Plame loses another round in court

The ex-spy whose unmasking led to the conviction of Vice President Dick Cheney’s top aide cannot disclose the dates she worked for the CIA because the details were never declassified, a federal judge has ruled.

The decision, made public on Friday by U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones, was a victory for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, which sought to block former agent Valerie Plame Wilson from including the dates in her upcoming memoir, “Fair Game.”

Plame, along with publisher Simon & Schuster, filed a lawsuit in May against Mike McConnell, the U.S. director of national intelligence, and CIA Director Michael Hayden, seeking to stop the CIA from interfering with publication of her book.

“The information at issue was properly classified, was never declassified, and has not been officially acknowledged by the CIA,” the judge said.

Plame’s cover as a CIA agent was blown when her identity was leaked to reporters and appeared in a newspaper column in 2003, shortly after her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, emerged as an Iraq war critic.

Cheney’s former chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, was convicted of lying and obstruction of justice in the investigation of the leak. President George W. Bush commuted Libby’s 2 1/2-year prison sentence last month.

Plame’s suit argued that the CIA released her dates of service in an unclassified letter sent to her in 2006 by the agency, and that the agency “now purports to classify or reclassify Ms. Wilson’s pre-2002 federal service dates” so it cannot be published in her memoir.

CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield said the letter had been “an administrative error” because it contained classified information.

Adam Rothberg, a spokesman for Simon & Schuster, said the company was considering all available legal options and is moving forward with the publication of the memoir.

“We are disappointed in the court’s ruling, which we believe runs counter to the First Amendment, sets a dangerous precedent, and creates an unreasonable standard by which the government can disappear public information and rewrite history,” he said.

All publications by CIA and ex-CIA officials must be approved by a review board, which says its only objective is to prevent classified material from being released to the public.

(Additional reporting by Michelle Nichols)

5 Responses to "Plame loses another round in court"

  1. bryan mcclellan  August 4, 2007 at 9:42 am

    This sounds like a victory for Ms Plame ,in that they say she was covert,she was not covert,her service is classified,it’s not classified,it’s reclassified classification to suit the story line.Which is it,and does this not validate her lawsuit against the administration for outing her? Clearly more than one law has been manipulated to fit the needs of smirko and the crap factory.The revelation that she indeed worked overseas as an agent of the CIA has rendered the government argument moot.Christ,if I can see this fact,and to quote snowjob,(“I’m not a lawyer but”)I don’t see why some ambulance chaser hasn’t picked up on it..The CIA argument put in terms of force does not have the strength to pull a greasy string out of a dogs ass.Where the hell is my HEINEKEN?

  2. Will Write  August 5, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    This should serve to really destroy morale for the men and women who work undercover for our government or military in any capacity. It seems political hacks can out career operatives to support any lowlife agenda of the moment, and there is nothing to be done.

    Oh, Justice! Thou art fled to brutish beasts, and men have lost their reason…

  3. Helen Rainier  August 5, 2007 at 8:56 am

    Bryan,

    For the life of me, I still DON’T understand HOW and WHY the administration has been allowed to weasel their way out of the compromise of Ms. Plame, the national security of this country, the unspoken damage done to not only the sources who were providing intel to Ms. Plame’s CIA operation, and the destruction of the CIA cover company Brewster-Jennings.

    I held a 96B Army MOS (intelligence analyst) while in the Regular Army. As such, I had to undergo a detailed background check to receive a Top Secret clearance.

    There are things that were drilled into our heads regarding the safeguarding of ALL classified information:

    1. You needed to have an appropriate clearance to have access to the classified information;
    2. There had to be an operational “need-to-know” to have access to the classified information;
    3. NO classified was to be disclosed to ANYONE who did NOT have the appropriate clearance NOR the “need-to-know” that information.

    There are still many questions I have about how this whole thing came about and those questions have YET to be answered.

    1. WHO had access to the info regarding Plame?
    2. WHO at CIA leaked it?
    3. WHO authorized anyone in the Administration having any access to this information and who authorized the administration as having a need-to-know?
    4. WHY would the WH have a need-to-know the names of CIA covert or NOC agents?
    5. WHY wasn’t/isn’t this investigated as a criminal action?

    As I stated, simply TOO MANY questions still remain unanswered and until they are answered in plain Enlish, I continue to stand by my belief that THIS was and continues to be a treasonous and traitorour activity on the part of any and all members of the administration and/or the CIA who played ANY role in it whatsoever.

    BTW, the vile puke Novak should be in Leavenworth right now for the rest of his pathetic life.

    ::: hopping off my soap-box :::

  4. Helen Rainier  August 6, 2007 at 2:51 am

    Will Write,

    You bring up an excellent point — and it’s one of those I’d considered in the untold damage done by this leak.

    At this point with this administration, if asked, I would not recommend anyone enlisting in any of the branches of service. I would not recommend anyone joining any of the agencies that run covert operations.

    There is NO protection for agents nor is there any type of judicial recourse.

    A government that will not protect its people is not a government at all — it is much, much worse than that.

  5. bryan mcclellan  August 6, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    I think Helen,that dictatorship is too nice a word but cursing here is counter productive.We have been turned into Drones and the hive is overrun with Queens.As in Bee culture we have received the signal to clean house but our receptors are jambed by gutless litigants and political double speak.Survival depends upon the collective rising against the threat and in this case it is easily identifiable ,but the me me generation will wait until all the tools with which to fight are either destroyed or confiscated. With all the evidence before them our leaders in their ignorance and willful participation have allowed smirkco to destroy the military and our intelligence community.We are next, and I beg ask them,what will you do when the honey runs dry ?

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