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The one percent doctrine : deep inside…

The one percent doctrine : deep inside America's pursuit of its… (original 2006; edition 2006)

by Ron Suskind

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7441219,314 (3.68)8
What is the guiding principle of the world's most powerful nation as it searches for enemies at home and abroad? Who is actually running U.S. foreign policy? The story begins on September 12, 2001, as America began to gather itself for a response to the unimaginable. Journalist Suskind tells us what actually occurred over the next three years, from the inside out, by tracing the steps of the key actors who oversee the "war on terror" and report progress to an anxious nation; and the invisibles, the men and women just below the line of sight, left to improvise plans to defeat a new kind of enemy in an hour-by-hour race against disaster. The internal battles between these two teams--one, the Bush administration, under the hot lights; the other, actually fighting the fight--reveal everything about what America faces, and what it has done, in this age of terror.--From publisher description.… (more)
Title:The one percent doctrine : deep inside America's pursuit of its enemies since 9/11
Authors:Ron Suskind
Info:New York : Simon & Schuster, c2006.
Collections:Your library
Tags:History, Politics

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The One Percent Doctrine: Deep inside America’s Pursuit of Its Enemies since 9/11 by Ron Suskind (2006)



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This book is on the bestsellers list. It's a great look into the methods that the U.S. used to snag terrorists and get information from them to catch more. You may remember various terror alerts throughout the years, like the one issued for the New York subway system. This book gives you the behind-the-scenes of why those alerts were issued and what information they were based on.

The "one percent doctrine" was crafted by Dick Cheney. Essentially, if there's a 1% chance that something will happen then the White House treats it as an absolute certainty. This has led the U.S. on many wild goose chases, and a 1% chance that maybe someone in Iraq met with someone in Al Qaeda helped lead us into our Iraq war.

This book is definitely to be watched with The Dark Side. That show gives you names and faces of the CIA operatives in this book who have since left the agency disgruntled. It also shows you how Cheney and others really beat the drum of Iraq long before 9/11. I also recommend reading it with Bush at War by Bob Woodward. Suskind leaves out much of the details of war in Afghanistan since Woodward had already covered them so well. ( )
  justindtapp | Jun 3, 2015 |
Among other things I learned was that the big to-do when Zubeta was captured after a firefight and wounded was that the US flew the best U.S. physicians to Pakistan to treat him. He probably had the best medical care of anyone in the world so he could be completely healthy so they could torture him (no kidding.) The problem was that he was a crazy guy suffering from delusions. The CIA had all sorts of evidence that he knew nothing, was not a player, but acted as sort of the Al Qaeda travel agent for family members. Bush had made such a big thing out of his capture, it put the entire intelligence community on the spot to try to justify the torture and pretend his information had some value.

It also became abundantly clear early on, that the U.S. had evidence (from an intercepted conversation) that Ben Laden's goal was not to overthrow the United States, but rather to destabilize the Arab world: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, and others in hopes of establishing a true fundamentalist theocracy. He was targeting the Saudi family and the oil fields to begin with. To do so would completely unhinge the world's economy, which runs on oil. (See also [b:The Looming Tower|110890|The Looming Tower Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11|Lawrence Wright|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1171646758s/110890.jpg|2567720] for more evidence of Ben Laden's strategic goals.

Bush, in a speech to West Point, in 2003 had already expressed the need for new tactics to deal with non-nation threats. It would require going after individuals rather than states and these individuals could move freely from one state to another making their apprehension quite difficult. (See my little essay on swarming as a superior tactic in OpenSalon http://open.salon.com/content.php?cid=49623)

The Cheney Doctrine, i.e. the One-Percent Rule that says if there is even a one-percent chance of a threat it must be dealt with, cold have enormous implications for the United States because it also meant that we should react based on suspicion rather than evidence hence the Bush Administration's throwing out many of the Constitutional protections in the name of threat avoidance.

How all this will play out in the future remains to be seen.
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
Journalist Ron Suskind’s book is half a decade old but is still quite pertinent today especially teetering toward 9/11 anniversary. He presents fairly much the same material and interviews similar personalities that we have read in Bob Woodward’s series like Bush at War, Plan of Attack, or State of Denial. Covering events from roughly 2000 to 2004, however, Suskind’s focus centers on a slender yet viral topic: the intrigues of Machiavellian puppet master Dick Cheney.

According to Suskind, as Vice President to the 43rd U.S. President, Cheney was master designer and chief enforcer of what became known from the White House inner circles as the Cheney Doctrine. In its simplest form the tenet launched preventive acts that were based on suspicion. The “One Percent” notion lay in his edict that even if there was a one-percent chance of the unimaginable happening, the country needed to act as if the event was a certainty. America didn’t need to have 99% surety or accuracy of information before trouncing any source.

Suskind paints George W. Bush as a global diplomacy neophyte, a visceral fighter prone to bullying, and a faith-based fear monger who leans on Cheney as a funnel that allowed Bush Presidential deniability if any project went sour. With the President’s ear, Cheney and his minions unleashed CIA operations into 80 countries; prompted the impetus for the creation of Homeland Security and the enactment of the U.S. Patriot Act; made Geneva Conventions obsolete for imprisoned enemy combatants in the “War on Terror”; and basically enlarged the Administration’s powers beyond those constitutionally recognized.

Cheney’s credo lay in response, not analysis. Without substantial evidence or any measure of probable cause, the Administration’s agencies were permitted to pursue, prosecute—if not persecute—those suspected of potential harm. The Cheney Doctrine tried to salve the horrors of 9/11 when the defenses of the United States were weakest. Through White House agency directives much of al Qaeda, Taliban, or other conceived terrorist units were wrecked if not destroyed. Nevertheless and after five years, the Bush quick-step stanching of worldwide terrorism through electronic targeting and armed forces deployments merely had driven the fanatic networks underground while providing those extremists ample recruitment material, such as pictures of Abu Ghraib, videos of wounded civilians, and the remains of destroyed institutions.

This book continues to be a harrowing glimpse of Presidential endorsement in the unaccustomed and unfettered use of global power. ( )
2 vote terk71 | Aug 25, 2011 |
This book is not so much an eye opener, as for most of the world it was always clear that the 11th September attacks were just used as a pretext to prosecute a war against Iraq that was never justified by the events. However it was a clear vindication of all that many many people were saying, based on testimony from some very well placed sources. As such this was a good piece of journalism in book form.

From the opening pages it was clear that Suskind was going to take no prisoners. He tells us that Bush was never much of a reader (despite the efforts to project an image that he was), and that he based his decisions on gut reactions based on face to face meetings.

The genius of Suskind is that he writes in a way that shows he is not just twisting a knife in the dying corpse of a discredited administration. In fact he makes a good case for Bush's strengths in his use of gut feeling - something that served him well over the years. Yes, the author is fairly clear that Cheney was really pulling the strings in the US administration (with the help of Rumsfeld et al.), but we see Bush fighting to assert his own authority, and his strengths and weaknesses laid bare.

The result is, of course, a fairly damning indictment on men who followed an obsession against the evidence, leading America into what we can all now see to be the biggest American foreign policy disaster ever. Nevertheless it is written in a way that is not anti American. It is well informed, compassionate and articulately written.

My biggest problem with the book though was the slight;y piecemeal way it is laid out. The timeline jumps forward and back a little. As this is essentially a narrative history based on primary sources, I would have liked it to be laid out in a slightly more logical and chronological order. But that is not a reason not to read this book. In fact this book or something like it should be used in all future courses on American history! ( )
3 vote sirfurboy | Sep 1, 2009 |
Very disturbing book about a very insular white house.
  jaygheiser | Jul 23, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ron Suskindprimary authorall editionscalculated
Diderich, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herrmann, EdwardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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