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COMMUNIST DISTORTION OF STATEMENTS FOR PROPAGANDA PURPOSES
Senator THURMOND. Mr. Secretary, in your earlier appearance before this subcommittee, I asked you to give us an example of how the Communists twist any statement of any American to serve their propaganda mill.
You said you could not remember any example offhand, and later provided several examples, I believe, for the record.
I did not see the information you furnished until today, and they appear to be good examples. What bothers me is, however, none of these are personal observations or experiences.
I think it is highly important that the people in the Defense Department in high positions like yours, where we feel the impact of the cold war with the Communists, we must have officials who are as well versed in Communist propaganda as possible.
I was just wondering if you could give us any example of Communist propaganda in which you had a personal experience, or have you had any ?
Mr. SYLVESTER. Oh, yes, Senator, I have covered in the last 10 years most of the Foreign Ministers meetings. I have seen the Communist delegation change from the early clodhopper days to the present days when they circulate among the newsmen, pass out their stories.
I would say they have acquired a skill not quite as good, maybe, as the French, the Germans and the British in advancing their line, but I think they have advanced a tremendous way that way. If
you have covered any sort of international meeting or been in Russia, as I was, with Vice President Nixon, I think it is very clear the way they do it.
They have first-hand approaches to you, approaches to your colleagues, the way they attempt to hand out in advance their programs that they are going to advance at a meeting, making available, as they try to do, at the Foreign Ministers meeting, I think in 1959, in Geneva, and they brought the East Germans there.
The East Germans invited news men to go to East Germany to see how wonderful things were, any number of things of that sort, Senator.
WHETHER SYLVESTER HAS ATTENDED COURSES ON COLD WAR STRATEGY
Senator THURMOND. Incidentally, have you attended any courses on cold war strategy on communism?
Mr. SYLVESTER. No.
Since I have been at the Defense Department, I simply have not had time to. I have been invited to a number. I expect to take them in sooner or later, but in the first 18 months, Senator, I have not had time to.
Senator THURMOND. Did you attend any before you went to the Defense Department?
Mr. SYLVESTER. No, I had never been invited to.
SUPPORT OF "CAPTIVE NATIONS WEEK
Senator THURMOND. Mr. Secretary, as a key man in the Defense Establishment, you are in a position to assist the national effort of reminding Americans of the fate of 180 million Eastern Europeans.
“Captive Nations Week” could have been supported by the Department of Defense in an effort to keep Communist tyranny before the eyes of the people.
Could you outline for us what your office has done to promote the idea of “Captive Nations Week”?
Mr. SYLVESTER. Yes, I can quite simply, Senator. This is again without the province of our office.
This would require a larger budget than we have, and would require a reorientation into a field that we are not in.
It is really in the State Department field.
It would get into the sort of thing that the Congress has shown great sensitivity about,
use of propaganda on our part. I would say that in the Defense Department public affairs field we are highly sensitive, maybe oversensitive, to the Congress' distaste for production of propaganda by that office.
We hold ourselves, we believe, and I believe the record will show, to good, straight, hard information, and we do keep away from propaganda.
In this field I would say that the great work that has been done by Members of Congress, by the Secretary of State, by the President of the United States, abroad, of course, by the USIA, and I would say that certainly the various committees of the Senate and the House have addressed themselves to this, the Senate Judiciary, the House Un-American, and, of course, the activities of Mr. Hoover himselfall of these, I think, constantly alert the people.
But, so far as the setup in the Defense Department is concerned, it has always been beyond the province of our office to do this.
Senator THURMOND. Do you know who objected to the plan to have a "Captive Nations" display in the concourse of the Pentagon in 1961?
Mr. SYLVESTER. Never heard of it, no.
Senator THURMOND. It is my understanding that the Army Intelligence representatives and Collateral Activities officers in the Joint Chiefs of Staff proposed such a display and it was disapproved by
Do you know anything about that?
Mr. SYLVESTER. No, I am not familiar with it, and I am surprised to hear it because I doubt it very much.
SERVICE LECTURES OF VERA M. DEAN
Senator THURMOND. In your capacity as the principal staff assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Community Relations and under Department of Defense Directive dated July 10, 1961, paragraph III (9), I was wondering if you have familiarized yourself with the discussion before this subcommittee about the lectures of Vera Micheles Dean at the Air University?
And if so, what is your position on this woman lecturing at service staff colleges ?
Are you familiar with her?
Mr. SYLVESTER. I have read her material, yes. She has written extensively on foreign affairs. She writes for the Foreign Affairs Bulletin. From time to time I have seen her articles in Foreign Affairs, and I would assume that she is the sort of person that could well be invited to speak in forums on foreign affairs.
I am sure she has.
Mr. SYLVESTER. I have never heard her lecture. I do not like to listen to lectures very much. I have heard too many of them in my life, usually in speeches, but I am familiar with her writing in the last
Senator THURMOND. Would you approve of her lecturing at one of the service colleges ?
Mr. SYLVESTER. On the basis of her writings, which I have read in the last 10 years, which, basically, have been pretty much of an analytical, factual presentation on situations that she has found or discovered around the world, I would think she could bring to bear some rather interesting information.
Senator THURMOND. Have you conferred with the three services and their intelligence representatives as to the qualifications of Vera Micheles Dean as a lecturer at military colleges ?
Mr. SYLVESTER. No.
Senator THURMOND. Our investigators have been told that the Army and Navy would not authorize her lectures at their installations. The Air Force did authorize her appearance at their installations.
I wondered if your functions include servicewide coordination of such divergent evaluations under paragraph III (9) of your directive?
Mr. SYLVESTER. No, they do not, Senator.
The only way I think I would possibly come into that is they would come, as they do occasionally, and ask me, "Do you know this or that person, A, B, or C? What would you think would be the public affairs impact if she appeared or did not appear?” and so forth.
They did not in this case.
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AUTHORITY OVER MILITARY TRAVEL BY NONDEFENSE
Senator THURMOND. Does your Office have to approve travel on military carriers of non-Defense personnel for public affairs purposes?
Mr. ŠYLVESTER. It has the authority to do it.
AIR FORCE ACTION ON CIVILIAN GUEST LECTURERS
Senator THURMOND. Does the Air Force Chief of Information consult your Office on civilian guest lecturers ?
Mr. SYLVESTER. No, he does not.
ARMY ACTION ON ASILOMAR SEMINAR
Senator THURMOND. Was your Office consulted by the 6th U.S. Army before their initiation of the ASILOMAR seminar?
Mr. SYLVESTER. I think not, Senator. It does not ring any bell in my memory.
Senator THURMOND. I might say that I have eliminated a lot of questions in order to try to shorten this hearing.
Mr. SYLVESTER. Thank you very much.
Mr. SYLVESTER. I appreciate it very much, Senator, although I am happy to try to respond to anything you want to find out.
USE OF INTELLIGENCE SERVICES FOR FORMULATING CRITERIA FOR APPROV
ING TRAVEL OF NEWS MEDIA
Senator THURMOND. Under paragraph V(6) of
your directive, do you establish contact with the intelligence services of the Army, Navy, and Air Force before you formulate the criteria for approving travel of news gathering media in connection with official DOD activities?
Mr. SYLVESTER. Yes, sir.
ARMY SUPPORT OF "PLAYHOUSE 90" SHOW
Senator THURMOND. Paragraph V (7) states: Approve military participation in public exhibitions, demonstrations, and ceremonies of national or international significance,
Mr. Secretary, did the Army Chief of Information consult your Office before becoming involved with a “Playhouse 90” show which portrayed in a favorable light the Red guerrilla fighters in Spain in 1936 ?
Mr. SYLVESTER. Not to my knowledge, Senator.
I doubt that that show was put on in the last 2 years. It may have been, but I have no recollection. They could well have consulted with our moving picture or play area, and I would not have known it, but I think I would have known about it.
Senator THURMOND. Of course, the people working with you keep you posted, I imagine, about what is going on?
Mr. SYLVESTER. I am gradually educating them to keep me posted.
Senator THURMOND. Was the provision of U.S. military vehicles and equipment to be used in glorifying the Communist-front Abraham Lincoln Brigade approved by the Department of Defense ?
Mr. SYLVESTER. I cannot answer that, Senator. You could be helpful to me in answering if you could tell me from your material when this particular picture or television program what year it was made.
Senator THURMOND. It was about 1959. Of course, you were not there, then.
Mr. SYLVESTER. I had no knowledge of it; no. Is it a moving picture, may I ask? As I understand it, that was a moving picture.
Senator THURMOND. No; television. Mr. SYLVESTER. Television show, Well, they could have done that either directly by the service or they could have done it by cooperation with the Department with our office. I do not know what happened in 1959.
COMPARISON BETWEEN 1959 AND 1961 DIRECTIVES
Senator THURMOND. I want to compare the directive governing your activities dated February 27, 1959, and the new directive currently in effect, dated July 10, 1961.
Would you like to say anything on those ?
I think that, basically, they are pretty much the same. We tried to clarify some parts, make more precise other parts, but I do not think that, otherwise, there is a great difference in the directives.
Senator THURMOND. The new directive has written across the top: Canceled by 5122.5 July 10, 1961.
I assume that this was a typographical error. In fact, this cancellation should have been affised on the earlier directive dated February 27, 1959.
Mr. SYLVESTER. I hope so; yes. I am not familiar with that.
EXTENSION OF CENSORSHIP RESPONSIBILITIES IN NATIONAL EMERGENCY
Senator THURMOND. An unusual feature of the new directive is that it extends “responsibilities" toplan for DOD censorship activities during a declared national emergency.
This is another extension of control, in this case over the military in case of declared national emergency.
Elaborate plans have been made in the National Postal and Travelers Censorship (NPTC) organization to insure that qualified civilian experts, who are Reserve officers in all three services, would be called to active duty to implement governmental censorship in the event of national emergency.
I find here in your directive that the exact opposite implication is conveyed: Civilian political control is in being and plans have apparently been made to reinforce this control in the event of mobilization for a national emergency.
Can you provide for the subcommittee the reason for the inclusion of this national censorship in the mission of your office in the event of national emergency?
Mr. SYLVESTER. I think during the last war we did not have a Defense Department, and if you recall, a censorship operation was run outside of the Defense Department. It was run by Byron Price's office.
What we are doing here is trying to look ahead in the event of war, in the event of any sort of catastrophe, for the handling of material of those representatives of the media who are accompanying troops, and how do we handle that. That is what we are planning for in cooperation with the services, of course.
Senator THURMOND. Is there anything else you would like to say on that?
Mr. SYLVESTER. No.
I think that basically gives the basic idea without trying to fill up the record.
Senator THURMOND. You will find an interesting sidelight here on the reason why the National Postal and Travelors Censorship active