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CIA Lawsuits: Valerie Plame Wilson et al vs. Lewis Libby, Karl C. Rove et al



Media Reports

Legal Documents

Photo Credits




“[…] When Valerie E. Wilson - maiden name Plame - introduced herself to a reporter in her home on July 3, there was no hint she was anything other than a busy mother with an unflagging smile and classy wardrobe. She talked a bit about the joys and challenges of twins, then faded into the background. One might have thought her to be a financial manager, maybe a real estate agent - but never a spy. Few knew her secret: At 22, Plame had joined the Central Intelligence Agency and traveled the world on undercover missions. A few months after that July evening, her name - and her occupation - would be published and broadcast internationally. In the public imagination, she would become ‘Jane Bond,’ as her husband later put it. A clandestine operative isn't supposed to be famous, but her identity was leaked to journalists by administration officials for what Joseph Wilson alleged was retaliation for his criticism of the White House’s Iraq policies. […]”


Excerpt of a Washington Post article from October 8th, 2003.

Valerie Plame Wilson - former covert CIA officer


Video: Congressional Testimony by Valerie Plame Wilson (Excerpt) - March 16th, 2007

Government Document: FBI Interview with Richard B. Cheney - May 8, 2009


Media Reports


November 12th, 2009 - Ex-Spy Plame and Publisher Lose Memoir Appeal

1 news article from Reuters


October 30th, 2009 - Cheney Told FBI He Had No Idea Who Leaked Plame ID

1 news article from the Associated Press


October 1st, 2009 - Justice Dept. Ordered to Release Cheney Statements in Plame Case

1 news article from the Washington Post


July 24th, 2009 - Inside Bush and Cheney’s Final Days

1 feature article from Time Magazine


July 3rd, 2009 - New Evidence Cheney Swayed Reaction to Leak

1 news article from the Washington Post


June 22nd, 2009 - Court Will Not Revive Plame’s Lawsuit

1 news article from the Associated Press


June 19th, 2009 - Judge Questions Justice Dept. Effort to Keep Cheney Remarks Secret

1 news article from the Washington Post


November 18th, 2008 - Valerie Plame to Petition High Court to Review Lawsuit

1 news article by the Public Record


October 14th, 2008 - Lawmakers: Bush Stymied Plame Probe

1 news article by ABC News


September 22nd, 2008 - Cheney’s Testimony in Valerie Plame Leak Case Classified

1 news article by the Public Record


July 16th, 2008 - Bush Claims Executive Privilege on CIA Leak

1 news article by the Associated Press


July 8th, 2008 - Waxman Threatens Mukasey with Contempt over Leak

1 news article by the Associated Press


June 27th, 2008 - House Panel Seeks Bush Transcript in CIA Leak Case

1 news article by the Associated Press


June 21st, 2008 - McClellan Testifies he was Wary of Libby’s Leak Denial but went along

2 news articles by the Los Angeles Times & Washington Post


June 16th, 2008 - House Panel Subpoenas FBI Interviews of Bush, Cheney

1 news article by the Associated Press


June 9th, 2008 - McClellan to Testify Before House in CIA Leak Case

1 news article by the Associated Press


June 4th, 2008 - Rep. Waxman Seeks Access to Bush, Cheney Interviews on CIA Leak

1 news article by the Los Angeles Times


May 11th, 2008 - Plame Appeals Dismissal of Suit

1 news article by the Chicago Tribune


March 31st, 2008 - CIA Leak Inquiry Cost $2.58 Million

1 news article by the Associated Press


February 26th, 2008 - Expert Details White House Mail Problems

1 news article by the Associated Press


January 16th, 2008 - White House Reused E-Mail Tapes

1 news article by the Associated Press


November 20th, 2007 - Former Aide Blames Bush for Leak Deceit

1 news article by the Associated Press


October 24th, 2007 - Spy at the Centre of White House Scandal Tries to Tell All

1 news article by the National Post


August 3rd, 2007 - Judge Backs C.I.A. in Suit on Memoir

1 news article by the New York Times


July 19th, 2007 - Valerie Plame’s Lawsuit Dismissed

1 news article by the Associated Press


July 3rd, 2007 - Bush Commutes Libby Sentence, but Conviction Stands

1 news article by the Washington Post


June 6th, 2007 - Libby Given 30 Months for Lying in C.I.A. Leak Case

1 news article by the New York Times


June 1st, 2007 - Plame Sues C.I.A. for Blocking Her Memoir

1 news article by the New York Times


March 19th, 2007 - Valerie Plame, the Washington Post and the Ghost of Joe McCarthy

Opinion by Counterpunch


March 17th, 2007 - Plame Sheds Little Light in Leak Case

1 news article by the Associated Press


March 16th, 2007 - Subject of C.I.A. Leak Testifies on Capitol Hill

1 news article by the New York Times


September 13th, 2006 - Armitage Added To Plame Lawsuit

1 news article by CBS News


July 13th, 2006 - Ex-CIA Agent sues Cheney in Leak Case

1 news article by Reuters


February 12th, 2004 - Plame Gate

1 news article by the American Prospect


October 8th, 2003 - The Spy Next Door

1 news article by the Washington Post


October 4th, 2003 - Leak of Agent’s Name Causes Exposure of CIA Front Firm

1 news article by the Washington Post


October 3rd, 2003 - Suspicion Centers on Lewis Libby

1 news article by Salon Magazine


September 28th, 2003 - Bush Administration Is Focus of Inquiry

1 news article by the Washington Post


July 17th, 2003 - A War on Wilson?

1 news article by Time Magazine


July 14th, 2003 - Mission to Niger

Column by


July 6th, 2003 - What I Didn’t Find in Africa

Opinion by the New York Times



Legal Documents


Lawsuit I: Civil Suit against Lewis Libby and other White House Officials


Lawsuit II: Civil Suit against the CIA over book contract with Simon & Shuster



Lawsuit I: Valerie Plame Wilson & Joseph C. Wilson IV vs. Lewis Libby Jr., Karl C. Rove et al


US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit

Case No. 07-5257


Action filed: July 27th, 2007


November 17th, 2008 - Per Curiam Order


“[…] Appellant’s petition for rehearing en banc and the response thereto were circulated to the full court, and a vote was requested. Thereafter, a majority of the judges eligible to participate did not vote in favor of the petition. Upon consideration of the foregoing, it is ordered that the petition be denied. […]”


September 26th, 2008 - Petition


“[…] Petition filed by Appellants Joseph C. Wilson, IV and Valerie Plame Wilson for rehearing and for rehearing en banc. […]”


August 12th, 2008 - Per Curiam Judgment & Opinion


“[…] This cause came on to be heard on the record on appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and was argued by counsel. On consideration thereof, it is ordered and adjudged that the judgment of the District Court appealed from in this cause is hereby affirmed, in accordance with the opinion of the court filed herein this date. […]


“Each claim in the Wilson complaint is based on this disclosure of Privacy Act protected information. In Count One, the Wilsons allege that Joseph Wilson’s First Amendment right to free speech was violated when the information was disclosed in retaliation for his speech. Count Two alleges that Valerie and Joseph Wilson’s Fifth Amendment rights to equal protection of the laws were violated by the disclosure of information because that disclosure treated them differently from others. Count Three alleges that Valerie Wilson’s Fifth Amendment right to privacy was violated when her personal information was publicly disclosed. Count Four alleges that Valerie Wilson’s Fifth Amendment right to property was violated when the

information was disclosed because the disclosure eliminated the secrecy of her position which was essential to her employment.


“Thus, each Constitutional claim, whether pled in terms of privacy, property, due process, or the First Amendment, is a claim alleging damages from the improper disclosure of information covered by the Privacy Act.


“It is true that the Wilsons cannot obtain complete relief under the Privacy Act because the Act exempts the Offices of the President and Vice President from its coverage. […] Thus, even if the Wilsons can prove their allegations against Vice President Cheney, Rove, and Libby, they will not be remunerated for them. Nonetheless, our precedent is plain that the Wilsons are still not entitled to Bivens relief as to Vice President Cheney, Rove, or Libby, provided their omission from the remedial scheme was not inadvertent. […]”


May 9th, 2008 - Oral Argument


“Oral Argument held before Judge Sentelle, Henderson and Rogers.”


April 18th, 2008 - Letter Filed


“Letter filed by Richard B. Cheney pursuant to FRAP 28j advising of additional authorities.”


March 21st, 2008 - Appellant Reply Brief


“Appellant Reply Brief filed by Joseph C. Wilson, IV and Valerie Plame Wilson […] Disclosure Statement: Not Applicable to this Party.”


March 7th, 2008 - Joint Brief


“Joint Brief filed by Appellees I. Lewis Libby, Karl C. Rove, Richard B. Cheney, Richard L. Armitage, and USA.”


March 7th, 2008 - Brief


“Brief filed by Appellee Richard B. Cheney.”


December 20th, 2007 - Order


“[…] Ordered that the following briefing format and schedule apply in this case:


“Brief for Appellants - 02/06/08 (not to exceed 14,000 words)


“Joint Appendix - 02/06/08


“Joint Brief for Appellees - 03/07/08 (not to exceed 14,000 words)


“Individual Brief for Appellee Cheney - 03/07/08 (not to exceed 2,500 words)


“Reply Brief for Appellants - 03/14/08 (not to exceed 7,000 words) […]”


August 27th, 2007 - Docket entry


“Notice filed by Appellants Valerie Plame Wilson, et al. Final transcript status notice filed. All transcripts necessary for the appeal have been completed and received.”


July 27th, 2007 - Docket entry


“Civil-US Case docketed. Notice of Appeal filed by Appellants Valerie Plame Wilson and Joseph C. Wilson.”


U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Case No. 1:06-cv-01258-JDB


Action filed: July 13th, 2006


July 19th, 2007 - Order & Memorandum Opinion


“[…] Upon consideration of defendants’ motions to dismiss, the statement of interest and motion to dismiss filed by the United States, plaintiffs’ opposition thereto, and the entire record herein, and for the reasons given in the memorandum opinion issued on this date, it is this 19th day of July, 2007, hereby ordered that the motions to dismiss filed by the United States and by defendants Richard B. Cheney, I. Lewis Libby, Jr., Richard L. Armitage, and Karl C. Rove are granted; and it is further ordered that this action is dismissed. […]”


July 11th, 2007 - Plaintiff’s Response to Notice of Supplemental Authority


July 1st, 2007 - Notice of Supplemental Authority


May 17th, 2007 - Minute Order


Motion Hearing held on 5/17/2007 before Judge John D. Bates: MOTION to Dismiss Amended Complaint filed by KARL C. ROVE; MOTION to Dismiss Amended Complaint filed by RICHARD B. CHENEY; MOTION to Dismiss with Supporting Memorandum of Law filed by RICHARD L. ARMITAGE; MOTION to Dismiss filed by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; MOTION to Dismiss the Complaint filed by I. LEWIS LIBBY, JR. Motions heard and taken under advisement.


May 17th, 2007 - Transcript of Motions Hearing


March 12th, 2007 - Minute Order


“MINUTE ORDER: It is hereby ORDERED that time for oral argument at the May 17, 2007, motions hearing shall be allocated as follows: 60 minutes to counsel for defendants and interested party the United States in support of the motions to dismiss and statement of interest; and 60 minutes to counsel for plaintiffs in opposition to the motions to dismiss and statement of interest. Counsel for defendants and the United States shall jointly submit a notice that lists, by defendant, the agreed-upon apportionment of their allocated time by not later than May 14, 2007. Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 3/12/2007.”


February 15th, 2007 - Defendant Richard Cheney's Reply in Support of Motion to Dismiss


January 16th, 2007 - Plaintiff's Memorandum of Points and Authorities


November 14th, 2006 - The United States’ Motion to Dismiss


November 14th, 2006 - Defendant Karl Rove’s Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint


November 14th, 2006 - Defendant Lewis Libby’s Motion to Dismiss the Complaint


November 14th, 2006 - Defendant Richard Cheney’s Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint


September 13th, 2006 - Amended Complaint


“[…] 2. This Complaint arises, in part, out of a conspiracy among current and former high-level officials in the White House and actions taken by and on behalf of those officials in 2003 to violate the constitutional and other legal rights of Valerie Plame Wilson and her husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV. Those officials sought to punish Mr. Wilson for his public statements regarding assertions by the President of the United States in the 2003 State of the Union address that he used to justify war against Iraq. As their chief method of punishment, the White House officials destroyed Mrs. Wilson’s cover by revealing her classified employment with the CIA to reporters prior to and after July 14, 2003, the date on which a newspaper column by Robert Novak made public that employment.


“3. The Defendants chose not to address publicly, directly, and on the merits why they may have thought Mr. Wilson was wrong or unfair in his statements about the President’s State of the Union address. Rather, they embarked on an anonymous ‘whispering campaign’ designed to discredit and injure the Plaintiffs and to deter other critics from publicly speaking out. The audacity and malevolence of that campaign is compounded by the fact that at the same time the Wilsons were being attacked, the administration in fact was acknowledging the validity of Mr. Wilson’s public statements. Specifically, the administration admitted that claims in the 2003 State of the Union address about Iraqi attempts to buy uranium from Africa were a mistake. But for Mr. Wilson coming forward, it is unlikely that the administration ever would have acknowledged its error. The fact that the administration had to admit its mistake is one likely reason why the Defendants chose to attack the Wilsons.


“4. As a direct result of the Defendants’ conduct, both Mr. and Mrs. Wilson have suffered a violation of rights guaranteed them under the United States Constitution and the laws of the District of Columbia. This is a civil action brought under the rule of Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), that also includes statutory civil rights claims and pendent state-law claims. It is brought to recover damages from the Defendants for the constitutional and other injuries they committed against the Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs have no other remedies for the violations of their rights. […]


July 13th, 2006 - Complaint



Lawsuit II: Valerie Plame Wilson, Simon & Shuster Inc. vs. Michael Hayden, CIA et al


U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Case No. 07-4244-cv


November 12th, 2009 - Opinion


“[…] Appeal from an award of summary judgment in favor of defendants entered in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Barbara S. Jones, Judge).


“Plaintiffs Valerie Plame Wilson, a former employee of the Central Intelligence Agency, and Simon & Schuster Inc., the publisher of her memoir, submit that the district court erred in concluding, as a matter of law, that the CIA did not violate the First Amendment when it refused to allow Ms. Wilson to publish information regarding her possible pre-2002 service with the Agency. Plaintiffs assert that they have a right to publish such information because (1) the CIA ‘officially disclosed’ Ms. Wilson’s pre-2002 dates of service; and (2) those dates are, in any event, now in the public domain. The record cannot support plaintiffs’ official disclosure assertion as it was Ms. Wilson, and not the Agency, that permitted the information at issue to be revealed to the public.


“Further, plaintiffs’ public-domain argument fails because public disclosure does not deprive information of classified status, and the Agency has demonstrated good reason for adhering to its classification decision. Accordingly, because any information concerning Ms. Wilson’s possible pre-2002 Agency affiliation remains properly classified, and because Ms. Wilson is obligated by a secrecy agreement with the CIA not to disclose classified information, the district court correctly ruled that plaintiffs cannot demonstrate a First Amendment violation in this case. Affirmed. […]”


U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Case No. 1:07-cv-4595


Action filed: May 31st, 2007


August 3rd, 2007 - Opinion & Order


“[…] Valerie Plame Wilson (‘Wilson’) and her publisher, Simon & Shuster, seek declaratory and injunctive relief against the government defendants under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, the Declaratory Judgment Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act. This dispute arises from the government’s decision to preclude plaintiffs from publishing information in Wilson’s forthcoming memoir concerning her dates of employment for the Central Intelligence Agency (the ‘CIA’ or ‘Agency’). The parties have cross-moved for summary judgment without discovery. For the reasons below, the Court DENIES plaintiffs motion and GRANTS defendants’ motion. […]”


July 13th, 2007 - Notice of Cross-Motion


July 3rd, 2007 - Order


June 29th, 2007 - Notice of Motion of Plaintiffs for Summary Judgment & Permanent Injunction


June 28th, 2007 - Declaration of Benjamin H. Torrance


May 31st, 2007 - Complaint for Declaratory & Injunctive Relief


“[…] This is an action by Valerie Plame Wilson and Simon & Shuster, Inc., the publisher of Ms. Wilson’s forthcoming memoir entitled ‘Fair Game’ […] seeking a declaratory judgment that the Executive Branch of government cannot restrain publication of previously or currently unclassifiable information documenting Ms. Wilson’s dates of federal service disclosed in 2006 by the Central Intelligence Agency (‘CIA’) in an official, authorized, and unclassified letter now in the Congressional Record and available world-wide on the Library of Congress website. […]”



The Principal Leakers

Lewis Libby

Karl Rove

Richard Lee Armitage


Photo Credits




1) Former CIA operative Valerie Plame testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. - March 16th, 2007 - Susan Walsh/Associated Press;


The Principal Leakers


1) Lewis 'Scooter' Libby listens as his attorney speaks to the media at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Washington. - March 6th, 2007 - Jim Bourg/Reuters;

2) White House political strategist Karl Rove stands at the White House complex in Washington. - October 11th, 2006 - Larry Downing/Reuters;

3) Richard Lee Armitage, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State from March 29th, 2001 until February 22nd, 2005. - Undated file photo - U.S. Department of State;

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