The body count in the Middle East since the UK and U.S. supplied the area with illegal arms in the 1980’s is staggering. The exact number is unknown, as official counts have been manipulated. But it’s safe to say hundreds of thousands, mostly innocent men, women, children and elderly, have been needlessly slaughtered in barbaric fashion.
The battle in the Arab sand is, in fact, the ultimate testament of man’s inhumanity to man.
It is also the ultimate testament of how UK and U.S. foreign policy has not facilitated peace, but instead provoked war by providing the very weapons that have kept the bloody conflict going on for decades.
But hard evidence to nail the “masters of evil” in the arms trade has always been hidden.
In fact, solid proof that high level U.S. and UK officials illegally profited from massive sales of biological, chemical and WMD weaponry to Iran and Iraq has always been conveniently swept under the rug by corrupt courts and a compliant media.
And these public servants acting without a conscience, serving evil not good, have given crooked Western politicians like Thatcher, Reagan, Bush, Blair, Rumsfeld and their many loyal minions a free ride to collect handsome commissions through “front companies” as well as a free ride to continue to do the devil’s dirty work – to this very day – by selling illegal arms throughout the world.
Although flimsy evidence has surfaced in the past to nail the scoundrels, most of the incriminating evidence has been successfully buried by the White House and 10 Downing St., buried in the form of people “who knew too much and were about to talk” or through using MI6 and CIA muscle to hide or destroy incriminating documentation.
As the war against Iraq rages on today and politicians try to justify the Western attack, one significant factor is being kept secret – the Scott Report – a factor which known could put all the “masters of evil’ behind bars.
In fact, several whistle blowers – two who may have been murdered – say “the smoking gun” that could blow the lid off the entire arms scandal relates directly to the Scott Report on the “Arms to Iraq” affair of the mid-90’s and to those aspects that Sir Richard Scott omitted from his report submitted in the UK.
The report kept secret also was referred to as “proof positive” by both microbiologist Dr. David Kelley and Gerald Bull, two whistle blowers suspiciously killed for trying to go public about the details of how governments on both sides of the Atlantic provided Iraq and Iran with illegal weaponry.
And both the UK and U.S governments are still hiding these explosive documents in hopes the affair is ultimately forgotten with the passage of time. In fact, observers suggest that is why Kelley and Bull were killed, as they were getting too close to the ticking time bomb buried in the details of the Scott Report.
Further, savvy politicians realized if the details were ever made public it would mean the end to their scam and immediately expose how the Western public paid for the arms enabling Iraq to fight Iran during their long war of the 1980’s, as well as showing how politicians profited handsomely.
Although much of the Scott Report is under lock and key, it was revealed how the UK in complicity with the U.S. was breaching UN embargo guideline regarding weapons supplied to Iraq. However, what remained hidden according to several whistle blowers, was the massive size of the breach and the financial trails implicating high level politicians.
However, according to whistle blower John Drewe, some of the “telling clues” to the secrets in the Scott Report have already entered the public domain.
“Some telling clues did enter the public domain. These were such events as the prosecution in 1992 of the directors of Matrix Churchill for breaching the UK arms embargo on supplying arms to Iraq, as described above,” said Drewe. “After government lawyers connived to withhold evidence in several fabricated prosecutions which barely reached the public domain, directors were convicted and imprisoned. All later had their convictions quashed.
“The reports showing that they were acting on government instructions, and that what they had supplied was not in fact embargoed, were withheld from the defense. After these men and women had been convicted and served prison sentences, secret government memoranda came to light showing how their convictions had been secured by fabricating evidence – with the knowledge of prosecuting lawyers, including Alan Moses and Andrew Collins. It may be significant that lawyers such as Sir Alan Moses and Sir Andrew Collins, who were involved in these trials, were made judges and selected to preside over the trials of those with knowledge of the export of weapons to Iraq and Iran. Moses judged David Shayler (2003). Collins judged Mohammed Hashemi (1999), who organized the supply of Iran with munitions from America and the UK over the period 1979-91.”
“Another skirmish which reached public awareness was the “Supergun” affair, as referred to above. Gerald Bull, a weapons scientist, founded the Space Research Corporation (SRC), which by 1985 was making a significant contribution to Iraqi weaponry, such as new types of gun and extended-range ammunition. In 1988 SRC started Project 839 (“Project Babylon”), the construction of a 1000mm artillery piece with a range of 700 km. The public became aware of this when executives of Walter Somers and Sheffield Forgemasters, companies involved in the manufacture of the gun barrels, were arrested in 1990. The aspect of the “Supergun” affair which attracted rather less media attention was what happened to Bull. He was murdered in Belgium in 1990.”
Further, a sworn affidavit signed by Bull on Jan. 17, 1990, before his death in a bloody fashion, his body found with two or three bullet wounds to the back of the head, revealed how payments were made from the Iranian Defense Dept. to Sir Gordon Reese on behalf of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher with U.S. government complicity.
“In March, 1987, I had two meetings with John Cuckney, one of the advisors to Margaret Thatcher on the Iraqi contracts, personally arranged for the Midland International Trade Services (Defense Equipment Finance Department) to advance the loans for the project?Cuckney told me he had been authorized by the Prime Minister, to whom he reported directly.
“I should explain I was left in no doubt that Thatcher was also being briefed by Gordon Reese, who was advising her on the contracts with both Iran and Iraq?
“Cuckney arranged for Midland to advance SRC, via NM Rothschild and Galverston Securities, 60 percent of the cost of the first stage of Project 839. In November 1988, Midland entered into a contract with Amir Saadi to completely underwrite the purchase of the propellant from PRB for the said project. Herve de Carmoy having personally initiated negotiations. In 1988, de Carmoy moved from his post as Director of the International Banking Division to the Midland Bank to SGB and became Managing Director of Gechem owners of PRB. I was given assurance by by de Carmoy in January 1989 that SGB would allow SRC to purchase PRB. (Details of Midland Bank and Amir Saadi negotiations contained in exhibit marked GVB 12).
“On Aug. 14, 1989, I was informed that Peter Levine, the director of defense, had personally intervened to prevent this acquisition by SRC. I telephoned Cuckney and explained the position. Cuckney assured me that the instructions came from Margaret Thatcher personally, after the United States government had made strong representations. I had advised Cuckney that he and the Thatcher family had received some of the largest payments from the Iraq contracts in order to secure future success of the projects. Cuckney then advised me there was a policy reappraisal. He said he would make sure the points I had raised were brought to the attention of the right people and that in the meantime I should avoid discussing these matters with anyone if I was not to prejudice my opinion.”
According to credible UK sources, Peter Levene, now Lord Levene of Portspoken, made Lloyd’s of London chairman in 2002, performed a top level and pivotal role in the illegal supply of weaponry to UN embargoed destinations from 1985 until after the first Gulf War. Observers note one unfortunate consequence of these illegal and clandestine arrangements was that the American and British soldiers sent to Gulf War I found themselves being attacked by weaponry made in Birmingham UK and plants across the U.S.
Levene denies the allegations like the other crooked politicians involved in the scheme. However, Sir William Jaffray of London in February of 2004 provided the following documentation, proving there is a reason to believe otherwise.
Jaffray’s explosive comments point a strong finger at Lord Levene’s role in the illegal arms trade, as well as his role in Lloyd’s of London, in turn, protected against a massive investor fraud suit regarding withholding the devastating outcome of asbestos litigation about bankrupt the huge insurance carrier without proper investor disclosure.
Here is a portion of Jaffray’s statements which have received little or no press attention or official investigation follow-up:
“In 1991, Levene authorized the supply of 1500 units of the Precision Guidance System (PGS) to CATIC of the People’s Republic of China. A UK company, ISC-Ferranti, collapsed in 1989. The PGS was an inertial guidance system, which can be fitted to a missile to guide it accurately to its target. These units were ex-Ferranti stock and Mohammed Hashemi, the representative of the Iranian Defense Industries (IDI), arranged with the MOD in London the onward supply to the P.R. China, and thence to Iran. The entire transaction has been fully documented, including the identities of the officials of IDI, and the sums of money paid via Iranian banks. This state-of-the-art missile delivery system was secretly delivered to one of the world’s most brutal theocracies. In 1991, Chinese and North Korean technicians modified the Iranian Scud II missiles to carry a warhead of 1000 Kg over a distance of 1500 Km with accurate guidance from the PGS supplied by the UK. A proportion of these units was shipped to N. Korea as part of the joint project. The Iranian Shooting Star missile, carrying a much larger warhead and with an increased range, also incorporates this PGS. It is the UK which is responsible for the ability of Iranian missiles to reach Israel and Saudi Arabia.
“The evidence that the UK supplied China and Iran with the PGS, and that this transaction was authorized by Peter Levene, has been concealed from the public. There is overwhelming evidence, running to hundreds of pages of documents, which demonstrates how effectively the facts have been hidden. This is exemplified by the Savill memorandum of 22 June 1995, stating that the MOD and DTI agreed on a policy that no information would be supplied to Parliament on the subject of weapons sold to foreign customers by Astra Defense Systems.
“Gerald Bull and Terence Byrne have both filed statements specifically alleging that the officials and politicians pocketed large sums of money, listed as ‘commissions’, on the sale of weapons to Iran and Iraq. One of the named officials is Peter Levene. One named politician is Margaret Thatcher. The allegations are very specific, and are echoed by the Iranians and Iraqis who paid the money into the offshore companies set up by relations of Levene and Thatcher.
“In autumn 2002, Peter Levene was put in charge of Lloyd’s, a government appointment. He came equipped with deep knowledge of the arms business, if not the insurance business. After the catastrophe of the black hole arising from the export credit defaults on arms exports, the UK government needed an alternative source of credit to maintain its arms export business.
“It became evident that the government needed Lloyd’s for political purposes. By 1995/96 the Treasury & Civil Service Committee had quietly dropped its inquiry into the losses incurred by Lloyd’s. At this time, all 51 Conservative MPs with debts to Lloyd’s had been written off, thus rescuing the Major government from collapse. Lloyd’s had siphoned off some 34 million from other Names or investors. Fifteen MPs were saved from imminent bankruptcy. This matter was brought to the attention of Parliament in a letter written by opposition MP, Peter Hain (now Leader of the House of Commons), to John Major. Hain pointed out that the MPs had benefited from retrospective stop loss policies. This is of course embezzlement. Also implicated was Thatcher’s Attorney-General, Sir Nicholas Lyell.
“Further, Lloyd’s received reassurance from the government that it would be protected from charges of fraud. In this, the judiciary was enlisted. Those judges who were members of Lloyd’s received special terms in the wording of their settlement agreements, though the nature and extent of any similar financial pay-off is not yet known. Thus Judge Cresswell produced a judgment in November 2000 acquitting Lloyd’s of all charges of impropriety. It is likely that Cresswell’s ruling reflected the position at a higher level, probably the Privy Council, where a fraud judgment on Lloyd’s would certainly not be viewed as ‘in the national interest’. Indeed, as John Mays (a Lloyd’s man in charge of the Equitas reserving project) observed to a Name in 1998, litigation in the British and European courts would be futile.
“In his role as arms procurer during the mass illegal supply of UK weaponry to embargoed countries alone, Peter Levene is indictable for crimes (along with many others). His bringing into the Lloyd’s fold, as an individual with no particular insurance expertise, arouses suspicions as to the exploitation of the expertise he does bring.”
In March 2005, a Netherlands prosecutor reported that a man by the name of Frans van Anraat was a middle man with high-level British and American connections, alleged to have supplied thousands of tons of agents for poison gas to the former Iraqi government in the 1980-88 war with Iran and against its own Kurdish people.
Van Anraat is suspected of having had direct contact with Iraqi authorities and using front companies of British and American origin, working through a Panamanian company based in Lugano, Switzerland, according to the international probe which led to his arrest.
UN weapons inspection agencies have described Van Anraat as one of the most important middlemen in Iraq ‘s acquisition of chemical weapons raw materials.
An article by Richard Norton-Taylor in the Guardian (1999) reports on purchases made by Tagell UK Ltd on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Mohammed Hashemi (aka Jamsid Naini) was a director of a UK registered company, located at 12, Roebuck House, Stag Place, London S.W.1. This company, according to Norton-Taylor’s article, was set up with the knowledge and consent of th Ministry of Defense to enable the UK to supply covertly defense equipment to Iran with total complicity with the U.S. government.
The report refers to the purchase by the UK of false end-user certificates, and the construction of motor gun-boats for the Naval Division of the Iranian revolutionary guard. Hashemi has provided evidence of how the motor gun-boats were tested at Portsmouth by the Royal Navy and how the procurement department at the Ministry of Defense supervised the project.
Regarding the role of high-level officials in London and Washington, the use of MI6 and CIA undercover agents and Lord Levene’s role, Jaffray added:
“It was the U.K. which supplied Iran with WMDs and the missile guidance systems to deliver these weapons. Tagell UK Ltd was the vehicle set up to implement this policy. Kock, a serving member of the SIS, refers specifically to the role of the UK government at the highest possible level. Indeed the memoranda disclosed by the SIS demonstrates Kock’s importance to them, and his role in acting for the SIS in the Supergun supplied to Iraq, and as a director of the arms manufacturer, Astra Holdings and Astra Defence Systems (BMARC). The claim that Peter Levene tendered advice regarding the contracts negotiated by Tagell UK Ltd is contained in a body of documentation which includes the trading records of this company.
“It should be noted that these records refer to commission payments to U.K. politicians and officials. Typically, the money was paid to members of their families for ‘consultancy fees.’ Although it has been admitted that politicians in France, Germany, and Italy accepted bribes through members of their families, the gagging orders imposed by judges such as Andrew Collins, prevent the information about Tagell UK Ltd from reaching the public domain in the U.K.
“Finally, Hashemi has noted that large quantities of munitions were supplied to Iraq via Saudi Arabia under the Al-Yamamah contract with the United Kingdom. According to Phillip Sales, senior Treasury Counsel, all the details of this contract will remain known to only two people. The intention of officials to deceive the British people is contained in document no 7 which speaks for itself.
“It should never be forgotten that corrupt politicians and officials lined their pockets with commissions on weapons exported to embargoed countries in breach of international law. And the British taxpayer continues to be punished with extortionate stealth taxes to make up a loss of between 73 Billion and 120 Billion of U.K. overseas assets dissipated in support of this illegal trade.”
Editor’s Note: Read Part III Wednesday as MI6 internal documents are revealed, confirming government corruption at the highest levels concerning weapons sold to Iran and Iraq. Also, see internal Astra Holdings PLC documents, listing millions of commissions paid, a handsome portion then funneled down to the crooked politicians on both sides of the Atlantic who originally put the devious arms-sales plan together.
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Listen to my Radio Broadcast live Monday night at 8pm Pacific time on LewisNews, returning Jan. 1 2006 Radio http://webs.lewisnews.com/radio/index.htm. Greg is also regular on Rense.com the first Thursday of every month at 9pm pacific time.
Greg also has his own daily show on the Republic Broadcast Network. Go to www.rbnlive.com and will be starting a daily program on the Genesis Communications Network soon at www.gcnlive.com Greg Szymanski is an independent investigative journalist and his articles can been seen at www.LewisNews.com. He also writes for American Free Press and has his own site www.arcticbeacon.com
Blood Money Part 1: The Big ‘Allivane-Astra’ Picture. The Trail of Illegal Weapons Sold To Iran And Iraq Starts In Washington And London
Blood Money Part III: MI6 secret documents and Astra Commission Documents Reveal How Politicians Reaped Huge Profits Off Illegal Middle East Arms Sales
Blood Money Part IV: The Illegal Government Arms Trade. When You Try To Take Away ‘The Toys of the Big Boys,’ They Play For Keeps