Global Crossing's Pal Perle Backs Off
Richard Perle caved into public pressure today and resigned as chairman of an elite defense advisory group that reports to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on policy issues. In his resignation letter, he said that he did not want controversy over a business deal to distract the committee from the war against Iraq.
Rumsfeld accepted the resignation but said that Perle would remain a member of the Defense Policy Board, which consists of 30 former government officials, retired military officers, and former members of Congress.
Perle has been criticized lately for his dealings with bankrupt carrier Global Crossing Holdings Ltd. (see Pentagon Pal Perle Gets GX Paycheck). Perle has served as an advisor to the company and has been working to help it win approval for a purchase by a joint venture of two Asian firms. As his compensation, Global Crossing has offered to pay Perle $125,000 for his consulting work, plus a $600,000 bonus if the deal is approved by the government.
The deal between Global Crossing and Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (Hong Kong: 0013) and Singapore Technologies Pte. Ltd., the providers looking to buy it, is under review by a government group that includes representatives from the Defense Department.
Perle has denied that he has done anything wrong. His position as chairman of the Defense Policy Board is strictly voluntary, and he receives no money for his work, but he is subject to the same ethical standards as a government official.
To distance himself even further from the image of impropriety, Perle also said he would not accept any compensation from the pending sale. Perle, an outspoken supporter of the war in Iraq, also said that any fee for his services would be donated to the families of American soldiers killed or injured in Iraq.
— Marguerite Reardon, Senior Editor, Light Reading