Friday, August 03, 2007

Judge Rules About That Which Valerie Plame Can/Cannot Write in Memoir

In yet another example of up being down, left being right and petty douchebaggery being called noble, a district judge has ruled that Valerie Plame cannot reveal the dates she worked for the CIA because that information was never declassified. Yahoo News Reuters excerpt:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The ex-spy whose unmasking led to the conviction of Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide cannot disclose the dates she worked for the CIA because the details were never declassified, a federal judge has ruled.

The decision, made public on Friday by U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones, was a victory for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, which sought to block former agent Valerie Plame Wilson from including the dates in her upcoming memoir, "Fair Game."

Plame, along with publisher Simon & Schuster, filed a lawsuit in May against Mike McConnell, the U.S. director of national intelligence, and CIA Director Michael Hayden, seeking to stop the CIA from interfering with publication of her book.

"The information at issue was properly classified, was never declassified, and has not been officially acknowledged by the CIA," the judge said.

Plame's cover as a CIA agent was blown when her identity was leaked to reporters and appeared in a newspaper column in 2003, shortly after her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, emerged as an Iraq war critic.

Cheney's former chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was convicted of lying and obstruction of justice in the investigation of the leak. President George W. Bush commuted Libby's 2 1/2-year prison sentence last month.

Plame's suit argued that the CIA released her dates of service in an unclassified letter sent to her in 2006 by the agency, and that the agency "now purports to classify or reclassify Ms. Wilson's pre-2002 federal service dates" so it cannot be published in her memoir.

CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield said the letter had been "an administrative error" because it contained classified information.

Adam Rothberg, a spokesman for Simon & Schuster, said the company was considering all available legal options and is moving forward with the publication of the memoir.

You've gotta love that nonsense about the unclassified letter being an "administrative error" as justification for the CIA's effort to stop this book from being published. How convenient. Through sheer incompetence they led Plame to believe that this information was not classified, but now they ask for a do-over, and an apparently Bush-friendly judge has given them what they want.

Okay, let me get this straight: Bob Novak, Judith Miller and Tim Russert, among others, helped publicize Plame's status as a covert operative, such information having been given directly and indirectly by Scooter Libby, yet Plame herself cannot discuss such matters on her own terms? Can you say "bullshit"? The immortal words of Elvis Costello come to mind: "I used to be disgusted, now I try to be amused..." Well, the amusement at what this joke of an administration continues to get away with is long gone, since it is clear that Bush, Cheney and the rest of these criminals will never be held accountable for anything they do. I wish January 20th 2009 would hurry up and get here...

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