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Last Updated: Friday, 14 July 2006, 16:21 GMT 17:21 UK
US officials 'betrayed' CIA agent
Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame
Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame filed the lawsuit together
A former CIA officer who is suing US Vice-President Dick Cheney and others over the leaking of her identity says the government "betrayed" her trust.

Valerie Plame's identity was leaked after her husband, former US ambassador Joseph Wilson, criticised the use of intelligence before the war in Iraq.

In a lawsuit the pair say Ms Plame was outed by officials in "revenge".

"I and my former CIA colleagues trusted our government to protect us as we did our jobs," Ms Plame told reporters.

"That a few reckless individuals within the current administration betrayed that trust has been a grave disappointment to every patriotic American."

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

She added: "I feel strongly, and justice demands, that those who acted so harmfully against our national security must answer for their shameful conduct in court."

Mr Wilson said officials' "use of power for personal revenge" broke faith with their oath to uphold the constitution.

He said the couple were "under no illusions about how tough this fight will be".

But he said: "No official, however powerful, is above the law."

Dick Cheney
Mr Cheney is the most senior of the 13 officials being sued

The couple were speaking at a news conference a day after the unveiling of their civil lawsuit against Mr Cheney, his ex-aide Lewis Libby and presidential adviser Karl Rove.

They accuse the three named officials and 10 others of putting their lives and the lives of their children at risk.

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

Mr Rove's spokesman has described the allegations in Ms Plame's lawsuit as "utterly without merit". Mr Rove's solicitor says he has been told that no charges against Mr Rove are anticipated.

'Twisted intelligence'

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

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.

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