Blast From The Past: Nixon & the CIA’s Daily Briefs

“Another item in the memo is a detailed report of a recent meeting of Indira Gandhi’s cabinet about the pros and cons of accepting a cease-fire once a government was installed in Bangladesh. The CIA provided the information based on a source in Gandhi’s cabinet, confirming Seymour Hersh’s finding in The Price of Power that the CIA had a highly-placed mole in the Indian government.”

National Security Archive — 14 September 2016

nixon

President Richard M. Nixon meeting with national security adviser Henry A. Kissinger in the Oval Office, n.d. (Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library, Photo collections, Master Print File with Staff Individuals)

‘As a contribution to the ongoing discussion about the role of the PDBs in the Nixon White House, the National Security Archive today publishes together for the first time the six Kissinger daily briefing memoranda from 1969 through 1973 that have been declassified so far.’ [NSA-GWU]

RELATED POST: TRUMP & The CIA Briefings

President Richard Nixon may never have even read the President’s Daily Briefs partially declassified and released by the CIA with great fanfare on August 24, 2016. The CIA’s claim that the PDBs were “the primary vehicle for summarizing the day-to-day sensitive intelligence and analysis … for the White House” is partly true, but Nixon’s prejudices against the Agency and the distinctive role of national security adviser Henry Kissinger suggest that his cover memos to the PDBs were far more important to the President than whatever the CIA had to say.

Kissinger served as Nixon’s de facto intelligence adviser and it was Kissinger, not the CIA, whom Nixon counted on to help him keep informed about global events. In part, Kissinger did this each day by sending Nixon a memorandum prepared at the White House Situation Room, to which the PDB was appended, that consisted of Kissinger’s take of what developments were important for Nixon to keep in mind.

You can read the rest of the story and the recently Declassified Kissinger Memos — including Nixon’s Handwritten Comments — on the National Security Archive.

REFERENCES

Did Nixon Even Read the CIA’s Daily Briefs?

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