Weird Coincidence: Colin
Powell, Bill Clinton & Kenneth Lay
All in Aspen, CO at the same time.
Colin Powell Gets sick while eating with Bill Clinton. Colen Powell goes to same hospital that Kenneth Lay died in
Kenneth Lay died the morning of 7/5/06 Wednesday
Colin Powell was taken to the same Hospital on Friday 7/07/06
Kenneth Lay was to be cremated & have a closed casket
Something Stinks in Aspen
Building the Big Red Machine
The Aspen Institute, we hope you will not be surprised to learn, is funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
Nonprofit business leadership organization, founded in 1950.
Aspen Institute: Walter Isaacson is now the 10th president of The Aspen Institute and succeeds Elmer W. Johnson, who resigned in August 2002. Walter Isaacson, the former chairman and CEO of CNN and the former editorial director of Time Inc., started his new job as president and CEO of The Aspen Institute on March 31.
And a week later, the Institute named nine new members to its heavyweight board of trustees, including top Disney executive Michael Eisner, publisher of the New York Daily News Mortimer Zuckerman and former Congressman Vin Weber.
Founded in 1950 in Aspen, the institute runs seminars, policy studies and fellowship programs and keeps its headquarters in Washington, D.C., where Isaacson will work most of the year. He plans to spend summers in Aspen. In July 2001, he was named the chairman and CEO of CNN, which like Time magazine, is part of the AOL Time Warner conglomerate.
Kenneth Lay dies of heart disease at 64 By KRISTEN HAYS, AP Business Writer
Wed Jul 5, 6:26 PM ET
HOUSTON - Enron Corp. founder Kenneth Lay, who faced decades in prison for one of the most sprawling business frauds in U.S. history, died Wednesday while vacationing in Aspen, Colo. He was 64.
Dr. Robert Kurtzman, Mesa County Coroner in Grand Junction, Colo., said his autopsy showed Lay died of heart disease.
Lay ascended from near-poverty as a minister's son in Missouri to the pinnacle of corporate America. He was considered a visionary who had President Bush's ear during Enron's halcyon days, but his reputation and monumental wealth shattered with that of his company. He spent his last years optimistically insisting he was no criminal, even after he became a felon.
"I guess when you're facing the rest of your life in jail and in your heart you know you're an innocent man, I guess it's too much to bear," said close friend Willie Alexander.
Lay had stayed out of the public eye since a federal jury on May 25 convicted him and former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling of fraud and conspiracy for lying to employees and investors about Enron's financial health.
Lay, who described himself as naturally optimistic, displayed no signs of ill health throughout the grueling four-month trial that started Jan. 30. His lead lawyer, Michael Ramsey, was sidelined for several weeks during the trial because of heart problems.
Kurtzman said the autopsy revealed that Lay had a heart attack in the past.
"It's a very sad ending for the whole Lay family saga. There are very few people of his age and abilities who flew as high or who fell so low," said John Olson, an analyst who angered Lay with his skeptical takes on Enron's often indecipherable financial reports.
Along with fraud and conspiracy charges, Lay also was convicted in a separate federal trial of bank fraud and making false statements to banks. Those charges related to his personal finances.
Lay was scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 23, along with Skilling, who also faces a long prison term.
Skilling, reached by telephone at his home in Houston, told The Associated Press that he was aware of Lay's death.
"No, I don't have any comment," he said quietly. But his lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli, described Skilling as "devastated."
"Jeff and Ken worked closely over the years, and Jeff will miss him dearly," Petrocelli said.
Lay led Enron's meteoric rise from a staid natural gas pipeline company formed by a 1985 merger to an energy and trading conglomerate that reached No. 7 on the Fortune 500 in 2000 and claimed $101 billion in annual revenues. Lay traveled in the highest business and political circles, lived an extravagant lifestyle and gave generously as much as $6.1 million in 2001.
Lay's clout evaporated when Enron spiraled into bankruptcy protection in December 2001. The crash obliterated Enron's more than $60 billion in market value and thousands of jobs, and Lay was pushed out as chairman and CEO in January 2002.
The government launched a widespread fraud investigation that enveloped Enron's finance, trading, broadband and retail energy units. The probe amassed 16 guilty pleas from ex-executives, eight of whom testified against Skilling and Lay during their trial.
Lay and Skilling insisted no fraud occurred at Enron except from a few employees who skimmed money behind their backs. Jurors were unconvinced.
"I loved Enron very much. And I loved Enron's employees very much. I spent half my professional life running Enron. I think we built a great company. We changed energy markets around the world," Lay testified during the trial.
Prosecutors in Lay's trial declined comment Wednesday, both on his death and what may become of their effort to seek $43.5 million from Lay that they say he pocketed as part of the conspiracy. The government is seeking $139.3 million from Skilling.
Lay's death will not affect the government's case against Skilling, who will appeal his convictions, Petrocelli said.
The Pitkin, Colo., Sheriff's Department said officers were called to Lay's house in Old Snowmass, Colo., shortly after 1 a.m. MDT (3 a.m. EDT). He was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital, where he died at 3:11 a.m., said Pat Worcester, executive assistant to the Aspen hospital's chief executive.
Lay's bond allowed him to travel only to Colorado and in the Houston area.
Pastor Steve Wende of Houston's First United Methodist Church, said Lay seemed healthy when he attended services in Houston on Sunday, and even believed God may have had a purpose for him in prison.
"He was very much at peace with his future, he had a perspective on what had happened, he even bore no ill will for the jury or all of the people who might want to say terrible things about him," Wende said.
"Apparently, his heart simply gave out," Wende said.
Before Enron became a scandal-tainted punchline, the company was the single largest contributor to President Bush, who nicknamed Lay "Kenny Boy." Lay said he was closer to the president's father, former President George H.W. Bush. He kept a framed photo of himself with a smiling elder Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush.
"It was sad to hear the news of the death of someone I considered a friend," the elder Bush said in a statement Wednesday.
But White House press secretary Tony Snow said Wednesday he hadn't discussed Lay's death with the president.
"The president has described Ken Lay as an acquaintance. And many of the president's acquaintances have passed on during his time in office," Snow said.
During the trial Lay had been expected to charm jurors, but instead came across as irritable and combative.
Lay defended his personal spending, including a $200,000 yacht for Linda Lay's birthday party in early 2001, despite $100 million in personal debt. He told jurors it was "difficult to turn off that lifestyle like a spigot."
Lay also defended how he borrowed more than $70 million from Enron in 2001 even as the company was spiraling and repaid most of those loans with company stock.
"I wanted very badly to believe what they were saying," juror Wendy Vaughan said after the verdicts were announced. "There were places in the testimony I felt their character was questionable."
Lay was born in Tyrone, Mo. and spent his childhood helping his family make ends meet. His father ran a general store and sold stoves until he became a minister, and Lay delivered newspapers and mowed lawns. He attended the University of Missouri, found his calling in economics, and went to work at Exxon Mobil Corp.'s predecessor, Humble Oil & Refining.
He joined the Navy, served his time at the Pentagon, and then served as undersecretary for the Department of the Interior before he returned to business. He became an executive at Florida Gas, then Transco Energy in Houston, and later became CEO of Houston Natural Gas. In 1985, HNG merged with InterNorth in Omaha, Neb. to form Enron, and Lay became chairman and CEO of the combined company the next year.
Lay is survived by his wife, five children and stepchildren and 12 grandchildren.
Associated Press Writers Kim Nguyen in Denver, David Koenig in Dallas and Rich Matthews in Houston contributed to this report.
Clinton addresses nation's newest problems
Troy Hooper - Aspen Daily News Staff Writer
Fri 07/07/2006 10:01PM MST
Back in Aspen, former President Bill Clinton sounded off on a multitude of problems confronting the nation Friday that included disease, destruction and Karl Rove.
As for Rove, who is scheduled to speak at the Aspen Institute on Sunday, Clinton didn't hold back when Atlantic Monthly national correspondent James Fallows asked him what one question he would ask President Bush's highly controversial political operative.
Always the overachiever, Clinton didn't invent just one question he would ask Rove, he came up with three. The 42nd president said he most wanted to know what Rove would do had Clinton's senior advisor blown the cover of a CIA agent who happened to be married to the man who refused to falsify findings about nuclear transactions taking place between Niger and Iraq (see Valerie Plame). And he openly wondered whether Rove would instruct Republican congressmen to call a White House official who would do such a thing a traitor. Lastly, Clinton wanted to know why it is that, if the Bush administration is as concerned with national security as it claims, why it would spend 20 times the amount of money it would take to shore up gaps in port security to repeal the estate tax for the nation's elite, which consists of less than one percent of the population.
Speaking to the first question he'd ask Rove, Clinton said; "I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he'd say that's exactly what I'd ask (Congress) to do, and I don't know why they didn't. I mean this guy is good. You don't understand this strip of the Republican party that controls everything basically," Clinton said. "These people are all white Protestant males. They don't do anything that surprises me. I've seen this my whole life."
Clinton, who routinely makes trips to Aspen for a blend of business and pleasure, also offered up ideas on the potential threats posed by North Korea and Iran. The former, he described as "a perplexing country because they can't make rice but they can make missiles and bombs and things. When they do these things, they want someone to notice them. They don't get noticed unless they disobey (authority like children)," he said. "I don't want to minimize this. It's a bad thing they have reached this level of technology. But I don't think we should reward their misconduct. I think we ought to not overreact to this. I don't think we need to freak out." Iran is harder. "If they develop nuclear capacity and whether or not by accident or by design some of the material is given to terrorists groups, (they could make) smaller explosives that could kill lots and lots of people. There is no option but to negotiate."
He added: "This whole thing that there are some people we shouldn't talk to because they're bad is nuts. I don't think Americans should put too many preconditions on talks with the Iranians. We shouldn't try to cook it too much in advance. I also think it would be a matter of serious consequence to think we can attack them militarily."
Clinton also said there should be no set date on when to withdraw troops from Iraq, and he cautioned Democrats from fighting with each other over the topic. "We ought to be whipped if we allow our differences over what to do now over Iraq divide us," he said, saying that the Republicans, via Rove's advice, are trying to win offices with stale but emotionally driven issues such as flag burning and gay marriage.
The former president also said that the problems of AIDS and global warming have, in his view, changed since he left office. He credited the Bush administration for financing efforts to stomp out AIDS, saying his nonprofit organization, the Clinton Foundation, has worked hand-in-hand with some of the president's program.
Clinton also saw his former Vice President Al Gore's new film about global warming, "An Inconvenient Truth," and "thought it was terrific. I loved it. But I don't think it would be nearly as compelling if we didn't have $70 (barrels) of oil, do you?" He went on to say that global warming is "a lot worse than I thought it was when I was in office" and that there are many opportunities, which Britain has embraced, to use environmental sustainability to drive up wages, lower unemployment and increase the nation's quality of life.
"They (Britain) took climate change seriously and because of that they created hundreds of thousands of jobs by creating new clean energy in the future. This decade's new jobs are in clean energy and we haven't seized them," he said.
Clinton relaxed in Aspen style
Christine Benedetti - Aspen Daily News Staff Writer
Print This Page | Send As Email
Fri 07/07/2006 10:01PM MST
Former President Bill Clinton -- "the most popular man in the world" as introduced by moderator James Fallows -- was greeted by many of the world's most prominent leaders and luminaries for an Aspen Ideas Festival discussion on Friday evening.
"There's slim pickings," joked Clinton in response to Fallows' introduction as a venerated world figure.
Stepping onto the stage in true Aspen summer attire -- a pale yellow golf shirt with khakis topped by a navy blue blazer and a pair of hybrid street-hiking shoes -- Clinton immediately made himself comfortable onstage. Starting off the one-hour conversation laughing with a crowd that included former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.), U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and CNN news anchor Wolf Blitzer.
Later, when Fallows (The Atlantic Monthly's national correspondent) repeated a statement of Clinton's worldwide adoration, Clinton replied, "You say that to me one more time and I'm going to get sick; half of them are already sick," in reference to front-row attendee Powell who made a trip to Aspen Valley Hospital for altitude sickness the previous evening.
The discussion, which consisted of some light-hearted moments but many that focused on current and past foreign affairs, made Clinton most heated when he leaned toward the crowd with a shaking finger and decried the Bush administration for an unwillingness to provide port security funding, but a willingness to cut what he said was 20 times the same amount from estate taxes.
Using aphorisms such as "once you break the egg, you have the responsibility to make an omelet," Clinton connected with the crowd in a way that allowed him to explore pressing political situations, but break them down into a conversational tone rather than a prepared speech.
At one point, he uttered some advice -- "you take it, you own it" - that he had been given in terms of foreign policy, but then consulted the audience on the correct phrase, which is "you break it, you own it."
A more poignant moment of the evening, during a question and answer session, came in a letter from a 10-year-old boy having undergone five years of chemotherapy. He asked the former commander-in-chief what he had to look forward to in the future.
"Most honestly, what you decide to look forward to," said Clinton. "You rekindle your dreams and think that you are going to live to be 80."
The end of the discussion, cut short by time, was followed by 10 to 15 minutes of Clinton greeting attendees, signing autographs and posing for photos.
Many of the dignitaries in attendance could be seen on the Aspen Institute grounds post-discussion. Aspen Institute Director of Communications Jim Spiegelman said that security had not been bolstered for Clinton's appearance. While Clinton travels with his own Secret Service detachment, the Institute's security for the event stayed the same.
"Whenever you are preparing for a large group like this you need to take all the precautions," said Spiegelman. "That way you don't have regrets."
Powell Hospitalized Briefly In Aspen Hospital Where Ken Lay Was Admitted
July 7, 2006 9:30 a.m. EST
Jacob Cherian - All Headline News Staff Writer
Aspen, CO (AHN) - Former Secretary of State Colin Powell was briefly hospitalized when he got ill at a restaurant dining with former President Clinton among others. Aspen police Sgt. Bill Linn said that the four-star general told him that it was a combination of altitude sickness and something he ate.
Linn told Wired magazine, "He is conscious and in very good spirits." Linn said that Powell had asked him to speak to reporters.
Powell was released from the hospital at 1:45 a.m. Linn.
A nursing supervisor at the Aspen Valley Hospital, where Enron CEO, Ken Lay was brought to and pronounced dead on Wednesday, refused to comment on the issue.
The former Secretary of State was attending the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado. The conference is a gathering bringing together some of the world's leading thinkers.
The colonel was former Joints Chiefs of Staff and a major advisor in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. He was also President Bush's Secretary of State from 2001 to January, 2005 during which time he was replaced by Condoleezza Rice.
Powell Falls Ill While Dining With Clinton
UPDATED: 1:05 pm CDT July 7, 2006
ASPEN, Colo. -- Former Secretary of State Colin Powell was briefly hospitalized Friday after he fell ill at a restaurant where he was dining with former President Bill Clinton and others.
Powell, 69, appeared in good health and spirits Friday morning while speaking at an "Order, Law and Governance in the 21st Century" seminar at the Aspen Ideas Festival, the Aspen Daily News reported.
The newspaper's Web site said he arrived to the seminar on time and did not show any signs that he had been sick the night before.
"I started hyperventilating a little and was feeling a little altitude sickness I think," he told the newspaper.
Aspen is located at more than 7,000 feet above sea level in the Elk Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
Powell fell ill while having dinner at Campo de Fiori restaurant with Clinton and several other friends.
He was seen inside an ambulance parked outside the restaurant with his wife, Alma Vivian Johnson, at his side. Later, he was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital, the same hospital where former Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay was pronounced dead on Wednesday.
The former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and chief strategist of the 1991 Persian Gulf War against Iraq served as President George W. Bush's secretary of state from 2001 until January 2005, when he was replaced by Condoleezza Rice.
Distributed by Internet Broadcasting Systems, Inc. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
American Patriot Friends Network
"...a network of net workers..."
APFN Message Board
APFN Contents Page
APFN Home Page