Home > 104th Congressional Bills > H.R. 1281 (rh) To amend title 5, United States Code, and the National Security Act of [Reported in House] ...

H.R. 1281 (rh) To amend title 5, United States Code, and the National Security Act of [Reported in House] ...


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104th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H.R. 1281


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

           September 24 (legislative day September 20), 1996

                                Received

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
   To express the sense of the Congress that it is the policy of the 
   Congress that United States Government agencies in possession of 
 records about individuals who are alleged to have committed Nazi war 
                crimes should make these records public.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds that--
            (1) during the 104th Congress, Americans commemorated the 
        50th anniversary of the conclusion of the Second World War and 
        the end of the Holocaust, one of the worst tragedies in 
        history;
            (2) it is important to learn all that we can about this 
        terrible era so that we can prevent such a catastrophe from 
        ever happening again;
            (3) the cold war is over;
            (4) numerous nations, including those of the former Soviet 
        Union, are making public their files on Nazi war criminals as 
        well as crimes committed by agencies of their own governments;
            (5) on April 20, 1995, President Clinton issued Executive 
        Order 12958, which will make available certain previously 
        classified national security documents that are at least 25 
        years old;
            (6) that Executive Order stated: ``Our democratic 
        principles require that the American people be informed of the 
        activities of their Government.'';
            (7) this year marks the 30th anniversary of the passage of 
        the Freedom of Information Act;
            (8) agencies of the United States Government possess 
        information on individuals who ordered, incited, assisted, or 
        otherwise participated in Nazi war crimes;
            (9) some agencies have routinely denied Freedom of 
        Information Act requests for information about individuals who 
        committed Nazi war crimes;
            (10) United States Government agencies may have been in 
        possession of material about the war crimes facilitated by Kurt 
        Waldheim but did not make this information public;
            (11) it is legitimate not to disclose certain material in 
        Government files if the disclosure would seriously and 
        demonstrably harm current or future national defense, 
        intelligence, or foreign relations activities of the United 
        States and if protection of these matters from disclosure 
        outweighs the public interest of disclosure;
            (12) the disclosure of most Nazi war crimes information 
        should not harm United States national interests; and
            (13) the Office of Special Investigations of the Department 
        of Justice is engaged in vital work investigating and expelling 
        Nazi war criminals from the United States, the records created 
        by these investigations and other actions should not be 
        disclosed, and the investigations and other actions should not 
        be interfered with.

SEC. 2. SENSE OF THE CONGRESS.

    It is the sense of the Congress that United States Government 
agencies in possession of records about individuals who are alleged to 
have committed Nazi war crimes should make these records public.

            Passed the House of Representatives September 24, 1996.

            Attest:

                                                ROBIN H. CARLE,

                                                                 Clerk.

Pages: 1

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