Tag Archives bandargate

It’s sooooo quiet

Traditionally, if something happens in Bahrain that even touches on perceived loyalties to the ruling family, or lack thereof, we get full- or at least half-page adverts crying foul and heavily beating chests in demonstration of the advertiser’s eternal love and loyalty to the royal family, or person, or both, at the cost of “those others” whose loyalty is forever in question.

Strange, as Sawsan Al-Shaer noted[1], that none of these “traditional” paid adverts and chest beatings didn’t appear in any of our newspapers! Not once. But I know why, it’s because the well is firmly shut at the moment and the guy is very hesitant to sign any cheques. For now at least. In the absence of a clear denunciation of those tactics employed which Bandargate brought to light, especially by so called religious men, and as there is apparently no intention whatsoever to do the right thing and announce the formation of a fact finding committee, those funds might soon find their ways to the begging hands of bought and paid for men and women.

What we do have however, is this (arabic), from the bought and paid-for “news”paper; an article that (allegedly) bought and paid-for people mentioned in Dr. Bandar’s report queuing up in support of Shaikh Ahmed Attiyatallah rather than doing the right thing and at least asking him to step aside until an investigation clears his name. Can you smell it yet?

Rock on baby…

Just for those who couldn’t be bothered to read the link above, let me save you the trouble and display the pictures of those (allegedly) bought and paid-for gentlemen, either directly implicated in the report, or they think they’ve done themselves a favour and are running to support Shaikh Ahmed maybe in the hope that he will include them in his largess too at some point in the future?:

Bahraini Politicians for Sale! Going cheap!

[1] hat tip: Hussain Marhoon

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Shaikh Ahmed is unperturbed

Shaikh Ahmed bin Attiyatallah Al-Khalifa, Minister of State & head of the CIOI met briefly with Shaikh Ahmed bin Attiyatallah this morning and asked him directly for his comment about the hot topic of this week; what he said is that it is a case of revenge.

“I fired the guy and he didn’t like it, so he’s unleashed this ‘thing’[1] as revenge against me”

When I told him that that might be the case, but what about the various documents, and the cheques and receipts of payoffs he simply said that “they’re payments for his staff!” So what’s the problem?

He declined to talk more about the subject, just stating that he will be holding a press conference, or releasing a statement to the press refuting the allegations.

Allegations which are extremely damaging, not only for his career – his being the fastest ever elevation to the ministerial ranks in the history of Bahrain, for someone who is just 40 years old – but more importantly to the whole country:

The allegations in this report include, but not limited to:

    1. Direct meddling in the forthcoming elections;
    2. Fomenting sectarian strife;
    3. Distribution of cash handouts;
    4. Buying MPs in both the elected and selected parliaments;[2]
    5. Undeclared sources of funds;
    6. Clandestine prejudiced operations against a vast swathe of Bahraini citizens.

I told Shaikh Ahmed that people are asking for his head, I would join these forces and demand at least his resignation if any of these allegations are found true.

[1] full report of 31MB
[2] payments and receipts have been made to Jamal Dawood who is standing for elections this year in the Northern Governate, 8th District, as well as clear monthly payments to Faisal Foulath (Shura Council), Jassim Al-Saidi (Council of Representatives)and other Islamist MPs from Al-Minbar society.

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How to screw up a conspiracy

1. document everything, just in case you need to save your ass.
2. continuously shout out “it wasn’t me” and practice making puppy eyes.
3. depend on morons, just like yourself, who too can’t organise a piss-up in a brewery.
4. spend a lot of money and keep receipts. see 1.
5. hire some mercenaries to write up a plan for you, because your two brain cells ceased to make a spark when rubbed together.
6. base that plan on purely sectarian motives.
7. depend on a bigoted zealot to write your justification to further marginalize the other side.
8. oh, and discard your main mercenary once the report is handed in… effectively turning that mercenary against you, but only after he collected every conceivable incriminating document against you first!

now excuse me for having to go and have another shower as I feel dirty after reading the filth… I’m pretty sure it will surface on several sites around the internet by tomorrow for you to read for yourselves, until then…

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Elections coming up!

Finally, we have some movement. Of course there is no guarantee that the anticipated movement will be good, as there are no guarantees for it being the opposite, but as the local idiom goes: “الحركة بركة” – loosely translated: “in movement there is a blessing

So the king invited the heads of the political societies to an audience (arabic) with his majesty tomorrow. No one knows what the agenda is as none has been announced, but I can feel tingles in the air…

It is expected that he will announce the election date tomorrow.

That would be the good thing™ of course, as that decrepit parliament has been dissolved now for 55 days, and no announcement has been forthcoming since then.

What has, however, and plenty of it, has been:

    1. The EX-members of parliament still believe that they are part of the democratic institution!
    2. Most have been actually more active in these 55 days than they have for the 4 years they’ve used in parliament to perfect their brainfarts.
    3. Bahrain has become much more sectarian under their watch.
    4. The parliament giving the right of dividing municipal districts to the government (can you smell it?) the government reduced the number of municipal areas by re-designation and amalgamation.
    5. oh, and another small thing which might have prompted this movement…

    6. A high-up consultant was deported in haste (arabic) charged with “an attempt to overthrow the government”!

That last point seems to be the bombshell. The guy apparently was quite liberal with the photocopy machines or with his printer as he printed several copies of his 220 page report and liberally distributed it to every paper as well as choice embassies and most political societies.

Don’t expect any (news)paper to publish it though, they’d rather publish something about “immoral acts” or entice the public to attack foreign workers because they are bachelors and hail from Asia and that sort of thing… but when it comes to something as substantial as “bandargate”, forget it, they’ll toe the line thank you very much! Who needs the press law when you get self censorship of this scale?

Other countries would have stopped the presses and ran with it… not here though, uh uh. They’re good boys!

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Bandargate…

Let the games begin.

سلطات الأمن تبعد صلاح البندر عن البلاد

أبعدت السلطات الرسمية مساء أمس الأول (الثلثاء) المستشار السابق في أحد الأجهزة الرسمية صلاح البندر، بريطاني الجنسية من أصل سوداني، إلى المملكة المتحدة (لندن)، بعد ان تم التحقيق معه في الليلة نفسها في مبنى النيابة العامة، حيث وجهت له تهمة محاولة قلب نظام الحكم والانتماء إلى تنظيم خارجي- حسب أقوال زوجته. وكانت إدارة المباحث الجنائية قد فتشت منزل البندر بمنطقة الرفاع الشرقي ومكتبه الخاص الواقع في منطقة السيف، وذلك في الساعة الثامنة من مساء اليوم نفسه (الثلثاء)، وتم مصادرة ممتلكات تتعلق بمعلومات كانت في حوزته، بما فيها أجهزة الكمبيوتر وبعض الأقراص المدمجة وبعض المطبوعات. واستمر رئيس نيابة المنطقة الوسطى في التحقيق مع البندر حتى الساعة الواحدة من بعد منتصف الليل، ومن ثم تم إبعاده على متن طائرة أقلعت من البحرين عند الساعة الواحدة والنصف من اليوم نفسه. وبدورها قامت زوجة البندر رئيسة جمعية الفكر الحر ليلى رجب، بمراجعة النيابة العامة في صباح اليوم التالي، إلا أنها علمت بان الجهات المختصة قد رحلت زوجها إلى ‘’لندن’’، حيث انه يملك جواز سفر بريطانياً، الأمر الذي جعلها تتوجه إلى السفارة البريطانية، حيث استقبلها نائب السفير البريطاني ستيفينس، والذي أكد لها بأنه قد اطمأن على سلامة زوجها فور وصوله إلى مطار ‘’هيثرو’’ صباح أمس (الأربعاء)، مؤكدا لها بأنه سوف يتابع الموضوع لدى النيابة العامة. كما قام نائب السفير بإصدار تأشيرة دخول مفتوحة لها لدخول المملكة المتحدة في أي وقت.
وحول الوظائف التي شغلها البندر قالت رجب ‘’ان زوجي البندر من أصول سودانية ويحمل الجنسية البريطانية منذ 20 عاماً وقد تزوجنا منذ 15 عاماً وكان دائم التردد على البحرين لكن خلال العامين الأخيرين استقر في البحرين بعد ان تولى منصب المستشار في احد الأجهزة الرسمية’’. من جانبه لفت مصدر سياسي مطلع إلى ان ‘’البندر قام بإعداد تقرير موسع حول الوضع السياسي في البلاد، وتحديدا حول الانتخابات النيابية والبلدية المقبلة يحتوي على معلومات بقصد إثارة البلبلة’’، مضيفا ‘’ان البندر قام بتوزيع نسخ من هذا التقرير إلى عدد من الجهات بعد ان تم فصله من عمله لأسباب لم يتم الإفصاح عنها بعد’’.

Alwaqt :: 14 Sept, ’06

For a google translation, click here and read Manama Republic‘s take on this. If this is not the start of a “bandargate” I’m not sure what would be…

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