Meaningful Distinction:

Patrick S. Lasswell Look outward for something to accomplish, not inward for something to despise.
pslblog at gmail dot com
Thursday, December 09, 2004
Newly Released Enron Documents Hint at Oil for Food Complicity

An investigator looking at Enron's energy trading fraud has put in my hands a very disturbing find from the avalanche of data dumped into the public record. Documents recently released by Enron for one of their Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) trials reveal that at least one in-house corporate spy had an extremely good track record at predicting changes affecting UN sanctions on Iraq. The Enron legal team methodology is to release bulk drops of documents at the last moment they can avoid contempt of court charges. For instance, two hundred full storage boxes released with two weeks to review them.

The documents, Enron Specialist G. Britt Whitman's record of his predictions for the year 2001, show that on four separate occasions he was able to cue Enron's Crude/Products Trading unit about events that would affect Iraq's sanctions. While it would normally be within the scope of the analyst's job to alert the trading unit of events that would change the price of crude oil, the amounts of oil sold through subversion of Oil for Food were not enough to affect the general market price. The most logical reason to cue the trading unit, and reminding them of doing so, is if they have a direct financial stake in the effectiveness of UN sanctions on Iraq. Here are the four entries from Whitman's "Success Tracking 2001":

February 27
Group Forecast: UN will consider a new strategy to screen out small lifters of Iraqi oil.
Actual Occurrence: UN diplomats announced the plan later that day. The plan resurfaces in June during debate over "smart sanctions."

May 16
Group Forecast: British draft UN resolution to include "smart sanctions" proposals. Iraqis would resist and oil disruptions would result.
Actual Occurrence: Same day- Reuters reveals British plan. May 21- Iraq threatens to suspend exports if plan is approved.

August 6
Group Forecast: Chances of US strike on Iraq are low.
Actual Occurrence: CNN reported same the next day

September 26th
Group Forecast: Despite pressure from Pentagon hawks to target Iraq, the first wave of reprisals is likely to be limited to Afghanistan because of its clear links to bin Laden.
Actual Occurrence: First wave of attacks beginning October 7th focus on Afghanistan. October 7th edition of Newsweek reports that VP Cheney asks leading hawk Paul Wolfowitz to quiet down.

Could this just be coincidence, could it be that in late 2001 G. Britt Whitman was just trying to show off that he called some stuff that touched on the Middle East, could this just be routine? Sure. On the other hand, this is the company that shut down power to hospitals across California for energy trading scams. It is easy to believe that after they got nailed for stealing in California, where state bureaucrats made it almost impossible to get caught, they would start stealing where UN bureaucrats made it utterly impossible to get caught, Iraq.

Did Enron have a part in laundering money for Saddam Hussein and the officials on his payroll? At this point, their documents put that question in play.
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