Ad hoc defenses of corrupt behaviour usually share one common theme: we did it because it was the right thing to do, despite the actions being plainly illegal. Call it the higher purpose defense. We've seen that on display a great deal under the Bush administration with the invasion of Iraq, which Richard Perle admitted was illegal but the morally correct thing to do anyway, the NSA wiretapping program(s), torture, indefinite detention, extraordinary rendition, etc. All of this, oddly and brazenly enough, has been justified by some ill-conceived sense of a moral high ground. And now Tony Blair is presenting the same reasoning in the UK government's complicity in the BAE/Bandar Bush kickback scheme, including the Blair government's own shuttered investigation of the decades-long corruption racket.
Mr. Blair said that if the investigation had gone ahead, it “would have involved the most serious allegations in investigations being made into the Saudi royal family, and my job is to give advice as to whether that is a sensible thing in circumstances where I don’t believe the investigation incidentally would have led anywhere, except to the complete wreckage of a vital strategic relationship for our country.”
Additionally, Mr. Blair said, “We would have lost thousands, thousands of British jobs.”
Oh, the jobs! You see, that is why we have to illegally pump a billion dollars into the pockets of an already fabulously wealthy Saudi prince. British jobs! And national security! Hah! argue your silly little legalisms against that. Nothing, including the law, is so sacred as the British job. Tony just said so.