9/11/2001 Attacks Were An Inside Job > Frozen CIA Operative Tim Osmon/Osama bin Laden is re-killed for another fake narrative

BAE Systems - bribes - Prince Bandar - 9/11 attacks

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TahoeBlue:
http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2008/05/bae-in-the-news.html
23 May 2008
Col Lang Harper

I wanted to flag your attention, and the attention of your readers, to some new dramatic developments in a story you reported last year. The U.S. Department of Justice is agressively pursuing their case against BAE Systems, the British arms company, which is accused of paying billions of dollars in bribes to Saudi officials, including the former Ambassador in Washington, Prince Bandar. Bandar alone is said to have received over $2 billion in BAE kickbacks, for his role in the "Al Yamamah" deal between Britain and Saudi Arabia (I hear that the actual figure paid to Bandar and some of his henchmen was closer to $10 billion).

 On May 12, two top executives of BAE, Chairman Mike Turner and an outside director who is also vice chairman of Barclay's Bank, were detained by U.S. officials as they arrived at Houston and Newark airports, respectively. They were handed grand jury subpoenas, and had their laptops, cell phones and papers temporarily confiscated. The latest from the DOJ is that the career prosecutors are so furious at the British government's stonewalling, that they are threatening RICO prosecutions against BAE.

Remember, that the real story behind the BAE "Al Yamamah" scandal is that, under the arms-for-oil barter deal, the British accumulated well-over $100 billion, in off-the-books, offshore funds, that have been used to finance covert operations, for the past 23 years (the deal was first signed in 1985, and has been regularly updated ever since).

The other nagging matter around the BAE case is that Prince Bandar "inadvertently" helped finance the 9/11 attacks, through funds provided by him and his wife to two Saudi intelligence operative in California, who, in turn, bankrolled two of the hijackers. This sordid tale is spelled out in Philip Shenon's admirable expose of the 9/11 Commission investigation, in the 2008 book, The Commission--The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation.

My own sources have independently corroborated much of what Shenon reports. For their part, the Saudis and the British are not at all happy about what is going on at the DOJ. The Sunday Telegraph and other British papers have been ranting about the "heavy handed" treatment of the BAE execs, and they worry about a deeper rift, going into the upcoming G-8 summit in Japan in early July. A treaty is pending before the U.S. Senate, that would give British arms manufacturers equal access to Pentagon contracts, and a hearing was held this past week on the treaty at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

 Biden, Lugar and Feingold all expressed apprehension over the treaty, and there is fear that the BAE flap will further complicate its passage. Again, the biggest aspect of the BAE/"Al Yamamah" story is the offshore fund.

To summarize: BAE delivered about $40 billion in arms and services to Saudi Arabia. BAE padded the bills substantially, up to nearly $80 billion. The pad was used, in part, to bribe Saudi officials who helped swing the deal, including Bandar and Prince Turki bin-Khaled, a top official of the Saudi Ministry of Defense. That part is fully detailed in the Guardian and other British coverage of the BAE scandal, going back three or four years.

 What is not covered in the British press is the fact that Saudi Arabia paid for the arms with oil. The oil was sold on the spot market, and this generated an estimated (in current dollars) $160 billion in cash. I am told by former U.S. Treasury Department officials that the funds generated from the oil sales, after BAE got their cut, went into offshore bank accounts. Those funds were invested by the usual hedge funds, etc. in places like the Cayman Islands, BVI, etc., and the profits over the past 23 years from those investments, multiplied the size of the fund tremendously.
 I look forward to any comments on this very big story, that has never gotten adequate media or Congressional attention, in my humble opinion.

TahoeBlue:
Just to show, BAE for those that don't know is the leading weapons manufature for the U.K. and "The Queen"...

So U.S. sold weapons to Israel/Iraq while The Qeen sold weapons to the Saudi's, hegamony complete...


http://ayok.wordpress.com/2007/06/25/scandal-of-the-century/

‘Scandal of the Century’

Executive Intelligence Review

by Jeffrey Steinberg

On June 6, the British Broadcasting Corporation aired a sensational story, revealing that the British arms manufacturer BAE Systems, had paid more than $2 billion in bribes to Saudi Arabia’s national security chief and longtime Ambassador in Washington, Prince Bandar bin-Sultan, over a 22 year period. The BBC revelations were further detailed on June 11, in a one-hour Panorama TV documentary, provocatively titled “Princes, Planes and Pay-offs,” which detailed a more than decade-long probe by the Guardian, BBC, and the British Serious Fraud Office (SFO), into the al-Yamamah arms contract, a nearly $80 billion, 22-year long deal between BAE Systems and the Saudi government, in which British-made fighter jets and support services were provided to the Saudi Kingdom, beginning in 1985.

Every British government, from Margaret Thatcher, through John Major, to Tony Blair, has been thoroughly implicated in the BAE-Saudi scandal. In December 2006, Britain’s Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, ordered the SFO probe shut down, declaring that any further investigation would gravely jeopardize British national security. Prime Minister Blair fully backed his Attorney General, and is now scrambling to complete the fourth phase of the al-Yamamah deal before he leaves office next month.

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Bandar and former British PM Thatcher were at the center of creating the BAE arms-for-oil money-laundering scandal.

The furor that followed the Goldsmith announcement triggered a number of international investigations into the BAE Systems scandal, including by the Swiss government and the OECD (Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, the so-called “rich nations” club). More recently, the U.S. Department of Justice has reportedly opened a probe into money laundering and possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, on the part of the British and the Saudis. The estimated $2 billion in cumulative payoffs to Prince Bandar, for his role in brokering the al-Yamamah deal, went through the Saudi government accounts at Riggs Bank in Washington, D.C., thus opening the U.S. jurisdiction.

While the various British investigations into the al-Yamamah (Arabic for “the dove”) arms deal did unearth a vast network of front companies, offshore shells, and corrupt politicians, who benefitted richly from the deal, EIR’s own preliminary investigation into the scandal has uncovered a far more significant story, one that will send shock waves through the City of London financial circles, as well as top figures within the British monarchy, who are all implicated in a far bigger scheme that goes to the very heart of the Venetian-modeled Anglo-Dutch Liberal system of global finance, which is now on its last legs.

Al-Yamamah
In 1985, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in part frightened by the ongoing war between its neighbors Iran and Iraq, which had reached a highly destructive phase known as the “war of the cities,” sought to purchase large numbers of advanced fighter jets to build up their Royal Air Force. Initially, the Saudis sought approval from the Reagan Administration to purchase American-made F-15 fighters. The Saudi F-15 deal required Congressional approval, and the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) waged a massive effort to kill the sale. According to several well-informed Washington sources, Howard Teicher, a senior official on the Reagan National Security Council (director of Near East and South Asia, 1982-1985; senior director, Politico-Military Affairs, 1986-1987), also played a pivotal role in the AIPAC effort, which ultimately succeeded in killing the deal. Teicher, according to the sources, withheld information from Reagan, stalling a Congressional vote until AIPAC had fully mobilized, and then convinced the President to withdraw the request, rather than face an embarrassing defeat in the Congress.

Other sources have offered a slightly different version of the failure of the F-15 deal, claiming that intelligence community estimates, since the mid-1970s, had warned of instability in the Persian Gulf, and that there were, therefore, other reasons to question the advisability of the sales of advanced U.S. military technology to Saudi Arabia, particularly after the Khomeini Revolution in Iran.

Whatever the reason, the F-15 deal failed. The very next day, after the Reagan Administration threw in the towel, Prince Bandar, the Kingdom’s de facto chief diplomat to Britain, the Soviet Union, and China, as well as the U.S.A., flew to London to meet with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. British arms sales did not require parliamentary approval, and the British government, in 1966, had created an agency, the Defence Export Services Organization (DESO), to hawk British arms around the globe. BAE Systems had been created in 1981, when Thatcher privatized the British arms manufacturing industry, which had, only four years earlier, been nationalized under the Labour government. And BAE Systems, the largest arms manufacturer in Europe, dominates the British defense sector.

The Bandar trip to London to confer with Thatcher had been in the works for months. A Ministry of Defence briefing paper, prepared for the Thatcher-Bandar sessions, stated, “Since early 1984, intensive efforts have been made to sell Tornado and Hawk to the Saudis. When, in the Autumn of 1984, they seemed to be leaning towards French Mirage fighters, Mr. Heseltine paid an urgent visit to Saudi Arabia, carrying a letter from the Prime Minister to King Fahd. In December 1984, the Prime Minister started a series of important negotiations by meeting Prince Bandar, the son of Prince Sultan…. The Prime Minister met the King in Riyadh in April this year and in August the King wrote to her stating his decision to buy 48 Tornado IDS and 30 Hawk.”

Thatcher also had every reason to feel confident that Bandar would be the perfect interlocutor between Saudi Arabia and Great Britain in the deal of the century. At age 16, several years after his father, Prince Sultan, had been named Minister of Defense of the Kingdom, the Prince was sent to England to study at the Royal Air Force College Cranwell, the elite officer’s training school for future RAF pilots. At least one senior American intelligence official has reported widespread rumors that Bandar was recruited by MI6, the British Secret Intelligence Service, before he finished his RAF training. Other sources, intimately familiar with the goings-on at BAE Systems, report that the “private” aerospace giant has a sales force made up almost exclusively of “lads” recruited to MI6 before their hires.

Whether or not these reports are accurate, Bandar certainly is a serious Anglophile. The best accounts of his adventures in England appear in the 2006 book, The Prince—The Secret Story of the World’s Most Intriguing Royal (HarperCollins, New York), by William Simpson, a Cranwell classmate, and still-intimate pal of the Prince. Simpson, who wrote the book with the full cooperation of Bandar, recounted his friend’s intimate ties with every occupant of 10 Downing Street.

“In London,” Simpson reported, “Bandar would breeze into Number Ten with uninhibited panache. From Margaret Thatcher to John Major to Tony Blair, Bandar’s access was extraordinary.” By Prince Bandar’s own account to Simpson about al-Yamamah, “When we first made the agreement, we had no contract. It was a handshake between me and Mrs. Thatcher in Ten Downing Street.” It was months before the final details of the al-Yamamah deal were finalized, and the contracts signed. But even before the ink had dried, Britain had provided the initial delivery of Tornado jets—from the inventory of the RAF.

By the time the formal Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the British and Saudi defense ministers on Sept. 25, 1985, the original order had been expanded to 72 Tornado fighter jets and 30 Hawk training aircraft, along with other equipment and services. There have been two subsequent deals, al-Yamamah II and III, and al-Yamamah IV, worth as much as $40 billion in additional arms deliveries, is in the final stages.

Oil-For-Aircraft
The al-Yamamah deal was structured as a barter arrangement. While the Saudis did agree to pay cash for certain services and infrastructure construction under separate sub-contracts—and those cash payments went, in part, to “consulting fees” or bribes, including the $2 billion to Prince Bandar’s accounts at Riggs Bank, and similar reported payments to the Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet and the Dutch Royal Consort, Prince Bernhard—the essential contract involved the Saudi delivery of oil to Britain, in return for the fighter jets.

And here is where the story gets really interesting.

Saudi Arabia agreed to provide Britain with one tanker of oil per day, for the entire life of the al-Yamamah contracts. An oil tanker holds approximately 600,000 barrels of oil. BAE Systems began “official” delivery of the Tornado and Hawk planes to Saudi Arabia in 1989. BAE Systems now has approximately 5,000 employees inside Saudi Arabia, servicing the contract.

Is it possible to place a cash value on the oil deliveries to BAE Systems? According to sources familiar with the inner workings of al-Yamamah, much of the Saudi oil was sold on the international spot market at market value, through British Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell.

EIR economist John Hoefle has done an in-depth charting of the financial features of the oil transactions, based on BP’s own daily tracking of world oil prices on the open market. Using BP’s average annual cost of a barrel of Saudi crude oil, Hoefle concluded that the total value of the oil sales, based on the value of the dollar at the time of delivery, was $125 billion. In current U.S. dollar terms, that total soars to $160 billion (see accompanying charts).

Based on the best available public records, the total sticker price on the military equipment and services provided by BAE Systems to Saudi Arabia, over the 22-year period to date, was approximately $80 billion. And those figures are inflated by billions of dollars in slush fund payouts. Indeed, the latest limited-damage scandal around al-Yamamah erupted in November 2006, when a Ministry of Defence document leaked out, providing the actual sticker price on the fighter jets. The figure confirmed the long-held suspicion that the prices of the jets had been jacked up by at least 40%.

BAE Systems, a crown jewel in the City of London financial/industrial structure, secured somewhere in the range of $80 billion in net profit from the arrangement—in league with BP and Royal Dutch Shell! Where did that money go, and what kinds of activities were financed with it? The answer to those questions, sources emphasize, holds the key to the power of Anglo-Dutch finance in the world today.

Prince Bandar’s biographer and friend William Simpson certainly provided an insight into the inner workings of the al-Yamamah project: “Although al-Yamamah constitutes a highly unconventional way of doing business, its lucrative spin-offs are the by-product of a wholly political objective: a Saudi political objective and a British political objective. Al-Yamamah is, first and foremost, a political contract. Negotiated at the height of the Cold War, its unique structure has enabled the Saudis to purchase weapons from around the globe to fund the fight against Communism. Al-Yamamah money can be found in the clandestine purchase of Russian ordnance used in the expulsion of Qaddafi’s troops from Chad. It can also be traced to arms bought from Egypt and other countries, and sent to the Mujahideen in Afghanistan fighting the Soviet occupying forces.”

In effect, Prince Bandar’s biographer confirms that al-Yamamah is the biggest pool of clandestine cash in history—protected by Her Majesty’s Official Secrets Act and the even more impenetrable finances of the City of London and the offshore, unregulated financial havens under British dominion.

The Saudi Side of the Street
For its part, the Saudi Royal Family did not exactly get ripped off in the al-Yamamah deal. When the contract was signed in 1985, according to sources familiar with the arrangement, Saudi Arabia got an exemption from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The barter deal with BAE Systems did not come under their OPEC production quota. In other words, Saudi Arabia got OPEC approval to produce 600,000 barrels a day, above the OPEC ceiling, to make the arms purchases.

According to the Energy Information Administration, a branch of the U.S. Department of Energy, over the life of the al-Yamamah program, the average cost of a Saudi barrel of crude oil, delivered to tankers, was under $5 a barrel. At that price, the annual cost to the Saudis for the 600,000 barrels per day was $1.1 billion. Over the duration of the contract to date, the cost to the Saudis of the daily oil shipments was approximately $24.6 billion. The commercial value, in current dollars, as noted above, was $160 billion.

The Saudis have forged a crucial partnership with the Anglo-Dutch financial oligarchy, headquartered in the City of London, and protected by the British Crown. They have, in league with BAE Systems, Royal Dutch Shell, British Petroleum, and other City giants, established a private, offshore, hidden financial concentration that would have made the British East India Company managers of an earlier heyday of the British Empire, drool with envy.

At this moment, there is no way of calculating how much of that slush fund has been devoted to the clandestine wars and Anglo-American covert operations of the past two decades. Nor is it possible to estimate the multiplier effect of portions of those undisclosed, and unregulated funds having passed through the hedge funds of the Cayman Island, the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, Panama, and Switzerland.
What is clear, is that the BAE Systems scandal goes far beyond the $2 billion that allegedly found its way into the pockets of Prince Bandar. It is a scandal that goes to the heart of the power of Anglo-Dutch finance.

There is much, much more to unearth, now that the door has been slightly opened into what already appears to be the swindle of the century.



http://www.saudiembassy.net/Country/Government/BandarBio.asp

Prince Bandar Biography
 

 His Royal Highness
Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud

His Royal Highness Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz was appointed Secretary-General of the National Security Council by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah on October 16, 2005.  Prior to his appointment, Prince Bandar served as the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United States of America from October 24, 1983 to September 8, 2005.

Prince Bandar was born in Saudi Arabia on March 2, 1949, at Taif, the summer capital of the Kingdom, the son of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation, and Inspector-General. He is married to Princess Haifa Bint Faisal. He has four sons and four daughters.

 
...

Prince Bandar graduated from the British Royal Air Force College at Cranwell, England, in 1968 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF). He received pilot training in the United Kingdom and the United States, and has flown numerous fighter aircraft including the JP 3-4, T-38, T-33, F-5, F-53/55, F-102, and the F-15. During his seventeen-year military career he attained the rank of lieutenant colonel, commanded fighter squadrons at three RSAF bases, and undertook program management responsibilities in the major RSAF modernization project Peace Hawk. In addition, Prince Bandar carried out special assignments in Washington, DC, during the debates between the U.S. administration and the Congress concerning the sale to Saudi Arabia of F-15s in 1978 and of AWACs in 1981. In 1982 he was assigned to Washington, DC, as the Kingdom's defense attaché.



TahoeBlue:
http://www.larouchepub.com/eiw/public/2008/2008_20-29/2008_20-29/2008-21/africa.html

Africa News Digest
Published May 20, 2008

Anglo-Dutch Financier Cartel Escalates Attacks on Africa
May 18 (EIRNS)—Frantic that African nations will partner with Asia, to avoid the certain death of nation-states which the Anglo-Dutch imperial crowd is causing, via the IMF and WTO, the imperialists, in the past week, have escalated their campaign against two nations in particular, Sudan and Zimbabwe.

Sudan: As made explicit by the City of London's mouthpiece, the Economist, on May 15, the Anglo-Dutch are now targetting Sudan (which is the nation with the largest land area in Africa—bigger than Western Europe), for dismemberment, resulting from conflicts between the government and regions of the country outside the capital, Khartoum, and between the government and neighboring countries.

The Economist and the anglophile press generally, are pushing the idea that the Darfur conflict could spark a national or regional war, citing an abortive attack on the capital that took place on May 10-11. The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), a rebel group based in Darfur, but which promotes a national cause (arguing that the government is not sharing the wealth with outlying regions), attempted an attack against Khartoum by driving across the country; the JEM reached the neighboring city of Omdurman, before they were dispersed by government forces. The attack made no military sense, but came in the context of the Anglo-Dutch strategy to set up the nation for fragmentation. The JEM has vowed to continue attacks throughout the country, a shift from their past position of pretending to fight for the rights of the Darfur region, in western Sudan, along the border with Chad.

The Economist gameplan shows that the campaign carried out by Western nations against Sudan, charging genocide, was only a pretext for destroying the country.

...
Is BAE Money Behind Latest Sudan Destabilization?
May 12 (EIRNS)—In light of charges that the government of Chad played a role in the recent rebel military actions in targetting the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, the question must be asked: Was BAE slush fund money behind this latest destabilization?
As EIR documented last year, BAE Systems, the British defense and aerospace giant, has used the "al-Yamamah" deal with Saudi Arabia, and other arms-for-oil barter deals with other countries, to build up a massive off-budget covert fund, which has been used to run British intelligence operations around the globe, since 1985. EIR's estimate is that al-Yamamah alone generated $100 billion in untraceable offshore funds to finance such operations.

In his authorized biography, The Prince, by William Simpson, Prince Bandar freely admitted that the al-Yamamah fund was a geopolitical covert program, involving Saudi Arabia and Great Britain, and that one of the covert programs run through the operation was the arming of Chad, to repel Libyan invaders.

TahoeBlue:


http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x1529067

Evidence related to the Duke Cunningham-MZM CIA contracting scandal was heard this morning in extraordinary secrecy by a panel of 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Judges in Pasedena. See, http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/state/20070805-9999-1m5secret.html

The extreme secrecy is highly unusual. Veteran lawyers could not remember another time when the appeals court held a completely closed hearing.

The subjects to be discussed are transcripts and documents related to the February guilty plea of Thomas Kontogiannis, a New York developer who admitted to a single count of money laundering in the Cunningham case. Kontogiannis' checkered past includes convictions for bribery and bid-rigging, an estimated $70 million fortune, and a knack for staying out of prison.


The reason this is being kept under wraps that is Greece, like Turkey, has been buying GOP Congressmen and CIA officials . . . with Saudi money, as part of an enormous multinational arms and political influence buying scheme being operated by the Saudi Royal Family in several western countries, particularly focused on the US and UK.

Thomas Kontogiannis' motives in bribing Cunningham has long been obscure. A month ago, it finally came out that Kontogiannis' interest in the matter was arms transfers to his native Greece. According to details that have slowly trickled out of the case, the Saudis are lurking in the background of this, apparently as bankers for the deal.

Mr. Kontogiannis was acting as an agent for the Greek military, which we are now told was seeking backroom business with General Dynamics and other U.S. defense contractors. See, http://news.aol.com/story/_a/disgraced-former-us-rep-duke-cunningham/n20070719164509990014

The lure of Saudi money appears to be key to these bribery and intelligence scandals, which also connects to the Valerie Plame mega-scandal and falsification of Iraq WMD intelligence by San Diego-based defense contractor, MZM.

This is just another side of the same scandal that snared Dennis Hastert, Jerry Lewis, and several dozen other Republican big-wigs and ranking members of various committees, along with the CIA #2, Dusty Foggo. This appears to be part of the American tie-in to the monster scandal in the UK involving BAE, a big British (and US) defense contractor, the Saudi Royal family, and an $80 billion slush fund, Yamamah ("The Dove", rhymes with "Ya mama"), which has been buying western politicians and intelligence services since the mid-1970s.

In 1976, CIA Director George Herbert Walker Bush first entered into an illegal deal with Saudi Intelligence Chief, Prince al-Turki, to continue covert Agency operations banned by Congress in exchange for Saudi money. In 1982, he was picked as Reagan's running mate, and, using Saudi funding, went on run a series of notorious "rogue" intelligence operations out of the Office of the Vice President. See, http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x1281780

The lure of Saudi money appears to be key to these bribery and intelligence scandals, which also connects to the Valerie Plame mega-scandal and falsification of Iraq WMD intelligence by San Diego-based defense contractor, MZM.

This is just another side of the same scandal that snared Dennis Hastert, Jerry Lewis, and several dozen other Republican big-wigs and ranking members of various committees, along with the CIA #2, Dusty Foggo. This appears to be part of the American tie-in to the monster scandal in the UK involving BAE, a big British (and US) defense contractor, the Saudi Royal family, and an $80 billion slush fund, Yamamah ("The Dove", rhymes with "Ya mama"), which has been buying western politicians and intelligence services since the mid-1970s.

In 1976, CIA Director George Herbert Walker Bush first entered into an illegal deal with Saudi Intelligence Chief, Prince al-Turki, to continue covert Agency operations banned by Congress in exchange for Saudi money. In 1982, he was picked as Reagan's running mate, and, using Saudi funding, went on run a series of notorious "rogue" intelligence operations out of the Office of the Vice President.
see: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x1281780


This has been an ongoing conspiracy. Today, it also touches on the scandal surrounding the sudden firing early this year of US Attorney Carol Lam, who was forced out by AG Gonzales just two days after the arrest on February 13 of Dusty Foggo, chief lieutenant to CIA Director Porter Goss. Eight days later, Kontogiannis cut a deal with prosecutors in the Cunningham case, and was offered an unusually light sentence for his role in bribing the Congressman.

TPM Muckraker has been on-top of this story. Consider this Josh Marshall column from last March about Kontogianni and the connections which had then first emerged about MZM owner Mitchell Wade, and his partner, Brent Wilkes, have with corrupt elements of US intelligence and the Saudi Royals

http://beta.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/week_2006_03_05.php


Justin Rood fills in the answer to that last question, here http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/000391.php


Cunningham, Felon Met With Saudi Crown Prince

By Justin Rood - April 17, 2006, 1:06 PM Over the weekend, a new profile by Copley News Service added to our understanding of former GOP Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham's "Co-conspirator #3," the mysterious Thomas Kontogiannis. Today, we can add a bit more. Recall that Kontogiannis bribed Cunningham through purchasing a yacht from the congressman -- and paying several hundred thousand dollars more than it was worth. His finance company also handled some of Cunningham's questionable mortgages. But reporters and investigators have struggled to understand what Kontogiannis was getting from Duke for all the money he spent on the lawmaker. The latest theory seems to be that Duke was introducing him to world leaders. As Copley reports:

Cunningham "introduced him to people. It was like he had a congressman on retainer," added.

The Copley story notes that he twice accompanied Cunningham to the White House, and kept a picture of himself meeting President Bush in his house. Now, TPMmuckraker has learned he apparently met the man who would shortly become king of Saudi Arabia. It's been known that Kontogiannis, a wealthy businessman and two-time felon, in 2004 accompanied Cunningham and a Saudi constituent, San Diego real estate mogul Ziyad Abduljawad, to Saudi Arabia. Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) also went. Abduljawad paid for the trip. Until now, we haven't known much about the trip -- who the group met with, why, what they talked about. Cunningham is said to have gone in order to promote U.S.-Saudi ties, or some other such pap. Beyond that, we've had nothing. I called Calvert last week to ask him more about the trip. (He's the only one of the crew who's talking these days: Cunningham's in the pen, Abduljawad declined an interview, Tommy K's lawyer doesn't return calls.) Calvert's memory wasn't perfect, but he had some details to share. The group met with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah -- then the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, and now its king. Kontogiannis was at the meeting, Calvert recalled, although "he didn't say anything, as I remember," the lawmaker told me. Copley now tells us its sources say Tommy K's purpose "appeared to center on an oil business he owned in Europe." That's not much to go on. The group also met with "ministers of various government institutions within Saudi Arabia," Calvert said. He recalled Kontogiannis being present for "some" of those meetings. As for what was discussed, Calvert recalled only that a number of the ministers pressed Cunningham to help ease post-9/11 restrictions on student visas for Saudis. With Abdullah, Calvert said the discussion was "primarily social," and "trying to build a better relationship with the United States." Now a U.S. citizen, Kontogiannis is worth about $70 million, Copley reporter Joe Cantlupe tells us. He spent over $300,000 on Cunningham. "What Kontogiannis, 59, got from the relationship with Cunningham remains unclear," Cantlupe writes, but notes that the businessman visited the White House twice with the Duke. And now we know they visited the Saudi crown prince together also. Was that it? He bought Cunningham -- a well-positioned but hardly towering member of the U.S. House -- to meet world leaders?


Bottom-line: MZM-Cunningham appears to be part of the American side to the monster scandal involving multi-billion dollar kickbacks from defense contractors to the Saudi Royal family, which has been in turn buying western politicians and intelligence officials for decades.

Over the years, the Yamamah slush fund has bankrolled a series of Saudi black operations from Pakistan's nuclear program, to the BCCI rip-off, to the Iran-Contra operation, to the creation of al-Qaeda and political influence buying in the US and UK by various factions of the Royal family.
Every time the US and Britain puts together an arms deal with the Saudis, and now with third-countries such as Turkey and Greece, the overpricing and kickbacks funds a black program, often inside the US and Britain.


.....

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/state/20070805-9999-1m5secret.html

It is widely believed that Kontogiannis is cooperating with the government and will testify in an upcoming trial of Poway defense contractor Brent Wilkes and John Michael, who is Kontogiannis' nephew and is charged with conspiracy to bribe Cunningham, money laundering, three counts of unlawful monetary transactions and obstruction of justice.

Wilkes is accused of plying Cunningham and CIA official Kyle “Dusty” Foggo with bribes in return for lucrative contracts. Foggo and Wilkes are childhood friends from Chula Vista who were associates of the former Republican congressman.



“It's almost Orwellian double-speak,” said Gregg Leslie, the legal defense director for The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. “They say, 'We need secrecy, but the reason we need secrecy is also secret, so we can't tell you.' ”

TahoeBlue:
There is so much payoff money flying around , but it seems they were funding the "hijacker" part at the very least. They never name the "two hijackers" that received the money. Only how they could have gotten it. The Riggs "Bank" is pretty obvious as a replacement for the CIA BCCI "bank"
.....
http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a120499princess

http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a120499princess#a120499princess

December 4, 1999: Saudi Ambassador’s Wife Gives Funds that Are Possibly Passed to 9/11 Hijackers

Prince Bandar (pictures of his wife and Osama Basnan are not available). [Source: Publicity photo]Princess Haifa bint Faisal, the wife of Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador to the US, begins sending monthly cashier’s checks of between $2,000 and $3,500 (accounts differ) to Majeda Dweikat, the Jordanian wife of Osama Basnan, a Saudi living in San Diego. Accounts also differ over when the checks were first sent (between November 1999 and about March 2000; a Saudi government representative has stated December 4, 1999
Basnan’s wife signs many of the checks over to her friend Manal Bajadr, the wife of Omar al-Bayoumi. The payments are made through Riggs Bank, a bank which appears to have turned a blind eye to Saudi embassy transaction and also has longstanding ties to covert CIA operations (see July 2003).

Some later suggest that the money from the wife of the Saudi ambassador passes through the al-Bayoumi and Basnan families as intermediaries and ends up in the hands of the two hijackers. The payments from Princess Haifa continue until May 2002 and may total $51,000, or as much as $73,000.

While living in the San Diego area, al-Bayoumi and Basnan are heavily involved in helping with the relocation of, and offering financial support to, Saudi immigrants in the community

In late 2002, al-Bayoumi claims he did not pass any money along to the hijackers. [Washington Times, 12/4/2002] Basnan has variously claimed to know al-Bayoumi, not to know him at all, or to know him only vaguely. [ABC News, 11/25/2002; Arab News, 11/26/2002; ABC News, 11/26/2002; MSNBC, 11/27/2002] However, earlier reports say Basnan and his wife were “very good friends” of al-Bayoumi and his wife. Both couples lived at the Parkwood Apartments at the same time as the two hijackers; prior to that, the couples lived together in a different apartment complex. In addition, the two wives were arrested together in April 2001 for shoplifting

August 27, 2002: Close Relationship Between Saudi Ambassador and Bush Raises Questions  Prince Bandar, Saudi ambassador to the US, meets privately for more than an hour with President Bush and National Security Adviser Rice in Crawford, Texas. [Daily Telegraph, 8/28/2002] Press Secretary Ari Fleischer characterizes it as a warm meeting of old friends. Bandar, his wife Princess Haifa, and seven of their eight children stay for lunch. [Fox News, 8/27/2002] Bandar, a long-time friend of the Bush family, donated $1 million to the George W. Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas. [Boston Herald, 12/11/2001] This relationship later becomes news when it is learned that Princess Haifa gave between $51,000 and $73,000 to two Saudi families in California who may have financed two of the 9/11 hijackers (see December 4, 1999). [New York Times, 11/23/2002; MSNBC, 11/27/2002]


http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a120499princess#a0703riggsbank

July 2003: Saudi Embassy in US Found to Be Passing Money to Suspect Charities through US Bank that Has CIA Ties

In late 2002, US federal banking investigators began looking into transactions at Riggs Bank because of news reports that some money may have passed from the Saudi Arabian embassy in Washington through Riggs Bank to the associates of two 9/11 hijackers in San Diego

But in July 2003, the probe expands as investigators discover irregularities involving tens of millions of dollars also connected to the Saudi embassy. The Wall Street Journal will later report, “Riggs repeatedly failed in 2001 and 2002 to file suspicious-activity reports related to cash transactions in the low tens of millions of dollars in Saudi accounts, said people familiar with the matter.” Riggs Bank “handles the bulk of [Washington’s] diplomatic accounts, a niche market that revolves around relationships and discretion.
Newsweek will later report that “investigators say the embassy accounts show a large commingling of funds with Islamic charities that have been the prime target of US probes.” In one instance, on July 10, 2001 the Saudi embassy sent $70,000 to two Saudis in Massachusetts. One of the Saudis wrote a $20,000 check that same day to a third Saudi who had listed the same address as Aafia Siddiqui, a microbiologist who is believed to have been a US-based operative for 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
The Wall Street Journal will later discover that Riggs Bank “has had a longstanding relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency, according to people familiar with Riggs operations and US government officials” (see December 31, 2004). The relationship included top Riggs executives receiving US government security clearances. Riggs also overlooked tens of millions of dollars in suspicious transactions by right wing dictators from Africa and South America such as former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

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