What Is It about Lawyers Named Goldsmith?

Trying to prevent NeoCons everywhere from corrupting the world?

In this case, it was Lord Goldsmith, trying in vain to prevent the Poodle from spiking the investigation into BAE. I’m most struck by the language reportedly used in the letteres Tony wrote to override Goldsmith.

But Blair wrote a "Secret and Personal" letter to Goldsmith on December 8 2006, demanding he stop the investigation. He said he was concerned about the "critical difficulty" in negotiations over a new Typhoon fighter sales contract, as well as a "real and immediate risk of a collapse in UK/Saudi security, intelligence and diplomatic cooperation".


Blair told him "higher considerations were at stake". He also personally vetoed a proposal that BAE could plead guilty to lesser corruption charges, saying this would "be unlikely to reduce the offence caused to the Saudi royal family".

It’s been clear for some time that NeoCons consider military contracts, "higher consideration." It’s been clear for some time that the Saudis had us by the nuts. Glad to see Tony make that so clear, though.

11 replies
  1. BooRadley says:

    Thanks emptywheel.

    snark: Yeah Tony was out front on a winner again, because air superiority has helped lead our crusade to VICTORY in Iraq.

  2. MadDog says:

    If the UK had to bribe Saudis to grease the skids of the UK’s armaments sales, just how much does the UK’s cousins across-the-pond have to do for their far greater share of the Saudi armaments purchases?

    I’m guessing that the US on average sells 10 times the amount of weaponry to the Saudis than does the UK.

    Does this mean 10 times the amount of bribes?

    Since the normal course of business with the Saudis appears to be via bakeesh, it would follow that US companies had similar business “expenses”.

    • bmaz says:

      Does this mean 10 times the amount of bribes?

      Probably more like a 100 times the amount of bribes. Say what you will about Blair, he is at least a hundred times more efficient than Bush.

      • MadDog says:

        LOL! And with the falling dollar, a buck just doesn’t go as far as it used to.

        Maybe its not because of oil that the ME wants off the dollar. Its the bribes that can’t be cashed at the souk. “US, no more greenbacks! You bribe in Euros or no deal.”

    • LabDancer says:

      … as well as those who replied to MadDog on querying how much more US companies must have spent bribing Saudi royals to keep the KSA armed to the eyeballs:

      IMO pursuing “how much more” is the wrong approach to the issue. Tracking the relationship between BAe and the Carlyle Group since the rise of the latter suggests that BAe has been the common vehicle for conveying such inducements. I have my doubts on whether an investigation from either the UK or the US could capture the truth or implications. Given the view which prevails here that the US Constitution trumps all foreign & extra-national authority, no authority with the necessary reach exists.

      It’s somewhat different in the UK, with its EU membership card & its “unwritten [actually closer to a mix of the recent trend towards taking stock & writing things down – something U of Texas Prof Sandy Levinson favors in his books & at balkinization.com – & the shared memory of lessons in addressing historical crises all the way back to when their own frat boy regent was reigned in by the Magna Carta] constitution” which to some extent explains Lord Goldsmith’s perspective.].

      Like most of what Cheney hath wrought, I expect the apparent invulnerability of the BAe vehicle to meaningful government control was meant to address the periodic fits to clean the US Congress suffers [Watergate, the Church hearings] & the occasional coincidence of the UK attorney-general’s status independent from the government of the day with that office being filled by a person blessed by competence, curiosity & incorruptibility. In apparent defiance of the odds against such coincidence it has occurred with such frequency that one is almost inclined to regard the rise of the Federalist Society as insurance to authoritarians.

      Whenever I get the itch & find the time & review the current appreciation of BAe I find it has shifted its trans Atlantic location, sometimes leaning more towards the Old World than towards the New, then back a bit, then seemingly solidly in the hands of the alliance of foreign policy wank tanks [those Glennzilla assails as “foreign policy experts”] & US private equiteers with which we are only too familiar, then off as if to Betty Ford for a makeover as a mysteriously backed All-Brit project.

      I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point in our history this country not only became substantially ungovernable, but from there on a lot of time & resources were expended to ensure such a state of affairs would be difficult & time consuming to change – like with how it would take so much time for the Clinton administration to fully appreciate the nature of the beast that is the federal government & to wrestle it under some form control that it’s labors in doing so could be so easily undone by something which plays so inconsequential a part in the human comedy as a blowjob could be converted from into doing God’s Work in restoring the road to national destiny: transformation into the 21st century’s version of 19th century Spain.

      Anyway, whatever BAe spends in bribing Saudi princes breaks down X percent to the UK & the remainder to the the US & yes, it’s very likely that such “remainder” is significantly greater than X.

  3. Ishmael says:

    Rev Deb – I wonder sometimes what it is about the Catholic Church that attracts neo-converts like Blair, Conrad Black, Bob Novak, etc – I come from a Catholic background, and I think it has something to do with the idea of a Magisterium, where the elite make all decisions on doctrine and faith issues, as well as the pomp and ceremony that accompanies so many Church traditions.

  4. skdadl says:

    I’m convinced that the British will pursue this case, if slowly and deliberately — y’know, the way they do. What I don’t follow entirely is the DoJ involvement at your end. The very fact that the DoJ looks serious puzzles me — I don’t know how to read that at all. There are/may be so many extremely powerful and influential people involved, and the DoJ would pursue such a case? I would really like to see it all come together, but I don’t see how at the moment.

  5. watercarrier4diogenes says:

    And then there’s “What Is It About Lawyers named Geragos”…

    From the Guardian, on the tragedy (see dKos for lots more info) of Nataline Sarkisyan:

    “Her family’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, will ask the Los Angeles district attorney to press murder or manslaughter charges against Cigna HealthCare, arguing that the firm “maliciously killed” Nataline Sarkisyan by its reluctance to pay for her treatment. The company reversed its stance after protesters called for a rethink, but the decision came too late.”

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