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."