The BBC reports:
A Saudi prince received secret payments from the UK’s biggest arms dealer, a BBC investigation has revealed.
BAE Systems made regular payments of hundreds of millions of pounds to Prince Bandar bin Sultan for more than a decade.
The payments were made with the full knowledge of the Ministry of Defence…
The Prince served for 20 years as Saudi ambassador to the US.
Up to Â£120m a year was sent by BAE from the UK into two Saudi embassy accounts in Washington for more than a decade…
According to Panorama’s sources, the payments were written into the arms deal contract in secret annexes, described as “support services”.
They were authorised on a quarterly basis by the MoD.
The SFO inquiry into the Al Yamamah deal was stopped in December 2006.
Prime Minister Tony Blair said at the time it had been dropped because of national security concerns.
So…$100 billion a year flows into Saudi Arabia’s coffers to pay for their oil. The US and UK make sure that, rather than the money staying there and being spent for the people of Saudi Arabia, it returns to us to pay for weapons Saudi Arabia doesn’t need. To make this happen, arms dealers bribe the Saudi royal family with hundreds of millions of dollars, all with the knowledge and approval of the British government.
It’s all so cozy:
…for two decades, Bandar had built an intimate personal relationship with the Bush family that went far beyond a mere political friendship…Bandar and the elder Bush had participated in the shared rituals of manhood — hunting trips, vacations together, and the like…
In charitable contributions alone, the Saudis gave at least $3.5 million to Bush charities — $1 million by Prince Bandar to the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum…and a $1 million painting from Prince Bandar to George W. Bush’s White House.
Two days after the 9/11 attacks, the President asked Bandar to come to the White House. Bush embraced him and escorted him to the Truman balcony. Bandar had a drink and the two men smoked cigars.
Bush welcomed Prince Bandar bin Sultan to his Texas ranch after telephoning Crown Prince Abdullah, the sitting ruler of Saudi Arabia, to say that recent anti-Saudi statements coming from the United States do not reflect Bush’s desire for an “eternal friendship” with the kingdom.
Americans are asking, why do they hate us? They hate what we see right here in this chamber — a democratically elected government…They hate our freedoms — our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.