January 16, 2008

Exclusive: Singing CIA Agent On Philip Agee's Death

George Shrub fights Red subversion in the trade unions.

[Philip Agee, the CIA agent who broke with the agency in the early '70s to stand with the "millions of people all over the world [who] had been killed or had their lives destroyed by the CIA and the institutions it supports," died last week. Still humiliated by his revelations, the CIA had no official statement on his death and worked overtime to see that the major media downplayed the story.

Fire on the Mountain is proud to break through this white-out and publish the first story from inside the CIA on Agee's death. Penned by George Shrub, the famous singing CIA agent, this look through "Company" eyes closes with the reminder that if we manage not to remember the past, hey, we get to repeat it all over again.]

Philip Agee in My Hindsights

by George Shrub
Director Cultural Division, CIA
(Committee to Intervene Anywhere)

One reason I’m known as the World’s Only Known Singing CIA Agent is that agents are, in general, not permitted to sing. This brings us to the case of the infamous Philip Agee, who made his name singing the names of his erstwhile colleagues in the agency charged with keeping our world our world.

Much digital ink has and will be spilt over the passing of this Agency Apostate. I choose the label carefully to focus on the real problem in this talented man’s life: his failure of religious nerve. For the task of an intelligence functionary, hindsight makes clear, is a faith-based one. We cannot know for certain that the overthrow of democratic governments throughout our world is guaranteed to produce long-term stability for Entrepreneurs of Size. We do know, however, that if we don’t do it, someone else will. And the prospect of a world dominated by vengeful peasant neighborhood associations is enough to drive any God-fearing congressman to fund pre-emptive, defensive torture (I prefer “alternative procedures” or “strong interrogation.”)

Agee entered the secret side of public service in that vibrant interregnum between America’s ascendancy as a non-empire (I prefer “Global Dominatrix”) and the complete privatization of the defense of our borders (especially our borders in the southern hemisphere, Middle East, and anything named Stan). (In this connection, those who feel queasy about the innovative role of Blackwater should recall the truly horrifying scandal of the previous era, Whitewater. Feel better?)

In our early ascendancy we were able to help so many people, so that they would not help themselves. That is, to their resources. People are far too resourceful for their own good.

Our helping began in Greece, which we cleansed of Communists. Unfortunately, our Helpfulness budget had run out by the time their colonels became differently helpful.

We helped Iran, finding them their very own Shah, who had been missing. This was the first time we were really in a position to help a nation in the Middle East – or anyway, British Petroleum.

We helped France, at least in Vietnam. We helped Vietnam, at least the South, which is to say, Marshall Ky.

We helped Guatemala, or, one might say more precisely, United Fruit.

The list goes on, but the point is clear: Agee was fortunate to have a place at the center of the helping professions. So why did he lose faith? Many things can contribute to a fall from grace. Some feel that thinking causes a surplus of information; others think that feeling is the cause of excess compassion. Either way, wavering of faith in the gospel of trickle down, vague feelings of unease with the triumph of middle class consumerism as the inevitable product of the ascent of generalized greed – these are ditherings hard to fathom in a scion of privilege.

Some have said that Phil must have been working for the KGB. If his desertion of duty had come later, he would have been clearly in the thrall of al Qaeda. But Phil preferred to look for flaws in his own house, describing the activities of the CIA and the governments it supported as “the worst imaginable horrors.” He was called by some a traitor; I think he was something more serious: a whistle blower. Nobody likes a tattle tale. He shall be long remembered as a tall tattle tale teller, endangering the pre-emptive horrors we have been forced, with a heavy heart, to perpetrate in defense of Western Values.

If the general public has grown suspicious, even weary, of our pre-emptivity in defense of that most fundamental human right, the right to profit from resources we find on or under other people’s lands, then they have Phil Agee to blame for their weary suspicion. May the next person to name names be indicted and imprisoned for life. (Offer not valid for Vice Presidents or their aides.) Philip Agee, rest in peace. You taught the American people a bit of their history. Which is a shame, because those who do not know their history will have the opportunity to repeat it.


Anonymous said...

I'm late writing this but Phil was a good friend...and I just found out a short while ago that he died in Cuba.

He turned me on the the Covert Action Quarterly awhile ago. We met at Hyatt on Capital Hill where we sat and had coffee and discovered that we had a great deal in common. Or to put it another way the "common" denominator between us-the insidious George H. W. Bush.

I thought your commentary was very touching. In honor of my dear friend Phil-Lido

Anonymous said...

I am grateful to have found your article about Phil and am grateful to you for your fine understanding of this good and great man.

I knew him most of my life; he had an angel on his shoulder. When he decided to take the less traveled road he was fully aware and burdened by the expected consequences. He said it was the gospels that got him when he was a boy. Made a radical out of him.

He loved to laugh and could be so funny himself. He loved to dance and sing amd make up lyrics to melody. He loved a poem written by Yeats for Maude Gonne, and was represented in the courts by Maude Gonne's son himself, Sean MacBride.

Philip Agee never lined his pockets at the expense of others. Those who attempt to disparage his name bring shame upon their houses!

Well done...good and faithful one...