Meeting Minutes: 06/21/05
National Archives Building
Washington, DC 20004
June 21, 2005
National Archives and Records Administration
Steven Garfinkel (Chair)
National Security Council
Department Of Justice
Office of Special Investigations
Central Intelligence Agency
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Office of the Secretary Of Defense
Department Of State
Federal Bureau of Investigation
William L. Hooten
Historical Advisory Panel
Other agency, IWG staff and consultants were present.
Chair Steven Garfinkel called the meeting of the IWG to order. He stated that thanks to the strenuous efforts of the three Public Members, Senator DeWine and Representative Maloney were able to extend the IWG through March 2007. The additional materials from the CIA make it likely that other IWG Agencies, especially FBI, DOD and State, will also have to review selected additional files during the period of the IWG extension.
Tom Baer reported that it was necessary that Senator DeWine and Representative Maloney held their February 2005 hearing to assure CIA compliance with the Disclosure Acts and extend the IWG. He noted that the previous Archivist had opposed the extension effort, but Allen Weinstein's support had been most welcome. Mr. Baer called the Chair's February statement a strong endorsement for the continuation of the IWG effort.
Mr. Garfinkel added that he and the Public Members had met with the new Archivist on May 13, 2005, and he is most supportive of any effort to promote more access to information.
New CIA Releases
Stan Moskowitz, CIA Director Goss's special representative for IWG matters, said that as a result of the February 2005 Congressional meeting, Mr. Goss has committed to declassify and release as much information as possible concerning Nazi and Japanese war criminals as the right thing to do. The release of two large files on Soviet double Agent Heinz Felfe is an indication of how serious the Agency takes its new commitment, according to Mr. Moskowitz. Mary Walsh reported that the CIA has already delivered more than 2000 new pages on Nazi war criminals and 3600 pages on Japanese war criminals. She expects to deliver more in July.
Steven Garfinkel asked the IWG historians for their assessment of the new information from the CIA and whether the Agency appears in compliance with the Disclosure Acts. The historians unanimously replied that the new files transferred to NARA by the CIA were generally very informative, being more substantial and with fewer redactions. Richard Breitman said he has reviewed half the newly transferred files and that they are much more complete than previously. Messrs. Naftali and Wolfe noted that some questionable redactions remain.
Norman Goda discussed the effort to create an additional name search list of non-Germans, based in part on extradition requests from the Hungarians and other East Europeans in the 1940s and 1950s. Mr. Shapiro said that the Holocaust Museum has received very good cooperation from the East European governments. In fact, he noted, the problem is how to manage the enormous new information that has been provided the Museum.
Ms. Holtzman commented favorably on the CIA releases and the historians' positive assessment of the files. She wondered if there were enough resources available to continue this renewed effort.
Mr. Rosenbaum stated that the IWG needs to develop a way to explain what they have and have not accomplished in the course of this work and how historians are in the best position to assess this. He also requested that as new name lists are created, OSI receive a copy.
The remainder of the discussion of the CIA's presentation revolved around what the Final Report should say regarding what has and has not been accomplished.
Ms. Bromwell stated that a CD containing images of records related to Unit 731 that were deposited in the Library of Congress has been transferred to the IWG. She stated that no additional records from Ft. Detrick and the Dugway Proving Grounds have been located by the Army thus far. The issue of additional Army records related to biological experimentation noted in the book Factories of Death by historian Sheldon Harris remains open.
Prof. Weinberg noted that the East Asia IWG volume will be a good forum for dealing with Dr. Harris' assertion that these documents were still held by the U.S. Army in the 1980s and1990s.
Editor Kristi Rusch reported that volume of essays on Japanese war crimes-related records will likely be published 2006. The publication must await the assessment of new records being transferred from the CIA.
IWG Information Officer Giuliana Bullard made a point of the media's interest in the newly-released CIA records as well as the NSA signals intelligence intercept summaries. She has drafted a plan for future announcements. During the discussion, the need for other IWG products, such as a glossary, was also noted. It was decided that when the two new CIA files on double agent Heinz Felfe are fully processed, they be the focus of a press release.
Mr. Taylor stated that the Historical Advisory Panel's fall meeting will review the chapter drafts of the IWG East Asian volume.
The meeting was adjourned sine die