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The front page of the President's Daily Brief of August 6, 2001.

The President's Daily Brief[1] (PDB), sometimes referred to as the President's Daily Briefing or the President's Daily Bulletin, is a top-secret document produced each morning for the President of the United States. Responsibility for producing the PDB — which was traditionally held by the director of the Central Intelligence Agency — was transferred to the Director of National Intelligence on April 21, 2005, upon the confirmation of John Negroponte by the Senate.[2] The PDB is now delivered by the current (2010) Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper.[3]

Purpose and history[edit | edit source]

The PDB is intended to provide the president of the United States with new international intelligence warranting attention and analysis of sensitive international situations. The prototype of the PDB was called the President's Intelligence Check List; the first was produced by Richard Lehman at the direction of Huntington D. Sheldon on June 17, 1961. The CIA produced the first PDB for President John F. Kennedy in 1960 and the first issues were trial runs.

Although the production and coordination of the PDB was a CIA responsibility, other members of the U.S. Intelligence Community reviewed articles (the "coordination" process) and were free to write and submit articles for inclusion.

While the name of the PDB implies exclusivity, it has historically been briefed to other high officials. The distribution list has varied over time, but has always or almost always included the Secretaries of State and Defense and the National Security Advisor. Rarely, special editions of the PDB have actually been "for the President's eyes only," with further dissemination of the information contained left to the President's discretion.

Production of the PDB is closely linked to that of another publication, historically called the National Intelligence Daily, that contains many of the same items but is distributed considerably more widely than the PDB. Former Presidents are entitled to receive the PDB, if they so desire, only after the sitting President actually receives his daily briefing.

Political importance[edit | edit source]

Former Central Intelligence Director George Tenet considered the PDB so sensitive that in July 2000 he took the position with the National Archives and Records Administration that none of them could be released for publication "no matter how old or historically significant it may be."[4]

During a briefing on May 21, 2002, Ari Fleischer, former White House Press Secretary, characterized the PDB as "the most highly sensitized classified document in the government."[5]

Public awareness[edit | edit source]

The PDB came under increased public awareness during testimony in front of the 9/11 Commission, which was convened in 2004 to analyze the September 11, 2001 attacks. On April 8, 2004, after a testimony by then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, the Commission renewed calls for the declassification of a PDB from August 6, 2001, entitled Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US. Two days later, the White House complied and released the document with minimal redactions.

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

de:President’s Daily Brief it:President's Daily Brief ru:Ежедневное президентское резюме zh:总统每日简报

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