Report from CIA's Historical Review Panel
March 2011

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.

Most of our discussion centered on volumes in the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series, including the retrospective compilations on Iran and the Congo and volumes moving through the normal production cycle. We discussed both specific issues and ways to speed up the process, which all concerned agree often drags out unnecessarily. We will stay in close touch with our counterparts at the State Department's Historical Advisory Committee (HAC) in the periods between our meetings. We discussed the progress on moving the material now on the CREST system at the National Archives on to the internet, which will ease access for scholars, journalists, and members of the interested public. We discussed the projects of the Historical Collections Divisions, especially the Warsaw Pact project and the planned conference and release of the documents on Reagan's use of intelligence in setting policy at the end of the Cold War.

At the end of our meeting we met with Director Panetta to give him our recommendations. We will meet again in June or July.

Professor Robert Jervis (Chair)
Department of Political Science and School of Public and International Affairs
Columbia University

Professor Melvyn Leffler
Department of History
University of Virginia

Professor Thomas Newcomb
Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice
Heidelberg College

Professor Robert Schulzinger
Department of History
University of Colorado at Boulder

Professor Jeffrey Taliaferro
Department of Political Science
Tufts University

Adrienne Thomas
Deputy Archivist of the United States

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