U.S. Department of State
Advisory Committee on Historical
April 10-11, 2000
- Open Session, April 10
- --Approval of the Minutes of the December 1999 Meeting
- --Report by the Executive Secretary
- --Report of the Subcommittee on the Kissinger Papers and PFIAB Records
- Closed Session, April 10
- --Public Access to the Department of State Historical Electronic Records:
Demonstration of Web site
- Closed Session, April 11
- --The CIA and the Foreign Relations Series
- --Future of the Foreign Relations Series
Meeting MinutesOPEN SESSION, April 10
Approval of the Minutes of the December 1999 Meeting
The meeting convened at 1:40 p.m. Warren Kimball as Acting Chairman explained Chairman Michael Hogan's absence and asked for approval of the December 1999 minutes. Robert Schulzinger moved to adopt; Anne Van Camp seconded, and the minutes were approved without change. Kimball commented that Hogan had recently been appointed Dean of Humanities at Ohio State University and, before turning to the Executive Secretary's report, thanked Michael Schaller for agreeing to attend this meeting even though his term on the Committee had expired.
Report by the Executive Secretary
Executive Secretary William Slany began his report by commenting on the briefing material. He reported that one volume had been released this year and more will come. He mentioned that the schedule for compiling volumes that was in the briefing package was a working document, and he asked that discussion on this subject be put off until the next day. He explained that David Patterson had compiled the schedule for purposes of describing resources needed for a reorganized Office and filling vacancies, and it was not really intended to be the actual action plan for compiling Foreign Relations in the future.
Office Reorganization. Slany said there were two reasons for the reorganization: to outline how the Office will work in the future and to provide justification to hire more historians. In addition, the previous organization did not meet the Department's personnel standards for supervisory responsibilities. He asked that the Committee postpone comments until they received a briefing on Tuesday from Betsy Murphy of the Public Affairs Bureau Executive Office. The staff is scheduled to have this briefing on Wednesday. [This briefing did not take place.]
"Hall of Diplomacy." Slany said that a major step had been taken since the last Committee meeting. The Exhibit Hall, current location of the exhibit, was essentially inaccessible to the public and not large enough to house a complete museum-quality exhibit. In the course of renovation of the main State Department building, a space much larger and more accessible to the public inside the 21st Street entrance would likely be earmarked for the Museum. One proposed budget called for $6-7 million for the exhibit, which would remain under the wing of the Historian's Office for the foreseeable time and would require new HO staff to manage the museum. Demolition of the space in Old State is scheduled to begin in October 2000, with a completion date in 2003.
International Conference of Diplomatic Editors. Slany said that complications with the merger of USIA into the Department made it impossible to hold the conference this year. Current planning calls for a conference in April or May 2001, and he hoped that the group can be greatly expanded beyond the approximately 20 European and Commonwealth participants who attended previous conferences to include diplomatic editors and other representatives from other continents. He expected that an expanded conference would serve as a vehicle to gather information on access to diplomatic archives in other countries.
Russian-American Project. The Department has been approached by the Russian Foreign Ministry to do a sequel to the first Russian-American History published in 1980. Slany was not sure how eager the Department is to pursue this project. Although the Office of the Historian has already gathered approximately 2,000 documents, Slany doubted whether the Office could take on this project. It was not a high priority project for the Department, although the question of access to Russian archives by outside scholars was an important issue.
New Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs. Richard Boucher has been identified as James Rubin's likely successor. Boucher is familiar with the issues facing the Advisory Committee from his previous service in the Bureau of Public Affairs. He would like to meet briefly with the Committee before they leave. [This meeting did not take place.]
General Discussion. Concerning the discussion on the Russian-American project, Steve Aftergood mentioned that Russia and Israel had carried out an exchange of approximately 500 documents in Russian, Hebrew, and English. Kimball commented that he had some experience with a similar effort, in which the former Soviet Government attempted to work with Western academics. Kimball remarked that the Soviets were quick to come up with World War II documents from Russian archives, but they had been previously vetted by a Russian archivist. The project floundered, he said, when the academics asked to see the original archival documents. On the basis of this experience as well as what he knew of the proposal, Kimball was reluctant to support U.S. Government participation in a project pre-edited by Russian archivists. Kimball then asked whether the Committee had an opinion on whether the Historian's Office should expend any resources on the project; he clearly stated his own opinion that the Office should not. Van Camp thought the project might be worthwhile as part of the Foreign Relations series but doubted this was what the Russian Government intended.
Schulzinger asked whether resources from the Historian's Office would be expended on the museum project. Slany reported that he had seen a budget proposal for three additional staff dedicated to the museum. Schulzinger recalled the Committee's position that the Foreign Relations series must remain the Office's first priority and reiterated that the resources currently dedicated to the series should not be diverted to the museum. Slany explained that the museum had been formally placed under his wing but effectively taken out of his hands. Others outside of the PA Bureau had come up with plans for fund-raising and space for the museum; a committee of former Secretaries of State had also been established to advise on the project. The Historian's Office has offered its own advice and may, in the future, contribute more to the substance of the exhibits. So far, however, Office resources have not been impacted.
Kimball said that Michael Miller of NARA had been scheduled to report on electronic records of the State Department at the National Archives. Although his report was no longer on the agenda, Miller would attend the demonstration later in the afternoon. Kimball asked if the members of the subcommittee on electronic records had anything to add. Mackaman remembered that the full Committee had wanted to address these important issues with an Archives representative. Mackaman and Kimball both expressed disappointment that no one was available to address their concerns. Mackaman thought that Miller would not only report on the status of consultation and budget but also explain the delay in setting up a prototype on State records. Herschler reiterated that Miller was prepared to talk to the Committee during the afternoon demonstration.
Report of the Subcommittee on the Kissinger Papers and PFIAB Records
Henry Kissinger's Papers at the Library of Congress. Kimball then turned to a discussion of the Kissinger Papers at the Library of Congress. Schulzinger reported that a subcommittee met with HO historians and Nancy Smith, Gary Stern, and David Langbart of the National Archives to consider the status of research in the Kissinger Papers, including, in particular, the transcripts of telephone conversations. Peter Rodman, Kissinger's representative, has reviewed many of the records tabbed by HO historians. To date, HO has received about 2,000 pages of transcripts; approximately 5 percent of that has been excised for information of a personal nature. HO is currently reviewing the material to determine if there is a pattern to the excisions that threatened the integrity of the historical record. In considering what advice to give, the Committee needed this assessment of whether the deletions are legitimately personal. After completing this task, HO should communicate immediately, and on a regular basis, with either Kissinger or Rodman; this communication should be done as part of the process rather than waiting until the end. Schulzinger also reported that there may be some slippage in notification on declassification between the National Archives and the Library of Congress. He thought a list of documents available at the Archives should be forwarded to facilitate declassification at the Library.
Philip Zelikow said he was sorry he had been unable to attend the subcommittee meeting. He had reviewed the briefing material, however, and was troubled by the Department of State's letter responding to the Archivist; he asked for an explanation. Slany said that his part of the Department had responded, but others within the Department had not. Zelikow asked if Slany was saying that Assistant Secretary Rubin was not authorized to respond for the Secretary. Slany said no, but there could be other responses. Rubin had thought it important enough to send the letter to Carlin to try to keep the dialogue going. Zelikow asked for clarification. Slany said that HO historians were the only ones who had access right now and within a couple of years would have gone through the bulk of the Kissinger telcons as well as a reasonable amount of the paper records. This would go a long way to completing the review of all the Kissinger telcons sought by NARA.
Slany explained that in 1980 the Department of Justice had ruled that the Department of State would review the Kissinger materials and in 1981 the State Department prepared a plan to accomplish this review, known as the Muskie plan. Slany argued that a group of HO historians would have more success than a group of new reviewers. Zelikow asked "what success?," noting that Rubin's letter said HO would not complete its review for another 2-3 years. Slany said that the alternative would be a new review panel, perhaps headed by Frank Machak.
Schulzinger pointed out that the subcommittee had addressed two different questions: 1) what would speed up the Foreign Relations process and 2) who in the Department would be best to review the Kissinger materials. He noted that the HO historians have expertise in this matter and he argued that they should be the group to do this review because another group would not have the same expertise. How to do this while producing the quickest possible Foreign Relations volumes was a separate question. Kimball stated his belief that this process would produce the fastest public access to the Kissinger material and therefore HO historians are already the leading edge in achieving this. Herschler pointed out that under the original 1980 ruling, the Department would have reviewed only Kissinger's Secretary of State telcons, not the earlier material. Now the HO historians are reviewing a more comprehensive set of records.
Zelikow noted that there were two issues: First, who does the review at the Department of State, but this is separate from the Department's response to NARA. Why not have the response agree to reconstruct the panel with HO doing the review. Rubin's letter seems to be saying that the Department is happy with the way things are. Kimball said that he read it as cautious optimism while awaiting more information. Schulzinger agreed and said that HO historians had to come to some conclusions as to what had been excised and then ask for more. Zelikow asked if HO historians could bring back copies from the Library of Congress. David Geyer said no, they cannot even make a list of the documents requested. Zelikow declared that this was unsatisfactory and recommended calling their bluff. Regarding the letter to Carlin, he pointed out that it will be hard to complain later if it is ineffective.
Mackaman stated that during the subcommittee meeting, he heard that HO does not yet have enough information so it was impossible at this time for the Committee to be happy or unhappy with the situation. Emphasizing that the Committee and HO do not want to risk the access the historians have now, Mackaman suggested seeing whether the Committee could work with Kissinger's agent, Rodman, after a critical mass of material has been evaluated. He noted the separate question of whether Foreign Relations should be used as a vehicle to leverage public access to the Kissinger material. HO was now getting responses from Rodman and it would be premature to act.
Zelikow said his experience had been that the historians were not happy and that there were long delays. Schulzinger noted that HO only recently began receiving material from the Library of Congress, so have only begun to review it. He thought Rodman's excisions (using one category--personal) were of more concern and might warrant a re-review. Zelikow contended that he was not quibbling about Rodman's excisions, but arguing that the whole system and the premise on which it was based were flawed: Kissinger did not have the right to keep this material at the Library of Congress; the records should be at the National Archives. But the Department's letter confirms that now that Kissinger is playing the game, let the situation stand. Mackaman said no, the Committee is waiting for more information. Zelikow asked, based on the excisions? Kimball noted that the question of whether this is the appropriate record-keeping system had not been addressed by the Committee.
Kimball then defined Zelikow's concerns: access to the Kissinger telcons was the issue and the Committee did not have a chance to examine it. The Department's letter to NARA would make it worse. Kissinger had set up an inappropriate system of access to his papers. Mackaman suggested that the Committee already agreed to all that. Zelikow stated that Kissinger established a plan and was now forcing the Department of State to play by his rules.
Kimball asked if it was necessary to change the agenda of the meeting to deal with Zelikow's concerns or could the issue wait until the July meeting. Zelikow responded that such a delay would only produce more data on the nature and scope of Rodman's deletions, not resolve the central issue. Kimball asked Zelikow if waiting until July would be a fatal delay. Zelikow stated that the fatal move was to send the letter in the first instance and not to have agreed with NARA to present a united front to Kissinger.
Kimball asked other Committee members how they felt.
Schulzinger stated that there was a full agenda, the subcommittee had recommended that HO make contact with Kissinger's agent Rodman, and suggested that another subcommittee could examine the issue again in July. Kimball suggested that the Rubin letter to Carlin did not pass "the smell test" and did nothing to help public access to the Kissinger records or improve HO's access. Mackaman suggested that it was impossible to separate "the smell" from practicalities.
Zelikow stated that the Department should change its position. This was not a marginal issue and he wanted the Committee to go on record on it. Kimball said he wanted more information, that he was uncomfortable deciding on the issue without it.
Aftergood stated that there was an initiative from NARA on the table and wondered if the door was closing and if steps could be taken to keep it open. Kimball suggested that NARA would hear of the concern expressed at this meeting. Zelikow countered that NARA would not be able to "carry the water" without the State Department. Kimball agreed that Zelikow should share his views with the Committee, but he doubted whether a couple of month's delay would matter much.
Gary Stern, NARA's Legal Counsel, stated that the National Security Archive had not yet filed a lawsuit; that NARA was not seeking to remove Kissinger's records from the Library of Congress; that NARA was just trying to open them to the public as quickly as possible without slowing Foreign Relations down. Stern promised that NARA would work with the Committee. Zelikow stated that if the issue was moot, there was no need to discuss it further, but Stern suggested that there was more to discuss.
Records of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. Schulzinger next reported on the impasse with the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB). He referred to the correspondence with PFIAB in which Chairman Rudman and the Board's Executive Secretary Deitering accused the Historian's Office of violating the terms of the memorandum of understanding on the use of PFIAB records for Foreign Relations and demanded the return of the records. Schulzinger stated that these PFIAB documents are for the Foreign Relations series. The subcommittee asked Chairman Hogan (in absentia) to talk to Rudman and Deitering to convince them to end the suspension of Foreign Relations historians' access to PFIAB records as well as their refusal to review the records for declassification. The subcommittee hoped that by the July meeting the controversy with PFIAB would be resolved. Kimball suggested that the Committee was concerned about access to PFIAB records--as well as their declassification--and would pursue it in the hopes of creating an atmosphere more conducive to compromise.
In response to Aftergood's question about the precipitating event for PFIAB's action, Kimball replied that it involved process and not substance.
Zelikow asked what PFIAB's legal justification was not to declassify any records. Schulzinger suggested that they claimed their records were deliberative rather than policy records. Zelikow asked if the position of the Historian was that the deliberative exception had no merit. Slany responded that he would like to assert that, but that the State Department lawyers would not allow it and he did not know how to convince them to oppose PFIAB. Schulzinger commented that PFIAB would do what the President told them to do. Kimball suggested that the Committee discuss strategy in executive session.
William Ferragero of the National Security Archive, standing in for William Burr, asked about a related issue, CIA's decision to deny release of the President's Daily Brief. Zelikow stated that CIA was taking this stand on principle. Kimball added that the CIA had prevailed on the issue in the Interagency Security Appeals Panel (ISCAP) and he was not sure what recourse the Department or the Committee had. Zelikow suggested that the ISCAP decision related to the Executive Order, not to the Foreign Relations statute, and therefore the issue was not dead. Slany assured everyone that the issue would be pursued. Kimball added that the Committee was totally opposed to the CIA's position.
The public session portion of the meeting was adjourned.
CLOSED SESSION, April 10
Public Access to the Department of State Historical Electronic Records: Demonstration of State Web Site
Margaret Grafeld, Director of A/RPS, greeted the Committee and welcomed them to SA-2. Steve Lauderdale demonstrated the prototype Web site for declassified State telegrams, 1973-1975, which is being hosted by the Government Printing Office. He commented on the GPO's expertise in the field of Internet publishing. Grafeld and Lauderdale discussed the State Archiving System (SAS) and the development of a module designed to support on-line declassification review by the IPS reviewers. After a question-and-answer session, the meeting was adjourned.
CLOSED SESSION, April 11
The CIA and the Foreign Relations Series
Kimball convened the morning session at 9:05 a.m. The initial agenda item was the CIA and the Foreign Relations series. Kimball began by introducing the CIA's Foreign Relations Coordinator Robert Leggett and Gregory Moulton, Chief of the CIA's Office of Information Management. Chief Historian Gerald Haines joined the meeting later.
Report of the Subcommittee on the High-Level Panel. Kimball opened the discussion by reporting on behalf of the subcommittee that had met the previous day to consider recent recommendations of the High-Level Panel (HLP). The subcommittee consisted of Kimball, Davis, Hoffman, and Van Camp. Kimball reported that the subcommittee had looked at the recommendations of the panel and the effects of related CIA excisions on a number of compilations. The subcommittee had also reviewed the appeals sent by HO to the HLP. The subcommittee concluded that the HLP is in essential agreement on what constituted acceptable excisions.
Excisions proposed by the CIA in documents dealing with the Philippines during the 1960s constituted an exception to the subcommittee's finding of essential agreement. The CIA agreed to review the documents at issue. CIA also noted that the HLP meeting was very "productive" and that the Panel should meet more often. Beyond the treatment of the Philippines documents, Kimball observed that the HLP decisions were sensible and that HO was in general agreement with them. Hoffman added that the HLP has made good progress in establishing guidelines for the release of information.
Kimball referred to the excision of a reference to the President's Daily Brief (PDB) in a footnote in one compilation. He asked why this reference was excised and was told CIA's concerns related to methods and sources.
In response to a further question from Kimball, CIA said that the PDB contained information not contained in other CIA publications, and was particularly sensitive. Zelikow questioned how the PDB differed from an NIE or a memorandum to the President from CIA Director John McCone. CIA answered that the PDB is the primary vehicle through which the CIA communicated with the President. That makes it unique from the CIA's perspective.
Zelikow said that it should be possible to redact the PDB to make it releasable. He noted that there were a number of other regular intelligence series that went to the White House from the CIA, the State Department, and other agencies. One was the National Intelligence Daily (NID). He asked how these publications differed from the PDB. CIA again noted that the PDB went to a unique audience. The NID went to a much broader audience. Kimball argued that the PDB was less likely to reveal intelligence patterns than other intelligence publications. CIA disagreed and referred again to the CIA's concern to protect methods and sources.
Zelikow repeated that the CIA's interests could be protected with redactions. Kimball pointed out that the PDBs at issue were 30 years old and he asked whether the deliberative exemption applied to this category of documents. CIA said that that issue is largely a legal on which officer present were not qualified to comment in detail.
Zelikow noted that the Committee viewed the CIA's decision to withhold the entire PDB series from release as pernicious. There was a perceived problem with any claim along those lines because of recent court rulings. He then asked if the CIA position would be the same if the documents were seen by other executive branch officials. CIA said this question is the subject of internal study. Zelikow said that it was in fact the case that PDBs were seen by officials in addition to the President. CIA clarified this by stating that the President approves who may see the PDB beyond the President.
Zelikow recommended that a legal analysis of this issue should be done under the Foreign Relations statute. Kimball pointed out that information that may be denied by ISCAP would not necessarily bind the Foreign Relations series because ISCAP operates under an executive order and the Foreign Relations series is governed by a congressional statute. Kimball said that the criteria were completely different. CIA reminded the Committee that a CIA paper requested by the Committee at its December meeting explaining the reasons and legal justifications for CIA's refusal to release the PDB would be coming soon.
Kimball asked that this be an agenda item at the next Committee meeting.
Report on the Activities of the CIA's Office of Information Management. At the DCI's Historical Review Panel (HRP) meeting in January, the main issue discussed was the Foreign Relations series--what it is, how it works, types of documents selected, past and present volumes, how the research is done, the standards the CIA follows when redacting documents for inclusion.
Elaborating on one topic of discussion at the March HLP, CIA said it believes that the Foreign Relations issue description should always be included in the Foreign Relations volume, noting they provide a vehicle for getting around some very difficult issues. These descriptions clarify that covert actions are U.S. Government sanctioned activities tasked to appropriate agencies.
On the issue of aggregate budget figures, the problem is that, while CIA may be willing to release the aggregate budget figure for a particular covert action, the documents being selected for the Foreign Relations volume do not contain such a number. CIA added that such documents may provide "authorized" or "obligated" budget figures, but they do not necessarily reflect what was actually spent on the action and, therefore, may be misleading. Kimball asked what does "aggregate" mean then? CIA and HO need to work out a definition so that the historians can get what they need for the Foreign Relations volumes and the CIA can protect what it must. Kimball added that the number the CIA is suggesting appears to be so big that it will be meaningless. Slany stated that the CIA has asked HO to make suggestions regarding what it believes to be important "aggregate" budget figures, and then HO and CIA will work together to resolve the matter.
Zelikow said that the CIA and HO may be wasting time trying to get an "exact" number. The issue statement can provide a description of the action and give the overall scope of the amount. He said that this is not "a GAO audit"; all scholars need is a general sense of the scale of the action. Slany said that he would work with CIA to develop a text for inclusion in the issue description that better captures the aggregate budget figures for particular covert actions. HO may have to resort to the use of an editorial note to provide this information. CIA referred to the two examples Slany had provided to the HLP quantifying Agency spending in covert actions. Slany said that it was difficult for CIA and that the staffs would have to develop a definition.
Mackaman asked about the situation where a CIA document was reporting on an activity that was not a CIA activity. Would the CIA have a problem releasing such information since the public might infer that it was the CIA conducting the activity? CIA replied that it is important to put the CIA documents into some context. Slany said that he did not object to the inclusion of the issue statements, but such statements are reference material and not interpretative statements.
On another issue, Kimball said that he had heard that the CIA has taken the position that the HLP is only for deciding whether covert actions can be acknowledged. However, the correspondence among Secretary Albright, DCI Tenet, and National Security Adviser Sandy Berger clearly states that the purpose of the High-Level Panel was to determine whether historical covert actions or "other intelligence activities" could be acknowledged. Kimball said that the Committee does not accept the CIA's interpretation that the scope of the HLP's authority is limited to covert actions only. CIA officers expressed their understanding of the HLP as a forum for review of covert action activities only, but offered to double check this understanding.
Turning to other subjects, the agreement for a jointly (CIA-State) funded historian to be detailed from HO to the CIA History Staff to facilitate Foreign Relations research in CIA files was at the CIA management signature stage at the time of the meeting. Regarding CIA declassification reviews, an enhanced quality assurance process is in effect to ensure the best and most consistent review possible. Last fall the CIA's Historical Review Group asked the CIA and the Historian's Office to prepare a joint paper on the High-Level Panel process. State has prepared its draft, and the CIA version is in process, being updated to reflect recent HLP decisions. The PDB statement requested by the Committee at its December meeting (explaining the reasons and legal justifications for CIA's refusal to release the PDB) will be sent in the next few weeks.
Zelikow asked if the CIA could try to narrow the PDB exception as much as possible. For example: 1) instances when the PDB receives only a limited distribution (i.e., is seen only by the President and a small number of high-ranking government officials) would be one case and when it is distributed to a wider audience would be another; 2) instances when the PDB provides unique information would be differentiated from instances where it repeats information available elsewhere; 3) release the PDB if it is called something more generic, such as a memo from the DCI to the President. Zelikow said that he was worried that blanket denial of all PDBs would set a dangerous precedent.
CIA asked how the Committee would feel about substituting the NIDs for PDBs. David Humphrey asked how far back the NID went. Ted Keefer noted his belief that the value of the PDB is that the President saw it. He explained that it is important to document what the President knew and when he knew it. David Geyer pointed out that the PDB does not contain exclusively CIA information, but contains information from many other sources.
Keefer stated that during the Nixon administration, Kissinger would often take the PDB and other intelligence information and compile it in the form of a memo from himself to the President. He said that the historians are much more likely to want to print this document than the PDB. In response to his query, CIA said it would not object to the review of such a document for publication. Keefer then asked if the CIA reviewers could be instructed to distinguish between the fact of the PDB and the substance of the PDB. The former should be releasable. He said that it often appears that reviewers automatically excise the word PDB whenever they see it. CIA responded that they are trying to make more careful reviews to avoid such mistakes. Leggett added that there already is a careful review of all PDB references for possible release, as well as ongoing quality control improvements to the review process.
Keefer followed up by suggesting that the CIA reviewers take the time to look at previous Foreign Relations releases before reviewing documents for the current volume. CIA replied that they currently do this.
Then, as promised at the December meeting, CIA discussed the Agency's criteria for declassification of analytic products related to certain countries. In determining what information may be released, the CIA considers both the country involved and the particular issue. Generally, the information may be divided into three categories: 1) information that must be withheld; 2) information for which there is a presumption of release; and 3) information release of which depends on a country-by-country consideration.
Kimball asked the HO staff what their impressions were on the above. Keefer and Howland replied that their experience with these CIA guidelines has so far been basically favorable.
The discussion ended here and the Committee took a short break.
Future of the Foreign Relations Series
When the meeting reconvened at 10:40 a.m., Chairman Kimball said that he intended to conclude the meeting by 11:30.
Slany said that the budget problems of the PA Bureau had slowed the implementation of test electronic publication of Foreign Relations. Nothing was on the GPO website; the briefing package had contained a diskette with an abbreviated Web publication. He expected to have more of a test in time for the July meeting, as well as information about Foreign Relations publications on the Internet. Patterson reported that he had contacted the Library of Congress about Internet publications. He had received no return calls until Friday, but expected to confer with them in a week.
Slany expected the budget situation to be resolved in the weeks ahead. Another project that had been cancelled because of budget shortages was the proposed subvention to the Ford Presidential Library for an archivist to process materials on a priority basis for Foreign Relations. (PA was already paying $100,000 for assistance with the Nixon Papers.) Kimball would seek the Committee's input during the closed session.
Patterson began his report on the two prototype Core and Framework volumes by outlining progress made during the past 2 1/2 months. He expected to have documents to show the Committee at the July meeting. He had decided to involve the whole Office in the project, with a team working on each volume. These would be letterpress editions.
Keefer and a team of four were working on the Cold War volume that was intended to cover October 1971 through June 1972. While the culminating event was the May 1972 Summit, the impact of other events (outreach to China, the India-Pakistan War, Ostpolitik, the Middle East, and the Vietnam War) would be covered. Team members were enthusiastic and committed, meeting weekly to report on progress. Research was completed in many areas: the Nixon and Kissinger papers and telephone conversations, and the State Department Central Files. Lot files, NSC files, and other agencies' files would follow. Use of the Nixon tapes would be a big issue.
The Intellectual Framework volume was an experiment in progress. Paul Claussen and David Herschler led a team of ten. The emphasis was not on formulation of policy or bureaucratic conflicts. It was not intended to be a collection of public statements like the American Foreign Policy volumes. Nor was it to be key speeches and statements by principal persons: "greatest policy hits." Instead, the volume would describe the intellectual assumptions and themes of President Nixon and his foreign policy team.
Patterson stated that the themes for the volume would be drawn from classified and unclassified sources, Nixon's public statements, press conferences of key officials, and the background briefings of Nixon and Kissinger. Few of Kissinger's background briefings appear to be available. None have been found in the Nixon Papers at Archives II, yet Kissinger frequently mentions them in his memoirs. The classified material in the Nixon Papers is being researched through specific assignments to individual historians. This volume is a unique, one-of-a-kind production, very different from prior volumes. David Humphrey's materials on the organization and management of the Nixon administration formed a nucleus for this project, and the bibliography he compiled covered primary and secondary materials on Nixon and Kissinger. Team members read various selections, reported verbally and in writing, and moved into various other fields of research, attempting to locate documents relevant to the basic themes. The Nixon tapes will be a major challenge. For instance, there are at least 60 references to "linkage," but almost none to "triangulation." An archive has been prepared in the office for deposit of materials.
Patterson listed the preliminary themes as being (1) Nixon/Kissinger geopolitical view of the world versus ideology; (2) what Nixon and Kissinger thought was important/not important; (3) Nixon Doctrine; (4) New Economic Policy; (5) linkage; (6) triangulation; (7) secrecy/control; (8) attitudes toward nuclear weapons; (9) attitudes toward the United Nations and international organizations; (10) attitudes toward the developing world and foreign assistance. The team is in the preliminary stage of research, trying to find needles in haystacks. It is difficult to find materials since there are no boxes and files labeled with the above specific concepts. There may not be enough significant documents to justify a standard volume; as an illustration, Patterson mentioned having approximately 100 significant documents amounting to perhaps 400 pages, although the total documents might be only 50. It will depend on the results of the research.
In reporting on the Cold War volume, Keefer stated that the term Soviet Union is being used as a shorthand way of referring to the volume on which his group is working. It is a Cold War volume, and will be one in a series. The anticipated series will provide the materials giving the essence of the Cold War.
Paul Claussen, in reporting on the Intellectual Framework volume, agreed that the volume was a quest for needles in haystacks. Every effort is being made to be inductive and open-minded. It will not be an American Foreign Policy volume. Kissinger briefings, Executive testimony, and correspondence with heads of government will be principal sources. The resulting access guide should be helpful to those using this volume.
David Herschler reported that the essential components have already been collected from the Nixon materials. The documents to be used will highlight the highest level of thinking in the Nixon administration. The final product may not be only documents; there may be a considerable number of editorial notes. The purpose is to focus on broad thinking. He stated that the team does not know how well it is going to work. It is a challenge and one that will have to be worked out.
Schulzinger responded very positively to Patterson's report, stating "I like what I hear." He had two suggestions: 1) HO might include writings of administration figures written before they took office; and 2) HO might circulate a list of topics to experts outside the office for comment, thus initiating "a conversation with the larger historical community." Hoffman asked if there would be overlap between the two volumes. Keefer agreed that overlap was definitely a problem to be worked out. More general documents would probably go in the core volumes. Patterson indicated that he was not opposed to printing a document twice. Kimball also noted that there will be some framework issues that are impossible to explain without details.
Van Camp also expressed her pleasure at Patterson's report; regarding the framework volume, she asked whether secondary and memoir literature will be included. Patterson observed that memoir literature was something to consider for access guides. Trying to provide a list of scholarly articles, however, might be rather time-consuming. Mackaman echoed Schulzinger's and Van Camp's comments on Patterson's report, calling the prototype volumes "an exciting prospect." He added that Patterson might consider a report to the Committee next year evaluating the experience in compiling this volume.
The meeting then went off the record for staff comments.
Warren F. Kimball, Acting Chairman
B. Vincent Davis
Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman
Frank H. Mackaman
Michael R. Schaller
Robert D. Schulzinger
Anne Van Camp
William Slany, Executive Secretary
Office of the Historian
William Slany, Director
Bureau of Administration
Margaret Grafeld, A/RPS
Steve Lauderdale, A/RPS/IPS/AAS
Peter Sheils, A/RPS/IPS
National Archives and Records Administration
Margaret Hawkins, Life Cycle Management Division
David Langbart, Life Cycle Management Division
Marty McGann, Office of the General Counsel
Don McIlwaine, Initial Processing/Declassification Division
Gary Stern, General Counsel
Central Intelligence Agency
Gerald Haines, Chief, History Staff
Robert Leggett, Foreign Relations Coordinator, Office of Information Management
Greg Moulton, Chief, Office of Information Management, Information Review Group
Steve Aftergood, Federation of American Scientists
William Ferragero, National Security Archive
[end of document]
Source: State Department Historical Advisory Committee
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