Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Intelligence Analytical Products: The President's Daily Brief (PDB)

Left uncertain are responsibilities for preparing the written brief on current
intelligence that is prepared daily for the President and a very few other senior officials.
The President’s Daily Brief (PDB), along with the Senior Executive Intelligence Brief
(SEIB) that has a somewhat wider distribution, have been prepared by CIA’s Directorate
of Intelligence (DI) and are considered that directorate’s “flagship products.”
Nonetheless, should the DNI be responsible for daily substantive briefings at the White
House rather than the CIA Director, it might be considered appropriate that the DNI staff
draft the PDB and the SEIB, based on input from the CIA and other agencies. The
number of analysts who actually prepare the PBD/SEIB is not large, but their work
reflects ongoing analysis in the CIA and other parts of the Intelligence Community. Some
might argue, moreover, that close and important links between CIA desk-level analysts
and the PDB would be jeopardized should the briefs be prepared outside of the CIA.

In addition, there are myriads of other analytical products: reports, memoranda,
briefings, etc. that are prepared on a routine basis. The Intelligence Reform Act does not
transfer extensive analytical efforts to the NID; leaving such duties to existing agencies;
the NIC will be responsible for assessments that set forth the judgments of the Intelligence
Community as a whole.

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