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Cherished and dearest of readers, I have a wonderful surprise for one and all. Before I open the Pandora’s box upon which I sit –plunging us all into the rabbit’s hole and through the looking glass –I must confide a secret. Many people do not know I spent some time working on Capitol Hill in […]

Enron’s Deep Throat

by John Troyer

Cherished and dearest of readers, I have a wonderful surprise for one and all. Before I open the Pandora’s box upon which I sit –plunging us all into the rabbit’s hole and through the looking glass –I must confide a secret.

Many people do not know I spent some time working on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. I have incriminating photographs of myself standing next to various political leaders and wearing a suit without any irony as proof. After re-reading Goethe’s “Faust” at the end of my power-hungry legislative assistant internship in the land of the great white father, I decided to avoid the business of brimstone and work instead as an arts administrator. I still sold my soul, but for significantly less money.

All of that, however, is not the point. Even though I chose not to work in Washington, D.C., I have maintained several contacts –people burrowed deep within the governmental system. My contacts, or “Deeper Throats,” as I call them, have provided me with important information regarding the current Enron bankruptcy.

Brief pause: Does anyone else find the term “bankruptcy” somewhat inadequate when used in conjunction with the Enron Corporation’s complete and total financial implosion — liquidating the personal finances of thousands of employees who loved their (CLAP-CLAP-CLAP) deep-in-the-heart-of-Texas employer? Why the categories “confidence scheme” and “money laundering” have not been used more widely is somewhat of a mystery. But then again, the American Indians were just “relocated” in the 19th century, so maybe Enron can as well be “bankrupt.”

What my collective of Deeper Throats handed me this week are copies of the secret “meetings” between Vice President Dick Cheney (I still prefer the term “prime minister” or maybe even Il Duce) and various former, mostly living, executives of the Enron Corporation.

I know it sounds far-fetched that somehow a pesky columnist with an FBI file the size of Antarctica could somehow receive documents the General Accounting Office director David M. Walker (a Republican, no less –GO TEAM GO!) is suing in federal court to examine. I know the proverbial numbers don’t add up, but since I use the Florida Method for Computational Certainty, trust me, I have the documents.

As a public service, I will now present excerpts from a sampling of the various memos, e-mail messages and faxes I received last week from my sources.

Item 1:

E-mail Message Sent May 2001.

Recipient: Dick Cheney

Sender: Ken Lay

Subject: Man am I hung over

Message Text:

Mr. President, oops, I mean Dick (HA! HA!), I’ve got a hangover the size of Ted Kennedy this morning. The boyeeeez in the House and Senate sure know how to kick it! I didn’t think Strom was ever going to settle down last night. And that Lieberman –what a comedian!! Too bad he’s not the VP (J/K Big Guy).

By the way, I wrote a list of names down on a napkin and gave it to your boss at a weekend barbecue. Make sure he didn’t lose it … I should have given it to Laura. Anyway, just some names/good people to know WHEN THINKING ABOUT ENERGY POLICIES. I’m not saying these people should be on any REGULATORY COMMISSIONS or anything, because we both know that would potentially be illegal and I know you love Enron so maybe you want to SELL YOUR STOCK NOW to invest in some other companies. Just a thought out of left field. XOXOXO. KL.

Item 2:

Excerpt from a Fax sent by Ken Lay at Enron headquarters to the White House, June 2001

Dear President Bush,

I am growing increasingly concerned with the energy crisis in California. No one likes knowing rolling blackouts are keeping vital electricity from hospitals, nursing homes and schools. The children, Mr. President, my concerns are for the children of California.

My company has prepared an easy solution for the energy problems of California; we call it the “Out of Sight/Out of Mind Contingency.” The plan involves pushing several nuclear power facilities sitting on or near the San Andreas Fault to critical mass, causing massive core meltdowns that would sever California from North America. The entire state would then sink into the Pacific Ocean and cease requiring electricity. Our plan is guaranteed to make our shareholders happy, including YOUR MOTHER, as the nine-hundred-pound gorilla that is California would finally be off our backs.

Please advise when and how the operation should begin. As well, I have taken the liberty to purchase some LARGE GOURMET PRETZELS for you to EAT while relaxing in the White House. Please accept the gift as small token of thanks. The pretzels will begin arriving in the fall ….

Item 3:

E-mail memo sent from President Bush to Vice President Cheney on September 10, 2001.

From: W

To: Tricky-Dicky

Hey there Number 2:

Boy oh boy, am I tired of looking at all these notes from Enron. Here’s plan #2: We’ll take the money from the Social Security Administration and invest it in Enron stock –boy do I love these free markets. Just keep signing the checks; that’s what I say.

I’m heading down to Florida for a book reading tomorrow. I love spending time with the kids –keeps me out of the office. I hope they have a “Curious George” book at the school. Keep an eye on the shop for me. And I still don’t know why you said to make sure everyone I knew was away from New York tomorrow but you’re the “boss.” {;)Will do Buckaroo. [:) I do love flying in Air Force One –sometimes the stewardess gives me the whole can to drink. WHOOPPEE.

–The Big W.

Item 4:

Phone message from Ken Lay taken by assistant to Vice President Cheney in a Secure Location, December 2001:

Dick: Call me soon. All the business about insider trading information and offshore shadow companies being peddled in the LIBERAL MEDIA ESTABLISHMENT is all WRONG. It was all for fakesies, not realsies. Tell Aschcroft to remember whose been buttering his bread. And the PRETZELS Dick, make him eat the PRETZELS. Ken

Item 5:

E-mail from Ken Lay to Vice President Cheney, January 2002:

Recipient: Dick Cheney

Sender: Ken Lay

Subject: While I’m out of the office…

Message Text:

Hey there Dick, old buddy, old chum. I’ll be leaving for a business trip soon, very very soon to France. I hear the extradition treaty agreements are lovely over there. Wink-wink. Anyway, I’m outta here until the whole people-lost-all-their-money business is done and over with — Linda and I are barely squeezing by with our 18 or so properties for sale in Texas and Colorado.

Sorry about the pretzels; we’ll try beef jerky next time. I love you like a brother, man, so I would hate to see any of the PRIVLEDGED CONVERSATIONS between us go public. Just because YOUR NAME AND PAW PRINTS are all over my company should be of little CONCERN. Kenny.

John Troyer is a columnist for the Daily Minnesotan. He can be reached at: troy0005@tc.umn.edu