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rmstock: | November 10, 2017, 07:35:53 PM


Bandar (left) has been close to multiple US administrations spanning decades with direct involvement in events ranging from Reagan's Nicaraguan Contra program (including being named in the Iran-Contra scandal), to making the case for the Iraq War as a trusted friend of Bush and Cheney, to directing Obama-era covert operations to arm jihadists in Syria.
Saudi "Deep State" Prince Bandar Among Those Arrested In Purge: Report
by Tyler Durden , Nov 10, 2017 2:14 PM
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-10/saudi-deep-state-prince-bandar-bin-sultan-among-those-arrested-purge-report
   
  "According to a new report by Middle East Eye, Prince Bandar bin Sultan
   - Saudi Arabia's most famous arms dealer, longtime former ambassador to
   the US, and recent head of Saudi intelligence - was among those
   detained as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's (MBS) so-called
   "corruption purge"
that started with the initial arrests of up to a
   dozen princes and other top officials last weekend.
   
   If confirmed, the arrest and detention of Bandar would constitute the
   most significant and high profile figure caught up in the purge - even
   above that of high profile billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed Bin
   Talal - given Bandar's closeness to multiple US administrations and
   involvement in events ranging from Reagan's Nicaraguan Contra program
   (including direct involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal), to making
   the case for the Iraq War as a trusted friend of Bush and Cheney, to
   directing US-Saudi covert operations overseeing the arming of jihadists
   in Syria.
   
   
   Famous photograph of George W. Bush and his close confidant Prince Bandar bin Sultan.
   
   Middle East Eye issued the report based on multiple contacts "inside
   the royal court"
and indicates further that the scale of MBS'
   aggressive crackdown is much larger than previously reported, and even
   involves the torture of "senior figures" among those detained:
   
      Some senior figures detained in last Saturday's purge in Saudi Arabia
      were beaten and tortured so badly during their arrest or subsequent
      interrogations that they required hospital treatment,
  Middle East Eye
      can reveal.  People inside the royal court also told MEE that the scale
      of the crackdown, which has brought new arrests each day, is much
      bigger than Saudi authorities have admitted, with more than 500 people
      detained
and double that number questioned.
   
   And shockingly, those sources say that the longtime Saudi 'deep state'
   power broker and liaison with the West, Prince Bandar, is among the
   detained
:


      One of the most famous is Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a former Saudi
      ambassador to Washington and confidant of former US President George W
      Bush
.  There is no word on his fate, but Saudi authorities said that
      one of the corruption cases they are looking at is the al-Yamamah arms
      deal, in which Bandar was involved.
   
   While no doubt Bandar's very well-known role in Saudi "oil for arms"
   programs which have come to define Saudi relations with the West over
   the past decades is a trumped up and "selective" charge (insofar as the
   highest levels of the state have overseen such shady dealing) the
   al-Yamamah deal in particular - which goes back to the mid-1980's - has
   been an historical embarrassment to both the UK and Saudi governments
   (BAE Systems was the prime British contractor involved) for the
   astounding level of fraudulent accounting exposed in UK courts.
   
   Concerning Prince Bandar's role in the al-Yamamah deal, Middle East Eye
   continues
:

      Bandar bought an entire village in the Cotswolds, a picturesque area of
      central England, and a 2,000-acre sporting estate with part of the
      proceeds from kickbacks he received in the al-Yamamah arms deal, which
      netted British manufacturer BAE £43bn ($56.5bn) in contracts for
      fighter aircraft.
   
      As much as $30m (£15m) is alleged to have been paid into Bandar’s
      dollar account at Riggs Bank in Washington and the affair led to
      corruption probes in the US and UK, although the case was dropped in
      the UK in 2006 after an intervention by then-prime minister Tony Blair.

   But more likely is that Bandar has been caught up in this week's MBS
   dragnet for his closeness to Western heads of state and foreign
   intelligence services
. With MBS' aggressive consolidation of power
   which could result in ascension to the throne at any moment, and with
   fate of multiple princes and officials still unknown - not the least of
   which is now ex-PM of Lebanon Saad Hariri - a shroud of secrecy has
   resulted in myriad theories concerning what is really happening behind
   the scenes.
   
   Likely, Bandar has been detained to ensure a communications blackout
   with Western intelligence and media until MBS' plans are complete, with
   the added benefit of ensuring the "anti-corruption" angle to the purges
   for the consumption of international media.
   
   
   Bandar (left) has been close to multiple US administrations spanning decades with direct involvement in events ranging from Reagan's Nicaraguan Contra program (including being named in the Iran-Contra scandal), to making the case for the Iraq War as a trusted friend of Bush and Cheney, to directing Obama-era covert operations to arm jihadists in Syria.
   
   Ironically, Bandar himself once seemed to publicly boast about
   receiving massive kickbacks in relation to Saudi weapons dealing
, which
   perhaps further made him an easy and high profile target in this week's
   crackdown. According to a royal family profile highlighting corruption
   in the New York Times from early this week:

      Perhaps the most famous statement on corruption in Saudi Arabia was
      made by Prince Bandar. In an interview with PBS in 2001, he said: “If
      you tell me that building this whole country, and spending $350 billion
      out of $400 billion, that we had misused or got corrupted with $50
      billion, I’ll tell you, yes. But I’ll take that anytime.”

   
   And the New York Times summarized the key events of the multi-billion
   pound weapons deal with the UK as follows:

      Weapons contracts have long been a source of wealth. British media
      reported that Prince Bandar received well over $1 billion in secret
      payments
from BAE Systems, the leading British military contractor,
      over the course of a decade. The son of founding King Abdulaziz’s
      personal doctor, Adnan Khashoggi, became a billionaire as an arms
      dealer and go-between for weapons makers and members of the royal
      family.
   
   Meanwhile news of Bandar's possible arrest and detention hasn't spread
   very widely in international media reports as of this writing, but it
   will be interesting to see the response in the West should the news be
   confirmed. Will Bandar's friends in Washington and London go to bat for
   him? Or will Prince Bandar quietly recede into the background of a
   permanent forced retirement from public life?
   
   Most likely the latter will be the case. Regardless, for friends of the
   former powerful Saudi intelligence director on either side of the
   Atlantic and within Saudi Arabia itself, Bandar no doubt knows where
   all the skeletons are buried
, and this alone makes him a worrisome,
   volatile and unpredictable figure in the midst of a transfer of power."

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