[Congressional Record: October 2, 2007 (Extensions)]
[Page E2046]



                       HON. CAROLYN B. MALONEY--

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                        Tuesday, October 2, 2007

  Mrs. MALONEY of New York. Madam Speaker, on Friday, September 28th 
the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records 
Interagency Working Group presented to Congress its final report on the 
United States' knowledge of Nazi war crimes.
  First, I want to thank the Archivist, Mr. Allen Weinstein, for 
serving as the chair of the Interagency Working Group. I would also 
like to thank his staff at the Archives for all of their hard work on 
this project throughout the years.
  I am also grateful to the IWG's public members--Tom Baer, Richard 
Ben-Veniste and former Congresswoman Liz Holtzman. They have all 
performed a great service for our Nation. They undertook a 7-year, 
nearly $30 million, government-wide effort to locate, declassify, and 
make publicly available U.S. records of Nazi and Japanese war crimes. 
We now have their final report.
  This project really was an example of government working well. So 
many different agencies and branches came together to work on it. I 
want to thank all of the government agencies--the FBI, CIA, Defense 
Department, Treasury Department, and others. Without their help, we 
wouldn't have a report in hand. This part of the process wasn't always 
easy going--this I realize--but so many staff members throughout all of 
these important agencies worked hard on this project. It would be 
impossible to name them all, but they all deserve our thanks.
  I--and indeed the whole world--was shocked to discover that Kurt 
Waldheim, one-time U.N. Secretary General, was a Nazi. The critical 
question that followed was how much information did the U.S. Government 
have about Waldheim's actions during the war and before he became head 
of the U.N.? And why wouldn't they reveal it? I introduced the Nazi War 
Crimes Disclosure Act back in 1994 to get to the bottom of important 
questions like these. From the start, there was great opposition to the 
bill from the intelligence community. But in 1996 we were able to pass 
a Sense of Congress in support of the bill. And, with the help of 
former Senator DeWine and former Congressman Horn, the bill finally 
passed in 1998. Former counsel to Mr. DeWine, Louis DuPart also 
deserves credit and thanks for helping to write the bill that finally 
passed. Peter Levitas, another DeWine staffer, deserves thanks for 
helping to shepherd the bill through its different iterations.
  In 2005, we expanded the War Crimes Disclosure Act to cover the 
Japanese crime documents, and extended it an additional 2 years to give 
the IWG more time to do its work. As a result of it, more than 8 
million pages of government documents have been declassified and opened 
to the public.
  The declassified records include the entirety of the operational 
files of the Office of Strategic Services--the predecessor agency of 
the CIA--and more than 163,000 pages of CIA materials of a type never 
before opened to the public.
  One of the IWG's aims was to uncover documentation that would shed 
light on the extent to which the U.S. Government had knowingly used and 
protected Nazi and Japanese war criminals for intelligence purposes. In 
fact, the IWG found that there was a closer relationship between the 
U.S. Government and war criminals than previously known. This 
revelation, while difficult to accept, is crucial to the understanding 
of our Nation's history.
  Researchers, private citizens, in fact anyone who is interested, are 
now able to comb through the documents that will bring us closer to the 
truth of the Holocaust. Moreover, as the Archivist of the United 
States, the Honorable Allen Weinstein explained when presenting to 
Congress IWG's final report, ``Perhaps more important even than the 
declassified records, this effort stands as a lasting testimony to the 
fact that declassifying significant documents such as these will not 
impede the operations of government. Indeed, the work of the IWG should 
set a new standard for declassification.''
  In today's world, our government faces enormous pressure--not only 
from our own agencies but also from foreign intelligence agencies--to 
keep all records out of the public realm. In the end, disclosure of 
these files and records is better for our intelligence agencies and 
better for history.
  Madam Speaker, the best chapters of our history provide a model for 
great democracy and leadership. Our worst chapters show us the dark 
consequences of apathy and intolerance.