In an op-ed in The Washington Times, former Voice of America manager Ted Lipien warns that bureaucratic infighting mustn’t curtail U.S. news and information outreach to Chechnya and other nations where anti-Americanism and jihadist ideology threaten America’s safety.
Lipien, who now is a director of the independent Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB – cusib.org) pointed out that the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) — the executive arm of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) — actually wanted to end Radio Liberty broadcasts in Chechen, Circassian and Avar, three local languages of the violent North Caucasus region, and to lay off a number of experienced journalists. Officials did not succeed in making these cuts owing to strong opposition in Congress. However, the former management of Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty did fire dozens of journalists who reported on and analyzed lawlessness and anti-Americanism in Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
The article goes on to say that anti-Americanism is the official ideology of President Putin and that officials of the International Broadcasting Bureau are still proposing programming cuts and resisting efforts by BBG members to reform the bureaucracy. It also points out that BBG’s Interim Presiding Governor Michael Lynton’s unexplained absence from meetings in the last four months has created a crisis for other BBG members who are trying to set U.S. international broadcasting on the right path. Lipien calls it a national security issue that must be resolved.
READ MORE: LIPIEN: Hushing America’s message in terrorism’s redoubt, Ted Lipien, The Washington Times, April 29, 2013.