rn: Bush Administration/Enron connection


Jan Slakov

Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 19:21:05 -0400
From: John Di Stefano <•••@••.•••>
Subject: The Bush Administration/Enron Connection

----- Original Message -----
From: Robert Lederman

Subj:    Enron-gate, and worse
Date:   Thursday, January 10, 2002 6:04:56 PM

Please distribute this to everyone you know. It was written by William Pitt,
a teacher in Boston (www.willpitt.com) and it describes two scandals which
have the potential to uproot a certain noxious Bush now occupying the Oval


"Depend upon it, Sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it
concentrates his mind wonderfully." - Samuel Johnson

Some time just before January 7th, 2002, an asteroid capable of pulverizing
good-sized nation flashed through the void, passing perilously close to
Earth. Had it struck our planet, the impact would have had global
consequences. The energy of the strike would have been equivalent to the
explosion of a number of large atomic weapons. From the media perspective,
would have been the biggest story since the extinction of the dinosaurs.

At some point in the next six months, a small, darkened corner of George W.
Bush's consciousness will wish the thing had hit us. The apocalypse he and
his fundamentalist buddies have been waiting for would have been at hand,
a number of potentially calamitous questions about to be put to his
administration would have been avoided.

Sadly for him, the planet spins on. Beneath the unpierced stratosphere, the
electronic beams of news agencies like CNN and the Associated Press have
begun to spread like a widow's web from city to city and house to house.
Carried on this invisible wind are rumors of doom, negligence and greed.
and every one of these rumors lead inexorably back to 1600 Pennsylvania
Avenue, which will soon be issuing significant numbers of visitor passes to
lawyers if the pattern holds much longer.

Whichever part of the nation that never heard of the energy giant Enron
Corporation has recently been introduced to the company in odious context.
The story thus far is nothing less than astounding: Enron, a company valued
in the billions on Wall Street, suddenly filed for the largest bankruptcy
claim in the history of the known universe. 4,000 employees were abruptly
shown the door after having been barred from dumping the company stock,
to fund their retirement, while it was worth something. Meanwhile, Enron
executives in the know were able to dump the stock, back when it was the
standard on the Street, for a cool $1 billion.

Apparently, Enron was ailing for quite a long time. The aforementioned
executives were able to maintain the mirage of financial viability by
stuffing the debt into what are called 'off-balance-sheet partnerships.' In
essence, each of the executives built personal banking bunkers and hid what
has been revealed to be staggering Enron debts within them, keeping fact
the company was hemorrhaging money off the publicly displayed balance
This maintained the company's credit rating, and allowed it to continue

This went on for four years, which means several things. It means most of
Enron executives were aware of and/or actively participating in this highly
criminal and irresponsible activity. It means the stockholders, including
4,000 loyal Enron employees, were lied to. It probably means that the
executives knew the stock value was doomed when they bailed out and
cashed in several months ago. It means they let their employees lose the
retirement funds they believed were growing within their Enron stock
portfolios. It means a lot of people got screwed by a pack of sharp
who didn't give a damn about anyone but themselves.

All this could simply be chalked up as yet another story of corporate greed
run amok, until the umbilical political and financial connections between
Bush and Enron are illuminated. Enron's capo, Kenneth Lay, was perhaps the
best financial friend George W. Bush has ever known. Lay and a number of
Enron employees essentially bankrolled Bush's 2000 Presidential campaign,
going so far as to lend Bush an Enron corporate jet for trips between
stops. Before Bush got White House stars in his eyes, he worked very closely
with Enron on energy policy in Texas.

This close connection led to the Bush administration's hiring of a number of
influential individuals within Enron's orbit for important government

- Thomas E. White, Bush's Secretary of the Army, was once Vice-Chairman of
Enron Energy Service, and held millions in Enron

- Presidential Advisor Karl Rove owned as much as $250,000 in Enron stock;

- Economic adviser Larry Lindsay leapt straight from Enron to his current
White House job;

- Federal Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick did the same;

- SEC Chairman Harvey Pitts was hand-picked by Kenneth Lay for the position,
due to his notorious aversion to governmental regulation of any kind.

There are some thirty one Bush administration officials who had a line item
for Enron in their stock portfolio, including Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld. It is fair to say that the woebegone corporation held, and
continues to hold, enormous influence over the day-to-day machinations of
Federal government policy. One wonders if Bush's recent gutting of the Clean
Air Act, a decision designed to improve the fortunes of companies like
was the brainchild of people with deep connections to the energy industry.

The trail of influence left by Enron leads also to the scabrous heart
ventricles of Vice President Dick Cheney, who admitted recently to six
separate meetings with Enron executives while formulating the Bush
administration's energy policy. Cheney, a former executive of the
Petroleum interest, was in charge of creating this policy. For reasons soon
to be exposed by subpoena, Cheney refused to detail the specifics of the
creation of this policy, which included the multiple Enron meetings.

The General Accounting Office was preparing to sue Cheney to reveal this
information when the September 11th attacks took place. Those subpoenas may
be dusted off and mailed within a month. In the meantime, the Justice
Department is preparing a serious criminal investigation into the collapse
Enron. The democratically-controlled Senate is planning hearings on the
matter as well.  Columnist Robert Scheer has referred to the Bush
administration's involvement in the Enron debacle as "Whitewater in spades."
One wonders if "Watergate" would be a more appropriate comparison.

Bush's own dealings within the energy industry carry a disturbingly familiar
echo to the Enron situation: once upon a time, he was a high-ranking officer
of a petroleum interest called Harken Oil. On June 22, 1990, Bush sold his
Harken stock and made $848,560, earning him a 200% profit. One week later,
Harken announced a $23.2 million loss in quarterly earnings and its stock
dropped sharply, losing 60 percent of its value over the next six months.
Bush made a bundle while the other investors lost millions. Harken was Enron
in miniature, and might have served as a warning to the American people if
the press had chosen to pay any attention to it during the 2000 Presidential

There is a school of thought, espoused primarily by Republicans, that any
investigation into potentially dishonorable or illegal actions by the Bush
administration is tantamount to treason. We are at war, undeclared though it
may be, and Bush must be free to prosecute this war vigorously, so as to
defend our freedom and bring the murderers of American civilians to justice.
If reports recently aired on CNN have any credence, however, Bush and his
people may well have to answer for actions that make the Enron catastrophe
look like a jaywalking offense, actions that led directly to the incredible
carnage in New York and Washington, D.C.

In 1998, during the Clinton administration, the U.S.-based energy concern
Unocal canceled plans to exploit massive natural gas deposits in
Turkmenistan. They had planned to run a pipeline from Turkmenistan to
Pakistan, where the natural gas could have been processed for Asian and
Western energy markets. The idea was scuttled after Clinton ordered the
cruise missile bombing of Afghanistan in response to a terrorist attack upon
U.S. embassies in Africa which were planned and executed by Osama bin Laden.
The pipeline would have had to pass through Afghanistan, and Unocal was
the message in Technicolor by Clinton's people that Taliban-controlled
Afghanistan was not to be given any sort of financial boon.

Apparently, the Bush administration found no moral dilemma in dealing with
the Taliban to get to the gas. Immediately upon their arrival in Washington,
a vigorous courtship of the Taliban was undertaken by Bush's people. In
if former U.N. weapons inspector Richard Butler is to be believed, the Bush
administration had a vested interest in strengthening and stabilizing the
Taliban regime, because a stable regime would compel investors to revive the
Turkmenistan natural gas pipeline deal. The Taliban, demon of the moment,
the Bush administration's idea of a 'stable' government. Stable enough,
anyway, to see the pipeline through.

The connections between Bush and the Taliban became so close that the
went so far as to hire an expert on U.S. public relations named Laila Helms,
so as to smooth the way between the two regimes. Meetings between the two
nations continued at a high level, the last of which occurred in August,
scant weeks before the September 11th attacks. All of these actions were
taken to exploit the vast energy reserves in Turkmenistan for the benefit of
American energy corporations.

The cozy relationship between Bush and the Taliban frustrated the
investigative efforts of former Deputy Director of the FBI John O'Neill.
O'Neill was the FBI's chief bin Laden hunter, in charge of the
into the bin Laden-connected bombings of the World Trade Center in 1993, the
destruction of an American troop barracks in Saudi Arabia in 1996, the
African embassy bombings in 1998, and the attack upon the U.S.S. Cole in

O'Neill quit the FBI in protest two weeks before the destruction of the
Trade Center towers. He did so because his investigation was hindered by the
Bush administration's connections to the Taliban, and by the interests of
American petroleum companies. O'Neill was quoted as stating, "The main
obstacles to investigating Islamic terrorism were U.S. oil
corporate interests, and the role played by Saudi Arabia in it." After
leaving the FBI, O'Neill took a position as head of security for the World
Trade Center. He died on September 11th, 2001, trying to save people trapped
by the attack, when the towers came down on top of him. The irony in this,
simply, is horrifying.

In essence, the Federal agent who knew more about bin Laden than any living
American was kept from investigating terrorist threats against this country.
He was hindered because the Bush administration was desperate to cultivate
the favor of the Taliban, who held terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden in
great esteem, so as to gain access to lucrative natural gas deposits in

If these allegations prove true, Bush and his friends allowed this affinity
to hamstring investigations that could have thwarted bin Laden's September
plans. If these allegations prove true, everything since September 11th has
been a massive cover-up operation in which American soldiers and thousands
Afghan civilians have died. If these allegations prove true, the Bush
administration has the blood of thousands of American civilians on its

If these allegations carry even the faintest whiff of credibility, George W.
Bush and members of his administration stand in taint of high treason and

On November 7th, 2000, a clear majority of Americans came to the conclusion
that George W. Bush was unfit to govern this nation. For a variety of dark
and controversial reasons, that conclusion was thrown over. Sometime soon,
the media's electronic web continues to carry these sordid stories of
corruption, greed and death, the American people will come to fully
understand the consequences of that failed election.

It is one thing to coddle and court a corrupt energy company for political
and financial gain. It is quite another to coddle and court a murderous
terrorist-supporting regime, hindering anti-terrorism investigations in the
process, for the purpose of exploiting valuable natural resources. The
cost a number of people their retirement funds. The latter has cost
of people their lives. One is criminal. The other is abominable. George W.
Bush is deeply implicated in both. There
will be hell to pay.

The stench that surrounds Enron's collapse must alert Britain's politicians
to the corrupting influence of unregulated capitalism.

Will Hutton
Sunday January 13, 2002

The Observer

American democracy is increasingly a fraud. Money buys votes, influence and
office. Contemporary Washington makes Caligula's Rome look like a vicar's
tea party. American politicians' need for business donations on a gigantic
scale to win their election campaigns now pollutes the discourse of the
country's public life, with business writing public policy and corrupting
everything it touches. And the noxious consequences, in terms of ideas and
business practice, spill over into Britain.
The bankruptcy of the energy trader Enron before Christmas with $40 billion
of debts, the largest recorded in history, was spectacular. It had
overstated its profits by half a billion dollars over three years and lost
more still in private companies set up to enrich the coterie of top
executives in schemes undetected by its auditors, Arthur Andersen. They, we
learned last week, had happily disposed of potentially incriminating
documents and misled Congress. In tougher times, Enron's capacity to hide
what we would understand as theft was exhausted - and the company collapsed.

Now the subject of a criminal investigation by the Justice Department, the
details spilling out offer a bird's-eye view of how business is done in the
US, how favours are bought and how political ideas are honed to serve the
interests of the political parties' benefactors. Two members of Bush's
Cabinet - the Commerce Secretary and Attorney-General - have had to stand
aside from the investigations because they received close to $100,000 in
political donations from Enron. Chief executive Ken Lay, 'Kenny Boy' as Bush
dubbed his close friend, personally gave Bush $100,000.

This was not innocent money for a buddy; Enron also greased the wheels of
the Democrats. In 2000, it spent $2.4bn supporting candidates for public
office in the US - $1.7bn for the Republicans and $700 million for
Democrats. Enron wanted a return on its cash and could not afford just to
back Republicans. As an energy trader, it needed to find markets in which to
trade, which meant opening up the US's patchwork quilt of state and
federally regulated electricity and gas grids to private interests;
sometimes, Democrats served this purpose as well as Republicans.

Enron did not want to look like just another corporation using money to buy
influence; it needed a cover story. It wanted minimal surveillance of its
own operations and the maximum opportunity to enrich its directors while
making paupers of its workers (before it collapsed, the directors sold $1bn
of personally owned shares while forbidding its employees to sell their
Enron shares in their private pension funds); energy markets opened up fast.
The story was deregulation.

No chief executive was as fervent an apostle of how regulation cripples
wealth generation as Ken Lay, and now we know why. Republicans, of course,
were willing allies in the belief that nothing inhibits businesses more than
having to respect the law of the land and accept obligations to the wider
society in which they trade. But money talks, and during the 1990s Democrats
became evangelists for the same set of ideas. How could they accept Enron's
money, and that of dozens of other corporations, otherwise?

Thus, over the last decade, Ken Lay and Enron have bought a series of
decisions that have driven the company's growth. In the early 1990s, the
company ensured via the good offices of Wendy Gramm, then chairman of the
Commodity Futures Trade Commission and wife of Enron-supported Texan senator
Phil Gramm, that key aspects of Enron's trading should not be regulated; she
was rewarded with a seat on the board.

In the mid-1990s, Enron spearheaded the botched deregulation of California's
electricity grid, ensuring, amid the mayhem that would lead to black-outs
and sky-high prices, that at least there was a mandatory spot market in
electricity in which Enron could trade. It made sure, with Bush's election,
that regulation remained favourable to Enron, helped design an energy policy
based on more spot market trading and successfully lobbied for the repeal of
minimum corporate taxes, the proceeds of which, had they come sooner, would
have been used to plug the financial holes created by its own executives'
venality. This was a much better use of the money than serving the public

This was a pretty useful return on its political contributions, but Enron
could not have made the progress it did without the intellectual backdrop
that all regulation and taxation is bad - and that the more the US
deregulated, the better its economy performed. This was, and is, balderdash.

For Enron was a major actor in the UK; it dominated energy trading, in
particular in electricity and gas, and it took care to include a British
political notable, Lord Wakeham, on its board as a non-executive director,
though there is no suggestion that he has been involved in any alleged
malpractice. When it collapsed, the untold story is that Britain's
market-based electricity distribution system stood on the brink of collapse,
too; without regulatory intervention, the country would have suffered a
black out on a Californian scale. Yet the unseen and unpraised regulators at
Ofgem (the merged regulator of Britain's gas and electricity markets) moved
fast and effectively to ensure that other companies stood behind Enron's now
defunct contracts . The lights stayed on.

Smart and effective regulation is the handmaiden of well-run markets that
serve the public interest. It is time our politicians started saying so -
and challenging the self-serving braying of our business lobbyists. Enron,
and the philosophy that created it, stinks.

Enron scandal
13.01.2002: Lord Wakeham to face grilling over £55bn Enron crash
13.01.2002: Focus: the threat to Bush
13.01.2002: The facts: Downfall of an $80bn firm
13.01.2002: Enron scandal: key players
13.01.2002: Will Hutton: Greed is the creed
Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 00:28:17 +0100
From: Ocegueda <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Enron and 9/11

Hi Ears,

Below are links to a series of 3 articles from the TruthOut web site
that place the current mess we are in under a very different light than
what we're used to... most of us.

1)    http://www.truthout.com/01.18A.Hell.2.Pay.htm

"On November 7th, 2000, a clear majority of Americans came to the
conclusion that George W. Bush was unfit to govern this nation. For a
variety of dark and controversial reasons, that conclusion was thrown
over. Sometime soon, if the media's electronic web continues to carry
these sordid stories of corruption, greed and death, the American people
will come to fully understand the consequences of that failed election.
It is one thing to coddle and court a corrupt energy company for
political and financial gain. It is quite another to coddle and court a
murderous terrorist-supporting regime, hindering anti-terrorism
investigations in the process, for the purpose of exploiting valuable
natural resources. The former cost a number of people their retirement
funds. The latter has cost thousands of people their lives. One is
criminal. The other is abominable. George W. Bush is deeply implicated
in both. There will be hell to pay."

2)    http://www.truthout.com/01.19D.Hell.2.Pay.htm

It starts with a very good quote:

"The wish to acquire more is admittedly a very natural and common thing;
and when men succeed in this they are always praised rather than
condemned. But when they lack the ability to do so and yet want to
acquire more at all costs, they deserve condemnation for their
mistakes." - Niccolò Machiavelli 

... and takes off from there..

3)    http://www.truthout.com/01.20A.Hell.2.Pay.htm

"It has been 130 days since September 11th. We have heard many debates,
accusations, and arguments about the genesis of the attacks. Every major
news agency, and every talking head with a whisper of breath in their
lungs, has weighed in. We have been told how we should respond. We have
been told how we should feel. We have been told how we can help. In all
that time, however, something essential has been missing. 

We have yet to be told how such a thing was allowed to happen in the
first place."


This series of articles is the most succinct and concise work I've seen
that places the questions that the  mass media seems to have been
desperately trying to avoid.

It will be interesting to see how the Establishment reacts. Where will
the fractures appear? Perhaps this is the begining of the "mayor
identity crisis" that is usually necessary to make the "ruthlessly
honest internal self examination to bring about a merging of what we say
to ourselves we are doing, and what we are actually doing."

Hope springs eternal.


Bob Ocegueda