Text: S.1379 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)
Public Law No: 105-246 (10/08/1998)
[105th Congress Public Law 246]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[[Page 112 STAT. 1859]]
Public Law 105-246
To amend section 552 of title 5, United States Code, and the National
Security Act of 1947 to require disclosure under the Freedom of
Information Act regarding certain persons, disclose Nazi war criminal
records without impairing any investigation or prosecution conducted by
the Department of Justice or certain intelligence matters, and for other
purposes. <<NOTE: Oct. 8, 1998 - [S. 1379]>>
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Nazi War Crimes
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. <<NOTE: 5 USC 522 note.>>
This Act may be cited as the ``Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act''.
SEC. 2. <<NOTE: 5 USC 522 note.>> ESTABLISHMENT OF NAZI WAR
CRIMINAL RECORDS INTERAGENCY WORKING GROUP.
(a) Definitions.--In this section the term--
(1) ``agency'' has the meaning given such term under section
551 of title 5, United States Code;
(2) ``Interagency Group'' means the Nazi War Criminal
Records Interagency Working Group established under subsection
(3) ``Nazi war criminal records'' has the meaning given such
term under section 3 of this Act; and
(4) ``record'' means a Nazi war criminal record.
(b) <<NOTE: Deadlines. President.>> Establishment of Interagency
(1) In general.--Not later than 60 days after the date of
enactment of this Act, the President shall establish the Nazi
War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group, which shall
remain in existence for 3 years after the date the Interagency
Group is established.
(2) Membership.--The President shall appoint to the
Interagency Group individuals whom the President determines will
most completely and effectively carry out the functions of the
Interagency Group within the time limitations provided in this
section, including the Director of the Holocaust Museum, the
Historian of the Department of State, the Archivist of the
United States, the head of any other agency the President
considers appropriate, and no more than 3 other persons. The
head of an agency appointed by the President may designate an
appropriate officer to serve on the Interagency Group in lieu of
the head of such agency.
(3) Initial meeting.--Not later than 90 days after the date
of enactment of this Act, the Interagency Group shall hold an
initial meeting and begin the functions required under this
[[Page 112 STAT. 1860]]
(c) <<NOTE: Records.>> Functions.--Not later than 1 year after the
date of enactment of this Act, the Interagency Group shall, to the
greatest extent possible consistent with section 3 of this Act--
(1) locate, identify, inventory, recommend for
declassification, and make available to the public at the
National Archives and Records Administration, all classified
Nazi war criminal records of the United States;
(2) coordinate with agencies and take such actions as
necessary to expedite the release of such records to the public;
(3) <<NOTE: Reports.>> submit a report to Congress,
including the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate and the
Committee on Government Reform and Oversight of the House of
Representatives, describing all such records, the disposition of
such records, and the activities of the Interagency Group and
agencies under this section.
(d) Funding.--There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as
may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act.
SEC. 3. <<NOTE: 5 USC 522 note.>> REQUIREMENT OF DISCLOSURE OF
RECORDS REGARDING PERSONS WHO COMMITTED NAZI
(a) Nazi War Criminal Records.--For purposes of this Act, the term
``Nazi war criminal records'' means classified records or portions of
(1) pertain to any person with respect to whom the United
States Government, in its sole discretion, has grounds to
believe ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in
the persecution of any person because of race, religion,
national origin, or political opinion, during the period
beginning on March 23, 1933, and ending on May 8, 1945, under
the direction of, or in association with--
(A) the Nazi government of Germany;
(B) any government in any area occupied by the
military forces of the Nazi government of Germany;
(C) any government established with the assistance
or cooperation of the Nazi government of Germany; or
(D) any government which was an ally of the Nazi
government of Germany; or
(2) pertain to any transaction as to which the United States
Government, in its sole discretion, has grounds to believe--
(A) involved assets taken from persecuted persons
during the period beginning on March 23, 1933, and
ending on May 8, 1945, by, under the direction of, on
behalf of, or under authority granted by the Nazi
government of Germany or any nation then allied with
that government; and
(B) such transaction was completed without the
assent of the owners of those assets or their heirs or
assigns or other legitimate representatives.
(b) Release of Records.--
(1) In general.--Subject to paragraphs (2), (3), and (4),
the Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group shall
release in their entirety Nazi war criminal records that are
described in subsection (a).
[[Page 112 STAT. 1861]]
(2) Exception for privacy, etc.--An agency head may exempt
from release under paragraph (1) specific information, that
(A) constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of
(B) reveal the identity of a confidential human
source, or reveal information about the application of
an intelligence source or method, or reveal the identity
of a human intelligence source when the unauthorized
disclosure of that source would clearly and demonstrably
damage the national security interests of the United
(C) reveal information that would assist in the
development or use of weapons of mass destruction;
(D) reveal information that would impair United
States cryptologic systems or activities;
(E) reveal information that would impair the
application of state-of-the-art technology within a
United States weapon system;
(F) reveal actual United States military war plans
that remain in effect;
(G) reveal information that would seriously and
demonstrably impair relations between the United States
and a foreign government, or seriously and demonstrably
undermine ongoing diplomatic activities of the United
(H) reveal information that would clearly and
demonstrably impair the current ability of United States
Government officials to protect the President, Vice
President, and other officials for whom protection
services, in the interest of national security, are
(I) reveal information that would seriously and
demonstrably impair current national security emergency
preparedness plans; or
(J) violate a treaty or international agreement.
(3) Application of exemptions.--
(A) In general.--In applying the exemptions listed
in subparagraphs (B) through (J) of paragraph (2), there
shall be a presumption that the public interest in the
release of Nazi war criminal records will be served by
disclosure and release of the records. Assertion of such
exemption may only be made when the agency head
determines that disclosure and release would be harmful
to a specific interest identified in the exemption. An
agency head who makes such a determination shall
promptly report it to the committees of Congress with
appropriate jurisdiction, including the Committee on the
Judiciary of the Senate and the Committee on Government
Reform and Oversight of the House of Representatives.
The exemptions set forth in paragraph (2) shall
constitute the only authority pursuant to which an
agency head may exempt records otherwise subject to
release under paragraph (1).
(B) Application of title 5.--A determination by an
agency head to apply an exemption listed in
subparagraphs (B) through (I) of paragraph (2) shall be
subject to the same standard of review that applies in
the case of records withheld under section 552(b)(1) of
title 5, United States Code.
[[Page 112 STAT. 1862]]
(4) Limitation on application.--This subsection shall not
apply to records--
(A) related to or supporting any active or inactive
investigation, inquiry, or prosecution by the Office of
Special Investigations of the Department of Justice; or
(B) solely in the possession, custody, or control of
(c) Inapplicability of National Security Act of 1947 Exemption.--
Section 701(a) of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 431)
shall not apply to any operational file, or any portion of any
operational file, that constitutes a Nazi war criminal record under
section 3 of this Act.
SEC. 4. <<NOTE: 5 USC 522 note.>> EXPEDITED PROCESSING OF FOIA
REQUESTS FOR NAZI WAR CRIMINAL RECORDS.
(a) Expedited Processing.--For purposes of expedited processing
under section 552(a)(6)(E) of title 5, United States Code, any requester
of a Nazi war criminal record shall be deemed to have a compelling need
for such record.
(b) Requester.--For purposes of this section, the term ``requester''
means any person who was persecuted in the manner described under
section 3(a)(1) of this Act who requests a Nazi war criminal record.
SEC. 5. EFFECTIVE DATE. <<NOTE: 5 USC 522 note.>>
This Act and the amendments made by this Act shall take effect on
the date that is 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act.
Approved October 8, 1998.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 1379:
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 144 (1998):
June 19, considered and passed Senate.
Aug. 6, considered and passed House.