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CIA at 50

September 18, 1997


Fifty years ago today, the National Security Act of 1947 formally established the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Council, officially inaugurating an era of secret government activity that has come to play a crucial — and some say dominant — role in US foreign policy.

Today Democracy Now! takes a wide ranging look at the history and impact of the CIA. Joining us will be a range of former CIA officers and historians. Guests:

  • Lou Wolf, the publisher of Covert Action Quarterly, the most prominent, publicly available publication covering intelligence issues.
  • Martin Lee, a journalist and the author of ??The Beast Reawakens, a study of resurgent fascism in present day Europe. He is the co-founder of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a New York-based media watchdog group.
  • Phillip Agee, arguably the most well-known CIA officer in its 50 year history. He presently lives in Hamburg, Germany, where he teaches a course on US foreign policy at the University of Hamburg.
  • Diane Kuntz, a former CIA employee for seven years during the 1970s. She presently works for the American Public Health Association on the group’s international programs.
  • Verne Lyon, a former CIA officer during the 1960s and 1970s. He worked in Cuba, Peru, Chile and Mexico. He presently works as a consultant for the Des Moines Hispanic Ministry, a human services agency that provides support to Hispanic immigrants in central Iowa.

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