Below is the text of a letter received today by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld from Richard Perle, chairman of the Defense Policy Board:
With our nation at war and American troops risking their lives to protect our freedom and liberate Iraq, I am dismayed that your valuable time, and that of others in the Department of Defense and the administration, might be burdened by the controversy surrounding my chairmanship of the Defense Policy Board.
I have been privileged to serve you and my colleagues as chairman of the Policy Board for nearly two years. It has been an honor to work with the Board to assure that you have had the best advice and counsel that its many experienced and wise members can provide.
I have seen controversies like this before and I know that this one will inevitably distract from the urgent challenge in which you are now engaged. I would not wish to cause even a moment's distraction from that challenge. As I cannot quickly or easily quell criticism of me based on errors of fact concerning my resignation as chairman of the Defense Policy Board.
You have my assurance that I have respected and abided by the rules that apply to the Defense Policy Board and other advisory boards.
Finally, I am advising Global Crossing that I will not accept any compensation that might result from their pending acquisition and that any fee for past service would be donated to the families of American forces killed or injured in Iraq.
With respect and good wishes.