By Dee McLachlan
How does one even begin to understand the revolving doors in regard to government and military contracts. The public has come to accept that military contracts are synonymous with benefits and “kickbacks” for participants.
Dick Cheney was Secretary of Defense during the Presidency of the senior George Bush and oversaw Operation Desert Storm in 1991 — then went on to become Chairman and CEO of Halliburton (1995 to 2000).
I might point out that the #1 recipient of contracts for engineering and construction after the Iraq destruction in 2003 was KBR, Inc., which was spun off from its parent, Halliburton, an oilfield services provider. The amount of money in contracts given to that firm over the past decade was – take a guess — $39.5 billion.
The Australian Submarines
Now to the French submarine builder DCNS.
In January 2015, Sean Costello left his $250,000-a-year job as chief-of-staff to former Defence Minister David Johnston and started in April as Chief Executive Officer with French Government shipbuilder DCNS Australia. This was reported back in 16 May 2015 on news.com.au that Costello “has taken a high paid job with one of three foreign contenders for the $20 billion plus contract.” [now $50B]
In his Canberra position, Costello “enjoyed privileged access to top-secret information about the navy’s future submarine project.” A very strategic move by the French in offering Costello the job, but one would imagine that some questions need to be asked and answered — to ensure that proper process was followed in the $50 billion contract.
(My first question: How did the contract go from $20 billion to $50 billion over the period of a year?)
The Malaysian Connection
But now Kangaroo Court has come out with, “Bribery Allegations Against Australia’s $50 Billion Submarine Contract Winner”. They report:
“Australia has just awarded a $50 billion defence project to build Submarines and even before the ink is dry on the contract hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions of dollars have landed in the pockets of Liberal Party crony and former staffer Sean Costello. To make matters worse the French company DCNS which has won the $50 billion contract is currently under investigation by a French court for bribing Malaysian officials to win their submarine contract in 2002.
“DCNS is alleged to have bribed officials linked to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and the corruption also involves allegations of murder. [More on that below.] This is on top of other previous allegations of bribery against DCNS.”
Another suspicious element of the Australian tender is that DCNS employed former Liberal staffer Sean Costello as its CEO for the bid.” Full article here.
Murder Most Foul
This was reported in the SMH on the 30 January 2016:
“A case involving allegations of high-level bribery, blackmail, betrayal and the murder of a glamorous Mongolian socialite in Malaysia has resurfaced in France, only days after Malaysia’s prime minister Najib Razak was cleared of corruption charges at home.
“French prosecutors have charged a French businessman involved in Malaysia’s $US2 billion purchase of two French-Spanish built submarines with paying illegal kickbacks to a Malaysian official linked to Mr Najib… who was defence minister at the time of the purchase”
The murder in Malaysia involved a woman, Altantuya Shaariibuu, who was involved with businessman Abdul Razak Baginda.
Ms Shaariibuu was allegedly murdered by two of Mr Najib’s bodyguards — and was then wrapped in C4 explosives and blown up.
She had reportedly demanded $US500,000 to remain silent about her knowledge of the Malaysian submarine deal.
What secrets did she take to the grave?
This is the stuff of spy novels.