Outstanding book, truly in my view the best work on the Kingdom and our unholy alliance with the Saudi's that continues to cost American lives abroad and at home and our own security as a whole. Well worth the time to read this book, if you read no other book on this topic READ THIS BOOK AND PASS IT ALONG TO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY --or buy additional copies for your friends and family- this information needs to get out to a larger audience in America in particular. This work by Robert Baer is filled with -facts- not pleasant fictions that we have been sold over and over by MSM, and others in Washington in both so called parties. Highly recommend this work-- to all that still appreciate facts and truth, not emotionalism, and feelings over truth.
Reading this book I can understand how the CIA failed completely to stop any of the attacks by bin Laden and others. To have a agent operating in the Middle East who is not able to read Arabic or Farsi but who depends on third and forth hand information shows the incompetence of the CIA. Baer also states that the GW Bush administration was the first to take the threat of bin Laden seriously while ignoring the meeting in August of 2011 where Bush and Rice and Powell all discounted bin Laden as a threat and ignored the advisories prepared by the Clinton administration. Bush and Cheney were to intent on repaying their campaign contributors with the gift of the Iraqi oil fields to think about anything else.
Baer shows no insight into the tribalism in the region that dominates the policies and politics and behaviors of people in every country in the region and like others, he mistakes religious differences as the core driver when it is but an excuse. The United States was instrumental in the overthow of democratically elected governments in Iraq and Iran and Egypt and this is overlooked by Baer who looks only at current events and not the efforts by the British after World War I and II to force national boundaries that igored tribes and ethic factions entirely.
The ignorance shown by Baer in his book is quite overwhelming and I would be embarrassed to admit having been on the government payroll for decades and having learned no more than a reporter outside of the services. Baer is evidently unaware that the version of the Quaran that the Saudi Arabian government publishes and distributes by the millions each year targets the infidels in the United States. It was their Wahhabism that incited bin Laden. Also overlooked to a large degree is the extent to which men like GH Bush work directly for the bin Laden clan through the Carlye Group. GW Bush denied the FBI any opportunity to question any member of the bin Laden family after September 11 and saw to it that they left the country on a charted jet.
Baer is also politically naive and culturally ignorant and oblivious to the history of the past 100 years in the region in his beliefs that Saudi Arabia and the Middle East countries should outlaw righteous murder. The United States is actively dropping bombs on civilians in 6 countries at this time and providing Saudi Arabia with bombs and fuel to drop bombs on civilians on a 7th country. The US bombed and shelled hospitals and schools and water treatment and power plants in Iraq and killed more than 1 million men, women, and children, while leaving behind tons of fine radioactive dust to damage future generations for many many years.
Baer writes about the Muslim Brotherhood as though it develop spontaneously and he ignores the Mubarak kleptocracy and brutality and suppression of the press that created the perfect environment for this group to flourish.
Robert Baer, a twenty year veteran case officer of the Central Intelligence Agency's Directorate of Operations (the people who have their feet on the ground in foreign nations around the world) who most recently served as vice-director of operations, Iraq, shatters the consensual naiveté of Western populace with his compelling and disturbing work, "SLEEPING WITH THE DEVIL: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude." In a work that spans nearly the entirety of his two-decade experiences and takes us through the dark and disgustingly murky intrigues and backroom graft that have made regime of Saudi Arabia virtually inseparable from the political process of modern America.
Let's get something straight; unlike most of his contemporaries Robert Baer makes no socio-political argument within his text. The truth, as he sees it, is his only cause. Regardless of your political persuasion and the vagaries of your opinions on the social contract of the individual vis-a-vis the state "Sleeping with the Devil" will make you take a second look at the party you favored with your vote. In fact, Baer refers to the last half century of corruption within Washington to be "the greatest bi-partisan effort in the history of Washington politics". A period which began with a briefcase containing one million dollars accidentally "forgotten" by Khashoggi, a Saudi billionaire (who is still active in Washington today), in the Nixon White house and has continued unabated and in ever growing depth to the modern day.
The road to corruption is paved in black gold it seems. Baer leads us down this miasmic path and walks us through backroom deals of Washington's K Street lobbyists, intrigues in sub-Saharan Africa, the 4.6 billion dollar palace of the most corrupt Saudi Prince and pool-side meetings with Russian Mafiya arms-traffickers. How does it all come together? Baer's brutal truth should make every American reader shudder; it is our nation's political elite who have blindly subsidized the very terrorism of which we have recently become victims.
Through our alliance with the House of Saud (the Saudi Royal Family) we have seen billions of petrodollars go to regime who has returned that money to us via graft and commissions to buy all the influence it needs. The rest of the western money is largely spent in two fashions. The lion's share goes to funding their own decadent excess. A Baer gives us insight into a lifestyle of depravity which includes almost ten-thousand princes, twice again as many palaces, the thousands of Filipino and Moroccan women who serve at their pleasure, and a lifestyle in which there is open competition for the greatest amount of excess.
The Saud royal lifestyle has not gone unnoticed by the people of Saudi Arabia and it brings us to the far more disturbing second use of western oil-money. The Saudi's own people have suffered the most at their hands; they have no rights and referred to as property on their own passports. Religious fundamentalists have long decried the `heretical' lifestyles of their "rulers" and here lies the truth of things. The despotic Saudi regime is holding on by the most tenuous of grips. In attempt to placate the fundamentalists who want to drag them into the streets the Saudi's have spent countless billions funding their actions. After fourty-years of such protection payoffs the largest Arab nation has been transformed into a breeding ground for militant fundamentalism. The Saudi educational system has been entirely conscripted, all children save for those of royalty and their retainers are educated in madrasahs, schools of Islamic hate that enforce faith with brutality, ignorance, and censorship. 75% of all collegiate graduates earn degrees in Islamic Studies, which creates a working class who are unqualified to hold any job. This majority of educationally indoctrinated, poor, and religiously fanatical citizenry is the source for much of the destabilization of the Arab world and is a reality that is about to boil over. Is it any wonder than nearly all of the 9/11 hijackers were born and raised Saudi subjects? Worse, the Western world (and more recently China and Russia) were the ones, by proxy, responsible for its funding. This is the picture Robert Baer paints for us.
These accounts aren't after-the fact punditry and are only the tip of the iceberg, Baer was there. In fact, prior to publication the book was vetted by the CIA and significant sections were deleted due at their demand. Rather than leave gaping wholes in his arguments and making note of their removal in his epilogue Bear leaves the blacked out print in place, giving the reader a tantalizing contextual insight into just what `the company' wanted removed. The reality Robert Baer shows us is a disturbing one and like a modern Paul Revere, "Sleeping with the Devil" is his clarion call, here is the enemy and they're coming.