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16 February 2013

CIA's Historical Review Panel Public Statement

Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2013 11:12:07 -0500
To: intelforum[at]
From: IntelForum Mailing List <intelforum[at]>
Subject: [Intelforum] CIA's Historical Review Panel Public Statement

From: "Robert Jervis" <rlj1[at]>

CIA¹s Historical Review Panel Public Statement

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

Professor Melvyn Leffler
Department of History
University of Virginia

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

Professor Jeffrey Taliaferro
Department of Political Science
Tufts University

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

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

Advise the Central Intelligence Agency on systematic and automatic declassification review under the provisions of Executive Order 12958 as amended.

Assist in developing subjects of historical and scholarly interest for the Intelligence Community declassification review program.

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

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

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

At the request of the Director of Central Intelligence Agency, advise on other matters of relevance to the intelligence and academic communities. Advise Information Management Services on archival and records management issues.

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

The HRP met on December 12-13, 2012, with Robert Jervis, Melvyn Leffler, Thomas Newcomb, Jeffrey Taliaferro, and Ruth Wedgwood in attendance.

We discussed a range of topics, including the looming problem of reviewing the greatly increased volume of electronic records, the FOIA backlog, and the progress in putting material from the CREST system (the CIA Records Search Tool) on the web. We continued our discussion of the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series, including specific volumes at various stages of compiling and declassification and the general processes involved, which have been working more smoothly than was often true in the past. We also discussed the projects of the Historical Collections Division (HCD) and how these can be developed to meet the needs of multiple audiences. We returned to the need to get all agencies to devote attention to material from Presidential libraries. We also discussed options for reviewing Presidential Daily Briefs (PDBs).

We will meet again in June 2013.


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