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Thomas White

  • Former Secretary of the Army
  • Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs: Participant/award recipient
  • Enron: Former vice chairman/senior executive

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Thomas White is a former Enron executive and Secretary of the Army. His brief yet tumultuous tenure in the Bush Pentagon, where he served from 2001 to 2003, was marked by public scrutiny into his business dealings and by conflicts with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld over Iraq planning and force modernization issues.

White left the U.S. army in 1990 after a 23-year career that saw him reach the rank of brigadier general, becoming a vice chairman of energy services at an eponymous subsidiary of the Enron Corporation. White actively leveraged his military connections to secure government contracts for Enron during his 11-year tenure there.[1]

White apparently preserved his connections at Enron after his Department of the Army appointment in 2001, promising to escalate the use of such contracts even as he retained millions of dollars worth of holdings in his former employer.[2] His dealings attracted widespread scrutiny and created the impression of a conflict of interest, leading to congressional hearings into his Enron connections.[3]

Although Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who apparently required his appointees to have corporate experience, publicly backed White over his Enron connections, the two butted heads over other issues. In one instance, White circulated a list of talking points among members of Congress supporting the implementation of a weapons system that Rumsfeld wanted to cut. In another, White refused to rebuke a subordinate—General Eric Shinseki—for publicly warning that a U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq would require “several hundred thousand” troops, a politically unappetizing estimate opposed by war planners like Rumsfeld and his deputy Paul Wolfowitz. The cumulative effect of these tensions, amid ongoing revelations about White’s ties to Enron, led Rumsfeld to demand White’s resignation in April 2003.[4]

After leaving the administration, White openly criticized the Defense Department’s decision-making in Iraq, arguing in a 2003 book entitled Reconstructing Eden (which White coauthored with three economists), "It is quite clear in the immediate aftermath of hostilities that the plan for winning the peace is totally inadequate. Clearly the view that the war to 'liberate' Iraq would instantly produce a pro-United States citizenry ready for economic and political rebirth ignored harsh realities on the ground."[5]

In 2001, prior to his falling out with Rumsfeld, White was courted by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, a neoconservative-linked group that promotes ties between U.S. and Israeli military officials. In 1997, White and his wife attended one of the group’s junkets to Israel, and in 2001 it awarded him its Scoop Jackson Distinguished Service Award. Accepting the award, White praised JINSA’s “interest in keeping America strong” and warned that “our enemies will attack if they perceive our weakness, physical or moral.”


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[1] Jayson Blair, “Ft. Hamilton Utility Deal With Enron Is Questioned,” New York Times, March 10, 2002, http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/10/business/10BID.html.

[2] Laurence McQuillan, "Ex-Enron official speeds Army's energy deals White's push to privatize isn't a conflict, Pentagon says," USA Today, January 21, 2002.

[3] See, for example, CBS News, “Army Chief Faces Enron Questions,” July 18, 2002, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/07/22/politics/main515789.shtml.

[4] CNN.com, “Source: Army secretary resigns on Rumsfeld's demand,” April 25, 2003, http://articles.cnn.com/2003-04-25/us/white.fired_1_crusader-artillery-system-secretary-white-army-secretary?_s=PM:US.

[5] Quoted in Robert Burns, “Ex-Army official blasts US plan,” Boston.com, September 3, 2003, http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2003/09/03/ex_army_official_blasts_us_plan/

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Thomas White Résumé


  • Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs(JINSA): Recipient of JINSA's 2001 Henry "Scoop" Jackson Distinguished Service Award (along with the other service secretaries, Gordon England and James Roche); Member of JINSA-sponsored junket to Israel, 1997


  • Former Secretary of the Army, 2001-2003
  • U.S. Army: Highest rank was Brigadier General, 1967-1990


  • Enron: Former vice chairman/senior executive, 1990-2001


  • West Point
  • United States Army War College
  • Naval Postgraduate School: Degree in operations, 1974


Thomas White News Feed

Thomas White International LTD Has Cut Its Check Point Software Technolog (CHKP) Stake; Jones Financial Companies Lllp Has Decreased Synchrony Financial (SYF) Stake - The Hi New UlmThomas White International LTD Has Increased Its Cognizant Tech Solution (CTSH) Stake; Microchip Technology (MCHP) Shareholder Shaker Investments Lowered Holding by $489,372 as Share Value Declined - The FinHeadLinesThomas White International LTD Has Decreased Its Home Depot (HD) Holding by $370,116; Share Value Declined; Ramsay Stattman Vela & Price Holding in Nike Cl. B (NKE) Has Lowered as Share Value Declined - The Yomi BlogGinni Thomas’ White House Meeting Was Just Another Grift - SlateAnalysts See $-0.01 EPS for Osisko Mining Inc. (OSK); Thomas White International LTD Has Increased Its Cognizant Tech Solution (CTSH) Stake - Thе MоnіtоrThomas White International LTD Boosted Holding in Cognizant Tech Solution (CTSH) as Market Value Declined; Copeland Capital Management Stake in Cogent Communications Holdings (CCOI) Has Raised by $2.48 Million - The FinHeadLinesClarence Thomas Wants to Make It Easier to Sue for Libel - New York MagazineAl Southwick: Worcester has long, long history of cultural, artistic prestige - Worcester TelegramThomas White International LTD Trimmed Its Home Depot (HD) Holding by $370,116; Share Price Declined; Tributary Capital Management Upped Its Harris Del Com (HRS) Holding by $828,100 as Stock Price Declined - The Yomi BlogThomas White International LTD Cut Its Stake in Wns Holdings Limited (WNS) as Valuation Declined; Copeland Capital Management Decreased Stake in Quaker Chemical (KWR) as Share Value Rose - The MoveefyAs Summit Midstream Partners LP (SMLP) Stock Value Declined, Shareholder Hmi Capital Has Cut Stake by $18.16 Million; As Apple (AAPL) Market Valuation Declined, Thomas White International LTD Increased Its Position by $1.47 Million - The Yomi Blog$-0.17 EPS Expected for Restoration Robotics, Inc. (HAIR); Thomas White International LTD Trimmed Wns Holdings Limited (WNS) Stake - The Hi New UlmThomas White International LTD Stake in Ross Stores (ROST) Has Lowered as Shares Declined; Stralem & Co Lowered Its Oracle Com (ORCL) Position as Share Value Declined - The MoveefyThomas White International LTD Has Lowered Its Ross Stores (ROST) Stake by $553,509 as Stock Value Declined; Pfizer (PFE) Shareholder Oakmont Partners Increased Its Holding by $1.63 Million - The Hi New UlmThomas White International LTD Has Lifted Apple (AAPL) Position By $1.47 Million; Cree (CREE) Has 1.32 Sentiment - The FinReviewerAs Infosys LTD Adr (INFY) Share Price Declined, Thomas White International LTD Has Boosted Its Position; Mccormick & Co. (MKC) Shareholder Ramsay Stattman Vela & Price Boosted Holding - D MinuteAnchor Capital Advisors Has Increased By $351,180 Its Pg&E (PCG) Holding; Thomas White International LTD Has Decreased Intuit (INTU) Stake By $879,625 - The FinHeadLinesFemale wrestlers making statement at FAMU - FamuanSina Ord (SINA) Holder Thomas White International LTD Has Raised Position by $802,056 as Valuation Declined; Lydall Del (LDL) Shareholder Adirondack Research & Management Has Raised Its Position by $1.17 Million as Stock Price Declined - The FinHeadLinesApple (AAPL) Valuation Declined While Thomas White International LTD Increased by $1.47 Million Its Position; As Costco Whsl Newcom (COST) Share Value Declined, Great Lakes Advisors Cut Stake - Lives Advice

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