Letters on Enron and the death of J. Clifford Baxter

31 January 2002

To the WSWS:

Great and incisive article by David Walsh on Enron and the Bush administration. This sort of piece must be inspiring to your many thousands of readers who will find no other consistent source that confirms their own thoughts and analysis concerning the decay of American—and world—capitalism and politics.

As you explain, Enron is not some anomaly carried out by some unusually greedy folks. Instead it is representative of what 90s American capitalism was driven to, and reflects deepening contradictions in the capitalist cycle of accumulation.

As the propaganda wears thin, masses of people will begin to consider that if the Bush administration so directly represents these social interests domestically that its overseas policies likely reflect these same interests. That the war against terrorism abroad, and the unabated US military presence in Central Asia and elsewhere, are carried forth on behalf of such interests. Birds of a feather do flock together...

DK

Los Angeles

23 January 2002


[Re: “The strange and convenient death of J. Clifford Baxter—Enron executive found shot to death”] Your response is very timely—please keep up the focus. Here in Sugarland, no one believes in suicide! There has been no indication that this investigation will be carried any further, even to the point of retracing his last hours. Regarding the demise of Enron and the accounting practices and the selling of stock by insiders as well as bonus payments—all while the firm is on shaky ground—I ask: is there a similarity of the demise of Zapata with Geo. Bush Sr. (he sold his shares with large gains before the firm went under); the coming bankruptcy of Halliburton with Dick Cheney and his huge golden parachute; and what about firms under Geo. Bush Jr.? The rumor in Sugarland was that Baxter was going to involve high-level officials in his testimony. Thanks—I hope you don’t reach a dead end on this tragedy.

R

28 January 2002


Patrick,

In my opinion there’s no question that the possibility of foul play is higher than that of suicide. With the admission of shredded documents and deleted computer files, Baxter was one of the few people who could spill the beans on the whole ordeal, and one of the even fewer that had the guts to. The knee-jerk reaction to immediately declare this a suicide raises red flags to any person with an ounce of common sense. There are hundreds of reasons to have had him rubbed out, and as you said, men have died over FAR less. Keep up the good work, I’m right there with you on this matter.

HD

28 January 2002


The Enron situation is a symptom, but no one cares. They’ll make some phony attempts on regulation but things must go on in the same manner to maximize profits via whatever means possible. People don’t care as long as their lifestyle is preserved. This system is a reflection of what most people who live under it want, and believe in. To think anything else is to be un-American. Enron is perceived as an aberration, an example of individual corruption, not the inevitable product of a greed-based system, which it really is. All I can do is watch from the sidelines and keep a good head. But thanks again for your intelligent and researched writing. It mirrors my own understanding of the situation.

RR

29 January 2002


I just wanted to say thank you for the story calling J. Baxter’s death mysterious. I thought I was the ONLY one that thought it was suspect. Please tell Patrick Martin how great I think his article was. Thanks so much, long live Socialism!

AD

Kansas City, Missouri

29 January 2002


Thanks for your article on Cliff Baxter. I wanted to share with you an observation of mine. It seems interesting to me that Cliff Baxter’s death would be investigated by the tiny force of the Sugarland Police. If I were to commit a crime with the hope of a botched investigation, would I do it in the jurisdiction of the Houston Police Department, a force with massive resources, or in the territory controlled by the notoriously narrow-minded Sugarland Police Department? You guessed it.

Also, Sugarland is not in Harris County, so why is the Harris County ME doing an autopsy? Where is the FBI in all of this? They can step in to stop document shredding, but they can’t get involved in the loss of human life?

Just my opinion and observation.

MM

Former Enroner

29 January 2002


My immediate gut reaction to Baxter’s death was to suspect murder, and I was incredulous at the statement by a newswoman in Houston in support of evidence for suicide that Baxter was found in a locked car! Apparently she hasn’t been locked out of her auto as many times as I have! All it takes is opening the door, engaging the lock, exiting the car and closing the door. Enron’s slimy tentacles have touched the entire fabric of Houston society—in a state where police investigations have historically left a lot to be desired. In other words, there are those of us who still remember Dallas. I will never believe Baxter killed himself.

JF

30 January 2002