Former Accused Iraqi Agent
Susan Lindauer, Secret Charges and
The Patriot Act in Action
Susan Lindauer Interviewed by Michael Collins
'Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." Herman Goering, Interview at Nuremburg Trials, April 14, 1946
"The Patriot Act was used against me in total contradiction to its stated purpose. Or perhaps it was the most logical use of the law, since it establishes a legal framework to crush free thinking and interrupt individual questioning of the government. It is the beginning of all dictatorship in America." Susan Lindauer, March 9, 2009
By Michael Collins
In March, 2004 Susan Lindauer was arrested for allegedly acting as an "unregistered agent" for prewar Iraq. She challenged the government's assertion and sought the right to prove at Trial that she'd been a United States intelligence asset covering Iraq and Libya from the early 1990's through 2003 (see articles).
In an unprecedented judicial ploy that lasted five years, federal prosecutors blocked Ms. Lindauer's rights to trial or any other sort of evidentiary hearings that would test her story. For 11 months, she was confined at Carswell federal prison on a Texas military base and at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, without a conviction or plea bargain.
During the indictment, she was conveniently gagged from sharing her direct knowledge of Iraqi Pre-War Intelligence, which she gained as a primary asset covering the Iraqi Embassy at the United Nations from August, 1996 onwards. She was also silenced from talking about the advance warning she gave the Office of Counter-Terrorism and U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft's private staff in August, 2001, about possible airplane hijackings and a reprise of the 1993 World Trade Center attack.
But there was more than the Sixth Amendment's "right to a speedy trial" at stake.
Lindauer was one of the first citizens charged under special judicial provisions of the Patriot Act. The exceedingly complex legislation, emerged from the desk of John Yoo just days after the 9/11 attack. It passed the House 357 to 66 and the Senate 98 to 1. The Patriot Act eviscerated long standing Constitutional protections. It fundamentally altered how trials are conducted whenever provisions of the act are invoked in a court of law.
Lindauer's indictment was an early domestic test drives of the Patriot Act by the Bush-Cheney Department of Justice. Her nightmare officially ended five days before the Obama Inauguration, when the prosecution dropped the case "in the interests of justice."
In the current interviews, Susan Lindauer explains how the Patriot Act was used to quash her most fundamental rights of due process, which would otherwise have empowered her to repudiate the indictment and protect her reputation.
United States Department of Justice Criminal Resource Manual (Classified Information Procedures Act and FISA) Summary and original source
Secret Evidence is Slowly Eroding the Adversary System: CIPA and FISA in the Courts. Ellen Yaroshefsky, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law Summary and original source