CIA Historical Review Panel Public Statement
September 25, 2008

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.

The HRP met on June 18-20, 2008. We had an extensive discussion of the volumes of the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series that are in various stages of production. We focused on the volumes concerning Congo and the Iran retrospective, and the few remaining issues that are involved. We probed the reasons for both the substantive disagreements and the delays and talked about ways of resolving the disputes. For other volumes, we discussed the emerging differences and ways of developing procedures that would reduce delays both at CIA and at other agencies.

We were briefed on budget problems and discussed ways of dealing with them in an environment in which CIA's discretion over spending is less than it has been in the past.

We continued the discussion we have had over previous years about the 25-year release program and the CREST system at the Archives and ways of making these documents available to those who cannot come to Washington.

We discussed the plans of the Historical Collection Division (HCD), which recently released documents of DCI Helms in connection with a symposium held at Georgetown University. We talked about priorities of other projects of interest to the historical community and general public.

We presented our views and recommendations to CIA's leaders and will meet again in December.

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

Professor Melvyn Leffler
Department of History
University of Virginia

Professor Thomas Newcomb
School of Criminal Justice and Security Studies
Tiffin University

Professor Robert Schulzinger
Department of History
University of Colorado at Boulder

Professor Jeffrey Taliaferro
Department of Political Science
Tufts University

Professor Betty Unterberger
Department of History
Texas A&M University

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