A Nation at War

Jeff Koopersmith

Richard Perle: Dead Man Walking
Will George W. Bush sack his monstrous mentor now -- or be humiliated later?
by Jeff Koopersmith

Richard Perle submitted his resignation as Chairman of the Defense Policy Board to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld within hours of publication of the following editorial in American Politics Journal -- and dozens of other articles and opinion pieces published in the last couple of weeks.

However -- and unbelievably -- Perle is to remain as a member of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board under Rumsfeld's watch, albeit not as its Chairman.

Perhaps it's time for Rumsfeld to resign as well?

March 27, 2003 -- WASHINGTON (apj.us) -- Don't hold you breath waiting for Republican Senator John Warner, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, to convene hearings into the conduct of Bush's Iraq-War-architect-cum-industrialist Richard Perle and examine his accountability for unethical conduct as Chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board.

Who is Richard Perle, anyway?

• Perle is the current Chairman of the Defense Policy Board, a group of eighteen civilians who advise the Pentagon and more or less represent the White House. High ranking officers within the Pentagon are rumored to call Perle "The Bomber" because of his predilection to go to war at the drop of a hat.
• Perle is also a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute - a hard-line right wing "think tank".
• Perle is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Foundation for Defense of Democracy (FDD) -- a right wing pro-Israel group that conducts "research" and "educates" various audiences on international terrorism. Perle shares his place on the FDD board with such luminaries as Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol, and Gary Bauer, all of whom are well known for their adamant ultraconservative viewpoints (and, in the case of Bauer, a walking argument for psychiatric evaluation).
• Perle is also a board member of the Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs (JINSA).
• Perle is a former chairman and chief executive officer of Hollinger Digital, Inc., the media management and investment arm of Hollinger International, a company that publishes newspapers (including both London's Telegraph newspapers and the Jerusalem Post) -- and much, much more.
• Perle is a former director of Jerusalem Post.
• Perle was a former assistant secretary of defense for international security policy in the Regan Administration.
• Perle is a former staff aid to US Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson, 1969-1980.
• Perle produced The Gulf Crisis: The Road to War for PBS in 1992.
• Perle holds a B.A. from USC and a an M.A. in political science from Princeton.

On it's face, it seems that Perle is just another too-highly placed run-of-the-mill neo-fascist within the Bush Administration.

But look closer and you might feel a bit queasy.

In case you hadn't guessed by now, he is also an adamant supporter of Israel. And today, he has wide access to massive amounts of classified information.

This writer is also a staunch supporter of Israel and its current policies, with a few exceptions. While I point out Perle's long and continuing ties to the Israeli government and Israel business interests, I do so only because they are important to discuss inasmuch they offer a flash-point in the Arab-Islamic world with regard to Perle's personal and financial agenda which may have little or nothing to do with his seeming unwavering support for Israel.

The reader should also note that Richard Perle was purportedly investigated in the 1980s for possible ties to the Israeli espionage case involving Jonathan Jay Pollard via an FBI summary of a 1970 wiretap which some say recorded Perle discussing classified information with someone inside the Israeli embassy.

He came under fire again in 1983 when newspapers reported he received substantial payments to represent the interests of an Israeli weapons company. Perle denied this was a conflict of interest, insisting that although he received payment for these services after he had assumed his position in the Defense Department, he was between government jobs when he worked for the Israeli firm.

Then came this week's revelation.

It seems that Perle is vamping for bankrupt Global Crossing -- a snake oil firm that now wants to be bought by the Communist Chinese. This has the moderate and liberal crowd seething. No fewer than 16 big city newspapers have called either for Perle's resignation from the Defense Policy Board or a congressional investigation.

But don't expect the Democrat leadership on the Senate Armed Services Committee to look into Perle's history and current dealings either - and that includes ranking Democrat Carl Levin or committee members Ted Kennedy and Joe Lieberman.

They all should be hounded, right now, about whether and when they have it in mind to investigate Perle.


The inventory or Perle's improprieties, lies, perceived shady dealings, snide remarks, and just plain offensiveness could fill a football stadium, but let's start with this list:

Perle is an embarrassment, even to the Prince of Darkness himself, Robert Novak. Novak had the following exchange with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld -- about Perle -- on one of Novak's pundit television shows:

Novak: Mr. Secretary, on the question of Iraq, the chairman of the defense department policy board, Richard Perle -- of course, that's not a full-time job, that's an advisory job -- he has been very blunt in saying that he thinks regardless of whether there is any link between Iraq and the events of September 11, now is the time to get rid of Saddam Hussein. Do you agree with that?

Rumsfeld: Look, Richard Perle is Richard Perle. He is very bright, very talented, served in government with distinction. And you're quite correct, he is chairman of the defense policy board. He, however, is not a government official. He does not speak for the president, and he does not speak for me. And my way to respond to that is that those are decisions that are made by the country, by the president of the United States, and he has made no announcements with respect to Iraq.

Further embarrassment was triggered by Mr. Perle one day in October of 2001.
If you watched CNN's Crossfire that night you heard Richard Perle talking about strategy in the United States' war against terrorism. He was specifically distinguishing between Bush's strategy and that emanating from the State Department, -- and Colin Powell. To put it candidly, he said that Powell was pursuing a irrational policy of coalition building and undermining or discounting the stated desires of George W. Bush.
In another embarrassing revelation, a British newspaper reported that Richard Perle had been employed in the late 1970's by Israeli arms firms selling weapons -- which does not help the Administration fend off unproved rumors that Perle might me a member of the secret Israeli intelligence force Mossad.

Perle, as Chairman of the Defense Policy Board (which is an advisory group that reports to Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz), is reported to have once presented a written document to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spelling out a new Israel foreign policy.

It called for the repudiation of the Oslo Accords and the underlying concept of "land for peace"; for the permanent annexation for the entire West Bank and Gaza Strip, and for the elimination of Saddam Hussein's regime in Baghdad as first steps towards overthrowing or destabilizing the governments of Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.

So, if you think that Baghdad is the last stop, it's time to think again.

This document was prepared for the Jerusalem and Washington, DC based Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS), a think tank financed by Richard Mellon-Scaife -- the same paranoiac billionaire who financed, some say, almost the entire private wing of the Clinton lynching expedition. Scaife, who was booted from Yale for drunkenness, is said to buy up ultra-right wing authors' books by the tens of thousands in order to have them placed on the absolutely useless New York Times bestseller list.

Perle's report, "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," was authored, among others, by Perle and Douglas Feith, now the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy.

Two days after Israel's then-Prime Minister Netanyahu acquired the foreign policy plan from Perle, he dispensed a speech before a joint session of Congress which strongly ricocheted Perle's outline.

Perle has also been accused of curious dealings with Adnan Khashoggi, the notorious billionaire Saudi arms dealer, oil man and marquee actor in the Iran-Contra scandal.

After his stretch with President Reagan, Perle became a highly paid lobbyist for Turkey and, working alongside Israel, purportedly killed a Senate resolution in 1989 blaming Turkey for the Armenian Genocide.

NEXT: Perle is also a first-rate liar.

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