Apr 1, 2002
U.S. Secretary of the Army Thomas E. White, a former Enron executive, has assured the U.S. House Government Reform Committee, that although he made 44 phone calls to top Enron executives and buddies last October, most of what they talked about was their golf game and racquetball. Sure, he might have sold 200,000 shares of Enron stock in the month of October, and made a total of $12.1 million. Sure, White happened to sell a bulk of those shares on October 29 – precisely one day before Enron admitted that it was being investigated by the SEC (Security and Exchange Commission), and the Enron stock took a steep dive.
But – and he wants everyone to believe this – he had nothing to do with any insider information that these executives might have given him.
Sure – and elephants fly!
The fact is that White has something of a track record for not telling the truth. Several of the people who worked under White when he was the co-chairman of a major Enron division, Enron Energy Services (EES), complained that his division consistently lied about how much money it made. Last August, a former sales manager, Margaret Ceconi, e-mailed then chairman Ken Lay that EES hid losses on contracts worth more than 500 million dollars. Said Ceconi, “This is common knowledge among all EES employees, and is actually joked about.”
Of course, this means that White had the main qualification for being a politician – he can tell any old lie, without being embarrassed at all.