Published June 22, 2009
The Supreme Court announced Monday it will not give further consideration to a lawsuit brought by a fired CIA agent and her husband against high ranking Bush administration officials, including former Vice President Dick Cheney.
The decision is a victory for Cheney and his former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove, and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. They and nine unnamed co-defendants were sued by Valerie Plame Wilson and her husband Joseph after her CIA cover was leaked to reporters.
The "Plame Affair" was a major Washington scandal during the Bush administration's second term. A federal prosecutor brought in to examine the case never brought criminal charges for the outing, but his investigation led to Libby's conviction for perjury and obstruction of justice. President Bush commuted Libby's two and a half prison sentence.
The Wilsons said their case was about "abuse of power at the highest level of American government."
They claim the senior Bush administration officials orchestrated a campaign to leak Plame's name to reporters in an effort to compromise her status as a covert CIA agent. This was supposedly done as retribution for a 2003 New York Times column her husband authored about Iraq's nuclear ambitions and that country's relations with Niger.
The Wilsons' claimed that Plame's blown cover made them a target for people with hostile views against the United States. They also contend the circumstance of her outing resulted in the suffering of "gross invasions of privacy."
The couple sued seeking unspecified financial damages but their lawsuit was dismissed by a federal trial court judge. That decision that was upheld last year by an appellate court. Monday's ruling by the Supreme Court, made as usual without comment, leaves the lower court rulings in place.