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Has Perle Committed Treason?


Article III, Section 3 of the US Constitution defines treason as giving aid and comfort, or “adhering” to our enemies. I believe “adhering” sums up Richard Perle’s job description pretty well. The controversy surrounding Perle which occasioned his resignation from the Chair of the Defense Policy Board should not be quelled because he took that preemptive measure. Rather, it should force a deeper, public inquiry into what has motivated Perle to encourage the US to make aggressive foreign policy decisions inconsistent with both our overt national interest and historical precedent.

In a letter Perle wrote to Rumsfeld on Wednesday announcing his decision to resign the chairmanship, his language rang with the unctuous tones of a feigned self-flagellation for public consumption. “With our nation at war and American troops risking their lives to protect our freedom and liberate Iraq, I am dismayed that your valuable time, and that of others in the Department of Defense and the administration might be burdened by the controversy surrounding my chairmanship of the Defense Policy Board.”

Controversy? What could be controversial about this scenario, neutrally described by UPI in the following manner.

“Perle, one of George W. Bush’s foreign policy advisers during the 2000 presidential campaign, was hired last week by the bankrupt Global Crossing telecommunications company to help it restructure a deal to sell a majority holding in the company to Hutchison Telecommunications and government-run Singapore Technologies Telemedia. The United States government — particularly the Defense Department and the FBI — has national security concerns about the deal, according to The New York Times. It would put Global Crossing’s fiber optics network — which the military uses — under Chinese ownership.”

They are absolutely right to have “national security concerns” about the deal. How is it possible for the Pentagon to talk of “full-spectrum dominance” when moves are afoot to create a situation in which the US leases its military’s fiber optics network from what will be our most formidable global competitor in the coming decades?

“I deeply resent the accusation that I am using a public position (the DPB) for private gain. Whatever help I was to Global had to do with 30 years of experience in these matters, and nothing to do with the DPB.” 30 years of experience, well-documented by commentators at all points along the political spectrum. Perle also maintains that it “was clearly understood that I would not present their case to the government or lobby for them in any way and I have not done so. My role was limited to helping them understand the government’s concerns and how to satisfy them. (This is complicated and much more difficult than one would imagine).”

Certainly it is difficult, Mr. Perle, to represent the interests of multiple sovereign governments at one time. Perhaps that difficulty dulled your faculties, and led to what Jude Wanniski described, in a piece written September 18, 2001.

“There is no single American more responsible for inciting outrage among Muslims globally than Richard, whose maniacal prescriptions led inexorably to last week’s cataclysm. It was no surprise to me to see Richard on CNN on Sunday, calling for all-out war against the Arab world with a coalition entirely composed of western Europeans. If he were just an ordinary maniac, we could live with him, Henry, but he is chairman of the Defense Policy Board, which advises the Pentagon, and which gives him total access to all military secrets.”

It’s ironic and somehow telling that 9/11 was the golden goose for such as Perle. It gave them excuse to let blackmailable lackeys like Ashcroft institute draconian measures that target the liberties and the spirits of Americans, calling it a War on Terror, providing cover for the War on the Arab World Perle wanted nineteen months ago, and years before that. Richard Perle represents a threat to our National Security as tangible as that posed by Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein. His actions throughout his public life require a thorough Congressional investigation, centering on answering the question whether or not Richard Perle has committed treason, whether in the incident described above or in any of his other dealings for which ample documentation already exists. I urge you to contact your Congressman and ask him to pursue this matter, before the full fruit of Perle’s pernicious influence can be borne.

ANTHONY GANCARSKI’s columns frequently appear in Counterpunch. Comments welcome at


ANTHONY GANCARSKI is a regular CounterPunch columnist. He can be reached at

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