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DISCUSSION ON ACTIVITIES OF SEEDLOCK
Senator THURMOND. I have been informed that Brig. Gen. Robert F. Seedlock of your office was told to establish appropriate liaison with Senator Fulbright's staff to study the cold war seminar programs and determine ways and means of forcing the military out of cold war education, especially in the public seminar area. Is that correct?
Mr. SYLVESTER. Absolutely untrue, Senator.
Senator THURMOND. You had authority under the 1959 directive to establish coordination and control through the information chiefs of the three services. Why did you not use that channel to bring about better quality control over the cold war seminars!
Mr. SYLVESTER. Well, I never realized until this moment that I had that control, and I doubt very much that that is accurate or true.
Senator THURMOND. What did General Seedlock do specifically? Mr. SYLVESTER. General Seedlock, who is now Chief of Engineers of the Great Midcontinent District and is no longer in our office, was the head of our Plans and Programs, which is the military unit which really does, oh, I would say, the tremendous bulk of the work. Without them, we would be losť.
Senator THURMOND. Did he perform any detailed research on the conduct of cold war seminars and just what form did this research take?
Mr. SYLVESTER. No, he did not.
Senator THURMOND. Did he make any field trips to individual commands to determine their objectives in the cold war seminar program?
Mr. SYLVESTER. I think not, none that I am aware of, and I think I am aware of all of them. As a matter of fact, the cold war seminar programs would not fall under the directive of the Plans and Programs, but was handled by the Directorate of Special Activities.
Senator THURMOND. Was the command channel considered to be less effective, or was it felt that, sensational information would bring about public indignation and belief that senior officers were meddling in politics?
Mr. SYLVESTER. I don't follow the question.
Senator THURMOND. Well, nothing went out through command channels on that subject? I am speaking about General Seedlock, the work he was doing. Nothing went from your office while he was there through command channels!
Mr. SYLVESTER. About what?
Senator THURMOND. Cold war seminars—and he made no trips to individual commands to determine their objectives in the seminars !
Mr. SYLVESTER. I know of no trips that General Seedlock made to any command in relation to any cold war seminars.
THURMOND'S SCORECARD OF DAMAGE INFLICTED ON MILITARY COLD WAR
EDUCATION Senator THURMOND. You do not think you allowed yourself to be used as a tool against the military which was performing a tremendously important cold war educational job in these seminars?
Mr. SYLVESTER. Certainly not.
Senator THURMOND. Did you accuse the military of becoming involved in partisan politics?
Mr. SYLVESTER. I have not.
Senator THURMOND. Now, let me give you a scorecard on the damage that has been inflicted on the cold war education of the military:
The following cold war seminars were conducted, sponsored or promoted by the Active Services, Reserves, and National Guard in the Continental United States:
July-December 1959: 2;
In other words, they went down from 173 to 3 from the period January-June 1961 to January-June 1962.
Mr. SYLVESTER. Those were conducted by National Guard and Reserves?
Senator THURMOND. Well, they were conducted, sponsored or supported by various military commands.
Mr. SYLVESTER. As I understood your question, I think that they were conducted by the National Guard and Reserves.
Senator THURMOND. All three services as well as the National Guard and Reserves.
Mr. SYLVESTER. By the National Guard and Reserves and by the Regular Army, Regular Establishment? But I don't see the breakdown showing which were conducted by National Guard, which by the Reserves and which by the Regular Establishment.
Senator THURMOND. I think we can break that down a little further for you as we go along.
To avoid confusion, we have included in this tabulation only fullscale cold war seminars of a minimum of 1-day's duration. Many of these seminars lasted up to 2 weeks; many more, however, were 2or 3-hour affairs held on weekends and in evenings. Of the latter, 550 were held in the period January-June 1961. The Industrial College of the Armed Forces seminars are not included in this tabulation, since they are a separate program. It has not been possible to accurately account for these shorter programs, but they, too, were curtailed very drastically following the issuance of your memorandum of August 5, 1961.
I think the figures speak for themselves.
EVALUATION OF FIRST NATIONAL STRATEGY SEMINAR
Senator THURMOND. Let me read from an evaluation of the first national strategy seminar held at the War College in July 1959. [Reads:]
1. A national strategy seminar was conducted during the period 13-24 July at the National War College for 201 selected Army National Guard (ARNG) and Reserve officers of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force who are active in civic and public affairs. The purpose of this seminar was to:
a. Provide a special group of personnel with a better understanding of the world conflict and of the organizations, resources, and methods used by the protagonists to accomplish their aims.
b. Enable this group to understand the requirements for successful U.S. strategy, plans, and action in support of free world security.
c. Present to this group ideas and programs for creating a resolute, informed, U.S. climate of opinion by which the above requirements can best be reinforced.
2. Graduates are encouraged to lecture and write upon their return to local communities and have been furnished with an operations kit including:
A. Selected bibliographies.
O. An index to films on national defense available for loan or hire to private citizens.
D. A directory of groups active in national security affairs which can furnish additional information.
3. In order to facilitate possible contributions by the 67 ARNG and Reserve officer graduates of the national strategy seminar in connection with troop and public information programs, the Department of Army is furnishing the CG, USCONARC, and the Chief, National Guard Bureau, for dissemination to appropriate subordinate commands and State adjutants general, copies of all presentations made at this seminar, a roster of graduates, and a selected biliography of books, articles, and periodicals used in connection with this seminar.
4. Additionally, the Army staff is conducting a study to determine the feasibility and desirability of developing a program of presentations similar to the national strategy seminar by Reserve component officers or traveling brļefing teams.
BEGINNING OF COLD WAR EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES
I assume that you are familiar with the beginning of the cold war educational activities!
Mr. SYLVESTER. What year are you thinking of?
Senator STENNIS. That seems to be a kind of new beginning point. Suppose we take a 10 or 12-minute recess.
ARMY DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF'S EVALUATION OF "MANHATTAN” SEMINAR
Senator THURMOND. Let me read the evaluation of the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Department of Army concerning the "Manhattan” cold war seminar held at the 1st U.S. Army. [Reads:)
The overall objective, viz, orientation on Soviet bloc subversion and propaganda directed against the U.S. Armed Forces, and the specific objectives as indicated in inclosures 1 and 2, respectively, to the reference cited in paragraph 1b, above, were successfully accomplished during subject seminar held on October 9-10, 1959, at Governors Island, New York, N.Y.
The program was well planned, carefully executed, and very effective. The speakers and members of the panel represented excellent numerical and subject matter balances; their off the record speeches and remarks were forcefully presented and enthusiastically received. The administration, facilities, and accommodations were excellent.
Approximately 350 officers, and enlisted personnel of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Air Force Active and Reserve components and representatives from governmental and nongovernmental agencies attended.
The following from the Pentagon were present:
Mr. Secretary, you noticed there was ample representation from the Pentagon, including the Office of Chief of Information, Department of the Army. Did your office have this report on this 1st U.S. Army seminar?
Mr. SYLVESTER. In 1959 ?
Senator THURMOND. We can have this Thermofaxed and give you a copy.
Mr. SYLVESTER. Fine.
Senator THURMOND. You will notice that even at that early date, October 12, 1959, Deputy Chief of Staff for the Operations, noticed a lack of guidance for these programs from the Department of Defense as follows:
Subject interservice seminar provides a highly successful prototype for similar exercises for other commands and units.
There is still not single contact point capable of providing guidance, support, and coordination for such an exercise.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR COLD WAR EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES IN DOD
Mr. Secretary, when you assumed your new position in 1961, did you attempt to establish guidance for cold war educational activities?
Mr. SYLVESTER. No, sir; this lies beyond my responsibility. Cold war areas are conducted by the Joint Chiefs through one of their sections.
Senator THURMOND. Did you know that in 1959, prior to your becoming Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, the cold war education program was the responsibility of Operations at the Department level and monitored by J-5 in the Joint Chiefs of Staff!
Mr. SYLVESTER. Still is.
Senator THURMOND. What was needed in the Department of Defense was a control element to guide these seminars to insure quality. It seems that this did not materialize. Instead, responsibility for the cold war seminars was pushed from pillar to post and even now, I understand the responsibilities are assigned in a haphazard fashion, as pointed out during the testimony of General Fitch.
The Deputy Chief of Staff operation report_shows no distribution of this information to the Department of Defense, Public Affairs. The sole DOD office shown was the Office of Special Operations. Public Affairs interest developed later primarily as a means to restrict these seminars. As pointed out by other witnesses, maintenance of quality control cannot be provided by Public Affairs or Information officers
. It has to be provided by Intelligence at each level of command. The injection of Public Affairs in these programs increases the possibility of compromise, downgrades Intelligence guidance, and negates quality control.
The correspondence which you dispatched on June 30, 1961, to Mr. R. G. Singleton of the Chamber of Commerce of Shreveport, La., was typical of radical assumption of authority on your part. You bypassed several echelons of military command, who were intimately familiar with the ARK-LA-TEX seminar. The notification should at least have been passed through the 4th Army commander who has responsibility and the interest of improving public relations at the local command level.
What is your reaction to this?
Mr. SYLVESTER. A series of statements there to which I would take exception, as to either their accuracy or as a matter of opinion
Senator THURMOND. I would be glad to have your comments.
Mr. SYLVESTER. Could I have that and we could go over it sentence by sentence?
Senator THURMOND. All right, sir.
Mr. SYLVESTER. I would like to have the page before reading into this.
Did I know that in 1959 the entire cold war education program was the responsibility of operations at the departmental level and of J-5 and the Joint Chiefs of Staff !
My answer to that is “Yes," and it is today.
What was needed in DOD was a control element to guide these seminars to insure quality. But this did not materialize.
My response to that is that this is a statement of opinion and whether it materialized or not is not determined here and I am not sure that this is correct.
I know of no situation where the responsibilities of the cold war seminars were pushed from pillar to post. They lie where they have in the past. Those that the Defense Department established and operate lie with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and they are still operating.
Even now responsibility is assigned in a haphazard fashionthis I am not aware of and I don't believe it is in conformance with the facts.
That was in 1959.
The Public Affairs interest developed later, primarily as a means to restrict these seminars.
This is a misstatement of fact. The Public Affairs interest was not to restrict seminars. Public Affairs came into it only because in several seminars, they resulted in a community clash of various elements, so that the original intent of the seminars was washed out.
Going back to this piece of paperAs pointed out repeatedly by other witnesses, maintenance of quality control cannot be effected by Public Affairs or Information officers. There is no description of what is meant by "quality control.". It is an ambiguous phrase and I don't accept the fact that even if we could define it, the Public Affairs or Information people could not contribute to it.
It has to be provided by Intelligence at each level of command.
This is a statement open to interpretation on two sides. It may or may not be true.
The injection of public affairsand so on. None of those statements I would agree with.
The correspondence you dispatched June 30, 1961, to Mr. R. G. Singleton * * * was typical of radical assumption of authority on your part.