The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Radio Free Europe

I ran across this surfing around.  I still am facinated by this because I lived through part of this and I was there when the wall fell in 1989 as the long time readers of my blog will attest to.  I remembered being in Germany as an Army Brat and watching the  1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, my prized possession was a soccer ball with the Olympic logo on it.  The entire country  was stunned when the palestinians staged a terrorist attack and killed 11 Israeli athletes and their coach plus a policemen.   later when I came back to Germany as a soldier and patrolled the border trace between West Germany and the Warsaw Pact.  You can read my other postings here

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

RFE/RL official logo

RFE/RL Broadcast Region 2009
Abbreviation RFE/RL
Motto Free Media in Unfree Societies
Formation 1949 (Radio Free Europe), 1953 (Radio Liberty), 1976 (merger)
Type private, non-profit Sec 501(c)3 corporation
Purpose/focus Broadcast Media
Headquarters Prague Broadcast Center
Location Czech Republic Prague, Czech Republic
Official languages English. Programs are also available in Albanian, Armenian, Arabic, Avar, Azerbaijani, Bashkir, Bosnian, Belarusian, Chechen, Circassian, Crimean Tatar, Dari, Georgian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Pashto, Persian, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Tajik, Tatar, Turkmen, Ukrainian, Uzbek
President Steven Korn
Parent organization Broadcasting Board of Governors
Budget $83,161,000 (FY 08)
Staff 497
Website http://www.rferl.org

Radio Free Europe

Radio Free Europe was created and grew in its early years through the efforts of the National Committee for a Free Europe (NCFE), a US anti-communist organization that was formed in New York City in 1949. The committee was composed of an "A list" of powerful U.S. citizens including former ambassador and first NCFE chairman Joseph Grew; Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director Allen Dulles; Reader's Digest owner Dewitt Wallace; former diplomat and the co-founder of Public Opinion Quarterly Dewitt Clinton Poole; and prominent New York investment banker Frank Altschul.[6]
Its mission was to support the refugees and provide them with a useful outlet for their opinions and creativity.[7] The NCFE divided its program into three parts: exile relations, radio, and American contacts.[6] Although exile relations were initially its first priority, Radio Free Europe (RFE) became the NCFE's greatest legacy.
RFE was developed out of a belief that the Cold War would eventually be fought by political rather than military means.[8] American policymakers such as George Kennan and John Foster Dulles acknowledged that the Cold War was essentially a war of ideas. The United States, acting through the CIA, funded a long list of projects to counter the Communist appeal among intellectuals in Europe and the developing world.[9]
RFE was modeled after Radio in the American Sector (RIAS) a U.S. government-sponsored radio service initially intended for Germans living in the American sector of Berlin (but more widely listened to in East Germany).[10] Staffed almost entirely by Germans with minimal U.S. supervision, the station provided free media to German listeners. In order to establish a broadcast presence in Europe like RIAS, the NCFE began an extensive fundraising effort known as the "Crusade for Freedom". The bulk of its RFE initial funding, however, came from the CIA.[11] In January 1950 the NCFE obtained a transmitter base at Lampertheim, West Germany and on July 4 of the same year RFE completed its first broadcast aimed at Czechoslovakia.[12]
Newly constructed building of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Prague-Hagibor.
In late 1950, RFE began to assemble a full-fledged foreign broadcast staff, becoming more than a "mouthpiece for exiles."[13] Teams of journalists were hired for each language service and an elaborate system of intelligence gathering provided up-to-date broadcast material. Most of this material came from a network of well-connected emigres and interviews with travelers and defectors. RFE did not use paid agents inside the Iron Curtain and based its bureaus in regions popular with exiles.[14] RFE also extensively monitored Communist bloc publications and radio services, creating an impressive body of information that would later serve as a resource for the CIA and other government organizations.[15]
In addition to its regular broadcasts RFE was also known for its balloon operation (1951–1956), a project that involved dropping anti-Communist propaganda from balloons.[16] Meteorological balloons were stuffed with leaflets and floated over the Iron Curtain into Eastern Europe. The nature of the leaflets varied, and included messages of support and encouragement to citizens suffering under communist oppression, satirical criticisms of communist regimes and leaders, information about dissident movements and human rights campaigns, and messages expressing the solidarity of the American people with the residents of Eastern European nations. The project served as a publicity tool to solidify RFE's reputation as an anti-communist broadcaster.[17]

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1 comment:

  1. Yep, that is QUITE a story, and even better, I seem to be able to comment on your page again! Thanks!!!