July 19th, 2007
03:02 PM ET
7 years ago

Judge tosses out ex-spy's lawsuit against Cheney

A judge threw out the lawsuit by ex-spy Valerie Plame Wilson and husband Joseph Wilson.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by outed spy Valerie Plame Wilson and her husband against Vice President Dick Cheney and other top Bush administration officials.

U.S. District Judge John Bates ruled that the lawsuit raises "important questions relating to the propriety of actions undertaken by our highest government officials" - but in a 41-page decision, Bates found the Wilsons failed to show the case belongs in federal court.

Valerie Wilson's identity as a CIA operative was exposed in July 2003 after her husband, former U.S. ambassador Joseph Wilson, publicly challenged a key argument in the Bush administration's case for the invasion of Iraq.

The exposure led to a criminal probe that led to the conviction in March of Cheney's former chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, on charges of perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to federal agents investigating the leak.

Full story 

Filed under: Dick Cheney • Scooter Libby
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Mrs. America

    Bush gets away with another one. Why am I not surprised?

    July 19, 2007 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  2. B. Chen

    The rule of law is no longer in force in this country. Authoritarianism and Warfare State here we come.

    July 19, 2007 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  3. Rebecca C.

    We need Ron Paul to bring law and order back in the government.

    July 19, 2007 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. chris, webster, texas

    These officials committed treason. They willfully blinded our intel community. And the seditious journalist Novak has even stated he would do it again. If there is no recourse against this action, then there is no justice in our nation.

    July 19, 2007 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    "failed to show the case belongs in federal court" ??? Then where does it belong? Surely not The White House or the streets.
    Either the CNN report is incomplete or America is in major trouble.

    July 19, 2007 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  6. MCD, San Francisco

    I AM OUTRAGED! Who is Judge John Bates? What is his background? Guess this is what Bush meant last week when he said it was time to move on! Wonder how he knew what the outcome would be? This was treason, pure and simple.

    July 19, 2007 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. T-Bone

    Send a message about Michael Vick! If you read the indictment you will see that a witness describes how Michael Vick "repeatedly slammed a dog against the ground to kill him after he lost a fight". Let the Atlanta Falcons know what you think of this and ask that they take this matter seriously by joining the Animal Humane Society in asking "NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to suspend Michael Vick from the NFL immediately. Anything less would be an outrage".

    Sign this Animal Humane Society petition:


    July 19, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  8. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    (APPLAUDING) When Valerie Plame and her husband have to actually present their case in a court of law – it gets thrown out.

    Yeah yeah – it's all a big conspiracy I know. These judges are all apart of the "right wing conspiracy" Hillary was speaking of years ago, and Bush lied, and Chaney's making billions off the war for oil, and Michael Moore is the only journalist willing to bring out the truth, and the most sane person speaking in politics today is Cindy Sheehan! Right??? Oye Vei

    July 19, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  9. HAWK, TX.


    July 19, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    I gotta say this doesn't exactly restore my faith in law and order in this country. Obviously there's a case, and obviously it's been squashed by GW Bush or his cronies.

    July 19, 2007 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  11. Dick Cheney, Washington, DC

    When I'm tired from a long day's work, I take off my pacemaker and I go find CIA operatives to out.

    July 19, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  12. David, Tulsa OK

    If this makes you fear for your country (Libby was not convicted of outing Plame), how do you feel about Sandy Berger getting a slap on the wrist with no media or congressional scrutiny for stealing official documents from the National Archives that potentially (obviously?) embarrassed the Clinton administration?

    Two wrongs certainly don't make a right, but all subsequent analysis has shown that Plame's undercover status aas not "outed".

    I'm more concerned that someone can waltz in and steal documentats related to national security with no repercussions.

    July 19, 2007 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. TC

    How many days 'til election day?

    July 19, 2007 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. Sam, Shady Grove, OR

    This is what happens when Republicans are in the White House for a majority of the time – they keep appointing judges that favor their party.

    July 19, 2007 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    What do we do? We've been washed for so long that the elite have set up safeguards and structures to repel the people. Do we just take this or do we take them? Are there no patriot leaders anymore. Good, honest, leaders like we had in the early days?

    July 19, 2007 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  16. Jennifer Huntington Beach, CA

    What a terrible injustice. Where do they begin then? State Court, Supreme Court? Where....I am at a loss for words. I send my deepest condolences to Ms.Plame and her family, haven't they lost enough already? Haven't we as American's lost enough already? Hurry up 2008!

    July 19, 2007 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    It is obvious, right? America IS in major trouble.

    July 19, 2007 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. sean samis, wauwatosa, WI

    Like chris, webster, texas I also regard this as a case of treasonous behavior, but as a Law School student, I understand that the basic reason this was dismissed is that the complaint needs to exhaust other remedies before going into the courts.

    Federal Courts can only take jurisdiction over the cases allowed by Congress. In most civil cases taken to Federal Court, the first step is argument over whether the Court has "subject matter jurisdiction"; if it doesn't then the RULE OF LAW requires the Court to dismiss. By no means does the District Court say that nothing bad happened, only that Federal Law precludes their hearing the case AT THIS TIME.

    For those interested, the actual 41 page decision can be found at

    It can be annoying when these procedural niceties get in the way of pursuing a case, but obeying these rules is what RULE OF LAW is about.

    sean s.

    July 19, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  19. Connie, Tn.

    What a crock!! I guess this is another Bush appointed judge. Looks like no one will be made to answer for all the heartache they caused to Joe and Valerie and their children.

    July 19, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. Bruce, Franklin, TN

    I was under the impression that Ms. Plame was not considered an active covert agent (as defined by the CIA)because she had not been assigned overseas for over 5 years. Therefore, isn't her non-status a non-issue?

    July 19, 2007 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  21. mstfd, Columbus, Ohio

    If it is solved in the streets, big media can blame itself. Their refusal to tell the truth, back this administration no matter what, has created this monster.

    Can tyranny be voted out? It doesn't get any guiltier than Scooter Libby, that coward should held accountable.

    He pushed this worthless war for his cronies and now they all want to be heroes, while they let the real injured soldiers lay in the grunge of Walter Reed.

    July 19, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  22. Jason B., Park City, KS

    Good grief. She can't sue, even though someone blatently broke a well definded law, because finding out who did it would hurt national security? This whole situation has always smelled badly of cover-up to me. I know an air of superiority has hung over many administrations, but our current leaders seem to truly believe they can do whatever they please, regardless of how it affects people.

    July 19, 2007 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  23. John from America

    If David from Tulsa is so concerned with secret documents which by the way have nothing to do with this case but I'm sure he quoting from the GOP talking points book, then he should be concerned with Cheney who refuses to acknowledge what secret documents are in his office and where they are?

    July 19, 2007 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  24. James, Phoenix AZ


    You all decry this as an injustice.. as though you are lawyers and were present at the hearings! Valerie Plame's identity was revealed.. by Richard Armitage – yet Valerie Plame and her husband pursue suing the Whitehouse?

    THANK HEAVENS issues are decided by the courts and not the kooks moaning and groaning how this MUST have been a Bush appointee! Although I hear Barbara Boxer is leading a charge for the mothership...if you all hurry you too can catch the next ride on Hale/Bopp comet.

    July 19, 2007 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  25. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Berger received authorization to go into the archives by none other than Bill Clinton and are we to believe that Clinton had NO IDEA what Berger ADMITTEDLY STOLE, hid under some trailers, went back later, brought home and DESTROYED?

    Sandy Berger was his National security advisor who stole this stuff right BEFORE the most important commission of our lifetimes (9-11) was to meet.

    Who and what was hidden in those documents?

    You want to talk about real national security breaches and something that should have been a real big story, this was it.

    Again, two wrongs don't make a right, but George Bush, Karl Rove or Dick Cheney did not leak her name.

    A well known Bush hater admitted he did, Richard Armitage.

    It can not be any clearer.

    Must be that right-wing conspiracy all over again.

    July 19, 2007 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
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