The Central Intelligence Agency released a trove of previously classified documents this week at the LBJ Presidential Library in central Austin. The over 2,500 “President’s Daily Briefs” shed light on the President Lyndon B. Johnson and President John F. Kennedy administrations of the 1960s. The briefs contain intelligence analysis on crucial national security concerns and are received only by the president, the vice president, and a small group of officials designated by the President.
“The PDBs provide fresh context for some of the most tumultuous and significant foreign events in our history, including the Vietnam War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the building of the Berlin Wall and other world changing crises,” said Mark K. Updegrove, Director of the LBJ Presidential Library. “The declassification and release of years of top-secret PDBs from the Kennedy and Johnson era could prove to be a treasure trove for historians.”
The documents will be made available to the public on the CIA website. Online documents will include the “PDBs,” called the President’s Intelligence Checklists, “from June 1961 in the early years of the Kennedy Administration to November 1964, and PDBs published from December 1964 through the end of President Johnson’s term in January 1969.”
CIA Director John O. Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper delivered remarks commemorating the release at a public event entitled, “The President’s Daily Brief: Delivering Intelligence to the First Customer.”
The collection of previously classified documents was assembled through the CIA’s Historical Review Program, which identifies, reviews, and declassifies documents on historically significant events.