Summary

(Critical Guide to Censorship and Literature)

After a decade of service as an officer of the CIA, Philip Agee resigned in disillusionment in 1968. He then began work on a book that would expose the agency’s operations in Latin America and name many of its agents. He moved to Europe to write the book and also visited Cuba to do research. The CIA did not initially take legal action against Agee, but kept him under close surveillance. After the book was published in Great Britain in 1975, it became a best-seller and the CIA tried to discourage American publishers from handling it. This proved unsuccessful, however, and an American edition came out later in 1975.

After the publication of an article by Agee in a magazine that specialized in naming CIA personnel abroad, the CIA’s chief of station in Athens, Greece, was murdered. Agee was subsequently accused of contributing to the murder and of being a Soviet agent. Waging a long legal campaign, the U.S. government revoked Agee’s passport, an action resisted by Agee but eventually upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, and applied pressure that resulted in his expulsion from five European countries. However, he was able to remain abroad on passports issued by Nicaragua and Grenada, and continued writing books and giving speeches critical of the CIA.