Some Democrats worry where a full investigation of Enron might lead. They should. Jerry Seper, an investigative reporter for The Washington Times, wrote Saturday that Enron ‘‘sought to use its political clout and deep pockets to curry favor with the Clinton administration for a proposed $3 billion power plant project in India, giving $100,000 to the Democratic Party when the deal was being completed.''
The Washington Post reported — also Saturday — that former Clinton administration Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin ‘‘telephoned a top Treasury official last fall to explore whether the Bush administration could intervene on behalf of Enron Corp. as the giant energy company neared collapse.''
Even while it attempts to gin up the scandal machine, the vaunted New York Times had to acknowledge on its Saturday front page that despite calls from Enron to the Bush administration's Treasury Department, the ‘‘undersecretary did not intervene, his aide says.''
No one disagrees about the need to bring to justice the people at Enron who are responsible for so many of their employees' losing their life savings because they were prohibited from selling stock while management sold theirs. The disagreement is about whether contacts between Enron and the Bush administration were illegal, immoral or unethical. With what is known at the moment, it clearly was none of these things.
Enron pales when one considers the many scandals — some still unresolved — in the Clinton administration. They began with the firings in the White House travel office (orchestrated by Hillary Clinton for her Hollywood buddy, Harry Thomason, who had an interest in his own travel firm) and ended with an avalanche of pardons granted to such sleazy characters as the fugitive Marc Rich during Clinton's final hours in office. On your computer search engine, type ‘‘Clintonc Scandals'' and you will have enough reading material to occupy yourself for a considerable period of time.
Even if Enron became everything that liberal Democrats and the media are suggesting, it would not approach the sleights of hand perfected in the Clinton administration when it came to selling out American interests to China. Remember Loral? A unanimous and bipartisan report by the House Select Committee on U.S. National Security was released last week. It said Loral ‘‘showed (China) how to improve the design and reliability of the guidance system used in (China's) newest Long March rocket.'' Technology for that improvement was transferred to China on Clinton's watch. Loral was a big Clinton campaign donor.
Remember Chinese campaign cash? Remember John Huang and Johnny Chung? The Wall Street Journal compiled several book-length volumes of reportage and editorials documenting the previous administration's corruption.
The New York Times is right about one thing. It would help if President Bush ordered full disclosure of everything everyone knows about contacts with Enron, so long as it does not jeopardize the Justice Department's investigation of the firm. But it is wishful thinking by the left when it believes, in the words of CBS Marketwatch.com executive editor, David Callaway, that ‘‘The Enron debacle won't be President Bush's Whitewater. It will be much worse.''