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The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,697 Ratings  ·  133 Reviews

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author Ron Suskind takes you deep inside America's real battles with violent, unrelenting terrorists -- a game of kill-or-be-killed, from the Oval Office to the streets of Karachi.

You may think you know what the "war on terror" is.

But to know it truly, you must read this book.

Suskind has written a riveting work of narr

Hardcover, 367 pages
Published July 20th 2006 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2004)
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Mar 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: 9-11
In his follow-up to the insightful, The Price of Loyalty, Suskind provides crucial insight into the mindset of the inner circle in the Bush White House in the wake of 9-11. The title refers to Dick Cheney's assertion that, if there is even a one percent chance that someone has the desire and the ability to inflict damage on the United States, our government must act as if it were a certainty. It is the panic-driven premise that warranted the administration's promulgation of preemptive war as a p ...more
Feb 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Very interesting. Suskind provides interesting insight into the minds of the Bush administration as they tried to prevent more terrorist attacks after 9/11. It studies the administration's bold, novel doctrine of preemptive war. The title refers to Dick Cheney's assertion that, if there is even a one percent chance that someone has the desire and the ability to inflict damage on the United States, our government must act as if it were a certainty. This was the policy that led to the administrati ...more
Feb 23, 2010 rated it liked it
Existential poets/best rock band of the 90s Oasis opened some dates for U2 on their 1997 PopMart tour. During the course of this tour, U2 would walk out onto stage from a huge mechanical lemon. And, yes, one evening they got stuck, Spinal Tap-style and had to escape through the back of the lemon onto the stage. Anyway, addressing all of this nonsense with his usual trenchant criticism, Noel Gallagher expressed gratitude for getting to open for U2, but then wondered aloud if a 40 foot lemon was a ...more
Joseph Stieb
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: terrorism
This journalistic account delves into the work of "the invisibles:" the people behind the scenes in the FBI and the CIA who are the main operators and executors of our response to 9/11. It also covers the inner workings of the Bush administration regarding the War on Terror (GWOT), but because Suskind's sources are mainly retired and active invisibles, the focus is on their actions. He's deeply sympathetic to these people in their bureaucratic struggles with the Bush Cabinet. CIA director Tenet, ...more
زاهي رستم
لن أتحدث هنا عن الكتاب، والذي يؤكد بشكل أو بآخر أفكاري حول عصر بوش الصغير.. والذي ينطبق عليه القول: تأتيك الرفسة القوية من الحمار الضعيف، رغم أنه جمهوري (أي فيل وليس حمار).
بداية أعترف أن الديموقراطية الأمريكية فاشلة، وهذا يؤكده وصول بوش الأحمق إلى سدة الحكم (وقد أثببت دراسات العالم الفرنسي أروو صعوبة الديمقراطية من الناحية الرياضية).. وضعف هذا الرئيس برر قوة الرجل الثاني ديك تشيني، والآنسة رايس.. وهو ما جعل التشيني يقترح ويطبق نظرية الواحد بالمائة.. ولكن هنا تبرز المشكلة.. فأمريكا تطالبنا أن نكو
Nov 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: presidents
Okay Mr. Suskind, I've checked you out and your credentials are impressive. Did the administration make mistakes? Absolutely! Was there corruption? Absolutely! Did anyone act exclusively in his/her own self interest? Absolutely not! (You'll disagree with me on this one.) Were individuals sacrificed for political ends? Of course! Were many actions taken with the best interest of the nation at heart? Absolutely! Sadly, the politics, shenanigans, backstabbing, loyal and unselfish work you describe ...more
Oct 09, 2008 rated it liked it
Insightful and definitely worth the time. I often found Susskind's colorful interjections irritating and gratuitous in a book so heavily based on analysis. At one point, for example, someone call "his lead FBI agent in Dubai..., a city whose longing, mercantile soul belongs to no country save that of desire." Huh? That kind of stuff just belong here, Ron.

On analytic points though, Suskind does a good job of showing how the one percent doctrine came so heavily to define the Bush Administration's
Leslie Stein
Mar 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The best clear explanation for why we're in the mess we are in. Tells the story clearly with a feeling of sympathy for decision makers with out absolving them of responsibility.
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
I listened to the audio version.

I have read enough about the events taking place after 9/11/2001 to have a grasp of the general way Bush handled this attack. This book fills in a lot of gaps and makes me even more horrified than I was before.

Bush's character and operational behavior is well-known. He is a man of "action", not contemplation. He doesn't read; instead he likes to dive in, take some sort of action. And that is what happened after 9/11. He wanted to DO something and he did.

The "one
Mar 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
Having read more than a handful of books on the Bush administration, the War on Terror, etc., I may have been a little late in getting to this one. And though some of the information contained here is now old news, there is enough new information to provide value.

First the premise of this book, (based on its title), suggests, (okay - states), that the Bush administration's anti-terrorism policy since 9/11 has been based on a negative, i.e. rather than proving a threat before reacting, the US Int
May 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
If ever one doubted that Vice President Dick Cheney was the "eminence grise" behind President Bush (or perhaps a better analogy is the "Darth Vagar" of the administration), this book goes a long way to debunking such doubt.

The "One Percent Doctrine" was Cheney's initiative: if there is even a one percent chance that someone or some organization is going to do something, then one takes action. Period! This is how we got into the Iraq War to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Was there a one percent chance
Sep 09, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A terrifying political thriller. In Suskind's new novel, a dim-witted religious convert stumbles into the presidency of the most powerful country in the world. What's truly terrifying, though, is the collection of buffoons he brings with him into office. Soon after taking office, their country suffers a devastating terrorist attack.

The response to this attack is predictably and tragicomically inappropriate, if not nonsensical. It revolves around an obscure and largely powerless tinpot dictator,
Mikey B.
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An intriguing book that casts deep questions about the Bush administration. Mr. Suskind claims that Bush has swept aside logic and evidence in favour of intuition. He has also emasculated the CIA to prevent it from offering advice. It is changing into an organization that supports administrative policy. It leaves one wondering how former presidents tried the same thing with similar government organizations – the Pentagon and the military for example. What is most frightening is how much the Bush ...more
Justin Tapp
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
Jun 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
A detailed and extensive look at the frantic, desperate "war on terror" after 911. The extent of the inaccuracy of our intelligence gathering, and the lengths we went to attain it--the introduction of rendition, spending incredible resources on what should have been obviously sketchy intelligence tortured out of prisoners willing to say anything--is more than disturbing.

Cheney's "one percent doctrine--the idea that if there's even a one percent chance that intelligence is correct, we should act
John McNeilly
Apr 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Wonder why our government ignored it's own intelligence analysis about weapons of mass destruction in our rush to war in Iraq? This brilliantly reported book lays out in clear, convincing detail the complete transition of the Bush administration to one that relied less on evidential analysis to one of pure, gut reaction and instinct. The "one percent doctrine" was simply this: if there was a one percent chance of the U.S. being attacked, the proper response was to act immediately, regardless of ...more
Sep 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who want to work for the CIA.
Ron Suskind's work is consistently informative and engrossing. He made the Secretary of the Treasury a fascinating character in The Price of Loyalty. In The One Percent doctrine he continues his expose of the Bush administration, this time with a scathing look at how the US government goes about waging a war on terrorism. Much of the book puts sources and proof to things we've already heard about on CNN or read about in the New York Times. What's stunning about Suskind's work - and his skill as ...more
Apr 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anybody who wants to know about the "War on Terror"
Really awesome book. The author has dozens of sources within the Bush administration, FBI, and CIA, and chronicles the "War on Terror" from its inception to the building of a case for war with Iraq. Really interesting information on what the CIA, NSA, and FBI actually do to fight terrorism, and how they came to do. Also exposes the sham Iraq war intelligence for what it was and how it was politically motivated from start to finish. Written like a novel, its a great look at the (flawed) leadershi ...more
Jan 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Brilliant. One of the best I've ever read. When the CIA isn't being pressed to produce intelligence on erroneous foregone conclusions (WMD in Iraq) or play political football (with 16 words in a State of the Union address), they're doing some amazing things across the world. With remarkable details, Suskind describes sting operations, finance tracking webs, and heads-of-state collaboration between countries and agencies. He convincingly heralds George Tenet on the latter; I'm interested now to r ...more
Aug 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Had to read this because it was referred to in another book. I'm glad to see it was a national bestseller. Hope everybody who bought it, read it. Well done! The Bush administration put us in a hole that will take generations to climb out of. Did they not think the story would come out - ever? Well, they got away with it while they needed to - and the way they did it needs to be exposed. They were lucky the public was satisfied with being in the dark, and so busy with their lives they didn't care ...more
Ralph Hermansen
Feb 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book tells the inside story of the war on Terrorists. I found it both shocking and spell-binding. Suskind makes a compelling case that former CIA director,George Tenet, is a genuine hero and not the villain, usually portrayed. The powerful influence of Vice-President Cheney on Bush white house policies is essentially the theme of the book. President Bush distains advice from anyone other than his inside circle. Numerous experts quit in disgust.

I recommend that you read this book. Ralph Herm
Jun 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I've always known that George W. Bush was likely our most stupid president, but seeing it writ large like this is still shocking. To read, even this many years later, how little interest he took in running the country, how easily swayed he was by the people around him and how poor his judgment was is astonishing. But more horrifying, and so timely now, is the parade of charlatans around him who led the country into an unnecessary war, who financially broke the country, and who are trying to take ...more
Will Byrnes
Dick Cheney established the core of US policy regarding terrorism. If there is even a one percent possibility of an event happening, we must presume that it is a certainty and act accordingly. Thus has our foreign policy become driven purely by fear and suspicion, a marked separation from a history of basing our actions on knowledge and fact.

The president is interested in action only, almost never on analysis. Thus, instead of pushing his agencies to get the best understanding of the hows and w
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hmm, the other summaries don't get this quite right. The "one percent" refers to the ridiculous extreme the Bush Administration went to in the "War on Terror" that lead the U.S. into a costly, unnecessary war.
I understand why that's not part of the official summary, because they don't want to turn off any readers who might have opposing political viewpoints, but be aware that this book fully explains the flawed decision-making by Cheney, et al.
Once again, Edward Hermann reading the audiobook is
Mar 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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 ...more
Feb 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People behind on their Sy Hersh
Fascinating account, largely focused on Tenet and what Suskind calls the "invisibles" -- career intelligence officials and operatives who do the ground-level work of trying to infiltrate and thwart terrorist plans. Bush comes off in familiar fashion as uncurious about, and insulated from, the substantive analysis from CIA or others that provides more grey than black and white; however, the exploration of that proclivity lacks too much depth here, and seems to fall back on high-minded rhetoric. B ...more
Steven Peterson
Feb 08, 2011 rated it liked it
In its time, a useful analysis of Iraq. . . .

One more in a series of works that suggests dysfunction in American foreign policy decision-making. . . . Suskind identified a series of problems at the time the book came out: Sectarian conflict threatened civil war in Iraq; success in Afghanistan was problematic; the current Israeli-Hezbollah-Hamas conflict threatened to worsen relations in the Middle East. Proclaiming reality is one thing; seeing the increasingly questionable results is another. In
Bookmarks Magazine

As the debate over who did what in the buildup to the war in Iraq moves from newspapers' front pages into history books, former Wall Street Journal writer Ron Suskind continues to build the case against the Bush administration. As with his previous book, The Price of Loyalty (reviewed but not rated in our July/Aug 2004 issue), Suskind has privileged access to his subject, and reviewers note more than a few revelatory journalistic scoops. Even though he's clearly no fan of Bush and Company, he's

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  • Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War
  • State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration
  • A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the  Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies
  • Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq
  • The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina
  • Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq
  • Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib
  • The Republican Noise Machine: Right-Wing Media and How It Corrupts Democracy
  • Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush
  • The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals
  • State of Denial
  • The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created a War Without End
  • Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror
  • American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush
  • A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency
  • The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq
  • Against All Enemies
  • Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and StickYou with the Bill)
Ron Suskind is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist and best-selling author. He was the senior national affairs writer for The Wall Street Journal from 1993 to 2000 and has published several books: A Hope in the Unseen, The Price of Loyalty, The One Percent Doctrine, The Way of the World, Confidence Men, and Life, Animated. He won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for his series ...more
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“The United States, the President said, “must be a force for good.” Americans focused on “good.” Much of the world focused on “force,” on being handled.” 0 likes
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