Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, December 17-18, 2001
- Warren Kimball, Acting Chairman
- Meena Bose [Ad Hoc consultant]
- Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman
- Michael Hogan
- W. Roger Louis
- Frank Mackaman
- Brenda Gayle Plummer
Office of the Historian
- Marc Susser, Historian
- Andrew Johns
- Rita Baker
- Ted Keefer
- Myra Burton
- Dan Lawler
- Paul Claussen
- Rick Moss
- Evan Duncan
- Erin Mahan
- Vicki Futscher
- David Patterson
- David Geyer
- Doug Selvage
- David Goldman
- Jim Siekmeier
- David Herschler
- Luke Smith
- Joe Hilts
- Jamie Van Hook
- Susan Holly
- Laurie Van Hook
- Nina Howland
- Gloria Walker
Bureau of Administration
- Brian Dowling, A/RPS/IPS
- Harmon Kirby, A/IPS/RPS
- Nick Murphy, A/IPS/RPS
- Margaret Peppe, A/IPS/RPS
National Archives and Records Administration
- Steven Garfinkel, Information Security Oversight Office
- David Langbart, Life Cycle Management Division
- Nancy Smith, Office of Presidential Libraries
- Gary Stern, General Counsel
- Don McIlwain, Initial Processing and Declassification Division
- Marvin Russell, Special Access and FOIA Staff
- Jeanne Schauble, Initial Processing and Declassification Division
Department of Energy
- Kenneth M. Stein, Office of Classified and Controlled Information Review
Central Intelligence Agency
- Gerald Haines, Chief, History Staff, Center for the Study of Intelligence
- Michael Warner, History Staff
OPEN SESSION, December 17
Approval of the Record of the October 2001 Meeting and Other Business
Warren Kimball called the meeting to order at 1:37 p.m. After explaining that Chairman Schulzinger could not attend and had asked him to serve as Chairman for this meeting, he proceeded to the election of a Chairman for 2002. Robert Schulzinger was re-elected by acclamation. The minutes of the October 2001 meeting were reviewed and approved by acclamation. Kimball then turned the floor over to Marc Susser for the Historian's report.
Report by the Historian
Susser began his report by informing the Committee that three new positions in the Historian's Office would be filled as soon as the State Department received funds from Congress. He then introduced the newest HO staff members: David Nickles, Jamie Van Hook, and Andy Johns. Concerning relations with the CIA, progress had been achieved; an interim Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) had been concluded on December 7 that will govern relations, including procedures for access to CIA records. A full MOU will be negotiated in the next 6 months. HO's work with the Interagency Working Group on Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records was progressing. Two, and possibly three Foreign Relations volumes were about to be published.
Kimball applauded HO's success at promoting professional connections with the diplomatic historical community, as well as the professional activities of the staff.
Kimball then called for the report of the Subcommittee on Electronic Records.
Report of the Subcommittee on Electronic Records
Frank Mackaman reported that the system at NARA for access to electronic records was a "robust" one that will support expansion and modification as needs changed. He cautioned that, because the NARA system was only Secret, State Department TS documents had been pulled from the data and would exist only on paper. IPS and NARA estimate that the full records transfer would take place by spring 2002.
There was discussion of the possibility of screening the electronic files so that administrative or non-substantive records could be deleted before the records are transferred. Margaret Peppe (IPS) commented that right now everything in the electronic central files is permanent and that it includes a lot of temporary records, unlike the paper central files. David Langbart (NARA) agreed that the electronic central files do include some temporary-type records, but so do the paper central files. The hope is that in the future it might be possible to discard automatically certain extraneous subject matter.
Mackaman asked if the screening could be performed using TAGS (Traffic Analysis by Geography and Subject), the Department's filing system, to which Langbart replied that that was the planned approach if it could be implemented properly. Kimball asked if there was a target date for screening. Peppe replied that they had to wait for a new platform first, which would be ready in the Spring of 2002. Kimball asked for a briefing at the Committee's June meeting on the feasibility of using TAGS to screen the electronic central files.
Mackaman concluded that NARA's system was designed for future additions and that NARA will be able to fine-tune it over its lifetime. Kimball commented that HO historians should be a part of the focus group testing the new system since they do so much research at NARA.
Declassification of State Department Records
Kimball asked Brian Dowling (RPS/IPS) for his report on the declassification of State Department records. Dowling distributed a report of significant statistics to the Committee members. He noted that almost half of his reviewers are at College Park, another group is at Newington, and a small group is at SA-2 doing electronic declassification. The latter work is new, and they have spent a lot of time working out some system problems.
Dowling gave an overview of some of the statistics for 2001. The reviewers had processed about 11 million pages during the year and have almost finished with the review of documents for the Nazi war crimes project, one of the biggest projects that IPS had ever undertaken. Most of the Japanese Imperial Government documents that have been gathered so far, 815 boxes, have been reviewed.
Under the Kyl/Lott Amendments, IPS is reviewing 4 million pages of State Department and USIA documents. The reviewers receive 4 days of training by the Department of Energy before being certified to conduct the Kyl/Lott reviews. He is currently facing scheduling problems with this review, due to a shortage of certified reviewers. Kimball suggested that IPS ask the Department of Energy (DOE) if one of the DOE-trained reviewers could in turn train other State Department reviewers. Dowling agreed to look into this.
Dowling noted that in reviewing USIA documents for Kyl/Lott, his staff is also reviewing for Privacy Act and FOIA.
Dowling said that IPS has begun reviewing State records for 1976-1978, and will probably be moving on to 1980 records soon. Referrals to other agencies are on schedule.
Kimball and Dowling agreed that State declassification is on target. Kimball concluded that it was indeed good news; he would request that Chairman Schulzinger include this and any other relevant news in the Committee's annual report.
Declassification Guidelines for the Nixon and Ford Presidential Libraries
Concerning declassification guidelines for Presidential libraries, Jeanne Schauble of NARA expressed concern that State was providing its guidance directly to individual libraries even though her office was responsible for overseeing the process. She was concerned that declassifiers at NARA might not be aware of the most current guidance.
Mackaman said that archivists at the Presidential libraries believe that their collections were unique enough that general guidelines were not applicable. Schauble maintained that there had to be a single location for the complete set of guidance and that was supposed to be her office. Gayle Plummer suggested that this seemed to be a NARA issue unless it slowed the process, and the other Committee members concurred.
Luke Smith (HO), noting that in the past Foreign Relations was used as a guide for State Department declassifiers, asked how the Department currently prepared declassification guidelines. No one could respond. Kimball said that he would recommend to Schulzinger that a subcommittee meet with the Department's declassifiers in IPS to see how they are doing their work.
The Committee next discussed the on-line prototype of an electronic compilation. Committee members praised the documents on Population issues from the Global Issues volume. All thought that the format was easy to use.
The Committee then moved on to miscellaneous business and staffing issues. items. Mackaman specifically asked about the status of the State Department museum. Susser responded that much progress had been made on the project, which will be closely integrated with HO. The Department was currently advertising for staff for the Diplomacy Center, and a renowned museum designer has agreed to design the Center's content.
Report of the Subcommittee on Declassification Review of State Records Under the Kyl/Lott Amendments
Kimball called for the report of the Subcommittee on Declassification Review under the Kyl/Lott Amendments which had gone to NARA that morning. Michael Hogan reported on his and David Herschler's review of the process at NARA. Hogan explained that the amendments, which had gone into effect in October 1998, require that all records be reviewed for RD (Restricted Data) or FRD (Formerly Restricted Data). He They also require that already released records be re-reviewed for RD and FRD. Thus, the records are divided into two groups:
The pre-Kyl/Lott group of records. Of the 220 million pages that were previously declassified and released, 190 million have been re-reviewed. There are another 200 million pages of records that had been reviewed but not yet released. Therefore, 230 million pages still need to be re-reviewed, which will take up to 5 years.
The post-Kyl/Lott group of 800 million pages that now require page-by-page review. One part of this group of records, which was already reviewed for declassification but not yet released, has had to be pulled back for re-review.
Hogan noted that the reviewers are finding material that has to be reclassified, mostly FRD. He and Herschler asked many questions and sampled dozens of documents. In each case, they felt that the document had been properly reclassified.
Mr. Kenneth M. Stein of the Office of Classified and Controlled Information Review of the Department of Energy stated that DOE's report to Congress shows that the incidence of RD and FRD is 1 in 10,000 pages, and this pattern is expected to continue over the next 5 years. Whenever a problem is found, documents are withdrawn and safeguarded, and the originating agencies and the declassifying agencies of the documents are informed of the findings.
Hogan noted that each document goes through 3-5 reviews and that the reviewers are falling a bit behind. (Reviewers are on schedule to meet a DOE commitment to the NSC to audit the remaining 30 million pages of declassified and released documents over the next 5 years ) Mr. Stein explained that in the case of records that were previously reviewed page-by-page by DOE trained reviewers (e.g. Historical Record Restricted Data reviewers), if DOE reviewers find one document with RD or FRD in a box, they go through the whole box page-by-page. Otherwise, they sample boxes. He noted that the re-review amounts to another systematic review and the reviewers are discovering other agency equities that were declassified improperly. Schauble agreed that reviewers were catching equities missed in the first review. She emphasized that documents had to be reviewed by someone with DOE training.
Kimball pointed out that documents with "one bad word" are extracted completely from the files, not simply redacted. Mr. Stein explained that the DOE has responsibility under the Atomic Energy Act to remove from the public domain and reclassify documents found to contain RD and FRD.
Kimball asked whether statutory authority exists to make someone stop using the document (e.g. on the internet). Mr. Stein responded that he could not comment on this point in the present forum due to security issues. Gary Stern, NARA's legal counsel, pointed out that Kyl/Lott does not relate to this point but that it was covered by other authority. Kimball strongly and repeatedly expressed his concern over the reclassification of material that was already in the public domain.
Hogan asked if any documents in Foreign Relations volumes have been reclassified after being published. Mr. Stein said that he did not know if that has occurred. Doug Selvage (HO) then asked if it was true that the use of the word "nuclear" mandated automatic reclassification of a document, and whether a public treaty like SALT could or would be reclassified and withdrawn. Mr. Stein said that the process is not that extreme. Decisions on RD and FRD documents are based on written formal guidance by the Departments of Energy and Defense in consultation with the State Department. The focus is on identifying only the documents that need protection under these guidelines. David Patterson (HO) asked if only State documents were included in those currently under review and withdrawn. Mr. Stein stated that all agency records were included in the figures he cited, and that of the 1 in 10,000 safeguarded documents, half were from Defense and half were from State.
In response to the questions on procedure, Mr. Stein gave a general definition of RD (nuclear design) and FRD (military utilization, yield, location, storage) restrictions. He also mentioned that FRD was particularly sensitive for certain countries. Kimball asked if political issues were DOE's responsibility. Mr. Stein said that the reviewers followed formal guidelines submitted by agencies, and that it was up to the Defense and State Departments to make the political decisions; DOE accedes to those decisions. Kimball asked if the sampling was based on a risk assessment of the files under review. Mr. Stein explained that sampling by trained reviewers was used to check on what had already been reviewed.
Kimball expressed concern that every review found additional material that should have remained classified; he believed this indicated that the entire process was subjective. Schauble countered that re-review was necessary because the records had been reviewed before the guidelines were available. Schauble also assured the Committee that the records in question had never been released to the public. Kimball expressed the hope that the reviewers might declassify as well as reclassify documents. Marvin Russell of NARA replied that the State reviewers were doing so.
Patterson asked staff historians to comment on their experience with records withheld due to the DOE review. Selvage reported that there was a problem with the so-called NSC institutional files: since the files included documents that might contain RD or FRD material, only researchers with Q clearances could use them. This restriction had hampered his work on a volume on the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, even though the likelihood of RD or FRD material was minimal.
There was a brief discussion of the problem of access for all researchers, especially those with limited time in the Washington area. Schauble indicated her willingness to accommodate all researchers.
Mr. Stein concluded his report by noting that the latest Report to Congress on the Inadvertent Releases of RD and FRD under EO 12958 had just been posted on the DOE web site -- http://www.osti.gov/opennet/.
Schauble reported that NARA had processed more State records this year than the past several years, when the process had been delayed due to the requirements of re-review. Her office, which includes six staff members dedicated to State review, had processed 200 cubic feet of records since July. She hoped to report more progress in the future. Such progress will be reflected in quarterly reports on the opening of declassified records, which NARA has started to post on the internet.
New Executive Orders on Presidential Records and on Classification/Declassification of National Security Information
Kimball welcomed Steve Garfinkel, Director of the Information Security Oversight Office, who would soon be stepping down after a distinguished career in federal information management issues. Garfinkel began by providing an historical perspective on the current Presidential records executive order (EO 13233, which allows the President to withhold records beyond the 12 years stipulated in the original Presidential Records Act. He recalled that a flaw in the initial legislation of the late 1970s had been identified in that exemptions were included that Congress was unwilling to accept. The legislation provided little protection for Carter administration officials who were likely to work for a future administration. A deal was struck: President Carter would sign the bill without an exemption for deliberative material but the bill would apply first to his successor. President George W. Bush is now asserting executive privilege because the statutory option is not available.
Garfinkel reminded Committee members that EO 13233 does not pertain to classified records. What is affected are Cabinet level records. Garfinkel warned that what was more ominous was what was not being created in Presidential recordkeeping today; for example, Clinton administration officials stopped maintaining a record of NSC meetings. Garfinkel asked the perennial question of which was better, quicker access or more access.
As for any revision to Executive Order 12958, the Policy Coordinating Committee met the week before to examine their oversight of a new executive order. Garfinkel thought the meeting went well in that the PCC unanimously rejected the provision to curtail automatic declassification review. In response to a question, Garfinkel stated that there was no one in the current administration who was as well informed as the liaison from the Clinton administration.
Kimball asked how the Committee should involve itself in this debate. Garfinkel replied that it was pointless to challenge the new executive order on Presidential records. He believed that litigation, which the President would win, would only establish a bad precedent. The important issue is how broadly the order will be interpreted.
Although E.O. 12958 allowed for a board to deal with information security issues, none has yet been constituted. The Committee might want to start a dialog with the membership of such a board.
Another issue that the Committee should be aware of is the possible blanket exemption from declassification of the President's Daily Briefs, which may be requested at a very high level. He believed that the PDBs were very important for the historical record. There was some discussion of what steps the Committee might take.
Meena Bose asked Garfinkel what Congressional exclusion should have originally been included in the Presidential Records Act. Garfinkel replied that an exemption for unclassified material that would undermine the deliberative process in a current administration should have been included. The law should protect the current deliberative process and an effort to solve this problem produced an overly broad claim of executive privilege.
Plummer asked about the rights of Presidential heirs and estates under the new order. Garfinkel noted that the estates could theoretically have control but no one knows if they will use it. He reiterated his opinion that the order should be challenged in specific cases rather than by litigation. Lawsuits could worsen the situation.
Stern commented that Presidents have often named agents to oversee their records. The trend noted earlier of policymakers not keeping records is probably more a fear of Congressional investigations and independent counsels than reluctance to create a full historical record. He declined to comment on the executive order because of ongoing litigation, but NARA has started implementing the order.
Nancy Smith (NARA) commented that the lawsuit is irrelevant to Foreign Relations at the moment because it does not apply to Presidents prior to Reagan. Herschler agreed that the order will have more effect on public access than on Foreign Relations. Plummer maintained that the Committee should concern itself with the executive order even though it is not currently relevant to HO. It may become an issue in the future.
Nick Murphy of IPS commented that IPS is comfortable with the order and believes automatic declassification should continue.
Kimball concluded the discussion by commenting that State has done an excellent job implementing E.O. 12958. He thanked Garfinkel for coming and sharing his thoughts.
CLOSED SESSION, December 18
The CIA and the Foreign Relations Series
Kimball called the meeting to order at 9 a.m. The session began with comments by Susser as he welcomed the CIA representatives from the Center for the Study of Intelligence (CSI), CIA History Staff.
Susser stated that there had been progress with the CIA: on December 7 HO and the CIA's Office of Information Management Services agreed to an interim Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding access of HO historians to CIA records and the CIA's processing and declassification of documents selected for publication in Foreign Relations. Susser suggested that the interim agreement might serve as a model for a full-scale MOU, scheduled to be negotiated with the CIA in the next 6 months. After the interim agreement was signed, the CIA returned the four outstanding packages of documents. There is also progress with regard to the joint CIA/State historian position; the candidate will be going to the agency in the near future for security interviews and processing.
Kimball asked the CIA representatives for their comments. They briefly discussed the status of the joint historian, James Van Hook. As soon as Van Hook's SCI clearance is complete, he will have the same access at CIA as any HO historian. When he receives his CIA clearance, which was estimated to take an additional 3 months, he will have broader access to DO records as well.
The CIA discussed the initial steps being taken for declassification of the Foreign Relations volume on intelligence for the years 1950-1955. Having reviewed the draft introduction, the CIA editor is currently examining the annotations. Patterson commented that the CIA historian has completed the initial review through 1954; Patterson is now reviewing 1955 before returning it to the CIA historian for further review.
Kimball cited the first Foreign Relations volume on the intelligence community, 1945-1950, as an example of successful cooperation between HO and CIA. He inquired about the speed of the declassification process for the new volume covering 1950 to 1955. Patterson said that the volume is purely organizational, but there are some documents that require Defense Department review. There were no problems in getting the 1945-1950 volume declassified, so he does not anticipate any delays in declassifying this one.
Kimball asked the CIA representatives if they saw any possibility for more joint CIA-HO volumes. CIA mentioned the volume on Guatemala (1954) and interest in cooperating on a volume on Iran (1953). Susser noted that the declassification review of the Guatemala volume was well underway. With regard to Iran, the CIA noted that, despite reports to the contrary, not all records had been destroyed, and what is available in the CIA's files is significant. The CIA hoped to announce the release of its declassified document collection on Guatemala to coincide with release of the Foreign Relations volume on Guatemala. Hogan said that HO should be aggressive on the Iran volume.
The CIA raised the issue of contacts between the Committee and the CIA's Historical Review Panel (HRP). Kimball replied that there was no plan for a joint meeting. Hogan recalled that it was helpful when Robert Jervis, the HRP Chairman, met with the Committee, and the CIA recommended that Chairman Schulzinger attend the HRP meeting in early 2002. With the concurrence of the Committee, Kimball suggested that the Committee strive for a joint meeting with HRP in June 2002.
Kimball asked if the CIA was planning any other historical projects.
The CIA reported that the classified historical symposium on intelligence in the Vietnam war has been rescheduled for March 8, 2002. The Center for the Study of Intelligence is planning a conference for June 2002 on the OSS that would bring together remaining OSS veterans and historians. The History Staff has been asked to place an historian with one of the CIA's components to watch the war on terrorism as it evolves. The Committee applauded this decision.
Hoffman asked about the status of the volumes currently being reviewed for release by the CIA for declassification. Susser reiterated that the CIA had returned the four packages of documents.
Herschler pointed out that that the clearance of new volumes by the CIA depends on developing a new memorandum of understanding to govern access and declassification. Herschler added that it was important to reach agreement on a new MOU because there were six volumes awaiting review by the CIA. With the new MOU, these volumes, once sent, would be, of course, subject to the 120-day deadline.
The CIA offered the assurance that the CIA History Staff will do everything possible to facilitate access to requested CIA files for HO historians, but noted that the staff is not involved in declassification review.
There were no additional questions, and the CIA representatives left the meeting.
Kimball noted that there were two volumes on which the CIA had taken longer than the statutory 120 days to reply to HO's referral for declassification review. Keefer pointed that under the terms of the interim MOU, which had been agreed, the clock starts over on these volumes.
Report of the Subcommittee on the Foreign Relations Series
Kimball turned to the subcommittee report on the Foreign Relations series. He noted that the subcommittee had no particular comments to offer on the agenda item dealing with the pros and cons of working with outside experts transcribing the Nixon tapes.
Kimball said that the projected schedules for compilation and publication of Foreign Relations volumes should remain an internal working document; the Committee agreed.
Kimball reported that the guidelines prepared on the Nixon tape procedures and e-pub guidance looked good. The tape procedures have not been fully tested yet so will be modified if needed. The subcommittee recommended that the Committee review the draft guidelines distributed on electronic publications and respond to HO by e-mail.
Kimball then took up the final agenda item considered by the subcommittee, which was whether HO should undertake to compile retrospective volumes on Guatemala, the Congo, Iran, and Egypt. Louis commented on the "sea change" in the CIA's attitude about moving forward on retrospective volumes on Guatemala and Iran.
Herschler observed that the CIA appears to view the Foreign Relations series as a way to release documentation on well-known covert operations in a carefully controlled way.
Kimball reported that Susan Holly's assessment, endorsed by Patterson and Susser, of the CIA's clearance review of the retrospective compilation on Guatemala concluded that the deletions proposed do not significantly distort the record. He therefore felt that HO should publish the volume without resubmitting it to the CIA. The standard disclaimer that some information was redacted from the volume would be included in the preface. Louis agreed that the redactions were not significant enough to hold up publication of the volume.
Regarding the Nixon tapes and access to electronic records, the Committee had no comments.
After a brief discussion of electronic publications, during which the Committee again voiced approval of the 10 test documents they saw, Kimball said he wanted to turn to a discussion of the possibility of future retrospective volumes on intelligence/covert activities in particular countries.
Louis stated that Iran was the most important, especially because the CIA was willing to move on it. Louis stated he understood that the nature of the documentation was diffuse, and he requested that the Historian's Office organize the material. Keefer pointed out that HO had not yet seen the records that the CIA had mentioned.
Kimball reported that the subcommittee recommended that HO develop a strategy for retrospective volumes mentioned at the outset. He thought these retrospective volumes should be connected with compilations that encompassed bigger issues, but he was undecided whether they should be e-pubs or print volumes.
Louis stated that he thought HO should move forward on declassifying the Congo volume during this period of harmony between CIA and HO. Susser suggested that HO take another look at the Congo volume. Keefer praised Nina Howland for her work on the Congo volume.
Hoffman asked about the purpose and powers of the HRP, and Ted Keefer talked about a meeting he had had with the HRP several months ago.
Kimball, after providing a resume of the HRP's background and lack of statutory powers, commented that some of its members sympathize with HO and some have other views. Because the HRP may not be adequately familiar with the Foreign Relations series, he thought a joint meeting between the Committee and the HRP might be useful. Louis agreed. Bose stated that the focus of such a meeting should be on providing broad information about Foreign Relations. Kimball said he would pass this issue on to Schulzinger.
Kimball concluded the discussion of a joint meeting by saying he would inform Shulzinger and make the Committee's views about holding such a meeting clear to him.
Kimball raised the subcommittee's recommendation to HO that it examine whether there is enough relevant documentation to warrant additional retrospective volumes. The most important example is Iran, but additional examples were mentioned.
Mackaman asked if HO's efforts in producing such retrospective volumes might come at the expense of present volumes. He suggested conducting an appropriate cost/benefit analysis. Kimball agreed that that was an issue, but the Committee wished to know HO's views on the feasibility of reexamining these historical events. Hogan stated that, in any case, HO should work on the Guatemala and Iran retrospectives.
Kimball asked if the Committee agreed. There were no objections.
Luke Smith warned that HO could already expect great difficulties with the CIA with regard to volumes presently in production. If HO were to attempt to examine other examples of officially unacknowledged CIA activities, it would increase HO's difficulties. Selvage also reminded the Committee of the possibility of a changed atmosphere following the terrorist activities of September 11.
Kimball agreed with this, but nevertheless suggested that HO should examine the issue. Keefer warned that this would involve a major commitment. HO historians cannot just go into CIA files to "look around." Kimball pointed out that Jamie Van Hook could examine the relevant records once he took up his position as Joint Historian. Until then, HO could not make an informed recommendation about whether to conduct further research. Herschler warned that J. Van Hook would not have the proper authorization by the next Committee meeting.
Ending the discussion, Kimball assured HO that the Committee did not discount these difficulties, but wanted HO to take another look at these cases.
After a break, Kimball opened the discussion by referring to the conclusions drawn in the subcommittee meeting that the editorial notes included in the 1964-1968 volume on national security had provided a useful way to account for information that had been redacted by referring to published sources. In this instance the redacting agency was the Defense Department, and Kimball warned that HO would eventually have to face this situation with the CIA.
Before the morning meeting, Kimball and the CIA representative had discussed the issue of using editorial material--editorial notes and footnotes--to substitute for withheld information. The CIA had misgivings about such a procedure in principle.
Access Guides. Kimball then moved to the issue of access guides, which the subcommittee discussed. He asked Louis for his views. Louis asserted that access guides would be an invaluable asset for researchers. Locating the precise record groups, as in the present "note on sources" is useful, but an elaboration of what is there would be even better. He suggested that such access guides would be easy enough to produce if the HO staff drafted them while compiling the volume instead of waiting until the end.
Hoffman added that the subcommittee would like to know when this would become standard operating procedure.
Kimball said that the consensus on the Committee was that without an access guide a Foreign Relations volume was not complete. Since so many volumes are now held up in declassification review, he suggested producing access guides to these volumes in the interim. For volumes already published, an access guide would not be required.
Plummer asked if the access guides would be produced at the beginning or the end of the compilation process; Patterson explained that the historians are encouraged to keep track of their files all along.
Selvage warned that producing access guides for volumes compiled by historians who have since left HO might slow the production of new volumes. Geyer suggested producing a general access guide that discussed the collections in general from the Nixon and Ford materials and posting it on the Internet. This would mean that a helpful guide, which could be periodically revised and added to, would be in one place. Hogan approved of this idea. Keefer said that the idea had been under discussion within HO for some time. He would like a general guide for the Nixon/Ford years.
Kimball thus requested HO to develop a plan by the next Committee meeting in which HO would explain the concept of an access guide, how it would be produced, and how it would be monitored and updated. Placing the guide on the Internet would be a good idea.
Hogan referred to Kimball's earlier discussion with a CIA representative about citing or quoting secondary literature in footnotes, especially concerning intelligence activities. Herschler commented that CIA was referring to the CIA's overall unease at the use of memoir materials as a substitute for documents in Foreign Relations volumes.
Kimball stated that the subcommittee had merely expressed support for the ongoing discussion concerning the inclusion of material in footnotes that discusses CIA activities that would otherwise not be disclosed if HO attempted to print the documents in question. He had wanted to relay to the Committee the CIA reservations about using editorial matter for such purposes. Herschler noted that the CIA had raised this issue during discussions held last spring, and he expects it will be raised again soon. It is a major issue for the Agency.
Kimball ended the discussion and asked if there were additional questions or comments. Bose expressed concern about the two separate executive orders. Mackaman recommended that the Committee's annual report refer to the Committee's concerns that the new executive orders could create problems for HO in the years to come.
Kimball then asked the HO staff for comments, and the meeting went off the record.