Philip Agee died on 9 January of this year in Havana, Cuba. He was 72.
Agee joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1957 and worked as a case officer in several Latin American countries. He later claimed: “My eyes began to open little by little down there as I began to realize more and more that all of the things that I and my colleagues were doing in the CIA had one goal which was that we were supporting the traditional power structures in Latin America. These power structures had been in place for centuries, wherein a relative few families were able to control the wealth and income and power of the state and the economy, to the exclusion of the majority of the population in many countries. The only glue that kept this system together was political repression. I was involved in this. Eventually I decided I didn’t want anything more to do with that.”
Agee resigned in 1969. His book, Inside the Company: CIA Diary, was an instant best-seller and was eventually published in over thirty languages. An Agee interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now is available here.
One very important term often used by our government, military and corporate leaders is one which is almost never clealy defined. It hints at noble ideals. As a naive schoolboy in the ’50s or as an indoctrinated enlisted Marine in the late ’60s concepts such as spreading freedom and democracy, and freeing the world of injustice might have come to mind. The term is “US strategic interests”, or simply “our national interests”.