Thursday, July 06, 2006

I'm scared

The One Percent Doctrine is a great, if greatly disconcerting, read. It's a CIA-centric view of war on terror from 9/11 to about 2004, roughly the tenure of George Tenet. It's disconcerting for a number of reasons. Suskind makes a number of unpleasant claims: the nation cannot be adequately defended against terror; Al Qaeda hasn't attacked because their strategic attention has shifted (indeed he mentions an internal dispute over the timing of 9/11); the CIA, FBI and DoD cannot seem to cooperate; the Office of the Vice President is far too powerful in this war; the President comes across as decent (in a telling scene, he shuts down Rumsfeld's bluster about shooting down airliners) but limited in how he deals with information; and that this war is far from over, but it is far from clear that we are winning or that we are in any way ready for a next wave.

The details are stunning as well, such as the development of an effective delivery system for chemical weapons, the handoff of a suspected Al Qaeda skull at Dulles Airport, the Cabinet battles and personal conflicts. It is really great reading, but reading that will make you highly concerned about where we stand.

Read Kevin Drum for more on the book.


Brack said...

I caught part of Suskind's recent promo for 1% on CSPAN2. (I can't believe I just fessed up to watching CSPAN2) One of his most interesting remarks was that when Rumsfeld refers to (dis)information being a weapon in the GWOT, the SecDef's not talking about an overseas audience. With a rhetorical flourish, Suskind likened Rummy to Jack Nicholson's wild eyed and spittle-flecked Col. Jessup in "A Few Good Men." I would imagine that our VP would jump at the chance to administer a Code Red to a certain former WSJ journalist whose name starts with "R" and ends with "onald Suskind."

Tripp said...

CSPAN2 means you are a REALLY big geek. It's not as if I can really point a finger though.