13. Memorandum From the Deputy Director for Policy and Plans, United States Information Agency (Bastian) to Jessica Tuchman of the National Security Council Staff1


  • PRM Human Rights Draft

The following is provided in response to subject PRM:

1. Define, from the moral viewpoint, what the United States should set as its goals in greater upholding of human rights around the world.

2. Analyze the probable short and long term positive and negative effects of a series of alternative human rights policies for the United States.

Examine the following options:

a. Vigorous unilateral statements by the U.S. naming the nations involved;

b. Milder or intermittent unilateral statements and actions, naming the nations involved;

c. A multilateral policy, going in step with the United Nations, which sometimes names the nations involved;

d. A general declaratory policy, naming no names (the mildest course).

3. Analyze the probable result of the suggested analysis which would be a selective policy of promoting human rights, pushing harder on Country A and less on Country B. A very important—perhaps overriding—question is whether consistency is more important than making progress where we can with a selective approach.

4. Declare that “the human rights policy of the US is the reflection of deeply felt concerns for human rights by the American people, the President and the Congress.”

5. In paragraph 6c of subject PRM, include USIA cultural and informational programming.

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6. Monitor and provide regular assessments on the most prominent foreign media coverage of U.S. human rights policy and related initiatives.

7. Propose that we use the CSCE Belgrade June 15th meeting as a forum to (a) reinforce our position on the CSCE Final Act’s human rights and freedoms provisions—the so-called “Third Basket”,2 and (b) express concern about allegations that human rights and freedoms incorporated in the Final Act have been denied in several Final Act signatory countries.

8. Propose a program to promote positive efforts to encourage favorable human rights trends and to help foster the growth of free political and social institutions.

Walter M. Bastian, Jr.
Deputy Director (Policy and Plans)
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, National Intelligence Council, Job 91M00696R: Subject Policy Files, Box 5, Folder 12: Human Rights. Confidential. Bastian’s memorandum is attached to a February 28 memorandum for the record, drafted by Meyer, summarizing the February 28 meeting, during which the interagency participants discussed the draft version of a Presidential Review Memorandum (PRM) on human rights. The February 28 memorandum for the record is printed in Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, vol. II, Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, Document 22. During the February 28 meeting, Tuchman indicated that she hoped to provide Brzezinski with a draft PRM by March 4 and circulate a final draft to member agencies during the next week. The final version of PRM/NSC–28, May 20, is printed in Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, vol. II, Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, Document 46.
  2. A preparatory meeting for the October 1977 Belgrade CSCE Review Conference was scheduled to take place in Belgrade in June. The “third basket” of the Final Act (see footnote 6, Document 8) emphasized humanitarian cooperation, human contacts, freedom of information, and educational and cultural exchanges.