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Cryptome – CIA’s Historical Review Panel Public Statement

Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2012 10:49:16 -0400

To: intelforum[at]

From: IntelForum Mailing List

Subject: [Intelforum] Public Statement from the CIA’s Historical Review Panel

Date: Wed, July 18, 2012 8:52 am

Public Statement from the CIA’s Historical Review Panel

Professor Robert Jervis (Chair)
Department of Political Science
Columbia University

Professor Melvyn Leffler
Department of History
University of Virginia

Professor Thomas Newcomb
Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice
Heidelberg College

Professor Jeffrey Taliaferro
Department of Political Science
Tufts University

Professor Ruth Wedgwood
Nitze School of Advanced International Studies
Johns Hopkins University

The Director, Central Intelligence Agency’s Historical Review Panel (HRP) was formed in 1995, replacing a panel that was less formally organized and that had met only episodically. Since then, the HRP has met twice a year, with the mandate to:

Advise the Central Intelligence Agency on systematic and automatic declassification review under the provisions of Executive Order 12958 as amended.Assist in developing subjects of historical and scholarly interest for the Intelligence Community declassification review program.

Advise CIA and the Intelligence Community on declassification issues in which the protection of intelligence sources and methods potentially conflicts with mandated declassification priorities.

Provide guidance for the historical research and writing programs of the CIA History Staff, and when appropriate, review draft products.

Advise Information Management Services on its mandatory and voluntary declassification review initiatives and the Center for the Study of Intelligence on its academic outreach programs.

At the request of the Director of Central Intelligence Agency, advise on other matters of relevance to the intelligence and academic communities.

Advise Information Management Services on archival and records management issues.

The HRP, like the other DCIA panels, is convened by the Director to provide him with confidential advice and assessments. Because the HRP’s advice to the DCIA must be completely frank and candid, we are not reporting Panel recommendations. But because this panel’s primary concern is the program of declassification and the release of information to the public, the DCIA and the Panel concluded that it should inform the interested public of the subjects and problems that the Panel is discussing.

The HRP met on June 4-5, 2012, with Robert Jervis, Melvyn Leffler, Thomas Newcomb, and Jeffrey Taliaferro being in attendance.

As has often been the case, we spent much of our time discussing the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series, including specific volumes at various stages of compilation and declassification and the general processes involved. We had a long session with the State Department’s Historical Advisory Committee and the Historical Office staff. A great deal of progress has been made in reducing delays and coming to grips with difficult issues. We agreed on the value of continuing communication between the two advisory panels and of course in developing even further the working-level relations between CIA and the State Department, which will have to be expanded to include representatives of the National Security Council staff.

We also discussed the projects of the Historical Collections Division (HCD) and how these can be developed to meet the needs of multiple audiences and to produce material of most interest to scholars, journalists, and members of the interested public.

We continued our discussion of the 25-Year Program, the wider dissemination of material on the CREST system (the CIA Records Search Tool), and the need to get all agencies to devote attention to material from Presidential libraries.

We also discussed options for reviewing Presidential Daily Briefs (PDBs).

We will meet again in December 2012 or January 2013.

Robert Jervis
Columbia University


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