73. Letter From Secretary of State Rusk to the Director of the United States Information Agency (Murrow)1

Dear Ed:

You will recall that last August the President asked you and a number of other officials to examine United States effectiveness in the field of propaganda-political warfare.2 On September 19, you and the other members of the Ad Hoc Committee agreed on a number of recommendations in this field which were then approved by the President.3

The key recommendations were: 1) that I appoint a Special Assistant for Special Projects “to give full time to the coordination and overall supervision of all United States resources in the propaganda-political warfare field”, and 2) that I “call upon the other federal agencies with a capability in this field to contribute a senior official to form an inter-departmental task force to work under the Special Assistant”.

In accordance with these recommendations, I have placed this responsibility in the Office of the Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Mr. George McGhee. Mr. William J. Jorden has been appointed to the post of special assistant to carry out this assignment in the field of propaganda-political warfare. Since August 1961, Mr. Jorden has been a member of the Department’s Policy Planning Council. Before that, he was a journalist and foreign correspondent for The New York Times [Page 191] and served for many years in the Far East, in Moscow and in Washington.

In accordance with the second recommendation, I would appreciate your letting me know the name of an official of your agency who may work with Mr. Jorden in laying out policy lines and actions programs that will advance the United States’ cause in the field of psychological-political warfare.

Any ideas or recommendations you may have in connection with this effort, now or in the future, will be most welcome.


Dean Rusk 4
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files, 511.00/3–962. No classification marking. Drafted by Jorden on March 8.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 51.
  3. See Document 51.
  4. Printed from a copy that indicates that Rusk signed the original.