ABC & CAFCA Salute Philip Agee, American Hero
The Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA) and the Anti-Bases Campaign (ABC) salute Philip Agee, whose death has been reported [http://www.guardian.co.uk/cuba/story/0,,2237983,00.html]. He was one of the real global heroes of the latter decades of the 20th Century. By his courageous actions in exposing the names and operations of his erstwhile employer, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), he will be forever remembered as a real American patriot (naturally he was vilified as a traitor, permanently stripped of his US passport, hounded out of his homeland and subjected to all sorts of threats).
His 1975 tell-all book “Inside The Company: CIA Diary”went off like a bomb during that turbulent era when the crimes of the CIA throughout the Third World and against its own people were being exposed. That book was absolutely essential reading for everyone at the time.
Agee was not a one hit wonder. He went for broke, undergoing a profound political transformation that saw him spend the next several decades actively working against American imperialism throughout the world.
In the mid 1980s, right at the height of the “Anzus Row”, when there were documented instances of the CIA working to destabilise the anti-nuclear Lange government (such as the notorious Maori Loans Affair, for instance) CAFCINZ – as we then were – invited Agee to make an NZ speaking tour, which then broadened out to include Australia as well. It was a tortuous process to try and organise, taking many twists and turns over three full years before finally coming to naught (Agee apologetically decided he couldn’t fit us into his incredibly hectic schedule; after the tour’s cancellation was announced, to major media coverage, the gutless Australian government said that they wouldn’t have given him a visa anyway). I’ve still got the fat pile of letters we got from him in those (pre-email) years, plus his publicity photos for the tour that never was.
Philip Agee is owed an enormous vote of thanks from all the peoples of the world, including New Zealand. Where is his like among the kidnappers, torturers and murderers of today’s CIA? In Agee’s day the crimes of the CIA were confined to the Third World and hidden from its own people. Now, the culture of imperial impunity means that these crimes are brazenly committed in full view of everyone.
So, the need to oppose and expose this criminal enterprise is greater than ever. Right up until his death, Philip Agee did more than his share in striking blows against the Empire. The struggle continues!
Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa