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. SPQR753

    January 2009 is just around the corner: then the orchestra will play an entirely different tune.....

    August 12, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  2. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    What do you expect? The "Justice" Department is just another branch of the US government broken by Bush's cronies...

    August 12, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  3. Carmen Colorado

    We have a dictatorship under Bush and this administration and he goes to China and dictates there also. It is hard to imagine that America would come to this. Bush has been the worst thing that could happen to America.

    August 12, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. J

    There is a surprise... There is no justice in this country anymore. I bet this WAR CRIMINAL doesn't get held accountable and this country continues on its downward slide due to our inability or unwillingness to hold public officials accountable for their crimes.

    August 12, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  5. CL OT

    Everyone in Washington knew she worked for the CIA, she was not under cover, and it was Mr. Armitage who gave her name to novac. Too bad the media won't print the facts.

    August 12, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. Uncle Sam

    Rove refusing to testify, and Bush will not be tried for war crimes. Just proves that out government is above the law!!! Don't give up the fight till uyou bring these criminals to justice!!!!

    August 12, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  7. Mila

    Know why the Bush regime REALLY blew Plame's cover?

    Her shadow agency stopped a shipment of weapons through Turkey intended to be planted in Iraq AFTER U.S. troops were already on the ground. The weapons were suddenly going to be "discovered," justifying Bushco's reasons for attacking Iraq in the first place.

    August 12, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  8. Ronnie, Atlanta, GA

    Mike in TX your comments are sad on every single place you put them. Try thinking about the article or did you even read it or understand it's background. I'm sure you would be so happy if you were a CIA agent and the president's staff outted you to the public. At least make an attempt at using your brain.

    August 12, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  9. Taka

    This administration smells foul at every corner you could imagine. It's not strange to anyone that Plame's case was dismissed.

    August 12, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  10. deroy

    plame was not an operative. she was an analyst which is a glorified clerk at langley.
    she told her neighbors where she worked.

    August 12, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. Bob From Pittsburgh

    Her book was heavily censored, but most important is the foreign contacts she had, how many of them have been neutralized, or worst are “dead by now” So people who is going to cooperate with a operative, when not even the president can be trusted.


    August 12, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  12. Emma

    Valerie Plame has a right to sue those government officials responsible for divulging her name and those who worked behind the scenes to bring her down.

    The courts are biased toward the Bush Administration................go to civil court and sue them for damages. After all your life was destroyed by their desire to keep you in your place and to reduce criticism.

    Where are those 18M women who claim to support Clinton, why aren't you in support of Valerie Plame.......................she deserves your support more than Senator Clinton.

    August 12, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  13. Ray, Venice, CA

    First of all, she was not and office worker, she worked undercover as a CIA agent tracking nuclear proliferation. Secondly, why shouldn't she sue for money? These people cost her, and her husband, their livelihood. And finally, how can any of you Bushys still be supporting this admin.? Let me break it down for you like your mom obviously never did when you were little. If little Cheney jumps off a bridge that doesn't mean you have to jump off a bridge too.....that just means little Cheany is an don't want to be an idiot too, do you?

    August 12, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  14. Independent-Latina-for-OBAMA

    TOO BAD......... BUSH/CHENEY/ROVE/LIBBY should ALL be tried for TREASON which is the crime when you out an active CIA agent!

    IS there no justice?

    August 12, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |

    Where is Ken Starr when we really need him...
    No complaints from the GOP for wasting well over $50,000,000 in taxpayer money for a lawsuit that was thrown out a few years back. What would $50,000,000 be today, adjusted for inflation?

    August 12, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  16. Obamalism

    Here come the impeachment goons.

    August 12, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  17. Hammy

    Just looking to make a few bucks Ms. Plame?


    Sadly, as the comments here are evidence, the democrats did their job by lying to the American people for their own political benefit once again!

    August 12, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  18. Jack

    Where is the justice for Valerie Plame?

    August 12, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  19. Obamalism

    What is she sueing for? Because someone mistakenly spoke about her job that anyone, including her husband and herself, spoke about freely? Old news, Val. Give it a rest.

    August 12, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  20. Michelle

    of course the court would decide that Valerie
    They are all likely in the back pockets of the crook in the white house!!!!
    you will get justice one day Valerie for the wrong inflicted on you
    Just not by this pack of crooks

    August 12, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  21. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    This is our American justice system at work people.

    August 12, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  22. Peter R. NYC

    Some of you people are just plain nuts. The issues with the CIA are LONG standing through multiple administrations and the facts around the Plame matter prove it. That her husband was sent to Niger (on a job for which he was not qualified) also shows how badly the CIA, NOT the administration, handled it. Also, Bush came clean on the error and still won the election, so stop your whining already.

    Furthermore, Ms. Plame was, we now KNOW, outed by an opponet of the war and not Cheney or at the oders of Bush – who, by the way has the ABSOLUTE right and authority as CinC to out ANYONE or everyone any time he likes (that power rests in him alone, not the greater admin.). If Bush had done it all he had to do was say so – legally he need not give a reason why as that is under his executive authority.

    Plame did hold sensitive positions and her name WAS leaked but her identity was compromised to a MUCH greater extent (especially in Africa, where she did much of her work) when she, on her own, chose to pose for photos in a major magazine. So, frankly, I don't care about her case and could care less that she lost it.

    August 12, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. Jan Illinois

    Simply bought and paid for by The Bush administration. What a shame that this sub human is going to be allowed to get by with whatever he wishes, war crimes,treason and many other crimes against humanity. It will work here on earth but not in the here after.

    August 12, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  24. RealityKing

    Valerie Plame Wilson worked a desk in the Langley suburb of McLean, VA. And calling her an "undercover agent" or saying that she has an "intelligence job" is clearly an oxymoron.., according to the courts.

    But calling them political hacks..., well now, that's reality.

    August 12, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  25. Sharon Ohio

    Easy Money

    Why are so many people out for blood money.

    Sue, Sue, Sue.

    The legal profession is cashing in big time on it.

    August 12, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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