Susan Lindauer: The American Cassandra Series
By Michael Collins
Susan Lindauer: The American Cassandra Series
Susan Lindauer: The American Cassandra Series
By Michael Collins
As best as I can tell, that plow-hand in Gainesville has never even had the benefit of half-idiot pedagogues and broken down preachers. He acquired his theological learning by watching Jimmy Swaggart on the TV and taking copious notes. There’s a plow-hand preacher born every time a pledge number lights up on the screen. But what about congregations? They must be coming even faster than the rubes at a carnival midway. “Step right this way and see the burning books!” B. Downing
It gets better … (more…)
BAGHDAD —”Days after the U.S. officially ended combat operations and touted Iraq’s ability to defend itself, American troops found themselves battling heavily armed militants assaulting an Iraqi military headquarters in the center of Baghdad on Sunday. The fighting killed 12 people and wounded dozens.
“It was the first exchange of fire involving U.S. troops in Baghdad since the Aug. 31 deadline for formally ending the combat mission, and it showed that American troops remaining in the country are still being drawn into the fighting.
“The attack also made plain the kind of lapses in security that have left Iraqis wary of the U.S. drawdown and distrustful of the ability of Iraqi forces now taking up ultimate responsibility for protecting the country.” Barbara Surk, AP, Sept 5
But wait. Isn’t this supposed to be over.
“So tonight, I am announcing that the American combat mission in Iraq has ended. Operation Iraqi Freedom is over, and the Iraqi people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country.” President Barack Obama, August 31, 2010
But in Baghdad today, the Iraqi military called on U.S. forces for support and got it in the form of troops, helicopters, and drones.
Apparently, this is part of the plan. The AP article ended with this portentous line:
“Under an agreement between the two countries, Iraq can still call on American forces to assist in combat and U.S. troops can defend themselves if attacked.” AP, Sept 5
The sorrows of empire are never ending.
The Associated Press ran an article Sunday that focused on the wasted funds during the US reconstruction efforts in Iraq. There were stories of an unused children’s hospital, a prison for 3,600 that will never open, and the diversion of reconstruction funds to pay off Sunni fighters to turn on al Qaeda.
AP failed to mention that the main reason that we have to rebuild Iraq is that the United States government invaded it and destroyed everything it could in a display of shock and awe. Also unmentioned were the unique post invasion strategies of no security for sites like power plants that keep the country running and the dissolution of the 400,000 man army, the main institution that kept order in the country before the invasion. But I digress.
Anyone paying attention should know that financial controls and accountability went out the window from the very first days following the defeat of Saddam Hussein’s military.
The graph to the right is from the Center for Budget Policy and Priorities. It shows the relative contribution of various factors to the deficit. It’s not a full exposition, but take it for what it’s worth. If we stopped the wars, restored the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest citizens, and ended TARP, we would make a huge contribution to reducing the current deficit.
So why hasn’t that happened? Congress and the White House would rather kill people overseas, reward Wall Street failures, and coddle the wealthiest citizens than reducethe deficit.
The solutions aren’t that hard. Will they take action? Of course not.
Why do those in charge hate the citizens of this country? It’s a fair assumption to say that they do hate us when they avoid obvious and direct solutions to a major problem. Instead, they’ve put together a stacked entitlement commission to tombstone Social Security. By their actions, their program is clear. “The middle class is being systematically wiped out” by the current leaders.
They ALL know this. Most of them do absolutely nothing.
All but a very few should be fired in 2010, without regard to party. If the next crew does the same, fire them too. (more…)
There they are, the people who brought you every bit of the action in the WikiLeaks video and all of the other horrors flowing from invasion of Iraq. Madeleine Albright (far right, above), former Clinton Secretary of State, is a good place to start. From 60 Minutes:
Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it. —60 Minutes (5/12/96)
A Modest Proposal
An Iraqi Vote on Troop Withdrawal
Over the years, we’ve seen various “exit strategies” proposed for withdrawal from Iraq. The best proposal was made by a Baghdad man on his way to a demonstration just a few days after that city fell. A U.S. reporter asked what should happen now. The man turned to the reporter and said, “Thank you for getting rid of Saddam. Now please leave our country.”
That advice was probably the best input that United States policy makers ever received (if they even noticed). It was freely offered and no one died in the process.
Why not give democracy a chance?
The Iraqis have a right to a direct vote on the options for U.S. troop withdrawal.
The ballot would be simple.
Should U.S. troops leave Iraq? Yes No
If you answered Yes, how soon should they leave?
Immediately __ 6 months __ 12 months__ 18 months__
Iraqis have wanted the U.S. out of their country almost from day one. Various surveys show that a solid majority of citizens want coalition troops to leave within a year. In 2004, 86% of Iraqis wanted U.S. troops out – 41% immediately and 46% after a new government was established. At the start of 2006, 94% of all Iraqis supported their government setting a timeline for U.S. withdrawal from immediate departure to a timed departure over two years. A few months later, even a poll by the U.S. Department of State showed nearly 70% of citizens wanted U.S. occupation to end.
Polls in 2007 and 2008 conducted by a variety of organizations demonstrate that a majority of Iraqis want foreign troops to leave.
Here’s why they’re upset. Over a million Iraqis have died in sectarian and other forms of violence kicked off by the U.S. invasion. For the most part, this has been Iraqis killing other Iraqis, an outcome of the extensive civil strife that was predicted before the invasion.
In addition, the quality of life in Iraq is dreadful and the citizens do notice. Since 2007, large segments of the population describe a “declining quality/availability of (the) electricity supply, water, fuel, education, local government and medical care.” Harm to an immediate family member was reported by 17% of Iraqis.
But the Iraqis are no fools. They’ve lived with the darkest expressions of the Bush – Cheney White House since March 2003. Nearly 80% of all Iraqis believe that coalition troops won’t withdraw even if they’re asked. .
Just a month after the citizens of the United States saw the neoconservatives and their dreams of empire leave power , a new plan was announced. Most U.S. troops will be withdrawn by within 18 months. Thirty to fifty thousand will remain to help with security and the never ending process of training Iraqi security forces.
Aren’t we missing a step?
Who asked the Iraqi people about the withdrawal schedule? As the self-proclaimed proponents for democracy and human rights, shouldn’t the United States inquire as to the will of the people before initiating any policy changes? Failing to do so means we’ve skipped a critical step. How democratic is that? It’s their country after all.
Did someone forget to raise those questions when the new plans were developed?
Relying on the ever shifting positions of a very unpopular Iraqi government is useless in assessing the will of the Iraqi people. The only way to determine their will is through a national election. Should U.S. troops stay or go? If they should go, what is the preferred timeline?
Those who speak the language of empire might say that this modest proposal, democracy for Iraq, allows Iraqi citizens to determine U.S. foreign policy.
The answer to that is simple. Right now U.S. foreign policy trumps Iraqi domestic policy and democracy. Denying the vote to the Iraqis on this most vital matter denies their rights to self determination and belies the role of the United States as a proponent of democracy.
A 2003 Senate Committee on Foreign Relations report on Iraq stated that:
“Iraqis remain a proud people. Gratitude over the removal of Saddam mixes with a strong strain of nationalism. Military occupation elicits complex reactions, and Iraqis, citing their long history of civilization, believe that they are capable of running their own affairs.” Committee on Foreign Relations, July 2003
That statement was made in 2003. It’s 2009.
Do we believe in the right of self determination for the long suffering people of Iraq? If so, at long last, let’s prove it by letting them chose their own fate.
Permission granted to reproduce in whole or in part with attribution of authorship and a link to this article.
There is some understandable gnashing and wailing going on about the “team” that Obama has put together. It certainly doesn’t look like the “change” we’d hoped for, “we” being those free thinkers who are looking at results first instead of justifying “belief” by rationalizing uncomfortable and highly inconsistent facts.
We see Geithner and Summers in key positions regarding the economy, Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, and the Bush family insider, Senator Judd Greg (R-NH) as the new secretary of commerce. Our health policy almost came under the heavy influence of mega lobbyist and tax evader former Senator Tom Daschle.
I maintain that there’s no point in being disappointed in Obama. That implies that there might be a point in “believing” in or having “faith” in Obama or any other major politician from Eisenhower on.
If you don’t “believe” then you’re not disappointed. Bypassing disappointment moves you directly to analysis. Each issue should be judged on its own merits and then put into interpretive categories after the initial analysis. Inductive reasoning is far superior to deductive in today’s political arena. Aristotle trumps Plato, decisively.
So what do we think of this? What’s really happening here.
The TimesOnline London just ran this article on Obama putting the “break on” the “Afghan surge.”
February 8, 2009 Link
Obama puts the break on Afghan surge
Sarah Baxter and Michael Smith
“PRESIDENT Barack Obama has demanded that American defense chiefs review their strategy in Afghanistan before going ahead with a troop surge.
“There is concern among senior Democrats that the military is preparing to send up to 30,000 extra troops without a coherent plan or exit strategy.”
(Any emphasis in the TimesOnline article is the author’s)
Why would he do that now? The believe/disbelieve thinkers say that Obama’s been co-opted and enlisted as an establishment tool. But this type of move isn’t consistent with the “captive Obama” viewpoint.
Obama may have two motives here. First of all, we simply can’t afford another war and the president knows it. We’re broke. We pretend as though we actually have options but we don’t. There are over 700 military installations overseas with nearly 10% of those major installations. We can’t even afford those, let alone another major war.
But why did Obama get right up in the face of the military. He “demanded” a “strategy” is pretty tough language. That means that the military lacks a strategy. He won’t send “troops without a coherent plan …” Again, emphasizing that the military wants a commitment but has no plan to get out, just like they didn’t in Iraq.
It looks like the “surge” is dead for now. It will be hard to back off of this devastating set of statements. But other projects are going forward even though there’s no money for them. Why threaten to kill this project?
A faction of the military openly defied Obama
Two incidents explain the move. On January 20, 2009, President Obama announced the end of torture and the closing of Gitmo. Shortly after that, in full defiance of the clear intent of his Commander in Chief, U.S. The chief judge of the Guantanamo military court, Col. James Pohl, U.S. Army indicated that “he would go forward with next month’s hearing for an alleged USS Cole bomber in a capital terror case.” McClatchy Washington Bureau, Jan. 29, 2009. That was the first outright defiance of the President Obama.
The second was even more outrageous. General Petraeus, who wants to be president, issued a statement that resulted in this headline on Feb. 2, 2009: “Generals Seek To Reverse Obama’s Iraq Withdrawal Decision.” Petraeus tipped his hand well before the election in Senate testimony. He argued that the commander of Iraqi forces could actually defy the president on troop withdrawals.
During his July, 2008 trip to Iraq, Obama made it clear to Petraeus that he wasn’t bound to Petraeus’ advice. At a Senate hearing on Sept. 11, 2007 (ABC News), Obama not only objected to the manipulation of having a hearing on 9/11, he was clear on Iraq: “This continues to be a disastrous foreign policy mistake,” he said. “There are bad options and worse options.” ABC News. He then addressed Petraeus directly: “However, the Illinois Senator accused Petraeus of dodging questions about the overarching Iraq war strategy. ‘You’ve punted a little bit. We don’t have limitless resources … the question is one of strategy not tactics.'” ABC News
On Election Day 2008, Petraeus pushed back again indicating, as Fox News headlined, that he’d “stand firm” on staying in Iraq “regardless of who wins the Presidency.” Petraeus knew who would win the presidency.
Can Gen. Petraeus and Gen. Odierno count?
What nerve! He should have been fired on the spot but Bush was charge and was probably in on the bad taste insolence of a General being both rude to the president-elect and insulting the citizens who had just elected him. So the recent statement, in full defiance of the popularly elected president, was planned and executed according to plan.
After these two mutiny laden statements, I wondered what Obama would do to strike back. He will likely never be more popular yet here are two members of the military defying him.
“The Pentagon was set to announce the deployment of 17,000 extra soldiers and marines last week but Robert Gates, the defense secretary, postponed the decision after questions from Obama,” TimesOnline, Feb. 8, 2009
Hand off to Robert Gates, holdover secretary of defense. Here’s another chance to jettison the belief/disbelief paradigm by looking at discrete events. Gates history in U.S. intelligence has some very low points. No argument.
There are two exceptions. When Bush rattled the cage in February, 2007 about Iranian senior officials selling weapons to the “insurgents,” it was a clear justification for war. Yet Gates, traveling in Europe gave a transparently tepid endorsement of the Bush thesis. This combined with the total sabotage of Bush’s argument by General Peter Pace made bush look silly. The little covered testimony to the Senate Committee on Foreign affairs by Brzezinski rounded out the Gates-Pace right-left combination. Bush was left without support for his next war.
Gates also showed how he handled the disobedient and incompetent in handling the 2007 loose nukes situation. Contrary to all doctrine an without authorization, nuclear weapons were loaded aboard a plane headed for Houston. There was no authorization for this action and none of the required procedures were followed.
The military was embarrassed and the rumors started about a secret plan by Cheney etc. Whatever the explanation, Gates was not impressed. He brought in a top DC insider, James Schlesinger, to investigate. When the review was done, Gates fired the Air Force Chief of Staff and the Secretary of the Air Force in a very public and humiliating way.
Gates didn’t stop at the top. On June 9, 2008, The Air Force Times reported that: “Gates, who began his career working nuclear security issues as an Air Force intelligence officer in the 1960s, also said a ‘substantial’ number of Air Force general officers and colonels more immediately responsible for recent lapses could still be reprimanded or fired in the wake of the report.” That’s called “cleaning house.”
Gates knows how to handle these things. Obama knew that about Gates and he also knew he’d be up against some nasty customers who needed to justify Iraq for their own purposes. Gates was the logical choice given what Obama correctly anticipated.
While Gates accompanied Petraeus and his Iraq commander, Gen. Odierno on Feb. 2, 2009 when the two generals met with Obama and tried to pressure him to abandon Iraq troop withdrawals, by Feb. 9, he was clearly following orders from Obama on giving even one third of the troops requested by the Army for Afghanistan. The whole enterprise is in question.
The clarity of Obama’s intent is reflected in the Times article. They didn’t invent this language.
“Obama promised extra 7,000-10,000 troops during the election campaign but the military has inflated its demands. Leading Democrats fear Afghanistan could become Obama’s ‘Vietnam quagmire’.” TimesOnline, Feb. 8, 2009
Referring to Afghanistan as a “Vietnam” anything is tough talk. Adding “quagmire” is the icing.
How does it end?
The British are signaling that they think that the Afghanistan “surge” is both a bad idea and a dead letter.
“General Sir Richard Dannatt, the army chief who will step down this summer, has insisted that troops need a rest and believes he can send only one battle group, senior defense sources said.” TimesOnline, Feb. 8, 2009
After reviewing the evidence, it seems to me that Obama is maneuvering brilliantly in this situation. It is also clear that Gates was the right choice for Defense given the clear disrespect for Constitution shown by these two military officials.
Does that mean that I endorse Tim Geithner or Larry Summers as stewards of the economy? Not at all. They’re dreadful choices and Senator Gregg is worse than dreadful. It doesn’t mean that I have “hope” or that I now “believe” in Obama.
It simply means that in this very important encounter between rogue military elements and the President of the United States, at this point, I’m convinced that Obama is headed in the right direction.
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American Kafka: Susan Lindauer
Demands “The Trial”
“Scoop” Independent News
(Wash. DC) Accused “unregistered Iraqi agent”, Susan Lindauer, is now challenging the September 15th decision of federal district court Judge Loretta Preska, which continues to find Lindauer to be “incompetent to stand trial.” Lindauer’s attorney Brian Shaughnessy has now filed a Motion for Reconsideration of Preska’s Kafka-like ruling. Preska found that Lindauer is “incompetent” because of Lindauer’s belief and plea that she is “Not Guilty.” Lindauer also demands her right to a “Speedy Trial,” as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Nominated for Federal appeals court by President Bush just days before her ruling in this case, Preska’s Sept. 15 opinion effectively denied Lindauer her right to a “speedy and public trial,” which is required by the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Judge Preska’s expanded interpretation of “incompetence” to stand trial may now open the gate for competency challenges by defendants throughout the federal court system.
The judge opined that Lindauer lacked “a connection to reality” in the specific area of assisting in her own defense. The following passage from the decision reveals the types of Kafka-like, “Catch 22” double binds that the government and this judge create in this case. From the Sept, 15 decision by Judge Preska:
“Also during that court conference (Dec. 19, 2007), after the court admonished Ms. Lindauer not to speak out in court without first discussing it with her attorney, the transcript reflects that Ms. Lindauer, upon being admonished again, stuffed Kleenexes into her mouth, which, again, is not the response of someone rationally connected to the proceedings.” p. 171, lines 5-10)
The “court conference” referenced by the judge was the conference of Dec.19, 2007. Lindauer had fired court appointed attorney Samuel Talkin and retained attorney Brian Shaughnessy of Wash., DC, a former federal prosecutor with four decades of courtroom experience. According to Lindauer, Shaughnessy had informed the court that he could attend court any day of the week but Wednesday. The judge insisted on holding the hearing on the one day attorney Shaughnessy could not be in court. Therefore, for all intents and purposes, Lindauer had no attorney in court to defend her. After all, she had already fired attorney Talkin.
Hearing objectionable requests and statements at that conference, Lindauer spoke up to defend herself. One of those requests was a suggestion by the prosecutor that she be sent back to Carswell Federal Medical Center, the place of her original seven month pretrial incarceration for psychiatric evaluation. It was made by assistant U.S. attorney Ed O’Callahan (now with the McCain campaign in Alaska, working for the Palin “truth squad”) who had sought to forcibly drug Lindauer with psychoactive drugs in May of 2006.
Would Judge Preska have preferred that Lindauer use a cell phone to call her lawyer in D.C., tell him her objection, and then hand the phone to the judge so that Lindauer’s new defense counsel could make the objection? Or would Judge Preska have preferred that Lindauer rely on terminated attorney Talkin who, despite being fired by Lindauer, showed up in court that day?
How is it that this defendant, judicially found to be legally incompetent to stand trial, was without her new defense counsel at a pretrial conference?
How is it that the Judge insisted on meeting on the only day of that week that Lindauer’s new defense counsel said was impossible to make?
This truly is the stuff of Kafka’s “The Trial.” A judge uses the defendant’s own defense at a hearing where she had no lawyer as evidence that the defendant is incompetent to assist in her own defense and therefore is incompetent to stand trial (See Franz Kafka and The Trial).
Would it have been “competent” for the defendant to sit silently after the very same court had previously remanded her to a federal prison hospital on a Texas military base for seven months for a psychiatric evaluation and observation that was legally supposed to take no more than 120 days (according to federal law, 18 U.S.C. 4241)?
Would it have been competent of Lindauer to remain silent when dealing with a U.S. Attorney’s office that had sought to physically forced her to take Haldol (an older generation antipsychotic, psychoactive medication that causes serious side effects, including symptoms of Parkinson’s disease)?
How “competent” would Lindauer have been if she had trusted the criminal justice system when she knew that an internal report from the federal prison psychiatrist had recommended against involuntary medication and that this report had not been introduced into evidence by now-fired attorney Talkin and was only introduced into evidence by new defense counsel Shaughnessy?
Do we have some brave new world standard for trials, where defendants are deemed “incompetent to stand trial” when they defend themselves in the absence of defense counsel? Where’s the “connection to reality” in that? Franz Kafka, please reply.
Kafka-esque? Without any doubt. The general attitude of the prosecutors and the judge reflect this line from “The Trial”: “You see, everything belongs to the Court.”
It is virtually unheard of for the prosecution to agree to with a defendant seeking a delay of trial due to “incompetence.” It’s even rarer that the prosecution takes the lead in arguing that a defendant is incompetent when the defense argues for defendant’s competence and demands a trial.
In fact, defense attorney Shaughnessy could find no reported federal or state criminal case in which the defendant, the defense attorney, and defense psychiatric experts attested to the defendant’s competence to stand trial and the judge ruled that the defendant was incompetent to stand trial.
The Judge’s Opinion on Incompetence to Stand Trial, and the Defense Motion for Reconsideration and Declaration by the Defendant
Judge Preska heard the testimony of Lindauer’s defense expert on Sept. 11, 2008, psychiatrist Richard Ratner, M.D, of Washington, D.C. On Sept. 15, she heard the testimony of prosecution psychiatrist Stewart Kleinman, M.D. Immediately following that testimony, Preska ruled that Lindauer is “incompetent to stand trial.”
Judge Preska based her ruling on the following argument:
“I think both of the medical experts have agreed that Ms. Lindauer does suffer from a mental disease or defect. The more operative question seems to be whether or not Ms. Lindauer has an appreciation of the proceedings against her and is adequately able to assist in her defense. I credit in general the testimony of Dr. Stewart Kleinman, M.D.” Decision of Judge Preska, Sept. 15, 2008 (“Decision”)
Defense attorney Shaughnessy responded in his Motion for Reconsideration. He pointed out that Preska was in fact wrong when she used “delusions and hallucinations” as proof that Lindauer was incompetent. The prison psychiatrist who observed her for seven months “admitted that over seven months of incarceration, staff observed no signs of hallucinations and no signs of hearing voices, nor any depression or bipolar disorder.”
Shaughnessy cited evidence that “from March 2004 through March, 2005. Dr. Bruke Taddessah recorded that he observed “no signs of psychosis, no signs of mood disturbances, no delusional thinking and no depression. He wrote that there was no basis for psychiatric intervention.” Motion for Reconsideration, (“Motion”) p. 2
Treatment notes that from her release from Carswell through the present show that there were no signs of a serious mental illness, including hallucinations and delusions. Exhibits, “Monthly Treatment Reports, pp. 5-10
“After her release from Carswell, records of her weekly meetings at Counseling Plus from September, 2006 to August, 2007 validate the earlier findings by Dr. Taddessah at Family Health Services. Lindauer was reported to suffer “Post Traumatic Stress caused by her experiences at Carswell”— and nothing more.” Motion, p. 4
The overall fallacy in the court decision and the assessment of Dr. Kleinman was summarized in this elegant paragraph, reflecting even more Kafka-esque thinking by the court, namely that Lindauer’s defense, that she was a U.S. intelligence asset, is a sign that Lindauer is “incompetent to stand trial”:
“Dr. Kleinman’s reports and testimony allege that Ms. Lindauer is incompetent to assist properly in her own defense in part because of her allegedly-“false fixed belief” in her innocence, her allegedly-“false fixed belief” that she acted as a long-time Asset for the U.S. Government, and her allegedly-“false fixed belief” that a jury of her peers would find her not guilty. In short, Dr. Kleinman expressed his opinion that Ms. Lindauer is incompetent because she has pleaded “Not Guilty” to the charges.” (Emphasis mine) Motion, p. 3
Lindauer maintains her innocence. She asks for a trial to prove that she was an intelligence asset who worked for the United States of America for nine years. Then the judge says in effect:
Oh, you’re pleading innocent. Sorry, but we can’t allow you a trial, since your claim of innocence indicates that you’re not legally “competent to stand trial.”
In order to maintain this position, both Judge Preska and Dr. Kleinman, M.D., must know that Lindauer will be found guilty of the charges. But, of course, that can’t be the case. Yet both maintain that Lindauer should have no trial because she pled “Not Guilty” and planned an affirmative “Public-Authority Defense,” as per Rule 12.3 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure..
The details of the decision and motion to reconsider are well worth reviewing and can be found in the attachments from the court record.
As to the fundamental argument that Lindauer is not able to assist in her own defense, the attached Declaration by Susan Lindauer, filed with the motion, is perhaps the best evidence of all. In this sworn declaration, Lindauer skillfully and coherently dissects the prosecution case, the ruling, and demolishes the notion that she’s unable to assist in her own defense. Her closing argument in the declaration summarizes her defense and explains why she’s so adamant in seeking a trial.
“The Defense advises the Court that psychiatrists lack the expertise in intelligence matters that would be necessary to evaluate whether my operations were effective or not. I have been indicted for establishing high ranking contacts inside the Iraqi Embassy at the United Nations, and that I stand accused of conducting preliminary talks with Iraqi officials on the return of the weapons inspectors. Whatever Dr. Kleinman thinks of my approach, the facts of the case show that it most definitely did enable me to establish high ranking contacts with various Middle Eastern diplomats at the United Nations.” Declaration by Susan Lindauer, Sept. 30, 2008
Before his formally concluding request that Lindauer be found “competent” and before asserting Lindauer’s right to a “Speedy Trial,” defense counsel Shaughnessy states:
“A good indication that Ms. Lindauer is competent to assist properly in her own defense is that Ms. Lindauer herself prepared much of the attached Declaration of Susan Lindauer and wrote substantial portions of this Motion for Reconsideration. Although Ms. Lindauer certainly is an exasperating client with whom to work, she is certainly “competent” by any and all standards.”
Something is Very Wrong With This Ruling
What’s does the government fear from a trial? Could it be the witnesses and their testimony that there was adequate prewar intelligence regarding Iraq? We’ve been led to believe otherwise in the usual display of obfuscation by the White House. Would another side to the story, based on evidence examined in open court, be a threat to someone?
On September 11, 2008, both the defense counsel and the new assistant U.S. attorney waived the in-court testimony to be offered by prosecution psychiatrist Stewart Kleinman, M.D. at a planned hearing on Sept.15, 2008. They left, assuming that this would be accepted by the judge.
But Judge Preska surprised both by proceeding with the hearing on the15th with Kleinman testifying in open court. Preska must have surprised them even more when, at the end of Kleinman’s testimony, she read her already-written decision on Lindauer’s competence from a teleprompter-like computer screen at the judge’s bench
The previous judge on the case, former Chief Judge of the District Court and current U.S. Attorney General, Michael B. Mukasey, took four months to review the evidence before ruling on Lindauer’s competence and the prosecutor’s motion for forced medication. What motivated Judge Preska to write her decision on Lindauer’s competence before Preska had even heard Kleinman’s testimony and defense counsel Shaughnessy’s cross examination of Kleinman? (Mr. Kafka, would you please respond to the question?)
Yet as though Judge Loretta Preska had “psychic powers” to anticipate the testimony of Dr. Kleinman and defense counsel Shaughnessy’s cross examination, Preska delivered a prepared opinion immediately after Kleinman’s last words of testimony at the Lindauer’s competency hearing.
And then there’s this. By declaring Lindauer to be “incompetent to stand trial,” Judge Preska may have set up the possibility that Lindauer will be returned to in-patient psychiatric “treatment,” as if Susan Lindauer is some sort of government chattel, instead of a free citizen of the United States of America with all the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. See the language of 18 U.S.C. § 4241 regarding at “Determination of Mental Competency”:
If, after the hearing, the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant is presently suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering him mentally incompetent to the extent that he is unable to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him or to assist properly in his defense, the court shall commit the defendant to the custody of the Attorney General. The Attorney General shall hospitalize the defendant for treatment in a suitable facility
Could this be the motivation, witting or subconscious, for Judge Preska’s decision on Lindauer’s competence?
As Franz Kafka said in “The Trial,” “[E]verything belongs to the court.”
Truly the stuff of Kafka.
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Court records on competency hearing:
Decision of Judge Preska, Sept 15, .2008
Motion for Reconsideration by Lindauer attorney Brian Shaughnessy, Oct, 1, 2008
Declaration by Susan Lindauer. Filed with Motion for Reconsideration, Oct 1, 2008
Exhibits – 3 – filed with Motion for Reconsideration, Oct. 1, 2008
Previous “Scoop” coverage on USA v. Susan Lindauer:
American Cassandra: Susan Lindauer’s Story by Michael Collins 17 October 2007
Bush Political Prisoner Gets her Day in Court by Michael Collins June 11, 2008
An Exclusive Interview with Bush Political Prisoner Susan Lindauer by Michael Collins June 2008 911 Prediction Revealed at Susan Lindauer Competency Hearing by Michael Collins June 17, 2004
Did Justice Order Forced Psychiatric Medication? by Michael Collins, Sept. 12, 2008.
White Paper Justifying Iraq War Written
Three Months before Intel Report Arrived
National Security Archive Stunner
The National Security Archive released a report Friday Aug. 22, 2008 that sheds even more light on the premeditated lying and deception that took the United States to war in Iraq. The findings are based on new evidence compiled by Dr. John Prados and published by the National Security Archive. See “White Paper” Drafted before NIE even Requested , “Scoop” Independent News, Aug. 24, 2008.
Most notably, Prados shows the depth of the deception perpetrated against citizens and Congress regarding the alleged threat to U.S. security posed by Iraq. It had appeared that the White House rewrote the Oct. 1, 2002 National Intelligence Estimate and then issued that doctored report to Congress on Oct. 4, 2002. Prados reveals convincing evidence that the Oct. 4 White Paper had already been written by July 2002. He shows that it was only slightly altered after the final NIE arrived. This White Paper served as the basis for the war.
The unavoidable conclusion is that the Bush-Cheney White paper “justifying” the invasion was developed a full three months in advance of the intelligence data and analysis that should have served as the basis for that justification. The National Security Archive summed it up succinctly:
“The U.S. intelligence community buckled sooner in 2002 than previously reported to Bush administration pressure for data justifying an invasion of Iraq,
“The documents suggest that the public relations push for war came before the intelligence analysis, which then conformed to public positions taken by Pentagon and White House officials. For example, a July 2002 draft of the “White Paper” ultimately issued by the CIA in October 2002 actually pre-dated the National Intelligence Estimate that the paper purportedly summarized, but which Congress did not insist on until September 2002.” National Security Archive in “Scoop’ Independent News, August 24, 2008.
The seemingly endless war in Iraq has become a total disaster on multiple levels for all involved. The awful toll in human deaths and casualties is largely ignored but real nevertheless. Over 4,000 U.S. soldiers have been lost in battle and tens of thousands injured. In excess of one million Iraqi civilians are dead due to civil strife unleashed by the invasion. The U.S. Treasury is drained and the steep decline in respect for the United States around the world is just beginning to manifest.
The United States political establishment responds with collective denial on a scale that’s incomprehensible. In the presidential campaign, the only sustained public commentary on the war comes from the Republican presidential candidate John McCain who makes the bizarre claim that U.S. is “surrendering” with victory in clear sight. McCain touts the surge without noting that 4.0 million Iraqis are “displaced from their homes.” Nearly ten percent of Iraq’s population is either dead or injured and there are 5.0 million Iraqi orphans.
This pathological view of victory claims the “surge’ is a success in the context of a devastated population in an obliterated nation lacking in the most essential supplies and services; a nation where death continues on a shopping spree
The report by Dr. Prados makes it clear that the executive branch was responsible for creating whatever information they found necessary to justify war and they did it by posing security threats from Iraq and demanding that intelligence briefers fill in the details
Summary of Findings by Prados, National Security Archive
“A recently declassified draft of the CIA’s October 2002 white paper on Iraqi WMD programs demonstrates that that (the White) paper long pre-dated the compilation of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraqi capabilities.
“Bush administration and the Tony Blair government began acting in concert to build support for an invasion of Iraq two to three months earlier than previously understood.
“A comparison of the CIA draft white paper with its publicly released edition shows that all the changes made were in the nature of strengthening its charges against Iraq by inserting additional alarming claims, in the manner of an advocacy, or public relations document.
“The draft and final papers show no evidence of intelligence analysis applied to the information contained.” August 22, 2004
One Final Hope to Avoid a Tragic War
Ultimately, the White House had what it wanted by July 2002. When the National Intelligence Estimate arrived from an intimidated intelligence community, there was still one hope of a rational outcome on the rush to war. The NIE delivered to the White House on Oct. 1, 2002 noted that the one scenario in which Iraq would attack the United States involved a U.S. attack on Iraq that threatened Saddam Hussein’s survival.
The following is brutally simple. The one way to cause the hypothesized (and erroneous) claims of Hussein’s intent to attack the United States is to go to war and threaten his regime. Therefore, refraining from war was the best way to protect the United States.
“Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or CBW against the United States, fearing that exposure of Iraqi involvement would provide Washington a stronger cause for making war.
“Iraq probably would attempt clandestine attacks against the U.S. Homeland if Baghdad feared an attack that threatened the survival of the regime were imminent or unavoidable, or possibly for revenge.” Key Judgments, National Intelligence Estimate, Oct. 2002
That was deleted entirely. The July White Paper was “complete” and sent to Congress as the evidence justifying the invasion of Iraq.
In the most supreme of ironies, many members of Congress failed to even review the distorted White Paper before voting overwhelmingly to approve the invasion.
Is there any hope that this same legislative body can remedy the great wrong they helped create? Is there anyone who believes that this or any future White House will move with the urgency necessary to end this war? Will anyone ever be held to account for this series of premeditated deceptions?
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