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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • April 30, 1948

    George F. Kennan on Organizing Political Warfare

    State Department Polish Planning director George Kennan outlines, in a Policy Planning Staff document for the National Security Council, the idea of a public committee, working closely with the US government, to sponsor various émigré activities

  • August 26, 1948

    US Government Officials Discuss Émigré Broadcasts to Eastern Europe

    CIA, State Department, Defense Department, and OPC officials discuss establishing a philanthropic organization to sponsor radio broadcasts and other activities of Eastern European émigrés.

  • November 01, 1949

    Office of Policy Coordination, HCFE Broadcasting (Interim Report)

    An official from the Department of State, the Office of Policy Coordination updates Frank Wisner on possibilities for providing the Free Europe Committee (FEC) with intelligence reports for use in planned Radio Free Europe broadcasts. He also suggests that Foreign Broadcast Information Bureau monitoring reports of Soviet bloc media can be provided, but only in English translations.

  • January 11, 1951

    Radio Free Europe Budget Increase Approved

    Allen Dulles (who has joined CIA as Deputy Director for Plans) informs Frank Wisner that CIA has approved RFE’s capital budget for new transmitters.

  • August 21, 1951

    Office of Policy Coordination History of American Committee for Liberation

    Frank Wisner reviews the origins of the Soviet émigré project. He considers AMCOMLIB to be a cover organization without independent authority, notes the difficulty of uniting Soviet émigré groups, yet assumes that an émigré “political center” can organize publishing and broadcasting for the Soviet Union.

  • September 06, 1951

    CIA-State Department Reservations about Broadcasting to the Soviet Union

    Senior CIA and State Department officials review the August 21 OPC memorandum ["Office of Policy Coordination History of American Committee for Liberation"]. The State Department officials question whether disparate Russian émigré groups can cooperate enough to organize broadcasting to the USSR, while CIA director Walter Bedell Smith questions the cost of the project.

  • March 15, 1952

    CIA, State Department, American Committee for Liberation Discussion of Radio Liberty Broadcasting

    CIA, State Department, and American Committee for Liberation (AMCOMLIB) officials agree to expand AMCOMLIB activities, share funding with Radio Free Europe from the Crusade for Freedom, and delay Radio Liberty broadcasts until a sponsoring Russian Émigré Political Center is formed

  • May 18, 1953

    CIA Criticizes American Committee for Liberation Policies

    Dana Durand, chief of the CIA/DDP SR Division, now responsible for the Radio Liberty project, concludes that efforts to unify the Russian emigration have become counterproductive, that RL broadcasting should be separated from émigré politics, and that AMCOMLIB president Leslie Stevens is too wedded to the old approach to continue in office.

  • June 19, 1953

    National Security Council Report, NSC 158, 'United States Objectives and Actions to Exploit the Unrest in the Satellite States'

    Recommendations adopted by the National Security Council at the suggestion of the Psychological Strategy Board on covert actions to be undertaken in the Soviet Satellite States. Authorized by the National Security Council, NSC 158 envisaged aggressive psychological warfare to exploit and heighten the unrest behind the Iron Curtain. The policy was endorsed by President Eisenhower on June 26, 1953.

  • July 24, 1953

    Radio Liberty Broadcasting Reviewed

    State Department, CIA, and American Committee for Liberation (AMCOMLIB) representatives review Radio Liberty issues. CIA notes RL’s “steady progress” without participation of the émigré Political Center.

  • September 30, 1953

    Implementation of Jackson Committee Recommendations on Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty

    The Operations Coordinating Board forwards CIA’s acceptance of Jackson Committee recommendations that the Free Europe Committee and American Committee for Liberation concentrate on radio broadcasting to the Soviet bloc as distinct from émigré support projects.

  • November 16, 1953

    Fomenting Unrest in the Communist World

    C.D. Jackson, now assistant to President Eisenhower, urges CIA director Allen Dulles to make contingency plans to exploit future unrest in the Communist world during a perceived “Winter of Discontent.”

  • November 18, 1953

    CIA Dissent from C.D. Jackson’s Views

    CIA official Tracey Barnes, reacting to C.D. Jackson’s memorandum of November 16, 1953 ("Fomenting Unrest in the Communist World"), cautions against encouraging active resistance in Eastern Europe.

  • February 26, 1954

    CIA Review of Radio Liberty Broadcasting

    A CIA memorandum reviews Radio Liberty policy guidance to date and outlines how it differs from the Voice of America.

  • March 29, 1955

    Bulgarian Politburo Resolution B Regarding DS Intelligence Directorate Work

    BCP CC’s First Secretary, Vulko Chervenkov, approves Interior Minister Georgi Tsankov’s recommendations for improving the performance of the intelligence and counter-intelligence services.

  • May 25, 1955

    Equipment for Radio Free Europe Studio in London

    The Foreign Office writes to the Treasury to ask it to reverse its denial to RFE of customs duties exemption for import of technical equipment for a new London bureau. RFE “deserves the full support of her Majesty’s Government,” wrote the Foreign Office, adding that a London bureau will enable better cooperation between the U.K. and RFE and facilitate its interviewing of East European refugees. The Foreign Office notes that RFE is not a commercial organization and “is in fact supported by US Government money contributed covertly.. For political and other reasons the US Government are unable to admit this ….”

  • August 07, 1956

    Agreed Policy Governing Radio Free Europe Operations

    CIA and Free Europe Committee (FEC) restate policy for Radio Free Europe in the context of the 1956 upheaval in the Communist world.

  • October 25, 1956

    Guidance for Radio Free Europe Broadcasts

    CIA/International Operations Division guidance for Radio Free Europe at the outset of the Hungarian Revolution calls for extensive use of President Eisenhower’s September 23 statement on maintaining the spirit of freedom and for caution in pre-judging Imre Nagy.

  • November 14, 1956

    US Government Appraisal of Radio Free Europe Broadcasts

    Cord Meyer forwards to Allen Dulles a State Department assessment dated November 13, 1956, of Radio Free Europe Hungarian and Polish broadcasts. The assessment was requested by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and was prepared by State Department official L. Randolph Higgs, responsible for coordinating RFE issues with CIA, and Meyer, who objected to an initial State Department draft.

  • November 16, 1956

    Proposed Interim Policy Guidance for Free Europe Committee, Draft

    The State Department approves with “comments and recommendations” a November 15, 1956, CIA/International Operations Division draft of revised guidelines for the Free Europe Committee (FEC) with handwritten revisions [presumably by a State official].