"The false federal prosecution, trial, and imprisonment of CIA contract agent, Susan Lindauer
Susan Lindauer asserts that she was hired by and worked for the CIA from 1995 till 2003. She is the daughter of a one-time Republican gubernatorial candidate in Alaska. Her father was a former chancellor at the University of Alaska and owner of a chain of newspapers and television stations and his second wife, was an heiress to a concrete business.
Lindauer is a Smith College graduate with a master's degree in public policy from the London School of Economics. She then was a reporter and researcher at U.S. News & World Report in 1990 and 1991. She worked on the staff of 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 and speech writer.
Lindauer became a member of a peaceful group that was protesting the 1990 UN sanctions against Iraq that banned all trade and financial resources except for medicine and "in humanitarian circumstances" foodstuffs. A UN inter-agency mission assessed that "the Iraqi people may soon face a further imminent catastrophe, which could include epidemic and famine, if massive life-supporting needs are not rapidly met.
David Sole, of the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department, argued that because high rates of diseases from lack of clean water followed the Gulf War and sanctions, liquid chlorine should be sent to Iraq to disinfect water supplies. It was banned from importation to Iraq. Estimates of civilian deaths during these sanctions range from 100,000 to over 1.5 million.
The UN Resolutions had the express goals of eliminating weapons of mass destruction and extended-range ballistic missiles, prohibiting any support for terrorism, and forcing Iraq to pay war reparations and all foreign debt. But the US policy under Clinton was the removal of Saddam Hussein.
Because of her protest activities regarding Iraq, the CIA recruited her to develop rapport with Iraqi officials who worked at the UN. She was tasked from August, 1996 to work as a secret US back channel contract with the Iraqi government as the US had no diplomatic relations with Iraq.
For years Iraq had been one of the best sources about anti-terrorism in the Middle East. Saddam hated Islamic fundamentalists and he arrested and tortured them. After the USS Cole was attacked in 1999, the US demanded from Saddam permission to send in an FBI, Interpol or Scotland Yard, Task Force to set up a base in Bagdad and with the authority to do investigations and make arrests. Saddam's reply was that he was doing all he could to indentify terrorists, his government secret services were deporting them. In February or March 2001, Saddam also agreed to let the international community came into Iraq to help him control his borders from immigrant terrorists. Iraq had been one of the US's best sources on terrorism prior to 9/11.
In April and May 2001 Susan Lindauer was tasked by her CIA case officer Dr. Richard Fuisz to go to the UN in New York and talk to Iraqi diplomats and confront/demand any knowledge they may have had about any possible future airplane hijackings and airplane bombings. She was told to threaten the Iraqis with an invasion/war by the US (I assume she means to threaten them into disclosing anything they knew about a pending terrorist attack on the US). Over the summer of 2001 Lindauer had weekly meetings with Fuisz.
Lindauer states that in June 2001 her CIA team identified the World Trade Center as the target of the attack. They had "weekly meetings and at "practically every meeting" they talked about this attack." She was warned on August 2, 2001 not to go into New York City by Dr. Fuisz. On order from her boss, CIA officer/ Dr. Richard Hughes, Susan Lindauer claims she called the office of Attorney General John Ashcroft on about Aug. 8th, 2001. And her office "put out an Emergency Broadcast Alert throughout all agencies about any information regarding airplane hijackings specifying an attack on World Trade Center."
On the instructions from the John Ashcroft's staff, she says she then contacted the office of Counter-terrorism.
Appearing on the "Imus in the Morning" radio show, CBS reporter Dan Rather said he "believed" his network's report a week ago that the White House received a CIA briefing before 9-11 on possible al-Qaeda hijackings prompted the administration to issue the alert for political damage control. Rather also accused Attorney General John Ashcroft of taking advantage of insider information about terrorist warnings to fly on private jets, while the public was kept in the dark about the secret alert, telling Imus:
"If the attorney general is given information that convinces him, 'Hey, I don't want to be on any commercial airliners just now. I'm gonna take government planes everywhere."
Dr. Richard Hughes told Lindauer to stay out of New York because they expected massive causalities terrorist attack.
Lindauer claims that after 9/11 there were on-going peace negotiations and Saddam had agreed to give US corporation's construction contracts for health care and drug companies, transportation, and telecommunications. Iraqi diplomats asked her, "What is it America wants? They said they would give the US anything to prevent a US invasion. They even offered to buy one million American cars for ten or twenty years. Saddam also offered to gave the FBI financial documents proving that Islamic terrorism was being financed heroin trafficking in the Middle East and these documents would have helped the US shut down this drug trafficking. However, the US did not want to take the records.
In the two weeks prior to the US invasion of Iraq, March 19, 2003, Lindauer felt she had a duty to prevent to US making war unnecessarily against Iraq (I assume), and so she says she went to her second cousin, Andrew Card, the Chief of Staff to Pres. Bush and told him about the peace options offered by Iraq. Furthermore, to make sure Congress also knew, she went to every member of the US Congress and told them about the peace option offered by Iraq.
Lindauer was arrested in March 11, 2004 after she volunteered to testify before a blue ribbon commission on pre-war intelligence on Iraq. Lindauer approached Trent Lott of Mississippi and John McCain of Arizona with her offer of testimony about intelligence. It was after she made her approach that she was arrested on charges of acting on behalf of Iraq's government.
The FBI wiretapped of her phone calls with Senator staffs of Trent Lott and John McCain, telling them she wanted to testify before Congress. Yet 30 days later, 20 FBI agents arrested Lindauer accused of being paid by an Iraqi diplomat of buying her three lunches for $90.00. She was indicted by a grand jury and organizing protests against US embargo of Iraq prior to the Iraq war. Under indictment for 18 months
While in jail she tried to get attorneys who could prove the Dr. Richard Fuisz was a CIA case officer. Dr. Richard Fuisz gets $13 million "in pay offs."
Susan Lindauer, 41, was arrested on March 11, 2004 in Takoma Park, Maryland. She was released on bond on March 13, 2004 to attend an arraignment the following week. "U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Gauvey in Baltimore released Lindauer, on a $500,000 bond. But she was ordered to stay at a halfway house and to undergo a psychiatric examination."
Susan Lindauer and her lawyer were denied access to evidence in her defense because it was considered "secret" or "classified".
The Assistant US Attorney Edward O'Callaghan, had the right to ask a jury to convict me of those two undisclosed charges without revealing a shred of evidence to support the charges whatsoever. The Patriot Act authorized the prosecutor to ask a jury to "take it on faith" that some unspecified evidence would prove that some unspecified law had been broken.
In other words, the Federal Judge could have instructed the jury before deliberations, the to ignore the lack of presentation of evidence in weighing whether to convict me. The Judge could simply instruct a jury that the Justice Department regarded the evidence as "sufficient" to constitute a crime and that would be "sufficient knowledge" for their review. That kind of instruction practically requires a jury to convict a defendant.
Because in America US persons are consider innocent until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, NO ONE SHOULD BE FOUND GUILTY by a jury unless the jury hear or sees all the evidence against the accused.
DAMN! $500.000 sounds pretty extreme for a non-violent crime and first time conviction. Lindauer was arrested at a time when George Bush appeared to be loosing to Senator John Kerry in the tight presidential race of 2004. She claims she was arrested to keep her quit about Iraq willingness to comply with UN inspections for WMD and that Iraq was willing to do anything the US wanted to prevent an invasion.
Numerous times Susan Lindauer told the Court that the FBI had verified her story and that Mr. O'Callaghan was falsifying his claims about the availability of witnesses to authenticate her story.
May 28, 2004: Ashcroft stating Al Quada's is now 90% ready to conduct their next attack on the US (up from the 70% intelligence agencies' estimate) An attack planned on America for sometime in the coming months. That may happen, but NBC News has learned one of Ashcroft's sources is highly suspect. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5087301/
July 9, 2004: Homeland Security Chief, Tom Ridge Warns of "Credible" al-Qaida Plot
I suspect that the above fake terror alerts may have been done for the purpose of making sure Susan Lindauer could not tell her story in court per the Patriot Act.
Also on July 9, 204, the US House GOP Defends Patriot Act Powers
House Republicans, under strong pressure from the White House, narrowly defeated an effort yesterday to water down the Bush administration's signature law to combat domestic terrorism.
By a 210 to 210 tie vote that GOP leaders prolonged for 23 tumultuous minutes while they corralled dissident members, the House rejected a proposed change to the USA Patriot Act that would have barred the Justice Department from searching bookstore and library records. White House officials, citing the nearly three-year-old law's importance as an anti-terrorism tool, warned that an attempt to weaken it would be vetoed.
Lindauer states, "He (the Assistant US Attorney) flat out lied about my identity and activities to a senior federal judge. I mean, come on. We (with her defense attorney) interviewed those witnesses, too. We know what they told the FBI. I challenged the Court to subpoena the witnesses and question them directly under oath. For FIVE YEARS, I told the Court that all questions could be cleared up in ten minutes, with a simple pre-trial evidentiary hearing."
In five years under indictment, I had two separate attorneys with very different levels of security clearances, including a former Assistant US Attorney, the outstanding Mr. Brian Shaughnessy of Washington, DC, who regularly handles the most high level and complicated security cases. Neither attorney was ever able to determine what those two "secret charges" were. Neither attorney ever saw the "secret evidence." More disturbingly, if her attorney was even shown the secret evidence is strictly prohibited from revealing any part of that "secret evidence" to the Defendant. The Defendant cannot see it or know about it, and therefore cannot provide an effective response to the attorney to rebut it. Thus, ironically, the Patriot Act handicaps the defendant's ability to assist in the preparation of their Defense strategy.
During the five years, Lindauer could only guess about those two secret charges. She surmised that in October 1999, she was indicted for blocking the Iraqi Government from making financial campaign contributions to the George W. Bush Presidential Campaign.
Because Lindauer was working as a covert back channel CIA contract agent to talk to Iraqi officials at the UN, she says she stopped Iraq from making illegal campaign contributions to the 2000 Bush Election campaign. I will explain her what she did, her work, for the CIA below.
We have speculated that perhaps Saddam gave money to the Bush Campaign in 2000 through somebody else and some other channel. And the Republicans don't want anybody to know about it. Perhaps I was indicted to stop the Democrats from investigating campaign contribution records.
Consider that Andy Card was warned of Iraq's attempts in two progress reports on March 1, 2001 and December 2, 2001. The Republican leadership that attacked me was very much aware that this question of illegal campaign contributions was hanging out there. And I was indicted for stopping it from happening.
Lindauer suspects the second secret charge filed by Assistant US Attorney Edward O'Callaghan against her involved her efforts to collect health statistics from Baghdad regarding depleted uranium left behind by the United States in the first Gulf War. "They didn't want my case to raise the profile of that health risk for Americans (and Iraqi civilians) in Iraq. None of that health information was ever returned to me in discovery. "
Lindauer says, "They (the Bush Administation) saw that I would be sidelined in legal wrangling until after the November election. I would be gagged from telling the full and accurate story of Iraqi Pre-War Intelligence and the government's advance warnings of a 9/11 style attack. This gave Republicans a significant advantage over the Democrats, shielding them from criticism during their campaigns. After November, the charges against me would be declared bogus, and the case would be dismissed for lack of merit. I would ultimately win, whereas American voters would have lost an opportunity to make informed decisions about which candidates to support. They would be flying blind just the way politicians wanted. "
Lindauer claims that on Oct. 3, 2004 Judge Michael Mucasy told her that if she demands a hearing that she would be seized immediately and her bail would be forfeited. The judge gave her the option to go to a Texas military base for four months and have a psychological evaluation. After four months, someone recommended that she be placed in indefinite prison for ten years.
In 2006, she was released from prison after Michael B. Mukasey ruled that Lindauer was unfit to stand trial and could not be forced to take antipsychotic medication to make her competent to stand trial.
In 2008, Loretta A. Preska of the Federal District Court in New York City reaffirmed that Lindauer was mentally unfit to stand trial.
On January 16, 2009 the government decided to not go ahead with the prosecution saying "prosecuting Lindauer would no longer be in the interests of justice."
"Susan Lindauer was a covert CIA contract agent, who was also OUTED by the Bush Administration who was falsely accused, imprisoned and her good name destroyed. There needs to be a Congressional hearing to determine whether or not Susan Lindauer was in fact a CIA contract agent as she claims and who in the government authorized or participated in this false prosecution, trial, and imprisonment
It does not matter whether or not the Iraqi UN officials knew she was working for the CIA or not. This is just like the CIA officer Valerie Plaine case.
Susan Lindauer is the author of the book Extreme Prejudice, which include more details about all this."
Susan Lindauer's Mission To BaghdadBy David SamuelsPublished: August 29, 2004
On the morning of March 11, 2004, Susan Lindauer woke to find five F.B.I. agents at her front door. After reading her her rights, the agents took Lindauer from her home in Takoma Park, Md., to the F.B.I. field office in Baltimore, where she was charged with having acted as an unregistered agent of Saddam Hussein's Iraqi government and otherwise having elevated the interests of a foreign country above her allegiance to the United States. ''The only visible sign of stress is that I'm chain-smoking,'' she said when I met with her recently. Forty-one and free on bail, she wore a red cotton shirt, shapeless khaki pants and battered white leather sneakers. With her casual manner, she could pass for an ordinary resident of Takoma Park, where ''War Is Not the Answer'' signs are available free at the local co-op.
Seated on the shady porch of her tumbledown cottage, overlooking a purple azalea bush, Lindauer was alternately pensive and bubbly as she talked about her encounter with the F.B.I. On her knees, she balanced a photo album, which contained photographs of her wild years in Alaska, where she grew up, and her time as an undergraduate at Smith College, where she majored in economics. She showed me pictures of her mother, Jackie, who died of cancer after Susan graduated from college, and her father, John, an academic economist who once ran on the Republican ticket for governor of Alaska. The youthful beauty of Susan's features in her early photographs has been transfigured over time into a middle-aged balance of beatitude and stubbornness. When she gets angry, a storm cloud passes over her face. When the storm cloud breaks, her expression becomes even and calm, like that of a child who has freshly emerged from a bath.
Having grown up in a household in which public policy was frequently the stuff of dinner-table conversation and impassioned family arguments, Lindauer wanted to help change the world. The way she chose to do so, however, was not by signing petitions or marching in demonstrations, but by engaging in the kinds of clandestine encounters that you read about in spy novels -- meeting foreign diplomats, passing along secret messages and engaging in other activities that would eventually lead to her arrest. ''I'm what they call a useful idiot,'' she said with a laugh. According to the federal charges filed against her by the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, Lindauer repeatedly violated U.S. law beginning in 1999 by meeting with Iraqi diplomats at the Iraqi Mission to the United Nations in New York and with agents of Saddam Hussein's Iraqi Intelligence Service (I.I.S.). She was also indicted for accepting money from the Iraqis and traveling to Baghdad, where she met with Iraqi intelligence agents, in violation of federal law. ''From on or about Feb. 23, 2002, through on or about March 7, 2002,'' the indictment charged, ''Susan Lindauer, aka 'Symbol Susan,' met with several I.I.S. officers in Iraq, including at the Al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad, and received cash payments of approximately $5,000.00.'' The press was quick to identify Lindauer as an Iraqi spy.
''I'm an antiwar activist, and I'm innocent,'' Lindauer told WBAL-TV as she was led to a car outside the F.B.I. field office in Baltimore. ''I did more to stop terrorism in this country than anybody else.'' In a moment of crisis, it seemed, having just been fingerprinted and charged with betraying her country, Lindauer was acting the way a person might act in a dream, blurting out the constituent parts of her fractured reality into a waiting microphone.
The substance of the government's case against Susan Lindauer is contained in the indictment. Both the F.B.I. and the U.S. attorney's office declined to comment on the case, and no date has been set for the trial. While Lindauer was not accused of espionage, as initial reports of her arrest suggested, the government did charge her with a serious crime, even if the charge itself may seem like a technicality. By failing to register herself formally as a lobbyist and by supposedly following instructions from Iraqi diplomats and intelligence agents at the United Nations, the government charged, Lindauer had been acting as ''an unregistered agent of a foreign government,'' a violation of federal law that is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Lindauer acknowledges that the meetings detailed in the federal indictment took place, but denies acting as an agent of Iraq or any other country.
On paper, at least, there is little to distinguish Lindauer from hundreds of other bright young people who come to Washington in the hope of making a difference. She graduated from Smith in 1985 and then went to the London School of Economics, where she earned a master's degree and developed an interest in the Arab world. In 1990, she went to Washington, where she briefly worked as a journalist and then as a press secretary for liberal Democrats in the House and Senate, including Ron Wyden and Carol Moseley Braun. None of her jobs lasted more than a year. Her most recent job on Capitol Hill, as a press secretary for Representative Zoe Lofgren of California, ended in May 2002.
Writing press releases often seemed less important to Lindauer than her own one-woman campaign to advance the cause of nonviolence in the Muslim world. Lindauer's highly individual brand of politics combined passions that were commonly identified with opposite poles of the political spectrum during the 90's. While she opposed sanctions on Libya and Iraq, she was also eager to awaken the West to the gathering threat posed by Middle Eastern terrorist organizations. In pursuit of her ideals, she says, she began traveling to New York as often as twice a week, meeting with diplomats from Muslim countries, including Yemen and Malaysia, as well as representatives of Libya and Iraq. Her aim, as she explained it, was to function as a handholder and cheerleader, an unofficial go-between who could help break the cycle of isolation, paranoia and suffering created by sanctions.
''U.S. intelligence knew what I was doing,'' she said when I asked her about the precise nature of her contacts with the Libyans and the Iraqis. ''You see, the thing is, it's very hard to have these relationships, and so, when you have them, there are people who are very interested in the fact that you have them, who also want something from them, too.''
To demonstrate her commitment to nonviolence, Lindauer also shared with me portions of the evidentiary material contained on a stack of compact disks turned over to her by the government. The evidence against her, which includes wiretapped conversations with friends, neighbors, foreign diplomats and fellow activists, is currently in the hands of her new court-appointed attorney, who was not representing Lindauer at the time I spoke to her. Among the documents Lindauer showed me was a transcript of a telephone conversation with Muthanna al-Hanooti, the president of Focus on American and Arab Interests and Relations, a nonprofit organization in Southfield, Mich., dated July 30, 2003, two days before the Arab-American activist made one of his frequent trips to Iraq. During the call, Lindauer praised al-Hanooti for being a ''man who believes in peace'' and exhorted him to ''stay with God -- just stay with God.'' As the conversation continued, al-Hanooti seemed to hover between impatience and boredom. ''Other people are doing bad things, and they may try to use you as cover for bad things,'' Lindauer said. ''So don't let them.''
''It's a very delicate balance, as you know,'' al-Hanooti replied. ''But, ah, we'll do our best, you know. We'll do our best.''
That transcript, and others she gave me, support Lindauer's contention that she is opposed to violence. There were also other conversations the F.B.I. recorded that seem to suggest that Lindauer had other motivations for pursuing the work she did. ''He does not know about my visions -- he will never know about my visions, O.K.?'' she said, speaking to an undercover F.B.I. agent about another acquaintance. ''You're probably the only person you're going to meet other than my closest friend at the Iraqi Embassy who knows these things, O.K.? So don't ever talk about it with anyone.''
Susan Lindauer said she started making visits to the Libyan Mission to the United Nations in 1995 and started meeting with Iraqis at the United Nations in 1996. The F.B.I. first began tapping Lindauer's phone and intercepting her e-mail in July 2002, she said. A year and a half earlier, Lindauer contacted Andrew Card, the White House chief of staff, with letters containing what purported to be secret diplomatic communiqués from the government of Iraq to the incoming Bush administration. Lindauer reached out to Card, she explained, because he is a distant cousin on her father's side of the family. She said she believed that the fate of the world depended on the sensitive communications she dropped on the doorstep of his house in suburban Virginia.
One of Lindauer's earliest notes was left at Card's home on Dec. 23, 2000, a decade after sanctions were imposed on Iraq and a month before George W. Bush took office. Along with some of the transcripts of her wiretapped conversations, Lindauer gave me this letter to support her contention that she was working as a ''back channel'' between the governments of Iraq and the United States. The letter was addressed to Vice President-elect Cheney, and in it Lindauer presented the fruits of what she described as a private Nov. 26, 2000, meeting with Saeed Hasan, then the Iraqi ambassador to the United Nations.
''Ambassador Hasan has asked me to communicate to you that Iraq most vigorously wishes to restore healthy, peaceful relations with the United States, including economic and cultural ties,'' Lindauer wrote. ''At our meeting, Ambassador Hasan demonstrated a pragmatic understanding that the United States requires the reinstatement of weapons monitoring in order to lift the sanctions.'' Ambassador Hasan, she said, had ''also emphasized that Iraq is ready to guarantee critical advantages for U.S. corporations at all levels.''
It is possible that Lindauer's account is delusional. It is also possible that Lindauer's account is accurate. Iraq certainly tried to use other back channels to try to reach U.S. officials, including a Lebanese-American businessman, Imad Hage, who conveyed messages to Richard Perle in the run-up to the war. For her part, Lindauer says that she was unaware that her activities required her to register as a lobbyist -- a formality that, to her mind, seemed quite absurd. ''Everything that I did that was quote 'lobbying,''' she said, ''I was giving to the chief of staff of the White House.''
The winding path that led Lindauer to the door of the Iraqi Mission to the United Nations began in November 1993 at a diner in Virginia, where she met a friend of her father's, a woman who worked as the chief of staff for a Republican member of Congress. Worried that Lindauer was lonely, her father's friend brought another lonely guest, Paul Hoven, a gentle Army veteran who had piloted attack helicopters in combat in Vietnam. He was interested in spies and spying.
'''You guys say you're peace activists,''' Lindauer recalled Hoven telling her that night. '''You say you're liberal do-gooders. What exactly are you doing? You do nothing. You're not active. You're passive.' And that conversation was probably one of the most important dinner conversations of my life.''
It was Hoven who gave Lindauer the nickname Snowflake, which was quick to catch on among an informal circle of Capitol Hill staff members and intelligence-community enthusiasts who gathered every Thursday night at a Hunan restaurant across the street from the Heritage Foundation. ''I'm the one who named her Snowflake, because she's from Alaska and she's nuts,'' Hoven told me. In addition to feeling sorry for Lindauer, he was taken with her unusual mind. ''She seems to have the ability to take unrelated facts and string them together, to the point where you're left with, Gee, it probably happened that way.'' For her part, Lindauer says that she enjoyed leading a double life, working for liberals during the day and hanging out with conservatives interested in counterterrorism at night.
Not long after their first dinner, Hoven introduced Lindauer to his friend Dr. Richard Fuisz, a globe-trotting Virginia-based businessman whom Lindauer described to me as ''my contact in the C.I.A.''
Lindauer's first meeting with Fuisz plunged her into a thicket of conflicting theories about the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. The government blamed Libya for the bombing, and Libya later agreed to pay $2.7 billion to the families of the victims. There were others in the Washington intelligence community who said they believed that the real culprit was the terrorist Ahmed Jabril, who was based in Syria. Lindauer says that Fuisz told her at that first meeting that he knew who was responsible for the bombing. ''Dr. Fuisz has said that he can confirm absolutely that no Libyan national was involved in planning or executing the bombing of Pan Am 103,'' she later wrote in an account of their initial meeting. ''If the government would let me,'' she quoted Fuisz as saying, ''I could identify the men behind this attack today. I was investigating on the ground, and I know.''
Several months after she first met with Fuisz, Lindauer met with Libyan diplomats in New York in order to share with them the story she claims she got from Fuisz. She says she hoped her story would clear Libya of responsibility for the attack.
Lindauer's decision to drive to New York and visit the Libyans, she says, was also motivated in part by her deep personal faith in God, ''the all-powerful, all-encompassing spirit'' that she had known since she was a child. After adolescent years of drug use and casual sex, she says, she found God again during the weekends she spent at the Victory Bible Camp in Alaska. The God she found there was not partial to any religious philosophy.
''God is not a man,'' Lindauer explained. ''God is this supreme, magnificent force, intelligent, gorgeous beyond any description. If you've seen Alaska, you've seen the face of God.''
Tucked away behind a mixed-use town house development, Kosmos Pharma, Richard Fuisz's place of business, is part of a Pynchonesque landscape in Northern Virginia where anonymous front offices and brass nameplates give few clues as to the actual nature of the businesses within. When I showed up at his office, Fuisz graciously invited me inside to talk.
A dark-haired, handsome man with a soigné charm, Fuisz, 64, who went to Georgetown Medical School and did postgraduate work in medicine at Harvard, was trained as a psychiatrist and has more than 200 patents listed under his name. According to its Web site, Kosmos Pharma specializes in making oral-drug-delivery systems. He has also run a modeling agency for Russian women and worked briefly in the White House under Lyndon Johnson. During the 70's and 80's, he says, he did business around the world -- in the Middle East, the Eastern bloc, the Soviet Union.
Citing unnamed sources, The Sunday Herald, a Scottish newspaper, reported in 2000 that Fuisz had been the C.I.A.'s most important agent in Damascus during the 80's. ''This is not an issue I can confirm or deny,'' Fuisz told The Herald. ''I am not allowed to speak about these issues. In fact, I can't even explain why I can't speak about these issues.''
Fuisz confirmed that he saw Lindauer about once a week on avearage between 1994 and 2001 and that she would drop by to talk to him about her personal life as well as about her contacts with the Libyans and the Iraqis. He agreed to talk to me about Lindauer after requesting that his son, Joe, a lawyer, be present for our conversation.
''Susan, to me, is one of those people who drift into your life,'' Fuisz said, after offering me a seat on his couch. ''She would drift into the office fairly often, or call. Usually those weren't just social calls. Those were calls about what she was doing, or trying to do,'' Fuisz explained. ''In the early years, her activism generally took an approach which was Arabist, but Arabist from the standpoint of trying to lift sanctions, so that children would do better, and trying to get medicines into countries -- principally I'm talking about Iraq and Libya.''
After Sept. 11, 2001, Lindauer was no longer a welcome visitor to his office. ''Susan, in her discussions, went from benign, in my opinion, to malignant,'' he said. ''These discussions changed and now involved a very strong seditious bent.''
Fuisz did not comment on the specifics of the conversations that Lindauer claimed to have had with Middle Eastern diplomats or whether he passed on the specifics of those conversations to anyone else. But he, like others who have known Lindauer over the years, had clearly thought long and hard about the perplexing geometry of her mind.
''I'd put it this way,'' Fuisz explained, cupping his palms like a collector presenting a rare species for inspection. ''She's daft enough that we could be sitting here, like we are now, and she might see a parrot fly in the window, flap its wings and land right here on the table,'' he said. ''But she's also smart enough not to necessarily say anything about it.''
When I asked whether, in his opinion, Lindauer could have been recruited by an intelligence service, he paused for a long time before he responded. ''I would say that's a hard question to answer. If you're looking at it from the standpoint of an intelligent intelligence agency, absolutely not. She'd be the worst person you could ever recruit. If you're looking at it from the standpoint of my knowledge of Mideast intelligence services, are they dumb enough to recruit her, the answer is yes.''
To understand Lindauer's unlikely walk-on role in the history of the Iraq war, it is necessary to reverse your normal angle of vision and to imagine how she might have looked through the eyes of the diplomats and intelligence operatives who staffed the Iraqi Mission to the United Nations under Saddam Hussein. While Lindauer may have struck Ambassador Hasan and other Iraqi diplomats as strange, she had solid credentials to recommend her. An aide to congressmen and senators who held a graduate degree from the London School of Economics, she was also the cousin of the White House chief of staff.
Lindauer's letters on behalf of the Iraqis, which she sent to Bush financial backers, including Ken Lay, urging them to support the lifting of sanctions, were written in clear, confident prose. But there were also other letters whose odd details suggested that the Iraqis might have been more discerning in their choice of secret emissary.
''I am deeply proud of my expertise on international conflict resolution, and my regrettably extraordinary gift for counterterrorism,'' Lindauer wrote in a letter addressed to President-elect Bush on Dec. 22, 2000. ''I have identified a dozen bombings before they happened with a high degree of accuracy and a number of assassination attempts on world leaders.''
After the Sept. 11 attacks, Lindauer became a frequent visitor to the Iraqi Mission in New York. During a Sept. 18, 2001, trip to the mission, she had what she described in a letter to Card, the White House chief of staff, as a ''short, tense'' conversation with Hasan's successor, Ambassador Mohammad Al-Douri, in the embassy foyer. ''There's starting to be talk in Washington about Iraq's possible involvement in this attack,'' Lindauer told Card she said to Al-Douri.
''It is not possible,'' Al-Douri is said to have replied. ''It is the Mossad who says this.'' The ambassador, she wrote, sounded ''abrupt and confident and stern.'' When Lindauer warned him not to do anything that would jeopardize the lifting of sanctions, the ambassador seemed surprised.
''Of course!'' she recalled him as saying. ''We are ready for talks at any time.''
In that same letter, she described coming back to New York to ''receive a communication from Baghdad addressed to me'' -- a message saying that the panic-stricken Iraqis were willing to ''meet any American official in a covert or incovert manner to discuss the common issues.''
In October 2001, according to the federal indictment, she met with officers of Iraqi intelligence in New York. On Dec. 2, Lindauer wrote to Card again, to convey further news: The Iraqis were willing to permit the return of weapons inspectors and offered other concessions. ''These are not intended to limit the universe of possibilities, Andy,'' she wrote.
The picture that emerges from Lindauer's letters is of Iraqi diplomats trying to feel their way through a fog. It is hard to judge what any of her messages from the Iraqi Foreign Ministry might mean, however, since they could be read only through the haze of Lindauer's naïve and self-aggrandizing personality. In February 2002, soon after President Bush delivered his State of the Union address naming Iraq part of an ''axis of evil,'' the Iraqis invited Lindauer to Baghdad.
''It was beautiful,'' she said of Al Rashid Hotel, where she stayed between her meetings with Iraqi officials. ''I had a suite, so it was very nice.''
She wouldn't tell me who she met with or why, but she did describe what it felt like to be inside the room in which the meetings took place. ''When I first got there, I had the sense that -- I don't know how to put this, this is a very weird thing, it's like your imagination-working-kind-of-thing,'' she explained. ''I was in a room, and there were these mirrors, and I had this sense of Saddam Hussein being on the opposite side of the mirror looking in at me. Now I'm not saying that Saddam Hussein actually was there, but I had this very strong sense of presence, which was unlike anything I'd ever felt before, that was scrutinizing me up and down, ripping me apart. It was palpable.''
After Lindauer's visit to Baghdad, there were no more secret messages from Iraq for Andrew Card.
John Lindauer, Susan's younger brother, is used to his sister's unlikely stories -- about dating Arab arms dealers and late-night attempts on her life and her contacts with the C.I.A. A Harvard graduate, and now a successful commercial and music-video director in Los Angeles, he says he thinks that a strain of playacting and deception runs in his family. One of his most powerful childhood memories, he told me, is of watching his father, then 38, grow a mustache and dye his hair gray before being interviewed for the job of chancellor of the University of Alaska at Anchorage. ''Weaving a story to make contact with you, and making you want to be interested in that person, is not a cry for help,'' he said. ''It's just a way of reaching out to say: Remember me. I'm with you. Be interested in me.''
One conversation John had with his sister in the summer of 2001 stuck in his mind for a different reason. ''So she goes, 'Listen, the gulf war isn't over,''' he told me over dinner at a sushi place on the Sunset Strip. '''There are plans in effect right now. They will be raining down on us from the skies.''' His sister told him that Lower Manhattan would be destroyed. ''And I was like, Yeah, whatever,'' he continued. When he woke up six weeks later to the news that two planes had crashed into the twin towers, and watched as ash settled on the window ledge of his sublet in Brooklyn, he had a dislocating sense of having his reality replaced by Susan's strange world -- an experience he would have again when he learned that his sister had been arrested by the F.B.I.
Parke Godfrey, a close friend of Lindauer's for the last 15 years, is a professor of computer science at York University in Ontario. He says that Lindauer warned him not to take a job at N.Y.U. the summer before the Sept. 11 attacks. That Lindauer's outlandish predictions actually came true, Godfrey suggests, further encouraged the exalted sense of personal mission that brought her to Washington in the first place.
''Susan is perfectly capable, in certain ways, to live a reasonable life, to take care of herself, to get around, and at any localized time, sitting at dinner, she's completely coherent,'' he said, skirting the blunt layman's question of whether his friend is playing with all her marbles. ''It's in these longer-term views of memory, in what she remembers, in how she's pieced the world together, that she functions unlike the way anyone else does,'' Godfrey concluded. ''It's not the same mental model that you and I use.''
''There is now a jihad,'' Susan Lindauer told me, rocking peacefully back and forth in her chair overlooking her untamed garden. ''Tragically, stupidly, we started it. We launched the first attack, which was unrighteous, and vicious and sadistic, and we are going to pay for this mistake. I think the Islamic world now is going to burn.''
Sipping lemonade on her front porch in Takoma Park, I found myself sharing her paranoid landscape, observing a beige car pass by her house four times in the space of two hours, as the birds twittered in the trees and Lindauer's girlish voice detailed ''the horrific abuses, the sexual torture'' being visited on innocent Iraqis by coalition troops. That is why, she explained, in June 2003 she met with an F.B.I. agent posing as a Libyan intelligence officer who, according to the indictment, purported to be ''seeking to support resistance groups in postwar Iraq.'' Lindauer said that in those meetings she was seeking financial backing for a lawsuit against the United States and British governments for crimes she claimed they committed during the occupation of Iraq. She continued to exchange e-mail with the undercover agent until she was arrested.
On my way back home to New York from Washington, I found a cellphone message from Ken Lisaius, a White House spokesman. While Andrew Card declined to speak to me directly about his cousin's letters, Lisaius said, Card did have a statement that might answer at least some of my remaining questions about Lindauer's case.
''This was a very sad and personal incident involving a distant relative of Andy Card,'' Lisaius said in the carefully calibrated cadence that is meant to assure worried citizens that the world remains a more or less rational place, no matter how weird the circumstances. ''He in turn reported various attempts by her to contact him to appropriate officials, and he has cooperated fully with appropriate officials on this matter.''