Plame flames out (updated)

Clarice Feldman
Erwin Chemerinsky girded his loins, the Dems' front group CREW manned the laboring oar, but Plame and Wilson have flamed out:
WASHINGTON -  A federal judge on Thursday dismissed former CIA operative Valerie Plame's lawsuit against members of the Bush administration in the CIA leak scandal.

Plame, the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, had accused Vice President Dick Cheney and others of conspiring to leak her identity in 2003. Plame said that violated her privacy rights and was illegal retribution for her husband's criticism of the administration.

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.
Here is the judge's opinion. 

Update:

In a Motion to Dismiss, the Judge must consider all the allegations made by the party opposing the motion as if they were true and Judge Bates did so, finding nevertheless that the Wilsons had failed to make out a cause of action justiciable in Federal Court.

The gist of the complaint against Scooter Libby, Vice President Cheney and (the later added) Richard Armitage was that the Wilsons' constitutional rights were violated and the Court should imply damages were available as a remedy for the claimed wrongs. The Court said - correctly - that under Supreme Court precedent "special factors" including the remedial scheme established by the Privacy Act made that argument unavailing. As for the duo's tort claims, the Court referred them to the Federal Torts Claims Act which it says is the exclusive means of obtaining relief for such claims (relief available only against the government, not individuals) and they failed to avail themselves of their administrative remedies under that Act.

At the time the suit was filed the left swooned with delight at the thought of David Corn's storyline of covert Val being outed by the vicious warmongers being carried on into the far future. But even Lawrence O'Donnell, not known for his allegiance to the Administration thought the case was ridiculous.


Although compelled by the rules of civil procedure to treat the Wilsons' factual claims as true for the purpose of this litigation, the Court suggests that the alleged offense - responding to Wilson's charges - which was the basis of entire kerfuffle was simply part of the defendants' job, something one wishes the myopic special counsel and those who were responsible for his appointment would have recognized at the outset. The Washington Post writes:  
U.S. District Judge John D. Bates said that Cheney and White House aides cannot be held liable for the disclosure of information about Plame in the summer of 2003 while they were trying to rebut criticism of the administration's war efforts levied by her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV. The judge said such efforts were certainly part of the officials' scope of normal duties.

"The alleged tortious conduct, namely the disclosure of Mrs. Wilson's status as a covert operative, was incidental to the kind of conduct that defendants were employed to perform," Bates wrote in an opinion released this afternoon.

Driving the nutroots around the bend even more (if such a thing were possible), it turns out that a film in which a character based on Judy Miller, not Val or Joe, is scheduled to beat whatever Plame-based film is due to hit the big screen.  

And once again Hillary!s  triangulation efforts end in her tripping over her feet. To woo primary voters (largely in the nutroots crowd) away from Obama , she and Wilson worked out an endorsement minuet just the other day. Will he be scrubbed from the team fast as he was from Kerry's in 2004?

I don't know. I sincerely hope this affects their book and movie deals. More, I hope this is the last we hear of them.


Erwin Chemerinsky girded his loins, the Dems' front group CREW manned the laboring oar, but Plame and Wilson have flamed out:
WASHINGTON -  A federal judge on Thursday dismissed former CIA operative Valerie Plame's lawsuit against members of the Bush administration in the CIA leak scandal.

Plame, the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, had accused Vice President Dick Cheney and others of conspiring to leak her identity in 2003. Plame said that violated her privacy rights and was illegal retribution for her husband's criticism of the administration.

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.
Here is the judge's opinion. 

Update:

In a Motion to Dismiss, the Judge must consider all the allegations made by the party opposing the motion as if they were true and Judge Bates did so, finding nevertheless that the Wilsons had failed to make out a cause of action justiciable in Federal Court.

The gist of the complaint against Scooter Libby, Vice President Cheney and (the later added) Richard Armitage was that the Wilsons' constitutional rights were violated and the Court should imply damages were available as a remedy for the claimed wrongs. The Court said - correctly - that under Supreme Court precedent "special factors" including the remedial scheme established by the Privacy Act made that argument unavailing. As for the duo's tort claims, the Court referred them to the Federal Torts Claims Act which it says is the exclusive means of obtaining relief for such claims (relief available only against the government, not individuals) and they failed to avail themselves of their administrative remedies under that Act.

At the time the suit was filed the left swooned with delight at the thought of David Corn's storyline of covert Val being outed by the vicious warmongers being carried on into the far future. But even Lawrence O'Donnell, not known for his allegiance to the Administration thought the case was ridiculous.


Although compelled by the rules of civil procedure to treat the Wilsons' factual claims as true for the purpose of this litigation, the Court suggests that the alleged offense - responding to Wilson's charges - which was the basis of entire kerfuffle was simply part of the defendants' job, something one wishes the myopic special counsel and those who were responsible for his appointment would have recognized at the outset. The Washington Post writes:  
U.S. District Judge John D. Bates said that Cheney and White House aides cannot be held liable for the disclosure of information about Plame in the summer of 2003 while they were trying to rebut criticism of the administration's war efforts levied by her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV. The judge said such efforts were certainly part of the officials' scope of normal duties.

"The alleged tortious conduct, namely the disclosure of Mrs. Wilson's status as a covert operative, was incidental to the kind of conduct that defendants were employed to perform," Bates wrote in an opinion released this afternoon.

Driving the nutroots around the bend even more (if such a thing were possible), it turns out that a film in which a character based on Judy Miller, not Val or Joe, is scheduled to beat whatever Plame-based film is due to hit the big screen.  

And once again Hillary!s  triangulation efforts end in her tripping over her feet. To woo primary voters (largely in the nutroots crowd) away from Obama , she and Wilson worked out an endorsement minuet just the other day. Will he be scrubbed from the team fast as he was from Kerry's in 2004?

I don't know. I sincerely hope this affects their book and movie deals. More, I hope this is the last we hear of them.