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Sleeping with the Devil

How Washington Sold Our Soul For Saudi Crude
Narrated by: Robertson Dean
Length: 7 hrs and 47 mins
5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)
Non-member price: $34.76
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Publisher's Summary

In his explosive New York Times best seller, 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 15 of the 19 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 20 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 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 listeners 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 effective terrorist groups in existence.

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.

©2003 Robert Baer (P)2003 Books on Tape, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • B. Allen
  • 18-09-2004

The story behind the true US-Saudi relationship

Robert Baer's story about the inner workings of how the US and Saudi Governments do business is great listening. One of the most detailed books of how much influence the House of Saud has in this country from the author with decades of intelligence experience in the region. He describes how Saudi diplomats have unfettered access in this country to the highest levels of government. Baer describes how Saudi money buys whatever influence they want in the US. Full of insights of how the Saudi government rules and details about how the main saudi oil fields are in the Shite populated areas, but ruled by the Sunni Royal family. This book gives great insights into the Saudi-US relationship-how it started and where its going, and the politics inside the Saudi Royal family. A very well told story and a very informative book.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Jesus Garcia, D.S.S.
  • 02-04-2012

We are all Ignorant

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Spread the word and sit back and listen to a Master Spy give you the information that CNN refuses to report.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Robert Baer

Have you listened to any of Robertson Dean’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

All his books

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

YEs

Any additional comments?

Great book I can't stop talking about it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Tom
  • 23-09-2011

A weak book

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

This was less the journalism or expose that you may hope for and more of an opportunity for the author to promote himself. The book can basically be summarized as: "Saudi Arabia, the Arab world and America have a complicated relationship. I am smarter than everyone and knew everything all along. Trust me, I was in the CIA" From there, the book is filled with self promotion, speculation presented as fact, and blanket statements clouded by historical hindsight. If you are well read or familiar with history the books treatment of history may be annoying. If you are in the intel community, Robert Baer's self serving narrative about the ignorance of others will get to you.
If you want to learn about Saudi Arabia, get the excellent "Inside the Kingdom" by Robert Lacey which is much more authoritative and revealing. If you are interested in the roots of Islamic extremism and 9/11, read "The Looming Tower" by Lawrence Wright.

What didn’t you like about Robertson Dean’s performance?

Lots of bad pronunciation. Sarcastic tone matches Baer's writing style.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • 17-03-2007

Right_On Baer

Great truth is difficult to describe and impossible to keep interesting, however Robert Baer found a way!
If you want a picture of the real world told in a spell binding way - take a listen!!!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Kenneth
  • 11-11-2004

A poorly written unscholarly approach

I really looked forward to listening to this book and I was really disappointed for two reasons.
First, the book is poorly written. Examples: when the author discusses the growth of certain populations, he refers to "average [rates of] screwing" to predict population growth. When complaining about officials turning a blind eye to problems, he says that they are deterimined not to rock the boat "come hell or high explosives." These examples are just the start. There are passages that are so badly written that I just cringed.
Secondly, the author describes himself at the end of the book as an "outsider" when it comes to his observations. And that's a problem. The author's assertions and conclusions may be correct, but you can't tell whether he's discussing his inside knowledge based on his CIA career, or just repreating accusations you can find anywhere. And although he may have had a distinguished CIA career (and I have no idea whether he did or not), he makes it plain through what he doesn't say about it that he was not an operative with any substantial responsibilities for dealing with oil cartel members. This problem could have been resolved to some extent by substantial references to sources which can be checked. But no such luck.
If you want to know about the oil cartel and its hold on us, I suggest looking elsewhere. This book won't fill any gaps in your ignorance. But it will strengthen your personal resolve to become a better writer.

13 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • jeremiah
  • 27-04-2016

eye opening to say the least!

in light of today's headlines about the Kingdom, this book should be required reading among the average American who wants to understand the depth of collusion between our governments.

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  • zachary
  • 11-04-2016

Awesome

I highly recommend this book eye-opening very interesting story helps you understand a lot what's going on today with the Middle East and our problem with terrorism it's must've read

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  • Philip Yaghmai
  • 23-02-2016

Great book!

Based on my travels around the Middle East and Central Asia Robert Baeer is right on the mark.

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  • janice
  • 24-01-2016

Good read

Very enlightening, narrator was excellent, easy to listen to. well written book. would love to have the author do another sequel.

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  • Rev. David B. Smith
  • 22-06-2015

An excellent and revealing read

This is a very valuable work and it filled in many of the missing pieces for me in understanding the complexities of Middle Eastern politics

The book also sheds light on the depth of corruption within the U.S. State department as well as in the notorious house of Saud.

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  • AMR Professional Ltd
  • 21-03-2017

Corruption must have 2 ends to work

Very informative. Nice admission for the 2 ends of corrupt dealings. I wonder who's is Devil in your mind Mr. Bear

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  • Chris
  • 19-01-2011

Fascinating

Highly recommended, I had already read the paperback and got this audiobook to remind myself of all that I had read. This is a totally engrossing account of the american relationship with Saudi Arabia. It is excellently narrated by Robertson Dean.