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Oh the Difference a Percent Makes

In his heralded new book, “The One Percent Doctrine,” Ron Suskind writes that Vice President Dick Cheney forcefully stated that the war on terror empowered the Bush administration to act without the need for evidence or extensive analysis.

Suskind describes the Cheney doctrine as follows: “Even if there’s just a 1 percent chance of the unimaginable coming due, act as if it is a certainty. It’s not about ‘our analysis,’ as Cheney said. It’s about ‘our response.’ … Justified or not, fact-based or not, ‘our response’ is what matters. As to ‘evidence,’ the bar was set so low that the word itself almost didn’t apply.”

Dick Cheney (msnbc)

“Now you ask me if this was 11 July and there was a 1% chance that the kidnapping would lead to a war like the one that has taken place, would you go ahead with the kidnapping?

Sheikh Nasrallah of the Hezbollah (bbc)

What can we conclude from this adherence to the psychology of 1% (culpability, probability, what does it mean)?