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March 12, 2003


This piece in The Sun is tied in partially to the other posts (covered in many blogs today) about the so-called "Jewish mafia" that is pushing a war against Iraq. Perle's ethical standards, challenged in this week's The New Yorker, caused Perle to denounce Hersh (author of the New Yorker piece) as a terrible American terrorist. Now Perle is suing. But note that the suit is to be in Britain rather than in the United States.

WASHINGTON — Richard Perle, the influential foreign policy hawk, is suing journalist Seymour Hersh over an article he wrote implying that Mr. Perle is using his position as a Pentagon adviser to benefit financially from a war to liberate Iraq.

"I intend to launch legal action in the United Kingdom. I’m talking to Queen’s Counsel right now," Mr. Perle, who chairs the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board, a non-paying position, told The New York Sun last night.

He said he is suing in Britain because it is easier to win such cases there, where the burden on plaintiffs is much less.

Mr. Hersh’s article, which appears in the March 17 issue of the The New Yorker magazine, said Mr. Perle met for lunch with two Saudi businessman in France in January in an attempt to

seek Saudi investment for a company Mr. Perle is associated with, Trireme Partners L.P.

Trireme was created to "invest in companies dealing in technology, goods, and services that are of value to homeland security and defense," according to Mr. Hersh’s article.

Mr. Hersh writes that Mr. Perle said that the meeting was convened only to talk about a diplomatic alternative to war in Iraq. One of the meeting’s participants, Harb Saleh Al-Suhair, a Saudi born in Iraq, wanted to discuss averting war with Mr. Perle. But according to the article, both Saudi businessmen — Mr. Al-Suhair and Adnan Kashoggi — thought the purpose of the meeting was to discuss Iraq as well as Saudi investment in Trireme.

But the article quotes all three participants saying that Saudi investment in Trireme was not discussed at the lunch, because, as Mr. Al-Zuhair says, Mr. Perle said "he was above the money"and that he "stuck to his idea that ‘we have to get rid of Saddam.’" And to this day, according to the article, no Saudi money has been invested in Trireme.

When asked what part of the article is incorrect, Mr. Perle told the Sun: "It’s all lies, from beginning to end."

The editor of The New Yorker, David Remnick, is sticking by Mr. Hersh’s piece.[more]