Interagency Working Group (IWG)

Interagency Working Group (IWG): Summary Meeting Minutes

October 25, 2002, 1:00 p.m.; 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20004

Participants:

National Archives and Records Administration
Stephen Garfinkel (Chair)

Public Members
Thomas Baer
Elizabeth Holtzman

Department of Defense
Christina Bromwell

Federal Bureau of Investigation
William Hooton

Central Intelligence Agency
Mary Walsh

 

National Security Council
Absent

Department of Justice/Office of Special Investigations
Eli Rosenberg

Department of State/Office of the Historian
Marc Susser

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Paul Shapiro

Other agency personnel, IWG staff and consultants were present.


Steven Garfinkel, IWG Chair, opened the meeting at 1:00 p.m. by welcoming Ms Mary Walsh as the new representative of the Director of Central Intelligence to the IWG, replacing David Holmes. He then announced that the Fall Historical Advisory Panel (HAP) meeting would take place the following day, October 26, 2002, and he explained that the HAP provided advice on various aspects of the IWG operation. The HAP would be concentrating on the search process at this meeting.

Mr. Garfinkel then asked each agency to report on its progress on the Japanese records to date:

The FBI reported that it had completed its review of Japanese documents in August 2002. After screening 127,085 pages, 71,485 were determined to be relevant and transferred to NARA.

The Department of State reported that it had completed its review for relevant Japanese documents. Of the 5,205,000 pages screened, 3,716 were found to be relevant and will be declassified by December 2002. They also reported that a few overseas posts of minor standing had not reported back on their search effort, but it was highly unlikely that they would provide any additional records.

The CIA reported that its search for Japanese documents had been completed. 300,000 pages were screened, with 782 pages determined to be relevant, declassified and sent to NARA. Ms Holtzman queried Ms Walsh if the CIA search strategy had been reviewed by anyone, and Ms Walsh responded that the IWG auditors had reviewed its findings.

Public member Elizabeth Holtzman then asked if there were any Japanese names on the OSI list. A discussion followed revealing that NARA had prepared a 40 page list of Japanese names, organizations, suspected war camps, ships, etc., which was used in the search process by all agencies. Auditor John Pereira related that the auditors had reviewed CIA's redacted documents and did not find any redacted material that they believed to be relevant.

The Department of Defense Representative summarized what component DOD agencies have achieved on locating, declassifying and releasing Japanese records:

The Army had screened 1,500,000 pages, finding only 20 to be relevant and these had been turned over to NARA. The Navy had screened 1,201,096 pages, found 1,096 to be relevant, and these had been sent to NARA. The Air Force was screening 2,300,000 pages and so far had identified 1,000 related to war crimes. Air Force expected to complete its search and review by December 2002. NSA reported having "gazillions" of pages in paper, film or in its electronic data base. So far, 1,275 have been identified as relevant and will be turned over to NARA by December 2003. DIA screened 250,000 documents but found none of relevance to the Act.

There then ensued further discussion on the millions of documents returned to the Japanese in the 1950s. Public member Tom Baer asked if there was a shipping list that could provide some information on those documents that had been reviewed and exploited prior to their return to Japan. Dr. Bradsher of NARA said that he has found that there was a number code assigned to each document. There ensued a discussion in which it was generally agreed that the IWG staff would employ a researcher in Japan to test whether, using these number codes, particular documents could be located in the Japanese archives in which these documents are apparently now located and "available" for researchers.

Ms Holtzman brought up a letter that the IWG Chair had just received from John Brennan, the Deputy Executive Director of the CIA, which, among other things, she said criticized the approach and motives of the IWG public members. She suggested that the letter from the former FBI Representative to the IWG lauding the efforts of the public members be sent to the Deputy Executive Director to illustrate that not all government agencies are dissatisfied with the public members. Mr. Baer agreed that the FBI's view of the public members contradicts that of the CIA.

Ms Holtzman continued by stating that the public members have the right to review any files at CIA and that the CIA had recently imposed a new classification compartment on some of its name files. She wondered if they were still available for review by the public members. Ms Walsh said that she could and would arrange for the public members and the representative of OSI to be read into this compartment so that they could see these files. Mr. Baer was pleased that OSI would be included in this group.

IWG historians Richard Breitman and Norman Goda gave a brief synopsis of the chapters they have written to be included in the Final Report to Congress, Volume II. Mr. Baer complimented them and said he was proud of their accomplishments.

There was a brief discussion on where the release of the Gehlen-related documents stands. It appears that more progress is needed in that area, and the Chair indicated that this effort was in progress.

The meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m. The next meeting of the IWG will be on November 21, 2002, at 1:00 p.m., at 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.

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