If you haven't already read Suskind's No Doubt, read this essay first. Science and Human Values, by Michael Gilmore. Gilmore is a British physicist. By the summer of 2004 Gilmore the outsider had already discerned what Suskind was observing first-hand.
Some in the White House today believe that they “have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality.” Why, God even talks to them. The administration’s “absolute knowledge” has been the basis of many of their claims, including: the weapons of mass destruction, the Hussein-al Qaeda link, the Hussein-9/11 link, and the evidence for the uranium from Africa to Iraq. Such “absolute knowledge” ensured that the Iraqi people would welcome our solders and establish a secular democracy. Such knowledge never existed. This “absolute knowledge” now provides for the Bush “faith-based” missile defense, to be deployed prior to testing. It appears that this sort of pseudoknowledge is a key ingredient for much of what the present administration has set itself to do. With such “knowledge” the road to Baghdad is becoming our road to Auschwitz. A road paved with arrogance, dogma, secrecy, ignorance, lies, and a “deliberate deafness to suffering.” The suffering shown so starkly in the haunting photos of the torture at Abu Ghraib.
Suskind confirms Gilmore's diagnosis. The Bush administration is hostile not only to science but to rationality, objectivity, and even thought (if it conflicts with instinct). Read the full story here, Without a Doubt [NYT permalink]
In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend -- but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.
The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''