Philip Agee‘s 1975 book, “Inside the Company: CIA Diary,” infuriated American officials by identifying about 250 officers, front companies and foreign agents working for the United States. His example inspired several more books and magazines, including Covert Action Information Bulletin, written by close associates and sometimes with Mr. Agee’s help, which published the names and often the addresses of hundreds more agency officers working under cover around the world.
The exposés of Mr. Agee and others led Congress to pass the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, which made it a crime to intentionally reveal the identity of a covert intelligence officer.
“Phil Agee was really the first person to do whistle-blowing on the C.I.A. on the grand scale,” said William H. Schaap, a New York lawyer and old friend who worked with him on anti-C.I.A. projects. “He blew the whistle on hundreds and hundreds of undercover operations.”
“He really, truly did not want to see anyone hurt,” said Mr. Wolf, the friend and co-author who carried on Mr. Agee’s work of exposing agents. “He wanted to neutralize what they were doing — the whole gamut, from fixing elections and hiring local journalists to plant stories all the way up to creating foreign intelligence services that became agencies of oppression.”
Agee joined the C.I.A. in 1957 after briefly attending law school. After three years of military training at the direction of the agency, Mr. Agee worked under cover for eight years in Ecuador, Uruguay and Mexico.
“When I joined the C.I.A. I believed in the need for its existence,” he wrote in “CIA Diary.” “After 12 years with the agency I finally understood how much suffering it was causing, that millions of people all over the world had been killed or had their lives destroyed by the C.I.A. and the institutions it supports.”
The book chronicles his growing disillusionment.
CIA’s Book Review of “Inside the Company” (PDF/<1MB)