They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Thursday, June 07, 2007

British government "approved" BAE Saudi corruption

Confronted with fresh allegations of impropriety in a major British arms deal with Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Tony Blair on Thursday again defended his decision to cancel an official inquiry into the multibillion-dollar agreement.

Blair was speaking at the Group of 8 summit meeting in northern Germany after British news organizations said BAE Systems, the leading British defense contractor, paid more than $2 billion clandestinely into bank accounts in Washington that acted as conduits to Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who for 22 years was the Saudi ambassador to the United States before stepping down in 2005.

BAE denied breaking British laws in the so-called Al Yamamah deal, negotiated in 1985 and then worth £43 billion, $86 billion at today's exchange rate. The deal supplied the Saudis with warplanes and other military equipment. BAE insisted, too, that all payments made under the agreement had government approval.

"The Al Yamamah program is a government-to-government agreement, and all such payments made under those agreements were made with the express approval of both the Saudi and U.K. governments," BAE said in a statement. "We deny all allegations of wrongdoing in relation to this important and strategic program, and we will abide by the duty of confidentiality imposed on us by the government." Link

db: The story is in the headline. This is why the SFO investigation was dropped. Blair's spin that he abandoned the case for jobs and the so-called war on terror just isn't credible.