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


  • BIB, VOA & Related Issues

The Gronouski-Stanton argument symptomizes a much broader issue which is going to come to a head during the next 2–3 months and which, whether people want it to or not, is going to require White House intervention. This is the question of where VOA ends up in the government. At his testimony this past week,2 John Reinhardt refused to commit himself to Senator Percy on Stanton Report.3 Senator Humphrey, on the other hand, told Reinhardt that he had grave reservations about Stanton recommendations on VOA and wanted to have assurance that he was not going to support them. It is interesting that Humphrey has got into this (you might consider talking to him on Gronouski, Griffith, etc.). Reinhardt is reliably reported to favor keeping VOA just where it is, but State does not share this view. There are some people in State who favor turning the whole field of international broadcasting and information programs, in effect, over to Stanton.—Whatever some people in WH Staff think they know about this, it would not be in the interest of the President to let this happen.

The President’s speech last night4 points up the need for a strong U.S. ability to communicate to the world through instruments such as VOA as well as RFE/RL. We should probably be considering expanding our capacity to communicate through other means as well. In its way, the capacity of the U.S. Government to project its ideas throughout the world through instruments it manages is as important as its capacity to defend itself with weaponry . . . This requires, I believe, that we [Page 57] take a very specific interest in questions of U.S. information policy from NSC vantage point and assert ourselves on key issues.

[Omitted here is material unrelated to public diplomacy.]

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Horn/Special (Henze), Box 1, Chron File: 3/77. No classification marking.
  2. Reinhardt testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 15. (Lee Lescaze, “USIA Revamping Is an Issue,” The Washington Post, March 16, 1977, p. A8) The Senate confirmed Reinhardt’s nomination on March 23. (“Patsy Mink Gains Senate’s Approval In State Dept. Post,” The New York Times, March 24, 1977, p. A17) Reinhardt was subsequently sworn in as USIA Director on March 25. For the President’s remarks at the White House ceremony, see Public Papers: Carter, 1977, Book I, pp. 511–512. See also Document 29.
  3. See footnote 3, Document 1.
  4. The President addressed the UN General Assembly on March 17. The text of the President’s speech is printed in Public Papers: Carter, 1977, Book I, pp. 444–451. It is also printed in Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, vol. I, Foundations of Foreign Policy, Document 29.