U.S. Department of State
Advisory Committee on Historical
February 12-13, 2001
- Open Session, February 12
- --Approval of the Record of the April, July, and December Meetings and Other Business
- --Report of the Subcommittee on Electronic Records
- --Systematic Declassification Review of Department of State Records Series
- --Future of the Foreign Relations Series
- --Processing and Release of Nixon Presidential Materials for Foreign Relations
- Closed Session, February 13
- --Presentation by Robert Jervis, Head of the CIA Historical Review Panel
- --Report of the Subcommittee on the Future of the Foreign Relations Series
OPEN SESSION, February 12
Approval of the Record of the April, July, and December Meetings and Other Business
Chairman Robert Schulzinger called the meeting to order at 1:35 p.m. and, for the benefit of the new Committee member, had everyone in the room introduce themselves. He then moved on to approval of the three sets of Committee minutes. Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman moved to adopt the April and July 2000 minutes; Ann Van Camp seconded each motion and they were approved without change. Schulzinger then asked for approval of the December minutes. Frank Mackaman asserted that the experiment with abbreviated minutes had failed and that the December minutes were too long. Others disagreed, arguing that they were an appropriate length. Ann Van Camp asked for a clarification of the term "sanitizing," as used in the December minutes, noting that this is not an official archival term. With that change, the December 2000 minutes were approved.
Report of the Executive Secretary
Executive Secretary Marc Susser reported that while he has officially been the Department Historian for only 2 weeks, he had been meeting with the staff unofficially for a few weeks more. On personnel issues, he reported that HO staff had traveled to the American Historical Association's Annual Meeting in Boston in December and interviewed candidates. He was very encouraged and expected that five would be hired by the summer. He also hoped to be granted another one to two slots by the Bureau once the hiring freeze is lifted. He noted as well that the Office hoped to have a candidate soon for the joint State-CIA position. To facilitate this process, he was looking for someone who had already passed the Agency's polygraph test.
Susser noted that Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Boucher had mentioned during his luncheon meeting with the Committee that he was very interested in creating a policy support unit within HO, but this will have to await more resources from the Department. He added that he hoped to have more information on funding for the museum in 4-6 months. Before the new units are operating, however, he hopes to have the requisite positions and funding and assured the Committee that there would be no drain on resources for Foreign Relations.
Susser said that Secretary of State Powell was aware of HO's work even before he was confirmed by the Senate. Paul Claussen had drafted an outstanding memorandum on the position of Counselor and Powell responded with a very favorable, handwritten comment. Claussen was also drafting a similar memorandum about the Office of the Under Secretary for Management. Susser noted as well that Assistant Secretary Boucher had been very supportive of the Office.
Susser updated the Committee on the work of the Interagency Working Group on Nazi War Crimes Records (IWG), which is working on Japanese war crimes records as well. He noted that the United States had returned captured World War II records to Japan after the war and that the IWG was interested in trying to work out some cooperative effort with the Japanese Government to review them. On PFIAB records, Susser noted that he and David Herschler had met with L to begin to explore the legal status of PFIAB records regarding our possible review and declassification.
Susser also said that the Office hoped to host a reception at the Department as part of the SHAFR Conference. It is possible that a senior State Department official might be willing to attend and make remarks.
He also reported that the Clinton administration history, which is not classified, was transmitted to the White House and then to the Clinton Library Project, where it became part of the Clinton Papers. Even though the history is not classified and most of the Department of State documents in the annex to the history are available on the Internet, it cannot be put on the HO website since it is subject to the 5-year non-disclosure rule under the Presidential Records Act. A suggestion was made that perhaps it could be released and posted to the HO web page after checking with the National Archives.
In a discussion of e-publication costs, Susser commented that the Library of Congress (LOC) estimate was high: the estimate for 1,000 documents or 4,000 pages was $47,500, with development of searchable text files another $37,000; additional collections would be approximately $34,000 each. Discussion revealed that these costs are not unusual and were, in fact, close to the $10-30 per page for document imaging that is standard in the industry. Additional funding may be needed from the Bureau, as there will also be website maintenance costs. Susser commented that the Office would look at all the possible alternatives and their costs. Committee members asked if charging users for using the website had been considered. Given the government's policy on public access and free dissemination of information, Susser thought that charging for use was not likely.
In response to a question about the so-called Perkins Chart from Philip Zelikow, Susan Weetman explained that "Verification" of a volume entails meeting with IPS to review all the declassification decisions to ensure that all redactions and denials have been marked before the volume is typeset. Kimball requested that the Status Report include notes on those volumes that have gone past the projected due dates. The Committee also requested specific target dates for completion of compiling or declassification and/or an explanation as to why the dates cannot be met.
Finally, Susser reported that fund-raising for the U.S. Diplomacy Center has begun. The initial goal was to raise $500,000 for the architectural design, and then begin a major fund-raising effort to design and build the museum exhibits. The architect chosen for the project is the one who designed the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Report of the Subcommittee on Electronic Records
Anne Van Camp reported on the meeting earlier in the day of the Subcommittee on Electronic Records. She noted that there had been a list of suggested actions adopted at the last Committee meeting in December. The subcommittee had received a briefing on the main issue of the transfer of the State Department's electronic records to NARA. There was also the issue of providing samples of such records. She was disappointed to report that there had been little progress on either of these two milestones, but she reported that NARA and IPS had agreed to meet within the month to see if there would be any problems with the transfer. Secondly, they had made a commitment to develop a schedule within 2 months for the transfer of records.
Margaret Peppe, the IPS leader for the transfer of electronic records, stated that the Department, and IPS, are committed to completing this process. She said that the State-NARA meeting was scheduled for February 23.
Schulzinger noted that NARA has reported that a number of other agencies are transferring their electronic records to NARA, and he suggested that the State Department look at how other agencies are doing this. He requested a report at the next Committee meeting.
Van Camp stressed that if there was no progress by the next meeting, the Committee needed to escalate this important issue.
Systematic Declassification Review of Department of State Records
Peter Sheils, Deputy Director of A/IPS/RPS, introduced Brian Dowling to report on systematic review in the Department. Dowling said that, even though his reviewers are often pulled off of their regular work for special projects, which take precedence, the State Department is "in very good shape" in terms of systematic review. He said that the 30 reviewers at NARA and the 30 to 35 working at the Records Center at Newington, Virginia, had completed 90 percent of their work--all of the Central Files and post files and almost all of the lot files. They still had to review microfiche, which will have to be converted to paper records because of the poor quality of the microfiche. State has until April 2003 to complete the review, and he expects to have it done long before then. Of the retired office lot files, only INR files are left. State reviewers also have to review State equities in other-agency documents; of these, Department of the Army records is by far the biggest group, with approximately 9,000 boxes. There will also be many boxes from Navy, Air Force, Energy, etc.
Dowling then described the two special projects that the reviewers are working on: Nazi war crimes and Japanese war crimes. In connection with the Nazi war crimes project, IPS was reviewing records from 247 posts, from the Washington bureaus, and from the State Archiving System (SAS). He has 30 reviewers at Archives II working in tandem with the Interagency Working Group on Nazi War Crimes (IWG) staff, who identify relevant material that they would like to have declassified. Dowling noted that so far not a single such document from Archives II had been denied. At Newington, 250-300 boxes are being reviewed, as well as 6,000 boxes from Suitland. The whole project should be finished by September. He noted that at least 95 percent of the material reviewed has been released, with most of the withheld material being more recent documents. In connection with the Japanese war crimes project, IPS had sent out taskers to over 40 posts.
David Patterson pointed out that the two Holocaust-era assets reports and the subsequent negotiations carried out by Stuart Eizenstat are all considered relevant to the Nazi war crimes project. The denied material usually relates to the recent negotiations. Schulzinger expressed concern that the figure of 5 percent for the amount of documentation withheld was too high. David Herschler noted that the actual denial rate would turn out to be substantially less than 5 percent. Zelikow asked to see specific examples of what the Department had denied at the next meeting.
Van Camp raised concern that projects like the IWG could take away from the overall systematic declassification effort. Dowling countered that his staff was doing other reviews during the "down time" on these priority taskings. Sheils pointed out that it was not a matter of "picking and choosing" what to review; on the war crimes issues, the law mandated that the resources be devoted to undertake these massive reviews. Schulzinger suggested that Sheils bring new charts during the next meeting to show IPS's progress in this general area.
Future of the Foreign Relations Series
Schulzinger then asked Susser to address the future of the Foreign Relations series. Susser noted that Foreign Relations production would continue to move along two tracks: print and electronic compilations. Patterson said that the proposed plan for production, the so-called Geyer-Sieg/Keefer-Humphrey plan, had been overtaken by events such as dwindling staff and new tasks assigned to HO by the Department. He noted that HO was "waiting for stability" before devising a new plan to replace the old one, since the Office needed a reorganization before concentrating on accelerating the Foreign Relations series. He added that access guides would be an essential element of a new Foreign Relations plan.
Schulzinger then raised the issue of cost for electronic publications. Susser noted that various options would be explored, such as the possibility of using PA Bureau experts and purchasing a scanner for in-house operation. However, funding for this equipment would be required. Schulzinger argued the case that scanning still made more sense than textual data entry because of the errors produced and time required. Zelikow raised as an "intermediate idea" the process of indexing scanned documents using Departmental Tags and Terms.
Patterson noted that the compilers doing electronic volumes were developing purport lists that included title, subject, country, and keyword information that would accompany scanned documents and be used for searching. He estimated the cost of preparing electronic volumes to be about the same as compiling a print volume, although an electronic volume would contain 2-3 times more documents. Kimball suggested that it might be cheaper to have the text keyed in and proofread. He requested firm cost estimates on both ways of doing electronic volumes. Schulzinger also requested a breakdown of cost per page.
Processing and Release of Nixon Presidential Materials for Foreign Relations
Nancy Smith and David Mengel of the National Archives reported on access to and use of the Nixon Presidential Materials at the National Archives and the processing and release of such materials for Foreign Relations under the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act (PRMPA).
Nancy Smith cited a meeting on January 25 with David Herschler, Rita Baker, and Susan Weetman to identify the concerns of the Historian's Office. The most important outcome of the meeting was an understanding that the PRMPA review of Foreign Relations volumes at the Nixon Project would not be delayed by the declassification process. Documents drawn from the Nixon Presidential Materials that are printed or substantively cited in the volumes will be reviewed under the PRMPA simultaneously with the declassification coordination of the manuscript. NARA will submit to the Historian's Office a statement to be included in the Preface of the volume informing readers of the possibility that some of the documents cited in the volume may not be processed and opened to the public at the time of release, due to the Department historians' special access.
David Mengel noted that HO had agreed to submit a copy of each manuscript at the time the declassification process is initiated so that the two NARA employees whose salaries are paid by the State subvention can review it for PRMPA restrictions. The manuscript would also be used to identify and review for declassification those documents drawn from the Nixon Presidential Materials that are summarized or quoted in the annotation and editorial notes in the manuscript. Mengel said that NARA would coordinate the declassification review of these "back-up" documents with other agencies.
Kimball asked if personal and privacy issues had arisen to any appreciable extent in the documents reviewed thus far by NARA for Foreign Relations. Mengel said they had not, although the only manuscript reviewed so far is for the volume dealing with foreign economic policy. Kimball also asked if contacts between administration officials and the press could be withheld under personal and privacy restrictions. Nancy Smith responded that, while individual instances might arise, she did not see such restrictions as broadly applicable to contacts with the press.
Kimball asked if Foreign Relations issues were accorded precedence by the Nixon Project. Nancy Smith replied that they were.
In response to questions about the PRMPA review, Smith explained that, if someone objected to release of documents, the objection would go to the Presidential Materials Review Board. There had been no formal objections since 1987, and if there were only one document at issue, resolution would not take very long. She explained that "concerns" had been raised since 1987, but no formal objections. Mengel added that the process was so difficult that it had been agreed to resolve problems informally. Smith also noted also that the passage of time had dimmed some concerns.
Kimball asked Smith and Mengel to summarize the rules for access to the Nixon tapes. Smith said there was a separate agreement relating to the tapes, noting that these were more sensitive. Mengel stated that anything quoted or summarized had to be referred to the Nixon Estate. Herschler explained the process agreed to between HO and the Nixon Estate for gaining access to the tapes. First, a State historian requested access from the Nixon Estate to specific tapes; second, Nixon Project staff prepared the tapes for listening. In response to questions, Herschler noted that access was routinely granted, and Keefer said that the response was usually timely, although there had been a period when litigation between the government and the Nixon Estate over compensation had delayed access for 3 months. Usually it took between 1 and 4 months to gain access to the tapes; lately it was 1-2 months.
Kimball asked if there was a system in the Office for keeping track of the tape requests and who was responsible for following up. Keefer replied that it was up to the individual historians. Herschler pointed out that the time it took to receive tapes was related to the quantity of tapes asked for. Kimball asked how the tape requests were coordinated in the Nixon Project. Mengel responded that this was done by the Foreign Relations team leader who sets it up with the two people under Department of State subvention. Nancy Smith noted that if there was a problem, HO historians should inform Mengel or Karl Weissenbach.
Continuing with his explanation of HO's access to the Nixon tapes, Herschler said that at the other end of the tape process HO asked John Taylor, Executive Director of the Nixon Library and Executor of the Nixon Estate, to review tape-related materials. Schulzinger asked if Taylor saw this material before the PRMPA review. Herschler replied that the tapes were separate from that review; the Nixon Project would have the Foreign Relations manuscript for review, and that HO coordinated with Taylor review of the documents relating to the tapes. Herschler noted that the system had worked well the one time it had been used. Taylor had come to the Historian's Office and had taken the documents (in this case Editorial Notes summarizing taped conversations) with him; the Office had sent him a form which he had returned with his permission to print the Editorial Notes. The Editorial Notes were declassified before Taylor reviewed them.
Zelikow probed Smith and Mengel about the definition of privacy applied by the Nixon Project. Smith and Mengel emphasized that redaction depended on what was said. Smith also pointed out that there was a known "enemies' list"; for statements to be withheld they would have to be about someone not already on the enemies' list. Furthermore, if the statements demonstrated abuse of power, they would not be redacted.
Zelikow then asked if an individual on a Nixon tape could waive his privacy rights. Mengel pointed out that the Nixon Project could not review each instance when an individual waived his privacy rights. Rather, that individual would have to grant a blanket waiver. Zelikow protested that the Nixon Project's application of "privacy" rules created a Catch-22, in which someone's rights of privacy were being protected, when, in fact, that person did not know he/she was being protected and might wish to waive his/her rights. Nancy Smith interjected that if Foreign Relations historians believe that something should be printed from a Nixon tape transcript that had been excised, that historian should bring the matter before the Presidential Materials Review Board.
Several Committee members expressed concerns about tape excisions based on "privacy." Schulzinger cited an example of the use of expletives by a Nixon administration official about someone's conduct of duties. Hogan commented on the "paranoid" character of many Nixon officials and expressed concern that that "tone" of that administration might be removed from Foreign Relations volumes. Kimball declared that it was incumbent upon the HO staff to keep track of the excisions in the Nixon recordings.
In response to these various concerns, Mengel declared that critical comments about someone's conduct of duties would not be excised unless the criticism was slanderous. He also noted that once an individual is dead, material redacted because of privacy concerns would be re-reviewed and released. Nancy Smith stated that the Committee was bringing up a problem of privacy that did not currently exist in relation to research for Foreign Relations. If, or when, specific examples arise when a Foreign Relations historian believes something has been redacted when he/she believes it should be printed, then it can be referred to the Presidential Materials Review Board.
Zelikow asked if excisions from the Nixon tapes were marked. Smith replied that the historians hear a beep at an excision and the Nixon tape log indicates what kind of excision has been made-national security or privacy issue.
In closing, Mengel declared that final authority concerning personal privacy excisions rests with the National Archives. The Nixon Estate raised concerns with the 1971 releases, but they were resolved informally and no formal objections were sent to the review board.
Presentation by Robert Jervis, Head of the CIA Historical Review Panel
CLOSED SESSION, February 13
The Chairman called the session to order at 9 a.m. and introduced Professor Robert Jervis of Columbia University who made a presentation to the Committee in his role as head of the CIA's Historical Review Panel (HRP).
Jervis related the history and background of the HRP: it has been in existence for 5-6 years and meets twice a year in its present form. Unlike the Historical Advisory Committee, it is not written into statute but is an advisory panel that reports to the Director of Central Intelligence "in private." It has no power but is assured of access to top CIA officials, meeting with either the DCI or a top deputy at the end of each meeting. The HRP also advises the DCI in his role as head of the intelligence community.
Panel members Melvyn Leffler, Betty Unterberger, Larry Kaplan, Lou Bellardo (NARA), Bob Pastor, and John Norton Moore serve rotating terms, but recent practice has seen members serving for longer or shorter periods, at the will of the DCI.
Jervis next described the issues within the HRP's advisory scope:
Concerning the Foreign Relations series, Jervis emphasized that the series is central to the HRP mission, and the Panel often devotes one-half to one-third of its meetings to the series. The Panel reviews issue statements and the underlying documents with Agency equities. Jervis summarized the problems the HRP had perceived after reviewing two cases, commenting that as an advisory panel the HRP is as concerned with what is included as it is with what is denied or redacted. Based on these two cases, Jervis raised these issues:
- the Foreign Relations series;
- information management;
- the activities of the CIA History Staff;
- special searches;
- the activities of the mandatory review group, or "redaction factory," which has seen a lot of success in the past years;
- other "voluntary programs," e.g., review of DCI office files and Soviet finished intelligence, which are important to historians and researchers.
Jervis also noted that the HRP is familiar with other ongoing problems with the selection and declassification of documentation for the Foreign Relations series: especially PDBs, budget issues, and issue of domestic and foreign knowledge of a particular covert activity, and access. (On the last, he placed a high priority on getting a person in place in the joint State-CIA position.)
- How much information about in-country operations can be declassified and still protect sources and methods?
- Detailed operational documentation was selected instead of finished intelligence and intelligence analyses, causing problems for declassification.
- CIA memoranda to the 303 Committee were selected instead of the minutes of the 303 Committee, which would include the interagency discussion and decision-making.
The number one problem, he maintained, was the issue of "policy v. implementation"; what is the relationship between what's agreed in interagency discussions in Washington and what happens in-country; what level of detail is necessary? These questions have a profound impact on selection criteria for most Foreign Relations compilations, especially those covering U.S. relations with developing countries.
He explained that the CIA feels that acknowledgement of certain facts complicates operational relationships. These issues are virtually non-negotiable.
In the case of disputed items discussed by the High-Level Panel at the end of the review process, the HRP believed the issue statements, which set forth the general context of a covert operation, were very important, but that the Panel itself must do more than acknowledge the operation. It must also consider individual documents. He stressed the importance of accurate and complete issue statements.
Turning to the release of information in individual documents, he reported that the HRP considered that aggregate dollar figures were very important to the historical record to show both the scope of the operation and its relative importance to the U.S. Government and policymakers.
As a summary, Jervis made two general statements, which might be adopted as broad guidelines for the HO-CIA dialogue:
Schulzinger thanked Jervis for his excellent presentation and turned to Susser for his comments. Susser stressed the importance he placed on initiating a closer relationship with the CIA at the working level, so that problems and inaccuracies can be addressed in an ongoing dialogue. Jervis agreed and noted that the HRP had urged more day-to-day contact between the two agencies.
- The High-Level Panel must become more involved in reviewing documents at the close of the declassification process, instead of solely considering issue statements.
- The managers and compilers in the Historian's Office must decide "what's vital for the historical record" and the CIA must decide "what will harm liaison relationships." Issue statements must address both concerns but can be tailored to individual countries, so some will be more specific than others.
Comments by the CIA and Committee Discussion. The CIA was optimistic about forging a closer working relationship with State, especially after the two successful meetings that the new Historian had attended at the Agency. The CIA noted that it currently was working out the arrangements for a full-day off-site meeting between CIA and the Historian's Office.
The CIA noted that most of the declassification of the office files of the first two CIA Directors had been completed, and that work on much of the material from the next four DCIs would be completed in the near future.
The CIA asked if the Committee was satisfied with the new format for the minutes of the Historical Advisory Committee. Schulzinger said that the consensus of the Committee was that the details given in the December minutes was about right. Kimball interjected that the new format did away with the need for an "off-the-record" situation, but others disagreed with his assessment. CIA said that a full and frank discussion would not be possible without the off-the-record option.
Joint CIA-State Research Position. Kimball asked for a status report on the proposal for a jointly funded research position at CIA. CIA responded that its decision-makers may give their approval by the end of the week. Later in the session, Van Camp asked to hear CIA's ideas about the expectations attached to the person who would be chosen for this position. Kimball said that he hoped the person would facilitate the work of State Department historians by making it possible for them to see more documents, more frequently. CIA also expressed optimism and characterized the position as "not a silver bullet" but nevertheless an improvement.
Issue Statements for Foreign Relations Volumes. HRP expressed concern that one issue statement had come close to approval and publication with inaccuracies. Patterson said that he would like the HRP to provide its comments on the issues under discussion in writing. Jervis said that he would do so. Patterson explained that the Historical Office was not interested as much in specific detail as it was in conveying a sense of scale and context to the reader.
Van Camp asked if State Department historians could attend sessions of the HRP if documents selected for Foreign Relations were being reviewed in order to answer questions. Jervis agreed it would be both possible and useful.
Selection of CIA Materials for Foreign Relations Compilations. Mackaman asked about the Department's selection criteria for inclusion of intelligence documentation in Foreign Relations volumes. Jervis said that the recent major increases in the volume of CIA documents being selected for inclusion in Foreign Relations might be troublesome and called for further discussion, in part because more detail might mean more declassification problems. Schulzinger quoted from the Foreign Relations statute and noted that State Department records were considered significant for the foreign policy record down to the consular level and speculated that there may be analogies on the CIA side. He emphasized that actions taken outside of Washington and activities of others beyond the President were significant and that the distinction between policy and operations was not clear.
Kimball added that the Committee had encouraged HO to develop guidelines for the use of intelligence materials. He felt this would be even more important as new staff came on board. Kimball also expressed concern that the CIA Historical Review Panel had critiqued a compilation 8 months ago and this was the first the Department had heard of it.
Substitution of Published Memoir Literature for Source Material. Hogan asked Jervis to address substituting materials such as excerpts from published memoirs for documents that could not be declassified. Jervis replied that the HRP would consider it and that it might receive serious consideration from CIA. Schulzinger wondered about publishing memoirs or news reports in Foreign Relations, which is the official record of the U.S. Government; would it give these unofficial records official approval even though they weren't "documents" in the traditional sense. Kimball said he was nervous about such an approach without further Committee study. Susser noted the risk that such a practice would become a generic solution for difficult problems. Jervis thought it might be a useful approach if substituted literature were a mixture of what should be included in Foreign Relations and what could never be included.
Roger Louis asked if distance in time influenced CIA's outlook on declassification; was there a "moving frontier"? Jervis explained that it might help in most cases, but "time may have less of a healing effect" in some cases.
Hoffman explained that while Committee members did not want a series of volumes that could never be published, they were equally opposed to the use of published material as a routine solution. Schulzinger asked that HO prepare a real example for the Committee to consider at its next meeting. Bose asked what would be more authoritative-an issue statement or the use of a memoir? Hoffman added that she wanted a specific response from HO and CIA on the substitution issue at the next meeting. CIA agreed to go back and get an opinion.
Report of the Subcommittee on the Future of the Foreign Relations Series
Schulzinger opened the floor to Kimball, who reported on the deliberations of the subcommittee on the future of the Foreign Relations series. Kimball concluded that most questions about access to the Nixon tapes were answered during the presentation with Nancy Smith and David Mengel from NARA. Kimball and the HO staff thought that the Framework volume, which was complete except for listening to the Nixon tapes, was a good job and that the team approach worked well. Declassification of the volume should be easy because it includes many public documents.
Access to the Kissinger Papers, particularly Kissinger's telephone conversations, was an issue, and the Committee should promote earlier and more complete public access to them.
The Cold War volume, which was also completed, viewed foreign policy matters "through the prism of U.S.-Soviet relations," and had the goal of leading readers to other volumes and compilations. There was general agreement that the concept of this "Core" volume had worked.
Regarding the team concept, it was agreed that there were instances where it worked, although it was essential to set a standard approach for annotation. The skepticism of the HO staff was mitigated as the projects progressed. Although team research was not necessarily faster, it allowed for better quality control.
As an aside, Kimball wanted to ensure that the minutes included the Committee's concern about the delay in release of the 1964-1968 Cyprus; Greece; Turkey volume.
In closing, Kimball commented that use of the term "Context volumes" was a bad choice. He had envisioned these volumes as special topical volumes and thought they would be useful to carry issues across Presidential administrations, but acknowledged that HO historians found it difficult to do this. Schulzinger mentioned that once HO hears the Nixon tapes they had already been reviewed for personal and private information. His advice to the staff was to include as much as possible of the tapes--to err on the side of "more language, more fury."
Hoffman congratulated the staff on both prototype volumes and reminded them of the importance of access guides; she would like to see one at the next meeting. Louis was encouraged that the historians found that the new concept worked. Hogan applauded the great job done by the staff and underscored Schulzinger's desire to capture the psychology of the policymakers in the Nixon administration.
Jervis asked what checks were used when listening to and transcribing the Nixon tapes. Kent Sieg and David Goldman said that there were none. Mahan offered, based on her experience at the Miller Center, to organize a team approach for checking the tape transcripts.
In conclusion, Susser said the Office would prepare a plan for compiling Nixon administration volumes soon, which will incorporate projected new staff and the team approach, well in time for the Committee's next meeting. Much work remains on the mechanics and structure of e-publications and the Office would explore various options. Declassification remains a problem; as HO seeks to declassify more documents, it will need more staff for declassification coordination. Susser said he had read the China access guide, which was quite good.
Patterson mentioned that there was no current system for verifying staff transcriptions of the Nixon tapes. Because the tapes could not be brought back to the Office, he had to go to NARA to review them. Schulzinger said that it was helpful to have another staff member review the transcripts, preferably prior to release in a volume. He saw great opportunities for the future of Foreign Relations, and urged HO to stress that the series was its central activity.
Van Camp said that a lot of staff time could be wasted trying to conceptualize how best to produce e-publications and recommended that HO find a consultant with expertise. Bose asked if the Committee could make a formal request that the CIA respond to the Committee's idea of substituting memoirs for withheld documents. Schulzinger replied that the Committee will hear from both HO and the CIA in June. Mackaman suggested a monthly e-newsletter on follow-up items to keep members up-to-date. Kimball remarked that the existing plan for future volumes is tentative and urged that the Office address planning with great care.
The Committee went into executive session at 11:26 a.m.
Robert Schulzinger, Chairman
Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman
Warren F. Kimball
W. Roger Louis
Frank H. Mackaman
Anne Van Camp
Philip D. Zelikow
Marc Susser, Executive Secretary
Office of the Historian
Marc Susser, Historian
Department of State
Marc J. Susser
Bureau of Administration
Brian Dowling, A/RPS/IPS
Celeste Houser-Jackson, A/RPS/IPS
Harmon Kirby, A/RPS/IPS
Margaret Peppe, A/RPS/IPS
Peter Sheils, A/RPS/IPS
Keith White, A/RPS/IPS
National Archives and Records Administration
Michael Miller, Director, Modern Records Program
David Langbart, Life Cycle Management Division
Don McIlwain, Initial Processing and Declassification Division
Nancy Smith, Office of Presidential Libraries
David Mengel, Nixon Presidential Materials Project
Central Intelligence Agency
Greg Moulton, Office of Information Management
Michael Warner, Deputy Chief, History Staff
Bruce Craig, National Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History
Robert Jervis, Columbia University
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