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:
Report from CIA's Historical Review Panel
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.
- Advise the Central Intelligence Agency on systematic and automatic declassification review under the provisions of Executive Order 12958 as amended.
- Assist in developing subjects of historical and scholarly interest for the Intelligence Community declassification review program.
- Advise CIA and the Intelligence Community on declassification issues in which the protection of intelligence sources and methods potentially conflicts with mandated declassification priorities.
- Provide guidance for the historical research and writing programs of the CIA History Staff, and when appropriate, review draft products.
- Advise Information Management Services on its mandatory and voluntary declassification review initiatives and the Center for the Study of Intelligence on its academic outreach programs.
- At the request of the Director of Central Intelligence Agency, advise on other matters of relevance to the intelligence and academic communities.
- Advise Information Management Services on archival and records management issues.
At our meeting on June 7-8, 2010, we had a joint session with the State Department's Historical Advisory Committee (HAC) at which we discussed issues involved in the Iran retrospective volume. The staffs of both organizations as well as members of our two committees expressed views on the principles involved, the procedures that have been deployed and how they might be improved, and the level at which decisions should be taken.
The chairs of both committees agreed to continue to closely monitor the situation and to remain in close contact. Implementation of the new Executive Order on declassification (EO 13526) was our other main topic. This touches on multiple specific questions, some of which remain open until the implementing regulations have been established. We were particularly interested in the implication of the new EO for the status of Presidential Daily Briefs. We also talked about how the new National Declassification Center would operate and discussed the status of clandestine service histories. We met with Director Panetta and conveyed our recommendations to him. We will meet again in December.
Professor Robert Jervis (Chair)
Department of Political Science and School of Public and International Affairs
Professor Melvyn Leffler
Department of History
University of Virginia
Professor Thomas Newcomb
Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice
Professor Robert Schulzinger
Department of History
University of Colorado at Boulder
Professor Jeffrey Taliaferro
Department of Political Science
Deputy Archivist of the United States
Professor Ruth Wedgwood
Nitze School of Advanced International Studies
Johns Hopkins University