Radio Free Europe

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Group.png Radio Free Europe  
250px-RFE Logo.png
MottoFree Media in Unfree Societies
Parent organizationBroadcasting Board of Governors
Type• Private
• Non-profit
Interest ofNational Committee for a Free Europe

Radio Free Europe/Radio_Liberty is a US government sponsored broadcaster with traditionally close ties to the CIA.


The CIA’s Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) oversaw the Agency’s various propaganda efforts and from its formation in 1947 recruited and trained US journalists as media assets while helping to establish and maintain friendly relations with news industry executives throughout the Cold War. Among OPC Director Frank Wisner’s most favored programs was covert propaganda. The former Wall Street attorney and OSS veteran famously referred to these activities as his “Wurlitzer,” after the popular organ and jukebox manufacturer.

In an effort to conceal such activities from public view certain front groups with virtuous-sounding titles were created by US diplomats Joseph C. Grew and Dewitt C. Poole, under advisement of George Kennan and then-Secretary of State Dean Acheson. In 1949 Grew and Poole established the National Committee for a Free Europe (NCFE), with Allen Dulles elected as its first president.

In the following year the NCFE formed a subsidiary for broadcasting in Europe, Radio Free Europe (RFE), with headquarters in New York and production arm in Munich. With the assistance of Franklin A. Lindsey, a CIA representative and liaison to the British, another public face for transmitting propaganda directly into the Soviet Union was established in 1951, the American Committee for Freedom for the Peoples of the USSR; its broadcast outlet became known as Radio Liberty.[1]

Funding was provided by a range of donors from big business, including Wall St. directors of big business, finance and oil companies.[2]


Various CIA spooks started at Radio Free Europe, including Paul Henze (an original management team member, from 1952-1958) and Le Cercle attendee, Fritz Ermarth.

Craig Oliphant worked at Radio Free Europe/Radio_Liberty in Munich in the 1980s.[3]


Employees on Wikispooks

James BuckleyPresident19821985
Fritz ErmarthSoviet affairs analyst19651968
Paul GobleAssistant Director for Broadcasting
Eduard KuznetsovChief of the news department19831990
Victor LaskyPropagandist19561960
Barbara von Ow-FreytagAnalyst19841988
Jiří PeheAnalystAugust 19881995
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  1. John Prados, Presidents’ Secret Wars: CIA and Pentagon Covert Operations From World War II Through the Persian Gulf, Chicago: Elephant Paperbacks, 1996, 34-35.