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April 24, 2006

Flashback: Democratic Staffer Charged With Acting As Spy For Iraq; Media Embargoed Her Democratic Ties, And Even Suggested She Was A Republican (As She Was the Second Cousin of Andy Card)

Anyone remember this?

A former Democratic congressional aide was arrested today on charges that she worked as an Iraqi spy. Susan Lindauer, 41, has been charged with conspiring to work with the Iraqi Intelligence Service and engaging in prohibited financial transactions with Saddam Hussein's government, according to the below indictment unsealed today by federal prosecutors in New York. Lindauer, arrested this morning at her Maryland home, allegedly met with Iraqi agents during several visits to the country's U.N. mission, where she "accepted various payments" in return "for services provided to the IIS in the course of her ongoing intelligence relationship with them." Lindauer, who also allegedly traveled to Iraq in early-2002 to meet with IIS agents, has previously worked as a press spokesperson for several elected officials, including former Senator Carol Moseley-Braun and congressmen Ron Wyden and Peter DeFazio.

And the press was equally, um, circumspect about revealing her partisan leanings:

Best point: Charles Austin says he knew the woman must be a Democratic Congressional aide (her party affiliation wasn't mentioned until late in CNN's report) because he knew damn well that if she were a Republican, that fact would have been noted in the headline.

It's similar to the "dog that doesn't bark" clue in stories about terrorism. When they don't mention the terrorists' names, ethnic backgrounds, or religion, you know, with high confidence, that the terrorists were Muslims, because the media is always very quick to note "White Christian Guy Murders 12."

ANOTHER UPDATE: Ooooooh, check out this, the official CNN story on the matter.

Now, the fact that the woman worked as a Congressional aide has been scrubbed entirely from the story.

One would think that to be an important piece of information. Hell, the occupation of suspects in crimes is routinely reported, even when it's entirely irrelevant to the actual story; it's reported, just like the irrelevant detail of the suspect's age is reported.

But CNN doesn't want to even get into that; it might raise some follow-up questions they don't want to report on, like "Well, who did she work for in Congress?"

So they have now completely censored that information from the story.

After the media blacked-out the spy's occupation as an aide to a Democratic Congresswoman, they then had the stones to suggest she had REPUBLICAN connections:

An Instapundit reader emails him to note that...

Just saw the NBC evening news: Tom Brokaw not only skipped the substantial aspects of the indictment (her being paid ten grand *and* her willingness to perform aid and comfort when she believed she was aiding the "Iraqi resistance" with Libyan help), but he neglected to mention that she was a former journalist and former Democratic congressional aide.

He did take pains to report that she was a second cousin of White House staffer Andy Card.

Of course! That's obviously the most important biographical detail about her!

Our "objective, neutral" media in action!

ULTIMATE UPDATE! Suprise! Not only is this the left's talking points, but it's the headline in the "objective, neutral" media!

Instapundit links to bloggers who've discovered that the AP story is running with the headline "Suspected Spy is Bush Staffer's Cousin."

No mention of how she might have gotten her hands on sensitive documents in the headline; apparently the suggestion is that "Cousins of Bush Staffers" are just sort of put on the distribution list for secret documents.

At some point, you have to wonder why Congress doesn't just hold hearings on this. Not necessarily to pass laws, but just to "understand" how bias happens. Put these obnoxious bastards under oath and make them explain their reasons for these sorts of headlines.

Yeah, there would be political heat for doing so. Yeah, there'd be whining about "chilling the press' right to spin information to aid leftist causes."

But at what point does the sheer brazeness and obnoxiousness of the liberal media begin to make it worth it for Republicans to haul them in for a bit of questioning?

If the media hadn't already decided on the "McCarthy's a hero" storyline, they'd have her as Karl Rove's secret sex-slave.

Not to suggest that all liberals are traitors, of course. (Although, quite frankly, they're certainly more open to the idea, seeing themselves as Citizens of the World and the idea of fidelity to one's country as an unnuanced position to take.)

But the point is that the media has done this before-- when a Democrat gets caught dirty passing secrets to either Iraq or to the press, they are determined to make her party affiliation a higher state secret than the classified information she passed along.

So, Poland hosts secret prisons for terrorists, which, if revealed, could greatly damage a loyal ally? That's information the public has a right to know.

But Mary McCarthy's political donations and sympathies? Well, goddamnit, that's PRIVATE and you shouldn't be reporting on such sensitive matters.

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posted by Ace at 02:34 PM

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