JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: DOCTRINAL ERRORS. TAP talks to Ron Suskind, author of the widely hailed new book about America's war on terror, The One Percent Doctrine. Suskind discusses secrecy, torture, Hamdan, and more. Here he is on the most important, and scariest, relationship in government:
I think the book provides the clearest rendering of the key relationship in terms of the American ship of state, which is between Bush and Cheney. Cheney essentially creates an architecture, a kind of platform, in which George Bush can be George Bush and still be president and indulge or embrace his gut, his instinct, a kind of man-of-action posture. Bush is quite active in the book. For some folks on the left, that will be a bit of a change or a deepening of their view of Bush. Certainly it�s not the caricature of Bush that�s been out there, but you do see, for better or for worse, who the president is.
He is quite engaged operationally in how we fight the war on terror, though he is not particularly curious. He often will not read briefings. In many cases, policy debates end at the vice president�s desk. As one person in CIA said to me, �It�s like a case officer in training with absolute powers.� Various parts of the government will be thrown into frenzies that sometimes last days or weeks by virtue of a question the president might ask, which folks in the intelligence community know is not necessarily the right question. That is our president and our vice president in this era. What the book does, which may be one of its most important features, is it fixes accountability, truly and indelibly, to the president and the vice president.
Read the whole interview.