Public Statement from CIA's Historical Review Panel
August 2015

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.

We discussed the progress in the Next Generation Information Management system that will be needed to cope with the enormous increase in the number of documents that will have to be reviewed for declassification as the program confronts the era of email and other electronic documents. Both the finances and the technology pose major challenges. Currently, significant releases with fewer redactions are underway, notably with the planned release of President's Daily Briefs (PDBs) for the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. We also discussed CIA's contribution to the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series and the procedural changes that have reduced frictions and time-delays while simultaneously often resulting in the release of increased information. We discussed the continuing releases of the 25-year program and the efforts to put more of the documents on the web. We also discussed the implication for declassification of the CIA's reorganization into Centers.

We met with Director Brennan to give him our views and will convene again in December.

Melvyn Leffler has resigned from HRP after fifteen years of valued service and will be replaced by Frank Costigliola from the University of Connecticut.

Professor Tami Biddle
Department of National Security and Strategy
US Army War College

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

Professor Melvyn Leffler
Department of History
University of Virginia

Professor Thomas Newcomb (retired)
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

Source: H-DIPLO