Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, a news network originally set up as a C.I.A. operation early in the Cold War, is experiencing a renaissance and making a case for its independence.
Deep in the Portuguese countryside, in the tiny village of Glória, a complex radio transmission operation run by Portuguese and American engineers springs up in the 1950s, a branch of a Munich-based news organization called Radio Free Europe.
It broadcasts news and anti-communist messages in languages of various Soviet republics, but, in the show and in real life, that’s only part of its early mission: It’s also a C.I.A. front.
Until 1971, Radio Free Europe was a covert U.S. intelligence operation seeking to penetrate the Iron Curtain and foment anti-communist dissent in what was then Czechoslovakia, in Poland and elsewhere.
The C.I.A. stopped funding Radio Free Europe when its operation was revealed. Since then, the news organization has been funded by the United States Congress and has had editorial independence.