Why the CIA Is Still Boss

CIA analysts still write the majority of the president's daily briefing.

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While the nation's intelligence world has greatly expanded since 9/11, the CIA continues to hold the top job when it comes to briefing and advising the president, a role that is not expected to change when a new administration comes into office. Officials for the first time confirmed that CIA analysts write 80 percent to 90 percent of the president's daily briefing despite the broad growth of intelligence and national security analysis in several agencies around Washington. That alone keeps the CIA at the top of the intelligence world, administration officials say, since it is the agency's analysis that goes directly to the president and his national security adviser.

"That's an impressive figure in light of the fact that agency is one of 15 others in the intelligence community," says one official. That influence has continued since CIA Director Mike Hayden took office. At the time, he said his new agency "had more connective tissue to all the other agencies than anyone else. It had departmental independence, deep expertise that cut across disciplines, and handled all sorts of global issues."