Hezbollah chief, saying that the Israeli
      army could not enter another war with the movement.

      Hezbollah, which has become aware of the plot, has beefed up security
      measures in order to protect Nasrallah and his family.


      The Daily Star
      Saturday, September 01, 2007

      In an interview with the "Kalam An-Nas" talk show broadcast live on
      LBCI television Thursday night, former Interior Minister Suleiman
      Franjieh said both Telecommunications Minister Marwan Hamadeh and
      Prime Minister Fouad Siniora of plotting to assassinate Hezbollah's
      Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah
      In an interview with the "Kalam An-Nas" talk show broadcast live on
      LBCI television Thursday night, Franjieh said both Hamadeh and Premier
      Fouad Siniora were planning to assassinate Nasrallah.

      "Why then raise such a controversial issue as Hizbullah's private
      communication networks at such critical times?" Franjieh asked. "They
      either want to isolate Sayyed Nasrallah or they want to determine his
      location so as to kill him."



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