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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

  • May 03, 1949

    Kelley Memorandum on Utilization of Russian Political Émigrés

    Soviet expert Robert F. Kelley urges forming a central organization representing Russian émigré groups and providing it with radio facilities to reach the Soviet Union and Soviet armed forces in Eastern Europe.

  • September 13, 1949

    Kennan Authorizes Russian Émigré Broadcasting Project

    George Kennan authorizes Frank Wisner to proceed with a central Russian émigré organization initially focused on émigré welfare and subject to US government policy guidance. Wisner directs Office of Policy Coordination staff in a cover memorandum to proceed with the project.

  • October 04, 1949

    Understanding Between Office of Policy Coordination and National Committee for Free Europe

    This seminal document reaffirms the mission of the Free Europe Committee (FEC) and outlines the respective authorities and responsibilities of OPC, as agent for the US government, and the FEC, “autonomous… with due regard for the source of its funds.”

  • 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.

  • March 16, 1950

    Request to State Department for information on Eastern Europe for Radio Free Europe Broadcasts

    Office of Policy Coordination requests information – negative and positive – from the State Department on conditions in Eastern Europe that could be used in Radio Free Europe broadcasts.

  • April 26, 1950

    Recommendations on Utilization of the Russian Emigration

    Robert F. Kelley expands the recommendation of his May 3, 1949 memorandum ["Kelley Memorandum on Utilization of Russian Political Émigrés"] that the Office of Policy Coordination encourage the “existing striving of the Russian émigrés to create a central unifying organization” that would organize broadcast to the Soviet Union and be supported through a Free Europe Committee-llike committee in the United States.

  • May 05, 1950

    Statement of US Policy Toward Eastern Europe

    The Office of Policy Coordination provides the Free Europe Committee with State Department policy guidance dated April 26, 1950, calling for a range of diplomatic and information initiatives, including use of émigrés, but cautioning that broadcasts “should not promise imminent liberation or encourage active revolt.”

  • August 10, 1950

    Office of Policy Coordination Provides Propaganda Themes for Radio Free Europe

    The Office of Policy Coordination provides the Free Europe Committee with four suggested propaganda themes for RFE broadcasts.

  • November 22, 1950

    Wisner Update on Radio Free Europe

    Frank Wisner reviews RFE broadcasting after 5 months and notes a shift from use of exile leaders “of questionable current value” to “timely news items and commentary.” He foreshadows expansion of broadcast hours and shift of program production to West Germany.

  • 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 25, 1951

    Radio Liberty Objectives Outlined

    An Office of Policy Coordination officer explains Radio Liberty aims and objectives as involving “Russians speaking to Russians through an organization made up of the peoples of Russia.”

  • August 27, 1951

    Office of Policy Coordination Memorandum on Russian Emigration

    OPC provides the State Department with a positive progress report on efforts to unify the Russian emigration and organize broadcasting to the USSR.

  • 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.

  • November 20, 1951

    CIA-State Department “Summit” Limits Scope of Radio Free Europe

    Assistant Secretary of State Edward Barrett reviews Free Europe Committee plans with Allen Dulles and other officials. The State Department vetoes startup of Radio Free Europe Baltic broadcasting on grounds that it would duplicate Voice of America broadcasts and insists that the Crusade for Freedom be toned down. Dulles subsequently rejects the latter point in a handwritten annotation.

  • December 21, 1951

    George Kennan’s Views on Radio Liberty

    Office of Policy Coordination officers visit Princeton to solicit George Kennan’s views on Radio Liberty broadcasting

  • March 08, 1952

    Voice of America Views of Radio Liberty Broadcasting

    Voice of America Director Foy Kohler argues that without the formation of a Russian émigré political center enabling “Russians speaking to Russians," Radio Liberty would be a "bad imitation of VOA."

  • 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

  • March 28, 1952

    Radio Liberty Broadcasting Policy

    An Office of Policy Coordination memorandum formulates principles guiding Radio Liberty broadcasting, which should be organized by a Russian Political Center, not duplicate Voice of America broadcasts, and aim at destroying the Soviet government’s monopoly of information.

  • April 04, 1952

    Senate Staff Member Criticizes Radio Free Europe

    Richard Arens, counsel for the Senate’s Internal Security Subcommittee, accuses Radio Free Europe of harboring Marxists and broadcasting left-wing and socialist propaganda.