Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation March 4-5, 2002
- Robert Schulzinger, Chairman
- Meena Bose [Ad Hoc Consultant]
- Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman
- Warren Kimball
- W. Roger Louis
- Frank Mackaman
- Brenda Gayle Plummer
Office of the Historian
- Marc Susser, Historian
- Nina Howland
- Rita Baker
- Ted Keefer
- Monica Belmonte
- Dan Lawler
- Myra Burton
- Erin Mahan
- Paul Claussen
- Dave Nickles
- Evan Duncan
- David Patterson
- Vicki Futscher
- Doug Selvage
- David Geyer
- Jim Siekmeier
- Steve Glenn
- Luke Smith
- David Goldman
- Jamie Van Hook
- David Herschler
- Laurie Van Hook
- Susan Holly
- Gloria Walker
Bureau of Administration
- Peter Sheils, Deputy Director, A/RPS/IPS
- Brian Dowling, A/RPS/IPS
- Celeste Houser-Jackson, A/RPS/IPS
- Harmon Kirby, A/RPS/IPS
- Richard Morefield, A/RPS/IPS
- Nicholas Murphy, A/RPS/IPS
National Archives and Records Administration
- Michael Miller, Director, Modern Records Programs
- David Langbart, Life Cycle Management Division
- Nancy Smith, Office of Presidential Libraries
- Don McIlwain, Initial Processing and Declassification Division
- Marvin Russell, Special Access and FOIA Staff
- Jeanne Schauble, Director, Initial Processing and Declassification Division
- Sally Kuisel, Civilian Records Staff
Central Intelligence Agency
- Herbert Briick, Chief of the Special Collections Division
- Kristi Kenniston, Legal Staff
- Patricia P, FRUS Coordinator
- Michael Warner, History Staff
- Bruce Craig, National Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History
OPEN SESSION, March 4
Approval of the Record of the December 2001 Meeting and Other Business
Chairman Robert Schulzinger called the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m., and the minutes of the previous session were approved.
Report by the Historian
Schulzinger then called for the report by Executive Secretary and Historian Marc Susser, who first introduced HO's new staff members, Steve Glenn and Monica Belmonte, and Middle East project staff members Nina Noring and Vince Meyer. In addition, two graduate student interns had joined the office. Susser said that the office was still looking for "a few" additional historians. Schulzinger noted that this was a net addition of 6 FTEs and that the Committee had requested 14 new positions. Susser said that HO anticipated filling three additional positions this year and would request more in the next fiscal year as well.
Susser announced that two Foreign Relations volumes would be released during the week and that two volumes had been fully declassified and sent for typesetting. An interim agreement with the CIA had been signed on December 7, 2001, and negotiations on a final agreement were going well. He expected the process to be completed in the "near future."
A discussion of Advisory Committee membership followed. Three new members awaiting security clearances include Margaret Hedstrom and Diane Clemens, who may be in attendance as early as July. Schulzinger commented that the Committee now had eight out of nine members.
Susser continued his report, noting these other activities:
- Research at the Ford Library was continuing, with another research team scheduled to depart on Sunday, March 10.
- Richard Boucher was scheduled to brief Deputy Secretary Armitage on the Diplomacy Center project on March 5.
- The Interagency Working Group on Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records (IWG) was making progress and research on the files relating to war crimes would be completed soon.
Warren Kimball and other Committee members expressed a desire for more detailed information in the Perkins chart to enable them to better monitor the law's implementation. Kimball also reported that some members of the HO staff had suggestions for revising the Perkins chart to make it a more useful tool for the staff and the Committee. Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman suggested that completed volumes should be dropped from the list, but Roger Louis disagreed, stating that the chart shows all the volumes in a subseries. Schulzinger suggested that they revisit the question in executive session.
Schulzinger then asked about the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the CIA and pointed out that the December minutes indicated that the MOU would be completed by June 7. He asked that he and others in the Committee review the MOU before it was signed. Susser commented that the negotiations were heading into the home stretch and he believed that the effort will work out well the series. Schulzinger suggested that something positive may come out of this--greater trust between the two agencies.
Transfer to NARA of State Department Electronic Records
Celeste Houser-Jackson of the Office of IRM Programs and Services (IPS) reported good news in the effort to develop programs to facilitate declassification and public access to the Department's 25-year-old and older records. She said that they had nearly finished with the review for the 1973 cables and will soon be able to give them to NARA. They are beginning to process 1974 records, using the lessons learned from the 1973 record review. Schulzinger noted that the process is going so well that there had been no need for the subcommittee to meet this time.
Schulzinger asked about the issue of scheduling SAS records using TAGS. Michael Miller of NARA said that there is a lot of work to do. NARA and the State Department have exchanged information, and NARA has completed a lot of the planning work. There are delays because of NARA work assignments and the Department's move to the new computer platform. Schulzinger asked for a report by the next Committee meeting on July 22. Miller replied that a progress report will be made.
Mackaman said that there had been some slippage in the platform installation date. He noted that the Department had reported earlier that the move to the new platform would be completed in March but now would be April or May and asked IPS to comment. Houser-Jackson could not comment on that issue at this time.
Miller also reported that NARA is testing the Access to Archival Databases (AAD), by which researchers will access electronic records, and would probably meet the June 2002 target.
Schulzinger asked that the report on the transfer and scheduling projects be sent to the Committee by mid-June if there was a problem in meeting goals so the subcommittee could meet prior to the July meeting. Miller added that NARA appreciated the Committee's help, and that the State Department and NARA now have things well in hand.
Kimball said that the Committee should discuss the challenges of the Carter Library material. Brian Dowling of IPS said that the Carter Library did indeed pose new challenges and that it would require the review of 1.5 million pages. A State Department team should go out and train the declassifiers at the Carter Library, who will be new to the task and probably new to the government. It had been a big task at the Kennedy Library, and the Carter Library has a great deal more classified records.
Nancy Smith of NARA agreed that declassification at the Carter Library will be a huge new challenge. At present there is no declassification guidance at the Library for systematic review nor has NARA ever handled such a large volume of classified records for declassification review under the 25-year automatic declassification provisions of E.O. 12958 at a Presidential Library. There are 1.5 to 1.7 million pages at the Carter Library, which include State Department equity.
Peter Sheils (IPS) noted that Section 3.4 of E.O. 12958 could be used as the starting point for guidance. Declassification of historical records involves the review of ever more current documents, and the volume of the documentation is an additional challenge. The Carter administration is the beginning of an "exponential explosion of material." Kimball pointed out that this could have an impact on the 25-year time line requirements. Sheils said that 1.5 million pages from one library is more than has ever been tackled previously.
Smith noted that as declassification deals with ever more recent documents, the agencies become less inclined to delegate declassification authority. Louis asked why was there such a large increase in the number of documents with State Department equity during the Carter administration. Smith explained that the Carter Library contains a lot of foreign policy documents that have not been pre-screened under guidelines. The only technique for declassifying Carter administration documents has been mandatory review.
Declassification of State Department Records
Schulzinger introduced Brian Dowling of IPS for his report on the declassification of State Department records. He also noted that the Committee's annual report had noted the good job that IPS had done declassifying State records.
Dowling handed out a statistical report to the Committee members and then provided a summary.
In 2001, IPS processed 11 million pages of material:
- 6 million pages for the Nazi and Imperial Japanese War Crimes project;
- 3 million pages due to the Kyl-Lott Amendment;
- 750,000 for the old USIA; IPS processed 2,400 boxes of a USIA historical collection, separating classified from non-classified material.
- 400,000 for E.O. 12958 compliance; IPS referred 15,000 pages to other agencies and processed 2,000 pages of other agencies' documents with State Department equities.
Still to be processed are 78 million pages of State records (26,000 boxes). The Kyl-Lott Amendment has doubled the workload, often requiring a second review of boxes that had already been processed. Signed certification letters have to be inserted in each box.
Regarding the Nazi war crimes material, a small tranche of 2,000 pages is being processed for IWG review. Once this is finished--by the March 22 meeting--this part of the project will be completed. Regarding the Japanese Imperial Government records, 5 million pages, or 143 boxes, are left to process. NARA has an additional 141 boxes; therefore, a total of 283 still need to be processed. IPS has reviewed 760 boxes and found 368 documents (3,041 pages) that were relevant to the project. Of the overseas posts, 16 have responded, sending in a total of 2 documents. The State Department offices here in Washington, however, have done a good job responding to the IWG request. The plan is to complete this project by spring 2002. In response to a question, Dowling noted that the deadline for completion was 2-3 years in the future.
Regarding the review of State records, Schulzinger asked if the 1976-1980 tranche would be reviewed by 2005 as required by E.O. 12958. Dowling said he could not offer a timeline for completion now because the work has to address the requirements of the Kyl-Lott amendment.
Kimball asked if NARA would make the material available to the public if the review is finished ahead of schedule by 1 or 2 years. Jeanne Schauble (NARA) replied that NARA has been accepting declassified State Department records ahead of schedule, but NARA still has to prioritize their processing. Her office tries to process the documents first that will be of most interest to researchers. Kimball asked if the Committee could see the Processing Plan, that is, the list of records in the order in which they will be processed. Schauble agreed.
Dowling concluded his report: IPS plans to finish the Japanese Imperial Government Records project, after which the reviewers can return to systematic review of State records under E.O. 12958, including a re-review of documents to see if they fall under the area of the new Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) project.
Kimball observed that every time there is a new project, IPS has to re-review records. Dowling agreed, commenting that under Kyl-Lott 440 boxes were re-reviewed in January 2002 alone. The Nonproliferation Defense Threat project, and other projects, will slow normal review of the records.
Gayle Plummer asked about the clearance issues noted as unresolved in Dowling's report. Dowling replied that that item in his report involved index cards and a microfilm index of the State Department central files prior to the establishment of electronic files in 1973. David Langbart (NARA) explained that the indexes, which exist as both microfilm and hardcopy, consist of reduced-sized copies of the first page of each indexed document annotated with indexing and filing information. Because they include the text of the first page, the index "cards" may contain classified information. Langbart noted that the indexes are critical to locating documents in the Central Files. In response to questions from the Committee, Dowling said that the indexed documents (the Central Files) had gone through the declassification process, but the microfilm and card indexes had not. Because of the research utility of these finding aids, the Committee recommended that they be retained and reviewed for declassification.
Dowling noted that beginning in 1973 non-telegraphic documents were copied on microfilm reels referred to as "P" reels. These reels supplement the electronic cable files created beginning in 1974and together effectively constitute the central files of the State Department. There is an electronic index to the "P" reels. Paper copies of the documents from these reels will be reviewed for declassification. In response to a question from the committee, Miller speculated that after the paper copies of the documents from these reels have been reviewed and transferred to the National Archives there will be a 4-6 month delay before they can be made available to researchers.
CLOSED SESSION, March 4
Declassification Guidelines for the Nixon and Ford Presidential Libraries
Schulzinger asked Mackaman to report for the subcommittee on declassification guidelines, as applied to records held by the National Archives and Presidential Libraries. Mackaman reported that it was difficult to summarize what had been a "robust" discussion, which resulted in only one recommendation: that it would be useful for Committee members to "shadow" reviewers as they apply the guidelines to documents, an exercise that was done 4 or 5 years ago. Mackaman explained that the effort to implement E.O. 12958 was a convoluted process; the reviewers were, in effect, trying to turn art into science but realized it could not be done. Meanwhile, the 25 year line under the E.O. was reaching the Presidential Libraries before the guidelines were ready. Another problem, he noted, was the creation of a "records of concern" task force established at the National Archives in the wake of events on September 11. Mackaman asked if any other members of the subcommittee wanted to comment. Plummer replied that it had been useful to see how rational principles in the guidelines were being applied to the documents.
Kimball stated that the law required the Committee to be concerned about the declassification of State Department records and to give the Secretary of State appropriate recommendations. He thought that the "shadow" exercise had been useful in the past when it was a new approach, but the process has become more sophisticated and more complex. Kimball reiterated, however, that the Committee has a public responsibility to assure that the declassification guidelines are being applied in a reasonable way.
Schulzinger said that the Committee could adopt one of two approaches: the subcommittee could convene during the next meeting; or the subcommittee could come in May for a day to review the application of guidelines. Kimball suggested that the subcommittee should consist of "new" members, people who had not been involved in the process before. This "newness" had allowed the Committee to be more constructive in the past.
Mackaman commented that the rule used to be "when in doubt, declassify." After September 11, however, the rule appeared to be "when in doubt, maintain classification." Nancy Smith interjected that the rule, which had been part of E.O. 12958, was now likely to change.
Sheils began his comments by introducing himself and his staff, including two responsible for the preparation of guidelines, Harmon Kirby and Nicholas Murphy. For the subcommittee meeting, they tried to think about the guidelines in conceptual terms, to distill principles for Committee members. Sheils explained that reviewing was a collegial process, both in the development and application of declassification guidelines. If the Committee had further questions, he suggested, they should address them to Kirby and Murphy.
Schauble then reported on the "records of concern" program, which NARA instituted in the wake of September 11. One of the concerns behind the program involved the "continuity of government" in the event of terrorist attack. NARA had also asked agencies to identify any records with new sensitivities, including information that might be used to: 1) facilitate identify theft; 2) locate critical infrastructure; and 3) produce weapons of mass destruction.
Schauble said that "records of concern" had to be screened by the access staff before they can be sent to the research room. She said NARA is still developing a program for this. She does not know specifically which records will be included, mostly those that are political or defense related, but also such records as Embassy plans, etc. NARA is expecting information from other agencies as to what to withdraw. She gave as an example an anthrax recipe found in an open document and noted that this document will no longer be provided to researchers.
Schulzinger said he had questions concerning access to the three categories of "records of concern." Infrastructure was probably not of great interest to Foreign Relations researchers since Foreign Relations deals with policy, but he wondered about the first category, identity theft, and asked Schauble if she could elaborate on this. Schauble cited Social Security numbers as an example. Nancy Smith said that another example would be Presidential papers with information on people who might be vulnerable. Schulzinger noted that NARA flags boxes with records of concern and asked if NARA reviewed a flagged box in a timely fashion when it was requested by a researcher. Schauble replied that it would depend on how much screening was needed, but she hoped it would be timely.
Kimball asked who had issued the order concerning "records of concern" and whether the Committee could see a copy. There was some confusion about which office had issued the orders: that of Governor Carlin, the Archivist of the U.S., or the White House. Nancy Smith pointed out that, in any event, NARA's records are exempt from the Privacy Act.
Mackaman asked how this order complicated access to the State Department's electronic records. Would NARA have to review them for "records of concern"? Schauble replied that they had always done this to a certain extent.
Sheils said that State Department reviewers were looking at both kinds of records and doing a "dirty word" search for records that were full-text searchable. Mackaman asked whether the State Department would change its procedures if it knew what NARA was doing. Smith said that NARA was looking at all reviews with that in mind and had resubmitted some mandatory review documents. Mackaman asked if any documents relating to continuity in government would be withheld. Schauble said that NARA was more concerned with what had been in the public domain for a while than with new material.
Kimball asked about the resource ramifications if NARA had to re-review a large body of records. Schauble was not sure how many records were at issue. Kimball expressed concern if this delayed opening records to the public. Schauble commented that NARA was equally concerned.
Schulzinger expressed another concern--the "safety of high government officials" category. He noted that most of these officials would have worked in previous administrations and asked if this would prevent access, for example, to earlier Cheney records. Smith pointed out that Presidential Libraries review on a page-by-page basis and have incorporated this concern into their review. She added that they were trying to implement this as sensibly as possible. For the Libraries, this was not an additional resource problem since they were already doing page-by-page reviews. Mackaman asked for a status report on "records of concern" at the next Advisory Committee meeting.
Kimball noted that at the last meeting Kenneth Stein of the Department of Energy had said that the definitions of RD and FRD were based on Department of Energy guidelines and asked if this was correct. Sheils agreed to confirm this. Schauble said that NARA did not have guidelines from the Department of Energy, and Kirby explained that most of NARA's guidance comes from DOE's 3-day training session.
Kimball asked if DOE delegated declassification authority. Schauble replied that it did not and that NARA referred documents back to DOE. Kimball asked if the DOE's declassification policy would affect the timely publication of Foreign Relations and if there are any declassification deadlines in place for DOE. Schauble explained that there are no deadlines established in the agreement between NARA and DOE. DOE carries out reviews on demand, and there are delays in all aspects. DOE, she said, wants to obtain more space at NARA for declassification, but none is available. Alternatively, DOE would like to review records off-site in Germantown, but NARA has determined that DOE's facilities would not be secure according to NARA standards.
Nancy Smith said that at the Presidential Libraries, records openings are moving forward, and DOE has not delayed declassification. All RD/FRD material is closed in the collections sent to the Presidential Libraries when they are reviewed for release.
Plummer asked if a formal agreement between DOE and NARA would make the situation easier or harder. Schauble replied that DOE has the Kyl-Lott Amendment on its side, and NARA has no leverage.
Schulzinger asked Susser to prepare a report for the next Committee meeting on the impact of the "records of concern" procedure and the Kyl-Lott Amendment on declassification at NARA. In addition, Mackaman asked Sheils for a description of the evolution of declassification deadlines.
Status of the Nixon Tapes, Kissinger Telcons, and the NSC Institutional Files
Schulzinger called on Nancy Smith for a report on the Nixon tapes. Smith reported that State had recently worked out an agreement with the Nixon Project to allow HO to use CDs of the Nixon recordings at HO's office in the State Department. The one exception is SCI excerpts, which will have to be used at the Nixon Project. Ten Foreign Relations volumes, she added, have been submitted for review under the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act (PRMPA); three of these are finished. One HO subvention is spending 90 percent of his time on transferring conversations from the Nixon tapes to CDs for HO; the other is assisting in paper research.
Patterson pointed out that the Nixon tapes are considered Secret until they undergo declassification review. Smith confirmed this, and pointed out that some tapes may also contain Top Secret portions.
Schulzinger asked how the inability to use the tapes outside NARA had affected HO's work. Erin Mahan replied that HO has only been able to bring 1/3 of its requested tape excerpts on CD back to the office so far; it is unclear if the delay is due to a staff delay or the presence of SCI portions. Ted Keefer pointed out that the Nixon Project considers anything dealing with covert operations or the CIA to be SCI.
Patterson said that having copies of Nixon recordings at HO permits a second pair of ears to listen to a given discussion. Interns can listen the first time, and then the compiler can also listen to the conversation. Hopefully, this will lead to a much more accurate transcription. Keefer said that HO would not be able to utilize the Nixon tapes fully without having access to them in the office.
Meena Bose asked if objections from the Nixon family affect the use of the tapes. Herschler said that procedures had been established 3 years ago with NLNP regarding personal and returnable information. HO submits transcripts of conversations used in Foreign Relations volumes to NLNP and the Nixon Estate for review. One helpful change is the fact that the Nixon Estate has given blanket approval for all HO historians to use the Nixon tapes. Previously, every individual historian had to apply for access.
Schulzinger inquired about the status of the Kissinger telcons. Smith reported that 21,000 pages of Kissinger's telcons at the Library of Congress had been copied in January and February; they will undergo a review under the provisions of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act at NLNP. Schulzinger asked if this meant that HO historians no longer had problems in using the Kissinger telcons. Herschler commented that HO should have access to the telcons as soon as they are transferred to NLNP.
Schulzinger recalled the problems that HO originally had in using the telcons at the Library of Congress, including a policy of "no notes"; HO historians were forbidden from even listing or inventorying the telcons at LC.
Smith pointed out that after the telcons are transferred to NARA, they still have to go through the PRMPA review and restrictions will be made by NLNP. Patterson said that Smith should clarify whether Kissinger's staff will be redacting the telcons to take out "personal" material before their transfer to NARA. Smith said that PRMPA restrictions would occur during the PRMPA review process done by the Nixon Project archivists.
Concerning the NSC institutional files, Smith explained that declassification reviews are currently occurring for the records of the Carter years. HO will need to write to White House counsel about getting access to the NSC Presidential records. Smith explained that the files for the Nixon and Ford years, which include intelligence files, have been transferred to NARA. The Carter NSC Presidential records physically remain at the NSC for a declassification review.
Kimball asked about the status of the revision of E.O. 12958. Smith explained that the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) (Laura Kimberly is acting chief of ISOO) is responsible for the revision. Nick Murphy of IPS is the State Department representative to the Committee working on the revision.
Patterson asked if Q clearances would be required for access to the NSC Institutional Files. Smith confirmed that a Q clearance will be required.
CLOSED SESSION, March 5
The CIA and the Foreign Relations Series
Schulzinger welcomed his colleagues from the CIA and said that the Committee wished to discuss with the CIA representatives such matters as the High Level Panel (HLP), the joint historian position, and the ongoing negotiations for a permanent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Schulzinger then asked Susser for some brief comments.
Susser reported that the signing of the interim MOU on December 7, 2001, had normalized the relationship between HO and CIA. CIA had returned the four packages of HLP documents and HO has submitted to CIA several Foreign Relations manuscripts to review, as called for in the interim MOU. The HO team negotiating a permanent MOU with the CIA is optimistic that things are moving in the right direction.
CIA echoed Susser's remarks. CIA was pleased at the progress made toward a permanent MOU. They are now focusing internally on procedures to meet the Agency's obligations vis-a-vis the Foreign Relations series, such as declassification review and the return of referred documents.
Schulzinger reiterated that there are several issues to be discussed, for example, upcoming HLP issues and the joint historian position. On the question of the HLP, Susser referred to David Herschler, Rita Baker, and Steve Glenn. Herschler reported that there had already been some discussion about two issues. CIA suggested that issues concerning more than one volume might be combined for the purposes of HLP appeals. CIA's objective is to handle HLP matters earlier in the process.
Concerning the joint historian, Susser reported that James Van Hook has obtained all of the appropriate clearances. CIA was not sure when he would start but assured Schulzinger that it would be soon.
Schulzinger then returned to the issue of the permanent MOU. He mentioned that it would be helpful if the Committee could be informed about the details. How, for example, does it differ from the old MOU agreed to 10 years ago? And how does it differ from the first draft considered in October? Susser replied that both sides have built on the success of the interim MOU and have spent some time learning about the internal processes of each office. He was confident that the two sides would arrive at acceptable procedures.
Schulzinger commented that one issue important to the Committee, about which representatives from the CIA had expressed concern last October, was access guides. Is that issue addressed in the MOU? Herschler commented that HO and the CIA had discussed access guides, but because the Foreign Relations series is a dynamic undertaking, it was considered advisable not to get too specific in the permanent MOU. Instead, the two sides are agreeing to language about coordination and consultation. Laurie Van Hook mentioned that the issue of access guides provides a good example of how the discussion and negotiations have increased the level of understanding between HO and CIA.
CIA underscored Van Hook's remarks. CIA now understands better the purpose and nature of such things as electronic publications and access guides. Avoiding too much specific language has helped forge a broader agreement. Hoffman asked if this process has made a restrictive MOU unnecessary. CIA concurred and mentioned the considerable compromises each side has accepted.
Hoffman then asked about specific differences between the agencies. CIA mentioned their concern about the statutory requirement to complete the initial declassification review of documents with CIA equities provided by HO in 120 days. Now that the CIA will review the entire manuscript before the declassification process formally begins, 120 days may be insufficient to complete the process. On the other hand, receiving the full the manuscript as soon as it is completed eases the CIA's declassification review considerably. The CIA can, for example, more easily identify HLP issues. In the additional 60 days allowed in the MOU for this initial review of the entire manuscript, it undergoes both a review by the CIA History Staff and a review for equities. At that point, the CIA will give a collated set of questions to HO. This will allow the CIA to verify whether the list of documents containing CIA equities that was produced in HO is accurate. Under this new procedure, the CIA will have a better chance to identify HLP issues and any information that might compromise sources and methods. After the completion of this 60-day manuscript review process, the CIA will initiate the 120-day declassification process.
Hoffmann clarified that, altogether, the CIA may take 180 days to complete both the initial manuscript review and the declassification process. Laurie Van Hook interjected that it is important to note that the additional 60 days does not really represent any additional burden for HO because the manuscript is under declassification review at State at the same time.
CIA stressed that the new procedure is very helpful because, in the past, representatives from the CIA might find additional compromising material in a Foreign Relations volume so late in the process that raising objections caused confusion and ill will. Thus, the CIA will participate in the State Department's verification process, not to raise any substantive issues, but simply to double check that the appropriate redactions are made.
Schulzinger asked if the Committee could see a draft of the MOU, and Kimball strongly seconded Schulzinger's request. He mentioned that Schulzinger, in his recent annual report for the Secretary of State, had succinctly summarized the opinions of the Committee on some issues of concern vis-a-vis the CIA, namely:
- The Committee wants the final MOU to avoid any additional layers of review. Kimball mentioned with satisfaction that both the CIA and HO had assured this was the case.
- The HLP should be retained to decide whether a covert operation could be acknowledged.
- Any HLP decision to acknowledge should be permanent.
- The MOU should not put additional roadblocks in the way of HO.
- The CIA should acknowledge that access guides and e-pubs are integral parts of the Foreign Relations series.
- The MOU should acknowledge that Foreign Relations is a Department of State publication and that the Secretary of State should determine the release of volumes.
Concerning the access guides, Kimball stressed that the Committee and the State Department are strongly behind the concept. CIA described their concern about the level of detail involved: the access guide should not reveal the structure and details of CIA holdings. The issue could be discussed during the June meeting CIA's Historical Review Panell, which some members of the Committee will attend. CIA commented that their DOD counterparts had expressed similar concerns. Hoffman reiterated the Committee's strong commitment to access.
Schulzinger repeated that the Committee wished to see the draft MOU. He also reported that some of the Committee members and HRP would meet jointly in June. CIA shared HRP Chairman Robert Jervis' invitation to the Committee to attend the HRP June meeting; Jervis endorses the idea of a joint meeting of the two full advisory bodies but thought the logistics could be problematic, so partial representation would be welcome.
CIA declared that the agency fully supports the Foreign Relations program and described the steps the agency has taken to increase its resources in response to the growth of the HO staff and the anticipated increase in volumes. Since September 11, 2001, however, the CIA staff had encountered difficulty procuring additional declassification resources.
Schulzinger thanked the CIA representatives for their participation.
Report of the Subcommittee on the Foreign Relations Series
Schulzinger called on Roger Louis to report on the meeting of the subcommittee on the Foreign Relations series. Louis described HO's plans for retrospective volumes or compilations to redress the gap in intelligence information in the series up through 1963. Louis argued that this was HO's most important immediate assignment. He noted that the CIA declassification review of the retrospective volume on Guatemala had been completed and the volume was ready to go forward. He also noted that HO had done some preliminary research on an Iran retrospective volume, and found some finished intelligence that could go along with operational material. The Iran volume, he believed, was especially important because the Iranian government has been pushing for a release of documents on the 1953 overthrow of Mohammed Mossadegh. Another important retrospective, he noted, will be the one on the Congo. Louis called on HO to prepare a report and selection of documents on Iran for the Committee's next meeting.
Schulzinger noted that the subcommittee also discussed the issue of access guides. Because the historians use many of the same sources, HO considers that the most efficacious way to proceed would be to put together a general guide on the Web and supplement it with smaller more focused guides for individual volumes. He noted that the subcommittee also discussed concerns over the permanence of the electronic guide and the potential resource implications but asserted that resources should not be considered an obstacle because the Committee believed that the access guides were extremely important. He also endorsed HO's proposal of an overall Web-based guide to the records of the Nixon administration. Kimball argued that every researcher's experience, even with the same files, was unique, and felt HO should emphasize an individual approach. Keefer pointed out that many collections will be described in the general guide, as well as in individual guides. Patterson noted that without a general guide, the individual guides may be long and duplicative.
Plummer asked whether the language in the access guide proposal about balancing the use of resources with the 30-year publication line was accurate. Kimball argued that the language should be changed so that it reads that HO has not met the 30-year line unless the access guides are completed. He added that the PA Bureau had already accepted and endorsed this concept. Herschler noted that the language was an attempt to fulfill the Committee's tasking to HO to undertake a cost-benefit analysis for producing the guides. Bose felt that at 4-30 pages per guide, they would be a considerable undertaking.
Schulzinger asked if there was any other business. Louis asked if there was a history of the Advisory Committee since 1945. Patterson said that he would try to locate it. At 11:25 a.m., the Committee went into executive session.