“The President’s Daily Brief…is shared with such an extraordinarily small number of people who are in a need-to-know situation, a need-to-know position, so they can use that information to protect the country, to prevent the next possible attack.”
Yet another Which-Side-Is-Obama-On Alert: “Obama Imperils Intel Briefings,” by Theodore Kettle for Newsmax, January 3:
President Barack Obama’s executive order last Tuesday to declassify millions of secret U.S. government document delighted left-wing “open government” groups, but it may render impotent one of the intelligence community’s most vital tools: the President’s Daily Brief, or PDB.
Described as “the most highly sensitized classified document in the government,” every one of the overnight-written reports the commander-in-chief receives each morning from the CIA and other spy agencies, going back decades, would eventually be required by law to be revealed under Obama’s newly-established National Declassification Center within the National Archives.
As the White House describes the massively lengthy executive order, which approaches 13,000 words, “For the first time, it establishes the principle that no records may remain classified indefinitely and provides enforceable deadlines for declassifying information exempted from automatic declassification at 25 years.”
According to the president’s order, “No information may remain classified indefinitely.” And while much of the order does not take effect until mid-2010, some provisions do, such as the directive that “all classified records that (1) are more than 25 years old and (2) have been determined to have permanent historical value under Title 44, United States Code, shall be automatically declassified whether or not the records have been reviewed.”…
Obama’s order last week revokes both the Clinton and Bush executive orders, effective by the middle of this year….
Bush White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, in a May 2002 press conference, warned of the consequences of scrapping the rule that PDBs never become public.
Fleischer described “the overall principle about the President’s Daily Brief, which is shared with such an extraordinarily small number of people who are in a need-to-know situation, a need-to-know position, so they can use that information to protect the country, to prevent the next possible attack.”
Bush, Fleischer added, was “concerned with the fact that if the presidential daily brief, which is a highly sensitized – the most highly sensitized classified document in the government – if that document were to be at risk of public reporting, public release, the people who prepare it will hold back and not give the president of the United States, the person who needs the most information, they will be inclined to give him less, rather than more, because they fear it will get made public, and that could compromise sources or methods.”…
Has Obama now constructed a wall between himself and U.S. spy agencies, discouraging them from being candid about terrorism threats in their daily briefings – not only to him, but to future presidents?