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Location: Takoma Park, Maryland, United States

I'm now a 52-year-old American male raised as an Episcopalian, veteran of submarines, Peace Corps, and State Department. I like teaching people about what they can do with computers and have gotten by as an independent Microsoft trainer teaching networking, but I really hope to someday find a way to make a living traveling on my motorcycle, camping, and writing about places and people I meet along the way.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Nine months and counting....

I visited Susan, yesterday. I must say that the anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication they are giving her at MCC New York are helping her. We talked for two hours and I was just amazed at how clear she was. At one point, she corrected herself. She was saying, "I know more about this than anyone," then immediately rephrased it: "I know as much about this as anyone. I don't need to be grandiose."

Leading up to this visit, I had been talking to one of the Scottish journalists. The Lockerbie conviction is going to be overturned. He put a call into Susan's DIA contact using the two phone numbers that Susan had given me. The person who called back was one who was presumed DIA when Susan introduced them to journalist, Ian Ferguson, during the Lockerbie trial. Susan's account of weekly meetings was quickly corroborated and she got high marks for her initiative and intelligence.

The judge is not simply retiring. He goes into some senior status where he can continue to work her case and others, but probably will not take any new cases. Susan thinks there is some chance she may be released, pending trial.

We then spoke at some length about Lockerbie, terrorism, and the drug trade. I knew that I should have been taking notes during all the conversations I had with Susan before her trip to Carswell. She corrected a number of things that I have not recounted correctly. First, she never said that Kadaffi was innocent in Lockerbie, but that we were prosecuting the wrong citizens. Kadaffi had a long history of supporting Abu Nidal and terrorism. Second, the CIA agents who got off the Lockerbie flight at the last minute were going to Washington to testify to defend the CIA against charges that others on the plane, DIA agents, were making concerning CIA participation in the drug trade that was funding terrorism, primarily terrorist Ahmed Jabril.

I'm probably not getting all the names right, but she described to me the situation in Syria, how a very feared leader, Hafez al-Assad, had been grooming his son Basil al-Assad to assume leadership, but Basil was killed by Ahmed Jabril (to intimidate Hfez al-Assad) and now younger brother, Bashar, has risen to power and is viewed as someone who might calm things. She described how Ahmed Jabril is something of a father figure to Usama Bin Laden and somebody with whom the DIA has a few scores to settle.

BTW: Did you know that Syria is on the U.N. Security Council?

Thinking about drugs, and the recent prison shooting in Florida, I asked her whether someone who has worked against such powerful figures needed to worry about the reach of terrorists into drug corruption in U.S. Prisons. She surprised me, saying that there is actually very little drug activity in prisons, not that there aren't plenty of women who would like sexual opportunities even without the added incentive of sex for drugs described in the news of that event.

She also went on at some length about how fortunate we are that the judiciary is independent of other political branches of our government. In many other governments, there would not be the protections that she is enjoying. Interesting that she could see her current predicament as preferable to some of the alternatives.


Blogger Thomas Nephew said...

The judge is not simply retiring. He goes into some senior status where he can continue to work her case and others, but probably will not take any new cases.

Whoa, whoa, whoa... when did all this happen? Must have overlooked it. Not that I guess it matters, given what you say. Might even be good, all things considered -- unless... how old is he? Is this really leading up to, say, golf in Florida, or might he take some new position or run for office?

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There seems to be a problem with your Scottish journalist. In the brief conversation that he had with me the DIA was never brought up. For the record I have never been an employee of the DIA or a source for the DIA. To the best of my knowledge I have never been in contact with any DIA agent in my entire life. And for sure I have never posed as a DIA agent or presented any DIA credentials real or fake to anyone. I believe that would be a Federal crime. There was no mention of weekly meetings during the phone conversation. Because they never happened . At most I saw her once a month and much of that was in a social setting of a bar in Washington DC that a group of friends of mine meet at on a weekly basis and that Susan was introduced to by the person that introduced Susan to me. After 9/11 I don’t think I saw her in person at all. As I was dieing of Heart Failure and the reason I had a Heart Transplant in 2005.

4:56 PM  
Blogger JB said...

We heard that he would be retiring in June at the first hearing, which I'm thinking was back in May. Nobody has said authoritatively that he has retired. The word was that he would be retiring and joining Giulani's law firm. For those interested in the 9/11 conspiracy angle (I'll leave that to others), check out the current New Yorker saying that Giulani Security handled security at the World Trade Center.

It seemed to me that Judge Mukasey was at the top of his game, regardless of age. I will sure be interesting to read anything he writes about this case.


Appreciate the anonymous posting. The truth is the truth, but figuring out all the truth seems to be an ever longer and winding-er road. I could imagine that Susan met other folks at that bar more often and wouldn't realize how seldom your appearances were.

I'll post this and probably get a clarification.

7:41 PM  
Blogger JB said...

Let me clarify what I can on the anonymous posting:

There are two Scottish journalists independently working this who have called me. Each have provided different bits of information. There were repeated meetings in the bar that were at least intrigue and terrorism oriented. It also seems to me there was a meeting on the Lockerbie situation (in Scottland?) in which Susan is credited with introducing the various parties. The reward money for Lockerbie was probably a hidden motive for a lot of people.

I find myself wondering what explains everybody getting to know everybody else, in the first place.

We would not have a Church committee if we did not, first, have a history of intelligence agencies becoming implicated in misfortunes to earstwhile civilians.

8:06 AM  
Blogger Gamine said...

Why was Susan upset that day she called you and ran out of minutes? I hope everything turned out to be okay.

I didn't know about the judge possibly retiring. I am glad though that he is atking his time about this case-- I think it will be better for Susan.

At this point, why don't they just let her out until they reach a decision? She did post bail didn't she? Its not like anyone is alleging that she is dangerous or anything. Keeping her locked up at this point, especially now she is taking her medication and responding so well, just seems pointless.

12:35 PM  
Blogger JB said...

Gamine: Good question as to why she was upset. Fear just got to her. Ghosts.

It is a good question, why they don't let her go. Possibly, they do not want to have to deal with this in an actual trial and the amount of time that she spends incarcerated, pending trial, since it reduces the amount of a sentence she would get if convicted, reduces the value of having a trial to the government.

The question I have is, what recourse a citizen has who is falsly accused or found innocent by a jury? Regardless of the technicalities of the law, I would be surprised if any jury of educated New York citizens would convict her. A part of me wants to see this go to trial so that she can subsequently pursue a claim concerning the civil rights aspects.

Another part of me thinks it is time for a new political party. The Democratic politicians of Maryland are as guilty as its Republican governor for not defending the rights of their citizen. We could call it the Party party. Just think of the money we would not have to spend on commercial enterprises running our prisons if marijuana offenders were freed.

1:03 PM  
Blogger Gamine said...

Well of course defendents are never "found innocent"-- juries only consider guilt which must be proven beyond reasonable doubt.

As for being "falsely accused"-- I am not a lawyer, but I think that in order for a case to even go to trial, there has to be some evidence against the person. This is to safeguard against completely frivolous and groundless trials. (This is in criminal cases-- civil cases are another matter and I happen to know that in intellectual property disputes frivolity abounds).

The real issue in Susan's case is that there simply is no reason for her to be held at this point. She isn't dangerous, she isn't a flight risk. Maybe I am misunderstanding how the legal system works, but she *did* post bail, didn't she? And if someone is held without bail, isn't it the usual procedure for the judge to given a pressing reason?

Has this been addressed at all by her lawyer?

7:52 AM  
Blogger JB said...

Youre instincts and thinking sound correct. However, this is the only time I've heard Susan telling me to be patient, in this regard, and to wait a bit and see.

9:26 AM  

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