Lionel Herbert Olmer (born 1934)
1940 US Census - New Haven, Connecticut
Lionel Olmer - Age at Time of Census: 5 / Gender: Male / Race: White / Est. Birth Year: 1935
Residence: Ward 3, New Haven, New Haven Town, New Haven, CT Map
Other People in Household:
- Father Abraham Olmer 50 yrs, Male ( born in POLAND )
- Mother Gussie Olmer 45 yrs, Female( born in POLAND )
- Brother Philip Olmer 16 yrs, Male( born in POLAND )
Bernice Zolot (Sister?)
1962 - Wedding (Oct 7) to Judith Sayler
Did Judith Sayler Olmer subsequently also work for the state Dept? (see https://books.google.com/books?id=nG7-mwKF__0C&pg=PA41&lpg=PA41&dq=judith+sayler+olmer&source=bl&ots=hoRwnAfTZM&sig=ACfU3U3_s62iEk66TJ4TDRJIwQm_ydqIog&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjAiNfy-4noAhWbl3IEHUPTAFcQ6AEwAXoECAsQAQ#v=onepage&q=judith%20sayler%20olmer&f=false )
1967 (Dec) - Vietnam
The Department of Justice is conducting an investigation to determine how a notebook, which contained national security information gathered on a foreign trip by one of President Ford's key intelligence advisers, was lost and fell into the hands of an ex‐convict and self‐styled journalist, Government officials said today.
The notebook, a three‐by‐five inch Government‐issue tablet, was used by Cmdr. Lionel Herbert Olmer of the Navy to keep notes of the conversations of Leg Cherne, a member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, during a fact‐finding mission in March 1975.
Mr. Cherne, who is now chairman of the board, said in an interview that he had been assigned to make the trip by the board's former chairman, Admiral George W. Anderson. A high Administration source said, however, that the trip had been ordered by Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger who then was also Mr. Ford's chief adviser for national security affairs.
Three Main Problems to Study
Mr. Cherne said that he was to study three main problems on the mission the growing international energy crisis; the heavy unemployment being suffered by Western nations and the sharp shift of economic power to the oil producing nations.
As a “corollary matter,” he said, he had been asked to determine whether disclosures about domestic activity by the Central Intelligence Agency raised by The New York Times in December 1974 had affected the ability of the United States to gather foreign intelligence.
Commander Omer said in an interview that he had tried to keep careful and complete notes of what was said at each session during the trip, which occurred March 14‐29, 1975. He is an intelligence officer and a specialist in cryptology, or secret language.
Commander Olmer said he was sure the notebook was in his possession the entire time until at least 30 minutes before the Trans World Airlines flight he and Mr. Cherne were aboard on their return trip landed at Kennedy International Airport in New York.
Commander Olmer said he realized the book was missing when he arrived at his home in suburban Maryland the same day. After a search of his house, he immediately reported the loss to Wheaton Byers, executive secretary of the foreign advisory board.
Mr. Byers and Commander Olmer said that they tried unsuccessfully to locate the book through the airlines and other means. Mr. Byers said the loss was then reported to Admiral Anderson and to the. Central Intelligence Agency, which determined that the contents were “classified” and that their publication “would be injuries to the national security of the United States.
Call from a Journalist
Mr. Cherne and Commander Olmer said in separate interviews that the contents might also be “embarrassing,” as Mr. Cherne put it, since they included candid assessments by American officials of their superiors and foreign officials.
On July 24, 1975, Mr. Cherne said he received a call from Michael Casey, who identified himself as a free‐lance journalist and who said he had the notebook.
Mr. Cherne said he had received “guidance” from Federal authorities he would not name (reportedly the F.B.I.) to “string him along, maintain contact, not to set too much value on the book, to see if could be recovered.
Mr. ‘Casey, 32 years old, said in an interview that he had served time at Soledad penitentiary in California for passing forged checks and had been in prison for juvenile violations.
He said that he received the notebook from a man he would not identify aboard an Air‐Vietnam flight between Saigon and Hong Kong on April 23, 1975.
Mr. Casey has a record of helping Vietnamese refugees that has been confirmed by State Department and news officials. Because of this, he was retained by the International Rescue Committee in its Los Angeles office on August 18, 1975, according to Robert devecchi, an official of the committee.
Mr. Cherne was chairman of the'committee's board of directors at the time, but Mr. Casey said he did not realize that.
Mr. Casey pledged to return the notebook and on August 26, 1975, Mr. Cherne received the book by registered mail was at this time that the matter came under F.B.I. scrutiny.
Meanwhile, Mr. Cherne said, he had checked Mr. Casey's background with an official of the rescue committee in Hong Kong and was advised to “sever connections” with Mr. Casey immediately. He recommended that Mr. Casey be dismissed, and he was on September 18, 1975.
Mr. Casey said he met voluntarily with an assistant United States Attorney in New York in April and turned over some copies of portions of the book. He said he still possessed a copy, which he said was hidden. Mr. Casey offered to turn the copy over to The New York Times on the condition that he be retained to investigate its contents. No copy was ever made available to The Times.
Mr. Casey also said he had been interviewed by F.B.I. agents who are seeking the return of any and all copies of the book and the names of any journalists who may have seen the contents.
Reporter Given Documents
In September 1975 after returning the original copy of the notebook to Mr. Cherne, Mr. Casey showed Robert Dietrich, a reporter for The San Diego Evening Tribune, what he described as typewritten copies of the book's contents along with other purportedly secret documents allegedly obtained from the C.I.A.'s Air America office in Saigon.
Mr. Dietrich said he had a copy of the typewritten version, but declined to discuss the contents in detail.
Mr. Casey said he and Mr. Dietrich set out to investigate the contents and that a series of threatening incidents ensued, including the burglary of his home in Los Angeles.
Casey Tells of Robbery
Mr. Casey said he met voluntarily with an assistant United States Attorney in New York in April and turned over some copies of portions of the book. He also said he had been interviewed by F.B.I. agents who are seeking the return of any and all copies of the book and the names of any journalists who may have seen the contents.
On Sept 2, while staying at Washington's Mayflower Hotel, Mr. Casey reported to the police that he had been robbed at gunpoint of “about $850” and a taperecording of a telephone conversation between himself and Mr. Cherne made in August 1976.
Both the Washington police and the major crimes unit of the United States Attcrney's office here are investigating Mr. Casey's allegations.
1981 (April 03)
1981 (May 11)
1981 (June 19)
1985 (April 2)
brother Moris Olmer ? Yes that is him !!!!! LOL ... hint is here ... https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/nhregister/obituary.aspx?n=bernice-zolot&pid=153301736&fhid=4186
Former State Rep Among the Notables Caught in Mortgage Fraud Ring
EDMUND H. MAHONY
Sep 26 2011
An 83-year old former state representative, who lost his law license years ago for misconduct, was sentenced to 5 years in prison Monday for handling closings for a group of conspirators who concocted phony real estate deals in order to swindle more than $4.4 million from banks.
Morris Olmer, a Democrat who represented New Haven in 1967 and '69 and a former member of New Haven's Board of Alderman, was convicted by a jury in April of conspiring to defraud the government, eight counts of fraud involving money transfers and four counts of making false statement to investigators.
Federal prosecutors said Olmer was one of a 14 conspirators who obtained $10 million in residential real estate loans through "sham sales contracts, false loan applications and fraudulent property appraisals." The conspirators are accused of dividing nearly half the money among themselves.
Olmer and three other members of the ring were convicted by a jury earlier this year. Seven others pleaded guilty to a variety of fraud-related charges, including the man prosecutors call the leader of the ring, Syed Babar, 28, of New London. Babar agreed to cooperate with authorities and became the government's star witness.
The jury deadlocked on a verdict against a 14th alleged member, Rabbi David Avigdor, 57, who presides over New Haven's Congregation Bikur Cholim Sheveth. Avigdor, a lawyer, worked for worked for Olmer, who maintained a law office in New Haven after his license to practice was revoked following a fraud complaint about four years ago. Prosecutors have said they will retry Avigdor
Another conspirator, 68-year old Thomas Gallagher of West Haven - former grand marshal of the New Haven St. Patrick's Day parade and a member of the West Haven police commission - plead guilty to a charge of making a false statement midway through the trial. In return, prosecutors dropped more than a dozen other charges against him. He was given a five year sentence.
Gallagher was accused of manufacturing appraisals that inflated the value of the dilapidated homes the conspirators financed and transferred among themselves in distressed areas of New Haven, New London and other locations, mostly in eastern Connecticut.
Federal prosecutors said Babar arranged for straw buyers to finance and buy - at inflated prices - homes they had no intention of living in or paying for. When the deals closed, the conspirators split the loan amounts in excess of sale prices and walked away from about 30 properties, creating more blight in already struggling neighborhoods.
The conspirators created a paper contraction company called Sheda Telle Construction to launder money and justify home prices by with false claims of renovation work. Prosecutors said about $1 million in cash flowed into the company's bank account, without any work ever being done.
Prosecutors said the ring operated between 2006 and 2010.
Five conspirators. Including Olmer, have received prison sentences of from four to 7 1/2 years in prison, Syed and seven others await sentencing. Babar is scheduled to be sentenced in November 28.
2003 - On board of Sipex Corporation in 2002
Sections from the 2002 book "Rescuing the World : The Life and Times of Leo Cherne (by Andrew F. Smith)
page 161 - 163
President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board
President Eisenhower established a Board of Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Activities in 1956. It was created at the recommendation of the Hoover Commission on the Reorganization of the Government. Its purpose was to offer the president independent, objective, and expert advice on the effectiveness of the conduct of U.S. foreign intelligence. It was also created to head off an attempt by Senator Mike Mansfield to create a Joint Congressional Committee on Intelligence.14
Appointed to the board were prominent Americans who tried to per- form their part-time function in an unbiased, objective manner. Independent of the intelligence community and free from any day-to-day management or operational responsibilities, the board rendered its advice directly to President Eisenhower.When Kennedy was elected, Eisenhower did not discuss the im- portance of the board, and Kennedy considered eliminating it. But after the Bay of Pigs fiasco, Kennedy reconstituted the board and renamed it the Pres- ident’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB). Kennedy later claimed that PFIAB was one of his most useful advisory boards.15
Over the years, PFIAB members met with leaders of intelligence agencies, examined reports, and visited intelligence installations to identify deficiencies in the collection, analysis, and reporting of intelligence. The board tried to eliminate unnecessary duplication and functional overlaps. Its recommendations influenced the composition and structure of the intelli- gence community, the development of major intelligence systems, and the degree of collection and analytic emphasis. In carrying out its mandate, board members had access to all the information related to foreign intelli- gence that they needed to fulfill their vital advisory role.16
When he was appointed to PFIAB, Cherne had no background in government service or foreign intelligence. His appointment was made at the urging of Casey, in return for Cherne’s participation in Democrats for Nixon.Whatever the reason, Cherne was an excellent choice. In the fall of 1973, economic intelligence was not a high priority within the intelligence community. But the OctoberYom KippurWar in the Middle East, coupled with the shock in the United States over the Arab oil embargo, moved eco- nomic intelligence to the forefront of PFIAB’s agenda. Few people in the the 1930s. Cherne was once again in the right place at the right time.
Cherne came onto the Board knowing some of its members. For years, he had known Edward Teller, the father of the H-bomb. In 1959, the IRC had given Teller the “William J. Donovan Memorial Award,” which was Cherne’s bronze bust of Donovan. Teller often offered Cherne advice. Cherne also knew Clare Boothe Luce, the former U.S. ambassador to Italy and congresswoman from Connecticut. Luce was the first woman appointed to PFIAB. Cherne and Luce had communicated during the 1940s and had co-authored three publications on Hungary. Other members of the board were new to him, for example, Nelson Rockefeller, who regarded his membership on the board as the single most important service he had ever performed for the U.S. government. Cherne and Rockefeller became close friends.18
Lionel Olmer, a U.S. Navy commander with a specialty in cryptology and Soviet naval communications, was the PFIAB staff member assigned to introduce Cherne to the work of the board. According to Olmer, Cherne was like “a kid in a candy store.” Cherne wanted to know about everything, so Olmer made available to him dozens of secret studies on all manner of subjects, people, and places. Olmer communicated with Cherne daily, pass- ing on the latest news and offering suggestions for further study. Cherne soaked up the vast amount of information and still wanted more. He had a compulsion to know more than anyone else about every economic matter that came before PFIAB and possessed an insatiable curiosity about the more exotic aspects of the intelligence system.19
After several weeks, Olmer recommended that Cherne write up his findings as a way of drawing attention to the importance of economic in- telligence. For seven days Cherne dictated his report, which ended as a forty-page document. Olmer believed that the result was an artful, literate, but verbose critique of several intelligence agencies’ programs. With some trepidation as to how Cherne would respond, Olmer told him that the re- port had great content, but that its style was off base considering its audi- ence: it lacked the appropriate “bureaucratese” essential for government reports. Much to Olmer’s surprise, Cherne was open to frank criticism, al- though Cherne cringed when Olmer red-lined some of his favorite ex- pressions.They worked over the weekend, and in the end, Cherne mastered governmentese while losing nothing of what he believed was really impor- tant for the president of the United States to understand.
page 163 - 164
According to Olmer, Cherne’s revised report was a huge success: it changed the future course of economic intelligence collection, analysis, and reporting. Equally important, it drew the attention of senior government policymakers to the enormous significance of economic intelligence and the array of resources that could be directed to answering their needs.20
Cherne’s specific expertise was economic intelligence; but he par- ticipated actively in all PFIAB’s activities. Throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Soviet Union was building up its military forces. Several observers had begun to express dissatisfaction with the National Intelli- gence Estimates, particularly those related to the military power of the Soviet Union. PFIAB chairman, Admiral George W. Anderson, a retired four-star admiral and chief of naval operations at the time of the Cuban missile crisis, and PFIAB board member John S. Foster, a former deputy secretary of defense for development, research and engineering, sug- gested the development of an outside competitive analysis using the same information as that available to the CIA. President Nixon did not sup- port the recommendation, mainly because the director of the CIA, William Colby, opposed it. When Ford became president, Anderson re- stated his concerns and recommended that the competitive analysis be conducted through the National Security Council. Colby demurred. When George Bush took over from Colby, things changed. Bush was receptive to PFIAB’s proposal.
PFIAB established “Team B” as an experiment in competitive analysis. The idea was to use nongovernment experts on the Soviet Union to second-guess the CIA’s estimates of Soviet intentions and ca- pabilities. The PFIAB Board and staff involved were: Edward Teller, William Baker, Edwin Land, Robert Galvin (chairman of Motorola), Bill Casey, and Lionel Olmer. Many more private sector experts were re- cruited to this project, and they reported their findings to PFIAB.
The “Team B” conclusions projected a more powerful and dangerous Soviet threat than the intelligence establishment had reported to the presi- dent. Perhaps the most significant conclusion was that the accuracy and power of Soviet strategic missiles could potentially overwhelm U.S. missile forces and thereby negate the fundamental premise of America’s nuclear de terrent: that enough would be left, even after a first-strike, to retaliate and destroy the Soviet Union.21
At this time, the nation as well as the intelligence community were in disarray. The Watergate scandal had engulfed the Nixon administration. Congressional investigations uncovered a variety of unsavory practices, up- setting many Americans, including Cherne. President Nixon resigned in his vice president Nelson Rockefeller, a member of PFIAB.
Coming on top of the Watergate scandals, the American defeat in Vietnam led to public cynicism and distrust of the government. Watergate also led to increased scrutiny of the American intelligence community, which was tangentially connected through Nixon’s effort to blame the CIA to cover his misdeeds. Most Congressmen were unfamiliar with the Amer- ican intelligence operations. Like all large bureaucracies, the intelligence community had made its share of mistakes; though unlike other large bu- reaucracies, the intelligence community’s mistakes had been hidden. When Congressional committees examined and critiqued intelligence practices, mistakes were exposed. Senator Frank Church’s committee focused on in- telligence abuses. Otis Pike’s House Select Committee on Intelligence ex- amined and reported on intelligence failure in the Middle East. President Ford attempted to head off these investigations by creating a blue-ribbon commission chaired byVice President Nelson Rockefeller. One member of the Rockefeller Commission was the ex-Governor of California, Ronald Reagan.22
Shortly after Gerald Ford became president, several White House staff members solicited Cherne’s advice. During this difficult period for the intel- ligence community, President Ford appointed Cherne chairman of PFIAB. At the time, Cherne was a registered Democrat, and he asked why he had been appointed chair. Ford’s response was: “I worked with you and watched you for some time, and I reached the conclusion that you would be the one most likely to tell me what I might not wish to hear.”23As chairman, Cherne con- tinued to meet with the White House aides concerned with intelligence, and he met several times with the president. Through these meetings, Cherne shaped the board agenda. PFIAB met on the first Thursday and Friday of every other month, with ad hoc committee meetings as required. Intelligence agency leaders, Cabinet officers, and others were invited to attend as necessary.
On the same day that Cherne became chairman of PFIAB, President Ford expanded the board from ten members to seventeen. PFIAB increased in importance when, as a result of the Rockefeller Commission report, it was given responsibility for policing the intelligence community.24 Most PFIAB members contributed actively during meetings and offered advice outside of meetings as their schedules permitted. Cherne saw PFIAB as his primaryjob. He estimated that he worked the equivalent of 94 days on PFIAB business during the first half of 1976.25
By all accounts, Cherne was an excellent chairman. He possessed great skill in running the meetings of this board composed of individuals of great distinction. Cherne skillfully organized presentations of complicated and diverse material outside his own area of expertise, then involved mem- bers and staff in their areas of expertise or responsibility. Cherne did not himself pontificate, but led the meeting to ensure that PFIAB’s busy agenda was met. He had the ability to listen and comment without hurting feelings or egos. Edward Bennett Williams, one of the top lawyers in Washington, said at the end of the first one-and-a-half day meeting Cherne chaired: “That’s the best meeting I’ve ever been to in my life.”26
Although the “Team B” work had been launched by the previous PFIAB chairman, Admiral George W. Anderson, its work became public during the time that Cherne chaired the board. This publicity upset the new director of the Central Intelligence Agency, George Bush.27 Subse- quently the concept of a competitive analysis was discontinued. However, the “Team B” concept reemerged in 1986, when SenatorJesse Helms raised the issue in the Senate for a competitive analysis focused upon the Soviet Union. Helms’s views were adopted by a Senate resolution, but PFIAB did not conduct further competitive analyses.28
In the days before George Bush left the position of director of the Central Intelligence Agency, he wrote to Cherne reporting that the year 1976 had been a good one for the U.S. foreign intelligence community.The CIA and other intelligence agencies introduced innovations and restored confidence in the integrity of their foreign intelligence function. Bush be- lieved that PFIAB under Cherne’s leadership had contributed significantly to these changes. Handwritten at the bottom of Bush’s note to Cherne was, “I hope our paths cross in the future.”29
Pages 171 - 178
Chapter 11 : The Falling Curtain
In addition to being a humanitarian, Leo has been an economist, political scientist, sculptor, and advisor to presidents for over 40 years. His extra- ordinary service to his country and to mankind are inspiring and deserv- ing of recognition from his fellow citizens. . . . Although he has never held elected office, Leo Cherne has had more influence on governmental pol- icy than many members in Congress. Since the late 1930s, Leo Cherne has stepped forward and with brilliance, energy, and moral passion to help this nation overcome countless challenges.
—Citation for the Presidential Medal of Freedom, given to Leo Cherne by President Ronald Reagan, 1984
Throughout most of his adult life, Cherne worked full-time at the Research Institute of America. The Institute was a privately owned corporation, with Carl Hovgard the majority stockholder, and Cherne plus another employee minority stockholders. In 1964, the owners sold the Institute to the Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Company in Buf- falo. Cherne became vice chairman of the Lawyers Cooperative Board of Directors, and the following year, chairman.1This role permitted Cherne’s active participation in the International Rescue Committee, Freedom House, and the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, with a bit of time left over for his other interests.The Lawyers Cooperative eventually sold the Research Institute to Thompson International. Cherne’s relation- ship with the Institute ended in 1990, after 54 years of service.2
By the early 1980s, Cherne’s life had reached a peak. His office walls had for decades been covered with awards and photographs testifying to his extraor- dinary achievements.They included many decorations from foreign govern- ments. Friends and colleagues thought Cherne deserved public recognition from the United States—specifically, that he should be awarded the Presi- dential Medal of Freedom.
President Truman had initiated the Medal of Freedom, which was awarded for meritorious war-connected acts or services. General Lucius Clay had first proposed this distinction for Cherne to President Eisenhower, citing Cherne’s postwar work in Europe, Japan, and Hungary. Clay’s proposal did not succeed, but sporadic attempts were made to place Cherne’s name in nomina tion. President Kennedy replaced Truman’s award with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor given in the United States. It was awarded for meritorious contributions to security or national interest, world peace, or cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.3
When Ronald Reagan was elected president, renewed efforts were made to obtain the Medal of Freedom for Cherne, but the campaign was blocked by Michael K. Deaver, Reagan’s Deputy Chief of Staff in theWhite House, who believed the award should go to individuals who had greater visibility and public recognition than did Cherne.4 Then fate intervened. Fred Demech, a naval lieutenant commander who was assigned to the White House and who had known Cherne when he was appointed to PFIAB, was asked to write President Reagan’s speech for the IRC’s fiftieth anniversary celebration, scheduled for November 15, 1983. Demech wrote into Rea- gan’s speech the following announcement: Cherne’s “extraordinary service to his country and to mankind are inspiring and deserving of recognition from his fellow citizens. It is with great pleasure that I announce tonight that I am awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom, our nation’s highest civil- ian award, to Leo Cherne. Congratulations, Leo, on a well-deserved honor.” Unable to attend the ceremony, Reagan videotaped his speech, which had been cleared by his staff. It was played for an enthusiastic audience at the IRC’s fiftieth anniversary ceremony at the Waldorf in NewYork.When the list of recipients for the Presidential Medal of Freedom was drawn up in February 1984, Demech made sure that Cherne’s name was on the list. Deaver again objected. Demech pointed out that President Reagan had al- ready announced that Cherne would receive the award. Deaver was furious with Demech, but could do nothing.5 On March 26, 1984, President Rea- gan delightedly conferred upon Cherne the Medal of Freedom in the White House; some of the others who received the same honor on that day were Reverend NormanVincent Peale, Louis L’Amour, and James Cagney.
Predicting the Future
Before the concept of “futurist” was born, Cherne was one. For over fifty years he publicly projected what would happen—economically, politically, and socially—during the upcoming year. His first speech to forecast the future was given at the Sales Executive Club of NewYork in 1940.The club had been started by ThomasWatson, Sr., the founder of IBM, in 1932.Wat- son required all his top sales executives to belong. His idea, at the height of the Depression, was to get the economy rolling again by starting a selling crusade. The club focused on improving salesmen’s methods and morale. The club published newsletters, held seminars, and invited big-name speak- ers for its events. Over the years five presidents, Wendell Willkie, Henry Ford II, Bob Hope, Eddie Cantor, Alan King, NormanVincent Peale, and Ann Landers addressed the club.6
Cherne was one of the club’s speakers in January 1940. His talk was such a success that the club invited him back.This continued annually for the next fifty years. His speeches were often given in the grand ballroom at the Waldorf-Astoria, which would be packed with thousands of executives. Cherne used these occasions to predict what was going to happen during the upcoming year. His presentations started with his predictions of the previous year, which he graded for accuracy. He usually gave himself a grade of 90 percent or higher and few participants disagreed with his self-assessment. Then he proceeded into what he projected for the upcoming year. His speeches were widely attended by a broad segment of America’s political and business leaders.7 In addition, newspaper and magazine reporters often covered his predictions.
Cherne’s fiftieth “Consecutive and Final First-of-the-Year Forecast Luncheon Program” was titled: “Millennium: A Reach into the Future,” and was attended by more than 2,000 executives in the ballroom at the Wal- dorf. The program co-chairs included Alan Greenspan, Henry A. Kissinger, Happy Rockefeller, and Liv Ullmann. Malcolm Forbes, Jr., and Nelson A. Rockefeller, Jr., gave special introductions.8 Kissinger uttered admiring ac- colades: “What courage it has taken each year for fifty years to polish your crystal ball before a roomful of the country’s brightest and best-informed leaders. Surely the entire world pauses early each January to learn from you what is expected of it!”9
Cherne prodded the IRC to seize new opportunities for assisting refugees. He advocated for new programs during the 1980s and early 1990s. For in- stance, he encouraged the IRC to become involved in Africa; after pro- grams were launched, he traveled to inspect them.
Cherne was also deeply worried by the plight of the Afghan refugees. Tens of thousands had fled the country when the Soviet invaded Afghanistan in 1979, Throughout the 1980s, more refugees poured into Pakistan. During the Cold War, the United States supported the refugees and those groups who opposed the Soviet forces in Afghanistan. When the Soviet Union agreed to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan ten years later, about 3.5 mil- lion Afghan refugees lived in Pakistan. With Soviet forces no longer in Afghanistan, Cherne was worried that the United States would give signifi- cantly reduced attention to their refugees in Pakistan.The U.N. High Com- missioner for Refugees (UNHCR) at the time, Saddrudin Aga Khan, issued statements to this effect, urging continued attention to the refugee situation.
During an IRC Board trip to Pakistan led by Olmer, which included meetings with the president of Pakistan and with the UNHCR, these mat- ters were discussed. On return to the United States, Cherne urged that a Citizens Commission be created to sustain a worldwide focus on the Afghan refugees, notwithstanding the apparent end of military conflict. As a result of the commission’s work, the IRC was the first foreign operation to assist Afghan refugees.
The IRC’s Citizens Commission had unintended positive conse- quences for the IRC. While trying to select commissioners, Olmer met Sadako Ogata, then the director of the Institute of International Relations at Sophia University in Tokyo. She previously represented Japan on the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, and in 1990 was selected as the independent expert of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on the human rights situation in Myanmar. She declined Olmer’s invitation to join the commission when the General Assembly elected her to the position of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. How- ever, she worked closely with the IRC for the following ten years on many refugee matters including those connected withYugoslavia. In 2001, after her retirement as UNHCR, she became an IRC board member.
By 1990, IRC programs operated on five continents and was the largest nonsectarian, nongovernmental refugee operation in the world. Much of IRC’s success can be attributed to Cherne’s work. It was notjust his promotional activities or his fundraising prowess. This phenomenal suc- cess derived from the board and staff he recruited, encouraged, and men tored. John Whitehead, who Cherne brought on to the IRC’s board after the Hungarian uprising in 1956, had risen to the top of the investment banking profession and then served as deputy secretary of state. He was the obvious choice to succeed Cherne when the infirmities of age made him realize in 1991 that it was time to step down.
Tributes flowed in from Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Bush and from many others. In his tribute to Cherne, Henry Kissinger remarked that it had always “meant a great deal to me to know there was a Leo Cherne in this world, always ready with advice, always ready to give his time and his compassion in difficult circumstances.” He continued: “Any- body can project the familiar into the future. But the greatest role of a leader is to take a people from where they are to where they have never been.That is ajourney that requires faith and dedication and we honor Leo Cherne, above all, for the faith and dedication he has always shown in our journey towards a world in which the just can be free and the weak, se- cure.”10 Characteristically, it didn’t occur to Cherne, in his new role as chairman emeritus, to stop working. Flashes of the old eloquence, the old brilliance, the old fire, still continued to inspire, move, and persuade his board, staff, and colleagues.
Emerging Refugee Emergencies
Throughout most of its history, the IRC has had limited private funds, and has been forced to rely heavily on U.S. government funds and those of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. In refugee emergencies, some- times hours and days were lost while funding was sought.Yet refugee emer- gencies required quick and effective responses. Mobilizing at the first sign of a serious refugee problem saves lives and enhances the ability of the refugees to survive in the long term. Failure to take quick and effective action in such crises often results in social turmoil and political instability within the country to which refugees have fled, and sometimes the strife spreads to neighboring countries, exacerbating unstable and chaotic situations.
When Yugoslavia imploded in 1991, the IRC was one of the first agencies to respond; quickly it was heavily committed, assisting tens of thousands of Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian refugees, who struggled for survival in the heart of Europe. Hence, when Kurds fled into northern Iraq after the GulfWar, the IRC had no reserves to assist the refugees who were fleeing Iraqi military forces. Still, the IRC sent a team to help and was the first voluntary organization to arrive to help these refugees.
IRC Board members Lionel Olmer and Jim Strickler went to Turkey and northern Iraq to review the IRC’s efforts. The person running IRC’s program was doing wonderful work alongside the U.S. and other NATO military forces that were engaged for almost the first time in a major human- itarian effort. The trouble with the IRC’s effort was that it lacked money, communications equipment, shovels, and supplies. Eventually, the IRC was able to provide shelter and bring medical, public health, and sanitation specialists into the situation, professionals drown from the IRC's worldwide pool of refugee emergency experts and volunteers. But the time lost early in the crisis meant that many Kurds died or became ill due to exposure and the lack of water, food, and proper sanitation.11
While in Turkey, Olmer phoned Cherne, who was delighted with the on-the-spot report and was only saddened by the fact that he could not be there with them. On the return trip, Olmer and Strickler discussed what the IRC could do in the future to be better prepared for emergencies. Olmer suggested that the IRC pre-position kits of supplies for future emer- gencies. This led to the thought that U.S. companies might be cajoled into donating an emergency radio system to the IRC.While this would be use- ful, better still, they concluded, would be an emergency rescue fund that could meet whatever the next critical situation required.12
Upon his return to the United States, Olmer asked Cherne if he would mount a major effort to help deliver the IRC from its dependence on governmental funding sources by putting together a fund to be used only in emergencies. Cherne approved the concept, as did the IRC board. Cherne agreed to begin contacting individuals in hopes of establishing a $1 million fund—which everyone thought was very ambitious.13
With a $1 million corpus, the emergency fund was expected to gen- erate an annual income of $50,000, enabling the IRC to take immediate action in one or two emergency situations should they arise. Decisions to draw on the fund were to be made by the IRC Executive Committee, which must declare that a refugee emergency had arisen.The fund’s princi- pal could be invaded only by a decision of the IRC board, and only when the severity of the emergency required such action.The principal would be then replenished as expeditiously as possible following any withdrawal.14
Cherne was delighted to help raise money for the fund, which was named in his honor, “The Leo Cherne Emergency Refugee Fund.” The IRC board and staff worked out the details. Cherne approached Peter Drucker, who agreed to chair the fund. Drucker had worked as a volunteer with the International Relief Association during the late 1930s. Drucker had worked at the Research Institute as a consulting editor to their associate member’s program from 1950 to 1953.15 Drucker and Cherne had stayed in touch and Cherne had involved Drucker in IRC activities. Much to every- one’s surprise, the fund exceeded $1 million within six months and doubled again a few years later.16This was the crucial first step toward financial stabil- ity as well as an assured capability for rapid and effective response to refugee emergencies.When refugees fled Kosovo a few months after Cherne’s death, the Leo Cherne Emergency Fund helped them survive.
He likes to tinker - with the ancient, luminous, fire-engine-red Austin-Healy in his garage or with the odd chair made out of driftwood or with the lamp made out of a wine bottle in the den.
But at the Commerce Department, where he is Under Secretary for International Trade Administration, Lionel Herbert Olmer does not have such a free hand. As the point man in the disputes with Europe over steel and the Soviet gas pipeline and in the quarrels with Japan over general trade policy, the 47-year-old Mr. Olmer has to balance competing interests in one of the toughest jobs in Washington.
Making the balancing act all the more difficult is the keen interest that trade issues have generated in the other major departments such as State and Defense, with their own special constituencies, and the constant pressure applied by these departments in shaping final policy.
Many Trips Across Pacific
Europe has not been Mr. Olmer's main area of expertise. As director for international programs at Motorola Inc. before joining the Reagan Administration, he led one of the rare successful forays by an American electronics company into the Japanese market, and he was brought in by the Administration to talk tough to Tokyo.
Tough talk has marked frequent negotiating trips across the Pacific in his effort to get Japan to buy more goods from the United States and thus reduce the American deficit in trade with Japan.
But, even after Japan adopted a series of market liberalization packages, the trade gap has widened. Last year Americans bought $18.1 billion more goods from the Japanese than it sold to them. This year the deficit will be more than $20 billion.
''The growing size of that deficit doesn't bespeak success for our policies,'' commented one Olmer critic in another agency. 'As Tough As They Come'
A European official who has been one of Mr. Olmer's adversaries commented: ''He strikes me as extremely courteous but also somebody who, when it comes down to brass tacks, is as tough as they come. He has a reputation among my colleagues of being anti-European. But that doesn't bother me much because he knows his dossier and is fair.'' The European official asked not to be identified.
''In light of all the circumstances, Mr. Olmer has done a reasonably good job,'' said Stanley J. Marcuss, who held a roughly equivalent position in the Carter Administration. ''He has been remarkably even-handed,'' added Mr. Marcuss, now a partner at the Washington law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy.
On the pipeline issue, Mr. Olmer has been a moderating influences within the Reagan Administration. He has opposed officials at the Defense Department and the National Security Council who believe the Soviet Union can be forced to change policy objectives through economic pressure.
And Mr. Olmer joined his boss, Commerce Secretary Malcolm Baldrige, along with Treasury Secretary Donald T. Regan and Secretary of State George P. Shultz, in urging President Reagan to relax his sanctions against European companies that violate the embargo on shipments of American-produced or American-designed equipment for the 3,700-mile pipeline that will link the gas fields of Siberia and Western Europe.
In the trade dispute over shipments of European steel to this country, Mr. Olmer labored in the background to carpenter an import quota arrangement, only to have it rejected by the American steel industry. But talks between the Commerce Department and the Europeans will get under way again next week, raising hopes that perhaps some modified version can form the basis of an agreement. Workmanlike Approach Noted
''He's a very pragmatic and sensible fellow,'' said Thomas L. Farmer, who as director of President Carter's Intelligence Oversight Board retained Mr. Olmer as its principal consultant. ''He's a workmanlike, reliable guy, definitely not ideological.''
Mr. Olmer served five years in the Nixon and Ford Administrations on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, finally becoming staff director. The board, established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956, consisted of private citizens who offered advice on the adequacy of this country's foreign intelligence.
Mr. Olmer was born in New Haven on Nov. 11, 1934. After earning a bachelor's degree from the University of Connecticut and a law degree from American University in Washington, he specialized in trade law. He also was an officer in the Navy, rising to captain. One of his assignments was with the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations during the late 1960's.
He is married to the former Judith Sayler of Portland, Ore., a military analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency. They have two children.
Besides tinkering at home, Mr. Olmer likes to jog. Sometimes he wears a T-shirt emblazoned ''U.S. Exports Mean Jobs.''
Nominations of Roger W. Mehle, Jr., Marc E. Leland, Lionel H. Olmer, Raymond J. Waldmann, John A. Svahn, and Dorcas R. Hardy: hearings before the Committee on Finance, United States Senate, Ninety-seventh Congress, first session, on nominations of Roger W. Mehle, Jr., to be assistant secretary of the treasury, Marc E. Leland to be deputy under secretary of the treasury, Lionel H. Olmer to be under secretary of commerce, Raymond J.Waldmann to be assistant secretary of commerce, John A. Svahn to be commissioner of social security, and Dorcas R. Hardy to be assistant secretary of health and human services, April 23 and 28, 1981
STATEMENT OF LIONEL H. OLMER, UNDER SECRETARY FOR INTERNATIONAL 'fRADEDESIGNATE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF CoMMERCE
Mr. Chairman, Senators, I am deeply honored to appear before you today to solicit your confirmation of me as President Reagan's selection to be Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.
Having read the legislative history associated with the establishment of this position; having worked with people in and out of government during the time the reorganization plan which created the post was being written; and having had numerous occasions in the past four years to call upon the Department of Commerce for assistance, I am properly respectful of the enormity of the tasks which lie ahead if I am confirmed by the Senate for this job.
You have been provided with my detailed biography and so I propose to simply outline my recent experience which I believe contributes most directly to my qualifications for this assignment.
From 1977 until two month ago, I worked for Motorola Inc., a leading U.S. manufacturer and exporter of communications and electronic equipment. My responsibilities as Director of International Programs involved the development and implementation of trading opportunities primarily with Japan, and to a subordinate degree in West Africa and Latin America. This involved frequent travel and discussions with U.S. Foreign and Commercial Service, and foreign government as well as private sector representatives. I also participated in the process of advising U.S. Government officials relative to the Multilateral Trade Negotiations and provided legal advice relative to industry efforts to seek relief from injury due to imports. I analyzed and wrote for the corporate leadership my assessments of business opportunities vs. risks in many countries of the world and was privileged to lead the Company's efforts over a 2-year period to penetrate the Japanese public telecommunications market-to the best of my knowledge the first major such achievement by a non.Japanese company.
I believe that these experiences in the immediate past four years, coupled with the dedication to hard work that I know has been part of my entire professional life, will make it possible for me to advance the objectives of the International Trade Administration.
The data is well known and I believe argues persuasively for a concerted U.S. Government supported major effort to do a better job at exporting U.S. goods and services and to watch carefully lest our open market system, which is so attractive and indeed essential to our competitors, be abused. Starkly put, many of our industries have become less competitive relative to some of our significant trading partners. By "competitive" I mean price, technological uniqueness, service, quality, marketing agessiveness and terms of finance.
Most especially, by way of contrast, in Japan there is a clear recognition that control of major, future world markets will be heavily dependent on supremacy in high technology and as a consequence there has developed a consensus, a "comity" if you will, between government, business, labor and academia that a program be implemented to assure preeminence within the next decade in the knowledge intensive sectors.
The President's entire economic program is directed towards increasing investment and accordingly, our competitiveness. Implementation of this program will go far to improve our trade performance. But there are barriers to exporting even highly competitive goods, and unfair trade practices can threaten even competitive U.S. industries.
If confirmed, my program for ITA would involve five major areas.
1. Vigorous implementation of the various codes under the multilateral treaty negotiations which, I believe, represent a commitment by the government to the private sector.
2. Creative promotion of exports, especially greater efforts to involve small and medium size businesses in these opportunities.
3. Careful monitoring of imports relative to enforcement of our trade laws.
4. Identification of industrial sectors of critical importance whose real or threatened decline should spark imaginative counter efforts by business working in concert with the government.
Effective management of export control policy.
The fifth program area, that of proper administration of our export control system, will not in the short run contribute to improving our trade imbalance but it is essential for our national security, on which all else ultimately depends, and I would intend to pursue this with equivalent vigor.
I welcome your questions
BIOGRAPHY OF LIONEL H. OLMER, NOMINEE FOR UNDER SECRETARY FOR INTERNA
TIONAL TRADE, INTERNATIONAL TRADE ADMINISTRATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF CoMMERCE
Lionel H. Olmer was nominated by President Reagan as Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade on February 12, 1981.
From 1977 until his nomination, Olmer was Director of International Programs for Motorola, Incorporated. At Motorola he was responsible for development and implementaion of international trade strategies; he devoted particular attention to the trade opportunities created by the Multilateral Trade Negotiation Agreements. Partly as a result of his efforts, Motorola has become the first major U.S. high technology manufacturer to penetrate the highly competitive Japanese public telecommunications market. In Africa, Olmer assisted Motorola to succeed in markets long domihated by French telephone equipment manufacturers.
Before joining Motorola, Olmer served for nearly five years on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, ultimately as staff director. The Board, estab lished by President Eisenhower in 1956, consisted of private citizens who advised the President on the adequacy of U.S. foreign intelligence, including economic intelligence.
Olmer holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Connecticut and a law degree from the American University in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the Connecticut and District of Columbia bars.
Olmer served as an officer in the U.S. Navy in assignments which included the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations during the late 1960's. He is a graduate of the National Defense University. Olmer is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Rescue Committee and Chairman of its Washington Advisory Group. The IRC is a voluntary agency whose purpose is to aid in the relief and resettlement of refugees.
A native of Connecticut, Olmer and his wife, the former Judith Sayler of Portland, Oregon, live in Rockville, Maryland, with their two children.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF CoMMERCE,
THE UNDER SECRETARY FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE
Washington, D.C., April 27, 1981
Da Nang Air Base Under Attacked
By 1967, the BIG LOOK operations tempo was well established.
At least one Big Bird mission (EC-121) flew daily, supplemented by Whales (EA-3B), and/or a second Big Bird as needed. By March 1967, 54 enlisted personnel were assigned on TAD from NCSP, over half of which were designated crew. Additional personnel were TAD from Kamiseya. Living conditions were improving as well, with new barracks and other facilities under construction. Government messing became available effective 25 May 1967, and somewhere about that time NCSP Det Bravo was inaugurated, with LCDR Donald R. Larson as Officer-in-Charge. However, much of this “forward movement” came to an abrupt halt the night of July 15.
“Shortly after midnight on 15 July, the Da Nang Air Base was struck by enemy rockets. Eight military personnel were killed during the attack and 155 others were wounded. The enemy barrage, which lasted approximately 45 minutes, started numerous fires and resulted in extensive structural damage to U.S. Navy, Marine and Air Force facilities. In addition, eight aircraft were destroyed and 45 were damaged during the attack.” (NAVFOR Command History, July 1967, p. 45)
Note: the featured Image is a photo of the attack.
Major Casualties, but None Were CT Spooks
This rocket attack was the most extreme experienced during life of the detachment. Out of a total of 163 casualties, 44 were VQ-1 and NSG Det Bravo personnel, but none were spooks. Luckily no one was killed, but all three VQ-1/NSG Detachment barracks were destroyed. This was not due to a direct hit on the barracks, but rather to a hit on a nearby ammo dump. The dump exploded and rained shrapnel down onto recently constructed bunkers, which at the time, did not have roofs. Additional damage/injuries were caused by the shock waves of the exploding ammo. The fires from this attack were so intense that former BLS CTR2 Gary Hughes, then stationed 40 some miles away at Phu Bai, could see the glow on the horizon. Most of the detachment was evacuated from Da Nang, with only a skeleton crew remaining behind. When they returned, det personnel were temporarily billeted at Camp Tien Sha, located at the base of Monkey Mountain, east of the base, until new barracks could be built. In addition to the destruction of the barracks, all the aircraft were damaged to some extent, and VQ-2 had to temporarily supply EC-121M aircraft from Rota, Spain, so that operations could continue. Two people enroute to the det from the Philippines, Sgt G.R. Wright, USMC and CTRSN Lowell “Wilkie” Wilks, were at Clark Air Base waiting for a flight when they were told their orders were on hold. They finally arrived in Da Nang two weeks later.
In the fall of 1967, LT(jg) Ike Cole joined the detachment as an evaluator, TAD from San Miguel for several months. Ike remembers flying a lot, almost every day, and the highly-skilled enlisted operators.
The Tet Offensive
January 30, 1968, marked the start of the Tet offensive by the North Vietnamese. LCDR Carl Strobel, Det OIC at the time, recalls the planes being sent to Udorn Air Base in Thailand because of the increased rocket attacks. Flights continued over the GOT as usual, though, staged from Thailand. As always, a core team stayed behind in Da Nang. CTR3 Bill Erhardt, recognizing a deficiency in the det’s supply of weapons, took the initiative in true Spook fashion. According to his own account, Bill “…took a couple cases of booze up to Hill 327 and brought back a jeep load of rifles, ammo, and hand grenades. The Chief wanted to kill me!”
New crypto systems installed April – June 1968 further improved the capabilities of the detachment.
Two Spooks Who Made Extraordinary Contributions
Late 1968 marked the departure of two experienced operators, Chuck Dibble and Joe Wagner. Both had flown in Da Nang for over two years, and their contributions were significant. In a personal message to Commander Johnson, the NSG Department head at NCSP, Captain De Lorenzi, Commanding Officer of VQ-1, cited both Petty Officers, stating in part,
“Both of these outstanding Petty Officers have made extraordinary contributions to the detachment operation over a sustained period of time. Their professionalism, devotion to duty and perseverance has on numerous occasions resulted in the development of extremely valuable intelligence, which under other circumstances could have gone unnoticed.”
He then added in a later paragraph,
“Regret that I did not personally have the opportunity to speak with CT2 Dibble and
Wagner prior to their departure from Da Nang. Would be most appreciative if you would convey to each of them, on behalf of myself and all VQ-1 squadron members who have served with them a sincere ‘Well Done’ and best wishes for every success in the future.”
Thus, despite the belief of some, VQ-1 recognized the efforts of the Spooks as a vital part of its mission, and was appreciative of what we did.
VQ-1 wasn’t the only group who appreciated our work. Joseph A. Haran, Jr., a radio intercept analysis specialist with the 6924th Security Squadron (USAFSS) at Da Nang from 1968 to 1969, stated “…the NSG linguists with whom I worked while at the 6924th Security Squadron were much more receptive to my efforts and were at the same time of immense help: “Mr. Dibble” and Ed Dobarro come to mind. The NSG guys were much more laid back and more job-as-top-priority oriented than the USAFSS turfdefenders. But, we were all in the same bunker (or roadside ditch) when the bad guys’ rocket artillery and mortars said hello.”
By LCDR Robert E. Morrison, USN (ret.)
Of counsel in the Corporate Department, Lionel H. Olmer has represented a broad range of American and foreign companies. He has been successful in gaining access to markets for both foreign and domestic clients, in securing increased protection for clients' intellectual property rights; in advising regarding telecommunications policies; and in helping establish internal compliance programs to facilitate the licensing of sophisticated products for export.
He served as undersecretary of commerce for international trade beginning in February 1981. As head of the 2,300-person International Trade Administration (ITA), with offices throughout the United States and in more than 100 countries, he managed the trade promotion, export control regulations and trade law remedies of the U.S. government and negotiated trade agreements covering telecommunications, semiconductors, computers, medical equipment, steel and commercial aircrafts.
Before serving as undersecretary of commerce, Mr. Olmer worked for the Motorola Corporation. He coordinated that company's successful effort to become the first American exporter of communications products to Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corporation, which at the time was a Japanese government-owned monopoly.
Mr. Olmer served for 12 years as a director of Dresser Industries, until its takeover by Halliburton Corporation and for 17 years was a director of SIPEX Corporation.
In 1999, he was appointed one of 14 commissioners on the U.S. National Security Commission for the 21st Century, which reported to the President as to the policies and organization for the pursuit of U.S. national security interests over the next quarter century. It led to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.
Mr. Olmer received a Distinguished Alumni Award in 1998 and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in May 2000 from the University of Connecticut. He is also a graduate of the National Defense University and serves on the board of directors of the University of Connecticut Foundation and the Nixon Center.