Friday, March 28, 2003

Richard Perle has now tendered his resignation as chairman of the Defense Policy Board. This is being described as some kind of victory for government ethics, as it was his influence peddling, or at least the perception of his influence peddling, which led to his being forced by public pressure to resign. But Perle is to remain as a member of the board. Perle's conflict of interest problem isn't that he was chairman, it was that he was on a board giving advice on possible Defense Department plans, including procurement plans, at the same time as he was in active in military contracting businesses. He has ties to companies doing business with the Defense Department, which is the very Department that his Board is advising. He has to remove himself completely from the Defense Policy Board. Otherwise, this partial resignation is just another Bush Administration trick. I wonder if Seymour Hersh is still "the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist."