Interagency Working Group (IWG)

Meeting Minutes: 08/05/04

National Archives Building
Washington, DC 20004
August 5, 2004, 1:00 p.m.

National Archives and Records Administration
Steven Garfinkel (Chair)
National Security Council
Public Members
Thomas Baer
Elizabeth Holtzman (by telephone)
Department Of State
Office of the Historian

Paul Claussen
Central Intelligence Agency
Mary Walsh
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Office of the Secretary Of Defense
Edward Drea
Department Of Justice
Office of Special Investigations

Elizabeth White
Federal Bureau of Investigation
William L. Hooten
Historical Advisory Panel
Gerhard Weinberg

Other agency, IWG'staff and consultants were present.

The meeting was opened by the Chair, who explained that the purpose of- this meeting was to focus on planning for the conclusion of the IWG. Efforts are underway to complete the draft of the IWG Final Report to the US Congress and the President. The Chair announced that the IWG would receive a draft of the first four chapters at the end of this meeting. Members were requested to return their comments and corrections by mid-September. The IWG has decided, due in part to too few newly released records, to refocus its East Asian book to be a study of the records and an historiography of Japanese war crimes research rather a collection of historical monographs like first IWG book, U.S. Intelligence and the Nazis.

Mr. Van Tassel, (IWG'staff Director) said that the IWG, mainly through the NARA Trust Fund, had already sold more than 300 copies of U.S. Intelligence and the Nazis. He said that it is now available for on-line purchase from AMAZON.COM. Ms. Holtzman suggested that the book needed reviews in order to hike sales. Ms. Rusch noted that it had been sent out to a number of publications for possible review including the Washington Post and the New York Times. Mr. Baer suggested that someone contact Imus to preview it to his audience and Ms. Holtzman said that Book Talk on C-Span was also a good show for book promotions.

There was then a general discussion of the fact that Cambridge University Press has been working closely with IWG Historians Drs. Goda and Breitman. It appears that Cambridge will republish the book with a new introduction from the IWG Historians. Ms. Holtzman questioned whether Cambridge would formally acknowledge the support of the IWG members in creating the book. Ms. Rusch said that such an acknowledgement would certainly be included.

Following the discussion regarding republishing U.S. Intelligence and the Nazis, the Chair introduced the topic of refocusing the thrust of the Japan Volume. Mr. Van Tassel explained that for a variety of reasons (including the fact that a relatively small number documents relating to Japanese war crimes remained classified at the beginning of the IWG) the focus of the Japan Volume would be archival, rather than historical, in nature. The Japan Volume would be divided into six parts: (1) a CD finding aid by Greg Bradsher , of NARA; (2) a chapter on the capture and exploitation of Japanese records held at NARA by Greg Bradsher; (3) a chapter by James Lide, of History Associates, describing the Japan-related records declassified as a result of IWG efforts; (4) a chapter by Bob Hanyok, of the National Security Agency, discussing signals intelligence records; (5) a chapter by IWG Historian Daqing Yang giving an historiographical overview of Japanese war-crimes research; and (6) a chapter by NARA/IWG archivists containing "starting points" for research on Japanese war crimes records (dealing with such issues as POWs, atrocities, biological warfare, and comfort women) at Archives II.

The Chair introduced IWG Historian Daqing Yang briefly. Dr. Yang described his recent trip to Japan and discussed the work he would be doing. While on his trip to Japan, Dr. Yang discovered that: (1) contrary to what he had previously believed, relatively few Japanese researchers have made extensive use of Japanese war crimes-related materials at Archives II; (2) since 1995 a large amount of archival material in Japan (including many World War II era government documents) has been made available online; (3) the Japanese National Institute for Defense Studies Military History Archives contains the most important items, including the approximately 23,000 documents that were previously held by the U.S. (He was unclear as to whether or not these documents were available to researchers, since they are listed in a classified catalog to which he did not have access.); (4) the collections of Japanese National Archives, which are well-organized and completely open to the general public, contain a large number of wartime documents, including materials transferred from the Justice Ministry regarding Japanese war criminals. Lastly, Dr. Yang shared with the group some of the Japanese war crimes-related books and journals that he brought back from Japan with him, including a book containing Japanese translations of English language documents held at Archives II pertaining to comfort women.

Discussion then moved to the issue of the IWG Final Report. Editor Kristi Rusch distributed drafts of this report while David Van Tassel addressed the report's content, structure and timeline. Ms. Holtzman stressed the need to have the names of the IWG Public Members on the cover page of the report. The Chair asked for group policy recommendations to be included in the report and raised the idea of obtaining auxiliary recommendations. Mr. Baer asked what the process would be for developing recommendations. Ms. Holtzman questioned the apparent lack of process and method of making recommendations. Mr. Baer suggested that a group discussion expert be hired to establish a procedure for handling recommendations. The Chair added that the IWG's Historical Advisory Panel would also review the Final Report, and suggested that all report recommendations would be compiled in a bulleted list. Ms. Holtzman stressed the need for illustrations in the report. Ms. Rusch responded that photos and other graphics would be included.