Monday, November 14, 2011

April 21 - 22 Meeting Reports ONI-ARRB


Document’s Author: Christopher Barger/ARRB Date Created: 04/21/97

Meeting Logistics

Date: 04/21/97
Agency Name: Department of the Navy – Office of Naval Intelligence
Attendees: Terri Pike, Paul Dootlittle, Doug Horne, Christopher Barger, Joe Masih
Topic: Follow-up/progress report

Summary of the Meeting

The ARRB Military team met with LCDR Terri Pike and LCDR Paul Doolittle of the ONI records team on Monday, April 21. The purpose of the meeting was threefold: to check on the progress made by the ONI team reviewing the records; to have the ARRB military team review several records that ONI thought merited our attention; and to allow Doug Horne to meet LCDRs Pike and Dootlittle.

Pike began by informing us that ONI has completed their review of the first 123 cubic feet of records (those specifically requested by ARRB). They are in the process of writing a summary of what their review revealed, and which records apparently turned up very little in the way of records the ARRB listed as relevant; however, they are aware of our need to document negative result, so they have documented their search. There were no records in the say of “operational details” such as changes in alert status; these, Pike suggested, might be found in OPNAV records [Ed. Note: ARRB staff confirm that records of this sort have been seen in other records groups, such as PTC records.]

ONI retained about .8 cubic feet of records that they believed matched our criteria. These had to do with active US military defectors to the Communist Bloc. There are records dealing with general policy regarding such incidents, and examples of what was done when other Navy or USMC personnel defected. Most interesting is a log book listing US active Navy defectors by year. Lee Oswald’s name does not appear on the 1959 list; both ONI and ARRB staff agree that this is most likely due to the fact that Oswald was not active duty at the time of his defection.

(BK Note: The following sentence is highlighted/redacted in one copy)
There are a total of 18 folders of material which ONI has determined should go into the JFK collection and have earmarked for delivery to us. (Note: they are currently negotiating a procedure whereby they can deliver the original documents, not photocopies, to us. They would just as soon that these records be taken care of and taken out of their hands as soon as possible.) They expect that these records will be boxed and delivered to us within 2-4 weeks.

Pike explained that most of the relevant records they found were discovered by “accident,” that is to say, they were misfiled in boxes outside of where they should have been. This is important for two reasons: 1) had they been filed where they “should” have been, they would have been routinely destroyed by this point; and 2) as they continue their review of the approximately 900 cu. ft. of records they have self-identified, they expect that they might well continue to discover records of interest to us. To document her point that most records were routinely destroyed, Pike gave us a photocopy of one page of the records disposition regulations (the SECNAVINST). We have arranged for them to deliver us a copy of the full instruction, which we will then include in our records.

Pike said that ONI is going through review for all records covered by the EO; in most cases, they have been willing to release in full about 96% of the documents. She said that for the other 4%, they expected that the Board has the power to overrule them anyway, but they had to at least make the request. [Ed. Note: this implies that hey might perhaps be resigned to “losing” some of the information they want to protect and would not appeal a Board decision to release some of the information.]

(BK Notes: The following paragraph is highlighted/redacted/crossed out)
Pike concluded her report by suggesting that we might find more of the records we suggested we wanted in RG 38, the records of the CNO. She said that currently, ONI is currently organizing a review team to be led by a Lieutenant Helena Gilbert, to look through this group using the same criteria as used in this search; however, ARRB staff may also wish to personally review these records for relevant material. She suggested that changes in alert status, etc. might well be found in CNO records.

Barger has retained the copy of the page of the SECNAVINST pending delivery of the full instruction. This documents the routine destruction schedule followed by the Navy and could bolster any claim by ONI that certain records may no longer exist. Along with the record we expect from them within two weeks listing which records they searched, this could and should comprise the majority of what we need from ONI. Upon receipt of these files and summaries, all ARRB will have left for ONI is their participation in any mass declassification projects which ARRB organizes, unless, of course, they turn up further records of interest in their search of the 900 cubic feet of records they have identified as possibly relevant.


22 April 1997


44 U.S.C. 2107

Ref: [ (a) CNO 1tr Ser N09BL/7U56568 of 28 Feb 97 ] (Highlighted/crossed out)
(b) President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records
Collection Act of 1992, Public Law 102-526
© SECNAvinst 5212.5C through CH-5
(d) Executive Order 1258, Classified National s
Security Information

1. Executive Summary. The Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) has conducted a complete and specific accounting of records collections identified by reference (a) potentially relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. A total [of one hundred twenty-three (123) cubic feet of material, approximately (123 boxes in margin) 307,500 classified pages, were reviewed at the Washington National Records Center located in Suitland, MD.] Of that volume, [less than on cubic foot of files]was identified as permanent records requiring transfer to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) per reference (b).[Based on standard subject identification codes (SSIC),] (underlined and circled) disposition of the remaining ONI records will be determined as set forth in reference(c).

2. Methodology. Reference (a) requested specific review of 123 cubic feet of material originated by ONI and identified by accession number available from Records Transmittal and Receipt Standard Forms (SF 135). The location of the records was identified [by cross-referencing the initial tasking request with the NARA-generated master list, the “O1-Report” for Record Group 289 of ONI. Each individual box was systematically withdrawn and page-checked for information described in reference (a). Table one, attached, reflects a summary of the contents of those boxes.] (underlined) Two accession numbers (77-0016 and 67A-6512) requested by reference (a) do not appear on the NARA 01-Report for Record Group 289. A total of 82 man-days was required for the search.

3. Declassification and Referral. Prior to transfer of custody and accession to the National Archives, all permanent ONI records are reviewed for declassification under reference (d). Those records no longer requiring protection under an exemption category will be declassified and marked. Those records which fall within an exemption category requiring continued protection will be exempted. (Highlighted or crossed out) Permanent records containing classified materials originated by an agency other than ONI will be clearly tabbed using NARA-approved markings; under separate cover, those agencies will be notified of the existence and location of those documents to facilitate their own declassification efforts.

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