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back to article US gov demands Saudi-BAE documents

The US government has asked for full cooperation with its investigation into Saudi-BAE arms deals from the British Home Office, and Whitehall is considering its response. The US Department of Justice has asked officials to hand over all documents related to BAE's payments to Saudi royals. BAE Systems is now under federal …

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Anonymous Coward

Gah! I can't decide

I've been infuriated in equal measures by the corruption of the BAE scandal and being owned like a bitch by USA.

I don't know which would be harder to take - the Saudi-BAE scandal staying under wraps or kow-towing *yet again* to the US.

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Who's kidding who?

"Blighty is far more dependent on American intelligence, however." .... American intelligence? Now there's a novelty. The next scrap of it will be the first of it in this Digital Age.

That is not to say that they are dumb, of course, for that would be far from the truth, which is really all that the Best of Intelligence is.

"‘US gov demands Saudi-BAE documents’" .... Isn't that just so typical of a Big Brother/General Custer Bully type. Just no Political Finesse/Deeper MetaPhysical Savvy.

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The Saudis.

Fuck the Yanks. They're only pissed because they wouldn't buy their used F16s.

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When the yanks...

...send the people requested by UK courts over "friendly fire" incidents, maybe we'd consider releasing commercially sensitive documents to a potential rival bidder...

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Anonymous Coward

I've got an idea!

We promise to send them the Saudi-BAe documents if they promise to send our coroners the real information on those 'friendly fire' accidents, especially the Terry Lloyd incident.

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No document found

Of course they could do the US Gov's trick....

Sorry we don't have any such items..videos of friendly fire? Nope we don't have any. What one? Oh that one...sorry, no it's errr classified, yes that's right...Oh crap, the Sun has a copy....did we say classified, we meant to say errr, freely availble, yes that's it we fully co-operated yes, that's it.....

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Anonymous Coward

Bunch Of Tossers

The lot of them!

Stiff secretive corrupt MOD, two-faced lying untrustworthy UK politicians, fascist out-for just-us Yanks and horrible male-dominated dictatorial Saudis.

Can't we send Col. North in to Whitehall to shred the evidence?

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Anonymous Coward

It's not about justice. It's about money.

What's been going on may have been immoral, but it wasn't illegal.

This is really about the US government's desire to stick it to BAE (how dare they have such a large share in the US market?!!!).

Who do you think will be waiting in the wings to pick up these contracts when BAE are nailed to the wall?

American arms companies by any chance?

This is just another example of the USA trying to misuse its legal system in order to illegally protect its own markets.

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Great British Humour

El Reg,

Just love the hyperlink for this tale :-) ..... http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/07/16/feds_look_for_tinned_worms/

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Anonymous Coward

The USA just wanted a piece of the pie

The US seem to have three reasons for wanting to investigate BAE Systems. Firstly the investigation in part seems to be a method of breaking up the Saudi / UK defence sales link. The US defence industry would kill for any piece of an arms deal the size of Al Yamamah (1 or 2). Secondly is a mater of one of their previous cock ups. In the 70’s the US made the mistake of selling the latest kit (F14’s, phoenix missiles etc.) to the Iranians / or their then ruler the Shah just before the revolution happened. This has somewhat tarnished there opinion of arms sales in the region.

Finally, it is a matter of capability, the European equipment being shipped to the Saudis (Eurofighter, Storm Shadow, etc.) is extremely advanced and in some areas (particularly applicable to storm shadow) outstrips the capabilities of the Americans.

This is a somewhat scary proposition for the most powerful nation on the planet, having another country with a credible offensive capability, upon which they have no control.

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no need for hysteria

I do not see a problem myself.

Every country offer kickbacks on arms deals, France, Russia, China, etc. It is especially evident in “corrupt” nations like the Arabs and Nigerians, and has always been the case.

If UK would not offer kick backs, the Russians will – and guess who will get the contract.

There is absolutely no need for hysteria on the subject, this is “big business” and is the norm.

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Just say no!

How often has the UK requested info from the yanks only to be told "no way". Most recent I can remember was the 2 bomber pilots that blew up British tanks, the courts asked the yanks for the videos, the yanks insisted they didnt exist. Naturally they did exist and it showed just how pathetic american pilots are but still.

Its like this Antiguia WTO thing, the US is all about protecting its own assets, as long as it gets what it wants everyone else can go jump.

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Anonymous Coward

Pot kettle black....

Ignore the demand, the US just wants the arms business for itself. although it might be nice to see if an investigation got as far as blair and bush, very close friends with the saudi prince apprently.

Ignore the demand because we dont give into the demands of terrorests or those that fund terrorests??

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They are having a laugh?

The United States of Corruption, the home of Enron, want the UK to fork over all the documents on our dodgy arms deals? Of course nobody should mention the dodgy arms deals the American government have done, swapping them for drugs and worse. Maybe the UK government reply should be that when the US sign their side of the extradition treaty that allows UK citizens to be parcelled up and sent to America without any requirement for evidence we might think about replying. Nobody mention the NORAID senators or bank accounts though, we can't suggest that the US harbours or funds terrorists, they would have to bomb Washington into the stone age then.

Of course what this is really about is Lockheed Martin sulking that we offered the Saudis more money than they did and they are buying our Eurofighters instead of F-Series civilian killing hardware.

As for the US pulling the same access to 'intelligence' gag as the Saudis, we could always send some of those forged end user certificates for UK made military hardware to the UN. The ones for the electronics bought by the US and then shipped on to get round the UN sanction on selling them to Israel to murder Palestinians and Lebanese with...

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Hmm..

It doesn't work the other way though, does it? The Yanks flatly refused to supply our coroners with the 'friendly fire' information they requested a few months ago. Not that I hold any brief for the MOD, who frankly deserve everything they get in this case. It's about time everyone (who wants to) made their own armaments...

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g e
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Let's wind the yanks up

After all they don't give us anything and expect everything, including extradition of UK citizens, etc, etc. Maybe when they give us something we should consider giving them something back.... they're hugely in 'credit' with us already it would seem.

Who needs intelligence that boils down to justification to invade and kill with impunity anyway.

Don't the Saudi's already own a damned large chunk of USA to boot? As in enough to make it worth the Yanks' while to forget it all and make it another huge whitewash of the Bush administration before he finally gets the heave-ho.

After all cockups always get blamed on the person who most recently left, don't they?

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Pakistan

Reminds me of the USA Pakistan deal for F16's , they paid the cash up front about a $700 Million, then the USA changed their minds because they could be used for carrying Nuclear weapons.

Pakistan: Can we have our planes?

USA: No

Pakistan: Well can we have our money back then?

USA: Err No, sorry

Of course over 15 years later they have put some into local service, paid Pakistan in Wheat and sold parts to refund the money still a hundred million $ short. Now after the "War on Terror" they are selling F16's to Pakistan, delivery some time in the future.

We should do the same with Saudi, take the money, deliver nothing and then promise to sell them new stuff at some point. What are they going to do about it anyway? they don't even have good planes to fight back with.

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Anonymous Coward

Iran and American arms sales "in the region"

"Secondly is a mater of one of their previous cock ups. In the 70’s the US made the mistake of selling the latest kit (F14’s, phoenix missiles etc.) to the Iranians / or their then ruler the Shah just before the revolution happened. This has somewhat tarnished there opinion of arms sales in the region."

It did? Then how come several years /after/ that, their opinion of arms sales to the Iranian revolutionary guard was "Oliver North is a great American patriot and a true hero"?

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Alas

Alas , who forgot to bribe that US arms cartel , and who just happen to the back room boys for every dirty US Arms deal of the last 30 odd years , and ex Sec Defence Donnie's best mates too!

Didn't the Yankees sell some overpriced spare parts for the F14 to Iran during Iran Iraq war, divert the payments to fund some new drug lords in Nicaragua to take pot shots at Daniel Ortega's peasant army armed with the more reliable AK47! and still managed to lose that war despite Ronnie's mob throwing all the cash and US army weapons they could use at them!

Sadly F16's are no match for the same age Sukhoi-SU27 and as for the newer replacement 34/37 variants even a green Soviet pilot just out of flight training school would win 99 out of 100 in any dogfight with the chickens fresh from Nevada Top Gun advanced flight training school!

Say doesn't the Indian Air Force still have more SU27's and the option to buy the newer versions as well?

Strange times and even stranger so called democratic governments?

But then again these days one can win a war , without even destroying any ground targets or people with today's technology , and push your enemy literally back to the stone age by making all his state of the art electronic technology we rely and are dependent on expire at the blink of an eye!

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Who paid the bribe ?

What a lot of people seem to miss is the HM gov is the one who negotiated the sale and then contracted BAE to make the planes. It would be HM Gov who paid bribes to get the contract not BAE. This is why they could not prosecute BAE

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Anonymous Coward

On the money.

>> "It's not about justice. It's about money."

And...

>> "The USA just wanted a piece of the pie"

...are both absolutely right. I hope the Gov tell the US to fark off. I'll be savagely disappointed if they don't, but not overly surprised.

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Who paid the bribe?

Who paid the bribe ?

Why the average British taxpayer of course for the annual tax paid subsidy to the British Arms Industry is some 600 million pounds and the industry earns a mere 6 billion pounds to put back into the economy! In the interim the creative industries of the UK earn $90 billion pounds in the same period!

So one could say the peace loving artists and musicians are truly subsidizing the art of war , so as to speak!

Ironic is it not , but the numbers speak for themselves!

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Why "or"?

"Should Blighty piss off the Saudis, or Uncle Sam?"

Surely we should be able to manage both and shoot ourselves in the foot at the same time?

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