(2 of 6)
The story of the evil and greed that pervaded Enron before its collapse inspires feelings of disgust and rage [COVER STORIES, Jan. 28]. Your article says, "The law makes it extremely difficult to confiscate the personal assets of corporate officers in punishment for actions on behalf of the company." If laws can be made to protect those who would betray a public trust, laws can be unmade. This is a clear and perfect reason to disallow companies to give money to people running for office. This is an obvious case of selling America. CATHERINE E. LITCHFIELD Dedham, Mass.
Though Enron's links to the Bush Administration should be thoroughly investigated, I hope the Democrats do not unleash the pit bulls and risk becoming the same kind of clowns that the Republicans became in their desire to get Clinton. He must be enjoying the turning of the tables. SIDNEY GOLOVIN Torrington, Conn.
Kenneth Lay, former CEO of Enron, practiced two interwoven principles of capitalism: making an enormous profit and exploiting his labor force. That the Enron episode may equal or surpass the Teapot Dome scandal of yesteryear means nothing to this robber baron. GERALD M. BORA Alexandria, Va.
Al-Qaeda certainly hasn't cornered the market on evil hearts. What could have been the thought process of Enron executives as they fleeced their investors and even their workers? What was in former CFO Andrew Fastow's mind when he helped design the Enron financial bomb, bought the ingredients and put it together? Our terrorists don't wear beards and turbans. They wear suits! JOEL DOBRZELEWSKI Warren, Mich.
As a probation officer, I have helped a welfare mother try to get back payments she was entitled to but was denied when she failed a technical reporting requirement. As a government-grants administrator, I have spent countless hours working with federal auditors to save funding for a small community-service agency that failed to enter expenditures for postage or transportation in the correct category on their books. If only the executives of Enron had been required to jump through the same regulatory hoops as these ordinary citizens! Maybe Washington will now recognize that free enterprise, when unregulated, can give free rein to greed. ANNA ROBERTS Los Angeles
A New Kind of Captive
The detention of captured Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters at Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay by U.S. authorities is a flagrant abuse of human rights [NATION, Jan. 28]. The question of the mind-sets of these men is not relevant. They were captured in the course of a war and should be accorded the status of POWs. Though the Taliban regime was admittedly evil, repressive and illegitimate, it was duly recognized by some members of the international community. It would be more appropriate to put the captured Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters on trial in Afghanistan or try them under the auspices of the U.N. Only then would the U.S. show its greatness--certainly not by descending to the level of moral depravity exhibited by the Taliban at the nadir of their infamy. RICHIE DAUDU Emmeloord, the Netherlands