Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Taking Our Chances


I just finished Ron Suskind’s The One Percent Doctrine. I’m speechless. It’s a good thing my fingers still work.

In short, when it comes to the Bush Administration’s “war on terror”, everything you feared was true is true.

”The Cheney Doctrine released George W. Bush from his area of greatest weakness -- the analytical abilities so prized in America’s professional class -- and freed his decision making to rely on impulse and improvisation to a degree that was without precedent for a modern president. Cheney essentially crafted a platform, an architecture, for Bush to be Bush, while still being President.”

The Cheney Doctrine, i.e. The One Percent Doctrine, states that if there is a one percent chance of a threat to the United States being real, we must act as if the threat was real. In other words, if there is a one percent chance that al Qaeda has a nuclear weapon, we must act as if it were true.

You only have to think of what you as an individual would do if you truly thought that someone was going to harm your family. Would anything be beneath you ? Lying ? Stealing ? Torture ? Murder ? Any thinking adult knows the darkness that lives in the hearts of men. How certain would you have to be to let yourself dive into that darkness in order to save your family ? 50% ? 75% ? 99% ?

How about 1% ? The level of evidence that would compel you to sink to these depths is a one percent chance. Not overwhelming evidence, not even a preponderance of the evidence but simply a one percent chance. Anything just above no chance at all.

The One Percent Doctrine is better than a good book. It’s an important book.

Don Brown
April 10, 2007

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