On August 24, CIA released previously classified President’s Daily Briefs (PDB) from the Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford administrations at a public symposium at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, CA, titled The President’s Daily Brief: Delivering Intelligence to Nixon and Ford.
The roughly 2,500 declassified documents totaling some 28,000 pages are posted at https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/presidents-daily-brief, along with a 40-page color booklet describing the documents and the PDB process during this period.
The PDB contains intelligence analysis on key national security issues for the president and other senior policymakers. Only the president, vice president, and a select group of senior officials with high-level security clearances receive the daily briefing, which presents the Intelligence Community’s best insights on national security threats and opportunities.
This event builds on CIA’s release last year of roughly 2,500 PDBs totaling nearly 19,000 pages from the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. The new collection includes PDBs published during President Nixon’s term from January 1969 through end of President Ford’s administration in January 1977. These documents offer insight into intelligence that informed presidential decision-making during critical historical events including the Vietnam War, President Nixon’s trip to China in 1972, the OPEC embargo in 1973-74, and the Arab-Israeli War in 1973.
”Today is an opportunity to shed a bit more light on our mission and our history for the benefit of the American people,” said CIA Director John Brennan. For several years, CIA information management officers have worked with their counterparts at the National Security Council and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on the review and declassification of these documents. Roughly 85 percent of the collection has been declassified and is being made available to the public.
The symposium in Yorba Linda featured panel discussions and remarks by CIA Director Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, senior Intelligence Community historians, and leaders from the academic and archivist communities.