BushCo Drops All Charges against Andy Card's Cousin

Just five days before the end of his term, Bush’s DOJ has dropped all charges against Andy Card’s cousin–Susan Lindauer–whom they had accused of being an unregistered agent for Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. By dropping the charges at this time, the Administration:

  • Prevents Lindauer from proving at a trial that she was an intelligence asset working on behalf of the United States (though she says she’ll sue for damages)
  • Declines to try to prove that she was working on behalf of Saddam–and not the US–when she warned against invading Iraq
  • Succeeds in preventing embarrassing information (both because of the link to Card, and because it included solid warnings against Iraq) from coming out while Bush was still in office

Basically, this appears to be a story about an intelligence op that got too emarrassing, so the Administration first accused Lindauer of working for Saddam, and then, when she talked about her ties to US intelligence, they accused her of being crazy and got her committed. And now, they are attempting to avoid a public trial in which she could prove her case.

The bulk of the charges against Lindauer depend on this letter she sent to Andy Card (and copied to Colin Powell) on January 8, 2003, when BushCo was ratcheting up the pressure for war. In it she listed the concessions she believed she could negotiate with Iraq:

… what specific actions can be taken by Baghdad, so that President Bush can declare victory without going to War. What do you need? Cooperation on terrorism, including interviewing authority for the FBI? Does the U.S. want the Lukoil Contract? 


[hand-written addition] The U.S. would come away with full democratic reforms–free elections, free opposition newspapers, and free student organization at Universities. 

Given the build up, you could declare a great victory from a formidable position of strength. You could keep U.S. troops in place for 6 months to monitor compliance. And you could do it all without war.

Even more than her promises to negotiate an agreement short of war (because I’m a little skeptical about all those "free elections" under Saddam) are her warnings:

But this War with Iraq will hurt us, too. In six weeks or six months, it won’t matter. Because when it hits, it will hit so fard it will not matter that there was ever a delay–The Iraqi people hate Americans, no matter what they think of Saddam. Read more

Scottie’s Briefing

I’m going to continue my discussion of Scottie McC’s chronology. But first I want to look closely at how Scottie McC describes his September 29 press briefing, and what the briefing actually includes.

Here’s what Scottie McC claims to have cleared with Bush in the early morning September 29 conversation (in addition to the "Karl didn’t do it" claptrap described in this post).

I then turned the conversation to the approach I was planning to take with the White House press corps later in the morning at the gaggle and in the afternoon briefing.


"I plan on saying you believe the leaking of classified information is a serious matter, and that it should be looked into and pursued to the fullest possible extent," I said to the president. "And that the Department of Justice is the appropriate agency to look into it. And I don’t plan on going too far beyond that."

"Yeah, I think that’s right," the president replied. "I do believe it’s a serious matter. And I hope they find who did it."

"And Andy, I am still good to say that nothing has been brought to our attention to suggest White House involvement, beyond what we have read in the papers, right?" I asked.

"I do not know of anything," Andy responded. "And last I heard from Al, he did not either," he added, referring to Al Gonzales, the White House counsel and longtime Bush loyalist from Texas.

And here’s what he cleared with him between his gaggle and his briefing.

Card and Gonzales had already assured me they knew of no White House involvement in the disclosure of Plame’s identity.


I’d visited with [the President] before the briefing to make sure he was fine with my saying in response to questions that he would fire anyone involved in the leaking of classified information, specifically the identity of Valerie Plame.

And here’s one last detail of what he says he said–though he doesn’t claim he got Bush to approve it first.

I reiterated that the president expected everyone in his administration to adhere to the highest standard of conduct, and that no one would have been authorized to leak the identity of Wilson’s wife.

And here’s the briefing in question for your viewing pleasure.

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