Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The D Words

Do the words Dubai, Diebold, and Dabhol mean anything to you? They all have meaning to me but I keep getting them mixed up in my head.
Dubai, of course, is a port and tourist city in the United Arab Emirates, the UAE, which faces Iran across the Persian Gulf. A major multinational corporation called Dubai Ports was the topic of a recent scandal in Washington politics when that corporation bought operations in many of the US East Coast ports triggering concerns about port security since two of the 9/11 hijackers were reportedly from the UAE and the UAE was one of only a tiny minority of countries that recognized the Taliban government in Afghanistan.
Diebold is the name of an Ohio company which makes things like ATM machines and computer voting machines. Before, during, and since the 2004 election, Diebold has been in the news for the perceived threat that their voting machines pose to the security and fairness of the election process. Various sources report that tests in Florida indicated that records from these voting machines could easily be hacked and altered. Diebold's dedicated Republican CEO during the 2004 election, Walden O’Dell, now resigned from the company, reportedly committed himself "to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President." This triggered a flurry of posts on the Internet, but not much attention in the mainstream media.
Dabhol is another D word with deep connections to the Bush/Cheney White House. It surprises me that Dabhol is not a household word, though. I only know the word because I read a couple of the Enron books after that Houston energy giant took down both itself and respected accounting firm Arthur Anderson. Dabhol is the name of a very large (2 plus gigawatt) and very controversial never completed power project in western India whose Phase I operations went online in recent days after a five year shutdown - since May of 2001. One of the Enron books that I read indicated that Dabhol was the largest investment ever made by Enron and probably contributed to the cash crunch that took the company down. Phase I of Dabhol was operating when George W. Bush came into office in 2001 and Phase II was under construction.
One of the main problems with Dabhol was that Enron couldn't secure the LNG (liquid natural gas) fuel supply for Phase II of the project. Original plans for the supply broke down leading speculators to suggest that Enron's success in Dabhol, or at least its ability to recoup some of its losses through the sale of the Dabhol project, might in the year 2001 have depended on the White House. It is speculated that Enron was hoping to secure a long promised gas pipeline through Afghanistan and Pakistan. Enron's financial woes might have been averted at least temporarily by the sale of Dabhol which could only have happened if the project were to be deemed viable. Without a fuel source, the project was not viable.
So the thing is, Dabhol is a major element in the Enron scandal. Why has it not become a household word? Why, in the meantime, have Dubai and Diebold been bouncing around, but not Dabhol? After all, it has been claimed by some ever since 9/11 that the real objective for the US/Afghan War and by extension the War on Terror - Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria - has been to secure Middle East and Caspian oil and gas supplies and pipelines. Ken Lay participated in Vice President Cheney's secret 2001 energy task force. Is it inconceivable that he might have mentioned Enron's need for fuel in Dabhol?
So why has all this not come up in the Enron trial that is still going on? Why are we caught instead behind a smoke-screen of other D words? If the White House had given Ken Lay reason for optimism in 2001, why isn't that information being presented at the trial? On the other hand, if the White House knew throughout 2001 of Enron's financial difficulties, why isn't that being brought out in the trial? Why hasn't this trial breached Cheney's wall of secrecy?

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