18 Abril, 2012




e-Dossier No. 32 – Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty

By A. Ross Johnson

This is a collection of declassified U.S. Government (USG) documents pertaining to Radio Free Europe (RFE) and Radio Liberty (RL) – Radios which were overseen and funded by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) until 1971, funded there after by open Congressional appropriation, and merged in 1976 as RFE/RL, Inc. The documents were used as primary sources for the book, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty: The CIA Years and Beyond (Woodrow Wilson Center Press and Stanford University Press, 2011). Documents with reference numbers preceded by “MORI” or “C” were obtained (many with redactions) by mandatory declassification review requests to CIA under the provisions of Executive Orders 13526 and 12958.

The collection is divided into four sections:

  1. The First Years: 1948-1955
  2. Challenge of Unrest in Eastern Europe: 1956-1957
  3. Détente Years: 1958-1966
  4. Transition to Open Funding: 1967-1971

A brief description of each document, with reference to its citation or reference in the book when applicable, is provided.

Additional declassified USG documents on RFE and RL are included in various volumes of the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Relations of the United States series and the CIA Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room and the CIA CREST data base at the National Archives.

Declassified USG documents tell only a part of the Radios’ history. Other important primary sources include the RFE/RL’s corporate and broadcast archives deposited at the Hoover Institution, the RFE/RL research archives in custody of the Open Society Archives, the Robert F. Kelley Papers at Georgetown University Library Special Collections Division (containing important RL archives), and the Political Archives of the German Foreign Office.

A. Ross Johnson is a Woodrow Wilson Center Senior Scholar and author of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty; the CIA Years and Beyond

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