22. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) to President Carter1
- Stanton Report, Board for International Broadcasting and Related Issues
Stanton’s Report advocates a fragmenting of U.S. information effort:
• abolishing USIA and setting up an Information and Cultural Affairs Agency (ICA) under State which would have some of its functions while
• a new Deputy Undersecretary of State for Policy Information would have others.
• Abroad, PAOs would be abolished and USIS functions spread around embassies, while
• VOA would be set up under a separate Board, like the BIB, with eventual merger with the BIB foreseen.
The total effect would be to make U.S. information programs harder for the Government to manage and less amenable to White House influence. Eventual merger of VOA and RFE/RL would deprive RFE/RL of their distinctive character and role. Opposition to Stanton’s ideas has been widespread and includes most Ambassadors, USIA and VOA officers and the Board and Staff of RFE/RL. John Hays (Post/Newsweek), Chairman of the RFE/RL Board, is strongly opposed to Stanton and could be expected to resign if Stanton were appointed BIB Chairman.
The Stanton Report was done at the Georgetown Center2 where Kissinger is now located. The Center is headed by David Abshire, who [Page 58] has just resigned as Chairman of the BIB, with the aid of Walter Roberts, who has played a very partisan role in the BIB Staff. These people have been lobbying with members of Congress, pushing Stanton’s (and their) partisan views and denouncing people who disagree with them.
Stanton as BIB Chairman would be caught up in controversy from the start and his ideas would make it very difficult for us to get real improvements in U.S. broadcasting and other information efforts.
- Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 9, Board for International Broadcasting (RFE, RL, VOA): 2–12/77. Confidential; Outside System. Sent for information. A stamped notation indicates the President saw it. Another copy is in the Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Office, Outside the System File, Box 47, Chron: 3/77.↩
- See footnote 2, Document 18.↩