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Fortunate for the Bush Crime Family: Ken Lay took many secrets to the grave

Posted in the database on Thursday, July 06th, 2006 @ 16:18:46 MST (3343 views)
by Wayne Madsen    The Wayne Madsen Report  

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Ken Lay took many secrets to the grave.

Just as WMR was looking into reports from our sources that investigators were checking into the stashing of Enron money in off-shore secret bank accounts prior to Enron's collapse, comes word from Aspen, Colorado that Enron founder Ken Lay, who was convicted of various counts of fraud in the largest corporate collapse in history, died from a massive heart attack while vacationing at his Aspen home.

Ken Lay is taking to the grave a number of secrets that are politically and criminally embarrassing to the Bush crime family. A meeting held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on September 7, 1996 is a case in point. According to U.S. intelligence sources, a meeting was held between 40 representatives from Enron, Uzbek President Islam Karimov, Saudi billionaire Adnan Khashoggi, and Taliban leaders from Afghanistan. Khashoggi reportedly represented Saudi government and business leaders at the meeting and periodically left the meeting, returning by private jet to Saudi Arabia, to obtain "permission" for certain agreements. Also involved in the Tashkent talks were representatives from UNOCAL, which had been negotiating with the Taliban on a Central Asia Gas (CentGas) pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan. UNOCAL consultants on that project included Bush administration resident Muslim neo-con Zalmay Khalilzad (a native of Afghanistan) and Hamid Karzai, who had good relations with the Kandahar-based Taliban leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar.

Prior to the Tashkent meeting, on June 23, 1996, $10 billion was wired by the Saudis from a Cypriot bank through Barclay's Bank in London and on to Houston. The Saudis needed to pump money into Enron to make the company a viable financial entity for negotiating the pipelines through both Iran and Afghanistan. Some of the money ended up in the hands of LJM1 (also known as LJM Cayman, LP), one of the corporate off-shore and off-balance sheet "partnership" contrivances set up by Enron with the help of its Chief Financial Officer, Andy Fastow. Two days after the Saudis wired the $10 billion to Enron, Saudi terrorists blew up the Khobar Towers, killing 19 U.S. military personnel.

The Tashkent meeting was held to discuss a natural gas pipeline that would go from Uzbekistan, through Afghanistan, to Iran's southern coast. CIA financial experts, working with Enron, began to work on rectifying Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and Iranian accounting methods. At the time, Iran believed it was better to do a deal with the United States rather than let the Uzbek gas go to China. However, things radically changed in the Spring of 1997 when Iran broke off negotiations with the consortium.

In the Spring of 1997, the Taliban sent envoys to Houston to meet with Enron and UNOCAL officials concerning the pipeline deal. Meetings were held at the Houstonian hotel but the Taliban studiously avoided any oil industry reception or dinners where wine was being served. After the US embassy bombings in East Africa in 1998, attacks pinned on Osama Bin Laden who was practically running eastern Afghanistan, President Clinton ordered all pipeline talks with the Taliban halted.

Informed sources have told WMR that a major portion of the $10 billion wired by the Saudis to Enron passed through the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and was eventually used by Kinder Morgan to purchase major elements of Enron's natural gas pipeline system in the United States. To make the Iran and CentGas pipeline projects profitable, the Saudis wanted to hike the price of natural gas and that could only be accomplished by improving the natural gas pipeline network in the United States. The Saudis, who were major investors in Enron and saw the company facing a financial bath on the plan to pipe natural gas to India's Dabhol power plant, needed another firm to run the U.S. natural gas pipeline assets of Enron. And that company was Kinder Morgan. It was a great "inside" deal since Richard Kinder, who left Enron as President in November 1996, was an old college chum of Ken Lay and his partner at Kinder Morgan, Bill Morgan. Kinder, a native of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, once worked at the law firm run by Rush Limbaugh's brother, David Limbaugh. Although Kinder's break with Lay was said to be over Lay's failure to name him Chief Executive Officer in a deal where Lay would remain as Chairman of the Board, the truth is that Kinder was as ambitious as Lay and he saw a chance to profit from Enron's misdeeds and mistakes. The CEO position eventually went to Jeffrey Skilling, convicted with Lay on several fraud counts. Kinder is now one of Houston's wealthiest businessmen and he has been a major contributor to GOP coffers, including that of George W. Bush.

The mortality rate among those close to various Bush criminal enterprises is extremely high. Lay's death follows by a few weeks that of Phillip Merrill, Dick Cheney's handpicked President of the Export-Import Bank who served in that capacity during a period when questionable loans were made to the Iraqi Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. There will undoubtedly be questions posed about the circumstances of Lay's untimely (or timely?) death. Aspen, Colorado is a vacation playground for some of Bush's most ardent (and richest) supporters and access to the town and its records (including medical examiner records) is strictly controlled. Lay and Skilling were scheduled for sentencing on September 11 but, more significantly, according to Federal sentencing guidelines, Lay was to have submitted a sworn financial statement to Judge Sim Lake by August 1. That statement should have contained all of Lay's financial assets, including any that may have been squirreled away in off-shore accounts or other "partnerships." With Lay's death, his sworn financial statement for the Federal court will be transformed into the filing of a probate will in the Harris County, Texas Court, moving the process from the oversight of the Federal judiciary to a county court in Texas.

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