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Friday, September 9, 2011     GET REAL

Cable: Saudi king knocked decade off his age . . . and used Viagra into his 90s

LONDON — The United States has determined that Saudi King Abdullah was concealing his age by about a decade.


A State Department cable asserted that Abdullah was born in 1916, which would make the king 95-years-old. The cable by the U.S. embassy in Riyad said Abdullah appeared to be sexually active and was using Viagra simulants as late as 2008.

The cable reviewed Abdullah's health amid U.S. concerns over the aging of the Saudi leadership. The State Department was told that Abdullah, described as a "true Bedouin," remained a heavy smoker and was receiving both Viagra as well as hormone injections.

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Details of the king came from an unidentified Western physician. The cable said the physician was summoned to Riyad to examine one of Abdullah's four wives but was given, apparently by accident, the king's medical file.

For decades, Western diplomats believed Abdullah was born around 1925, Middle East Newsline reported. In 2010, Abdullah underwent a series of back and spinal operations that were said to have forced him to suspend his daily duties.

Much of Abdullah's duties were said to have been taken over by his half-brother Nayef. Nayef, both deputy prime minister and interior minister, was believed responsible for domestic security, including counter-insurgency.

An earlier cable said Abdullah distrusted modern medicine until he underwent a heart attack. The State Department said Abdullah was told that he needed to swim three laps every morning and walk for 45 minutes in the evening.

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