“Today, there are still plenty of Philip Agees in the world, and the harm they inflict on U.S. institutions and personnel is just as serious today as it was back then. They don’t all come from the Intelligence Community, share the same background, or use precisely the same tactics as Agee, but they are certainly his soulmates.”
CIA Director Mike Pompeo
“We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”
William Casey, CIA Director 1981-1987 (Attributed)
In this semi-serious series running the gamut of dramatic emotions, we shall look into obviously incorrect statements made by the current Director of the CIA. Some of these stories will make you laugh, others will make you upset. We hope that all will make you think.
LIE #2 — On April 13 2017, CIA Director Mike Pompeo delivered his first public speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
While mainstream media have mostly reported that Pompeo denounced WikiLeaks as a “hostile intelligence agency”, nobody has yet pointed out that Pompeo clearly distorted historical facts to suit his narrative.
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RELATED POST : CIA Director Pompeo Compares Iran To ISIS
In his attempt to build a parallel between Philip Agee and Julian Assange, CIA Director Mike Pompeo said:
“That man was Philip Agee, one of the founding members of the magazine Counterspy, which in its first issue in 1973 called for the exposure of CIA undercover operatives overseas. In its September 1974 issue, Counterspy publicly identified Richard Welch as the CIA Chief of Station in Athens. Later, Richard’s home address and phone number were outed in the press in Greece.
In December 1975, Richard and his wife were returning home from a Christmas party in Athens. When he got out of his car to open the gate in front of his house, Richard Welch was assassinated by a Greek terrorist cell. At the time of his death, Richard was the highest-ranking CIA officer killed in the line of duty.”
The story as told by Mike Pompeo is incorrect, not just for one, but for a series of reasons.
First, let us point out the obvious. Counterspy could not have publicly identified Richard Welch as the CIA Chief of Station in Athens in September 1974 since Welch arrived in Greece in July 1975!
Secondly, while it is true that Agee wrote the lead article in CounterSpy’s Winter 1975 edition, it was a separate article in that edition that named Welch. Agee had no knowledge of this article on Welch until after its publication.
Thirdly, Agee was not a co-founder of the magazine.
Fourthly, the CounterSpy story was hardly ‘news’ as the identity of Richard Welch had been revealed to the public since 1968.
And finally, N17 – the group that assassinated Welch — did not need any of this information as the CIA Chiefs of Station in Athens had been living in the same house for the last 25 years.
RELATED POST: CIA Director Mike Pompeo tells a whopper
The story told by Pompeo is simply a lie. N17 did not rely on anything Agee did in order to identify Richard Welch. William Colby — the then CIA Director — admitted as much in a piece published by the Los Angeles Times on December 28 1977.
Actually, Pompeo is not the first Director to propagate this FAKE NEWS. George H. W. Bush — CIA Director from 1976 to 1977 — had also accused Agee of being responsible for the death of Richard Welch. Barbara Bush repeated the claim in her 1994 memoir. The accusation was removed from its paperback edition after Agee sued her for libel.
Instead of admitting gross negligence for the death of Richard Welch, the CIA — under Bush — re-wrote the circumstances of his death in order to turn the political tide back in favor of the CIA after the damning revelations made by the Church Committee earlier in 1975.
Eventually, Welch’s murder was used politically to help the passage of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, making it illegal to reveal the name of an agent who has a covert relationship with an American intelligence organization.
FINAL THOUGHT — If Mike Pompeo is fudging the undisputable timeline of past events to convince his audience about the causal link between the CounterSpy publication and Welch’s assassination, how can he be trusted when he says a few minutes later that he is absolutely certain that Assad has ordered the chemical attack on Kahn Shaykoun?
A Discussion on National Security with CIA Director Mike Pompeo
3’35 mark —
“That man was Philip Agee, one of the founding members of the magazine Counterspy, which in its first issue in 1973 called for the exposure of CIA undercover operatives overseas.
In its September 1974 issue, Counterspy publicly identified Richard Welch as the CIA Chief of Station in Athens.
Later, Richard’s home address and phone number were outed in the press in Greece.”
Lie # 2
Director Pompeo Delivers Remarks at CSIS — CIA Website
Remembering CIA’s Heroes: Richard S. Welch — CIA Website
Philip Agees Sues Barbara Bush for Libel — D.Brandt Analysis
The murder that sparked Identities Protection Act — Chicago Tribune
Turning Against the CIA: Whistleblowers During the ‘Time of Troubles’ — Christopher Moran
CIA Director Mike Pompeo Top 10 Lies — #2 : “In its September 1974 issue, Counterspy publicly identified Richard Welch as the CIA Chief of Station in Athens.”