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. Tony

    Of course they dido. The Court had no balls. All arfraid of the Big Bad Bush!

    August 12, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. Mike, TX

    Valeria and Joe need to crawl back under the rock them came from.

    August 12, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  3. Alex Badme, Albuquerque, NM

    Obvioous that all this hoha is just another attempt to sue and make millions. She's an office worker not a clandestine agent. Put her in the ranks of the lady who sued Mcdonalds because her coffee was hot

    August 12, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  4. Ex-Republican for Obama

    Another right forcibly taken away from us by our President. Another policy of Communism enforced by our tyrannic Republican party and threat to the well being of citizens of America.

    The McCain campaing will carry forward 95% of Bush's policies to endanger our citizens and our fellow country men by systematically removing all of our constitutional rights.

    Vote Obama or live in a dictatorship.

    August 12, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    Once again the regime that promised "accountability" evades it with smug impunity.

    August 12, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  6. v.a.

    yep, leave it to the federal courts to cover up more bush/cheney/rove scandals.

    did you honestly anything would come of this?

    August 12, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. Barack the Tele-promp-ter Messiah

    When is she going to sue her husband? Why is it OK for him to have travelled for years among the Cocktail Party Circuit, introducing Ms. Plame as his "CIA wife" or his "spy wife" or his "spook wife."

    August 12, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  8. DR. YES

    probably bush bought appointees.

    August 12, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  9. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    This is a real tragedy, because Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Yoo, Libby, and all the rest of those corrupt, manipulative liars and war criminals SHOULD be sued, indicted, tried, convicted, and sentenced!

    August 12, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  10. Norma from Iowa

    Valerie Plame has every right to have a court hearing after she was outed as a CIA official. This is just one more example of how the Bush-Cheney administration has complete control over our Justice Dept. and over our Supreme Court! Never before have we had such corruption in our White House! I can't wait until they are out. If they were Democrats, they would have already been impeached. Go Valerie! The country is with you.

    August 12, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  11. arc, Lugano CH

    Are these the 'values' that garnered so many votes in 2004? And to think, Hillary voters wholeheartedly support a continuation of such policies for the purpose of veiling their own prejudices in honor of their Queen.

    August 12, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  12. consultantaz

    The writer from Albuquerque should probably read something besides the sports pages before making such a statement. Clearly, the administration violated major rule and policy by orchestrating the divulging of the name and location of an IC operative. Plain and simple and documented. However, as others have noted, the courts will not sanction this administration for anything. It is frightening that so many still do not see how the rule of law has been so trampled over the past eight years with little or no consequences. We, as a nation and as a people, truly need to be about regaining control of government.

    August 12, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  13. Mike - Texas

    Why is she still trying to sue all of these people???

    It is a well known fact that Richard Armitage was the one who did it.

    Oh, I get get it , MONEY and Armitage doesn't have any.

    August 12, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  14. Texas Trail Dog!

    Why would you not know they would deny it. The judicial system belongs to the Bush-Cheney reign of terror. This is a disgrace on America. People should be standing up and screaming for the Attorney General to do his job. HE NEEDS TO ARREST BUSH, CHENEY, AND NOVAK FOR THE TRAITORS THEY ARE>

    August 12, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  15. heartlight 3, Maui, HI

    The Justice Department and the Courts have been subverted into pawns of the administration. George Bush has succeeded in undermining the Constitutional concept of separate but equal branches of government serving as checks and balances on each other. As long as this administration is in power, don't expect justice to be served or accountability to be required.

    August 12, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  16. Don

    Now I would vote for her for President. Bet slick Willie Bill Clinton is wishing ole big hips Hillary ever looked this good.

    August 12, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  17. Jeff

    Smug, self-righteous bastards. The worst government and/or justice that money has bought. I am unable to fathom a punishment suitable for this administration. We will be decades repairing what Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld have done. Why not just clsoe the courts until they are gone for all the good they do.

    August 12, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  18. The Bush Twins : George and John

    The Bush administration out one of our own agents, Scooter Libbey gets a pardon and the agent gets screwed. This is the same kind of thing you'll get if McBush gets in. Just wait and see.

    August 12, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  19. Jeff

    Yet another example of the Republican Party as the American Taliban. Enjoy your rights while you have them folks.

    August 12, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  20. FL4Obama

    US District Judge John Bates is a Bush appointee. Surprising?

    Enough of this injustice. Democrats 2008

    August 12, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  21. California Gold

    The Republican administration is rot from the top down. If anything the Plame case pulled back the curtains to reveal another level of abuse and deceit in this Bush administration.

    All the more reason to elect a Democrat as President.

    August 12, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  22. Indiana Voter

    The Bush supremacy reigns all high and mighty. The King of our country continues to smash the people of his Kingdom to the curb.

    Sad it is. Sad indeed.

    August 12, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  23. JJ

    They may as well give it up. No court (in their right mind) are going to let them sue someone from the Bush administration. Give it up and cut your losses.

    August 12, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  24. Jack

    Were we at war or not?

    That's the only question that's important here -the issues in question opened up a new front in the war – many lives have been lost and many billions of dollars have been spent – and this woman doesn't have the right to sue over her job being lost?

    When Bush came into office he said he was going to restore integrity to the white house. Did he?

    The Bush administration is coming to an end – soon. Then as a private citizen he may be sued and perhaps even indicted only time will tell.

    August 12, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  25. KG

    She was adminstrative, not an operative. Intelligence job? Please....

    August 12, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
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