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Valerie Plame Loses First Amendment Appeal

Valerie Plame Wilson, the former CIA Operations Officer whose affiliation was revealed in 2003, has lost her First Amendment appeal to publish information related to her CIA service. Ms. Wilson claimed that she had a right to publish the information because (1) the CIA “officially disclosed” her dates of service; and (2) those dates are now in the public domain.

The District Court rejected Ms. Wilson’s claim, holding that Ms. Wilson herself had allowed the information to be revealed to the public and that even public disclosure does not remove the classified status of the information. The Court of Appeals recognized that the CIA might have negligently transferred the information to Ms. Wilson without the proper classification, but held that nonetheless, because the information continued to be properly classified and because Ms. Wilson is obligated by a Secrecy Agreement, the First Amendment claim fails and she may not publish the information in her memoir.

Read more at:

Wilson v. CIA, No. 07-4244-cv, 2009 WL 3763830 (2nd Cir. Nov. 12, 2009).


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