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Ex-Pentagon adviser hints US Marines contemplated for Iran

Michael Roston
Published: Friday January 26, 2007
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A key ex-Pentagon adviser and close associate of Vice President Cheney hinted that US Marines might be used in an Iran strike in an a Wednesday night appearance in New York.

Perle, appointed chairman of the Defense Policy Board by President Bush in 2001 and assistant secretary of defense for international security policy in the Reagan Administration, participated in a raucous discussion in New York on Wednesday where he faced boos and hisses from the audience. They were gathered to hear a talk about "America at a Crossroads," a PBS documentary series that will air in April. Perle is included in the documentary, with one segment of it focusing on his career in and out of government.

Perle resigned as chairman of the Defense Policy Board in 2003.

Perle's statements were highlighted by Salon blogger Alex Koppelman in a post Friday. Koppelman notes that in the Perle segment of the film, he is shown saying that "it would be a mistake to send Marines to Iran, and that it was not being contemplated." But, Koppelman notes, "Later on, Perle remarked that the quote had been filmed several months earlier and that he "can't say [the same] now.""

This past Sunday, the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reported that Perle had said at a conference in Israel that President George W. Bush "will order an attack on Iran if it becomes clear to him that Iran is set to acquire nuclear weapons capabilities while he is still in office."

"Perle is close to the Bush administration, particularly to Vice President Richard Cheney," Ha'aretz adds.

Cheney's office has been the most vocal inside the Administration pushing for armed confrontation with Iran, according to various reports, including those of RAW STORY and The New Yorker.

The full blog post can be accessed at Salon's War Room blog.