An Interview with Richard Lehman
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY WASHINGTON DC CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF INTELLIGENCE
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Dick Lehman developed the Presidents Intelligence Check List, or PICL pronounced pickle for Pres. Kennedy in June 1961. The Kennedy White House had become overwhelmed with publications from the intelligence community, many of which were duplicative in nature, and important pieces of information were beginning to fall between the cracks. The President and his advisers wanted one concise summary of important issues that they could rely on, and Lehman provided that summary in theform of the PICL. Kennedys enthusiastic response to the PICL ensured that it became an Agency institution. Former Dep. Director for Intelligence R. Jack Smith writes in his memoir, The Unknown CIA, that the President engaged in an...exchange of comments with its producers, sometimes praising an account, sometimes criticizing a comment, once objecting to the word boondocks as not an accepted word. For current intelligence people, this was heaven on earth The PICL was renamed The Presidents Daily Brief PDB in the Johnson administration. For many years thereafter, Lehman played a key role in supervising the Agencys current intelligence sup portfor the White House, including its briefings ofPresidential candidates. Former Deputy Director for Intelligence DDI Ray Cline in his book The CIA Under Reagan, Bush, and Casey, calls him the longtime genius of the Presidents special daily intelligence report. Dick Lehman joined the Agency in 1949 and served for 33 years before retiring. As a junior analyst, he worked in the Gen. Div. of the Office of Reports Estimates ORE using SIGINT to puzzle out the organization and output of various Soviet industrial ministries. He then spent much of his career in the Office of Current Intelligence OCI, eventually serving as Director from 1970-1975.
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