34. Memorandum From the Director of the Policy Planning Staff (Lake) to the Deputy Secretary of State (Christopher)1


  • Attached Memorandum on Human Rights

As per your request at your luncheon, April 2, we have redrafted the S/PD/HA Action Memorandum of March 252 to proceed as a memo directly from you to the Secretary.3

We have adjusted the previous draft in accordance with your comments and suggestions. At the same time, we have preserved most of the original thrust and text which you approved.

The result is a comparatively lengthy document. It is, however, one which we believe is valuable, not only for the Secretary’s reference but also—and this may be crucial for bureaucratic follow-up—as a clear statement to the building of our overall policy and program design. It is, in effect, the bureaucratic or structural companion piece for the much longer S/P background paper on human rights (which itself is based on input from throughout the building and due for wide distribution within the foreign affairs agencies in Washington and to all US posts abroad). We have attached the latter in uncleared form for your reference at this time. (See attachment B.)4

We have retained reference to your interagency coordinating role in both the attached overall memo to the Secretary and the memorandum we propose he send to the President. Since we appreciate your concern about a formal interagency mechanism, we have left the lan [Page 102] guage loose enough to give you latitude in implementation. In light of the recent NSC memo requesting interagency coordination on foreign assistance and human rights,5 the procedure suggested may be the least that the State Department should do in this regard, unless we are prepared to have others assume our legitimate role.

We continue to work on other points raised at your luncheon, including:

—Encouraging D/HA to dispatch tasking memos to the regional and functional bureaus6 so that we can get moving on our full agenda of strategy papers and action plans.

—Sending you, following receipt of final clearances from the regional bureaus, S/P’s final incarnation of a human rights background paper and a guidance cable7 for dispatch to the field.

Finally, we have attached for your possible use a brief cover note from you to the Secretary so that he can be alerted to the major thrust of the long memo and action requested.8

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Policy and Planning Staff—Office of the Director, Records of Anthony Lake, 1977–1981, Lot 82D298, Box 2, TL 4/1–4/15/77. Confidential. Drafted by Vogelgesang on April 6. Kreisberg wrote on the memorandum: “MAC—what has happened to this memo? did the attachment go to Secy? Did memo go to President? PHK.Lake sent a draft of the memorandum to Habib, Cooper, Benson, Nimetz, Hansell, and Derian under cover of an April 7 memorandum, indicating that Christopher had approved its substance. (National Archives, RG 59, Bureau of Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, Chron and Official Records of the Assistant Secretary for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, Lot 85D366, D Meeting on Human Rights)
  2. See Attachment, Document 29.
  3. Attached but not printed is an undated memorandum from Christopher to Vance.
  4. The S/P background paper is not attached. Sirkin drafted the paper in S/P on February 26 and circulated it to the regional and functional bureaus on March 2. (National Archives, RG 59, Office of the Deputy Secretary: Records of Warren Christopher, 1977–1980, Lot 81D113, Box 16, Human Rights—Early Efforts) The final version of the paper, April 25, is in the Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Global Issues—Bloomfield Subject File, Box 17, Human Rights: State Department Mid-Course Assessments: 5/77–11/78.
  5. See Document 31.
  6. See Document 52.
  7. See Document 51.
  8. Attached but not printed. The undated covering memorandum from Christopher to Vance, drafted by Vogelgesang on April 6, indicates that the longer memorandum “tries to pull together in one place (1) our general approach on human rights and (2) an agenda for specific action.” (National Archives, RG 59, Policy and Planning Staff—Office of the Director, Records of Anthony Lake, 1977–1981, Lot 82D298, Box 2, TL 4/1–4/15/77)