Thursday, July 13, 2006

Former CIA officer sues Cheney , Libby and Rove Over Leak

The CIA officer whose identity was leaked to reporters sued Vice President Dick Cheney, his former top aide and presidential adviser Karl Rove on Thursday, accusing them and other White House officials of conspiring to destroy her career.

In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Valerie Plame and her husband, Joseph Wilson, a former U.S. ambassador, accused Cheney, Rove and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby of participating in a "whispering campaign" to reveal Plame's CIA identity and punish Wilson for criticizing the Bush administration's motives in Iraq.

Several news organizations wrote about Plame after syndicated columnist Robert Novak named her in a column on July 14, 2003. Novak's column appeared eight days after Wilson alleged in an opinion piece in The New York Times that the administration had twisted prewar intelligence on Iraq to justify going to war.

The CIA had sent Wilson to Niger in early 2002 to determine whether there was any truth to reports that Saddam Hussein's government had tried to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger to make a nuclear weapon. Wilson discounted the reports, but the allegation nevertheless wound up in President Bush's 2003 State of the Union address.

Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Rove, said, "Without even having had a chance to review the complaint, it is clear that the allegations are absolutely and utterly without merit."

The lawsuit accuses Cheney, Libby, Rove and 10 unnamed administration officials or political operatives of putting the Wilsons and their children's lives at risk by exposing Plame.

FULL STORY

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