Report from CIA's Historical Review Panel
August 2010

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.

At our meeting on June 7-8, 2010, we had a joint session with the State Department's Historical Advisory Committee (HAC) at which we discussed issues involved in the Iran retrospective volume. The staffs of both organizations as well as members of our two committees expressed views on the principles involved, the procedures that have been deployed and how they might be improved, and the level at which decisions should be taken.

The chairs of both committees agreed to continue to closely monitor the situation and to remain in close contact. Implementation of the new Executive Order on declassification (EO 13526) was our other main topic. This touches on multiple specific questions, some of which remain open until the implementing regulations have been established. We were particularly interested in the implication of the new EO for the status of Presidential Daily Briefs. We also talked about how the new National Declassification Center would operate and discussed the status of clandestine service histories. We met with Director Panetta and conveyed our recommendations to him. We will meet again in December.

Professor Robert Jervis (Chair)
Department of Political Science and School of Public and International Affairs
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

Adrienne Thomas
Deputy Archivist of the United States

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