Ex-CIA man urges surveillance of racists

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Indy Politics
The former CIA officer, Philip Agee, yesterday called on a future Labour home secretary to use the security and intelligence services to combat racism and neo-fascist groups in Britain, writes Colin Brown.

Mr Agee, who was expelled from Britain by the then Labour government in 1977 after pressure from the US Nixon government, said MI6 and MI5 should "go for skinheads, football hooligans as well as the traditional targets of narcotics and terrorism".

Mr Agee became a hero of the left in the 1970s after publishing details of CIA subversion operations. He was allowed to work on his book under the Heath government, but alleges Merlyn Rees, then home secretary, and James Callaghan, the prime minister, acted after pressure by Henry Kissinger, the US Secretary of State.

Mr Agee was told "out of the blue" in August that the banning order preventing him from visiting Britain had been lifted after 17 years by Michael Howard, the Home Secretary.

Tam Dalyell, the veteran Labour campaigner, said he would be asking the Home Secretary why he had decided to lift the ban. "Could it be partly he thinks this might stir up trouble in the Opposition party?" Mr Dalyell asked. The MP said he had invited Lord Rees to the meeting at the Commons with Mr Agee, hosted by Tribune, the paper of the Labour left which campaigned against his expulsion. "I can only say that the proverbial smoke came out of his nostrils," Mr Dalyell said.

Mr Agee was once described as the "the most dangerous man in Britain", but the Home Secretary appears to have decided that after 17 years, his secrets no longer carry a threat. However, Mr Agee said that the banning order may have been lifted because Conservative governments are more independent from US influence.

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