“And liberty cannot be preserved without a general
knowledge among the people, who have a right, from the frame of their nature,
to knowledge, as their great Creator, who does nothing in vain, has given them
understandings, and a desire to know; but besides this, they have a right, an
indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and
envied kind of knowledge, I mean, of the characters and conduct of their
John Adams, second US President, A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law,
Enron Spoils the Party
Bush wants his State of the Union speech to drown out those stories linking
the disgraced company and the White House
Sunday, Jan. 27, 2002
“…Bush was gently mocking the endless process--and perhaps acknowledging how
many reasons there are for last-minute rewrites: a war and a recession, an
anxious public, an aggressive opposition party, and above all the fast-moving
story of the largest corporate bankruptcy in U.S. history--a scandal that has so
far defied White House attempts to isolate it or explain it away. In the space
of five days last week, the story of Enron's collapse went from the merely
unusual to the truly baroque, with plot elements lifted from the pages of Robert
Penn Warren and John Grisham. On Tuesday FBI agents moved in when document
shredding was discovered inside Enron's Houston headquarters. On Wednesday Enron
CEO Kenneth Lay, until recently the national cheerleader for a frictionless new
economy and a man the President nicknamed "Kenny Boy," resigned in disgrace,
forced out by a board of directors who had apparently been napping for months.
One of 11 congressional investigations opened its hearings on Thursday with a
tableau we might as well get used to: Enron's former outside auditor taking the
Enron execs looted company prior to bankruptcy
By Joseph Kay, 22 June 2002, WSWS.org
Documents filed in a New York court by the energy company Enron reveal the
extent to which the company’s top executives enriched themselves in the year
preceding its bankruptcy. The collapse of the company cost thousands of jobs for
ordinary workers and decimated pension savings. The top management, however,
walked away with millions of dollars in income and bonuses.
In the year prior to its December 2001 bankruptcy filing, Enron handed out $745
million in payments and stock awards to 144 of its senior executives. The
company disclosed that these executives received $310 million in salary,
bonuses, loan advances and other income. $435 million came in the form of
exercised stock options and restricted stock packages. These figures include the
$54.6 million in retention bonuses that were given to 200 executives in the days
immediately preceding the declaration of bankruptcy.
Included among those receiving the biggest windfalls was Kenneth Lay, former
chairman of the company, who raked in $150 million in income, bonuses and stock
packages. Former chief executive Jeffrey Skilling took in $25 million and former
chief financial officer Andrew Fastow, over $10 million. Thomas White, the
current army secretary in the Bush administration who was a top executive in the
company’s energy-services sector, received $17 million.
Calif. Energy Prices Manipulated
FERC Finds Widespread Manipulation of Natural Gas, Electricity Prices and
Supplies in California
The Associated Press, March 26, 2003
At the height of the power crisis, energy traders bragged of charging double the
going rate, slowing down power plants and one urged colleagues to "stick-it to 'em"
when selling to California, memos released by federal regulators showed.
The memos were part of the evidence California officials used to make their case
for $9 billion in refunds at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The commissioners agreed with the state Wednesday, saying their investigation
found widespread manipulation of natural gas and electricity prices and supplies
Pat Wood, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said that as a
result of the manipulation California would receive more than the $1.8 billion
in refunds recommended by a FERC judge in December. The exact amount is to be
determined in the coming months.
The FERC singled out seven subsidiaries of bankrupt Enron Corp. and five other
companies for taking advantage of a dysfunctional market and reaping millions of
dollars in unjust profits.
"Enron manipulated thinly traded physical markets to profit in financial
markets," FERC said, estimating that Enron made more than $500 million in online
trading in 2000 and 2001.
FERC investigators recommended the companies be forced to give up unfairly
The energy crisis cost the state as much as $45 billion over two years in higher
electricity costs, lost business due to blackouts and a slowdown in economic
growth, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.
OVERWHELMING PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR JUDICIAL WATCH LAWSUIT AGAINST VP CHENEY &
CNN Internet Survey Shows 95% of Americans Want Answers From VP Cheney
Regarding Halliburton Accounting
Lawsuit is Strong Legal Action During Period of Financial Crisis Marked
by Political Rhetoric and Posturing
“The American people are fed-up with corporate fraud and powerful politicians
operating as if they were above the law. The life savings of millions of
Americans have been devastated by a string of major bankruptcies and alleged
fraudulent corporate accounting practices. President Bush and other
Congressional leaders have spent weeks talking about cracking down on corporate
fraud – but at Judicial Watch, we are doing something about it, not just talking
about it. Vice President Cheney has a lot of questions to answer about his days
at Halliburton, and President Bush should take responsibility for his Vice
President. It is extremely hypocritical and improper for President Bush to
chastise Wall Street and corporate CEO’s and rush to propose more regulation of
private industry while simultaneously dodging questions and making dismissive
remarks about his Vice President’s own alleged improper business practices,”
stated Judicial Watch Chairman and General Counsel Larry Klayman.
Cheney accused of corporate fraud
Wednesday, 10 July, 2002, 22:22 GMT 23:22 UK, BBC
A US pressure group has filed a lawsuit against Vice-President Dick Cheney,
accusing him of defrauding shareholders in a company he used to run.
Judicial Watch, based in Washington DC, says Mr Cheney artificially boosted the
share price of the Halliburton energy company during the time he was chief
executive in the 1990s.
In another development, it has emerged that Mr Cheney took part in a promotional
video for the disgraced accounting firm Andersen.
Andersen guilty in Enron case
Saturday, 15 June, 2002, 22:09 GMT 23:09 UK, BBC
“A jury in the United States has found accountancy firm Arthur Andersen guilty
of obstructing justice by shredding documents relating to the failed energy
CEO ADMITS CHENEY KNEW OF ALLEGED FRAUDULENT ACCOUNTING POLICIES
VP Cheney Signed Halliburton’s 1998 & ’99 Financial Statements
Admissions Further Confirm Sound Basis For Judicial Watch’s Lawsuit Against Him
Jul 15, 2002, Judicial Watch
“TAKES FIFTH” ON HALLIBURTON QUESTIONS
Aug 8, 2002, Judicial Watch
Cheney, GAO clash in court over energy records
Reuters, 09.27.02, Forbes
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lawyers for Vice President Dick Cheney Friday pressed his
case to keep energy policy documents secret from the investigative arm of
Congress and a federal judge said he would rule on the matter as soon as
In an unprecedented courtroom clash between the executive and legislative
branches of government, attorneys for Congress' General Accounting Office argued
the White House should not be making the "breathtaking assertion" that it was
exempt from congressional oversight.
BY CHRIS TAYLOR/SAN FRANCISCO
May 20, 2002, Time Magazine
“Internal documents describe the amazing, code-named ways that Enron rigged the
state's energy prices”
Online NewsHour -- Enron: After the Collapse
Chewco is a $383 million investment partnership allegedly arranged by
Enron's former chief financial officer Andrew Fastow in 1997 to keep Enron's
debt off its balance sheets.
Chewco, named after a
Star Wars character Chewbacca, was part of a cluster of
partnerships that executed different roles in billion-dollar financing deals.
Funded by money invested in Enron and without investor knowledge, the
partnership involved Fastow and an off-shore financial group he controlled.
The story of Chewco began nearly a decade ago in 1993 when Enron and the
California Public Employees Retirement System (Calpers) created a 50-50
partnership known as the Joint Energy Development Investment Limited (JEDI). At
the time, Enron did not include JEDI in its earnings since it did not own more
than 50 percent of the partnership.
Then in 1997, Fastow created Chewco which bought Calpers' stake in JEDI. With
the purchase, Enron and Fastow essentially owned JEDI. However, since Fastow and
his partners had organized Chewco in such a way, the entire partnership was kept
off of Enron's books. Since Chewco was not included, the JEDI partnership, still
apparently run by Enron and an outside group, also remained off the balance
Consequently, the Chewco "partnership" made it possible for Enron to keep
roughly $600 million off its books. Once federal investigators and auditors
discovered that Chewco was actually Enron, the SEC forced Enron to restate its
earnings since 1997. Hence, Enron's restated earnings included Chewco's, and
JEDIs, huge losses into its balance sheets. The JEDI and Chewco deals also
allowed some Enron executives to turn personal profits in the millions.
As the largest of these partnerships, the Chewco deal accounted for about 80
percent of profit overstatements related to such partnerships.
firm did Enron-style deal - report
Wednesday October 9, 5:14 pm ET
BOSTON, Oct 9 (Reuters) - President George W. Bush's former oil firm formed a
partnership with Harvard University that concealed the company's financial woes
and may have misled investors, a student and alumni group said in a report on
Harvard Management Co., which oversees the school's $18 billion endowment, was
the biggest shareholder in Harken when the two sides agreed to create the Harken
Anadarko Partnership in late 1990, when Bush's father occupied the White House
and was preparing to drive Iraqi President Saddam Hussein from Kuwait.
Over the next two years, the partnership allowed Harvard to bail out Harken's
business by removing from its books a large percentage of the company's
loss-generating assets and debts in the Anadarko region of Texas and Oklahoma.
Specifically, Harken turned over drilling operations worth $26.1 million and $20
million of bank debts and liabilities to the partnership, the report said.
The partnership was not required to report its finances, meaning details of
Harken's oil and gas operations in the Anadarko region were hidden from public
view, the report said.
The maneuver improved Harken's official financial position, leading to a gradual
recovery in the oil firm's share price. Harvard profited from the upswing to
unload some 1.6 million shares of the company.
Bush -- who was both a board member at Harken Energy and worked as a consultant
for the firm at the time, according to HarvardWatch -- gave the deal his
personal approval, according to minutes of Harken's Aug. 29, 1990 special board
Public Citizen: Documents Raise Questions About Army Secretary Thomas White’s
Senate Testimony on Energy Trades
Sept. 30, 2002
Records Show White Unit Involved in Wholesale Trading
“WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a letter to Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ernest
Hollings, Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook raised questions about the
accuracy of Army Secretary Thomas White’s July 18 Senate testimony, during which
he denied that wholesale energy trading operations fell under his control as an
executive at Enron Corp. and said his division played no role in the
manipulation of Western energy markets.”
The California Energy Crisis, About.com
Current and historic energy usage, and the origins of the California Energy
ExxonMobil and the Oil Barons of Houston, Texas
The Human toll of their pollution binge, Refineryreform.com
Houston industries' "collateral damage":
“500,500 citizens (approximately 15% of Houston's population) are now affected
directly by lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, childhood asthma, adult asthma and
emphysema (American Lung Association)”
Houstonians fume over proposed clean air rules
October 19, 2000, CNN
“The skyline of Houston, which replaced Los Angeles in September as the
smoggiest city in the United States”
EPA Veteran Resigns Over Pollution Policy
By Eric Piani, Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 1, 2002; Page A05
A senior Environmental Protection Agency official resigned this week, protesting
what he described as Bush administration efforts to undermine tough legal
actions against dozens of aging coal-fired power plants and refineries that have
violated federal emission standards.
Eric V. Schaeffer, who headed the EPA's Office of Regulatory Enforcement, said
yesterday that Energy Department officials treat the power industry as their
"client" in pursuing drastic changes to enforcement policies aimed at
eliminating millions of tons of unlawful air pollution.
Bush Administration Eases Air Pollution Controls
Sun Nov 24, 2002
WASHINGTON, DC, November 22, 2002 (ENS) - The United States administration of
George W. Bush has enacted changes to clean air rules that will allow power
plants and refineries to avoid new pollution controls when they expand
The decision drew sharp criticism from Congressional leaders, state officials,
environmental groups, public health organizations and the former head of the
Environmental Protection Agency, who charge the administration has put industry
interests ahead of public health and the environment.
U.S. CDC: Facts About Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
What it is
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, refers to a group of diseases
that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems. It includes
emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and in some cases asthma.
COPD is a leading cause of death, illness, and disability in the United States.
In 2000, 119,000 deaths, 726,000 hospitalizations, and 1.5 million hospital
emergency departments visits were caused by COPD. An additional 8 million cases
of hospital outpatient treatment or treatment by personal physicians were linked
to COPD in 2000.
“Find out what kind of refinery pollution exists in your state.”
What's The Gov't Thinking?
January 5, 2000 22:20:35, CBS News
And then there are two stories about what you don't know and what the government
would rather you not know -- about gene altered food and about radioactive waste
recycled into consumer products.
Yes, that's right, if the U.S. government has its way, starting next fall,
reprocessed radioactive nickel could be in forks, knives, bikes and other
metal-based consumer products.
BRC: Here We Go Again | The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
“Now it's 1999, and the issue has returned--this time in the form of 126,000
tons of slightly radioactive scrap at the Oak Ridge nuclear weapons plant in
Tennessee. While it would cost $800 million for Energy to bury the scrap from
three uranium enrichment buildings at Oak Ridge, instead it contracted with
British Nuclear Fuels, Ltd. (BNFL) to remove, clean, and sell the material for a
mere $238 million. According to the September 20 U.S. News and World Report,
Energy is currently considering the release of an additional 60,000 tons of
materials from the Paducah gaseous diffusion plant in Kentucky.”
Public Citizen | | Critical Mass Energy and Environment Program - Background on
“…The matter entails both a question of the safety of radioactive materials and
the competence and integrity of those institutions entrusted to deal with them.
This question is the same whether the material is steel, nickel, soil, or
plastic. It is increasingly clear that the public cannot trust the NRC, the DOE
and those contractors on whom those agencies rely. Here is a chronology of
recent events related to the issue of radioactive waste recycling:…”
“After 15 years of investigating, I have concluded that the United
States government’s atomic weapons industry knowingly and recklessly exposed
millions of people to dangerous levels of radiation. …Nothing in our past
compared to the official deceit and lying that took place in order to protect
the nuclear industry. In the name of national security, politicians and
bureaucrats ran roughshod over democracy and morality. Ultimately, the Cold
Warriors were willing to sacrifice their own people in their zeal to beat the
— Former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall
the foreword to Atomic Harvest: Hanford and the Lethal Toll of America’s
Nuclear Arsenal By Michael D’Antonio
Atomic Harvest: Hanford and the Lethal Toll of America's Nuclear Arsenal
by Michael D'Antonio, Michael Dantionio
This gripping account of geopolitics and egotistical scientists pits eastern
Washington's Hanford Nuclear Reservation--at which plutonium was brought to
weapons-grade purity with "catastrophic environmental effects" in "a war in
which the missiles never flew but did their deadly work on home ground"--against
the "downwinders," local citizens pressing for public accounting from the
103d Congress, 2d Session - COMMITTEE PRINT - S. Prt. 103-97
IS MILITARY RESEARCH HAZARDOUS TO VETERANS' HEALTH? LESSONS SPANNING HALF A
UNITED STATES SENATE, DECEMBER 8, 1994
JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West Virginia, Chairman
During the last few years, the public has become aware of several examples where
U.S. Government researchers intentionally exposed Americans to potentially
dangerous substances without their knowledge or consent…
Findings and conclusions
A. For at least 50 years, DOD has intentionally exposed military personnel to
potentially dangerous substances, often in secret
Fallout likely caused 15,000 deaths
By Peter Eisler, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — Radioactive fallout from Cold War nuclear weapons tests across the
globe probably caused at least 15,000 cancer deaths in U.S. residents born after
1951, according to data from an unreleased federal study. The study, coupled
with findings from previous government investigations, suggests that 20,000
non-fatal cancers — and possibly many more — also can be tied to fallout from
aboveground weapons tests.
IEER Press Release: Nuclear Testing Fallout Attributed to Cancers, U.S.
February 28, 2002
About Eighty Thousand Cancers in the United States, More Than 15,000 of Them
Fatal, Attributable to Fallout from Worldwide Atmospheric Nuclear Testing
Takoma Park MD, February 28, 2002: An estimated 80,000 people who lived in or
were born in the United States between the years 1951 and 2000 will contract
cancer as a result of the fallout caused by atmospheric nuclear weapons testing,
according to an analysis of government studies by the Institute for Energy and
Environmental Research. Well over 15,000 of these cases would be fatal.
The study was mandated by Congress through legislation passed in 1998, after a
1997 National Cancer Institute report that dealt with only one radionuclide,
iodine-131, and doses to the thyroid alone showed extensive exposures across the
United States. Hot spots were scattered across the continent. The most affected
counties were as far away as Idaho and Montana.
"The 1997 report indicates that some farm children, those who drank goat's milk
in the 1950s in high fallout areas were as severely exposed as the worst exposed
children after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident. Such exposure
creates a high probability of a variety of illnesses," said Dr. Makhijani. "Yet
the government did nothing to inform the people in these affected areas."
U.S. Troops Were Subjected to a Wider Toxic Testing
By THOM SHANKER, New York Times, October 9, 2002
WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 — Acknowledging a much wider testing of toxic weapons on its
forces, the Defense Department says it used chemical warfare and live biological
agents during cold-war-era military exercises on American soil, as well as in
Canada and Britain, according to previously secret documents cleared for release
to Congress on Wednesday.
Sixteen of the newly declassified reports, prepared by the Pentagon, describe
how chemical and biological exercises, until now undisclosed, used deadly
substances like VX and sarin to test the vulnerability of American forces to
unconventional attack. An additional dozen reports describe how more benign
substances were used to mimic the spread of the poisons in other tests.
The reports, which detail tests conducted from 1962 to 1971, reveal for the
first time that the chemical warfare agents were used during exercises on
American soil, in Alaska, Hawaii and Maryland, and that a mild biological agent
was used in Florida.
The Defense Department is working with the Department of Veterans Affairs to
identify an estimated 5,500 people believed to have participated in the land and
sea tests, because it remains unclear, even today, whether all the military
personnel were fully aware of the nature of the exercises, and the potential
Bioweapons Tested in U.S. in 1960s
By MATT KELLEY, Associated Press Writer, Oct. 9, 2002
Earlier this year, the Defense Department acknowledged for the first time that
some of the 1960s tests used real chemical and biological weapons, not just
The Defense Department has identified nearly 3,000 soldiers involved in tests
disclosed earlier, but the VA has sent letters to fewer than half of them. VA
and Pentagon officials acknowledged at a July hearing that finding the soldiers
has been difficult.
Briefing on Cold War-era Chemical and Biological Warfare Tests
United States Department of Defense
Wednesday, October 09, 2002 - 1:07 p.m. EDT
Hour One: Government Science Advisory Committees
January 10, 2003, NPR
“Over 200 science advisory boards provide advice to agencies of the government's
Department of Health and Human Services on topics ranging from safe lead levels
to the use of humans as research subjects. Some critics say the Bush
Administration is staffing those advisory boards based on ideology, not science.
The administration says that's not so.”
Science, Money, and Politics: Political Triumph and Ethical Erosion
by Daniel S. Greenberg
Science, in the abstract, is supposed to be nonpolitical, even to transcend
politics entirely. In truth, though, science is always conditioned by political
reality--and by money.
So writes journalist Daniel Greenberg in this wide-ranging indictment of the way
in which science is conducted in the United States. Although funding for
scientific research has been readily available since the end of World War II, he
maintains, research bureaucrats have transformed the enterprise into "a clever,
well-financed claimant for money" and the successful quest for that funding into
a condition of employment and advancement. Given that climate, Greenberg
suggests, basic research has suffered, so that many diseases go unconquered,
while more politically glamorous investigations are rewarded. Increasingly
corporatized--industry, he writes, accounts for two-thirds of all research and
development dollars spent, and its "profit-seeking values" are radiating
throughout the culture--scientific research is insufficiently policed and
criticized, watched over only by the inmates. In the rush for funding, Greenberg
argues, science becomes increasingly subject to ethical lapses, with scientists
too easily endorsing dubious causes such as the so-called Star Wars
missile-defense system and too readily putting human subjects in danger.
“Rulers are no more than attorneys, agents, and trustees for the people;
and if the cause, the interest and trust, is insidiously betrayed, or wantonly
trifled away, the people have a right to revoke the authority that they
themselves have deputed, and to constitute abler and better agents, attorneys,
and trustees. And the preservation of the means of knowledge among the lowest
ranks, is of more importance to the public than all the property of all the
rich men in the country.”
John Adams, second US President, A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, 1765