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Ex-CIA agent Plame sues Cheney, Libby and Rove

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published July 14, 2006


WASHINGTON - The CIA officer whose identity was leaked to reporters has filed a lawsuit against Vice President Dick Cheney, his former top aide and presidential adviser Karl Rove, accusing them and other White House officials of conspiring to destroy her career.

In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Valerie Plame and her husband, Joseph Wilson, a former U.S. ambassador, accused Cheney, Rove and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby of revealing Plame's CIA identity in seeking revenge against Wilson for criticizing the Bush administration's motives in Iraq.

Several news organizations wrote about Plame after syndicated columnist Robert Novak named her in a column on July 14, 2003. Novak's column appeared eight days after Wilson said in an opinion piece in the New York Times that the administration had twisted prewar intelligence on Iraq to justify going to war.

The lawsuit accuses Cheney, Libby, Rove and 10 unnamed administration officials or political operatives of putting the Wilsons and their children's lives at risk by exposing Plame.

"This lawsuit concerns the intentional and malicious exposure by senior officials of the federal government of ... (Plame), whose job it was to gather intelligence to make the nation safer and who risked her life for her country," the Wilsons' lawyers said in the lawsuit.

Specifically, the lawsuit accuses the White House officials of violating the Wilsons' constitutional rights to equal protection and freedom of speech. It also accuses the officials of violating the couple's privacy rights.

Libby is the only administration official charged in connection with the leak investigation.

He faces trial in January on perjury and obstruction-of-justice charges, accused of lying to FBI agents and a federal grand jury about when he learned Plame's identity and what he subsequently told reporters.

Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald has already said Rove will not face any criminal charges.

The lawsuit alleges that Cheney, Libby and Rove used Plame to punish Wilson for his public statements about the administration's portrayal of the intelligence on Iraq.

[Last modified July 14, 2006, 02:56:48]


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