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Why Is Former FBI Director Louis Freeh Now Saudi Prince Bandar's Lawyer?

5 years ago
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In case you missed it, last night Frontline aired a truly revealing look at the oligarchical state of the world. The subject was corporate bribery--both domestic and international--from the Watergate era to the present day. The unavoidable, if not very mind-blowing conclusion reached in the documentary is that justice works one way for the powerful, and another for the weak. Corporations and sneaky governments play by one set of rules, while the common citizenry are forced to live with another.

One aspect of the show that I woke up thinking about, however, was the revelation that our former FBI Director Louis Freeh is now working as legal council to Saudi Arabia's Prince Bandar, defending him in a corruption investigation launched by the U.S. Department of Justice that accuses a British defense contractor of funneling billions of dollars in payments and gifts to Bandar so that he could buy himself an airplane (which he had painted in Dallas Cowboy colors) and refurbish his royal palaces. Watch Frontline's interview with Freeh here.

After leaving the FBI, Freeh--who was appointed by Bill Clinton, and stepped down shortly before the attacks on 9/11--has been a busy guy. A director at Fannie Mae and Bristol Myers, he also advises DuPont. His real day job, however, is his consulting firm, Freeh Group International. The company's website lists its "Areas of Service" as:

- Strategic Management of Complex and Sensitive Inquiries

-Corporate Governance and Ethics

-Corporate Monitorships
(Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act)

-Homeland Security Strategies
(Threat Assments and Mitigation)

-Global Security Planning


The DOJ is continuing to look into the Bandar bribes, as it should, to see whether or not the British defense contractors broke The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Though everyone, including members of the Saudi Royal Family are afforded legal protection in the American system, this sure is a tangled web of intrigue, with Freeh somewhere near its center.

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