Thursday, July 19, 2007

Valerie Plame lawsuit dismissed

Valerie Plame, a covert C.I.A. operative, had her cover blown by White House officials for blatantly partisan political reasons: her husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson, wrote a New York Times op-ed criticizing Bush's State of the Union claim that Saddam Hussein sought to buy "yellowcake" (uranium ore) in Africa. The criminal investigation — and yes there was reason to believe there was an underlying crime in revealing the identity of a covert agent — was obstructed by Scooter Libby's perjury before a grand jury, obstruction of justice, and lying to federal agents. Scooter was convicted by a jury of his peers, but set free in an act of further obstruction of justice by the President himself. Ms. Plame filed a civil lawsuit against Vice President Cheney (who appears to have ordered the illegal disclosure of important national security secrets) and other officials. However, this afternoon a federal judge ruled that she failed to demonstrate that she had a case that belonged in federal court, in spite of the judge's declaration that the suit raises "important questions relating to the propriety of actions undertaken by our highest government officials."

I haven't yet seen an analysis of the judge's reasoning, besides which I'm not a lawyer, but it is disheartening that yet again an attempt to hold the Bush administration accountable has failed. Bush described the 2004 election as the "accountability moment" for his Presidency; it appears that it will be the only one. Eighteen months tomorrow. Eighteen months tomorrow. Eighteen months tomorrow.

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