Saudi Kingdom Corrupt and Doomed, Says Former CIA Agent

(TIME) - Adam Zagorin Saudi Arabia, a primary oil supplier to the U.S., is still governed by medieval political institutions and Wahhabism, an obscurantist and often anti-Western doctrine of Islam. Former CIA agent Robert Baer's new book, Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude, offers a picture of the Saudi royal family as degenerate, dangerous, and doomed. To Baer, the clan is "as violent and vengeful as any Mafia family," and the monarchy is "hanging on by a thread." There are alleged kickbacks by bin Laden family businesses to Saudi overlords and princes living large as the kingdom's 23 million people endure a steady decline in their living standard. Baer cites data indicating that the Saudis funneled half a billion dollars to al-Qaeda over a decade, while Wahhabi-controlled religious schools indoctrinated a new generation of fanatics.

2003-07-16 00:00:00

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