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CIA Releases Roughly 2,500 Declassified President’s Daily Briefs

CIA Releases Roughly 2,500 Declassified President’s Daily Briefs at Event Hosted by LBJ Presidential Library and University of Texas at Austin 

Collection Includes Reports Delivered During Kennedy, Johnson Administrations

September 16, 2015

CIA released today roughly 2,500 previously classified President’s Daily Briefs (PDB) from the John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson administrations at a public symposium at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, TX, entitled The President’s Daily Brief: Delivering Intelligence to the First Customer. The declassified documents are posted at along with a 40-page color booklet describing the documents and the PDB process during this period.

While a few PDBs have been publicly released over the years, the release of roughly 2,500 PDBs is unprecedented. The PDB contains intelligence analysis on key national security issues for the President and other senior policymakers. Only the President, the Vice President, and a select group of officials designated by the President receive the briefing, which represents the Intelligence Community’s best insights on issues the President must confront when dealing with threats as well as opportunities related to our national security.

This public release highlights the role of the PDB in foreign and national security policy making during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. This collection includes the President’s Intelligence Checklists (PICLs) — which preceded the PDB — published from June 1961 to November 1964, and the PDBs published from December 1964 through the end of President Johnson’s term in January 1969. These documents offer insight on intelligence that informed presidential decisions during critical historical events such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, the 1967 Six-Day War, the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, and Vietnam.

CIA Director John O. Brennan provided the event’s keynote speech, saying “the release of these documents affirms that the world’s greatest democracy does not keep secrets merely for secrecy’s sake. Whenever we can shed light on the work of our government without harming national security, we will do so.” 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 80 percent of the collection has been declassified and is being made available to the public.

The symposium in Austin also featured a panel discussion and remarks by other leaders from the academic, archivist, and intelligence communities, including Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, Chancellor of the University of Texas System William H. McRaven, former CIA Director Porter Goss, former CIA Deputy Director Bobby Inman, and others.

This collection was assembled as part of the CIA’s Historical Review Program, which identifies, reviews, and declassifies documents on historically significant events or topics. Previous releases can be viewed at:

Posted: Sep 16, 2015 03:08 PM
Last Updated: Sep 16, 2015 03:08 PM