Published in 2004, the book highlights the troubled relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia - mostly in the form of its relationship with the Saudi royal family.
In the book, the former CIA operative also exposed how Washington politics drastically compromised the CIA’s efforts to fight global terrorism.
Now in his powerful book, Sleeping with the Devil, Baer turns his attention to Saudi Arabia, revealing how US government’s cynical relationship with its Middle Eastern ally and America’ s dependence on Saudi oil make it increasingly vulnerable to economic disaster and put Americans 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 Saud family.
But the rot at the core of its “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 US addiction to cheap oil and Saudi petrodollars caused Americans to turn a blind eye to the Al Saud’s culture of bribery, its abysmal human rights record, and its financial support of fundamentalist 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 US intelligence community, Baer vividly portrays America’s decades-old relationship with the increasingly dysfunctional and corrupt Al Saud family, the fierce anti-Western sentiment that is sweeping the kingdom, and the desperate link between the two.
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 sect that rules the Saudi street; to the Taliban and al-Qaeda, the most active and effective terrorist groups in existence, which the Al Saud 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 Saud’s money—we are laying the groundwork for a potential global economic catastrophe.
“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?” Baer said.