Nixon and Ford Presidential Intelligence Briefings released to public
In an intellectually interesting and historically significant move, the CIA has released the secret daily intelligence briefings of President’s Nixon and Ford. The briefings, which will provide interesting fodder for both journalists and historians for years to come, are significant documents, detailing the working day to day information the Presidents received from the nation’s premier intelligence organization.
Nixon and Ford had very different styles, and backgrounds, and preferred their briefings in different formats. Nixon preferred a shorter 10 page summary while Ford preferred more detail, and his reports ran to 20 pages long. Also Nixon, the consummate ex lawyer, preferred his briefings on long legal note paper.
Both Presidents presided over difficult times for the United States, including the Vietnam War, student protest and the fallout from the civil rights era, amongst other issues. Therefore these briefings are important snapshots of what both men were learning, and discussing, during their decision making processes. One interesting revelation: the CIA told Ford that Nixon’s resignation appeared to have taken the Soviet Union and other adversaries by complete surprise.
It’s also interesting to note that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the major party nominees for the U.S. Presidency, have both started receiving CIA intelligence briefings, to prepare them for the office.
Photo: U.S. Government – Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons