Steven Garfinkel, Director
Information Security Oversight Office
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Joan A. Dempsey
NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION
Michael J. Kurtz
NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL
William H. Leary
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Frank M. Machak
DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE
Richard J. Wilhelm
Among the milestones established in E.O.12958 was the creation of the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel, or "ISCAP," only the second interagency appeals panel in our history. The President has asked the ISCAP to perform several critical functions in implementing the Order's provisions. These include: (a) deciding on appeals by parties whose requests for declassification of information under the mandatory review provisions of the Order have been denied by the classifying agency; (b) approving, denying or amending agency exemptions from the automatic declassification provisions of the Order; and (c) deciding appeals brought by individuals who challenge the classification status of information that they lawfully possess. The work of the ISCAP is crucial to the implementation of E.O. 12958, because its decisions will ultimately establish the cutting edge between what information is declassified and what information remains classified.
Senior officials appointed by the Secretaries of State and Defense, the Attorney General, the Director of Central Intelligence, the Archivist of the United States and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs make up the six voting members of the ISCAP. The President appointed Deputy Assistant Attorney General Roslyn A. Mazer to serve as the ISCAP's chair. The Director of the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) serves as its Executive Secretary, and ISOO provides its staff support.
The ISCAP first convened at the end of May 1996, and voted to declassify its first document at its second meeting in July 1996. To date, the entirety of its decision caseload has consisted of mandatory review appeals, most involving documents from presidential libraries. The ISCAP has decided appeals seeking the declassification of 34 documents totaling approximately 5,000 pages that remained fully or partially classified upon the completion of agency processing. Of these, the ISCAP has voted to declassify 27 documents in full, to declassify significant portions of six others, and to affirm the agency's classification action fully for only one document.
Among the documents declassified by the ISCAP in their entirety are the following:
Of the six documents in which the ISCAP has declassified additional portions, two pertain to United States' political, military and intelligence options to deal with the Berlin crisis in 1961; one pertains to the minutes of the second meeting of the White House Committee on Nuclear Proliferation, which took place in 1964; two pertain to the Dominican Republic presidential election in 1966; and one is comprised of the remaining classified technical manuals of the Office of Censorship, a World War II agency. Except for the nuclear proliferation minutes, the portions that remain classified pertain to information, the release of which "should be expected to reveal the identity of a confidential human source, or reveal information about the application of an intelligence source or method, or reveal the identity of a human intelligence source when the unauthorized disclosure of that source would clearly and demonstrably damage the national security interests of the United States." (E.O. 12958, sec. 3.4(b)(1)). The relatively small portion of the White House Committee on Nuclear Proliferation minutes that remains classified pertains to information, the release of which "should be expected to reveal information that would assist in the development or use of weapons of mass destruction." (E.O. 12958, sec. 3.4(b)(2)).
The only document to date in which the ISCAP has not voted to declassify additional information reveals the actual identities of individuals who provided the allies with intelligence information during World War II. All other portions of this document, including the intelligence provided, has previously been declassified. These identities remain classified for now as information, the release of which "should be expected to reveal the identity of a confidential human source, or reveal information about the application of an intelligence source or method, or reveal the identity of a human intelligence source when the unauthorized disclosure of that source would clearly and demonstrably damage the national security interests of the United States." (E.O. 12958, sec. 3.4(b)(1)).
The database of decisions rendered by the ISCAP between May 1996 and April 1997 is available from ISOO on Microsoft Access 2.0 or in hard copy.