Foreign Affairs

Ken Tomlinson Asks for Replacement, Wants to Write Tell-All Book

Ken Tomlinson, chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, sent a letter to President Bush today asking that he nominate a successor to take over the post he has held for four years.

“I have concluded that it would be far more constructive to write a book on my experiences rather than to seek to continue government service,” Tomlinson wrote. ”Accordingly, I ask that you nominate another person to serve as chairman of this board.”

Tomlinson’s decision to ask the Bush Administration not to request his reconfirmation by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee comes after fighting off constant attacks from the left to remove him from office.

A courageously outspoken conservative, Tomlinson came under national scrutiny in July 2005 when the State Department announced it had launched an inquiry to follow up on accusations made by one board employee that funds had been misused under his tenure. Liberals on Capitol Hill, including Representatives Howard Berman (D.-Calif.), Tom Lantos (D.-Calif.) and Sen. Christopher Dodd (D.-Conn.), were quick to attack.

The charges they made were never proven, as Tomlinson notes in his letter to Bush: “Those who oppose my nomination cite charges against me that simply do not stand up to scrutiny.”

Under Tomlinson’s guidance, satellite news broadcasting was launched in Arabic to Muslim nations including Morocco, Yemen and Iraq; daily satellite news and current affairs television was launched in Persian to Iran; Cuban airwaves were flooded with radio and television transmissions to counter its regimes attack on the free flow of information; and radio and television transmissions were expanded in Afghanistan.

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