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Publisher's Summary

In its final report, the 9/11 Commission famously called the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia "a problematic ally in combating Islamic extremism". To Gerald Posner, the best-selling author of Why America Slept: The Failure to Prevent 9/11, this is a gross understatement.

Posner presents indisputable evidence of complicity and deceit at the highest levels, evidence that the 9/11 Commission, either deliberately or negligently, failed to consider. Using bank records and other previously undisclosed information, Posner unearths many disturbing truths and shattering revelations about the ties that bind the Saudi and U.S. governments, including:

  • how countless failures in U.S. intelligence and law enforcement gave extraordinary preferential treatment to prominent Saudis living in the United States, including members of the bin Laden family, in the days after 9/11
  • a likely close connection between a powerful member of the House of Saud and Abu Zubeydah, the highest-ranking al-Qaeda operative captured so far by the United States
  • how the Saudi government has turned a blind eye to the role Saudi charities, including many controlled or supported by Kingdom officials, have played in bankrolling al-Qaeda and Islamic terror groups
  • the never-before-revealed Saudi and U.S. emergency plans in the event of a national crisis in the Kingdom, plans that could affect the security of the United States and the entire Middle East

    Secrets of the Kingdom is an explosive study that will have a profound impact on both U.S. policy and Americans' perception of their government and its extensive ties to a foreign power. Posner uncovers a disturbing picture of how two nations, despite their differing agendas, have become inextricably entwined.

  • ©2005 Gerald Posner; (P)2005 Tantor Media, Inc.

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    • Overall
    • Adrian
    • Lawton, OK, USA
    • 07-02-05

    Rehashing of the old, with details on the new

    A good refresher on many topics, first half did not contain much new information and seemed to almost be a long-winded paraphrasing or retelling of "The American House of Saud" by Steven Emerson, which was published in 1985. To further flesh out things like Raytheon's relationship with Saudi Arabia (SA) and extent to which SA financed the first Gulf War, I'd recommend "Desert Warrior: A Personal View of the Gulf War by the Joint Forces Commander". The second half did a good job of presenting details of SA's involvement in world affairs post-1985 and was an eye opener regarding the effects the Iranian Revolution of 1979 on the thinking of the Saudi leadership and how that factored into their stance in the first Gulf War (i.e. to make themselves indispensable so that they would not be abandoned by the U.S. as they perceived that the Shah of Iran and President Hussein of Iraq had been). Also, interesting were the details of Saudi financing of charities and wars and its effects on SA. Much has been made of SA's financing of the Gulf War, as well as of its efforts in the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and how that lead to the Taliban and Al Qaida, but I was unaware of SA's considerable financial support of Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980's and how, collectively, these efforts depleted the Saudi treasury and caused a country with such fabulous income to run deficits for much of the last 15 years or so. The book does a good job of detailing and illustrating what a delicate balancing act this country, that is run like a giant Mafia family, must put on to barely maintain order. I would recommend this book to anyone interest in SA or Middle East issues and suggest that Americans who are presented with the fact of the policies and practices in SA should be appalled by the U.S.'s special treatment of a theocratic dictatorship that, in many ways is a polar opposite to the U.S., tries and often seems to succeed on imposing their narrow values on the U.S.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful

    • Overall
    • Performance
    • Story

    Can't stop listening

    Except for a few overly detailed sections, Secrets reads like a thriller. It is one of the very best audiobooks I have heard. The story of the House of Saud is outlandish, but given human nature and the warnings of Machiavelli and Hobbes, not surprising. Every American should hear this story. I want to know more, after hearing Posner's enticing story.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

    • Overall

    crystallizes US-Saudi relationship

    Excellent expose of US-Saudi alliance. Details of Zubaydah's interrogation explored. Posner continues to debunk conspiracies with straight forward reporting using sources within US intelligence.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

    • Overall
    • Performance
    • Story
    • J
    • 01-11-17

    Gave up on it. Seemed repetitive.

    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The author spent almost two hours telling us how bad the Saudis are as a people. Recanting endless story after story of their horrific beliefs and behaviors. I got the point after 15 mins. Wanted him to get to the point of the book which was the relationship between the US and Saudi govt. He would briefly mention an oil company, then launch back into bashing Saudis again. It got monotonous.

    Has Secrets of the Kingdom turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, I will look for a book that actually gets to the subject.

    Did Alan Sklar do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Pretty much every character was the same. Rich, spoiled and awful.

    What character would you cut from Secrets of the Kingdom?

    N/A

    Any additional comments?

    You don't like Saudis - we get it. But sooner or later you should have gotten to more political issues.

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    • Story
    • Reza
    • ORANGE, CA, United States
    • 04-30-15

    Pointless hatchet job

    I'm a vocal critic of Saudi Arabia, and many of their disposable practices. But this was poor researched, tabloid look at the house. A waste of time.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful