Sunday, July 16, 2006

Wilsons' lawsuit against Cheney, et al. Wilsons' lawsuit against Cheney, et al.

I figured I had to nail down some of my comments about the Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame case against Libby, Rove, and Cheney before I lost their link at of the complaint. The complaint has eight causes of action, four under the 5th Amdt., one under the 1st Amdt., one under the civil rights laws, one for negligence as to same, and a conspiracy claim. They are all cleverly couched to try to keep the U.S. govt. from intervening too quickly and the defendants being able to assert immunity. But ultimately, they are unlikely to prevail, as they assert that the defendants acted out of animus towards the plaintiffs, whereas there is evidence that they acted at least to some extent, and maybe primarily, to rebut, which would bring their actions within the scope of their official duties.

But before the Wilsons get to the causes of action, they list their version of the history of the dispute. They essentially start with Joe Wilson's junket to Niger, his NYT article, and then list various instances in approx. June, 2003, when Libby talked to reporters and told them about Plame's CIA employment at the CIA and that she helped get her husband the junket. And, then Robert Novak published his article that made all this public. That however is one of the biggest problems with the complaint. All of their alleged damages result from the Novak article, and they fail to tie it to any actions of the defendants. And, we know from recent revelations by Novak that it was independent. And that is the problem - causation.

Let's use this analogy. A shoots at X a couple of times and misses. B independently shoots at the vicinity of X and hits him. So, here, X sues A for being hit by B, without showing how A caused B to hit him.


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Blogger Stephen C. Carlson said...

All of their alleged damages result from the Novak article, and they fail to tie it to any actions of the defendants.

The closest the complaint gets to this is in ¶ 18(u) at the top of p. 12, where it states that Libby was advised from Rove or one of the Does that the latter discussed Wilson's wife with Bob Novak.

Since Novak clarified the Novak-Rove conversation in more detail right before their filed their complaint, I'm curious why the complaint seems to be unaware of it.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Bruce Hayden said...

I reread that, and I still don't think that is sufficient for causation. It fails to indicate whether or not Rove told Novak about Plame's identity.

Of course, we all know that this was when Rove told Novak that "I heard that too" to corrobrate Plame's identity for Novak. But notably, that is not plead here.

7:58 PM  

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