March 1999

Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, March 18-19, 1999


Open Session, March 18

Approval of the Minutes of the October 1998 Meeting

Michael Hogan, the new Chairman, convened the meeting at 1:35 p.m. and asked if the members recommended any changes to the minutes of the December meeting. Hearing none, he said the minutes were formally approved. Hogan then explained a change in the agenda: Michael Kurtz needed to leave early and would therefore begin the session by discussing the subcommittee meeting that morning on electronic records.

Report of the Subcommittee on Electronic Records

Kurtz reported that the subcommittee had assessed the transfer of records from the Department to the National Archives (NARA), including the Archival Database Access Mechanism (ADAM), designed to provide on-line access to electronic records. The subcommittee also talked about the structure and development of related systems on classified and declassified information as well as protection for privacy concerns. NARA would start with the Department's telegraphic traffic. Kurtz said that NARA was developing a research project, in cooperation with the San Diego Computer Lab, for the preservation of electronic records. In meeting with the subcommittee, Kurtz agreed to work with the Department to convert information from the old central files database, the Automated Document System (ADS), to the new, the State Archiving System (SAS). Kurtz also agreed to prepare a more detailed discussion at the next committee meeting on the transfer of electronic records. He hoped that the subcommittee would stay involved as these plans evolve. The next six to twelve months will be critical as NARA intends to test a prototype by April 2000. In this high-profile project, Kurtz concluded, it was important to proceed correctly and professionally, including a continuing dialog with the Committee.

Hogan asked Anne Van Camp, chair of the subcommittee, to comment. Van Camp was pleased that NARA recognized the need for flexibility in developing a prototype rather than insisting on an artificial deadline. She then asked if Kurtz would report on the Kyl Amendment.

Kurtz reported that the interagency working group had submitted its plan to Congress on the Kyl Amendment. The Department of Energy (DOE) is also working on a plan for the "pipeline," documents in the queue which must be reviewed by December 31. To meet this deadline, DOE intends to send 50 reviewers to NARA. In spite of this effort, Kurtz thought that the process would realistically take until June 2000. Kurtz further noted the obvious sensitivity of the issue, citing recent newspaper accounts of espionage in the nuclear weapons industry.

Van Camp raised the possibility that the Kyl Amendment might force an extension of the deadline mandated by the Executive Order on declassification. Kurtz replied that the National Security Council (NSC) staff has discussed an extension without reaching a decision. The amount of material involved, however, suggested that the NSC would eventually decide to extend the deadline. When Hogan asked how long, Kurtz replied that there might be a one to three year extension. Hogan noted that Frank Mackaman had been more optimistic, an apparent reference to his previous views on whether the deadline would be met. Mackaman replied that there had been slippage since the last committee meeting. Hogan wondered if the Committee should do anything in response to the recent developments on either the Kyl Amendment or the Executive Order. Kurtz said that, since it had made its views known to the National Security Advisor in the past, the Committee could do so again. In response to the Hogan's request for further comments, Robert Schulzinger asked if there was a deadline for deciding on the extension. Kurtz was not aware of any.

Interagency Commission on the Declassification of War Criminal Records

Executive Secretary William Slany suggested that Kurtz report as chairman of the interagency commission on war criminal records. Kurtz said that the commission must submit a detailed report to Congress by October. Sandy Berger, the National Security Adviser, has circulated a "tasker" to the agencies for a document search in two areas: 1) Europe and 2) Japan and the Far East. Under the terms of the tasker, the agencies must submit a preliminary survey of records by the end of March as well as a more specific report by the end of June. Although no money has been appropriated, the interagency commission was also interested in holding public hearings.

Hogan asked what the ultimate purpose of the exercise was. Kurtz replied that the law was intended to declassify and otherwise make records on war crimes available to the public. Schulzinger asked if the interagency committee would report on the documentary record, instead of the historical events. Warren Kimball explained that Elizabeth Holtzman, a public member of the committee, managed to expand the coverage to include Japan.

Report of the Executive Secretary

Hogan asked Slany for his report as Executive Secretary. Slany noted that most of what he had to say was in the written report that was circulated to the Committee members and that he would only supplement it with a few additional points. He noted that this was the first time in some 20 years that Harriet Schwar was not in attendance at a Committee meeting. She retired last month and it seemed strange not having her there. Slany also announced the temporary addition to the staff of William Weingarten, a Foreign Service officer with expertise in oil policy. Weingarten was compiling documents on Nixon and Ford's international oil policies and the energy crisis. To augment the documentary record, he will also use his contacts from his years of service to locate and interview relevant policymakers from that period. In response to a question from Schulzinger, Slany indicated that HO anticipates at least one volume, maybe more, dealing with oil policy. This volume may cover several presidential administrations, since it is hard to draw a distinct policy line between Presidents on oil.

Slany also noted that NARA and David Herschler have worked together to open the records of the Tripartite Gold Commission (TGC), an international organization established by the Allies after World War II to collect and distribute monetary gold that had been looted by the Nazis. The material will be available at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In addition, 4 to 5 cubic feet of litigation records were retired to NARA and soon will be available to researchers.

Slany then reviewed the Foreign Relations publication schedule distributed to the Committee. He noted that a number of Johnson volumes still had not been published and that HO doesn't expect them out in the next two years. Four of the volumes were being held up by problems in declassifying intelligence material. He noted also that a compilation on Denmark-recently revised by David Humphrey-in a fifth volume was just entering the declassification stream. HO expected that this volume would encounter declassification problems at Defense and Energy and was unlikely to be cleared this year. Slany asked the Committee for its opinion on whether to make sanitized manuscript versions of uncleared volumes available to the public in the State Department reading room, as had been done with the Bay of Pigs volume a couple of years ago. Kimball noted that placing the material in the reading room was only an interim response to a chronic problem that required a more structured solution. Mackaman asked if HO had given any thought to wider distribution of the Bay of Pigs manuscript and whether any researchers complained about their limited access. Slany responded that there were no complaints from researchers. Kimball added that the National Security Archive had been desperate to get the material for an upcoming conference they were holding.

Hogan asked if copies of the current volumes held up for declassification review could be made available at NARA and some of the Presidential libraries. Kimball responded that this could pose a bureaucratic problem for HO and the copying would prove time consuming. He added that the Bay of Pigs manuscript had not been easy to use-there was no index or list of documents. Slany and Patterson indicated that they believed several copies of the delayed volumes could be made available and the Committee agreed that this should be done. Kimball said that he still believed a more structured solution was called for. David Langbart added that someone should contact NARA to see if they wanted a collection of document copies. He believed NARA wanted to get out of that business. Kimball noted that the broader problem was that Foreign Relations was only occasionally at the cutting edge of document release, so it is dubious to assume that there would be a long line to see a sanitized manuscript. Philip Zelikow objected, saying that the Foreign Relations volume on the Bay of Pigs certainly included important new material.

Hogan asked Slany if he had the sense of the Committee and he responded that he did. Hogan asked the Committee if there were any additional queries. Schulzinger asked if there would be a discussion of the High-Level Panel later in the closed session and Slany said there would.

Report of the Subcommittee on Department of Defense Records

Zelikow reported for the subcommittee on DOD records based on the subcommittee's visit that morning to Suitland. He commented first on Foreign Relations research in DOD records. Formal cooperation was good: ask and you shall receive-eventually. Even so, it was hard to find the DOD records one was looking for. The holdings were vast and the finding aids opaque. Informal cooperation was not so good; it was not a close-working relationship. Zelikow then discussed declassification. There were increasing problems as far as Foreign Relations was concerned when measured by appeals pending, but this was not a problem in the foreground of attention. The situation as far as general declassification of DOD records was terrible-much worse than at CIA. There was material on the Cuban missile crisis that still had not been transferred to NARA. It was an awful situation for citizens and scholars.

Zelikow concluded his report by discussing a "find" that had been made at Suitland that morning. In introducing the subject, he noted that the Foreign Relations volume on Laos for the Kennedy period, while well done, included few DOD records. There was no paper trail at either the Kennedy Library or the National Archives for DOD's role in Laos. It turns out that the records are on microfilm, and the subcommittee turned them up. In the early 1970s DOD microfilmed an extraordinary volume of high-level DOD documents for the JFK and LBJ Libraries. Langbart pointed out that the presence of the microfilm at both libraries was known. Zelikow responded that the paper records have proven hard to find and the microfilm may include valuable records which have been destroyed. Langbart noted that the microfilm at the JFK Library had been made at the behest of Robert Kennedy as part of a project to provide materials for the library from government agencies. Humphrey commented that the situation at the LBJ Library was similar. LBJ asked agencies to provide copies of their records for the Library.

After a break, Hogan requested further comments on DOD records. David Patterson noted that all compilers are expected to investigate these important materials, as well as collections of personal papers such as the Lemnitzer or Taylor papers. The main problem is deciding how much effort to put into this research, as Record Group 330 and the personal papers of DOD officials contain a staggering number of documents. Historians must be selective during their review of the 135's and understand the DOD filing system. With a few exceptions, historians in HO do not use the records for the individual military services for Foreign Relations research. Another possible area for research is Record Group 200, which includes over 200 boxes of materials donated by Robert McNamara. He concluded that DOD declassification efforts are uneven at best, as reviews are not very good, or take too long. This has delayed several volumes. Patterson added that HO historians have good access to the records, but little active cooperation with the OSD Historical Office.

Hogan asked what could be done to improve Foreign Relations research in DOD materials, noting that there are two issues: 1) lack of cooperation with the OSD Historical Office, and 2) slow declassification. David Herschler pointed out that DOD declassification is decentralized, as documents are "farmed out"' to program units. Susan Weetman noted that DOD uses a first-in, first-out system, and included Foreign Relations declassification with its regular FOIA requests, regardless of their length. Slany added that PA/HO could get Department of State officials to make this issue a priority; we will probably need to go over the heads of DOD functionaries. Hogan agreed that this issue should be raised at a higher level in DOD and wanted to discuss it at the next meeting. Vince Davis related his experience with the OSD Historical Office, noting that the historians there feel their mandate is to serve the senior DOD or JCS officers only, not the public or other agencies. David Patterson noted that the DOD declassification panel met recently, where they discussed the Kyl Amendment. All departments except the Army, he understood, expect the amendment to slow their declassification efforts, which will then interfere with Foreign Relations declassification.

Zelikow suggested that a DOD official, with the same rank as the CIA staff who brief the Advisory Committee, be invited to the next Committee meeting. Hogan asked Slany to organize some sort of meeting next time.

Report of the Subcommittee on Declassification of State Department Records

Schulzinger reviewed the subcommittee's meeting in the morning, during which they discussed State records with CIA equities and records under CIA review. One good sign is that review is taking place at Archives II jointly by CIA and State officials; the CIA is no longer limited to working in Chantilly. He reviewed the elaborate protocols for document review, briefly reading from a guide given to reviewers. This time-consuming process began in March. Declassification takes place at Archives II, a "significant advance" over the previous system. An Archives employee under CIA contract reviews the documents, then two CIA employees make the final decision on redactions. CIA is primarily removing "innocuous brief references" to the CIA. The Archives raised one concern: they lack the personnel to reintegrate these declassified items into the boxes. NARA estimates it would take 220,000 days or 105 person-years to move these documents from one box to another. Each box will have the sheets noting that an item was removed. Researchers can request these documents under FOIA, and they will then be placed in the correct box. NARA estimates this can be done in 4 days. CIA is following its guidelines well, and this effort should break the log-jam of "casual references" to the CIA in State Department documents-something the Committee has complained about for a long time.

Rich Warshaw of the Automation Declassification Division, Office of Information Management, CIA, noted that documents with CIA equities are defined as simple or complex. Simple equities are clearly covered by the instructions given to Archives contractors, and can be handled at the Archives. Complex equities must be handled off-site. Nancy Tucker asked about the proportion of complex or simple equity documents. Warshaw answered that most documents with CIA equities are being handled at Archives II. CIA is focusing its efforts on Department of State records, but Department of the Army materials are still being scanned. Van Camp said she was delighted that CIA is now doing some declassification at the Archives. She voiced concerns over the fact that these materials will be integrated into the larger collections only if requested by researchers.

Both Patterson and Mackaman expressed concerns about the National Archives' practice of not immediately placing redacted records back into their files or origin but instead waiting until they had been used by a researcher before doing so. Mackaman, however, noted that he had some sympathy with this practice as the particular researcher could still see the redacted document when he specifically requested it. Tucker disagreed and instead argued that a researcher, especially one on a short visit to the Archives, might not understand the meaning of the marker in the file indicating the availability of the redacted document. But she did agree that this system had its benefits, since the particular document could be seen at the time of research without a wait. Mackaman suggested that the 220,000 hours that it would take to re-file these redacted documents might be better spent on other tasks. Kimball added that this process was just starting but that a notification to researchers as to what has been re-reviewed would be appropriate.

Peter Sheils noted that his office has been re-reviewing the exempted record groups up to 1950 as well as reviewing material at the 25-year mark under the Executive Order. He noted that the CIA was following up IPS in its re-review of exempted records. The overall problem in review is the lack of resources. Sheils also reported his new assignment as deputy director and a new organizational chart for IPS. He then distributed a chart on the declassification of files in State's custody. Previously, the re-review of the 1950-1963 documents had been held in abeyance, but now IPS was going forward with the re-review. IPS had also found pockets of documents with State equities in them, such as the files of the Defense Attache's Office, which needed to be examined and which further complicated the resources allocation problem. His team has also re-visited some of the Presidential Libraries to give further training on declassification guidelines.

Van Camp then discussed several issues that Kurtz had not touched upon in his earlier report. Her major concern was with the Y2K compliance of State records. Sheils and Lauderdale noted that the main central file electronic data system, known as SAS, would be in compliance by March 31, 1999. The older central files system known as ADS was not Y2K compliant, but these records were being transferred into the newer system, which was compliant. Both systems are being reconciled. Van Camp noted that NARA's implementation of Adam files would not occur at the drop-dead date, but this was "okay" with her. She did cite the need to "weed out the purely administrative stuff of no historical value" that normally would not be transferred to NARA, but it was very difficult to segregate these records from the more valuable ones in the electronic format. Consequently, the decision on the destruction of these records would be complex. The Committee needed to be comfortable with the decisions on the disposition of these electronic records as they would surely be questioned by the public. Sheils and Lauderdale added that another problem was the cost for the care of these type of records. The costs involved amounted to $400,000 for storage and $80,000 for maintenance annually.

Sheils and Lauderdale noted that before microfilm readers break down, all microfilmed documents will be printed, and printed versions and microfilms will both be sent to NARA.

Langbart noted that NARA will move very carefully on weeding the files, because the idea of weeding documents is one with which NARA has had bad experience even in paper files. NARA will move carefully in conjunction with the State Department.

Closed Session, March 19

CIA Issues: High-Level Panel; Retrospective Foreign Relations Volumes; Declassification of CIA Equities in State Records

The Chairman opened the meeting at 9 a.m. and called on Slany to present his report. Focusing on the successes of the inter-agency High-Level Panel, he noted that the 1964-1968 compilation on Iran to be published in July 1999 would be the first Foreign Relations volume to release documents stemming from the panel's acknowledgment of intelligence activity. He was working out the details with the NSC and the CIA on the review and release of documents following the panel's acknowledgment of covert activity. He said the process had been a little slow in perfecting the guidelines for the release of documents on the intelligence activities, as determinations in most cases had been made earlier in 1998 and we were still getting the documents reviewed and released in our manuscripts. In the future, this process should not be as time-consuming. This process was mostly completed now, and the chart accompanying the briefing materials prepared for the Committee shows the progress that has been made.

Slany also summarized the plans for the retrospective volume on Guatemala, 1952-1954, to be published in the middle of next year at the earliest. The manuscript is in CIA hands now for declassification review. The volume would be released along with the opening by the CIA of a much larger body of records at the National Archives.

Comments by David Holmes, CIA Representative on the High-Level Panel. Holmes first made some general comments on his work with the State Department. One was the completion of a boiler-plate statement providing the background on covert action and how policy was formulated. This statement described, among other things, the role of the 303 Committee and its predecessor body and made mention of the CIA as one of the general executive agents for covert action. This background statement would be included in Foreign Relations volumes as appropriate. Holmes said State and CIA were working on issue statements for Panel 4, which included [xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]. [xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] He wanted to get it done as soon as possible. Michael Warner, CIA Deputy Historian, had prepared a "boilerplate" statement on U.S. presence abroad, but it had not yet been sent to Slany.

Holmes also discussed the issue of citations for documents from CIA files published in Foreign Relations volumes. He had recently faxed a copy of a CIA internal document providing the guidelines for the citation of CIA records. He believed this document provides the required guidance that State historians need (including Job numbers) while, according to CIA lawyers, still not compromising CIA's operational files exemption under FOIA. In addition, he said that he had prepared a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Historian's Office on the use of information in 201 files in Foreign Relations volumes, and his draft MOU was still under review in CIA.

Holmes then turned to specific cases resulting from High-Level Panel decisions. He said CIA would complete its review of documents from Panel 3 ([xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]) in mid-April. He inquired about [xxxxx], and Herschler said that we were waiting for a memorandum from NSC and that the issue was almost resolved. Holmes added that review of documents for Panels 1 and 2 was complete but noted that for Panel 4 there were unresolved issues for [xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]. The CIA was revisiting the [xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] following the discovery of a previously declassified document. He did not think there were questions on acknowledgment in these cases. He mentioned, however, that for FOIA purposes a circuit court ruled that the Church Committee report was not considered an executive branch official release, even though the CIA had contributed information to that committee. Kimball thought the distinction "ludicrous," and Holmes conceded that it was a very fine distinction.

Regarding the declassification of documents on Guatemala, 1952-1954, Holmes said three different CIA programs were involved: 25-year program, Jim Oliver's office (Historical Review Program), and Foreign Relations Coordination. The CIA had asked for an issue statement on Guatemala to be used as guidance for the CIA reviewers of the documents. Kimball interjected that Guatemala and Iran were important issues to the constituents of Committee members. Oliver replied that there are roughly 115,000 pages of material in CIA's collection relating to Guatemala, including a recent release of 2,000 pages of more sensitive documents. He also mentioned that 17,000 pages had been reviewed twice, and he hoped to get them out soon.

General Discussion. Hogan asked whether the release included the three CIA histories. The CIA representatives thought there were only two (by Cullather and shorter summary on assassination by Gerald Haines, both released in 1994), but after some discussion by Kimball and others it was explained that there was also a study of the CIA's Western Hemisphere Division, c. 1945-1965, which includes a chapter on PBSuccess. Oliver continued that the 17,000 pages were to be given a "forward-leaning" review, and the CIA would use the issue statement as guidance to move forward. Leggett said the CIA would rework the issue statement and use it as guidelines, a kind of working document, in the declassification review, and Herschler added that the issue statement was separate from those prepared for the High-Level Panel. Holmes said he had concluded his report.

Slany remarked that the 115,000 pages on Guatemala cover a lot of material of one of the first major covert actions. Many of the documents are undoubtedly worthless, but the entire corpus will be studied very closely and therefore required a lot of attention. He added that the 1953 activity in Iran was a project to move along too. [xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] Hogan asked whether the CIA had a draft on the use of 201 files. Holmes replied affirmatively and that the CIA was working on it.

Kimball circulated copies of recent press articles and editorials on intelligence matters. These kinds of news stories show that we cannot see everything and can miss some things. We have depended heavily in the past on the knowledge of government historians, including those at CIA. It made him nervous that HO historians could not go through CIA files. Sometimes proactive help has not been forthcoming. Leggett remarked that HO and CIA historians need to work more closely together. He again brought up the prospect of assigning a State historian to CIA to share information more directly. Holmes added that when he was working on Iran-Contra, they kept finding new documents, sometimes under desks, and he mentioned that Judge Webster once told him that the problem with CIA is that everything turns up eventually. He said the CIA was not holding back, the door was open, and the question was where do we go from here.

Warner said he understands Kimball's concerns, which get to the heart of the matter. There has to be trust between our historians, he added, and thought the relationship with State historians was working pretty well. He mentioned that he has worked well with one State historian who has been good at tailoring his requests to specific issues he was researching for his volumes. He has great confidence in the competence of CIA historians but has less confidence in their ability to focus on issues because there were other demands on the CIA historians and a drop in personnel since 1992. Warner said it had just been arranged to give him wider access to CIA materials. Hogan asked what was meant by "wider access," and Warner said what he really meant was "quicker access" by being able to look up records on his own computer.

Hogan asked about finding aids. Warner said the HO historians have the opportunity go to the Directorate of Operations and have the relevant countries, issues, dates entered into the computer database that serves as a finding aid. This was more access than CIA historians have. Kimball asked if someone in DO would say, "Look at Afghanistan." Warner responded that the History Staff could best do that kind of broad search for specific historical data-DO records management officials were not trained for this. He suggested that knowledge of the files grows with experience. Oliver commented that "finding aids" was an elegant term, as they were really tools designed for different uses. Van Camp said it did not matter if they are called finding aids, shelf lists, hand lists, etc., if there was no access to them. HO needed access, and if it had that access, the level of confidence would be much higher.

Oliver remarked that, as in the case of INR records at State, the CIA internally had its own issues of access, and it took a lot of effort and time to get even the access that HO now has. The obvious solution was for State to send an historian to work in the History Staff on Foreign Relations access; he/she could have the same access that CIA historians have. Van Camp suggested that if the Agency fears that its secrets would be revealed, the Committee and HO would do everything possible to assuage that fear. Oliver responded that that may well be an issue for CIA.

Hogan asked if Foreign Relations access and the need for a detailed State historian was not a problem of asking someone to take a lie detector test. Kimball suggested that CIA has reduced the History Staff and therefore its ability to support Foreign Relations research. HO is badly understaffed itself and would rather use its resources to replace its staff. Holmes stated that he had raised this very issue and the point Kimball raised was well taken. CIA needs an historian dedicated to Foreign Relations research and he would re-raise the issue within the Agency. Leggett suggested it was a matter of funding.

Zelikow noted that the Congo volume was not scheduled for publication until 2001 and asked if the schedule was due to the problem of CIA research or some problem with State. Slany answered that the research at CIA has been done and the results are in HO's possession. Patterson explained that Harriet Schwar was going to compile a retrospective Congo compilation covering 1960-1963 to be included in the 1964-1968 Congo volume. With Schwar's departure, Nina Howland would complete the 1960-63 supplemental compilation and revise 1964-1968 volume based on additional documentation collected at CIA. Howland emphasized that she had received first-class cooperation from CIA and specifically praised the assistance at CIA of historian Scott Koch. Access was not a problem, but there was the separate issue of declassification.

Zelikow then raised the issue of gaps in the existing historical record that three CIA Directors had committed the Agency to redress. He recalled that, in an earlier, sadder time, Foreign Relations had been unable to fulfil its obligation to publish a complete the historical record on these issues. He believed that more recent volumes indicated that the series is on the road to recovery and there will no such gaps in the future. He proceeded to flag the most important gaps:

  • France and Italy in 1947-1948;
  • paramilitary infiltration and sabotage in Eastern Europe (Ukraine, Albania, Poland, and Czechoslovakia), 1947-1951;
  • infiltration into China, especially in 1949;
  • covert operations in Korea, 1950-1953;
  • the Philippines, especially the election of Magsaysay;
  • Iran, 1953;
  • Egypt from 1956 through Nasser ;
  • Indonesia 1958; and
  • Tibet, 1959.
Zelikow suggested that the Foreign Relations series for the 1960s was beginning to close the gap between what the historical community expects and what it gets. Zelikow asked how these issues would be dealt with when Foreign Relations must move on to keep abreast of the 30-year line.

Holmes explained that CIA faces statutory requirements for declassification: until recently the JFK assassination, now Nazi war criminals, Pinochet, and the 25-year declassification called for by E.O. 12958 (although the last two were not officially statutory). Zelikow noted that the Nazi war criminal requirement overlapped with Eastern European infiltration after World War II. Zelikow admitted that there was no easy solution, but suggested that CIA must at least admit that it has a commitment to address these nine gaps and deal with them in due course. He thought that a joint effort between Foreign Relations and CIA and [xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] would be one approach. He also suggested that declassification of relatively authoritative, already completed CIA internal histories might be another.

Kimball agreed with Zelikow that these strategies are valuable, especially for Foreign Relations, which is the Committee's responsibility. Foreign Relations has a law that helps with these issues, and CIA can draw on Foreign Relations volumes when making sure that certain elements of its history are released. Kimball thought the idea was worthy. Zelikow stressed that flexibility was important. The bottom line was substance as much as procedure.

Oliver reported that CIA was examining its historical record as a whole, not just for the early Cold War, and was declassifying NIEs on the Soviet Union in conjunction with a conference at the Bush School at Texas A&M. He believed these estimates were historically significant. CIA is also looking at the documents from the Directorate of Intelligence during the Cold War through 1972. Finally, it was now declassifying and releasing the records of the two early Directors of Central Intelligence, Souers and Vandenberg.

Zelikow suggested that McCone's taping of his office meetings could prove a rich source to historians. Oliver pointed out that these records could be overwhelming in relation to resources available for declassification. He reported that the Agency makes decisions about declassification resources after a survey of the records and a determination of their historical interest. Records documenting some operations were not considered as historically pertinent as other projects such as NIEs or Nazi war criminals.

Patterson reported on cooperation between State and CIA historians and noted that he would prepare another schedule of research by HO historians and would send CIA a letter of areas of interest of each historian about a month before they are ready to begin research in CIA's files. He again raised the idea of detailing an HO historian to CIA or joint funding of a position and thought that in addition to providing research assistance to HO historians, that person should work on retrospective intelligence volumes.

Hogan suggested that the Committee and HO should work with Zelikow on ways to fill the gaps that he enumerated. Zelikow raised the matter of the second Nixon-Ford administration and recalled that given the Rockefeller, Pike, and Church investigations of intelligence issues, there would be a large amount of information on the topic and it would almost amount to a national security volume in itself.

The Chairman adjourned for a break, after which the Committee heard off-the-record staff comments and then went into executive session.


Committee Members

  • Michael Hogan, Chairman
  • B. Vincent Davis
  • Warren F. Kimball
  • Frank H. Mackaman
  • Michael R. Schaller
  • Robert D. Schulzinger
  • Nancy Bernkopf Tucker
  • Anne Van Camp
  • Philip Zelikow
  • William Slany, Executive Secretary

Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Historian

  • William Slany, Director
  • Rita Baker
  • Paul Claussen
  • Vicki Futscher
  • David Geyer
  • David Goldman
  • David Herschler
  • Nina Howland
  • David Humphrey
  • Donna Hung
  • Ted Keefer
  • Doug Keene
  • Gabrielle Mallon
  • James McElveen
  • David Patterson
  • Steven Phillips
  • Kent Sieg
  • Shirley Taylor
  • Gloria Walker
  • Susan Weetman
  • Bill Weingarten

Bureau of Administration

  • Morris Draper, A/RPS/IPS/CR/IR
  • Steve Lauderdale, A/RPS/IPS/AAS
  • Tad Monroe, A/RPS/IPS/CR
  • Nina Noring, A/RPS/IPS/CR/IR
  • Peter Sheils, A/RPS/IPS
  • Sophia Sluzar, A/RPS/IPS/CR/IR

National Archives and Records Administration

  • Margaret Hawkins, Life Cycle Management Division
  • Michael Kurtz, Assistant Archivist for Records Service
  • David Langbart, Life Cycle Management Division
  • Marty McGann, Textual Archives Services Division
  • Don McIlwaine, Initial Processing/Declassification Division
  • Marvin Russell, Initial Processing/Declassification Division

Central Intelligence Agency

  • David Holmes
  • Harry Cooper, Automatic Declassification Division
  • Robert Leggett, Office of Information Management
  • James Oliver, Chief, Historical Review Program
  • Michael Warner, History Staff
  • Rich Warshaw, Chief, Automatic Declassification Division


  • Steven Aftergood