Patterico's Pontifications

9/17/2007

The Trial of Oscar Wyatt

Filed under: Law — DRJ @ 11:36 am



[Guest post by DRJ]

[The title of this post was changed by popular demand.]

The Oscar Wyatt trial in New York has received limited media attention, perhaps in part because over the years Wyatt has given more money to Democrats than Republicans and is known for his criticism of both Presidents Bush.

Oscar S. Wyatt, Jr., is a larger-than-life figure: Newsweek called him an “oil mogul” and Texas Monthly once called him “the most hated oilman in Texas.” His wife Lynn Sakowitz Wyatt is among the world’s most famous socialites. Together they travel to the most elite European locations and entertain royalty and wealthy alike.

Oscar Wyatt’s relationship with Saddam Hussein and Iraq extended from the 1980’s through the last months of the UN Oil-for-Food program in 2003. Wyatt purchased oil from Iraq through his business, Coastal Corporation, and individually after the sale of Coastal to El Paso Corporation in 2001. Their relationship was so close that Saddam Hussein considered Oscar Wyatt his friend.

In October 2005, Wyatt was indicted in New York federal court on charges that he paid millions of dollars in kickbacks to Saddam Hussein’s regime to sell Iraqi oil under the United Nations Oil-for-Food program:

“The founder of Houston’s Coastal Corp. — now owned by El Paso Corp. — Oscar Wyatt is accused of acceding to the Iraqi regime’s demands that buyers of its crude pay illegal surcharges of 10-50 cents per barrel. Payment of any surcharges was a violation of both the U.N. rules governing the oil-for-food program and U.S. law.
***
Wyatt also is accused of conspiring to persuade U.N. officials to set the official selling price for Iraqi oil at an artificially low level, allegedly so he could pay the surcharges and still make a profit. He also is charged with supplying equipment to Saddam’s government.”

The evidence against Wyatt apparently includes reports of transactions between Hussein and Coastal Corporation (and later between Hussein and Wyatt, individually) from the UN Oil-for-Food program, as well as testimony from:

“…former El Paso executives, former Iraqi oil company officials and U.N. officials. El Paso purchased Coastal in early 2001. As the successor company, El Paso inherited a contract that had been awarded to Coastal, prosecutors said in a filing. The government contends Wyatt tried to get El Paso to reimburse him for what prosecutors described as an illegal $200,000 payment he allegedly made to get the Iraqis to follow through on that contract.

Earlier this year, El Paso, without admitting or denying guilt, agreed to pay more than $7.7 million to settle civil claims that it helped the former Iraqi regime receive kickbacks. El Paso officials declined again Wednesday to comment on the Wyatt trial.

Samir Vincent, a former oil consultant turned government witness, is expected to testify that he traveled to Iraq with Wyatt when the country was subject to international economic sanctions. The trial is expected to last four to six weeks.

Last month, Wyatt co-defendant David Chalmers, owner of Houston-based BayOil, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, while Chalmers’ business associate Ludmil Dionissiev pleaded guilty to a related smuggling charge.

This New York Times’ article has more.

Tigerhawk makes the point that Oscar Wyatt, who some regard as the classic example of a Texas oilman, proves that oilmen didn’t need a war to get Iraqi oil:

In Oscar Wyatt’s view, “no war for oil” means “fight no war so that we can get the oil.” He understood that there was a much more direct path to control over Iraqi oil, and one that would have appeased those Democrats who opposed the war and whose hearts bled for the Iraqis suffering “because” of American sanctions.

No wonder this case is generating so little interest in the press, which is curiously uninterested in Wyatt’s claim that he persuaded a U.S. Senator to speak out against the war. Only Reuters drew a line between Wyatt’s bragging and a particular U.S. Senator — Ted Kennedy — and that was weeks ago. Stories published in the New York Times and elsewhere did not mention Kennedy by name, probably because editors figured he would have spoken against the war anyway. And he would have. But the Wyatt claim is evidence that Ted Kennedy damn well knows that oil interests would have much preferred cutting a deal with Saddam than invading his country.

You bet.

— DRJ

61 Responses to “The Trial of Oscar Wyatt”

  1. More and more I like ‘Publicly Funded Campaigns’.

    Yes, Yes I know it is fraught with
    difficulties but it is beginning to look like
    public rancor at the state of politics and the
    constant need for cash infusions, at least leaves it open for debate.

    ‘No private treasure for campaigns’ trumps ‘No War for Oil’, it seems.

    Semanticleo (4741c2)

  2. Orgasm? O.J? I so don’t get the title.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  3. Long ago and far away, in another millenium, there were three basketball stars, “The Big O”, “The Big A”, and “The Big E”.

    The Big O was Oscar Robertson, a guard for Cincinnati (yes, they once had a professional basketball team) and Milwaukee.

    Other than that, I have no idea what The Big O refers to, but I’m glad the guy is up for trial and I hope he gets hit big, provided he did indeed do the deed.

    I had heard that a US oil tycoon was mixed up with Saddam. I am glad to hear he was not a friend of the Bush family.

    I will leave the identities of The Big A and The Big E to others to contribute for fun’s sake- but I’ll give you a hint, it has been a long time since The Big A was known by that name, and The Big E played, at l;east for a time, with the Baltimore/Washington/Capital/whatever Bullets.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  4. Big A – Lew Alcindor
    Big E – Elvin Hayes

    JD (f6a000)

  5. The USS Enterprise, CVN-65, is also affectionately know as the “Big E”, was her WWII predecessor of the same name.

    sherlock (b4bbcc)

  6. Bah, cleo.

    Why bother doing it piecemeal? Just cut to the chase: repeal Section 9, Clause 8, appoint the Senators Dukes and the Representatives Barons, and make the posts hereditary.

    Regards,
    Ric

    Ric Locke (322fcf)

  7. Cincinnati’s team, the Royals, are now the Sacramento Kings. Interestingly, they started as the Rochester Royals (winning an NBA title in the 50’s by beating the Minneapolis Lakers, now the Los Angeles Lakers) then moved to Cincinnati, then to Kansas City as the Kings, then to Sacramento.

    Just in case you were interested.

    DRJ, I think the comments so far haven’t been on topic because what can you say after the Tigerhawk quote?

    Paul (a9b43f)

  8. Paul,

    I never mind off-topic but I am thinking about doing a basketball post.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  9. thinking about doing a basketball post

    What would you cover?

    Paul (a9b43f)

  10. Amazing…this and the Holy Land Foundation trial are the biggest trials re terrorism since 9/11.

    I’m sure the media just don’t want to influence the juries and so are maintaining radio silence!

    Patricia (4117a9)

  11. “…I am thinking about doing a basketball post.”- DRJ

    To paraphrase Jim Morrison, “You just did a basketball post”.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  12. I never asked you to change the title of the post.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  13. I lived and worked in Houston a long time before moving away and Wyatt had several “legends”. One was being the person J. R. in “Dallas” was based on. Another was he didn’t want any pumpers working for him unless they could cheat royalty owners enough to cover their salaries. Don’t know how much is true but he was universally hated.

    Bill M (ee2ae1)

  14. The Oscar Wyatt trial in New York has received limited media attention

    Is this another “joke” post, DRJ?

    A simple search shows the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, etc. have all run stories about this trial in the past few days.

    alphie (99bc18)

  15. There’s more to the media than print, Alphie, but even so the only daily coverage has been from the Houston Chronicle. Plus, I haven’t seen much on TV about this and there aren’t more than a handful of articles at CNN’s and NBC/MSNBC’s websites, including articles about other parties’ guilty pleas.

    DRJ (4725f3)

  16. The Washington Post has run 8 stories about the Oscar Wyatt trial in the past two weeks.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/NewsSearch?sb=-1&st=oscar%20wyatt&

    Seems that any website that wants to accuse “the dreaded, biased MSM” of “limited-coverage” should have run at least that many stories themselves.

    alphie (99bc18)

  17. Whoa, Alphie, that’s gonna sting DRJ … right in the ankle.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  18. Alphie,

    I know the Washington Post and the NY Times have covered this story. I even linked a good NY Times’ article in the original post. However, the coverage has been limited in the major media compared to the coverage of the Houston Chronicle, for instance. Frankly, that was a minor point in the post but I appreciate that you’ve helped me prove it.

    The link you provided – a search of “Oscar Wyatt” at the Washington Post website – does, indeed, return 8 articles. Articles 2 and 3 were both from 9/12/07 and cover the same content, although one is from Reuters and the other is an AP article. Articles 4 and 6 are both dated 9/10/07 and are written under the same byline. I think one is an update of the other original article. Article 5 is a Reuters’ story, also on 9/10/07, covering the same content as Articles 4 and 6. Articles 7 and 8 are independent articles published at the beginning of the trial.

    That means the Washington Post has published 5 articles on separate topics, which is fine with me. But that doesn’t compare to the coverage by the Houston Chronicle (10 articles over a 12 day period, each covering separate topics, plus 2 articles on Lynn Sakowitz Wyatt). The Post, as well as other newspapers and the media in general, are free to cover the stories they want. By the same token, I can notice what stories they choose or don’t choose to cover.

    DRJ (4725f3)

  19. Haha,

    Define “limited” DRJ.

    This very legal blog, which you have posting privileges on, has posted exactly one (1) story about Oscar Wyatt’s trial.

    What are you trying to hide?

    Could your lack of posts on Oscar Wyatt’s trial be because the Australian Wheat Board, which had close ties to the right-wing, pro-war government of Australia, was the biggest recipient of crooked oil-for-food payments from Saddam?

    Slander is soooo easy.

    alphie (99bc18)

  20. Alphie,

    I’ve reviewed the Oscar Wyatt trial coverage each day but I’m not in the mainstream media and I don’t have to “cover” anything. You know that. Don’t make me repeat Patterico’s “I have a life, too” speech.

    DRJ (4725f3)

  21. Alphie, do you not realize how godawfully you suck?

    nk (474afa)

  22. Geez, DRJ,

    I count 24 posts from you on this blog in the last week alone.

    But, in the interest of logic and objective truth…perhaps you could supply us with ballpark numbers of stories the “MSM” has to run on a particular story to avoid being accused of bias from the right?

    Washington Post – 8 (not enough)
    CNN?
    NYT?

    alphie (99bc18)

  23. Alphie, you counted my posts. I’m flattered.

    DRJ (4725f3)

  24. DRJ–I would submit that the trial of any Texan oilman receive more attention from a Texas newspaper than it would from the Washington Post or other non Texas papers. If the Tallahasee Democrat were to run ten articles on the trial, you were to have a point. (Yes, that is, or at least was, the name of the paper in Florida’s capital, even with a Republican governor and Republican dominated cabinet and legislature, reaching back no doubt to the time when Republicans were very rare birds in Florida politics.)

    kishnevi (1e1e66)

  25. Odd, we already knew that Alphie found cheap slander easy.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  26. Hilarious seeing Drj doing Yeoman’s work for Bush’s lapdog press.

    Seriously though – a few cursory stories “coverage” does not make. Even lapdog Drj knows the average joe walking down the street does not know about Oscar Wyatt.

    Topsecretk9 (26a6a6)

  27. If Oscar Wyatt OWNED Enron or Clinton’s favorite contractor Halliburton, you bet your blue banana it would be front page.

    –actually the funny part is Wyatt tried to corporate raid Enron – heh

    Topsecretk9 (26a6a6)

  28. Wow, the Soros butt-boy trolls are in full swing throttle on this. It really must be hitting close to home. Don’t let up, DRJ.

    nk (474afa)

  29. The Washington Post has run 8 stories about the Oscar Wyatt trial in the past two weeks.

    They had 7,297 stories about Non covert agent Valerie Plame.

    Topsecretk9 (26a6a6)

  30. I used to work for Oscar Wyatt. Rumor is that the character “J.R. Ewing” on Dallas was actually Wyatt. He has been doing illegal and underhanded things for decades, has been punished by the courts, and has deserved jail time but to my knowledge has never done any. Now, maybe I’ll get my wish, and he’ll rot in prison. Of course, I’m not bitter or anything…just really happy that I’m no longer a Coastal employee.

    MathMom (451f8a)

  31. Here is a BETTER comparison

    Randall Tobias
    Results 1 – 10 of about 1,730,000 for Randall Tobias. (0.18 seconds)

    Oscar Wyatt (who was indicted several years ago, and prominently detailed in Volcker’s report)
    Results 1 – 10 of about 1,120,000 for Oscar wyatt. (0.10 seconds)

    Topsecretk9 (26a6a6)

  32. (*blush*) Bill M, #13, already noted the Ewing/Dallas angle. My bad. Still, working for him was a soul-draining experience.

    MathMom (451f8a)

  33. Kishnevi,

    I agree Texas newspapers would have more interest in this than other papers, although the fact that the other participant was Saddam Hussein somewhat undercuts that theory. For instance, I certainly don’t expect the Washington Post or the New York Times to describe what Oscar and Lynn Wyatt wore on the first day of his trial, as did the Houston Chronicle:

    “Wyatt appeared in court today wearing a dark suit and blue tie, accompanied by his wife, Lynn, an internationally known socialite, arts patron and charity fundraiser, who wore black slacks, a white cotton shirt with black piping and a short, black zipper jacket.”

    But I do expect to see more coverage of a federal trial that:

    1. Focuses on a prominent, politically-connected, larger-than-life figure who is married to an internationally known socialite;

    2. Alleges significant bribes and kickbacks under the UN Oil-for-Food program and other criminal conduct;

    3. Includes a personal connection or even a long-standing friendship between the defendant and Saddam Hussein up to the time of the Iraq War; and

    4. Involves an international cast of characters – Presidents, Senators, corporate CEOs and jet-setters – and an inside look at Saddam Hussein and the people he dealt with.

    Doesn’t that intrigue you? Politics aside, I don’t see why this isn’t getting more coverage. It has soap opera written all over it.

    DRJ (4725f3)

  34. Maybe 20 years ago, DRJ.

    Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are newsworthy, 80 year old Texans worth about what Gates and Jobs make in day are not.

    alphie (99bc18)

  35. Fair enough, Alphie, but if I only wrote about people in their income bracket it would be slim-pickings indeed.

    DRJ (4725f3)

  36. Topsecretk9:

    “Hilarious seeing Drj doing Yeoman’s work for Bush’s lapdog press. *** Even lapdog Drj knows the average joe walking down the street does not know about Oscar Wyatt.”

    I think of myself as more of a chihuahua than a lapdog.

    DRJ (4725f3)

  37. It’s sad but true that “some regard [Wyatt] as the classic example of a Texas oilman,” but that doesn’t mean those folks are well-informed or that their perception is remotely accurate.

    Coastal was a wheeling-dealing company, but most of its employees and management were hard-working, thoroughly respectable people. I can’t recall hearing those terms used much to describe Wyatt, however.

    When I was in a big-firm practice, I had occasion to represent Chevron, Texaco, and Shell, and had cases against most of the other majors (including Gulf, Phillips, BP, and Amoco). I also had multiple occasions to represent Roy Huffington and Boone Pickens, both of whom were legends among Texas independent oilmen. All told, I’ve had a commercial litigation practice for 27 years here in Houston, the “Energy Capital of the World.” Pretty much by definition, my exposure to the industry has been through its crisis situations, so I think I can fairly claim to be acquainted with it “warts and all.”

    Although I know a few lawyers who spent varying periods of time working in-house at Coastal, I don’t claim personal experience with Wyatt. However, based on my own personal experience with other “Texas oilmen,” and upon Wyatt’s reputation among people who do have personal experience and whose judgment I respect, I’d argue that he is definitely an exception (in a negative direction) rather than indicative of the rule.

    Beldar (d47ce6)

  38. (BTW, DRJ, I know that your choice of phrasing was deliberate, and I’m not suggesting that you regard Wyatt as “the classic example of a Texas oilman.”

    Beldar (d47ce6)

  39. I know you know, Beldar, but thanks for saying it. Virtually all of the oilmen I’ve known and worked with are people that you could do a multi-million dollar deal with based solely on a handshake, but there are always exceptions.

    Of course, one of the problems in representing Texas oilmen is that sometimes they actually do multi-million dollar deals based solely on a handshake.

    DRJ (4725f3)

  40. Eghads!!! — I have to profusely apologize

    My comments were directed at Alphie, I guess — my only excuse is my type view was small and I got confused at the back and forth, etc.

    Seriously, really bad on my part.

    Alphie is doing Bush’s lapdogs a favor I meant. Make better sense, now?

    I’m sorry DRJ.

    —-

    Of course, I’m not bitter or anything…just really happy that I’m no longer a Coastal employee.

    Did costal do business with Fleet Oil or ERHC and Oh I have a few more inquiries.

    Topsecretk9 (26a6a6)

  41. Actually, I have to say…I have had this problem on Pat’s site before (and I notice this on Jeff Goldstein’s new redesign too) — the comment by, on first blush, seems like it is connected with the comment BELOW — to retards like myself of course.

    Topsecretk9 (26a6a6)

  42. Topsecretk9,

    No problem but thanks for clearing that up. Blogs have different formats and it can be hard to keep straight.

    DRJ (4725f3)

  43. Yes, I too was confused by the Top’s Romneyesque flip-flop.

    But what does this post have to do with Tony Blair?

    alphie (99bc18)

  44. But DRJ, bashing a corrupt, wealthy oil mogul is not really a conservative story is it?

    Psyberian (9a155b)

  45. Psyberian, where have you been? I’ve missed you. This site could use a sane leftie. I believe Mr. Wyatt’s crime is selling out his country to Saddam Hussein for a little extra oil profit which is hardly something any conservative would endorse.

    nk (474afa)

  46. Animo Don Oscar…lo esperamos en La Paloma. No deje que esos cabrones lo quieran de chivo expiatorio.

    Saludos desde México.

    Oki Doki (9bc610)

  47. Psyberian,

    It’s an American story, and I’m an American far more than I’m a conservative.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  48. Oscar Wyatt had some business relationship with a two cent dictator. George Bush and his dad had business relationships with Osama Bin Laden’s family why weren’t any of the Bushes indicted?

    JOG (a56d85)

  49. does anyone know if Oscar Wyatt ownes the Pelician Refinery in Moss Bluff, Louisiana?

    P Lafleur (846aab)

  50. I am deeply saddened by Mr. Wyatt’s trial. “OS” as he is called by friends and family was the real life character that J.R. Ewing was based on. Years ago I was involved with his eldest son and I can only say good things about OS. I have not followed his trial and cannot comment on it, but I will say that he and his family are in my prayers.

    Kathryn Ryder Boussemart (e657ae)

  51. All Spin Zone

    Oscar Wyatt – Saint or Sinner?

    Oscar Wyatt, an oilman from Texas, was never the Bush Crime Family’s favorite guy. Wyatt has crossed swords with the elder George H.W. Bush (and his own Texas oil cronies) quite a few times in the past. Today, Wyatt pleads guilty to one count in connection with the U.N.’s Oil for Food program in Iraq. But, is Wyatt a hero or a goat?
    Commentary By: Richard Blair

    For the purposes of this blog post, let’s stipulate a couple of things:

    * Saddam Hussein was a bad guy.
    * In the 1990’s, Saddam was playing the U.N. Oil for Food program in Iraq for everything he could personally milk from this well intentioned, but fatally flawed humanitarian effort.
    * George H.W. Bush’s oil industry bagmen were not a bunch of happy campers – they wanted easy (and unfettered) access to the oil in Iraq, and were somewhat pissed when Poppy listened to Colin Powell and didn’t take the final step into Baghdad during the first Gulf War.

    With those stipulations out of the way, let’s talk about oil man Oscar Wyatt, and his guilty plea today to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, relative to the Oil for Food program. Mark Nestmann provides a bit of context:

    Throughout its existence, critics accused U.N. officials and others of helping to unlawfully divert oil-for-food revenues to the Iraqi government. These payments occurred on a massive scale: a 2005 report from a commission headed by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker concluded that approximately 2,000 firms paid bribes and surcharges. As a result, the Iraqi government received an estimated US$1.8 billion in “illegal”—non-U.N. approved—revenues.

    Very few executives of these 2,000 firms been indicted for as much as petty larceny…

    And yes, Wyatt’s Coastal Oil company was one of the thousands of firms that may have used a little “long green” to grease the skids for some preferential treatment from Hussein’s oil ministry. So, why is the octogenarian Wyatt the target of federal prosecutors? Because he crossed the Bush Crime Family™:

    But Wyatt made many enemies along the way, among them George Bush, Sr. Not only did he successfully compete against the Bush family in the Texas oil-patch, but Wyatt, a life-long Democrat, supported many of the Bushes’ political rivals. Then in 1990, when George Bush, Sr. was president, Wyatt personally negotiated with Saddam Hussein to win the release of 21 U.S hostages held in Iraq. Wyatt’s success in obtaining the hostages release, after months of fruitless negotiations by the Bush administration, deeply embarrassed George Sr., and earned Wyatt the lifelong enmity of the Bush family…

    If you want to read about the real Oscar Wyatt, and his absolute selflessness in working for the release of the American human shields that Hussein was holding, you need look no further than a recent Houston Chronicle op-ed, written by the wife of one of the hostages (here’s an excerpt):

    …We arrived in Baghdad in early December and started the official protocol, which would allow us to appeal directly to the Iraqi Parliament. Every day, there would be a dribble of hostages released and it was a slow process. However, unbeknownst to us at that same time, an American businessman named Oscar Wyatt was meeting with Saddam Hussein and successfully negotiated the release of all of the hostages.

    After a joyful reunion with my husband, we were contemplating how to get out of Iraq — there were no commercial flights — when we were informed that this same American businessman had a list of persons for whom he’d secured exit visas. Kevin and I were on Oscar’s list, along with 22 other Americans, and there was a plane ready at the airport.

    Oscar would gladly have taken more but was unable to obtain any more exit visas. During the long flight home, I became acquainted with our benefactor, who’s a wonderful man. He was happy to be helping his fellow Americans and, thanks to him, our ordeal was over when we landed in Houston on Dec. 9, 1990.

    That was the last we saw of Oscar Wyatt. We tried to reimburse him for the expense of rescuing the two of us, but he wouldn’t hear of it. We sent a thank-you card and he reciprocated, but that was the last we heard from him…

    Oscar Wyatt is a hard-nosed businessman. Always has been, probably always will be, and was perhaps playing fast and loose with the rules of the program. But why Wyatt and very few other oil industry shills and flacks? And as Nestmann notes in his article:

    Now it’s payback time. The U.S. government, with George Bush, Jr. as president, is spending millions of dollars and promising U.S. citizenship to paid informants to insure that a sick old man spends the remainder of his life in prison…

    Yeah, the Bush DOJ is using a lot of “curveballs” who will say anything to get out of the country and get permanent residence in the U.S. – even some of Saddam’s henchmen who have absolutely nothing to lose, and a lot to gain, by saying whatever the government wants.

    Does anyone find it remotely interesting that during this same period of time, when G.H.W. Bush’s envoy in Iraq, April Glaspie, basically bailed out of Baghdad, Joe Wilson (as the ranking member of the U.S. diplomatic corps in Baghdad) was holding press conferences with a suit tie around his neck in the shape of a noose (and threatening Saddam)? And that public and private diplomacy worked to free the hostages, both those being held remotely and those in Baghdad directly?

    There are stories from the last 30 years to which we’ll never see a satisfactory ending. History marches on, and the documentation from this period of history are so muddied by this time with spin and counter-spin that we’ll probably never know the full truth.

    It’s clear that Oscar Wyatt pulled off some pretty amazing “diplomatic negotiations”. It’s equally clear that he was able to do so because he spoke a language common to both Saddam and the Bush Crime Family™:

    Money.

    Sandra (a0b5f2)

  52. Published on Tuesday, February 4, 2003 by the Prince George’s Journal (Maryland)
    Bush-Linked Company Handled Security for the WTC, Dulles and United
    by Margie Burns

    George W. Bush’s brother was on the board of directors of a company providing electronic security for the World Trade Center, Dulles International Airport and United Airlines, according to public records. The company was backed by an investment firm, the Kuwait-American Corp., also linked for years to the Bush family.

    The security company, formerly named Securacom and now named Stratesec, is in Sterling, Va.. Its CEO, Barry McDaniel, said the company had a “completion contract” to handle some of the security at the World Trade Center “up to the day the buildings fell down.”

    It also had a three-year contract to maintain electronic security systems at Dulles Airport, according to a Dulles contracting official. Securacom/Stratesec also handled some security for United Airlines in the 1990s, according to McDaniel, but it had been completed before his arriving on the board in 1998.

    McDaniel confirmed that the company has security contracts with the Department of Defense, including the U.S. Army, but did not detail the nature of the work, citing security concerns. It has an ongoing line with the General Services Administration – meaning that its bids for contracts are noncompetitive – and also did security work for the Los Alamos laboratory before 1998.

    Marvin P. Bush, the president’s youngest brother, was a director at Stratesec from 1993 to fiscal year 2000. But the White House has not publicly disclosed Bush connections in any of its responses to 9/11, nor has it mentioned that another Bush-linked business had done security work for the facilities attacked.

    Marvin Bush joined Securacom when it was capitalized by the Kuwait-American Corporation, a private investment firm in D.C. that was the security company’s major investor, sometimes holding a controlling interest. Marvin Bush has not responded to telephone calls and e-mails for comment.

    KuwAm has been linked to the Bush family financially since the Gulf War. One of its principals and a member of the Kuwaiti royal family, Mishal Yousef Saud al Sabah, served on the board of Stratesec.

    The managing director at KuwAm, Wirt D. Walker III, was also a principal at Stratesec, and Walker, Marvin Bush and al Sabah are listed in SEC filings as significant shareholders in both companies during that period.

    Marvin Bush’s last year on the board at Stratesec coincided with his first year on the board of HCC Insurance, formerly Houston Casualty Co., one of the insurance carriers for the WTC. He left the HCC board in November 2002.

    But none of these connections has been looked at during the extensive investigations since 9/11. McDaniel says principals and other personnel at Stratesec have not been questioned or debriefed by the FBI or other investigators. Walker declined to answer the same question regarding KuwAm, referring to the public record.

    Walker is also chairman and CEO of Aviation General, a Tulsa, Okla.-based aviation company with two subsidiaries. SEC filings also show al Sabah as a principal and shareholder in Aviation General, which was recently delisted by the Nasdaq. Stratesec was delisted by the American Stock Exchange in October 2002.

    The suite in which Marvin Bush was annually re-elected, according to public records, is located in the Watergate in space leased to the Saudi government. The company now holds shareholder meetings in space leased by the Kuwaiti government there. The White House has not responded to various requests for comment.

    Speaking of the Watergate, Riggs National Bank, where Saudi Princess Al-Faisal had her “Saudi money trail” bank account, has as one of its executives Jonathan Bush, an uncle of the president. The public has not learned whether Riggs – which services 95 percent of Washington’s foreign embassies – will be turning over records relating to Saudi finance.

    Meanwhile, Bush has nominated William H. Donaldson to head the Securities and Exchange Commission. Donaldson, a longtime Bush family friend, was a Yale classmate of Jonathan Bush.

    On the very day of the tragic space shuttle crash, the government appointed an independent investigative panel, and rightly so. Why didn’t it do the same on Sept. 12, 2001?

    Sandra (a0b5f2)

  53. FTW Exclusive – Breaking News

    MARVIN BUSH EMPLOYEE’S MYSTERIOUS DEATH – Connections to 9/11?

    Washington Post Sits on Story for a Week

    by Wayne Madsen

    (Special to From The Wilderness)

    © Copyright 2004, From The Wilderness Publications, http://www.fromthewilderness.com. All Rights Reserved. May be reprinted, distributed or posted on an Internet web site for non-profit purposes only.

    October 10 , 2003, 1200 PDT, (FTW) — WASHINGTON, At around 9 PM on September 29, Fairfax County, Virginia police responded to a 911 call describing an accident. However, they soon discovered they were not dealing with a routine emergency but the mysterious death of an employee of the 47-year old brother of President George W. Bush, venture capitalist Marvin Bush. Sixty-two year old Bertha Champagne, described as a long time “baby sitter” for Marvin and Margaret Bush’s two children, son Walker, 13, and daughter Marshall, 17, was found crushed to death by her own vehicle in a driveway in front of the Bush family home in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County. Champagne reportedly lived at the Bush family home.

    Champagne had left the residence to retrieve something from her car, which police say had somehow been left in gear. According to the police report, the car rolled forward and pinned the woman between it and a small building next to the driveway (possibly a checkpoint built by the Secret Service when Marvin’s father, George H. W. Bush, was president). The car crossed Edgehill Drive, a small street in front of the Bush compound. The vehicle then crossed a busy two-lane street, Fort Hunt Road, finally coming to rest in a wooded area across the street that adjoins the prestigious Belle Haven Country Club. No explanations have been offered as to why the vehicle did not move until Champagne was in a position to be crushed.

    Champagne was pronounced dead on arrival at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital. Courtney Young, a spokesperson for the Fairfax County police was surprised when asked about the circumstances surrounding Champagne’s death. She indicated the media was primarily focused on another Fairfax County story, the kidnapping and holdup of the wife of New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg on October 7. More mystifying is the fact that the Washington Post waited almost an entire week to publish the story about the baby sitter’s death. The incident occurred on September 29, but the Post did not report it until October 5 and buried it on page 3 of the Metro section. Nevertheless, the Washington Post was the only media outlet to cover the story at all. Young said police still did not know the exact cause of Champagne’s death.

    (Champagne’s car pinned her against the security structure on the right)

    Young said the police had posted the incident on its web site in a press release, although the report makes no mention of Marvin Bush. It reads:

    A 62-year-old Alexandria area woman died after being pinned between a rolling car and a building. The crash happened on Monday, around 9 pm, near the intersection of Fort Hunt Road and Edgehill Drive. Bertha Champagne had gone outside to get something from a car in a driveway. The car, which was left in gear, began to roll forward. Champagne was pinned between the car and a small building next to the driveway. The car continued to roll down the driveway, crossed Fort Hunt Road, and came to rest in a wooded area. Champagne was taken to Inova Mount Vernon Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

    The press release is dated September 30 at 1330 (1:30 PM), some sixteen and a half hours after the incident occurred. The police were well aware of Marvin Bush’s controversial role in serving on corporate boards for companies associated with the 911 terrorist attacks, however, they emphasized that Champagne’s death was merely a quirky accident and no foul play was involved.

    According to two articles in the Progressive Populist written by Margie Burns, from 1993 to 2000, Bush served on the board of Securacom (since renamed Stratesec). The chairman of the board of Stratesec is Wirt D. Walker III, a cousin of Marvin and George W. Bush. Securacom had contracts to provide security for Dulles International Airport (the airport from which American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon, originated) and the World Trade Center in New York. Securacom’s backers include a number of Kuwaitis through a company called KuwAm Corp (Kuwaiti-American Corp.). Stratesec also has Saudi investors. Walker also serves as a managing director of KuwAm, which maintains offices within the Watergate complex along with Riggs Bank, on whose board Bush’s uncle, Jonathan Bush, sits. Saudi Princess Haifa al Faisal, the wife of Saudi Ambassador to the US Prince Bandar, used a Riggs account to funnel money to Omar al Bayoumi and Osama Basnan, two Saudi students in California associated with two of the 911 hijackers.

    Until November 2002, Bush served on the board of HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. (formerly Houston Casualty Company), a re-insurer for the World Trade Center. Bush still serves as an adviser to the firm. Walker serves as chief executive officer of Aviation General, an aircraft company backed by KuwAm. Aviation General, formerly Commander Aircraft, brokered the sale of airplanes to the National Civil Aviation Training Organization (NCATO), located in Giza, Egypt, the hometown of lead hijacker Mohammed Atta. NCATO is the only civilian pilot training school in Egypt. NCATO has a training agreement with Embry-Riddle University in Daytona Beach, Florida, the flight school that was investigated by the FBI for possibly training at least one of the 911 hijackers.

    A Houston businessman who worked closely with the Bush family over the years confided that Marvin Bush and Wirt Walker appear to have taken over the Saudi real estate investment and aircraft brokerage business once run out of Texas by Houston-based James Bath in association with Salem bin Laden, the late brother of Osama bin Laden, and Khalid bin Mahfouz. The source, who has dealt personally with the Bush family in Houston for a number of years, said there should be skepticism when looking at bizarre deaths like that of Champagne. The source speculated that Champagne might have happened upon some sensitive information the Bush family wanted kept secret.

    Some observers wondered if Secret Service agents might have been able to assist Champagne when her car pinned her. According to the Secret Service in Washington, the agency only provides protection to presidential siblings if an Executive Order authorizes such action. A Secret Service spokesperson emphasized there is no current Secret Service protection for Marvin Bush. However, there remains a question why private security agents posted at the Bush compound could not have responded to Champagne’s distress.

    There are also questions concerning Champagne’s actual place of residence. According to the Post story, Bush told police that Champagne resided at their compound, However, a phone call to the directory-listed residence of Bertha Champagne in Franconia, Virginia resulted in Mrs. Champagne’s son answering the phone. He confirmed that his mother lived at the Franconia address but he was clearly uncomfortable and nervous in talking to the media about the circumstances surrounding his mother’s death.

    Sandra (a0b5f2)

  54. The fact that Oil For Food money, earmarked to help Iraqi children, ended up in the campaign coffers of Hillary Clinton, is one reason why we’re not reading too much about this in the mainstream press. What a story! Can you see the headlines, “Oil For Food Money Funds Hillary’s Presidential Bid”. Wow

    Dave Lubin (1e5aac)

  55. Oscar Wyatt delt with all the garbage so we could run our cars.

    thomas j.peters (828eea)

  56. Oscar Wyatt delt with all of the garbage to get oil so we could drive our cars.

    thomas j.peters (828eea)

  57. MARVIN BUSH EMPLOYEE’S MYSTERIOUS DEATH – Connections to 9/11?

    Curious tale. Never heard about it.

    Did Mr. Madsen also go into the volumes of details
    concerning the numerous suspicious deaths of those
    connected to the Clintons?

    mancuso (096953)

  58. All this comes from memory, but around the 1960’s or 1970’s, Wyatts’ company Coastal States, underbid United Gas for the contract to supply gas to the cities of San Antonio and Austin, Texas. United disconnected their pipelines and left the cities to be supplied by Coastal. Sometime later, only a couple of years, as I remember, Coastal found a better market for their gas and sold it to another market, leaving Austin and San Antonio high and dry (gas wise). There were long drawn out court proceedings for years and finally part of Coastal was spun off,as I remember, and put under court appointed caretaker. Oscar Wyatt was the head of Coastal and became one of the most hated men in Texas over this matter. Apparently everyone has forgotten about it.

    H.A. McCright (d671ab)

  59. The Wyatts exemplify Texas white trash. He is known to show up at parties in the River Oaks area and totally cuss the waitstaff and call them hateful names. He is a very obnoxious, cruel and hateful being. Oscar is definitely a buzz kill.

    JD (8e5cc9)

  60. Oscar and Lynn are real freaks. They need to be locked in cages and allowed to leave ONLY on a leash.

    Houstonian (8e5cc9)

  61. Oscar Wyatt took hostages out of Iraq, many of them were his employees.

    Oscar Wyatt did good things for his other employees over the years.

    Oscar Wyatt has a slander lawsuit against the Houston Chronicle from many years back, they didn’t like him.

    Oscar Wyatt did business worldwide just like everyone else has to do, giving kickbacks.
    No one else will admit it because it is against USA law. However, everyone doing business in the
    rest of the world knows it is always done, everywhere or you don’t do business.

    Oscar Wyatt worked his way up and came from a poor family. He was a military pilot in WW2.

    Oscar Wyatt is like everyone else when it comes to a Federal Court, the Federal Court can bribe more wittnesses and spend more money to make the trial last. Any innocent person can lose in a Federal case. Most lawyers that have beat the Feds. soon are prosecuted for something.

    Denny Ferguson (c94110)


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