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Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude

Baer, Robert

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9781400052684: Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude

“Saudi Arabia is more and more an irrational state—a place that spawns global terrorism even as it succumbs to an ancient and deeply seated isolationism, a kingdom led by a royal family that can’t get out of the way of its own greed. Is this the fulcrum we want the global economy to balance on?”

In his explosive New York Times bestseller, See No Evil, former CIA operative Robert Baer exposed how Washington politics drastically compromised the CIA’s efforts to fight global terrorism. Now in his powerful new book, Sleeping with the Devil, Baer turns his attention to Saudi Arabia, revealing how our government’s cynical relationship with our Middle Eastern ally and America’ s dependence on Saudi oil make us increasingly vulnerable to economic disaster and put us at risk for further acts of terrorism.

For decades, the United States and Saudi Arabia have been locked in a “harmony of interests.” America counted on the Saudis for cheap oil, political stability in the Middle East, and lucrative business relationships for the United States, while providing a voracious market for the kingdom’ s vast oil reserves. With money and oil flowing freely between Washington and Riyadh, the United States has felt secure in its relationship with the Saudis and the ruling Al Sa’ud family. But the rot at the core of our “friendship” with the Saudis was dramatically revealed when it became apparent that fifteen of the nineteen September 11 hijackers proved to be Saudi citizens.

In Sleeping with the Devil, Baer documents with chilling clarity how our addiction to cheap oil and Saudi petrodollars caused us to turn a blind eye to the Al Sa’ud’s culture of bribery, its abysmal human rights record, and its financial support of fundamentalist Islamic groups that have been directly linked to international acts of terror, including those against the United States. Drawing on his experience as a field operative who was on the ground in the Middle East for much of his twenty years with the agency, as well as the large network of sources he has cultivated in the region and in the U.S. intelligence community, Baer vividly portrays our decades-old relationship with the increasingly dysfunctional and corrupt Al Sa’ud family, the fierce anti-Western sentiment that is sweeping the kingdom, and the desperate link between the two. In hopes of saving its own neck, the royal family has been shoveling money as fast as it can to mosque schools that preach hatred of America and to militant fundamentalist groups—an end game just waiting to play out.

Baer not only reveals the outrageous excesses of a Saudi royal family completely out of touch with the people of its kingdom, he also takes readers on a highly personal search for the deeper roots of modern terrorism, a journey that returns time again and again to Saudi Arabia: to the Wahhabis, the powerful Islamic sect that rules the Saudi street; to the Taliban and al Qaeda, both of which Saudi Arabia helped to underwrite; and to the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the most active and effective terrorist groups in existence, which the Al Sa’ud have sheltered and funded. The money and arms that we send to Saudi Arabia are, in effect, being used to cut our own throat, Baer writes, but America might have only itself to blame. So long as we continue to encourage the highly volatile Saudi state to bank our oil under its sand—and so long as we continue to grab at the Al Sa’ud’s money—we are laying the groundwork for a potential global economic catastrophe.


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According to Robert Baer, the center of the global economy is a "kingdom built on thievery, one that nurtures terrorism, destroys any possibility of a middle class based on property rights, and promotes slavery and prostitution." This kingdom also sits on one quarter of the world's oil reserves, thus ensuring that it receives the full support and protection of the U.S. government. Sleeping With the Devil details the hypocritical and corrupt relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia and the potentially calamitous economic consequences of maintaining this Faustian bargain.

As Baer makes clear, the U.S. has been aware of problems within the bitterly divided Al Sa'ud family for years, but has ignored the facts in order to keep lucrative business deals afloat. (The amount of money the royal family spends to influence powerful American politicians and lobbyists is staggering.) Particularly damning are his details regarding Saudi Arabia's support of militant Islamic groups, including al Qaeda. The ruling family funnels millions of dollars to such groups in order to dissuade them from overthrowing the monarchy--a protection scheme that is shaky at best, given the hatred most citizens feel for the ruling family. To prevent economic disaster that could come from either a local uprising or an interruption in the flow of oil due to terrorism, Baer raises the possibility of the U.S. seizing the Saudi oil fields and forcing a regime change on its own terms: "An invasion and a revolution might be the only things that can save the industrial West from a prolonged, wrenching depression," he warns.

Baer spent 21 years with the CIA, much of it in the Middle East, so he is an informed guide to this complex subject. His alarming book deserves to be read for raising many important and troubling questions. --Shawn Carkonen

About the Author:

ROBERT BAER was a case officer in the Directorate of Operations for the Central Intelligence Agency from 1976 to 1997. His overseas assignments included stints in locations such as Northern Iraq, Dushanbe, Rabat, Paris, Beirut, Khartoum, New Delhi, and elsewhere, handling agents that infiltrated Hizballah, PFLP-GC, PSF, Libyan intelligence, Fatah-Hawari, and al Qaeda. Fluent in Arabic, Farsi, French, and German, he divides his time between Washington, D.C., and France.


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Book Description Three Rivers Press, 2004. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "A chilling evaluation of today's geopolitical situation.highly recommended." -- Dallas Morning News "An unsettling, eye-opening account of our relationship with Saudi Arabia. [Baer] gets our attention." -- Boston Herald "Details how an administration known for its vigilance on the international scene routinely and inexplicably spins, caves, and hops for the Saudis." -- The Washington Post "[Baer] makes a strong case that Saudi Arabia-with skyrocketing birth rates, growing unemployment, a falling per capita income and a corrupt ruling family draining the public coffers-is a powder keg waiting to explode." -- Publishers Weekly. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_1400052688

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 201 x 132 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. Saudi Arabia is more and more an irrational state a place that spawns global terrorism even as it succumbs to an ancient and deeply seated isolationism, a kingdom led by a royal family that can t get out of the way of its own greed. Is this the fulcrum we want the global economy to balance on? In his explosive New York Times bestseller, See No Evil, former CIA operative Robert Baer exposed how Washington politics drastically compromised the CIA s efforts to fight global terrorism. Now in his powerful new book, Sleeping with the Devil, Baer turns his attention to Saudi Arabia, revealing how our government s cynical relationship with our Middle Eastern ally and America s dependence on Saudi oil make us increasingly vulnerable to economic disaster and put us at risk for further acts of terrorism. For decades, the United States and Saudi Arabia have been locked in a harmony of interests. America counted on the Saudis for cheap oil, political stability in the Middle East, and lucrative business relationships for the United States, while providing a voracious market for the kingdom s vast oil reserves. With money and oil flowing freely between Washington and Riyadh, the United States has felt secure in its relationship with the Saudis and the ruling Al Sa ud family. But the rot at the core of our friendship with the Saudis was dramatically revealed when it became apparent that fifteen of the nineteen September 11 hijackers proved to be Saudi citizens. In Sleeping with the Devil, Baer documents with chilling clarity how our addiction to cheap oil and Saudi petrodollars caused us to turn a blind eye to the Al Sa ud s culture of bribery, its abysmal human rights record, and its financial support of fundamentalist Islamic groups that have been directly linked to international acts of terror, including those against the United States. Drawing on his experience as a field operative who was on the ground in the Middle East for much of his twenty years with the agency, as well as the large network of sources he has cultivated in the region and in the U.S. intelligence community, Baer vividly portrays our decades-old relationship with the increasingly dysfunctional and corrupt Al Sa ud family, the fierce anti-Western sentiment that is sweeping the kingdom, and the desperate link between the two. In hopes of saving its own neck, the royal family has been shoveling money as fast as it can to mosque schools that preach hatred of America and to militant fundamentalist groups an end game just waiting to play out. Baer not only reveals the outrageous excesses of a Saudi royal family completely out of touch with the people of its kingdom, he also takes readers on a highly personal search for the deeper roots of modern terrorism, a journey that returns time again and again to Saudi Arabia: to the Wahhabis, the powerful Islamic sect that rules the Saudi street; to the Taliban and al Qaeda, both of which Saudi Arabia helped to underwrite; and to the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the most active and effective terrorist groups in existence, which the Al Sa ud have sheltered and funded. The money and arms that we send to Saudi Arabia are, in effect, being used to cut our own throat, Baer writes, but America might have only itself to blame. So long as we continue to encourage the highly volatile Saudi state to bank our oil under its sand and so long as we continue to grab at the Al Sa ud s money we are laying the groundwork for a potential global economic catastrophe. From the Hardcover edition. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9781400052684

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Book Description Three Rivers Pr, New York, New York, U.S.A., 2004. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. 5.25x8. Draws on the author's many years with the CIA to expose the cynical roots of the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia. As long as Saudi Arabia supplies us with oil, the U.S. government will overlook the royal family's culture of bribery, abuse of human rights, ties to Wahhabi fundamentalism. Documents the connections of the Saudi royal family - and the CIA - to the terrorist groups that include Al Qaeda. xxxii+238 pages, Afterword, Index. Published @ $13.95. Bookseller Inventory # 14197

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. 131mm x 15mm x 202mm. Paperback. "Saudi Arabia is more and more an irrational state?a place that spawns global terrorism even as it succumbs to an ancient and deeply seated isolationism, a kingdom led by a roya.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 272 pages. 0.200. Bookseller Inventory # 9781400052684

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