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Truthdigger of the Week: Ron Suskind

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:

    “[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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