Press Box

Richard Perle Libel Watch, 20 Days to Expiration

In Week 49 of the libel watch, the Hollinger investigation shines its light on Perle.

Perle’s paperwork

How in hell’s name can Richard Perle fulfill his promise to sue Seymour M. Hersh for libeling him in The New Yorker with the Hollinger International scandal widening and sucking up his time? The Times of London reports today that the internal investigation of Hollinger “is said to be now looking” at Hollinger board member Richard Perle’s alleged failure to disclose to shareholders $3 million worth of bonuses for running a Hollinger investment project. One of the beneficiaries of the Hollinger investments was Trireme Partners ($2.5 million), the venture capital firm managed by Perle and probed by Hersh in his New Yorker feature. Another was Onset ($3 million), where Perle sits on the board of directors. Cambridge Display Technology, a company in which Perle reportedly holds a stake, received $14 million from Hollinger.

Times reporter Abigail Rayner writes that Perle’s failure to disclose his bonuses “represents an apparent contravention” of Securities and Exchange Commission rules, which require directors of public companies to annually disclose earnings above $60,000.

Rayner continues:

The existence of the bonus scheme, which is understood to be documented and has been confirmed by Hollinger insiders, has not been denied by Mr Perle. When asked about the incentive scheme this week Mr Perle denied that he had received $5 million from the scheme but refused to deny that he had received $3 million, despite being given several opportunities to do so.

At this point, Sy Hersh and The New Yorker must be relishing a libel suit from Perle. Just think of all the juicy Trireme documents they could request in discovery!

But if the Hollinger investigation has depressed Perle, he’s not showing it. Hearst Newspapers reporter Eric Rosenberg reported earlier this week that Perle, a member of the Defense Policy Board, has found out whom to fault for the Iraq intelligence failure—and it isn’t Vice President Richard Cheney or the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans. According to Perle, both CIA Director George Tenet and Defense Intelligence Agency boss Vice Adm. Lowell Jacoby should get the boot.

“I think, of course, heads should roll,” Perle said, as several thousand gallons of moxie leaked from his drawers. “When you discover that you have an organization that doesn’t get it right time after time, you change the organization, including the people.”

Who in government was more adamant about Saddam Hussein’s WMD than Defense Policy Board member (and former chairman) Richard Perle? If he’s serious about rolling heads, let’s see him prove it by lopping off his own. Now there’s an image to behold as we count down the last 20 days of the libel watch: Richard Perle, the Headless Litigant.


Thanks to Press Box Auxiliary Members Craig Hooper and Susan Lowry for forwarding the Perle news clips. Send your Perles to (E-mail may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)