Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation September 23-24, 2002
- Robert Schulzinger, Chairman
- Meena Bose [Ad Hoc Consultant]
- Diane Shaver Clemens
- Warren Kimball
- W. Roger Louis
- Brenda Gayle Plummer
Office of the Historian
- Marc Susser, Historian
- Ted Keefer
- Rita Baker
- Dan Lawler
- Monica Belmonte
- Erin Mahan
- Todd Bennett
- Dave Nickles
- Myra Burton
- David Patterson
- Paul Claussen
- Peter Samson
- Evan Duncan
- Luke Smith
- Vicki Futscher
- Douglas Trefzger
- David Goldman
- James Van Hook
- David Herschler
- Laurie Van Hook
- Susan Holly
- Gloria Walker
- Nina Howland
Bureau of Administration
- Brian Dowling, A/RPS/IPS
- Celeste Houser-Jackson, A/RPS/IPS
- Harmon Kirby, A/RPS/IPS
National Archives and Records Administration
- Howard Lowell, Acting Director, Modern Records Programs
- David Kepley, Operations Staff
- David Langbart, Life Cycle Management Division
- Don McIlwain, Initial Processing and Declassification Division
- Marvin Russell, Special Access and FOIA Staff
- Jeanne Schauble, Initial Processing and Declassification Division
- Nancy Smith, Office of Presidential Libraries
Department of Energy
- Kenneth Stein, Executive Order Programs, Office of Classified and Controlled Information Review
Central Intelligence Agency
- Scott Koch, Chief, History Staff
- Patricia P, FRUS Coordinator
- Bruce Craig, National Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History
OPEN SESSION, September 23
Approval of the Record of the July 2002 Meeting
Chairman Robert Schulzinger called the meeting to order at 1:35 p.m. The minutes of the July 2002 meeting were approved after a portion of the minutes that had not been previously distributed were reviewed.
Report by the Historian
Schulzinger then called for the report by Executive Secretary and Historian Marc Susser, who began by noting the recent release of the Foreign Relations volume on Greece; Turkey; Cyprus. The release generated little public comment, despite expectations to the contrary.
Susser announced that the Foreign Relations volume on National Security Policy, 1964-1968 had also been released since the Committee's last meeting, and that two volumes on Vietnam, 1967 and January-August 1968, would soon be published. Three more volumes will be released in the coming months, he added.
Susser continued his report, noting these other issues and activities:
- Some changes in the Foreign Relations statute of October 28, 1991, were nearing passage, including a provision requiring an annual report from the Secretary of State to Congress on meeting the Department's obligations for publishing Foreign Relations at the 30-year line.
- The joint documentary project with Russia to document the Kissinger-Dobrynin exchanges was proceeding, with the Office having already transferred some 600 pages of documents to Moscow. Susser reported that Moscow recently had sent its first shipment of records to the United States. A meeting between HO and Russian archivists is planned for November or December 2002.
- The Interagency Working Group on Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records (IWG) was making progress, and declassification of the relevant records would be completed soon.
- The issue of the Public Interest Declassification Board, which had never been established, was discussed with officials of the Bureau of Public Affairs, pursuant to a letter from Schulzinger to the Secretary. Public Affairs intended to work with the Bureau of Administration to reach a Department position and draft a reply by the Committee's December 2002 meeting.
- The Historian's Office, in conjunction with the U.S. Diplomacy Center and the Museum of the City of New York, created a 9/11 travelling exhibit that eventually would appear at venues across the country. The exhibit premiered at the Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where it received a favorable review. Susser spoke in Grand Rapids during 9/11 commemoration ceremonies.
- Susser introduced four new HO staff members: Kathy Rasmussen, Peter Samson, Douglas Trefzger, and Todd Bennett.
- Finally, Susser announced the retirement of David Patterson, General Editor of Foreign Relations , and acknowledged his years of service in the Historical Office and his contributions to the Foreign Relations series.
Schulzinger asked about the status of the remaining Foreign Relations volumes on the Johnson administration. Susser, Patterson, and David Herschler responded that nine volumes had yet to be published. Of those, a volume on Vietnam, 1968 would be published before the end of 2002. HO expected to release several other volumes by the end of 2003, including those on the Six-Day War, Vietnam, the United Nations/Organization of Foreign Policy, and South and Central America. All Johnson volumes should be published by the end of 2003, with the exceptions of the Congo retrospective and Japan.
After soliciting comments, Schulzinger stated that he had sent a letter in August 2002 to Secretary of State Powell regarding the Public Interest Declassification Board and the Information Security Policy Advisory Council. He mentioned that increased interest on the part of the Secretary could prove beneficial.
Schulzinger then returned to the issue of the outstanding Foreign Relations volumes on the LBJ administration, inquiring as to precisely what factors had delayed their publication. Susser responded that all outstanding volumes were now in declassification review, and that a shortage of HO declassification staff and difficulties arising from the lengthy suspension of the memorandum of understanding with the Central Intelligence Agency had contributed to the delay. Schulzinger requested a status report on the outstanding LBJ volumes.
To Schulzinger's inquiry about HO staffing, Susser replied that two more positions were now "in the pipeline" and that he hoped to add up to six positions in the near future. Budgeting restrictions, Susser cautioned, could limit such plans.
Warren Kimball requested that HO prepare a report on the status and general future direction of the Foreign Relations series.
Declassification of Department of State Records
Brian Dowling of IPS began his report by noting the serious shortage of staff in his office due to retirement and illness. He then gave a progress report on the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records project, which was almost complete (except for a name search). He said that the shipment of materials to NARA was the only outstanding issue, and that should take place by the end of September. A total of 243 pages were denied, and a list was being prepared for the Secretary's signature. With regard to Japanese records, IPS is waiting on responses from posts. He said that IPS has reviewed for declassification all material relevant to Japanese records, adding that the material was not as rich as the material on Nazi war crimes.
Dowling went through a handout he prepared on his office's IWG work and noted that they had reviewed about 6.5 million pages on Nazi war crimes and 5.2 million on the Japanese side. He planned to complete work on both aspects by October. IWG auditors were scheduled to review the material in his office. Following that, the documents would be transferred to NARA.
Dowling also described his office's efforts to review and declassify the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) collection, also known as the Manning collection, after the former USIA archivist who had put it together. The majority of the material consists of pictures of former USIA Director Charles Wick, so the reviewers are going through it quickly, but there are a few Top Secret documents in the collection. He hoped to have the review completed and the material retired within a year.
In response to a question by Kimball on the process that was used in handling the 3 million pages under the Kyl-Lott legislation, Dowling noted that even though IPS reviewers went through the DOE training program, DOE did not grant them declassification authority. Instead, the State reviewers set aside the documents that they identified with DOE equities so that DOE could make the final decision.
In response to a question by Meena Bose on the Department's Arms Control and Disarmament Agency holdings, Dowling noted that he is trying to locate some former ACDA employees to review the material and hopes to have the collection fully reviewed by April 2006. He added that the material covers the agency's entire history back to 1963.
Transfer of Department of State's Electronic Records to NARA
Schulzinger introduced Howard Lowell, Acting Director of NARA's Modern Records Programs, to discuss NARA's progress on opening up the State Department's electronic records to the public. Lowell stated that by November NARA plans to make available on the Internet 34 record series, from agencies other than State, which are currently in NARA's electronic records holdings. The mechanism to do this is AAD, the same program that will enable access to Department of State cables when these become available for public use after transfer from State and declassification review. He noted that the full list of the 50-60 collections that will ultimately be available was published in a report entitled, "The Joint Progress Report on the Transfer of Electronic Records." The Committee indicated its pleasure at the success of the project. Kimball asked that the official record state that Committee members Anne Van Camp and Frank Mackaman deserved special acknowledgement for their important contributions.
In response to a query from Schulzinger, Herschler reported that Margaret Peppe of IPS had informed Brian Dowling that she would not be able to attend the meeting. Herschler noted also that he had left a message with the Office of Information Programs and Services to see if someone else could substitute, but had not yet had a response. Schulzinger decided that since no one from that office was available to report, the Committee should adjourn for an early break and reconvene at 2:45 p.m. to talk with Kenneth Stein of the Department of Energy.
CLOSED SESSION, September 23
Department of Energy Declassification Review Effort Under the Kyl-Lott Amendment
Schulzinger reported that a subcommittee had met to discuss the issue of Department of Energy (DOE) implementation of the Kyl-Lott Amendment. He mentioned DOE's discovery of a document containing Restricted Data/Formerly Restricted Data (RD/FRD) information in a published Foreign Relations volume and the implications this had for current research. DOE has the responsibility of ensuring that documents are properly reviewed under the Kyl-Lott Amendment. At the subcommittee meeting, it was reported that some HO historians, all of whom have "Q" clearances, had encountered problems locating boxes of records that were being reviewed under Kyl-Lott; sometimes such boxes were out of circulation for periods up to 18 months.
Schulzinger summarized the three policy issues concerning this DOE review:
- whether there were deadlines for DOE declassification,
- whether there was some inconsistency in keeping records of withdrawn documents (the subcommittee was concerned that documents might be lost); and
- how long the Kyl-Lott process will go on.
He had heard that once declassifiers had received the proper training they can do the review. He had also heard from Nancy Smith (NARA) that the Presidential Libraries have on-site DOE training and that this enables the Presidential Library staff to have more DOE-trained reviewers. The Committee's concern was public access and delay.
Schulzinger called on Kenneth Stein, Program Manager, Executive Order Programs, Office of Classified and Controlled Information Review of the Department of Energy, who thanked the Committee for inviting him. Stein summarized some numbers for the Committee: DOE had an inventory of approximately 1 billion pages. Of the 400 million pages of documents reviewed before 1999 under EO 12958, 200 million pages had been already released. Only 22 of the 200 million pages were left to review. These collections are likely to contain RD/FRD and therefore require a 100 percent page-by-page review by DOE. Additionally, they will begin re-review of the other already reviewed, but not publicly released, 200 million pages in 4 years, and the job will be finished in 9 years. Regarding the 600 million pages that have never been reviewed, agency reviewers are being trained to accomplish this task. Samples show that agency training since 1999 has been very successful, that very little RD or FRD material has slipped through other agency reviewers (however, it had been caught by DOE).
Schulzinger made several comments. He asked if the training is to identify the content, while DOE does adjudication. He also asked about the tracking process and about procedures concerning the post-1973 documents that have not yet been reviewed.
Kimball pointed out that DOE is not delegating its declassification authority, and he asked Jeanne Schauble if NARA tracked material it sent to DOE. When Schauble replied that NARA sends everything, Kimball pointed out that NARA sends even those documents reviewed by trained reviewers.
Dan Lawler (HO) noted that documents he had requested that had been sent for review by DOE from the classified research room at NARA had been returned within 2 days. The DOE reviewers are on site and handled HO requests quickly.
Schauble noted, however, that this was special treatment. NARA informed DOE reviewers of priority requests, including those by HO, but that most other researchers were waiting many months for documents being reviewed by DOE. Stein emphasized that DOE's top priority was that no FRD or RD information be released into the public domain and that its training had been very successful.
Gayle Plummer asked Stein to present his case against "shared adjudication," that is, delegating authority to other agency reviewers who had received DOE training. Stein responded by stating that the overall purpose of the Department of Energy's declassification program is to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of RD and FRD materials. DOE has endeavored to correct what, in its view, was improperly declassified under EO 12958. To that end, it has trained a group of government reviewers to recognize documents that may contain RD/FRD material. This training has been extremely successful. Nevertheless, DOE is uncomfortable with the idea of delegating document derivative declassification authority to even these trainees. DOE's own reviewers have significant technical background in nuclear weapon related areas and require one year of training to obtain document derivative declassification authority.
Kimball asked what, with regard to "quality control," Stein meant by "sampling." Stein stated that when a DOE-trained reviewer identifies potential RD/FRD material in a document, DOE reviewers themselves examine the box from which the document in question originated. In examining the box selected, DOE checks all documents in the box and a percent sample of the collection of boxes.
Schauble interjected that, from the point of view of NARA, the main issue of DOE reviewing is time. There are three processes at work: DOE's audit of materials released under EO 12958, DOE's review on demand, and DOE's quality control reviews for documents scheduled for release. All of these procedures must go through a small number of Federal (i.e., DOE) reviewers after the documents in question have already been examined by "contractors" (i.e., those individuals trained and supervised, but not directly employed, by DOE).
In response to a question, Stein stated that there are about 40 such contractors and 3 Federal reviewers. Schauble said that there are delays when Federal reviewers are not at work. NARA does keep track of these delays. Lately, the quality control process for "Q" materials is resulting in a growing backlog.
Kimball asked how much quality control the DOE reviewers ("Feds") exercise over the contractors. Stein said about 5-10 percent. In the past fiscal year, DOE audited 6, 219,000 pages of materials released under EO 12958 between 1995-1999, and 2 million pages for QAR (Quality Assurance Review), i.e., quality control (approximately 200,000 pages). Thus, each of the approximately 40 contractors would have to look at 150,000 pages of material per year.
Kimball estimated that each of the 3 "Feds," checking 5-10 percent of the reviewed material, would have to look at 10,000 pages per year. He asked Stein if DOE had an adequate workforce. Such a backlog as has been described is unacceptable. Stein said that DOE has just processed 1 million high-priority, low-risk materials. DOE is working to reduce the backlog.
Kimball asked about risk assessment. Stein said that the risk assessment process is experiencing a maturation process. Quality controls have demonstrated high risk areas. The review of high risk collections is slow-going. Schauble said that the auditing process, from NARA's point of view, is going well. Quality control procedures, on the other hand, have not yet matured. She asked Stein if the risk level is high enough to keep the boxes off the shelves. Stein said that the initial reviewers have done a great job at pulling documents. Quality control has caught only 34 questionable pages out of 2 million. There is a great difference between documents before 1999 and those after 1999, because of the training initiated in 1999.
At this point, Stein distributed guidelines regarding identification of storage locations and weapons yields, a DOE brochure produced by the Classification Training Institute, entitled "Protecting the Nation's Nuclear Information: Aid for Identifying Nuclear Weapon Storage Locations and Stockpile Quantities."
Schulzinger commented that there are two groups of documents: 1) pre-1999 documents that had been sent to NARA, which the DOE is re-reviewing; and 2) post-1999 documents, which newly DOE-trained reviewers are reviewing for DOE equities. Schulzinger asked whether once this latter group of documents had been reviewed by DOE and sent to NARA, there would then be another DOE review. Stein replied that there is a DOE quality assurance review before a researcher could gain access to a document.
Kimball asked about the level of risk discovered in the documents that the DOE quality assurance review had identified as those that ought not to be released to the public. Stein replied that the goal was to have as few RD and FRD documents made available to the public as possible: the question was how to do this most efficiently. Stein stated that the review process had been getting smarter as it evolved and noted that DOE could do more if it had more resources.
Plummer raised the issue of DOE's desire to reclassify a document included in a Foreign Relations volume that was published many years ago and asked what the point was of sequestering a document that had been publicly available for so long. Stein noted that sometimes the declassification process goes awry and classified documents are made available to the public. The question then was how much exposure the document had received: if there had been a lot of exposure, then the document would be allowed to remain in the public domain without any official DOE comment. But one thing that could not be allowed was the declassification of documents based on previous document declassification errors. Kimball commented that this episode made the DOE look silly. Stein replied that the law lays down certain requirements and that he, Stein, had to do his job.
Stein said that he would be happy to return to brief the Committee. Schulzinger said that this would be very useful, as the Committee was concerned that the DOE review procedure was falling behind. Stein replied that the process was moving along, and repeated that he would be happy to keep the Committee briefed. Kimball suggested that as its reviewers improve, perhaps DOE could loosen up the quality assurance review process. Stein noted that DOE had in fact been modifying the quality assurance review process as it had acquired more experience in running it.
Schulzinger then called on Nancy Smith to comment. Smith said that she could give the perspective of the Presidential Libraries on working with DOE. She noted that DOE audits had discovered a few problems in documents that had been open for a long time. Smith then raised the issue of who has the authority to determine the FRD status of documents, as well as the more general issue of what FRD was. She noted that there was a gray area, as Defense, DOE, and State all have different opinions on the issue, and that the determination also depends on the time and the prevailing circumstances. She noted that the problem was specifically related to FRD, not RD, and asked once again who has the final say when it comes to determining FRD.
Smith noted that there are no DOE reviewers onsite at the Presidential Libraries, except for when there are DOE audits. Thus, when problems arise, files can be unavailable for long periods of time, often longer than a month. While Stein has tried to expedite the review process, it nevertheless takes a long time. After a short discussion, Stein said that DOE has tried to become more responsive to the needs of the Presidential Libraries.
Kimball and Schulzinger asked for clarification on what FRD is: they thought that RD and FRD generally amount to the same thing. Stein said that Defense and DOE share the responsibility for determining RD and FRD. DOE has an agreement with Defense and the Presidential Libraries that when a Presidential Library comes across a problem document, DOE addresses the issue. He also noted that many State records contained FRD material, particularly weapons storage locations and stockpile specifications.
Kimball asked how specific information about a storage location had to be before it was considered problematic. Stein said that DOE is concerned about the identification of countries in which weapons are stored. Kimball questioned the DOE's responsibility for clearing what appeared to him were policy documents. Stein replied that DOE was not the only agency involved in the clearance process; it clears only documents in which it has a specific equity. Once a document confirms the presence or location of a weapon, the document becomes a DOE issue. With respect to past locations of weapons, there is a set procedure that can be followed for the declassification of that information.
Bose asked for clarification on the timing of declassification under the Kyl-Lott legislation, and Schulzinger followed up by asking whether every document had to go to DOE. Stein replied that it did. Schulzinger then invited the representative from IPS to comment, but she said that she was unable to comment on the Kyl-Lott legislation.
Kimball, referring to the pamphlet distributed earlier by Stein asked whether DOE could make available to the Committee a copy of the DOE-Defense agreement on classification guidance. Stein said that he could make a copy available to those individuals with Q clearance.
Susser asked for clarification on the differences in the declassification procedures for material containing RD and for material containing FRD. Stein said that DOE alone has the authority for declassifying RD documents, while DOE and Defense share the responsibility of declassifying FRD documents.
Kimball returned to the issue of weapon storage locations, asking whether State could declassify information concerning country storage locations. Stein replied that State would need to consult both Defense and DOE if it wanted to declassify country storage locations and that DOE would welcome a proposal by State for declassification of specific information. Both Defense and DOE would have to agree to any declassification of storage location information.
Schulzinger thanked Stein for attending the meeting and invited him again to brief the Committee quarterly. This briefing could be by e-mail to Susser, along with an occasional appearance at a Committee meeting. Schulzinger said that this discussion, as well as the subcommittee discussion that morning, had raised two issues:
- The need to make the DOE review process speedier and more efficient. He urged Stein to do what he could to effect this; and
- The Committee concern that documents not get lost as a result of the DOE review process. He urged the implementation of the best possible tracking process to ensure that documents were not mislaid.
Transfer of State Department Electronic Records to NARA
Schulzinger then called on Celeste Houser-Jackson, the IPS representative, to comment on the transfer of electronic records to NARA. Schulzinger noted that the 1973 records were to be transferred soon and that subsequent years were slated to be transferred on a similar schedule. This meant that documents were being transferred 29 years after their origination, as opposed to the mandated 25 years. Schulzinger asked Houser-Jackson if IPS had a plan to get the transfer process back on to the 25-year plan. She replied that there was no such plan, but that she would be happy to bring the issue up with her office. Schulzinger emphasized that it was critical to stick to the 25-year schedule, not least because of the delays in making documents available even after they have reached NARA. Moreover, the 25-year schedule was the rule and so should be observed. He asked Houser-Jackson for an update on this issue at the next meeting. Kimball requested information on the whole transfer process: what is being transferred, when it is being transferred, etc. Schulzinger requested that the subcommittee on electronic records meet at the next meeting. Kimball noted that the Committee had asked about a year ago that the transfer plan be developed but the Committee had yet to see it.
Access to NSC Institutional Files
Schulzinger called on Nancy Smith to discuss access to NSC institutional files. Smith outlined the differences between the record status of Reagan era and post-Reagan era NSC institutional files as opposed to the record status of pre-Reagan era NSC institutional files. She also noted that the Ford NSC institutional files are still in Washington, where they are undergoing review, including DOE review. Once these reviews are complete, the materials will be sent to the Ford Library in Michigan.
Schulzinger asked for clarification on the difference between the categorization of Reagan/post-Reagan NSC institutional files and pre-Reagan NSC institutional files. David Langbart (NARA) provided some background on the NSC institutional files. He explained that these are the files that the NSC staff had treated as Federal records and retained from administration to administration for continuity purposes, as opposed to the Presidential files that were removed at the end of each administration. The intent was that the institutional files would be transferred to the National Archives, and those through the Eisenhower administration largely have been. As part of the Armstrong decision, the court has ruled that an agency may not create both Presidential records and Federal records, so all of the institutional files had been recategorized as Presidential and will eventually be transferred to the various Presidential libraries.
Langbart, Herschler, Smith, Plummer, and Schulzinger then discussed the contents of NSC institutional files and their utility. In particular, the question was raised as to whether records in NSC institutional files were duplicated in other files. It was agreed that in general this was so, with the important exception of the 303/40 Committee files, which could only be found in the NSC institutional files. There was also discussion as to whether the inconsistent categorization of NSC institutional files had led to any problems for HO historians: Herschler did not think that this was the case.
Revision of Executive Order 12958
Schulzinger then asked Smith to comment on the revision of EO 12958. Smith replied that she had only examined the issue from the point of view of the Presidential Libraries and that Gary Stern, NARA's General Counsel, was involved in this process. Langbart added that he and Jeanne Schauble had also been involved on the NARA team.
Schulzinger commented that the Committee had met with William Leary of the NSC Staff over lunch. Leary had reported that a draft of the revised executive order should be done by the end of the year and that it would be a revision rather than a rewrite, the 25 year rule would be retained, and the presumption for declassification would remain. Kimball added that he understood it would include some clarification of interpretation.
Smith said that a State trip to the Ford Library for an on-site review would take place soon. She is awaiting a State decision on whether to participate in the RAC (Remote Archives Capture) project at the Ford Library. Smith is optimistic about the RAC project; CIA has a special senior team solely designed for review and the project is moving along.
Schulzinger commented that although the specific revisions to the EO are not known, there will probably be more exemptions. The high point in declassification has passed, and a revised EO will be less transparent.
Smith said that EO 12958 deals with the National Security Act. It does not touch on the Atomic Energy Act. Schulzinger added that the justification for Kyl-Lott was that the EO did not meet the requirements of the Atomic Energy Act. Smith then added that the revised EO will not change this situation.
Kimball noted that at the last meeting the Committee said that it would like to have the opportunity to provide input for the State position on the revised EO. There has still been no such opportunity for input, which is, to him, unacceptable. He would like an IPS representative to come to the next morning's session to answer important questions about the EO revision process and other matters discussed this afternoon. Houser-Jackson said that she would pass that request along.
The session adjourned at 4:22 p.m.
CLOSED SESSION, September 24
The CIA and the Foreign Relations Series
Schulzinger welcomed Scott Koch as the new CIA Historian and asked Marc Susser for his report on implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between State and CIA and the joint State/CIA position. Susser said that the position of joint historian has worked out very well; James Van Hook, the joint historian, has worked hard and effectively, and that we had entered upon an "era of good feelings" between the agencies. He added that the declassification backlog is being cleared and that everything is going well.
There was some discussion of the utility of sending a whole Foreign Relations manuscript to the CIA. The CIA maintained that it was very helpful. Overall, the CIA echoed Susser's comment that everything was going well. The CIA had finished reviewing three volumes and it was almost finished with one more. The CIA noted that it was playing catch-up, citing resource problems, but was working to eliminate the backlog.
Kimball asked if the CIA had comparative time-line figures, i.e., did HO get manuscripts back quicker now? After some discussion, David Herschler commented that it was too soon to answer that question. It would probably take up to a year. He noted that there would be an off-site meeting with the CIA next week and stressed the importance of the educational factor. Over the long run, things had improved and will continue to improve.
Schulzinger asked about the volumes scheduled to be released soon. He noted that the last part of the MOU dealt with press releases and asked if this was a potential problem. Susser said no, adding that HO would work with CIA to coordinate the text of all press releases in which CIA had equity.
The lack of public reaction at the release of the 1964-1968 volume on Cyprus, Greece, and Turkey, was discussed. The CIA noted that the timing of the release had helped. Susser commented that the Greek press had focused on the controversy over the volume's release, not its contents. He noted that the Department's Deputy Spokesman had said that the volume would provide good "beach reading."
In a discussion of the secrecy agreements that the Committee members would sign, the CIA explained the difference between the agreement that the current CIA employees sign and that signed by HO historians. The standard secrecy agreement requires the submission of all manuscripts prepared during an employee's lifetime, whereas HO historians and Committee members agree not to reveal CIA documents obtained as part of Foreign Relations research if those documents have not yet been published. Once the documents are published in a released volume, that restriction disappears.
In response to Kimball's question, the CIA said that secrecy agreements referred only to classified information. Under the CIA Publications Review Board process, senior officers (at the policy-making level) review manuscripts. Decisions could be appealed to the CIA Executive Director but appeals were very rare. Asked if anyone ever won an appeal, the CIA replied that one author had won half of his appeal.
Schulzinger asked James Van Hook to report on how the joint State/CIA position was working out. Van Hook said that things were going well; he receives all the access he wants. The CIA pointed out that the off-site meeting scheduled for next week would give the two sides the opportunity to get to know each other.
Kimball offered his congratulations to Koch on his appointment and commented that it would be useful if CIA would keep the Committee and HO informed regarding its public release programs, adding that HO expertise could be helpful to CIA.
Schulzinger reported that that morning he had discussed with Robert Jervis, chairman of the CIA's Historical Review Panel, dates for a proposed joint meeting with the Committee.
Retrospective Foreign Relations Volumes
Roger Louis reported that the subcommittee on retrospective volumes had discussed three works in progress: Guatemala, Congo, and Iran. The front matter of the Guatemala volume, which was close to completion, would be available to the Committee before the December meeting. Herschler said that HO would make the front matter available to Committee members at 8 a.m. on December 2.
Louis also expressed his opinion that the Guatemala access guide will "somehow" express the historians' experiences in doing the research as "this is a matter of historical significance." Also at the subcommittee meeting, David Humphrey reported on the Congo volume: he is reducing the amount of cable traffic included. The Committee approved this approach and wanted to see the manuscript and page proofs at the next meeting. Louis reiterated that he wanted to the see the progress in the manuscripts. The Iran volume was still at a preliminary stage but the Committee will be watching it with great interest.
Louis said that he wanted the advice of the HO staff on future plans for additional retrospective volumes. He suggested a general volume on covert action as an instrument of foreign policy. He also expressed interest in case studies that would serve as missing puzzle pieces. He expressed himself "fully aware" of the demand this would place on resources and invited comment.
Kimball said that there was some discussion of what to include as case studies and suggested asking CIA for recommendations on additional topics. Louis agreed that the Committee favored joint development of any retrospective volume. Plummer asked if the case study approach had been discussed before. Susser said no, not so narrowly. He said that the volume would look at covert actions over a broader time span. Schulzinger commented that the Foreign Relations series was being reformatted to be more thematic in nature.
Patterson said that he had no particular comments and added that much of the framework and policy discussion of covert action was already included in the volume on Intelligence policy.
Humphrey said that the Congo volume would contain a large number of significant documents. He explained that Nina Howland had assembled an outstanding compilation but that his task was to remove the operational details to make the declassification review process easier. Kimball asked that a High-Level Panel issue statement be available to the Committee at the December meeting.
Patterson then encouraged the Committee to share their ideas for other covert volumes with the staff, and Susser said that perhaps HO/CIA collaboration would be possible.
CIA reported that "a lot" of State Department documents had been uncovered in the Guatemala files in the last 2-3 weeks. The original May 1997 CIA release had consisted of 1,400 pages. That number had now grown to 12,000 pages. Kimball interjected that the documents should be sent to HO immediately for analysis.
Louis said that the access guide should be more than a list of sources; it should be a guide to the journey taken by the researcher. The CIA noted that when the documents were released, the job numbers would no longer be relevant. Patterson asked if the CIA had any general comments on access guides. The CIA reiterated that reviewing access guides was a resource issue for the CIA. Kimball said that they should be as objective as possible. Louis said that he had no objection to withholding sources and methods.
Schulzinger thanked the CIA representatives for attending.
At 10:15 a.m. the session went off the record for staff comments and the executive session.