Daniel Pipes writes in Frontpage:
Investigative writer Gerald Posner reveals something most extraordinary in Secrets of the Kingdom: The Inside Story of the Saudi-U.S. Connection, his book to be published by Random House later this month: that the Saudi government may have rigged its oil and gas infrastructure with a self-destruct system that would keep it out of commission for decades. If true, this could undermine the world economy at any time.
Posner starts by recalling various hints that Americans dropped back in the 1970s, that the high price and limited production of oil might lead to a U.S. invasion of Saudi Arabia and a seizure of its oil fields. For example, in 1975, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger murkily threatened the Saudis with a double-negative: “I am not saying that there’s no circumstances where we would not use force” against them.
In response, Posner shows, the Saudi leadership began to think of ways to prevent such an occurrence. They could not do so the usual way, by building up their military, for that would be futile against the much stronger U.S. forces. So the monarchy — one of the most creative and underestimated political forces in modern history — set out instead to use indirection and deterrence. Rather than mount defenses of its oil installations, it did just the opposite, inserting a clandestine network of explosives designed to render the vast oil and gas infrastructure inoperable — and not just temporarily but for a long period.
That is the finding that Posner, author of ten books (including Case Closed, the definitive account of the John F. Kennedy assassination) details in a chapter titled “Scorched Earth,” based on intelligence intercepts he gained access to. The Saudi planning began in earnest, he reports, after the Kuwait war of 1990-91, when the Iraqis left behind an inferno of oil-field fires “¦ which, to everyone’s amazement, was extinguished within months, not years. In response, the Saudis thought of ways to assure their oil would stay off the market. They began:
“exploring the possibility of a single-button self-destruct system, protected with a series of built-in fail-safes. It was evidently their way to ensure that if someone else grabbed the world’s largest oil reserves and forced them to flee the country they had founded, the House of Saud could at least make certain that what they left behind was worthless.”…
Read it all.