Thursday, September 14, 2006

The One Percent Doctrine

Once you give up your integrity, everything else is easy.
J. R. Ewing

I finished reading Ron Suskind’s The One Percent Doctrine yesterday. It is an absorbing and fast paced narrative about the search for terrorists after 9/11. The book has been widely reviewed, so you don’t need one from me. I can’t resist a few comments.

The one percent doctrine was minted by Vice President Cheney. It states that if there is even a one percent chance that someone is hostile to US security, then swift and forceful action must be taken against them. I’ll leave it to the reader’s imagination as to what some of the consequences of the doctrine might be.

Suskind’s book confirmed my worst fears about how President Bush and Vice President Cheney have changed basic governmental processes, institutions, and roles for the worse. Suskind does not state that in his book, yet his reporting allows no other conclusions about the Bush Administration leadership.

Analysts and policy makers no longer provide valuable input to important political decisions. Instead, they are political operatives who craft the messages around the prejudices and decisions of President Bush and Vice President Cheney. This has led to a wholesale defection from government of America’s policy makers. Suskind tells the story of how the Bush Administration eviscerated the CIA and turned it into a machine whose function is to confirm the suspicions, prejudices, and whims of political leaders.

If you read Suskind’s book and don’t like it, don’t blame Suskind. Blame the facts.


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