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BAE Systems rocked by US anti-corruption probe

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posted on Jun, 26 2007 @ 12:31 PM
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This deal and investigation was sidelined in the Uk but it appears to be proceding here in the US. In talking to people I know that work in the oil industry such deals with the Saudi's are simply part of doing business. im sure that any defence, oil, etc. companies have had to do this.

The timing of this is very interesting and the motivation could be political. BAE is attempting to position itself to compete in the lucrative US defence market.




LONDON (AFP) - The US Department of Justice on Tuesday launched an anti-corruption probe into BAE Systems amid allegations the British arms maker paid bribes to secure contracts in Saudi Arabia in the 1980s.

Shares in BAE, which makes about 40 percent of its sales in the United States, plunged 7.80 percent to close at 407.75 pence on London's falling FTSE 100 index. It earlier plumbed as low as 392 pence.
news.yahoo.com...;_ylt=Av.v7iBsEXVVy8aHYETtFLdvaA8F




posted on Jun, 26 2007 @ 12:51 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
In talking to people I know that work in the oil industry such deals with the Saudi's are simply part of doing business. im sure that any defence, oil, etc. companies have had to do this.


The only thing special about aerospace and oil industries is that the deals are so big the scope and motivation for kickbacks is similarly larger. It makes no difference what the commodity is, if you want to deal in certain Middle Eastern countries and many in the Far East you will need to "oil the wheels".

It really doesn't matter whether they're called "special commissions" or you just reimburse the, (business class), expenses of a truckload of guys from a national approval agency who come to audit your plant, (and throw in a week's holiday while they're here), it's corruption and it's commonplace.

What sometimes disturbs me is that our authorities, (and some large corporations), attempt to pursue this kind of affair whilst conveniently turning a blind eye to working practices in such territories which often include child labour, working conditions akin to serfdom and the most horrible ignorance of any kind of health & safety procedures in the name of cost cutting.

I hope everybody is feeling comfy watching their nice cheap Chinese TVs and chatting on their mobile phones...



posted on Jun, 26 2007 @ 01:57 PM
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Just because they "have" to do it. Doesn't make it right I guess eh. Its the problem with dealing with the rich and powerful in the middle east that starve the reast of the population while they fly in their private 747's and drive 20 different cars. Sounds like a nice life till you see all the dead bodies those people are responcible for.



posted on Jun, 26 2007 @ 02:31 PM
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Hmmm, something tells me this can of worms isn't really going to be looked at too closely when all is said and done.

I'm not defending corruption but investigations that amount to one Gov (USA) intending to investigate the dealings of 2 other sovereign Govs (the UK & Saudi Arabia) 20yrs after the event is more than a little needless IMO.....and given the practicalities next to impossible anyways.

For a start this 'complaint' relates entirely to a deal done 20yrs ago by British Gov Ministers long since gone.....the al-Yamamah deal was far more of an inter-Governmental deal than something like the more usual or 'normal' done between BAe & a Gov.

The USA also around that time sold substantial quantities of arms (then very high tech aircraft - F15's) to the Saudis.

It was well known for a long time just how business had long been in those kinds of deals.
That's not excusing anyone but let's be honest about it & not kid ourselves.

It's also no great surprise to see the British Gov recently pull out of digging over ancient history and making the judgement call that it could only harm relations at a time when 'we' need every ally in the ME possible.

If this was about the current deals then people might have a valid reason to retrace this old ground but it isn't, it's about the al-Yamamah deal signed in 1985......and, I suspect, some hoping to damage further 'Eurofighter' sales (the sales of which, to date, are not part of the 'complaint').

For instance, one reputed major beneficiary of the deal was Maggie Thatchers son who, as luck would have it, just happened to enter the arms dealing business exactly at the same time as this massive deal was done and, luckily for him, happened to manage to get involved and benefit from it too.
What luck, eh? Imagine the chances of that happening?!

So whilst I'm not holding my breath if this does go forward (with any credibility) I'll look forward to seeing Mark Thatcher (son of Mrs/Lady T) being hauled up before the US courts to explain just how come he managed become so wealthy in such a very short space of time whilst apparantly doing almost nothing by way of actual work!
Maybe whilst there he will be able to talk for his mother (who will undoubtedly be too frail or gaga to talk) about some of those finer points of the kick-backs......er I mean totally above-board inducements and business expenses.
Yeah right.


Mind you, if enough cages get rattles then perhaps the Saudis will retaliate and disclose details of the deals the USA made with SA?

(In the 1970s United States defence contractors won major contracts, including 114 Northrop F-5s. In 1981 the RSAF ordered 46 F-15Cs and 16 F-15Ds, followed in 1982 by the purchase of 5 E-3A AWACS aircraft.)

I'd not at all be surprised to see people having their fun with this one for a short time and then it quietly running into the sands and being forgotten.

We have new international anti-corruption mechanisms in place now and no-one that I have seen is suggesting this relates to anything current.
I bet this goes nowhere soon.


[edit on 26-6-2007 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jun, 26 2007 @ 09:24 PM
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This one is pure politics, and pretty hypocritical politics at that, when one remembers the Lockheed / Japan scandal over kickbacks and inducements concerning the F-104.

One thing that it does point out is that politicians (and their 'hangers-on') are a bunch of crooks. Check out how many of those economic and political advisers (particularly of the 70s and 80s) are now in jail!


Originally posted by sminkeypinkey

So whilst I'm not holding my breath if this does go forward (with any credibility) I'll look forward to seeing Mark Thatcher (son of Mrs/Lady T) being hauled up before the US courts to explain just how come he managed become so wealthy in such a very short space of time whilst apparantly doing almost nothing by way of actual work!


Interesting point....

Please explain to me what right (legal or moral) America might have to require a foreign national, who doesn't live in the US (he was refused a US residential visa in 2005), to answer, or even testify, in its courts for something that didn't even involved the USA in the first place? Ain't gonna happen, and nor should it! If anyone should be looking to prosecute Mark Thatcher it should be the British Government.

By contrast, consider the 'blue-on-blue' incident that occurred during the first Gulf war, when a flight of A-10s attacked a clearly marked British column, resulting in the deaths of British soldiers. A coronial inquest is ongoing in Britain, but the US steadfastly forbids the pilots involved testifying and will not release either audio tapes from the A-10s, or transcripts of them, to the British coroner. From evidence already presented, it appears that there were stringent safeguards in place (apparently disregarded by the A-10 pilots) and it occurred in an area with no active fighting taking place. So it would appear that there could be a case to answer here - definitely not a matter of the 'fog of war'.

Man, you can only come to one conclusion - America has one set of legal and moral values for itself and a completely different set for everyone else. Let's see... perhaps that's why America is 'so loved' by the rest of the world.

Personally, I am sickened by the US insistence that US forces cannot be brought to account for incidents during a war on foreign soil. That would mean that incidents such as the My Lai massacre in Vietnam would go unpunished - and that just ain't right!

The Winged Wombat


[edit on 26/6/07 by The Winged Wombat]



posted on Jun, 26 2007 @ 10:03 PM
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Originally posted by The Winged Wombat
Personally, I am sickened by the US insistence that US forces cannot be brought to account for incidents during a war on foreign soil. That would mean that incidents such as the My Lai massacre in Vietnam would go unpunished - and that just ain't right!


Not to drag the topic off too far, as some posters seem more interested in venting US anger, again. But US military personnel are all subject to court martial under US jurisdiction and according to the rules and regulations in the UCMJ. What we will not allow however are third party nations and entities (ICC) outside of our jurisdiction to try out troops. This is due to the fear of unfair bias and agenda.

[edit on 26-6-2007 by WestPoint23]



posted on Jun, 26 2007 @ 10:29 PM
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It is not a matter of venting anger against the US, it is a matter of what is right and what is wrong.

Consider this....

At this very moment there is a case here in Australia against a US sailor who flew from the US to Sydney to procure an underage girl who he had 'met' in an internet chat room. Unfortunately, for him, it was a police sting.

Now, the sailor was not here as part of his unit - he actually traveled here solely for the purpose of meeting the girl. The US wants to take over the case. Now, please, please tell me, what legal justification could there possibly be for doing that?

Yes, if he was here with a ship, as part of an exercise, then his behavior would be subject to the discipline of the ship and accordingly you could make the case that it falls under the military law of the USN, but this is entirely different.

By all means, one would expect the USN to take some action against him if the case is proved, but do you think we are soft on pedophiles or something? Or that our legal system is incompetent. How can I interpret the action of the US Government in attempting to take a criminal case, on our soil, against one of our citizens, involving something we both see as a crime, out of our hands.

Can you suggest ANY other reason, other than to protect a US citizen from the consequences of his crime.

Honestly, this is not a rant - I've been around 57 years, and frankly, I'm just stunned! In this case it is purely coincidental that the alleged offender is a member of the military.

If anyone has any reasonable answers to this then, please tell me!

Yes I understand the problem of political bias against troops, but in the case of the British coronial inquiry it is not a trial - there is no 'accused' - under British law, the coroner simply establishes the sequence of events which lead to the deaths and makes recommendations - any accusation or prosecution depends upon the findings of the coroner and is handled by a completely different branch of law. If the coroner, for instance, found that the A-10 pilots were at fault because they disregarded the safeguards, then I would expect that the case then would be handed over to the US military for prosecution. By denying the British courts the evidence, the US is making those pilots immune, not only from British law, but also from your own military law. That, can't be right, now can it? A member of a military force should not be immune from his own military law!

It gives the appearance that the US will investigate US on US incidents, but not US on anyone else. Hey, purely from a practical point of view, that's going to win you military allies, man.

WestPoint23 - so, from what you said, or didn't say, then do I take it that you feel the US should have jurisdiction over Mark Thatcher in the case above? (To bring the subject back to corruption in aircraft sales)

The Winged Wombat

Don't take criticism as anger - without criticism, improvement or development is impossible!

(Sorry for the multiple edits)


[edit on 27/6/07 by The Winged Wombat]



posted on Jun, 27 2007 @ 02:36 AM
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Originally posted by The Winged Wombat
One thing that it does point out is that politicians (and their 'hangers-on') are a bunch of crooks.


I beg to differ, what it points out is that we are all crooks.

We all sit in our homes surrounded by goods manufactured on the back of corrupt business practices and appalling exploitation of individuals through unacceptable working practices. From televisions to radios, aeroplanes to cars, clothes to furniture, we all purchase goods which include significant content from "low cost economies" which utilise practices which would be illegal at home. Why do we do it? We do it because the the goods are cheap, we do it for personal gain.

I'm as guilty as the next man, even the computer I am merrily tapping away on was "assembled in Europe", which loosely translated means that all the significant manufacture was done in China and a few labels were attached in the Eastern block somewhere.

In my business I have authorised additional commissions for certain territories knowing full well that they will go to individuals in my customer's purchasing function, I have visited the factories of customers in Mexico, Eastern Europe and the Far East where health and safety practices positively scared me, and guess what, I would sell to them again tomorrow if it kept my business profitable and my people in work.

It is not sufficient to blame "Them" at every opportunity, we are the crooks and human nature dictates that we will continue to be so but let's not be so foolish as to pretend that we are innocents at the beck and call of "Them". We are "Them".



posted on Jun, 27 2007 @ 04:24 AM
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All too true timeless test.

Although, I must say that I do consider quality over price alone - all too often the cheaper item just won't do the job properly. And often the cheaper item drives the other items off the shelf - indeed at the 'Wal Mart' level it actually drives everyone else out of business.

And sometimes we do it because that's all we can afford - it enables us to have something we would otherwise not be able to have.

I guess I was referring specifically to some of the self-appointed economic gurus of the 70s and 80s who caught the ear of the politicians of the time.

The Winged Wombat

[edit on 27/6/07 by The Winged Wombat]

[edit on 27/6/07 by The Winged Wombat]



posted on Jun, 27 2007 @ 04:38 AM
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BAE is attempting to position itself to compete in the lucrative US defence market.


More than a mere attempt I think Fred, based on 2006 sales BAE was the fourth largest defence supplier in the US, I too wonder if this is political for that very reason.




The USA also around that time sold substantial quantities of arms (then very high tech aircraft - F15's) to the Saudis.


I thought about this too. Does anyone seriously believe that McDonnell Douglas and the USA didn't do whatever it took to sell F-15's just as BAe and the UK did to sell Tornadoes, so is that deal being investigated too? What about the sales of Hercules, F-5''s, Lightnings and everything else that the Saudi's have bought from the west?

Or is there perhaps a chance of selling the F-35 to Saudi if they can be persuaded to pull out of the Typhoon deal? There's plenty to wonder about here as the actual motive for the US to pick up on this is far from clear at the moment.



posted on Jun, 27 2007 @ 04:58 AM
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It sounds like a case of the US military-industrial establishment not being able to start any recent small wars to push sales of their goods, so they are now taking to attempting to sabotage a very lucrative BAE contract so as to step in and keep their own sales-targets on-track.

Perhaps the suggested war with Iran would now be a sound business-move, eh?



posted on Jun, 27 2007 @ 07:33 AM
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I found this piece rather interesting at the weekend. I have had the feeling for a long time that the whole Saudi / BAE thing was probably a lot bigger than we probably realise.

www.thetruthseeker.co.uk...

This goes way beyond a couple of bungs to some Saudi playboy and a few backhanders to corporate execs and politicians.



posted on Jun, 27 2007 @ 08:01 AM
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BAe (and almost every other armaments dealer out there) are scum of the earth, and I wouldn't shed one single tear if they all went under. Heck, I wouldn't shed a tear if the board of each and every one were wiped out.


How much money have African countries given to arms dealers instead of feedin their populations?

Its ridiculous.



posted on Jun, 27 2007 @ 08:09 AM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316
BAe (and almost every other armaments dealer out there) are scum of the earth, and I wouldn't shed one single tear if they all went under.


Would that sentiment hold good if your country was being invaded and you were forced to defend yourself with a brick on a piece of string and a catapult?


How much money have African countries given to arms dealers instead of feedin their populations?

That sounds more like a valid reason for complaints against foolish heads of African governments to me.

[edit on 27-6-2007 by timeless test]



posted on Jun, 27 2007 @ 08:14 AM
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I have to say sminkey has some very good points.

I can't see the US taking any real action against BAE, given that US companies have probably been involved in these kinds of deals too. You've also got to remember that Saudi Arabia have 25% of the world's oil, and the stuff is getting scarce. If you think the US government will let petroleum prices spiral because they've upset the Saudis over this BAE deal, you're mistaken.

The arms industry and most Western governments are so intrinsically linked, it's in no one's interest except perhaps Russia/China/Iran that this investigation finds something nasty... and what's more, the US authorities know this.

It'll run its course, and either be killed politically or just gradually drop off the radar.



posted on Jun, 27 2007 @ 08:32 AM
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Westy, I can understand your irritation at people seeming to snipe at all things USA but to be fair this is constructive critcism. Yes, the US does get blamed for problems in the world it did nothing to cause but you are not alone. If you look most of the people on this thread are from either the US, Britain, Canada or Australia. I would call that about as tight a group of allies and friends as you can get. And friends should be honest and direct with each other.

The truth is there tends to be a world hierachy of blame and most of the aforementioned countries are at or near the top, with the often self styled victim countries near the bottom. In reality "true" blame has a much more even spread. Indeed many of the true villains slip under the radar (I would place the Saudis in this group).

However let us look at the following quotes.

Man, you can only come to one conclusion - America has one set of legal and moral values for itself and a completely different set for everyone else. Let's see... perhaps that's why America is 'so loved' by the rest of the world.



Not to drag the topic off too far, as some posters seem more interested in venting US anger, again. But US military personnel are all subject to court martial under US jurisdiction and according to the rules and regulations in the UCMJ. What we will not allow however are third party nations and entities (ICC) outside of our jurisdiction to try out troops. This is due to the fear of unfair bias and agenda.


So where does that leave Gauntanamo Bay? As The Winged Wombat points out here.

At this very moment there is a case here in Australia against a US sailor who flew from the US to Sydney to procure an underage girl who he had 'met' in an internet chat room.... How can I interpret the action of the US Government in attempting to take a criminal case, on our soil, against one of our citizens, involving something we both see as a crime, out of our hands.
Given that there were Australians locked up in Gauntanamo who were arrested in a third party country, it shouldn't be too hard to see that even the citizens of a close ally can see this kind of action as supposed "evidence" of double standards.

It is sadly ironic that the very countries who have helped define the modern rules for equity, honesty and universal rights are expected to follow them to the letter of the law while our detractors are often the real villains, but thats the way it is. And maybe that is the only way? How can we convince or embarass them into lifting their game if leading nations like the US or Britain or Australia ("now where did I leave that wheat contract with Saddam?") are dumb or arrogant enough to allow this kind of s##t to go on in the background? Or for that matter the kind of blind eye we turn to the problems timeless test was talking about.

In reality we should all be hammering our elected representatives to stamp out this behaviour universally, even if it means risking the loss of a lucrative contract. I mean if western arms suppliers are made to say NO! to bribes who are the Saudis or others realistically going to turn to? (OK, OK so I forgot the French
) They know we have the edge technically and no amount of bargain basement Chinese, Russian or "significant others" equipment will be as good. We need to use a carrot and stick approach to make them lift their game like, "improve the standard of living for your poor and we will sell you equipment". At the moment its all carrots, and we are the ones who seem to be undercutting each other to supply them with free carrots.

LEE.



[edit on 27-6-2007 by thebozeian]



posted on Jun, 27 2007 @ 09:21 AM
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The significant point concerning payment of 'incentives' is that it is a practice that has always existed in certain countries and societies - and not always ME or Far Eastern Countries.

A couple of examples from my own memory....

In 1968, when the RAAF was delivering the navigation trainer HS.748s from Britain to Australia, they over-nighted in Athens. The local firefighters parked their trucks across the noses of the aircraft until the 'payment' was made. A few years later when the navy ferried their two HS.748s out, the same thing happened, however, since the navy pilots were not carrying cash, the situation went on for several days.

During the last Britain to Australia (or was it New Zealand) air race, some competitors (while overflying Indonesia) were instructed to land, and were only allowed to continue after a 'payment' was made.

With regard to the wheat fiasco in Iraq, the whole thing centres on payments made to a 'trucking company' reportedly owned by Saddam Hussein. What was brushed over very lightly is that the company is actually owned by the Iraqi Government - it still exists - it is still owned by the Iraqi Government - and no doubt, they are still being paid. Politically it makes a good story, only if Saddam Hussein's name is included!

Everyone knows how the game is played in these places, but it only reaches the headlines for political reasons, and, as with the ownership of the Iraqi trucking company, the 'truth' of the matter is often very cloudy. The fact is, if you don't come up with the graft, you don't do business - simple as that.

The Winged Wombat



posted on Jun, 27 2007 @ 09:29 AM
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I don’t know about the pushing of any investigation but I feel that this will only alienate friendly countries of the US and turn them against us.

Doesn’t anybody remember the food for oil scandal? What happen to the US companies that were black out of the list, no a darn thing happen to them or any involved.

This probing may look righteous but all this big rich groups are all for the money and they all protect each other.

At the end nothing is going to come out of it. Just another day for the elite in this world that controls nations and the lives of entire populations.


[edit on 27-6-2007 by marg6043]



posted on Jun, 27 2007 @ 09:32 AM
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Originally posted by timeless test
Would that sentiment hold good if your country was being invaded and you were forced to defend yourself with a brick on a piece of string and a catapult?


And if the other lot only had strings and catapults because no pond-scum lowlife sold them guns either - then they would be no worse off, indeed, probably better, as any military action would be more unlikely - and any UN intervention much more effective.



That sounds more like a valid reason for complaints against foolish heads of African governments to me.


Do you think its a wise course of action to sell children guns or explosives?



posted on Jun, 27 2007 @ 09:37 AM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316And if the other lot only had strings and catapults because no pond-scum lowlife sold them guns either...


As I get older I get more cynical and such reckless idealism sounds less and less plausible I'm afraid.


Do you think its a wise course of action to sell children guns or explosives?


I doubt the kids have the money to pay for them. I think we need to look at who pays the bills to understand who is the guilty party.



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