MI6 and Bliar at odds over Saudi deal

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Testudo, Jan 16, 2007.

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  1. MI6 and Blair at odds over Saudi deals

    No national security issue says agency

    David Leigh, Richard Norton-Taylor and Rob Evans
    Tuesday January 16, 2007
    The Guardian

    Britain's secret intelligence service, MI6, has challenged the government's claim that a major corruption inquiry into Saudi Arabian arms deals was threatening national security.
    The attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, told parliament before Christmas that the intelligence agencies "agreed with the assessment" of Tony Blair that national security was in jeopardy because the Saudis intended to pull out of intelligence cooperation with Britain. But John Scarlett, the head of MI6, has now refused to sign up to a government dossier which says MI6 endorses this view.


    Lord Goldsmith's version of events has also caused a breach with the SFO. Its director, Robert Wardle, says his team found significant evidence in the Saudi arms inquiry and was hoping to find more from Swiss banks. Lord Goldsmith attempted to persuade MPs that the SFO had found no evidence to justify prosecutions and never would.

    Full story at:-
  2. Is this not the reason the towel wearers threatened to pull out the Typhoon deal?
  3. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    First time for everything, I suppose...
  4. Looks like the threads holding Government together are starting to unravel - I'll bet Scarlett won't sign!!!
  5. ..rats....sinking ship....leaving?

    Scarlett got his Honours List goodies. De-coupling to await a new master?
  6. Now it seems that the OECD are getting in on the act as well.


    Only a side show with little bite but more proof, if any were needed, that the UK government are a right bunch of crooks?

    I am not niave enough to think that the Tories etal did exactly the same things but at least they were bright enough not to get caught, this bunch of light wieght amatuers can't even do that.

    Why is it that the longer one bunch of them stay in power the more corrupt and sleasy they get?
  7. ...because they can????
  8. I don't really think it is a matter of Tory/Socialist government. Running a country in full and total compliance with all social, humanitarian, ethical and secure strictures must be impossible. Look back to the (M1?) roadbuild where work was delayed for yonks and yonks because the proposed route ran through the supposed home of the lesser-titted big bird or whatever. Think what would have happened if the same decision chain were to apply to six foreign nationals strongly suspected of planning explosions on a string of public transport vehicles? How would one have ever known they were here if the Govt was 100% sweeaky clean? We are on the slippery slope where we demand action on matters that are clearly
    essential targets. Can anyone tell me what actual harm they have suffered from bloke X dropping a few hundred grand of his own money to get called Sir Rich Bstard? We may deprecate it - quite rightly - but what does it do to ME and MY KIDS. If we have to pay a few mill (included in the costs) to get past the doorman on a juicy contract that will kep X,000 in work and save X,000,000 in dole and hardship - so what? It is a fact of life throughout the world. So, someone makes money out of it. Suppose the only way to maintain one's life were to eat sh*t? How many critics would do it (regularly - not just Freckles-style). Do they not deserve a bit of spare dosh for doing this in the name of one's country?
  9. Well as Sir Richbstard may be able to take his place in the House of Lords it could very well have a large affect on YOU and YOUR KIDS.

    Paying a bribe to get the contract? Where do you draw the line on that? Would you be willing to pay a bribe to get to see a doctor, be allowed to drive a car, etc. If those that are supposed to be in charge are seen to get away with this sort of thing why shouldn't your local council be allowed to take bribes for any of the services that they provide?
  10. Bribes are a normal form of business in most countries both in and outside the EU. The French have no problems paying bribes to get contracts and they don't make a fuss about it.

    Whoever gets contracts in the middle east has to pay bribes before they get them - FACT.

    Also, ask yourself if the US paying loads of money to the clans in Mogadishu to fight their cause in anything less than bribery? What about the British gummint paying out loads of money to 'worthy' causes in Afghanistan, or Iraq. This is to sweeten our path on this places. This is also a bribe, but it to win hearts and minds, not contracts.

    To be squeaky clean as a nation when others do not puts us at a disadvantage in terms of our wealth. Our wealth is important to us.

    The kickbacks paid out to Saudi Arabia meant that we got back billions in orders. It's not rocket science is it? (Scuse pun).

    We cannot hope to stamp on corrupt practices in other countries, this is the real world, and a dark one at that.

    We can all be idealistic, but it is only a mental attitude that bears no relation to reality at this time.

    It's a bit late in the day for MI6 to take a step back and start being honest, but all the same, it's nice that another agency no longer accepts their use as backup in another gummint lie.
  11. Maybe John Scarlett was watching the TV last night?
  12. I wonder if the distinction here is between a bit of rule-bending for the national interests or for narrower, sectional (specifically Labour Party) interests. I have no real problem with using what, in our cultural value system, constitutes a bribe to get a defence contract that, as you say, would directly benefit UK citizens.

    However, the 'cash for peerages' issue, if I understand it correctly, is about paying/lending/whatever money to the Labour Party and getting knighted etc. One case seems to be about (allegedly!) breaking rules to further the national interest, the other about doing the same to further the party interest.

    While I can't get too hot under the collar about the former (after all, as had been said, that's how business is done in the ME), the latter bothers me. It's the lack of integrity in being apparently unable to tell the difference that worries me about this lot's rule-breaking.

    I was tempted to suggest that the cause of all this was institutional, with our executive being drawn from the legislative where, in a majority government, tight governing party discipline might be thought to hinder effective Parliamentary oversight. Then I thought of the US, where they have a system of separation of powers and checks and balances and things don't seem to be much better. Therefore I'm left wondering if the causes are more personal. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely and long-term power seems to corrupt, well, long-term.
  13. Most people would probably accept the paying of "hospitality" or "fees" to gain a contract (bribe being such an emotive word) if the net result to the UK was more jobs, contracts private sector employment. In the end its private sector employment that counts, all public sector jobs are a net loss economically to the country as a whole in the long run. So we all benefit int he long run by "new money"

    The problem here is similar to Iraq, everyone knows Saddam would be better off removed, so just say that and dont invent documents with lies in them like "...can deploy WMD in 45 mins" (Bearing in mind UK or the US would struggle to actually fire WMD in 45 mins, its unlikely IRAQ could).

    So in the case of BAe why not just say, we have cancelled the investigation to protect longer term British interests.

    At least we can get behind something thats true, and not have to be lied to, badly, and without any belief that the lie might be true.

    Then at least we would have some long term British interests and then maybe just a small glimmer in the embers of pride in ourselves as a country.
  14. Large effect on me and my kids - like the many who supported Hunting had any result that affected my way of life? Like the way I pay medical insurance cover to see a doctor in a reasonable period of time and not get told to f/o because I am a fat bstard or NICE think I am not quite Alzheimer'ed enough for medication. Like driving my car and having to pay congestion charges or the new £ per mile the govt want me to fork out? Luckily I live in Scotland where the local authy is extremely good but when I lived in Kent I had to fork out to get large items of rubbish removed. You may say these are fees. The Saudi go-betweens would say they are charging fees.
  15. They seem to be forgetting that the alledged bribary happened BEFORE the bribary laws came in.

    If it happened, it was not against the law at the time, only a few years later!!!!