Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Andersen's Conviction Overturned

Andersen's Enron verdict quashed
The US Supreme Court has overturned accounting firm Arthur Andersen's conviction for destroying Enron-related documents before the firm's collapse.

The court ruled that the conviction was improper because instructions to the jury in the 2002 trial were "flawed".
The decision overturns a federal court appeal that upheld the guilty verdict.
The case has now been sent back to the federal courts for further proceedings.

In October 2002, the auditor was ... found guilty of a single count of illegally instructing its employees to destroy documents relating to Enron.

Enron went bankrupt in December 2001 with massive debts after mass frauds were discovered, prompting an investigation of its finances by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

As the watchdog carried out its inquiries, Andersen instigated a policy of destroying Enron papers that were not needed for the case.

During the original 2002 trial, government lawyers argued that by instructing its staff to "undertake an unprecedented campaign of document destruction", it had obstructed the course of justice.

However, Andersen appealed against the ruling, arguing that jurors should have been told they could only find Andersen guilty if they believed the group had knowingly acted to obstruct the SEC probe.

The Supreme Court agreed with the company. "The jury instructions were flawed in important respects," Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote in his ruling.
He explained that jurors had been told that even if Andersen honestly and sincerely believed it had acted within the law, the jury could still convict.
Am I supposed to believe that they were shredding Enron-related documents in the sincere belief that doing so would empower the SEC investigation? "Let's clean up the crime scene for the cops and make their jobs easier?" Is that the idea?

Am I also supposed to believe that ignorance of the law is a valid defense?

Why is this case any different from other cases in which ignorance of the law is not considered a valid reason for breaking it?

And does this next bit look right?
Experts described that the Supreme Court's decision to quash Andersen's conviction as a setback for President George Bush's administration.
Is it not equally possible that they don't want to admit that this was a major victory for one of the so-called president's closest friends?
The US has been shaken by a number of high profile corporate scandals in recent years, which prompted the government to make the prosecution of white-collar criminals a priority.
Sure, but isn't it funny how Enron was one of bush's most generous contributors, and how they remain one of his best corporate friends?

And isn't it funny how none of that got mentioned in the article?

And isn't it also funny that none of the following questions managed to see the light of day:

Didn't Enron build a power-generating plant in India, which plant was to burn natural gas from the Caspian Sea, which gas was to be delivered via a pipeline through Afghanistan?

Wasn't this pipeline proposal flapping in the wind many years ago, and wasn't it in the news in the spring and summer of 2001?

Didn't the Taliban say "no" to the proposed pipeline?

And wasn't that the real reason for the American invasion of Afghanistan?

This so-called "War On Terror" isn't about Islamic terrorists at all, is it?

And all that 9/11 stuff was just a crackpot conspiracy theory, wasn't it?

Ah, yes, I recall it all clearly now ... but Hey! it's OK to see things clearly now, because the Americans control strategic areas of Afghanistan, and the pipeline is going through.

Discredited, scandalized, whatever ... never underestimate the influence that can be wielded by a friend of the president. Especially this president.

And when they talk about how tough this administration is on white-collar crime, remember the times you spent with your rod and reel: there are always a few big fish that get away.

So ... there's your de-spinnerizer for the day ... ugly, isn't it?

Oops! What was I saying? A splendid day for American Justice! Woo Yeah!! A fine showing by the Supreme Court, indeed! Let's hear it for The Supremes!

Having said that, I can't resist.

This song was made famous by The Supremes, but it was written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Edward Holland, Jr.

Stop! In The Name Of Love

Stop! In the name of love
Before you break my heart

Baby, baby
I'm aware of where you go
Each time you leave my door
I watch you walk down the street
Knowing your other love you'll meet
But this time before you run to her
Leaving me alone and hurt
(Think it over) After I've been good to you ?
(Think it over) After I've been sweet to you ?

Stop! In the name of love
Before you break my heart
Stop! In the name of love
Before you break my heart
Think it over
Think it over

I've known of your
Your secluded nights
I've even seen her
Maybe once or twice
But is her sweet expression
Worth more than my love and affection ?
But this time before you leave my arms
And rush of to her charms
(Think it over) Haven't I been good to you ?
(Think it over) Haven't I been sweet to you ?

Stop! In the name of love
Before you break my heart
Stop! In the name of love
Before you break my heart
Think it over
Think it over

I've tried so hard, hard to be patient
Hoping you'd stop this infatuation
But each time you are together
I'm so afraid I'll be losing you forever

Stop! In the name of love
Before you break my heart
Stop! In the name of love
Before you break my heart
Stop! In the name of love
Before you break my heart

Baby, think it over
Think it over, baby
Ooh, think it over baby...