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“Brutalize their own people and squander their national resources for the personal gain of the rulers;”
- White House, United States National Security Council, V. Prevent Our Enemies from Threatening Us, Our Allies, and Our Friends with Weapons of Mass Destruction


“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 rulers.”
- John Adams, second US President, A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, 1765


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 Fifth Amendment.”

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.

FERC: 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 in California.

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 earned profits.

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 & HALLIBURTON
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 giant Enron.”

HALLIBURTON 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

CHENEY “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 possible.

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.

California Scheming
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 sheet.

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.

Bush oil 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 Wednesday.

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 meeting.

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 Crisis
 

“Brutalize their own people and squander their national resources for the personal gain of the rulers;”
- White House, United States National Security Council, V. Prevent Our Enemies from Threatening Us, Our Allies, and Our Friends with Weapons of Mass Destruction


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)”

Some 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 operations.

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.

Refinery Locator, refineryreform.com
“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
November/December 1999
“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 Radioactive Recycling
“…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 Russians.”
— Former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall
from 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 nuclear industry.

103d Congress, 2d Session - COMMITTEE PRINT - S. Prt. 103-97
IS MILITARY RESEARCH HAZARDOUS TO VETERANS' HEALTH? LESSONS SPANNING HALF A CENTURY
UNITED STATES SENATE, DECEMBER 8, 1994
JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West Virginia, Chairman
FOREWORD
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
02/28/2002
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. Government Study
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 risks.

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 benign stand-ins.

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
 

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