FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Richard Perle Flies the Coop

by JASON LEOPOLD

 

Richard Perle’s resignation Thursday as chairman of the Defense Policy Board, a Pentagon advisory group, is long overdue. Perle quit the board because he was hired to help bankrupt telecommunications firm Global Crossing win approval from the Department of Defense to sell the company to a Hong Kong billionaire and lawmakers questioned whether Perle’s dual roles was a conflict-of-interest.

Presumably, Global Crossing hired Perle, who served as assistant secretary of defense under former President Ronald Reagan, as a lobbyist because he wields an enormous amount of power around the Pentagon and would likely get the job done. Perle is a key adviser to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and a leading architect in the Bush administration’s policies toward Iraq.

The Pentagon and the Federal Bureau of Investigation objected to Global Crossing’s sale to Asian investors last year because the government uses Global Crossing’s fiber optics networks and a sale would put the networks under control of the Chinese government. Global Crossing said it would pay Perle $125,000 and an additional $600,000 if the deal went through.

Perle denied Thursday that his unpaid advisory role on the policy board would have interfered with his lobbying on behalf of Global Crossing, which is mired in shareholder lawsuits as a result of its questionable accounting practices. But Perle has a long history of using his influential role as a government adviser to line his pockets.

“Richard Perle…has made a lucrative career out of some bald conflicts of interest,” wrote Mark Crispin Miller, a New York University media professor, in the Free Press in 2000. “As an Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security under Ronald Reagan, he got in some slight trouble when he wrote a memorandum urging the department to consider buying equipment from a company that had paid him a $50,000 consulting fee (as the the New York Times noted back in 1984). As chairman and CEO of Hollinger Digital (owned by media titan Conrad Black), Perle maintains his close connections with the military industries. For example, as a non-executive director of Morgan Crucible, PLC (UK), which has done business with the Pentagon…”

Moreover, Perle was also a director of Memorex Corp., a defense contractor, in the 1990s while he was advising then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney as a member of the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee during the first Bush administration. At the same time, Perle also was a paid consultant to a Turkish-hired lobbying firm in Washington and has been both an adviser to FMC Corp. and a director of an FMC-Turkish joint venture building military equipment. It should be noted that during Perle’s tenure in the Reagan administration he was a fierce proponent of aid to Turkey’s military.

In 1987, the Pentagon’s Office of General Counsel opened an inquiry into whether Perle’s attempts to write a fictional novel based on classified intelligence information were a conflict-of-interest. At the time, Perle was offered a $300,000 advance for the novel, titled “Memoranda.”

The proposal for the novel described an inside look at the bureaucracy and promised a plot that seemed a thinly veiled account of Perle’s long-running internecine struggle with former assistant secretary of state Richard R. Burt. It promised “an array of bureaucratic maneuvers recounted in the context of actual events altered only enough to make them publishable, to preserve the fiction in “Memoranda.”

In April of 1987, Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), the former ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, wrote an angry letter to Reagan suggesting that Perle’s book “creates a climate encouraging disrespect for the protection of classified information” and might have “a chilling effect on the candor of {officials’} policy analysis and recommendations.” Nunn also raised questions about the propriety of the sale of the book during Perle’s tenure in office.

In response to the inquiries, Perle resigned his post as assistant secretary of defense in April 1987 to write the book. The title was later changed to “Hard Line.”

JASON LEOPOLD is a regular contributor to CounterPunch. He broke one the Iraq war’s biggest stories for us, the insidious role of the Project for a New American Century in relentless pushing for an invasion of Iraq. This story has now been picked up the LA Times, New York Times, Newsweek and Nightline–though you’ll search in vain for any credit. He can be reached at: jasonleopold@hotmail.com

Yesterday’s Features

Pablo Mukherjee
Watch Their Lips

David Krieger
Shock But Not Awe

Linda Heard
Winning Hearts and Minds Bush——–Style

Imad Jadaa
The Beautiful Face of America

Adam Engel
Buckets of Blood

Patrick Cockburn
Kurds Unimpressed

David Lindorff
POWs, Torture and Hypocrisy

Robert Fisk
The Coup That Didn’t Happen

April Hurley, MD
A Doctor’s Outrage in Baghdad

Gloria Bergen
Chretien’s Shame

Reema Abu Hamdieh
The Smell of Death Surrounds Me

Website of the War
Iraq Body Count

Keep CounterPunch Alive:
Make a Tax——–Deductible Donation Today Online!

home / subscribe / about us / books / archives / search / links /

More articles by:

JASON LEOPOLD is the former Los Angeles bureau chief of Dow Jones Newswires where he spent two years covering the energy crisis and the Enron bankruptcy. He just finished writing a book about the crisis, due out in December through Rowman & Littlefield. He can be reached at: jasonleopold@hotmail.com

November 21, 2017
Gregory Elich
What is Behind the Military Coup in Zimbabwe?
Louisa Willcox
Rising Grizzly Bear Deaths Raise Red Flag About Delisting
David Macaray
My Encounter With Charles Manson
Patrick Cockburn
The Greatest Threats to the Middle East are Jared Kushner and Mohammed bin Salman
Stephen Corry
OECD Fails to Recognize WWF Conservation Abuses
James Rothenberg
We All Know the Rich Don’t Need Tax Cuts
Elizabeth Keyes
Let There be a Benign Reason For Someone to be Crawling Through My Window at 3AM!
L. Ali Khan
The Merchant of Weapons
Thomas Knapp
How to Stop a Rogue President From Ordering a Nuclear First Strike
Lee Ballinger
Trump v. Marshawn Lynch
Michael Eisenscher
Donald Trump, Congress, and War with North Korea
Tom H. Hastings
Reckless
Franklin Lamb
Will Lebanon’s Economy Be Crippled?
Linn Washington Jr.
Forced Anthem Adherence Antithetical to Justice
Nicolas J S Davies
Why Do Civilians Become Combatants In Wars Against America?
November 20, 2017
T.J. Coles
Doomsday Scenarios: the UK’s Hair-Raising Admissions About the Prospect of Nuclear War and Accident
Peter Linebaugh
On the 800th Anniversary of the Charter of the Forest
Patrick Bond
Zimbabwe Witnessing an Elite Transition as Economic Meltdown Looms
Sheldon Richman
Assertions, Facts and CNN
Ben Debney
Plebiscites: Why Stop at One?
LV Filson
Yemen’s Collective Starvation: Where Money Can’t Buy Food, Water or Medicine
Thomas Knapp
Impeachment Theater, 2017 Edition
Binoy Kampmark
Trump in Asia
Curtis FJ Doebbler
COP23: Truth Without Consequences?
Louisa Willcox
Obesity in Bears: Vital and Beautiful
Deborah James
E-Commerce and the WTO
Ann Garrison
Burundi Defies the Imperial Criminal Court: an Interview with John Philpot
Robert Koehler
Trapped in ‘a Man’s World’
Stephen Cooper
Wiping the Stain of Capital Punishment Clean
Weekend Edition
November 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Thank an Anti-War Veteran
Andrew Levine
What’s Wrong With Bible Thumpers Nowadays?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The CIA’s House of Horrors: the Abominable Dr. Gottlieb
Wendy Wolfson – Ken Levy
Why We Need to Take Animal Cruelty Much More Seriously
Mike Whitney
Brennan and Clapper: Elder Statesmen or Serial Fabricators?
David Rosen
Of Sex Abusers and Sex Offenders
Ryan LaMothe
A Christian Nation?
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Finger on the Button: Why No President Should Have the Authority to Launch Nuclear Weapons
W. T. Whitney
A Bizarre US Pretext for Military Intrusion in South America
Deepak Tripathi
Sex, Lies and Incompetence: Britain’s Ruling Establishment in Crisis 
Howard Lisnoff
Who You’re Likely to Meet (and Not Meet) on a College Campus Today
Roy Morrison
Trump’s Excellent Asian Adventure
John W. Whitehead
Financial Tyranny
Ted Rall
How Society Makes Victimhood a No-Win Proposition
Jim Goodman
Stop Pretending the Estate Tax has Anything to do With Family Farmers
Thomas Klikauer
The Populism of Germany’s New Nazis
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail