As part of their continuing investigation into the financial collapse of Enron corporation in 2002, House Energy and Commerce committee Chairman Billy Tauzin (R-LA), along with Ranking Member John Dingell (D-MI), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman James Greenwood (R-PA) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Peter Deutsch (D-FL), called on former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling to clarify remarks delivered in recent weeks during sworn testimony before Congress.
Perhaps had they actually listened to the sworn testimony, these Congressmen would not need “clarification.”
In the hearings that I observed, Jeffrey Skilling was very clear in most of his responses to the questions. I’ve heard Skilling answer their repetitive questions over and over again with the same clearly articulated answer, only to have the Senators ignore his answers and reply rather with their own cutesy remark.
The problem was not “clarity” but that Skilling did not answer them with the answers they already had prepared. They weren’t interested in what Skilling and the other witness had to say because they had already made up their minds.
Over and over again I’ve heard these pinhead Senators make remarks insinuating that as CEO, Jeffrey Skilling was somehow responsible to know EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING and when he didn’t, they called into question his integrity or competence. In many of the examples they cited, the events in question occurred years ago and they couldn’t understand how he wouldn’t recall minute details, yet as a distinguished Senator sitting in the Congress of the United States of America, they didn’t have a clue to what they had just heard moments earlier. What hypocrisy!
In other questions, Senators totally misrepresented the facts and framed their questions that in some cases didn’t even make sense, but they still wanted Skilling to respond. How can anyone truthfully answer a question that at the foundation is not based on fact?
Also common in these sham hearings has been comments from Senator after Senator of the importance of accurate financial statements. They point to the credibility of the large corporations and impugned the reputation of the accounting firms representing them. But, these Senators rather should be doing some internal house cleaning and correct their own bogus financial statements and fraudulent use of taxpayer monies. I’d like to hear them explain how they shift Americans’ tax dollars amongst their confusing maze of budgets… making their off-balance sheet expenditures to make it appear that the U.S. Government has a balanced budget, for example. Or, how they shift dollars around to bolster the retired American’s confidence in a bankrupt retirement system. How many times have we heard them refer to a “surplus” in recent years that doesn’t exist. Or what about the so-called Social Security Trust Fund? It doesn’t exist except in the minds of warped Senators and gullible citizens.
In essence these hearings are a TOTAL waste of yours and my tax paid dollars and are nothing short of a kangaroo court. These events wouldn’t be so tragic except for the fact that these same incompetent legislators will be introducing bills in the future to further erode the very foundations of this great country.
Accountability is important. If there was fraudulent activities by Enron and its executives, they should rightfully be held accountable for their actions. But, at the same time, the Senators and others involved in this fiasco should also be held accountable for their sell-out of all American’s freedom to the socialist forces at work in America. Destroying our way of life is not the solution I would envision… yet that’s precisely what they’re doing with these bogus Congressional hearings.
I imagine that at the end of the day, when most of the facts are known, if Congress was held to even half the accountability that America’s businesses are, nearly every Senator and Congressperson would be sitting behind bars.
Jeffrey Skilling was ultimately convicted on 19 counts of fraud, conspiracy, insider trading and lying to auditors. Apparently, jurors decided Skilling had lied about Enron’s financial health when they knew an illusion of success was propped up by accounting maneuvers that hid debt and inflated profits… not unlike how our government works.