EMAIL PAGE TWO
COLUMN SIXTY-NINE, MARCH 1, 2002
(Copyright © 2002 Al Aronowitz)
EMAIL FROM IRAN ASKING THE EMAIL ADDRESS OF THE CENTRAL IGNORANCE AGENCY
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 04:11:22 -0800 (PST)
From: didi nadidi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
IS AN EMAIL FROM IRAN I KINDLY REQUEST YOU TO
(We replied that we had no way of knowing the CIA's email address)
* * *
SECOND REQUEST FROM DIDI NADIDI
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 08:25:59 -0800 (PST)
From: didi nadidi <email@example.com>
many thanks for your responce,can you do me a
best regards, ##
this point, we forwarded both of Didi Nadidi's emails to The New York Times and
have received no further word about the matter,)
* * *
I LIVE IN ELIZABETH, N.J., WHERE THE RENT IS CHEAPER AND WHERE LIFE IS AS BEARABLE AS IT CAN BE
Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2002 20:49:36 -0500
From: "Trace Richardson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
do you live in NYC? How's life these days? I've enjoyed your writings.
* * *
IS THIS GUY WANKING OR WHAT?
I DEMAND !
Date: Tue, 5 Feb 2002 12:34:56 -0500 (EST)
demand total and perfect happiness for every man woman and child, Forever and
ever and ever and ever.
achieve that I need everyone to understand that space ends, space does not go on
forever, it ends.
big difference between space ending or not ending is if space does not end then
space does not have a shape but once you understand that space ends then space
can take a shape and that shape can move.
I need to talk to everyone three times half hour each time at the end of the
third half hour the rapture shall occur and everyone shall be taken to heaven.
THE ENRON SCANDAL
For your attention
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 12:00:04 퍍 (UTC)
spotted this on the Guardian Unlimited Observer site and thought you should see
you may like to see this in case there hadn't been adequate reporting of this
issue by US newspapers. Hopefully the twine is beginning to unravel, eh?
see this story with its related links on the Guardian Unlimited Observer site,
go to http://www.observer.co.uk
has won the Afghan war, but President Bush's peace is threatened by the
Ed Vulliamy reveals how far the White House is entwined in the biggest bankruptcy in US history
Bush files - Observer special
Saturday January 12 2002
he approaches the first anniversary of his inauguration, George W Bush is under
siege. He has won the war in Afghanistan, but finds himself engaged in a new
battle against a scandal that is threatening to dog his administration and
tarnish his reputation.
and his administration have been revealed as entwined in a story of corporate
greed and political manipulation by an energy firm called Enron, now under
double criminal investigation.
scandal---in which the life savings and retirement funds of tens of thousands of
employees vanished while a number of executive directors lined their pockets -
reaches so high that John Ashcroft, the Attorney-General, has had to withdraw
from the investigation because he received Enron money, and lawsuits are the
pipeline to force Vice-President Dick Cheney for details of his contacts with
day Bush took office---a year ago next Saturday---was as cold and comfortless as
his victory; his motorcade braved driving rain and a gauntlet of demonstrations
marking the most contested and ugliest election result in US history. After 11
September, the world changed and so did America's view of Bush. He became the
only President since Franklin Roosevelt to maintain the support of over 80 per
cent of Americans for weeks on end.
now the White House is laid bare by what rivals call 'Enronomics'---the
political fable of the Enron corporation.
has long been reported how the Bush administration and family is beholden to the
energy industry. Before the Afghan war, an 'Energy Task Force' favourable to the
industry was the main concern for Cheney, who himself came to office from the
biggest oil equipment firm in the world.
was just the kind of scandal a war would hide. The company plunged from a stock
rating worth $60 billion---seventh on the Fortune list of US companies--- into
the biggest bankruptcy filing in US history, registered on 2 December.
ethical---maybe criminal---core of the scandal is that Enron trapped its
employees into a 'stock-lock', whereby they were not allowed to sell share
options bought by way of savings. When the company collapsed, they lost
everything. Meanwhile, Enron's executives---blessed by inside information and
foresight---made a killing by scrambling to sell shares before the price
victims of Enron's rise and fall were regular employees who opted to join a
savings plan by investing in their employer---and why not? With soaring energy
prices and giddy profits, the share value quadrupled between 1997 and January
last year. The catch was they were not allowed to sell.
were people like Pat Betteridge, of the subsidiary Portland General Electric
company in Oregon, who remembers grand claims by Enron chief executive Kenneth
Lay on a visit north: 'We like to think of ourselves,' he bragged, 'as the
Microsoft of the energy world.'
used his $300,000 retirement savings to buy 3,500 shares---now worth not a cent.
'If I was hired to do electrical work and I botched it as bad as them,' he says,
'I'd either be doing time or get my licence yanked.'
beneficiaries of the company's surge to power were those who boarded the wheel
of perpetual motion that binds the Bush administration to the energy industry.
Then the company's brass even tried to make their fortune out of its fall as
Observer has dug into Enron's past to find that intimate connections with Bush
and his Texan Republicans started long before the campaigns that brought them to
is a Houston-based utility trading company that sells energy to consumers,
industrial and domestic. It is one of the biggest of its kind in the world---a
standing it owes in no small part to Bush's governorship in Texas.
1992 Energy Policy Act opened a regulatory black hole into which Enron moved and
thrived, forcing established utility companies to buy energy from it. Meanwhile,
in Washington, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, under the presidency of
Bush's father, allowed for an exemption in trading energy subsidiaries. The
practice would be Enron's downfall.
1992 trading commission was chaired by Wendy Gramm, wife of Texas Senator Phil
Gramm, close friend of the Bush family and recipient of $97,350 in political
donations from Enron.
the exemption was accomplished, Mrs Gramm resigned to join the Enron board. As a
member of its current audit committee, she is expected to play a key role in the
forthcoming lawsuits and criminal investigation into bankruptcy and document
1997, Enron was anxious to break into Pennsylvania, one of America's biggest
energy markets, with its huge consumers in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The
company was having difficulty, and Lay asked Bush (who liked to call him 'Kenny
duly called the then state governor, Tom Ridge, to pitch for Enron, whose bid
duly succeeded. 'I called George W to kind of tell him what was going on,' said
Lay at the time, 'and I said it would be very helpful to Enron if he could just
call the governor and tell him Enron is a serious company'. Ridge was made
Secretary of Homeland Security---Bush's new White House office---after 11
and Enron have been bountiful contributors to George Bush Jnr. Since 1993,
company executives have donated nearly $2 million to him personally. Lay also
donated $326,000 in soft money to the Republican Party over the three years
prior to Bush's presidential bid and his wife added $100,000 for the
administration is splattered with senior officials owning stock in Enron.
Economic adviser Larry Lindsay and Trade Representative Robert Zoellick went
straight from Enron's payroll into office.
biggest holding is that of Army Secretary Thomas White, who as a former Enron
executive holds stock and options totalling $50m to $100m. Rove himself holds as
much as $250,000 in stock, and other holders include Defence Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld, his assistant William Winkenwerder, Assistant Treasury Secretary Mark
Weinberger, Economic Undersecretary Kathleen Cooper, Education Undersecretary
Eugene Hickock, the ambassadors to Russia, Ireland, the Emirates and officials
in the energy department, including its chief financial officer Bruce Carnes. It
is not known which---if any---of these privileged stockholders sold their shares
along with the Enron bosses, or suffered the same loss as everyone else. Such
details will appear when they make this year's filings--- leaving any that did
so open to ethical, if not criminal, inquiry.
has pursued the aggressive deregulation policies preferred by Enron and its
kind, including legislation that exempts key elements of Enron's energy business
from oversight by the federal government---pushed by none other than Senator
hand can meanwhile be found behind such episodes as the sudden replacement of
Curtis Hebert as chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by Texan
Pat Wood, a friend of Lay. According to one source, the sacking after only weeks
in the job came after 'an unsettling telephone conversation with Kenneth Lay' in
which he was 'prodded to back a faster pace in opening up access to the
electricity transmission grid'.
all its troubles, Enron continued to benefit from Bush policies---markedly a
refusal to step in and help California during the energy crisis last year,
leaving consumers to pay the price... to Enron.
was so close to the bosom of the administration that Lay and other executives
were called to the White House for six meetings with Cheney and his staff---the
last one only a week before the company made the staggering announcement that it
was slashing shareholder equity by $1.2bn.
Enron was playing a double game. In the run-up to the announcement, its
president, Greg Whalley, was frantically lobbying another wing of the
administration for help in arranging loans. His point man was Undersecretary
discussed the upcoming bankruptcy twice with Commerce Secretary Don Evans--- one
of the Texan 'Iron Triangle' that propelled Bush to power. Later, he also twice
pleaded Enron's case to Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill.
the Republicans were not the only political heavyweights to benefit from
among Enron's top point men in Washington during the bankruptcy saga was
Clinton's former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, who was revealed by the
Washington Post yesterday as having made a representation last November to the
current Treasury on behalf of the company. Rubin is now chairman of the
executive committee of the Citigroup bank, one of Enron's principal backers,
trying, with the JP Morgan bank, to raise $1.5bn in an effort to see the company
through the bankruptcy crisis.
are matters for the six Congressional committees preparing to investigate Enron.
But they will have to wait for the two criminal investigations launched this
week: one into Enron's bankruptcy, the other into the admission by the company's
auditor, Arthur Andersen, that it destroyed thousands of documents about the
had good reason to destroy the papers. The reasons for Enron's destruction when
all the winds seemed to blow behind the company's fortunes are associated with
the labyrinth of subsidiaries built up by Chief Finance Officer Andrew Fastow,
fired on 24 October, and other executives.
created partnerships with what were described as outside,
independently--companies with names such as 'Chewco' or 'Jedi'---after
characters in Star Wars ---that were owned by him or others with Enron backing.
a result, hundreds of millions of dollars were slushing overseas to tax havens
as Fastow and other executives---so they said---sought to shore up the company
against a possible fall in energy prices. What they were allegedly doing was
amassing personal fortunes.
ensuing gaps in the balance sheet became a gaping abyss which could not be
hidden and down which the company finally fell. Enron admitted that it had
overstated profits by $400m in reports issued since. However, Chewco alone
enabled Enron to be able to keep some $600m of debt off its books.
crucial criminal issue is whether executives misled investors by inflating
revenues and minimising debts. The political issue is how closely entwined is
the Washington elite - and the immediate circle around Bush.
months of Bush's oil-friendly presidency was driven out of the spotlight by 11
September. It had pleased the industry for its isolationism and determination to
withdraw from world affairs - the Kyoto Accords on global warming or arms
reduction with Russia.
Bush's cause was an articulate one: a tax cut worth $1.3 trillion, of which
nine-tenths went to the 1 per cent of wealthiest Americans, and ambitions to
drill for oil across the Alaskan wilderness and deregulate controls over the oil
and energy industries.
the afternoon of 11 September, Bush had become the vanishing president during
his people's hour of need, cowering underground beneath an Air Force base in
remote Nebraska. But by the end of that week, Americans saw in Bush not a
spoiled brat, but the man they wanted to lead the nation to war.
the Enron scandal brings the presidency home, with Bush as Winston Churchill
preparing for the 1945 election in Britain. The would-be Clement Attlee is Tom
Daschle, leader of the Senate Democrats, who last week left the unity of war
behind to unleash his congressional campaign for November 2002 with an offensive
over welfare, tax policy, health care, energy and the environment.
elections are critical to Bush and the Republicans: no US president apart from
Nixon and Reagan has not lost ground at the mid-term polls, and the Democrats,
even without making substantial gains, can keep control of the Senate while
taking over the House and state governorships.
the State of the Union address Bush will give on the twenty-ninth of this month,
White House staff are scrambling to entwine the war in Afghanistan with the
continuing domestic agenda. But the minefield they must cross is named Enron.
Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited ##
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