For nearly a year, I have been investigating Army Secretary Thomas White's role in Enron's demise, specifically, whether he was aware of the financial machinations that went on in the division he ran, Enron Energy Services, and if he took part in a scheme to make the unit look profitable when it wasn't.
I had already written several stories on what Thomas White knew for The Nation, Salon and Dow Jones Newswires, where I worked for two years as Los Angeles bureau chief.
But in late July I hit the jackpot. During a conversation I had with an Enron source, I was told several emails were sent to White in 2000 and early 2001 by former executives of EES, warning him that EES was losing cash on many of the divisions energy contracts.
"Close a bigger deal. Hide the loss before the 1Q," one email response from White to an Enron underling read.