by David Bromwich on HuffPo
A decision yesterday by U.S. District Judge John D. Bates threw out the lawsuit by Valerie Plame against Vice President Cheney and several other government officials. Several news reports have pointed out that the judge followed a narrow jurisdictional view of the case; but not much attention has been given to his reasoning or its implications.
Judge Bates found that government officials are protected under the Privacy Act from liability for actions performed in the course of their normal duties. "The act of rebutting public criticism," he wrote, "such as that levied [sic: he means leveled] by Mr. Wilson against the Bush administration's handling of prewar foreign intelligence, by speaking with members of the press is within the scope of defendants' duties as high-level Executive Branch officials." Notice his choice of words: not prerogatives but "duties." They were obliged by law and compelled by custom to blow the cover of a CIA agent.
There's more ... there usually is.
For those who didn't get the memo, Plame really was an active duty agent.
Here's a full chronology.
And here's her sworn testimony before the House Government Oversight Committee.
Plame: "In the run-up to the war with Iraq, I worked in the Counterproliferation Division of the CIA, still as a covert officer whose affiliation with the CIA was classified. I raced to discover solid intelligence for senior policymakers on Iraq’s presumed weapons of mass destruction program."
"While I helped to manage and run secret worldwide operations against this WMD target from CIA headquarters in Washington, I also traveled to foreign countries on secret missions to find vital intelligence."
Get it? What part of "covert officer" and "traveled to foreign countries on secret missions" is so hard to understand?
Who else is this administration prepared to throw under a bus for political gain? Talk about your honor and integrity!