Sparks flew at Guantanamo Bay Tuesday morning as the U.S. military opened its case against former Clinton co-conspirator John Podesta, who stands accused of treason, accessory to murder, and innumerable child sex crimes.
Rear Adm. Darse E. Crandall of the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps began the proceedings by painting Podesta as a sanctimonious, smug lackey whom Hillary Clinton had recruited into her “nefarious cabal” in the early 1990s. Podesta’s unquenchable thirst for power and Clinton Cash morphed a barely competent attorney into a literal “yes man” who sacrificed his soul and committed unspeakable crimes to appease his Clinton masters, Rear Adm. Crandall told the three-officer, all-female panel picked to judge the merits of the military’s case.
In full dress uniform of their respective branches, the officers heard Rear Adm. Crandall rifle off names of 50 male and female minors Podesta had allegedly molested between 2003-2014. The admiral produced a dozen sworn affidavits from victims who had escaped Podesta’s clutches. Now adults, most were between 9 and 12 years old when Podesta convinced the victims’ parents that their children were being groomed for a future in politics, modelling, or Hollywood stardom. Two affidavits, authored by unrelated persons who did not know each other, told a strikingly similar story.
In July 2012, 10-year-old Henry Rayburn (not his real name) was introduced to Podesta as a friend of his parents, Washington socialites who spent more time hobnobbing at diplomatic soirees than they did caring for their child. Henry’s parents did not blink twice when Podesta offered to take young Henry on a trip to Disneyworld to meet Micky Mouse. According to the affidavit, Podesta chartered a private plane and “chaperoned” a group of four children to Orlando.
Rear Adm. Crandall read part of it aloud to the panel: “I never met Micky Mouse. After arriving in Florida, John Podesta told us we were going to a hotel and he was going to order pizza and soda for us to eat before meeting Micky. As much as I’ve tried to forget it, I remember one thing vividly: feeling lightheaded and dizzy after eating and waking up in sweat, blindfolded, face down and strapped down to a metal table in what I now know was an abandoned warehouse. I hurt all over, hurt so bad I thought it had to have been a nightmare. I tried to scream, but my words came out slow and odd. I heard John Podesta’s voice saying ‘this is the best time to draw blood’ as someone else, at least I assume it was someone else, sodomized me. I drifted into unconsciousness again, and then remember waking up on the airplane back to D.C. Podesta wasn’t on the plane, or at least I didn’t see him. Another man I didn’t recognize told me I was being sent home early because I had gotten sick and wouldn’t be able to meet Micky Mouse. I asked about the other kids and was told they were still in Orlando. When I told my parents, they tried to convince me that my imagination had been playing tricks on me, even though I was bruised all over and had huge hematomas on my forearms where they’d done blood draws. Although my parents never admitted to it, I believe they were bribed into silence. I kept quiet. Who would’ve believed a bratty 10-year-old kid.”
“The other 11 affidavits tell similar stores with one common denominator: John Podesta,” Rear Adm. Crandall told the panel. “These are not arguments to be contested. John Podesta admitted as much at pre-trial, and we have it all on tape. He engaged in serial, ritual abuse on children, and bribed and blackmailed parents to stay quiet. He and Clinton participated in these crimes with wanton abandon.”
Unlike Clinton, who was executed at GITMO on April 26, Podesta had retained a defense attorney to speak on his behalf. His counsel, Trisha Anderson, was no stranger to Guantanamo Bay. From 2013-2016, she served as primary defense counsel for 17 Yemeni Jihadists at GITMO.
She argued that Podesta’s admission of guilt was contingent on a plea deal the military had rescinded only two days prior to the tribunal. She said Podesta had signed the agreement in good faith, and that JAG had violated his rights by “pulling the rug out from under him.”
“My client confessed to avoid a death sentence from this Kangaroo Court, not because he is guilty of the crimes. You have ancient hearsay and flimsy evidence. If these tribunals allowed expert witnesses, I could shred this evidence to pieces. JAG’s behavior is a direct violation of my client’s rights,” Anderson protested.
Rear Adm. Crandall reminded the panel that Podesta, detained as an unlawful combatant, had no rights, and that it was their duty, not Ms. Anderson’s, to judge the validity of evidence.
“So now that we’ve withdrawn the plea agreement, he suddenly didn’t commit the crimes he’s charged with. Fascinating,” Rear Adm. Crandall said.
After a brief recess, he presented his next piece of evidence, recorded video testimony of a 19-year-old man claiming that in 2013 Podesta had “exposed himself” to both he and his sister at a “pool party” hosted by Hillary Clinton at her Chappaqua, NY mansion. He identified himself as the son of a couple who had been longtime friends of the Clintons.
“John Podesta told us all kids want to see it,” the man’s quavering voice said. “Hillary was there, so was Bill. So was Chuck Schumer. Actor Tom Hanks. Many people I didn’t recognize. They all knew what was going on. He wanted me and my sister to touch his penis. He started wagging that tiny thing around.”
In the courtroom rivulets of tears streamed down Podesta’s face from behind his spectacles.
“He’s crying not for remorse but because he’s caught,” Rear Adm. Crandall said. “You fine officers have children of your own. Imagine, as unthinkable as it is, if these were your children. We have much more to present, but if there’s no objection, this commission will recess until eleven hundred hours tomorrow.”
A cowering Podesta, shackled at the wrists, was escorted from the courtroom, his attorney at his side.