Don't get too excited about this. Perle has already accomplished his dirty work, he leaves many top neocons behind in key positions of power in the Pentagon, CIA, NSC, and DOS. He's off to make some serious money for himself and friends now; freed from any constraints and positioned for much more if and when Bush/Cheney/Rummie retain power.
Controversial Figure Quits Advisory Panel Post
W A S H I N G T O N, Feb. 25— A controversial associate of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has resigned from his seat on a key Pentagon advisory panel, ABCNEWS has learned.
Richard Perle, a lightning rod for critics of the Bush administration's national security policies, informed Rumsfeld more than two weeks ago he was quitting the Defense Policy Board. He confirmed the decision in a letter to the defense chief last Wednesday.
'We are now approaching a long presidential election campaign, in the course of which issues on which I have strong views will be widely discussed and debated,' Perle wrote. 'I would not wish those views to be attributed to you or the President at any time, and especially not during a presidential campaign.'
An Outspoken Figure
Perle is a leading figure of the 'neo-conservative' ideological school, and outlines his strong views on wielding U.S. military power against Islamic radicals in his new book, An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror.
He was a major advocate of the war in Iraq and has advocated a stronger U.S. hand in the entire Middle East region. More recently, he has called for the resignation of CIA Director George Tenet and Defense Intelligence Agency head Adm. Lowell Jacoby.
Senior Pentagon officials said that, despite the controversial statements and writings, Rumsfeld did not ask for Perle's resignation.
Last March, Perle stepped down as chairman of the same board. The move followed published news reports questioning whether his work with a company seeking favor with the Pentagon was a conflict of interest for such a senior adviser. Perle has consistently insisted he did nothing wrong.
And his attorney, Samuel Abeday, told ABCNEWS today Perle is quitting the board altogether so he can sue the news organizations that 'falsely accused him of conflicts of interest.'
Abeday also said the Defense Department's inspector general conducted a thorough investigation that 'exonerated Perle 100 percent.'
The Defense Policy Board has no actual authority but advises Pentagon leaders on defense policy matters.
ABCNEWS' Brian Hartman, Martha Raddatz and Chris Vlasto contributed to this report.