The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] Key Rumsfeld Adviser Perle Resigns

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

Key Rumsfeld Adviser Perle Resigns
Friday March 28, 2003 12:00 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) - Former Pentagon official Richard Perle resigned Thursday as
chairman of a group that advises Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on policy
issues, saying he did not want a controversy over his business dealings to
distract from Rumsfeld's management of the war in Iraq.

In a brief statement, Rumsfeld thanked Perle for his service and said he was
grateful that the former Reagan administration official had agreed to remain
a board member. Rumsfeld made no reference to a reason for Perle giving up
the chairmanship.

Perle said he was stepping aside voluntarily.

``I have seen controversies like that before and I know that this one will
inevitably distract from the urgent challenge in which you are now engaged,''
Perle wrote in a resignation letter.

In the letter, made public by the Pentagon and dated March 26, Perle assured
Rumsfeld that he had abided by rules applying to members of the Defense
Policy Board. He has been chairman of the board since July 2001. The position
is unpaid but is subject to government ethics rules that prohibit using
public office for private gain.

The controversy centers on Perle's deal with bankrupt Global Crossing Ltd. to
win government approval of its purchase by a joint venture of two Asian
firms. Perle would receive $725,000 for his work, including $600,000 if the
government approves the deal, according to lawyers and others involved in the
bankruptcy case.

The deal is under review by a government group that includes representatives
from the Defense Department.

Perle denied any wrongdoing.

``The guiding principle here is that you do not give advice in the Defense
Policy Board on any particular matter in which you have an interest,'' Perle
said in a recent interview. ``And I don't do that. I haven't done that.''

Perle wrote in his resignation letter that he could not ``quickly or easily
quell criticism'' in the Global Crossing controversy, adding that it was
``based on errors of fact.''

Nonetheless, he wrote, ``I would not wish to cause even a moment's
distraction from'' the war effort.

Perle said he was advising Global Crossing that he would not accept any
compensation from the pending sale and that any fee for his past services
would be donated to the families of American forces killed or injured in

In his written statement, Rumsfeld thanked Perle for his service.

``He has been an excellent chairman and has led the Defense Policy Board
during an important time in our history,'' Rumsfeld said. ``I should add that
I have known Richard Perle for many years and know him to be a man of
integrity and honor.''

Perle was an assistant secretary of defense during the Reagan administration.

He became involved in another controversy stemming from an article in The New
Yorker that said he had lunch in January with Saudi-born businessman Adnan
Khashoggi and a Saudi industrialist.

The industrialist, Harb Saleh Zuhair, was interested in investing in a
venture capital firm, Trireme Partners, of which Perle is a managing partner.
Nothing ever came of the lunch in Marseilles; no investment was made. But the
New Yorker story, written by Seymour M. Hersh, suggested that Perle, a
longtime critic of the Saudi regime, was inappropriately mixing business and

Perle called the report preposterous and ``monstrous.''

Perle, 61, was so strongly opposed to nuclear arms control agreements with
the former Soviet Union during his days in the Reagan administration that he
became known as ``the Prince of Darkness.''

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]