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Truthdigger of the Week: Ron Suskind

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Posted on Jun 24, 2006
Ron Suskind and 'The One Percent Doctrine'
Book: Amazon.com / Suskind: virginia.edu

In his new book, author Ron Suskind has once again stripped away the veils that shroud the secretive inner workings of the Bush counter-terrorism machine.

Truthdig salutes Ron Suskind, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer whose most recent book, “The One Percent Doctrine,” stripped down Vice President Dick Cheney’s counter-terrorism philosophy to its Strangelovian essence: If there is a 1% chance of a terrorist attack, America must respond as though it is a 100% certainty.

But that’s just the start of the book’s rattling disclosures. Among others:

  • The U.S. deliberately bombed the Al Jazeera TV station in Kabul to “send a message” (watch Suskind make the charge on CNN)
  •  

  • The parent company of Western Union gave the FBI information on the financial transactions and wire transfers of untold thousands of Americans
  •  

  • From a N.Y. Times review:

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    “[The Iraq] war, according to the author’s sources who attended National Security Council briefings in 2002, was primarily waged ‘to make an example’ of Saddam Hussein, to ‘create a demonstration model to guide the behavior of anyone with the temerity to acquire destructive weapons or, in any way, flout the authority of the United States.’ ”

  • And from the same review:

    “Cheney’s nickname inside the C.I.A. was Edgar (as in Edgar Bergen), casting Mr. Bush in the puppet role of Charlie McCarthy, and [Suskind] cites one instance after another in which the president was not fully briefed (or had failed to read the basic paperwork) about a crucial situation.”

  • From 1993 to 2000, Suskind was the senior national affairs writer for the Wall Street Journal. His last book, “The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House and the Education of Paul O’Neill,” was a N.Y. Times No. 1 bestseller that was the most authoritative look inside the Bush presidency.

    Suskind is also the author of the seminal N.Y. Times Magazine article “Without a Doubt,” an examination of the role that faith plays in President Bush’s policy decisions, and which introduced into the lexicon the term “reality-based community”—a derisive phrase used by Bush aides to describe critics of the president.

    Below is an excerpt from the article:

    “The aide said that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’ I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ‘That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.’ ” 

     

     


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    By Colonel, July 2, 2006 at 10:04 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Gen. Brent Scowcroft, former head of the National Security Council under Bush I, has said Dick Cheney was an old friend of his, but that he doesn’t know the Dick Cheney he sees today.

    Is it possible that Cheney’s heart problems have caused some brain problems as well?

    Report this

    By Colonel, July 2, 2006 at 9:44 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    The ignorant arrogance of the Bush people is graphically demonstrated by their cretinous criticism of the “reality-base community”. The dumbasses are creating “realities” for us to study. What a joke!

    Sounds like Israel “creating facts on the ground” in Palestinian territories.

    Such brash ignorance ensconced in the seats of power leads only to disaster. Historically, the truculent antebellum South is a prime example.

    Report this

    By Vietnam Vet, June 29, 2006 at 11:34 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Cheny is a psychopath who was advocating the invasion of Iraq even before 9/11 and that event only provided the excuse he needed. With a borderline imbecile sitting in the president’s chair, the man finally had the opportunity he needed. Now we are bogged down in a war that cannot be won militarily, our forces fatigued down by repeated, back to back tours, occupying a country in ruin, our nation now despised by a large segement of the international community, trashing of that “goddamned piece of paper” as the decider calls it, the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, and….well the list just goes on and on. What a sad day and time for this great nation. What will it take to awaken the American people to what is REALLY going on?

    Report this

    By kathy sullivan, June 28, 2006 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Regarding . . .“we are an empire, when we act, we create reality.”  Are these people certifiably nuts??  Sounds like the neocons are not just talking with god, they now think they are gods.  God help us all.  Americans are now hostage to a bunch of nut cases running the country, what are we to do???  Maybe we should just get out in the streets (like they did in Nepal) and demand the emperor step down.  It took days for him to finally step down, but the pressure was intense and I think he finally left the country.  We cannot allow all these injustices to be done in our name.  Come on folks, lets get some guts.

    Report this

    By Julian DelGaudio, June 28, 2006 at 11:07 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    The white house spokesman is a spin master not a reality maker.  The latter is just the hubris of those who think they are all powerful.  What strikes me as true is that these spinners eventually are caught up by reality.  You can’t spin away the fact that the occupation is in its fourth dismal year with no end in sight to the insurgent’s resistance.  Or that 2,500 American soldiers have died along with an (under)estimated 50,000 Iraqis.  Joseph Goebbels may be the source for the ‘big lie” thinking behind the spin, but the 3rd Reich only lasted 12 years.  The Bush administration has been sinking for months already.

    Report this

    By J. Deen, June 28, 2006 at 6:44 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Mr. Suskind’s characterization of Cheney as Edger Bergen is great, but Bush’s characterization as Charley McCarthy is not accurate: Bush is like Mortimer Snerd!

    Report this

    By Mike #2, June 28, 2006 at 12:26 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Mmmm… wasn’t this Bush philosophy implemented a long time ago, as in Nazi Germany and “Der Will zur macht” or some such Nietzschean Übermensch idea.  But ya know what?  I think that deep down, most Americans are fascists and imperialists.  They don’t give a shit about what happens to anyone else or whether what we as a nation do is “right” or “wrong”.  They want more wealth and power (and security) for the USA and will justify whatever means necessary to get.  Any talk about spreading democracy and such is just bullshit used because it is considered poor form to tell the truth about this matter.

    Report this

    By Shag, June 27, 2006 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    That dipshit Rep. Peter King tried to denigrate Susskind on Hardball today. I’d love to see them go one-on-one on some show.

    Report this

    By Weldon Curtis, June 25, 2006 at 7:41 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Bush a puppet like Charlie McCarthy?  There’s no comparison!  Charlie McCarthy was always ready with a hilarious wisecrack. You need brains for that.

    Report this

    By felicity smith, June 25, 2006 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    “The Iraq war was primarily waged to make an example of Saddam Hussein?” That may have been what was talked about, but it was waged to open up Iraq’s oil-rich economy.  Unique among oil-rich nations, the Iraqi people are now assured of losing the bulk of their oil revenues to foreign companies - 64%-84% of Iraq’s oil will end up controlled by foreign companies, which means that Iraqi’s will be lucky if they realize more than a 5% share of their oil revenues. Bush and his criminal cohorts saw a slam dunk in the world of oil in the person of Hussein, a poster boy for evil. They saw an opportunity to control the country and thereby to control its oil. Throughout history wars have been fought for the wealth the victors will realize.

    Report this

    By R. A. Earl, June 25, 2006 at 9:12 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Random comments:

    How much education, how much “study” does one need to understand that PRIDE GOETH BEFORE THE FALL? Always has… likely always will.

    It’s a shame. The American Dream was so full of hope for a future of genuine equality and opportunity for all. Talk about dashed dreams!

    So now America “creates reality.” Well, why not? Someone has to. But for it to be an equitable “reality” FOR all doesn’t the “reality” need to be created BY all?

    Doesn’t America understand that POWER WITH virtually guarantees SUCCESS, while POWER OVER almost always ends in DISASTER? Guess they believe that bad things only happen to the other guy. What immaturity!

    Report this

    By Rosemary Molloy, June 25, 2006 at 4:50 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Did he really say that—that “we create our own reality?”  That’s incredible.
    It reminds me of a guy I knew who sold “essential oils.”  He insisted a particular type would cure my husband’s emphysema—just rub it on his chest and the lungs would heal.  When I told him lung capapcity is easily measusred and asked if he could give me any research to back up his claim, he was annoyed and said , “Oh, you’re always looking for some kind of ‘evidence.’”

    Report this
     
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