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Guide to the Philip Agee Papers TAM 517

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
10th Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2630

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Aniko Szucs and Peter Filardo

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on June 13, 2018 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Historical/Biographical Note

Philip Burnett Franklin Agee (July 19, 1935–January 7, 2008) was a United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) case officer and writer. He is best known as the author of Inside the Company: CIA Diary (1975), first published in Britain because of legal problems in the U.S., which identifed about 250 officers, front companies and foreign agents working for or cooperating with the United States. Agee joined the CIA in 1957, and over the following decade had postings in Washington, D.C., Ecuador, Uruguay, and Mexico. After resigning from the Agency in 1968, he became a leading opponent of CIA practices. Agee also wrote  Dirty Work: The CIA in Western Europe (1978),  Dirty Work: The CIA in Africa (1979), and a biography,  On the Run (1987). Agee's work inspired the founding of the  Covert Action Information Bulletin, for which he also wrote. He was exiled from the U.S., for revealing classified information, via the revocation of his passport by the U.S. Department of State in 1979 while he was abroad (upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1989). He was also pressured to leave Great Britain in 1977. He lectured throughout Western and Eastern Europe. Agee was also eventually expelled from Holland, France, West Germany, and Italy, and died in Cuba in January, 2008.

Agee was involved in several legal cases. Agee sued the United States Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Agency, Department of State, and Department of Justice, seeking to obtain government documents under the Freedom of Information Act, and obtained numerous documents as a result of these complex legal proceedings that related to his former CIA employment, and to his investigative and writing activities. Agee also sued Barbara Bush,alleging that, in her Barbara Bush: Memoir (Scribner, 1994) she had falsely held him responsible for the death of Athens CIA Station Chief Richard Welch, assassinated in 1975. Agee also sued George Crile, Gust Avrakotos, Grove/Atlantic, the Atlantic Monthly Press, and Publishers Group West, claiming that Crile's book  Charlie Wilson's War (Grove/Atlantic, 2003) falsely held him responsible for the death of Richard Welch.