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Susan Lindauer was arrested on March 11, 2004 by five FBI agents for conspiracy, acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government and taking money from a government that supports terrorism (Iraq.)  Susan was arrested with two co-conspirators, Raed Rolan Al-Anbuke and his brother Wisam Al-Anbuke.

Almost five years later Susan Lindauer has been declared incompetent to stand trial and her case has been dropped.  This after prosecutorial attempts to have psychotrophic  drugs administered to her by government physicians for diagnoses made by court ordered evaluations that Lindauer's attorney refused.

By the way, the two men indicted along with Susan Lindauer are the sons of Iraq's former liason with U.N. weapon's inspectors.  For a person ruled delusional by court psychologists, Susan Lindauer has some pretty real co-conspirators.  


Lindauer was arrested about a year after dropping this letter: off to her cousin, Andy Card. In the letter Susan implores her cousin to intervene on behalf of the Iraqi government in order to avert war and says:

I have worked so hard to secure cooperation with the weapon's inspections so that a confrontation could be avoided.

 It was one of ten that she had sent to her cousin and in it she also indicates that the Iraqi government is ready to make concessions on weapons inspections.
Lindauer was held in a federal mental facility in Texas for several years where this was the impression a friend had of her mental state:  

Friends say her mental state seems to have worsened during incarceration since October. "It's not clear when she's getting out now," says J.B. Fields, a federal employee with a low-level security clearance who rents a basement apartment from Lindauer at her Takoma Park, Md., home, and who talks with her regularly. "She has her good days and her bad days," he says, based on conversation when Lindauer calls from Texas. "On days when she gets emotional or scared, everybody's evil, you

So who is Susan Lindauer?  There are a lot of different opinions out there, and while I read several accounts of her madness, there are a number of things that bother me about these.  For example, if she were mad, why did Card report her and how did she end up being arrested for acting as an unregistered agent of Iraq?  Wouldn't it have been simpler to tell your boss (Dubya) that your cousin was batshit nuts and maybe get your family in on an intervention?  Instead there was a major FBI investigation.  A reporter that did a piece for the NY times kind of sums up where I am right about now in my opinion of Ms. Lindauer:  

It is possible that Lindauer's account is delusional. It is also possible that Lindauer's account is accurate. Iraq certainly tried to use other back channels to try to reach U.S. officials, including a Lebanese-American businessman, Imad Hage, who conveyed messages to Richard Perle in the run-up to the war. For her part, Lindauer says that she was unaware that her activities required her to register as a lobbyist -- a formality that, to her mind, seemed quite absurd. ''Everything that I did that was quote 'lobbying,''' she said, ''I was giving to the chief of staff of the White House.''

Lindauer's life up until the arrest certainly doesn't give the impression of a person operating in psychoses.  She is the daughter of John Lindauer, a former Republican candidate for governor of Alaska.  She majored in economics in college and worked for the United States Congress as well as several media outlets as follows

11 March to 14 May 2002: press secretary for Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.)

  1. Executive producer for political affairs at Channel 28 in Washington, DC
  1. press secretary for former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun (D-Ill.), who recently ran as a 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate
  1. press secretary for former Rep. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), before he became a senator
  1. press secretary for Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.)

Sept 1990-August 1991: Part-time, temporary reporter associate at U.S. News & World Report

3 August 1987-25 July 1989: Editorial writer for Everett Herald newspaper

27 April-17 July 1987: temporary, full-time reporter on the metro desk of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper

  1. Fortune magazine

A long time back dKos diarist DHinMI diaried about the case here:

and emptywheel blogged it a few days ago commenting:

Just five days before the end of his term, Bush's DOJ has dropped all charges against Andy Card's cousin--Susan Lindauer--whom they had accused of being an unregistered agent for Saddam Hussein's Iraq. By dropping the charges at this time, the Administration:

Prevents Lindauer from proving at a trial that she was an intelligence asset working on behalf of the United States (though she says she'll sue for damages)
Declines to try to prove that she was working on behalf of Saddam--and not the US--when she warned against invading Iraq
Succeeds in preventing embarrassing information (both because of the link to Card, and because it included solid warnings against Iraq) from coming out while Bush was still in office

I learned about the entire case tonight in this diary

I need to thank dharmafarmer, halcyon, and schpilk for talking me through my initial reactions to the story, and the original diarist, gkfahnbulleh for making me aware of it.

Something is not right about all of this.  There are a lot of links in the comments to gkfanbulleh's diary that are more reputable than the original "scopes" link posted.  See also emptywheel's diary and the legal documents referred to by dharmafarmer.  

I just thought it important to get this out into the community before the Bush administration slips off with perhaps some of our interest in pursuing possible leads that could aid in their indictments.

And I'll leave you with two of the most chilling excerpts I read about Susan Lindauer tonight:

In October 2001, according to the federal indictment, she met with officers of Iraqi intelligence in New York. On Dec. 2, Lindauer wrote to Card again, to convey further news: The Iraqis were willing to permit the return of weapons inspectors and offered other concessions. ''These are not intended to limit the universe of possibilities, Andy,'' she wrote

One conversation John had with his sister in the summer of 2001 stuck in his mind for a different reason. ''So she goes, 'Listen, the gulf war isn't over,''' he told me over dinner at a sushi place on the Sunset Strip. '''There are plans in effect right now. They will be raining down on us from the skies.''' His sister told him that Lower Manhattan would be destroyed. ''And I was like, Yeah, whatever,'' he continued. When he woke up six weeks later to the news that two planes had crashed into the twin towers, and watched as ash settled on the window ledge of his sublet in Brooklyn, he had a dislocating sense of having his reality replaced by Susan's strange world -- an experience he would have again when he learned that his sister had been arrested by the F.B.I.

Parke Godfrey, a close friend of Lindauer's for the last 15 years, is a professor of computer science at York University in Ontario. He says that Lindauer warned him not to take a job at N.Y.U. the summer before the Sept. 11 attacks. That Lindauer's outlandish predictions actually came true, Godfrey suggests, further encouraged the exalted sense of personal mission that brought her to Washington in the first place

Originally posted to Karma for All on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 09:17 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This case kind of blew my mind tonight. There (28+ / 0-)

    are so many inconsistencies.  I'd like to know what the rest of the community thinks.  Thanks.  

  •  I used to work (6+ / 0-)

    for John Lindauer, in a radio station he owned in Alaska.

    I remember at the time of the letter incident (to Card), Susan was portrayed almost universally as a kook.

    I don't know about that, but her dad (John) was certifiable.

    Look up articles possibly in the Anchorage Daily News or the local media of the time. I worked at the radio station in Anchorage in 1982-83.

  •  This doesn't sound like a nut job: (14+ / 0-)

        Above all, you must realize that if you go ahead with this invasion, Osama bin Laden will triumph, rising from his grave or seclusion. His network will be swollen with fresh recruits, and other charismatic individuals will seek to build upon his model, multiplying those networks. And the United States will have delivered the death blow to itself. Using your own act of war, Osama and his cohort will irrevocably divide the hearts and minds of the Arab Street from moderate governments in Islamic countries that have been holding back the tide. Power to the people, what we call "democracy," will secure the rise of fundamentalists.  Susan Lindauer’s last letter to Andrew Card, January 6, 2003.

    Susan Lindauer sent her eleventh and last letter on the Iraqi political situation to then Bush chief of staff Andrew Card on January 6, 2003, just two months before General Franks gave the command to invade on March 20, 2003.

    She also informed Card that Saddam was open to UN inspectors, a fact we know to be true from other sources but which directly contradicts what Bush and his entire administration have claimed.

    Pretty obvious why she's been under arrest so long.  If she's a nut job, she was at least lucid enough in her letters to be more trustworthy, knowledgeable and accurate about Iraq than the President of the United States.  

    Of course, Bush set that bar very, very low.

    "I'm afraid that overstates the number of presidents we have." - Barney Frank

    by Bob Love on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 10:27:52 PM PST

    •  Bob Love, I'm just horrified right now as I'm (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Love, alizard, dharmafarmer

      reading about Haldol.  I'd love to know from anyone whether their is any precedent in our country for its use in cases like this?

      •  Dear God. (10+ / 0-)

        Haldon is an alternative name for this drug

        Controversial non-medical uses
        See also: Punitive psychiatry in the Soviet Union
        There are multiple reports from Soviet dissidents, including medical staff, on the use of haloperidol for punitive purposes or simply to break the prisoners' will.[13][14][15] Notable dissidents that were administered haloperidol as part of their court ordered treatment were Sergei Kovalev and Leonid Plyushch.[16] The accounts of Plyushch in the West, after he was allowed to leave the Soviet Union in 1976, were instrumental in the triggering Western condemnation of Soviet practices at the World Psychiatric Association's 1977 meeting.[17] The widespread use of haloperidol in the Soviet Union's psychiatric system has a simple explanation: besides chlorpromazine it was the only other psychotropic drug produced in quantity in USSR.[18] Due to the notoriety haloperidol gained in oppressive regimes, Nigel Rodley, a former United Nations special investigator on torture, said: "In the history of oppression, using haloperidol is kind of like detaining people in Abu Ghraib."[19]

        This was the drug they wanted to use on Lindauer.

        I hope someone else will diary this again if mine slips off.  

    •  For someone who is supposed to be mentally ill (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Karma for All

      she certainly has functioned at a pretty high level, with considerable responsibilities. Being ecentric, holding strong opinions and having the courage to stand up doesn't make someone certifiable. It is obviously a convenient way to silence her and discredit any information tied to her. We already know our government is capable of turning someone's brain to jello, that she may appear impaired now is no surprise. I hope she does sue and name those responsible individually.

  •  NB: A more eye-catching title might be (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cosette, Karma for All, dharmafarmer

    something like "Breaking: DoJ Suddenly Drops Charges Against Card's Cousin/Spy" ... to make clear that this is current news.

    "I'm afraid that overstates the number of presidents we have." - Barney Frank

    by Bob Love on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 10:33:21 PM PST

  •  A different view (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Karma for All, dharmafarmer

    This article at Scoop is not so blithe with accusations of insanity, nor with                                            
    characterizations of persons as "co-conspirators".

    First the surge, now the splurge.

    by pigpaste on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 10:48:58 PM PST

  •  I've been keeping up with this... (4+ / 0-)

    ...and you're right about something being odd about this. If Bush Inc. wants the matter dropped then I'm in favor of a through investigation.

    The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

    by Bobjack23 on Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 11:13:33 PM PST

    •  emptywheel was spot on in that. (7+ / 0-)

      I hope Lindauer drags this whole thing into court for damages and does not settle.

      I hope her brain is still intact.

      I fear what might have actually been going on in the mental hospital, assuming she has always been sane.

      And even if she was nothing more than a crazy woman full of herself (who happened to work for major D.C. players and write for reputable publications, not to mention her Master's degree, etc...)  Even if she was, the idea that they wanted to drug her forcibly...and the fact that they kept her locked away for so long only to declare her incompetent in the end.

      What was the hold up there?  It took them a full year to even order a mental evaluation.  

      This is all looking pretty bad to me.

  •  In her own words, what she was planning on (7+ / 0-)

    happening if she made it into court:

    Collins: What will you try to prove in court on June 17, 2008 and where do you go from there?

    I am confident that my witnesses will establish that I most definitely worked as long-time asset supervised by individuals in U.S. intelligence. At that point, I hope the Justice Department would seize the opportunity to end the case before we have to go into the specifics of my work. It would be hugely embarrassing for politicians in Washington, if a trial exposes how badly the politicians have mismanaged opportunities to engage the U.S. in counter-terrorism. They are not the innocent of bystanders of intelligence failures that they pretend to be. They made serious mistakes in leadership that they have refused to acknowledge.

    Assets like me are just the scapegoats for bad policy decisions.

  •  She's got an interesting resume, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Karma for All

    that doesn't mean she's on the up and up.

    I'm naturally suspicious of almost everything the Bush administration does, but this woman is not a Sibel Edmonds. There's no independent corroboration for the overwhelming majority of her claims, there are facts that show she may have been used [unwittingly] as a conduit.

    Claiming that dropping the charges against her is functionally a coverup is very weak sauce on her part. The ball is in her court to reveal facts and evidence to back up any of her claims, and I have not seen any proof of that yet.

    I'm still open to the inquiry.

    "I will always be a number." Goodbye, Number 6.

    by shpilk on Sun Jan 18, 2009 at 01:24:35 AM PST

    •  The ball is in her court, thank God. Doesn't any (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alizard, snackdoodle

      of this strike you as over the top for what the prosecutors were claiming?  How was she a spy, but completely insane.  Was she just lucide enough to hold all of those positions plus trick her "co-conspirators" into believing she was actually working for them?  If she was working for the Iraqi government, why did she expose herself completely to her cousin by writing about her meetings to him?

      She may have been a victim of her own self-aggrandizement, I don't know.  But what happened to her as a result is just too strange.

      Why was she incarcerated in Texas and why did prosecutors push to have her forcibly drugged, despite a psychological evaluation which said she did not show signs of psychoses?

      We need proof to take us somewhere in prosecuting Bush, I agree.  Perhaps the way she was treated in and of itself is a start?

    •  There is independent corroboration (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alizard, Karma for All

      Karma I want to email you.

    •  schpilk. The facts are already there. (0+ / 0-)

      I hope you'll look at them while we're trying to get them out.

      You'll see for yourself.  

  •  Interesting. First I've read of this. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias, Karma for All

    Bu$hCo's evil has no limits. Emulating the GULAG. What else will we discover, I wonder.

    •  All the torture was imitating Communist (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Karma for All

      methods.  They reverse-engineered SERE training, which was meant to counteract what we knew the Communists were doing to prisoners.

      The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

      by lysias on Sun Jan 18, 2009 at 06:32:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good morning, Karma (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Karma for All

    I hope you got some rest! I've got to run out for about an hour, but I'll be back with some specific information on the docket that might answer some questions you posed above or provide you with new info.  

  •  Neocons borrow other Soviet methods (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alizard, Karma for All, snackdoodle, halef

    Using psychiatric facilities to silence problem people is so Soviet Union... They may have tried it out here and there to test the waters... but did not have enough clout among the shrinks to make wider use of it except as an occasional under the radar tweak in their stealth semi-dictatorship.

    The undercover dictatorship of the vanguard of the Rapture addled and Neo-con "father-knows-besters" on the right leading us to the imagined nirvana that their agenda will automatically create.

    A few impediments locked up as nut cases... a small price to pay for the Republican shortcut to heaven on earth.

    Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie

    by IreGyre on Sun Jan 18, 2009 at 07:36:46 AM PST

  •  Thanks for your efforts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alizard, Karma for All

    to bring together all the many threads of this story.

    The twists and turns, opposing and mutually contradictory vectors of her story are compelling enough to merit your effort.

    Whether this actually will convince those like shpilk, who demand proof is another matter entirely. Certainly in the world of intelligence or diplomacy, into which, at minimum, Lindauer stumbled, proof often comes cloaked in quotation marks. It is an elusive commodity.

    How do we decide then if Susan is for real, or simply really delusional? My tilt at this would start by looking at what she claimed, versus what actually happened. Was what she claimed in many ways credible, prescient even?

    So at the time of the Lockerbie investigation Susan claims that the wrong agents are being fingered - turns out there are reasonable questions to ask about that.

    Before 9/11 Susan utters a prediction that in the rear-view mirror of history looks prophetic - but of course that information was itself cause for even her own brother to view her as a tin-foil hat conspirator.

    Before the war Susan tries (repeatedly) to get her second cousin Andrew Card's attention to forestall invasion and war, proclaiming that such action will hit back hard on the United States - which it of course did.

    Now, none of this retrospective of Susan's perspicacity should be taken as proof that Lindauer was anything less than crazy. Perhaps she was nuts. But, if so, she was then both the most unfortunate example of a psychic nutjob and, more importantly not a criminal in any reasonable sense of the term.

    More importantly, that conflation makes no sense at all.

    What I mean is this:

    Either she was a credible and active source who should have been listened to, even if she was to be charged with actions concerning her interactions with Iraqi Diplomats.

    Or she was a whack-job whose ever utterance was coincidentally accurate on the subjects of Middle Eastern policy and the outcome of proposed US actions in that arena.

    She cannot really be both, at the same time.

    •  Exactly. I just posted this in a response (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      further upthread without your eloquence.  They cannot have it both ways.  

      She did have a psychological evaluation to counter the prosecutor's 11 month Carswell commitment that says clearly that she has no psychoses.  She also claims to have been ready with witnesses to that affect (and others?)  

      Another loose thread:  

      How was her incompetence determined and adjudicated.  

      Thank you for your interest and reasoned consideration.

      Whether I have evidence of her "intelligence" gathering or not, the case stands on the merit of the mistreatment of a United States citizen.

      How does Andrew Card sleep at night?  How do any of them?

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