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Rep. Rohrabacher Sounds Alarm Regarding U.S. Overseas Broadcasting; Radio Free Asia at Center of Controversy

Jan 16, 2013

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) sent a letter to members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Appropriations Committee regarding serious problems in the overseas broadcast services funded by the U.S. government.  Cong. Rohrabacher sites evidence uncovered after conducting a two year investigation while he was Chairman of the HFAC Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation during the 112th Congress.  His concerns focus on Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Asia (RFA), both under the supervision of the Broadcast Board of Governors.

“In October of last year,  Radio Free Asia President Libby Liu,  precipitously fired Tibet Service Director Jigme Ngapo with no accompanying explanation,” wrote Rohrabacher. “There are indications that this was the result of foreign influence, which would be a major cause for alarm. She has repeatedly failed to respond to my letters requesting details of this unwise action.”

There is no effective counterintelligence or vetting procedure for hiring employees; nor does the structure of the BBG and its agencies allow for adequate accountability to the American taxpayer.  RFA is particularly susceptible to becoming a personal fiefdom due to its structure and we may be seeing signs of that right now.

Broadcasting into Communist China and occupied Tibet is a case in point. “Jigme Ngapo needs to be reinstated as Tibetan Service Director to maintain the integrity and credibility of the RFA,” stated Rep. Rohrabacher, noting that the vast majority of RFA’s Tibet Service staff members signed a letter supporting reinstatement.

Regarding China, Rohrabacher wrote,  “I have repeatedly expressed my deep concern to VOA and RFA about their failure to cover important issues such as the ghoulish crime of forced human organ harvesting of political and religious dissidents [particularly the Falun Gong] in China, which is horrific and genocidal in nature. Calling attention to this subject infuriates the Chinese Communist government and VOA and RFA leadership refuses to give it the proper attention.”

Rep. Rohrabacher is Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats.