Philip Agee has died

And of course, since this happened in Cuba, we only get to hear about it after the fact…

Former CIA agent Philip Agee, a critic of U.S. foreign policy who infuriated American intelligence officials by naming purported agency operatives in a 1975 book, has died, state media reported Wednesday. He was 72.

Agee quit the CIA in 1969 after 12 years working mostly in Latin America at a time when leftist movements were gaining prominence and sympathizers. His 1975 book “Inside the Company: CIA Diary,” cited alleged CIA misdeeds against leftists in the region and included a 22-page list of purported agency operatives.

[…]

Agee’s U.S. passport was revoked in 1979. U.S. officials said he had threatened national security. After years of living in Hamburg, Germany — occasionally underground, fearing CIA retribution — Agee moved to Havana to open a travel Web site.

The site, cubalinda.com, is designed to bring U.S. tourists to Cuba, offering package tours and other help that is largely off-limits to Americans because of the U.S. trade embargo. Agee opened the site in 2000 with European investors and a state-run travel agent as his partners.

There was no mention of Agee’s death on the site Wednesday.


Strange. But further down is something even stranger:

Barbara Bush, the wife of former President George H.W. Bush — himself a one-time CIA chief — in her autobiography accused Agee’s book of exposing a CIA station chief, Richard S. Welch, who was later killed by leftist terrorists in Athens in 1975. Agee, who denied any involvement in the killing, sued her for $4 million for defamation, and she revised the book to settle the case.

Agee’s actions in the 1970s inspired a law criminalizing the exposure of covert U.S. operatives.

But in 2003, he drew a distinction between what he did and the exposure of CIA officer Valerie Plame, the wife of former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, a prominent critic of President Bush’s Iraq policy.

“This is entirely different than what I was doing in the 1970s,” Agee said. “This is purely dirty politics in my opinion.”

Agee said that in his case, he disclosed the identities of his former CIA colleagues to “weaken the instrument for carrying out the policy of supporting military dictatorships” in Greece, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.

Those regimes “were supported by the CIA and the human cost was immense: torture, executions, death squads,” he said.

Emphasis added.

Now isn’t that interesting? The Bush Crime Family not only falsely accused Agee of treason (how it could be treasonable to stop the CIA interfering in foreign politics, is the unanswered question), it also violated the same law his actions helped bring about. Then, Agee exposed several CIA operations that were well known overthrowing elected foreign regimes in the interest of stopping the torture, executions and death squads; now, BushCo has leaked Valerie Plame’s identity in the interest of continuing their operations against Iraq, which just so happen to include torture, executions and death squads!

It just doesn’t seem fair that BushCo can go on doing what it’s always done, and making obscene profits off it, while someone like Agee has to go into exile and become something of a pariah. Shouldn’t it have been the other way around?

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2 Responses to Philip Agee has died

  1. Slave Revolt says:

    A true patriot, and a decent man.
    He did the right thing–and he got hell for it.
    History will absolve the man, indeed.
    Likewise, the people that apologized for repression and deathsquads will be seen for their failures.

  2. Bina says:

    Slave, my dream is to see John Negroponte face a crowd of Central American survivors of HIS death squads.
    I note that what Agee blew the whistle on was in fact international crimes–some of them WAR crimes. That sets this apart a full 180 degrees from Valerie Plame’s outing. She was actually doing her job as an intelligence agent, and the information she found could have prevented a war if made public in time; the CIA people Agee outed, on the other hand, were in cahoots with mafias, assassins and death squads. They were the reason JFK was threatening to rip the CIA’s guts out not long before they had him killed.

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