Cast of Characters:
Bandar Bin Sultan:
For nigh on 4 years, bombs have rained down indiscriminately on Yemen, killing women and children who have no part in the conflict and creating such a level of chaos that the country is currently ranked as the world’s number 1 humanitarian crisis, with over 20 MILLION Yemenis suffering from malnutrition along with a wealth of disease which the country’s diminished infrastructure is in no state to tackle.
Though no parties are wholly clean in all of this, the consensus suggests that the key antagonist is the Saudi state, who along with a concerted campaign of bombing civilian targets and infrastructure, are in a large part responsible for the spread of islamic extremism and the international rise of both Al-Qaeda and ISIS/Daesh, who control significant areas of Yemen.
It’s worth remembering this is a wholly man made and thus avoidable crisis, which for the most part has come about due to weapons supplied and maintained by key UK and US government contractors, with full government support.
Crazy as it may sound, surely a man made humanitarian crisis in 2019 couldn’t have anything to do with Margaret Thatcher ,as leader of Her Majesty’s opposition, meeting with members of the Freedom Association in 1976, could it?
Millions of people facing starvation, whilst bombs worth thousands of pounds continue to be used in contravention of international humanitarian laws on schools, hospitals and refugee camps, add into the mix recruitment of child soldiers to continue the dirty work…
It’s not easy to contemplate how such heinous deeds could be done in the name of democracy.
So who holds one of the most critical roles in UK parliament?
On the surface of it, much of the APPG for Yemen’s work seems admirable
However, dig a little deeper and the facade fails…
for example in Mr Vaz’s own words:
‘I have long been on record saying that sadly the Government has lost its way on Yemen. This is despite the outstanding efforts by the Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt who has been a consistent champion for Yemen ‘
Now, aside from his unwavering support for the Saudi Coalition in Yemen, Alistair Burt‘s history rings some very noisy alarm bells…
He was overseeing the UK’s Foreign Policy on Syria when the Syrian Civil war broke out and during the period Timber Sycamore came into play. (For those unaware, Timber Sycamore was the covert supply of arms to ‘moderate’ rebel groups, in Syria, via Libya and Turkey, co-ordinated by UK/US/Qatar/Saudi and Israel)
One of the key players in the whole Timber Sycamore affair was Saudi Prince Bandar Bin Sultan… back in the 1980s, he was heavily involved in Operation Cyclone, which in many respects was a similar covert program to Timber Sycamore.
Among those who benefited from Operation Cyclone was Osama Bin Laden:
More recently Bandar Bin Sultan’s name has been associated with the redacted 28 pages of the 9/11 Commission report and his links to not only funding the 9/11 hijackers support network, but also contact with Abu Zubaydah.
The hawk eyed may have noticed that that passage is actually about Prince Turki Bin Faisal, who back then, was Saudi Ambassador the the UK; prior to that he’d been chief of Saudi Intelligence, throughout the duration of Operation Cyclone and during the period the current Saudi King was supporting Al Qaeda:
Turki Bin Faisal then went on to resign as head of Saudi intelligence on 1st September 2001, 10 days before 9/11.
Here he is with Alistair Burt in 2011:
Turki Bin Faisal’s sister is the wife of Bandar Bin Sultan…
Hold up, Hold up, this was supposed to be about Yemen and Keith Vaz…
Well the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah came about because of an incident which occurred in Yemen back in October of 2000; the bombing of the USS Cole. For more background on this, I’d highly recommend reading ex FBI agent Ali Soufan’s The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda
It details the FBI’s work (including FBI’s head of counterterrorism John O Neill, who retired after a smear campaign, before being killed in WTC7) in the wake of the Al-Qaeda bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen, before expanding on events surrounding 9/11 and the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program.
The name comes from the vast swathes of text redacted by the CIA… take for example this page of Abu Zubaydah:
Given the nature of joint operations between MI6 and the CIA, Abu Zubaydah’s case would surely fall under the remit of the APPG’s work.
Now oddly enough, Kenneth Clarke was Paymaster General when the Al Yamamah deal was set in motion, which takes us straight back to Bandar Bin Sultan.
More on that in future installments…
On top of all of this, questions remain regarding to what extent the guy who currently oversees the UK’s intelligence services was aware of MI6/CIA extraordinary rendition programmes…
The guy in question is Mark Sedwill whose current roles include: National Security Adviser, Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Home Civil Service.
Here’s a little more on ‘Sir’ Mark Sedwill:
He played a pivotal role in the Invasion of Iraq:
A very pivotal role:
As for Matthew Rycroft, mentioned above, he is now working in the Department For International Development, with the aforementioned Alistair Burt…
What the blazes!! THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT YEMEN AND KEITH VAZ!!
OK, calm down…
You may remember Keith Vaz was chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee back when the very same Mark Sedwill as Permanent Secretary of the Home Office Under Theresa May was questioned about the 114 missing VIP child abuse files:
Mark Sedwill also happens to be President of the Special Forces Club
What does any of this have to do with other posts on this blog, detailing how John Bercow’s best man, Julian Lewis covered up an organized network of child abuse?
John Bercow you say…
We’ll leave it there for now… suffice to say there’s faaaar more to this story; feel free to do a bit of digging of your own and don’t forget to fact check in case I’ve made any errors.