Skip to comments.Perle Suing Over New Yorker Article
Posted on 03/13/2003 4:46:37 AM PST by veronica
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. Im talking to Queens Counsel right now," Mr. Perle, who chairs the Pentagons 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. Hershs 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. Hershs 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 meetings 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: "Its all lies, from beginning to end."
The editor of The New Yorker, David Remnick, is sticking by Mr. Hershs piece.
"It went through serious reporting, with four members of the board talking to Sy [Hersh], and rigorous factchecking, legal-checking and all the rest," Mr. Remnick told the Sun.
He said he took issue with Mr. Perles description of Mr. Hersh on CNN Sunday as "the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist."
"I would have thought after all this many years, Mr. Perle would be a bit more refined than that," Mr. Remnick said.
The Saudi Arabian ambassador to America, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, is quoted in the article accusing Mr. Perle of "blackmail."
A former deputy undersecretary of defense who worked with Mr. Perle, Stephen Bryen, defended Mr. Perle as well.
"Its pretty outrageous for a leftwing columnist to make accusations like this with no factual basis. Most of the many hours he works each day are pro bono to help the administration with its policy on Iraq. He should get is a medal of honor," Mr. Bryen said.
A senior fellow at the Hudson Institute who was the architect of a briefing to Mr. Perles Defense Policy Board on Saudi Arabia last summer, Laurent Murawiec, said Mr. Hershs piece is "pure bull."
"It sounds like the kind of thing thats done for the sole purpose and intent to blacken someone. Richard has been in public life for over 30 years and his ethics have never been challenged by anybody. I found the piece blindingly transparent as an ad hominem hack job. Its thoroughly disgusting," Mr. Murawiec said.
Mr. Perle is a director of Hollinger International Inc., which is an investor in the Sun.
Arms dealer, right?
Lots of good conspiracy stuff; Bush Family, Danny Cosalaro, etc. Bring tinfoil...
"When I asked Hersh about this apparent discrepancy, he was dismissive. 'I wasn't there. Somebody could have misspoke. I could have misheard. It's possible there weren't 16,' he said. 'If I'm wrong, I'm wrong.' He did admit that he had made an error during his November 5 interview on CNN, when he said the mission involved 'sixteen helicopter gunships' rather than 16 AC-130s. 'That time I did misspeak,' he said.
"Although The New Yorker says it assigned several fact-checkers to Hersh's article, it would seem that Hersh is once again playing fast and loose with the facts. And what does that say about his central claim of twelve men wounded, three of them seriously? 'That's what my source told me,' he says."
His Afghan reporting, as you point out, should have discredited him forever.
But, like a termite, he's hard to get rid of.
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