Blair in the Hot Seat Over BAE Coverup
June 8, 2007 (EIRNS)The following release was issued today by the Lyndon LaRouche Political Action Committee.
Standing beside President Bush in a press conference at the G8 summit meeting in Germany, Tony Blair was surprised with the question, "Were you aware that your government was approving payments to a friend of President Bush's as part of British Aerospace's kickback system, and is that why you suspended a fraud inquiry?"
The previous day BBC and the London Guardian newspaper had blown up the case in question: Last December Prime Minister Blair had ordered the U.K Serious Fraud Office to stop investigating the British government's reported payment of around $2 billion in bribes to Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan for the right to sell British Aerospace (BAE) fighter planes to Saudi Arabia. The payments began in 1985 when the $85 billion deal was struck under the Margaret Thatcher government, and continued into the Blair years.
Prince Bandar was Saudi ambassador to the United States, was historically close to the Bush family and in recent years has been scheming with Dick Cheney on Middle East adventures. The alleged bribe money was paid through the Bank of England into accounts at the Riggs bank in Washington.
At the G8 press conference, Bush squirmed, laughed nervously and said "I'm glad you're answering that question..." Blair stammered that the investigation wouldn't have gone anywhere, would have wrecked relations with Saudi Arabia, and would have cost British jobs.
Blair is now dismissing heated calls in Parliament and the media to reopen the criminal probe. He is pressed to the wall trying to conclude a current Typhoon jet deal with the same partiesBAE and the Saudisfor another $40 billion before he leaves office on June 27.
The BAE company itself heavily overlaps U.S. finance and politics.
BAE director Philip J. Carroll, Jr., an American, was CEO of Houston-based Shell Oil (1993-1998), is a director of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, and was appointed by Bush as senior advisor to the Iraqi Oil Ministry. BAE Director Peter Weinberg is a top hereditary partner in Goldman Sachs, the New York investment bank whose former partners thickly populate the Washington regime.
BAE is closely coordinated with the the Bush family-associated Carlyle group in U.S. defense industry business partnerships and tandem acquisitions.