Not a surprise... there are quite a few elements in your own government who wanted your investigation to go forward rather than being swept under the carpet. Of course, just like when the US has foreign agencies investigate things going on here, the end result will merely be a report only containing teeth if it is used wisely by lawmakers.
And here lies the REAL reason for the investigation and publicity... The more they and other defence contract competitors kick off the better chance they have of spoiling the BAE deal(s) and getting the business for themselves.
Of course commercial intrigue is driving this but there were some rather unethical things going on behind the scenes which should outrage all of us. Saudi officials have long been extorting our politicians and business leaders and it's about time we... citizens both the UK and here in the US, put the brakes on it.
The US Congress conducted a long investigation into that. That said, you can bet GD, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed and Boeing are getting all their lobbyists and tame politicians to put their weight behind kicking BAE's butt.
But why should we care? BAE for years now has described itself as 'transatlantic' rather than British, whilst spending just about every penny it manages to gouge out of the MoD on acquiring second-tier Pentagon suppliers.
BAE are probably hoping that Bush's poodle will throw them a bone (mixing of metaphors). However, when it comes down to it, even Bush isn't dumb enough to do his pal a favour that may cost him in terms of serious campaign cash from upset US defence contractors. Bush can't stand again, but he has plenty of relatives!
...we can question the paramountcy of security in our relations with Saudi Arabia. It has one of the worst human rights records in the region; its record in imprisonment without trial and denial of political rights is at least as bad as that of Iran or Syria. A simple question for those who affirm the realism of British policy towards Saudi Arabia: are political repression and autocracy likely to feed terrorism? If yes, then our policy is precisely wrong. We are supporting the very thing that will perpetuate our terrorist problem. For decades, western policy towards Saudi Arabia has been about arms sales, oil, and deference to the autocrats. The recent history of Saudi-origin terrorists - 15 of the 20 September 11 hijackers - suggests at the very least that this policy may not be working.
There may be a glimmer of light. Ken Livingstone reflected in yesterday's Guardian that Gordon Brown must make a change in foreign policy if he is to stand a chance of election: "Ken Livingstone interview"
Ken Livingstone said:
"My assumption," he tells me, "is that no one as intelligent as Brown can possibly fail to realise that there needs to be a decisive break in the public mind with what's gone on: the spin, Iraq, the obsession with trying to run everything from the centre. He can easily win a fourth term, and perhaps he'll go on to win a fifth. Or he can throw it all away. It's wholly his to win or lose."