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:
Public Statement from CIA's Historical Review Panel
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.
- Advise the Central Intelligence Agency on systematic and automatic declassification review under the provisions of Executive Order 13526.
- 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.
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
Professor Melvyn Leffler
Department of History
University of Virginia
Professor Thomas Newcomb (retired)
Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice
Professor Jeffrey Taliaferro
Department of Political Science
Professor Ruth Wedgwood
Nitze School of Advanced International Studies
Johns Hopkins University