142. Memorandum From Samuel Huntington of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1


  • Fascell’s Hesitation on the Human Rights Institute

John Richardson called today to say that Dante Fascell has been contacted by representatives of OMB indicating that the President is [Page 471] opposed to the Human Rights Institute bill.2 Previously, Christopher had testified before the Committee indicating Administration neutrality on the issue,—a neutrality stemming in part from the President’s policy against the creation of new agencies. Given the phone calls from OMB, however, Fascell is now uncertain whether the Administration is still neutral or is now opposed to the bill. Before pushing ahead with the bill, he would like to be reassured that the Administration does not oppose it. John suggested that it would be most desirable (and, indeed, perhaps critical to the success of the bill) for you to call Fascell and reassure him on this point. I second his recommendation.3

In calling Fascell I think the best tack to take would be to emphasize that the Administration viewpoint is contained in Christopher’s statement and not in phone calls from OMB. In addition to reiterating your own personal support for the bill, you might wish to call his attention to two key statements in Christopher’s testimony:

“In pursuing our human rights policy we are receptive to new and creative endeavors. If properly structured . . . the Institute envisioned in your bill could make a valuable contribution to efforts on behalf of human rights.”

“. . . Creation of the Institute through Congressional initiative would be viewed as a reaffirmance of our national commitment to the promotion of human rights. The bipartisan nature of this commitment, and the breadth of its support, are prerequisites to the success of our efforts in behalf of human rights.


That you phone Congressman Fascell assuring him that Administration does not oppose Human Rights Institute.4

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 28, Human Rights: 5/77–11/78. No classification marking. Outside the System. Sent for action. Printed from a copy that bears Bartholomew’s initials. A handwritten notation indicates that a copy was sent to Huntington on May 4.
  2. Inderfurth underlined a portion of the sentence beginning with the word “indicating” and ending with the word “bill.”
  3. Inderfurth added the following handwritten comment: “I third it. I think you should also call McIntyre. Rick.”
  4. There is no indication as to whether Brzezinski approved or disapproved the recommendation; however, Brzezinski did write the word “done” and place a check mark on the first page of the memorandum.