Right now: Under Secretary Glassman to discuss U.S. Public Diplomacy efforts (Updated)

Right now (11a ET, 15 June 2008) at America.gov from the Foreign Press Center:

U.S. Public Diplomacy and the War of Ideas

The Foreign Press Center invites you to an on-the-record, on-camera briefing with newly confirmed Under Secretary James Glassman to discuss the Department of State’s ongoing public diplomacy efforts and goals overseas. U.S. embassies worldwide, directed by Under Secretary Glassman, engage in myriad exchange, educational, and travel programs to introduce international audiences to the United States. Under Secretary Glassman also heads the U.S. Government-wide War of Ideas effort countering violent extremism.

James K. Glassman leads America’s public diplomacy outreach, which includes communications with international audiences, cultural programming, academic grants, educational exchanges, international visitor programs, and U.S. government efforts to confront ideological support for terrorism. He oversees the bureaus of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Public Affairs and International Information Programs, and participates in foreign policy development.

Not to leave you hanging, but by simply visiting America.gov and watching this video, you are violating aiding and abetting a violation modern interpretation of Smith-Mundt.  Feeling guilty?

Transcript of the briefing is available here (pdf).

6 Replies to “Right now: Under Secretary Glassman to discuss U.S. Public Diplomacy efforts (Updated)”

  1. Will jack-booted thugs jump out of their black copters and arrest me for watching this broadcast?? Can’t wait!!! I’ve got a fresh pot of coffee on to share!

  2. (Note: I work for the State Department on America.gov, but these are my personal views.)Regarding the comment on Smith-Mundt, I generally take the view that it is fine if Americans view America.gov. What is not allowed is for the State Department to actively promote the site (and others) to an American audience.
    I will not speak for my employer, but I believe this is the generally held view.

  3. Darren:How many sugars do you want in your coffee? Do you prefer half-and-half or real cream??
    With kindest regards,
    Hotmama

  4. You need to bone upon your Smitht-Mundt Act legalities.The restrictions on dissemination apply only to employees in the federal government, not on US citizens. There’s this thing called the First Amendment, see….

  5. Mr. Smith,You’re on the wrong side of the law, but then so am I. The First Amendment protects the speaker, but in this case, the Foreign Press Center and the America.gov website that hosted the broadcast are in one of the very few parts of the government actually covered by Smith-Mundt.
    Because the law focused on dissemination and not listening, I updated the post accordingly. Thanks for pointing that out.
    The First Amendment issue did come up in the deliberations of the Smith-Mundt bill, but not in the context most think. It was raised by Congressmen on behalf of radio and newspaper operations large and small that feared a big government news agency would squash and put them out of business. This would be the infringement of their free speech, and their ability to make a living, a profit, and share their ideas.
    The modern interpretation of Smith-Mundt as an anti-propaganda law was perhaps a distant fourth consideration at the time.

  6. Darren,Recent interpretations, beginning with Senator Fulbright’s attempt to kill USIA, focus not on active engagement, or conversely the passive access, but to access at all. The Zorinsky Amendment was specific in rejecting access, as was the move to exempt USIA from FOIA requests.
    The matter of access underlies debates about information broadcast overseas that bounces back.

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