WASHINGTON (CNN) — CIA officials will meet Monday with a government working group in an attempt to resolve whether more records detailing ties between former Nazis and U.S. intelligence should be made public.
The Ohio senator who co-authored 1999’s Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act told The Associated Press on Sunday that the CIA has agreed to release more information.
“This is really what we anticipated when we wrote the law,” Republican Sen. Mike DeWine told the AP.
A CIA official told CNN that the agency will be represented at Monday’s meeting by the deputy executive director, the director of congressional affairs and an official from the general counsel’s office.
“The agency has renewed its commitment to be as flexible and forward-leaning as possible in reviewing documents for declassification and release, and will be taking a fresh look at material that has not yet been declassified regarding U.S. intelligence ties to former Nazis” who aided the United States, the official said.
The meeting was scheduled to take place at agency headquarters in Langley, Virginia, with members of the Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group.
Last week, the Anti-Defamation League issued a statement expressing concern that the CIA “has refused to declassify thousands of documents on Nazi war criminals,” and called on the agency “to make public all relevant classified records as required by law.”
“Sixty years after the end of the war, the time has come to make this information available,” said Abraham Foxman, the organization’s national director. “With the number of survivors and witnesses diminishing by the day, and the reality that the Holocaust is fading into the pages of history and memory, we should not have to wait any longer.”
The CIA official said Sunday that “all materials in our files dealing with the commission of war crimes have already been released.”
But Foxman’s statement said some remain out of public view.
“What’s so puzzling about this is the agency has already released a significant number of documents,” he said. “Why the change of heart now not to finish the process?”
He added, “What is there still left that some feel needs to be hidden? The expediency and the errors of the past are not a reflection of the intelligence community today. One finds it difficult to understand why the leadership today is protecting the truth.”
In a letter to CIA Director Porter Goss, the ADL called for “the immediate release of the classified files as mandated by the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act.”
Officials said that, if no deal were reached, they expected DeWine, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to call for a public hearing as soon as this week. DeWine had threatened to require that Goss testify.
The CIA position has been that any documents withheld include materials compromising to “sources and methods” or cover individuals who do not fit the legal definition of “war criminals.”
Critics contend the documents contain embarrassing details about relations among the CIA, its predecessor and former Nazi officials.
The CIA sought out former Nazi officials for intelligence on the former Soviet Union during the Cold War, according to the AP.