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Case dropped against aide accused of helping Iraq

Friday, January 16, 2009

NEW YORK —  The government has quietly dropped its case against a former congressional aide accused of helping an Iraqi spy agency but later ruled mentally unfit for trial.

But Susan Lindauer said she won't go away quietly. The Tacoma Park, Md., woman vowed to sue, saying she was falsely arrested and prosecuted.

"I am furious. I am going to be filing a civil lawsuit seeking punitive damages," Lindauer said Friday. "Nobody should think they did me any favors by denying me a trial."

Prosecutors said in court papers filed Thursday that prosecuting Lindauer would no longer be in the interests of justice.

Lindauer was arrested in 2004 on charges that she conspired to act as a spy for the Iraqi intelligence service, making contact through the Iraqi consulate in New York. A judge made the ruling on her mental fitness last year.

She has worked in the press offices of four Democratic members of Congress and as a journalist for two magazines, two newspapers and a television news company.

During a hearing last year, psychiatrist Stuart Kleinman, who examined Lindauer at prosecutors' request, said Lindauer has a serious, long-standing mental disorder that includes grandiose delusions, such as the belief that Osama bin Laden told her about a hidden bomb.

She had been jailed for about a year but released from custody in 2006 after another judge ruled the government could not force her to be medicated for her delusions so she could stand trial.

On Friday, Lindauer said she helped provide information for years to the U.S. government about Iraq and Libya. She said she was prosecuted in retaliation for opposing the invasion of Iraq.

"They hope they're done, but I'm not done. I'm going to haul them into civil court and prove everything I've said is true, and I've been hideously abused," she said.

Federal prosecutors had no comment, said spokeswoman Janice Oh.

Lindauer is a distant relative of President Bush's former chief of staff Andrew Card. Her father, John Lindauer, once owned an Alaska newspaper chain and ran for the state's governorship in 1998.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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