NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE UPDATE, March 2, 2001The Bush administration has floated the name of Otto Juan Reich for possible nomination as Assistant Secretary of State for Latin American Affairs (see Al Kamen, “In the Loop,” The Washington Post, 15 February 2001). Mr. Reich’s tenure at the State Department's Office of Public Diplomacy from 1983-1986 generated major controversy during the exposure of the Iran-contra scandal, and left an extensive document trail, some of the highlights of which are included in this Briefing Book. For example:
Public Diplomacy and Covert Propaganda:http://www.nsarchive.org/NSAEBB/NSAEBB40
The Declassified Record of Ambassador Otto Juan Reich
The briefing book also includes the full text of Ambassador Reich's 122-page deposition before the Iran/Contra committees, a detailed “public diplomacy action plan” written by one of Reich's assistants, and documents related to Reich's efforts to obtain staff for his office by getting them detailed from various U.S. military units engaged in “psychological operations."
- The Comptroller-General of the U.S. found that some of the efforts of Mr. Reich’s public diplomacy office were “prohibited, covert propaganda activities,” “beyond the range of acceptable agency public information activities….”
- The bipartisan report of the Congressional Iran-contra committees found that “[i]n fact, ‘public diplomacy’ turned out to mean public relations-lobbying, all at taxpayers’ expense.”
- A staff report by the House Foreign Affairs Committee (September 7, 1988) summarized various investigations of Mr. Reich’s office and concluded that “senior CIA officials with backgrounds in covert operations, as well as military intelligence and psychological operations specialists from the Department of Defense, were deeply involved in establishing and participating in a domestic political and propaganda operation run through an obscure bureau in the Department of State which reported directly to the National Security Council rather than through the normal State Department channels…."
These and many other documents are available here:
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