People betray their country for several different reasons, most commonly money or ideology. While many traitors live deeply troubled lives, and a touch of megalomania and messianic fervor often motivates them, none of the traitors I am familiar with have been certifiably crazy. Which makes sense, since an agent worth recruiting by a foreign power needs to be lucid enough to avoid detection, and stable enough to be entrusted with enough power or responsibility to betray. That is what makes the case of Susan Lindauer so unusual.
My first venture into punditry dealt with the arrest of Susan Lindauer on various charges, amounting to her acting as a paid agent for Saddam’s intelligence service. Lindauer worked for several Democratic lawmakers, including Representatives Zoe Lofgren and Peter DeFazio, and Senators Ron Wyden and Carol Moseley-Braun, and also wrote for Fortune and U.S. News & World Report. According to her indictment, Lindauer worked with Iraqi agents based in New York starting in 1999, and even met them in Manhattan on September 19, 2001. That’s right: eight days after the atrocity of September 11, Lindauer was allegedly meeting with enemy intelligence agents somewhere near the ruins of the World Trade Center. (According to the New York Times, her last job with Congress ceased in 2002, so she was allegedly working for both the Iraqi government and ours at the same time.)
She is also charged with flying to Baghdad in 2002 to meet with Iraqi intelligence agents (who dubbed her “Symbol Susan”), accepting money from them, and then attempting to influence American foreign policy. Apparently she contacted a distant relative, then-White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, about mediating the crisis between President Bush and Saddam.p>After her arrest, it emerged that Lindauer was…not all there. Two court-appointed doctors found her mentally incompetent and unfit to stand trial. She was committed to a Federal hospital in Texas last October. The New York Times quotes one doctor as finding that br> /p>
Ms. Lindauer had a history of psychotic episodes going back to her childhood, possibly at the age of 7, the judge said. These include her contention that she had gifts of prophecy that allowed her to report 11 bombings before they happened, that she spoke with divine inspiration and that she was an angel.br> In retrospect, that probably shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise. In a 1998 statement asserting that Syria, not Libya, had ordered the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, Lindauer asserted that she had been the victim of some rather unusual harassment: br>
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?