Sunday, April 18, 2004

It's A Saudi Sunday

The Sunday Washington Post has this excerpt from Bob Woodward's new book, showing the extraordinary courtesies afforded Saudi Arabia by this White House.

Not only was Prince Bandar allowed to view classified Iraq war plans marked NOFORN (NO FOREIGN, material not to be seen by foreign nations), he was also told of the plan to invade Iraq before Colin Powell.

Bandar Told Ahead of Powell

One of Rice's jobs was, as she called it, "to read the secretaries": Powell and Rumsfeld. Since the president had told Rumsfeld about his decision to go to war, he had better tell Powell, and fast. Powell was close to Prince Bandar, who now was informed of the decision.

"Mr. President," Rice said, "if you're getting to a place that you really think this might happen, you need to call Colin in and talk to him." Powell had the most difficult job, keeping the diplomatic track alive.

On the lighter side of things, there's this exchange between Cheney and Rumsfeld.

"Saddam, this time, will be out, period?" Bandar asked skeptically. "What will happen to him?"

Cheney, who had been quiet as usual, replied, "Prince Bandar, once we start, Saddam is toast."

...After Bandar had left, Rumsfeld voiced some concern about the vice president's "toast" remark. "Jesus Christ, what was that all about, Dick?"

"I didn't want to leave any doubt in his mind what we're planning to do," Cheney said.

As to Bush and the Saudi Royal Family, Roger Ailes finds this interesting, and I agree. It's taken from the NY Times review of Craig Unger's new book, House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties.

[Craig Unger] even puts a price tag on the Saudis' contributions to the Bush family: a staggering $1.476 billion, paid out over 30 years as gifts to Bush-related charities, as generous perks (including a Saudi-sponsored European hunting trip for George H. W. Bush and his 1991 gulf war cabinet just after the November 2000 general election) and as investments in Bush-related businesses like Harken Energy or the Carlyle Group.

This isn't the same Saudi Arabia that produced 15 of the 9-11 hijackers, is it?