Text: S.1379 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 105-246 (10/08/1998)

 
[105th Congress Public Law 246]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


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[DOCID: f:publ246.105]


[[Page 112 STAT. 1859]]

Public Law 105-246
105th Congress

                                 An Act


 
 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 
Disclosure Act.>> 

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 
        (b);
            (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 
Group.--
            (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 
        section.

[[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; 
        and
            (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 
                    WAR CRIMES.

    (a) Nazi War Criminal Records.--For purposes of this Act, the term 
``Nazi war criminal records'' means classified records or portions of 
records that--
            (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 
        would--
                    (A) constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of 
                personal privacy;
                    (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 
                States;
                    (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 
                States;
                    (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 
                authorized;
                    (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 
                that office.

    (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:
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CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 144 (1998):
            June 19, considered and passed Senate.
            Aug. 6, considered and passed House.

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