Service to Country

Writer/filmmaker Michael D. Sellers was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1979 and served the next ten years as an operations officer in the Clandestine Service.  His overseas assignments included Warsaw; Poland (1980), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (1981-83); Moscow, USSR (1984-86); Manila, Philippines (1986-89).  Highlights of his career included being involved “on the street” as a case officer in some of the CIA’s most momentous Cold War operations including CKGULL (Ryszard Kuklinski) in Warsaw and GTVANQUISH (Adolf Tolkachev) in Moscow.  In Moscow, Mr. Sellers served 21 months as an extremely “street active” officer, before being arrested and expelled in March 1986 during a covert agent meeting with KGB officer GTCOWL (Sergey Vorontsov).  After Moscow, Mr. Sellers was assigned in 1986 to Manila where he worked with the fledgling democratic administration of Corazon Aquino — a government that was threatened by Communist insurgents on the left, and military coup plotters on the right. Mr. Sellers was assigned to handle President Aquino’s personal liaison with the CIA through her speechwriter, general counsel and close personal confident Ted Locsin, Jr., who later wrote of Sellers: “Mike Sellers was the main conduit of information going to and coming from the US government regarding the perilous political situation of the fledgling Philippine democracy Mrs. Aquino had restored…  Our cooperative efforts allowed the young democracy in some cases to preempt and in others to mount a successful defense.”  During the 7th and final coup attempt in December 1989, Locsin and Sellers became the channel through which Aquino negotiated with the US Government for U.S. Air Support which proved decisive in favor of the Aquino administration.  During the coup, Sellers cared for Locsin’s wife and aging mother in their apartment in the Makati financial district of Manila, only to have the building in which they lived become one of a dozen buildings occupied by the rebels in a dangerous standoff with the government.  Locsin writes of Sellers: “Mr. Sellers, knowing the danger to my wife and other members of my family, and realizing how the situation might affect my work back at the Palace, engineered a bold escape from the building.  It involved exposing themselves to rebel machinegun positions and a long dangerous walk through the rebel-held financial district to the comparative safety of a house from where he was able to secure a complete escape from the area.”   In the aftermath of the coup attempt, Sellers was awarded the CIA’s Intelligence Commendation Medal for his efforts in securing democracy in the Philippines.  Mr. Sellers left the CIA in 1990 to return to private life as a writer and filmmaker.

Michael Sellers served as an intelligence professional with the Clandestine Corps of the Central Intelligence Agency from 1979-1990.  See links below for  details.




MOSCOW, USSR (1984-86)


Mr. Sellers’ work for the Central Intelligence Agency has been written about in the following books and publications:


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