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Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000624360TITLE:AUTHOR:VOLUME:Listening tothe World for 50Spring YEAR:Years1991-(b)(3)(c)35 ISSUE:Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000624360 Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000624360STUDIES ININTELLIGENCEA collection of articles on the historical, operational, doctrinal, and theoretical aspects of intelligence.Al! statements of fact, opinion or analysis expressed in Studies in Intelligence are those ofthe authors. They do not necessarily reflect official positions or views of the CentralIntelligence Agency or any other US Government entity, past or present. Nothing in thecontents should be construed as asserting or implying US Government endorsement of anarticle's factual statements and interpretations.Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 0006243600 Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000624360The FBIS storyListening to theWorld for 50 YearsDavid Shankon 26 February 1991, the Foreign BroadcastInformation Service (FBIS), the US Gov-ernment organization that monitors foreignradios and other media, celebrated its 50th anni-versary. While small and little known to the pub-lic, FBIS is a venerable institution to foreignaffairs specialists in Washington. Intelligence ana-lysts and policymakers depend on FBIS for textualreports concerning developments in foreign lands,ranging from war communiques and reports onacts of terrorism to peace initiatives and speechesby political leaders. With its ears always cockedtoward foreign transmitters, FBIS often has beenthe first to tell official Washington about an im-portant development abroad.The Director of Central Intelligence and several ofhis predecessors paid tribute to the service on itsgolden anniversary. DCI William H. Webster host-ed a ceremony and told FBIS employees he wasone of their "principal consumers." Richard M.Helms wrote that "no other entity of the UnitedStates Government has contributed so much time-ly information to so many people in this countryas has the FBIS." He recalled that in 1967 FBISprovided Washington with the first word of thestart of the Six-Day War. Admiral StansfieldTurner wrote that "FBIS has to be one of the mostunheralded, but valuable resources in our govern-ment." And President Bush stated in a congratula-tory message that FBIS employees "perform avital service" in providing information needed torespond to the ever-changing global politicalclimate.One example of this service occurred in 1962,during the Cuban missile crisis. FBIS flashed tothe White House and other government offices the19?CD"nfrderrtial--_Soviet decision to dismantle the missile bases,citing a message from Nikita IChrushchev to Presi-dent Kennedy broadcast in Russian by MoscowRadio. The Soviets, to make sure the messagereached the White House as quickly as possible,had simultaneously dispatched it through diplo-matic channels and broadcast it over the radio.The radio route proved to be faster, and PresidentKennedy responded at once to the message deliv-ered by FBIS.How It BeganPresident Franklin D. Roosevelt determined theFBIS anniversary date when, on 25 February1941, he allotted $150,000 from his emergencyfund to the Federal Communications Commissionfor monitoring foreign radios. He told the Secre-tary of the Treasury, who transferred the moneythe following day, that it was "for the employmentof persons and means at the seat of Governmentand elsewhere for recording, translating, transcrib-ing and analyzing certain radiobroadcastprograms."Radiobroadcasting technology had developed rap-idly in the 1930s. Shortwave transmissions frompowerful new stations could be heard over greatdistances. For the first time, the human voicecould be transmitted over border defenses andinto private homes. Nazi ideologues and otherpropagandists in Europe and elsewhere were quickto exploit this new tool of persuasion, and a "warof the airwaves" ensued.In the US, academic interest in radio led to theestablishment in Princeton, New Jersey, of theApproved for Release: 2014/07/29 000624360?C"csnfretemtial---_ Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000624360Confidential '50 Yearsfirst facility to monitor and study foreign broad-casts systematically. The Princeton Listening Cen-ter, which was financed by the Rockefeller Foun-dation, began recording and translating a limitednumber of foreign propaganda broadcasts in No-vember 1939, three months after the BBC inaugu-rated a monitoring service in England. Socialscientists began studying broadcasts from Berlin,Rome, London, and elsewhere in an effort todiscern the goals of the originators, their tech-niques of persuasion, and the role of radio ininternational politics. A smaller facility was estab-lished in 1940 at Stanford University in Californiato listen to trans-Pacific broadcasts.The monitoring reports of the Princeton centercontributed to a growing concern in Washingtonover the content of foreign broadcasts, especiallythe appeals by contending powers in Europe forthe minds of American listeners. There also wasconcern about the large amount of foreign pro-gramming beamed to the Americas that was notsystematically monitored. Were belligerent powersspeaking directly to ethnic groups in the US andneighboring countries? If so, what were theysaying?A Monitoring ProgramToward the end of 1940, the Department of Staterecommended to President Roosevelt that the USGovernment monitor such foreign broadcasts. Roo-sevelt referred the proposal to the Defense Commu-nications Board, which took up the question at ameeting on 3 January 1941. The Department ofState's representative on the board, Assistant Secre-tary of State Breckinridge Long, argued that the USwas confronted with an aggressive and often sub-versive foreign broadcasting system and that itneeded to establish its own monitoring facilities.The board endorsed the monitoring proposal on13 January 1941. It asked the Federal Communi-cations Commission to devise a plan for monitor-ing foreign broadcasts. The FCC monitored do-mestic radio frequencies as part of its regulatoryactivities, and it had performed limited monitor-ing of foreign frequencies. The FCC's plan calledConfidentialfor expansion of its own monitoring capabilities.Unlike Great Britain, the US had no nationalradiobroadcasting apparatus to which a monitor-ing service could be appended. The governmentalso had no centralized information-gatheringagency. On 21 January, the board approved aformal request to the President recommending theFCC plan and requesting the allotment of funds tothe FCC.The New ServiceWith the initial funding, the FCC began establish-ing the Foreign Broadcast Monitoring Service(FBMS) to monitor foreign broadcasts. To assem-ble a staff and get the service into operation, theFCC hired the director of the Princeton ListeningCenter, Harold N. Graves, Jr., as senior adminis-trative officer.When the 26-year-old Graves arrived in Washing-ton, an FCC official told him the monitoringservice was being established "so that when we getinto the war, we would be prepared," he recalledyears later. "He didn't say 'if we get into the war,'he said 'when we get into the war,' which made aterrific impression on me," Graves remembered.Graves organized the service into translating, re-porting, and analytical components, supported byFCC radio engineers. FBMS headquarters wasestablished in a converted warehouse just east ofUnion Station in Washington, D.C. Radio engi-neers at an FCC antenna facility in nearby Laurel,Maryland, recorded foreign radio programs onwax cylinders and sent them to FBMS. As transla-tors were hired, they were put to work on therecordings; in a few months a sizable collection oftranscripts was on hand. Editors and analysts alsowere hired and began work on the accumulatedmaterial, first producing a publication on Germanbroadcasts to North America. In June 1941, aformer CBS correspondent in Europe, ThomasGrandin, was hired to head the reports section.Also in June, the FCC hired the first director ofFBMS. He was Lloyd A. Free, a 1930 graduate ofPrinceton, former California lawyer, and editor of20Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000624360 Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 00062436050 YearsPublic Opinion Quarterly at Princeton. Free wasinterested in radio and public opinion matters. Hewas familiar with the pioneering monitoring beingdone at Princeton and Stanford and in England.FBIS DIRECTORSLloyd A. Free Paul A. Borel1941-1942 1969-1972Robert D. Leigh E. H. Knoche1942-1944Charles S. Hyneman1944-1945Russell M. Shepherd1945-1947Lawrence K. White1947-1950Alan M. Warfield1950-1956Roger G. Seely1956-19681972-1973Don H. Peterson1973-1980John F. Pereira1980-1983John D. Chandlee1983-1986Harrison S. Markham, Jr.1986Robert W. Manners1986-1991Wayne R. Schreiner1991-With the support of FCC Chairman James L. Fly,Free and Graves moved quickly to get the moni-toring service into operation amid ominous signsof approaching war. Many believed that if the USbecame involved in the war, the monitoring ofenemy broadcasts would be more important toWashington than ever. Monitoring also wouldprovide one of the few means of getting informa-tion rapidly from regions disrupted by hostilities.In early July 1941, the FCC's station at Kingsville,Texas, began recording broadcasts to and fromLatin America and airmailing them to FBMSheadquarters for transcription. In the same month,headquarters employees began publishing a seriesof spot bulletins, summarizing Axis propagandacampaigns. Free recalled that "I started out ar-ranging that every important government person21Confidentialin terms of the war-to-be would get a copy of ourstuff."In August, the service was in full operation. Its spotbulletins were replaced by a new publication, For-eign Broadcasts: Highlights of(date). The engineer-ing staff at Laurel moved to Silver Hill, Maryland,from which monitored programs would be relayedover telephone lines to FBMS headquarters. AWashington newspaper reported that the servicehad "a wonderful collection of personalities in itsemploy?ranging from White Russian princes toAmericans who have written librettos for Japaneseoperas, newsmen who beat the Nazis out of Parisby a day to academically trained psychologists."A milestone was reached on 1 October 1941, whenthe first FBMS monitoring facility outside theWashington, D.C., area was established in a farm-house on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon. It wasthe first of numerous field bureaus, and it wouldmonitor Japanese and other Far Eastern broad-casts and send the translations to FBMS headquar-ters in Washington by teletype.On 31 October, headquarters inaugurated a tele-type service to the Washington and New Yorkoffices of the newly established Coordinator ofInformation, headed by Colonel William J. Dono-van. The COI, later renamed the Office of WarInformation (OWI), was developing the US coun-terpropaganda capability and needed fast report-ing. A wire service to the Department of State wasset up the following month.On 17 November, Dr. Goodwin Watson, a socialpsychologist from Columbia University, becamethe first chief of the analysis section. The followingday saw the first regular issuance of the DailyReport, the service's primary publication that con-tinues to this day in eight geographic volumes. Bythe end of November 1941, the FBMS staff num-bered 215.Monitoring ProcessThe job of radio monitoring was organized into amultistep process performed by specialists. TheApproved for Release: 2014/07/29 000624360Confidential Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000624360Confidential50 YearsMonitors at FBIS Portland Bureau during World War H.same basic process is followed today. Radio engi-neers and other technicians use antennas andreceivers to pull foreign broadcasts from the air-waves and recorders to preserve them for laterprocessing. Most monitoring is done according toa predetermined "coverage schedule" listing eachbroadcast station and program along with timeand frequency. The coverage schedule differenti-ates between media sources that have to be cov-ered live, those that have to be covered fromrecordings within 24 hours, and several othercategories. The technicians also have to be pre-pared to receive and record announcements ofmilitary coups and other broadcast surprises.Another technical task involves "cruising," sittingwith headphones on and systematically scanning thebroadcast frequencies for changes in previously es-tablished programming patterns. Newly discoveredpublic affairs programs are listened to on a trialbasis. If they appear to contain useful information,they probably will be added to the coverage sched-ule. Cruising surveys are also conducted to deter-mine sites for new bureaus to fill coverage gaps.ConfidentialIn the early years of the service, the FCC providedradio technicians from its other components. To-day, FBIS has its own technical personnel who,because of the increasing sophistication of equip-ment, are responsible for a more complex range ofhardware.After a program has been collected, a radio moni-tor takes over. Monitors are hired for their for-eign language and translating skills and knowl-edge of foreign countries. A monitor listens toeach program on the coverage schedule and pre-pares a summary in English of its contents by"items," the individual news reports, commen-taries, and other segments that make up theprogram. From a typical 30-minute newscast,only a few items containing information ofknown or presumed interest to US Governmentconsumers will be selected for full translation.Initially, monitors were required to be Americancitizens; they worked only in the US, althoughmany had lived overseas. Today, most FBIS radiomonitors are foreign nationals, and they work at22Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000624360 Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 00062436050 Years Confidentialoverseas monitoring sites, typically referred to asbureaus, under the supervision of American staffeditors.Monitors pass their program summaries and trans-lations to editors for the next stage in the process.One editor usually handles the output of a numberof monitors covering broadcasts from a number ofcountries. Based on his or her familiarity withconsumer requirements, the editor selects itemsfor translation and edits, ranks, and categorizestranslations for distribution over electronic net-works or in published reports. Initially, experi-enced journalists were recruited as editors. Today,new FBIS editors come from a variety of universi-ty liberal arts programs, including journalism.Somewhat to the side of this production line, asmall number of media analysts carefully reads thematerial from certain countries. They prepare ana-lytical reports on aspects of foreign developmentsof interest to Washington that appear new orsignificant. Initially, most were social scientistsfrom academia who followed Axis propagandatechniques. Today, most new analysts have uni-versity training in area studies or political science,and they mainly write on politiCal trends in acountry or region.Disseminating InformationThe former newsmen who first managed the ser-vice set up an information dissemination systemresembling newspapers and wire services. Urgentinformation was sent by teletype over telephonelines to printers in consumer offices. More routineinformation was disseminated in the Daily Reportand other publications for government consumers.Later, after most of the monitoring product wasproduced at field bureaus and sent to Washingtonby teletype, the bureaus on request began sendingcopies of the information to field facilities of otherUS Government agencies. These "lateral consu-mers" included US embassies, military com-mands, and Washington officials on overseas ne-gotiation missions. The bulk of FBIS production isstill disseminated by these basic means, usingcomputerized information-handling equipment.23World War IIIn December 1941, a small FBMS monitoring postwas established at Santurce, Puerto Rico, the firstfacility outside the continental US. At the sametime, an FBMS monitoring bureau was establishedin Kingsville, Texas. On 6 December, the firstissue of the publication Weekly Analysis notedthat Tokyo broadcasts had become "hostile anddefiant."On 7 December 1941, FBMS became a "waragency" and the reporting of foreign developmentsrelated to World War II became its primary mis-sion. The wire to the State Department went on24-hour service; it soon was supplying an averageof 25,000 words a day to 18 defense offices.FBMS Director Free was in London when the USentered World War II. His mission was to workout details of a reciprocal arrangement with thetwo-year-old BBC Monitoring Service. He wantedto obtain British-monitored European programsthat were unmonitorable in the US because theywere broadcast on medium-wave frequencies. Inreturn, he would supply the British with FBMS-monitored broadcasts from the Far East and else-where that the BBC could not hear. Both sidesappeared agreeable to the exchange as a way ofgetting more information at little cost. With theUS entry into the war, the "special relationship"between Washington and London would includethe sharing of monitored radio broadcasts of othercountries. FBMS field operations began immedi-ately at the US Embassy in London, using moni-tored material sent by the BBC from its monitor-ing station at Evesham.As the war progressed, a number of other fieldfacilities were opened as a result of changingconditions. In 1942, the service, under a newdirector, Dr. Robert D. Leigh, and renamed For-eign Broadcast Intelligence Service, took over theoperation of a monitoring station in San Franciscopreviously operated by CBS. It was given up aftera new bureau in Hawaii provided superior recep-tion of Japanese and other Far Eastern broadcasts.FBIS radio monitors and editors followed USmilitary forces island-hopping westward towardApproved for Release: 2014/07/29 000624360Confidential Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000624360ConfidentialJapan. A monitoring station was opened on Guamin January 1945 and one on Iwo Jima in August.Following the occupation of Japan, a small bureauwas opened in Tokyo in 1946.During the war years, there was much to monitoras the contending nations used radio to supporttheir positions. Describing the situation in 1944,Dr. Leigh said:Around the world at this hour and every hourof the 24 there is a constant battle on theether waves for the possession of man'sthoughts, emotions, and attitudes?influenc-ing his will to fight, to stop fighting, to workhard, to stop working, and to resist andsabotage, to doubt, to grumble, to stand fastin faith and loyalty.At its peak during World War II, FBIS had about520 employees. It wartime headquarters was at1424 K Street, NW, a few blocks northeast of theWhite House. FBIS publications and customizedteletype lines went to specialists at State, OWI,OSS, Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs,Board of Economic Warfare, War Department,Army, Navy, and other governmental offices, andto Allied governments.The working relationship was particularly closewith OWI, which, by agreement, released muchFBIS-monitored war news to the public. In 1944,OWI assumed most of the work of analyzingforeign propaganda, while FBIS concentrated mostof its resources on monitoring. The two organiza-tions also maintained a joint editorial office inLondon during the war.By tacit understanding, FBIS handled voice broad-casts from foreign radio stations, but did notmonitor military and other nonpublic radios. TheUS military monitored enemy military communi-cations, and a separate component of the FCC, theRadio Intelligence Division, maintained watch forAxis spy radios.Confidential50 YearsUses of MaterialIn March 1942, Nelson A. Rockefeller, Coordina-tor of Inter-American Affairs, said:Every phase of the Foreign Broadcast Moni-toring Service's work has been of great assis-tance to us. The speedy transmission of mon-itors' reports over the teletypes is particularlyhelpful. The analysis of certain shortwaveprograms from the other American republicshas proven useful in the writing of storieswhich our office then relays to various pressagencies and radio stations. The Daily Reportprovides us with general and specific insightsinto Axis strategy, not only for the otherAmerican republics, but also for this countryas well as for the rest of the world. Theweekly Analysis gives us a perspective onwhat has been occurring from day to day.And William J. Donovan called FBIS reporting an"invaluable service."While FBIS workers grew accustomed to suchpraise from consumers, they often were somewhatin the dark about how their information wound upbeing used. "Very few of us can see the whole of ourproduction process from beginning to end," Direc-tor Leigh told employees in 1942. "None of us sees,except occasionally, what happens to our productwhen it leaves our shop and arrives in the confiden-tial or secret war agencies who use it." Leigh didsay, however, that he knew of one case in which "anews item from a station in the morning had bymid-afternoon saved military equipment of morevalue than the money required to maintain FBISfor a year, and as surely saved dozens of lives."In the summer of 1944, the third FBIS director,Dr. Charles S. Hyneman, said:We get an abundance of testimony to thegreat and strategic value of our material.More than once we were told that what we24Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000624360 Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 00062436050 YearsConfidentialFBIS Guam Post, World War II.get from the air about internal conditions inJapan is just about all that anyone in Wash-ington knows on the subject. We certainly getthe impression that if our service were to becut off, planning for both the European andFar East campaigns would be enormouslyhandicapped.FBIS sometimes also directly contributed to USmilitary activities. From Guam in 1945, for exam-ple, FBIS closely monitored the Japanese domesticradio service for broadcast alerts to air raids andall-clear announcements, for the immediate infor-mation of 20th Air Force personnel in charge ofthe missions.25Postwar RestructuringFor a time late in 1945, it appeared that, becauseof a cut in the FCC budget, FBIS might beabolished, even though the Department of Stateand other official consumers said they would stillneed its information in peacetime. The war yearshad shown that monitoring was one of the fastestand cheapest ways of collecting a large volume ofinformation on developments in and among for-eign countries.The Washington press, which had become familiarwith FBIS reporting through OWI releases duringthe war, joined other proponents of retaining theApproved for Release: 2014/07/29 000624360Confidential ConfidentialApproved for Release: 2014/07/29 000624360BBC Monitoring Service headquarters at Caversham, west of London; 1953.monitoring capability in peacetime. "The FBISmade notable contributions to our understandingof events and trends abroad during the war andwould constitute a vital part of the comprehensiveintelligence organization which we ought to havein peace," the Washington Post editorialized.As a temporary measure, the War Departmentagreed to take over the service from the FCC untila permanent home could be found for it. Insucceeding months, as Washington moved to reor-ganize the US intelligence effort on a peacetimebasis, FBIS was transferred in mid-1946 to thenew Central Intelligence Group, where it wasrenamed the Foreign Broadcast Information Ser-vice. FBIS became a founding component of theCIA when the latter was established in September1947. The National Security Council on 12 De-cember 1947 issued what is known as the "FBISCharter" in the postwar intelligence structure. ItsIntelligence Directive No. 6 directed the Directorof Central Intelligence to "conduct all Federalmonitoring of foreign propaganda and pressbroadcasts required for the collection of intelli-gence information to meet the needs of all Depart-ments and agencies in connection with NationalSecurity." It also directed the DCI to "disseminateConfidential50 Yearssuch intelligence information to the various De-partments and Agencies which have an authorizedinterest therein." Subsequent authorizations cov-ered the monitoring of foreign television andpublications.From 1947 to 1965, FBIS was a component ofCIA's Office of Operations, which, starting in1952, was an office in the Directorate of Intelli-gence. In 1976, in an exchange involving severaloffices, FBIS was transferred from the Directorateof Intelligence to the Directorate of Science andTechnology.With its postwar mission assigned, FBIS beganpositioning itself to serve as Washington's ears inthe era characterized by the development of theCold War with the Soviet Union and its satellitesand clients, by the spread of communism on theAsian mainland, by the Arab-Israeli conflict, andby the decline of colonialism.One of the first steps was to formalize the US-UKrelationship, which had lasted through the waryears on the basis of the gentlemen's understand-ing of 1941. After extensive negotiations, the twomonitoring services agreed to work for maximum26Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000624360 Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 00062436050 YearsConfidentialTechnician at now-defunct FBIS Mediterranean Bureau.coordination and minimum duplication in moni-toring world radios, while sharing products. TheDCI approved the FBIS-BBC coordination plansin 1948. The London Bureau of FBIS, collocatedsince 1943 with the British service at suburbanCaversham, remained in place to edit and relay toWashington BBC-monitored material from the So-viet Union, Europe, and North and East Africa.FBIS in turn supplied the British with materialfrom East Asia, the Middle East, Latin America,West Africa, and other countries. Adjustments inthe relationship would be made at annual meetingsof the heads of the two services, alternating be-tween Caversham and Washington.The FBIS-BBC relationship has endured becauseof the considerable economic advantages of coop-eration, a common language, and a generally simi-lar political outlook on world events. FBIS officersattribute occasional strains to BBC pecuniary27plights, profit-mindedness, high public profile, anda unionized work force. Washington authoritiessometimes question US dependence on a foreignservice for coverage of most Soviet broadcasts,while in the UK the BBC's involvement with aCIA component is sometimes questioned.Field Bureau DeploymentFBIS monitoring in the postwar years was toncen-trated at two overseas sites and two domestic sites.To monitor developments in the Middle East andadjacent areas, FBIS in early 1949 opened "Med-buro," a major listening facility in the easternMediterrnean on the north coast of Cyprus. Itreplaced a bureau in Cairo that FBIS had takenover at the end of the war from the BritishMinistry of Information. With the Cairo facility,FBIS had inherited numerous foreign nationalswho worked for the British. In the postwar era, anApproved for Release: 2014/07/29 000624360Confidential Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000624360Confidentialincreasing amount of the monitoring would bedone in foreign countries by foreign nationalemployees.In 1949, a major bureau was built on Okinawa tomonitor developments in China and other Asiancountries. Because it was closer to the transmit-ters, it had better reception than the monitoringstation in Hawaii, which was shut down. Theexisting post in Tokyo was retained and supple-mented in 1952 by a small facility on the northernJapanese island of Hokkaido to monitor NorthAsian and Soviet regional broadcasts.The two domestic field facilities monitored foreignshortwave broadcasts and trained personnelbound for overseas bureaus. Each also was consid-ered a "fallback" site for overseas facilities, animportant factor to many Washington managers inthe Cold War years.On the west coast, the facility established in Ore-gon in 1941 was succeeded by two in California?first at Reseda in 1948 and next at Santa Rosa in1954. The West Coast Bureau was closed in 1970,by which time other bureaus had taken over cover-age of most of its assigned stations.An East Coast Bureau was opened in 1949, a fewmiles down the Potomac from the District ofColumbia. It replaced the World War II antennafacility at nearby Silver Hill, Maryland. East CoastBureau closed in 1968, after transferring its cover-age responsibilities to a new bureau in PuertoRico. The new bureau was expected to be the best-ever monitoring facility, partly because it incorpo-rated a "wire grid-lens antenna," which resembleda spider web of wire suspended over and aroundthe bureau operations building. But radio recep-tion was disappointing, and the bureau was closedin 1973. Its coverage of South and Central Ameri-ca was taken over by two smaller facilities, a newbureau in Paraguay and one in Panama datingfrom 1962. An even smaller bureau covered Cu-ban broadcasts from Key West, Florida, where itwas established in 1960.Other small bureaus were opened to keep an earon regional developments that could not be moni-tored from Cyprus and Okinawa. These includedConfidential50 Yearsfacilities in Austria and West Germany in 1949,South Vietnam in 1951, Nigeria in 1961, andThailand in 1967. Of these, only the bureaus inAustria and Thailand remain open in 1991.(b)(1)(b)(3)(c)(b)(3)(n)Overseas SetbacksIn the mid-1970s, a series of abrupt political andmilitary developments overseas resulted in the lossof several established FBIS monitoring sites, re-quiring an arduous realignment of coverage facili-ties. The first casualty was Mediterranean Bureauon Cyprus. On 20 July 1974, the bureau wascaught in the fighting during the Turkish invasionof the northern part of the island. There were noserious injuries to personnel, who were evacuatedby helicopter to a British ship three days later. Thebuilding, however, was damaged and abandoned.Because no other single site could be found thatcould duplicate the lost bureau's coverage, FBISdecided to set up a number of "minibureaus" thattogether could cover the Middle East. Withinweeks, minibureaus were established in Tel Aviv,Athens, and Beirut. -In 1975, a new bureau in Amman, Jordan, re-placed the Beirut unit, and FBIS returned toCyprus with a new bureau in Nicosia. The Athensunit closed in 1981, leaving the minibureaus in TelAviv, Amman, and Nicosia to cover the regionformerly covered by Mediterranean Bureau. Be-tween 1979 and 1986, a bureau in Bahrain wasdevoted to coverage of Iranian media. US concernover the Soviet move into Afghanistan led in 1980to the establishment in Islamabad, Pakistan, of atechnical unit to monitor Afghan and regionalSoviet radios. The monitored programs are re-layed to the BBC in Caversham for translation.The second abrupt closing took place in SouthVietnam on 29 April 1975, as communist forces28Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000624360 Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 00062436050 Years Confidentialapproached Saigon. Staff employees at Saigon Bu-reau smashed their monitoring equipment andwere evacuated. Bangkok Bureau, established in1967 partly as a fallback position for Saigon Bu-reau, assumed coverage of Vietnamese radios.The third closing involved African Bureau in Ka-duna, Nigeria. Since 1961, it had monitored theradios of West and Central African countries. Itclosed on 2 April 1976, after being ordered to do soby the Nigerian Government, which was reacting topress outcries over the FBIS connection with CIAand the US policy on the war in Angola. Theclosing left FBIS with no presence in Africa. Effortsto reestablish coverage of African broadcasts finallyresulted in the opening of Abidjan Bureau in IvoryCoast in 1979 and Swaziland Bureau in 1982.The loss of Mediterranean Bureau in 1974 broughthome to FBIS managers the risk of concentratingcoverage in a single bureau situated in an unsettledregion. They looked at Okinawa Bureau, the larg-est overseas FBIS facility, and the pressure towhich it occasionally was subjected by leftist Japa-nese politicians and media. As a precaution, theydecided to establish, in advance of a possibleclosure of Okinawa Bureau, small bureaus in HongKong and South Korea, while retaining the optionof opening a third site on Guam. Hong KongBureau became operational early in 1976, and thefollowing year it took over the BBC's Far EastUnit and the US Consulate General's Press Moni-toring Unit, both experienced in reporting ondevelopments in China. Seoul Bureau also wasopened in 1976. As part of this realignment in theFar East, Hokkaido Unit was closed in 1976.The loss of three bureaus due to circumstancesbeyond US control led to consideration of a differ-ent approach to monitoring as the era of commu-nications satellites developed. A study was madeto determine whether radio transmissions could becollected overseas and then relayed by satellite to acentral translation and processing facility in theUS. The conclusion in 1977 was that the approachseemed technically possible, but at the time therewere too few satellite channels available to carrythe high volume of programming FBIS was moni-toring. Moreover, old hands believed that FBIS29could not find and hire in the US monitors withthe language skill and firsthand area knowledge ofits overseas corps of foreign nationals.At about the same time, FBIS was transferredfrom CIA's Directorate of Intelligence to its Direc-torate of Science and Technology. Many FBISeditors, analysts, and linguists initially felt a littleout of place among the engineers and technicians-of the DS&T, but they recognized that the DS&Twas in a better position to apply the "dose oftechnology" FBIS was perceived as needing.Expanded Media CoverageInitially, FBIS monitored the only medium that in1941 appeared to be a threat, the foreign short-wave radios that broadcast propaganda audible inthe US. Later, by establishing overseas facilitiescloser to foreign transmitters, the service added tocoverage shorter range, mediumwave radiobroad-casts generally intended for non-US audiences.Foreign press agencies, which also used radiofrequencies to disseminate information, were add-ed to coverage in the quest for war news of interestto Washington.In 1967, FBIS acquired by merger with CIA'sForeign Documents Division responsibility forcoverage of foreign publications. Although FBISfield bureaus had done some reporting from thelocal press, the bulk of foreign publications scruti-ny was performed in Washington by FDD lan-guage officers, who also provided foreign-languagesupport to other CIA components. FDD, about thesame size as FBIS, traced its roots back to theWashington Documents Center, which was set upin February 1945 as an Army-Navy clearing sta-tion and evaluation board for captured enemydocuments from the Far East. Early in 1946, thecenter absorbed two other organizations engagedin exploitation of captured enemy documents, thePacific Military Intelligence Research Service andOp-32F141. The Office of Naval Operations man-aged the center until late 1946, when it was madepart of CIG and renamed. Like FBIS, FDD be-came a charter member of CIA in 1947, first as abranch then as a division.Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000624360Confidential Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000624360ConfidentialA study in 1967 recommended merging FBIS andFDD into a single media-monitoring service. FDDwas transferred to FBIS and renamed ProductionGroup. It retained responsibility for the scrutinyof publications received at Headquarters, whileFBIS field bureaus increased their coverage oflocally available publications. Much of FDD'smaterial was published by an off-site subsidiary,the Joint Publications Research Service.JPRS was established in 1957 to contract for theservices of freelance translators, enabling FDD toexpand its translation capability without hiringmore staff linguists. FDD staff officers, familiarwith CIA guidelines for the collection of informa-tion, selected responsive articles from the foreignpress and forwarded them to JPRS for assignmentto translators and for publication. To mask its rolein the selection of JPRS-published material, whichwas available to the public through the Depart-ment of Commerce, CIA did not acknowledge itsconnection with JPRS. After JPRS became a com-ponent of FBIS, the service favored disclosure ofthe CIA-JPRS affiliation, which finally was ac-knowledged in 1974. In 1974, FBIS also madeavailable for public sale, again through the Depart-ment of Commerce, all eight regional volumes ofits Daily Report.TV gradually was accepted as a source of FBISreporting as it evolved from an experimental me-dium of entertainment to a popular medium ofmass communication. TV monitoring involvedseveral problems: the signal was monitorable onlywithin a radius of some dozens of miles from thetransmitter, compared to hundreds or thousandsof miles for radio transmissions; FBIS lackedtechnical familiarity with video equipment, thespecifications of which differed according to coun-try; and consumers were ambiguous in definingtheir needs.Initial video monitoring involved taking still pho-tographs of foreign military hardware and the useof bulky reel-to-reel recorders by technicians tovideotape occasional documentary programs. Bythe 1980s, the regular monitoring of selected for-eign TV news and public affairs programs wasConfidential50 Yearsfacilitated by the availability of programs on com-munications satellites, which greatly increased theareas in which they could be monitored, and bythe introduction of cassette videotapes and light-weight recorder/players. In 1985, FBIS began re-laying the intercepted signal of Moscow TV to CIAHeadquarters for viewing by analysts.Using a similar capability, in 1982 FBIS startedmonitoring Soviet press facsimile transmissions,used to send mockups of next-day Moscow newspa-pers to regional printing plants. By translatingarticles from the "pressfax" transmissions, FBISprovides Washington analysts with front-page in-formation before it is publicly available in theSoviet capital.The proliferation of small computers in the early1980s led to the development in a number offoreign countries of electronic data bases on sub-jects of intelligence interest. Production Group ofFBIS took the lead in surveying and exploitingthese electronic sources of information. Small Sci-ence and Technology Units were set up in Japan,Belgium, and Italy, where, as paying customers ofthe electronic services, they extracted informationon foreign technological advances. They also col-lected at regional trade shows and conferencestechnological and commercial brochures, researchpapers, and other publications, internally referredto as "gray literature." Unlike the informationfurnished by most FBIS sources, this specializedmaterial usually was not intended for the generalpublic, but was openly collectable.By this time, the expanded scope of FBIS collec-tion made the service the primary supplier of"open source" information to the IntelligenceCommunity.Technical ModernizationAn internal study in 1981 pointed out that FBISwas still handling information much as it had donein World War II. Information received from thefield by teletype, for example, was still beingedited by pencil before being retyped for publica-tion. FBIS was years behind newspapers and other30Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000624360 Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 00062436050 Years Confidentialprocessors of large volumes of information inswitching to computers. As a result, FBIS wasauthorized to undertake a multiyear technicalmoderization program. This involved replacingtypewriters with computers for information han-dling, the monitoring of foreign broadcasts fromcommunications satellites, and a communicationssystem capable of relaying monitored TV pro-grams from Europe to Washington.Even with more modern equipment, FBIS strug-gles to keep up with the rising volume of mediainformation available worldwide. More informa-tion than ever before is publicly available becauseof geopolitical changes favoring the free flow ofinformation and technical advances fostering in-formation services and communications. FBISconsumers, with their information appetites whet-ted by innovative commercial services availableon home TV sets and personal computers, expecttheir government service to keep pace. They wantinformation delivered to them electronically. Theyalso want to see more live TV from world crisisspots, as well as FBIS-produced video compila-tions on selected subjects.In 1941, a limited number of officials in Washing-ton's small foreign affairs community wantedmonitored information on foreign political andmilitary developments and analysis of the propa-ganda reaching American ears. In 1991, a fargreater number of consumers also want informa-tion on terrorism, narcotics trafficking, trade andeconomic competitiveness issues, the spread ofchemical and nuclear weapons, threats to the envi-ronment, and many other topics. Their expressedneeds produce pressure on FBIS to provide moreinformation from more sources. FBIS is respond-ing by making increased use of computers intranslating, disseminating, and storing informa-tion and by establishing by the end of 1991 its firstmonitoring facility in Eastern Europe. Thus, as itmarks 50 years of service, FBIS is characterized bycontinuing change as it strives to meet officialWashington's requirements for information.This article is classified CONFIDENTIAL.31Other Articles in Studies in Intelligence AboutFBIS"The BBC Mnnitnrin Service and Its U. S. Part-ner," by (b)(3)(C)1958. (CVol. 2, No. 3, Summer"Scooping the Soviet Press," by John D. Chand-lee, Vol. 6, No. I. Winter 1962. (C)"The Last  Days of the FBIS Mediterranean Bur-eau," by (b)(3)(C) Vol. 18, No. 4, Winter1974. (5)  "Soviet Television: A New Asset for KremlinWatchers," by (b)(3)(C) Vol. 29, No. 1,Spring 1985. (C)-(b)(3)(c)"A Rite of Passage in Tokyo," byVol. 31, No. 2, Summer 1987. (S)"The Brzezinski Initiative: FBIS and the MuslimWorld," by John D. Chandlee. Vol. 31, No. 3, Fall1987. (S)(b)(3)(c)"High-Intensity Annoyance," by[ andDouglas Naquin. Vol. 34, No. 1, Spring 1990. (C)"Veni, Vidi, Vid-int," by Maureen Cote. Vol. 34,No. 3, Fall 1990. (U)Current FBIS Monitoring(b)(1)(b)(3)(n)Approved for Release: 2014/07/29000624360Confidential ConfidentialProducts and Services? 24-Hour HeadquartersWire Service (55,000words daily)? Wirefiled Field Reports(300,000 words daily)? Daily Report and OtherRegional and TopicalPublications (200 millionwords annually) ,(b)(1)Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000624360ConsumersSome 50 US Governmentoffices, including WhiteHouse; CIA; Pentagon;Department of State;DIA; USIA; VOA; Li-brary of Congress; Cus-toms; Treasury; andEnergy.600 US Government ad-dressees, including diplo-matic posts, militarybases, negotiators, plusselected friendlygovernments.25,000 copies go to offi-cial consumers; 4,000other copies go to sub-scribers via NationalTechnical InformationService.(b)(3)(c)? Media Analysis Reports? TV Video? Translation IndexUS Government officesreceive 1,000 copies;NTIS subscribers receive150 copies after a six-month delay.CIA analysts see selectedforeign telecasts live; oth-er official consumers getvideotapes on request.US Government offices.FBIS Milestones1941 Following President Roosevelt's allotment ofinitial funding, FCC establishes ForeignBroadcast Monitoring Service at 316 F Street,NE, in District of Columbia; Daily Report andwire service inaugurated; propaganda analysisbegun; first field bureaus opened; cooperationwith British initiated.Confidential50 Years1942 Headquarters moves to 1424 K Street, NW;name changed to Foreign Broadcast Intelli-gence Service.1945 Following cut in FCC's postwar funding, FBISpersonnel transferred to War Department.1946 FBIS transferred from War Department tonew Central Intelligence Group, Office ofOperations, and renamed Foreign BroadcastInformation Service.1947 Headquarters moves to former Briggs Schoolat 22d and E Streets, NW; with establishmentof CIA, FBIS becomes a component; NationalSecurity Council Intelligence Directive 6,"FBIS Charter," issued to CIA.1948 FBIS-BBC Monitoring Service reciprocalmonitoring arrangement replaces wartimegentlemen's agreement on monitoringcooperation.19491950Headquarters moves to South Building, 2430E Street, NW.Headquarters moves to Quarters I temporary -structure on Ohio Drive, south of LincolnMemorial.1952 Office of Operations, including FBIS, is trans-ferred to CIA's new Directorate ofIntelligence.1954 FBIS is authorized to monitor foreign TVbroadcasts.1956 Headquarters moves to 1717 H Street, NW.1965 Headquarters moves to 1200 Wilson Blvd.,Arlington, Va., and is elevated from divisionto office status upon disbandment of Office ofOperations.1967 Foreign Documents Division, responsible forcoverage of foreign publications, is transferredto FBIS from CIA's Office of Central Refer-ence and renamed Production Group.32Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000624360 50 Years1968Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000624360(b)(1)(b)(3)(n)1970 First Daily Reports go on sale to public.1974 Mediterranean Bureau abandoned becauseof Turkish invasion of Cyprus.1975 Saigon Bureau abandoned as communistforces approach.1976 FBIS transferred from CIA Directorate ofIntelligence to Directorate of Science andTechnology; African Bureau closed on re-quest of Nigerian Government.1981 Monitoring of broadcasts from communi-cations satellites begins.1983198519871988ConfidentialLimited electronic word processing intro-duced at Headquarters.Live foreign TV first supplied to CIAanalysts, via satellite.Headquarters  ----- 4? Reston  (b)(3)(c)in west-ern Fairfax County; new Headquarters in-formation handling system and widebandtrans-Atlantic communications systeminaug(b)15-(b)(3)(c)(b)(3)(n)1991 50th anniversary observed.FBIS Director R. W. Manners (left), at FBIS 50th anniversary observance on 26 February 1991,with guest Harold N. Graves, Jr., who helped establish the service in 1941 at the age of 26.33Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000624360Confidential