I don’t have time to read all the books that I want. So I read book reviews when I can’t read the books.
If this book is based on fact, I’m very concerned.
House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World’s Two Most Powerful Dynasties. By Craig Unger. Scribner. $26. 356 pages.
On Sept. 13, 2001, the United States grounded all commercial aviation, yet more than 140 individuals were permitted to leave the country. Nearly all of them were Saudi, and roughly two dozen were kin to Osama bin Laden. What kind of intelligence failure allowed that to happen? Were those individuals seriously questioned? Who allowed them to leave? Given that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi, what was the rush in squandering what may have been a potential intelligence mother lode?
Craig Unger first reported this story in Vanity Fair magazine. In “House of Bush, House of Saud,” he places this incredible scenario in the context of a decades-old relationship between the ruling clan of Saudi Arabia and America’s pre-eminent political dynasty, the Bush family.
To begin, Unger takes us back to the 1960s, when George H.W. Bush was an oilman in Texas whose success included drilling the first offshore well for a tiny Middle Eastern country called Kuwait. Bush got out of oil in 1966 to get into politics and wound up as head of the CIA just as Saudi businessmen close to the royal family began investing in Bush’s home state. They bought up real estate and purchased planes. They bought a bank in Houston with former Texas Gov. John Connally. They developed a skyscraper known as Texas Commerce Tower, which housed Texas Commerce Bancshares, the bank started by the grandfather of James A. Baker, Bush’s right-hand man.
But this is just the beginning of the relationship. continued…