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Susan Lindauer (1963- ) in 2004

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Susan Lindauer (1963- ) circa 2001

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Susan P. Lindauer (born July 17, 1963) is an American journalist accused of conspiring to act as a spy for the Iraqi Intelligence Service and engaging in prohibited financial transactions involving the government of Iraq under Saddam Hussein.

The prosecution claimed that she accepted $10,000 for the work. The exact charge was that she acted as an unregistered agent of Iraq, something akin to an unregistered lobbyist, as well as conspiring to commit espionage. Although news headlines frequently refer to her as "accused spy", more precise journalists note that the actual charges carefully avoid accusing Lindauer of espionage. Lindauer faced up to 10 years in prison on the most serious charge and five years on the lesser charge if she was convicted. Her case is currently still pending.



Lindauer graduated from Smith College in 1985. She earned a Masters Degree in Public Policy from the London School of Economics. She worked as a business reporter at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and editorial writer at the The Herald in Washington State, before joining the staff of "U.S. News & World Report

She then worked for Representative Peter DeFazio, D-Oregon (1993) and then Representative Ron Wyden, D-Oregon (1994) before joining the office of Senator Carol Moseley Braun, D-Illinois, where she worked as a press secretary/speech writer.

After leaving Capitol Hill, Lindauer claims she worked as a back-door channel between the United States and Libya to start negotiations for the Pan Am Flight 103 trial, working closely with American agencies from 1995 onwards. In the course of that effort, she claims she established special contacts in difficult to reach Arab countries, including Iraq, Egypt and Yemen, for the purpose of achieving cooperation on anti-terrorism. After Libya handed over the two men for the Pan Am Flight 103 trial, Lindauer claims she applied the same conflict resolution strategies to help persuade Iraq to accept the return of the weapons inspectors according to the terms and conditions demanded by the United States.

Lindauer claims that the Bush Administration targeted her for special punishment because of her opposition to the Iraqi War, though she correctly advised the White House and Secretary of State Colin Powell that no WMDs would be found in Iraq. She claims that her successes in dealing with Iraq prove that America could have achieved its objectives without War, and that the Bush Administration needed to shut her up, so that it could protect its claims that Bad Intelligence, not Bad Political Decisions, made the War unavoidable.


Lindauer was arrested on Thursday, March 11, 2004 in Takoma Park, Maryland and charged with "acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government". The indictment alleged that she accepted US$ 10,000 from Iraqi intelligence services in 2002. Lindauer denies receiving the $10,000, but admits to taking a trip to Baghdad.

She allegedly delivered a letter to Andrew Card, who is her second cousin and former Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush. The letter urged the White House not to invade Iraq, and outlined several likely consequences of a War in Iraq, including the resurgence of Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda forces inside Iraq, and the emergence of Iran as a major regional power broker.

Lindauer contends that her U.S. file was turned over to a Grand Jury just days after she approached Senator Trent Lott's office about how to contact the Presidential Commission on Iraqi Pre-War Intelligence regarding the work that she had done for the previous 7 years for the United States.

In late 2005, Lindauer was found incompetent to stand trial, a political solution to the indictment, and was sent to Carswell Federal Prison on a Texas military base for a psychiatric evaluation. At a hearing in New York, Carswell staff testified that Lindauer suffers no symptoms of mental illness, not even depression or bipolar disorder[citation needed]. Nevertheless, the Texas psychiatrists asked to forcibly drug Lindauer with needle injections of Haldol. She was released from prison in September 2006 after a federal judge, Michael Mukasey of U.S. District Court in Manhattan, ruled that she could not be forced to take anti-psychotic medication in an effort to make her competent to stand trial.

Judge Mukasey stated that Prosecution testimony supporting forcible drugging had been vicious and excessive. He also criticized the strength of the government's case against Lindauer in total, saying that the legal standard for forcibly administering medication requires a strong government interest in prosecution, and that the government has not established that standard in this case.

According to Judge Mukasey, "there is no indication that Lindauer ever came close to influencing anyone or could have." The indictment, he said, describes an attempt to influence an unnamed government official as unsuccessful. He stated that at least a half-dozen mental health professionals, including a psychiatrist retained by the government, have found Lindauer incompetent to stand trial -- though the Court denied Lindauer's repeated requests for a Competency Hearing, and failed to issue subpoenas for witnesses who nonetheless contacted the Court to validate her story. He also expressed humanitarian concerns about forcing Lindauer to take medication, which, he said, "necessarily involves physically restraining defendant so that she can be injected with mind-altering drugs."


She is a second cousin of Andrew H. Card, Jr..

External linksEdit


  • New York Times; August 29, 2004; Lindauer's Mission To Baghdad. One woman seemed to believe she could open a secret back channel between the U.S. government and Saddam Hussein's regime. The White House wasn't interested. The F.B.I. was.
  • Washington Post; March 13, 2004; Suspect in Iraq Spy Case Released; Lindauer, a Takoma Park Antiwar Activist, to Be Arraigned Monday. A former congressional staffer accused of aiding spies for Saddam Hussein before the U.S.-led war with Iraq was released from federal custody yesterday as some residents of Takoma Park, her home city, voiced differing reactions to the unique case, including puzzlement, anger and indifference. Susan P. Lindauer, 40, a self-described antiwar activist who was a press aide to several Democratic members of Congress in the 1990s, appeared at a detention hearing in U.S. District Court in Baltimore and was released to the custody of her father. It was unclear where the two planned to go. But ...
  • New York Times; March 12, 2004; Federal prosecutors charged a former Congressional aide on Thursday with working with the Iraqi intelligence service before the war, and investigators said she had sought to influence American policy by presenting herself to a highly placed relative, Andrew H. Card Jr., the White House chief of staff, as an intermediary. The woman, Susan P. Lindauer, 40, was arrested Thursday morning by federal agents at her home in Takoma Park, Md., outside Washington. In New York, federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment that said she had repeatedly met with representatives of the Iraqi intelligence service starting in 1999 and that she had traveled to Baghdad in 2002 for meetings with Iraqi intelligence officials.
  • New York Times; March 12, 2004; An Antiwar Activist Known for Being Committed Yet Erratic. Susan P. Lindauer wore her liberal politics on her sleeve, as well as on her aging Mazda, where bumper stickers proclaimed her unabashed opposition to the Iraq conflict.


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