Unfortunately, Americans seem to have the attention span of gnats.
The Enron debacle, corporate theft and corruption on a scale that would shame a Middle Eastern dictator or the elected leader of Afghanistan, is barely a decade into the history books, and the convictions of the criminal executives are a scant seven-years-along, with appeals making jail time actually served even briefer - and now the federal government, our government, is beginning the quiet process of shortening the sentences of those thieving scum.
The big fish, of course, Ken Lay - the CEO and Chairman of Enron, escaped imprisonment through death or very artful deception. Worst of all for all of the company's employees who lost $2 billion from their retirement accounts when the price of the company stock plummeted, Lay's supposed death aborted the legal process and his convictions, which had been on appeal, were suddenly abated - which meant the Lay family got to keep their obscene wealth.
And meanwhile Kenny Boy may or may not be sipping rum drinks and whacking golf balls down the beach on a remote, and luxuriant, island in the South Pacific. (And even money says Dan White is his caddy!)
Earlier this week it was announced that former Enron President Jeffrey Skilling who is serving a 24-year prison sentence for conviction on charges of insider trading, making false statements to auditors, and securities fraud - yes, that Jeffrey Skilling - is about to have his sentence significantly reduced by the federal government. Under a proposal that still has to be approved by a district court judge, Skilling who had been scheduled to be released back into honest society on February 21, 2028, could now be eligible for release as early as 2017.
Supposedly as part of the agreement with the feds, Skilling will give up claims to $40 million worth of personal property that he accumulated during his business "career."
One news article I read today talked about a former Enron employee, a man whose retirement plans had been scuttled by the corporate criminality of Lay and Skilling and others - that former employee had recently died - in a rented bed!
Some crimes are too heinous for absolution - and some gnats can be damned persistent.