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May 17, 2007



Gosh, TOm, I have always thought that, too, but is it a good idea to have Mr. 70% taking the same position I do?


Ah, Plame on once again and all is right with the world!

That and Rosie sailing completely over the world's edge.


IMO, three things have never been reconciled in this mess:

1. Libby told some small stories to a grand jury.
2. Fitz overreached in his investigation to protect grand jury testimony.
3. Fitz completely overreached in his thesis that a "cloud hung over the vice president's office." Whatever that might mean.

Someone come up with a way to connect those dots, and I'm happier. There are some large problems with 2. and 3. fitting together. And neither 2. or 3. fits at all with 1.

I speak for the great unwashed and uninformed who deal evidence and not with nuance and psychic powers!

Other Tom

On a motion to dismiss a complaint before the defendants have answered, the judge must consider only what is alleged in the complaint, and he must assume those allegations are true. I don't believe there is any allegation that any criminal disclosures were made, and of course there's no allegation of any discussion of tax returns. I take the judge's question to be a rather routine one, asked for the purpose of testing the boundaries of the lawyer's position.

Regardless of the scope of the various defendants' immunity from civil liability, there are a number of other issues that could be fatal to the complaint regardless of whether the judge agrees that Cheney is immune. In particular, there is the statute of limitations, and there is the question of whether either Plame or Wilson had any protected rights that the defendants' conduct violated, even if they did everything the plaintiffs claim they did. I think the plaintiffs have a real problem.


Yes. I remember going thru all that when the pleadings were filed. My favorite claim is that the disclosure "chilled" Wilson's right o speak out. LOL/
Armitage's answer BTW is very hard hitting and quite hilarious.


In particular, there is the statute of limitations, and there is the question of whether either Plame or Wilson had any protected rights that the defendants' conduct violated, even if they did everything the plaintiffs claim they did. I think the plaintiffs have a real problem.

And well there are a few mitigating circumstance that negate the whole premise...such as, Did Ms. Plame adhere to her oath as a CIA employee (unless she was a contractor - i don't think they need to do this) and seek permission to be photographed and participate in the big splashing Vanity Fair?

I think there was one report she did not (and that made CIA insiders pissed at her) - BUT if she was permitted, doesn't that negate the whole argument at some level - the CIA thought so little of her and her "cover" and "contacts' they gave the A OK to broadcast for all to see? As in - she with CIA approval revealed herself to the bad guys?

fat chance - and that side stepping approval to do Vanity Fair for VANITY WHILE STILL A CIA EMPLOYEE pretty much crushes any "dissent" or "reprisal" argument.

I thought Valerie Plame was suppose to be the smartest gal on earth. I'd hope a smart CIA gal wouldn't think it was groovy to do a photo shoot for an international magazine while STILL EMPLOYED!




There's a whole list of additional people she could be suing if they are serious in their claims.
-- both of these guys told reporters Valerie worked at the CIA

Bob Novak
Matthew Cooper
David Corn
--These three reporters printed what they claim to be very damaging information about Valerie (as Tops points out about VF) while she was still employed and WELL before she became a public figure.

Whoever told David Corn, I assume, also was spreading around damaging classified information about Valerie. Sue that guy.


I was able to attend the arguments--I work across the street from the courthouse--and the report in the Post was largely correct. The defense argued that the VP has essentially absolute immunity to say anything about anyone so long as it is done within the context of his official duties. As a matter of law this may well be correct. There has always been a fairly broad grant of immunity for govenment officials conducting official business, but it seems arguing absolute immunity, which is what his attorney's argued, seems more than this judge is willing to swallow. We shall see.


What a welcomed sight this topic is!

Jeff Dobbs

My guess - in a few weeks this suit is dismissed.

Who are you and what have you done with the real TM??????

Where's the TM of the BOLD PREDICTION?


OT: Arlen Specter predicts that Gonzales will resign by the time their investigations are completed.

Now they're seeking a "No Confidence" vote.

Guess they'll garner enough votes....

This whole Plame story continues to be ridiculous.

Charlie (Colorado)

...the comically over-heated response at the Daily Kos.

Jeeez, you could have a whole category of posts for this.


I enjoy hearing the argument that refuting Joe Wilson's allegations was part of the Administration's normal and appropriate duty to defend its foreign policy decisions.

Won't bother me a bit to hear that over and over for a few months.

Other Tom

dmh: Is it possible for you to summarize what was said on the issues of the statutes of limitations and the failure to allege that any protected right was violated? I'd be particularly interested in what the judge had to say, if you recall. Thanks.


I would like to see the defense enter Wilson's testimony from the Senate Committee that had previously investigated Plamegate with all the literary flair and reporters misattributing Wilson's leaks.


Plame never had permission from CIA to admit she was a CIA operations officer paramiltiarily trained and get the operations officers in Iraq assassinated. Jim and Larry Johnson had no permission to verify they were all trained at the farm together just before the Iran desk came out.

Specter is after Gonzales because he threatened to not renew the NSA charter. The real answer is to not renew all the charters at Congress that create agencies that think they work for Congress and not the President.

What most want to know is if Plame is part of the genetic material thieving by nurses from Bethesda Naval hospital. The postpartum and the clinics for the material are too good to pass up. So, is postpartum how they pay off one of those who use the material from a drugged person? Maybe it's space alien abductions stealing material and it has something to do with the move to Langley by Air force(NASA) and creation of the new Geospacial intelligence agency at Congress and the war between CIA and Air Force regarding 'time travel.' Should it be CIA agents like Plame or the traditional astronauts trained for that type of travel? Maybe it's all psy ops designed to drive victims insane, but, apparently, even with Lucifer's reminders, is impossible because Satan created perfection in God's creations as they originally were?

The psy ops will go on because the truth is there really is a cabal at Bethesda naval hosptial that collects genetic material from drugged victims or, maybe, that is a psy op in itself, but, it appears to affect more than one victim and has some foundations in the military. So, the question is what is a CIA agent doing with this type. the excuse would be investigating, but this might just result in the predicted outcome as has occurred in the past, putting the persons who drugged the victim in harms way because of the admission to doing this, which, of course, might result on murder atttempts on the victim in a traditional style like, as before, drugging. The answer is the victim can't talk once the admission is there because that would put the people who drugged and stole in danger, which is why she made the admission. That and a possible investigation that had the desired outcome for the investigator, which the investigator would have known before investigating, and talking would put the victim in danger because of the nature of the drugging and, later, more attempts would be made on the victims life by drugging again and this would also be known to the investigator. The pattern would be known if the investigator knew the victim and the past druggings. So, did the investigator have the victim's file and proceed with things that were dangerous to the victim also knowing the victim?

The dissent and reprisals are in Plame's actions and maybe the last bits aren't that interesting unless someone wants more victims. Someone wants immunity. The last
bits would be the question and whether or not the victim's file was available? It easy to make a victim with known facts.

Anyway, TM has been mugged? I'm calling his mother and having her fetal stem cells checked just in case. TM, maybe we need some tests. It's just a bunch of females and it's like a dream, but, if you wake up, remember to act like you can't tell what's happening.




I've said it before, but I love to repeat myself, so I'll say it again.

Federal elected officials may discuss almost anything with with almost anyone and still remain within the scope of their employment. I quote the DC circuit in an opinion (warning, pdf) binding on this court:

"Under [the relevant DC agency law provisions], [the plaintiff] maintains that [defendant's] allegedly defamatory statement itself was not conduct of the kind he is employed to perform. This argument rests on a misunderstanding of D.C. scope-of-employment law (not to mention the plain text of the Westfall Act), which directs courts to look beyond alleged intentional torts themselves. The proper test has two disjunctive parts: “To qualify as conduct of the kind he was employed to perform, the [defendant’s] actions must have either been ‘of the same general nature as that authorized’ or ‘incidental to the conduct authorized.’”


"The proper inquiry in this case “focuses on the underlying dispute or controversy, not on the nature of the tort, and is broad enough to embrace any intentional tort arising out of a dispute that was originally undertaken on the employer’s behalf.”

In other words, if a Congressman can slander third parties with impunity whilst gossiping about his divorce because that is within the scope of his employment, Cheney can talk about the actions of government employees and contractors to his heart's content.

Remember, however, that "scope of employment" doesn't end the inquiry into liability. It only stops those causes of action for which the US claims sovereign immunity. Please note that the US will pay off when, within the scope of his or her employment, a US employee discloses information protected under the Privacy Act. Some of your examples, TM, fall into that category.


There is also the not inconsequential problem for the plaintiffs..an utter inability to shoe damages.


There is also the not inconsequential problem for the plaintiffs..an utter inability to show damages.

Tom Maguire

Where's the TM of the BOLD PREDICTION?

LOL. I kinda think he'll be back eventually. Maybe.

...an utter inability to shoe damages.

Fortunately they have well-heeled attorneys.



Other Tom

The trick in this case is to get it dismissed on the insufficiency of the complaint, i.e. without discovery of either side. Once discovery is taken, it's a defense slam dunk, on lack of damages and a number of other grounds, but the plaintiffs' entire purpose has been to get into discovery. Unfortunately for them, they might fare quite a bit worse than the defendants do.

I suppose it's good that the late, great Chick Hearn, who is said to have coined the term, didn't live to see "slam dunk" so discredited.


OT- yes, EW says as much in her latest Plame post. This isn't about getting "rich" (getting damages), this is about getting subpoenas on Rove and Cheney.
One wonders what they want to do with those subpoenas.

clarice- thanks for the newest Murray Waas link. What an odd duck.
The arrival of the Plame trial really showed me how odd he is. The way he didn't even show up at the trial, and barely blogged about it. When the trial first opened, he spent more of his time writing about Jane Hamsher's health than discussing the trial.


--Whoever told David Corn, I assume, also was spreading around damaging classified information about Valerie. Sue that guy.--

HEH. Well, and she admitted she spoke to Kristoff with out getting permission -in direct violation- as well. (and listened to her husband detail- falsely - information she herself was not permitted to talk about directly related to her employer and employment)


--This isn't about getting "rich" (getting damages)--

riiight. filing it prolly sealed the Warner Brothers movie deal. I mean they need SOME meat to get that 2.6 million.

Incidentally, I think Monica had a better claim against smear merchant Sidney Blumenthal than does Valerie Plame's lame suit.


OH and wouldn't be hilarious if the judge throws out all defendents except the actual blabber - Armitage?


I've never understood why the WH defenders make it so complicated. Wilson was all over the media insinuating Cheney sent him to Niger. Cheney, knowing it wasn't true, corrected the record. It isn't necessary to roll in all the other foreign policy differences between the two. That one element was the impetus behind finding out who sent Wilson.

As for invasion of privacy, the Wilsons are as much "public figures" as I can imagine. And no one drug them into the spotlight...they eagerly sought it.


Ok, just in case anyone is still noticing the dead threads...

but the plaintiffs' entire purpose has been to get into discovery.
How does discovery work? Suppose that the plaintiffs demand discovery for A, B & C, while the defense demands X, Y & Z. Suppose the defense vigorously objects that A, B & C are irrelevant. Suppose that the plaintiffs either don't object, or their objections are dismissed summarily. We see the case as being embarassingly lopsided, with the plaintiffs having no legal leg to stand on. If the courts take the same view, is there a risk to the plaintiffs that the courts could allow defense discovery to go forward, while simultaneously keeping the plaintiff's discovery motions in litigation, and then dismissing them after plaintiffs have already been forced to spill their guts? Or would pending litigation on the plaintiffs discovery motions automatically suspend any defense discovery motions?

As TSK9 points out, there is the amusing possibility of the judge dismissing everything except the suit against Armitage. Of course the Wilsons will immediately drop the suit if that happens (and they can't be prevented from doing that, right? And unless Armitage and/or the others countersued, then it would just be over, right?)

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