First published in England, Agee's reconstructed diary of his twelve years as a CIA operative is the most dense and...



First published in England, Agee's reconstructed diary of his twelve years as a CIA operative is the most dense and far-reaching insider's account of the U.S. Intelligence community yet to appear, surpassing Marchetti and Marks' The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence (1974) (which appeared with numerous court-ordered DELETED passages) as a record of CIA planned sabotage, bribery, bugging and blackmail. Agee gives a detailed account of CIA intervention and manipulation of elections in Equador and Uruguay in which he was personally involved; he names Gustav Diaz Ordoz, the current President of Mexico and former presidents of several other Latin American countries as CIA agents--along with innumerable labor leaders, Communist Party members, police and military officials. (""In many countries $700 a month could get you a cabinet minister. Payment is made in cash."") Describing the top-secret Technical Services Division (TSC) Agee cites the routine use of sophisticated surveillance devices, explosives and steam tables used to open mail--as well as toxic chemicals which produce respiratory damage, hysteria and body odor. He claims that a CIA thermal device was responsible for the fire which burned down Havana's largest department store--part of the continuing anti-Castro crusade. Recruited as an idealistic young man straight out of Notre Dame, Agee was initiated at the CIA training station in Camp Peary, Virginia (ISOLATION) into a world of code names and cryptograms, a mania for classification, secrecy and bureaucratic double-talk; he became part of the Clandestine Services operations network which honeycombed Latin America. After he was overtaken by the slow, difficult realization that ""the CIA, after all, is nothing more than the secret police of American capitalism . . . so that shareholders of US companies, operating in poor countries can continue enjoying the rip-off"" he decided to leave The Company and publish his experiences. In spite of new CIA exposes of domestic and foreign insurgency appearing almost daily, this promises to be one of the most hotly debated and discussed books of the year.

Pub Date: Aug. 8, 1975


Page Count: -

Publisher: Stonehill-dist. by Braziller

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1975