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Last Updated: Friday, 14 July 2006, 02:01 GMT 03:01 UK
Cheney sued in CIA identity case
Dick Cheney
Mr Cheney is the most senior of the 13 officials being sued
A former CIA officer whose identity was leaked to the media is suing US Vice-President Dick Cheney.

Valerie Plame is suing Mr Cheney, his ex-aide Lewis Libby and presidential adviser Karl Rove, saying they tried to destroy her career.

Ms Plame's name appeared in the media in 2003 after her husband criticised the Bush government over Iraq.

A spokesman for Mr Rove, Mark Corallo, said the allegations were "utterly without merit".

Mr Libby has been charged with perjury and obstructing justice in connection with the leak. He has resigned pending trial but denies the charges.

It was revealed last month that Mr Rove would not be charged over the leak.


Ms Plame's name had appeared in an article written by columnist Robert Novak about a week after her husband, ex-US ambassador Joseph Wilson, said in the New York Times that the government had twisted intelligence to go to war in Iraq.

As their chief method of punishment, the White House officials destroyed [Ms Plame's] cover by revealing her classified employment with the CIA to reporters
Lawsuit wording

The CIA had sent Mr Wilson to Niger in 2002 to find out whether then Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was trying to buy uranium from the African country.

Mr Wilson reported there was no truth in the claim but it still appeared in President George W Bush's 2003 State of the Union address.

Ms Plame and Mr Wilson, who is also suing, accuse the three named officials and 10 others of putting their lives and the lives of their children at risk.

"This lawsuit concerns the intentional and malicious exposure by senior officials of the federal government of [Ms Plame], whose job it was to gather intelligence to make the nation safer and who risked her life for her country," it says.

Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame
Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame filed the lawsuit together

The couple say the officials violated their constitutional and privacy rights in order to "punish" Mr Wilson for his comments.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified compensation and punitive damages as well as legal costs.

Mr Corallo said of the lawsuit: "Without even having had a chance to review the complaint, it is clear that the allegations are absolutely and utterly without merit."

A spokeswoman for Mr Cheney, Lea Anne McBride, said he would make no comment as the matter was "before the courts".

Novak has refused to name the source who gave him Ms Plame's identity.

But on Wednesday he said Mr Rove had confirmed her employment when asked.

Novak also said that after he agreed to give prosecutors investigating the case the name of his sources, they already knew them.

Mr Libby is the only official to face charges over the leak.

He is accused of lying to a federal grand jury and the FBI about when he learned of Ms Plame's identity and what he told the media.

Mr Libby has said he was too busy with matters of national security to carry out a vendetta against Ms Plame.

Footage of Valerie Plame and husband Joe Wilson

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