Wednesday, June 06, 2007

BAE's Saudi bribes

BAE, the jewel in the British capitalist crown, has paid Bandar Bush $1bn for services rendered. BAe is one of the few companies with a market guaranteed by the state. It is also one of the few companies that British politicians will prostrate themselves for, pleading with states like India and Pakistan to purchase its most deadly weapons. It made a record $1.2bn worth of profit last year. You will find it hanging out from time to time in the hangar-like Excel, an enormous building in Custom House in the East End, where it auctions its means of destruction. It is the largest defense contractor in Europe, fourth largest in the world. Its recent subversion of the British legal system with the assistance of New Labour minister Lord Goldsmith had to be a virtually unanimous, mammalian action in concert by the highest echelons of the state. So, it is unsurprising to discover that one of the things uncovered in the course of the Al-Yamamah enquiry was that huge bribes were paid to Bandar under ten years of New Labour rule, with the full knowledge of MoD officials, and that Lord Goldsmith was fully aware of "government complicity" and sought to cover it up by stopping SFO enquiries. Since the British state has chosen to maintain a warfare state since decolonisation, which is far more important in its functions than the NHS or social security, its relationship with arms companies - and in particular - BAe is cherished. And since the Saudi elite has long-standing ties to the British ruling class, you can understand why it would be important for the warfare state to keep it well-supplied.

See also: this, and this.