CounterSpy Magazine

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For other uses, see Counterspy (disambiguation).

CounterSpy was an American magazine that published articles on covert operations, especially those undertaken by the American government.[1] According to the magazine's list of back issues, CounterSpy published 32 issues from 1973 to 1984.

Outing CIA operatives[edit]

The magazine gained notoriety when CounterSpy founder and former Central Intelligence Agency agent Philip Agee advocated outing agents in their Winter 1975 issue. Agee urged the "neutralization of its [CIA] people working abroad" by publicizing their names so that they could no longer operate clandestinely.

The station chief in Costa Rica, Joseph F. Fernandez, first appeared in CounterSpy in 1975. However, the 1975 murder of Richard S. Welch, the CIA Station Chief in Greece, by Revolutionary Organization 17 November was blamed by some on disclosures in magazines such as CounterSpy.[2][3]

Though U.S. officials, including then-CIA Director George H.W. Bush, blamed CounterSpy for contributing to Welch's death, Welch was previously named as a CIA officer by several European publication, and the CIA had assigned him a house previously used by CIA station chiefs. Congress cited the Welch assassination as the principal justification for passing a law in 1982 making the willful identification of a CIA officer a criminal offense.

The 1975 CounterSpy defense came back into the news when Valerie Plame was outed as a CIA officer in 2003.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Peake, Hayden B. The Intelligence Officer's Bookshelf� Intelligence in Recent Public Literature vol. 47 no. 4. (note 18)
  2. ^ Walker, Jesse (July 14, 2005). Agee's Revenge. Reason
  3. ^ Staff report (January 5, 1976). Kidnaping in Vienna, Murder in Athens. Time
  4. ^ Parry, Robert (July 26, 2005) Rove's Backers Use "CounterSpy Defense."