Phil Agee’s Death: Courageous Whistleblower Against CIA

THE WHISTLEBLOWER: We mourn the passing of Philip Agee, the courageous former CIA officer who, in his 1975 book Inside the Company: CIA Diary, exposed the agency’s subversion of democracy and its practices of torture and murder, naming hundreds of officers, agents and companies involved with the crimes. Agee was motivated, he said, by the CIA’s support for “the worst imaginable horrors” in Latin America. Agee paid a high price for his courage. He became a permanent target of the US government, and his passport was revoked. Driven out of Britain, where his book was first published, he was denied a safe haven in many other Western European countries. He was issued a passport by the revolutionary government of Grenada; when that government was overthrown, the Nicaraguans stepped forward. After the Sandinistas lost power, he was granted a passport by Germany, where he lived with his wife, Giselle Roberge Agee, a ballerina. Agee co-edited (with Louis Wolf) a book further exposing undercover plots and agents–Dirty Work: The CIA in Western Europe. He collaborated closely with Covert Action Information Bulletin, a magazine devoted to stopping criminal CIA activities. That work ended publicly, at least in the United States, with the passage in 1982 of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act–aimed, as one Congressman said, at “the Philip Agees of the world.” Perhaps the best way to remember Agee is to support others who find the courage to expose criminal misconduct by their own governments.   MICHAEL RATNER, Nation Magazine

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