The judge overseeing Ms. Plame's book problems came down in favor of the CIA:
Judge Backs C.I.A. in Suit on Memoir
Valerie Wilson may be the best known former intelligence operative in recent history, but a federal judge in New York ruled Wednesday that she was not allowed to say how long she worked for the Central Intelligence Agency in the memoir she plans to publish this fall.
Although the fact that Ms. Wilson worked for the C.I.A. from 1985 to 2006 has been published in the Congressional Record and elsewhere, the judge, Barbara S. Jones of Federal District Court in Manhattan, said Ms. Wilson was not free to say so.
“The information at issue was properly classified, was never declassified and has not been officially acknowledged by the C.I.A.,” Judge Jones wrote.
C.I.A. employees sign agreements requiring them to submit manuscripts to the agency for permission before they are published. The C.I.A. has publicly acknowledged only that Ms. Wilson worked there from 2002 to January 2006, when she resigned.
But a February 2006 letter from the C.I.A. to Ms. Wilson about her retirement benefits said that she had worked for the agency since Nov. 9, 1985, for a total of “20 years, 7 days,” including “six years, one month and 29 days of overseas service.” The letter was published in the Congressional Record in connection with proposed legislation concerning Ms. Wilson’s benefits, and it remains available on the Library of Congress’s Web site.
Judge Jones acknowledged that the C.I.A. “does not contest that the information is, in fact, in the public domain,” adding that “the public may draw whatever conclusions it might from the fact that the information at issue was sent on C.I.A. letterhead by the chief of retirement and insurance services.”
But she said a classified court filing from Stephen R. Kappes, the deputy director of the C.I.A., which lawyers for Ms. Wilson and her publisher were not allowed to see, contained a reasonable explanation for the agency’s position. Judge Jones did not reveal it, saying only that Mr. Kappes has persuaded her of “the harm to national security which reasonably could be expected if the C.I.A. were to acknowledge the veracity of the information at issue.”
“His explanation is reasonable,” Judge Jones wrote of Mr. Kappes’s secret statement, “and the court sees no reason to disturb his judgment.”
I would love to see that explanation - perhaps Ms. Plame was on double-secret probation for part of her employment. But let's press on:
Mr. Rothberg said that aspect of Judge Jones’s ruling was particularly frustrating.
“Trying to argue a case in which the government was able to submit a supersecret affidavit which we were not able to review was like playing an opponent who has 53 cards in his deck,” he said.
Ahh - here is where I need some help. I am looking for a rejoinder along the lines of "Yes, but trying to argue about the significance of Joe Wilson's Niger trip with one of his supporters is like playing an opponent with only 51 cards in their deck." Only funny.
Or maybe, "Trying to argue about Ms. Plame's covert status with a special counsel who is sitting on her personnel file is like...". Well, you see my conundrum.
We had previously noted this CIA letter, and continue to believe the information that her pension calculation includes an official CIA accounting of her service abroad is a key data point eerily but not inexplicably suppressed by Special Counsel Fitzgerald.