Judge throws out Plame’s lawsuit

A U.S. judge on Thursday threw out former CIA analyst Valerie Plame’s lawsuit against Vice President Dick Cheney and other Bush administration officials for disclosing her identity to the public.

Plame has said her career was destroyed when administration officials blew her cover in 2003 to retaliate against her husband, Iraq war critic Joseph Wilson.

The couple had sought money damages from the officials for violating their constitutional free speech, due process and privacy rights.

U.S. District Court Judge John Bates dismissed the case on jurisdictional grounds.

Plame’s lawyer said she would appeal.

“While we are obviously very disappointed by today’s decision, we have always expected that this case would ultimately be decided by a higher court,” lawyer Melanie Sloan said in a statement.

Bates said Cheney and the others — his former chief of staff Lewis “Scooter” Libby, White House political adviser Karl Rove and former deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage — had a right to respond to criticism.

“The alleged means by which defendants chose to rebut Mr. Wilson’s comments and attack his credibility may have been highly unsavory,” Bates wrote in the 41-page decision.

“But there can be no serious dispute that the act of rebutting public criticism … by speaking with members of the press is within the scope of defendants’ duties,” he added.

Plame’s outing triggered a lengthy criminal investigation, which resulted in the conviction of Libby on perjury and obstruction of justice charges in March.

No one was charged with criminally disclosing her identity.

President George W. Bush commuted Libby’s 2 1/2-year prison sentence earlier this month.


  1. LurkingFromTheLeft

    Whatever are you

    …insinuating Steve? –

    …that something is wrong with this picture? –

    …dog help us should anyone need any kind of justice going forward –

    …the courts are fixed just as the elections were fixed –

    …yep, we are so phucked –


  2. baliboy

    It’s much worse than the previous posters even note.

    I happen to know John Bates, John Bates was never a friend of mine, and sir, John Bates is no John Marshall!!

    What’s VERY DISAPPOINTING is that CHB doesn’t feel the need–or is too lazy (relying on pool reports)–to disclose anything about a judge’s background when he is involved in a highly charged partisan case.

    Here is a copy of my e-mail sent this morning to my local Washington Post, which ALSO never mentioned Bates’ background:

    To the Editor:

    Does The Post “style guide” consider it improper to mention a jurist’s background? (“Plame’s Suit Against Top Officials Dismissed,” July 20). Even when the “federal judge,” as you refer to John D. Bates, is the same man who, a year after being appointed by George W. Bush in Dec. 2001, dismissed a General Accounting Office lawsuit seeking to learn with whom Dick Cheney’s Energy Task Force had conferred? Or whose only other claims to fame are ruling that 32 members of the House had “no standing to challenge” Bush’s withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty without congressional approval, and then being named by Bush-appointed Chief Justice John Roberts in Feb. 2006 to replace a Democrat who resigned from the FISA court over the administration’s warrantless wiretapping? Not to mention that Bates “earned his bones” as “a loyal Bushie” as Deputy Independent Counsel under Kenneth Starr investigating Whitewater from 1995-7? No wonder Valerie Plame’s attorney said yesterday, “We have always expected that this case would ultimately be decided by a higher court.” And perhaps a less “conflicted” and dismissive one.

  3. LurkingFromTheLeft

    As we’ve said…

    …too many times to count by now –

    …we are so phucked –

    …or will THAT be taken away too? –


  4. SEAL

    When the democrats take over in 2009 they are gong to have to write a shitload of laws that give these Bush appointed for life judges no discretion.

  5. surgethis

    No such thing as justice when it comes to Bush. The Republic is dead. Kill the dictator and his puppets.