Peace Activist Charged as Iraqi Agent

A Maryland peace activist who initiated personal, back channel discussions with Iraqi officials in the final years prior to the U.S. invasion has been charged with conspiracy, acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government, and taking money from a government that supports terrorism. Susan Lindauer was arrested by FBI agents on March 11, 2004, at her Takoma Park, Maryland home, and briefly jailed. Following her arraignment in New York the next day, she was released without bond to her father, a former candidate for Governor in Alaska. The indictment also names two adult children of a former Iraqi diplomat, who were first indicted on espionage charges in 2003.

Lindauer is accused of meeting with Iraq's U.N. diplomats and members of the Iraqi intelligence service in New York and Baghdad between 1996 and early 2003, and with accepting cash payments of $5-10,000 while in Baghdad in late winter 2002. During the 1990s, Lindauer worked variously as a journalist and as press secretary for a few liberal democratic congresspeople. A long-standing interest in finding peaceful solutions to conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere led her to initiate many contacts from Muslim and Arab nations.

As the Bush administration came to power, Lindauer delivered what she believed were significant messages from the Iraqis to the home of her second cousin, President Bush's Chief of Staff Andrew Card. Card turned the messages over to "appropriate officials", leading to undercover surveillance of Lindauer and the introduction into her circle of an agent posing as a Libyan intelligence officer. Evidence was brought before a grand jury, leading to the indictment and Lindauer's arrest. Lindauer denies working as an agent for Iraq or any other country, insisting that her personal efforts were in pursuit of a peaceful, humanitarian resolution to the sanctions and threat of war.

The Nuclear Resister
October 2004