93. Paper Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency1
[Omitted here are discussions not related to the Soviet Union.]
On 3 August 1987, President Reagan signed a Memorandum of Notification (MON) which authorized an increase in our Soviet/East European media and influence program. [less than 6 lines not declassified] Our enhanced program is designed to exploit the current Soviet policy of “glasnost” and the revolution in electronic communications, two phenomena which offer an unprecedented opportunity for our covert action program to impact on Soviet audiences. Last year, some 500,000 books, periodicals, audio cassettes, and video cassettes were distributed inside the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Although measuring the impact of our programs in these countries has been difficult because we lack access there, we have tried to monitor as closely as possible the distribution and infiltration of our materials.
We are reasonably certain that at least two-thirds of our materials reached their intended audience, i.e., the intelligentsia and other elite groups. We also know from comments of defectors and recent exiles that our books, newspapers, and periodicals are eagerly read and passed from hand-to-hand.
Current political trends in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe reflect increased liberalization and internal debate on the need for more openness or “glasnost.” These trends are consistent with US policy objectives, and will be encouraged and promoted by this covert action program.
[Omitted here is material unrelated to the Soviet Union.]
- Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Office of the Director of Central Intelligence, Job 89B00224R: Committees, Task Forces, Boards, Councils Files (1981–1987, mostly 1987), Box 11, [text not declassified]. Top Secret; [handling restriction not declassified] The paper was prepared for a meeting between Webster and the President’s Intelligence Oversight Board (PIOB).↩