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Richard Perle

Richard Norman Perle (b. September 16, 1941) is an American political figure and neoconservative. He is well known as an ardent advocate for war against Iraq and is a unilateralist on American foreign policy. He was given the nickname "Prince of Darkness" during the 1980s, due to his hawkish views.

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Education and early career Perle earned a B.A. from the University of Southern California in 1964 and an M.A. in political science from Princeton University in 1967.

From 1969 to 1980, he worked as a staffer for Democratic Senator Henry M. Jackson of Washington. He lost one of his positions after the FBI revealed that he had passed on classified information to Israel. From 1981 to 1987, Perle was Assistant Secretary of Defense[?] for international security policy in the Reagan administration. He received criticism for accepting a major payment from an Israeli arms manufacturer, but was not prosecuted.

Current activities 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.

In addition, Perle also has many business interests. Among other engagements, he is Chairman and chief executive officer of Hollinger Digital, Inc.[?], a partner of Trireme and a director of the Jerusalem Post.

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 serious conflict of interest. Hersh's article reported Perle's alleged business dealings with Saudi[?] investors and his relations with a intelligence-related computer firm Trireme Partners, Ltd.[?], 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." [1] (http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0303/09/le.00). Perle later threatened to bring a libel suit against Hersh for the allegations raised in his article. On March 27, 2003, Richard Perle resigned as chairman of the Defense Policy Board, though he still remained a member of the board.

On March 28, 2003, Judicial Watch[?] filed a complaint to the Office of Government Ethics, the Office of the Defense Department Inspector General, the Office of the Homeland Security Inspector General, United States Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller[?] in the matter of Former Defense Policy Board Chairman Richard N. Perle, Former President William Jefferson Clinton, Former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, Current Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe and Global Crossing.

War with Iraq Perle is said to be the person behind the US policy on Iraq (see also: U.S. plan to invade Iraq). He believed that Saddam Hussein's control of the government was weak, and that an invasion of Iraq would remove Saddam from power within weeks.

In an interview for "Saddam's Ultimate Solution", the July 11, 2002 episode of the PBS series Wide Angle, he said:

Saddam is much weaker than we think he is. He's weaker militarily. We know he's got about a third of what he had in 1991. But it's a house of cards. He rules by fear because he knows there is no underlying support. Support for Saddam, including within his military organization, will collapse at the first whiff of gunpowder. Now, it isn't going to be over in 24 hours, but it isn't going to be months either.

Other Perle is co-founder of the right-wing Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a spin-off from the American Enterprise Institute. He is known for a negative view on the United Nations and multi-lateralism[?], pushing for world-wide superiority of the USA.

Perle is author of many articles and two books: Hard Line (1992) (ISBN 0394565525) and Reshaping Western Security (ed.) (1991). In 1992 he produced the PBS feature The Gulf Crisis: The Road to War.

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