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

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,874 ratings  ·  142 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

Hardcover, 367 pages
Published July 20th 2006 by Simon & Schuster
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Start your review of The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11
I'll color this one "read' as I plowed through the first 150 pages and then skipped about. The research at the time(2005) was necessary but the delivery is chopped and expressed poorly. Think of Tracy Lord's comments in Philadelphia Story (1940) And all in that horrible, snide, corkscrew English.
And now apply it to the War on Terror, which all to often wasn't the cause of higher oration.

I didn't learn a great detail during my haphazard perusal. Much of Suskind's research has bled through to ou
Mar 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Jerome Otte
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
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
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 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,
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. ...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
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
Mikey B.
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
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
Dennis Littrell
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dense and fascinating, but a little scattered

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
Apr 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
This book is not so much an eye opener, as for most of the world it was always clear that the 11th September attacks were just used as a pretext to prosecute a war against Iraq that was never justified by the events. However it was a clear vindication of all that many many people were saying, based on testimony from some very well placed sources. As such this was a good piece of journalism in book form.

From the opening pages it was clear that Suskind was going to take no prisoners. He tells us t
Chris Miller
Sep 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
In this detailed polemic against the Bush-Cheney administration's response to al Qaeda's September 11th attacks against the United States, Ron Suskind meticulously points out the differences between fact and political bluster that led to our invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11 describes how dedicated public servants were placed in impossible positions of needing to supply nonexistent evidence of a connection between ...more
Randall Russell
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thought this book offered a pretty insightful (although by now a little dated) look into the War on Terror after 9/11. Specifically, the title refers to Dick Cheney's (Darth Vader's) evil notion that if there's even a 1% chance that an organization has the ability to attack the United States, we need to act as if that attack were a certainty. In effect, this policy gave the government carte blanche to do whatever it wanted to (imprison indefinitely without trial, kidnap, torture, etc) to whome ...more
François Petitclerc
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Inside look at the beginning of the new age. Desperate times call for desperate measures, or so it is said; in this case, extreme times call for extreme measures. What happens when the players write to the rules to the game of finding and not fighting enemies? Ideology grabs hold of the pen. A must read for anyone interested in understanding those crucial days after 9/11. We lived history in HD. This book captures the effort of the invisibles, those who toil to maintain the measure of peace we a ...more
Dec 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I thought that this book would have been a better read. I find it not as compelling as other books on the 9/11 saga.

I think the author spends too much time on the same theme. We know Bush and his team. We now further understand the inner workings of the relationships, however, the book does not go deep enough in highlighting the flaws. For example, the clear excuse to invade Iraq only for Blackwater to take control of great swathes of the country. We should try to understand the economic decisi
Apr 06, 2018 rated it liked it
This book details the aftermath of 9/11 and how the domestic and foreign policy of the US was altered into an “ends justify the means” doctrine that stretch and sometimes broke the premises of the rule of law and due-process. It is well-researched and includes many interviews with insiders and analysts from State, Defense, intelligence, and other sources. Sometimes it tends to allude to actions and documents that were purported to have been enacted, without full attribution (possibly because the ...more
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
Aug 30, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-politics
Was Tenet ultimately the scapegoat ? He seems to have been one of the sources as he was referred to many times in the book. The writing here as not as good as I remember from The Price of Loyalty about Paul ONeill's GW experience. Some questions left unanswered or not even addressed. i.e. if GW wasn't as enthusiastic about a US Saudi relationship as GHW, why in the world were Saudis related to OBL allowed to leave the US on chartered flights shortly after 9/11? (Source NY Times article Mar 27, 2 ...more
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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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