Enron played key role in events presaging war
by Martin Yant, The Free Press Journal, Spring 2002
April 10, 2002
If you want power ? be it political or electrical ? you need connec tions. No one knew that better than the super-slick executives of Enron, who in the past year desperately tried to stave off the largest bankruptcy in history.
And when it came to connections, Enron had the best money could buy in George W. Bush, whose most generous campaign supporter to date has been longtime Enron head Kenneth Lay.
According to a recent report in The Nation, Bush’s connections with Enron go back to 1986, when the future president went from a struggling oilman to a millionaire through a series of deals and partnerships, one of which was with Enron and its new chairman, Lay.
The Nation had previously reported that, in late 1988, the then-president-elect’s son allegedly called Argentine cabinet minister Rodolfo Terragno to urge him to award a contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Enron. Bush angrily denied the accusation when it was published in 1994, but Terragno recently stood by his claim in a commentary published in an Argentine daily newspaper.
“It looked bad and it surprised me,” Terragno said. “There was this political endorsement, apparently from the White House. I don’t know if George Bush the father was aware of it, or if it was only a business contact by his son, who hoped that his family name would have some influence.”
So, it should come as no surprise that Enron’s name has now surfaced as a major potential beneficiary of the proposed Afghanistan oil-and-gas pipeline the Bush administration purportedly pushed for during secret negotiations with the Taliban that started shortly after Bush took office and continued through August.
French intelligence analysts Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie claim in their book, Bin Laden, La Verite Interdite (Bin Laden, the Forbidden Truth), that the administration’s main objective in the talks was to buy off the Taliban with promises of aid and international recognition in return for a pipeline to transport the oil and gas reserves in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Until now, the book says, “The oil and gas reserves of Central Asia have been controlled by Russia. The Bush government wanted to change all that.”
A secondary American goal was to get the Taliban to turn over bin Laden, who had moved his terror network to Afghanistan in 1996. When the talks began last February, the Taliban regime reportedly indicated it might be willing to hand over bin Laden. But by June, Brisard and Dasqui