Sunday, June 24, 2007

Will BAE Scandal of Century Bring Down Cheney?


Sometimes the perfect picture


With the U.S. Department of Justice now confirmed to be investigating money laundering and bribery by the British aerospace giant, BAE Systems, Congress and the American people must make certain that the investigation does not turn into one more Bush-Cheney-Gonzales coverup. The issue on the table is far bigger than the alleged $2 billion in bribes that BAE Systems paid out to former Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States Prince Bandar bin-Sultan, through the now defunct Washington, D.C. based Riggs Bank. As Executive Intelligence Review revealed in a stunning expose appearing in the June 22, 2007 edition ("Scandal of the Century Rocks British Crown and the City"), at least $80 billion in unaccounted for loot has been generated by the Al-Yamamah oil-for-jet fighters barter deal, since it was first signed in Sept. 1985.

While British news organizations, led by The Guardian and BBC have published revealing details of BAE bribery and slush funds, involving Prince Bandar, former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet, and the late Dutch Royal Consort, Prince Bernhard, none of the British media have touched upon the full magnitude of the scandal--the approximately $160 billion in secret oil revenues, generated by the BAE-Saudi Al-Yamamah deal, over the past 22 years (see accompanying chart for the year-by-year cash value of the Saudi oil shipments to BAE, through British Petroleum, Royal Dutch Shell and the British government's Defence Export Sales Organization).

...

Washington sources have reported to EIR that the Al-Yamamah revelations have sent shock-waves through the City of London. According to one senior U.S. intelligence source, who spoke to EIR on condition of anonymity, "the Al-Yamamah story opens a window into the inner world of Anglo-Dutch financial power. While Al-Yamamah is not the only such off-budget arrangement, it is one of the largest, and it provides a clear picture of a mode of operation--totally outside the control of any government agency, especially the U.S. government. Ultimately, this is a London scandal, not a Riyadh scandal."

One consequence of those shock waves is that Vice President Dick Cheney, according to knowledgeable Washington insiders, is in deep trouble with his London friends. Cheney, the sources report, was the guarantor that the story of the $80-100 billion dollar fund would never see the light of day. And, while the American and British establishment press have attempted to bury the scandal, either through blacking it our altogether, or focusing attention on tertiary features, like the relatively small flow of cash into Prince Bandar, the EIR revelations have saturated the U.S. Congress and have been picked up around the world.

The next chapter is now being written in the scandal of the century, and that could mean the political doom of Dick Cheney. Ironically, it could come at the hands of his own political boosters in the City of London, rather than from Congressional Democrats, who remain divided on the issue of Cheney's impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors. Ultimately, the real powers behind the throne in London have very low tolerance for failure.

(read more)

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