James Akins was an attache at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, 1963-1965, and later became the U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
Akins was appointed Ambassador to Saudi Arabia on August 27, 1973, by President Nixon. His most important task is generally believed to have been to persuade the Saudis to lift the oil embargo. Arguably, a more important accomplishment was his role in persuading the Saudis (particularly King Faisal) to alter their policy of absolute rejection of Israel. For the last two decades Ambassador Akins has worked closely with Arabs and Israelis for a comprehensive Middle East peace.
Ray McGovern states:
Just before the March 2003 attack, Chas Freeman, U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia for President George H.W. Bush, explained that the new policy was to maintain a lock on the world's energy lifeline and be able to deny access to global competitors. Freeman said the new Bush administration "believes you have to control resources in order to have access to them" and that, with the end of the Cold war, the U.S. is uniquely able to shape global events-and would be remiss if it did not do so.
This could not be attempted in a world of two superpowers, but has been a longstanding goal of the people closest to George W. Bush. In 1975 in Harpers, then-secretary of state Henry Kissinger authored under a pseudonym an article, "Seizing Arab Oil." Blissfully unaware that the author was his boss, the highly respected career ambassador to Saudi Arabia, James Akins, committed the mother of all faux pas when he told a TV audience that whoever wrote that article had to be a "madman." Akins was right; he was also fired.