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December 20, 2016
Document Release Date: 
March 23, 2007
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November 11, 1981
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PDF icon CIA-RDP99-00498R000200020021-8.pdf150.75 KB
STAT Approved For Release 2007/03/23: CIA-RDP99-00498 ARTICLE ?: :.D .~3,t?i.~ ON PAGE__?J9 On September 23 they House of Repre.. sentatives voted 354 to 56 to enact a piece of legislation that perilously abridges free- doni of speech and of,the press. On Octo- ber--6 the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 17 -0 in favor of a similar bill making final passage a certainty. What follows is the history of this -extraordinary piece of legislation, purportedly designed to pro-, tect the identities of intelligence-agents .but perhaps marking a- fatal turning point in the history of liberty in America. The story begins with former Central Intelligence Agency officer Philip Agee. But although Agee's.personal odyssey is by now all too familiar, the complex series of actions he initiated had repercussions far different from anything he intended-and repercussions that even today are little-' known. VILLAGE VOICE 11-17 NOVEMBER 1981 parent as a plastic raincoat, beneath wh they wear, metaphorically speaking, C T-shirts in order to make it easier for t natives to find them. . In a foreign capital you can identify t CIA crew at the embassy by asking'anyo at the bar favored by newsmen and politic- embassies s around the world. Con-! os. The habitues can always give you the ll gressional lethargy stemmed from many' name of the CIA chief of station because he' ) sources; but chiefly from the fact that we probably gives conferences-or even were still in the era of detente; that popu- cocktail parties for that matter. Or you can tar support for the Cold War had broken ask an embassy janitor to point out the down, and that the CIA itself was in ill- Americans who all work in the same room repute. Thanks to Watergate's endlessly i and only talk to each other. If you travel in ramified revelations, the Agency, by 1975, diplomatic circles, you don't even have to had almost lost the only "cover" it has ever ask who the CIA people at the embassy rlldbth eay care aout-e 30-year-long pre- Notre Dame '56, madea public announce- are, for, as one ex-CIA officer put it, "a tence that the Central Intelligence Agent mint more quixotic than most. He in- -, favorite pastime of Foreign Service Of- is g a Y tended, he-.saidto wage unremitting f icers and their wives wa s in fact an intelligence-gathering" eked yy o , s to point them private war against the Agency which had out whenever the opportunity ., , ice. Blaring headlines about a CIA-backed ked E ca- arose. coup in Chile and shocking stories about. employed him for 11-1/2 years. According' Even stay-at-homes can identify the CIA attempts to assassinate foreign rulers'; to Agee, who entered the-CIA a rabid anti-- CIA lads working under embassy cover I gave the American g Communist and"who left it in 1968 a rabid with the help of various unclassified gov- people a tantalizing r pro-Communist, the CIA's unforgivable.' ernment publications. If you want to know ch of the long-hidden truth. The alf the { .sin. was' it-a- success in forestalling the how it's done, read "How to Spot a Spook" poutiacly in the e int the CIA f to in worldwide triumph of revolutionary Marx- in the November 1974 issue of the I countries fi thworld. a The CIA C A half the l ism. Since that isjust what the CIA claims, eminently respectable Washington more, in fact, the wand. IA is little Agee's opinions disturbed nobody at.' Monthly. One "indicator," as the CIA calls incessant ant meddling, than an working constantly s bureau of the Langley, Virginia, headquarters of the it, is the fact that no CIA official at an working cto I lar est, prop ne pro-American t subvert i e how-' g . busiest, and most- inept "intelli- embassy is allowed to be listed as-a foreign I governments, genc&.,service" in the world. What did in- service office. This is because foreign serv- ever ind or rulers, to se er opularnor furiate-the CIA was the strictly practical ice people, who have to take a stiff test to ? worth. It is l, however or aspect . of Agee's little war. In order to win that-coveted title, refuse to let it be ( worthy. It chiefly are because the CIA's cripple -the -A en embassy operatives apolitical "is of s- g cy,'announced Agee, he worn, unearned. by some ill-educated CIA I tors, not spies, that their "cover" is of so intended to identify, and to train disciples clodhopper. So much for America's famed little consequence. -to identify,."CL\ officersand agents; '=and clandestine service. by doing so to "drive. them out of the-. This great CIA trade secret would -be . All such "covert action," " as it is called countries where they are operating." something of a joke if the American people at Langley, is no secret to the Kremlin, A self-important sort. of person (re- lshared it. Most Americans do not, and which, interestingly enough, makes no ef- sembling in this respect the' Agency he because they do not, Congress; at this very fort to impede it. Indeed, it is no secret to abhors), Agee did not divulge the CIA moment, is exploiting that ignorance to anyone in the world except the American trade secret on which his prospective war carry out one of the deadliest assaults on people, whose knowledge of what their denended-the almost -comical truth that P::,.,. _ A___ ____ _ I In London, on October 3, 1974, Agee, . -4V IUI:Ill.141CO V1 V&1UC4f.VYGI V.CT VfiJ4.G1J are not a secret, have never been a secret, and arc not even meant to be a secret. These officers work at U.S. embassies un- der the thin guise of State Department _and their "covet" is as trans- on Capitol Hill. The assault has been more only danger to "national security" Ameri- s than a year and a half in the makine and ca's-rulers really fear. - the slow. pace is readily understandable..., .The. real CIA is a secret of state, and by Given a Constitution which states catego mid-1979 the time was ripe for shoving rically that '.Congress shall make no law - this :