A third senior BAE Systems executive has been subpoenaed by US investigators in recent weeks, it has emerged. Alan Garwood, until recently seconded from BAE as head of the Defence Export Sales Organisation (DESO), the controversial Ministry of Defence arms-sales bureau, was served with legal documents while changing planes in …
Someone at HMG should say "look, leave BAe alone - or we'll testify to the Europeans about your rendition flights landing in the UK".
The US are supposedly meant to be our friends... they don't bloody act like it!
One of the advantages of knowing who's on every flight into the US is obviously that you don't need to have a pile of sub poena's at every immigration desk in the country on the off-chance.
I said it on the last article...
and I'll say it again here.
Anything that makes the life of these corrupt, evil scumbags that little bit more difficult should be welcomed with open arms by all who value the human lives that they are in the business of destroying.
While the so-called 'civilised' UK was busy snifflingly admitting to shuffling vast sums of money into rich princes' accounts in one of the most repressive countries in the world (post war Iraq eat your heart out) in order to secure a lucrative deal on killing machines, South African port workers were setting an example of what might happen if individual men and women stood to be counted: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7356467.stm
Paris because even her morals put these scum to shame.
Do as I say, not as I do
Odd that the UK Government refuses to give the US files on itself, whilst seemingly only too happy to give them any files on any of the UK population.
BAe still at it?
Come on, even the overpaid execs at the top of BAe's food chain aren't dumbass enough to still be cheating the UK & US Gummints out of their rightful (!?) taxes by pulling dodgy deals.
More to the point, and harking back to a story from a couple of weeks ago, exactly what technology are the Americans so scared BAe are selling to the Saudis? One minute our cross-the-Pond cousins are bragging that the F-22 and the JSF are brand new and light-years ahead of such old heaps as Tornados and (b)Eurofighter Typhoons, then they're claiming BAe are letting the Saudis have top-secret knowledge they shouldn't be?
So which is it, the "new" American aircraft aren't new at all and are built using old BAe knowledge (like that would ever happen?), or the "old" European aircraft are as good (if not better) than their American rivals?
Still, as long as the various governments have time to waste on such squabbles it must mean there aren't any really important issues that need dealing with, can there?
Role as a Saudi official?
"Bandar...says that the transactions were entirely proper and consistent with his role as a Saudi official."
Of course they were. For a Saudi official, especially one whose name ends with "al-Saud", syphoning massive amounts of cash into your own back pocket is entirely proper and consistent.
I think the USA has just added "Selling to Arabs" to its other unpublished laws such as "Flying while arab" and "Being foreign looking while wearing cloth headgear.".
@Mark -- whatever gave you the impression that the USA were our "Friends"? Have a look at recent history from the 1950s onwards (Isreal, Suez) to thier current policy of ignoring WTO rulings after decades of abusing them to benefit US companies. The UK has pretty much the same relationship with the US as Baldrick has with Blackadder.
Re: Enough already
The sooner you realise that the US-UK relationship is only special when it suits the US, the better for you.
There IS NO special relationship in the sense of the forties and thirties anymore. It is a one-way street.
So, the deals made by US firms don't involve bribes then?
From what I have heard of a well-known US manufacturer of servers, PCs and the like, bribes paid to Saudi officials were a fact of lfe when operating in there. In addition, because importing kit via the regular channels was so time-consuming/costly, I understood that they regularly had the US military transport their kit to a US base in Saudi and then sent a guy in a truck to collect it.
I somehow doubt that the US authorities will ever investigate such activities by their own.
Pot, kettle, black........
Just sour grapes. Anyone who knows anything about middle-eastern trade would know that the payments are perfectly normal. The US only makes a stink becuase they pay their bribes in weapons rather than cash and they can't make money out of it themselves.
Why aren't they investigating M$
As recently highlighted M$ appeared to use a sweetner to a UK council to get them to use M$ products rather than Open Source. Recently rehighlighted as the Council still seem to be producing advertising material which some could easily misinterpret as part of the deal if there was one.
A company I worked for produced items at £100K which stomped the US competitions offerings at £500K. Their sales team got laughed out of every prospect visit. Their solution was to buy our company and shut it down albeit with smoke and mirrors, all highly illegal in the US and although the issue was raised at the highest (or with JP involved should one say lowest) levels, the response was "wasn't it fantastic that the US wanted out technology".
This entire US exercise is down to pure sour grapes as they did not get the deal.
If they had got the deal and the UK companies had complained you can guess the UK government response - might interfere with the lucrative speech circuit..
Unfortunately the one area where the US excels is BS/marketing and they will probably try to put a moral slant on this whereas in reality there isn't one, part of their fool all the people all the time mantra that nulab tried to adopt.
I'll do my bit by continuing to refuse to visit the US on holiday.
Too many cooks appear to have their fingers in this pie.
"the transactions were entirely proper and consistent with his role as a Saudi official": quite true, from my own experience of travelling to and working in Saudi Arabia in the past.
In Saudi, overt, blatant and pervasive bribery is THE WAY. Everything, from the queue at customs upwards. Everything is greased with a little "local currency". The entire economy, the entire society is organised and governed that way, it works beautifully. That is the way that it is - OVER THERE.
Here in non-muslim UK and, presumably also the US, bribery takes on a completely different role and there are quite specific penalties for those who knowingly and deliberately breach these rules. Well, there are penalties for "little" people anyway. Lets just see how this one pans out, given the unmistakable stench of UK central government collusion embroiled through the middle of it.
And the Americans are whiter than white??
I worked on this programme some time ago, and we all knew of the payments made (but not the details). It happened at every level of interaction with Saudis - not just at the Prince level - all the way down to giving the Security Guard a nice gold plated pen so that there would be no 'problems' with getting onto a site. I know of a story that a swimming pool was built so that a problem geeting a necessary permission went through without a hitch.
We knew it, the MOD knew it and the Saudis knew it, and it was all built into the cost of any deal. Over there getting kickbacks is not corruption, it is how you do business. The Saudis use it as a method if ensuring loyalty to the boss (stay loyal or loose all this moola I am letting you make on the deal). At the lowest level, they regarded it as a personal gift to show your respect.
Funnyest thing is that everyone did it - including the Americans. They probably just hid it through more layers of "agents" and other companies so that they could put up a completly clean set of books to their corruption investigators.
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