Adnan Khashoggis Linked to 9/11 Terrorists, Part 29: Richard Perle, High Priest of Rumsfeld's Defense Policy Board
By Alex Constantine
Richard Perle was named chairman of Rumsfeld's DPB in July 2001. The thirty-member board met regularly with the Secretary of Defense. Minutes of all DPB sessions are classified.
Richard Perle has proven to be nothing if not ambitious. He sniffed out enormous investment opportunities in the expanding homeland security market early on. Among his many conflicts of interest, Perle is a director of the Autonomy Corporation, and holds 75,000 shares of stock. According to In These Times on March 3, 2003, Autonomy Corp. "developed a high-tech eavesdropping software that is capable of monitoring hundreds of thousands of e-mail and phone conversations at the same time. In October 2002, the Department of Homeland Security granted the company a huge contract. A few months later, Autonomy was granted $1 million in contracts from a number of government agencies, including the Secret Service andNational Security Agency."
The famed March 17, 2003 New Yorker article on Perle by Seymour Hersh laid out the "Prince of Darkness" in his bleak hues, starting with opportunism - two months after the destruction in Manhattan, it seems Perle was already managing an investment firm that specialized in war profits:
" .... Perle is [a] managing partner in a venture-capital company called Trireme Partners L.P., which was registered in November, 2001, in Delaware. Trireme’s main business, according to a two-page letter that one of its representatives sent toKhashoggi last November, is to invest in companies dealing in technology, goods, and services that are of value to homeland security and defense. The letter argued that the fear of terrorism would increase the demand for such products in Europe and in countries like Saudi Arabia and Singapore.
"The letter mentioned the firm’s government connections prominently: 'Three of Trireme’s Management Group members currently advise the U.S. Secretary of Defense by serving on the U.S. Defense Policy Board, and one of Trireme’s principals, Richard Perle, is chairman of that Board.' The two other policy-board members associated with Trireme are Henry Kissinger, the former Secretary of State (who is, in fact, only a member of Trireme’s advisory group and is not involved in its management), and Gerald Hillman, an investor and a close business associate of Perle’s who handles matters in Trireme’s New York office. The letter said that forty-five million dollars had already been raised, including twenty million dollars from Boeing; the purpose, clearly, was to attract more investors, such as Khashoggi and Zuhair.
"Perle served as a foreign-policy adviser in George W. Bush’s Presidential campaign—he had been an Assistant Secretary of Defense under Ronald Reagan—but he chose not to take senior position in the Administration. Im mid-2001, however, he accepted an offer from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to chair the Defense Policy Board, a then obscure group that had been created by the Defense Department in 1985. Its members (there are around thirty of them) may be outside th government, but they have access to classified information and to senior policymakers, and give advice not only on strategic policy but also on such matters as weapons procurement. Mosr of the board’s proceedings are confidential."
Perle's career has intertwined repeatedly with Khashoggi's:
• Hollinger International Co-Chairman • Trireme Partners L.P.: Managing Partner • Global Crossings: Consultant
A year after the terror strikes in Manhattan, Perle was interviewed on PBS, offering rare insights into the his fascist political roots and sad state of character:
Richard Perle: The Making of a NeoconservativeTranscript November 14, 2002
Ben Wattenberg: Well, why don’t we pick up the Perlestory at that swimming pool. Whose swimming pool wasit and what were you doing there?
Richard Perle: It was Albert Wohlstetter’s swimmingpool in the Hollywood Hills. Albert’s daughter, Joan,was a classmate at Hollywood High School. We sat nextto each other in Spanish class. She passed, I didn’t,but she invited me over for a swim and her dad wasthere. We got into a conversation about strategy, asubject I really didn’t know much about. Albert gaveme an article to read, that was typical of Albert.Sitting there at the swimming pool I read the articlewhich was a brilliant piece of exposition andobviously so. We started talking about it and…
Ben Wattenberg: About nuclear weapons and that kind ofstuff?
Richard Perle: It was the called the “Delicate Balanceof Terror.” It became quite a famous article inforeign affairs, and it was a way of looking at thestrategic relationship between the United States andthe Soviet Union and the product of the serious pieceof research that he had done as the director of theResearch Council at the Rand Corporation in SantaMonica.
Ben Wattenberg: And Albert Wohlstetter is regarded bysome as sort of the grandfather of this hawkish modeof looking at things in America? Is that right?
Richard Perle: Well, it happens that a number ofpeople who like to regard themselves as protégés ofAlbert’s can probably be described as hawks, but itisn’t so much that Albert was a hawk, it’s that Albertwas extraordinarily rigorous. For Albert, it was justimpermissible to assume anything. You had to run downevery fact, every proposition. He was a mathematicallogician by training.
Ben Wattenberg: Who were some of his protégés?
Richard Perle: Well, Paul Wolfowitz was one.
Ben Wattenberg: Who’s now Deputy Defense Secretary.
Richard Perle: Yes. Paul was his student in hisdoctoral thesis under Albert, and Paul Kezemchek who’snow at Dartmouth. But almost everyone who got to knowAlbert became his student formally or informally. BobBarkley, the editor of the Wall Street Journal was agreat admirer of Albert’s and learned a lot from him.You couldn’t help but learn from Albert because he wasteaching all the time. And what he taught us to do wasthink hard about difficult issues, and if several ofus wound up hawks, we’d like to think it’s becausethat’s the product of thinking hard about the dilemmasthat a difficult world poses, particularly for policymakers in democratic societies.
Ben Wattenberg: And then you ended up with ScoopJackson? How did that happen? Senator Jackson, myhero, your hero, our hero, who really embodiedhawkishness?
Richard Perle: In a good cause always.
Ben Wattenberg: Right.
Richard Perle: It was a complete accident although ittraces back. Albert Wohlstetter phoned me one day. Iwas still a graduate student at Princeton doing someresearch in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and he said,could you come to Washington for a few days andinterview some people and draft a report on thecurrent debate shaping up in the Senate over ballisticmissile defense, which was a hot issue in the NineteenSixty-nine debate. This was in Nineteen Sixty-nine.And he said, I’ve asked somebody else to do this too,and maybe the two of you could work together. Thesomeone else was Paul Wolfowitz. So Paul and I came toWashington as volunteers for a few days, to interviewpeople, and one of the people we interviewed was ScoopJackson and it was love at first sight. I will neverforget that first encounter with Scoop. Here we were acouple of graduate students, sitting on the floor inScoop’s office in the Senate, reviewing charts andanalyses of the ballistic missile defense and gettinghis views on the subj
Ben Wattenberg: Richard, you are Chairman of theDefense Policy Board. What is that?
Richard Perle: It’s a group of volunteer civilians whoadvise the Secretary of Defense. It now includes apretty illustrious list of people, Henry Kissinger,James Slessinger, Harold Brown, Tom Foley and NewtGingrich, two former Speakers. These are wise men withdeep experience who come together half a dozen times ayear for extensive briefings, discussions, meetings,and advice for the Secretary of Defense....
Ben Wattenberg: Does Secretary Rumsfeld sometimes geta little agitated that you say things that they aren’tnecessarily ready to say and it says Chairman of theDefense Policy Board and it sounds as if it’s linked?
Richard Perle: Yes. I go to great lengths todiscourage people from identifying me as Chairman ofthe Defense Policy Board, because it does confusepeople and from time to time I say something thatpeople wish I hadn’t said. In fact, I sometimes saythings that I wish I didn’t say.
Ben Wattenberg: Right. And do they put some heat onyou then?
Richard Perle: Oh, there have been a couple of timeswhen it was brought to my attention. ...
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