Bandar bin Sultan

  Bandar and bush

"Among those ousted is his cousin, the head of the national guard, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, who was his only serious rival. However, among the names of those detained — some leaked, some confirmed by well-placed sources — are people with no political ambition but with huge fortunes.

The same sources refused to confirm the arrest, claimed by the news site Middle East Eye, of Prince Bandar bin Sultan, an even bigger fish. For years he was Saudi Arabia’s biggest international fixer, as ambassador to Washington.

His father, Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, was defence minister for 40 years and a dominant figure in Saudi public life until he died as crown prince in 2011.

Prince Bandar was also named as a recipient of huge BAE Systems “backhanders” in a British investigation later blocked by Tony Blair, the then prime minister. He remains phenomenally wealthy."  The Times of London


Bandar was Saudi ambassador in Washington for many years.  In the end he was dean of the diplomatic corps.  He was American educated and trained by us as an RSAF fighter pilot.  He was a major figure around DC for a long time.  I visited him often at his embassy office in DC and at his mansion on Chain Bridge Road in Virginia where his ex British SAS guards in black suits treated me with respect.  His father was Defense Minister of SA and his mother was an Ethiopian concubine. (jariya habashiya).

He was very good at bullshitting American officials.  One of his favorite "victims" in that regard was Admiral Crowe, the chairman of the JCS.  Bandar's wide ranging influence in Washington was greatly diminished when an unclassified clear voice telephone conversation between him and his father was intercepted and translated.  In this chat they discussed Bandar's successful deception with regard to a shipment of Chinese arms bound for Iraq.  These had been unloaded at a Saudi military port on the Red Sea.  When confronted with photographs of the ship's progress across the world's oceans from China, he had told Crowe that the cargo was for Saudi use.  Crowe had "bought" that.  Bandar and his father laughed at Crowe's gullibility.  I had previously told Crowe that Bandar was lying to him, so I enjoyed bringing this intercept to Crowe's office.  He stared at his desk, handed me back the paper and told me to leave.

Bandar played a central role in orchestrating Gulf support for revolt against the Syrian Government. He was delegated this role by the assemblage of senior princes in his capacity as head of the Saudi intelligence agency.

He is undoubtedly thought a major and dangerous rival by the Salman branch of the royal tribe.  pl

BTW – The photo above was widely interpreted in the Arab World as evidence of Bandar's mastery of 43.


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30 Responses to Bandar bin Sultan

  1. The Porkchop Express says:

    For sake of argument, are there any Arab officials NOT good at bullshitting American officials?
    And as a corollary, why do higher ranking American officials, as a general rule, almost comically fall for the routine as almost a matter of course?

  2. turcopolier says:

    Yes. Many are so oafish that they have no talent for it. Americans typically want to think of them as “little brown brother.” pl

  3. The Porkchop Express says:

    I suppose my point was that the master hucksters are the ones who get appointed/seek to deal with the ajeneb–particularly someone like Bandar Bush, Chalabi, Hariri (the elder), et. al. Or do they allow the oafs (out of patronage/wasta) to occasionally give it a go?
    My experience in the region (generally) is that the oafs are usually cabbies, street level mukhabarat, small to mid size business owners, and general purpose swindlers with little to no experience with foreigners. And that higher level US/Western officials usually buy all manner of bullshit while the lower level officials are usually more immune to it. Generally speaking, of course.
    Also, apropos:

  4. Peter AU says:

    Bandar Bush .. Syria and 9/11
    Ordered “The Art of The Deal” the other day. Should turn up shortly.
    Trump on who he thought responsible for 9/11

  5. Green Zone Café says:

    Bandar is all over the “28 Pages.” May he suffer in life and burn in hell.

  6. Willybilly says:

    Wouldn’t be fair to say as well that the biggest bullshitters of American officials decades on are ZIOS and Izzies, as well as their Zioconned cronies/coteries across America and beyond…?

  7. blue peacock says:

    Col. Lang,
    Have none of these folks who have risen to the very top of our governmental edifice never been bit in the ass? This naivety is amazing considering their high positions.
    Bandar, Chalabi, Perle – the list of charlatans is long but they always are. What is astounding is how guys like Adm. Crowe who seemingly have such limited life experience and ability to discriminate fact from fiction manage to get to the top.

  8. eakens says:

    MBS is going to get Iran at any expense. Can’t verify second links authenticity but nevertheless…

  9. turcopolier says:

    blue peacock
    In the military the competition for advancement is so intense that those who get to the top are interested in little else. pl

  10. turcopolier says:

    Crowe had a PhD in politics (not political science)from Princeton. He was inordinately proud of his intellect and was a very haughty man. A friend of mine was the civilian doctor for nine or ten chairmen of the joint chiefs. Crowe made him wait in the kitchen whenever the doctor cam to make a house call at his quarters at Ft. Myer. pl

  11. Annem says:

    BANDAR AND HIS PARENTAGE: It is said that Sultan only recognized Bandar as his son by his jariya when he was grown. This did not prevent Sultan from providing the boy with an excellent education and some other perks associated with being in the family [minus the prestige of the family name.] The story goes that this situation really bothered King Faisal, so the latter finally took action, telling Sultan that he must recognize this son immediately because he was planning to marry his daughter to Sultan. No idea whether this is true or not. I am not aware of any other sons or daughters in the al Saud family that were not recognized immediately by their fathers and there are plenty of offspring of jawari in the family genealogy, especially children of King Abdul Aziz. For instance, Waleed bin Talal’s grandmother was an Armenian genocide survivor who was “given” to Abdul Aziz by a tribal sheikh. She is but one of the thousands of Armenian girls kidnapped and sold out of the convoys of deportees.

  12. Harper says:

    Bandar became poison for USIC after he also engineered a major missile sale to China, which involved technologies that were American and non-transferrable. Don’t know whether this occurred before or after the Chinese missile shipments to Iraq that Col. Lang reported.
    I urge all readers to read or reread the 28 page “missing” chapter from the original Congressional Joint Inquiry into 9/11, which dealt with evidence in FBI and CIA files on Saudi Royals complicity with the 9/11 hijackers. Also look at the ongoing FOIA case brought by the Florida Bulldog publication. FBI sat on 80,000 pages of documents relating to another 9/11 cell which was aided by a prominent Saudi businessman who worked for Royals. Mohammed Atta and two other hijackers frequently visited the Saudi family in a gated community in Sarasota, Fla. Shortly before the 9/11 attacks, the Saudi family abandoned their Florida home and almost all of their possessions.
    Seems funding of Al Qaeda was a “consensus” policy of the Saudi Royals for a long time. The 9/11 families have a case in Federal Court for the Southern District of New York, which has a 900+ page filing which is the most comprehensive non-classified documentation of Saudi Royal funding of AQ I have ever read. Court dates are coming up at which Saudi government and royals will be reinstated as defendants under the JASTA act, which removed their sovereign immunity in a very narrow way that does cover their financial support for 9/11. Bandar is in the center of this.
    If MBS is smart, he will rush to settle this case before the next phase of discovery really gets going. Stay tuned.

  13. jsn says:

    This statement is in my estimate scalable to the entire US political economy: in the US political economy the competition for advancement is so intense that those who get to the top are interested in little else.
    It accounts for why so few people at the top actually do any good for anyone but themselves. It is a condition that has grown more pronounced and increasingly obvious, to me at least, since Bush 1 raised taxes when taxes needed raising, prosecuted financial fraudsters when they needed prosecuting and got drummed out of office for this service.
    Since that time, all checks on the powerful have been systematically dismantled so that the best way to get away with your self serving misdemeanors is to get yourself promoted. Two classes advect to the top, sociopaths and the sycophants necessary to protect them from the consequences of their actions.

  14. Anna says:

    “The presence of Iran and its supported forces in Syria is legitimate”, Lavrov was heard saying. Lavrov’s denial of the previous Israeli claims that IRGC/Hezbollah will soon leave the south of Syria due to Israel’s repeated requests, in fact comes as no surprise.”

  15. Anna says:

    More on the same:
    “Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has slammed the US for its presence in Syria being not only illegal, but deeply counterproductive. Lavrov also highlighted a statement from the Russian Defence Ministry which unequivocally accuses (with accompanying photographic evidence) the US of failing to target ISIS fighters in Syria while allowing them safe passage away from oncoming Syrian Arab Army liberators.”
    Wonder, what exactly the ziocons have promised to MbS for his travails against Syrian sovereignty?

  16. The Porkchop Express says:

    Ha! Bullshitters or co-conspirators?

  17. Willybilly says:

    you’re right, BOTH…..

  18. Willybilly says:

    ZOGUSA will kill this case so fast, it’ll make heads spin…. boomerang is a Bitch

  19. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I do not think US Courts will move against Saudi Arabia in cases related to 9/11/2001 attacks on US.
    Such judgments would undermine US position, they will not come to pass.
    US Courts, in cases of 9/11, have only moved against Iran.

  20. eakens says:

    The rounding up of Saudis had little to do with corruption, 9/11, etc. It is about confiscating their money so as to fund the adventures they wish to launch against Iran. There will be nothing for the 9/11 families to get if they can’t attach SA itself, if MBS has his way.

  21. iowa steve says:

    You must forgive my ignorance of military matters, but I have never understood the “up or out” mindset of the military. Seems to me that an individual could be an excellent major for example, be perfectly satisfied with that position and his/her duties, have no particular desire for a higher rank, and still perform at a high level at that position.
    Of course, the “bigger and better” mindset is certainly not limited to the military.

  22. turcopolier says:

    iowa steve
    It is all about having an officer corps that can perform physically in the field. pl

  23. Imagine says:

    KSA owns at least $117B of US Treasury debt verified, I’m somehow remembering much more. KSA has had a “get out of jail free” card for decades because of this + supplying something like 25% of world’s oil. US will be happier when it’s energy-independent.

  24. Annem says:

    WHO WAS NOT ARRESTED? It will be interesting to see who the people are that are MBS’s potential allies inside and outside the al Saud. The other day I saw on al Arabiya MBS at some kind of gathering, Turki bin Faisal was there sitting and chatting with someone and the head of the ulema, ? al-Al-sheikh was sitting also next two another equally aged religious figure. MBS was very solicitous toward the two, kissing Al sheikh with great reverence and courteous to the other, listening to their words of wisdom.

  25. Outrage Beyond says:

    Are any betting shops providing a proposition on whether MBS gets whacked within a year?
    So many oxen gored, so many long knives undoubtedly being sharpened in secret.

  26. different clue says:

    Why are any of the detained still alive? I don’t know if MSB and his detainers are thinking of this, but maybe they are. And maybe what they are thinking is . . . the precedent we set with our detainees now is the precedent which will guide some far future detainers decades from now if some far future detainers emerge to make us their detainees.
    Like I say, I don’t know if the MSBs are thinking this way. But maybe they could be.

  27. Peter AU says:

    “Why are any of the detained still alive?”
    Insurance. Trump/Kushner have done a deal with MBS. If anything happens to MBS, the rivers of money start flowing back to Trump’s enemies. These brownfella’s are pretty switched on that way.

  28. Balint Somkuti, PhD says:

    I have been continously amazed by american naiveté in the last two decades. Middle ranking military and state officers may not possess the required experience to see through the different ruses, by foes and allies alike, but high ranking even top leaders should have been prepared for twin forked tongues, false friendships and pushing thinly veiled interests, other than America’s.
    Of course in the later case other aspects such as self-interest, and intentional carelesness may also play a role. Maybe being the number one for so long makes everyone complacent.
    Maybe the need to find an enemy who is sophisticated enough, but does not have either an established lobbying apparatus – KSA or close business ties – PRC with the USA is needed to wake those people up. Rooshans are well suited to this with Germany (EU?) coming close second.

  29. Peter Reichard says:

    “When you play the game of thrones you either win or die.” … MBS is too young, impatient, reckless and incompetent to succeed at what he has begun and to remain in power for very long. He has made many, many new rich and powerful new enemies and likely has just written his own death warrant. The US is backing the wrong horse and will suffer the consequences when he is overthrown.

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