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CIA officer AGEE and his sex espionage

Friday, May 27, 2011

CIA officer AGEE and his sex espionage

AGEE, PHILLIP. A Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer formerly based in Mexico, Agee volunteered his services to the KGB in Mexico City following his divorce and a refusal by the CIA to his request for financial assistance. However, Agee was turned away by a Soviet security officer who did not believe such a scruffy individual could really be an authentic CIA officer. Allegedly, he was also rejected by Colonel Krepkogorsky, a KGB officer in the United States who suspected a provocation. Agee subsequently flew to Cuba where his offer was accepted with alacrity, and he was subsequently handled by Directorate K’s Oleg Nichiporenko. Under his guidance, Agee wrote Inside the Company: A CIA Diary and contributed to the Covert Action Information Bulletin.

While preparing his book in Paris in July 1971, Agee met a wealthy American, good-looking, blonde heiress calling herself Leslie Donegan, who offered to finance his research and supplied him with a portable typewriter that contained an electronic beacon concealed in the lid.
At the time, Agee never suspected that his apparently generous sponsor was actually Janet Strickland, a CIA agent whom he encountered four years later when she was employed by the International Labor Organization in Geneva.

Donegan claimed to be a graduate of Boston University, the daughter of a Venezuelan who had married her American father in Caracas, and said she had studied French at Geneva University before reaching Paris, where she had been introduced to Agee in an English pub, the Mayflower.
Over dinner a few nights later, she offered to finance his book venture and accepted a copy of the work he had completed.
She then offered to pay for a professional typist and gave him the use of her studio apartment on the 20th floor of a modern block near the Plaisance metro station, saying she would be spending the next two months with her boyfriend in Spain.
When she returned, she began an affair with Salvatore Ferrera, a freelance American journalist who had befriended Agee and had often expressed an interest in learning his address.
Years later, Agee learned that Janet Strickland, whose father had headed Exxon’s Latin American Division and then moved to Palm Beach, Florida, had adopted the identity of Leslie Donegan, whom she had known as a school friend in Caracas. He also came to suspect that Salvatore Ferrera, too, had been a CIA agent, part of a large operation to monitor his activities.
The son of a wealthy businessman from Tampa, Florida, Philip Agee studied business administration and then philosophy at Notre Dame University but left law school before graduating. In 1956, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and while undergoing his military training he wrote and volunteered for service with the CIA.
His application was accepted in 1957. In 1960, he was sent on his first over-seas assignment, under diplomatic cover to Ecuador and then Uruguay, during which he married and had two sons. In 1966, he re-turned to Washington, D.C., to join the Mexico branch of the Western Hemisphere Division but in the middle of the following year he was sent to Mexico City under Olympic attaché cover, in anticipation of the Olympic Games scheduled for 1968.
In Mexico, Agee began an affair with an American divorcĂ©e with strong leftist political sympathies. Under her influence, he resigned from the CIA in the autumn of 1968 but remained in Mexico, working for a local company manufacturing mirrors. In early 1970, more than a year after he had left the agency, Agee went to New York to interest publishers in a book project; nothing materialized, so he enrolled in a university course in Mexico, and the following year traveled to Cuba, on the recommendation of the French publisher Francois Maspero, who had released Che Guevara’s diaries.
There, he started work on a book that was to be published as Inside the Company: CIA Diary. He finished writing it in Paris, under continuous CIA surveillance, but not before he received a warning from the agency’s lawyers reminding him of his secrecy agreement, and notification of a federal court judgment against Victor Marchetti, rein-forcing the CIA’s right to scrutinize and censor anything written by an ex-employee.

Agee’s book was published in London in January 1975, coinciding with an article Agee had contributed to Counter Spy , a radical magazine founded by Norman Mailer that also produced a list of what it claimed were the names of 100 CIA station chiefs based under cover around the world. From his new home in Cornwall, Agee encouraged journalists to research embassy lists to spot the biographical entries of CIA personnel working under diplomatic cover. In December, Richard Welch, the CIA station chief in Athens who had been mentioned by CounterSpy as having served in Lima, was shot dead out-side his home.

Undeterred by Welch’s murder, Agee planned further revelations but in November 1976, while living in Cambridge, England, he was served with deportation papers and in June the following year he moved to Amsterdam. Soon afterward, he was expelled from France and excluded from West Germany and Holland. In 1977, Agee launched a new periodical, the Covert Action Information Bulletin, at a press conference in Cuba, together with a group of supporters that included two disaffected former CIA employees, Jim and Elsie Wilcott. The journal was intended to expose CIA staff and operations; in June 1980, it named the CIA station chief in Kingston, Jamaica, as
Richard Kinsman, whose house was promptly the subject of an attack.

The Bulletin’s objective was shared by Agee’s next publishing venture, an edited compendium of articles entitled Dirty Work: The CIA in Western Europe, which included the biographical data of hundreds of purported CIA officers. In 1979, a sequel followed, Dirty Work II, concentrating on the CIA’s operations in Africa. None of these publications were the subject of criminal prosecution in the United States because, as the U.S. Justice Department confirmed, the CIA could not undergo the usual discovery proceedings associated with a trial.

Instead, Agee’s U.S. passport was revoked, and he was issued with a Grenadian one by Maurice Bishop, the premier of that tiny Caribbean island, who was himself to be deposed and assassinated by even more extreme radicals. Later, Agee acquired a Nicaraguan passport that he used to maintain his residency in Hamburg, and later to enter Canada and slip back into the United States, before settling in Cuba to run a travel agency. He died in Havana in February 2008.


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