The Corner

RE: Agee

A reader writes in to let me know that when I wrote about Philip Agee earlier today I was actually too charitable:

You wrote that Agee “outed dozens of CIA agents and very likely attempted to pass on information to the Soviets.” But it was the other way around. First he passed information to the Soviets, then they helped him write a massive book (and a sequel) outing hundreds of agents.

Agee could not have known about all of the agents and thus we could assume he collaborated with them to write the book, even if The Mitrokhin Archive (Christopher Andrew) didn’t reveal this to be the case, which it did.

In fact, one of the most successful “dangles” (false sources of information for the Soviets in fact controlled by our intelligence) in American history was MAREK, a US Army master sergeant of Czech descent who performed this task for a joint CIA/DIA operation from 1966 to 1976, when Philip Agee betrayed this information to the KGB.

But before this, Agee had already given “reams of information” to the Soviets (through the Cubans), according to Oleg Kalugin, a former director of the Counter-Intelligence Directorate of the First Chief Directorate of the KGB who now lives in the U.S.

The Mitrokhin Archive reveals that the KGB file on Agee’s book claims that it was “prepared by Service A [disinformation], together with the Cubans.”

In fact, Agee himself in his book wrote that the Cubans were quite helpful with his book. Furthermore, KGB files indicate that the Soviets were in contact with Agee while he was writing his book in Britain, through local Novosti Press Agency and newspaper contacts (such would be a role that Stone could have played).

And finally, KGB notes indicate that at Service A’s insistence Agee left out of his book references to CIA penetration of Latin American Communist paries.

So there is no doubt at all that Philip Agee was a traitor to his country and should not in any way be celebrated.

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