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'House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties'

StoryMay 11, 2004
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Journalist Craig Unger joins us in our studios to discuss his new book that examines the complex negotiations on war, oil, illegal arms deals and murky banking deals conducted between the Bushes and the Saudis–connecting a US presidential dynasty to a foreign power.

Saudi Arabia Oil Minister announced Monday he will urge OPEC to increase production in its upcoming June meeting, reversing an output cut that began just last month.

OPEC–the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries–pumps about a third of the world’s oil, and Saudi Arabia is its biggest producer and de facto leader.

Saudi Arabia’s oil minister said the change in oil policy is due to concern that high prices could hurt the world economy and reduce demand for oil. Raising the daily production limit of oil will serve to lower gas prices over the coming months. Oil is currently at a 13-year high.

The sudden reversal in Saudi oil policy came only weeks after Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward said in a new book that Saudi Arabia had made a deal with the White House to drive down U.S. gasoline prices and help President Bush win re-election. Saudi and U.S. officials have since denied the charge.

In March Juan Gonzalez and I spoke with journalist and author Craig Unger about the long-term relationship between the Bush family and the Saudi Royal family that dates back over two decades is the subject of his new book House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship between the World’s Two Most Powerful Dynasties.

In it, Unger writes: "In order to understand this relationship, one would have to journey back to the time to the birth of Al-Qaeda. One would have to study the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980’s, the 1991 Gulf War, the Iraq War of 2003.

“One would have to try to deduce what had happened within the corporate suites of the oil barons, of Dallas and Houston, the executive offices of Carlyle Group.

"Finally, one would have to put all this information together to shape a continuum, a narrative in which the House of Bush and the House of Saud dominated the world stage together in one era after another. Having done so, one would have to come to a singular, inescapable conclusion, namely that horrifying as it sounds, the secret relationship between these two great families helped to trigger the age of terror and give rise to see the tragedy of 9-11."

  • Craig Unger, author of the new book, House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship between the World’s Two Most Powerful Dynasties. He served as deputy editor of the New York Observer and was the editor of Boston Magazine. He has written about George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush for the New Yorker, Esquire Magazine and Vanity Fair.

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