News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMinecabal-elitew-administrationcia-identity-leak — Viewing Item

Agee sees whitehouse getting blowback

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)

CIA 'Traitor' Sees White House Getting a New Kind of Blowback

By Jake Tapper

Oct. 1— The current imbroglio over the leak identifying former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife as a CIA officer — and whether the leak came from the White House — has given one notorious former agent cause to reflect.

The scandal in which the White House is currently mired stems from the Intelligence Identity Protection Act, a law that exists in no small part because of the current president's father and his anger at a former CIA agent he has called "a traitor to our country."

The agent, Philip Agee, blew the cover of hundreds of CIA operatives in a 1975 book, Inside the Company: CIA Diary.

"That law was passed as a result of a lot of revelations in which people like me were involved in the 1970s," Agee says. "But now, all these years later, for the cover of a CIA officer to be blown by a high official in a Bush administration — that is of the son of the former president is really ironic."

Agee says he published the book to shake up the CIA and disrupt the work its agents were doing, but not to harm the agents themselves. "I and a lot of other people felt that there was a huge human cost to what the CIA was doing," he says.

George H.W. Bush became CIA director right after Agee's book was published.

In 1991, the elder Bush said, "I don't care how long I live, I will never forgive Philip Agee and those like him who wantonly sacrifice the lives of intelligence officers who loyally serve their country."

The ‘Anti-Agee’ Act

The first President Bush believed that Richard Welch, a CIA officer in Greece, was killed because Agee blew his cover. So as CIA director, and from 1981 as vice president, Bush campaigned to make naming names illegal. That law — the Intelligence Identity Protection Act — was passed in 1982.

Since then, any government official with access to classified information who discloses the identity of a covert agent without authorization is subject to 10 years in prison and $50,000 in fines.

The law was known informally as the Anti-Agee Act.

But this is not where the animosity between Agee and the Bushes ends. In her 1994 autobiography Barbara Bush: A Memoir, the former First Lady also blamed Welch's death on Agee's book.

Agee denies his book had anything to do with the CIA officer's death. "Welch was not in my book," he says. "I never knew Welch and I never published his name."

Welch had been outed in a magazine Agee was affiliated with, CounterSpy, which was for a time popular among the circle of New York's radical chic. CounterSpy identified Welch as being a CIA officer, but so had a 1968 book and so had the Athens News, one month before his assassination by the Greek terrorist group November 17.

Agee says he had nothing to do with it. In 1995 he sued Barbara Bush for defamation. When the paperback edition of her memoir was published, it did not include the claim. Agee dropped the suit after exacting a letter from Mrs. Bush — presumably not one of those polite notes for which the Bushes are famous.

"She sent a letter of apology and acknowledgement that the part she wrote about me and Welch was false," Agee recalls. "That, I thought, put this whole Welch thing to an end, back in the 1990s."

A Father's Influence

But now Agee is back in the news because the "Anti-Agee Act" is front and center.

"If there's a leak out of my administration I want to know who it is," the President George W. Bush said this week. "And if the person has violated the law that person will be taken care of."

Democrats are, of course, pounding. "The federal law is very clear," Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., said. "There are penalties associated with leaking the names of CIA agents and I think those responsible ought to be dealt with promptly."

Astoundingly, Agee thinks so too.

"If they finally identify the person who exposed Mrs. Wilson — that is, who gave her name to the columnist [Robert] Novak [and told him] that she was a CIA operative, and if she really is undercover, then I think they have to prosecute," Agee says. "In fact after that law was passed I didn't do any more naming of names and I now submit my writing to the CIA for pre-publication review — as is required by a court order."

In fact, the man seen by the U.S. government as one of the most notorious traitors of the 20th century sees the behavior of the alleged White House leaker in a negative light, even though he theoretically has no problem with outing intelligence officers.

"Of course there is a big difference between the naming of Ambassador Wilson's wife as a CIA operative under cover from my motivations and the motivations of all the many people I was working with in the 1970s," he says. "Our purpose was political — was to try to put a stop to the dirty work, and this case — it was simply dirty."

Agee says his intention was to disrupt — not harm — the lives of CIA agents. But the law to prevent future Philip Agees does not distinguish between the two. Whatever the motivation, simply revealing the identity of intelligence agents is a crime — thanks to the president's father and Philip Agee.

Administration blows cover of whistleblower { August 8 2003 }
Agee calls leak dirty politics
Agee discusses leak of name
Agee sees whitehouse getting blowback
Another time reported testomy may help rove { December 12 2005 }
Appeals court upheld ruling against reporters over leak { February 15 2005 }
Ashcroft recused self from investigation { December 31 2003 }
Buchanan comments on mclaughlin july 15 05 { July 15 2005 }
Bush admits cia leak came from whitehouse { July 12 2007 }
Bush aide testifies leak probe { February 9 2004 }
Bush and lawyer huddle on CIA leak { June 2 2004 }
Bush commuted libby prison sentence { June 2007 }
Bush defends declassification of prewar report
Bush jokes to reporter about cia leak
Bush knew of pending cia leak
Bush toughens support of leak investigation { October 7 2003 }
Cheney advisor resigns after indictment
Cheney aide also linked to cia leak { July 18 2005 }
Cheney aide says bush approved leak { April 6 2006 }
Cheney and rove lose importance in whitehouse
Cheney may use executive privilege { October 29 2005 }
Cheney reportedly interviewed in leak of CIA name { June 5 2004 }
Cheney source of officer name to libby { October 25 2005 }
Cheney staff focus of probe { February 17 2004 }
Cheney to be defense witness in cia leak case
Cia blocks varerie plame book
Cia name leak from whitehouse { September 30 2003 }
Cia probe widens
Colleague says armitage was cia leak source { August 29 2006 }
Did rove blow spooks cover { September 16 2003 }
Doj investigation whitehouse reveal cia agent
Fitzgerald calls new grand jury after woodward testimony { November 19 2005 }
Judith freed to testify about source lewis libby { September 30 2005 }
Judith miller cant remember where name came from { October 16 2005 }
Judith miller retires from the times
Karl rove testifies before federal grand jury on leak
Last day of probe keeping whitehouse jittery
Leaders express outrage for libby commuted sentence { July 3 2007 }
Leaker said wilson wife fair game { September 28 2003 }
Libby charges dont address cia leak
Libby lawyer told miller to clear scooter libby { October 16 2005 }
Libby may have hidden cheney role { November 13 2005 }
Libby perjury worse than lewinsky perjury
Libby retains 5th amendment by avoiding pardon { July 3 2007 }
Libby says white house superiors approved leak { February 9 2006 }
Libby scapegoated to protect karl rove { January 24 2007 }
Libby trial delayed right after 2006 elections { February 4 2006 }
Matthew cooper testify after rove lawyers maneuvering { July 7 2005 }
Mcclellan cant clear cheney in cia leak case { June 20 2008 }
Memo central to leak delivered to powell { July 21 2005 }
Nbc russert rebuts libby testimony { February 7 2007 }
New tork times reporter jailed for concealing leak { July 7 2005 }
New york times reporter given top security clearance { October 16 2005 }
Novak claims book was source of leak { August 2 2005 }
Novak points to cia { October 1 2003 }
Novak pokes fun at cia leak
Novak wont give up source { October 1 2003 }
Pat buchanan says neocons behind whole thing { July 15 2005 }
Powell gives testimony to grand jury
Press secretary says bush behind leak { October 2007 }
Prison fines await those leak cia identities
Probe exposing cia identity { September 29 2003 }
Prosecutor investigating coverup of leak { July 27 2005 }
Prosecutors question Bush on CIA name leak { June 25 2004 }
Reporter held in contempt
Rove and libby worked damage control { July 22 2005 }
Rove blamed libby to jury { October 20 2005 }
Rove called to testify 5th time { April 27 2006 }
Rove confirmed plame indirectly lawyer says { July 15 2005 }
Rove emailed security official about matthew cooper { July 11 2003 }
Rove fight escalates { July 15 2005 }
Rove legal team furious efforts to convince prosecutor { October 27 2005 }
Rove mclellan interviewed cia probe { October 23 2003 }
Rove told cooper wilsons wife works for agency { July 11 2005 }
Rove wont face indictment in cia leak case { June 13 2006 }
Story from two senior whitehouse employees
Time magazine talked to rove for plane story
Time reporters in contempt of court for cia leak
Time reporters says he first learned of plame from rove { July 18 2005 }
Valerie plame does vanity fair spread { December 3 2003 }
Whitehouse press secretary contradicts libby { December 2007 }
Wilson suggested rove leaked { September 30 2003 }
Woodward attacked by liberals { November 18 2005 }
Woodward eyed after calling fitzgerald overzealous { November 17 2005 }
Woodward was told of plame before leak { November 16 2005 }

Files Listed: 85


CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple