Just some of my television and DVD credits

Just some of my television and DVD credits
Just some of my television and DVD credits

Vince Palamara: author of three books + MAJOR DVD

Vince Palamara: author of three books + MAJOR DVD
Author of three books, including THE NOT SO SECRET SERVICE- AGENCY TALES FROM FDR TO THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION TO THE REAGAN ERA and appears on the DVD/ BLU RAY A COUP IN CAMELOT

PLEASE CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO GET TO MY OTHER BLOG

PLEASE CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO GET TO MY OTHER BLOG
PLEASE CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO GET TO MY OTHER BLOG

President Kennedy's Secret Service White House Detail +

President Kennedy's Secret Service White House Detail +
President Kennedy's Secret Service White House Detail + various other important/ temp/ PRS agents, as compiled from the massive collection of the leading authority on the Secret Service, especially during the JFK era: Vince Palamara

Secret Service JFK

Secret Service JFK
Various JFK era agents

Secret Service JFK

Secret Service, JFK, President Kennedy, James Rowley, Gerald Behn, Floyd Boring, Roy Kellerman, John Campion, William Greer, Forest Sorrels, Clint Hill, Winston Lawson, Emory Roberts, Sam Kinney, Paul Landis, John "Jack" Ready, William "Tim" McIntyre, Glenn Bennett, George Hickey, Rufus Youngblood, Warren "Woody" Taylor, Jerry Kivett, Lem Johns, John "Muggsy" O'Leary, Sam Sulliman, Ernest Olsson, Robert Steuart, Richard Johnsen, Stewart "Stu" Stout, Roger Warner, Henry "Hank" Rybka, Donald Lawton, Dennis Halterman, Walt Coughlin, Andy Berger, Ron Pontius, Bert de Freese, Jim Goodenough, Bill Duncan, Ned Hall II, Mike Howard, Art Godfrey, Gerald Blaine, Ken Giannoules, Paul Burns, Gerald O'Rourke, Robert Faison, David Grant, John Joe Howlett, Bill Payne, Robert Burke, Frank Yeager, Donald Bendickson, Gerald Bechtle, Howard Norton, Hamilton Brown, Toby Chandler, Chuck Zboril, Joe Paolella, Wade Rodham, Bob Foster, Lynn Meredith, Rad Jones, Thomas Wells, Charlie Kunkel, Stu Knight, Paul Rundle, Glen Weaver, Arnie Lau, Forrest Guthrie, Eve Dempsher, Bob Lilley, Ken Wiesman, Mike Mastrovito, Tony Sherman, Larry Newman, Morgan Gies, Tom Shipman, Ed Tucker, Harvey Henderson, Abe Bolden, Robert Kollar, Ed Mougin, Mac Sweazey, Horace "Harry" Gibbs, Tom Behl, Jim Cantrell, Bill Straughn, Tom Fridley, Mike Kelly, Joe Noonan, Gayle Dobish, Earl Moore, Arthur Blake, John Lardner, Milt Wilhite, Bill Skiles, Louis Mayo, Thomas Wooge, Milt Scheuerman, Talmadge Bailey, Bob Lapham, Bob Newbrand, Bernie Mullady, Jerry Dolan, Vince Mroz, William Bacherman, Howard Anderson, U.E. Baughman, Walt Blaschak, Robert Bouck, George Chaney, William Davis, Paul Doster, Dick Flohr, Jack Fox, John Giuffre, Jim Griffith, Jack Holtzhauer, Andy Hutch, Jim Jeffries, John Paul Jones, Kent Jordan, Dale Keaner, Brooks Keller, Thomas Kelley, Clarence Knetsch, Jackson Krill, Elmer Lawrence, Bill Livingood, J. Leroy Lewis, Dick Metzinger, Jerry McCann, John McCarthy, Ed Morey, Chester Miller, Roy "Gene" Nunn, Jack Parker, Paul Paterni, Burrill Peterson, Max Phillips, Walter Pine, Michael Shannon, Frank Stoner, Cecil Taylor, Charles Taylor, Bob Taylor, Elliot Thacker, Ken Thompson, Mike Torina, Jack Walsh, Jack Warner, Thomas White, Ed Wildy, Carroll Winslow, Dale Wunderlich, Walter Young, Winston Gintz, Bill Carter, C. Douglas Dillon, James Johnson, Larry Hess, Frank Farnsworth, Jim Giovanneti,Bob Gaugh,Don Brett, Jack Gleason, Bob Jamison, Gary Seale, Bill Sherlock, Bob Till, Doc Walters...

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

TRANSCRIPT BY REQUEST: my November in Dallas conference presentation 11/20/16

TRANSCRIPT BY REQUEST: my November in Dallas conference presentation 11/20/16

ACTION THRU INACTION: THE REAL STORY OF THE KENNEDY DETAIL, THE AGENTS ASSIGNED TO PRESIDENT KENNEDY ON NOVEMBER 22, 1963 BY VINCE PALAMARA [11/20/16- PRESENTATION AT JFK CONFERENCE IN DALLAS, TX ]

Imagine this stunning scenario- President Kennedy survives Dallas on November 22, 1963. There is no Vietnam War as we know it today; no ground troops- merely a few thousand advisors as the low-key conflict grinds to a halt and fades away like a poor man’s Korean Conflict, at best. In turn, imagine no civil unrest, no drug culture, no prolonged Cold War, no J. Edgar Hoover reigning for another decade, no 1968 Democratic National Convention violence- without the Vietnam War, there is no real reason to protest the government now, is there? With JFK alive to fulfill a second term, there is no LBJ presidency, no Nixon revival (and, thus, no Watergate, the other historical event, like the JFK assassination and the Vietnam War, that tore the country apart and created decades of mistrust in government); no Ford Presidency (no Nixon- no Ford), thus, no reason for a “protest” Carter vote; presidents Reagan thru Trump may or may not have ever happened.
I am not saying it would have been utopia…it wouldn’t have been.

I am not saying President Kennedy was a God, a saint, or an unflawed man…he clearly was not.
What I AM saying is this: if the Secret Service would have done their usual, thorough, 1963-era standard job, PRESIDENT KENNEDY SURVIVES DALLAS AND PROBABLY DOESN’T EVEN BECOME WOUNDED IN AN ATTEMPTED ATTACK!

So, the next time someone says “Oh, c’mon now- it’s over 50 years later; a new century; post 9/11- what does it all matter now?” Tell them no Vietnam War, no Watergate, the large mistrust in government probably never would have reached the levels it has today (or, at least, as soon), the Cold War would have ended long ago, and, perhaps- perhaps: the need to keep the military-industrial “war machine” going wouldn’t have led to our heavy hand in the Middle East and all the inherent problems that have arisen from it- 9/11, the war on terror, the draining of our economy, etc.

The REAL “domino theory” came to fruition- with the death of JFK, several presidencies were spawned that never would have happened (again, at least LBJ thru Carter, at a minimum) and the respect and trust in government would have been felt for a far longer time. The scars from the JFK assassination truly are with us today. Keep in mind- President Kennedy was our last assassinated president and only 10 presidents ago; in the big scheme of things, with new best-selling books and audio/visual reminders plentiful on the internet and shared by millions, NOT ancient history.

As for myself, my interest in President Kennedy, the Secret Service and the JFK assassination began at the age of 12 in 1978, coinciding with both the HSCA re-investigation of the assassination and reruns of the classic fictional television series about the Secret Service of the 19th century, THE WILD, WILD WEST. Coupled with two parents who (still today) are rabid Kennedy fans and you have a most interested son in myself.

My original research truly took off shortly after 1988, the 25th anniversary of the assassination. I started to key on the Secret Service, especially in comparison to the assassination attempt on President Reagan on March 30th, 1981. I said to myself: “Hmmm- theories about the Mafia, the CIA and other possible culprits are all fascinating, but what did the Secret Service agents do to try to PREVENT the assassination? WHY was the assassination a success?”

In 1991, at the age of 25, I made my first major presentation at Jerry Rose’s “Third Decade” conference in Fredonia, New York and, if I do say so myself, amazed an audience of 60 older authors and researchers, many of whom admitted they really didn’t pay the Secret Service any mind- as Robert Groden told a friend of mine, “I guess that is why the Secret Service is secret”. I was the first to popularize the FACT that the driver of JFK’s limousine, Bill Greer, turned around not once but TWICE during the shooting, slowing the limousine down to a near stop; disobeyed common sense, training and a direct order from his superior, fellow agent Roy Kellerman, to get out of the line of fire; and was chiefly responsible for the success of the assassination no matter WHO was the shooter and no matter WHO was behind the murder. The reaction from the audience, which included authors Harrison Livingstone, George Michael Evica, and Bob Cutler, among others, made me realize that I was on to something. With their encouragement and inspiration, I went further than mere photo and film analysis and secondary sources. In short, my goal was to do something unique- attempt to interview and/or correspond with every former agent and surviving family member I could find.

From 1991 until the present time, this is what I have done.

I am now the author of four books (one soon to be released, the
fourth coming sometime later) on both the Secret Service and the assassination; I have a major part in both part seven of The Men Who Killed Kennedy from 2003 (a major ratings success and popular DVD) and the recently-released DVD/ Blu Ray called A Coup In Camelot. I have appeared in over 120 other author’s books…and so on and so forth.

I have interviewed and/ corresponded with over 80 former agents, White House aides and sundry other important people, far more than the Warren Commission, the HSCA or the ARRB. In fact, I am in the ARRB’s final report and the Board was inspired by me to go interview a couple important former agents, but I digress.

But enough about my background- this is all a labor of love and a commitment to truth and history; I have a life and a job; not in this for the money, folks- far from it. So, what is the bottom line from all my research and hard work?

Here it is: PRESIDENT KENNEDY SHOULD HAVE SURVIVED DALLAS AND THE SECRET SERIVE AGENTS TRULY ARE THE MEN WHO KILLED KENNEDY! No, there was no agency plot, per se, and many of these men- the vast majority- were merely following orders or, at most, were negligent. I have three—just three—major suspects who I feel crossed the line into (at the least) gross negligence and (at most) actual participants in aiding the success of the assassination (I will get to them in a moment). Sure, there are a very small handful of other agents I am suspicious of regarding the assassination and/or the cover-up, but, again, we are talking a very small number. Other parties were the shooters, masterminds and power brokers…what the agency provided was ACTION THROUGH INACTION- no pulling of triggers or firing of bullets, but ALLOWING those triggers and bullets to act in an unimpeded fashion. All it takes is a few precious seconds, folks, and we had both a dead president as well as a dead president who cannot defend himself against claims that he brought it on himself (the old blaming-the-victim mythology- I will also get to that in a moment).

So, from about 1991 to 2005, I worked hard on my research part time as I pursued a working career and other interests.

However, 2005 was a watershed moment.

Via a tip from former agent Lynn Meredith, I was able to obtain the unlisted address and number for former agent Clint Hill, a very reclusive man who, up to that time, testified to the Warren Commission but not the HSCA or the ARRB, spoke to author William Manchester but no other author and, other than an iconic 60 Minutes interview and a couple Secret Service television programs, pretty much became the Howard Hughes of the Secret Service- again, reclusive and never granting private researchers and authors any interviews. After all, as I said, he had an unlisted address and phone number and, if you notice, he only spoke to official bodies and spouted pretty much official history- just “name, rank and serial number” and a few other notions…that was it.
Then came my 22-page, registered, signed-receipt-required letter to Hill, summarizing my work up to that time, basically saying that the agents were handicapped that fateful day in Dallas because a couple senior agents laid down the law- thru actions and words- that hampered the agent’s abilities to do their jobs while, at the same time, falsely blaming JFK for these so-called handicaps. In addition to all the other former agents I spoke to, I also contacted former agent Gerald Blaine. This will become important momentarily.

In a nutshell, one of my major discoveries was the fact that, despite official mythology, President Kennedy did NOT order the agents off his limousine, nor did he order the agents to do anything else! This I learned via many interviews and correspondence with dozens of actual former agents and White House aides who would most certainly know first-hand. The list includes the head of the White House Detail, Gerald Behn; his top assistant, Floyd Boring; one of the three Shift Leaders, Art Godfrey; the driver of the follow-up car in Dallas, Tampa, and many other trips, Sam Kinney; JFK’s good friend and aide, Dave Powers; and many more. This was all a huge surprise to me- although I focused on Secret Service negligence, I more or less reluctantly bought the “JFK-as-scapegoat” myth from roughly 1988 until 9/27/92, when I spoke to the number one agent, the aforementioned Gerald Behn, who demolished this notion in no uncertain terms.

Back to the matter at hand: I included a self-addressed, stamped envelope with my bold letter to Clint Hill, encouraging him to contact me with comment. It was a pipe dream, I knew, but, hey- nothing ventured, nothing gained. Having heard nothing from him, I decided to call him…and, boy, was he livid! The conversation was short, sweet and awkward- Hill denied receiving my letter, although I was staring at his signed receipt, then, after an equally awkward pause wherein I asked him if he was still on the other line, he ended the conversation with “Yes, I am still here. I just have no interest in talking to you.” Ouch.

Thru happenstance, I spoke to the aforementioned Gerald Blaine the next day and he shocked me by bringing up my private letter to Hill and quoting from a segment from it! It turns out the two long-retired men were dear friends for decades (since the 1950’s) and, in fact, Blaine had just attended Clint Hill’s son’s wedding (along with fellow former agent Bill Livingood, the former Sergeant at Arms for the House of Representatives who you are actually all familiar with- if you watched any of the State of the Union addresses for Presidents Clinton, Bush or Obama from about 1995 to 2012, he was the man who shouted “Mr. Speaker- the President of the United States!” Small world, indeed…and, yes- I had also spoken to and corresponded with Livingood previously, but, again, I digress).
Up to this time, my first book was a self-published affair and, although I was stunned by these developments regarding Hill and Blaine, I thought that was basically it. I would have my blogs and appearances in other people’s books to spread the word, but I thought, at the time, it was the end of the road.

Boy, was I wrong.

In late 2009, I received word that GERALD BLAINE of all people-yes, him: Clint Hill’s good friend whom I spoke to and who quoted from my letter to Hill!- was coming out with a book about the Kennedy Detail (which turned out to be the title of the book: The Kennedy Detail). It went from initially being just a small publishing house affair into a huge Simon and Schuster release with all the inherent huge publicity machine, no mean feat for a first time, very obscure agent turned author. I then received a letter from Gerald Blaine’s attorney, asking me to take down my one blog post wherein I mentioned his upcoming book—they thought I was trying to say I was the CO-AUTHOR of the book, an asinine notion that was the farthest thing from the truth. They threatened me with obtaining a court order to remove my little blog, so I decided to let them have their way- for the moment. But why little ole (ok, big ole) me…and why Blaine, a very obscure agent who was on the Texas trip but not the Dallas stop that next to no one had ever heard of? Why, indeed.
No sooner could I digest all these bizarre out-of-the-blue happenings then I found out Clint Hill-yes, him: the reclusive agent with the unlisted address and number I boldly sent that alarming letter to!-was writing the Foreword to Blaine’s book, as well as contributing to its contents, appearing on the inherent media blitz (MSNBC, Fox- you name it), and also appearing in the Kennedy Detail television documentary.

These two men (one famous, one very obscure) were long retired and had no compunction to write a book, let alone appear in public again. In fact, Sam Kinney proudly told me “All of us old timers would never sell out or write a book for any amount of money- I am taking Clint Hill, me and all my buddies. This is the old school of ‘no kiss and tell’.” In the interest of time, read my first book and see my CTKA review of Blaine’s book, as well as all my reviews at CTKA regarding the Hill and Blaine books- no delusions of grandeur here: it WAS my 22-page letter to Hill that awakened a sleeping giant, so to speak. In 2010, when Blaine’s book came out, I discovered much of it was a direct response to my work, including Blaine sarcastically calling me a Secret Service expert on pages 359-360. Also in 2010, both Blaine and Hill would appear on C-SPAN with network CEO Brian Lamb and mockingly discuss my work, even showing a You Tube video of me speaking…little ole me of all people! Why? Why, indeed. If it isn’t obvious by now, you haven’t been paying attention.

Events would springboard from here: Co-author Lisa McCubbin would go on to help in the writing of the Kennedy Detail, but also all of Clint Hill’s books; all three of them. No TMZ tabloid tidbit here- factual truth they both admit to: 84 year old Hill left his wife of 50-plus years (although they are still legally married to this day) for 52 year old McCubbin, also married with kids at the time (McCubbin had gone to the prom with Blaine’s son years ago, but I digress. All this information is easily verifiable via You Tube and, of all things, the Irish Times. McCubbin lived in Qatar in the Middle East during the early millennium, was sought out by the Saudi government to help them in dealing with the Western press-no joke!-and scored an exclusive interview with George Bush, all before the age of 37; despite her relatively young age, no spring chicken here, if you catch my drift. Interestingly, a JOHN McCubbin was head of the White House Police in the 1920’s and was from Lisa’s same home state of Virginia).

The following events occurred not long after Blaine’s book came out- Hill would appear on C-SPAN with network CEO Brian Lamb in 2012 discussing HILL’s first book in his own right and-you guessed it—I was mentioned out of the blue once again (yep, little old me, the as-yet-unpublished researcher at that time [Hill also mentioned on the same program that he burned all his personal notes in 2005- what? As a reaction to my letter sent the same year?]); I was then harassed at my prior place of employment from a good friend of Blaine’s; and, most important of all, Blaine and Hill would do their best to propagate the myth that President Kennedy had it coming and ordered them off the limousine, despite what Blaine told me in 2004 and 2005 that greatly contradicts this false notion.
You can thank me or curse me- take your pick. I am responsible for both Hill and Blaine coming out of the woodwork, writing their huge NY Times best-selling books for the biggest publishing house in the world that has garnered them all quite a bit of money, appearing on television numerous times since (include the Emmy-nominated documentary they made) and, sadly, reinvigorating the false debate about blaming JFK for his own death.

It probably would have ended there around 2012 or 2013, but I had a big surprise for them- I obtained a publisher for my first book, Trine Day, and it was released in time for the 50th anniversary. That is when the harassment at work began, my blogs and Amazon reviews started getting hacked, and another obscure agent and dear friend of Hill and Blaine, Chuck Zboril, would go on to write a one-star review of my book (while McCubbin also gave my book a one-star on GOOD READS, with Blaine marking it as a “to-read” item), no doubt all with the goal of suppressing what I had to say…because it is very damaging—for them. It shows they are liars profiting on the death of the man they failed to protect. In addition, nine agents drank the night before the assassination…guess who one of them was? CLINT HILL, the same man who had the audacity to criticize the NINE agents who drank in Cartegena, Columbia in 2012 when another President was scheduled to appear and who now goes around telling people who want his autographed books that he did not drink the night before, despite his official report in the Warren Commission volumes, and his prior statements, stating the exact opposite. But President Obama lived and wasn’t blown away like he was under your watch now, was he, Clint Hill? Hill is a false hero- what I call the Jessica Lynch of the Secret Service: he got to the limousine when the shooting was all over and done with; he did not protect JFK and, furthermore, Jackie got in and out of the limo of her own volition; they never even touched. Hill performed the equivalent of a foul tip out in baseball or even striking out swinging; he made an attempt to do something, albeit too late.

Hill would go on to receive a medal for this attempt from LBJ for this so-called heroism (never mind the drinking incident which Secret Service regulations show were grounds for REMOVAL from the service! Yes- him, Paul Landis, Jack Ready and Glen Bennett-all in the follow-up car—and 5 other agents drank hours before Kennedy got his head blown off. Alcohol consumption and sleep deprivation wreak havoc on even the best trained reflexes. They all went to bed between 2 and 5:30 am and had to report for active duty at 8 am! For his part, Gerald Blaine was there, too, but claimed to have only drank fruit juice, if he can even be believed.)

See, for me, this is most certainly NOT a 50-plus year old murder mystery. In addition to how history was changed and how it all affects us today, you have two old men traveling the world, smiling widely, making very big money (a Hill book movie is allegedly in the works), and peddling lies against the man they failed to protect; Hill even rode in an open limousine down Elm Street in one program without breaking a sweat; so much for being traumatized by the event. In effect, JFK was assassinated three times: his actual murder, the character assassination regarding his private life (to which several agents held him in contempt) and this blame-the-victim mythology.
Now, after providing you with the background, here is the foreground- the details; the nuts and bolts):

1)  A MAJOR DISCOVERY OF MINE IN TWO PARTS: PRESIDENT KENNEDY DID NOT ORDER THE AGENTS OFF HIS LIMOUSINE IN TAMPA FOUR DAYS BEFORE HIS DEATH, THERE IS ZERO EVIDENCE THIS WAS EVEN INVOKED FOR DALLAS IN ANY CASE, AND AGENTS ON OR NEAR THE REAR OF THE LIMOUSINE WOULD HAVE SAVED THE PRESIDENTS LIFE. THE LACK OF AGENTS ON OR NEAR THE LIMO WAS A SECRET SERVICE DECISION. MANY TIMES, AGENTS WALKED, RAN OR JOGGED NEAR THE REAR OF HIS LIMO AND/ OR RODE ON THE REAR OF HIS LIMO. THE SECOND MAJOR DISCOVERY, ONE TOUCHED ON IN MY FIRST BOOK AND EXPANDED IN MY NEXT BOOK: THE SECRET SERVICE IS THE BOSS OF THE PRESIDENT, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. EVEN IF A PRESIDENT WANTED TO ORDER THE AGENTS AROUND, THEY WOULD IGNORE HIM. Take, for example, an Associated Press story from November 15, 1963: “The (Secret) Service can overrule even the President where his personal security is involved.” Shockingly, perhaps with an eye toward real history after he is long gone, Hill admitted in 2010 in his Sixth Floor oral history, with Blaine right by his side: “[The president] can tell you what he wants done and he can tell you certain things but that doesn’t mean you have to do it. What we used to do was always agree with the President and then we’d do what we felt was best anyway.”;

2)  PRESIDENT KENNEDY HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE LIMITING OR PLACEMENT OF MOTORCYCLES BY HIS LIMOUSINE AS HAS BEEN ALLEGED BY SOME. 3-6 MOTORCYCLES NORMALLY RODE ON EACH SIDE OF HIS LIMOUSINE, AS HAD BEEN THE CASE ON THE PRIOR STOPS ON THE TEXAS TRIP, THE FLORIDA TRIP AND COUNTLESS OTHER TRIPS. THIS WAS A SECRET SERVICE DECISION TO LIMIT THEIR USE IN DALLAS, SOMETHING THE HSCA RIGHTFULLY SAID WAS “UNIQUELY INSECURE”;

3)  PRESIDENT KENNEDY HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH ANOTHER MAJOR DISCOVERY OF MINE- THE LACK OF SECURITY COVERING MULTI-STORY BUILDINGS ALONG THE PARADE ROUTE. IT WAS COMMON PRACTICE FROM THE FDR ERA THRU AND INCLUDING THE JFK ERA (AND BEYOND) TO HAVE AGENTS AND/OR POLICE AND/OR A BRANCH OF THE MILITARY TO GUARD AND MONITOR BUILDINGS, SOMETIMES EVEN USING A HELICOPTER TO HELP MONITOR BOTH THE ROUTE AND THE BUILDINGS THEMSELVES. THIS DOES NOT MEAN JUST WATCHING THE WINDOWS AS THE CARS PASSED BUT BY STATIONING MEN ON THE ROOFTOPS THEMSELVES, AS WAS THE CASE IN SAN ANTONIO, FLORIDA, NASHVILLE, GERMANY, IRELAND, AND MANY OTHER TRIPS. I corresponded twice with former Secret Service Chief Inspector Michael Torina. The position of Secret Service Chief Inspector was very influential—it was Torina himself who actually completed the Secret Service’s Manual. Torina contributed significantly to a book by author Wayne Hyde written in 1962 in which it is plainly stated: “If the President is to appear in a parade, agents and policemen are assigned posts atop buildings and on the street along the parade route.” THIS LACK OF COVERAGE in DALLAS WAS A SECRET SERVICE DECISION. We would learn even more from Secret Service records of the era except for one thing- the ARRB noted in their final report from 1998: “Congress passed the JFK Act of 1992. One month later, the Secret Service began its compliance efforts. However, in January 1995, the Secret Service destroyed presidential protection survey reports for some of President Kennedy’s trips in the fall of 1963.”
;
4)  AGENT SAM KINNEY WAS ADAMANT TO ME, ON THREE DIFFERENT OCCASIONS, THAT HE WAS SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE BUBBLETOP’S REMOVAL ON 11/22/63- JFK HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. IT WAS BRIEFLY ON THE CAR ON 11/22/63 AND WAS THEN REMOVED. ALTHOUGH NOT BULLETPROOF OR BULLET RESISTANT IN THE TRADITIONAL SENSE, MANY PEOPLE THOUGHT IT WAS, THUS MAKING IT A PSYCHOLOGICAL DETERRANT: WOULD SOMEONE FIRE ONTO THE CAR WITH IT ON? IN ADDITION, MANY AGENTS THOUGHT IT WOULD DEFLECT A BULLET AND/OR SHIELD THE PRESIDENT VIA THE SUN’S GLARE OFF THE TOP. MANY TIMES, THE TOP WAS ON THE CAR IN EITHER FULL OR PARTIAL FORMATIONS (MEANING, JUST THE FRONT AND REAR PIECES WERE USED SO THE PRESIDENT COULD STAND INTERMITTENTLY AND OFFER SOME SEMBLANCE OF PROTECTION AT THE SAME TIME, SIMILAR TO THE FAMOUS EISENHOWER BUBBLE). IN ADDITION, THE TOP WAS USED IN BRIGHT, NO-RAIN CONDITIONS: I FOUND IT WAS USED ON APPROXIMATELY 25 GOOD WEATHER TRIPS, ROUGHLY A THIRD OF ALL JFK MOTORCADES;

5)  NORMALLY, A FLATBED TRUCK (SOMETIMES TWO) CARRYING STILL AND MOTION PHOTOGRAPHERS FROM THE PRESS WAS USED IN MOTORCADES AND RODE IN FRONT OF THE PRESIDENTIAL LIMOUSINE, AS IT WAS USED ON THE PRIOR TRIP IN FLORIDA AND MANY OTHER OCCASIONS. IT WAS CANCELLED AT THE LAST MINUTE BY THE SECRET SERVICE AT LOVE FIELD;

6)  SAIC BEHN OR HIS IMMEDIATE ASSISTANT, #2 MAN FLOYD BORING, ACCOMPANIED THE PRESIDENT ON TRIPS OUTSIDE OF WASHINGTON. BEHN TOOK HIS FIRST VACATION OF THE JFK ERA COINCIDING WITH BOTH THE FLORIDA AND TEXAS TRIPS, WHILE NUMBER TWO ASSISTANT BORING MANNED THE FLORIDA TRIP, YET WAS ABSENT FROM THE TEXAS TRIP, ALLOWING A THIRD-STRINGER, ROY KELLERMAN, TO MAKE ONLY HIS SECOND MAJOR TRIP WITHOUT EITHER BEHN OR BORING (THERE IS A POSSIBILITY TEXAS WAS THE VERY FIRST, AS IT IS UNCLEAR IF BEHN WAS ALSO ON A PART OF THE NASHVILLE TRIP, POSSIBLY KELLERMAN’S FIRST TRIP ALONE WITH JFK). HOWEVER, THERE WERE STARK  CONTRASTS BETWEEN NASHVILLE IN MAY 1963 AND DALLAS IN NOVEMBER: BUILDING ROOFTOPS WERE GUARDED AND A HELICOPTER GUARDED THE MOTORCADE, AS WELL AS OTHER STRICT SECURITY MEASURES WERE INVOKED;

7)  THE SECRET SERVICE KNEW OF PRIOR THREATS TO THE PRESIDENT’S LIFE IN THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER IN CHICAGO (THAT TRIP WAS CANCELLED AT THE LAST MINUTE) AND FLORIDA, YET THE DALLAS TRIP WENT FORWARD AS SCHEDULED, DESPITE ALL THE WARNINGS FROM SENATOR J. WILLIAM FULBRIGHT AND OTHERS;

8)  WITH REGARD TO THESE THREATS, ANOTHER MAJOR DISCOVERY OF MINE WAS THE EXISTENCE OF TWO MAJOR AGENCY COVERT THREAT MONITORS ON THE TEXAS TRIP THAT THEY DID NOT ADMIT TO: PRS AGENT GLEN BENNETT, RIDING IN THE FOLLOW-UP CAR, AND FELLOW PRS AGENT HOWARD K. NORTON, ON THE AUSTIN TRIP. BENNETT WAS TEMPORARILY ADDED TO THE WHITE HOUSE DETAIL ON 11/10/63, THE DAY AFTER THE INFAMOUS JOSEPH MILTEER TAPE WAS MADE, AN INVESTIGATION THE SECRET SERVICE WAS VERY MUCH AWARE OF. BENNETT LIED UNDER OATH TO THE HSCA, SAYING HE WAS NOT ON THE FLORIDA TRIP, WHILE NOT VOLUNTEERING THAT HE WAS ALSO ON THE 11/14-11/15 NEW YORK TRIP. SECRET SERVICE RECORDS RELEASED ONLY IN THE LATE 1990’S, AS WELL AS AGENCY IDENTIFICATION OF BENNETT’S APPEARANCE IN PHOTOGRAPHS, CONCLUSIVELY PROVES THAT BENNETT WAS INDEED ON THE NEW YORK, FLORIDA AND TEXAS TRIPS- EVERY STOP– OFTEN RIDING IN THE FOLLOW-UP CAR. THE AFOREMENTIONED HOWARD NORTON WAS ALSO ON THE FLORIDA TRIP AND HIS BACKGROUND WAS ONLY MADE KNOWN TO ME VIA AN INTERVIEW WITH FELLOW PRS AGENT DALE WUNDERLICH. When I tried to obtain more information on Bennett and Norton, former agent Jerry O’Rourke told me: “I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to do it. I’m afraid for my agency.” BENNETT PASSED AWAY IN 1994 AND NORTON’S CURRENT WHEREABOUT ARE UNKNOWN. I CONTACTED THE SECRET SERVICE AND, AFTER A CHECK OF RECORDS, THEY COULD NOT EVEN TELL ME HOW LONG HE SERVED IN THE AGENCY! THIS IS IN ADDITION TO THE PRESENCE (OR LACK THEREOF) OF MILITARY INTELLIGENCE OPERATIVES IN DEALEY PLAZA, INCLUDING JAMES POWELL, WHO TOOK A PHOTO OF THE TEXAS SCHOOL BOOK DEPOSITORY AFTER THE SHOOTING;

9)    SAIC BEHN CONFIRMED TO ME THAT THE ROUTE WAS CHANGED FOR THE DALLAS TRIP! HE GAVE ME NO DETAILS OTHER THAN TO SAY “I KNOW IT WAS CHANGED BUT WHY- I HAVE FORGOTTEN COMPLETELY- I DON’T KNOW.” NEEDLESS TO SAY, THE SECRET SERVICE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TERRIBLE ROUTE JFK TOOK THAT FATEFUL DAY IN DALLAS AND THERE WERE ALTERNATE ROUTES, AS AGENTS SAM KINNEY, WIN LAWSON, AND OTHERS CONFIRMED, INCLUDING THE ONE GOING FROM MAIN TO INDUSTRIAL BLVD, A ROUTE THAT WOULD HAVE BYPASSED ELM STREET ALTOGETHER AND HAD THE LIMO MOVING FURTHER AWAY FROM THE KNOLL AND THE DEPOSITORY (AND MOVING AT A FASTER RATE OF SPEED, AS WELL). STRAIGHT DOWN MAIN STREET IS THE ROUTE FDR TOOK IN 1936; IT WAS ALSO THE CEREMONIAL ROUTE, AS GOVERNOR CONNALLY ADMITTED UNDER OATH;

10)                 AS MOST PEOPLE ARE AWARE, SHERIFF BILL DECKER ORDERED HIS MEN NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE SECURITY OF THE MOTORCADE, AS VERIFIED BY DEPUTY SHERIFF ROGER CRAIG. DECKER SAID THIS AFTER AGREEING TO OFFER SECURITY TO SECRET SERVICE AGENT FORREST SORRELS THE PREVIOUS DAY. NOT ENOUGH POLICE WERE GUARDING THE ROUTE; THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT WEREN’T DOING THEIR JOBS; AND NO BRANCH OF THE MILITARY AUGMENTED SECURITY, AS WAS STANDARD PROCEDURE (YOU SEE, AGENTS WEREN’T ALWAYS ON THE BACK OF THE CAR AND THEY WERE OFTEN SHORT-STAFFED BACK THEN—THIS IS WHY THEY RELIED ON THE LOCAL POLICE AND THE MILITARY TO HELP THEM OUT);

11)                 GODFREY MCHUGH, MILITARY AIDE TO PRESIDENT KENNEDY, SAID HE WAS TOLD, FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME, TO NOT RIDE IN THE PRESIDENTIAL LIMOUSINE. WHO TOLD HIM NOT TO RIDE THERE? THE SECRET SERVICE. HE SAID THAT HE NORMALLY RODE BETWEEN THE DRIVER AND SENIOR AGENT IN THE FRONT SEAT OBSERVING AND TAKING NOTES;

12)                 IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE ABOVE, DALLAS POLICE CHIEF JESSE CURRY AND DALLAS CHIEF OF HOMICIDE WILL FRITZ EACH WANTED A CAR FULL OF POLICEMEN IN THE MOTORCADE AND THESE REQUESTS WERE NIXED BY—YOU GUESSED IT—THE SECRET SERVICE, YET, NOT ONLY DID THEY ORIGINALLY AGREE TO THEIR PRESENCE IN THE MOTORCADE, THERE WAS A PRECEDENT FOR THEIR USAGE, AS PREVIOUS MOTORCADES USUALLY HAD A POLICE AND/OR A DETECTIVES CAR IN THE MOTORCADE, IN ADDITION TO THE SECRET SERVICE FOLLOW-UP CAR;

13)                 THE OVERPASS IN DEALEY PLAZA WAS NOT CLEARED OF SPECTATORS AS IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN;

14)                 AS MENTIONED PREVIOUSLY, NINE AGENTS DRANK THE NIGHT BEFORE AND MORNING OF THE ASSASSINATION, INCLUDING 4 AGENTS IN THE FOLLOW-UP CAR;

15)                 JFK, THE PRESIDENT, AND LBJ, THE VICE PRESIDENT, WERE IN THE VERY SAME MOTORCADE IN OPEN CARS MOVING AT A SLOW PACE- THIS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE AND HASN’T HAPPENED SINCE;

16)                 THE PRESENCE OF FAKE OR UNAUTHORIZED SECRET SERVICE AGENTS IN DEALEY PLAZA WHEN, OFFICIALLY SPEAKING, NO AGENTS WERE THERE;

17)                 ANOTHER MAJOR DISCOVERY OF MINE: ONE OF TWO MAIN DRIVERS OF JFK’S LIMOUSINE, SECRET SERVICE AGENT TOM SHIPMAN, PASSED AWAY SUDDENLY OF AN ALLEGED HEART ATTACK AT, OF ALL PLACES, CAMP DAVID ON 10/14/63. HE WAS BURIED QUICKLY AND NO TOXICOLOGY TESTS WERE GIVEN. I HAVE MUCH MORE ON SHIPMAN IN MY FORTHCOMING THIRD BOOK, AS I TRACKED DOWN SEVERAL SURVIVING FAMILY MEMBERS. ONE WONDERS WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF SHIPMAN— AND NOT GREER— DROVE THE PRESIDENTIAL LIMOUSINE;

18)                 SUSPECT NUMBER ONE: ASAIC FLOYD BORING, THE NUMBER TWO AGENT OF THE WHITE HOUSE DETAIL, WAS (AS I DISCOVERED AND AS DOCUMENTS AND INTERVIEWS CONFIRM) THE ACTUAL PLANNER OF THE TEXAS TRIP FROM THE SECRET SERVICE’S POINT OF VIEW. HE GAVE OUT THE ASSIGNMENTS OF ADVANCE AGENTS AND SO FORTH AND WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT DID—AND DID NOT—HAPPEN, SECURITY-WISE, IN DALLAS. HE WAS THE ORIGINATOR OF THE MYTH THAT JFK DID NOT WANT AGENTS ON THE REAR OF HIS LIMOUSINE AND THAT PRESIDENT KENNEDY ALLEGEDLY TOLD HIM THIS IN TAMPA. CLINT HILL TESTIFIED THAT, DURING THE PERIOD FROM 11/19 TO 11/21/63 (NOTE THE TIME FRAME!), BORING TOLD HIM AND OTHER AGENTS OF THIS ALLEGED REQUEST. YET, BORING WAS ADAMANT TO ME—ON 3 DIFFERENT OCCASIONS, NOT TO MENTION HIS 1976 JFK LIBRARY ORAL HISTORY— THAT JFK WAS VERY COOPERATIVE AND DID NOT ORDER THE AGENTS OFF THE LIMO (DEBUNKING THE MANCHESTER BOOK ON THIS SCORE IN THE PROCESS), WHILE ALSO TELLING THE ARRB THAT THERE WAS “NO POLICY CHANGE” AND HE WAS MERELY CONVEYING AN ANECDOTE OF “KINDNESS AND CONSIDERATION” FROM THE PRESIDENT THAT THE AGENTS NEED NOT STAND ON THE REAR OF THE CAR IF THE CROWDS WERE SPARSE. YET, NOT ONLY DID CONGRESSMAN SAM GIBBONS, WHO RODE IN THE CAR INCHES AWAY FROM JFK, STATE TO ME THAT THERE WAS NO ORDER FROM JFK IN TAMPA, TAMPA MOTORCYCLE POLICE OFFICER RUSSELL GROOVER AGREED WITH GIBBONS AND FURTHER TOLD ME THAT AGENTS WERE ON THE REAR OF THE CAR FOR THE WHOLE TRIP (AS MANY FILMS AND PHOTOS CONFIRM) EXCEPT FOR THE VERY END OF THE TRIP WHEN THE PUBLIC MOTORCADE WAS ESSENTIALLY OVER AND THE CARS WERE ON THEIR WAY TO THE AIRPORT, TRAVELLING AT A HIGH RATE OF SPEED! IN OTHER WORDS, JFK HAD 0.0 TO DO WITH THE AGENTS NOT BEING THERE AT THIS FINAL PART OF THE MOTORCADE—THEY WEREN’T THERE BECAUSE OF THE SPEED OF THE CARS ON THE HIGHWAY HEADING HOME, SO TO SPEAK. WHAT’S MORE, HE CONFIRMED (AS THE SECRET SERVICE’S FINAL SURVEY REPORT ALSO CONFIRMS) THAT MULTI-STORY BUILDINGS WERE GUARDED DURING THIS VERY LONG MOTORCADE, THE LONGEST DOMESTIC MOTORCADE JFK EVER UNDERTOOK (FAR LONGER THAN DALLAS) AND THAT POLICE AND MILITARY UNITS LINED THE STREETS AND FACED THE CROWDS, IN ADDITION TO THE HIGH VOLUME OF FLANKING MOTORCYCLES, HIS OWN CYCLE INCLUDED. BORING PASSED AWAY IN 2008. I HAD THE ARRB CONTACT HIM. HE TOLD THE ARRB THE SAME BIZARRE THING HE FIRST TOLD ME: “I DIDN’T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT AND I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING.” BORING ROSE TO THE COVETED POSITION OF INSPECTOR AND RETIRED IN 1967. I WAS THE FIRST PRIVATE RESEARCHER TO TALK TO HIM ABOUT JFK;

19)                 SUSPECT NUMBER TWO: DRIVER WILLIAM GREER, HAVING NO COMPETITION FROM THE DEAD THOMAS SHIPMAN, TURNED AROUND DURING THE START OF THE SHOOTING, EITHER BRAKING AND/OR TAKING HIS FOOT OFF THE GAS PEDAL, AND LOOKED DIRECTLY AT JFK; THIS IS HIS FIRST TURN TO THE REAR. KELLERMAN THEN ORDERED HIM TO GET OUT OF LINE…GREER DISOBEYED A DIRECT ORDER (AND HIS OWN TRAINING AND COMMON SENSE) AND TURNED AROUND FOR THE SECOND TIME TO STARE DIRECTLY AT JFK UNTIL THE FATAL HEAD SHOT OCCURS. ONLY AFTER THIS DID HE FACE FORWARD AND HIT THE GAS PEDAL. GREER DENIED UNDER OATH THAT HE EVER TURNED AROUND TO SEE JFK, LET ALONE TWICE. AS KELLERMAN TOLD MANCHESTER: “GREER THEN LOOKED IN THE BACK OF THE CAR: MAYBE HE DIDN’T BELIEVE ME.” YET, GREER, AFTER INITIALLY GIVING THE IMPRESSION OF GUILT AND REMORSE FOR HIS HORRIFIC ACTIONS AND INACTIONS, TOLD THE FBI THE NIGHT OF THE MURDER THAT THE PRESIDENT SOMETIMES TOLD HIM TO SLOW DOWN, AGENT NUMBER TWO WHO PROPAGATED THE “BLAME THE VICTIM” MYTHOLOGY (BORING, AS WE SAW BEFORE, WAS FIRST, PRE-DATING THE ACTUAL ASSASSINATION!). GREER RETIRED IN 1966, SERVING LBJ, A PRESIDENT HE ALLEGEDLY DESPISED, FOR SEVERAL YEARS AFTER THE ASSASSINATION. GREER DIED IN 1985. WHEN I SPOKE TO HIS SON IN 1991, I ASKED HIM “WHAT DID YOUR FATHER THINK OF JFK?” A VERY INNOCENT QUESTION, TO PUT IT MILDLY. HE AVOIDED THE QUESTION…SO I ASKED HIM AGAIN. HE THEN ANSWERED: “WELL, WE’RE METHODISTS AND JFK WAS CATHOLIC”!! IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT BILL GREER WAS BORN AND RAISED IN COUNTY TYRONE, IRELAND, A COUNTRY INFAMOUS FOR ITS RELIGIOUS WARS, COMING TO THIS COUNTRY AROUND THE AGE OF 18 AND LATER SERVING HENRY CABOT LODGE, JFK’S TWO-TIME POLITICAL OPPONENT AND, LATER, AMBASSADOR TO VIETNAM;

20)                 SUSPECT NUMBER THREE: SHIFT LEADER EMORY ROBERTS. AS I DISCOVERED AND POPULARIZED WAY BACK IN 1991 AND HAVE DEMONSTRATED AT CONFERENCES SINCE 1995 (AND, LATER, ON THE MEN WHO KILLED KENNEDY AND A COUP IN CAMELOT), ROBERTS RISES IN HIS SEAT DURING THE START OF THE MOTORCADE ROLLING OUT AT LOVE FIELD AIRPORT AND RECALLS AGENT DON LAWTON, WHO STOPS IN HIS TRACKS AND RAISES HIS ARMS THREE DIFFERENT TIMES IN DISGUST. PAUL LANDIS MAKES ROOM FOR LAWTON ON THE RUNNING BOARD OF THE CAR, YET LAWTON DOES NOT BUDGE. PREVIOUS TO LAWTON’S RECALL (LITERALLY ONLY MOMENTS BEFORE), ANOTHER AGENT, HENRY RYBKA (AS SEEN IN FILMS AND PHOTOS AND AS VERIFIED IN HIS REPORT) JOINED LAWTON IN WALKING/ JOGGING BESIDE JFK’S SIDE OF THE LIMO, ONLY TO WALK AWAY, NO DOUBT ALSO A VICTIM OF SHIFT LEADER ROBERTS’ ORDER (INTERESTINGLY, RYBKA WAS “ACCIDENTALLY” PLACED IN THE FOLLOW-UP CAR IN THREE DIFFERENT REPORTS AFTER THE FACT, ONLY TO BE CORRECTED LATER, AS RYBKA AND LAWTON REMAINED AT LOVE FIELD). AS A SIDE NOTE, AS WITH THE DEATH OF SHIPMAN, I HAVE MORE ON LAWTON IN MY THIRD BOOK, BUT I CAN ADD HERE THAT HE TOLD ME IN 1995 THAT THE AGENTS HAD REGRETS ABOUT 11/22/63 AND THAT, QUOTE: “WHO KNOWS- IF THEY HAD LEFT GUYS ON THE BACK OF THE CAR. YOU CAN HINDSIGHT YOURSELF TO DEATH.” NOTICE HE DID NOT BLAME JFK FOR THE AGENT’S REMOVAL AND THE “THEY” HE REFERRED TO WAS THE SECRET SERVICE. HE TOLD A TRUSTED COLLEAGUE SHORTLY AFTER THE ASSASSINATION THAT, QUOTE, “I SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE” (ON THE BACK OF THE LIMO). INDEED. LAWTON RODE ON THE REAR OF THE LIMO IN CHICAGO IN MARCH OF 1963 AND IN TAMPA FOUR DAYS BEFORE DALLAS. RETURNING TO ROBERTS, HE WENT ON TO RECALL AGENT READY WHO MADE SOME FORWARD MOVEMENT TOWARD KENNEDY DURING THE ASSASSINATION AND, MUCH MORE IMPORTANTLY, ORDERED THE AGENTS NOT TO MOVE DURING THE SHOOTING, AS CONFIRMED BY AN AGENT SITTING INCHES AWAY FROM HIM, DRIVER SAM KINNEY (SEE A COUP IN CAMELOT FOR MORE ON THIS). INCREDIBLY, ROBERTS ACHIEVED INFAMY AFTER THE ASSASSINATION AS THE ONLY AGENT TO EVER BECOME APPOINTMENT SECRETARY TO A PRESIDENT (IN THIS CASE, LBJ, FULFILLING THE ROLE ONCE ACCOMPLISHED BY DAVE POWERS), ALSO RISING TO THE LEVEL OF INSPECTOR, RECEIVING A MEDAL IN THE PROCESS AND, AS I DEMONSTRATE IN MY NEXT BOOK, BEING THE OBJECT OF AN ATTEMPT BY LBJ HIMSELF TO NAME HIM TO THE FEDERAL PAROLE BOARD—WHY? TO MAKE SURE LBJ AND HIS CRONIES WERE SAFE?

With regard to motive, I believe it was a combination of a couple major factors: some of the agents (notably, follow-up car agents Tim McIntyre and Emory Roberts, among others) were angry and disgusted with President Kennedy’s private life, while others, such as Forrest Sorrels and Elmer Moore, were angry at President Kennedy for his foreign policy views. Chief U.E. Baughman, like Allen Dulles, was fired by the Kennedy brothers- in Baughman’s case, the reason was because he did not believe the Mafia existed, a view shared by J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI. Baughman was made the Chief on November 22… of 1948. Interestingly, the following agents and White House aides believed (or, in some cases, knew) that there was a conspiracy: Abraham Bolden, Maurice Martineau, Sam Kinney, Bill Greer (yes-him), Roy Kellerman, Robert Bouck, Gerald O’Rourke, John Norris, Marty Underwood, and John Marshall. A few other agents- Forrest Sorrels, Lem Johns and Paul Landis- believed at least one shot came from the front.

See, that is all it took- not an agency “conspiracy”; not many men; not dozens of men…three- the driver of the limousine, the shift leader who was the commander of the follow-up car agents, and the planner of the Texas trip. It is ACTION THRU INACTION– by NOT doing certain things (hitting the gas pedal, having agents on or near the rear of the limousine, and blaming JFK for the lack of security, among other items), the agency was made to purposely fail and, thus, had to run with this JFK-is-to-blame myth to cover up and hide their gross, purposeful negligence or face the consequences- Congressional hearings, press inquiries, loss of pensions, prosecutions, and the end of the agency, at least their role as protectors of our nation’s highest officials.  Further, by covering up the drinking incident (as Rowley testified, he didn’t want to stigmatize the agents, never mind that they broke a sacred rule that was grounds for dismissal AND THEY LOST A PRESIDENT) and giving out two awards (one arguably undeserving- to Hill, the other dubious- to agent Youngblood, who allegedly covered LBJ a little sooner than even Youngblood believed was possible), the agents got away with a verbal slap on the wrist coupled with great praise for their heroism and courage. In an age before Watergate and true investigative journalism, with a dead president unable to defend himself and a naïve and trusting public, should we have expected anything else?

And, when a certain amateur researcher, on his own time and his own dime, started asking the hard questions, should we be surprised when he was subjected to harassment, ridicule and a campaign by two sad old men to blame the president they failed to protect for huge profit, all the while feeding a gullible public seeking their books and the autographs that they willingly and sickeningly affix to autopsy photos and assassination scenes?

Thank you- I’ll take any questions you may have.
THANKS TO JUDYTH BAKER, KRIS MILLEGAN OF TRINE DAY, AND GARY FANNIN

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEIU6OAeoNE

Click on image to enlarge:


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Kennedy Detail Exposed- the real story of the JFK Secret Service


The Kennedy Detail Exposed- the real story of the JFK Secret Service       

The Kennedy Detail Exposed- the real story of the JFK Secret Service by Vince Palamara 11/20/16, Dallas, TX (fourth annual JFK assassination conference). President Kennedy should have survived 11/22/63. Introduction by author Gary Fannin. I was followed by author/actor/ director Sean Stone, son of Oliver Stone, who was in the audience, along with many other authors and researchers. The Q & A session at the end included Bethesda witness Dennis David and fellow TMWKK participant Ed Tatro, among others.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEIU6OAeoNE&t=36s



Sunday, November 27, 2016

Author of three books, including THE NOT SO SECRET SERVICE- AGENCY TALES FROM FDR TO THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION TO THE REAGAN ERA and appears on the DVD/ BLU RAY A COUP IN CAMELOT

Author of three books, including THE NOT SO SECRET SERVICE- AGENCY TALES FROM FDR TO THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION TO THE REAGAN ERA and appears on the DVD/ BLU RAY A COUP IN CAMELOT



Clint Hill and Gerald Blaine reviewed + Survivor's Guilt by Vince Palamara

Five Presidents by Clint Hill with Lisa McCubbin: A Review

By Vince Palamara

Oh, what I hath wrought to the world. As readers of my critical review of Lisa McCubbin’s first of four “co-authored” books The Kennedy Detail well know [1], I am thoroughly convinced that it was my 22-page letter to Clint Hill in 2005 that awoke a sleeping giant. Hill, then 73 and with zero want or desire to write a book (a sort of badge of honor that he carried for decades), was angered by my letter, a “cliff notes” version of the basics from my then self- published first book critical of the JFK-era Secret Service entitled Survivor’s Guilt.[2]It is important to emphasize the fact that Hill had an unlisted address and phone number at the time; it was only through the good fortune of an unsolicited bit of help via a colleague of Hill’s, former agent Lynn Meredith, that I was able to obtain this then highly-sought bit of information. As I discovered during my June 2005 conversation with Gerald Blaine, Clint shared the contents of my private letter to his fellow former agent, a man who, I soon found out, was his best friend for many years and who was, by any measurable standard, an obscure agent of the Secret Service who was on the Texas trip (but not in Dallas), having served a meager five years with the agency.

Perhaps you can figure out where this is headed to.

As fate would have it, it was during this same summer of 2005 that two things happened: Gerald Blaine began writing his book[3] and Clint Hill, writer of the Foreword to the book (and participant in the book tour and numerous television programs), destroyed his personal notes he had in his possession for decades.[4] It was also during this very same time that Lisa McCubbin, an obscure former television reporter who lived in Qatar in the Middle East for six years as a freelance journalist[5], began helping Blaine with the writing of his book. McCubbin was born after the assassination and was friends with the Blaine family; in fact, she had dated Blaine’s son.[6] In an unexpected turn of events, McCubbin (born in 1964) would start a romantic relationship with Hill (born in 1932), although Hill is still married. [7] This partnership, professional and otherwise, would reap many benefits: The Kennedy Detail in 2010 and the accompanying Emmy-nominated Discovery documentary of the same name[8], Mrs. Kennedy and Me in 2012[9]; Five Days In November in 2013[10]; and, now, Five Presidents in 2016, all of which would go on to become New York Times best-sellers, having the distinct advantage of being published by the biggest publishing house in the world, Simon and Schuster, who can guarantee instant articles on Yahoo, People magazine exposes, and coverage on Fox, CNN, and NBC. McCubbin even brags on her website that “she is widely respected within the U.S. Secret Service for her responsible and accurate writing about this highly secretive agency.”

And, yet, as I have written at length about in both my book Survivor’s Guilt, my forthcoming book The Not So Secret Service, and in several CTKA reviews (not to mention countless blogs and posts online), her work cannot be trusted with anything controversial. Sure, you can take it to the bank when she writes about harmless historical items such as Hill’s many interactions with Jackie Kennedy and other Redbook/Reader’s Digest type moments, but her work should be viewed with a jaundiced eye when the Kennedy assassination is mentioned.

Hill, Blaine and McCubbin are much aware of my work; no delusions of grandeur here. Apart from my aforementioned 22-page letter that opened Pandora’s box, Hill and Blaine have discussed my work on C-SPAN with CEO Brian Lamb (in Hill’s case, twice);[11] Blaine sarcastically names me as a Secret Service “expert” on pages 359-360 of his book (and quite a few other pages are a direct response to my work); I am credited at the end of a 2013 television program in which Hill briefly addresses my “allegations” (McCubbin also participated as well)[12]; Blaine had his attorney send me a threatening letter[13]; McCubbin, who contacted me about my blog, gave my first book a one star on "Good Reads" and has even admitted on C-SPAN of finding information that contradicted Blaine (almost certainly my work)[14]; Blaine added my book as an item “to read” on "Good Reads"; Blaine and Hill friend (and former agent) Chuck Zboril, much aware of my blog, gave my first book a one-star review on Amazon; former agent Ron Pontius mentions one of my articles without naming me on the television documentary; and I have been treated to petty harassment by several other personal friends of Blaine, both at home and at my former place of employment.

With all of this in proper focus, it is time to examine the latest offering from the Hill/McCubbin partnership, Five Presidents.


Clint Hill with Jackie Kennedy
While serving five different presidents is somewhat noteworthy, Hill is hardly the first or only one to have served five or more presidents or to have written books about their service. SAIC Edmund Starling (author of the 1946 book Starling of the White House), SAIC/ Assistant Director Rufus Youngblood (author of the 1973 book Twenty Years in the Secret Service: My Life With Five Presidents), Chief/Director (and former SAIC) James Rowley, SAIC Gerald Behn, ASAIC Floyd Boring (who contributed to David McCullough’s 1993 book Truman and the 2005 Stephen Hunter book American Gunfight), ASAIC Roy Kellerman, Art Godfrey, Chuck Zboril (misspelled “Zobril” on page 451), Winston Lawson, Emory Roberts, Vince Mroz, Howard Anderson, Morgan Gies, SAIC of PRS Bob Bouck, John Campion, Ron Pontius, Stu Stout, Hill’s brother-in-law David Grant, Director Stu Knight, and others served five or more presidents (the number is quite large if one were to include agents from field offices and/or on temporary assignments, as it was not unusual for an agent from the FDR-Ike era to serve for many years on the White House detail, later known as the Presidential Protective Division, or in the Washington field office, among many other field offices around the country and, indeed, the world. The number is even larger if one was also to include those agents who also protected former presidents or vice presidents who later became president such as Truman, Nixon, LBJ, Ford, and Bush 41).

Part 1 of the book, encompassing the first seven chapters, details Hill’s time protecting President Eisenhower. After learning that Hill served in Army Counter Intelligence from 1954-1956 (pages 8-10), serving duty at Fort Holabird (where Richard Case Nagell and fellow agent Win Lawson also served), Hill makes a troubling error, claiming that James Rowley was the Special Agent in Charge of the White House detail since the FDR days (page 14) when, in actual fact, he became SAIC on 5/3/46 during the Truman era, replacing George Drescher.[15] In yet another contradiction to the writing of Gerald Blaine and Lisa McCubbin found on page 398 of The Kennedy Detail, wherein they state that Ike usually rode in a closed car, there are seven photos of Eisenhower in a motorcade and every photo depicts him in an open vehicle. This is in addition to various times in the actual text where Hill mentions Ike riding in an open car (this reviewer has found dozens and dozens more photos online of President Eisenhower in an open-topped vehicle. In fact, one is hard pressed to find any photos of Ike in a closed car).
In the coup de grace, Hill (and, presumably, McCubbin) writes on page 44, not realizing the stark contradiction, “[the canvas roof] really bothered Ike, who liked seeing the crowds, but more important, wanted them to have the opportunity to see him…President Eisenhower preferred to use the car as an open convertible whenever possible so he could stand up and be even more visible to people viewing the motorcade.”

On pages 40 and 46, in particular, the heavy use of well-armed military guards on Ike’s foreign trips paints a picture in sharp contrast to Dallas circa 11/22/63. On page 48, there is a minor contradiction: Hill states that Ike’s eleven-nation tour was his first time out of the United States, yet, on page 24, he writes of an earlier one-day trip to Canada with Ike.

On pages 53-55, Hill describes working with Harvey Henderson, a controversial and racist agent from Mississippi who harassed fellow agent Abraham Bolden to no end.[16] While Hill describes Henderson as “a good ol’ Southern boy," he was more forthcoming to author Maurice Butler: “Now there were certain individuals in the service, I won’t deny that, who were very, very bigoted. Most of them came from Mississippi or Alabama or somewhere in the South. Sometimes we had problems with them. They didn’t want to work with a black agent.”[17] Fellow agent Walt Coughlin told me, “Harvey Henderson he [Bolden] is probably rite (sic) about.”[18] Yet The Kennedy Detail’s Gerald Blaine, in typical fashion, wrote this reviewer on 6/12/05: “I don’t remember anybody on the detail that was racist. Merit was perceived by a person’s actions, their demeanor, reliability, dependability and professional credibility – not race! Harvey was not even on the shift that Bolden was during his thirty day stay. Even though Harvey Henderson was from Mississippi, I never heard of him discriminating nor demeaning anyone because of race.” Can the reader see why I have major problems with history as seen through the Blaine and McCubbin prism? There’s a real tendency to whitewash and omit crucial information. They know better…and they know I know better, but they are hoping you do not, if that makes any sense. But I digress a tad.

Also on page 55, Hill notes that local police helped secure buildings and routes of travel, as well as checking out the local medical facilities (which he further notes on page 81). Yet, again, when President Kennedy goes to Dallas, officially speaking, no buildings were secured, the motorcade route was woefully short staffed, and they allegedly did not know that Parkland Hospital was the closest hospital in case of emergency.

Overall, I would assess Part 1 of the book-the Ike era- as a fairly decent perspective of an agent’s time protecting the former World War II hero. Although glimpses of Eisenhower come through, I was left more with Hill’s outlook on trying to do his job than any deep analysis of Ike.

Part 2 covers the Kennedy era and encompasses chapters 8-19 and much of it will be familiar to anyone who has read the three previous Lisa McCubbin co-authored books; lots of repetition here. That said, there are some items of interest. On page 112, it is noted that the 27-mile motorcade route in Caracas, Venezuela was massively guarded by the host country’s heavily-armed military, involving more than 30,000 soldiers and 5,000 police officers. The bubbletop was used, despite the nice weather, and agents rode on the rear of the limousine.[19]

On page 133, while discussing President Kennedy’s European tour (in an obvious allusion to the upcoming Dallas trip several months later), Hill writes: “There was no way to check every building or every rooftop," yet that is precisely what they were able to do on past trips, at least those involving multi-story buildings.[20] Chapters 16 and 17 (pages 141-160) cover the Texas trip and the assassination. On page 142 McCubbin, as she did with Blaine in The Kennedy Detail and in the prior two books with Hill, mentions once again the alleged “order” from President Kennedy, via Floyd Boring, to not have the agents on the back of the car. I have written at length on this specific topic, as I am extremely skeptical of the veracity and timing of this situation.[21] My first reaction when reading this section was “McCubbin HAD to put that one in there again." On page 152, not realizing the huge contradiction, Hill/ McCubbin write: “I knew the president didn’t want us on the back of the car, but I had a job to do.” Hill jumped off and on the back of the limousine four different times on Main Street. So much for the president’s “order." No other agent attempted to get on the back of the car.

Hill deals with the infamous drinking incident at Kirkwood’s the night before JFK’s death in a very dismissive fashion on page 147. Hill was one of nine agents who drank the early morning of the assassination. Hill was also one of the four agents who drank alcohol who would go on to work the follow-up car in Dallas (the others were Paul Landis, Jack Ready and Glen Bennett).

On pages 153-154, Hill writes of the shooting sequence and, as he has done in the past (echoing the same thoughts as Dave Powers and Governor Connally on the matter), Hill states that all three shots made their mark and there was no missed shot: the first shot hit JFK, the second hit Connally, and the third was the fatal head shot. Again, he does not realize the grave contradiction to official history. In this regard, he once again repeats what he has written (and said) many times before: JFK had “a gaping hole in the back of his skull” (page 155).

Once again, as was noted in their prior works (and as I was the first to note in my own work): ”Normally [SAIC Gerald] Behn would be on the [Texas] trip, but as fate would have it, he had decided to take a few days off-his first vacation in years…” (page 156). “As fate would have it.” huh?

On page 178, Hill states his disagreement with the “magic bullet theory," stating that Governor Connally and his wife Nellie agreed with him. Hill cannot seem to understand you cannot have your cake and eat it, too: either there was a “magic bullet” or there were two assassins. Still, it is nice to have him on the record about this vital issue. And he seems unaware that as authors like Joe McBride have shown, Connally actually disagreed with the entire thesis of the Warren Report. (McBride, Into the Nightmare, p. 418)

Overall, I would assess Part 2 of the book-the Kennedy years- as largely repetitive from his and McCubbin’s past books, which all seem to tout the same recurring agenda in two parts: his adamant stand that there was only one assassin (despite his contradictory views as expressed by his statements about the wounds and the shooting sequence), and that the agents did the best they could, despite their feelings of failure (and making sure to put that false blame-the-victim nugget in there again for good measure). That said, there were some new tidbits of information about prior trips and, to be fair, the Kennedys shine through in a positive way in this section.

Part 3, the LBJ section, encompasses chapters 20-29 and is arguably the best part of the book- Hill really captures Johnson and the so-called “Johnson treatment” quite well. Even before the formal Johnson section of the book begins, the JFK section ends with Hill’s auspicious first greeting to LBJ in October 1964 when the President visited Jackie Kennedy in New York. Hill extended his hand to Johnson and said “Hello, Mr. President, I am Agent Clint Hill." LBJ simply ignored him, reached into his back pocket, pulled out a handkerchief, and blew his nose. Hill said the experience, witnessed by the agents of the White House detail who were guarding LBJ, was “humiliating."

Another minor error occurs on page 227 when Hill states that the Kennedys visited Mexico in 1961-it was actually 1962, as is correctly noted on page 114.

Hill succeeds the best here when he vividly describes Johnson’s interactions with himself and others, as well as the impromptu nature of the brusque Texan. Like the travels of Ike and JFK, the many travels, domestic and foreign, of Johnson are duly noted and Hill (and McCubbin) do an admirable job describing the interaction the president had with the hosts and with the spectators, as well as with the agents themselves. When the McCubbin “team” (either with Blaine or Hill) aren’t treading into controversial waters, they actually succeed with some well-written stories and presidential anecdotes. Perhaps this is why I liked Mrs. Kennedy and Me the most- other than a couple pages, it was harmless fun about the elegant First Lady and a touch of Camelot, albeit a tad maudlin and trite in places. In this regard, I believe Five Presidents is a very close second to that work, with Five Days In November being disposable and forgettable and The Kennedy Detail as the worst by a country mile for its deceit and deception. In fact, one could argue that Five Presidents, despite the Kennedy-era repetition and one page (page 142, to be exact) of controversy, is the best of the lot, but I digress.

What I think makes the LBJ section such a winner is not just that it is the longest section of the book, but that the “safe” button was switched to off and Hill is telling the true stories with the bark off, so to speak. It is actually a shame, for history’s sake, that an agenda pervaded two of the three earlier books (and a very small part of the other two, this one included) because, again, when McCubbin and Hill just tell the tales, I find myself begrudgingly admiring the vivid pictures of the presidents they draw. In hindsight, perhaps it was Blaine as the true culprit in all of this and Hill merely thought it was good to have in-house symmetry when a touch of the blame-the-victim (JFK) mantra was repeated in his books--less readers would be left to wonder why he appeared to disagree with his adamant colleague. Paradoxically, when it comes to Ike, Hill is diametrically opposed to Blaine (the above-mentioned open car versus Blaine’s claim of an Eisenhower preference for a closed car).

Funny enough, there is also fodder for the LBJ-did-it crowd on page 235: Hill, describing Johnson’s 1966 trip to Australia, wrote that the president “crouched down in the backseat…it was the only time I ever saw a president duck down in the rear seat of a car to avoid being seen.” Roger Stone and Phil Nelson, take note.

On pages 236-237, Hill describes the Melbourne, Australia trip, wherein angry Vietnam War protestors threw balloons filled with paint at the presidential limousine and, by extension, several of the agents surrounding the car. Hill again makes a minor error, stating that agents Rufus Youngblood and Lem Johns rode on the rear of the car when, in actual fact, it was Youngblood and Jerry Kivett, as several clear films and photos of the motorcade incident demonstrate, although Johns was indeed there and was also splattered with paint, albeit in his position walking by the automobile.

The travels and tribulations for LBJ continue through 1967 and 1968, as Hill does a good job of documenting the activities of President Johnson in relation to the monumental events of this two-year period. In particular, the assassinations of MLK (pages 278-286) and RFK (287-295), as well as the turbulent 1968 Democratic convention (pages 303-306), are remarkably described in the context of Hill’s and LBJ’s reaction to them. Interestingly, although Hill’s brother-in-law, fellow agent David Grant, is mentioned on one page (page 303), once again, as he did in his previous two books, Hill does not mention their family connection (although Blaine did so in The Kennedy Detail and in a conversation with myself in 2005, although nothing was mentioned when Grant and Hill appeared, separately, on the television documentary of the same name). As I describe in my forthcoming book The Not So Secret Service, I believe there was bad blood between the two near the end of Grant’s life, having something to do with his writing partner, among other things (Grant passed away 12/28/2013). Hill’s wife Gwen is mentioned in his obituary but Clint is not. As mentioned above, Hill is still legally married to Gwen[22]).

Part 4 covers Hill’s involvement in the protection of Presidents Nixon and Ford and encompasses chapters 30-38. Although quite interesting in its own right. Hill was off the front lines of presidential protection and relegated to, first, the SAIC of the vice president’s detail for Spiro Agnew and, shortly thereafter, to Secret Service headquarters. He was first Deputy Assistant Director of Protective Forces, then later Assistant Director of the Presidential Protective Division (PPD). So the intimacy and interaction with both President Nixon and Ford pales in comparison to the prior three presidents, especially LBJ. That said, it is what it is; Hill was where he was in those moments in history. Still, there are several items of special interest. On page 367, after describing how fellow agent (since the Kennedy days) Hamilton Brown was angered by President Nixon’s disregard for security protocol by visiting anti-war demonstrators at the Lincoln Memorial on 5/9/70, Hill writes: “all of us were disgusted with the attitude of the president for placing himself in such a vulnerable position.” [23]

On page 376, Hill reveals that he was "one of very few people who knew about the [Nixon] taping system, and, as with all types of similar privileged information, it was kept very private, limited to people on a need-to-know basis.” After learning on page 381 that then-Secretary of the Treasury John Connally was instrumental in promoting Hill to his highest position in the Secret Service (the aforementioned Assistant Director of PPD), Hill describes the inner turmoil he felt in having to witness multiple viewings of the Zapruder film of the JFK assassination during Secret Service training classes.

On pages 388-391, Hill totally whitewashes the Bob Newbrand-as-informant matter. Agent Newbrand was used as a plant by Nixon and his henchmen to try to obtain information of a derogatory nature against Ted Kennedy.[24] Interestingly, Hill was in contact with Alexander Butterfield and James McCord (and agent Al Wong), principal people in the Watergate mess.

While the dismissal of agents Bob Taylor, the SAIC of PPD, and his assistant, Bill Duncan, by the Nixon/ Haldeman gang is relatively old news for those like myself who study these things (page 403), Hill adds that agent Art Godfrey was also a victim of the purge. To my knowledge, there is no evidence that Godfrey, whom I spoke to and corresponded with, was removed by Nixon’s hand (Director Rowley retired in October 1973). While Deputy Directors Rufus Youngblood and Lem Johns were ousted by the Haldeman gang a few years earlier. In fact, Godfrey was a favorite of Nixon, belonged to the February Group (die-hard Nixon loyalists), watched the Grand Prix with Nixon after the president’s fall from grace, and was even asked by Nixon’s best friend Bebe Rebozo to work for him.[25] Further, it is a matter of record that Godfrey retired in 1974, a year after this all took place, as ASAIC of PPD, not from some field office.[26] Godfrey served on PPD protecting Presidents Truman, Ike, JFK, LBJ and Nixon. Needless to say, I am skeptical of Hill’s assertion. Perhaps Hill is simply mistaken.

Chapters 37, 38 and the Epilogue contains some fascinating personal details of Hill’s final days as an agent and the troubled aftermath, as Hill has had trouble coping with his failure on 11/22/63. He goes into detail about his appearance on 60 Minutes in November 1975 (which aired the next month). Hill states that Mike Wallace’s interview was the first time, other than his Warren Commission testimony, that he had ever spoken to anyone about the assassination (pages 429 and 430). This is wrong; Hill was interviewed by William Manchester for his massive best-seller The Death of a President (on 11/18/64 and 5/20/65, to be exact). Manchester also talked to The Kennedy Detail’s Gerald Blaine, Gerald Behn, Bill Greer, Roy Kellerman, Lem Johns, and a host of other agents. However, to be fair to Hill, Blaine also denies ever talking to any author (including Manchester) before he wrote his book. [27] In addition, Hill also spoke about the assassination for 60 Minutes once again (November 1993), The History Channel’s The Secret Service (1995; also a home video), The Discovery Channel’s Inside the Secret Service (1995; also a home video), and National Geographic’s Inside The U.S. Secret Service (2004; also a DVD still available).

On the second to last page, Hill/McCubbin write: “As with our previous two books [28], our overriding concern was to present a factual account to preserve history, while also abiding by the Secret Service pledge to be worthy of trust and confidence.” I would say it is the latter part of that statement that has guided McCubbin, Hill and Blaine through all four books. Sometimes to extremes - don’t embarrass the agency (what J. Edgar Hoover would call “the bureau”) and protect reputations as they would protectees.
Nevertheless, with all the aforementioned points and previous disclaimers in mind, Five Presidents must be considered a worthy addition to anyone’s library. The first was the worst…they saved the best for last.



Footnotes:
[1] http://www.ctka.net/reviews/kennedydetailreview.html

[2] http://www.ctka.net/2014_reviews/survivors_guilt.html

[3] http://www.ctka.net/reviews/kennedydetailreview.html

[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gRhG3ya7JE

[5] http://lisamccubbin.com/

[6] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYpY8zI_wwA and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmCEx-f0dfI

[7] http://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/features/why-i-blame-myself-for-jfks-death-248893.html

[8] http://ctka.net/reviews/slick_propaganda.html and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oALbLw4U7U0

[9] http://www.ctka.net/reviews/MrsKennedy_Hill_Review_Palamara.html

[10] A mostly repetitive photo book that appears to have been a cash grab for the 50th anniversary. Since this book is basically a shortened version of Mrs. Kennedy and Me with glossy photos, I chose not to formally review it.
[11] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbD1shPmla8 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bqE0rPJyGI

[12] JFK: The Final Hours 2013, National Geographic (also a DVD); see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNXJKs9xAMI

[13] http://www.ctka.net/reviews/kennedydetailreview.html

[14] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgB2mnmiU-s

[15] George Drescher oral history, Herbert Hoover Library.
[16] Survivor’s Guilt (2013), pages 174-175, 403, 407-408.
[17] Out From The Shadow: The Story of Charles L Gittens Who Broke The Color Barrier In The United States Secret Service by Maurice Butler, KY: Xlibris, 2012, pp. 125-126.
[18] Survivor’s Guilt (2013), page 408.
[19] See photo in Survivor’s Guilt.
[20] See Survivor’s Guilt and my forthcoming book The Not So Secret Service.
[21] See my CTKA reviews of The Kennedy Detail, the accompanying documentary, and Mrs. Kennedy and Me, as well as my own book Survivor’s Guilt (especially chapter 1) and my upcoming book The Not So Secret Service.
[22] http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/washingtonpost/obituary.aspx?pid=168833469

[23] See my book Survivor’s Guilt, especially chapters 1 and 10.
[24] See my forthcoming book The Not So Secret Service.
[25] The Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon (2000) by Anthony Summers, pages 247 and 262.
[26] Survivor’s Guilt, chapter 13.
[27] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxZVgPIt05o and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23K1J_cMt2c

[28] By definition and book order release, this statement omits The Kennedy Detail.

------------------------------------------------------

MRS. KENNEDY & ME: A Very Good Book with a Few pages of Trouble


I. Introduction: Bad precedent
I so wanted to dislike this book. As the leading civilian literary expert on the Secret Service, I had previously----and rightfully---lambasted Lisa McCubbin's prior effort entitled The Kennedy Detail for its rewriting of history, blaming JFK for his own death and putting words in the late president's mouth that he never once uttered, as verified by the prior accounts of numerous top agents and White House aides, many of whom WERE there in Dallas (unlike former agent Gerald Blaine). As previously stated, it was my 22-page letter to former agent Clint Hill that angered him and his best friend to whom I had also spoken to, the aforementioned Blaine, that directly led to the writing of The Kennedy Detail and, by extension, the need to write a follow-up tome, Mrs. Kennedy & Me (whenever a book is even a mild best-seller, which their first effort was, it is almost a guarantee that, if there is any gas left in the tank, so to speak, a further literary work will be forthcoming). In fact, both agents Blaine and Hill debated the merits of my research on television and, if that weren't enough, I was mentioned on pages 359-360 of The Kennedy Detail (without naming me, of course). One could argue several other pages refer to my work, directly or indirectly, but I digress from the matter at hand.

II. My initial review: honesty prevails Simply put, Mrs. Kennedy & Me is excellent: a literary home run, second only to another brand new work, the outstanding 2012 book Within Arm's Length by former agent Dan Emmett, as attaining the mantle of being the best book on the Secret Service by a former agent ever to date (1865-2012 and counting). I have to say in all honesty: Mr. Hill and Ms. McCubbin have a lot to be proud of in this book. it is consistently everything The Kennedy Detail is not: truthful, honest, no axe to grind, not dry or boring, well written, and coming from the perspective of a brave and dedicated public servant who WAS truly there. (To be fair, even The Kennedy Detail,and certainly the documentary it was based on, had its moments, although my judgment is rightfully clouded by what I and others feel are the purposeful untruths and propaganda contained throughout, as well as the exasperating third-person narrative interwoven throughout the book, making it hard to pin down exactly WHO was responsible for specific passages. President Kennedy did NOT order the agents off his limousine in Tampa, in Dallas, or anywhere else, for that matter- SAIC Behn, ASAIC Boring, ATSAIC Godfrey, many of their colleagues, and several prominent White House aides said so).

Do I still have misgivings about some of the agents on the Kennedy detail? Sure; that will never change. Am I also an ardent admirer of the Secret Service? You bet: the agency has a whole lot to be proud of. Clint Hill at least TRIED to do something that fateful day in Dallas and carried much guilt and depression over the sad events of that time and place. That is a whole lot more than several of his colleagues can lay claim to.

That aside, Mrs. Kennedy & Me is highly recommended to everyone for its honesty and rich body of true, first-hand accounts of guarding First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Too bad this book wasn't even longer and The Kennedy Detail did not exist, but one cannot ask for everything.
III. On second thought
The assassination-related part of this book aside, I obviously quite liked this book- there are no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. However, upon reflection, there are several items in the assassination-related section (and elsewhere) that should be duly noted. (Indeed, I later added a disclaimer to my online review noting this dissent). On pages 55-56, Hill talks about the benefits of Jackie Kennedy keeping a low profile during her trip to New York as beneficial to security: “The fewer people who know your intended destination or route, the better. A police escort would have just drawn attention to us, so we kept the motorcade to as few vehicles as possible.” Indeed, on yet another trip to New York in early 1963, this one involving both Jackie and JFK, Hill records Jackie as stating: “We want to keep it private…No police escorts, no motorcades, no official functions. We just want to enjoy the city like we used to.” However, this very same situation for President Kennedy in New York, the very same city, in mid-November 1963 was viewed not as a virtue but as a detriment to his safety and welfare by several writers after his assassination.[1] Today, these kinds of trips are known by the Secret Service as “OTR”s, or “off the records”, and they are quite effective, now as then, in their element of surprise from potential assassins. Indeed, Hill writes: “It was a real challenge for the Secret Service agents to keep these presidential movements private yet still maintain an adequate amount of protection, without police escorts or blocking the streets, but we managed.” That was their job and they did it well…until November 22, 1963.
In addition, this book vividly demonstrates that Jackie DID indeed travel with JFK on many trips other than the fateful Texas venture in November 1963: New York, Florida, Boston, Mexico, Costa Rica, Canada, Germany, etc.
Page 136 has an item of much interest to those contrasting the measures used in Dallas: “The lead vehicle in the motorcade was a press truck---an open flatbed truck with rails around the outside---filled with about a dozen photographers. This was typical when you expected large crowds along a motorcade route for a president, but I’d never seen it, prior to this trip [Pakistan], for a first lady (Hill’s emphasis).” Dallas Morning News reporter Tom Dillard testified to the Warren Commission:
“We lost our position at the airport. I understood we were to have been quite a bit closer. We were assigned as the prime photographic car which, as you probably know, normally a truck precedes the President on these things [motorcades] and certain representatives of the photographic press ride with the truck. In this case, as you know, we didn’t have any and this car that I was in was to take photographs which was of spot-news nature.”[2] (Emphasis added)
On page 202, there is a photo of the agents surrounding the presidential limousine at the Orange Bowl in Miami in December 1962: agents Gerald Blaine (of Kennedy Detail infamy), Ken Giannoules, Clint Hill, Paul Landis, Frank Yeager (uncredited), Ron Pontius (uncredited), and Bob Lilley (also uncredited). Hill writes: “I and the other agents jogged alongside the car, constantly scanning the crowd for any sign of disturbance or disruption, as we headed toward the waiting helicopter outside the arena.” On page 212, Hill says: “There would always be at least five or six Secret Service agents around the president, and trailing close behind the president’s limousine was the not so unobtrusive follow-up car.”
IV. Déjà vu All Over Again
Still, all things considered, pretty smooth sailing so far- a good book about Jackie Kennedy and Clint Hill; great human interest anecdotes and dialogue. However, the party ends briefly on pages 270-271, wherein Hill does his best Gerald Blaine “imitation” and seeks to rewrite a little history to suit his own ends. Hill states that it was November 20, 1963, when he saw ASAIC Floyd Boring (the planner of the Texas trip[3]) and, conveniently[4], fellow ASAIC Roy Kellerman (the agent nominally in charge of the Dallas trip) by the Secret Service office in the White House, as he correctly notes that SAIC Gerald Behn was on vacation at the time. It was here that Boring—with Kellerman strangely silent by his side---conveyed to Hill that JFK allegedly ordered the agents off the limousine in Tampa on 11/18/63, something this author is adamant, based on years of research and interviews with Boring, Behn, and many of their colleagues, never happened.
When asked if Hill was aware of what allegedly went down in Tampa, Hill states: “I didn’t recall anything out of the ordinary [on the radio].” Hill, “quoting” Boring (who passed away 2/1/08), writes: “(as Boring) We had a long motorcade in Tampa, and it was decided that we should keep two guys on the back of the car for the entire route---just for added precaution.” Hill further writes (as himself): “I nodded. That wasn’t all that unusual.” Then, in a little jumbled thought/ sentence, Hill (once again as Boring), adds: “So, we had Chuck Zboril and Don Lawton on the back of the car the ENTIRE way,” Floyd said. “But PARTWAY through the motorcade, in an area where the crowds had thinned, the president requested we remove the agents from the back of the car (emphasis added).” On page 271, Hill writes: “Really? I asked. I had NEVER heard the president ever question procedural recommendations by his Secret Service detail (emphasis added).”
Hill writes: “What was the reason?” Writing “as” Floyd Boring again (with, again, a strangely silent Roy Kellerman, assuming he was really there and this really took place as written): “He said now that we’re heading into the campaign, he doesn’t want it to look like we’re crowding him. And the word is [FROM WHOM?], from now on, you don’t get on the back of the car unless the situation absolutely warrants it.” “Okay,” I said. “Understood.” Nothing is in writing, Kellerman is silent, Behn is on vacation, and we are to just take Hill at his word that this 2012 reconstruction is the gospel.
Congressman Sam Gibbons, who actually rode a mere foot away in the car with JFK, wrote to me in a letter dated 1/15/04: ““I rode with Kennedy every time he rode. I heard no such order. As I remember it the agents rode on the rear bumper all the way. Kennedy was very happy during his visit to Tampa. Sam Gibbons.” Also, photographer Tony Zappone, then a 16-year-old witness to the motorcade in Tampa (one of whose photos for this motorcade was ironically used in The Kennedy Detail!), told me that the agents were “definitely on the back of the car for most of the day until they started back for MacDill AFB at the end of the day.” (Emphasis added) Win Lawson wrote to this reviewer on 1/12/04, before this book was even a thought, and said: “I do not know of any standing orders for the agents to stay off the back of the car. After all, foot holds and handholds were built into that particular vehicle... it never came to my attention as such.” (emphasis added). FLOYD BORING himself told me “[JFK] was a very easy-going guy ... he didn’t interfere with our actions at all.” In a later interview, Boring expounded further: “Well that’s not true. That’s not true. He was a very nice man; he never interfered with us at all.” If that weren’t enough, Boring also wrote the author: “He [JFK] was very cooperative with the Secret Service.”
As for ASAIC Floyd Boring, this reviewer has no doubt that Boring DID INDEED CONVEY the fraudulent notion that JFK had asked that the agents remove themselves from the limo between 11/18-11/19/63, but that the former agent was telling the TRUTH of the matter when he spoke to me years later. You see, Clint Hill wrote in his report:
I ... never personally was requested by President John F. Kennedy not to ride on the rear of the Presidential automobile. I did receive information passed verbally from the administrative offices of the White House Detail of the Secret Service to Agents assigned to that Detail that President Kennedy had made such requests. I do not know from whom I received this information ... No written instructions regarding this were ever distributed ... [I] received this information after the President’s return to Washington, D.C. This would have been between November 19, 1963 and November 21, 1963 [note the time frame!]. I do not know specifically who advised me of this request by the President. (emphasis added)
Mr. Hill’s undated report was presumably written in April 1964, as the other four reports submitted to the Warren Commission were written at that time.[5] Why Mr. Hill could not “remember” the specific name of the agent who gave him JFK’s alleged desires is very troubling. He revealed it on March 9, 1964, presumably before his report was written, in his (obviously pre-rehearsed) testimony under oath to the future Senator Arlen Specter, then a lawyer with the Warren Commission[6]:
Specter: Did you have any other occasion en route from Love Field to downtown Dallas to leave the follow-up car and mount that portion of the President’s car [rear portion of limousine]?
Hill: I did the same thing approximately four times.
Specter: What are the standard regulations and practices, if any, governing such an action on your part?
Hill: It is left to the agent’s discretion more or less to move to that particular position when he feels that there is a danger to the President: to place himself as close to the President or the First Lady as my case was, as possible, which I did.
Specter: Are those practices specified in any written documents of the Secret Service?
Hill: No, they are not.
Specter: Now, had there been any instruction or comment about your performance of that type of a duty with respect to anything President Kennedy himself had said in the period immediately preceding the trip to Texas?
Hill: Yes, sir; there was. The preceding Monday, the President was on a trip to Tampa, Florida, and he requested that the agents not ride on either of those two steps.
Specter: And to whom did the President make that request?
Hill: Assistant Special Agent in Charge Boring.
Specter: Was Assistant Special Agent in Charge Boring the individual in charge of that trip to Florida?
Hill: He was riding in the Presidential automobile on that trip in Florida, and I presume that he was. I was not along.
Specter: Well, on that occasion would he have been in a position comparable to that occupied by Special Agent Kellerman on this trip to Texas?
Hill: Yes sir; the same position.
Specter: And Special Agent Boring informed you of that instruction by President Kennedy?
Hill: Yes sir, he did.
Specter: Did he make it a point to inform other special agents of that same instruction?
Hill: I believe that he did, sir.
Specter: And, as a result of what President Kennedy said to him, did he instruct you to observe that Presidential admonition?
Hill: Yes, sir.
Specter: How, if at all, did that instruction of President Kennedy affect your action and—your action in safeguarding him on this trip to Dallas?
Hill: We did not ride on the rear portions of the automobile. I did on those four occasions because the motorcycles had to drop back and there was no protection on the left-hand side of the car. (Emphasis added throughout)
However, keeping in mind what Boring told this reviewer, the ARRB’s Doug Horne—by request of this author—interviewed Mr. Boring regarding this matter on 9/18/96. Horne wrote: “Mr. Boring was asked to read pages 136–137 of Clint Hill’s Warren Commission testimony, in which Clint Hill recounted that Floyd Boring had told him just days prior to the assassination that during the President’s Tampa trip on Monday, November 18, 1963, JFK had requested that agents not ride on the rear steps of the limousine, and that Boring had also so informed other agents of the White House detail, and that as a result, agents in Dallas (except Clint Hill, on brief occasions) did not ride on the rear steps of the limousine. Mr. Boring affirmed that he did make these statements to Clint Hill, but stated that he was not relaying a policy change, but rather simply telling an anecdote about the President’s kindness and consideration in Tampa in not wanting agents to have to ride on the rear of the Lincoln limousine when it was not necessary to do so because of a lack of crowds along the street.” (emphasis added)
Hill on limo

SS Agent Clint Hill rides on the rear of the Presidential limousine during the Dallas motorcade, November 22, 1963.

This reviewer finds this admission startling, especially because the one agent who decided to ride on the rear of the limousine in Dallas anyway—and on at least four different occasions—was none other than Clint Hill himself.
Returning to Hill’s book, Hill writes on pages 276-277: “What was most useful, from the Secret Service standpoint, were the special handles on the trunk and the steps on the rear bumper area where two additional agents could ride, and have immediate access to the occupants, should the need arise.” Then, in an awkward sentence, Hill continues: “But, as I’d been told the day before, the president did not want us there, on the back of the car.” Lisa McCubbin was also the co-author of Gerald Blaine’s The Kennedy Detail : boy, does this stuff sound familiar---the mantra of JFK-is-to-blame.
V. Other items of interest
After noting that President Kennedy trusted Kellerman “completely” (page 274) and wrongly noting that the SS-100-X was in service since March 1961 (page 276; it was actually in service since June 1961, 3 months later), Hill totally gleans over the infamous drinking incident of 11/21-11/22/63 involving NINE agents of the Secret Service, including Clint Hill himself, Paul Landis, Glen Bennett, and Jack Ready! Interestingly, they were all from Shift Leader Emory Roberts’ particular shift. Significantly, none of the agents from the V.P. LBJ detail were involved in the drinking incident.[7]
Regarding the issue of the bubbletop, although Hill states (on page 284) that agent Lawson conveyed to Sam Kinney, the driver of the follow-up car, that the bubbletop was to be removed in Dallas, Sam told this reviewer on 10/19/92 and, again, on 3/4/94 and 4/15/94: “It was my fault the top was off [the limousine in Dallas]—I am the sole responsibility of that.”[8] In addition, Kinney’s oft-ignored report dated November 30, 1963 confirms this fact[9], as does the former agent’s recently-released February 26, 1978 HSCA interview:
“... SA Kinney indicated that he felt that his was the responsibility for making the final decision about whether to use the bubble-top.”[10]
Hill, in his zeal to show how “normal” it was for JFK not to use the bubbletop, makes an error, as well as many omissions- he writes:
“It was the same whether he was in Berlin, Dublin [wrong-JFK used the top on part of this trip, in bad AND good weather!], Honolulu, Tampa, San Antonio, or San Jose, Costa Rica.”
What Hill omits are the many times JFK used a PARTIAL top (just the front and back with the middle open) OR the FULL top (New York Spring 1963, several motorcades in D.C., Venezuela, and many other trips). [11]
On page 286, Hill states that Bill Greer, the driver of JFK’s car, was “a Catholic”, yet his own son Richard told me on two occasions that his father was a Methodist. (When asked, “What did your father think of JFK?”, Richard did not respond the first time. When this author asked him a second time, Greer responded: “Well, we’re Methodists … and JFK was Catholic.”)![12] In addition, Hill states that Greer “spoke with a bit of a brogue”, something not in evidence on his lengthy 1970 interview available on my You Tube Channel.[13]
VI. VERY interesting
On page 287, Hill describes the makeup of the follow-up car and writes: “Glen Bennett from the Protective Research Section, handling intelligence (emphasis added).” Oh, really? Thanks for the confirmation, Clint. Officially-speaking, he was NOT acting as an active PRS agent that day…well, at least according to your own colleagues who spoke to me.[14] For his part, former WHD agent J. Walter Coughlin, who assisted fellow agent Dennis R. Halterman on the advance for the San Antonio part of the Texas trip (November 21, 1963), wrote the author: “I can only add the following—I was not in Dallas so my knowledge is hearsay from good friends who were there." Glen Bennett was on all these trips [second New York, Florida, and Texas] not as a member of PRS but as a temporary shift agent in that so many of us (shift agents) were out on advance. "This I do know to be a fact and read nothing more into it.”
Furthermore, the author must have touched a nerve in Coughlin. Winston Lawson wrote the author:
I understand from my friend Walt Coughlin that you wondered why Glen Bennett from PRS was on the trip [note: the author did not tell Coughlin, who lives in Texas, about the author’s contact with Lawson, who lives in Virginia, regarding this or any other question]. Nothing sinister about it and had nothing to do with threats or intelligence. There were so many trips, MD and FL, just prior to TX and so many stops in TX that the small WH Detail was decimated supplying advance people. A number of temporarily assigned agents were on all 3 shifts in TX … I believe Walt had been on an advance before he went to his stop in TX.”
Clearly, we have a conflict: the written record, my research, and Clint Hill’s account versus Walt Coughlin’s and Win Lawson’s statements to myself.
Was PRS Agent Glen Bennett monitoring mortal threats to JFK’s life, made in the month of November, and was this covered up afterwards? Is this the reason for the conflicting accounts—and the timing—of Bennett’s participation in the second New York trip, the Florida trip, and the Texas trip?
Did Bennett ride in the follow-up car and participate on these trips for this purpose? I strongly believe this to be the case. Thanks again, Clint, for the confirmation.
VII. And another thing (or two)
On pages 288-289, Hill mentions that JFK looked back at him on two different occasions during the fateful Dallas motorcade--when Hill briefly rode on the rear of the car on Main St, as depicted in the photo on page 289-- yet did not say anything. JFK not saying anything speaks volumes, in and of itself. Mainly, that he did not care, one way or the other, if the agents were there doing their duty or not. But what is most troubling is the fact that no films or photos this author has ever seen reveal JFK allegedly turning to look at Hill in the first place! Hmmm…
Just to reiterate the point of SAIC Behn’s absence from the Texas trip and its importance further, Hill writes (on page 297): “Jerry Behn…was with the president all the time, just like I was with Mrs. Kennedy. They had a great relationship. The president loved him, trusted him…Jerry decided to take a week off…His first annual leave in three years.” Kind of convenient.
VIII. Another mantra: the back of the head
On pages 290, 291, 305, and 306, Clint Hill states firmly, as he has many times in the past[15], that the BACK of JFK’s head was gone, thus indicating that President Kennedy was shot from the front, as entrance wounds leave small holes, while exit wounds leave large holes. Page 290: “…blood, brain matter, and bone fragments exploded from the back of the president’s head. The president’s blood, parts of his skull, bits of his brain were splattered all over me---on my face, my clothes, in my hair.” Page 291: “His eyes were fixed, and I could see inside the back of his head. I could see inside the back of the president’s head.” Page 305: (at the autopsy) “the wound in the upper-right rear of the head.” Page 306: “It looked like somebody had flipped open the back of his head, stuck in an ice-cream scoop and removed a portion of the brain…”
IX. In the final analysis
Unlike The Kennedy Detail, Clint Hill has written (again, with Lisa McCubbin) a fine book. That said, it is best to take some of his pre-assassination “reenactments” of statements made by others (“faction”?) with a huge grain of salt, while also noting—with interest---those assassination and post-assassination revelations and statements that do ring true and are of interest to all.

POST SCRIPT
It was recently announced that the first book Clint Hill was involved with, Lisa McCubbin’s and Gerald Blaine’s The Kennedy Detail, will be made into a movie, set for release in 2013, the 50th anniversary of the assassination.[16] The movie should be about Abe Bolden.  That is a great story and a truthful one. That said, Mark Lane’s movie, that will include former Secret Service agent Abraham Bolden, is set to be released soon.[17] That should even out the playing field a little more. Lane’s movie with Bolden will hopefully fill in the blanks left by the Secret Service destruction of records.
According to Ch. 8 of the ARRB’s Final Report (1998):
Congress passed the JFK Act of 1992. One month later, the Secret Service began its compliance efforts. However, in January 1995, the Secret Service destroyed presidential protection survey reports for some of President Kennedy’s trips in the fall of 1963. The Review Board learned of the destruction approximately one week after the Secret Service destroyed them, when the Board was drafting its request for additional information. The Board believed that the Secret Service files on the President’s travel in the weeks preceding his murder would be relevant.
As the ARRB’s Doug Horne wrote in a memo dated April 16, 1996: “The ‘final decision’ to approve the Texas trip made ‘late Tuesday night’ indicates that decision came on September 24, 1963 … the Secret Service Protective Survey Reports … which were destroyed in 1995 commence with trip files starting on this same date: September 24, 1963.”
In addition, the ARRB’s Joan Zimmerman noted in a May 1, 1997 Memorandum To File:
“Thus far, the US Secret Service collection is in 6 gray archive boxes for documents, 7 large, flat gray boxes with newspapers and clippings, and 1 small box with a tape cassette … In Box 5 there are three folders marked “trip file”. All are empty.” The chairman of the ARRB, Judge Jack Tunheim, stated: “The Secret Service destroyed records after we were on the job and working. They claimed it was a mistake that it was just by the normal progression of records destruction.”[18]
More important are the Florida/Chicago Secret Service Advance reports that the Secret Service intentionally destroyed after being asked for them by the ARRB, and that, according to The Kennedy Detail, Gerald Blaine has copies of and preserved.[19] The largest number of known destroyed JFK documents for the U.S. Secret Service was implemented by James Mastrovito, publicly recorded in the ARRB Collection, Joan Zimmerman Correspondence File, Created 04/01/97 CALL REPORT/PUBLIC. USSS Records.
Mastrovito destroyed a vial containing a portion of JFK's brain, along with 5 or 6 file cabinets of material, according to the two page document.[20]
JAMES MASTROVITO WENT ON TO A CAREER IN THE CIA AND HE WAS A FORMER MEMBER OF JFK'S WHITE HOUSE DETAIL![21] (emphasis added)



[2] 6 H 163. As the author presented at the COPA ’96 and JFK Lancer ’97 conferences, the press photographers frequently rode in a flatbed truck in front of the motorcade pro-cession [films courtesy JFK Library; see also John F. Kennedy: A Life in Pictures, pp. 178–180, 183, 231]. Photographer Tony Zappone confirmed to the author on December 18, 2003 that a flatbed truck was used for the photographers in Tampa, Florida, on November 18, 1963.
[3] See my CTKA review of “The Kennedy Detail”
[4] Ibid; Kellerman was conveniently absent from Blaine’s alleged 11/25/63 meeting
[6] 2 H 136-137
[9] 18 H 730
[10] RIF#180–10078–10493
[11] See the images on my blog and on my You Tube channel videos. See also http://www.assassinationresearch.com/v4n1/v4n1chapter03.pdf
[15] Hill’s November 30, 1963 report: 18 H 740–5. WC testimony: 2 H 141, 143 (See also the 2004 National Geographic documentary, Inside the U.S. Secret Service). See also “The Kennedy Detail”, pages 216-217, 266+ media appearances
[18] CBS News, December 13, 1999.
[19] E-mail from researcher Bill Kelly 4/18/12

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Slick Propaganda:

A Review of The Discovery Channel documentary, The Kennedy Detail (based on the 2010 Gerald Blaine book of the same title)

by Vince Palamara

Before I even begin to discuss this two-hour program, it is necessary for one to have read my lengthy review of the book of the same name, The Kennedy Detail.1 This Discovery Channel documentary originally aired—twice—on 12/2/10 and, again, on 12/4/10 (It was originally supposed to debut on the 47th anniversary of the assassination on 11/22/10 but, for some reason or reasons unknown, the show aired a week and a half later. Like the release of the book on 11/2/10, Election Day, the marketing strategy of Blaine’s work was a tad suspect, in my opinion, but I digress). As one who has interviewed and corresponded with most of the Secret Service agents who served under JFK2, I was most looking forward to this documentary, as there can be an appeal to an audio/visual format of one’s point-of-view that can get lost in translation in strict black and white writings. That said, as with the book of the same name, there are some things to commend in The Kennedy Detail television special, while there are also several noteworthy items to condemn or, at the very least, tread cautiously on.
I must give credit where credit is due: I was most impressed with many of the visuals—the many sundry films and photographs used—in this documentary. In addition, I was also heartened to see then-and–now photographs of the agents and some of their wives, as well. For the record, the JFK Secret Service agents involved in the production were (naturally) Gerald Blaine (in Austin on 11/22/63), Clint Hill (in Dallas on 11/22/63), Paul Landis (same), Winston Lawson (same), David Grant (same, albeit at the Trade Mart), Ron Pontius (the 11/21/63 Houston lead advance agent), and, oddly enough, Toby Chandler (attending Secret Service school in Washington, D.C. on 11/22/63), "as well as Tom Wells (with Caroline Kennedy at the White House on 11/22/63).". The non-assassination aspects of this program were, by and large, entertaining and somewhat riveting at times; in this regard, I don’t have much of a problem with these areas of the production, per se, except with the almost too saccharine “Camelot” portrayal of the Kennedys and the “choir-boy,” near angelic image that was portrayed of the agents themselves, traits also to be found in the book, as well. Then again, regarding the latter image portrayal, one would think it would be in Blaine’s best interest to put the best foot forward, so to speak, and present the agents in the finest light possible, especially in light of their miserable failings on 11/22/63, the day President Kennedy was assassinated under their watch.

There is an old saying: “The devil is in the details.” It is with this in mind that a look at some of those details, mentioned in the program or avoided, as they pertain to the Secret Service and the assassination of JFK, is in order now.
  • In a curious and ironic program note, the 2009 Discovery Channel documentary Secrets of the Secret Service aired right before both initial airings of The Kennedy Detail program and, in this show, an official Secret Service documentary, the narrator, as well as a couple former agents, Joseph Funk and Joe Petro, briefly mention the mistakes the agents made with regard to the assassination that go directly against what is being espoused in the Blaine production; quite a noticeable contrast, to say the least, and one that many people, myself included, noticed immediately.3 In general, the “blame-the-victim” (i.e., JFK) notion that is such part and parcel of both the Blaine book and documentary is largely replaced by rightfully noting the mistakes made by the agency: taking the president through Dealey Plaza, in particular, as well as the equally false “blame-the-staff” idea, a notion Blaine does not even mention in his book and is, for the record—like blaming JFK for the security deficiencies—false. Specifically, the most alarming contrast with The Kennedy Detail program is what The Secrets of the Secret Service decided to deal with that the Blaine show strangely avoided.
  • Although it is mentioned in his book4: the infamous WFAA/ABC black and white video of an agent being recalled at Love Field during the start of the motorcade in Dallas was not included in The Kennedy Detail program. The Secrets program did show the clip of an agent complaining for being left behind at Love Field, which is quite an endorsement considering that, once again, this is an official Secret Service documentary made with agency input. (As mentioned in my review of the book, many other people agreed with my opinion of what is being shown in this footage, including, notably, former JFK agent Larry Newman, the Henry Rybka family, and countless authors and researchers who have viewed the video, not to mention the 3 million plus people who have viewed this controversial video, popularized by myself, on YouTube.5) It is strange that Blaine's program chose not to show this footage even to debunk it. Equally disturbing is the aforementioned contrast between his views, as espoused only in his book, and my views, as displayed on the very same network on the very same night of Blaine’s documentary! To his “credit”, Blaine and Hill both endorse their book point-of-view regarding the Love Field agent recall video during their joint appearance on C-SPAN on 11/28/10.6
  • Ironically, my view that my letter to Mr. Hill was the catalyst for the Blaine book was discussed by the agents and host Brian Lamb on the show (I was also noted in a major review of the book in the Vancouver Sun7 ). For her part, co-author Lisa McCubbin posted the following on 11/24/10 on the official Facebook edition of The Kennedy Detail:
Contrary to Vince Palamara's claims, the book was absolutely NOT written to counteract his letter to Clint Hill. Mr. Hill never read Palamara's letter—it went straight into the trash. Gerald Blaine wrote this book on his volition, and Mr. Hill contributed after much deliberation.8 (emphasis added)
For his part, Hill told Brian Lamb on the aforementioned C-SPAN program four days later:
I recall receiving a letter which I sent back to him. I didn’t bother with it…he called me and I said ”Hello” but that was about it. But he alleges that because he sent me a letter 22 pages in length apparently, and that I discussed [it] with Jerry. I forgot that I ever got a 22-page letter from this particular individual until I heard him say it on TV and I never discussed it with Jerry or anybody else because it wasn’t important to me.9 (emphasis added)
Yet, in the biggest contradiction of all, Blaine quoted from my letter to Hill when I spoke to him on 6/10/05 and mentioned his deep friendship with Hill, as well, extending back to the late 1950’s. For the record, I received Hill’s signed receipt for the letter and it was never returned to me.10 For his part, Blaine stated on the very same C-SPAN program: “I have never talked to any author of a book”. Another blatant falsehood that went unchallenged: Blaine was interviewed on 5/12/65 for Manchester’s massive best-selling The Death of a President (Blaine is thanked in Manchester’s One Brief Shining Moment, as well) and he was interviewed 2/7/04 and 6/10/05, not to mention e-mail correspondence, by myself for my book Survivor’s Guilt: The Secret Service & The Failure To Protect The President.11
Bear with this seeming digression just a tad more, for it does indeed bear directly on both Blaine’s book and on the documentary under specific discussion herein. On the C-SPAN appearance with Hill, regarding myself, Blaine stated: “I am familiar with him, I don’t know him… My assessment of Mr. Palamara is that he called probably all of the agents [true], and what agent who answers a phone is going to answer a question ”Was President Kennedy easy to protect?” [many of them did, and, like Blaine, told me that JFK was a very nice man, never interfered with the actions of the Secret Service at all, nor did President Kennedy ever order the agents off his limousine] Well, probably he was too easy to protect because he was assassinated [what?]. But the fact that the agents aren’t going to tell him anything [many told me information of much value, Blaine included] and he alludes to the fact that when I wrote the book, most of these people were dead. Well, I worked with these people, I knew them like brothers and I knew exactly what was going on and always respected Jim Rowley because he stood up to the issue and said ”Look, we can’t say the President invited himself to be killed so let’s squash this.” So that was the word throughout the Secret Service and he—Mr. Palamara is—there are a number of things that had happened [sic] that he has no credibility [your opinion, Mr. Blaine], he is a self-described expert in his area which I don’t know what it is, he was born after the assassination [as was your co-author, Lisa McCubbin!] and he keeps creating solutions to the assassination until they are proven wrong [again, your opinion, Mr. Blaine].”
  • But Blaine wasn’t finished with me just yet: “The Zapruder film, when the Zapruder film was run at normal speed, another theme that Palamara throws out is that Bill Greer stopped the car, when it’s run at its normal speed, you will notice the car absolutely does not stop at all. This happened in less than six seconds after the President was hit in the throat and moving along.” (emphasis added) Oh, so you agree with my “theory” that JFK was shot in the neck from the FRONT, do you, Mr. Blaine? And there were close to sixty witnesses to the limousine slowing or stopping, including seven Secret Service agents and Jacqueline Kennedy—not my theory, just the facts.12
  • Returning directly to The Kennedy Detail documentary, Ron Pontius specifically refers to one of my articles13 (also a part of a chapter in my book14) without naming me.15 As the narrator, Martin Sheen, notes: “The most painful theories point fingers at the agents themselves.” To his credit, Pontius mentioned earlier in the program how the threats to Kennedy’s life increased dramatically over those directed toward Eisenhower when JFK took office.16 That said, the same narrator later mentioned that “Dallas worried the men on the detail,”17 a notion seemingly not made manifest in the security preparations for the fateful Dallas trip.
  • Keeping all of these points into focus, as with the book itself, it is the fraudulent allegations that JFK ordered the agents off the limousine in Tampa, Florida on 11/18/63, which allegedly were made into standing orders for Kennedy’s trip to Texas four days later, that is given a spotlight herein. Blaine’s words are simply incredible (literally, not credible) and deserve to be quoted, verbatim, here: “President Kennedy made a decision, and he politely told everybody, ‘You know, we’re starting the campaign now, and the people are my asset,’" said agent Jerry Blaine. "And so, we all of a sudden understood. It left a firm command to stay off the back of the car."18
Huh? “Everybody”? THAT alleged statement “left a firm command”? As I stated in the review for Blaine’s book, not only do many films and photos depict the agents (still) riding on (or walking/ jogging very near) the rear of the limousine in Tampa19, including a few shown in this documentary, Congressman Sam Gibbons, who actually rode a mere foot away in the presidential limo with JFK, wrote to me in a letter dated 1/15/04: “I rode with Kennedy every time he rode. I heard no such order. As I remember it the agents rode on the rear bumper all the way. Kennedy was very happy during his visit to Tampa. Sam Gibbons.” Also, photographer Tony Zappone, then a 16-year-old witness to the motorcade in Tampa (one of whose photos for this motorcade was ironically used in The Kennedy Detail!), told me that the agents were “definitely on the back of the car for most of the day until they started back for MacDill AFB at the end of the day.”20 Agent Hill fibs and blames the entering of the freeway via Dealey Plaza as the reason agents weren’t on the back of the car during the shooting21, neglecting to mention the fact that, during prior trips, the agents rode on the rear of the car at fast highway speeds, including in Tampa four days before, as well as in Berlin and Bogota, Columbia, to name just a couple others.22 Again, please see my detailed review of The Kennedy Detail book for much more on this.23
While it is nice to see Toby Chandler and David Grant talk about JFK, they add little or nothing to the assassination debate itself (and neither Grant nor Hill mention the fact that Grant is Clint Hill’s brother in-law, a fact revealed to myself when I spoke to Gerald Blaine on 6/10/05). For his part, Paul Landis lambastes researchers for “having a field day” with conspiracy theories, yet doesn’t mention that he, himself, tremendously helped these “theorists” via his reports (plural) describing a shot to JFK from the front.24 Hill further confirms that the back of JFK’s head was gone.25 Finally, Agent Lawson says that there were only three shots, yet fails to mention that, around the very same time as the filming of this documentary, he also stated that he “saw a huge hole in the back of the president’s head.”26
Is it any wonder, then, why I refer to The Kennedy Detail Discovery Channel documentary as being slick propaganda, designed to blame President Kennedy for his own assassination by falsely stating that he ordered the agents off his limousine, as well as propagating the whole Oswald-acted-alone mantra?
Viewer beware.

Return to Main Page



End Notes

4. See especially pages 359-360. See also my video rebuttals to Blaine’s take on what is being depicted: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gB8WmbvmTw and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDhvGHrM_dQ&feature=related
9. Hill, referring to myself, added: “And so far as him being an expert, I don’t know where the expert part came from. I spent a long time in the Secret Service in protection and I’m not an expert, but apparently he became an expert somewhere up in Pennsylvania, I don’t know where.” See also 1:08 of: http://news.discovery.com/videos/history-kennedy-detail-confronting-conspiracies.html
20. E-mail to Vince Palamara from Tony Zappone dated 10/20/10
24. Landis’s report dated November 27, 1963: 18 H 758–9; Landis’s detailed report dated November 30, 1963: 18 H 751–7; HSCA Report, pp. 89, 606 (referencing Landis’s interview, February 17, 1979 outside contact report, JFK Document 014571)
25. Hill’s November 30, 1963 report: 18 H 740–5. (See also the 2004 National Geographic documentary, Inside the U.S. Secret Service.)
26. See article in The Virginian-Pilot ,June 17, 2010, by Bill Bartel: http://hamptonroads.com/2010/06/do-you-remember-where-you-were-he-does-jfk#rfq

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly:

A Review of The Kennedy Detail, a Compelling but Dangerous Mix of Fact, Faction, and Fiction

by Vince Palamara

[note: some links no longer work, as they were 2010 vintage. Please see my You Tube channel]

EDITOR’S NOTE: In advance of the Discovery Channel’s latest annual attempt to bolster the flagging Lone Gunman Myth—via their production of The Kennedy Detail—CTKA welcomes Vincent Palamara’s review of former Secret Service Agent Gerald Blaine’s recently published book of the same title, on which the Discovery Channel production has been based. Without question, the JFK research community is heavily indebted to Vince for his decades-long diligence in his pursuit and collection of first-hand accounts from Secret Service Agents in regard to procedures, directives, and actual eye-witness testimony surrounding the fateful events of November 22, 1963.
While reading through Palamara’s own account of the testimonies that he has collected over the years in refutation of Gerald Blaine’s own personal remembrances, CKTA readers should keep in mind the controversial nature of sources such as Sy Hersh (The Dark Side of Camelot) and Peter Jennings (Dangerous World: The Kennedy Years) which Palamara references in this review. For the purpose of a balanced perspective, readers would do well to read an excerpt of an article by Jim DiEugenio: The Posthumous Assassination of JFK, Part II Sy Hersh and the Monroe/JFK Papers: The History of a Thirty-Year Hoax. (The complete essay may be found in The Assassinations: Probe Magazine on JFK, MLK, RFK, and Malcolm X, edited by Jim DiEugenio and Lisa Pease.)
Finally, and most importantly, CTKA readers should bear in mind that both Blaine’s book The Kennedy Detail and the Discovery Channel production on which it is based find “big picture” questions “radioactive.” In other words, Blaine and the Discovery Channel keep a very safe distance from the most important questions involving the Secret Service’s performance surrounding the events of November 22, 1963:
  1. Who in the Secret Service approved the motorcade route that resulted in the dogleg 120-degree turn, which slowed the limousine considerably beside a seven-story high-rise building and in front of an inclined and protected knoll, which together provided the cover for a virtual ambushed assault on the president they were sworn to protect?
  2. What of the “Chicago plot” of early November ’63? To what extent did the Secret Service’s involvement with the events in Chicago foreshadow those of a few weeks later in Dallas? And how much of its Chicago investigation has the Secret Service either altered or purged from the record for the purpose of—as former Secret Service agent Abraham Bolden alleges (page down for Agent Bolden’s amazon.com review)—“cya”?
  3. Who in the Secret Service is to be held responsible for authorizing the initial bucket-sponging of the “crime scene on wheels“—i.e., the presidential limousine, followed by its all-too-quick restoration? —a blatant destruction of evidence.
  4. What about the Secret Service’s “stealing of the body” from Parkland Hospital, arguably the cornerstone for the resulting vagaries and obfuscations of the Bethesda “autopsy?”
It’s “big picture” questions such as these that hold the key to either the exoneration or culpability of the Secret Service in regard to JFK’s assassination. To that extent, as Blaine and the Discovery Channel skate around these issues, it seems Palamara does indeed have his finger on the pulse: Ultimately, as regards the Secret Service, it all does appear to become a question of “Survivor’s Guilt.”
So in addition to Vince Palamara’s review here, CTKA readers can soon look forward to former Secret Service Agent Abraham Bolden’s own detailed review of Gerald Blaine’s The Kennedy Detail. As for any survivor’s guilt on his part, Agent Bolden tells us: “I sleep well at night knowing that I did everything that I could do to save the life of President Kennedy. Can the agents standing on the running board of the follow-up car in Dallas, Texas and watching the president’s head blown to pieces, say the same thing?”
Stay tuned to these pages for a true hero’s account.

I: Ruffled Feathers

On June 1, 2005, I sent a 22-page registered letter, signed receipt required, to former Secret Service agent Clint Hill1 (infamous for his leap onto the back of the limousine during the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963). My letter was, in essence, a “Cliff Notes” version of my own book “Survivor’s Guilt: The Secret Service & The Failure To Protect The President”2, focusing mainly on the issue of the agents’ presence—or lack thereof—on the rear of the presidential limousine on 11/22/63, as well as the actions and inactions of three specific agents I have many misgivings about: Floyd Boring (the number two agent on the Kennedy Detail and the Secret Service planner of the Texas trip), Shift Leader Emory Roberts (the commander of the agents in the follow-up car in Dallas), and William Greer (the driver of JFK’s limousine). When I phoned the gentleman on June 13, 2005, I received a very cantankerous “non-reply”, so to speak: “[Referring to my letter:] About what? Yeah, I’m here. I’m just not interested in talking to you.” I did not really expect much, but it was worth a try (having received an unexpected recommendation to talk to Mr. Hill from former agent Lynn Meredith, who was gracious enough to provide Mr. Hill’s unlisted address and phone number).
On June 10, 2005, I phoned fellow former agent Gerald Blaine (having previously spoken to the gentleman on 2/7/04). Blaine confirmed his deep friendship with Hill and, much to my surprise, seemingly out of nowhere, said: “Don’t be too hard on Emory Roberts. He was a double, even a triple-checker. He probably took Jack Ready’s life into consideration.” It was at that moment that I realized that Clint Hill shared the contents of my letter to Blaine; probably with a good dose of anger and indignation, as well. When I received word that Blaine was coming out with a book called The Kennedy Detail AND that Clint Hill was writing the Foreword, I KNEW that I was responsible, as a catalyst, for their endeavors! Blaine and Hill are now on a book tour together, as well as appearing jointly on several news and media outlets, including an upcoming Discovery Channel documentary, based on the book.
In fact, Blaine even admitted to Grand Junction Sentinel reporter Bob Silbernagel that it was during this exact time that he “began contacting all he could of the 38 agents who were in the Kennedy Detail on Nov. 22, 1963,” adding further that once “he began seeing all the misinformation and outright deceit about the assassination on the Internet, as well as in books and films, he decided, “Essentially, it was a book that had to be written.”3
There was no question in my mind that I ruffled feathers with Blaine and Hill. If all this weren’t enough, Blaine’s attorney even sent me a certified letter in November 2009, a year before his book was to appear, asking me to take down a blog that Blaine noticed on my main Secret Service blog4 that merely announced their forthcoming book. Blaine thought I was trying to say that I was the co-author, which was the furthest thing from the truth—I was innocently telling my readers of a book they might find of interest. In any event, after writing back to Blaine and his lawyer, I decided to take that specific blog down... but this incident let me know, in no uncertain terms: Blaine and Hill were men on a mission.
This is further evidenced by what Blaine himself wrote on his blog5: “At the annual conference of the 2,500 member former Secret Service Agents Association [AFAUSSS] last week (8/26-8/28/10) in New York City, Lisa McCubbin and I [Gerald Blaine] presented an overview of the book at the business meeting to ensure the agents that the publication was “Worthy of Trust and Confidence.”; “At the conference opening reception Clint Hill, Lisa McCubbin and I [Gerald Blaine] met with Secret Service Director Sullivan and discussed the book from the perspective of today’s operations. Clint Hill, who lives in the Washington DC area, had previously briefed the Director on the accuracy and purpose of writing the book.”; “I [Gerald Blaine] am the sole surviving charter member and a past president of the organization. The association was conceived by Floyd Boring and Jerry Behn with the assistance of fifteen charter members. Jerry Behn was the Special Agent in Charge of the Kennedy Detail and Floyd Boring was an Assistant Agent in Charge. The organization’s mission is to maintain social and professional relationships, to liaison with the Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies” (emphasis added)
To quote from a popular commercial, “Can you hear me now?”
I knew their “mission” was to circle the wagons, so to speak, and attempt to counter my prolific research on the failings of the Secret Service on November 22, 1963, specifically, the statements by many of their colleagues—including BLAINE himself—that President Kennedy was a very nice man, never interfered with the actions of the Secret Service and, to the point, did NOT order the agents off his limousine... ever! These men, as well as several important non-agency personnel (such as Dave Powers, Congressman Sam Gibbons, and Cecil Stoughton, among others), provided information, on the phone and/ or in writing, to a total stranger—myself—with no trepidation whatsoever. “Official” history—the Warren Report, the HSCA Report, William Manchester’s “The Death of a President”, and Jim Bishop’s “The Day Kennedy Was Shot”—espouses a decidedly different verdict: President Kennedy was reckless with his security and did order the agents off his limousine-not in Dallas, but during the major trip before, in Tampa, FL, on 11/18/63, which allegedly had grave consequences for JFK’s protection on the day he was assassinated.
First, a detailed look at the contents of The Kennedy Detail is in order.

II: A Major Myth Demolished

The book gets off on the wrong foot with myself and others right away with the bold pronouncement: “JFK’s Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence” (which is also the subtitle of the book). This is hogwash: not only did several agents, including Clint Hill, testify to the Warren Commission, many of the agents spoke to the aforementioned William Manchester (including Blaine and Hill6), Jim Bishop, and the HSCA, as well as to, among others, Prof. Philip Melanson (for his book The Secret Service: The Hidden History of an Enigmatic Agency), several prominent Secret Service television documentaries between 1995 and 2004 (Hill was involved in all of these productions that made their way to VHS and/ or DVD, as well), and, last but certainly not least, to myself, Vince Palamara, between 1992 and 2006 (again, including Blaine and Hill)! Things only get worse once one gets to the inside flap jacket: Blaine writes that JFK “banned agents from his car”, which is patently false—as Winston Lawson, the lead advance agent for the fateful Dallas trip, wrote to me in a letter dated 1/12/04: “I do not know of any standing orders for the agents to stay off the back of the car. After all, foot holds and handholds were built into that particular vehicle... it never came to my attention as such. I am certain agents were on the back on certain occasions.” For his part, ATSAIC (Shift Leader) Art Godfrey told this reviewer on May 30, 1996, regarding the notion that JFK ordered the agents not to do certain things which included removing themselves from the rear of the limousine: “That’s a bunch of baloney; that’s not true. He never ordered us to do anything. He was a very nice man ... cooperative.” Godfrey reiterated this on June 7, 1996. In a letter dated November 24, 1997, Godfrey stated the following: “All I can speak for is myself. When I was working [with] President Kennedy he never ask[ed] me to have my shift leave the limo when we [were] working it,” thus confirming what he had also told the author telephonically on two prior occasions. As we shall see, Blaine makes much ado about this issue... for obvious reasons (Thou Protest Too Much).
Although very well written and containing some nice photographs, The Kennedy Detail provides the reader a generous dose of fact, “faction” (playing hard and loose with alleged ‘facts’ and encompassing reconstructed dialogue and supposed meetings that allegedly occurred without documentation) and fiction. In fact, there are no footnotes, endnotes, sources, or a bibliography to be found (although, to his credit, Blaine did include an impressive index). It is important to note that many important former agents and officials, such as “the brass”—Treasury Secretary Douglas Dillon, Asst Sec. G. d’Andelot Belin, Chief James Rowley, Aide to the Chief Walter Blaschak, Deputy Chief Paul Paterni, Assistant Chief Russell Daniels, Assistant Chief Ed Wildy, Chief U.E. Baughman, Special Agent In Charge (SAIC) Gerald Behn, ASAIC Floyd Boring (the planner of the Texas trip), ASAIC Roy Kellerman (rode in JFK’s limo), ASAIC John Campion, ATSAIC (Shift Leader) Emory Roberts (rode in follow up car), ATSAIC Stu Stout (on Texas trip), ATSAIC Art Godfrey (on Texas trip), SAIC of Personnel Howard Anderson, SAIC of PRS Robert Bouck, ASAIC of LBJ Detail (and former JFK agent) Rufus Youngblood, Head Inspector of PRS Elliot Thacker, Chief Inspector Jackson Krill, Inspector Thomas Kelley, Inspector Gerard McCann, & Inspector Burrill Peterson—and many “privates”, such as Bill Bacherman, Glen Bennett (of PRS; rode in motorcade), Andy Berger (on the Texas trip), Bert deFreese (on the Texas trip), Jerry Dolan, Paul Doster, PRS Dick Flohr, Morgan Gies, William Greer (the driver of JFK’s limo), Dennis Halterman (on the Texas trip), Ned Hall II (on the Texas trip), Harvey Henderson, George Hickey (rode in the follow-up car), Andy Hutch, Jim Jeffries, Sam Kinney (drove the follow-up car), PRS Elmer Lawrence, James Mastrovito, John “Muggsy” O’Leary (on the Texas trip), Bill Payne (on the Texas trip), PRS Walter Pine, Wade Rodham7, Henry Rybka (on the Texas trip), Thomas Shipman (deceased 10/14/63!), PRS Frank Stoner, & PRS Walter Young—not to mention countless agents from field offices (such as the SAIC of the Dallas Office Forrest Sorrels and his assistant Robert Steuart AND Charlie Kunkel), DIED YEARS BEFORE THIS BOOK WAS EVEN A THOUGHT. In addition, since there are no specific references, it is hard to know exactly WHO among the living WAS interviewed, as Blaine recently admitted that “three agents still cannot discuss the emotional aspects of that day in Dallas” and he was unable “to contact three other agents who served.”8 In addition, several OTHER agents (such as Lynn Meredith, Bob Foster, Paul Burns, Jerry Kivett and Stu Knight) passed away during the time Blaine was writing his book, so we are unable to know if they were contacted, as well.
That said, it is most telling that Blaine admitted that three agents—Larry Newman, Tony Sherman, and Tim McIntyre (rode in the follow-up car)—were not contacted because they had “responded to Seymour Hirsch’s [sic] book, The Dark Side of Camelot, which violated the code of silence.”9 Yet, the fourth agent, Joe Paolella, apparently WAS interviewed for Blaine’s volume. Why wasn’t he banished from his work, as well? Using this “code of silence” criteria, several (perhaps many) of the agents who spoke to myself and others should have been ignored, as well (example: former agent Walt Coughlin told me that LBJ was “a first-class prick”10). It was obvious why Blaine ignored former agent Abraham Bolden: the controversial nature of Bolden’s beliefs and so forth.11 So, it appears a little selectivity, necessary and otherwise, was used regarding former agent interviews for The Kennedy Detail.12
As for the aforementioned Newman, Sherman, McIntyre, and Paolella, they waxed on to Seymour Hersh (and others, including the December 1997 ABC/ Peter Jennings special Dangerous World: The Kennedy Years) about their anger and disgust over JFK’s private lives. Incredibly, even Emory Roberts’ concerns over these issues was voiced by McIntyre. This is very disturbing because it shows a MOTIVE FOR INACTION on 11/22/63. For his part, McIntyre told ABC News, regarding JFK’s private life: “Prostitution—that’s illegal. A procurement is illegal. And if you have a procurer with prostitutes paraded in front of you, then, as a sworn law enforcement officer, you’re asking yourself, ‘Well, what do they think of us?’ ” McIntyre felt this way after having only spent a very brief time with JFK before the assassination: he joined the White House Detail in the fall of 1963.13 McIntyre also told Hersh: “His shift supervisor, the highly respected Emory Roberts, took him aside and warned ... that ‘you’re going to see a lot of shit around here. Stuff with the President. Just forget about it. Keep it to yourself. Don’t even talk to your wife.’ ... Roberts was nervous about it. Emory would say, McIntyre recalled with a laugh, ‘How in the hell do you know what’s going on? He could be hurt in there. What if one bites him’ in a sensitive area? Roberts ‘talked about it a lot’, McIntyre said. ‘Bites’ ... In McIntyre’s view, a public scandal about Kennedy’s incessant womanizing was inevitable. ‘It would have had to come out in the next year or so. In the campaign, maybe.’ McIntyre said he and some of his colleagues ... felt abused by their service on behalf of President Kennedy ... McIntyre said he eventually realized that he had compromised his law enforcement beliefs to the point where he wondered whether it was ‘time to get out of there. I was disappointed by what I saw.’ ” (emphasis added)14 Blaine chose to ignore these men and this issue entirely in his book: is this good history? I think not. It might not be pleasant, but these men said what they said—to ignore this matter speaks of a cover up of guilty knowledge. I did not ignore it.
From the first photo section and page 19 of his book (and, later, on pages 240 and 288), we learn something I had already reported years before: that SAIC Gerald Behn “always traveled with the president. In the three years since Kennedy had been elected, Jerry Behn had not taken one day of vacation...He took his first vacation in four years the week JFK was assassinated.” Quirk of fate or convenient absence? You decide. I have.
Also on page 19, Blaine begins to (using a lawyer’s term) “lay the foundation,” as it were, for blaming the victim (JFK) and, in the process, makes a real whopper: Blaine writes, “the Secret Service was not authorized to override a presidential decision.” Wrong! Ample proof to the contrary abounds. Chief James J. Rowley testified under oath to the Warren Commission: “No President will tell the Secret Service what they can or cannot do.”15 In fact, Rowley’s predecessor, former Chief U. E. Baughman, who had served under JFK from Election Night 1960 until September 1961, had written in his 1962 book Secret Service Chief : “Now the Chief of the Secret Service is legally empowered to countermand a decision made by anybody in this country if it might endanger the life or limb of the Chief Executive. This means I could veto a decision of the President himself if I decided it would be dangerous not to. The President of course knew this fact.”16 Indeed, an Associated Press story from November 15, 1963 stated: “The (Secret) Service can overrule even the President where his personal security is involved.” Even President Truman agreed, stating, “The Secret Service was the only boss that the President of the United States really had.”17 Finally, In an 11/23/63 UPI story written by Robert J. Serling from Washington entitled “Secret Service Men Wary of Motorcade,” based in part on “private conversations” with unnamed agents: “An agent is the only man in the world who can order a President of the United States around if the latter’s safety is believed at stake ... in certain situations an agent outranks even a President.” (emphasis added)
One major myth down, one major one left to demolish.

III: Standing Orders & “Ivy League Charlatans”

Peppered throughout the book, but starting on page 74, Blaine begins to bring up the issue of the agents’ presence (or lack thereof) on the back of JFK’s limousine (in Tampa on 11/18/63, in Dallas on 11/22/63, and elsewhere—further “laying the foundation” for his false premise of blaming the victim), accurately stating for the record, AFTER revealing his knowledge of the Joseph Milteer threat received via the Miami Police Department before JFK’s trip to Florida: “... the only way to have a chance at protecting the president against a shooter from a tall building would be to have agents posted on the back of the car.” Indeed, on pages 81-84, as various films and photos confirm, Blaine tells of his having ridden on the rear of President Kennedy’s limousine in Rome and Naples, Italy (7/2/63). In addition, his first photo section depicts Blaine and his colleagues on or near the rear of JFK’s car in Costa Rica (March 1963), Berlin, Germany (June, 1963) and Ireland (also in June 1963), while his second photo section depicts yet another photo of the agents on the car in Ireland, as well as in Tampa, Florida (11/18/63) and even agent Clint Hill on the rear of the car in Dallas, Texas on 11/22/63, albeit before the motorcade reached Dealey Plaza.
It is on pages 100-101, in his zeal to set up his premise, that Blaine makes a costly error. Blaine writes: “Fortunately, they’d have SS100X [JFK’s special 1961 Lincoln Continental] in Dallas, which had the rear steps and handholds so two agents could be perched directly behind the president and could react quickly. He’d [Win Lawson would] be sure to tell Roy Kellerman, the Special Agent in Charge for the Texas trip, that when the motorcade was driving through downtown, agents would need to be on the back of the car.” However, as we have seen, and it bears repeating, Win Lawson wrote to this reviewer on 1/12/04, before this book was even a thought, and said: “I do not know of any standing orders for the agents to stay off the back of the car. After all, foot holds and handholds were built into that particular vehicle... it never came to my attention as such.” (emphasis added) Needless to say, this is in direct contradiction to these statements, attributed to Lawson by Blaine, in The Kennedy Detail.
Blaine makes much of the 11/18/63 trip JFK took to Tampa as ‘evidence’ that President Kennedy ordered the agents off the car (as did the Secret Service, exactly five months after the assassination, via five reports submitted to the Warren Commission by Chief Rowley18). As with SAIC Behn’s first-time absence, we now supposedly have another instance of a brand new notion, as Blaine writes on page 148: “In the three years he’d been with JFK, he’d never heard the president call the agents off the back of the car in the middle of a motorcade.” Indeed, on page 162, Blaine reports that agent Ron Pontius stated: “I’ve never heard the president say anything about agents on the back of the car,” registering his astonishment based on allegedly hearing this, for the first time, on 11/21/63 from long-deceased agent Bert deFreese (in a 47-year-old reconstructed conversation—faction? fiction?—that Blaine makes in the book). Blaine is alleging that JFK ordered the agents (specifically, agents Don Lawton and Chuck Zboril) off the back of the car in Tampa, allegedly using the phrase made infamous by William Manchester19: “Floyd [Boring], have the Ivy League charlatans drop back to the follow-up car.” Blaine later adds, on page 184: “None of the agents understood why he [JFK] was willing to be so reckless.” If that weren’t enough, Blaine also stated (on the upcoming Discovery Channel documentary airing on 11/22/10): "President Kennedy made a decision, and he politely told everybody, ‘You know, we’re starting the campaign now, and the people are my asset,’" said agent Jerry Blaine. "And so, we all of a sudden understood. It left a firm command to stay off the back of the car."20 Huh? “Everybody”? THAT alleged statement “left a firm command”? In any event, once again, we have a major conflict with reality—not only do many films and photos depict the agents (still) riding on (or walking/ jogging very near) the rear of the limousine in Tampa21 22, Congressman Sam Gibbons, who actually rode a mere foot away IN the car with JFK, wrote to me in a letter dated 1/15/04: ““I rode with Kennedy every time he rode. I heard no such order. As I remember it the agents rode on the rear bumper all the way. Kennedy was very happy during his visit to Tampa. Sam Gibbons.” Also, photographer Tony Zappone, then a 16-year-old witness to the motorcade in Tampa (one of whose photos for this motorcade was ironically used in The Kennedy Detail!), told me that the agents were “definitely on the back of the car for most of the day until they started back for MacDill AFB at the end of the day.”23 (emphasis added)
As for the “Ivy League Charlatans” remark JFK allegedly uttered to ASAIC Floyd Boring and, again, first made famous by Manchester, Boring told this author, “I never told him [Manchester] that.” As for the merit of the quote itself, as previously mentioned, Boring said, “No, no, no—that’s not true,” thus contradicting his own report in the process, stating further: “He actually—No, I told them ... He didn’t tell them anything ... He just—I looked at the back and I seen these fellahs were hanging on the limousine—I told them to return to the car ... [JFK] was a very easy-going guy ... he didn’t interfere with our actions at all.”24 In a later interview, Boring expounded further: “Well that’s not true. That’s not true. He was a very nice man; he never interfered with us at all.”25 If that weren’t enough, Boring also wrote the author: “He [JFK] was very cooperative with the Secret Service.”26 Incredibly, Boring was not even interviewed for Manchester’s book! We may never know Mr. Manchester’s source for this curious statement: he told the author on August 23, 1993 that “... all that material is under seal and won’t be released in my lifetime” and denied the author access to his notes (Manchester has since passed away). Interestingly, Manchester did interview the late Emory Roberts—an agent this reviewer is most suspicious of27—and GERALD BLAINE, Manchester’s probable “source(s)”.28 29
As for Blaine, this is what he told this reviewer: On February 7, 2004 Blaine said that President Kennedy was “very cooperative. He didn’t interfere with our actions. President Kennedy was very likeable—he never had a harsh word for anyone. He never interfered with our actions.” (emphasis added) When I asked Blaine how often the agents rode on the back of JFK’s limousine, the former agent said it was a “fairly common” occurrence that depended on the crowd and the speed of the cars. In fact, just as one example, Blaine rode on the rear of JFK’s limousine in Germany in June 1963, along with fellow Texas trip veterans Paul A. Burns and Samuel E. Sulliman. Blaine added, in specific reference to the agents on the follow-up car in Dallas: “You have to remember, they were fairly young agents,” seeming to imply that their youth was a disadvantage, or perhaps this was seen as an excuse for their poor performance on November 22, 1963. Surprisingly, Blaine, the WHD advance agent for the Tampa trip of November 18, 1963, said that JFK did make the comment “I don’t need Ivy League charlatans back there,” but emphasized this was a “low-key remark” said “kiddingly” and demonstrating Kennedy’s “Irish sense of humor.” However, according to the “official” story, President Kennedy allegedly made these remarks only to Boring while traveling in the presidential limousine in Tampa: Blaine was nowhere near the vehicle at the time, so Boring, despite what he conveyed to this reviewer, had to be his source for this story!30 In addition to Emory Roberts, one now wonders, as mentioned previously, if Blaine was a source (or perhaps the source) for Manchester’s exaggerated “quote” attributed to Boring, as Agent Blaine was also interviewed by Manchester. Blaine would not respond to a follow-up letter on this subject. However, when the author phoned Blaine on June 10, 2005, the former agent said the remark “Ivy League charlatans” came “from the guys ... I can’t remember who [said it] ... I can’t remember.” (emphasis added) Thus, Blaine confirms that he did not hear the remark from JFK. That said, Blaine’s memory got a whole lot “better” 5 years later: he writes on page 148: “The message came though loud and clear on Blaine’s walkie-talkie.” Incredible.

IV: Startling Admissions

As for ASAIC Floyd Boring, this reviewer has no doubt that Boring DID INDEED CONVEY the fraudulent notion that JFK had asked that the agents remove themselves from the limo between 11/18-11/19/63, but that the former agent was telling the TRUTH of the matter when he spoke to me years later. You see, Clint Hill wrote in his report:
I ... never personally was requested by President John F. Kennedy not to ride on the rear of the Presidential automobile. I did receive information passed verbally from the administrative offices of the White House Detail of the Secret Service to Agents assigned to that Detail that President Kennedy had made such requests. I do not know from whom I received this information ... No written instructions regarding this were ever distributed ... [I] received this information after the President’s return to Washington, D.C. This would have been between November 19, 1963 and November 21, 1963 [note the time frame!]. I do not know specifically who advised me of this request by the President. (emphasis added)
Mr. Hill’s undated report was presumably written in April 1964, as the other four reports were written at that time. Why Mr. Hill could not “remember” the specific name of the agent who gave him JFK’s alleged desires is very troubling—he revealed it on March 9, 1964, presumably before his report was written, in his (obviously pre-rehearsed) testimony under oath to the future Senator Arlen Specter, then a lawyer with the Warren Commission31:
Specter: “Did you have any other occasion en route from Love Field to downtown Dallas to leave the follow-up car and mount that portion of the President’s car [rear portion of limousine]?” Hill: “I did the same thing approximately four times.” Specter: “What are the standard regulations and practices, if any, governing such an action on your part?” Hill: “It is left to the agent’s discretion more or less to move to that particular position when he feels that there is a danger to the President: to place himself as close to the President or the First Lady as my case was, as possible, which I did.” Specter: “Are those practices specified in any written documents of the Secret Service?” Hill: “No, they are not.” Specter: “Now, had there been any instruction or comment about your performance of that type of a duty with respect to anything President Kennedy himself had said in the period immediately preceding the trip to Texas?” Hill: “Yes, sir; there was. The preceding Monday, the President was on a trip to Tampa, Florida, and he requested that the agents not ride on either of those two steps.” Specter: “And to whom did the President make that request?” Hill: “Assistant Special Agent in Charge Boring.” Specter: “Was Assistant Special Agent in Charge Boring the individual in charge of that trip to Florida?” Hill: “He was riding in the Presidential automobile on that trip in Florida, and I presume that he was. I was not along.” Specter: “Well, on that occasion would he have been in a position comparable to that occupied by Special Agent Kellerman on this trip to Texas?” Hill: “Yes sir; the same position.” Specter: “And Special Agent Boring informed you of that instruction by President Kennedy?” Hill: “Yes sir, he did.” Specter: “Did he make it a point to inform other special agents of that same instruction?” Hill: “I believe that he did, sir.” Specter: “And, as a result of what President Kennedy said to him, did he instruct you to observe that Presidential admonition?” Hill: “Yes, sir.” Specter: “How, if at all, did that instruction of President Kennedy affect your action and—your action in safeguarding him on this trip to Dallas?” Hill: “We did not ride on the rear portions of the automobile. I did on those four occasions because the motorcycles had to drop back and there was no protection on the left-hand side of the car.” (emphasis added)
However, keeping in mind what Boring told this reviewer, the ARRB’s Doug Horne—by request of this reviewer—interviewed Mr. Boring regarding this matter on 9/18/96. Horne wrote: “Mr. Boring was asked to read pages 136–137 of Clint Hill’s Warren Commission testimony, in which Clint Hill recounted that Floyd Boring had told him just days prior to the assassination that during the President’s Tampa trip on Monday, November 18, 1963, JFK had requested that agents not ride on the rear steps of the limousine, and that Boring had also so informed other agents of the White House detail, and that as a result, agents in Dallas (except Clint Hill, on brief occasions) did not ride on the rear steps of the limousine. Mr. Boring affirmed that he did make these statements to Clint Hill, but stated that he was not relaying a policy change, but rather simply telling an anecdote about the President’s kindness and consideration in Tampa in not wanting agents to have to ride on the rear of the Lincoln limousine when it was not necessary to do so because of a lack of crowds along the street.” (emphasis added)
This reviewer finds this admission startling, especially because the one agent who decided to ride on the rear of the limousine in Dallas anyway—and on at least four different occasions—was none other than Clint Hill himself.
This also does not address what the agents were to do when the crowds were heavier, or even what exactly constituted a “crowd”, as agents did ride on the rear steps of the limousine in Tampa on November 18, 1963 anyway! (–agents Donald J. Lawton, Andrew E. Berger, and Charles T. Zboril, to be exact. Perhaps this is why Blaine felt the need to caption a photo of Boring with the following: “[Boring] was highly respected by all the agents, as well as by JFK.”)
“Presidential admonition” (as Specter said to Hill)? Simply an “anecdote” of “the President’s kindness” (what Boring said to Horne)? “Not true” (what Boring said to this reviewer)? You decide. I have... and so has Blaine: twice, in fact—what he told this reviewer and what he now claims in The Kennedy Detail (see the flapjacket, pages 148-150, 162, 183-184, 206, 208, 209, 232).”
On page 162, Blaine alleges that SAIC Gerald Behn, from his office in the White House, told agent Ron Pontius on 11/21/63: “[JFK] wanted the agents off the back of the car [in Tampa and Dallas] in order for the people to get an unobstructed view.” However, in a contradiction Blaine doesn’t even notice (although he previously mentioned it on page 19 and in the first photo section), BEHN WAS ON VACATION DURING THIS TIME! Perhaps most importantly, Behn told this reviewer on 9/27/92: “I don’t remember Kennedy ever saying that he didn’t want anybody on the back of his car. I think if you watch the newsreel pictures you’ll find agents on there from time to time.”32 In fact, MANY former agents and White House aides told this reviewer the same thing Lawson, Boring, and Behn all said!33
And yet, despite all of this defensive posturing, faction, and fabricating, Blaine states, with regard to the agents’ not being on the rear of the car in Dealey Plaza (on page 209): “It was standard procedure—regardless of the president’s request—for all agents to fall back to the follow-up car in this situation.” (see also page 289) But Blaine wasn’t done just yet.

V: Reconstructing History

In what this reviewer regards as a clever fabrication with “faction” (reconstructing alleged dialogue, 47 years later, from long-dead colleagues), Blaine claims (on pages 285-289 & 360) that there was a meeting at 8 a.m. on 11/25/63, the morning of JFK’s funeral, in which the issue of JFK’s alleged orders to remove the agents from the car in Tampa (and Dallas) was allegedly covered up so the public would not blame the president for his own death... SOMETHING THIS BOOK, AND ESPECIALLY THIS “TALE”, DOES WITH VIGOR! Blaine claims that this meeting was attended by himself, Chief James Rowley (deceased 11/1/92), Rowley’s secretary Walter Blaschak (long deceased) , ASAIC Floyd Boring (deceased 2/1/08 and in ill heath long beforehand), SAIC Jerry Behn (as noted previously, deceased 4/21/93), ATSAIC Stu Stout (deceased December 1974), and ATSAIC Emory Roberts (deceased 10/8/73). ASAIC Roy Kellerman (deceased 3/22/84) allegedly did NOT attend and, while Blaine mentions that “every supervising agent” was in attendance, he does not mention ATSAIC Art Godfrey (deceased 5/12/2002) by name, although it is ‘inferred’ that he was there, as well.
It must be said forcefully: There is NO documentation whatsoever that this alleged meeting occurred and all the participants, save Blaine (imagine that), are long dead AND many of them said and wrote things to this reviewer contradictory to the substance of this alleged meeting. On page 288, Blaine writes, speaking for SAIC Behn: “Jim, after Floyd told me about the incident [the alleged JFK orders to remove the agents 11/18/63 in Tampa], I told him to relay the information to the shift leaders—Emory Roberts, Art Godfrey, and Stu Stout—and I know that he did that. They in turn told the men on their shift, which included the agents out on advances.” Incredible.
We already know what Behn, Boring, Blaine, Godfrey, and Lawson said to this reviewer; Stout34 and Kellerman never said anything officially, one way or the other on the matter. Roberts’ report confirms nothing except that ASAIC Boring told him to remove the agents from the car on 11/18/63; nothing about JFK or anything else. What about the other “agents out on advances?” Frank Yeager, Blaine’s advance partner in Tampa, in a letter to this reviewer dated December 29, 2003, Yeager wrote: “I did not think that President Kennedy was particularly ‘difficult’ to protect. In fact, I thought that his personality made it easier than some because he was easy to get along with ... .” (emphasis added) With regard to the author’s question “Did President Kennedy ever order the agents off the rear of his limousine?” Yeager responded: “I know of no ‘order’ directly from President Kennedy. I think that after we got back from Tampa, Florida where I did the advance for the President, a few days before Dallas, Kenny O’Donnell, Chief of Staff, requested that the Secret Service agents not ride the rear running board of the Presidential car during parades involving political events so that the president would not be screened by an agent. I don’t know what form or detail that this request was made to the Secret Service who worked closely with O’Donnell. I also do not know who actually made the final decision, but we did not have agents on the rear of the President’s car in Dallas.” (emphasis added)
Like Hill’s report mentioned above, please note the timing. Further, regarding the notion of JFK’s staff having a hand in this matter, in a letter to the author dated January 15, 2004, former agent Gerald O’Rourke, who was on Blaine’s shift on the Texas trip, wrote: “Did President Kennedy order us (agents) off the steps of the limo? To my knowledge President Kennedy never ordered us to leave the limo. You must remember at times we had to deal with the Chief of Staff.” (emphasis added) The agent added: “President Kennedy was easy to protect as he completely trusted the agents of the Secret Service. We always had to be entirely honest with him and up front so we did not lose his trust.” So, while both agents say JFK was easy to protect and that no order came from JFK, they imply, or seem to imply, that the Chief of Staff—O’Donnell—had something to do with this. More on this crucially important matter in a moment, as we shall look at the other advance agents and what they conveyed to this reviewer.
J. Walter Coughlin, who helped do the San Antonio advance with the late Dennis Halterman (deceased 1988), wrote this reviewer: “In almost all parade situations that I was involved w[ith] we rode or walked the limo.” (emphasis added) Coughlin later wrote: “We often rode on the back of the car.” (For the record, Ned Hall II, who helped with the advance in Fort Worth, passed away in 1998; his son, Ned Hall III, had no comment to make on the matter. The other agent on the Fort Worth advance, Bill Duncan, never has said a thing regarding this issue, officially or otherwise, and it is not apparent if he was even contacted for Blaine’s book or not). Ronald Pontius, who helped advance the Houston stop with the late Bert deFreese (died sometime in the 1980’s), wrote this reviewer that JFK DID convey these alleged orders “through his staff,” (emphasis added) and here is why this “staff” notion is so important: This is a notion that Blaine doesn’t even touch in the book! For the record, Presidential Aide (Chief of Staff / Appointments Secretary) Kenneth P. O’Donnell does not mention anything with regard to telling the agents to remove themselves from the limousine (based on JFK’s alleged “desires”) during his lengthy Warren Commission testimony (nor to author William Manchester, nor even in his or his daughter’s books, for that matter); the same is true for the other two Presidential aides: Larry O’Brien and Dave Powers. In fact, Powers refutes this whole idea—he wrote this reviewer in a letter dated 9/10/93 that “they never had to be told to ‘get off’ the limousine.”
JFK’s staff is not mentioned as a factor during any of the agents’ Warren Commission testimony, nor in the aforementioned five reports submitted in April 1964. Furthermore, Helen O’Donnell wrote this reviewer on 10/11/10: “Suffice to say that you are correct; JFK did not order anybody off the car, he never interfered with my dad’s direction on the Secret Service, and this is much backed up by my Dad’s [audio] tapes. I think and know from the tapes Dallas always haunted him because of the might-have-beens—but they involved the motorcade route [only].” In addition, former agents Art Godfrey and Kinney denounced the “staff/O’Donnell” notion to this reviewer, despite what a small minority of the agents I contacted—Yeager, O’Rourke, and Pontius—suggested (although, again, Yeager and O’Rourke agreed that JFK was easy to protect and that no order came from him).
Just WHY are these seemingly contradictory accounts of this minority of agents’ Yeager, O’Rourke, and Pontius (seemingly contradictory, that is, to this reviewer AND definitely contradictory to Blaine) so very important? Because Blaine’s alleged 11/25/63 “meeting” mentions not a thing about staff interference or input, his BOOK mentions not a thing about staff interference or input, and, in fact, on page 352, Blaine even writes: “If ever asked about whether JFK had ordered them [the former agents] off the back of his car, the answer was always, “Oh, no. President Kennedy was wonderful. He was very easy to protect. No, I don’t remember him ever ordering agents off the back of his car.” (emphasis added) This is simply false. In addition to the aforementioned three agents (Yeager, O’Rourke, and Pontius), several agents contacted by the author would not comment, several would claim not to remember, and three (one, contacted by myself, the other two, via the HSCA) gave hazy second-hand information (of dubious quality) seeming to blame JFK after all!35 If that weren’t enough, Rufus Youngblood in his book36 and Emory Roberts in his report37, claimed it was THE MOTORCYCLES that got in the way of the agents (Ready especially) getting onto the rear of the car... geez.
Finally, in addition to Blaine, former agents Lynn Meredith, Larry Newman, and Don Lawton mentioned the “Ivy League Charlatan” remark to myself, although none claimed to have heard it from JFK (Meredith told me: “I must admit that I was not along on the trip and was back at the White House with Caroline and John, Jr. .. I do not know first-hand if President Kennedy ordered agents off the back end of his limousine.” The former agent said that “No Secret Service agents riding on the rear of the limousine” was the number one reason JFK was killed! Newman, not interviewed for Blaine’s book, said “supposedly, I didn’t hear this directly” and that Manchester’s book was “part of myth, part of truth”. Newman added: “There was not a directive, per se” from President Kennedy to remove the agents from their positions on the back of his limousine. For his part, Lawton told me: “I didn’t hear the President say it, no. The word was relayed to us—I forget who told us now—you know, ‘come back to the follow-up car.’ ” Lawton also added: “Everyone felt bad. It was our job to protect the President. You still have regrets, remorse. Who knows, if they had left guys on the back of the car ... you can hindsight yourself to death.”38)
You see, almost none of these former agents were contacted by anyone other than this reviewer, as the agents had unlisted addresses and phone numbers; only the hospitality of a couple former agents led me to these men. Blaine’s comment on page 352 (and, indeed, his whole book) were aimed squarely at myself and my 22-page letter mentioned at the beginning of this review. After calling me a “self-described “Secret Service expert”—without actually naming me—on page 359 (guilty as charged; that said, The History Channel, Vince Bugliosi, the Assassination Records Review Board, and many authors and researchers have given me this tag), Blaine saves his special ire for me on page 360: “This same “expert” who had been interviewed for many conspiracy theory books relentlessly blamed the Secret Service for JFK’s death by using their own statements against them [no theories, just facts—it is what it is: they said what they said, they wrote what they wrote, and to a total stranger, to boot]. In many cases he called agents and recorded their conversations without their knowledge [not “in many cases”: only in a very few instances many years ago and these agents are now deceased. That said, thank God I did: WHO would choose to believe my word NOW, especially with Blaine’s book out now for public consumption?]” And HERE is the kicker, in the context of the aforementioned alleged “meeting” Blaine detailed on pages 285-289 (and on page 352), Blaine continues (still on page 360): “When asked whether President Kennedy had ever ordered the agents off the back of his car, the agents gave him the standard line that Chief Rowley requested they give. And as the agents upheld their code, Rowley’s words from the day of President Kennedy’s funeral resonating in their minds, the Secret Service “expert” turned around and used their words to stab them—and their brothers—in the back with baseless accusations.” Incredible.
There was NO morning-of-JFK’s-funeral-meeting to cover for the dead president so he wouldn’t be blamed for ordering the agents off his car—this was used as a clever device to diffuse and cast aside the damning evidence of just what all these men (including BLAINE himself!) said and wrote to me, many of whom died years before this book—and this alleged meeting—was even a figment of Blaine’s imagination. Again, there is no documentation for this 47-year-old meeting—we have to take Blaine, the “sole survivor” of this alleged meeting, at his word. And, what—all these men are LIARS now for what they said and wrote to myself? In the context of my 22-page letter, I believe this “meeting” to be a total fabrication. But it IS clever for another reason: I am sure there WAS most likely a meeting regarding the security detail’s coverage of all the dignitaries and their walk with Jackie to St. Matthew’s Cathedral and so forth; a clever cover story, indeed.

 

VI: Agent Boring Is Not

That said, there are two major reasons why Blaine’s 47-year-old cover story is patently false: first, several important non-Secret Service agents (Dave Powers, Congressman Sam Gibbons, Marty Underwood, Helen O’Donnell, and Pierre Salinger, among others, such as various newsmen on 11/22/63, etc.39) ALSO told this reviewer that JFK did NOT interfere with the Secret Service or order the agents off his car—what “code” would THEY have been following, Mr. Blaine? Why would they be “lying” to me? (Yes, I am being facetious.) Perhaps this is why Blaine chose to ignore the other cover story of blaming the staff: He had no control over THEIR refutations.
The second reason also reveals an embarrassing error on Blaine’s part—he writes on page 360: “If these “experts” [me!] and “researchers” had only read some of the documents that were released in 1992 and available online, they would have found a letter from Chief James J. Rowley written in response to J. Lee Rankin, general counsel on the Warren Commission, in which Rowley admitted what he so desperately did not want to become public. He did not want it to look as if the Secret Service was in any way blaming President Kennedy for his own death. ” (emphasis added; see also page 289 of Blaine’s book) Epic Fail—not only does this book achieve Rowley’s “non-goal” of blaming JFK for the security inefficiencies in Dallas, but these “documents” were released in 1964 in the Warren Commission Volumes: 18 H 803–9, to be exact! In addition, Rowley’s alleged “desperation” to ‘hide’ JFK’s own alleged culpability in his own death was a monster failure of epic proportions: as we know, Clint Hill testified to the Warren Commission40 and this testimony was mentioned in the Warren Report, a massive best-seller which was also quoted by many major newspapers and magazines the world over and, if that weren’t enough, the five reports were mentioned by Jim Bishop in his own massive best-seller The Day Kennedy Was Shot. Many other books mention these reports (and/or Hill’s testimony). And just WHY would Rowley even NEED these five after-the-fact reports? Why didn’t he just tell Rankin, in “confidence,” about the meeting they all supposedly had on the matter on 11/25/63?
Why, indeed. For what it’s worth, Blaine (on pages 360-363) proceeds to quote from the five reports but does NOT state what they each say in verbatim fashion. Interestingly, nothing is mentioned specifically about JFK’s alleged desires regarding THE motorcade of November 22, 1963, as was requested by the Commission. And, of the five Secret Service reports, four have as their primary source for JFK’s alleged request Agent Boring, including one by Boring himself, while the remaining report, written by SAIC Behn, mentions the same November 18, 1963 trip with Mr. Boring as the others do (Boring’s report was the first one written, then came one each from Roberts, Ready, Behn, and Hill, respectively). Again, both Behn and Boring totally contradicted the contents of their reports at different times, independent of each other, to the author, while Roberts report is nothing more than his having heard BORING telling him to have the agents removed from the car on 11/18/63; Ready and Hill freely admit they weren’t even ON the Tampa trip in the first place in these reports (and, as Blaine omits), Hill wrote “I do not know from whom I received this information ... I do not know specifically who advised me of this request by the President.” (emphasis added) In addition, agents did ride on the rear of the limousine on July 2, 1963 and November 18, 1963 anyway, despite these alleged Presidential requests, as the film and photo record proves.41 Needless to say, with Boring joining Behn in refuting the substance of their reports, the official Secret Service ‘explanation’ falls like a house of cards.
All these reports are supposedly evidence of JFK expressing his desire to keep Secret Service agents off the limousine, particularly in Tampa, Florida on November 18, 1963.
Importantly, no mention is made of any alleged orders via President Kennedy’s staff.
And, again, there is nothing about what JFK said or “requested” on November 22, 1963, the critical day in question!
As a “postscript” to Blaine’s cover stories about the agents removal from the car, on page 343 of his book, Blaine makes yet another embarrassing error: “When it came to the agents and whether they should or should not have been on the back of the car, the [Warren ] report stated that “the configuration of the presidential car and the seating arrangements of the Secret Service agents in the car did not afford the Secret Service agents the opportunity they should have had to be of immediate assistance to the president at the first sign of danger,” but this was in reference to AGENT ROY KELLERMAN’S position in the front seat and the obstacles he may have faced, NOT the agents who should have been on or near the REAR of the car using the UNOBSTRUCTED grab-handles!

 

VII: Uniquely Insecure

Regarding the issue of the bubbletop, although Blaine (on page 188) states that agent Lawson conveyed to Sam Kinney, the driver of the follow-up car, that the bubbletop was to be removed in Dallas, Sam told this reviewer on 10/19/92 and, again, on 3/4/94 and 4/15/94: “It was my fault the top was off [the limousine in Dallas]—I am the sole responsibility of that.”42 In addition, Kinney’s oft-ignored report dated November 30, 1963 confirms this fact43, as does the former agent’s recently-released February 26, 1978 HSCA interview: “... SA Kinney indicated that he felt that his was the responsibility for making the final decision about whether to use the bubble-top.”44 Blaine later states, on page 244, that the bubbletop “was meant to shield the passengers from the weather—he [agent Sam Kinney] could count on one hand how many times it had been used,” but this is simply untrue on two counts: the bubbletop was often used in nice weather conditions and was used more frequently that Blaine, speaking for the long-deceased Kinney (died 7/21/97), admits.45 On page 193, Blaine states that agent Henry J. Rybka “never worked [the] follow-up [car], other than driving,” yet the record indicates otherwise.46
Predictably, on pages 306-307 & 312-313, Blaine covers up the infamous drinking incident involving NINE agents of the Secret Service, including Clint Hill, Paul Landis, Glen Bennett, and Jack Ready! Interestingly, they were all from Shift Leader Emory Roberts’ particular shift. Significantly, none of the agents from the V.P. LBJ detail were involved in the drinking incident.47
Blaine doesn’t even touch the issue of the Secret Service and their involvement of removing motorcycle coverage for JFK on 11/22/63. During a November 19, 1963 security meeting in Dallas, with no Secret Service men present, it was agreed that eighteen motorcycles would be used, some positioned along side the limousine, similar to the plan used in the prior Texas cities of San Antonio, Houston, and Fort Worth.48 However, there was another meeting on November 21, 1963 in which those plans were changed.49 Captain Perdue Lawrence of the Dallas Police testified to the Warren Commission: “I heard one of the Secret Service men say that President Kennedy did not desire any motorcycle officer directly on each side of him, between him and the crowd, but he would want the officers to the rear.”
And yet:
Mr. Dulles: “... do you recall that any orders were given by or on behalf of the President with regard to the location of those motorcycles that were particularly attached to his car?”
Mr. Lawson: “Not specifically at this instance orders from him.” (emphasis added)50
The House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) summed up the situation best:
The Secret Service’s alteration of the original Dallas Police Department motorcycle deployment plan prevented the use of maximum possible security precautions ... Surprisingly, the security measure used in the prior motorcades during the same Texas visit shows that the deployment of motorcycles in Dallas by the Secret Service may have been uniquely insecure.51
Blaine ALSO does not deal with the issue of the press and photographer’s displacement from the motorcade. Dallas Morning News reporter Tom Dillard testified to the Warren Commission:
We lost our position at the airport. I understood we were to have been quite a bit closer. We were assigned as the prime photographic car which, as you probably know, normally a truck precedes the President on these things [motorcades] and certain representatives of the photographic press ride with the truck. In this case, as you know, we didn’t have any and this car that I was in was to take photographs which was of spot-news nature.52
On pages 221-222, Blaine, referring to the president’s physician, Admiral George Burkley, writes:
Normally the admiral rode in a staff car in the motorcade, or in the rear seat of the follow-up car, but he and the president’s secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, had misjudged the timing of the motorcade’s departure from Love Field and wound up scurrying to the VIP bus. He was furious for not having been in his normal seat but had nobody to blame but himself. His sole purpose for being in the motorcade was to be close to the president in case anything happened, but who could have predicted this?” (emphasis added)
Again, the record indicates otherwise: “Dr. George Burkley ... felt that he should be close to the President at all times ... Dr. Burkley was unhappy ... this time the admiral protested. He could be of no assistance to the President if a doctor was needed quickly.”53 Burkley also said: “It’s not right ... the President’s personal physician should be much closer to him,” even to the extent of “... sitting on an agent’s lap”.54 Burkley stated a few years after the assassination:
I accompanied President Kennedy on every trip that he took during his time as President ... I went on all trips ... we had a regular setup ... all the possible angles were covered by cooperation with the Secret Service, in that we knew the areas of most likely danger. We knew where additional medical aid would be available, and things of that nature ... When we were in Fort Worth, Mrs. [Evelyn] Lincoln and I were in the second car in the motorcade ... [in Dallas] I complained to the Secret Service that I should be either in the follow up car or the lead car ... this was brought to their [the Secret Service’s] attention very strongly at the foot of the stairway from the airplane [Air Force One] ... Most of the time, however, I was within one or two cars of the President. This was one of the few times that this did not occur. (emphasis added)55
In fact, Burkley rode in the lead car in Miami on November 18, 1963.56 “The only other time that it did not occur, to my direct recollection, is when we were in Rome [July 2, 1963]”57 (emphasis added), which was a model of very good security in every other respect.
Evelyn Lincoln, JFK’s secretary, confirmed Burkley’s feelings on the matter to the HSCA:
Mrs. Lincoln also mentioned what she thought was a curious incident in Dallas prior to the assassination. She said she was with Dr. Burkley ... when they left Love Field for the beginning of the motorcade. She said they were somewhat surprised at being ‘shoved’ back in the motorcade into a bus. She said they usually rode in an automobile a few cars behind the car carrying the President.58
It appears even Jackie Kennedy and, by extension, Dave Powers, were wondering about this situation regarding Burkley: On the weekend after President Kennedy’s funeral, Powers showed Mrs. Kennedy the color still frames from the Zapruder film as displayed in that week’s Life magazine. The pictures, of course, depict Jackie leaving the rear seat to crawl onto the back of the car. “Dave, what do you think I was trying to do?” she asked. Dave could only suggest that maybe she was searching for the President’s doctor, Rear Admiral George G. Burkley, who was in a bus at the rear of the motorcade.”59
Incredibly, as documented in agent Andy Berger’s report60, Blaine writes on page 233, with regard to Parkland Hospital: “A representative of the CIA appeared a while later.” Also, as Blaine never even mentions, JFK’s Military Aide, General Godfrey McHugh, a devout Kennedy loyalist was relegated to the distant VIP car in the Dallas motorcade61, stated that he was asked by the Secret Service “for the first time” to “ride in a car in the back [of the motorcade], instead, as normally I would do, between the driver and the Secret Service agent in charge of the trip.”62
Indeed, McHugh had just occupied this very spot on JFK’s previous trip to Florida, not to mention countless other times beforehand when either he or fellow military aide, General Ted Clifton, rode in this position. (Greer admitted that many times an aide rode in the front seat of the limo with the driver and the supervisor63, as the film and photo record bears out.) McHugh admitted that this was “unusual”: “That’s exactly what I thought.” The reason? “To give the President full exposure ... they told me it would be helpful politically to the President.”64 (emphasis added)
There’s that qualifier again: “politically.” The HSCA’s Mark Flanagan, who interviewed McHugh, reported: “Ordinarily McHugh rode in the Presidential limousine in the front seat. This was the first time he was instructed not to ride in the car so that all attention would be focused on the President to accentuate full exposure.”65
In yet another matter Blaine chose to ignore, Dallas Sheriff Bill Decker, who rode in the lead car with Lawson and Sorrels, told his men to in no way participate in the security of the motorcade.66 As verified in several films and photos, Decker’s men were standing idle at the corner of Main and Houston as mere spectators, nothing more. Indeed, Deputy Sheriff Luke Mooney told author Larry Sneed: “I was merely a spectator with a number of other plain clothes officers on Main Street just north of the Old Red Court House. We in the sheriff’s department had nothing to do with security.”67
Decker had given this unusual order to his men after telling Forrest Sorrels the previous day that he had agreed to incorporate additional personnel for security purposes, and even offered his full support to the agent: Decker had agreed to furnishing fifteen of his men for duty!68 Incredibly, the Dallas Morning News on October 26, 1963 reported the following, based on an interview with DPD Chief Jesse Curry: “LARGE POLICE GUARD PLANNED FOR KENNEDY—Signs Friday pointed to the greatest concentration of Dallas police ever for the protection of a high-ranking dignitary when President Kennedy visits Dallas next month ... The deployment of the special force, he [Curry] said, is yet to be worked out with the U.S. Secret Service.”69 Yet Homicide Detective Gus Rose said: “I didn’t hear of any extraordinary security measures being set up thus we continued our normal rotation.”70
Blaine also is seemingly unaware of the following, as noted by reporter Seth Kantor: “Will Fritz’s men called off nite before by SS. Had planned to ride closed car w/ machine guns in car behind Pres.” (Which could mean someplace behind JFK’s car, as was the case in Chicago, IL, on 3/23/6371 & New York on 11/15/63.)72
Furthermore, Milton Wright, a Texas Highway Patrolman who was the driver of Mayor Cabell’s car, wrote this reviewer: “As I recall, prior to the President arriving at the airport we were already staged on the tarmac. I do not recall what position I was in at that time but it was not #1[the number taped to his car’s windshield]. At the last minute there was a lot of shuffling and I ended up in the 5th vehicle. My vehicle was the last to leave downtown after the shooting because the police set up a road block behind my car.”73
On page 224, Blaine writes: “It was very rare for both the president and vice president to be together at the same time in the same place.” This is an understatement—being in the same MOTORCADE was unique!74 Agent Youngblood later wrote: “It is strictly taboo, from the security standpoint, for the President and the Vice President to ride together in the same car, boat, plane, wagon, or anything else.”75 As J. F. terHorst (from the White House Press Corps), a man who covered every major presidential trip—including November 22, 1963—both at home and abroad, and Colonel Ralph Albertazzie (Nixon’s Air Force One pilot) observed in their book: Beyond the Environs of Washington, the Vice President rarely accompanies the President. The reason is not only a matter of physical security but one of politics ... But Texas was a special case, the exception that proved the rule.”76 As HSCA attorney Belford Lawson succinctly put it: “Why for the first time in American history were the President and Vice-President together in the same motorcade?”77
Blaine ALSO ignores the fact that the roofs along the route were not manned or checked. SAIC of the Nashville office Paul Doster told the Nashville Banner back on May 18, 1963 that “a complete check of the entire motorcade route” was done for JFK’s trip to Nashville. In addition, Doster stated: “Other [police] officers were assigned atop the municipal terminal and other buildings along the route. These men took their posts at 8 a.m. and remained at their rooftop stations until the president and his party passed.” The roofs of buildings were also guarded on November 18, 196378, four short days before Dallas, in addition to San Antonio on November 21, 196379, just the day before, as well as in Fort Worth on the morning of the assassination.80

 

VIII: Driving Questions

On page 201, regarding agent Bill Greer, the driver of JFK’s car in Dallas, Blaine writes: “And, God forbid, if he [Greer] ever did have to make a sudden getaway, he knew the 7,500-pound car with its 300-horsepower engine just didn’t gather speed as quickly as he would like.” If that wasn’t enough, Blaine adds, on page 212: “[Greer, after the shooting commenced] quickly tapped on the brake to see how the car would respond.” Finally, on page 356, Blaine delivers the coup de grace: “Yes, Bill Greer put his foot on the brake after the first shot. But for God’s sake, it had nothing to do with a conspiracy, or negligence—he was merely responding as any professionally trained driver would respond.”
Oh, really? Sixty witnesses (ten police officers, seven Secret Service agents, thirty-eight spectators, two Presidential aides, one Senator, Governor Connally, and Jackie Kennedy) and the Zapruder film document Secret Service agent William R. Greer’s deceleration of the presidential limousine, as well as his two separate looks back at JFK during the assassination81 (Greer denied all of this to the Warren Commission82). By decelerating from an already slow 11.2 mph, Greer greatly endangered the President’s life, and, as even Gerald Posner admitted, Greer contributed greatly to the success of the assassination. When we consider that Greer disobeyed a direct order from his superior, Roy Kellerman, to get out of line before the fatal shot struck the President’s head, it is hard to give Agent Greer the benefit of the doubt. As ASAIC Roy H. Kellerman said: “Greer then looked in the back of the car. Maybe he didn’t believe me.”83 Ken O’Donnell stated: “Greer had been remorseful all day, feeling that he could have saved President Kennedy’s life by swerving the car or speeding suddenly after the first shots.”84 In addition, Greer told Jackie the following on November 22, 1963 at Parkland Hospital, shortly after the murder: “Oh, Mrs. Kennedy, oh my God, oh my God. I didn’t mean to do it, I didn’t hear, I should have swerved the car, I couldn’t help it. Oh, Mrs. Kennedy, as soon as I saw it I swerved. If only I’d seen it in time! Oh!”85 Finally, Dave Powers confirmed Greer’s guilt to CBS newsman Charles Kuralt on November 22, 1988, also adding that if Greer would have sped up before the fatal headshot, JFK might still be alive today.86
When this reviewer asked Richard Greer, the surviving son of Bill Greer, on 9/17/91: “What did your father think of JFK?” Richard did not respond the first time. When this author asked him a second time, Greer responded: “Well, we’re Methodists ... and JFK was Catholic.” Bill Greer was born and raised in County Tyrone, Ireland, coming to America in February 1930 and, if that weren’t enough, “worked one summer on the estate of Henry Cabot Lodge,”87 JFK’s two-time political opponent (a staunch Republican defeated twice by Kennedy) and Ambassador to Saigon during the CIA and U.S. government–sponsored assassination of President Diem of Vietnam on November 2, 1963 (Lodge was principally involved88). Obviously, Greer, just from his association with Lodge, as well as his work in and around Boston, had to have known about Kennedy, as well as his rich family, Ambassador father Joe, and their controversial heritage of alleged bootlegging, Nazi sympathizing, and political history in Boston.89
The sequence is crucial:
  1. First shot (or shots) rings out: the car slows.
  2. Greer turns around once.
  3. Kellerman orders Greer to “get out of line; we’ve been hit!”
  4. Greer disobeys his superior’s order and turns around to stare at JFK for the second time, until after the fatal headshot finds its mark!
As stated before, Greer was responsible, at fault, and felt remorse. In short, Greer had survivor’s guilt.
But, then, stories and feelings changed.
Agent Greer to the FBI, November 22, 1963: “Greer stated that he first heard what he thought was possibly a motorcycle backfire and glanced around and noticed that the President had evidently been hit [notice that, early on, Greer admits seeing JFK, which the Zapruder proves he did two times before the fatal head shot occurred]. He thereafter got on the radio and communicated with the other vehicles, stating that they desired to get the President to the hospital immediately [in reality, Greer did not talk on the radio, and Greer went on to deny ever saying this during his Warren Commission testimony] ... Greer stated that they (the Secret Service) have always been instructed to keep the motorcade moving at a considerable speed inasmuch as a moving car offers a much more difficult target than a vehicle traveling at a very slow speed. He pointed out that on numerous occasions he has attempted to keep the car moving at a rather fast rate, but in view of the President’s popularity and desire to maintain close liaison with the people, he has, on occasion, been instructed by the President to ‘slow down’.90 Greer stated that he has been asking himself if there was anything he could have done to avoid this incident, but stated that things happened so fast that he could not account for full developments in this matter ... .”91 [The “JFK-as-scapegoat” theme—and so much for Greer’s remorse from earlier the same day.]
Finally, what did Jacqueline Kennedy think of Greer’s performance on 11/22/63? Mary Gallagher reported in her book: “She mentioned one Secret Service man who had not acted during the crucial moment, and said bitterly to me, ‘He might just as well have been Miss Shaw!’ ”92 Jackie also told Gallagher: “You should get yourself a good driver so that nothing ever happens to you.”93 Secret Service agent Marty Venker confirmed that the agent Jackie was referring to was Agent Greer: “If the agent had hit the gas before the third shot, she griped, Jack might still be alive.”94 Later, authors C. David Heymann and Edward Klein further corroborated that the agent Mrs. Kennedy was referring to was indeed Greer.95 Manchester wrote: “[Mrs. Kennedy] had heard Kellerman on the radio and had wondered why it had taken the car so long to leave.”96 In addition, Jackie “played the events over and over in her mind ... . She did not want to accept Jack’s death as a freak accident, for that meant his life could have been spared—if only the driver in the front seat of the presidential limousine [Agent William R. Greer] had reacted more quickly and stepped on the gas ... if only the Secret Service had stationed agents on the rear bumper ... .”97 (emphasis added)
Incredibly, ASAIC Roy Kellerman told the following to FBI agents’ Sibert & O’Neil on the night of the murder: “The advanced security arrangements made for this specific trip were the most stringent and thorough ever employed by the Secret Service for the visit of a President to an American city.”98 Perhaps THIS is why JFK reassured a worried San Antonio Congressman Henry Gonzalez on 11/21/63 by saying: “The Secret Service told me that they had taken care of everything—there’s nothing to worry about.”99 If that weren’t enough, President Kennedy told an equally concerned advance man, Marty Underwood, on 11/21/63: in Houston, “Marty, you worry about me too much.”100
On pages 230-231, Blaine seeks to pass the blame on to others once again, this time in the form of JFK’s Chief of Staff, Ken O’Donnell: “Ken O’Donnell agreed... that Johnson should return to Washington as soon as possible and that yes, he should leave Dallas on Air Force One.” However, O’Donnell denied this, telling author William Manchester: “The President and I had no conversation regarding Air Force One. If we had known he was going on Air Force One, we would have taken Air Force Two. One plane was like the other.”101 In fact, when Arlen Specter of the Warren Commission asked O’Donnell, “Was there any discussion about his [LBJ] taking the presidential plane, AF–1, as opposed to AF–2?” O’Donnell responded: “There was not.”102 In this regard, O’Donnell later wrote in his book Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye that a Warren Commission attorney—the aforementioned Arlen Specter—asked him to “change his testimony so that it would agree with the President’s”: an offer O’Donnell refused.103 With this in mind, author Jim Bishop reported: “Emory Roberts suggested that Johnson leave at once for Air Force One ... Roberts asked Kenny O’Donnell and he said: ‘Yes.’ Johnson refused to move. Roberts returned to O’Donnell and asked again: ‘Is it all right for Mr. Johnson to board Air Force One now?’ ‘Yes,’ O’Donnell said, ‘Yes.’ ” (emphasis added)104
This author believes O’Donnell when he says he had no part in LBJ going to Air Force One over Air Force Two. This was a Secret Service (Emory Roberts) decision. Presidential aides Ken O’Donnell and Dave Powers best summed up the situation when they wrote: “Roberts, one of President Kennedy’s agents ... had decided to switch to Johnson as soon as Kennedy was shot.”105 In addition, four other authors have noted Agent Roberts’ “switch of allegiance”, including Chief Curry.106 Incredibly, Roberts was the President’s receptionist during the Johnson administration while still a member of the Secret Service, receiving a Special Service Award from the Treasury Department for improving communications and services to the public in 1968!107 LBJ thought highly of Roberts, and the feeling was mutual—President Johnson told a gathering that “Emory Roberts, who I am sorry can’t be here today—he greets me every morning and tells me good-bye every night.”108 (For the record, LBJ didn’t think much of Roy Kellerman: “This fellow Kellerman ... he was about as loyal a man as you could find. But he was about as dumb as an ox.”109)
Also predictably, on pages 334-335 & 356-357, Blaine seeks to minimize former agent Abraham Bolden’s claims of Secret Service negligence and conspiracy.110
Blaine (on pages 350 and 352) seeks to cast away ANY notion that the Secret Service agents believed there was a conspiracy, yet there is the record that says differently:
From the February 22, 1978 House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) interview of Miami SAIC John Marshall, former White House Detail agent who conducted all the advance work on President Kennedy’s frequent trips to Palm Beach: TWICE DURING THE INTERVIEW, MR. MARSHALL MENTIONED THAT, FOR ALL HE KNEW, SOMEONE IN THE SECRET SERVICE COULD POSSIBLY HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN THE ASSASSINATION. THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME AN AGENT HAS MENTIONED THE POSSIBILITY THAT A CONSPIRACY EXISTED, BUT IT IS THE FIRST TIME THAT AN AGENT HAS ACKNOWLEDGED THE POSSIBILITY THAT THE SECRET SERVICE COULD HAVE BEEN INVOLVED.
In addition, former agents Jerry O’Rourke, Sam Kinney, Abraham Bolden, and Maurice Martineau believed there was a conspiracy, as well!111

IX: Perfect Sense

The Kennedy Detail, a book firmly rooted in the “Oswald-did-it-alone” camp, also contains contradictory evidence of conspiracy in its pages. On page 216, Blaine describes the shooting sequence in this manner: “... the first shot strikes the president, the second shot strikes Governor Connally, and the third shot strikes JFK in the head ... ” There is no acknowledgement of the Warren Commission’s fictional single bullet theory or the known missed shot that struck bystander James Tague! This is a pattern Hill and Blaine repeat on national television.112 On page 217, Blaine writes that agent Clint Hill saw “a bloody, gaping, fist-sized hole clearly visible in the back of his head,” clear evidence that JFK was struck by a shot from the FRONT, as also confirmed by Hill’s report113 and Warren Commission testimony114, not to mention the reports (plural) from fellow agent Paul Landis (whose contents were confirmed by Landis to the HSCA)115, no matter what Landis or Blaine say now (see pages 225 & 352-353), as well as the statements made by agent Sam Kinney to Vince Palamara116 (and, ironically, in Blaine’s own book, pages 216 & 218, regarding blood hitting his windshield!) and agent Win Lawson, who also “saw a huge hole in the back of the president’s head.”117 Blaine also uses this same language later in the book (page 258):
Now the men who just four and a half hours earlier had seen the back of President Kennedy’s head blown off hauled the casket holding his dead body...” Finally, regarding Hill, Blaine describes his friends’ recollections of the autopsy (page 266): “Six inches down from the neckline, just to the right of the spinal column, there was a small wound, a hole in the skin... All Clint could see was that the right rear portion of President Kennedy’s head was completely gone.
On page 261, Blaine writes: “[7:55 p.m., 11/22/63] For about twenty minutes [Chief James J] Rowley gave [the agents] what could only be called a pep talk... There was no feeling that he blamed anyone or that the assassination could somehow have been prevented.” On page 275, Blaine says of SAIC Behn (deceased 4/21/93): “From everything Jerry Behn had heard about the tragedy in Dallas, nobody was to blame.” Blaine carries this incredibly dumb statement even further during television interviews for the book—he told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on 11/12/10: “No, there was nothing that could have been done to stop it.”
On pages 264-265, Blaine related how he almost shot President Johnson on 11/23/63 with his Thompson submachine gun, a tale of dubious merit that garnered much press before the release of the book.
Blaine seems to be unaware of the following, as reported by the Assassination Records Review Board in 1998: “Congress passed the JFK Act of 1992. One month later, the Secret Service began its compliance efforts. However, in January 1995, the Secret Service destroyed presidential protection survey reports for some of President Kennedy’s trips in the fall of 1963. The Review Board learned of the destruction approximately one week after the Secret Service destroyed them, when the Board was drafting its request for additional information. The Board believed that the Secret Service files on the President’s travel in the weeks preceding his murder would be relevant.”118
On page 359, Blaine identifies the agent recalled at Love Field as SA Don Lawton, the OTHER agent (along with SA Henry Rybka) “ostensibly” left to secure Love Field for the President’s departure, and takes this reviewer to task for his misidentification. In the interest of time, please see this reviewer’s online videos wherein he fully explains himself, his rationale, and his belief that, regardless of WHO the agent is (and he is willing to concede that it was probably Lawton after all), the SUBSTANCE of what is being depicted in the video—the essence—remains the same.119 Suffice to say that many people were “fooled” by this footage—former JFK agent Larry Newman, the ARRB, The History Channel, Rybka’s family, millions of YouTube viewers, countless authors and researchers, and even a December 2009 Discovery Channel Secret Service documentary “Secrets of the Secret Service”!
Although very well written, along with some nice photographs, as well, The Kennedy Detail is really a thinly veiled attempt to rewrite history (a la Gerald Posner and Vince Bugliosi, who believe 11/22/63 was the act of a single lone man) and absolve the agents of their collective survivor’s guilt (and to counter the prolific writings of a certain reviewer). In the eyes of those from The Kennedy Detail, the assassination was the act of TWO "lone men": Oswald, who pulled the trigger, and JFK, who set himself up as the target. Simply put: President Kennedy WAS indeed a very nice man, did not interfere with the actions of the Secret Service, did not order the agents off his limousine (in Tampa, in Dallas, or elsewhere), and did not have his staff convey any anti-security sentiments, either. The sheer force and power of what these men all told me, a complete stranger, in correspondence and on the phone, is all the more strong because, not only did they have a vested interest to protect themselves, the vast majority believe that Oswald acted alone and that all official "stories" are correct.
In light of the work of this reviewer, future pensions, professional and personal reputations, and so forth, The Kennedy Detail makes perfect sense. After the reviewer’s letter to Clint Hill, it truly WAS "a book that HAD to be written." A postscript: Gerald Blaine stated on 11/11/10 on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”: “We felt we were 100% failure.”120
Finally, you said something we can ALL agree on, Mr. Blaine.


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End Notes

1. http://vincepalamara.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-letter-to-clint-hill.html
2. Available in soft cover from 1993-1997 & 1999-2005 (self-published); available 1997-1998 via JFK Lancer Publications; available since 2006 as a free online book here: http://www.assassinationresearch.com/v4n1.html
3. http://www.gjsentinel.com/opinion/articles/the_kennedy_detail_is_a_story; see also page 364 of Blaine’s book
4. http://vincepalamara.blogspot.com/
5. http://kennedydetail.blogspot.com/2010/09/association-of-former-agents-of-united.html
6. For the record, Clint Hill was interviewed by: Warren Commission (March 9, 1964), for Manchester, The Death of a President (November 18, 1964; May 20, 1965), and 60 Minutes (December 7, 1975; November 1993); December 1963 newsreel regarding Treasury award (with C. Douglas Dillon as presenter); Who Killed JFK: The Final Chapter? (CBS, November 19, 1993); The Secret Service and Inside the Secret Service videos (1995); Inside the U.S. Secret Service documentary (2004); Larry King Live (March 22, 2006); and, now, numerous TV shows 2010
7. Rodham was Hillary Rodham Clinton’s uncle! I received confirmation of this via former agent Don Cox.
8. http://www.libraryjournal.com/lj/newslettersnewsletterbucketbooksmack/887623-439/qa_former_kennedy_secret_service.html.csp
9. Ibid
10. “Survivor’s Guilt”, Palamara, Chapter 13, page 9
11. Bolden is also the author of The Echo From Dealey Plaza (2008)
12. The agents we DO know were involved in “The Kennedy Detail”, based on the text of the book and Blaine’s online blogs and so forth (and the upcoming Discovery tv documentary), are the following: Gerald Blaine, Clint Hill, Joe Paolella, Chuck Zboril, Robert Faison, Hamilton Brown, Walt Coughlin, Richard Johnsen, Ken Wiesman, Radford Jones, Winston Lawson, Toby Chandler, Ron Pontius, David Grant (Clint Hill’s brother-in-law!), Paul Rundle, Eve Dempsher, Tom Wells and Paul Landis. That leaves, from the Texas trip, Sam Sulliman, John Ready, Warren “Woody” Taylor, Lem Johns, Jerry Bechtle, Donald Bendickson, Jim Goodenough, Bill Duncan, PRS Dale Wunderlich, Mike Howard (Dallas office), John Joe Howlett (Dallas office), Roger Warner, Bob Burke, Frank Yeager, Don Lawton, Ken Giannoules, and Ernest Olsson as still living and eligible to have been interviewed... maybe.
13. Author’s interview with Gerald Blaine 6/10/05
14. “The Dark Side Of Camelot” by Seymour Hersh, pages 40-241
15. 5H 570
16. U. E. Baughman, Secret Service Chief (New York: Harper & Row, Popular Library edition, January 1963), p. 70.
17. Rowley oral history, LBJ Library, January 22, 1969, p. 2. See also David Seidman, Extreme Careers—Secret Service Agents: Life Protecting the President (New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., 2003), p. 11. Rowley himself said: “Most Presidents have responded to our requests ... .”
18. CE1025: 18 H 803-809. I have dealt with these reports exhaustively in my own book (Survivor’s Guilt: see Chapter one in entirety) and on my online blog—please see http://vincepalamara.blogspot.com/2010/10/kennedy-detail.html
19. The Death of a President by William Manchester, pp. 37-38 (all references to Manchester’s book are from the 1988 Perennial Library edition.)
20. http://news.discovery.com/history/jfk-assassination-secret-service.html
21. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMAq5kgU6YI
22. http://thekennedydetailsecretservicejfk.blogspot.com/
23. E-mail to Vince Palamara from Tony Zappone dated 10/20/10
24. Author’s interview with Floyd Boring 9/22/93
25. Author’s interview with Floyd Boring dated 3/4/94. For the relevant AUDIO portions of this interview, please see:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JC9l1AdGJj0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZZ4dnWyu_Q
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMr9-Eg5NvE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaRX37HVx5E
26. Floyd Boring letter to Vince Palamara dated 11/22/97
27. See http://www.assassinationresearch.com/v4n1.html
28. Manchester, p. 667. Of the 21 agents/officials interviewed by Manchester, only Roberts, Greer, Kinney, and Blaine were on the Florida trip. Blaine was the advance agent for Tampa (riding in the lead car), Greer drove JFK’s car, Kinney drove the follow-up car, and Roberts was the commander of the follow-up car. That said, in the author’s opinion, Roberts is still the main suspect of the four as being Manchester’s dubious source for this quote: after all, he was asked to write a report about JFK’s so-called desires, citing Boring as the source for the order via radio transmission. The others—Greer, Kinney, and Blaine—were not asked to write a similar report. In addition, Manchester had access to this report while writing his book (see next footnote). Also, unlike the other three, Roberts was interviewed twice and, while Greer never went on record with his feelings about the matter, one way or the other, Kinney adamantly denied the veracity of Manchester’s information, while Blaine denied the substance of the information, although he did mention the “Ivy league charlatan” remark coming from a secondary source. Finally, of the 21 agents interviewed by Manchester, Blaine is the only agent—save two headquarters Inspectors (see next footnote)—whose interview comments are not to be found in the text or index. Since, in addition to Blaine, three other agents—Lawton, Meredith and Newman—also mentioned the remark to this reviewer strictly as hearsay, in some fashion or another, it is more than likely that Manchester seized upon the remark and greatly exaggerated its significance ... and attributed it to Boring, while his actual source was likely Roberts and/or Blaine. Again, since Boring wasn’t interviewed, the comment had to come second-hand from another agent, who, in turn, received the remark second-hand from Boring. Ultimately, the question is: did Boring really give out this order on instructions from JFK?
29. Interestingly, Manchester, having interviewed 21 different agents/officials for his book (pp. 660–9), chose to include interviews with Secret Service Inspectors Burrill Peterson and Jack Warner. What’s the problem? Well, these men, not even associated with the Texas trip in any way, were interviewed more than any of the other agents: four times each (Peterson: October 9, 1964, November 17, 1964, November 18, 1964, February 5, 1965; Warner: June 2, 1964, November 18, 1964, February 5, 1965, May 12, 1965)! Only Emory Roberts, Clint Hill, Roy Kellerman, and Forrest Sorrels had two interviews apiece, while all the other agents/officials garnered just one inter-view each. And, more importantly, unlike all the other 19 agents, save one, Gerald Blaine (a Texas trip WHD agent), these two Inspectors are not even mentioned in the actual text or the index; their comments are “invisible” to the reader. It appears, then, that Manchester’s book was truly a sanitized, “official” book, more so than we thought before (as most everyone knows, the book was written with Jackie Kennedy’s approval—it was her idea, in fact [p.ix]. Manchester even had early, exclusive access to the Warren Commission itself: “At the outset of my inquiry the late Chief Justice Earl Warren appointed me an ex officio member of his commission ... and provided me with an office in Washington’s VFW building, where the commission met and where copies of reports and depositions were made available to me.” [p. xix]) Inspector Peterson figured prominently in the post-assassination press dealings (or lack thereof)—as Agent Sorrels testified: “... I don’t think at any time you will see that there is any statement made by the newspapers or television that we said anything because Mr. Kelley, the Inspector, told me, ‘Any information that is given out will have to come from Inspector Peterson in Washington.’ ” [7 H 359] Peterson became an Assistant Director for Investigations in 1968 [20 Years in the Secret Service by Rufus Youngblood (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1973), p. 220], while Inspector Warner would go on to become Director of Public Affairs (a position he held until the 1990s), acting as a buffer to critical press questions during the assassination attempts on President Ford and other related matters [The Secret Service: The Hidden History of an Enigmatic Agency (New York: Carroll & Graf, 2003) by Philip Melanson with Peter Stevens, pp. 101, 201, 224, 237]. Warner would also later become a consultant to the 1993 Clint Eastwood movie In The Line of Fire.
30. Please see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4C4mfCp1DY and
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGq9rpuBM1A
31. 2 H 136–7
32. See also http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L17N6OxrBps and
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdM6WXqXjIo
33. See http://www.assassinationresearch.com/v4n1/v4n1chapter01.pdf and
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGq9rpuBM1A and
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxaEim-7Zqs
34. Stout’s son, Stu Stout III, wrote this reviewer on 11/1/10: “Vince. Thought I would mention that one of the influential people that attended the advance planning meetings for the Dallas trip was the Mayor of Dallas in 63 and I think it was Earle Cabell or Eric? Doesn’t really matter. I distinctly ...remember during a conversation at the dinner table weeks following (that surreal day), my father telling my mother that "the Mayor thought agents riding on the back of the car (which was common protocol) would send a message and did not want his city to appear dangerous to the world though the media. He asked for subtle security exposure if and where possible."On that day only two individuals would have been able to direct such an order and that would have been the President himself or Floyd Boring SAIC. In my opinion, and you know about opinions, if you find out who else was in that chain of command "during that moment" you will be able to rationally determine why the agents jumped down for a portion of that politically motivated route through the city. Take care Vince and please don’t give up.”
35. See pages 30-32 of http://www.assassinationresearch.com/v4n1/v4n1chapter01.pdf
36. 20 Years in the Secret Service (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1973), p. 111
37. 18 H 783
38. http://www.assassinationresearch.com/v4n1/v4n1chapter01.pdf
39. See http://www.assassinationresearch.com/v4n1/v4n1chapter01.pdf
40. 2 H 136–7
41. Italy film clip, courtesy Jim Cedrone of the JFK Library; newly discovered still photos from Naples: John Fitzgerald Kennedy: A Life In Pictures by Yann-Brice Dherbier and Pierre-Henri Verlhac (New York: Phaidon Press, 2003), p. 183, 231; Corbis stock pho-tos discovered by the author in 2005 (and also forwarded to former agents Blaine, Coughlin, ad O’Rourke). Regarding Italy: See also Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye by Kenneth P. O’Donnell, David F. Powers, and Joseph McCarthy (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1972), p. 433 [note: all references to this book are from the Pocket Book paperback edition published in 1973]; Tampa Tribune, November 19, 1963 (downtown area picture with agents Lawton and Zboril holding onto the rear handrails); Cecil Stoughton photo, taken from the follow-up car, November 18, 1963 (suburban area picture depicting same); short clip in David Wolper’s 1964 film Four Days In November, depicting the start of the Tampa trip: agent Zboril is running on the left-rear end of the limo, holding onto the handrail, while agent Berger is riding on the opposite side; agent Lawton is seen running along Berger’s side; black and white photos discovered by Ian Griggs and Frank Debenedictis; black and white photos from photographers Tony Zappone and Tommy Eure.
42. See also http://www.assassinationresearch.com/v4n1/v4n1chapter03.pdf
43. 18 H 730
44. RIF#180–10078–10493
45. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fJrnxzowSE; http://www.assassinationresearch.com/v4n1/v4n1chapter03.pdf; see also the many pics at http://vincepalamara.blogspot.com/
46. Advance man Jerry Bruno’s notes from the JFK Library in Boston. Agent Henry Rybka was also on the follow-up car team in San Antonio on November 21, 1963( as had driver agent George Hickey in Tampa and in Dallas). Rybka was not the driver
47. http://www.assassinationresearch.com/v4n1/v4n1chapter06.pdf
48. 11 HSCA 527; 7 H 577–580; 21 H 567; RIF#180–10093–10320: May 31, 1977 Memorandum from HSCA’s Belford Lawson to fellow HSCA members Gary Cornwell and Ken Klein (revised August 15, 1977). Please see: http://www.assassinationresearch.com/v4n1/v4n1chapter06.pdf
49. 7 H 580–1; 11 HSCA 527, 529; RIF#180–10093–10320: May 31, 1977 Memorandum from HSCA’s Belford Lawson to fellow HSCA members Gary Cornwell and Ken Klein (revised August 15, 1977).
50. 4 H 338
51. See also RIF#180–10093–10320: May 31, 1977 Memorandum from HSCA’s Belford Lawson to fellow HSCA members Gary Cornwell and Ken Klein (revised August 15, 1977)—the original language used for this passage: “But in comparison with what the SS’s own documents suggest were the security precautions used in prior motorcades during the same Texas visit, the motorcade alteration in Dallas by the SS may have been a unique occurrence.”
52. 6 H 163. As the author presented at the COPA ’96 and Lancer ’97 conferences, the press photographers frequently rode in a flatbed truck in front of the motorcade pro-cession [films courtesy JFK Library; see also John F. Kennedy: A Life in Pictures, pp. 178–180, 183, 231]. Photographer Tony Zappone confirmed to the author on December 18, 2003 that a flat bed truck was used for the photographers in Tampa, Florida, on November 18, 1963.
53. Bishop, pp. 109–110, 134
54. Manchester, pp. 131–2. See also The Flying White House, p. 209 (O’Donnell seems to get the blame for Burkley’s lack of proximity).
55. Burkley’s October 17, 1967 JFK Library oral history
56. RIF#154–10002–10422
57. Burkley’s October 17, 1967 JFK Library oral history
58. July 5, 1978 HSCA interview of Evelyn Lincoln
59. Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye, p. 31.
60. 18 H 795 ; See also see Bill Sloan, Breaking the Silence, pp. 181–5; The Man Who Knew Too Much, pp. 570–1; Michael Benson, Who’s Who in the JFK Assassination (1993), pp. 40–41
61. Along with General Ted Clifton, the other military aide who often rode in the front seat of the limousine between the driver and the agent in charge
62. CFTR radio (Canada) interview 1976 Interview with McHugh conducted late 1975 via phone.
63. 2 H 129
64. CFTR radio (Canada) interview 1976 Interview with McHugh conducted late 1975 via phone
65. May 11, 1978 interview with the HSCA’s Mark Flanagan (RIF#180–10078–10465 [see also 7 HSCA 14])
66. Roger Craig, Two Men in Dallas video
67. No More Silence by Larry Sneed (1998), p. 224
68. 21 H 547, 572: DPD Stevenson Exhibit
69. 22 H 626
70. No More Silence, p. 337
71. 3/23/63 Secret Service Survey Report: RIF#154-10003-10012
72. 20 H 391; see also 4 H 171-172 (Curry); 11 HSCA 530
73. 9/3/98 e-mail to the author
74. Author’s interview with Bolden, September 16, 1993; Lawson: 4 H 336. SA Kinney told the HSCA on February 26, 1978 that it was “unusual for LBJ to be along”
75. My Life Protecting Five Presidents by Rufus Youngblood, p. 199
76. The Flying White House, pp. 214–5
77. RIF#180–10093–10320: May 31, 1977 Memorandum from HSCA’s Belford Lawson to fellow HSCA members Gary Cornwell and Ken Klein (revised August 15, 1977).
78. RIF#154–10002–10423: Secret Service Final Survey Report, Tampa, FL—underpasses controlled by police and military units; Sheriff’s office secured the roofs of major buildings in the downtown and suburban areas; agents on limo; Salinger with Kilduff; close press and photographers (including Stoughton in follow-up car); McHugh in between Secret Service agents in front seat of limo
79. RIF#154–10002–10424: Final Survey report, San Antonio—Forty members of the military police from Fort Sam Houston, Texas: traffic control, motorcade route security, and intersection control; police helicopter utilized along route; many flanking motorcycles
80. See also Constance Kritzberg and Larry Hancock, November Patriots (Colorado, Undercover Press, 1998), p. 423
81. See http://www.assassinationresearch.com/v4n1/v4n1chapter08.pdf
82. 2 H 112–132 (Greer): see his entire testimony.
83. Manchester, p. 160.
84. Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye by Dave Powers & Ken O’Donnell w/ Joe McCarthy, p. 44.
85. Manchester, p. 290 (and 386). See also The Day Kennedy Was Shot (1992 edition) by Jim Bishop, p. 196.
86. See also Mikita Brottman, Car Crash Culture (New York: Palgrave, 2001), p. 173 (chapter authored by Pamela McElwain-Brown): USPP Motorcycle Officer Nick Prencipe spoke to Greer on the night of the murder and said that the agent was quite distressed that evening.
87. 2 H 113
88. See the book by O’Leary and Seymour, Triangle of Death (Nashville, TN: WND Books, 2003)
89. Crossfire by Jim Marrs (1988), p. 2
90. Ironically, in former Chief U. E. Baughman’s book, Secret Service Chief, it is written (p. 69): “It is a cardinal principle of Presidential protection never to allow the president to stop his car in a crowd if it can possibly be avoided.”
91. Sibert and O’Neil Report, November 22, 1963
92. Mary Barelli Gallagher, My Life With Jacqueline Kennedy (New York: David McKay, 1969), p. 342: Secret Service Agent Marty Venker (Rush, p. 25) and Jackie biographer C. David Heymann [A Woman Called Jackie (New York: Lyle Stuart, 1989), p. 401] confirm that this unnamed agent was indeed Greer. See also Edward Klein, Just Jackie: Her Private Years (Ballantine Books, 1999), pp. 58, 374.
93. Gallagher, p. 351.
94. Rush, p. 25.
95. A Woman Called Jackie (New York: Lyle Stuart, 1989), p. 401; Edward Klein, Just Jackie: Her Private Years (Ballantine Books, 1999), pp. 58, 374
96. Manchester, p. 163
97. Edward Klein, Just Jackie: Her Private Years (Ballantine Books, 1999), pp. 58–59, 374, based on an interview Klein had with Kitty Carlisle Hart regarding Hart’s conversation with Jackie.
98. FBI RIF#124-10012-10239; Kellerman would go on to deny ever saying such a thing: 18 H 707-708
99. High Treason, page 127; Two Men In Dallas video by Mark Lane, 1976
100. Evening Magazine video 11/22/88; interview with Marty Underwood 10/9/92
101. Jim Marrs, Crossfire, pp. 296–7. See also Bishop, p. 259, and Manchester, pp. 234–5.
102. 7 H 451. See also Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye, pp. 35, 38.
103. Marrs, p. 297. In fact, as noted by researcher David Starks in his 1994 video The Investigations, while Specter’s name appears in the hardcover version of O’Donnell’s book, it was deleted from the mass-market paperback (p. 41)!
104. Bishop, p. 244
105. Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye, p. 34
106. Manchester, pp. 165, 175; Curry, pp. 36–37; Hepburn, Farewell America, p. 229; The Flying White House, p. 215
107. The Washington Post, October 11, 1973.
108. Remarks of LBJ 11/23/68—see http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=29254
109. Michael R. Beschloss, Reaching for Glory: Lyndon Johnson’s Secret White House Tapes, 1964–1965 (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002), p. 703.
110. See Bolden’s excellent 2008 book The Echo From Dealey Plaza. See also http://www.assassinationresearch.com/v4n1/v4n1chapter17.pdf
111. See http://www.assassinationresearch.com/v4n1.html
112. Fox News 11/12/10: see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frWYGPZe9YQ
113. Hill’s November 30, 1963 report: 18 H 740–5. (See also the 2004 National Geographic documentary, Inside the U.S. Secret Service.)
114. 2 H 141, 143
115. Landis’s report dated November 27, 1963: 18 H 758–9; Landis’s detailed report dated November 30, 1963: 18 H 751–7; HSCA Report, pp. 89, 606 (referencing Landis’s interview, February 17, 1979 outside contact report, JFK Document 014571)
116. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfH35258dRA (see all 5 parts)
117. See article in The Virginian-Pilot ,June 17, 2010, by Bill Bartel: http://hamptonroads.com/2010/06/do-you-remember-where-you-were-he-does-jfk#rfq
118. ARRB Final Report (1998), p. 149
119. See also http://palamaravince.blogspot.com/2010/11/more-preliminary-thoughts-on-blaines.html; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gB8WmbvmTw; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDhvGHrM_dQ&feature=related
120. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqj9D38M_Ko 



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Survivor's Guilt by Vincent M. Palamara

Reviewed By James DiEugenio

Posted April 9, 2014
Vince Palamara is, with little question, the critical author who has the most knowledge of the failures of the Secret Service in their obligation to protect President Kennedy on November 22, 1963. In other fields of knowledge and information e.g. who is the most outstanding expert in the medical field, on Jim Garrison, on the HSCA etc., there is some room for debate. But very few would argue about Palamara being on first base in regards to the Secret Service.
Well over a decade ago, Palamara put together a self-published manuscript of his work in that area. It was also called Survivor's Guilt. By his own admission, he then burnt out on the case. He succumbed to the hype about Vincent Bugliosi's colossal charade of a book, Reclaiming History. Impressed by the prosecutor's reputation, the author put together a You Tube video in which he said that Bugliosi had solved the case. Thankfully, several months later, Palamara then reversed himself on the subject of Reclaiming History. He has since written some good reviews for this site on books by Gerald Blaine and Clint Hill. He also has his own blog, and maintains a site which commemorates the heroism of Abraham Bolden. So today, Palamara is back in good standing among the critics.
The 2013 version of Survivor's Guilt runs to about 430 pages of text. In this reviewer's opinion, the first half of the book is rewarding, informative and well worth reading. That first half makes up one of the more distinctive efforts timed for the 50th anniversary of JFK's murder. It is well argued, profusely and accurately documented, and is quite frank and candid about what went wrong in Dealey Plaza, and why it is hard to buy the Secret Service's incredibly poor performance as a case of pure negligence. There are 18 chapters in the book. The first half, that is up to Chapter 9, makes up the worthwhile part of the work. So let us discuss that valuable part at this time.

I

Palamara begins the book with what most would think is some of his strongest material indicating a cover up after the fact by the Secret Service. In the days after the murder, there were questions as to why there were no agents riding on the rear bumper of Kennedy's limousine at the time of the shooting. After all, this is what the specially modeled bumper is designed for. But at the time the limousine entered Dealey Plaza, there were no agents in place on the rear bumper.

This is an important point to explore. Because if one buys the Warren Commission verdict of three shots from the rear, then having no agents on the rear of the car probably had an effect on the shooting. At the least, if they had been in place, it would have made it more difficult. The Warren Commission had questions about this also. (Palamara, p. 3) Therefore, Secret Service Director James Rowley had five affidavits prepared about their experiences with President Kennedy. As the author notes, "At first glance, all five reports appear to support the notion that President Kennedy did not want agents on or near the rear of his limousine." (ibid, emphasis added) The five reports were allegedly done by Jerry Behn, Floyd Boring, Emory Roberts, John Ready and Clint Hill.
The problem with this evidence is that it seems clearly coerced by Rowley. Why? Because when Palamara later interviewed many of these agents, they contradicted what they had written for the Commission. For instance, when Palamara talked to Boring, the agent said that Kennedy did not exercise control over them at all. (ibid, p. 6) Clint Hill told the author that Kennedy never told the agents not to ride on the car. But he further added that, "I had never heard the president ever question procedural recommendations by his Secret Service detail. (ibid, p. 14) In fact, earlier in the Dallas motorcade, Hill actually was on the bumper. (ibid, p. 11)
Palamara notes other oddities about these submissions. Three of the five reports are not even on official Secret Service stationery. They are on plain typing paper. Clint Hill's report is not even dated. Four of the five reports are based on exchanges with Boring. In other words, the agents heard this from him. Yet, as the author points out, this was later contradicted by Boring. Gerald Blaine even says there was a Secret Service meeting on November 25th, in which it was decided to cover up Kennedy's orders not to ride on the car. As Palamara points out, this is absurd. The implication is that Rowley made some of the agents switch the blame for the Secret Service's lack of protection to Kennedy.
Palamara further points out the absurdity of Blaine and Rowley's positions by mentioning the famous film of agent Donald Lawton being called off the back of the limousine by Emory Roberts as it pulled out of Love Field. Lawton memorably shrugs his shoulders in bewilderment three times as this recall. Palamara further adds that agent Henry Rybka was supposed to be in the follow up car. But, in fact, inexplicably, Rybka was left at the airport. (ibid, p. 9)
Further, and quite compellingly, Palamara now goes to other agents ignored by Rowley. He asks them if Kennedy ever directed the Secret Service not to ride on the back of the limousine. This list of agents goes on well into the double digits. It includes people like Winston Lawson , Rufus Youngblood, and Sam Kinney. Almost none of them back up what Rowley is proffering. For instance, Kinney states, "That is absolutely, positively false ... no, no, no. He [Kennedy] had nothing to do with that. No, never." (ibid, p. 27) Arthur Godfrey said, "That's a bunch of baloney; that's not true." When Palamara asked John F. Norris about the charge against Kennedy, he replied, "I would doubt that very much." (ibid, p. 28) Jerry O'Rourke wrote to the author, "Did President Kennedy order us off the steps of the limo? To my knowledge, President Kennedy never ordered us to leave the limo." (ibid, p. 37)

Clearly, from this opening episode the author is implying that there was some very odd behavior by the Secret Service in Dallas. And secondly, Rowley was intent on covering it up, by any means necessary. Even if it meant he was going to blame the victim for his own death. Palamara then goes on to mention how this myth then got enshrined in the literature by writers like William Manchester, Blaine and Ron Kessler. (ibid, pgs. 19, 20) In fact, Palamara points out that fellow Secret Service agent Talmadge Bailey told him that Blaine made up the information about the November 25, 1963 meeting. (ibid. p. 23) Palamara also points out that Blaine submitted what he termed to be contemporaneous handwritten notes to the National Archives. The author then notes glaring discrepancies which indicate that these "contemporaneous notes" were obviously composed at least months, if not years later. (ibid)
This opening chapter closes with more interesting evidence discrediting the "Kennedy ordered the agents off the car" myth. Roy Kellerman was the de facto man in charge of the Secret Service detail in Dallas. This was because, Gerald Behn, who should have been in charge on the ground, decided to take a leave at the time. Kellerman testified to the Warren Commission for two days. If Boring had actually relayed a Kennedy order to the Secret Service on this point, would not have Kellerman known about it? If that is so, then why did he not mention it during his two days of testimony? (ibid, p. 43)

II

In Chapter 2, Palamara notes another rather bizarre oddity about the failure of the Secret Service in Dallas.
Most informed observers understand that Dallas was not really in Kennedy's back pocket politically. In fact, there were many sectors of rightwing animus towards the president. And for a variety of reasons: civil rights, his failure to invade Cuba in 1961 or 1962, his attempt to lower the oil depletion allowance etc. In Miami when the Secret Service checked the security index, they came up with six pages of warnings about people like Orlando Bosch and Pedro Diaz Lanz.(p. 169) Yet, when Secret Service agents Winston Lawson and Kellerman checked the indices of the Protection Research Section (PRS) files for any threats on November 8th and 10th, none were found. Youngblood did a check on the morning of November 22nd. Again, no warnings turned up. This is astonishing; on many different levels. First of all, there was a Cuban exile community in Dallas. In fact, there was a small unit of Alpha 66 in town, one of the most high profile and militant anti-Castro groups in existence. Second, Dallas was the home of former General Edwin Walker. Kennedy had removed Walker from his command for passing out John Birch literature to his men. After this, Walker lived in Dallas. He became quite close to some extreme rightwing groups there. He was also active in the riots at Ole Miss over the entry of James Meredith, an entry which Kennedy backed forcefully. Third, a few months earlier, Kennedy's UN ambassador Adlai Stevenson had been in town. He was reportedly spat upon and even jostled with a placard. Fourth, in November, Joseph Milteer had already told FBI informant Willie Somersett about a coming assassination attempt on Kennedy from an office building with a high-powered rifle. Why did the Secret Service not have this information in their PRS files? Or anything about the failed attempt to kill Kennedy in Chicago, which predated all three checks.
Further, there seems to have been some last minute switches in personnel in the November trips to Chicago, Miami, New York and Dallas. For instance, although Glen Bennett was on a temporary assignment for the Presidential Protection Division (PPD), he was on the trips to Tampa and Dallas. Yet, Bennett told the HSCA he was not on this Florida trip, which was on November 18th. (ibid, p. 62) Bennett was detailed from PRS to PPD and then onto protection duty in New York, Tampa and Dallas. Tim McIntyre also denied he was on protection details in November in Chicago and Miami. Yet, he was. This is interesting because there were threats on JFK's life in both Miami and Tampa. Therefore, PRS and the White House Secret Service detail should have been ratcheted up to the equivalent of Defcon 5 by Dallas. Especially after the (now famous) Chicago attempt on Kennedy's life. Yet, as everyone knows, most significantly the author, nothing of the sort happened in Dallas. In fact, as Palamara is at pains to show, quite the opposite occurred. Instead of a tightening of security around Kennedy, a loosening of security occurred. A loosening so blatant and extraordinary, that it seems today to cross over into the negligent. If not worse.

III

In Chapters 3 and 4, Palamara details two significant aspects of the Secret Service failure in Dallas. He devotes Chapter 3 to denuding another attempt by the White House detail to blame the victim for his own murder. With ample evidence, he shows that it was not Kennedy who wanted the bubble top removed in Dallas. That was a Secret Service decision. (p. 91)
Chapter 4 is devoted to the setting of the motorcade route. This is a key point. Because as anyone who has been to the Dealey Plaza, triple underpass site will know, the two turns made by the motorcade into the plaza, onto Houston and then Elm, created an almost ideal situation for what military assassins call an L shaped ambush. That is a slow moving target, vulnerable to snipers from concealed places at three points surrounding the target. In addition, the location allowed for easy exits since there were parking lots adjoining at least two sniper locations: the Depository and the grassy knoll. Palamara does some good and interesting work in regard to the mystery of how this bizarre, indefensible route was chosen. He states that considering the fact that agent Gerald Behn, White House assistant Ken O'Donnell and Kennedy advance man Jerry Bruno were all opposed to the Trade Mart as the dinner destination, its seems odd that it was ultimately chosen. (pgs. 98-101) As late as November 14th, there was no dogleg on the motorcade route. The route came straight down Main Street. (ibid, p. 102)
The author makes the case that the two men who added the dogleg onto Houston and Elm Streets were Secret Service agents Forrest Sorrels and Winston Lawson. There were other routes possible, and the motorcade route was not automatically determined by the selection of the Trade Mart. (ibid, p. 103) Palamara later adds that the final route was not actually decided upon until November 20th. He feels that this change, which included the dogleg, was kept secret after being authorized in Washington by agent Floyd Boring. In a suppressed Commission document the author found, the assistant police chief, Charles Batchelor, revealed that the secrecy about this change in the route made it hard for the local authorities to furnish any help to the Secret Service. (p. 105) Another witness, Sgt. Sam Bellah told the author that the police did not know about the route change until the evening of November 21st. Bellah said the original plan did not have the motorcade pass in front of the Texas School Book Depository. Bellah said that his commander, Captain Lawrence, came to his home late on the evening of the 21st. He took him to the triple underpass to show Bellah the new route for the motorcycle advance escort, of which Bellah was a part. (ibid) Bellah said that there was never any explanation as to why the route was changed at the last moment.
Another local policeman, Captain Orville Jones told author Larry Sneed the same thing. That the motorcade route was changed just prior to the 22nd. Jones told the author that many people he knew in the Secret Service did not approve of going through Dealey Plaza at all. There were other routes discussed which avoided the triple underpass. (ibid)
Another witness to this strange alteration was motorcycle officer Bobby Joe Dale. Dale said that there was more than one route discussed and reviewed by the police. In fact, three had been bandied about. Dale said it was not until Kennedy's arrival at Love Field that morning that he was alerted to what the actual route was going to be. (ibid, p. 106)
Winston Lawson told the Warren Commission that the dogleg was necessary, "Because it is my understanding there isn't any entrance to the freeway on Main Street." (ibid, p. 108) But as the HSCA correctly noted, " ... the Trade Mart was accessible from beyond the triple underpass in such a way that it was not necessary to enter the Elm Street ramp to the expressway. The motorcade could have proceeded westward through Dealey Plaza on Main Street, passed under the underpass and then proceeded on Industrial Boulevard to the Trade Mart." (ibid) In fact, this is the route that Jones thought Kennedy would take that day. As the HSCA attorney in charge of the motorcade route inquiry wrote, "Any map of Dallas in 1963 shows that it was easy to reach the Trade Mart on streets that join Main on the West side of the overpass."
Compounding this shockingly poor choice of a route was the fact that Secret Service protocol was then broken while it was being navigated. Two years before Kennedy's murder, Mike Torina, Chief Inspector, stated that whenever a motorcade must slow down for a turn, the entire intersection must be checked in advance.(p. 109) That did not occur here.
James Rowley wrote to the Commission that he had no knowledge of who actually released the motorcade route to the press. This seems another deception by Rowley. Palamara says it was Betty Forsling Harris a Dallas socialite on the local committee, who did so. She was working closely with representatives of John Connally, the Secret Service, and LBJ aide Bill Moyers. Palamara concludes that this false information was given out for purposes of plausible deniability. That is, the Secret Service could later say that the route was purposely advertised in more than one configuration to show that there was more than one option in hand. When, in reality, the Secret Service knew between November 18th and 20th what the actual route was, including the dogleg.
This is a quite disturbing issue. In and of itself it seems simply bizarre that Lawson and Sorrels would choose this incredibly dangerous route. But then to not protect the president as he was going through this dangerous path is even more bizarre.
Once this route was chosen, then the only way it could be made secure was by the Secret Service being supplemented by local law enforcement agents i.e. the police, the sheriff's office, military intelligence. Again, none of this happened. According to the author, Sheriff Decker told his men not to participate in any security operations. Palamara then writes that the local Dallas police force was called off the night before by the Secret Service. (p. 118) Captain Will Fritz was supposed to commander a detail riding behind the Vice-President with rapid-fire machine guns. According to two sources, this was changed the night before. Instead, this detail was sent to the Trade Mart to protect the speaker's stand.
Palamara now brings in witnesses like former Eisenhower press secretary Jim Haggerty, and former agent Darwin Horn who state that supplementing the Secret Service with local police was a common practice. He then quotes Winston Lawson as denying this before the Warren Commission under oath. His specific words were, "This was not usual procedure." (ibid)
Palamara now makes a penultimate point about the arrangement of the motorcade. Military aide Godfrey McHugh almost always rode in the president's car on these occasions. Yet, in Dallas, another anomaly took place. In Dallas, he was asked by the Secret Service "for the first time" to "ride in the back, instead, as normally I would do, between the driver and the Secret Service agent in charge of the trip." (p. 119) The reason given was this would allow the president fuller exposure to the crowd. As Air Force aide, one of McHugh's duties was to supervise Air Force One.
Finally, the author notes that Batchelor told the Commission that he did not think any local authorities were in place below Houston Street. He then quotes William Manchester as writing, "Possibly [Police Chief] Curry's department met its responsibilities by deciding to end supervision of Friday's crowd at Houston and Main, a block short of the ambush ... " Manchester then added, perhaps for ironic effect, "The weakest link in downtown Dallas was Dealey Plaza." (p. 120)
As Palamara points out with detailed accuracy, everything about this route, from its unnecessary choice, to the lack of supporting personnel, to the violation of protocol, to the secrecy about which route was actually to be used, to the almost incredible lack of protection at its most exposed point, cried out for a thorough investigation. To put it mildly, that did not happen.

IV

From here, Palamara now moves to probably his most grievous charge against the Secret Service. He calls it "security stripping". The author notes that as of November 10th, there were 18 motorcycles listed in the motorcade. Buy by November 21st, Winston Lawson had decreased the amount or motorcycles on either side of the limousine from four to two. (ibid, p. 131) At Love Field the orders were relayed for the cycles to ride to the rear of the car. Dallas policeman Marrion Baker wrote the author that he never got to the bottom of this strange order. Fellow policeman cyclist B. J. Martin said the same thing about this formation. That it was given to them at Love Field. And it was the weirdest formation he ever heard of. Martin said, "Ordinarily, you bracket the car with four motorcycles, one on each fender." (ibid, p. 133) HSCA attorney, Belford Lawson wrote about this matter: "The question that must be answered is why the instructions were given to the officers so shortly before the motorcade..." (ibid, p. 132) In fact, two of the motorcycle cops were so far to the rear of Kennedy, that they weren't even on the same street with him when he was shot. (ibid, p. 134)
By way of comparison, the author compares the protection in Tampa, with that in Dallas. There it was much tighter and there were police on top of tall buildings. (ibid, p. 136) Interestingly, Lawson was the advance man on presidential visits that year to Little Rock and Billings, Montana. Those records were destroyed in 1995, after the creation of the ARRB.
The HSCA shined a light of this issue when it wrote the following: "The Secret Service's alteration of the original Dallas Police Department motorcycle deployment plan prevented the use of maximum possible security precautions." It then continues with another comparison, "Surprisingly, the security measure used in the prior motorcades during the same Texas visit shows that the deployment of motorcycles in Dallas by the Secret Service may have been uniquely insecure." (ibid, pgs. 137-38)
Palamara now points out still another anomaly about the Dallas motorcade. There was a flat bed truck with the media aboard that was supposed to ride in front of the president's car. Again, according to members of the press, this was cancelled at the last minute. The press was moved much further back and placed in Chevy convertibles. (ibid, p. 139) Palamara fairly poses the question: "Was the motorcade manipulated to prevent photographic records of the crime from being made." (p. 139) Which they probably would have been if the truck was in front of Kennedy.
The same exchange of proximity applies to the president's physician George Burkley. Burkley said he virtually always rode in close proximity to the president. He could think of only one previous exception, the visit to Rome in July of 1963. But in Dallas, he was actually relegated to a bus at the rear of the motorcade. (ibid, p. 142) This, of course, delayed his reaction time in getting to the president. Towards the end of this discussion of the out of order cars, and passengers, Palamara then drips in another interesting tidbit. It was Lawson who was in charge of the car numbers for the motorcade. (p. 143) The author says these changes occurred somewhere between November 19th and the 22nd. And Lawson tried to pass them off to advance man Jack Puterbaugh. (ibid) But Palamara writes, Puterbaugh never made any mention of any such responsibility on his part. HSCA attorney Belford Lawson again summed the situation up well: "Why was there so much juggling around and controversy about seating at Love Field, and why was there so much constant repositioning and shuffling of dignitaries' cars in relation to press cars during the Texas trip?" Lawson then added another tantalizing question: "Why was the [Dallas] motorcade longer than any other motorcade on the Texas trip?" (ibid, p. 144) Unfortunately, the HSCA never answered these pointed and crucial questions in anywhere near a satisfactory manner.
From here Palamara now segues to violations of Secret Service protocol according to various manuals. A prime example was the overpass over Elm Street . It should have been cleared of bystanders. It was not. (ibid, p. 144) Buildings were not checked. Even on the dogleg through the Plaza. Buildings should have been checked in the dogleg onto Houston Street. They were not. (ibid, p. 146)According to inspector Michael Torina, agents and police officers should have been standing atop tall buildings. (p. 147) There should have been policemen facing the crowds. As they had been in Fort Worth. There also should have been military officers on hand, as they had been in San Antonio the day before. (p. 150)
And, of course, there was the incident at the late night bar called The Cellar. This is where several agents spent the night before drinking hard alcohol. The agents stayed there until at least 3:00 AM. Some stayed even later than that. This was an obvious violation of rules of conduct since the morning call was at seven. But further, the Secret Service then hired local firemen to protect the president while they were partying. In a high-risk city like Dallas. Yet, no one was punished for this clear violation. As many have asked, how can agents react quickly and smoothly with so much alcohol in them. (pgs. 150) Palamara compares the reaction time of Johnson's Secret Service protector, Rufus Youngblood, which was almost instant, with JFK's which was very slow. Perhaps fatally slow. Or as former Secret Service officer John Norris stated in colorful language, "Except for George Hickey and Clint Hill, everybody else just basically sat there with their thumbs up their butts while the president was gunned down in front of them." (Palamara, p. 152) Making this violation even worse was Hill's comments on the later Secret Service sex scandal in Cartagena Columbia. Hill said, "There's no tolerance at all , no room for any misbehavior in the Secret Service. There's no loose chain. You are on the clock from the time you leave, until the time you return home." As many know, Rowley deliberately chose not to punish anyone even though he knew about the incident.
As the author then notes, what makes all this malfeasance even more suspicious is that there seems to be an institutional memory about it. For as Palamara notes in the book, in January of 1995, the Secret Service destroyed some records, including presidential protection survey reports for some of Kennedy's visits in the fall of 1963. (p. 161) This was after the formation of the Assassination Records Review Board. Further, it was discovered that agent James Mostrovito did destroy documents, but he also got rid of a vial containing a portion of Kennedy's brain. He then went on to a career in the CIA.
The author concludes this section of the book with a look at the behavior of agent Bill Greer, the driver of Kennedy's car. He first notes that ordinarily, the Secret Service liked to maintain speeds of at least 20-30 MPH. Which was much faster than what Dealey Plaza allowed. He also adds that, at the first shot, Greer slowed the car down. He then turned around. Kellerman shouted, "Let's get out of here!" But Greer did not. He disobeyed a superior and turned around again. (p. 188)
Later on, Greer and Kellerman said there was bullet expelled from the president's body through cardiac massage. (p. 195) Further, even though agent Richard Johnsen was an important witness to the chain of possession of CE 399, he was not interviewed by the FBI or the WC. The author then makes an error in his discussion of the provenance of CE 399. He writes that Elmer Lee Todd initialed CE 399. Not so. Hoover said this happened. But his initials are not on the bullet today. Which is utterly bizarre. Palamara recovers a bit when he then writes that Dr. Robert Shaw announced that CE 399 was still in Connally's leg, when in fact, according to the Commission it was being carried on a plane to Washington. And secondly, as Robert Harris has noted, Connally wrote that a bullet fell out of his body after CE 399 was discovered. (Palamara pgs. 197-98)
Palamara goes on with Secret Service malfeasance in the wake of Kennedy's murder. The Secret Service did not produce the clothing of the president when the doctors asked for it at Bethesda. A roll of 120 film was destroyed by a Secret Service agent that night. (ibid, p. 199) Admiral David Osborne sated that an intact bullet fell out of Kennedy's clothing at Bethesda. Osborne added, "Several people had it. I know the Secret Service had it..." And Palamara also notes the role of the infamous Secret Service agent Elmer Moore in altering the first day testimony of the Parkland doctors about the direction of the bullet that pierced Kennedy's throat. Originally reported as being an entrance wound, after Moore was done massaging the testimony of the doctors and nurses at Parkland, the Commission had enough leeway to make this an exit wound for the SBT.

V

The above constitutes what I believe to be the contributions of (considerable ) value in this book. From about page 210 on, that is approximately the second half, the quality of the work drops off. And the approach changes. As does the level of the analysis. For instance, at around this point, Palamara begins to rely upon witnesses like Gerry Patrick Hemming, a man who the late, great Gaeton Fonzi warned us all about. Recall, Hemming is the guy who confirmed the Marita Lorenz assassination caravan. Palamara interviewed him twice. (pgs. 213-14) As if that is not enough, the author now brings in DNC advance man Martin Underwood in a big way. (p. 214) Underwood is the guy who the lamentable Gus Russo dug up to try and say that Fabian Escalante and the Cuban G-2 were actually in on the Kennedy murder plot. When Underwood testified before the ARRB, as they revealed in their report, it turned out his so-called contemporaneous notes on official stationary were neither contemporaneous nor official. This was such a blatant Russo ploy, even Max Holland saw through it. I mean when one Oswald did it zealot goes after another zealot, you know the witness has problems. As Underwood does.
Underwood tells the author that CIA station chief Win Scott told him things he never told anyone. Including his wives and son. Underwood was on a mission for LBJ. LBJ wanted to know what really happened with the JFK case. So Marty goes to talk to Scott in Mexico. Scott tells this low level flunky that the CIA, FBI and the Mob all knew Kennedy was going to be hit. But not just that. They all knew it was going to be on 11/22/63 in Dallas! But eve that it not good enough for Underwood, who here actually goes beyond his flights of fancy for Russo. Let me quote what Underwood tells Palamara: "His number was on the board. I found out later, if they missed him in Dallas, they were thinking of getting him at the LBJ ranch." (p. 215) This is Alex Jones stuff. But now, good ole Marty goes to see Sam Giancana. Sam tells him to tell Johnson that the Mafia had him on their hit list also.
But Underwood now tells the author that 18 hours before the landing at Love Field, they were getting all sorts of solid reports about Kennedy being assassinated in Texas. Well, Underwood now goes to the president and tells him about this. What does JFK say? According to Underwood, he replies with "Marty, you worry about me to much." (ibid)
Enough about Underwood.
From here, Palamara now begins a long section of the book which he would have been well advised to forsake. For literally scores of pages, he catalogues the names of dozens of Secret Service agents and what their performance was like in relation to the JFK assassination. I did not understand why he did this. In the fine opening 200 pages of the book, Palamara clearly named the agents he felt should have been seriously investigated, and why. Further, many of the people he names here had little or nothing to do with the assassination. So this gets both superfluous and boring. It's not all like that of course. But the author would have been much better off trimming this section down by at least 50%. It goes on for more than a hundred pages.
At the end, Palamara concludes with a couple of more dubious chapters. In Chapter 15, where he talks about a motive for the Secret Service to go along with a plot, he actually brings up Sy Hersh's excremental book, The Dark Side of Camelot. In other words because Kennedy was having affairs, the Secret Service looked askance at him as being of low character. (p. 385) I didn't know whether to laugh or cry at this. These are the same guys who Abe Bolden said were heavy drinkers and also serial womanizers. But yet, they could not stomach Kennedy's philandering? Which we know through many good sources was exaggerated. In fact, by these same Secret Service agents who Hersh enlisted in his cause.
The author gets back on track a bit by mentioning Elmer Moore's rightwing politics and his outburst against Kennedy for selling out the country to the Reds. This seems much more realistic as a motive for complicity.
At the end, Palamara lists a very good chronicle of failures by the Secret Service in Dallas. (p. 387) It goes on for three pages. It is very provocative and even disturbing. The author uses it to crystallize the argument he has been making without being explicit about it. That is, after explaining all these serious lapses in protection which enabled the murder to take place, he concludes that the Secret Service was not just negligent, but culpable in the assassination. With the amount of evidence in the first half of the book, it's hard to disagree with him.
In sum, I feel about this work as I do about Doug Horne's multi- volume set. Palamara needed an editor to control his excesses. If he had done that a book worth reading would have been sterling.