While Bates did not address the constitutional questions, he seemed to side with administration officials who said they were acting within their job duties. Plame had argued that what they did was illegal and outside the scope of their government jobs.
This seems absolutely correct to me. Plame's identity was initally disclosed to the Press by Richard Armitage, no friend of the Bush Administration, following Plame's husband Joe Wilson writing an opinion colomn in which he falsely claimed that the Bush Administration, particularly Vice-President Richard Cheney, had sent him to Niger and then lied about his findings of Iraqi attemtps to purchase uranium there. However, Administration officials then debunked Wilson's claims by pointing out (correctly) that Cheney did not in fact send Wilson- he got the job through his CIA wife's efforts, Valorie Plame. The Congressional Committee on Intelligence further found that it was Wilson, not Cheney or Bush, who lied about what he reported.
Finally, for Plame to claim that the Administration somehow leaked her CIA identity is somewhat ridiculous, seeing as how Wilson was a former Ambassador and Plame was in "Who's Who" with him- identified as a CIA employee! Never mind the fact that even Special Investigator Fitzgerald fuond that no crime was committed in the whole affair- Libby's prison sentence came for obstructing justice, not from leaking a CIA employee's identity. The New York Times has done far more leaking- with far more serious results, I may add- than anyone in the Administration.
This whole affair has beeen a tempest in a teacup, with absolutely no wrongdoing by anyone, other than Lewis Libby, who was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice- though not what Fitzgerald wass investigating! Let us hope that this represents the final whimper of the Left's hopes of somehow inventing criminal conduct to pin on Bush, Cheney, or anyone else highly placed in the Administration. Compared with the previous Administration, Bush's has been almost unbelievably free of scandal, depsite the best efforts of the Press and the Democratic Party to manufacture one.