Thursday, July 19, 2007

Valerie Plame's Lawsuit Dismissed

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"[T]here can be no serious dispute that the act of rebutting public criticism, such as that levied by Mr. Wilson against the Bush administration's handling of prewar foreign intelligence, by speaking with members of the press is within the scope of defendants' duties as high-level Executive Branch officials."
...Judge John D. Bates

The AP (7-19-07) reports:

WASHINGTON - A federal judge dismissed former CIA operative Valerie Plame's lawsuit against members of the Bush administration Thursday, eliminating one of the last courtroom remnants of the leak scandal.

...U.S. District Judge John D. Bates dismissed the case on jurisdictional grounds and said he would not express an opinion on the constitutional arguments. Bates dismissed the case against all defendants: Cheney, White House political adviser Karl Rove, former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.

...While Bates did not address the constitutional questions, he seemed to side with administration officials who said they were acting within their job duties. Plame had argued that what they did was illegal and outside the scope of their government jobs.

"The alleged means by which defendants chose to rebut Mr. Wilson's comments and attack his credibility may have been highly unsavory, " Bates wrote.

"But there can be no serious dispute that the act of rebutting public criticism, such as that levied by Mr. Wilson against the Bush administration's handling of prewar foreign intelligence, by speaking with members of the press is within the scope of defendants' duties as high-level Executive Branch officials." [Full text]

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