89. Memorandum From Jessica Tuchman of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1
- USIA’s Suggestions for Human Rights Week—Your Query
Reinhardt suggests (Tab B) that the President’s greatest source of support on human rights comes from people rather than from their [Page 301]governments. Everyone I have talked to and everything I have read in the past months confirms this. Each of the President’s speeches and statements in this area has captured much attention and generated additional support, which eventually percolates back to governments. Thus I think that Reinhardt’s suggestion for a Human Rights Week speech addressed to people all over the world is an excellent one.2
You may remember that after the last UNGA speech, we got many reports of reactions expressing disappointment that the President had not once mentioned human rights.3 Some interpreted this as a backing off from the policy (this isn’t serious—it’s a press obsession that will be with us until the policy is no longer new). We even got some indications of disappointment from governments who were expecting some general words of praise for the positive steps that have been taken in many places. Thus there is substance that can usefully be said in such a speech, and I think we can be confident that the market has not been saturated with talk of human rights: I am a little leery of Reinhardt’s suggestion that the speech address “the place of the individual in society” which could easily get too philosophical and ethnocentric, but I believe that it would be well worthwhile to take a look at his draft.
Rick informed me yesterday that a proposal for a 3–4 minute Human Rights Week statement is already in the system. Obviously we would not want to do both. I would suggest that it be expanded into a 10–12 minute speech.
I have no particular comments on Reinhardt’s proposals Two and Three other than that we should take a look at his material. I have drafted a note for a reply to Reinhardt’s memorandum along these lines—it is at Tab A.4[Page 302]
That you sign the memorandum at Tab A.
That you approve a 10–12 minute speech rather than a short statement for Human Rights Week.5
- Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Brzezinski Office File, Subject Chron File, Box 94, Human Rights: 1977. No classification marking. Sent for action.↩
- Brzezinski placed two parallel lines in the left-hand margin next to the portion of the paragraph that begins with “eventually” and ends with “one.”↩
- Reference is to the President’s October 4 address before the UN General Assembly, which is printed in
Public Papers: Carter, 1977, Book II, pp. 1715–1723, and is
scheduled for publication in
Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, volume I, Foundations of Foreign Policy.↩
- Attached but not printed is a signed copy of Brzezinski’s memorandum to Reinhardt, dated November 25. In it, Brzezinski commented: “I found both your analysis and proposals interesting. Regarding a ‘State of the World’ message, and your thoughts on the FY ’79 budget for ICA, I hope you will forward the materials you mention to me. We are giving serious consideration to your proposal for a Human Rights Week speech—there are the inevitable schedule problems as you know. While I can make no commitment at this time that the speech will be given, I would like to see a draft of what you have in mind.” (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Brzezinski Office File, Subject Chron File, Box 94, Human Rights: 1977)↩
- Brzezinski placed a check mark on the approval lines of both recommendations. His handwritten comment on a line for “Further Action” is illegible. The President did not deliver a human rights speech as requested but offered comments regarding human rights policy at a December 15 news conference. For additional information, see Document 99.↩
- No classification marking. No drafting information appears on the memorandum. Brzezinski wrote the following handwritten notation on the first page of the memorandum: “Ri [Rick Inderfurth] Give me rest. WR [Weekly Report] idea?” A November 21 covering memorandum from Brzezinski to Tuchman transmitting Reinhardt’s memorandum and requesting that Tuchman provide him with a “quick reaction” to the proposal is not printed. (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Brzezinski Office File, Subject Chron File, Box 94, Human Rights: 1977)↩