On The Fear Premium
By Richard A. Stitt
Enron, the nation's seventh-largest company in 2001, and
their accomplices like the Arthur Anderson accounting firm,
are emblematic of the entire Bush/Cheney administration.
Remember Army chief Thomas White? He's now gone, but as a
major executive officer with Enron he attempted to have Enron
control all energy contracts with the US military and schemed
to have Enron become the sole provider of electricity to all
Army Secretary Thomas White was a high-ranking Enron executive
for 11 years and headed Enron Energy Services (EES), which
investigators believe rigged California's energy market and
cooked the books to inflate profits and cheat investors. According
to several news reports, after taking office he had 77 phone
calls with company insiders and sold millions in company stock
shortly before the company's collapse vaporized the retirement
funds of employees.
Although this was almost four years ago, little has changed.
The entire administration has been, and is still, in collusion
with Enron and former Enron executives in spite of the $63
billion bankruptcy. According to the Center for Public Integrity,
Enron, even with a name change, is still Bush's second largest
The Bush/Cheney administration is still in bed with the energy
swindlers and they are the prime motivators behind Big Oil's
extortion of the public and the run-up in the oil and gasoline
prices which are affecting all Americans today. They toss
out pallid little bits of propaganda claiming that these high
prices are part of the terrorist "fear premium" which is adding,
according to some energy analysts, to the price of a barrel
California was swindled out of more than $10 billion and
businesses lost an additional $35 billion as a result of market
rigging and skyrocketing energy costs in 2001, before the
It is no coincidence, then, that the "energy crisis" abated
almost instantly once the Enron swindle unraveled.
In several instances during the summer of 2001 Dynergy, Reliant,
El Paso Corp., and Enron, to name a few of the Bush extortionists,
colluded to ratchet up electricity prices that exceeded $3,000
per megawatt hour in California.
Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham, and FERC Chairman Pat Wood
conspired to punish California, Washington and Oregon, decreeing
that the soaring prices were part of the market forces and
that the exorbitant, obscene $3,000 per megawatt hour charged
by their swindling, corrupt corporate contributors was "fair
Yet, it was Bush/Cheney who, almost immediately after assuming
office in 2001, created the huge plummet in the stock market
and caused the biggest energy crisis in history. By blind-siding
the public, they hoped to hit them hard with the "crisis"
and quickly force deregulation in the electricity markets
and energy transmission systems and turn it all over to their
corrupt corporate benefactors.
Although we are now being told that Iraq's oil output is
higher than the prewar levels, one might logically ask where
is the dividend to the American people, especially given the
fact that oil prices were lower in April 2003 than they are
Soon, we will be treated to yet another insult and slap in
the face as Scalia and the phalanx of five US Supreme Court
lackeys who appointed Bush/Cheney to office via judicial fiat,
hand down a ruling favoring the nondisclosure of the closed-door
secret documents and proceedings that Cheney's Energy Task
Force set up in early 2001. The outcome of this secretive
panel ultimately resulted in the extortion of billions of
dollars from electricity rate payers in several Western states.
Justice Antonin Scalia, duck hunting buddy of Dick Cheney
and most admired by G. W. Bush, claims there is no conflict
of interest in the Energy Task Force decision which he will
soon rule on, even though he is personal friends with Cheney.
He refuses to recuse himself from the case in which Cheney
claims the public has no right to know this information and
that his Energy Task Force participants must be kept secret.
Why should Scalia recuse himself when one of the justices,
Clarence Thomas, personally appointed by the father of G.
W. Bush, was one of the deciding votes which installed G.
W. Bush in the White House?
In any other court in the land the appearance of a conflict
of interest such as this would be absolute if a judge was
appointed by either the defendant's or the plaintiff's father.
It would never be tolerated. But, as has been the case with
the Bush regime, they feel they don't need to play by any
Bush unilaterally and dictatorially prescribes his own laws,
seeking out legal obfuscation to reinterpret the law's intent
to endorse and authenticate his policies and mandates.
In order to circumvent constitutional statutes, Bush leans
on the fealty of his Star Chamber of five Republican justices
who have become nothing but boot-lickers to enforce his demands.
This process has worked well for Bush, especially after 9/11,
allowing him to effectively exercise his own monarchical,
and self-perceived, prerogatives, particularly in defiance
of civil liberties of the people and the US Constitution Bill
In Bob Woodward's book interview, Bush is quoted as saying
"I do not need to explain why I say things - That's the interesting
thing about being the President. Maybe somebody needs to explain
to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe
anybody and explanation."
A recent such ruling came from the White House counsel in
which Bush sought, and received carte blanche authority to
incarcerate, interrogate and torture prisoners which are held
at Camp X-ray, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and Abu Ghraib prison
in Iraq. Though initially the Bush administration tried to
confine the prisoner abuse charges to a handful of enlisted
scapegoats it became clear, after some exhaustive investigative
reporting, that the prisoner abuse authority rolled uphill,
Alberto Gonzales, White House counsel, declared that Bush
essentially could do whatever he wants, and decreed that the
Geneva Convention Accords are "obsolete." Gonzales' memo reads,
"In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva's
strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders
quaint some of its provisions..." The operating phrase, "renders
obsolete" is all Bush needed to effectively engage in whatever
means he and his defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, deemed
Therefore, anything goes, including torture. The beauty of
it all is that Bush doesn't need to worry about congressional
accountability because he has a compliant, gutless, right-wing
Republican-controlled US Congress who are more protective
of their Party and Bush/Cheney than they are in the security
and welfare of our country.
In times past, with genuine statesmen who aspired to practice
honor and integrity, this regime would have been impeached
for high crimes and misdemeanors. But then again, these same
statesmen would never have permitted the judiciary to subvert
our democracy in the first place.
We can predict what the Energy Task Force decision will be:
Scalia will be one of the deciding votes in a 5-4 ruling with
the usual slam-dunk Clarence Thomas, William Rehnquist, William
Kennedy and Sandra Day O'Connor standing firm against the
Constitutional guarantee of the people's right to know the
details and the corporate participants of the nation's future
energy needs. These five will not be prone to rule against
Cheney because they are not about to impugn their own flawed
2000 decision which usurped democratic rule and allowed the
ascension of the Bush/Cheney regime to the White House.
As we edge closer to the November election, G. W. Bush is
once again playing the Fear and Crisis cards. Last week, Attorney
General John Ashcroft, encouraged no doubt by Karl Rove and
Andrew Card, trotted out two-year-old information about seven
al-Qaeda suspects, taking the public's pulse to determine
just how far they might be able to craft their "new model"
weeks before Election Day.
Though Jose Padilla has been incarcerated for over two years,
we suddenly have new charges that he planned to blow up buildings
in the US. However old this information is, it is important
to Bush's DOJ that the public's memory is cold enough to think
of it as newly discovered and therefore worthy of upping the
anxiety level of the US population.
Now that we have lost the independent judiciary and now that
our country is dominated by a gutless, compliant US Congress
full of Bush toadies, Bush and his PR and communications handlers,
Karl Rove, Andrew Card, Ed Gillespie, Karen Hughes and Dan
Bartlett are fine-tuning their strategy of fear, terrorism
and war forever.
With Bush's recent attempts at deflecting attention from
the growing insurgent attacks, the daily civilian and US military
killed and wounded in Iraq, we are witnessing only a preview
of the "Fear Premium" as a test for Bush and his handlers
to see just how much the public falls for it between now and
Judging by the response from Bush's false claims of Saddam
Hussein's possession of WMD, the fallout from Alberto Gonzales'
Abu Ghraib "state-authorized prisoner beatings" memo and John
Ashcroft's pronouncements that the US will be "hit hard" this
summer, the public has become more circumspect and more distrustful
of a government which has demanded unchecked information into
the personal lives of all Americans and absolute unchecked
power over the people while objecting to and showing the utmost
resistance to any accountability for their own secretive,
duplicitous and disastrous policies.
But the biggest fear premium is yet to come for the Bush/Cheney
regime: an election in November which will reestablish the
right of the citizens to self-rule and the affirmation that
the leaders in a democracy are still accountable to the people.