Jon D. Glassman

Jon David Glassman
Jon D. Glassman, U.S. State Dept Officer.jpg
Born (1944-01-08) January 8, 1944 (age 76)
Nationality United States
Known for U.S. State Department official who authored the white paper on Communist intervention in El Salvador; also Chargé d'Affairs during U.S. Embassy closing in Kabul, Afghanistan, 1989.

Jon David Glassman (born January 8, 1944) is a former U.S. State Department official. He is best known for having authored the "White paper" on Communist intervention in El Salvador published by the U.S. State Department in 1981. Glassman also served as Deputy National Security Advisor for former Vice President Dan Quayle.[1][2]

Glassman currently works as Director of Government Operations, at Northrop Grumman Corporation.


Glassman was born January 8, 1944, in New York. He graduated from the University of Southern California (B.F.S., 1965) and Columbia University (M.A., 1968; Ph.D., 1976).

White Paper on El Salvador

On February 23, 1981, the U.S. State Department released Communist Interference in El Salvador: Documents Demonstrating Communist Support of the Salvadoran Insurgency,[3] also known as "the White Paper". The document was used as justification for U.S. intervention in Nicaragua. Critics charged that the technique deployed by the White Paper was to correlate events in El Salvador into alleged examples of Soviet and Cuban military involvement. The White Paper was claimed to be part of a propaganda effort to diverting attention from U.S. support for a repressive regime by creating a false threat of communist insurgency.[4] Glassman was the principal architect of the White Paper.

On June 9, 1981, Wall Street Journal reporter Jonathan Kwitny published an article based on a three-hour interview with Glassman. In the article, Glassman admitted "mistakes and guessing" by the government's intelligence analysts who translated and explained the guerrilla documents. The White Paper, supposedly based on nineteen captured guerrilla documents, was accepted as fact by the American press, with myriad U.S. government follow-up reports of plans for countering the activities alleged in the report. Yet Kwitny noted that a closer reading of the documents in the White Paper indicates that they were not written by guerrilla leaders. In the interview with Kwitny, Glassman admitted that most of the statistics cited in the document were extrapolated, and most of the information put forth in the documents wasn't in the purportedly captured documents at all. Kwitny noted that "A close reading of the white paper indicates… that its authors probably were making a determined effort to create a 'selling' document, no matter how slim the background material".[5]

Other press-reports soon followed with negative assessments of the White paper.[6][7] The State Department countered by defending the conclusions of the report;[8][9] Glassman refused to provide further interviews to the press.

Notwithstanding criticism of the documents, the U.S. Congress presented a position very similar to the White Paper in 1982.[10] This led critics to count the White Paper as one of the more devastatingly success examples of U.S. officially run propaganda-based manipulation.

U.S. Chargé d'Affaires, Kabul

Glassman was chargé d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, when it closed its doors when the Russians pulled out of Afghanistan in 1989.[11]

Glassman had been head of a small group of diplomats who remained in the Embassy during the last day of fighting between the Mujahadeen and the Soviet-backed Afghan régime. In February 1989, Secretary of State James Baker decided to withdraw this small group of diplomats, so that they did not become hostages, and to otherwise protect them from harm.[12]

Glassman had long been a supporter of arming Arab countries as a policy tool in the context of the Cold War. He had published a book on the topic in 1975.[13]

U.S. Ambassador, Paraguay

Glassman was named by George H.W. Bush as Ambassador to Paraguay on January 10, 1991.[14] He was recalled back to the U.S. by the State Department for what was cited as his 'abrasive style'.[15]

U.S. Justice Department Investigation

On July 6, 2001, Glassman, paid $10,000 on July 6, 2001, as part of a civil settlement to resolve allegations that he violated the post-employment conflict of interest law applicable to federal employees.[16][17]

Prior to the violation, Glassman had served as the Deputy for International Coordination of the Task Force for Military Stabilization in the Balkans (Task Force), of the U.S. Department of State. At the time of the violation, Glassman was working for Northrop Grumman and was promoting air defense radar systems.[18]

Cargo terrorism

In the post 9/11 era, Glassman, in his role at Northrop Grumman, promoted defense and national security projects. Some of these involved collecting data from maritime shipments, in lieu of 100 per cent scanning of containers, this, a policy enshrined in the Container Security Initiative (CSI).

One cargo terrorism sub-projects Glassman promoted was the Global Trade Exchange which Glassman promoted at various counterterrorism seminars in the Latin American (CICTC)[19] and Asian (ASEAN)[20] contexts. In February 2008, the Global Trade Exchange was presented by Northrop Grumman in Jordan,[21] as a viable pilot project.

The Global Trade Exchange was funded as part of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 as a project funded under the budget for the Department of Homeland Security.

Missile defense

Glassman has been instrumental in forwarding missile defense systems[22][23] through the NATO and European area, as well as Africa,[24] in his role with Northrop Grumman, in conjunction with the U.S. National Defense University.

See also


  1. ^ Kengor, Paul. Wreath Layer Or Policy Player: The Vice President's Role in Foreign Policy. Lexington Books, 2000
  2. ^ "The Men Who Make Dan Quayle Look Smart", Spy Magazine, January–February 1991
  3. ^ Communist interference in El Salvador. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Dept. of State, 1981 (OCoLC)659392619
  4. ^ Sklar, Holly (1998) Washington's War on Nicaragua, South End Press
  5. ^ Apparent Errors Cloud US 'White Paper' on Reds in El Salvador, By Jonathan Kwitny, Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL Jun 8, 1981.
  6. ^ White Paper on El Salvador is Faulty, By Robert G. Kaiser Washington Post Staff Writer, Jun 9, 1981
  7. ^ U.S. Officials Concede Flaws in Salvador White Paper But Defend Its Conclusion, By JUAN de ONIS, Special to the New York Times (The New York Times); Foreign Desk, June 10, 1981
  8. ^ Us defends report on communist arms in El Salvador, By James Nelson Goodsell, Latin American correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor, June 25, 1981
  9. ^ "Administration Defends Challenged White Paper"; Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Jun 9, 1981
  10. ^ Certification concerning military aid to El Salvador: hearings before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, Ninety-seventh Congress, second session ... February 8 and March 11, 1982
  11. ^ US Diplomats Close Embassy in Kabul, Milwaukee Journal, Jan 30, 1989
  12. ^ Daugherty, Leo J. (2009) The Marine Corps And The State Department: Enduring Partners in United States Foreign Policy, 1798–2007, McFarland publishing
  13. ^ Glassman, Jon D., Arms for the Arabs: The Soviet Union and War in the Middle East, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976, p. 243
  14. ^ George Bush: "Nomination of Jon D. Glassman To Be United States Ambassador to Paraguay," January 10, 1991. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.
  15. ^ Abrasive Style Cited as Envoy to Paraguay Is Called Home, Washington, D.C., June 05, 1994
  16. ^ (United States v. Jon D. Glassman) Report To Congress on the Activities and Operations of the Public Integrity Section for 2001 Archived 2012-10-25 at the Wayback Machine, U.S. Department of Justice, USDOJ website.
  17. ^ U.S. Office of Government Ethics (2001) DO-02-023: 2001 Conflict of Interest Prosecution Survey
  18. ^ The Politics of Contracting, Project on Government Oversight (POGO), June 24, 2004, Scott Amey, J.D.
  19. ^ Port Security: Trade And Safe Transportation In The Hemisphere: A Challenge For The Hemisphere, (Presentation by Ambassador Jon Glassman, Director of Government Policy, Northrop Grumman Corporation) Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE), Eighth Regular Session, March 5 − 7, 2008, CICTE/INF. 9/08 corr. 1, Washington, D.C., United States
  20. ^ Implementing the ISPS Code: APEC Use of Financial Services Clearinghouse Model to Promote Supply Chain Visibility and Container Security, Presentation by Dr. Jon D. Glassman2nd Conference on Secure Trade in APEC Region, (STAR- Maritime Security), Santiago, Chile, 05-06 March 2004
  21. ^ Maritime & Supply Chain Security: US DHS Global Trade Exchange (GTX)Pilot Concept, Jordan Trade Conference
  22. ^ Assessing Ballistic Missile Defense for European Regional Security, National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Marshall Hall 155, April 23, 2012 Archived September 21, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ The Challenge of Crafting Integrated Missile Defense in NATO and Other Allied Regions, By Ambassador (Ret.) Jon D. Glassman, Director for Government Policy, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems
  24. ^ Corporate Council of Africa Website
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
James Maurice Ealum
U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan

1983– 1986
Succeeded by
Ryan Crocker
Preceded by
Timothy Lathrop Towell
United States Ambassador to Paraguay
Succeeded by
Robert Edward Service

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