UPDATED w/video: Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Plame’s Lawsuit Against Cheney, Rove

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Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Plame’s Lawsuit Against Cheney, Rove

by Jason Leopold, June 23, 2009

The US Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a civil lawsuit filed by Valerie Plame Wilson and her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, against Bush administration officials who were responsible for leaking her covert CIA status to the media and attacking her husband for accusing the White House of twisting prewar Iraq intelligence.

The Supreme Court’s rejection effectively brings the three-year-old case to a close. The Wilson’s had sued Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Cheney’s ex-chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage for violating their civil rights. Libby was convicted on four of five counts and was sentenced to 30 months in prison. President George W. Bush later commuted the sentence, sparing Libby jail time.

“The Wilsons and their counsel are disappointed by the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the case, but more significantly, this is a setback for our democracy,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics [CREW] in Washington, an attorney representing the Wilsons. “This decision means that government officials can abuse their power for political purposes without fear of repercussion. Private citizens like the Wilsons, who see their careers destroyed and their lives placed in jeopardy by administration officials seeking to score political points and silence opposition, have no recourse.”


Last week, Obama’s Justice Department argued against the release of the Cheney transcript that CREW sought via a Freedom of Information Act request explaining his role in blowing Plame’s cover.

Justice Department attorney Jeffrey Smith told a federal judge that release of the transcript might open Cheney to ridicule from late-night comics and thus could discourage other White House officials from cooperating with government prosecutors.

“If we become a fact-finder for political enemies, they aren’t going to cooperate,” Smith said during a court hearing last Thursday. “I don’t want a future Vice President to say, ‘I’m not going to cooperate with you because I don’t want to be fodder for The Daily Show.'”

When asked by US District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan whether the Obama administration was standing behind the refusal of George W. Bush’s Justice Department to release the transcript, Smith answered, “This has been vetted by the leadership offices. This is a department position.”


CREW had been hoping that the Obama administration would approach the lawsuit in a different manner.

But last month, the Obama administration’s representative before the Supreme Court, Solicitor General Elena Kagan, had also sought the dismissal of the civil suit. Kagan argued that the Wilsons had no legitimate ground to sue and further argued that Ambassador Wilson failed to prove that he was harmed by the attacks he endured from Cheney and others for accusing the Bush administration of twisting prewar Iraq intelligence.

That was not the first time Obama’s Justice Department has backed the Bush administration’s position on issues related to the CIA leak case.

One day after Obama was sworn in, as he was signing executive orders ushering in what he called a new era of government openness, the Justice Department quietly filed a motion in federal court to dismiss a long-running lawsuit that sought to force the Bush administration to recover as many as 15 million missing White House emails, including some from Cheney’s office that special counsel Fitzgerald had subpoenaed in connection with the leak of Plame’s identity.

Last Thursday, CREW revealed in newly released documents that the emails from Cheney’s office went missing right around the time the Bush White House faced a deadline for turning over the emails to Fitzgerald in accordance with a grand jury subpoena.

Read the entire article here….

Jason Leopold | An Interview With Valerie Plame, November 2007

Part One:

Part Two:


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    • Edger on June 24, 2009 at 02:09

    Yes we can.” Now just try and stop us.

    • Arctor on June 24, 2009 at 04:28

    escorted Bush to his waiting helicopter: I thought I read his lips correctly when he said, “Have a wonderful retirement, your Majesty!”

  1. Or is it the only ones who are jailed, ruined, and rendered are JUST US?

  2. the man that was elected, in part, for promising governmental transparency has clouded the process instead.

    We are in the fifth month of this presidency and I’m seeing nothing but broken campaign promises.

    Now, realize that has become the norm, the expected even. I just had more “hope” than that in this guy.

    I “hoped” that George W. Bush and the rest of his merry band of criminals would be held accountable. I “hoped” that single payer health care would be a reality in my lifetime. I “hoped” for fiscal responsibility again.

    Shit. I got my “hopes” up.

    Meet the new boss, somewhat less disappointing than the old boss. At least I KNEW Bush was going to fuck me with every stroke of his pen so I didn’t expect much from him.

    This is what creates voter apathy.

    • Edger on June 24, 2009 at 15:45

    Leopold/Plame interview from November 2007…

  3. High Treason is now legal if you’re a neo-con (only)

    • Joy B. on June 26, 2009 at 02:24

    …with great interest, I am very disappointed with the court. But I’ve been very disappointed with this court before.

    Plame should probably have pursued this suit on her own, rather than join with Joe. He’s her hubby and was hurt by her being hurt, but he sort of upstaged her legally in this. Joe’s issue is quite different, and one I’m sure threw a monkey-wrench they could grab hold of. HER career was ruined – by deliberate high treason – of guys who were after Joe. But that didn’t make her complaint subservient to his, since she had a real one and he had just some dirty politics and whistleblowing to do.

    The Joe connection should have been discovery EVIDENCE in her case. Their attorney advised them badly in this, I suspect. Hope he/she/it didn’t graduate from Liberty… ยง;o)

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