Bandar Bush Kicks the Poodle

Via AmericaBlog, the Guardian reports that Bandar bin Sultan, adoptive member of the Bush family, is alleged to have threatened Tony Blair to convince him to spike the investigation into BAE-related bribery of Bandar.

Saudi Arabia’s rulers threatened to make it easier for terrorists to attack London unless corruption investigations into their arms deals were halted, according to court documents revealed yesterday.

Previously secret files describe how investigators were told they faced "another 7/7" and the loss of "British lives on British streets" if they pressed on with their inquiries and the Saudis carried out their threat to cut off intelligence.

Prince Bandar, the head of the Saudi national security council, and son of the crown prince, was alleged in court to be the man behind the threats to hold back information about suicide bombers and terrorists. He faces accusations that he himself took more than £1bn in secret payments from the arms company BAE.

He was accused in yesterday’s high court hearings of flying to London in December 2006 and uttering threats which made the prime minister, Tony Blair, force an end to the Serious Fraud Office investigation into bribery allegations involving Bandar and his family. [my emphasis]

Now, it appears that Bandar threatened to "hold back information about suicide bombers and terrorists" in the UK–I don’t think this suggests that Bandar was going to direct terrorists to attack the UK. Here is what the Poodle said about the meeting:

The critical difficulty presented to the negotiations over the Typhoon contract … All intelligence cooperation was under threat … It is in my judgment very clear that the continuation of the SFO investigation into al-Yamamah risks seriously damaging confidence in the UK as a partner … I am taking the exceptional step of writing to you myself

And here is what the British Ambassador (to Saudi Arabia, I guess?) said to the Serious Fraud Office:

We had been told that ‘British lives on British streets’ were at risk … If this caused another 7/7, how could we say that our investigation was more important? … If further investigation will cause such damage to national and international security, [the head of the SFO] accepted it would not be in the public interest

This explains why Bandar has, in the past, boasted about how critical the intelligence he provided to the US and UK about ongoing terrorist activities. By reminding–or claiming–that the biggest successes in thwarting terrorism have come only with the cooperation of Bandar Bush, it increases his ability to wield that cooperation to such great effect.

Still, if the allegation is true, it demonstrates the degree to which the Saudis (or at least Bandar) are willing to use Saudi-based terrorism as a weapon to retain the upper hand in its relations with the US and its allies.

It sure makes you wonder why Bandar didn’t make similar threats against the US–or if he did, why Bush didn’t respond?

Update: Here’s another description of how the investigation might affect relations with Saudi Arabia:

[REDACTION] raises the prospect that Saudi co-operation on counter terrorism and the relationship on Iraq and the wider Middle East will suffer. The Cabinet Secretary has raised the possibility of harm to intelligence gathering, [REDACTION] and to multinational initiative to try to resolve the Israel/Palestine conflict concluding that “if the Saudis are already starting to take such steps in relation to the Typhoon programme, then we must anticipate that they could follow though (sic) [REDACTION] in relation to counter terrorism and the bi-lateral relationship.

Read that passage and contemplate the fact that the Poodle is now the Middle East envoy, purportedly in charge of negotiating a resolution to the Palestinian problem. Why do we need someone who has been threatened to go easy on the Saudis in charge of these negotiations?

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

49 Responses to Bandar Bush Kicks the Poodle

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30
  • 31
  • 32
  • 33
  • 34
  • 35
  • 36
  • 37
  • 38
  • 39
  • 40
  • 41
  • 42
  • 43
  • 44
  • 45
  • 46
  • 47
  • 48
  • 49

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @steve_vladeck @ACLU_NCA Yeah, and neither will the FISC and other courts apparently.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz In the not even close to news dept, breaking or otherwise, The Blue Angels are a bunch of rowdy fighter jocks http://t.co/17tfetOJAh
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @gideonstrumpet @nancyleong @ntswanson Is that a hospital in CT is it?
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @erinscafe: If you come to the premiere of Follow Friday the Film Friday at 5:45 pm, you can meet @LynsieLee, my fav stripper. http://t.…
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @yvonnewingett @barrettmarson @JimSmall Hey, I think I made that point already!
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz I'd love to convict this Blackwater fuckstic; but the Stated Dept tanked the case w/Garrity statements at the get go http://t.co/d1zH3nNR2k
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @barrettmarson @JimSmall "Innocent"??
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @APribetic @gideonstrumpet @ScottGreenfield @kashhill @adamsteinbaugh My media strategy is "don't talk to the media". Nothing good happens.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @gideonstrumpet @onekade @adamsteinbaugh Kade, don't go giving Adam a big head and all just cause he is out there doing good shit.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @APribetic @gideonstrumpet @ScottGreenfield @kashhill @adamsteinbaugh "Clean up in aisle four". Nice.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz .@SpyTalker Connolly is right; the govt fucked Slatten Blackwater case up, double jeopardy applies, and further prosecution IS vindictive.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @gideonstrumpet @nancyleong I wonder. Do young law students even know how much of the 4th has been lost+what Navarette potentially means?
2hreplyretweetfavorite
February 2008
S M T W T F S
« Jan   Mar »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
242526272829