The Oscar Wyatt Oil-for-Food Trial

It was a fascinating couple of weeks in a Manhattan federal courtroom, between the opening arguments Sept. 10, and Oscar Wyatt’s guilty plea, Oct. 1, of conspiracy to defraud the United Nations Oil-for-Food program for Iraq. The jury heard testimony about Wyatt’s long ties to Saddam Hussein, his multiple trips to Baghdad, his involvement via a paid consultant in the early design of the Oil-for-Food Program, and his hopes in early days of becoming the sole buyer of Iraqi oil under that program (competition from the Russians, French, Chinese and other players put an end to that particular dream).


Here’s a link to my wrapup of the trial, published Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal, “An Oil-for-Food Expose.”

Though there was far more here than could be packed into any one newspaper article. Just a sample of what ended up on the cutting-room floor: In the opening arguments, the jury heard from Wyatt’s defense attorney that Wyatt was an important man, in the 1990s “a supporter and adviser to President Bill Clinton” and “a frequent guest of the Clinton White House.” The defense attorney cited a letter to Clinton, from Wyatt, in which he said Clinton wrote: “Keep those ideas coming, Oscar.”


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