One of the things that has always perplexed me about the Enron story is how little skepticism the public and the press have shown toward the misconduct of the Feds, even in the face of obvious evidence of such abuse. For example, Enron Task Force (ETF) prosecutor, John Kroger, admitted in writing that the ETF was told to “get scalps quickly” and that the Feds used “questionable tactics” in attempt to do so. For heavens sake, on the witness stand, under oath, defense witness Larry Ciscon told the court and the jurors that he had been threatened by the federal prosecutors in at attempt to prevent him from testifying.
Well, for all those people who seem to trust the Feds more than businesses and private individuals, I assume that the recent avalanche of scandals in the federal government is making you reconsider. Among the recent spate of revelations are these:
The DOJ accused a journalist of being a criminal simply for doing his job (as they did to lots of Enron executives).
In violation of legal process, the DOJ secretly seized two months of phone records from at least twenty AP journalists without notifying the AP.
The IRS targeted conservative groups in a systematic scheme to prevent them from getting non-profit status.
The White House and the State Department not only held back information about the Benghazi terrorist attack from the press and public, they also allowed inaccurate information to be repeatedly disseminated.
Whether you consider these actions intentional wrongdoing or colossal incompetence, they should, at a minimum, make every American skeptical of the federal government. The kind of arrogance we see in these scandals is exactly like the arrogance we see in the federal government’s systematic misconduct during the Enron prosecutions.
As I have written before, it is sickening how selective people are about their outrage over injustice. When the injustice affects people or organizations they care about, they are huffy with indignation. But when the injustice affects people they don’t care about, they see it as “no big deal”. I guess this is just one of those sad aspects of human behavior.