Part 15 - JULY 17 1988
‘Susan, if the United States government would let me, I could identify the men behind this attack [Pan Am 1003] today. I could do it right now. You want a police line up? I could go into any crowded restaurant of 200 people, and pick out these men. […]And you know what, Susan? You won’t find this restaurant anywhere in Libya. No, you will only find this restaurant in Damascus.’
Dr. Richard Fuisz to Suzan Lindauer, September 1994
July 17 1988. The day was eventless. A Maltese shopkeeper bought some baby garments. An American woman celebrated her 25th birthday. Neither of them could possibly imagine that the downing of Pan Am 103 later this year would irreversibly affect their life.
For his identification of Megrahi which played a key role in securing his conviction for the bombing of Pan Am 103, Toni Gauci received 4 US$ millions and enjoys a good life somewhere in Australia. Suzan Lindauer will be less lucky.
In the fall of 1994, Dr. Richard Fuisz, a major CIA operative in Syria during the 1980s, met with Lindauer, then a congressional staffer.
Fuisz told her that the perpetrators of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie were based in Syria. He was adamant that Libya had played no role whatsoever in the tragedy.
One month after their meeting, the Clinton administration placed a gag order on Dr. Fuisz preventing him from publicly discussing the issue.
In 1998, Lindauer filed a formal deposition in which she recounts their discussion. The full text is attached below.
‘I learned that Dr. Fuisz is covered by the Secrets Act, which severely restricts his ability to communicate information about Pan Am 103. Though he says freely that he knows first hand that Libya was not involved in any capacity whatsoever, it’s my understanding that he can provide no further details regarding his part in the investigation, or details identifying the true criminals in this case,’ Lindauer wrote.
On July 14 of this year, Dr Fuisz confirmed to me that he was not allowed to discuss this matter.
On March 11 2004, Susan P. Lindauer was arrested and accused of ‘acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government’.
Shirley McKie is a former Scottish police detective who was falsely accused by experts from the Scottish Criminal Record Office. She was eventually acquitted and a Public Inquiry about the scandal is set to begin later this year.
Reacting to a rare article regarding Suzan Lindauer story, Iain Mckie, the father of Shirley, posted the following comment.
‘In his devastating article, Michael Collins quotes Susan Lindauer as saying: This work makes you know how small you are.
This has often been my feeling as I grew to understand more and more about the truly global reach of the Lockerbie disaster and the political intrigue surrounding it. Often it all seemed too much for the individual to cope with.
Finding that my daughter Shirley might have been an innocent, if remote, victim of this intrigue helped me put things into perspective. As I reflected on Jim Swire and other grieving relatives fighting on for over 18 years I realized that my value did not depend on the political will of powerful governments but on my determination as a father to do what I could to change things.
Although the individual often suffers in the fight for justice against the powerful, it is his or her determination that marks us out as strong and governments as weak. We might be small but collectively I believe we can help to change things.’
What would our world become without people such McKie, Swire or Lindauer? I admire all of them for their extraordinary courage and indefatigable willingness to find and to expose the truth. Happy birthday Suzan! Wherever you may be, you are in our thoughts.
Yesterday, due to a ‘miscommunication’, no progress could be made at the procedural hearing for the second appeal of Megrahi. The next public procedural hearing will take place on 20 August.
However, there will be a private hearing on 19 August involving only the Crown and the Advocate General.
‘By that time the judges will have read and absorbed the mystery document in respect of which the UK Government has claimed public interest immunity. This is the very first time of which I am aware in Scottish legal history that a hearing has been convened in a criminal appeal from which the appellant and his legal representatives have been excluded. It should also be the last,’ Pr. Black wrote
My name is Susan Lindauer. I reside in Silver Spring, Maryland, one of the suburbs outside the District of Columbia in the United States of America. At the time these events took place, I was living inside the District of Columbia, at 1002 C Street NE on Capitol Hill.
In offering this deposition, I hereby inform the court and all interested parties at the United Nations that I have never accepted any financial compensation from any of the individuals, or governments involved in this case, in any form of cash or non-cash payment. Furthermore, I have never solicited nor received promise of future payments in exchange for this testimony. My reasons for coming forward reflect my own deepest personal values, and my sense of obligation to the cause of international peace and security. I remain deeply persuaded that justice must never be confused with convenience or political scapegoating, and that the issues of this case, including the prosecution of terrorist activities and the imposition of sanctions that seek to isolate an entire Arabic population, are too important in this contemporary age for a lie to stand unchallenged. And so let it be understood by the court: I make these statements of my own free will, out of respect to my own conscience and sense of obligation as a world citizen.
This deposition pertains to my direct and immediate knowledge of an American named Dr. Richard Fuisz, and unequivocal statements by Dr. Fuisz directly to me that he has first hand knowledge about the Lockerbie case. Dr. Fuisz has told me that he can identify who orchestrated and executed 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, either in any technical or advisory capacity whatsoever. He has also made direct statements to me describing harassment that he has suffered for trying to provide this information to the families of Pan Am 103 and prosecuting authorities in the United States government.
I first met Dr. Richard Fuisz in his business office in Chantilly, Virginia in the United States of America. The date was September, 1994. I had been invited to meet Dr. Fuisz by a mutual acquaintance because of my position as press secretary to former Congressman Ron Wyden (a Democrat from Oregon), and because of my known longstanding interest in the Middle East. Wyden is now a United States Senator, and I have continued my career in TV journalism and public affairs. For the record, my relationship with Dr. Fuisz has remained purely professional, and based strictly on my respect for his integrity and incredible, indepth knowledge of the Middle East.
Dr. Fuisz told me in September, 1994 that he had lived in Syria during the 1980s, and that he maintained close ties to Saudi Arabia and the Middle East overall. Mutual friends and associates have confirmed this. He was vague as to what capacity he was working, but after our conversation, I concluded by myself that he must have been feeding U.S. intelligence efforts. He told me that he had infiltrated a network of Syrian terrorists tied to the Iranian Hezbollah, who, at the time of his residence in Damascus, were holding Americans hostage in Beirut. Dr. Fuisz impressed on me that he had identified the organizers behind the hostage crisis, and that he had actually located the streets and buildings where those Americans were being held captive, at tremendous personal risk, in order to try to orchestrate a rescue. This information was later confirmed by a third party source.
We talked a great deal about how the sale of heroin/opium from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon is financing terrorist activities on a global scale. I must add, the rise of heroin in street markets all over the U.S. is a most insidious trend with enormous human costs, which has further motivated my determination to stay involved in this question of Pan Am 103. (The bombing of Pan Am 103 was intended to strike drug enforcement agents of the United States, in reprisal for their aggressive efforts.)
As further evidence of his deep infiltration of terrorist circles, occasionally Dr. Fuisz pointed to photographs on his wall that showed individuals engaged in social activities at private homes. He said they were some of the ‘most famous terrorists in the Middle East,’ to use his words. Obliquely he told me they might be household names in the United States.
Dr. Fuisz asked for my help as a congressional staffer because he said he had a problem. After testifying before a congressional committee about an American company that supplied Iraq with SCUD mobile missile launchers, he complained of being seriously harassed in lawsuits and by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Efforts by his attorneys to stop this harassment had been answered with warnings from the highest levels that he should never have talked about U.S. arms supplies to Iraq, and that he should stop trying to contact families tied to Pan Am 103.
In fact, this was the context for how the Pan Am bombing came up in our conversation. He said to me, gosh, could be providing so much more information about Middle Eastern terrorists, except the United States government doesn’t want anybody talking about Syria. Then he jumped into the Lockerbie case by way of example of unsolved bombing cases that he said has the immediate capability to resolve. He complained that he was getting shafted for trying to assist a cause that American leaders profess to care very much about. In essence, he insisted the messenger was getting shot for delivering the message.
Dr. Fuisz made it very clear that he knows a great deal of insider knowledge about this case. Because of his Syrian ties, he told me he ‘was first on the ground in the investigation,’ to use his words. At one point, I said to him, ‘Oh yeah, everybody knows Syria did it, and the U.S. repaid them for supporting us during the Iraqi War by shifting the blame to Libya.’ Immediately he cut me off.
‘Susan ‚ Do you understand the difference between a primary source and a secondary source? Those people in Virginia are analysts. They’re reading reports from the field, but they don’t have first-hand contact with events as they’re happening on the ground. Or first hand knowledge about what’s taking place. So they don’t actually know it, even if they think they do.’
‘I know it, Susan. I know it. That’s the difference. Because of my Syria contacts, I was the first on the ground in the investigation. I was there. They’re reading my reports.’
(His emphasis. Then he laughed sarcastically.) ‘In this case, they’re reading them and destroying them.’ (And he threw up his hands.) He continued on:
‘Susan, if the (United States) government would let me, I could identify the men behind this attack today. I could do it right now. You want a police line up? I could go into any crowded restaurant of 200 people, and pick out these men.’
‘I can identify them by face, by name.’ He started gesticulating, and counting off on his fingers. ‘I can tell you the address where they work, and what time they arrive at their office in the morning. I can tell you what time they go to lunch, what kind of restaurants they go to, and what time they leave their offices to go home for the day.
I can tell you their home addresses, the names of their wives if they’re married, the names and ages of all their children. I can tell you about their girlfriends. I can even tell you what type of prostitutes they like.’
‘And you know what, Susan? You won’t find this restaurant anywhere in Libya. No, you will only find this restaurant in Damascus. I didn’t get that from any report, Susan.’ Dr. Fuisz started shaking his head. ‘I got it because I was investigating on the ground, and I know. Do you understand what I’m saying to you now? I know!’
To which I answered. ‘For God’s sakes tell me, and I’ll get my boss to protect you.’
Then he got really mad. ‘No, no ‚ It’s so crazy. I’m not even allowed to tell you, and you’re a congressional staffer.’ Then he repeated his story about the Terex lawsuit against both him and New York Times reporter Seymour Hirsch, (the famous Pulitzer Prize winner), whose only crime was reporting Dr. Fuisz testimony at the congressional hearing.
This was how I learned that Dr. Fuisz is covered by the Secrets Act, which severely restricts his ability to communicate information about Pan Am 103. Though he says freely that he knows first hand that Libya was not involved in any capacity whatsoever, it’s my understanding that he can provide no further details regarding his part in the investigation, or details identifying the true criminals in this case.
This is tragic on two accounts. First, the accused Libyans are effectively denied the right to a fair trial where they might bring forth witnesses in their own defense, which could immediately exonerate them of all charges. And secondly, the families are denied the ability to close this terrible wound, and experience the healing that would be gained from discovering the complete truth and facts surrounding this case.
On both accounts, I cannot be silent. I suspect my disclosure will grieve the families with the horrible revelation that U.S. government officials have behaved so cynically and despicably as to withhold evidence in this case. And yet such a cynical and desperate act must be condemned by civilized society. I dare say Libya is entitled to financial compensation for the economic harassment her people have endured because of these blatantly false accusations, and the deliberate efforts to mislead potential judges, and victimize potential witnesses by a policy of aggressive harassment and punishment for speaking out. Meanwhile, the true culprits have literally gotten away with murder.
For shame on all of you!
This ends my deposition.
Signed this 4th Day of December, 1998 In the presence of a notary public.
(Lindauer’s signature and the crest of the notary stamp)
Ludwig De Braeckeleer has a Ph.D. in nuclear sciences. Ludwig teaches physics and international humanitarian law. He blogs on “The GaiaPost.”
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