Recalling history: information warfare

In 1947, Congress was debating both the legislation and funding for the State Department’s information activities. In May 1947, the House Appropriations Committee took up the issue of the State Department 1948 appropriation, during which Congressman Karl Mundt (R-SD), a former school teacher, made the following argument on the need to engage in the realm of information.

Karl Earl Mundt The forces of aggression are moving rapidly and we must step up our action and increase our efforts in the field of information abroad if we are to prevent the eventuality of confronting a world which has been either coerced or corrupted against us

Congressman Everett Dirksen (R-IL) also argued for the need to fund America’s response to the threat of Russia’s efforts to destroy the “integrity” and the “greatness of the American system.” Representative Harold Cooley (D-NC) said the Communists wanted to vilify America through defaming out “institutions in the eyes of the peoples of the world.”

Source: Parry-Giles, S. J. (2002). The rhetorical presidency, propaganda, and the Cold War, 1945-1955. Westport, Conn., Praeger.