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 Post subject: Robert Scheer: Enron’s Enablers Go Unpunished
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:24 pm 
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Robert Scheer: Enron’s Enablers Go Unpunished

Posted on Oct 24, 2006
By Robert Scheer

No, I’m not thrilled over Jeffrey Skilling getting 24 years in prison for his role in the Enron scandal. While he and fellow Enron honcho Kenneth Lay were clearly guilty as charged, the handling of this case by the Bush Justice Department is a functional coverup of the Bush family’s role in enabling these crimes.

The thousands of Enron employees who lost their jobs, as well as $2 billion in pension money and $60 billion in share value, deserve better. By focusing on narrowly drawn criminal charges and the public’s wrath against Skilling and his late partner in crime—“Kenny Boy” Lay, as President Bush referred to his onetime chief campaign benefactor—the culpability of the president’s family in this sordid saga is being whitewashed.

How convenient to close the book without considering the ties between the Enron perps and those in two Bush presidencies whose actions enabled these hustlers. The Enron crooks would never have been more than petty thieves were it not for the political support they received from their fellow Texas oil buddies. They knew that, and they paid for it: Over the years, Lay and Enron gave the Bush family politicians $3 million in contributions, as well as lending the campaigning George W. a jet on at least eight occasions.

They did so because, without the deregulation of the energy industry pushed by the first President Bush, Enron would have remained a minor company without the capacity to swindle. At the time, Lay wrote a column supporting the elder Bush’s reelection by praising him as “the energy president” because “just six months after George Bush became president, he directed ... the most ambitious and sweeping energy plan ever proposed.”



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