Former CIA agent sues Cheney and Rove over leak of her identity

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The Independent US

The CIA officer Valerie Plame, whose identity was leaked to reporters, sued Vice-President Dick Cheney and his former top aide and presidential adviser Karl Rove yesterday, accusing them and other White House officials of conspiring to destroy her career.

In a lawsuit filed in US District Court, Ms Plame and her husband, Joseph Wilson, a former US ambassador, accused Mr Cheney, Mr Rove and Lewis "Scooter" Libby of revealing her identity in revenge after Mr Wilson criticised the administration's motives in Iraq.

Several news organisations wrote about Ms Plame after the columnist Robert Novak named her in a column on 14 July 2003, eight days after Mr Wilson alleged in an opinion piece in The New York Times that the administration twisted intelligence to justify going to war. The Central Intelligence Agency had sent Mr Wilson to Niger in early 2002 to determine if reports that Saddam Hussein had tried to buy uranium from Niger to make a nuclear weapon were true. Mr Wilson discounted the reports, but they still ended up in President George Bush's 2003 State of the Union address.

The lawsuit accuses Mr Cheney, Mr Libby, Mr Rove and 10 unnamed officials of putting the Wilsons and their children's lives at risk.