The Confession of Secret Service Agent Clint Hill

Secret Service Agent Clint Hill & Friends- I am always on their minds

Vince Palamara Secret Service Expert & Author





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, October 20, 2011

This book was written to counter Vince Palamara's work: epic FAIL

99 of 102 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars This book was written to counter Vince Palamara's work: epic FAIL, October 31, 2010
By r-devic-saint (Pittsburgh, PA) - This review is from: The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence (Hardcover)
Researcher Vince Palamara interviewed and corresponded with many former agents, including Gerald Blaine. They ALL told him that JFK never interfered with their actions at all and DID NOT order the agents off his limousine. Blaine, in a panic because the truth hurts, hastily wrote this book as a result. Notice how defensive it is in tone and how Blaine goes on and on about the fraudulent notion that President Kennedy ordered the agents off his limo on 11/18/63, which somehow became a standing order to be applied to the upcoming Dallas trip...false! SAIC Gerald Behn, ASAIC Floyd Boring, ATSAIC Art Godfrey, GERALD BLAINE, and many other former agents and non-agency personnel debunked this years before this book was written. What's more, Blaine, without having the courage to name Palamara (pages 359-360), seeks to denigrate his massively researched work via the alleged misidentification of the agent who was recalled at Love Field...as if THAT alone overrides all the damning evidence of Blaine's lies about JFK throughout the work. Mr. Blaine, with all due respect, you should be ashamed of yourself for this book. You know the real story, as does Palamara and many of your colleagues. The agents who protected President Reagan on 3/30/81 put your men to shame. Irony: you have made major amounts of money on this case, much more than 99 percent of the critical research community you seek to denigrate. No one is buying it, but they sure are BUYING it...guess huge profits are nice, huh?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2010 1:21:30 AM PST
don jeffries says:
By your rationale, young historians couldn't comment on the Civil War, or World War II, or any other event from the past, since they weren't there to witness it in person. Palamara has done the job mainstream journalists should have, but didn't. He tracked down all those agents, unearthed important documents, and produced a work that is of true historical value, unlike Blaine's self-serving piece of historical fluffery.

Btw, the biggest joke here is the promo line that Blaine and Hill "are breaking their silence." They've each been interviewed previously, and have testified before about the events in Dealy Plaza. Too bad they still can't get the story straight.

Face the facts- they were charged with protecting the President of the United States, and they failed miserably in their job.
288 of 309 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars Oswald did it...and JFK helped, too?, October 28, 2010
By Vince Palamara "SECRET SERVICE/JFK/STEELERS/M... (South Park/Bethel Park, PA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME) This review is from: The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence (Hardcover)
As the leading civilian authority on the Secret Service, especially regarding the JFK/ LBJ era, and as someone who interviewed and/ or corresponded with close to 80 former agents between 1990-2006 (roughly double the number of former agents interviewed for this book), I was, needless to say, very much interested in what former agent and author Gerald Blaine (a nice gentleman I spoke to twice and corresponded with several times via e-mail), along with co-author Lisa McCubbin and fellow former agent Clint Hill (a very close friend of Blaine's to whom I had sent a 22-page letter to and spoke to very briefly and who also wrote the Foreword), had to say about President Kennedy and the tragic events of November 22, 1963, when the Secret Service failed in the worst way, costing the nation the life of our President. As a total stranger and an outsider, my contacts with the former agents were very much in the "cross examination" mode (often eliciting begrudging, not-too-friendly responses), while, as a trusted insider, it is fair to say that Blaine's contacts would be of the "direct/ friendly examination" variety. This dichotomy will become important for a number of reasons.

I am as certain as a human being can be that it was my lengthy letter to Clint Hill that led to the genesis of this book----I sent it in June of 2005 and received a very cantankerous "non-reply" when I phoned the gentleman this same time period. Also, during this very same time period, as Blaine admitted to the Daily Sentinel's Bob Silbernagel for his 5/23/10 article, Blaine began contacting as many living former agents who served President Kennedy for his book as he could (it is important to note that I also made contacts with Mr. Blaine during this time period, as well). Why am I so certain that my letter was a catalyst? As an ardent critic of the Secret Service's performance in Dallas (going much further than the two government "investigations", the Warren Commission and the HSCA), I sent Mr. Hill, in effect, a "Cliff Notes" version of my research for my own book ("Survivor's Guilt: The Secret Service & The Failure To Protect The President"), spelling out why I came to be certain that fellow former agents 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 on 11/22/63) were grossly negligent before, during, and after JFK was assassinated. Judging by Mr. Hill's "response" (or lack thereof), my attempt to address my concerns did not go over very well, to put it mildly.

As it bears directly on "The Kennedy Detail" , just what specifically are my concerns? Simply put: many of these former agents (and several White House aides), including several who passed away years before this book was even a thought, such as the number one agent on the Kennedy Detail, Gerald Behn; one of the three Shift Leaders, Arthur Godfrey; the number two agent on LBJ's detail (who ALSO had protected JFK), Rufus Youngblood; Sam Kinney, the driver of the follow-up car in Dallas; Robert Bouck, the Special-Agent-In-Charge of the Protective Research Section; Frank Stoner of the Protective Research Section; Maurice Martineau, the Acting-Special- Agent- In- Charge of the Chicago Office who protected JFK from '61-'63 whenever he came to the area; John Norris of the Uniformed Division; Dave Powers, the former curator of the JFK Library who rode in the follow-up car many times, including on 11/22/63; author Helen O'Donnell, daughter of the late Ken O'Donnell, JFK's Chief of Staff (based on her memory and her father's many audio tapes); and many others, told me, in no uncertain terms, that President Kennedy was a very nice man, NEVER interfered with the actions of the Secret Service, and, most importantly, DID NOT ORDER THE AGENTS OFF HIS CAR (nor did O'Donnell, as verified by the aforementioned Helen O'Donnell, Art Godfrey, and Sam Kinney and, by extension, Dave Powers)! With regard to the Tampa, FL trip of 11/18/63, not only do many existing films and photos all along the long motorcade route depict agents on the rear of JFK's car, Congressman Sam Gibbons, who RODE IN THE CAR WITH JFK, told me that he heard no such order from JFK for the agents to be removed in the first place AND that the agents rode the rear bumper all the way. Surprisingly, the number two agent, Floyd Boring (who passed away 2/1/08 and to whom I spoke to twice and corresponded with once), told me the same thing: namely, that the "Get-The-Ivy-League-Charlatans-Off-The-Limo" tale (first told by the late author William Manchester, who had interviewed Gerald Blaine, Clint Hill, and Emory Roberts, but not Boring) is false---Boring never said that to him, never spoke to Manchester in any case, the tale is not true, and that, once again, JFK was a very nice man, very cooperative with the Secret Service, and never interfered with their actions at all! Agents of the Kennedy Detail who conveyed similar knowledge to myself---that JFK never interfered with their actions--- were Walt Coughlin, Winston Lawson (the lead advance agent for Dallas), Don Lawton (who rode on the rear of the car 11/18/63), Abe Bolden, Robert Lilley, Frank Yeager, Gerald O'Rourke, Sam Sulliman, Vince Mroz (now deceased), Larry Newman, and, quite surprisingly, Gerald Blaine himself, a little over a year before he began writing his book!

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. Floyd Boring, as agency planner of the fateful trip, in spite of what he forcefully stated to me, did indeed convey the exaggerated---some would say false--notion that JFK had asked that the agents remove themselves from the car 4 short days before Dallas, taking it upon himself to tell several Dallas agents, depending on who you choose to believe, either as an "anecdote" of alleged presidential kindness and consideration in not wanting to have the agents "over exert" themselves (what Boring told the ARRB's Doug Horne in 1996) or a strict "presidential admonition" to stay off the car (as Clint Hill conveyed to the Warren Commission's Arlen Specter, under oath, in 1964). In addition, the motorcycle escort was reduced to (as the HSCA put it) a "uniquely insecure" smaller formation for Dallas, allegedly because, as Boring told the ARRB (and as Win Lawson, assigned to the Dallas trip by Boring [and who would have been merely following orders], told the Warren Commission under oath), JFK allegedly didn't like alot of noise from motorcycles, although he had no problem in countless prior motorcades, including that very same morning in Fort Worth and the day before in San Antonio and Houston. Emory Roberts ordered an agent back from JFK's limo at Love Field (as this reviewer discovered back in 1991 and had popularized for the first time back in 1995 and, again, in 2003 on The History Channel, long before this clip became something of an internet sensation), recalled an agent during the shooting and, as Sam Kinney told me, ordered the men on the follow-up car not to move! For his part, Bill Greer slowed the President's car down during the shooting, twice looked back at JFK, and disobeyed Roy Kellerman's order to get out line (and denied all of this to the Warren Commission). Coupled with several---many?---of the agent's stated anger about JFK's private life (as stated to author Seymour Hersh, among others), these actions, inactions, and feelings are cause for concern.

That said, the vast majority of these men (Blaine included) are honorable former government employees that were merely following orders on that fateful day in Dallas. 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".

More Mainstream Disinformation, October 29, 2010
By don jeffries "dajeffries" (virginia, usa) - See all my reviewsThis review is from: The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence (Hardcover)
"The Kennedy Detail" is inacurate and self-serving fluff, and merely another in a long series of attempts to distort the truth about what really happened on November 22, 1963. For those of us who have studied the JFK assassination in some depth, one of the few indisputable facts about that day is the complete lack of response on the part of President Kennedy's Secret Service detail. The fact remains that, if the Secret Service agents had been doing their job, John F. Kennedy would not have died in Dealey Plaza.

Vince Palamara is THE expert on the Secret Service's performance, or lack thereof, the day of the assassination. It is a sad indictment of our mainstream press that pablum like this, or "Case Closed," or Vincent Bugliosi's magnus ridiculotus, gets published and massively marketed, while Palamara's ground breaking research remains available for free online, due to the generosity of the author.

Deapite these perpetual efforts to promote the impossible official fairy tale, the public remains largely unconvinced. In the case of this book, we have now reached the height of absurdity, as the victim (JFK) is now being blamed for his own murder. This is incredible gall on the part of the author, to say the least. I would urge anyone interested in the real truth about the way the Secret Service performed in Dallas that day to read Vince Palamara's online work.

Those expecting answers to the numerous questions about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, will most certainly not find them in this book.

1.0 out of 5 stars The truth hurts..., October 28, 2010
By Vince "music/ Secret Service/Steelers fanatic" (Pittsburgh, PA) - See all my reviews

Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence (Hardcover)
"The Kennedy Detail" takes poetic license regarding some crucial matters. For one, there was NO morning-of-JFK's-funeral meeting with Chief Rowley OTHER than to discuss the security for Jackie's walk to St. Matthews Cathedral. Everyone from this 47-year-old meeting---other than Blaine--- is conveniently dead and there is no documentation for this meeting to discuss JFK's alleged comments ("order") to remove the agents in Tampa on 11/18/63, used as a very lame excuse for why the agents weren't there on 11/22/63 (as agent Win Lawson said, there were no standing orders for the agents to stay off the back of the car and the matter never came to his attention---so much for the advance agents getting wind of these "orders"). Many agents and NON AGENTS (a crucial distinction Blaine doesn't get) have denied that JFK ever interfered with the Secret Service (what "code" would the NON SECRET SERVICE AGENTS have been following, Mr. Blaine?). In addition, Blaine makes a big deal about CE1025, the 5 reports submitted to Chief Rowley in April 1964 (only because the Warren Commission asked) regarding any statements JFK may have made regarding agents being on the rear of his car. Besides the fact that two of the agents---SAIC Behn & ASAIC Boring---denied the substance of their reports to the self-described "Secret Service expert" Blaine seeks to denigrate in "The Kennedy Detail", these reports were NOT just released in 1992, as Blaine alleges, but have been available since 1964, when the Warren Commission released their 26 volumes of hearings and exhibits for sale and library holdings. If that weren't enough, many major newspapers (such as The New York Times) and massive best-selling books (such as Jim Bishop's "The Day Kennedy Was Shot") made a great issue out of these after-the-fact reports; nothing whatsoever hidden there (and the aforementioned "Secret Service expert" [unnamed: Vince Palamara] has discussed these reports many times, as have others). As for the supposed Rybka misidentification, Rybka's family and a couple former agents were fooled, as well (especially considering the fact that both Emory Roberts and Win Lawson 'mistakenly' placed Rybka IN the follow-up car in their reports, only to 'correct' the record later). This also does not address the fact that Emory Roberts can clearly be seen rising in his seat and, using hand gestures, tells the agents (whether Rybka or, as Blaine states, Don Lawton) to fall back from the car, the agent raises his hands several times in response, Paul Landis makes room for the agent in the follow-up car, and the agents and aides in the follow-up car, without smiling, follow the agents' seeming perplexed reaction as the cars move on without him. Finally, with regard to the figurative "back stabbing" (not intended) Blaine states the "Secret Service expert" made with regard to documenting what the former agents said, keep in mind: if there was NO record, WHO would choose to believe what was said to a total stranger (especially over the word of former agents)? In the vernacular of today, "it is what it is": the former agents---AND NON AGENTS---said what they said and wrote what they wrote.

With that in mind, "The Kennedy Detail" is a book I recommend everyone buy and read---some very good information and photos, written by a good and honorable man who is obviously a very good and caring friend of his former comrades in arms, who, with a few noteable exceptions, are equally good and honorable men who were just doing their jobs and following orders when JFK was killed.
Initial post: Nov 7, 2010 4:07:26 PM PST
r-devic-saint says:

Thank you Mr. Palamara. Anyone familiar with your exhaustive research, can point numerous changes in security protocol that occurred that day in Dallas that were not in effect on any of the other stops on this campaign trail, no motorcycles on the side of the car, no agents on the back of the car, no bubble-top on the car. Are we to believe that President Kennedy chose Dallas, a city where he was despised, to make these changes in his security? While we're at it, are we to believe he told the agents to stay out all night and get drunk the evening before?

This is all very far fetched but understandable in light of the incompetence these agents showed that day. The fact is wether you believe in a conspiracy or not, these men screwed up and the president was killed. That has to be a lot of guilt to cary around for 47 years and I can accept their wish to avoid responsibility for their own incompetence, what can't accept is their passing this denial off as history.

Blaine Contradicts Himself, December 27, 2010
By K. Good (Monroeville, PA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME) This review is from: The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence (Hardcover)
First off, I will openly state that I have not yet read this book, but am rather disturbed by the splashy taglines that are associated with it. First off, the Secret Service Agents have not just now "broken their silence." That was done years ago through Vince Palamara's "Survivor's Guilt", which still holds the record for the largest number of interviews conducted with agents associated with the JFK assassination. Included among those interviewed and quoted in that book was Gerald Blaine.

Perhaps Mr. Blaine's current story is along the lines of what former agent Abe Bolden has alleged in his review (and Mr. Bolden is also among those quoted in Palamara's work) - a late-breaking attempt at CYA. It is interesting to note that it appears that this book - again, based on its own publicity descriptions - once more sets forth the accusation that JFK compromised his own safety in Dallas on 22 Nov. '63 by ordering agents off his open limo. Also that he exhibited a pattern of recklessly interfering with the SSA's efforts to protect him. This has become something of an urban legend, first set forth in the popular conscience by Wm. Manchester's "The Death of a President." Yet as Palamara's extensive interviews have revealed, the majority of agents interviewed refuted that notion, some being rather upset that Manchester had put this forth in his book.

The general consensus of the agents Palamara got to go on the record stated something far different - that JFK was relatively easy-going with the Secret Service and did not interfere with their efforts. Here is how Blaine himself described the situation to Palamara (a direct quote from "Survivor's Guilt"): "Blaine told the author on February 7, 2004 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 the author 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."

It should be noted that nowhere in Palamara's book did any secret service agent admit to having heard personally from JFK that the agents should back off their accepted protection practices of closely covering the president's limo. Several directly stated their doubts that he would have done so. And agents Boring and Behn refuted previous reports they had made (supporting the notion of JFK's "orders to back off"), by likewise telling Palamara that JFK did not interfere with the SSA's protection schemes.

I will reserve further comment and judgment on Mr. Blaine's book, but I must regard it with mistrust when it is now being promoted with expressed positions that contradict what the author has previously stated in published material on this topic.

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