"Weapons of Mass Deception"


Richard Perle

Richard Perle

Richard Norman Perle

Richard N. Perle is a man of many hats: Pentagon policy adviser (resigned February 2004), former Likud policy adviser, media manager, international investor, op-ed writer, talk show guest, think tank expert, and ardent supporter of the war in Iraq.

From 1969 to 1980, he worked as a staffer for Democratic Senator Henry M. Jackson of Washington. Perle was considered as an extremely knowledgeable and influential person in the Senate debates on arms control. As a Jackson staffer, he quickly acquired the reputation of a dark and influential figure, a reputation that has followed him through the years in both the public and private sectors. "I really resent being depicted as some sort of dark mystic or some demonic power....All I can do is sit down and talk to someone.", he is quoted as saying. (New York Times, December 4, 1977, Jackson Aide Stirs Criticism in Arms Debate, Richard L.Madden)
Perle was considered a hardliner in arms reduction negotiations with the Soviet Union. Robert Burns of AP writes, "Perle 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.'"

From 1981 to 1987, Perle was Assistant Secretary of Defense for international security policy in the Reagan administration.

Perle was widely criticized after it was reported that he had recommended that the Army purchase an armaments system from an Israeli company that a year earlier had paid him $50000 in consulting fees. Perle acknowledged receiving the payment the same month he joined the Reagan administration, but said the payment was for work done before joining the government and that he had informed the Army of this prior consulting work.(New York Times, April 17, 1983, Aide Urged Pentagon to Consider Weapons Made by Former Client, Jeff Gerth. See also New York Times, April 21 1983, On buying weapons and influence, Editorial.)

Perle is currently a resident fellow at the conservative think-tank American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. His cited research interests include defense, national security and the Middle East.
Perle's many business interests have been a source of controversy during and after his tenure in government. Among other engagements, he is co-chairman and director of Hollinger, Inc., a partner of Trireme, and a director of the Jerusalem Post (which is owned by Hollinger).

In July 2001 George W. Bush appointed Perle chairman of the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee, which advises the Department of Defense. On March 9, 2003, Seymour Hersh published an article in The New Yorker titled Lunch with the Chairman, accusing Perle of a conflict of interest, claiming Perle stood to profit financially by influencing government policy. Hersh's article alleged that Perle had business dealings with Saudi investors and linked him to the intelligence-related computer firm Trireme Partners LLP, which stood to profit from the war in Iraq.
The same day the New Yorker article was published, Perle, in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, responded that "Hersh is the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist, frankly." [2

On March 27, 2003, Richard Perle resigned as chairman of the Defense Policy Board, though he still remained a member of the board.
In February 2004, Perle resigned entirely from the Defense Policy Board. The full text of Perle's resignation letter may be found at the website for the public relations firm Benador Associates.

Perle had close business ties with Conrad Black, former chairman of Hollinger International Inc., which owns more than 400 daily and weekly newspapers in Canada, the United States, Britain, Israel and Australia. Hollinger papers include London's Daily Telegraph, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Jerusalem Post. Perle used these papers and others to trumpet his anti-Saddam sentiments and to tangle with political figures, such as British Minister Clare Short, who opposed the Perle line on Iraq. Black, a Canadian, joined fellow media kingpin Rupert Murdoch in defending British Prime Minister Tony Blair's decision to stick with Bush's war aims, despite overwhelming domestic opposition.

War critics astonished as US hawk admits invasion was illegal

BBC Panorama Profile:

Richard Perle is often referred to as the "high priest" or the godfather of neo-conservatives, although he is actually a conservative Democrat
He has also been called the "architect of the war", a claim he denies, and more critically "the prince of darkness".
Mr Perle, a good friend of the current defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, recently resigned from the influential Defence Policy Board just before the war because of allegations about conflicts over his business interests.
He is also a member of the neo-conservative think tank, the American Enterprise Institute.
Mr Perle studied politics at Princeton University before moving on to work for the hawkish conservative senator Scoop Jackson.
He then moved onto a post as assistant defence secretary in the Reagan era of the 1980s.
In the year 2000, Mr Perle rose to political prominence again after advising George W Bush's campaign on defence matters during the presidential campaign. He however declined a paid post in the administration.
Instead he took the unpaid chairmanship of the Defence Policy Board (DPB) instead.
In the run-up to the war Richard Perle went on the offensive, making caustic remarks about the roles of US "allies" such as Saudi Arabia and France.
The DPB, created in 1985, has an advisory role and is not technically part of the Administration, however critics say it has gained a stronger foothold in shaping White House opinion in the past two years.
He resigned as chair of the DPB earlier in the year, although he is still on the board.

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Milton Frihetsson, 13:56


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