Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Press Silent As US Army Is Entrusted To Wrongdoer

Press Silent As US Army Is Entrusted To Wrongdoer


By Jason Leopold

Secretary of the Army Thomas White is preparing to lead thousands of the nation’s soldiers into war with Iraq and still, not one journalist has spilled any ink on White’s knowledge of the suspect accounting practices at Enron Energy Services, the division he ran for several years before being tapped to run the Army.

This is the same man who admitted in sworn testimony before a Senate committee in July that he phoned dozens of his former colleagues at Enron last year to get information on Enron’s financial condition and whether it would impact the value of his stock he still held in Enron.

White’s phone conversations with his Enron buddies took place shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. and while military personnel were being sent to break up the Taliban government in Afghanistan.

White clearly did not have his priorities in order, and it’s now a valid question to ask whether Thomas White is suited to oversee the Army’s $82 billion budget and one million of the Army’s soldiers who are on active duty.

This is the same man who dozens of former Enron employees say headed up a division at Enron that contributed heavily to Enron’s collapse. We are now expected to trust that our soldiers will be in good hands as White leads them off to war.

The media, be it out of laziness or because journalists just don’t give a
damn, gave up on pursuing any leads that suggested White took part in the dubious accounting practices that destroyed Enron, one of the biggest corporate scandals in American history.

The fact that Thomas White, a highly placed executive at Enron, has said publicly that he was unaware of the suspect accounting practices that took place at the division he ran calls into question his capability of leading the United States Army, especially at a time when war with Iraq seems inevitable.

I spent one-year investigating Thomas White’s role at Enron. In my conversations with more than 50 former employees at Enron Energy Services I was told that White was well respected as a person, a likeable guy, but, at best, he knew that Enron was hiding losses and possibly took part in some of those schemes.

White has not yet explained how Enron Energy Services booked a $1.3 billion profit from a contract the unit signed with Eli Lilly even though Enron paid the pharmaceutical company $50 million in cash as an incentive to sign the contract and hid this fact from investors and the public.

White’s signature is on the approval sheets and he earned a hefty bonus from the Eli Lilly deal despite the fact Enron Energy Services never performed any of the services described in the contract.

I wonder whether the editorial and op-ed columnists for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal who called for White’s resignation earlier this year will take White to task again.

This time round lives are at stake.

EARLIER RELATED STORIES…

- Jason Leopold's Account Of What Happened To His Story On White - Jason Leopold – Shafted By The New York Times
- The Original Story On White - US Army Secretary Helped Cook Enron's Books
- Reader Responses - Reader Feedback To Jason Leopold’s Story
- Salon's Response & Leopold Reply - Salon.com's Response to Jason Leopold & His Reply

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Reese Erlich: Foreign Correspondent: Trump Plays Both Sides Against The Middle

Is he a hawk? Is he a peacenik? The President keeps us guessing . By Reese Erlich President Donald Trump has convinced Republican isolationists and hawks that he supports their views. That’s a neat trick, since the two groups hold opposing positions. ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Waiting For The Old Bailey: Julian Assange And Britain’s Judicial Establishment

On September 7, Julian Assange will be facing another round of gruelling extradition proceedings, in the Old Bailey, part of a process that has become a form of gradual state-sanctioned torture. The US Department of Justice hungers for their man. The More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Sorry Plight Of The International Education Sector

Tourism and international education have been two of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. They’re both key export industries. Yet the government response to them has been strikingly different. There has been nothing beyond a few words of ministerial condolence and a $51.6 million package (details below) to get the sector through the pandemic...
More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Google’s Open Letter: Fighting Australia’s News Media Bargaining Code

Tech giants tend to cast thin veils over threats regarding government regulations. They are also particularly concerned by those more public spirited ones, the sort supposedly made for the broader interest. Google has given us an example of this ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Trump’s Current Chances Of Re-Election

By now it seems clear that National have no fresh ideas to offer for how New Zealand could avoid the Covid-19 economic crisis. As in the past, National has set an arbitrary 30% ratio of government debt to GDP that it aims to achieve “in a decade or so,” ... More>>

The Conversation: Rogue Poll Or Not, All The Signs Point To A Tectonic Shift In New Zealand Politics

Richard Shaw AAP(various)/NZ Greens (CC-BY-SA)/The Conversation Strong team. More jobs. Better economy. So say the National Party’s campaign hoardings. Only thing is, last Sunday’s Newshub-Reid Research poll – which had support for the Labour ... More>>

The Coronavirus Republic: Three Million Infections And Rising

The United States is famed for doing things, not to scale, but off it. Size is the be-all and end-all, and the coronavirus is now doing its bit to assure that the country remains unrivalled in the charts of infection . In time, other unfortunates may well ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Altars Of Hypocrisy: George Floyd, Protest And Black Face

Be wary what you protest about. The modern moral constabulary are out, and they are assisted by their Silicon Valley friends in the Social Media club. Should you dare take a stand on anything, especially in a dramatic way, you will be found out ... More>>