August 12th, 2008
11:16 AM ET
11 years ago

Appeals court denies Plame's attempt to sue U.S. officials

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Appeals court rejects Plame Wilson's case."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A federal appeals court in Washington has rebuffed an attempt by former CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson to sue top administration officials for the public disclosure of her intelligence job.

An attorney for Wilson and her husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, said an appeal is likely.

A three-judge panel rejected the attempt by the Wilsons to revive a lawsuit dismissed by a lower court. The Wilsons wanted to sue Vice President Richard Cheney; his former top aide, Lewis "Scooter" Libby; former White House advisor Karl Rove; and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.

"Because the Wilsons have failed to state constitutional ... claims for which relief may be granted and failed to exhaust their administrative remedies as required ... we affirm the judgment of the district court dismissing the Wilsons' amended complaint in its entirety," the court said.

The lawsuit stems from the politically charged investigation of a leak that revealed Valerie Wilson worked for the CIA, and that the disclosure was made by administration officials to undermine Wilson's criticisms of the White House case for invading Iraq.

A lawyer for the Wilsons, Melanie Sloan, told CNN the conservative majority on the court "basically seemed to find there is no remedy for what Cheney, Rove and Libby did."

She said the likely appeal may focus on what she called the "Catch-22" of being told to file suit under a law that does not apply to the perpetrators. "It's a pretty scary conclusion," Sloan said, "if this decision can stand, then government officials can be protected for sacrificing intelligence operatives and national security in the name of politics."

The Justice Department had no comment on the appeals court ruling.

soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. RH


    August 12, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  2. Peter R. NYC


    Go see a doctor. You are crazy.

    August 12, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. REG in AZ

    I don't know how but the Bush-Cheney-Rove-etal group should be held accountable and pay a penalty for using their offices (and America's resources) for their own private agenda. Somehow a strong message should be sent that America really does have a conscience, that future administrations shouldn't consider like behavior and, for the American people that there is justice and hope.

    August 12, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  4. THE whole truth

    CNN has now black balled me, who do I send my check to so that every post can make the board like-texas trial dog, mike,mike txand mike texas who are of coarse the same guy. Shall I just sigh it McCain camp.

    August 12, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  5. Steve, Madison WI

    There no longer is any "constitutional" law in America. Bush/Cheney have destroyed America and filled our "justice" system with "cronies" who are just as corrupt as they are.

    August 12, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  6. John

    I hope you people pay attention closely.

    This is how corrupt the democrats are. When they can influence a CIA agent and her husband into giving false evidence about a known threat, this has gone too far.

    We need to keep the democrats from playing politics with National Security!

    August 12, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
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