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Ex-Spy Threatens CIA Scandal : Intelligence: From Philippine island where he fled, Thomas J. Gerard says he will expose the agency's work with Latin American death squads if he is indicted for selling information to a Jewish group.

April 27, 1993|BOB DROGIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

He called himself a "victim of circumstance," caught between the CIA, the FBI, the Anti-Defamation League and the San Francisco police. But then he grinned.

"Maybe I'm a good guy," he said. "Maybe I'm a bad guy. Maybe I'm a rogue elephant out of control."

Gerard said he "absolutely, no question" plans to return to Sausalito, where he and his wife, Julia, lived on a boat. He showed an open round-trip airline ticket. "People who are fugitives do not buy a round-trip ticket," he said.

In the meantime, Gerard is enjoying his life on Palawan, a rugged, hard-to-reach and heavily jungled island known in the Philippines as "the last frontier." It is about 300 miles south of Manila, and there are few phones or paved roads. Malaria is endemic, and crocodiles are fierce.

"I always loved this clandestine s---," he said. "If you were a spy aficionado, you'd just love going through my stuff. I've collected it for years." Even better, he added, his own story "is the kind of thing that sells spy novels."

"Here's a guy who worked for the CIA," he said. "Here's a guy who ran a massive spy network in the U.S. Here's a guy who fled to a distant, Third World country."

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