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May 6, 2005

Bush Administration Claims Presidential Privilege for LBJ Documents

CIA Refuses Release of 35-Year-Old President's Daily Briefs

UC-Davis Professor, Top Johnson Aide Bill Moyers Rebut Secrecy Claims

Posted 6 May 2005

For more information:
Professor Larry Berman 202/974-6202
Thomas Burke/Duffy Carolan, Davis Wright Tremaine 415/276-6500
Meredith Fuchs/Thomas Blanton, National Security Archive 202/994-7000

Washington, D.C., May 6, 2005 - Legal motions and sworn declarations filed in federal court this week have refuted Bush administration claims that the CIA can never release President's Daily Briefs given to President Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s because that would damage national security and violate presidential privilege, according to the Web posting of the documents by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

University of California, Davis professor Larry Berman, a scholar of the Vietnam War, filed suit against the CIA when it refused to release two Briefs from the day before and the day after Briefs that had been declassified and made public more than a decade ago. He is represented by Thomas R. Burke and Duffy Carolan of the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, and by Meredith Fuchs, general counsel of the National Security Archive.

In support of Professor Berman's case, former Johnson aide Bill Moyers, who reviewed many of the Briefs when President Johnson read them, said in a declaration that the Briefs were not "deliberative" or policy advice, but rather factual reports on world events, and that release of the Briefs could be accomplished without damage to national security by redacting any still-sensitive sources-and-methods information.

CIA information review officer Terry Buroker had filed a sworn declaration with the court claiming that every single word of the two Briefs had to be kept secret because release would contribute to a "mosaic" of knowledge about sources and methods and violate Presidential Privilege. He did not explain why 30 Briefs or excerpts of Briefs already have been publicly released without any harm.

The filings this week included copies of more than 30 Briefs and excerpts from Briefs that had previously been declassified and released. Two of the released Briefs provided to President Johnson were declassified the same month Professor Berman filed his lawsuit in December 2004, under Mr. Buroker's purview, apparently because neither was on PDB stationery.

Note: The following documents are in PDF format.
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Government Answer

Plaintiff Response and Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment

Declarations in Support of Plaintiff's Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment

Attachment 1 - March 6, 1996 cover letter to Director of Central Intelligence, Hon. John Deutch from Visiting Fellow John Lewis Gaddis at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, with attached Report of the February 5, 1996 CIA Historical Review Panel Meeting

Attachment 1 - Curriculum Vitae of Larry Berman

Attachment 2 - March 3, 2004 FOIA request to Robert T. Herman from Plaintiff, Larry Berman

Attachment 3 - March 17, 2004 letter to Larry Berman from Robert T. Herman

Attachment 4 - April 15, 2004 letter to Larry Berman from CIA Acting Information and Privacy Coordinator Alan W. Tate

Attachment 5 - May 6, 2004 letter to Agency Release Panel, C/O Alan W. Tate from Larry Berman

Attachment 6 - May 13, 2004 letter to Larry Berman from Alan W. Tate

Attachment 7 - June 21, 2004 letter to Larry Berman from Alan W. Tate

Attachment 8 - March 28, 1968 cover letter and Directorate of Intelligence memorandum to President Lyndon B. Johnson from Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Walt Rostow

Attachment 9 - April 6, 1968 notes from meeting between President Johnson and General William Westmoreland

Attachment 10 - April 4, 1968 memorandum to President Johnson from Special Counsel Harry C. McPherson

Attachment 11 - August 5, 1965 summary notes of a National Security Council meeting

Attachment 12 - August 5, 1965 memorandum to President Johnson from National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy

Attachment 13 - August 5, 1965 Intelligence Information Cable to President Johnson from the CIA

Attachment 14 - August 9, 1965 memorandum to President Johnson from Special Counsel Harry C. McPherson, Jr.

Attachment 15 - August 7, 1965 memorandum to the Secretary of Defense from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, signed by Chairman Earle Wheeler

Attachment 16 - March 29, 1968 Central Intelligence Bulletin ("CIB"); April 3, 1968 CIB; August 9, 1965 CIB

Attachment 17 - Virtual Vietnam Archive Finding Aid

Attachment 18 - Excerpts from John Prados's book "The White House Tapes: Eavesdropping on the President" (The Free Press, 1997)

Attachment 19 - August 6, 1965 Daily Diary of President Johnson

Attachment 20 - April 2, 1965 memorandum to President Johnson from CIA Director John McCone

Attachment 21 - April 1965 letter to President Johnson from CIA Director John McCone, and attachments, including: April 2, 1965 memorandum from McCone to the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense and the Special Assistant to the President, and, February 18, 1965 Special National Security Estimate

Attachment 22 - April 30, 1965 CIA Office of National Estimates Report

Attachment 23 - July 1, 1965 memorandum to President Johnson from Secretary Robert McNamara

Attachment 24 - Excerpts from William Conrad Gibbons' "The U.S. Government and the Vietnam War: Executive and Legislative Roles and the Relationships"

Attachment 25 - Excerpts from Ellsworth Bunker's "The Bunker Papers: Reports to the President from Vietnam, 1967-1973"

Attachment 26 - Excerpts from Professor Jeffrey Kimball's "The Vietnam War Files"

Attachment 27 - Excerpts of published and previously classified tapes of General Creighton W. Abrams, published by Texas Tech University Press

Attachment 1 - Excerpts from March 2000 National Archives and Records Administration report, titled, "Records Management in the Central Intelligence Agency"

Attachment 2 - "CIA Today" available at

Attachment 3 - Excerpts from a 1996 study published by the CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence, written by John L. Helgerson, entitled "Getting to Know the President: CIA Briefings of Presidential Candidates, 1952-1992"

Attachment 4 - April 1, 1968 President's Daily Brief ("PDB")

Attachment 5 - August 7, 1968 PDB

Attachment 6 - June 8, 1967 PDB

Attachment 7 - June 9, 1967 PDB

Attachment 8 - June 7, 1967 PDB

Attachment 9 - June 6, 1967 PDB

Attachment 10 - June 5, 1967 PDB

Attachment 11 - May 27, 1967 PDB

Attachment 12 - May 16, 1967 PDB

Attachment 13 - May 13, 1967 PDB

Attachment 14 - Excerpts from U.S. State Department's series on Foreign Relations of the United States 1964-1968, Volume XIX, Arab-Israeli Crisis and War, 1967.

Attachment 15 - May 29, 1967 PDB

Attachment 16 - April 25, 1967 PDB

Attachment 17 - September 7, 1968 "Special Daily Report on North Vietnam for the President's Eyes Only"

Attachment 18 - January 16, 1967 PDB

Attachment 19 - November 5, 1966 PDB

Attachment 20 - December 20, 1967 PDB

Attachment 21 - Excerpts from December 4, 1998 PDB and August 6, 2001 PDB, published in report of National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States

Attachment 22 - Excerpts from Former Director of Central Intelligence Rober M. Gates' "From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider's Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War," which includes quotes from September 2, 1983 PDB and August 17, 1991 PDB

Attachment 23 - Excerpts from Bob Woodward's "Bush at War," which quotes September 12, 2001 PDB

Attachment 24 - February 15, 1962 President's Intelligence Checklist ("PICL"); October 15, 1962 PICL; October 16, 1962 PICL; October 17, 1962 PICL, and; October 18, 1962 PICL

Attachment 25 - April 11, 2004 article by John Diamond, published in USA Today, titled Few PDBs Declassified for Public

Attachment 26 - December 20, 1991 report to the Director of Central Intelligence from the Task Force on Greater CIA Openness

Attachment 27 - Report of the U.S. State Department Historical Advisory Committee on Diplomatic Documentation for January 1 - December 31, 2002

Attachment 28 - Report of the U.S. State Department Historical Advisory Committee on Diplomatic Documentation for January 1 - December 31, 2002

Attachment 29 - May 16, 1967 CIB

Attachment 30 - April 1, 1968 CIB

Attachment 31 - August 7, 1965 CIB

Attachment 32 - August 6, 1965 CIB

Attachment 33 - April 2, 1968 CIB

Attachment 34 - August 6, 1965 Afternoon Summary

Attachment 35 - April 2, 1968 Afternoon Summary

Attachment 36 - February 13, 1969 and August 22, 1969 Daily Morning Briefings to President Richard M. Nixon from Secretary of State Henry Kissinge

Attachment 37 - Excerpts from "A World Transformed" by President George H. W. Bush and former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft

Attachment 38 - May 16, 2002 Internal CIA memorandum to CIA Acting Information and Privacy Coordinator Alan W. Tate from Kurt A. Perlman

Attachment 39 - May 24, 2002 Washington Post article by Walter Pincus

The National Security Archive

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