Dick Cheney’s Best Friend: Judge John D. Bates

AP reports:

Former CIA operative Valerie Plame lost a lawsuit Thursday that demanded money from Bush administration officials whom she blamed for leaking her agency identity … U.S. District Judge John D. Bates dismissed the case on jurisdictional grounds and said he would not express an opinion on the constitutional arguments.

Dismissed on a technicality and not the merits. But where have we hear about this John D. Bates before? Oh yea:

In a case involving bedrock constitutional issues, a federal judge today threw out a lawsuit brought by an agency of Congress against Vice President Dick Cheney over the formulation of the administration’s energy policy. Judge John D. Bates of Federal District Court found that Comptroller General David M. Walker, the head of the General Accounting Office, did not have sufficient standing to sue the vice president. Mr. Walker had asked the judge to order the White House to reveal the identities of industry executives who helped the administration develop its energy policy last year. In declining to do so, and in dismissing Mr. Walker’s suit, Judge Bates said that granting the G.A.O. chief’s request “would fly in the face of the restricted role of the federal courts under the Constitution.”

Again – the Federal court is not the right venue for what appears to be a Federal case. What is it with this judge? Hat tip to Think Progress.

Update: Robert Novak defends his outing of Valerie Plame:

Novak contends in his book that Plame Wilson was “not now and never would be again” a covert agent. But he admits that CIA spokesman Bill Harlow asked him “to keep Mrs. Wilson’s CIA connection out of my column” and that the “revelation of her name might cause unspecified ‘difficulties’ if she traveled abroad.” He inferred based on his “experience with CIA jargon” that Plame “at one time had been engaged in covert activities abroad but was not now and never would be again.” He says he “learned much later” she had already been outed by a Soviet spy, “which had ended her career as a covert agent long before I wrote about her.”

Novak’s “defense” is based on statements that are clearly not true. OK, Novak’s rightwing buddies love to tell these lies. But repeating someone else’s lie does not change the fact that it is a lie.