CovertAction Quarterly

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CovertAction Quarterly (formerly CovertAction Information Bulletin) was an American journal in publication from 1992 to 2005, focused primarily on watching and reporting global covert operations. It is generally critical of the Central Intelligence Agency. Covert Action relaunched in May 2018 as CovertAction Magazine.[1]

History and profile[edit]

The magazine was founded by former CIA officer turned agency critic Philip Agee and William Schaap among others in 1978,[2][a] it was created in order to carry on the work of the preceding publication CounterSpy Magazine, which had been shut down as a result of CIA harassment.[5] Contributors included well-known critics of US foreign policy such as Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn and Michael Parenti;[2] the publication was targeted by Congress in 1982 with the passage of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, which made the practice of revealing the name of an undercover officer illegal under U.S. law.[6] The magazine was based in Washington DC.[2][7]

In 1992, with the issue #43, the magazine was renamed as CovertAction Quarterly.[2] In 1998, the magazine won an award from Project Censored for a story by Lawrence Soley in the Spring 1997 issue titled "Phi Beta Capitalism", about corporate influence on universities,[8] it ceased publication in 2005.[9]

Several articles from CovertAction Quarterly were collected in two anthologies, Covert Action: The Roots of Terrorism (ISBN 978-1876175849) and Bioterror: Manufacturing Wars The American Way (ISBN 978-1876175641), both published in 2003.



  1. ^ According to Christopher Andrew (who joined the British intelligence service MI5 in order to create its official history),[3] documents in the Mitrokhin Archive indicate that the magazine was established "on the initiative of the KGB" and that the group responsible for producing it was "put together" by Soviet counterintelligence. Andrew writes that there is "no evidence" that anybody associated with the magazine, apart from Agee, was aware of the KGB's role.[4]


  1. ^ "History". CovertAction Magazine - Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Peter Knight (2003). Conspiracy Theories in American History: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 212. ISBN 978-1-57607-812-9. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  3. ^ David Walker (February 18, 2003). "Just How Intelligent?". The Guardian. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  4. ^ Andrew, Christopher; Mitrokhin, Vasili (2001) [1999]. The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB. New York: Basic Books. pp. 232–233. ISBN 978-0-465-00312-9.
  5. ^ "Covert Action Information Bulletin Premier Issue".
  6. ^ Blum, Bill (November 3, 2010). "Anti-Empire Report". Z Space. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  7. ^ "Everyone who has supported CAQ". May 14, 1998. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  8. ^ "Big Business Seeks to Control and Influence U.S. Universities". Project Censored. 1998. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  9. ^ "CovertAction Quarterly: Back Issues". Redacted News. Archived from the original on September 7, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2015.

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Further reading[edit]