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For immediate release
April 8, 2004
For more information:
Thomas Blanton, 202/994-7000

Archive Calls for Declassification of the President's Daily Brief

Documentation Experts Question Secrecy Myths, Coverup;
Post Declassified Examples of Ten Historic PDBs on Web


Washington, D.C., April 8, 2004 - The National Security Archive at George Washington University today called for the public declassification of the controversial President's Daily Brief from August 6, 2001 - discussed at length in today's testimony by national security adviser Condoleezza Rice before the commission investigating the 9/11 attacks.

Commission members Bob Kerrey , Richard Ben-Veniste and Timothy Roemer each asked Dr. Rice to declassify the document, and each time she ducked the direct question, telling Mr. Roemer that "I think you know the sensitivity of presidential decision memoranda… I don't know if they've ever been made available in quite this way."

Archive director Thomas Blanton said, "In fact, ten historic President's Daily Briefs have previously been declassified - all are posted on the National Security Archive Web site - and the August 6, 2001 Brief could also be released simply by blacking out any still-sensitive sources-and-methods information."

Today's posting also includes a detailed refutation, written by Mr. Blanton, of PDB-related secrecy claims made by the White House, the CIA, and even the 9/11 commission's chairman, former New Jersey governor Thomas Kean. Mr. Kean said at today's hearing that the commission had formally requested declassification of the August 6 PDB.

"The White House reversed itself on letting Dr. Rice testify, after weeks of bad publicity, because administration credibility was at stake," said Mr. Blanton. "Let's hope they've learned a lesson so the turnabout happens more quickly on releasing the Brief."

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Click here for examples of declassified President's Daily Briefs

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