Could have been worse ..
.. as they could have been sending supplies of concentrated acid to Saudi embassies as well.
British ministers have approved the export of more than £2.4m worth of telecoms snooping gear to Saudi Arabia, in spite of its very obvious human rights problems, according to a report. Five licences were granted to send "telecommunications interception equipment" to the controversial kingdom, which was most recently in the …
Scene: the Large Exhibition Room at the Gleneagles Hotel. A keen golfer and former US embassy "Energy Attaché' addresses the audience, after being introduced by a US energy industrialist:
"The future nuclear state will be an absolute state, whose authority will derive not from the people but from the possession of plutonium. And just to make sure we all know what we're talking about here, I brought some of the stuff along with me today.
[mixed reaction from audience as he pulls out briefcase, takes out two bars of plutonium, and briefly brings them together, causing a very visible burst of radiation]
400 rads, ladies and gentlemen. A lethal dose to anyone within ten yards. Get it while it's hot!
[audience leaves in panic]
[speaker shouts at empty conference room] Hey what's the matter? Don't y'all wanna be part of the New Age of plutonium lunacy? Don't you want to see the Earth become a desert, all its resources plundered to build a New Jerusalem in the Milky Way?
[time passes, scene changes]
That's the problem with plutonium, it's limited in its application. It's not user-friendly. But as a vehicle for regaining one's self-respect, oh, it's got a lot going for it! Damn right I turned it into a 20kg bomb! "
. as they could have been sending supplies of concentrated acid
Have you tried to see what happens if you dump a pork chop (as most easily obtainable) into concentrated acid? I have - as a student.
If it is HCl, nothing happens. If it is one of the other usual suspects, you will need an lab grade hood to deal with the fumes. I do not think the ambassador residences are usually fitted with one. Then, once the reaction completes, you will be "pleasantly surprised" that it does not dissolve and there is plenty of residue left and there is plenty of acid left too which you cannot easily get rid of.
We have been selling them plenty of other "wonderful stuff" anyway. For decades. Some of it much more "interesting" than concentrated acid.
Almost. Saudi Arabia is ruled by the (extended) royal family but mostly they assume power by virtue of religion, given they have Mecca and so much that is valued by Muslims. Not that it means much in terms of protection of historical value:
(Just to add that I have little religious interest, but see the destruction or re-writing of history as an unforgivable crime against our descendants)
Having the gear is not enough, you also need people who are trained to operate it to a sufficient degree to have the benefit of it.
If experience with counter surveillance gear is anything to go by, this gear will be used for a while and then the operators will be tasked with something else. Six months later the required skills are gone and the gear will be collecting dust and no longer be kept up to date.
"people who are trained to operate it to a sufficient degree to have the benefit of it."
Surely Serco or similar have a Saudi branch? BAe Systems and Rolls Royce (jet engines) appear to have the right contacts (and contract skills) too.
If not them, how about something from the Blair Institute for Global Change - "we aim to help make globalisation work for the many, not the few", they say..(yes, really, it exists).
Probably not a job for Carillion or Crapita or G4S or Interserve or even Qinetiq though.
is ongoing and seems to have had remarkably little coverage in the UK press - the Mirror Group (which owns the north wales-oriented regional newspaper the Daily Post) seems to be the only one that the default adbroker/search finds.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/saudi-pilots-trained-raf-more-13537652 (5 Nov 2018)
[nb: ad blocker strongly recommended for MirrorGroup sites]
It's been happening for years. Saudi Army recce & artillery spotter pilots were being trained by the British Army at RAF Middle Wallop in Hampshire in the 1950's. Along with other countries' pilots of course, including Israel, Pakistan, et al. Politics is a complex game.
I've been posting a few things about the big amphibian Mohammed Bin Salamander and his evil ranks and, wouldn't you know it, they came back up my light streamed packets and there they are, having tea outside the window, waiting for me to step outside.
Fortunately for me, I have an escape tunnel.
Wait, what? The UK spy kit means they now know I have an escape tunnel?
Hold on...Oh no! The saw guy is holding up a sign. It reads, "We know you have a tunnel."
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