Search in
ADD SEARCH FILTER CANCEL SEARCH FILTER

Digital Archive International History Declassified

No image found.

Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty

This is a collection of declassified documents pertaining to Radio Free Europe (RFE) and Radio Liberty (RL) – Radios which were overseen and funded by the Central Intelligence Agency until 1971, funded there after by open Congressional appropriation, and merged in 1976 as RFE/RL, Inc. The documents were used as primary sources for A. Ross Johnson's book ''Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty: The CIA Years and Beyond'' or published in the appendix of ''Cold War Broadcasting: Impact on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe'' edited by A. Ross Johnson and R. Eugene Parta. See also CWIHP e-Dossier No. 32 and e-Dossier No. 59 for introductions to the documents, and the related collections Intelligence Operations in the Cold War, and Mass Media and Censorship. (Image, RFE broadcaster Nowak-Jezioraski, 1952)

  • November 30, 1960

    Ambassador Beam Remains Critical of Radio Free Europe Polish Broadcasts

    Ambassador Beam responds to Allen Dulles’ letter of November 13, 1960 [document not released] about RFE Polish broadcasts

  • November 30, 1960

    Ambassador Beam Criticizes Two Radio Free Europe Polish Scripts

    Ambassador Beam complains about two RFE Polish broadcasts to the U.S. Consul General in Munich

  • December, 1960

    Sprague Committee Critical of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty

    The President’s Committee on Information Activities Abroad, chaired by Mansfield Sprague, concludes that RFE and RL are slow to adapt to changes in the Soviet orbit and resulting shifts in U.S. policy. [Also available in the Richard Helms Collection released by CIA in 2008.]

  • December 05, 1960

    Dispute Over Personnel Policy and Practices Culminates in Resignation of Radio Free Europe Top Management

    The Munich Consulate-General provides its appraisal of turmoil in the RFE Czechoslovak Service and the ensuing replacement of the American management at RFE Munich

  • December 09, 1960

    CIA View of Warsaw Embassy Critique of Radio Free Europe

    Cord Meyer forwards Ambassador Beam’s criticism of RFE to Allen Dulles and calls for more American control over the RFE Polish Service

  • January 05, 1961

    Implementation of the CC CPSU Decree 'Measures to Vigorously Counteract Hostile Radio Propaganda'

    Report on the implementation of the CC CPSU decree to broadcast radio programs to counter VOA and BBC broadcasts.

  • February 13, 1961

    CIA-Radio Liberty Exchange on Sprague Report

    An International Operations Division officer regrets to AMCOMLIB president Howland Sargeant, that the Sprague Committee equated RL’s record with that of RFE

  • June 20, 1961

    Free Europe Committee Proposal to Exploit Berlin Crisis

    FEC Directors C. D. Jackson and Whitney Debevoise discuss with State Department officials their ideas on using RFE to pressure the Soviets during the Berlin Crisis

  • July 14, 1961

    Kennedy Administration Coordinates International Broadcasting

    NSAM 63 directs the State Department to provide foreign policy guidance to all broadcasters, including Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, and authorizes the USIA Director to preempt time on RFE and RL in a national emergency

  • September 06, 1961

    National Security Council Guidance on Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty Broadcasting

    Approval of “low key” Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty broadcasts on issues of nuclear warfare [a rare case of NSC-level involvement in broadcast policy]

  • November 27, 1961

    Bureau of the Budget Review of CIA Funding Levels for Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty

    An interagency group convened by the Bureau of the Budget concludes that RFE and RL funding should continue at current levels, that continuous evaluation of programs is needed, and that European co-funding should be explored

  • April 05, 1962

    Reprise of Radio Free Europe and the Hungarian Revolution

    Cord Meyer reviews the history for DCI John A. McCone

  • June 01, 1962

    Prague Embassy Views of Radio Free Europe

    In Dispatch No. 743, the Prague Embassy views RFE as “doing a job of good quality” but offers suggestions for improving the broadcasts

  • June 07, 1962

    Warsaw Embassy Appraisal of Current Broadcasting to Poland by Radio Free Europe

    In Dispatch No. 466, the Warsaw Embassy views RFE as “doing an effective job” in broadcasting to Poland

  • January 04, 1963

    CIA Approves Radio Free Europe Technical Improvements

    CIA Deputy Director Marshall Carter informs Free Europe Committee President John Richardson of new funding for RFE capital expansion

  • January 04, 1963

    CIA Approves Radio Liberty Technical Improvements

    CIA Deputy Director Carter informs AMCOMLIB President Howland Sargeant of new funding for RL capital expansion

  • April 25, 1963

    Minutes of CC CPSU Presidium Meeting on Restricting Soviet Shortwave Receivers

    A discussion among the top leadership of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU on the problem of limiting production shortwave radio sets that receive Western broadcasts. The argument is made that, if sets capable of receiving Western radio broadcasts are not produced, Soviet citizens will find ways of adapting non-shortwave radios to receive the broadcasts. The Soviet leaders seem to be under the misconception that the production of shortwave receivers in America was stopped so that Americans couldn’t receive information from the USSR and that the Soviets should do likewise.

  • October 01, 1963

    Report to Hungarian Politburo on Jamming of Western Radio

    This report prepared for the Hungarian Politburo in 1963 concluded that current jamming efforts were ineffective. It provided two options for the Politburo: to maintain and redirect jamming, focusing it on RFE, or to end it entirely.

  • October 08, 1963

    Minutes of Hungarian Politburo Meeting on Jamming of Western Radio

    Politburo discussion of a report prepared for the Hungarian Politburo in1963 which concluded that current jamming efforts were ineffective. It provided two options for the Politburo: to maintain and redirect jamming, focusing it on RFE, or to end it entirely. Noteworthy is the assessment that the West has outstripped the Soviet bloc in terms of transmitters, and the assumption that ending jamming might be used as a bargaining chip to soften Western broadcasts.

  • October 23, 1963

    Soviet Ambassador Dorynin on Radio Liberty

    Ambassador Llewellyn Thompson reports Anatoly Dobrynin’s denunciation of Radio Liberty (and other “subversive” radios) while noting the Soviet Union had stopped jamming Voice of America Russian.