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The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11 Paperback – 4 Jun 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; New edition edition (4 Jun. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416527605
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416527602
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 442,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"A richly detailed and layered account.... It makes for deeply unsettling reading and is a major contribution to our national conversation.... [Suskind] is a gifted and enterprising reporter and those attributes inform nearly every part of this important book.... Compelling." -- Tim Rutten, "Los Angeles Times"

About the Author

Ron Suskind was the WALL STREET JOURNAL's senior national affairs reporter from 1993 to 2000, and won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing while working there. He is the author of several acclaimed books and lives in Washington DC with his wife and two sons.

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Littrell TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 18 July 2006
Format: Hardcover
What I mean by "scattered" is that the book could use a sharper focus. Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Ron Suskind waded through mountains of documents and transcripts and notes from interviews and then published this as quickly as he could. He wanted to include all the important details he uncovered while they were topical, but he didn't really have the time to properly meld them into the narrative. The result is the book is a little less readable and engaging than it might have been.

Nonetheless, this is a fascinating account of how the Bush administration operates.

The "One Percent Doctrine" that forms the centerpiece and focal point is from Vice President Dick Cheney. Here's an example of how Cheney articulated it: "If there's a one percent chance that Pakistani scientists are helping Al Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response." Cheney added, "It's not about our analysis, or finding a preponderance of evidence... It's about our response." (p. 62)

Looked at carefully this doctrine is really just a rationale for the Bush administration to do what it wants to do. The key point is the "one percent." If "it's not about...a preponderance of evidence," how do we know that there's a one percent chance? How do we know that it's not one tenth of one percent or one thousandth of one percent or a googleplex of one percent? We don't. And that is exactly the point of the Cheney Doctrine. As Suskind puts it, "A key feature of the Cheney Doctrine was to quietly liberate action from such accepted standards of proof... Suspicion...became the threshold for action." (p. 163)

Looked at in terms of our invasion of Iraq, the utility of the Cheney Doctrine to the Bush administration becomes clear.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Teemacs on 3 Sept. 2006
Format: Hardcover
I was expecting an anti-Bush polemic, but instead I got this rational, essentially fair volume, which is much more scary. The world's superpower, it seems, is in the hands of screwballs. At the top, a President who doesn't read much, who is more interested in loyalty than facts and who goes with his gut. Underneath him is a bunch of guys, the neocons, who do his thinking for him, according to their agenda. The "one percent" of the title comes from the Prince of Darkness itself, Dick Cheney - if there is only a one percent chance that a country will attack America, that country must be attacked. Evidence? Don't be silly, that's old-fashioned and not for the world's superpower and regent of Heaven on earth. Suspicion (real or imagined) is sufficient. Some of the revelations are quite startling. There's an Australian expression that someone is unfit to manage a country dunnee (outside toilet). The USA has become one giant dunnee - read this book and find out how it happened, and why the USA is flushed, but not with success.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Aug. 2006
Format: Hardcover
In the early days of the United States, James Monroe announced the Monroe Doctrine which told Europe to keep its hands off nations in the Americas. In the early days of the 21st century, according to author Ron Suskind, we have the Whack-A-Mole Doctrine by Dick Cheney.

If you have ever been to a carnival sideshow or to an old-time arcade, chances are you have seen Whack-A-Mole. Rodents pop up through holes and you get points if you bash them on the head fast enough with a mallet. While those rodents are literal moles, Mr. Cheney apparently sees almost everyone as a terrorist mole who deserves to be whacked until proven to be innocent. It's a strange policy for a nation that's supposed to be governed by laws, not men.

Why is Mr. Cheney relevant? Well, it seems as if terrorism is one of those black areas where you want deniability for the president. So Mr. Cheney runs things. Mr. Bush apparently is happy to be kept in ignorance so he can say whatever he wants in public about how we are winning the War on Terror, even when he knows differently.

It's difficult to write history accurately until many decades have passed. But the live-witness accounts that are captured while the blood is hot ultimately form most of the case for the eventual conclusions.

This book will live or fall on two premises that Mr. Suskind develops from disaffected members of the Bush II administration and those who oppose that group:

1. The invasion of Iraq wasn't about stopping terror directly. It was a desire to send a message to any dictators that don't cooperate with the U.S. that we'll go in and kick them out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
In the early days of the United States, James Monroe announced the Monroe Doctrine which told Europe to keep its hands off nations in the Americas. In the early days of the 21st century, according to author Ron Suskind, we have the Whack-A-Mole Doctrine by Dick Cheney.

If you have ever been to a carnival sideshow or to an old-time arcade, chances are you have seen Whack-A-Mole. Rodents pop up through holes and you get points if you bash them on the head fast enough with a mallet. While those rodents are literal moles, Mr. Cheney apparently sees almost everyone as a terrorist mole who deserves to be whacked until proven to be innocent. It's a strange policy for a nation that's supposed to be governed by laws, not men.

Why is Mr. Cheney relevant? Well, it seems as if terrorism is one of those black areas where you want deniability for the president. So Mr. Cheney runs things. Mr. Bush apparently is happy to be kept in ignorance so he can say whatever he wants in public about how we are winning the War on Terror, even when he knows differently.

It's difficult to write history accurately until many decades have passed. But the live-witness accounts that are captured while the blood is hot ultimately form most of the case for the eventual conclusions.

This book will live or fall on two premises that Mr. Suskind develops from disaffected members of the Bush II administration and those who oppose that group:

1. The invasion of Iraq wasn't about stopping terror directly. It was a desire to send a message to any dictators that don't cooperate with the U.S. that we'll go in and kick them out. It's a bully's message that apparently has been heeded by many eager despots who now arrest and torture innocent and not-so-innocent suspects at our request.
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