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October 11, 2004
UNSCAM Money In Democrat Coffers?

Newsweek reports in its new issue that one of the redacted names from the Duelfer ISG report is Oscar Wyatt, a Houston oilman and Democratic donor (via Friends of Saddam):

Law-enforcement sources say Americans who participated in alleged oil-for-food scams also may face further investigation. The CIA deleted from Duelfer's report names of Saddam's U.S. oil-for-food favorites. But an uncensored copy of the Duelfer report obtained by NEWSWEEK indicates Houston oil mogul Oscar Wyatt got oil allocations from Saddam which could have earned him and Coastal Corp.a company he founded and ran until 2000profits of more than $22 million. Wyatt and wife Lynn are major donors to political causes: since 1989 they have given nearly $700,000 in contributions, of which more than $500,000 went to Democrats. Wyatt told NEWSWEEK that his company did buy oil from Saddam but that he never did so personally, and that his company's dealings all complied with U.N. rules.

Several American names were redacted from the released report. Some have speculated that former weapons inspector Scott Ritter might be one of the names; however, if that had been the case, Newsweek would certainly have reported it.

Wyatt's contributions to the Democrats have been quite substantial, and appear to mostly have been in the period of time during which Iraq came under the sanctions regime. If proven true, it makes Wyatt little better than the French: a sanctions profiteer and an enabler of Saddam's brutal reign. It does call into question the will of the Democrats in general to deal with Saddam's regime if their donors profited so handsomely by his continued rule. Despite the Clinton Administration's official policy for regime change and the Congress' endorsement of that policy, little of substance was ever done to implement it until after 9/11. Perhaps now we know why.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 11, 2004 7:04 AM

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