Secret Service History: Through The Decades

Secret Service History: Through The Decades
Secret Service History: Through The Decades

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

United States Secret Service

United States Secret Service

Agency overview
Annual budget $1.483 billion (FY2010)[1]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agency USA
General nature Federal law enforcement
Civilian agency

Specialist jurisdiction
Operational structure
Sworn members 4,400
Agency executive Mark J. Sullivan, Director
Parent agency United States Department of Homeland Security
Field offices 136
Facilities
Resident agent offices 68
Overseas offices 19
Website
http://www.SecretService.gov


The United States Secret Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency that is part of the United States Department of Homeland Security.[2] The sworn members are divided among the Special Agents and the Uniformed Division. Until March 1, 2003, the Service was part of the United States Department of the Treasury.[3]

The U.S. Secret Service has two distinct areas of responsibility:

Treasury roles, covering missions such as prevention and investigation of counterfeiting of U.S. currency and U.S treasury securities, and investigation of major fraud.[4]
Protective roles, ensuring the safety of current and former national leaders and their families, such as the President, past Presidents, Vice Presidents, presidential candidates, foreign embassies (per an agreement with the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) Office of Foreign Missions (OFM)), etc.[5]
The Secret Service's initial responsibility was to investigate crimes related to the Treasury and then evolved into the United States' first domestic intelligence and counterintelligence agency. Many of the agency's missions were later taken over by subsequent agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Contents [hide]
1 Roles
2 Uniformed Division
2.1 Uniformed Division rank structure
3 Attire
4 History
4.1 Early years
4.2 Truman assassination attempt
4.3 1960s to 1990s
4.4 Changing roles
4.5 Attacks on Presidents
4.6 September 11, 2001, attacks
5 Expansion to electronic crimes in the wake of September 11, 2001
5.1 Domestic
5.2 International
5.3 Notable cases
6 Training and weaponry
7 Directors
8 Field offices
9 In popular culture
10 Similar organizations
11 See also
12 References
13 External links


[edit] Roles
Secret Service Special Agents (foreground) protecting the President of the United States in 2007.Today the agency's primary investigative mission is to safeguard the payment and financial systems of the United States. These include crimes that involve financial institution fraud, computer and telecommunications fraud, false identification documents, access device fraud, advance fee fraud, electronic funds transfers and money laundering as it relates to the agency's core violations. After the 1901 assassination of President William McKinley, Congress also directed the Secret Service to protect the President of the United States. Protection remains the other key mission of the United States Secret Service.

Today, the Secret Service is authorized by law to protect:[6]

The President, the Vice President (or other officer next in the order of succession to the Office of President, should the vice presidency be vacant), the President-elect, and the Vice President-elect
The immediate families of the above individuals
Former Presidents and their spouses for their lifetimes except when the spouse divorces or remarries. In 1997, legislation became effective limiting Secret Service protection to former Presidents and their spouses for a period of not more than 10 years from the date the former President leaves office making Bill and Hillary Clinton the last to receive lifetime protection
The widow or widower of a former President who dies in office or dies within a year of leaving office for a period of 1 year after the President's death (the Secretary of Homeland Security can extend the protection time)
Children of former Presidents until age 16 or 10 years after the presidency.
Former Vice Presidents, their spouses, and their children under age 16 for a period of not more than 6 months from the date the former Vice President leaves office (the Secretary of Homeland Security can extend the protection time)
Visiting heads of states or governments and their spouses traveling with them, other distinguished foreign visitors to the United States, and official representatives of the United States performing special missions abroad whom the president deems important enough for protection outside the Diplomatic Security Service
Major presidential and vice presidential candidates
The spouses of major presidential and vice presidential candidates (within 120 days of a general presidential election)
Other individuals as designated per executive order of the President
National Special Security Events, when designated as such by the Secretary of Homeland Security
Any of these individuals can decline Secret Service protection, with the exception of the President, the Vice President (or other officer next in the order of succession to the Office of President), the President-elect, and the Vice President-elect.[6]

When Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State in 2009, the Secret Service continued to protect her at home, however the Diplomatic Security Service protects her while she is performing her duties as the Secretary of State, to include any foreign travel.

The Secret Service investigates thousands of incidents a year of individuals threatening the President of the United States.

[edit] Uniformed Division
President Barack Obama addresses United States Secret Service Uniformed Division officers before a group photo at the South Portico of the White House, April 4, 2011.The United States Secret Service Uniformed Division (UD) assists in protection duties. Established in 1922 as the White House Police Force, this organization was fully integrated into the Secret Service in 1930. With more than 1,300 officers as of 2010, the Uniformed Division is responsible for security at the White House Complex; the vice president's residence; the Department of the Treasury (as part of the White House Complex); and foreign diplomatic missions in the Washington, D.C., area. Uniformed Division officers carry out their protective responsibilities through a network of fixed security posts, foot, bicycle, vehicular and motorcycle patrols.

Officers are responsible for providing additional support to the Secret Service's protective mission through the following special support programs:

The Countersniper Support Unit (CS): Created in 1971, the CS unit's purpose is to provide specialized protective support to defend against long-range threats to Secret Service protectees. Today CS is an operational element of the Presidential Protective Division.[7]

The Canine Explosives Detection Unit (K-9): Created in 1976, the mission of the K-9 unit is to provide skilled and specialized explosives detection support to protective efforts involving Secret Service protectees.[7]

The Emergency Response Team (ERT): Formed in 1992, ERT's primary mission is to provide tactical response to unlawful intrusions and other protective challenges related to the White House and its grounds. ERT personnel receive specialized, advanced training and must maintain a high level of physical and operational proficiency.[7]

The Magnetometer Support Unit: Formed to ensure that all persons entering secure areas occupied by Secret Service protectees are unarmed,[7] the Secret Service began relying on magnetometer (metal detector) support by Uniformed Division officers to augment its protective efforts away from the White House following the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan.

[edit] Uniformed Division rank structureTitle Insignia
Chief
Assistant Chief
Deputy Chief
Inspector
Captain
Lieutenant
Sergeant
Officer

[edit] Attire
Secret Service agent guarding President Obama in 2010Special Agents of the Secret Service wear attire that is appropriate for the surroundings. In many circumstances, the attire is a conservative suit, but attire can range from a tuxedo to blue jeans. Photographs often show them wearing sunglasses and a communication earpiece. They normally wear loose-fitting jackets to conceal their service pistol.

The attire for Uniformed Division Officers includes standard police uniforms or utility uniforms and ballistic/identification vests for members of the countersniper team, Emergency Response Team (ERT), and canine officers. The shoulder patch of the Uniformed Division consists of the presidential seal on white or black depending on the garment to which it is attached. While there is no official patch indicating "Secret Service", UD officers have occasionally designed and purchased unofficial patches to trade in their extensive collaborations with uniformed law enforcement officers.[8]

[edit] History[edit] Early yearsWith a reported one third of the currency in circulation being counterfeit at the time,[9] the Secret Service was created by President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865 (five days after Lee's surrender at Appomattox), and commissioned on July 5, 1865, in Washington, D.C. as the "Secret Service Division" of the Department of the Treasury with the mission of suppressing counterfeiting. The legislation creating the agency was on Abraham Lincoln's desk the night he was assassinated.[10] At the time, the only other federal law enforcement agencies were the United States Park Police, U.S. Post Office Department, Office of Instructions and Mail Depredations, now known as the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the United States Marshals Service. The Marshals did not have the manpower to investigate all crime under federal jurisdiction, so the Secret Service began to investigate everything from murder to bank robbery to illegal gambling. After the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901, Congress informally requested that the Secret Service provide presidential protection. A year later, the Secret Service assumed full-time responsibility for presidential protection. In 1902, William Craig became the first Secret Service agent to die while serving, in a road accident while riding in the presidential carriage.

The Secret Service was the first U.S. domestic intelligence and counterintelligence agency. Domestic intelligence collection and counterintelligence responsibilities were vested in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after the FBI's creation in 1908. The Secret Service assisted in arresting Japanese American leaders and in the Japanese American internment during World War II.[11] The U.S. Secret Service is not an official part of the U.S. Intelligence Community.[12]

[edit] Truman assassination attemptIn 1950, President Harry S. Truman was residing in Blair House, across the street from the White House, while the executive mansion was undergoing renovations. Two Puerto Rican nationalists, Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola, approached Blair House with the intent to assassinate President Truman. Collazo and Torresola opened fire on Private Leslie Coffelt and other White House Police officers. Though mortally wounded by three shots from a 9 mm Walther P38 to his chest and abdomen, Private Coffelt returned fire, killing Torresola with a single shot to his head. As of 2010[update], Coffelt is the only member of the Secret Service to be killed while protecting a US President against an assassination attempt (Special Agent Tim McCarthy stepped in front of President Ronald Reagan during the assassination attempt of March 30, 1981 and took a bullet to the abdomen but made a full recovery). Collazo was also shot but survived his injuries and served 29 years in prison before returning to Puerto Rico in 1979.

[edit] 1960s to 1990sIn 1968, as a result of presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy's assassination, Congress authorized protection of major presidential and vice presidential candidates and nominees (Pub.L. 90-331). In 1965 and 1968, Congress also authorized lifetime protection of the spouses of deceased presidents unless they remarry and of the children of former presidents until age 16.[3]

Congress passed legislation in 1994 stating that presidents who enter office after January 1, 1997 receive Secret Service protection for 10 years after leaving office. Presidents who entered office prior to January 1, 1997 will continue to receive lifetime protection (Treasury Department Appropriations Act, 1995: Pub.L. 103-329).

[edit] Changing roles
Secret Service agents providing security for Pope Benedict XVI in Washington, D.C.The Secret Service Presidential Protective Division safeguards the President of the United States and his immediate family. They work with other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and the military to safeguard the President when he travels in Air Force One, Marine One, and by limousine in motorcades.

Although the most visible role of the Secret Service today, personal protection is an anomaly in the responsibilities of an agency focused on fraud and counterfeiting.

In 1984 the US Congress passed the Comprehensive Crime Control act, which extended the Secret Service's jurisdiction over credit card fraud and computer fraud.

In 1990 the Secret Service initiated Operation Sundevil, originally intended to be a sting against malicious hackers, allegedly responsible for disrupting telephone services across all the USA. The operation, which was later described by Bruce Sterling in his book The Hacker Crackdown, affected a great number of people unrelated to hacking, and led to no convictions. The Secret Service, however, was sued and condemned to pay damages.

In 1994/5, it ran an undercover sting called Operation Cybersnare.[13]

The Secret Service investigates forgery of government checks, forgery of currency equivalents (such as travelers' or cashiers' checks), and certain instances of wire fraud (such as the so-called Nigerian scam) and credit card fraud. The reason for this combination of duties is that when the need for presidential protection became apparent in the early 20th century, few federal services had the necessary abilities and resources. The FBI, IRS, ATF, ICE, and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) did not yet exist. The United States Marshals Service was the only other logical choice, providing protection for the President on a number of occasions.

As of 2010, the Service has over 6,500 employees: 3,200 Special Agents, 1,300 Uniformed Division Officers, and 2,000 technical and administrative employees.[14] Special agents serve on protective details, special teams or sometimes investigate certain financial and homeland security-related crimes.

The Uniformed Division is similar to the United States Capitol Police and is in charge of protecting the physical White House grounds and foreign diplomatic missions in the Washington, D.C. area. The Uniformed Division was originally a separate organization known as the White House Police Force, but was moved into the Secret Service in 1930. In 1970, the role of the force, then called the Executive Protective Service, was expanded. The name United States Secret Service Uniformed Division was adopted in 1977.


Secret Service Uniformed Division cruiser in Washington D.C. at the White HouseThe Secret Service has concurrent jurisdiction with the FBI over certain violations of federal computer crime laws. They have created 24 Electronic Crimes Task Forces (ECTFs) across the United States. These task forces are partnerships between the Service, federal/state and local law enforcement, the private sector and academia aimed at combating technology-based crimes.

In 1998, President Bill Clinton signed Presidential Decision Directive 62, which established National Special Security Events (NSSE). That directive made the Secret Service responsible for security at designated events.

Effective March 1, 2003, the Secret Service transferred from the Treasury to the newly established Department of Homeland Security.

[edit] Attacks on PresidentsMain article: List of United States Presidential assassination attempts
Since the 1960s, Presidents John F. Kennedy (killed), Gerald Ford (twice-attacked, but uninjured) and Ronald Reagan (seriously injured) have been attacked while appearing in public.[15][16] Agents on scene though not injured during attacks on Presidents include William Greer, and Roy Kellerman. One of the more distinguished agents[neutrality is disputed] was Robert DeProspero, the Special Agent In Charge (SAIC) of Reagan's Presidential Protective Division (PPD) from January 1982 to April 1985. DeProspero was deputy to Jerry S. Parr, the SAIC of PPD during the Reagan assassination attempt on March 30, 1981.[17][18]

The Kennedy assassination spotlighted the bravery of two Secret Service agents. First, an agent protecting Mrs. Kennedy, Clint Hill, was riding in the car directly behind the Presidential limousine when the attack began. While the shooting continued, Hill leapt from the running board of the car he was riding on and jumped on to the back of the President's moving car and guided Mrs. Kennedy from the trunk back into the rear seat of the car. He then shielded the President and the First Lady with his body until the car arrived at the hospital.


Secret Service agents in response to the assassination attempt of Ronald Reagan by John Hinckley, Jr. on March 30, 1981Rufus Youngblood was riding in the Vice-Presidential car. When the shots were fired, he vaulted over the front seat and threw his body over Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson.[19][20] That evening, Johnson called Secret Service Chief James J. Rowley and cited Youngblood's bravery.[21][22] Youngblood would later recall some of this in his memoir, Twenty Years in the Secret Service.

The period following the Kennedy assassination was the most difficult in the modern history of the agency. Press reports indicated that morale among the agents was "low" for months following the assassination.[23][24] The agency overhauled its procedures in the wake of the Kennedy killing. Training, which until that time had been confined largely to "on-the-job" efforts, was systematized and regularized.

The Reagan assassination attempt also highlighted the bravery of several Secret Service agents, particularly agent Tim McCarthy, who spread his stance to protect Reagan as six bullets were being fired by the would-be assassin, John Hinckley, Jr.[25] McCarthy survived a .22-caliber round in the abdomen. For his bravery, McCarthy received the NCAA Award of Valor in 1982.[26] After the near-successful assassination attempt of Ronald Reagan, it was very clear that the Secret Service needed to increase its efficiency to protect the President.

[edit] September 11, 2001, attacksThe New York City Field office was located at 7 World Trade Center. Immediately after the September 11 attacks, Special Agents and other New York Field office employees were among the first to respond with first aid. Sixty-seven Special Agents in New York City, at and near the New York Field Office, helped to set up triage areas and evacuate the towers. One Secret Service employee, Master Special Officer Craig Miller,[27] died during the rescue efforts. On August 20, 2002, Director Brian L. Stafford awarded the Director's Valor Award to employees who assisted in the rescue attempts.

[edit] Expansion to electronic crimes in the wake of September 11, 2001[edit] DomesticThe USA Patriot Act, signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001, mandated the U.S. Secret Service to establish a nationwide network of Electronic Crimes Task Forces (ECTFs) to investigate and prevent attacks on financial and critical infrastructures in the United States. As such, this mandate expanded on the agency's first ECTF -- the New York Electronic Crimes Task Force, formed in 1995 -- which brought together federal, state and local law enforcement, prosecutors, private-industry companies, and academia.[28][29]

The network prioritizes investigations that meet the following criteria:

Significant economic or community impact,
Participation of multiple-district or transnational organized criminal groups,
Use of new technology as a means to commit crime.
Currently, the network includes ECTFs in the following 28 U.S. cities:

Atlanta
Baltimore
Birmingham
Boston
Buffalo
Charlotte
Chicago
Cleveland
Columbia
Dallas
Houston
Kansas City[30]
Las Vegas
Los Angeles
Louisville
Memphis[31]
Miami
Minneapolis
New Orleans[30]
New York/New Jersey
Oklahoma City
Orlando
Philadelphia
Pittsburgh
San Francisco
Seattle
St. Louis[30]
Washington, D.C.


[edit] InternationalOn July 6, 2009, the U.S. Secret Service expanded its fight on cyber-crime by creating the first European Electronic Crimes Task Force, based on the successful U.S. domestic model, through a memorandum of understanding with Italian police and postal officials. Over a year later, on August 9, 2010, the agency expanded its European involvement by creating its second overseas ECTF in the United Kingdom.[32][33]

Both task forces are said to concentrate on a wide range of "computer-based criminal activity," including:

Network intrusions,
hacking,
Identity theft,
Other computer-related crimes affecting financial and other critical infrastructures.
Currently, the overseas network includes ECTFs in the following European cities:

Rome, Italy
London, United Kingdom
[edit] Notable casesArrest and indictment of Max Ray Butler, co-founder of the Carders Market carding website. Butler was indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, after his September 5, 2007 arrest, on wire fraud and identity theft charges. According to the indictment, Butler hacked over the Internet into computers at financial institutions and credit card processing centers and sold the tens of thousands of credit card numbers that he acquired in the process.[34]

Operation Firewall. In October 2004, 28 suspects -- located across eight U.S. states and six countries -- were arrested on charges of identity theft, computer fraud, credit-card fraud, and conspiracy. Nearly 30 national and foreign field offices of the U.S. Secret Service, including the newly established national ECTFs, and countless local enforcement agencies from around the globe, were involved in this operation. Collectively, the arrested suspects trafficked in at least 1.7 million stolen credit card numbers, which amounted to $4.3 million of losses to financial institutions. However, authorities estimated prevented loss to the industry to be in hundreds of millions of dollars. This over year-long operation, which started in July 2003, led investigators to identify three cyber-criminal groups: Shadowcrew, Carderplanet, and Darkprofits.[35]

Arrest and indictment of Albert "Segvec" Gonzalez and others in a service-network intrusion case. 11 individuals -- three U.S. citizens, one from Estonia, three from Ukraine, two from the People's Republic of China, one from Belarus, and one known only by an online alias -- were arrested for the theft and sale of more than 40 million credit and debit card numbers from major U.S. retailers, including TJX Companies, BJ's Wholesale Club, OfficeMax, Boston Market, Barnes & Noble, Sports Authority, Forever 21, and DSW. Gonzalez, the main organizer of the scheme, was charged with computer fraud, wire fraud, access device fraud, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy for his leading role in the crime.[36]

[edit] Training and weaponryAt a minimum, a prospective agent must be a U.S. Citizen, possess a current valid driver's license, possess visual acuity no worse than 20/60 uncorrected, correctable to 20/20 in each eye, and be between the ages of 21 and 37 at the time of appointment. However, preference eligible veterans may apply after age 37. In 2009, the Office of Personnel Management issued implementation guidance on the Isabella v. Department of State court decision: OPM Letter.[37]


Secret Service agents (foreground, right) guard President George W. Bush in 2008.The agency (particularly agents under the Office of Protective Operations) receive the latest weapons, training, and technology. Training occurs at the James J. Rowley Training Center.

The Uniformed Division has three branches: the White House Branch, Foreign Missions, and the Naval Observatory Branch. Together they provide protection for the following: The President, Vice President, and their immediate families, presidential candidates, the White House Complex, the Vice President's Residence, the main Treasury Department building and its annex facility, and foreign diplomatic missions in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.[38]

In the 1950s and 1960s, Special Agents carried the Smith & Wesson Model 36 and Colt Detective Special revolvers. Following President Kennedy's assassination, USSS Special Agents were authorized to carry the .357 Magnum. Between 1981 and 1991, the Secret Service issued the Smith & Wesson Model 66-2 .357 Magnum revolver, loaded with hollow-point rounds, agents could also carry the blued-steel version, the Smith & Wesson Model 19. By 1992, the standard issue weapon became the SIG Sauer P228 9mm pistol. In the late 1990s it was swapped for the SIG Sauer P229 for more caliber options and the different, lighter materials used in the production of the frame and slide.[citation needed]

As of 2011, Special Agents and Uniformed Division Officers carry the SIG Sauer P229 pistol chambered for the .357 SIG cartridge,[39] or the FN Five-seven pistol chambered for the 5.7x28mm cartridge.[40] Agents and Officers are also trained on close-combat weapons such as the Remington 870 shotgun, the FN P90 submachine gun, and the HK MP5.[39] They have Motorola radios and surveillance kits in order to maintain communication and are known to use Type 1 encryption algorithms to secure their transmissions.[41]

[edit] Directors1. William P. Wood (1865–1869)
2. Herman C. Whitley (1869–1874)
3. Elmer Washburn (1874–1876)
4. James Brooks (1876–1888)
5. John S. Bell (1888–1890)
6. A.L. Drumond (1891–1894)
7. William P. Hazen (1894–1898)
8. John E. Wilkie (1898–1911)
9. William J. Flynn (1912–1917)
10. William H. Moran (1917–1936)
11. Frank J. Wilson (1937–1946)
12. James J. Maloney (1946–1948)
13. U.E. Baughman (1948–1961)
14. James J. Rowley (1961–1973)
15. H. Stuart Knight (1973–1981)
16. John R. Simpson (1981–1992)
17. John Magaw (1992–1993)
18. Eljay B. Bowron (1993–1997)
19. Lewis C. Merletti (1997–1999)
20. Brian L. Stafford (1999–2003)
21. W. Ralph Basham (2003–2006)
22. Mark J. Sullivan (2006 – present)


[edit] Field officesMain article: List of United States Secret Service Field Offices
The Secret Service has agents assigned to 136 field offices and the headquarters in Washington, D.C. while the field offices are located in cities throughout the United States and in Brazil (Brasilia), Bulgaria (Sofia), Canada (Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver), Colombia (Bogota), China (Hong Kong), France (Paris), INTERPOL (Lyon), Germany (Frankfurt), Italy (Rome), Mexico (Mexico City), EUROPOL (Netherlands/The Hague), Romania (Bucharest), Russia (Moscow), South Africa (Pretoria), Spain (Madrid), Thailand (Bangkok), and the United Kingdom (London).

[edit] In popular culture This "In popular culture" section may contain minor or trivial references. Please reorganize this content to explain the subject's impact on popular culture rather than simply listing appearances, and remove trivial references. (April 2011)




In the Line of Fire a 1993 psychological thriller film starring Clint Eastwood is about a Secret Service Agent on Presidential guard detail during the John F. Kennedy assassination. The movie is a sympathetic portrait of the Agent still struggling later in life with guilt over his failure to save President Kennedy. The semi-retired Secret Service Agent, Horrigan, redeems himself by unraveling a plot to assassinate the President then in office. In fact, he's being taunted by the villain in the story, played by John Malkovich, a bitter, ex-CIA assassin threatening to murder the President. Horrigan's obstacles include beauracratic bosses who refuse to listen to him due to his post-traumatic stress issues including alcoholism. They also deem Horrigan too old to be put back onto Presidential guard detail. But a female Secret Service Agent, played by Rene Russo, believes in Horrigan and takes the risk to help him save the President. The motion picture, endorsed by the Secret Service, was produced by Jeff Apple. Apple hired Robert Snow, a retired Secret Service Agent, as a consultant on the movie. Snow put Apple in touch with the real Agent on whom the Horrigan character is based and provided an authentic glimpse into the Agency's secret world. This modern story of redemption ranks as one of the top grossing movies of all time. The movie's impact on society includes not only bolstering the personal courage to soberly face one's past mistakes but the healing of a Nation after the devastation over the loss of a beloved leader. The movie also helped change or update the public perception that the Secret Service only employs young men. The Secret Service honored Apple and presented him with a placard at a special movie screening held at the their bureau headquarters in 1993.
Secret Service of The Air - Action film (1939) starring Ronald Reagan as pilot Lt. "Brass" Bancroft recruited by the Secret Service. It was the first of four films featuring Reagan as the savvy Bancroft.
The Wild Wild West - A highly popular Western action television series (1965-9), set in the late 1860s, starring Robert Conrad and Ross Martin as Secret Service agent James West and U.S. Marshall Artemus Gordon. The duo reported on several occasions directly to President Ulysses S. Grant. Two reunion telemovies were screened in 1979 and 1980, followed by a theatrical feature with an all-new cast in 1999.
Guarding Tess - Film, Nicolas Cage played an agent assigned to guard a former First Lady.
Murder at 1600 - An action film starring Wesley Snipes as a D.C. homicide detective called in to aid the Secret Service in their investigation of a murder that occurred in the White House, even though in reality a homicide on the grounds of the White House Complex would be the responsibility of the Secret Service and United States Park Police.
To Live and Die in L.A. - Film about a Secret Service agent (William L. Petersen) determined to bring down a counterfeiter (Willem Dafoe) by any means necessary.
Air Force One - Action film starring Harrison Ford. A group of terrorists hijack Air Force One and hold the president's family and staff hostage. A Secret Service agent is revealed to be a traitor working with the terrorists.
The West Wing - TV show about life in the White House. Jorja Fox played an agent assigned to protect the president's daughter. In Season 3, Mark Harmon played Agent Simon Donovan, assigned to protect Press Secretary CJ Cregg. Michael O'Neill plays the head of the President's secret service detail, Special Agent Ron Butterfield, in all 7 seasons.
Warehouse 13 - A Syfy series about two Secret Service agents who are taken from their old job of guarding the President and instead are sent to track down artifacts with supernatural powers.
24 - Involves many characters and operations within the Secret Service as they protect the Presidents throughout the series.
Resident Evil 4 - Leon S. Kennedy is revealed to have become a Secret Service agent after the events of Resident Evil 2. His mission in the game is to find the President's daughter, who's been kidnapped.
Prison Break - Paul Kellerman was introduced as a Secret Service agent and plays a prominent role in the series' conspiracy plot.
Sam and Max Season One - In multiple episodes, such as Abe Lincoln Must Die!, Secret Service Agents are present doing jobs such as protecting the president & guarding doors.
NCIS - The pilot episode takes place mainly on Air Force One and one of the main characters (Kate Todd) of NCIS originated from the Secret Service.
Vantage Point - The story focuses on an assassination attempt on the President of the United States as seen from a different set of vantage points through the eyes of eight strangers. One of the strangers is a Secret Service agent.
Mister 880 - Based on a true story. This 1950 film is the story of 'Skipper' Miller (Edmund Gwenn), who for twenty years supplemented his retirement income by counterfeiting one-dollar bills. He is chased by agent Steve Buchanan (Burt Lancaster).
The Sentinel - Thriller starring Michael Douglas in which Secret Service agents investigate a potential assassination attempt and traitor in the Service.
First Kid, a 1996 movie where Sinbad and Timothy Busfield appear as Secret Service agents in charge of protecting the President's son.
Executive Power - Former Secret Service agent Nick Seger (Craig Sheffer) investigates who is killing off all those involved in the cover-up of the death of the president's mistress.

Chiefs/ Directors of the Secret Service

Chiefs/ Directors of the Secret Service:

1. William P. Wood (1865–1869)
2. Herman C. Whitley (1869–1874)
3. Elmer Washburn (1874–1876)
4. James Brooks (1876–1888)
5. John S. Bell (1888–1890)
6. A.L. Drumond (1891–1894)
7. William P. Hazen (1894–1898)
8. John E. Wilkie (1898–1911)
9. William J. Flynn (1912–1917)
10. William H. Moran (1917–1936)
11. Frank J. Wilson (1937–1946)
12. James J. Maloney (1946–1948)
13. U.E. Baughman (1948–1961)
14. James J. Rowley (1961–1973)
15. H. Stuart Knight (1973–1981)
16. John R. Simpson (1981–1992)
17. John Magaw (1992–1993)
18. Eljay B. Bowron (1993–1997)
19. Lewis C. Merletti (1997–1999)
20. Brian L. Stafford (1999–2003)
21. W. Ralph Basham (2003–2006)
22. Mark J. Sullivan (2006 – present)

William P. Wood, First Chief of the Secret Service, 1865-1869

Birth: Mar. 11, 1820
Death: Mar. 23, 1903

First Head of the Secret Service. When the Secret Service was formed in July of 1865, Wood became its first chief. Before, he had been a calvary officer in the Civil War and the Mexican War. It was during the Civil War that he went through many secret government missions across Confederate lines that made him a wanted man by the Confederacy. Many of the missions included secretly visiting Confederate prisoner of war camps in the South. The Secret Service's main objective at its beginning was to halt the counterfeiting of currency which was a serious problem during the Civil War. He was credited for breaking up one of the largest counterfeiters of the day, William Brockway. Wood also investigated the Lincoln assassination, getting confessions from some participants. He left the agency after a dispute over reward money. He died penniless, although a bill was in Congress at the time to secure the reward money was due. In 2001, retired Secret Service agents raised money for a monument to mark his grave and bring attention to his achievements.
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The Beginnings of the Secret Service
The United States Secret Service was set up in 1865 at the end of the Civil War. Its primary task was the suppression of counterfeit money. Within a decentralized system of over 1,600 banks and many other financial institutions issuing their own currency, counterfeiters had a relatively easy task. With the Legal Tender Act in 1862, which introduced the US legal tender currency known as “greenbacks,” a first step was taken towards creating a single currency for the United States.

William P. Wood, the first chief of the US Secret Service, was an unconventional individual within a government bureaucracy. A former detective and bodyguard, he had also run the prison in Washington, DC. Although somewhat controversial, Wood’s activities led to the establishment of a powerful agency. Operatives, as secret service agents were then known, rapidly gained a reputation for dedicated and forceful work. Towards the end of the century, the Secret Service had developed an impressive system of recording counterfeit notes and criminals by pioneering the use of photography.

Skilled engravers were tempted to work for counterfeiting rings, which would then “shove the queer” (sell or distribute the counterfeit money). Passing counterfeit money was often the work of confidence trickster, not infrequently women, who would be able to give the appearance of solidity and honesty.

By 1877 currency was issued solely by the government through the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. By then a professionally run Secret Service was making counterfeiting more difficult and a Federal crime, just as the Founding Fathers had provided for in the Constitution.

"WITHIN ARM'S LENGTH" by Dan Emmett: A Literary Triumph- The Best Book on the Secret Service ; Available From iUniverse Publications In late January 2012

"WITHIN ARM'S LENGTH" by Dan Emmett: A Literary Triumph- The Best Book on the Secret Service ; Available From iUniverse Publications In late January 2012- Book Review by Vince Palamara:

Former Secret Service agent Dan Emmett, author of “Within Arm’s Length”, is to be commended on putting together a refreshing take on a well-worn subject as of late: the United States Secret Service. While many of the books written by former agents are ghost-written, dry, dull, and are often dated, Emmett’s is exciting, never boring, compelling, and employed no co-author or ghost-writer; this work is solely his own. After the recent debacle of best-selling author Ronald Kessler’s dubious tome “In The President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect", a book that seemingly betrayed the trust of the agents, past and present, that the author took into his confidence, littering the literary landscape with dubious tawdry tales of presidential sex, alleged agency incompetence, or worse, Emmett’s book will be embraced by scholars, the public and, perhaps most important of all, his colleagues.

Someone needed to take up the mantle and do away with all the controversy, poor writing, myopic outlook, and compromising information out there on the Secret Service and write a book the agency would be proud of AND that would also appeal to the lay public, as well. Dan Emmett took up the quest and succeeded admirably. In short, “Within Arm’s Length” is the antidote to Kessler, McCarthy, and all the silly and overwrought books and television specials that violate the agency’s code of being Worthy of Trust and Confidence. If there was a literary Medal of Valor the Secret Service could award Emmett for his book, they should hold the ceremony tomorrow. Emmett’s book truly reads like he had this epiphany: "I have had enough with Kessler, the hero worship, the gossip, the untruths, and all the crap---here is the TRUE story of an agent without the junk... and no compromising information, dammit!" Mission accomplished.

In short, Dan Emmett provides the reader with the nuts and bolts without giving away the game, so to speak.

“Within Arm’s Length” grabs the reader from the very first sentence and doesn’t ever let up. Beginning with a fascinating Preface about an experience he had while protecting Senator Edward Kennedy, Emmett cleverly starts the reader off properly on his journey (and ours), leading to catalysts for his eventual career in the Secret Service such as his upbringing in a good home with a strong work ethic, the powerful and world-changing events of November 22, 1963, and, in that regard, the heroic actions of Secret Service Agent Clint Hill on that terrible day in our Nation’s history. After a brief look at his college years, a very compelling and memorable overview of his career in the United States Marine Corps, which led him to become a proud officer, is powerfully rendered. The reader will already find himself impressed with Emmett’s strength of character and abilities, long before he was an actual Secret Service employee.

Another catalyst, in the form of the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981, further cements Emmett’s resolve to satisfy his childhood goal of becoming a bona fide Secret Service agent. Ironically, it was another agency veteran of 11/22/63, Jerry Kivett (interviewed by this reviewer), a colleague of Clint Hill, who gave Emmett his formal start in the Secret Service on 5/16/83 (other long-time agents involved in Emmett’s formative agency beginnings were Grady Askew, a long time veteran of the Atlanta Field Office, and Frank Hancock, another veteran agent who famously guarded the JFK limousine the day after the assassination). Emmett describes his life as a rookie agent in the Charlotte, NC field office, as well as his Secret Service training in firearms, follow-up vehicle maneuvers, and so forth at the James J Rowley Training Center in Beltsville, MD (in another irony, Rowley was the Secret Service Chief at the time of the Kennedy assassination).


After getting a taste of presidential security as a post stander at an Atlanta event for President Reagan in the Fall of 1983, Emmett discovers a desire to become a member of “one of the most elite counter terrorist units in the world”: a United States Counter Assault Team (CAT) agent. While waiting for that dream to be fulfilled, Dan joins the team that guards Senator Edward Kennedy in 1984 and, ultimately (and against his true desires), becomes a member of the New York Field Office in 1986, “a bottomless black hole of despair that knows no limits”, as one fellow agent so aptly depicted it. Dan provides an excellent description of the drive into New York, the World Trade Center complex (made infamous by the cataclysmic events of 9/11/01), and life in this agency outpost, as well. In addition, Emmett ‘s superior description of life as a ‘street agent’ in New York is superb, including a heart-stopping close call he had coming within mere seconds of shooting a young suspect.

The New York Field Office agents, despite their drudgery, were well respected members of the agency who much preferred the investigation side of the Service (counterfeiters, credit card thieves, and check forgers) than the protection side, which was king and the most important aspect the Service is known for, to which they often performed security functions for the President of the United States (POTUS) and the UN General Assembly, with the many foreign heads of state involved with it. While doing an exemplary job there, Emmett still yearned to be a member of CAT, a dream which was ultimately fulfilled in 1989. But, first, CAT school beckoned in 1988.

With regard to CAT, as Emmett so aptly put it, “weapons proficiency was everything.” In this regard, with his superior training in the Marines, Emmett had a leg up and was well suited to this schooling. Interestingly, one of his CAT classmates was future colleague Joe Clancy, the SAIC of the Presidential Protective Division (PPD) for President Obama. Along with his aforementioned Marine Corps background, one becomes very impressed and humbled with Emmett’s training and abilities in CAT.

After a trip back to the NY Field Office in the Spring of 1989, Emmett saw his CAT team dreams realized in August of that same year, protecting President George H.W. Bush (Bush 41). Along the way, Emmett provides an exemplary description of CAT, including its humble beginnings and agency resistance to change. Only someone who has walked in those giant shoes could have so accurately and compellingly portrayed the inner workings of this elite unit and the culture of the Service during that time.

A riveting tale of the CAT team’s protection of President Clinton in Korea in 1993 at the “Bridge of No Return”---involving a close call with North Koreans---is breathlessly portrayed to stunning effect. Once again, we see the appearance of CAT school classmate, command post agent, and “good friend” Joe Clancy in the story. There follows a good description of the merging of CAT and PPD, as well as the training they took together, in addition to CAT missions with Vice President Dan Quayle in Haiti and the Phillippines. Throughout the book, Dan is honest and forthright without ever becoming petty or revealing too much. He keeps the lay reader interested and shows proper respect to his former colleagues by his respectful portrayal.

Chapter 9 is the tale of Dan’s meeting of fellow agent Donnelle in 1988, to whom he married in 1990. It is touching, honest, not overwrought, and to the point. In short, it merely adds to the power of the book. Only a woman who was a fellow agent herself (former deputy sheriff and a 21-year veteran of the Service) could begin to understand the long separations and all that encompassed being a member of the elite CAT/ PPD nexus. One can only continue to admire Dan’s “career choices”!

Chapter 10, “Human Shields and Operant Conditioning”, is another outstanding look at what it takes to become a Secret Service agent and all that it entails. Emmett provides an excellent historical summary of the attempts on Presidents Ford and Reagan; specifically, the valor of agent’s Larry Beundorf and Jerry Parr (events that happened while Emmett was a member of the Marine Corps and no doubt led him further along his Secret Service career dream). The training of the agents truly becomes a muscle memory, as these courageous examples duly depict. Like the other chapters in the book, Dan is careful not to be too long-winded or clinical; he makes his points then he covers and evacuates, to use agency vernacular. Well done.

Emmett was a member of CAT for four years, the last 18 months of which were spent as a section of PPD. It was in the Old Executive Office Building in June of 1993 that Emmett had a meeting with Clinton PPD ASAIC’s Pete Dowling and Tommy Farrell which culminated with Dan becoming a member of the PPD working shift (Dowling, by the way, was one of the agents depicted in and betrayed by Kessler’s book, but this author digresses). It was at W-16, the command post in the West Wing of the White House, where Dan was reunited with former CAT team members Tony Meeks and the aforementioned Joe Clancy (Jim Knodell was the senior agent on the shift, officially known as the shift”whip”).

From here, Emmett convincingly and impressively portrays the push and pull he and the agents had with Clinton’s White House staff, non- agency personnel who typically put protection on the back burner of their collective agendas. Trips to Jordan and Israel with President Clinton are duly noted, as is the chore of covering the media who were tasked with covering the president in their own right and who, like the president’s staff, had THEIR own agendas, as well. As with magnetometer coverage and the need to have a “hospital agent”, the events of 3/30/81 led the agency to invoke the use of (as Emmett describes) the “press agent”, a duty he once nobly fulfilled. What would be a scurrilous or clinical telling in some other author’s book becomes fascinating in Emmett’s.

A terrific section (aren’t they all?) follows describing the “journalistic media”---those that seek to cover the Secret Service, often to ill effect. Dan describes with riveting prose the “irresponsibly detailed documentaries” from Joan Lunden, the History Channel, National Geographic, and the Discovery Channel. His verdict? Guilty…of misrepresenting the agency and potentially doing harm to the working agents and protectees. This reviewer could not agree more. Another section of the book that Director Sullivan, yet another official betrayed by Kessler, would do well to read multiple times before agreeing to get involved in another “tell-all” ‘documentary (or book) again.


There are some light-hearted and funny moments along the way (the book isn’t all guns and glory, you know), and, in that regard, the section on being “relieved” and helping to “secure” the restroom for President Clinton is top notch, indeed. These segments of the book remind us all that, in the final analysis, in spite of their superior training and stamina, these agents ARE merely human like the rest of us. Sometimes the bridge between being and agent and being human (“normal”) is a slippery slope, indeed, so to speak. It is these human interest vignettes that are essential components to making this book so readable, compelling, and fascinating. Otherwise, what could become a great book would digress into a mere training volume. It is truly amazing that Dan is a first time author- he has the skill of a full time, lunch pail novelist or true crime author.

Emmett then regales the reader with the “not-so-exotic foreign travel” that the agents experienced, stating that, with the different shifts, the hours, the jet lag, and the fatigue, “Budapest could have been Cleveland.” With regard to the president’s trips to various foreign lands, Emmett provides a detailed portrayal of yet another heart-stopping moment that occurred in Switzerland that involved the Syrians and their meeting with President Clinton. Dan’s training, skill and resolve are in full expanse here; there is a reason, after all, that Shift Leader Bob Byers picked him to handle this delicate situation.

Dan provides an excellent history of presidential travel, Air Force One, and Marine One, Emmett having experienced his first presidential helicopter and airplane travels in the Summer of 1993 with Clinton. You truly feel like you are there with Dan as he describes what life is like as a working agent on a shift. Dan also ably details the Service’s use of various cargo planes that carried the various limousines and personnel at home and abroad, including the curious habit of agents who brought home various foreign treasures and sundry items. Again, these men were human and had lives away from protecting the leader of the free world.

In a section titled “Running With The President”, Emmett describes just how much fitness and being in shape became a requirement of the agents who protected Clinton, as compared to prior, older presidents who often resorted to golf and other lesser exertions (CAT had to augment PPD). “There was no such thing as an uneventful run with Bill Clinton”, Emmett states, and he would know: he ran with the president a lot in the Winter of 1993 as a CAT agent and then in the Summer of 1993 as a member of PPD. Emmett and the aforementioned Meeks and Clancy, as well as another agent, Roland McCamis, ran with Clinton. This is truly fascinating reading.

Dan makes note of the unofficial collateral duty of the Service: taking blame for things it is not responsible for (i.e. the staff was actually to blame). It is here, and elsewhere, that one truly gets the impression of what a thankless job being a working agent of the Secret Service can become. The line between politics and protection is sometimes a balancing act of dubious scope; Emmett succeeds admirably in his honest depiction of what the agents had to handle.

In another irony, it was former Reagan PPD agent Danny Spriggs, one of the heroes of 3/30/81 that so inspired Emmett, that informed Dan that he would be joining the Transportation Section of the Service, thus having the duty of driving President Clinton. Agent Emmett ended up driving the president scores of times, in the United States and abroad, and has some interesting anecdotes to share, including his very first time driving the president.

After 5 years of constant travel and no true days off, Emmett, as was customary of the vast majority of the working shift agents, began to feel the strain and requested a transfer out of PPD, which became a reality in the Fall of 1994. Emmett then began another interesting and important part of his career in the agency, perhaps most important and far reaching of all, when he joined the Special Agent Training Education Division (SATED), thus being in a position to share his wealth of knowledge and experience and help shape the next generation of special agents, a task he performed with relish and vigor, leading by example, until 2003. All told, Dan spent nine years in training, helping to lead nearly 2000 men and women, many of whom were hired in record numbers as a result of the tragic events of 9/11/01, on to bright careers as agents and leaders of men. In fact, Dan even trained Ben Stafford, the son of former Director Brian Stafford!

After receiving a well-earned promotion (a GS14: ATSAIC in the Division of Training), not very long after, Dan received a reassignment back to PPD as one of two supervisors in charge of CAT. It was in November of 2003 when Emmett reported back to PPD and CAT as an agent protecting his third sitting president, George W Bush. It was Dan’s first day back at PPD, during a meeting with SAIC of PPD Eddie Marinzel, that Emmett was reunited with a veritable who’s who of the best agents in protection- men who started the job with him way back in 1983 (most were, like him, former CAT and PPD shift mates). That said, Dan’s new job was essentially administrative- he was one of two ATSAICs (Assistant to the Special Agent in Charge/ Shift Leader) in the CAT program in charge of 6 of the 12 teams. In essence, Dan was managing, not leading, which he loved to do and had great skill at doing.

Since this newfound position seemed to entail a never-ending series of meetings, Emmett felt the inner voice to retire, which he did, in April 2004, after accepting an offer from the CIA, yet another impressive chapter of his life (which, he says, he will leave for another day). It was on 5/16/04, 21 years to the day that he became an agent, that Dan officially retired during a small ceremony at the Executive Office Building. The reader is left impressed and in awe of Emmett’s illustrious career.

The book ends with an important Epilogue and Afterword, as well as 3 fascinating and useful Appendixes: Myths and Truths about the Secret Service, A Brief History of the Secret Service, and a Glossary of Terms.

In short, "WITHIN ARM'S LENGTH" is, without question, the best book ever written about the Secret Service: current, well-written, classy, very informative, but, most importantly, does not indulge in hero worship of presidents or reveal "inside secrets" or other compromising details. In short, "WITHIN ARM'S LENGTH" makes you feel like you are THERE! Emmett is a great guy with an impressive background who truly represents the valor of the Secret Service. Emmett has given a blueprint for all agents---past, present, and future---to follow and admire. Worthy of Trust & Confidence indeed! Dan Emmett is an example of a great American.”

Vince Palamara, literary Secret Service expert (History Channel, C-SPAN, ARRB Government Report, and quoted in over 60 related books)

Rating the Secret Service books, videos, and dvds- thumbnail sketchs by Vince Palamara (saving the best for last)

Note: My reviews of each book differentiate between entertainment value, overall worth, and if the book is a specialty item; meaning, it has a narrow appeal (i.e. a book about a specific agent and his narrow view and time served in the agency). Also, please keep in mind that these are my thoughts circa late 2011---I may have been a little more forgiving at the time of publication several years back. I now take into account how well a book has aged, as well as entertainment and information factors.


Rating the Secret Service books, videos, and dvds- thumbnail sketchs by Vince Palamara (saving the best for last)
(in no order)

1) "In The President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect" by Ronald Kessler (2009)


There are currently 301 reviews on Amazon.Com for this book, with an aggregate average of 3.0 (1.0 being awful and 5.0 being great). Needless to say, the reviews vary widely; a very mixed bag. While I originally gave the book a 5 star rating, time has not been kind to this work---a 2.5 to 3 stars for depth of research would be more appropriate (at the time, I was swayed by the ENTERTAINMENT factor). What is most exasperating: JUST 5 PAGES FOR THE ENTIRE JFK ERA (LIFE AND DEATH)?!?!? In addition, Mr. Kessler unfortunately accepts at face value the whole notion of "JFK-as-scapegoat" for his very brief foray into the assassination, not letting the readers know that many NAMED agents are on the record (and have been for years) as debunking the whole idea that a) President Kennedy was difficult to protect, b) was reckless in his views on security, or c)that he ordered the agents off his limousine. The Special Agent in Charge of the White House Detail, Jerry Behn, as well as his assistant, Floyd Boring, not to mention MANY others (Rufus Youngblood, Winston Lawson, Bob Lilley, Art Godfrey, Sam Kinney, Sam Sulliman, Frank Stoner, Jerry O'Rourke, etc. etc. etc.) stated forcefully to myself, in no uncertain terms, that JFK was NOT difficult to protect, was in fact easy going, and NEVER ordered the agents off his limousine! To sum it up: you can have Oswald all by himself in the window shooting and no conspiracy and, yet, if the agents would have performed as they normally did, President Kennedy would have lived. THAT is the real story of November 22, 1963.

Also, many agents (perhaps out of necessity) are left unnamed, which can be frustrating to researchers and inquiring minds. In that regard, there are NO SOURCE NOTES OR END NOTES! Being that the book is a rather slim size (288 pages), especially for a work covering decades of intrigue, I am suprised at the lack of attribution.

Finally, although I personally love it (!), the book sometimes comes across as a Kitty Kelley/ C. David Heymann affair rather than a work of serious scholarship. I am specifically refering to the lurid tales of sex and drinking alleged by several (often unnamed)agents. I can see why Director Sullivan, Nick Trotta, and many of the agents who fully participated in this project felt betrayed. I have corresponded with Kessler and I was almost in his book but he was unable to locate me at the time (!)

Entertainment: 5.0; Overall: 2.5-3.0



2)"The Echo From Dealey Plaza: The true story of the first African American on the White House Secret Service detail and his quest for justice after the assassination of JFK" by Abraham Bolden (2008)



I highly recommend this seminal work from former Secret Service hero Abraham Bolden. The book is very well written and gripping in its narrative. Whether one views the JFK assassination as the work of one man (who beat the conspirators to the punch) or the work of a deadly conspiracy, Bolden's book holds up in any case, for it is the tale of injustice done to him, as well as the detailing of prior threats to President Kennedy's life.

As one who has studied the Secret Service and President Kennedy's life and death in great detail, I find this book fascinating and indispensable. What more can I say? Get this asap! Publishers Weekly said: "Conspiracy theories haunt the Kennedy assassination; Bolden offers a new one, concerning discrimination and evidence suppression. Becoming, in JFK's words, the Jackie Robinson of the Secret Service, Bolden joined the White House detail in 1961. Already beset by racism (he once found a noose suspended over his desk), his idealism is further shattered by the drinking and carousing of other agents. Soon after the assassination, he receives orders that hint at an effort to withhold, or at least to the color, the truth. He discovers that evidence is being kept from the Warren Commission and when he takes action, finds himself charged with conspiracy to sell a secret government file and sentenced to six years in prison, where both solitary confinement and the psychiatric ward await. That there was a conspiracy to silence him seems unarguable, but Bolden's prose is flat; so is his dialogue. This story is more enthralling than Bolden's telling of it, but the reader who sticks with it will enter a world of duplicitous charges and disappearing documents fit for a movie thriller."

I have spoken to and corresponded with Bolden on many occasions and I find him credible; a good guy.

28 Amazon.Com reviews, mostly positive; 4.5 aggregate

Entertainment: 5.0; Overall: 5.0; SPECIALTY BOOK (former JFK era agent and his quest for justice)



3) "Riding With Reagan" by John Barletta (2005)


Barletta has written a warm, well-written and touching book about President Reagan, especially Reagan's time on his ranch, as Barletta is a former Secret Service agent who often rode with the President, thus, the title of the book. That said, Barletta definitely wears his admiration for Reagan on his sleeve, which may be a little much for some. There is a fair amount of the inner workings of the Secret Service and their protection of Reagan.

I have corresponded with Barletta and he is most definitely an advocate for Reagan's greatness which, depending on your point of view, is either a good thing or a bad thing LOL

27 Amazon.Com reviews; 5.0 aggregate

Entertainment: 5.0; Overall: 4.0; SPECIALTY BOOK (Pro-Reagan agent and his biased look at his time protecting the president on the ranch)

4) "Standing Next to History: An Agent's Life Inside the Secret Service" by Joseph Petro (2005)


Joe Petro has written a fascinating account of life in the Secret Service-especially protecting President Reagan-in "Standing Next To History." If the Secret Service were embarrassed (and they WERE) by fellow agent Dennis V.N. McCarthy's "Protecting The President," not to mention Marty Venker's "Confessions Of An Ex-Secret Service Agent," [more on those books in a moment] they won't be with Petro's tome. It reads like Petro was careful not to make waves with his colleagues.

From Booklist
Former Secret Service agent Petro protected Henry Kissinger, Nelson Rockefeller, Gerald Ford, Walter Mondale, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Dan and Marilyn Quayle, and Pope John Paul II. His memoir of 20-plus years standing post or watching crowds is replete with anecdotes arranged to show what the Secret Service does. Petro stresses the friction inherent between safety and public visibility, and illustrates that point by recounting the negotiations that occurred between those being protected and the men and women with the earplugs and impassive visages. Petro introduces this main topic with an account of his arrangement of a Reagan trip to a baseball game, and sustains it though various settings, whether an international summit conference or a restaurant. More personally, the author confides his recruitment to the Secret Service and his investigations, such as infiltrating John Kerry's antiwar group. True to the Secret Service's ethos of confidentiality, Petro shies from gossip but imparts just enough to imply his opinions of the people he guarded, which is the part that will be of most interest to his readers.

Definitely one of the better Secret Service books.

58 Amazon.Com reviews, mostly postive; 4.5 aggregate

Entertainment: 5.0; Overall: 5.0

5) "Get Carter: Backstage in History from JFK's Assassination to the Rolling Stones" By Bill Carter (2006)


Former JFK era agent Bill Carter has written a decent (but obscure) book that, while it most definitely has its moments, it has not aged well already. The non-Secret Service related chapters are definitely an acquired taste. Carter supports the Warren Commission version of events and does offer some decent anecdotes from his days with the agency.

9 Amazon.Com reviews; 5.0 aggregate

Entertainment: 2.5-3.0; Overall: 2.5-3.0; SPECIALTY BOOK (former JFK era agent who was also in the Rolling Stones entourage)



6) "Looking Back and Seeing the Future: The United States Secret Service, 1865-1990" by Association of Former Agents of the United States Secret Service [AFAUSSS](1991)


I was lucky to have been supplied a copy of this fascinating, somewhat private publication by the late PRS agent Frank Stoner; an expensive used copy will sometimes crop up on Amazon. Although there are a trove of very nice pictures, the work is largely dated and biased via the late Agent/ Historian Harry Neal's point of view.

Entertainment: 2.5; Overall: 2.5


7) "American Gunfight: The Plot to Kill President Truman-and the Shoot-out That Stopped It" by Stephen Hunter and John Bainbridge, Jr (2005)


Definitely a specialty item, as this book deals exclusively with the 11/1/50 assassination attempt on President Harry Truman. This was a major release with help from the Secret Service, then (Boring, Mroz, etc) and now (Historian Mike Sampson). Warts and all, I would say this is the definitive book on the attempt on Truman's life, although the reviews on Amazon are decidedly mixed.

38 Amazon.Com reviews; 3.5 aggregate

Entertainment: (2.5-)3.0; Overall: 3.5 (-4.0); SPECIALTY BOOK (11/1/50 Truman attempt and the agent's responses and reactions)


8) "The Kennedy Detail" by Gerald Blaine and Lisa McCubbin; Foreword by Clint Hill (2010)



Oh, my: where do I begin? I have pontificated many times over about the book's inherent bias, fabrications, twisted views, etc., not only here but on Amazon, You Tube, and my CTKA review:

http://www.ctka.net/reviews/kennedydetailreview.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbD1shPmla8

(note: I am the unnamed Secret Service expert on pages 359-360 and I have answered his criticisms many times over)

Blaine states that this was "a book that had to be written." I would add: "yeah, it had to be written...because of my 22-page letter to Mr Hill that greatly alarmed you both." [I spoke to Blaine and many of his colleagues long before his book appeared] Blaine is a past President and last surviving founding member of the AFAUSSS; 'nuff said.

172 Amazon.Com reviews [although many of the 5 star reviews are from former agents, colleagues, and friends]; 4.0 aggregate

Entertainment: 3.5; Overall: 2.5 (1.0 for 11/18/63 and 11/22/63 falsehoods; 3.0 or better for the non-controversial aspects of the book)


9) "Special Agent A Quarter Century With The Treasury Department And The Secret Service" by Chief Frank J Wilsom and Beth Day (1965)



Definitely a dry and dated book. No index hinders research, although there are definitely items of interest to be found within.

Entertainment: 2.0; Overall: 2.0-3.0


10) "20 years in the Secret Service: My Life with Five Presidents" by Rufus Youngblood (1973)



Definitely NOT dry, Rufe's fine book could be considered dated, but that would be unfair to him and his book. Rufus Youngblood told me that his ghost writer was Richard Hardwick, duly thanked on page 5. That said, Rufe (and co.) wrote a nice book about his time serving 5 Presidents, with particular emphasis on LBJ, the President who called Youngblood "the dearest of all" agents. It's funny, thought-provoking, and well-written. As the leading civilian authority on the U.S. Secret Service, I am impressed, as I was with Rufe (rest in peace, my friend). One of the better Secret Service books, despite its age and his belief in the Warren Commission's findings.

Entertainment: 5.0; Overall: 4.0-5.0
11) "Secret Service Chief" by U.E. Baughman (1962)


I modestly recommend this book by JFK's first Secret Service Chief, Urbanus Edmund "U.E." Baughman (who was replaced as Chief in late 1961 by the SAIC of the WHD, James J. Rowley). The book is readable and pretty well put together. There are many examples of rich irony throughout: Baughman receiving the call to become Chief on November 22 [1948]...Baughman is, ahem, "retired" by a President who would meet his ultimate fate on November 22 [1963]...Baughman waxes on about the virtues of Richard Nixon for President at a time when Tricky Dicky was dead in the water, politically speaking...etc.

Entertainment: 2.5; Overall: 3.0


12) "Dar's Story: Memoirs of a Secret Service Agent" by Darwin Horn (2002)

Darwin Horn is a nice guy with whom I corresponded with quite a bit a few years back. Unfortunately, his book does not age well and, to be honest, was rather dry and clinical at the time. Former Agent Walt Coughlin told me his book was "ok"...that would be my assessment now. Horn just did not have that exciting of a career or background to warrant a book.

Entertainment: 2.0; Overall: 2.5


13) "Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan" by Del Quentin Wilber (2011)



As someone who has also spoken to the great Jerry Parr, a true hero from 3/30/81, as well as a gaggle of other former agents from the FDR-Reagan era, let me tell you, in no uncertain terms: this book is outstanding, Anyone who gives it less than 5 stars needs his/ her head examined. As the leading civilian authority on the United States Secret Service, I was very much impressed with the research, writing, and narrative; incredible. Just how close we came to losing yet another president is made manifest in this terrific work. In fact, this book is a true tale of heroism, in stark contrast to the gross lies and profiteering of "The Kennedy Detail", falsely blaming JFK for his own death. Unlike that sad chapter in American history, THESE agents reacted properly, did not seek to blame the President for their collective ineptitude, nor did they seek to profit from their actions. Buy this book a.s.ap.!

I have spoken to and corresponded to Del several times since publication; great guy, as well.

101 Amazon.Com reviews, overwhelmingly 5 star/ positive (not one 1 star review!); 4.5 aggregate

Entertainment: 5.0; Overall: 5.0; SPECIALTY BOOK (albeit a great and recommended one: the 3/30/81 assassination attempt on President Reagan, with the agent's reactions and responses. Like Hunter's 11/1/50 book, above, the definitive book on the 3/30/81 attempt, but a better read)

14) "Protecting the President: The Inside Story of a Secret Service Agent" by Dennis V.N. McCarthy and Philip W Smith (1985)


The late Dennis (no relation to Tim) McCarthy (with some help from his co-author, Philip W. Smith) wrote this book. While it reads very well, is funny, informative, and even has a nice photo section, to boot, the Secret Service was NOT pleased with this book. Former Agents Walt Coughlin, Darwin Horn and Bob Snow told me the book was an embarrassment, with Coughlin adding that McCarthy "never could carry his weight." In hindsight, although he received a medal, Dennis McCarthy's role that fateful day on 3/30/81 was relatively minor, especially in comparison to the bravery (and bloodshed) of Jerry Parr, Tim McCarthy, Drew Unrue, and Ray Shaddick, among others [see "Rawhide Down", above]. In fact, on the video "Inside The Secret Service," an actor portraying a threat to the President is shown reading a copy of this book (!) and, if that weren't enough, a still photo of the four agents decorated for valor for their heroics---Parr, Shaddick, McCarthy, and TIM McCarthy---is depicted with DENNIS McCarthy cropped out and not even mentioned!

Entertainment: 4.0-5.0; Overall: 3.0-4.0 (keeping in mind the reservations noted above. Some in the Service would say 1.0!)

15) "Confessions of an Ex-Secret Service Agent: The Marty Venker Story" by George Rush (and Marty Venker) (1988)


Along with Dennis McCarthy's book, above, this is the OTHER book that gives the Secret Service fits...and for good reason. That said, I get a kick out of Marty Venker: he is alot like one of his evident heroes, Brooks Keller (the wild former agent chronicled briefly in both his book and Dennis McCarthy's). Venker's book, actually 'written' by George Rush, is a funny yet informative chronicle of a square peg in a round hole---Venker, the wild child, trying to conform to rigid, structured, pressure-packed duty as a Special Agent. The lack of an index will frustrate you (at least in the paperback), but there are many nice nuggets and anecdotes to be found here.

George Rush was asked to work on an article, and met Marty Venker. They turned on the tape recorder and listened to his memories. The result was an article for "Roling Stone" magazine. More talks and recordings led to this book. Seventeen chapters cover his experiences over the ten years in the Secret Service during the 1970s, and afterwards. An interesting read.

Entertainment: 4.0-5.0; Overall: 3.0-4.0 (once again, keeping in mind the reservations noted above. Some in the Service would say 1.0!)

16) "Reilly of the White House" by Michael Reilly (1947)

A dry and dated book from the SAIC of FDR's Detail (who replaced Colonel Edmund Starling). This has historical importance, so I would not be too hard on it, overall. Members of the late Mike Reilly's family have contacted me through the years.

Entertainment: 2.0-3.0; Overall: 2.0-3.0


17)"Starling of the White House: The story of the man whose Secret Service detail guarded five presidents from Woodrow Wilson to Franklin D. Roosevelt" by Colonel Edmund Starling (1946)


Yet another somewhat dry and dated book, albeit one that is slightly superior to Reilly's book, above. Interestingly, Starling's book has 8 Amazon.Com reviews with a 4.5 aggregate (the book has recently seen new life in a reprinted version, as well as turning up in used condition). Starling is a legend in Secret Service lore...and rightfully so.

Entertainment: 3.0; Overall: 3.0

18) "The Secret Service: The Hidden History of an Engimatic Agency" by Philip Melanson (2002; revised and expanded version, 2005)



The late Philip Melanson was a prolific author and colleague--in fact, I am IN this book on several pages, as well as the bibliography. This book was greatly improved, in my opinion, when Melanson got rid of the co-author from the original 2002 edition (Peter F Stevens [21 Amazon.com reviews, 3.0 aggregate; very mixed]) and revised and expanded the work for the 2005 release (10 Amazon reviews, 4.0 aggregate). Here is my Amazon.Com review:

New & improved...sort of (4.5 stars, anyone?)


As the leading civilian authority on the U.S. Secret Service, I was much looking forward to the REVISED AND EXPANDED version of this book, as ***my*** own book ("The Third Alternative-Survivor's Guilt: The Secret Service & The JFK Murder" [1993-1998], now massively expanded and updated as "Survivor's Guilt: The Secret Service & The Failure To Protect The President", available now!)was listed in the original version and it is obvious Melanson made good use of my material for his chapter on the JFK assassination entitled "Losing Lancer." [pages 74, 77, 80, 87, 343-344 (endnotes), 358 (bibliography), & 371 (index) ["etc."]

Well, Melanson evidently heard all the first-edition bad reviews regarding editing and typos and the like: gone is his co-author, Peter F. Stevens. Also, he added a nice new cover and TWO new chapters, as well as sourcing former agent Joseph Petro's excellent 2005 book entitled "Standing Next To History." (It still says "the authors" [plural] in the Bibliography and, from the larger font, you can tell that Petro's book was added!]

That said, I highly recommend this book (as I did with regard to the poorly edited/ proofread first edition)---still alittle bit of a "dry" text, but he listened to all the criticisms regarding STYLE. And, while I achieved a world's record---SIXTY SEVEN former agent interviews (the old record was by the HSCA: 44)---Melanson did interview a handful of former agents (such as Winston Lawson, also interviewed numerous times by myself)and his book serves as a good general overview---using mostly secondary sources--- of the (history of) the Secret service, 1865-2005 (while my work focuses more on the FDR-Reagan days, with special emphasis on the JFK/ LBJ years...and alot more PRIMARY research). For the record, my work is now credited on pages 72, 74, 77, 85, 388, 389, 408, 424 ["uncredited": pages 59, 60, 70, 71, 73, 75-76]

Potscript: Melanson writes on page 61: "Some of the agents, THOUGH NOT WINSTON G. LAWSON, lied to the Warren Commission about how thorough they were [my emphasis]." It is obvious that Melanson didn't want to ruffle Lawson's feathers, as he interviewed him and probably feared he would take exception to that!

If you want an extremely thorough, take-off-the-gloves approach to the Secret Service, get my 276-page book "Survivor's Guilt: The Secret Service & The Failure To Protect The President." In the meantime, Melanson's 30 pages regarding 11/22/63 should suffice...and the rest of the book, now mostly improved and expanded, should still be a good start for anyone interested in the U.S. Secret Service.
---
Former JFK era agent Tony Sherman highly recommended the book to myself (evidently forgeting, for the moment, that I was IN the book!), and it was a major, over-the-counter release. However, like Kessler's controversial book, above, the reaction has been mixed and there are flaws. Still, recommended, nonetheless.

Entertainment: 4.0; Overall: 4.0


19) "Murder From Within: Lyndon Johnson's Plot against President Kennedy" by Fred Newcomb and Perry Adams (1974; new edition 2011)



My Amazon.Com review:

Important, seminal work, regardless of your take on one aspect of this great book

The entire research community is so indebted to Fred Newcomb: he gave us the body alteration theory (years before David Lifton), cogent criticisms of the Secret Service (while I was in diapers!), analysis of the LHO backyard photos (later made famous by Jack White), the Dodd/ Seaport Traders theory (in "Reasonable Doubt" and "Ultimate Sacrifice", among others), and, although I do not believe it, the Greer-shot-JFK theory (years before William Cooper et. al.). This book, the new and improved edition, reads well and even has good comments about JFK's foreign policy (Vietnam). I am a proud owner of an original. Do NOT let your feelings about the Greer-shot-JFK theory deter you from getting this important, seminal volume asap---there is ALOT of good, pioneering work contained herein. We are all indebted to Tyler Newcomb, Fred Newcomb, and Perry Adams. Buy this asap!

Entertainment: 4.0; Overall: 4.0; SPECIALTY BOOK (pro-conspiracy book that, on the plus side, demonstrates Secret Service malfeasance on 11/22/63 but, on the negative side, also included the absurd driver-did-it theory)


20) "Last Word: My Indictment of the CIA in the Murder of JFK" by Mark Lane (2011)


My Amazon.Com review:
FANTASTIC! GET THIS A.S.A.P.! THE KENNEDY DETAIL DEBUNKED!

Attorney Mark Lane thoroughly destroys Gerald Blaine & Lisa McCubbin's book "The Kennedy Detail": on the merit of this alone, every person who purcashed and/ or read that book needs to read this as the antidote. Lane saves his best JFK work for last with his appropriately titled tome "The Last Word", a book that joins Jim Douglass "JFK & The Unspeakable" and Douglas Horne's 5-volume series "Inside The Assassination Records Review Board" in the "holy troika" of essential, must-read (and own) Kennedy assassination books. Lane skillfully takes apart Vincent Bugliosi's magnum opus on the Oswald-did-it side entitled "Reclaiming History" and, most of all, Gerald Blaine's fraudulent "JFK-told-us-not-to" book "The Kennedy Detail"---for the latter, Lane used my research materials, for which I am most grateful. In addition, Lane adds further credibility to the tale of former Secret Service Agent Abraham Bolden and his book "The Echo From Dealey Plaza." It never ceases to amaze me how much great literature and research has come forth in the last 5-10 years. Mark Lane's book "The Last Word" adds to his legacy greatly. Get this one asap---Bugliosi, Blaine, and the CIA have a lot to answer for! Highly recommended; fantastic!

17 Amazon.Com reviews, 4.0 aggregate

Entertainment: 4.0; Overall: 4.0 (5.0 for Secret Service related chapters); SPECIALTY BOOK (pro-conspiracy book that does debunk "The Kennedy Detail" and adds support to Bolden's book, above)


21) "Robert DeProspero" (2011)


A currently out-of-print slim volume that contains my Wikipedia article on Robert DeProspero, as well as several other former agents (and my contributions!).

Robert Lee DeProspero was a respected United States Secret Service agent, serving from 1965 to 1986. He is notable for serving on the Presidential Protective Division (PPD) during a large part of the Reagan administration, and for heading that division towards the end of his tenure.DeProspero attended West Virginia University, where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in physical education in 1959 and a master's degree in education in 1960.DeProspero devised several very important and innovative security measures during his time in the Secret Service that are used today: the "hospital agent" (stationing an agent at the nearest primary trauma hospital on a presidential movement), as well as the creation of metal detector checkpoints to screen every individual who could get a view of the president.

Entertainment: 2.5; Overall: 3.0

22) "United States Secret Service Agents" (2011)

Another currently out-of-print slim volume that contains my Wikipedia article on Robert DeProspero, as well as several other former agents (and my contributions!).


Entertainment: 2.5; Overall: 3.0

23) "Saving Mrs. Kennedy: The Search for an American Hero" by Harvey Sawler (2005)


I highly recommend this well written novel about Secret Service agent Clint Hill. Hill is the agent who was awarded a Medal for protecting Mrs. Kennedy on that fateful day in Dallas on 11/22/63. This book is a very fine novel covering this brave and dedicated public servant. However, this book is very FACTUAL, too: while it uses the novel format, this is only as a device to lay out the facts. There is also a Foreward from former Chair of the Assassination Records Review Board, Judge John Tunheim, as well. The author went to a great deal of effort to flesh out the details of Hill's life (contacting Concordia College friends and professors, as well as family and friends, although it appears that the elusive Mr. Hill himself did not cooperate [I did speak to him, but that is another story]).

Entertainment: 5.0; Overall: 3.0; SPECIALTY BOOK (novel re: Clint Hill)


24) "The U.S. Secret Service: Protecting Our Leaders" by Connie Colwell Miller (2008)

A nice KID's book on the Secret Service

Entertainment: 3.0; Overall: 2.5-3.0

25) "Introduction to Executive Protection" by Dale L. June (1998)

Product Description: An Introduction to Executive Protection provides beginners in the occupation of executive protection with the tools they need to know and appreciate the profession; to enable them to realize what is expected when they are placed in positions of confidence and trust; and to understand the implications of being responsible for the safety and lives of others.
This guide emphasizes the basic elements of executive protection which are often neglected or overlooked in practical application, even by professional schools of executive protection instruction which sometimes mistakenly assume all enrollees are practiced journeymen. In addition to practical and technical considerations of the profession, "executive protection" means working with people on a personal level. The author draws on his extensive and varied experience in the field to share events that inform and enlighten students of executive protection and teach them how to best avoid endangering those they protect.

My short Amazon.Com review:

Excellent book on executive protection

As the leading civilian authority on the U.S. Secret Service, I highly recommend this book from distinguished former agent Dale June. It is well written and very informative. Simply put, you cannot go wrong in purchasing this volume. I was a little disappointed with the 11/22/63 "whitewash", but that was to be expected, quite frankly (what is Mr. June going to say : "My colleagues screwed up in Dallas?"). Get this!

Entertainment: 2.0; Overall: 4.0

26) "The United States Secret Service" by Walter S. Bowen & Harry Neal (1960)


I believe that this book, though valuable for the time it was written, is dated and dry by today's standards. Obviously, a lot has transpired since this was written over four decades ago. Still, some worthwhile information for the Secret Service enthusiast out there.

Entertainment: 2.0; overall: 3.0


27) "Secret Service Agent: And Careers in Federal Protection (Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Careers)" by Gerry Souter (2006)

I highly recommend this great "starter" book on the agency. There are nice graphics and the book, albeit short in length, is well written and incisive. That said, this is, like Connie Miller's book (above), a KID's book.

Entertainment: 3.0; Overall: 2.5-3.0


28) "Definitive Proof: The Secret Service Murder of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy" by Dan Robertson (2006)


My Amazon.Com review:

Lots of good information, sincere intent...wrong conclusion


I commend Dan Robertson for a well written and researched book. There is a lot of good information on the Secret Service and their role, innocent and otherwise, on 11/22/63 during the JFK assassination, as well as before and after (Robertson makes good use of my material, as well as doing some original research, too). There is no doubt: Robertson's intent was sincere; he's no loony but a successful, intelligent lawyer. That said, the ultimate conclusion of the book, that Secret Service driver William R. Greer shot JFK, is simply not supported by any credible evidence (and the allegation is hardly a new---and unknown---one: Fred Newcomb, Perry Adams, Lars Hansen, and William Milton Cooper, among others, espoused this decades ago, and many 'common folk' are much aware of this fringe theory). Still, this book is a worthwhile addition to the collection (and for anyone interested in the Secret Service and JFK).

Entertainment: 3.5; Overall: 3.5; SPECIALTY BOOK (pro-conspiracy book that, on the plus side, demonstrates Secret Service malfeasance on 11/22/63 but, on the negative side, also included the absurd driver-did-it theory)



29) "Secret Service Agent (Uniformed)" by Jack Rudman (2004)

From my Amazon.Com review: This is a very dry, clinical book (5 stars for content, 2-3 stars for "readability": it's for those wishing to join the UD---Uniformed Division---of the USSS!). Hey, SAIC of PPD (for George W. Bush) Nick Trotta started out this way---the UD division is very important.

Entertainment: 2.0; Overall: 2.5


30) "Whitewash II: The FBI-Secret Service Coverup" by Harold Weisberg (1967)


From my Amazon.Com review: While I have the original edition, this nice "update" of sorts is a welcome addition to the collection. That said, this book IS a little dated and not as earth-shattering as Mr. Weisberg's other seminal works. Still, I recommend it nonetheless.

Entertainment: 2.5; Overall: 2.5; SPECIALTY BOOK (pro-conspiracy book)


31) "Not On The Level" by Michael V Maddaloni (2006)

From my Amazon.Com review: Wow! What a page turner "Not On The Level" is! I am very impressed with this well-written, entertaining, and thought-provoking book by former Secret Service agent Mike Maddaloni. Uncle Tony and Uncle Sal will be burned into your brain, while Joe De Falco's narration pulls it all together. Get this book asap!

I corresponded with Maddaloni several times.

Entertainment: 4.5; Overall: 3.0; SPECIALTY BOOK (a novel from an agent who served on PPD Carter-Reagan)

32) "To Be a U.S. Secret Service Agent" by Henry Holden (2006)


While somewhat akin to Souter's and Miller's KID'S books on the Secret Service, this slightly longer work has great graphics and is actually written with adults in mind, as well.


Entertainment: 3.0; Overall: 3.5


33) "The United States Secret Service in the Late War" by LaFayette C Baker (1895?)

Ancient book, very dry and dated.

Entertainment: 1.5; Overall: 2.5


34) "American Secret Service agent" by Donald Wilkie (1934)

ditto on all counts


35) "Politics of Protection: The U.S. Secret Service in the Terrorist Age" by Philip Melanson (1984)

Get Melanson's 2005 work instead. This is somewhat dated and made completely redundant by his later work.


36) "The Dark Side of Camelot" by Seymour Hersh (1997)


From my Amazon.Com review:

worth it for the comments of former Secret Service agents Newman, Sherman, McIntyre & Paolella


I recommend this book [a massive best-seller] primarily for the comments of former Secret Service agents Larry Newman, Tony Sherman, Tim McIntyre, and Joe Paolella, all of whom I also spoke to and/ or corresponded with. Like what they say or not, it is also supported by what others have said, including the comments to myself from former SAIC of PRS Robert I. Bouck on 9/27/92, among others. (Hersh also interviewed Bouck and Marty Underwood, both of whom I ALSO spoke to, as well)

Entertainment: 4.5; Overall: 3.5; SPECIALTY BOOK (worth it for the agent's comments re: JFK that Blaine avoided)


37) "In Crime's Way: A Generation of Secret Service Adventures" by Carmine Motto (1999)


Book description: A retired Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service's special anti-counterfeiting detail in New York and author of the bestseller Undercover, Carmine J. Motto has lived a long and storied life. From witnessing a triple execution at New York's notorious Sing-Sing prison to thwarting an assassination attempt on the life of Harry Truman, Motto's name would make the list of any Law Enforcement Hall of Fame. In fact, so renowned are his exploits, that they were portrayed in a 20th Century Fox motion picture starring Burt Lancaster as Motto (Mr. 880).

Now, readers can learn all about the real-life experiences of this "Top Cop." In Crime's Way: A Generation of Secret Service Adventures, is a series of true, authentic and fascinating stories of Motto's 60 years in law enforcement bringing counterfeiters, conspirators and scoundrels to justice. Follow his colorful career from police officer to secret service agent as he tells about being a cop in New York the night of the famous Orson Wells's "Invasion from Mars" radio broadcast, tracking a suspect who murdered his parents for their life insurance, or showing up to arrest a suspect, only to find himself as the witness for the man's marriage.

While the book is written by and is about Motto, he is not the central character, but can be viewed almost like a narrator. Motto observes and participates in the action, but the real story is about the people he encounters. Most are presented in their own environment and situations of their own making as a result of their pursuit of an "easy dollar." No hot pursuits, exploding cars, or gun battles here. With his remarkable aptitude for story telling, Motto has preserved actual stories of life and the underworld as he saw it from his position as a renowned counterfeit investigator.

Review by fellow author and agent Dale June: When I was asked by the publisher and Mr. Motto to help in preparing this book for publication and to write this forward, I was more than pleased, I was honored. This, for me, has been like traveling through a time tunnel and sharing moments, as an unseen observer, in the life of people as they matched wits with a legend of the U.S. Secret Service...If there is ever such a thing as a Hall of Fame for Law Enforcement, Carmine J. Mottos name will be there.
-Dale L. June, Co-Author, Undercover, Second Edition

From my Amazon.Com review:

Carmine and Robert Motto [served in Chicago office with Bolden: see his book]: brothers in the Secret Service



I highly recommend this thriller of a book. Very well written as well. For True Crime ethusiasts. For the Secret Service enthusiasts, some interesting background---
Robert J. Motto, 88, a former Secret Service agent who protected five
presidents in his 21-year career, died Tuesday, March 19, 2002, in his
Downers Grove, Illinois, home after a heart attack. Born in Brooklyn,
N.Y., Mr. Motto attended City College of New York and served in the
U.S. Army from 1942 to 1946 in counterintelligence. After the war, he
was an investigator with the U.S. Postal Service in New York. Mr.
Motto joined the Secret Service in 1949 and over the years worked in
field offices in St. Louis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Springfield and
Washington, D.C. He retired in 1970 as the assistant to the special
agent in charge of the Chicago field office. Mr. Motto and his late
brother Carmine, also a Secret Service agent, were renowned for their
undercover work, colleagues and family members said. "Both my dad and
my uncle were very, very low-key people," said Mr. Motto's niece,
Irene Kaufman. "I think that's what helped them both be very
successful undercover agents."

Entertainment: 4.0; Overall: 3.0; SPECIALTY BOOK (Motto's narrow lens on Secret Service items)


38) "Mortal Error: The Shot That Killed JFK, A ballistics expert's astonishing discovery of the fatal bullet that Oswald did not fire" by Bonar Menninger (and Howard Donahue) (1992)


From my Amazon.Com review:

good book about the shot LHO DIDN'T fire, silly on who he thinks did it

Secret Service agent George W. Hickey, jr. did not and could not have accidentally shot JFK from the follow-up car--among other reasons, the Bronson film and the numerous eyewitnesses debunk this notion. That said, this book is very worthwhile for ballistically proving that LHO did not fire the fatal shot. I spoke to and corresponded with the late Howard Donahue, the true author of this book (Bonar Menninger was merely the writer, so to speak). Interesting are the passing comments by many of the agents I also spoke to who debunk his theory of Hickey shooting JFK: Sam Kinney, Jerry Behn, Floyd Boring, James Rowley, Richard Johnsen, and Win Lawson.


Entertainment: 3.0; Overall: 2.5; SPECIALTY BOOK (silly theory that JFK was accidentally killed by Agent Hickey)


39) "JFK: Breaking the Silence" by Bill Sloan (1993)


From my Amazon.Com review:

Good book, worth it for former Secret Service officer John Norris and former agent Robert Steuart's comments

As confirmed to myself from the author, Bill Sloan, the unnamed agent at the beginning of the book who spoke with much trepidation was former Dallas office agent Robert Steuart (I spoke to Steuart in 1992 and 1993). Although good, the best parts of the book are the aforementioned comments from Steuart as well as the chapter on former Secret Service officer John Norris (since deceased). [I spoke to Norris, as well]

Entertainment: 4.0; Overall: 3.0; SPECIALTY BOOK (pro-conspiracy book with two Secret Service related chapters)


40) "The Story of the Secret Service" by Ferdinand Kuhn; Foreword by U.E. Baughman (1957)

I modestly recommend this 1957 book by Ferdinand Kuhn (pen name?). This book is not to be confused---as I and others have been---with the 1971 Grossett and Dunlap book of the same title, written by former Secret Service agent Harry Neal. As for this book, it is dry and dated, but it is worth it for a few items (and the foreward by former Chief U.E. Baughman).

Entertainment: 2.0; Overall: 2.0


41) "In the Line of Fire" novel by Max Allan Collins (1993)

From my Amazon.Com review:

Nice novel (that the movie was based off of)...but the movie is better. That said, this is an enjoyable read and the story does indeed come to life. It is just very hard to compete with Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, and Renee Russo!

Entertainment: 4.0 (movie: 5.0); Overall: 3.0; SPECIALTY BOOK (novel)



42) "In The Line Of Fire" movie/ dvd (1993)

I highly recommend this very entertaining thriller starring the great CLINT Eastwood as CLINT Hill (sort of). For the Secret Service enthusiast, there is great bonus footage from several of the technical consultants such as former Secret Service agents Robert Snow (I corresponded with him), Jerry Parr (protected Reagan on 3/30/81; I spoke to him), Hubert Bell, etc. Get this!

Entertainment: 5.0; Overall: 4.5; SPECIALTY ITEM (movie made with Secret Service help)


43) "Death Of A President" by William Manchester (1967)

I modestly recommend this classic and controversial book for the many Secret Service/ primary witness interviews Manchester conducted between 1964-1965 (he spoke to 20+agents; I spoke to 80+). That said, several agents I spoke to, three of whom also spoke to Manchester, including Rufus Youngblood, Sam Kinney, and Jerry Behn, among others, denounced this book. Most importantly, ASAIC FLOYD BORING IS QUOTED IN THE BOOK BUT WAS NOT INTERVIEWED FOR IT (AS VERIFIED BY BORING TO MYSELF) AND HE VEHEMENTLY DENIES THE VERACITY OF THE INFO. ATTRIBUTED TO HIM!!

Entertainment: 4.0; Overall: 4.0; SPECIALTY BOOK (11/22/63)


44) "The Day Kennedy Was Shot: An Hour-by-Hour Account of What Really Happened on November 22, 1963" by Jim Bishop (1968)


From my Amazon.Com review:

ANOTHER CLASSIC BUT FLAWED BOOK.

I recommend this book for its classic status. That said, there are several errors throughout and, like Manchester before him, Bishop has an obvious lone-nut bias. I know for a fact that Bishop spoke to former Secret Service agents Bill Greer and Jim Rowley...beyond that, it is hard to tell who (if anyone) else.

Entertainment: 3.5; Overall: 3.5; SPECIALTY BOOK (11/22/63)


45) "The Men Who Killed Kennedy" by Nigel Turner (video/ dvd) (1988;1991;1995;2003)


From My Amazon.Com review:

Amazing series (I was on part 7) :)


You have to own this whole set (parts 1-9). Flawed but indispensable; Nigel Turner has done it again (and again). Excellent films/ photos and primary witnesses, too.

Entertainment: 5.0; Overall: 4.5; SPECIALTY ITEM (11/22/63)


46) "Stalking the President: A History of American Assassins" video (1995)


I modestly recommend this video, as it is a decent overview of past assassinations. I did not care for the annoying "official" story re: 11/22/63 and Oswald but, other than that, this serves as a nice primer on the history of political violence in our country.


Entertainment: 3.0; Overall: 3.0


47) "Dangerous World: The Kennedy Years" ABC/ video 1997


(BASED ON SEYMOUR HERSH'S BOOK, ABOVE)


I modestly recommend this video, as it contains the on-camera comments of former Secret Service agent's Tony Sherman, Larry Newman, Joe Paolella, and William "Tim" McIntyre, all of whom I have spoken to and/ or corresponded with myself. That said, I do not endorse Seymour Hersh's book, per se...but there is much of value in what these agents have to say.

Entertainment: 5.0; Overall: 4.0


48) "Presidential Limousines" video (1996)

I highly recommend this video for the great video/ film footage of the many presidential limousines and the Secret Service detail accompanying them. You will see SAIC's Ray Shaddick, Bob DeProspero, Jerry Parr, and others. I spoke to both the producer, Rick Boudreau, as well as the one Secret Service agent listed in the credits, Sam Kinney. Get this!

Entertainment: 5.0; Overall: 5.0


49) "The Story of the Secret Service" by Harry Neal (1971)


From my Amazon.Com review:

I'm confused...

As the leading civilian authority on the U.S. Secret Service, I am confused about this book: there is a book in my possession entitled "The Story of the Secret Service" by FERDINAND KUHN, with a foreward by then-Secret Service Chief U.E. Baughman...is THIS the same book (and is KUHN a penname for NEAL)? The book I have was published in 1957 by Random House. However, when I ordered it here, I received not the 1971 "Neal" book with the same title, but this one...? That aside, this book is o.k.; no great shakes. It's very dry and dated. For the curious only.

Entertainment: 2.0; Overall: 2.5


50) "Secret Service History, Duties and Equipment" by C.B. Colby (1966)


From my Amazon.Com review:

Decent short book for the young (and old)


I reluctantly impose a 3-star rating on this work. It may be short, dated, and intended for a young audience, but it DOES have some good moments, especially the photographs (I especially like the one of Stu Knight and Art Godfrey at target practice on page 20). For the Secret Service enthusiasts out there only.

Entertainment: 2.0; Overall: 2.0



51) "What Does a Secret Service Agent Do?" by W. Hyde (1962)

From my Amazon.Com review:

Good but dated book on the Secret Service; ironic, too


I feel this book, while certainly having its moments, is alittle dated and under-developed. There are some eerie moments in this work, too, especially considering it was written in 1962, the year before JFK's assassination---a picture from the supposedly apolitical Secret Service headquarters with the picture of Ike that contains the sticker "I Miss IKE" (what, don't like JFK too much, huh?), as well as some of the comments made between pages 26-30. Buy this if you are curious.

Entertainment: 2.5; Overall: 2.5



52) "Secret Service In Action" by Harry Neal (1980)


I was disappointed with this error-ridden book by the legend-in-his-own-mind Harry Neal. There IS some surprisingly good information on former Director H. Stuart "Stu" Knight. It has its moments, I guess...but needed a co-writer to flesh out the style and especially the FACTS.

Entertainment: 1.5; Overall: 1.5


53) "U S Secret Service (Know Your Government)" by Gregory Matusky (1988)

I modestly recommend this work, especially for those with a keen interest in the Secret Service. There are some fine photographs and, with a nice introduction by Arthur Schlesinger, you just can't lose. It's alittle dated, but it's still essential. Get it! P.S. That is agent Ron Pontius beside LBJ on page 66

Entertainment: 2.0; Overall: 2.5


54) "The Secret Service Story" by Michael Dorman (1967)

I reluctantly give this partial propaganda a 3-star rating, largely for the GOOD, non-propaganda information contained within. Dorman, a staunch government friend and anti-Garrison advocate, had Secret Service help with this book...which definitely tainted the results in the JFK areas of the book. If you are a Secret Service enthusiast, you have to get it, though; it's that simple.

Entertainment: 2.5-3.0; Overall: 3.0



55) "Secret Service: Life Protecting the President (Extreme Careers)" by David Seidman (2003)


I was greatly surprised and impressed with this "kids" book about the Secret Service. Some very good information about the modern Secret Service is captured in good detail. In addition, there are several nice photographs included. Buy it!

Entertainment: 3.0; Overall: 3.0


56) "The U.S. Secret Service (Your Government: How It Works)" by Ann Gaines (March 2001)


Author Ann Graham Gaines should be commended for putting together, along with Senior Consulting Editor Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., such a fine volume on the Secret Service. The funny thing is: this book may be intended for a young audience, but is actually quite appropriate for an older readership, as well! Richly illustrated with some rare photographs, I only feel it appropriate, as the leading civilian authority on the U.S. Secret Service, to say: buy this!

Entertainment: 3.0; Overall: 3.0


57) "Secret Service (High Interest Books: Top Secret)" by Mark Beyer (2003)


Richly illustrated, well written, and very informative, Mark Beyer does a fine job of providing a "Cliff Notes" tome about the Secret Service that is especially geared for the young. That said, this book is surprisingly good and can even find an audience with people of all ages. As the leading civilian authority on the U.S. Secret Service, I was not disappointed (despite the slim number of pages). ;-)

Entertainment: 2.5-3.0; Overall: 2.5-3.0


58) "Secret Service" History Channel 4-video set 1995



I must say I am very enthusiastic in my praise for this 4-video set about the Secret Service. A nice cast of characters---former agents Clint Hill, Jerry Parr, Rufus Youngblood, & Larry Beundorf among them---really makes this series come alive. In addition, very nice archival footage is used appropriately throughout. In particular, the segments on FDR, JFK, and Reagan shine the most. Highly recommended!

Entertainment: 5.0; Overall: 4.5


59) "Inside The Secret Service" Discovery Channel video (1995)



My Amazon.Com review:

I must say I was somewhat impressed with this particular program. Specifically, the producers should be thanked for getting former agents' Winston Lawson and Floyd Boring on camera (at that time in 1995, this was their first appearance on tv/ video). Also, the program does a nice job (visually) with telling the story of the Secret Service from the 19th century up to/ inc. the 3/30/81 attack on Pres. Reagan (esp. former SAIC Jerry Parr's comments). It is also nice to see future SAIC Bobby DeProspero hanging on to the limousine during Reagan's first inaugural prade (he was then an asst. to Parr). The program drops a notch when discussing counterfeiting, investigations, and training, but not enough to sway my five-star review. Buy it.

Entertainment: 4.0; Overall: 3.5-4.0


60) "National Geographic: Inside The U.S. Secret Service" dvd (2004)


From my Amazon.Com review:

A reluctant 5 stars...read on


While I think this dvd is highly entertaining and informative, and while I also think the layman out there will truly enjoy it, for the very well informed like myself (I am the leading civilian authority on the Secret Service, especially with regard to the period from FDR to Reagan), I have some mixed emotions. For one, like the 1995 History Channel and 1995 Discovery Channel documentaries (both available only on vhs), this was an officially-sanctioned production, so, needless to say, trade secrets and controversy are kept to a bare minimum, to put it mildly. Second, while Clint Hill appears on all 3 productions, I feel even more could have been said by him about not only the events of 11/22/63, but with regard to the JFK/ LBJ years, in general (he DOES state that the back of the head behind the right ear was gone, thus corroborating his own 1963 SS report and 1964 WC testimony; it's good to hear him actually say the words). In addition, as with the Discovery Channel production (and the 1996 PBS special re: Truman), former ASAIC/ #2 agent under JFK Floyd M. Boring makes a noteworthy appearance, but, as with his other two appearances, only to deal with the infamous 11/1/50 Blair House assassination attempt on President Truman; nothing about his role as planner of the Texas trip and so forth.

In addition to the "usual suspects" (Hill, Boring, Jerry Parr), it would have been nice to seem some new faces like Joe Petro (with a book out right now) and Robert DeProspero (SAIC during part of the Reagan years, between Parr and Shaddick).

Still, for 90-99% of the viewing audience, you will find much to like about this documentary, arguably the best of the 3, although I feel the 1995 History Channel documentary is the best for the early days of the Secret Service. For the JFK years, please read "Murder In Dealey Plaza" by Fetzer and "The Secret Service" by Melanson, as well as "Survivor's Guilt: The Secret Service & The Failure To Protect The President" by yours truly
--
Probably the best Secret Service documentary to date

Entertainment: 4.5; Overall: 4.0-4.5

61) "Secrets of the Secret Service" Discovery Channel video/ dvd (2009)



A real mixed bag here---some good, some not so good. Former agents Funk and Petro perhaps gave compromising, error-laced comments, but it was good to see the 11/22/63 Love Field agent recall video and the relatively-correct spin on what it depicts.

Entertainment: 3.5; Overall: 3.0-3.5



62) "Walking With Presidents: Stories From Inside The Perimeter" by Michael Endicott (2009)


Michael Endicott graduated from St. Martin's University in 1965. He was a Special Agent with the United States Secret Service from 1965–1985. He was assigned to President Nixon and Secretary of State Kissinger and was Operations Supervisor to Vice Presidents Rockefeller and Mondale. He was also head of former President Nixon's detail from 1979–1985. When Nixon relinquished his government provided Secret Service detail, Mr. Endicott retired and took responsibility for Nixon’s protection under his own company, Endicott Associates, and became a Special Assistant to Richard Nixon, traveling with him as Staff Assistant in meetings with world leaders and high government officials.

This is a decent book that certainly has its moments, while it's pro-Nixon feel may turn off some readers.

Entertainment: 3.0; Overall: 3.0

63) "Survivor's Guilt: The Secret Service & The Failure To Protect The President" by Vince Palamara [reviewer] (1993/2006)


My book is listed in many other book's bibliographies (Vincent Bugliosi,Philip Melanson, Phillip Nelson, etc.) , as well as being referenced in the actual text of many more (Mark Lane, Noel Twyman, Harry Livingstone, William Law, etc). Since I feel it is crass to review one's own book, I will just say this: warts and all, it is the antidote to "The Kennedy Detail". After being available in softcover (self-published [1993-1996; 1998-2006] JFK LANCER [1997-1998]), the book was made available as a free online work in 2006:

http://www.assassinationresearch.com/v4n1.html

See also:

http://www.assassinationresearch.com/v4n2.html

SPECIALTY ITEM (11/22/63)


64) "Behind Closed Doors With The Secret Service" by Joan Lunden (2000)

Pretty cheesey production alleging to depict the "behind the scenes" of the agency. While it has its moments, it left this reviewer cold.

Entertainment: 2.0; Overall: 2.0


65) "Secret Service Files" National Geographic dvd (2011)


Product Description: With unprecedented access, National Geographic goes behind the scenes with Secret Service agents as they work each day to protect the president, foreign leaders, and even our economy.
In four programs, we'll go inside a counterfeit sting operation in Miami, search for a cyber theft mastermind in New York City, shadow undercover agents deep within the Bogota criminal underworld, and go where no cameras have gone before to reveal the extreme security measures taken to prepare for the Annual General Assembly of the United Nations.

Verdict: skillfully done with the best of intentions, but perhaps TOO much is revealed for comfort.

Entertainment: 3.0; Overall: 3.0


66) "The President's Book of Secrets" History Channel dvd (2010)



A decent, entertaining program which includes a segment with former agent Joe Petro exclaiming a few times that he is "not at liberty to discuss" certain security measures...he finally caught on. :-)

I was almost on this program---the producer contacted me earlier in 2010 but we could not agree to terms as far as travel costs, etc.

Entertainment: 3.5-4.0; Overall: 3.0


----------------------------------
Saving the best for last...


67)"Within Arm's Length" by Dan Emmett (2012) [NOT RELEASED YET; PRELIMINARY THOUGHTS AS OF 11/28/11-MORE TO COME]



I must say, in all candor, after having read all the good, not so good, pathetic, and "kiddie" books on the Secret Service, many of which are dry, clinical, dated, or pontificate on and on about positive or negative feelings about certain protectees, this work stands head and shoulders above the rest; a breath of fresh air...a refreshing change. Only Petro's book competes, which really says alot coming at this late juncture. Emmett has a very fine and distinguished background (Marine Corps Officer, Secret Service [Reagan to Bush, serving on CAT and/ or PPD for Bush #41-Bush #43, rising to the position of ATSAIC], CIA, Adjunct Professor, Consultant)to write such a tome; perhaps that is the difference (even his wife has a fairly distinguished background as an agent herself). The book is very well written and put together, especially for a first time author (the work also includes some nice graphics depicting Emmett with Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, & George W Bush, as well as Ted Kennedy). What I especially like about this book is that you really visualize what the author is depicting in text---you almost feel like YOU have lived through the fascinating situations outlined. Much more to come...this is just a short, thumbnail sketch (halfway through reading at the moment). BUY THIS WHEN IT IS RELEASED ASAP!

Entertainment: 5.0; Overall: 5.0; TIED WITH PETRO'S FOR BEST OVERALL SECRET SERVICE BOOK BUT SURPASSES IT FOR BEING EVEN MORE UP TO DATE AND CURRENT WHILE COVERING MORE INTERESTING GROUND