Daily Archives: June 27, 2004

Kenny-Boy Speaks

And says what you figured he’d say: ‘It’s somebody else’s fault.’

Kenny-Boy Lay, ex-CEO of Enron and the chief architect of its rise and fall, has been invisible in the two years since his company imploded but his trial is finally approaching and now he wants to talk–to ‘tell his side’.

Mr. Lay said that he had remained silent on the advice of lawyers, but is coming forward now to explain his views of a story that he says has become infused with myths. While not saying so explicitly, he suggested that he was motivated by a desire to tell his side both to the prosecutors on the Justice Department’s Enron Task Force who have been investigating him and the citizens of Houston who may well sit in judgment on him.

In other words, he wants a crack at some pre-trial spin, hoping to influence jurors before they’re chosen since it’s illegal to try to influence them afterward. That’s the corporate mind for you.

Beginning with the standard corporate line of defense (you’ll recognize it–Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush have all used it, and more than once), “I take full responsibility for what happened at Enron. But saying that, I know in my mind that I did nothing criminal,” Lay went on to shoulder that responsibility in the standard, time-honored corporate way–by shoving it off on somebody else.

“At our core, regrettably, we had a chief financial officer and a few other people who, in fact, mismanaged the company’s balance sheet and finances and enriched themselves in a way that once we got into a stressful environment in the marketplace, the company collapsed.”

So it’s really all Andy Fastow’s fault and poor Kenny-Boy, the CEO, was totally out of the loop and knew nothing about all the skullduggery that was going on right under his nose. All he did was sign the papers and give the orders that set up the dummy partnerships and the ghost accounts and the bogus sales and…and…and…

Mr. Lay labels criticisms of that set-up as 20-20 hindsight, created only because the world now knows that Mr. Fastow used the vehicles to manipulate Enron’s earnings and loot the company, all without his knowledge, Mr. Lay said.”At the time it seemed the appropriate thing to do,” he said. “And I had no reason to doubt or distrust Fastow.”

But legal experts dismiss the entire venture as foolhardy from inception. “It’s just not common sense thinking,” said John J. Fahy, a former federal prosecutor now with Fahy Choi in Rutherford, N. J. “Your C.F.O. cannot be put in a position where he is in conflict with the company. He is simply too important. The idea is just crazy.”

But Poor Kenny, he really didn’t understand any of that. They told him to sign and he signed. He was just the CEO, what could he do?

Kenny? For $100 I’ll pretend I believe that’s possible. For $500 I’ll pretend it’s plausible. For an even $1K I’ll pretend that I don’t think you’re a lying sack of corporate scum ready to lynch your employees to save your own greedy ass or a hypocritical tapeworm trying to don the mantle of the underdog after lording it over the peasants for years as the Boss Hog with the Heart of Blue Steel, cunning, ruthless, an endless bag of tricks up your sleeve.

On second thought, you better make that $5K. I don’t think I’d be believable for just one.

This is the guy who thought walking into the Oval Office to tell the putative Pres of the US who to pick as energy czar was the way things were supposed to be, as if corporate control of govt decisions and over policy-makers was his god-given right and democratic elections an inconvenient annoyance that could safely be dismissed as a ‘legal technicality that needn’t concern us’. Now, right before his trial begins, he wants to make like he’s an innocent dupe. As Phaedrus would say, ‘Yeah, yeah. When the Pope shits in the woods and pigs fly.’

Resource Papers

Kathy at Random Thoughts has resource section she calls ‘Torture Inc.’ with links to a lot of the basic documents and pivotal reporting on Abu Ghraib, including photos and videos, the chain of command, Seymour Hersh articles, the Gonzales memo, and a bunch more.

She has just added a raft of new documents.

2002 02/02 State Dept Memo to White House: This is a memo from the State Department’s legal advisor, William Taft, to the White House counsel, Alberto Gonzalez. Taft warns that rejecting the applicability of the Geneva Conventions creates several problems, including the elimination of protection for our troops in the event that they are captures….2002 02/07 Directive from Bush on Detainee Treatment: Memo stating that new war on terrorism requires new thinking in the law of war, but thinking that should be consistent with the principles of the Geneva Conventions. The directive states that Bush accepts the DOJ conclusion that the Geneva Conventions don’t apply to al Qaeda, that he has the constitutional authority to suspend the Conventions in reference to the Taliban but declines to do so at this time, and that nevertheless the Conventions don’t apply to the Taliban because per the DOJ and DOD they are illegal combatants….

2002 12/02 DOD Memo on Afghanistan Detainees: In reference to Gitmo Bay detainees. A memo from DOD general counsel William Haynes to Rumsfeld on “counter-resistance techniques”….

What she’s done is provide a major ‘repository’ where critical information on the torture at AG and the investigations that followed can live in the same place so you don’t have to go chasing all over the net to find stuff. As the trials get closer and the trails lead further up the chain of command, this is going to be the place to go to keep it all straight.

Check it out, then bookmark it–you’re going to need it.