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By Michael Baxter – December 15, 2021
Rear Adm. Darse E. Crandall opened Monday’s proceedings by reading a handwritten note Dick Cheney had given to George W. Bush in June 2001. Penmanship analysis experts, he told the panel, had verified the text and signature as Cheney’s.
“Per our Tuesday talk, have reached out to contacts. They’re on board if the price is right. They want a lot of money. It’s trivial compared to what we stand to make in the long run. Half up front, half when done. We should meet for lunch soon in New York or Washington,” Rear Adm. Crandall read.
On cue, Bush’s attorney David Aufhauser challenged the letter’s authenticity, demanding to know how JAG had magically come into possession of a scrap of paper that was over 20 years old and arguing that the message was so nebulous that no sane or intelligent person could infer criminal intent.
Aufhauser perspired, wiping sweat from his brow, and seemed visibly unnerved. His day hadn’t started on a good note. Ahead of court, he admitted to Rear Adm. Crandall that his digital forensic expert had authenticated the microcassette introduced into evidence on Friday and conceded that the voices on the tape “likely” were Rumsfeld, Bush, and Cheney’s.
He looked at the note and called it “chicken scratch.”
“Your client isn’t adept at destroying evidence,” Rear Adm. Crandall said. “This was found among other evidence seized at his Crawford ranch. Look, this commission freely admits that Cheney did all the planning for 9/11. Bush sure doesn’t have the brains to do it. Until we catch Cheney, and we will catch him, we won’t know everything. But Bush had final authority, and he abused his authority to wage war on this country and the world. The panel, not you, Mr. Aufhauser, will decide which evidence is valid. You’ve had a chance to hear the entire tape; the panel deserves that privilege.”
He resumed the tape:
Cheney: “The less you know right now, the better. Plausible deniability. You just have to trust I know what I’m doing, George.”
Rumsfeld: “Has to be multi-pronged here. I don’t want to be the one to explain why $2.3t is missing, or where it went.”
Cheney: “None of us will have to explain anything.”
Bush: “What if your overseas friends fuck this up, Dick? In any plan a million fucking things can go wrong. We don’t want to get bitten on the ass if this goes south.”
Cheney: “Trust me, I’ll have planned for every contingency. If there’s a mishap, we can use a little friendly fire to finish the job, and cover that up. It’d be no different from what Clinton did in ’96.”
Although Cheney didn’t expand on what happened in 1996, Real Raw News believes he was referring to the downing of Flight TWA 800 in July of that year.
Bush: “Get it right, Dick, get it right.”
Rear Adm. Crandall stopped the tape and put the tribunal on recess until after lunch.
(I will publish the 2nd half of Monday’s tribunal this evening.)
George W. Bush Military Tribunal: Day 3, Part II
Soft-spoken and reclusive, Donald Evans was an unassuming figure in George W. Bush’s administration in 2001. A longtime friend of “double-yew,” as he referred to Bush, the Texas-born energy mogul became one of many cabinet members upon whom Bush bestowed favoritism, a gesture of reciprocity toward those who had sworn fealty to 43 throughout his years as an elected official. While serving as the 34th Secretary of Commerce Evans kept to the shadows, seldom leaving his office unless summoned to meetings. Barely visible to begin with, he faded into total obscurity until he surfaced as a witness for the prosecution Monday afternoon at Bush’s military tribunal.
He appeared on ZOOM to testify against his former boss.
Rear Adm. Darse E. Crandall addressed the witness. “Mr. Evans, this commission thanks you for being here. Could you please tell this panel what you said to me when you were first interviewed?”
As expected, Bush’s lawyer David Aufhauser voiced an objection, saying it was “highly unorthodox” to call a witness that he had not been given an opportunity to interview.
Bush for the first time raised his voice. “Of all the people, Donald, I never thought you—” he croaked.
But Rear Adm. Crandall interrupted them, saying he’d clear the chamber and finish the tribunal with Bush and Aufhauser in absentia unless all present agreed to maintain order. The commission, he said, would hear Evans’ testimony.
“I was in my office, as usual, Monday morning—that was September 10, 2001. At about 10 or 11 that morning, I can’t recall the exact time, Bush called my office phone. He said he had something to tell me. His voice, it sounded shaky—I don’t know how else to describe it. Nervous maybe. See, at the time I had family and friends working in the towers. Out of nowhere, he tells me I should tell them to not go in that day. In fact, he told me they should avoid the city,” Evans said.
“The defendant, George W. Bush, told you this? And you’re certain it was his voice on the phone?” Rear Adm. Crandall asked.
“I’ve known the man for 50 years. I’m sure I know his voice,” Evans replied.
“And did he share with you why your friends or family should avoid the towers, and Manhattan, that Tuesday, September 11?” Rear Adm. Crandall said.
“He only said something might happen, and that if it did, I was never to speak of it or the warning he gave me. He said it in a non-threatening but intimidating way, and you’d have to really know him to grasp what I mean,” Evans said.
“Did you take his advice? Did you warn them?” Rear Adm. Crandall asked.
“I did not, because I didn’t want to believe he could be serious. If I had, they’d still be alive today,” Evans said.
“And you were so fearful of Bush’s wrath that you never once in 20 years mentioned his warning to anyone?” Rear Adm. Crandall asked.
“That’s untrue. I sent a letter to the Chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Thomas Keane. He chose, I guess, to omit it from the final report,” Evans said.
After a pause, Rear Adm. Crandall asked whether the defense wished to cross-examine the witness.
“I have only two questions for you, Mr. Evans. First, did Rear Adm. Crandall, JAG, or the OMC make you any promises in return for your testimony today?” Aufhauser said.
“Do you have any proof this alleged call between you and the defendant ever took place? An audio tape, perhaps. Notes? A copy of the letter you sent to the 9/11 Commission?” Aufhauser pressed him.
Seemingly satisfied at the responses, Aufhauser had no added questions, and Rear Adm. Crandall said the next witness would appear before the tribunal Tuesday morning.