72. Memorandum From Paul Henze of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1


  • Broadcasting to Muslims—Need to Push OMB to release funds (U)

I had a good Radio Working Group yesterday afternoon. All participants are eager to move to implement the program which has already been advertised in the New York Times2 —with one exception: OMB. It is dragging its feet. It has been reluctant to give ICA all the money it says it needs for VOA and even more reluctant to authorize new positions. It has allocated no money to BIB for RFE/RL—with John White maintaining that the SCC decisions, as he understands them, do not permit giving any funds for improving broadcast content until transmitters have actually been rented. This means that you wait to hire people and improve research and monitoring until you have the transmitters ready and then you wait another six months to broadcast effectively while you build up programming. This is a recipe for sapping initiative and inflicting unnecessary delay on ourselves to save pennies. . . (C)

I have prepared a strong memorandum from you to McIntyre attached at TAB A3 and recommend you sign it immediately. (U)

  1. Source: National Security Council, Carter Administration Intelligence Files, Box I–023, SCC Meetings Folders, 1979–1980 and Attorney General Actions, SCC(i) Meeting on Broadcasting and Related Issues, 11 December 1979. Confidential. Sent for action. Copies were sent to Brement, Larrabee, Sick, and Odom.
  2. Attached but not printed. David Binder of The New York Times published an article two days earlier discussing the December 11 decisions to expand broadcasting to Soviet Muslims in light of the ongoing hostage crisis in Iran and the ferment in the region. Binder detailed the ongoing debates between the White House, the ICA, and the OMB on the need for more transmitters to reach Soviet Muslims and identified Henze as both a CIA employee and the former CIA Chief of Station in Turkey. (David Binder, “U.S. Wary of Islamic Upheaval, to Increase Broadcasts to Moslems,” The New York Times, December 17, 1979, p. A16) The leak prompted Brzezinski to call for an FBI investigation into the matter. Henze wrote two memoranda to Brzezinski on December 18, the first detailing his discussion with Binder, the second suggesting the administration take a more proactive position. Henze argued: “On the issues which Binder raises, we risk letting the impression develop that we are up to something illicit if we go on saying nothing. The Administration should be getting credit for taking initiative on Muslim broadcasts after decades of neglect (Persian stopped being broadcast under Eisenhower in 1958!).” (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Horn/Special, Box 4, Chron File: 12/79)
  3. Attached but not printed. According to an attached activity sheet, the memorandum was returned to Henze on December 26 for revisions. There is no indication that it was subsequently sent to McIntyre.