Report from CIA's Historical Review Panel
January 2012

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:

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.

As has often been the case, we spent much of our time discussing the _Foreign Relations of the United States_ (FRUS) series, including specific volumes at various stages of compiling and declassification and the general processes involved. Delays continue to be troublesome, but as we heard from both CIA and Steve Randolph, General Editor of FRUS, working-level relations between CIA and the State Department have improved and further discussions on how to reduce delays are underway. 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 continued our discussion of the 25-Year Program, the wider dissemination of material on the CREST system (the CIA Records Search Tool), and 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 met with Director Petraeus and conveyed our recommendations to him, and we will meet again in June.

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 Robert Schulzinger
Department of History
University of Colorado at Boulder

Professor Jeffrey Taliaferro
Department of Political Science
Tufts University

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