Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Ken Lay To Be Indicted

Ken Lay, former CEO of Enron, will surrender to the FBI Thursday and the indictment is expected to be unsealed shortly thereafter, as reported by the AP. This is good news for the country, as Ken Lay will be the 30th high profile person indicted in the scandal.

Amazingly, the AP managed to include a jab at President Bush in the story:

Prosecutors have aggressively pursued the one-time friend and contributor to President Bush who led Enron's rise to No. 7 in the Fortune 500 and resigned within weeks of its stunning failure. Barring last-minute delays, Lay is the 30th and highest-profile individual charged.

By including the President's name in the story, the AP can continue to perpetuate the "corrupt politician in the pocket of evil corporation" meme that began when the corruption at Enron was first uncovered. It is interesting that many on the left actually believe that there are close ties between Ken Lay and George Bush. Let's review the most basic facts of the corruption that led to the fall of Enron:

1) The illegal activities that allowed Enron stock to climb to a high of over $90 occurred in the 1990's, when Bill Clinton was President and Janet Reno was head of the Justice Department.

2) The collapse occured before Bush took office and thirty people have now been indicted by the Ashcroft Justice Department, along wih scores of others from other companies across the United States that were involved in similar practices.

End of story.

Many will cry that is too simple a summary, that there was some sort of vague, unspecified conspiracy between then Governor Bush and Ken Lay that allowed the corporate big wigs to profit while the "little guy" suffered. How then do you explain the fact that other companies such as Worldcom were also engaged in the same type of corruption and that all of the indictments have occured under the watch of the Bush Administration?

No matter. To those who would include the President's name in the story and to those who still believe the conspiracy theories the facts do not matter. Ken lay will go to prison as will most of the others who have been indicted, and they will still be in prison when President Bush completes his second term.

Post Script: Just a reminder of how the world press was predicting (hoping?) that the Enron collapse would bring the President down.