Jump to content
The Education Forum

Recommended Posts

So I assume John you will be able to show where you ever wrote anything critical of Phillip Agee for revealing the names of hundreds of CIA covert operatives around the world? What he did was of course a hundred-fold worse than whoever revealed Plam's status, given the number of agents he "outed".

As Tim Gratz brought up the activities of Phillip Agee I thought it might be a good idea to start a thread on this interesting character.

Philip Burnett Franklin Agee was born in 1936. He joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1957 and worked as a case officer in several Latin American countries. Agee later claimed: "My eyes began to open little by little down there as I began to realize more and more that all of the things that I, and my colleagues were doing in the CIA had one goal that was that we were supporting the traditional power structures in Latin America. These power structures had been in place for centuries. Where in a relative few families where able to control the wealth and income and power of the state and the economy. To the exclusion of the majority of the population in many countries. The only glue that kept this system together was political repression. I was involved in this. Eventually I decided I didn't want anything more to do with that."

Agee resigned in 1969 and began work on a book about his experiences. Ted Shackley head of the CIA's Western Hemisphere Division, was given the task of trying to stop the book from being published. Agee moved to Cuba and his book Inside the Company: CIA Diary was published in 1975. The book was published worldwide in 27 languages. Agee, who was an outspoken critic of America's covert activities, came under attack from the media. The United States retaliated by having him arrested and expelled from five NATO countries.

In 1978 Agee and a small group of supporters began publishing the Covert Action Information Bulletin in order to promote what Agee called "a worldwide campaign to destabilize the CIA". His autobiography, On The Run , was published in 1987.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 50
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

John,

Because of the Wilson/Palme affair, I have been thinking a lot about Phil Agee, who was recruited out of Notre Dame by the CIA, and who, I believe, is responsible for the law that make it a crime to knowingly reveal the identity of a CIA agent.

Agee identified not only the agents he knew and worked with, or knew about - like LICOVY3 of Mexico City, a double agent American student from Philadelphia who is suspected by some of being the student "Steve" or "Ed" Keenan who rode Oswald around Mexico City on the back of his motorbike, but others as well. After the agents he exposed were taken out of the field, and the networks he exposed disassembled, he came out with another book that also exposed many agents, though not Welsh - the one he is accused of exposing who was then murdered.

Upon investigation, it was discovered that when replaced, the new CIA agents in embassies abroad merely took over the same offices and phone numbers as their predecessors, so it was no problem for Agee to out their replacements as well.

Agee is still alive, I believe, and his take on the Wilson/Palme affair would be interesting.

BK

Link to post
Share on other sites
John,

Because of the Wilson/Palme affair, I have been thinking a lot about Phil Agee, who was recruited out of Notre Dame by the CIA, and who, I believe, is responsible for the law that make it a crime to knowingly reveal the identity of a CIA agent.

Agee identified not only the agents he knew and worked with, or knew about - like LICOVY3 of Mexico City, a double agent American student from Philadelphia who is suspected by some of being the student "Steve" or "Ed" Keenan who rode Oswald around Mexico City on the back of his motorbike, but others as well. After the agents he exposed were taken out of the field, and the networks he exposed disassembled, he came out with another book that also exposed many agents, though not Welsh - the one he is accused of exposing who was then murdered.

Upon investigation, it was discovered that when replaced, the new CIA agents in embassies abroad merely took over the same offices and phone numbers as their predecessors, so it was no problem for Agee to out their replacements as well.

Agee is still alive, I believe, and his take on the Wilson/Palme affair would be interesting.

BK

------------------------------

Phil runs a travel agency in Havana, and pray tell I wouldn't want to cause any difficulties, BUT:

His "Company Diary" fails to include ANY entries for November, 1963. Has he corrected that mistake in later published materials.

I for one am still anxious to hear his immediate reactions to the "Crime-of-the-Century", and moreover, where was he when he got the sad news.

Wheaties,

GPH

_____________________

Link to post
Share on other sites
Phil runs a travel agency in Havana, and pray tell I wouldn't want to cause any difficulties, BUT:

His "Company Diary" fails to include ANY entries for November, 1963. Has he corrected that mistake in later published materials.

I for one am still anxious to hear his immediate reactions to the "Crime-of-the-Century", and moreover, where was he when he got the sad news.

Interesting point. As it happens I was reading this book last night. The purpose was to look at his reaction to the JFK assassination. As you say, that part of the diary is missing. Very strange.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Perhaps you missed my point. My point is that I doubt that John, who is clearly anti-CIA, objected to what Phillip Agee did because Agee's motivation was in left-wing politics: to disrupt the activities of the CIA. I suggest John (and others) are not aghast because Victoria Plame was revealed as a CIA operative (what a dastardly thing to do!) but rather because it presents an opportunity to bash Bush.

Mark Knight wrote:

The issue being raised was the law against revealing the identity of a covert agent. Yet conservatives on this very forum won't address THAT question without bringing up the name of Phillip Agee. While Agee was indeed guilty under this statute, the argument of "comparative guilt" is once again raised along with Agee's name.

If I recall correctly, what Agee did was morally reprehensible in putting the lives of American operatives in danger, but it was not illegal at the time. The law making it illegal to reveal the name of a covert operative was passed in response to what Agee did.

While Agee's revelations may have been the inspiration for the law in question, that doesn't prevent obfuscators from bringing up the argument of "comparative guilt", as I previously mentioned. In other words, the argument is made that what the current administration did is much less wrong than what Agee did [although, at the time, there was no law prohibiting Agee's revelations]. I just find it informative that persons who call themselves "conservatives," who live for "the rule of law," would resort to defending the current administration by arguing "comparative guilt," as they do and have done. To an intellectually honest person, the degree of guilt is NOT the salient argument; both are equally guilty. The difference is of how many COUNTS each are guilty. Of course, since the law was passed in response to Agee's actions, he is only MORALLY guilty, and not LEGALLY so...whereas someone in the current administration IS legally guilty.

As an ex-attorney, I would have thought that Mr. Gratz would have understood that one does not prove innocence by arguing on the basis of "comparative guilt." But perhaps it is I who didn't make a forceful enough argument when Agee's name was brought into the discussion, and therefore the fault is mine.

Tim Gratz seems a bit confused about the activities of Philip Agee. Over the last 30 years there has been a coordinated attack from CIA assets that Agee was responsible for the death of Richard Welch in Athens. If anyone is really interested in this case I suggest they read Morton H. Halperin’s article, CIA News Management, that appeared in the Washington Post on 23rd January, 1977.

Halperin, a former CIA agent, provides an accurate chronology of events. Richard Welch was first named as a CIA agent in Julius Mader’s book, Who's Who in the CIA (1968).

http://www.namebase.org/sources/AB.html

In an unsigned article in CounterSpy (January, 1975) Richard Welch was named as Chief of Station in Peru.

On 25th November, 1975, the Athens News published an article claiming that Richard Welch had replaced Stacy Hulse as Chief of Station in Greece. The article pointed out that his cover job was First Secretary in the American Embassy. The article added that this was a lie and that he was a senior CIA officer.

The article also explained why the CIA was not welcome in Greece. The reason for this is that the CIA had helped overthrow Greece’s democracy in April 1967. The CIA then supported the military junta led by George Papadopoulos until he was ousted in November, 1973. One can understand why most Greeks were keen that all CIA agents should leave the country.

As Monty Halperin argues in the Washington Post article, the CIA decided not to take this advice. Nor did they decide to replace Welch as Chief of Station. Nor did they even move him from the CIA house where he was living. Even though, the article in the Athens News, had listed his address. In fact, the Athens News had pointed out that previous Chief of Stations had lived in the same house.

What appears to have happened is that the CIA set up Richard Welch. They knew he was a target for anti-CIA forces in Greece. Halperin points out that as soon as Welch was killed, Angus Thuermer, the CIA press spokesman, provided information on the killing. The journalists were told they could use the information but could not attribute it to any source. Thuermer told the journalists that Welch had been murdered because he had been identified by Philip Agee in CounterSpy. This CIA disinformation was a great success and all the newspapers carried this story over the next few days. They all included the quote from the unnamed Thuermer as “we’ve had an American gunned down by other Americans fingering him – right or wrong – as a CIA agent”.

What was the CIA up to? One possibility is that they sacrificed Richard Welch in an attempt to get at Philip Agee. If that is the case, it worked, and people like Tim Gratz still promote this piece of CIA disinformation.

Link to post
Share on other sites

John, I understand there is real controversy whether Agee was responsible for Welch's murder.

That is beside the issue whether you agree that it is wrong for a person to reveal the identity of a covert CIA agent, regardless of the motivation behind the revelation.

Whether or not Agee's revelations actually resulted in death or injury of a single CIA agent does not justify his action any more than the action "outing" Plame would be excused if Plame is neither killed or injured as a result.

Your suggestion that the CIA "sacrificed" Welch to get at Agee is of course chilling but I think it speculative at best.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My take on this is that Agee had NOTHING to do with Welch's murder. I also think the agency had nothing to do with Welch's murder, outside of the fact they didn't provide him with adequate protection. John, on the other hand, is absolutely right that the agency and its allies exploited his murder for all it was worth. I think it's in Daniel Schorr's book where he recounts how the government arranged for the plane carrying Welch's corpse to fly around in circles for an hour just so it could land live on the Today show. If this propaganda campaign was merely used to discredit men like Agee I might be sympathetic, but the fact is the real target of the campaign was the American people and our right to know. As a result of the dead CIA agent ad campaign, the Pike Committee investigating the CIA was put on the back burner, and its report withheld. (Of course, Daniel Schorr had already read it and found a way to have most of it released.) Nevertheless, the media tide shifted and set the table for William Casey and his pack of criminals to lead us down the wrong road for many years to follow. If I'm not mistaken, the orchestrators of the "let's use the dead CIA agent to discredit anyone who believes in government accountability" campaign were Donald Rumsfeld and George Bush, but maybe my timing is off on the thing.

By the way, Tim, anyone who thinks about defending the CIA should read the Pike Report first. It was banned in the U.S. for 20 years or so. It reveals how the CIA spent our money throughout the world interfering with the elections of our democratic allies, among other things. Perhaps the most reprehensible section recounts how Kissinger gave money to the Shah of Iran to fund a Kurdish rebellion against Saddam and his clan, and how the Shah turned around and made a deal with Saddam and his pals and sold out the Kurds, who were slaughtered. Thousands were killed because they believed they had our backing. It was worse than the Bay of Pigs, only the American people were never told about it because Richard Welch died and congress lost its nerve.

Edited by Pat Speer
Link to post
Share on other sites
Just a coincidence?

It seems like the deeeper you dig into the case, the more mysteries and coincidences are discovered. It is clear, however, that some must be no more than coincidences.

Hi Tim,

To paraphrase Ian Fleming, if something happens one time, consider it a coincidence, twice happenstance, three times - enemy action."

If LHO was indeed a lone-nut, that would have become quickly apparent, but because he was a player, albet a pawn, in the Great Game, he leads us into the maze, Angleton's "wilderness of mirrors," where there are few coincidences.

As I mentioned in my review of Mallon's "Mrs. Paine's Garage" [attached], it may have been a coincidence that Michael Paine was discussing political assassinations at the very moment of the assassination, but it wasn't a coincidence that Michael Paine was the patron of the accused assassin and that Paine was at Bell Hel at the time, and that he worked there.

It may have been a coincidence that George DeMohrneschildt knew Jackie O. but not that he knew Oswald, and his CIA case officer also handled Clay Shaw.

It may have been a coincidence that Marie Hyde met Oswald in two different cities in USSR, but it wasn't a coincidence that one of her photos with Oswald in the picture turned up in CIA files.

It may have been a coincidence that Priscilla Johnson was neighbors with Cord Meyer, Jr., but it wasn't a coinicidence that Stalan's daughter Svetlana stayed with her when she defected from USSR.

It may have been a coincidence that Priscilla Johnson met Oswald in USSSR and wrote about him, it wasn't a coincidence that she got the job of writing Marina's story, leaving out the best parts.

Well,

You get the idea,

Bill Kelly

Link to post
Share on other sites

I still well remember seeing Phil Agee on the Tom Snyder show back in 1975. He described in chilling detail what our government had been doing in Latin America. It was one of televesion's FINEST moments. Agee had joined the Company, never imagining the murderous acts to which he would become a party. His shame and remourse were evident. I thought about that show for a long time to come, and what a hero Agee was to expose this on national tv.

The next evening, prior to my government class- (ironically enough in Latin American studies)- the professor joined myself and another student who had also seen the broadcast , and a lively discussion ensued. My professor- (who I will forever view as CIA)- was livid. To the point that he stormed away from the table, and was literally 45 min late for class and spent the entire class literally ranting and raving about "conspiracy theorists in rose colored glasses". The class members had not a clue what he was so riled up about.

Dawn

Link to post
Share on other sites
It may have been a coincidence that Priscilla Johnson was neighbors with Cord Meyer, Jr., but it wasn't a coinicidence that Stalan's daughter Svetlana stayed with her when she defected from USSR.

It may have been a coincidence that Priscilla Johnson met Oswald in USSSR and wrote about him, it wasn't a coincidence that she got the job of writing Marina's story, leaving out the best parts.

Well,

You get the idea,

Bill Kelly

Another good one for the coinky-dink files: the one journalist to visit de Mohrenschildt in Haiti...Johnson's future husband, George McMillan.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, Dawn, was Agee a hero to disclose the identity of covert CIA operatives?

And, if so, I assume whoever "outed" Plame shared the same status?

To many people outside of the United States Philip Agee was indeed a hero. He helped to show that the CIA was undermining democracy throughout the world. The most obvious case of this happening was in Chile.

Salvador Allende was the founder of the Chilean Socialist Party. This party was established in opposition to the Chilean Communist Party which was felt to be under the influence of the Soviet Union.

When he was elected as president in 1970 he became the first Marxist to gain power in a free democratic election. However, Marxists all over the world were shown that they were right when they said that the CIA would never allow a truly socialist government to hold power.

Allende's decide to take action to redistribute wealth and land in Chile. Wage increases of around 40 per cent were introduced. At the same time companies were not allowed to increase prices. The copper industry was nationalized. So also were the banks.

Allende's attempts to build a socialist society was opposed by business interests. Later, Henry Kissinger admitted that in September 1970, President Richard Nixon ordered him to organize a coup against Allende's government. Kissinger also said that he called off the operation a month later. The government documents, however, indicate that the CIA continued to encourage a coup in Chile.

On 11th September, 1973, a military coup removed Allende's government from power. Salvador Allende died in the fighting in the presidential palace in Santiago. General Augusto Pinochet replaced Allende as president. Over the next few months thousands of left-wing activists were executed by the CIA backed Pinochet.

The CIA was not of course only interested in undermining and overthrowing left-wing democratically elected governments in South America. This was especially true in Europe in the years following the Second World War. The American government feared that as with the First World War, the Second World War would be followed by a move to the left. The officially method of preventing this was the Marshall Plan. The unofficial method was the CIA. For a full account of this see “Dirty Work: The CIA in Western Europe”, edited by Philip Agee and Louis Wolf (1978).

Luckily for the world, some CIA agents recognised the immorality of this covert activity. They thought it was hypocritical of the American government to advocate democracy while using the CIA to undermine democratically elected governments. People like Philip Agee, John Stockwell, Victor Marchetti, etc., were brave enough to expose the illegal activities of the CIA.

Lewis Libby and Karl Rove are in a different category. They did not leak the names of CIA agents in order to force them to leave countries where they were trying to undermine democratically elected governments. They leaked the name of Valerie Plame as part of a smear campaign against a man who had the courage to point out that George Bush had mislead the American public about the reasons why America invaded Iraq.

I would have thought as a so-called patriotic American you might be concerned about this kind of behaviour. However, your main concern is to defend the George Bush administration. In other words, first and foremost, you are a supporter of the Republican Party. Fair enough, if that is your view that is the way politics works, but don’t try cloak your partisanship in statements about morality and patriotism. If you do that, non-supporters of George Bush will rightly see you as a hypocrite.

Link to post
Share on other sites

John, perhaps you can explain how disclosing that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA was a "smear"?

Is it because you have such a negative view of the CIA?

The point is that Plame manuevered to get Wilson the assignment to Niger, and Wilson lied about that.

Now it may be one thing for Agee to expose CIA programs he opposed.

But I think you duck the question: was Agee wrong to disclose the names of CIA operatives?

Also, as I of course expected you never answered my question for proof that George Bush made any intenbtionally false statements about the war in Iraq. It was easy to know you would not because, of courese, you could not.

Edited by Tim Gratz
Link to post
Share on other sites

Tim, I think the point you're deliberately leading us away from is the fact that the information Wilson came back with, after his trip, was that there wasn't credible evidence that Iraq had attempted to acquire uranium from Niger. THAT was the basis of Wilson's article.

Does it really matter whether it was his wife, the AAA, the AARP, or the NAACP who arranged his trip, so long as his information was reliable? And it appears that, through his State Department career, Wilson had the connections to make the necessary inquiries to ascertain the information requested. Just because Plame was a CIA operative, that doesn't make Wilson any LESS qualified to make his inquiries.

It appears to me that, since the administration couldn't disprove what Wilson said, they decided to effectively end his wife's career as a covert operative. THAT smacks of vindictiveness...if you can't refute the message, attack the messenger...or his family.

And to reveal the identity of a covert operative IS a smear tactic against Wilson, as it deprives him of any future income from his wife's employment as a covert operative...although the term "smear" is less accurate than the term "payback" for telliing the truth.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...