Bush Political Prisoner Gets Her Day in Court
Susan Lindauer, accused “unregistered” agent and
the judge who rescued her from forced psychiatric
medication, now U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey.
American Cassandra: Susan Lindauer’s Story
Susan Lindauer has a scheduled hearing at the federal district court in Manhattan on June 17, 2008. Just a year after the Iraq invasion, April 2004, Lindauer was charged with serving as an “unregistered agent” for that nation’s government prior to the U.S. invasion. Lindauer countered that she’d worked as an asset for U.S. intelligence and had simply done her job by predicting the risks and negative outcomes of the planned invasion.
She later came to the conclusion that her indictment was a harsh example for any intelligence operatives or figures thinking about taking on the Bush administration in public – stay silent or you’ll experience the same fate.
“Above all, you must realize that if you go ahead with this invasion, Osama bin Laden will triumph, rising from his grave of seclusion. His network will be swollen with fresh recruits and other charismatic individuals will seek to build on his model multiplying those networks. And the United States will have delivered the death blow to itself.” Susan Lindauer’s last letter to Andrew Card, Jan. 6, 2003
The passage above is from the last of ten letters Lindauer sent to her second cousin, Andrew Card, then White House Chief of Staff, from 2001 through 2003. She also delivered the last letter to then Secretary of State Collin Powell (who lived next door to her CIA handler).
A year after her last letter to Card, Lindauer contacted staff for Senator John McCain and Senator Trent Lott offering to testify before the committees investigating intelligence activities prior to the Iraq invasion. At that point, the government turned her file over to a grand jury. Lindauer notes, “They failed to tell the grand jury that I’d been working for them for nine years.” (Image cc)
Lindauer was convinced that the charges would be resolved in her favor through the legal process. Instead, she was forced to undergo a psychological evaluation despite her strong objections. She was never tried. Court appointed psychiatrists told her that claims of innocence constituted a delusion. She offered these mental health professionals contacts and other evidence to prove her claim that she worked for the U.S. government. No one got back to her.
After a period of freedom under court supervision, Judge Michael V. Mukasey (the future U.S. Attorney General), ordered Lindauer to spend no more than four months in the federal prison facility at Carswell Air Force Base, Ft. Worth, Texas.
During her time at Carswell, the staff psychiatrist repeatedly suggested to her that she take powerful psychiatric medication to cure what were called “delusions,” her claims that she’d worked as a U.S. asset and was innocent of all charges. She refused, all the while maintaining her innocence.
The U.S. Attorney’s office, Southern District, Manhattan, then moved for the forced administration of unspecified psychiatric medication to allow for a “fair trial.” The prosecutor argued that a fair trial was not possible without this medical intervention directed at her “delusions” of innocence..
Judge Mukasey presided over the hearing. After evaluating the evidence, he refused to order the forced administration of medication. He ordered that Lindauer be set free. The case was continued.
Judge Mukasey also cleared up a point of major confusion surrounding the initial indictment. Lindauer was indicted in the same document as two Iraqi nationals accused of committing “an offense against the U.S. Government.” Mukasey noted that there was no relationship whatsoever between Lindauer’s case and that against the suspected Iraqi nationals. Lindauer had never met or even heard of the two prior to seeing the indictment.
Lindauer has never been tried. She’s never been given a hearing on the mental health experts claims that her innocent plea constituted “delusional” thinking. And she’d been denied an opportunity to clear her name until next weeks hearing was scheduled
Her new attorney is Brian Shaughnessey of Washington, D.C., a former federal prosecutor and experienced litigator. At the June 17 hearing, Lindauer seeks to test of her claim that she worked as a U.S. asset. Once this is demonstrated, she hopes that the government will finally drop the charges after all these years.
Lindauer has not been charged with any wrong doing since her indictment. By all accounts, she’s lead a productive life as she continues the process of seeking justice and vindication for her pre war efforts.
“Peace is Patriotic,” Susan Lindauer, June 10, 2009
Susan Lindauer made one big mistake in her efforts to serve her country – she told the truth when there was no time for truth. An active opponent of what she calls “murderous” U.S. sanctions against Iraq, the writer and former congressional staffer, wrote a series of prescient memos to her second cousin, then Bush Chief of Staff Andrew Card. The objective was to introduce reason into the war planning against the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein.
Lindauer pointed out that U.S. troops would receive a very hostile reception given the years of embargo and lives lost as a result and the relentless bombing of Iraq during the same time period. She predicted that civil chaos would emerge allowing bin Laden to set up an al Qaeda operation in Iraq where no opportunity for that existed under Saddam.
Accuracy and good judgment have their price with the Bush administration. In the case of Susan Lindauer the price was months of confinement and years of court ordered counseling and supervision, all because she was judged delusional for maintaining her innocence.
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Next installment: an exclusive interview with Susan Lindauer on her fight against court appointed mental health experts.