July 13, 2006

Ex-CIA agent sues Cheney, others in leak case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former CIA operative Valerie Plame
and her husband sued Vice President Dick Cheney, top
presidential aide Karl Rove and others on Thursday for their
role in the public disclosure of her classified CIA status.

The suit was the latest twist in a long-running saga over
the outing of Plame that put President George W. Bush on the
defensive over his reasons for taking the United States to war
in Iraq and reached into the highest levels of the White House.

The civil lawsuit by Plame and her husband, former
Ambassador Joseph Wilson, said the couple suffered violations
of their constitutional and legal rights.

The CIA leak case flared after Wilson accused the
administration of outing his wife to punish him for questioning
use of intelligence about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in
the run-up to the war launched by Washington in 2003.

An investigation led to the indictment of a top Cheney
aide, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, last year on charges of
obstruction of justice and perjury. He is the only person
charged so far in the case.

The civil lawsuit cited "a conspiracy among current and
former high-level officials in the White House" to "discredit,
punish and seek revenge against" Wilson for publicly disputing
statements made by Bush justifying the war in Iraq.

While no specific dollar amount is requested, the lawsuit
sought unspecified compensatory and punitive damages and
attorneys' fees and costs.

The suit also named Libby, who was Cheney's former chief of
staff, and 10 unnamed senior government officials and aides.