FAQ

  1. Are only US citizens allowed to see CRRC records?
  2. What is an Institutional Review Board (IRB)?
  3. I lack an affiliation with which to obtain Institutional Review Board approval. Is it impossible for me to access CRRC records?
  4. What constitutes Personally Identifiable Information (PII)?
  5. Does the CRRC plan to place copies of records on the Internet?
  6. Is capture information included for the records?
  7. How reliable are CRRC records?
  8. How reliable are the CRRC translations?
  9. How do I cite CRRC records?
  10. How do I find my way to the National Defense University?
  11. Is the CRRC involved in negotiations with the Government of Iraq (GOI) regarding the potential return to Iraqi custody of original records?
  12. Does the CRRC contain cultural artifacts?
  13. What is the symbolism of the CRRC Crest?
  14. Do other collections of captured records exist from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq?
  15. Do other collections of captured Al Qaeda and Associated Movement (AQAM) records exist?
  16. How might I access copies of captured records from earlier conflicts involving the United States?

Are only US citizens allowed to see CRRC records?
No. There is no nationality restriction to access the CRRC’s researcher database.
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What is an Institutional Review Board (IRB)?
An Institutional Review Board (IRB) monitors compliance with Human Subjects Research Protocols. IRBs review research plans to ensure adequate protection of the identity, safety, and reputation of individuals who may be affected by disclosure of information gained in the course of scholarly research.
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I lack an affiliation with which to obtain Institutional Review Board approval. Is it impossible for me to access CRRC records?
Virtually every research university in the United States has the necessary IRB procedures already in place. On rare occasions the CRRC might be able to assist accomplished independent scholars in obtaining IRB approval for research at the CRRC; in the vast majority of cases, however, scholars will need to secure IRB approvals from their home institutions. CRRC staff stands ready to assist in answering IRB-related questions.
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What constitutes Personally Identifiable Information (PII)?
USG defines Personally Identifiable Information (PII) as “information which can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity, such as their name, social security number, biometric records, etc. alone, or when combined with other personal or identifying information which is linked or linkable to a specific individual, such as date and place of birth, mother’s maiden name, etc.”

CRRC protects information collected on individuals without their knowledge and/or that, if made public, could subject them to “harm or discomfort…greater in and of themselves than those ordinarily encountered in daily life.”

This protection generally does not apply to the deceased or to public officials (e.g. Saddam Hussein) acting in their official capacity.
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Does the CRRC plan to place copies of records on the Internet?
The CRRC may release records online as part of CRRC sponsored or co-sponsored conferences. Staff and resource constraints, along with stringent measures to protect Personally Identifiable Information, necessarily restrict the number of records that CRRC staff can make available via the Internet. Sample records that have been made available to the pubic are on the Saddam Hussein and al-Qaada and Associated Movements collection pages. These sample records provide only a small sample of the much larger collection that is available to researchers at the CRRC.
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Is capture information included for the records?
Most of our records do not have capture information. Those that do provide only very general information. For more information on the provenance of the captured records, see Combined Media Processing Center – Qatar Standard Operating Procedures.
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How reliable are CRRC records?
The vast majority of records captured by US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan appear to be authentic, with forgeries usually fairly easily identifiable. CRRC employees do not populate the Center’s researcher database with any known forgeries. For an insightful authentication of a captured Iraqi document, see Combined Media Processing Centre-Qatar / UK CI Report.
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How reliable are the CRRC translations?
The English translations in the CRRC database prove invaluable to the vast majority of CRRC researchers, yet scholars should not rely on the translations as the quality of these translations varies considerably. The Arabic audio file or document is the CRRC source, not the English translation.
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How do I cite CRRC records?
Citations of records from the CRRC can be constructed as follows: CRRC record number, “Record title,” Record date, Conflict Records Research Center, Washington, D.C.
Example:
XX-XXXX-X-000-000, “Senior Officials Discussing Various Military Operations and Other Issues,” 15 August 1999, Conflict Records Research Center, Washington, D.C.
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How do I find my way to the National Defense University?
Please follow the directions provided by the National Defense University. For additional questions, please email us.
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Is the CRRC involved in negotiations with the Government of Iraq (GOI) regarding the potential return to Iraqi custody of original records?
No. The US Government conducts these negotiations. The CRRC contains only digital copies of digital copies of the original records, and is in no way involved in such negotiations. If and when original records are returned, this would presumably have no effect on the CRRC’s ability to make digital copies of these historical records accessible to scholars.
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Does the CRRC contain cultural artifacts?
No. The CRRC contains no cultural artifacts, such as the Iraqi Jewish archive. It consists solely of digital copies of digital copies of captured state records from Saddam’s Iraq, and from AQAM terrorists.
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What is the symbolism of the CRRC Crest?
CRRC Crest_smallLatin: patefacio et percipio= to open and to understand

Symbols:

  • The lamp = Light, Pursuit of knowledge
  • The open book = Learning
  • The globe = To relate to INSS logo
  • Thoth/The Ibis = Patron of knowledge, secrets, writing, and scribes. Appearance: A man with the head of an ibis holding a scribe’s palette and stylus. He was also shown as a full ibis, or sometimes as a baboon.

Colors:

  •  Gold = Elevation of the mind
  • Silver/White = Sincerity, Peace
  • Blue = Strength, Loyalty
  • Orange = Worthwhile ambition

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Do other collections of captured records exist from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq?
Yes. When US and US-allied troops entered Iraq in 2003, they seized millions of pages of Iraqi state records in buildings associated with Iraq’s Ministry of Defense, Mukhabarat, and other organs of the Ba’athist regime. CRRC records constitute a subset of this larger collection. Other noteworthy collections of captured Iraqi records, entirely unconnected to the CRRC, also exist. For instance, Stanford University’s Hoover Institution houses a large number of Ba’ath Party records. A collection of Iraqi records captured by Kurdish forces during a 1991 uprising is located at the Archives of the University of Colorado at Boulder. The timing and manner in which each collection of records was captured and transferred out of Iraq differs markedly as, presumably, would the timing and manner of any future returns of the originals. While these other archives likely contain copies of some of the same records as the CRRC, scholars will find many records unique to each collection and might well benefit by visiting more than one archive.
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Do other collections of captured Al Qaeda and Associated Movement (AQAM) records exist?
Yes. For instance, West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) makes available online a number of AQAM records. These records are a subset of a larger collection of records that were captured by US and US-allied forces, primarily in Afghanistan. The CRRC and the CTC draw from the same larger collection.
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How might I access copies of captured records from earlier conflicts involving the United States?
Historians have long benefited from analyzing captured state records. Collections of captured records from US wars in Vietnam, Korea, and World War II have proven enormously useful to scholars and practitioners alike. For analyses on the history and legality of seizing records during wartime, see Trudy Peterson’s Archives in Service to the State, and Dr. Douglas Cox’s Document Exploitation Blog.
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