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February 15, 2008
Did Saudis Play Hardball with Blair over Bribes Case?
This would be shocking if we didn't suspect the Saudis weren't giving a wink and a nod to terrorists already.
Saudi Arabia's rulers threatened to make it easier for terrorists to attack London unless corruption investigations into their arms deals were halted, according to court documents revealed yesterday. Our friends, the Saudis.
Previously secret files describe how investigators were told they faced "another 7/7" and the loss of "British lives on British streets" if they pressed on with their inquiries and the Saudis carried out their threat to cut off intelligence.
Prince Bandar, the head of the Saudi national security council, and son of the crown prince, was alleged in court to be the man behind the threats to hold back information about suicide bombers and terrorists. He faces accusations that he himself took more than £1bn in secret payments from the arms company BAE.
He was accused in yesterday's high court hearings of flying to London in December 2006 and uttering threats which made the prime minister, Tony Blair, force an end to the Serious Fraud Office investigation into bribery allegations involving Bandar and his family.
The threats halted the fraud inquiry, but triggered an international outcry, with allegations that Britain had broken international anti-bribery treaties.
For those disposed to criticize Blair for caving in, you would do well to closely examine his options and ask what else he could have realistically done - save exposing Bandar for the slimeball we know that he is. Such an action may have been satisfying emotionally but would also have put Great Britain at risk since the Saudis almost certainly would have carried out their threat to withhold intelligence.
Now that it's out in the open, I wonder if any nation will dare impose some kind of sanctions on the Saudis? Bush won't do it. He's probably received similar threats from his good friend Prince Bandar himself. The Saudis will get away with this because the west needs a wide open oil spigot from Saudi Arabia and because no one wants to get on their bad side - not when the connection between radical islamists and the Saudi royal family is still active.