Statement by the CIA Historical Review Panel
(May 2002)

Dr. Lewis Bellardo
National Archives and Records Administration

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

Professor Lawrence Kaplan
Department of History
Georgetown University

Professor Melvyn Leffler
Department of History
University of Virginia

Professor John Norton Moore
Center for National Security Law
University of Virginia School of Law

Professor Robert Pastor
Department of Political Science
Emory University

Professor Betty Unterberger
Department of History
Texas A&M 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.

As in the past, much of our discussion concerned the Foreign Relations of the United States series. The initial inadvertent release of the volume on Indonesia over the summer occasioned the call for a new Memorandum of Understanding between the CIA and the Department of State, and we discussed both the interim agreement that has been signed and the issues that are involved in establishing a new permanent MOU. We underscored the great value of FRUS to scholars, the media, and interested members of the general public. We reviewed the legal, historical, and practical issues surrounding the rights and responsibilities involved in producing FRUS, discussed the status of volumes that remain unreleased, and pointed to the need for appropriate resources to deal with the new procedures in the MOU and the greatly increased number of documents in the enlarged FRUS volumes that are planned for the future.

We discussed the value of the Executive Order 12958 and considered proposals for possible revisions of it. We reviewed the record of the programs undertaken pursuant to the Executive Order, were briefed on what could be accomplished within existing time limits, and discussed what would be possible if slightly more time were available.

We discussed the Center for the Study of Intelligence, including the implications of changes in the organizational structure, and the projects, classified and open, that are underway. We talked about the histories that are being written and, when possible, published in unclassified versions.

We talked with Agency officials about aspects of the administrative reorganization that affect declassification and about the locus of relevant authority within the CIA.

We discussed the CIA's continuing review of documents that fall outside the legally mandated areas but that are of particular interest to the academic community and the general public, especially National Intelligence Estimates on the Soviet Union and the DCI's office files, the first tranche of which are now available at the National Archives.

We will meet again at the end of June.