Statement by the CIA Historical Review Panel
February 25, 2004

Dr. Lewis Bellardo
National Archives and Records Administration

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

Professor Melvyn Leffler
Department of History
University of Virginia

Professor Robert Pastor
Department of Political Science
Emory University

Professor Marc Trachtenberg
Department of Political Science

Professor Betty Unterberger
Department of History
Texas A&M University

Professor Ruth Wedgwood
School of Law
Yale University

The Director of Central Intelligence'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 DCI panels, is convened by the Director to provide him with confidential advice and assessments. Because the HRP's advice to the DCI 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, DCI George Tenet and the Panel concluded that it should inform the interested public of the subjects and problems that the Panel is discussing.

Most of the meeting of June 14-15, 2004 was devoted to the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series. In addition, we discussed the projects to review and release National Intelligence Estimates on the PRC, documents dealing with the Warsaw Pact, and the activities of the CIA's History Staff.

We spent most of the first day discussing issues of FRUS, especially the Congo and Iran retrospectives and the the current volumes on Chile, Japan, and Italy. The questions are not easy ones and we had a full airing of competing views with officials from all parts and levels of the Agency. In some cases, currently classified documents are important for an understanding of the past; in others cases material already has been published by reputable figures and the question is the value and harm done by official acknowledgment.

We also discussed the progress CIA has made toward meeting the FRUS deadlines and what can be done to ensure that the progress made over the past 6 months is maintained as the growth of the State Department Historian's Office leads to an increased pace of production in the FRUS compilations.

We continued to discuss how the historians could capture as much of the Agency's history as possible given the limited resources at their disposal.

We have presented the Director with our views and recommendations on these issues.

We will meet again in January 2005.