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Friday, January 23, 2015

Did King Abdullah make a sex tape?

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is dead. I cannot mourn the man, but I can take this opportunity to tell a story that we have touched on in a number of previous posts.

Many have wondered: Just how did Saudi Arabia become such a close partner of the United States? Why, for example, did the Saudis agree to drastic cuts in the price of oil, a move which helps the US wage economic war against Russia?

The answer is long and complex. One small part of it, I suspect, involves a "happy hooker" named Xaviera Hollander.

In 1972, she wrote an extremely popular book about her career. It was called, naturally enough, The Happy Hooker. At the time it came out, there were whispers that the book had something to do with then-current scandals involving the Nixon administrations.

(If you think I'm straying far from the topic of Saudi Arabia, bear with me. All will soon be made clear.)

Xaviera's co-writer, or ghost writer, was a guy named Robin Moore, who died in 2008. Surprisingly, nobody has bothered to ask one key question: How the hell did Moore -- best known for writing The French Connection, and for his insider's account of the Green Berets -- become involved in such a project? All of his other works had some link to the world of covert ops and special forces. Take a look at Moore's Wikipedia page and I think you'll agree: The guy was spooky, or at least spook-friendly.

(There's definitely a spooky side to the story of the French Connection, although you won't read about it in Moore's famous book of that name. Therein lieth a tale for another time.)

So. Why did a writer linked to the covert world write a sensationalistic book about a prostitute? When did Robin meet Xaviera?

I don't have a copy of her book to hand, but I seem to recall that the text tended to vary between editions. In at least one edition, toward the end of her narrative, Xaviera tells a strange and incomplete tale about the placement of recording equipment in her bedroom, hidden behind a mirror. This equipment captured her in action with VIPs and visiting foreign dignitaries.

Many years after the first publication of The Happy Hooker, Anthony Summers took the story further in his Nixon Bio, The Arrogance of Power.
In fall of 1971 Charles Colson had received a tip from a Life magazine contact about a breaking story in New York. Bugs installed in a Manhattan brothel had led to a exposure of a police protection scam. Now political scandal also loomed.

In a note to Colson, the Life reporter summarized what he had heard from the electronics man who had installed the bugs: "He said: 'I know a lot about that operation. There were a lot of politicians mixed up in it, even the White House.' I said: 'What are you talking about?' And then he brought up Mosbacher's name..."

Emil Mosbacher was Nixon's chief of protocol, and the allegation was that he had taken prostitutes from the brothel by limousine to service clients elsewhere. The Life reporter believed his source was telling the truth. 

Alerted by Colson, John Dean began making inquiries. Even before they were completed, however, the New York Times featured a story with an ominous headline headline: POSSIBLE BLACKMAIL OF NIXON OFFICIAL CHECKED HERE. "At least two high-ranking officials in the Nixon administration," ran the lead, "are among the people the Manhattan District Attorney's Office intends to question about the possibility that they were blackmailed because of their association with an East Side brothel.
Hollander's book did not delve very far into the very intriguing issues raised by that headline. One wonders why.

(Patience. We're getting to the Saudi connection.)
The woman who had run the brothel, Xaviera Hollander, surfaced soon afterward with her book The Happy Hooker, an instant worldwide best seller. It contained no revelations about the Nixon White House, but allegations got into the press again, this time about "one of the hierarchy of the White House." In the spring of 1972, just weeks before the first Watergate break-in, Hollander was deported to Europe. The wiretapper who claimed his tapes proved a White House connection also left the country.

"Thank you, Tricky Dicky," Hollander wrote in the next edition of her book," for the pressure to deport her had apparently come from the top levels of the government. "The White House got her kicked out to stop her making a noise," said the author Robin Moore, who listened to the brothel tapes and worked with Hollander in ghosting her book. "The Nixon administration had been using the Hollander outfit to entertain foreign dignitaries, especially Arabs. It was organized by Nixon's press secretary, Ron Ziegler. It was taped..."
Emphasis added. Now do you see the connection?

I have been told that the encounters were filmed as well as audio taped -- and that Moore himself played a role in setting up the operation. Not only that: Xaviera herself entertained these leaders. She didn't delegate this task to the other girls.

Summers goes on to recount a story about the time a prominent lawyer asked Mosbacher's assistant, one Nick Ruwe, "What do you do as deputy protocol chief?"

Ruwe's answer: "We have ten Arabs coming to town, and they've ordered twenty prostitutes -- none of them Jewish." (Emphasis added.)

This last point is of paramount importance, because Xaviera Hollander is Jewish. (Technically, she is half-Jewish, on her father's side.)

At the time, few people knew this fact, and nobody meeting her would have guessed it.

You must have the picture by now. The American government makes sure that Arab leaders are "entertained" by a Jewish hooker, although they do not know that she is Jewish. These Arabs are secretly photographed and taped in the act. Spooky Robin Moore controls both the hooker in question and the level of detail published in her memoirs. Just enough detail slips out to make the unnamed "Arabs" anxious -- but not enough to get them into serious trouble.

Put it all together and it spells blackmail.

How did this operation impact US-Saudi relations? Come to your own conclusions.

Was the recently-deceased King Abdullah -- then Prince Abdullah -- one of the "johns" who was caught up in this trap? I don't know. I've been asking myself that question for years now, but I still do not know. (King Hussein of Jordan is the only Arab leader who has been named as one of Xaviera Hollander's clients.)

At the time, Abdullah was 50 years old and was the leader of the Saudi National Guard. I don't know with any certainty the year  of his first trip to the United States. The earliest trip mentioned by internet sources occurred in 1974, at which point Xaviera was out of the country and Nixon was segueing into history. But it seems very possible that he might have been one of the "ten Arabs" referenced by Ruwe.

For what it is worth: There was an inane movie called The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington in which a CIA agent cajoles Xaviera into seducing an Arab Shiekh. I have not seen this film. I have been told that it is so bad as to be nearly unwatchable.

(Before you say it: Yes, I am well aware that someone is "officially" Jewish if his or her mother is Jewish. This technicality probably would not have mattered much in the Arab world, had those secret recordings been made public.)
Comments:
Well, Xavier puts a new twist on the story of the petrodollar!
 
About ten years later in 1981, my company, which ran computer literacy seminars for corporations, was subcontracted by a very large bank. They were to be bringing over several groups of Saudi princes for a week's worth of education in banking and investment along with computer lit.

The princes were all between 20-40, arrogant as hell, and not interested in learning a thing. We quickly came to understand the classes were window dressing. The bank's main goal was to show them a good time, wining and dining and whoring every night. When they came to the seminar (and they rarely did, after the first day) they were hungover and often as not, slept.
 
I can only hope it's better than the movie.

Thanks for this.
 
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