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Destruction of evidence raises a presumption of guilt

By William Sumner Scott, J.D.

12/16/07 "
ICH" -- -- It is a natural tendency to remember the good and forget the bad. If that tendency is allowed to play out its course, George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney may go down in history as two of the greatest leaders of all time because they initiated the first military action against Middle Eastern religious zealots commonly called “terrorists”. Terrorism must be stopped, but the methods used by Bush and his henchman, Cheney, were based upon violence against the American people, murder of innocent Middle Eastern civilians, cover-up of the truth, lies, torture, and wrongful detention and surveillance. No impeachment proceedings will expose the American people to similar despotism from its future leaders.

With the exception of Senator Frank Leahy’s leadership of the Senate Judiciary Committee that led to the resignation of Alberto Gonzales, the lawyer who condoned Bush’s wrongful action, the American government has failed to properly protect its citizens from harm.

Impeachment will allow the American government to correct this failure. Once the proceedings begin, important questions will be asked. For example, who denied the Federal Aviation Administration access to the 9/11 crime scenes to conduct an investigation of the cause of the airplane crashes. The primary purpose of the FAA is to regulate aviation. Its mandate grants them the authority and the jurisdiction to be first on the scene at any plane crash, yet they failed to take charge of 9/11. It allowed other agencies to usurp its role as the chief investigator of what happened. An impeachment proceeding against Bush and Cheney would allow the lines of communication that prevented a prompt, full investigation of 9/11 to be examined.

All United States law students are required to complete a criminal law course. The examination to obtain their license to practice law has criminal law as one of the subjects covered. All lawyers are trained that the normal procedure is to yellow tape the crime scenes. No crime scene evidence is to be disturbed. You’ve seen this action numerous times on the CSI television shows. In the case of 9/11, no yellow tape of the scene was made to preserve the evidence. To the contrary, the scene was taped off to prevent investigation. Persons who identified themselves as Federal Bureau of Investigation agents collected the film from all known surveillance cameras around the 9/11 crime scenes. The evidence was immediately loaded on trucks, carried away and destroyed.

Under normal operating procedures, the FAA Air Crash Investigation Unit would be exclusively in charge because the crash airplanes were involved. No criminal conduct or blame would be presumed. The FAA would document its findings. Once they were published, other agencies that might have jurisdiction would be afforded the opportunity to review the FAA results and conduct independent investigations. No such FAA report was prepared and no other agencies were permitted to investigate. Rudolph Giuliani, a NY former prosecutor, was on the scene but he made no attempt to preserve the evidence or make an investigation. Nor was any other prosecutor involved in the guilt determinations.

To have any persons in charge other than the FAA required acceptance by Bush and Cheney of an unproved theory of the cause of 9/11 to take precedence over normal investigative technique. There was no justification for the departure from normal procedures other than the desire of the Bush, Cheney administration to catapult the United States into war against Islamists in the Middle East.

Much criticism has been leveled against main stream media for its refusal to report the destruction of 9/11 evidence. That criticism is premature. The media has been called the fourth estate in reference to its position behind the three estates of government. Until the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches of government properly deal with 9/11, no blame can be placed on the media for the cover-up.

The blame for the failure to properly investigate 9/11 rests with our government. That same government regulates the media. That power to regulate has effectively muzzled the media on the subject of 9/11. It up to the Legislative and Judicial Branches of government to give support to the media to allow the events leading up to and after 9/11 to be fully documented and communicated to the American people.

As all lawyers are taught, destruction of evidence raises a presumption of guilt against the person who did that. Bush and Cheney led the government intervention and destruction of the evidence at the 9/11 scenes. Accordingly, it is Bush and Cheney who must prove the causes of 9/11 or suffer the claim made by a growing number of people each day that the 9/11 events were an inside job. The American system of justice requires that Bush and Cheney be afforded the opportunity to present the evidence they have to vindicate their behavior. An impeachment proceeding in the House is the method contemplated by the Founders to protect the American people from high crimes and misdemeanors committed by their leaders. It is time to resort to the procedures to insure justice is achieved on behalf of the American people.

Bush and Cheney must explain why all wreckage and other debris was not tagged and analyzed. Why did they not explore every possible theory of the cause of the 9/11 events. They must be required to explain why they did not follow normal civil, and if justified, criminal investigation procedures. The burden is on them because they destroyed the evidence. In the unlikely event they can overcome this hurdle; they must explain why the systems put in place to protect Americans from invasion did not stop the second plane from hitting the World Trade Center and the strike upon the Pentagon. And, should they be able to overcome that hurdle, they must explain how World Trade Center Buildings 1, 2 and 7 collapsed into their footprint, particularly since Building 7 fell without being hit by a plane.

The impeachment hearings are expected to prove that Bush and Cheney conjured up out of thin air the theory that 19 Muslims bent on destruction of Western freedoms were responsible for the loss of life and property on 9/11. The claim that the Taliban in Afghanistan were harboring Bin Laden has never been substantiated. Bush said the reason to invade Afghanistan was to capture Bin Laden. After the invasion Bush said he did not think much of where Bin Laden might be. The claim that Iraq was a threat to the Unites States because it was about to possess uranium yellow cake was known by Bush to be false at the time he urged Congress to authorize the invasion of Iraq.

A permanent record of the Bush and Cheney misdeeds and lies must be made in Congress. Additionally, evidence of the torture, wrongful detentions, and surveillance committed by them must be collected and preserved. Ideally, this exercise will result in their removal from office. But if it does not, it will allow historians to accurate describe the misdeeds of their administration and document that some, if not all, Americans were disgusted by their conduct.

Those opposed to impeachment of Bush and Cheney say their terms in office are almost finished so why bother They say the proceedings would be expensive and the Senate has too few votes for convict should the House vote to impeach them. None of these objections override the main purpose of preservation of the evidence against them in the Congressional Record so that no one can claim that Bush and Cheney were heroes at some time in the future. The Record will also demonstrate to concerned American citizens that their government is functional and worth preserving in spite of the atrocities Bush and Cheney committed in their name.

Mr. Scott is an author and film producer. He may be reached at wmscott@bellsouth.net

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