Monday, June 25, 2007

The Mother of All Scandals: Bandar Bush

informationliberation - The Mother of All Scandals:

Anyone who wants to understand what really goes on in the Mideast should have a look at the scandal that erupted earlier this month over the outsized character of Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia.

Bandar has long been a renowned mover, shaker, and charmer. As Saudi ambassador to the US, the influential Bandar schmoozed official Washington for two decades. He became an intimate of the Bush family. He invested a least $60 million in Saudi funds in the Carlyle Corp., in which the Bush family has important interests. Equally significant, Prince Bandar was a particular favorite at the CIA, where he was long considered one of its prime Mideast “assets.”

Bandar flew in his own personal Airbus A-340 painted in the colors of his favorite US football team, and threw lavish parties in his $135 million Aspen house and in Washington. He was Mr. SaudiAmerica. Congress, the media, and the rest of official Washington hailed Bandar as the kind of “good Arab” with whom the US was happy to do business.

After leaving Washington, Bandar returned home to become the highly influential head of national security and chief foreign policy advisor to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah. Bandar’s father, Crown Prince Sultan, is the nation’s powerful defense minister and next in line to the throne.

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