Susan Lindauer

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Susan Lindauer
Born (1963-07-17) July 17, 1963 (age 57)
Occupation Author, journalist, activist
Parents John Howard Lindauer
Jackie Lindauer (1932–1992)

Susan Lindauer (born July 17, 1963) is an American journalist and antiwar activist. She was charged with "acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government" after being accused of spying for the Iraqis in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. She was incarcerated in 2005 and released the next year, after a judge ruled her mentally unfit to stand trial. The government dropped her prosecution in 2009.

Personal life

Lindauer is the daughter of John Howard Lindauer II, a newspaper publisher and former Republican nominee for Governor of Alaska.[1][2] Her mother was Jackie Lindauer (1932–1992) who died of cancer.

Education and employment

Lindauer attended East Anchorage High School in Anchorage, Alaska, where she was an honor student and was in school plays.[3] She graduated from Smith College in 1985. She earned a masters degree in public policy from the London School of Economics.[4] She worked as a temporary reporter at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 1987, and as an editorial writer at the The Everett Herald in Everett, Washington until 1989. She then was a reporter and researcher at U.S. News & World Report in 1990 and 1991.[2][3][5][6]

She then worked for Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR, 1993) and then Representative Ron Wyden (D-OR, 1994) before joining the office of Senator Carol Moseley Braun (D-IL), where she worked as a press secretary and speech writer.[2][5] In 2003 she was working for Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA).[7]

Arrest, incarceration and release

Lindauer claims she was conducting peace negotiations with representatives of Muslim countries (including Iraq, Libya, Malaysia, and Yemen) in New York. According to transcripts Lindauer presented to the New York Times in 2004, these included meetings with Iraqi Muthanna al-Hanooti, another peace activist later accused of spying. Lindauer also says that the U.S. intelligence community was aware of these meetings and monitoring her.[4][8]

Richard Fuisz met with Lindauer weekly since 1994. He said that he had banned her from his office after September 11, 2001, when her ideas became "malignant" and "seditious".[4] Lindauer later claimed that she had been a CIA asset during this period.[9]Starting in 2000, she delivered multiple letters to Andrew Card, leaving them on the doorstep of his home in Northern Virginia. In her letters, she urged Card to intercede with President George W. Bush to not invade Iraq, and offered to act as a back channel in negotiations. She claims the former Chief of Staff is a distant cousin.[4]

On March 11, 2004, Lindauer was arrested in Takoma Park, Maryland by five agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).[4] She was taken to the FBI office in Baltimore. Outside of this office, she told WBAL-TV: "I'm an antiwar activist and I'm innocent. I did more to stop terrorism in this country than anybody else. I have done good things for this country. I worked to get weapons inspectors back to Iraq when everybody else said it was impossible."[10] Lindauer later said she was charged under the PATRIOT Act.[11]

Lindauer was charged with "acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government". The indictment alleged that she accepted US$10,000 from the Iraqi Intelligence Service in 2002. Lindauer denied receiving the money, but confirmed taking a trip to Baghdad.[4] Lindauer was also accused of meeting with an FBI agent posing as a Libyan, with whom she spoke about the "need for plans and foreign resources to support resistance groups operating in Iraq."[7] Lindauer says she came to this meeting because of her interest in filing a war crimes suit against the U.S. and U.K. governments.[4]

Congresswoman Lofgren released a statement saying she was "shocked" by the arrest, that she had no evidence of illicit activities by Lindauer, and that she would cooperate with the investigation.[7] Robert Precht, Dean of the University of Michigan Law School, said the charges were "weak" and that Lindauer was more likely to be a "misguided peacenik".[12]

She was released on bond on March 13, 2004, to attend an arraignment the following week.[13] Sanford Talkin of New York was appointed by the court as Lindauer's lawyer.[8]

In 2005 she was incarcerated at Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas, for psychological evaluation. She was then moved to the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.[14] In 2006, she was released on bail prison after judge Michael B. Mukasey ruled that Lindauer was unfit to stand trial and would not order her to be forcibly administered antipsychotic medication to make her competent to stand trial.[1][14] He noted that the severity of Lindauer's mental illness, which he described as a "lengthy delusional history", weakened the prosecution's case. In his decision he wrote, "Lindauer ... could not act successfully as an agent of the Iraqi government without in some way influencing normal people .... There is no indication that Lindauer ever came close to influencing anyone, or could have. The indictment charges only what it describes as an unsuccessful attempt to influence an unnamed government official, and the record shows that even lay people recognize that she is seriously disturbed."[15]

During her incarceration she refused antipsychotic medication which the United States Department of Justice claimed would render her competent to stand trial. The presiding judge would not allow her to be forcibly medicated, as requested by the prosecution.[16][17]

At a hearing in June 2008, Lindauer told reporters that she had been a CIA asset, and said she had "been hung out to dry and scapegoated".[9] In 2008, Justice Loretta A. Preska of the Federal District Court in New York City reaffirmed that Lindauer was mentally unfit to stand trial—despite Lindauer's insistence to the contrary.[2][18] Preska ruled that Lindauer's belief in her connection to the intelligence community was evidence of her insanity.[19]

On January 16, 2009, the government decided to not continue with the prosecution saying "prosecuting Lindauer would no longer be in the interests of justice."[1][20]

Book and subsequent claims

Lindauer has written a self-published book about her experience, Extreme Prejudice: The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover-Ups of 9/11 and Iraq.[21] Lindauer claims that for a number of years she had worked for the CIA and DIA undertaking communications with the Iraqi government, serving as a back-channel in negotiations. She started making visits to the Libyan mission at the United Nations in 1995,[5] lasting until 2001.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Case Dropped Against Md. Woman". Washington Post. January 17, 2009. Retrieved December 29, 2010. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Ex-journalist in spy case unfit for trial". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. September 16, 2008. Retrieved January 26, 2009. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ruskin, Liz (March 13, 2004). "Suspect is remembered as worldly". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved January 26, 2009. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 David Samuels (August 29, 2004). "Susan Lindauer's Mission To Baghdad". New York Times. Retrieved November 7, 2008. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Dao, James (March 12, 2004). "An Antiwar Activist Known for Being Committed Yet Erratic". New York Times. Retrieved June 11, 2008. 
  6. "Neighbor Seemed Activist, Not Agent". Washington Post. March 12, 2004. Retrieved January 26, 2009. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Amy Keller, "Hill Aide Subpoenaed in Spy Case", Roll Call, March 29, 2004; accessed via ProQuest.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Rick Anderson, "From 'Spy' to Psychotic: The latest on the very strange story of former Seattle journalist Susan Lindauer", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 15, 2006.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Alan Feuer (June 18, 2008). "Antiwar Activist Returns To Court for Iraq Spy Case". New York Times. Retrieved January 1, 2013. "'I was an asset – I was supervised by people with ties to intelligence,' Ms. Lindauer told a group of reporters in a hallway after the hearing ended. 'I had a long-term relationship with these people, and I am horrified I have been hung out to dry and scapegoated.'" 
  10. Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, "Ex-Aide Accused of Being an Agent for Iraq: Federal indictment alleges the woman spied for Baghdad on Iraqis living in the U.S. during the run-up to the war. She claims innocence." Los Angeles Times, March 12, 2004.
  11. "Susan Lindauer Interviewed by Michael Collins", Scoop, March 10, 2009.
  12. Melissa Block and Allison Aubrey, "Analysis: Federal prosecutors charge a Maryland woman with spying for Iraq", All Things Considered, National Public Radio, March 11, 2004; accessed via ProQuest.
  13. "Suspect in Iraq Spy Case Released. Lindauer, a Takoma Park Antiwar Activist, to Be Arraigned Monday.". Washington Post. March 13, 2004. Retrieved January 26, 2009. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 Hartocollis, Anemona (September 9, 2006). "Ex-Congress Aide Accused in Spy Case Is Free on Bail". New York Times. Retrieved January 26, 2009. 
  15. Hartocollis, Anemona (September 9, 2006). "Ex-Congress Aide Accused in Spy Case Is Free on Bail". The New York Times. 
  16. Overriding Mental Health Treatment Refusals: How Much Process is Due; Brakel, Samuel Jan; Davis, John M. 52 St. Louis U. L.J. 501 (2007–2008).
  17. Unreasonable: Involuntary Medications, Incompetent Criminal Defendants, and the Fourth Amendment; Klein, Dora W. 46 San Diego L. Rev. 161 (2009)
  18. Weiser, Benjamin (September 16, 2008). "Woman Accused of Iraq Ties Is Ruled Unfit for Trial Again". New York Times. Retrieved February 6, 2009. 
  19. Michael Collins, "American Kafka: Susan Lindauer Demands 'The Trial'", Scoop, October 4, 2008.
  20. Neumeister, Larry (January 16, 2009). "Case dropped against aide accused of helping Iraq". Associated Press.,4670,IraqSpyCase,00.html. Retrieved December 29, 2010. 
  21. Lindauer, Susan. "Extreme Prejudice". Retrieved December 1, 2010. 

External links