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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • July 22, 1954

    American Committee for Liberation Mission Statement Criticized

    CIA official Richard Bissell criticizes the April 21, 1954, AMCOMLIB mission statement ["Revised American Committee for Liberation Mission Statement"], now endorsed by the State Department, as postulating far reaching goals without identifying the means necessary to achieve them.

  • July 22, 1954

    US Government Policy for Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty

    An annex to the Operations Coordinating Board (OCB) “169 Study” on U.S. international communications reviews the goals and effectiveness of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty.

  • July 30, 1954

    American Committee for Liberation's Mission Redefined

    CIA official Thomas Braden restates American Committee for Liberation's redefined mission which puts American staff and not exile leaders in charge of exile broadcasters.

  • September 01, 1955

    Radio Liberty's Effectiveness Appraised

    Stanford University communications expert Wilbur Schramm reviews the effectiveness of Radio Liberty after two and a half years of broadcasting.

  • February, 1956

    Report on Visit to Radio Free Europe, Munich

    Analysis of RFE news operations by BBC Central European Service director Gregory Macdonald, who visited Munich from January 8 to January 23, 1956, at RFE’s request. Accompanied by notes from the British Foreign Office and its Information Research Department. Macdonald had been asked by RFE officials to assess the objectivity and organization of the newscasts.

  • March 13, 1956

    German Concerns about Free Europe Committee Balloon Leaflet Operations

    West German Ambassador Heinz Krekeler shares his government’s concerns about Free Europe Committee (FEC) balloon operations with Deputy Undersecretary of State Robert Murphy and FEC President Whitney Shepardson.

  • March 28, 1956

    Budapest Legation Dispatch No. 372, Radio Free Europe Hungarian Broadcasts Appraised

    In Budapest Legation Dispatch No. 372, two Hungarian-speaking officers appraise the content and reception quality of Radio Free Europe (RFE) Hungarian broadcasts. They rate newscasts higher than commentaries and features

  • July 03, 1956

    National Security Council, NSC 5608, Draft of “US Policy toward the Soviet Satellites in Eastern Europe”

    Staff draft of NSC 5608, concluding that ferment in the Communist world provides new opportunities to challenge Soviet control. A draft annex called for “encouraging evolutionary change” and defined as tasks of RFE and RL (and other USG-funded media) “avoiding any incitement to premature revolt” while “seeking to maintain faith in the eventual restoration of freedom.” Redacted document 76, FRUS, 1955-1957, XXV, unredacted document 12, Csaba Békés, Malcolm Byrne, and János M. Rainer, The 1956 Hungarian Revolution: A History in Documents (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2002.)

  • July 13, 1956

    National Security Council Discussion of Policy Toward Eastern Europe

    Senior officials discuss US policy at a National Security Council (NSC) principals' meeting on July 12. Notwithstanding less cautionary views expressed by Vice President Nixon at the NSC discussion, on July 18 President Eisenhower approved a minor modification of the draft (NSC 5608 and the annex) as NSC 5608/1 to serve as a basic statement of U.S. policy (published as redacted document 80, FRUS, 1955-57, XXV ; unredacted document 17, Békés, Byrne, and Rainer, The 1956 Hungarian Revolution).

  • 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 24, 1956

    International Operations Division, Guidance to Radio Liberation from New York on Satellite Situation

    The International Operations Division officer responsible for Radio Liberty notes to Cord Meyer his disagreement with RL’s policy of avoiding all commentary on the Hungarian Revolution. He cites Meyer’s intention to discuss the issue with AMCOMLIB president Sargeant.

  • October 25, 1956

    Policy Considerations for Radio Free Europe Broadcasts

    A CIA/International Operations Division official recommends policies to guide RFE broadcasting to Hungary during the revolution.

  • October 30, 1956

    Other Hungarian-Language Radios

    Radio Free Russia, the voice of the Russian émigré organization NTS, begins Hungarian-language broadcasts and reports the readiness of the “Association of Former Hungarian Servicemen” to assist the Hungarian insurgents. [Radio Madrid in Hungarian broadcasts similar messages.]

  • November 02, 1956

    Phone Conversation on Guidance for Radio Free Europe Broadcasts

    Radio Free Europe (RFE) Director Conerey Egan in New York telephones RFE Deputy Director Richard Condon in Munich to direct that RFE should report Hungarian developments and insurgent demands but not take a position for or against individual leaders or political parties.

  • November 02, 1956

    Policy Considerations for Radio Liberty Broadcasts

    CIA redistributes a State Department message of November 1 endorsing RL’s [temporary] ban on commentary on Hungarian events.

  • November 03, 1956

    Comprehensive Guidance for Radio Free Europe Broadcasts

    An authoritative, cautionary US government guidance, approved by Allen Dulles and Deputy Undersecretary of State Robert Murphy, conveyed to the Free Europe Committee that afternoon.

  • November 19, 1956

    Review of Radio Free Europe Hungarian Broadcasts

    Final text of a CIA Memorandum submitted to the White House on RFE broadcasts during the Hungarian Revolution

  • November 26, 1956

    Review of Radio Free Europe Hungarian Broadcasts

    Cord Meyer informs Allen Dulles that Radio Free Europe (RFE) Hungarian broadcasts did not incite revolution or promise outside military intervention. He encloses his memorandum of November 16, 1956, on monitoring and program control of RFE and RL.

  • December 04, 1956

    Review of Radio Free Europe Broadcasting

    Cord Meyer forwards to Allen Dulles as background for Operations Coordinating Board discussions a memorandum of that date on “Radio Free Europe – Review of Broadcasting Policy and Content.”

  • February 11, 1957

    Memorandum for the Director of Central Intelligence, 'Additional Proposal concerning the Reappraisal of U.S. Propaganda Broadcasting' [Approved for Release March 2009]

    CIA and State Department officials plan an interagency working group including USIA officials to reappraise US international broadcasting [later named the Committee on Radio Broadcasting Policy, CRBP].