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...

Search This Blog

Sunday, December 11, 2011

MOST reviews of "The Kennedy Detail" are terrible!

MOST reviews of "The Kennedy Detail" are terrible!


14 of 19 people found the following review helpful:
3.0 out of 5 stars Clearly written to seek and give absolution for failing, December 27, 2010
By Dawn Alger - See all my reviewsAmazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence (Hardcover)
I have always been a "Kennedy buff" so reading the gripping details of peoples perceptions that fateful day and lining them up with what I have learned, knew, and even thought I knew was absolutely fascinating. While reading your sense of "why was Kennedy killedon November 22 1963" is replaced with the knowledge that it is a miracle it hadn't happened sooner. There is a point, from "6 seconds in Dallas" through some part of the funeral that is as utterly gripping as it was heartbreaking. That being said, it becomes painfully obvious, especially toward the end of the book, that the writer Gerald Blaine (who writes the book in the third person, and was NOT in the motorcade) is seeking absolution for himself, Clint Hill, and the Secret Service as a whole.

Blaine wasn't there at the moment of the assassination so absolution for himself seems unnecessary. Clint Hill was Jackie Kennedy's agent and the only person to try and DO something that day, jumping onto the presidents limousine. But this brings us directly to the failure of the Secret Service.

We read excuse after excuse as to why 1 out of the 4 Secret Service agents ran to the car when the shots were fired and while many of the explanations make sense, you simply can not absolve the Secret Service for failing miserably. ie: If it was the policy of the Secret Service follow-up-car to "turn away" from an agent jumping off the left running board, thereby blocking the agent on the right running board from assisting lest he be run over by the turning vehicle as is claimed in the book, then what you have is a moronic policy that may have cost the president his life.

Under what training regiment would a Secret Service agent hear a loud bang and assume it was a firecracker, tire blowout, or motorcycle backfire and not assume a gunshot given your entire life revolves around protecting the president from a gunshot? Yet we read that Kennedy's driver, William Greer, HIT THE BRAKES of the presidential limousine to see "if the vehicle was responding properly." While I believe the explanation, it vividly demonstrates how woefully under-trained the agent was and that is a failure of the Secret Service. This continues beyond Kennedy as the author describes a time they flew President Johnson into a mob... as if that was a good idea.

All in all a good read, if you keep in mind that this is the perceptions of a man who wasn't there for some of what happened. A man who wouldn't have knowledge of a "conspiracy" unless he were involved in one, and who glosses over any theory but his own as to what happened that day. He does clear up a few issues (like the motorcade route's inability to drive straight down Main and why) whitch definitely shed light on the chaos of that day, but nothing will ever take away the fact that the Secret Service had one job, to protect the president. A job on which November 22, 1963 they failed spectacularly.

I closed the book, closed my eyes and prayed that the Secret Service is a better, more competent agency today than it was back then.

325 of 445 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars The coverup continues, November 6, 2010
By Fmr. Agent Abraham Bolden - See all my reviewsThis review is from: The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence (Hardcover)
I just finished reading the 448 page "Cover Your Ass" book by agent Blaine. As a former Secret Service Agent and the first African American to be appointed to the White House Detail, I was dismayed at the continued attempts by former agents to deny culpability in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The attack upon my credibility in the book, "The Kennedy Detail" was expected; but I was hoping that the former Kennedy body guards would show a modicum of contriteness in the book instead of trying to blame Kennedy's assassination on the President himself. Unlike the general reading public, I was an agent during the critical period on November 22, 1963. In my book, "The Echo from Dealey Plaza", I relate to the public what I saw while serving on the white house detail and the disrespect and hatred towards the President that I heard expressed by some of my fellow agents.

Although, Blaine refers my claims of racism in the secret service white house detail in 1961 as being unfounded, on page 25 of my book, I document by secret service file memo 3-11-602-111 the stark racism that prevented me from carrying out my protective responsibilities in Miami Florida. Mr. Blaine also states in his "cya" book that Agent Faison, who was the first African American permanently, assigned to the White House Detail in 1963 took issue with my "unbelievable" charges of racism in the secret service. If there was no racism in the secret service in 1963 then how is it that just eight years ago, 57 African American Agents filed a class action suit, (that is still pending in federal district court) charging overt racism by the agency.(see [...])?

Blaine and other agents can feed the public with the "cya" account of the secret service actions during the Kennedy area but I was there and was a witness to the incompetence, laxity of certain agents surrounding the president, the drinking and cavalier attitude among many of the agents on the detail, the references to President Kennedy as being a Ni---r lover and their disdain for his stand for racial justice and equal opportunity for All Americans. I was present among a few agents who were discussing the protection of President Kennedy in which the statement was made that if an attempt were made on the life of the President, they would take no action.

Blaine states in his book that I said that I discussed the conduct of my fellow agents on the detail with Chief James Rowley. I make no such claim. On page 45 of The Echo from Dealey Plaza, I specifically state that I discussed the problems of Kennedy's protection with Chief U. E. Baughman. I did not go to Rowley because I knew that he already knew of the conduct of the agents and would do nothing about it.

As far as agents being forbidden to ride on the special running boards of the presidential vehicle, that rumor was not circulated until "after" the assassination of the president. There was no official memorandum or other notification of such an order advising agents of this change in protective policy. This rumor is no more than a scandalous assertion put forth by agents who failed in their duty to properly protect the President of these United States.

Lastly, Blaine derides me concerning the Kennedy investigations that took place in Chicago during November, 1963; however, he has no knowledge of the chicanery that took place in the Chicago office of the secret service during that time. Unlike Blaine, I was there. I was there when in early November, 1963 the Chicago office of the secret service investigated a character named Echevarria. Echevarria stated that President Kennedy was about to be assassinated. I heard the investigating agent dictating the reports in early November, 1963. The investigation took place prior to the assassination in Dallas. On the afternoon of November 26, 1963, Inspector Kelly, SAIC James Burke,and representatives of the FBI had a meeting in the Chicago office of the secret service. Kelly and Burke were the lead investigators representing the secret service in Dallas prior to the assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald. The Echevarria investigation took place during the first two weeks in November. I was there in the office when the reports that had already been dictated by the investigating agents and typed by the secretaries were rounded up and banded in a single stack in the office of SAIC Martineau. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that these collected investigative reports were dictated by the agents PRIOR to the assassination of Kennedy. However, after Kelly and Burke ended their conference, these same reports were restructured and the dates of the investigation were changed to indicate that the Echevarria investigation was conducted AFTER the assassination and had reference to the concern for the protection of President Johnson as Blaine claims in his "CYA" book. I was there. I know what happened and Blaine may fool the general public, but he can't fool me.

Blaine refers to me as the convicted felon and uses that phrase in an attempt to discredit me and my autobiography, The Echo from Dealey Plaza. I may well be a convicted felon but 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? I doubt it. They know the truth too.

362 of 433 people found the following review helpful:
4.0 out of 5 stars Depending on your vantage point - maybe great read, maybe not !!!!, November 4, 2010
By A Customer (Westport, CT) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE) (TOP 500 REVIEWER) Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence (Hardcover)

I am ambivalent about the Kennedy Detail. This review was ready to go a week ago, and frankly I did not want to send it in. I have written 100 plus reviews and this is the first time I experienced this feeling.

If you are new to an understanding of the Kennedy Assassination, or the Kennedy Administration then I would tell you that you should absolutely read this book, and you will LOVE it. You will have an understanding of the adoration felt by the Secret Service agents who guarded him, as well as the American people who voted for this extraordinary man. I say extraordinary because there is no question he had a charisma which very few people possess. The manner of his death left an indelible impression on anyone who was intellectually alive at the time, and elevated him to an exalted status that he would never have obtained, had he lived. This is no different than the effect of FDR's death on America in April of 1945, or Lincoln's in April of 1865.

Now this book, "The Kennedy Detail" comes along and promises to tell us about JFK's Secret Service Agents breaking their silence. The book has a strange narrative to it. It is written by Gerald Blaine with Lisa McCubbin. Gerald Blaine was a Special Agent in the Secret Service assigned to the White House detail that guarded John Kennedy. Lisa McCubbin is a journalist that has been associated with three major television news networks. She is obviously writing the book for Blaine, but oddly enough the book is completely written in the third person. It is not Gerald Blaine's voice we are hearing. For me, this was a problem.

My real problems with the book were two fold.


We all understand that President Kennedy was a flawed man. Whether it was the issue of his flagrant womanizing, or any other inappropriate behavior, the Secret Service would have had to be completely aware of it, and or complicit to it. There is not a single word about individuals such as Marilyn Monroe, Judith Exner, Mary Meyer or any other liaison that all of us are aware of, and history recognizes to be true. Now this is perfectly respectable, because the Secret Service relationship to its President should be as a lawyer is to a client, one of confidentiality.

Now having said that, I believe at the very least that the authors should have issued a disclaimer stating that many allegations were made about President Kennedy and his personal behavior. The authors will not confirm or deny the validity of these stories. Instead the authors choose to portray a fairy tale type existence inside the White House. I simply find it less than honest, and in fact hurtful to historical accuracy. It is a disservice to the record, and not forgivable. It is fraudulent, and phony.

It would have still been all right except there are a series of photographs following page 140. On the top of the 9th page of the photographs there's a great one of JFK looking down at Marilyn Monroe's breasts on the night of his birthday party at Madison Square Garden, May 19th, 1962. If you are going to include the photograph, now you have an obligation to tell the story.


The authors are completely sympathetic towards the Warren Commission interpretation of the assassination. I have a problem with this attitude. I feel much stronger about this than I will express here. We must remember that President Johnson within hours of the Assassination felt the Secret Service was incompetent according to tapes of LBJ's conversation, and talked to J. Edgar Hoover about having the FBI take over Presidential protection. There is no disagreement on this point.

Second, Lyndon Johnson and other members of the Warren Commission including Robert Kennedy himself did not believe the lone assassin theory. Please check Arthur Schlesinger and Walter Sheridan who worked for Bobby Kennedy at the Justice department on the historical record. Why does Blaine find it necessary to frankly shove it down the reader's throat about the lone assassain theory? I would remind Mr. Blaine that the President's Lincoln Continental that he died in was a crime scene. Secret Service agents are not crime scene experts, but any crime scene detective would tell you that the first rule or procedure in a crime scene is to PRESERVE THE CRIME SCENE.

The Presidential vehicle was basically ripped apart and destroyed and reconstructed. A partial cleaning occurred at the hospital in Dallas The evidence was gone forever. Who in their right mind would have ordered such a thing? In the next five years, some 4 million assassination related documents will be released relevant to the death of JFK and we may finally get to the bottom of this terrible crime against our country.

One final point is that I resent that at different times in the book, the Secret Service wants to make us aware that President Kennedy did not want the Secret Service physically blocking him from the voters during a motorcade. When I have stood in Dealey Plaza, I realized that anybody could have pulled a handgun and shot 5 feet into the car and killed this man. He was WIDE OPEN, and this is unforgivable.

What I LIKED about this book:

This is the finest book ever written about the Secret Service or the President's protection. Nothing comes close and I have seen everything. If you want to understand how the President is protected, this is the book for you. If you want to know how Secret Service protection differs today from what it was like back then in the 1960's, there is no better way to find out than through this book. The difference is like night and day. You need to understand practices and procedures back then, to understand what they are like today.

What you will realize is that these agents are highly professional, dedicated men, who swear an oath to place their bodies in the line of fire between those they protect, and those who seek to do harm. One has to have tremendous respect for these agents. Now having said that, there is a difference between those who protected FDR, Truman, Kennedy, and all those who came later. The organization has moved from a 3 or 4 car motorcade to a 50 to 54 car motorcade. Overworked agents who did consecutive multiple shifts with a commensurate decrease in their capacity to function were a norm back then. Now there is an abundance of agents protecting POTUS.

Overall protection for the President including costs of Air Force One, and Marine One approaches several hundred million dollars per year. This estimate is in the public area, and will not be verified by the Secret Service. The dollars spent is even shielded from Congress through budgetary hocus pocus. JFK had 30 to 40 Secret Service agents assigned to his detail - that's it. Heads of many American corporations routinely have a 24 man protection detail which includes 8 men per 8 hour shift. The rap star P. Diddy spends $30,000 per day on protection. Today Secret Service protection is exponentially bigger than back then. It's a different world.


Read this book to understand the workings of Presidential protection in the old days, and a less than honest understanding of who is responsible for the death of a President that only the voters of the United States had a right to remove from office. There are distortions, deletions, and misstatement of facts in this book, but I would read it anyway. You simply have to decide for yourself what is true and what is not true. Thank you for reading this review.

Richard C. Stoyeck


2 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars This is NOT worth One Penny, November 17, 2011
By Stephen Courts "StephenJames" (Columbus, Ohio) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME) This review is from: The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence (Hardcover)
I have not and will not read this book. As a serious student studying the murder of President Kennedy, this is not a book that offers one single new fact to the millions of pages in 1000's of books. If you want to read about the Secret Service and the JFK detail I highly recommend Abraham Bolden's, The Echo From Dealy Plaza. This is written by Mr. Bolden and is full of the real facts about the attitude of the Secret Service in the early 1960's. Racism, lax security, drinking on the job, cover-ups, new credentials following the murder issued to the entire Secret Service. Mr. Bolden was falsely imprisoned by low lifes like Blaine for attempting to speak to the "Johnson Commission" about the terrible work habits of the Secret Service andd their lack of protection of JFK. Most reseachers believe, rightly, that it was the Secret Service that allowed the conspirators to kill President Kennedy. I consider most of this agency to be a disgrace, Mr. Bolden and perhaps Clint Hill and a few others being the exception to the rule. Don't purchase this crap, read The Echo From Dealy Plaza.

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
2.0 out of 5 stars Banal, like a PR piece for Secret Service, October 5, 2011
By David A. Woerner (Houston, Texas area) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME) Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence (Hardcover)
This book is very boring and banal, and reads like a public relations piece for the Secret Service. Everyone is competent and a complete professional. Not a word about Kennedy's private activities. Not worth your time to read, nothing to learn here.

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars A Continuation of the Myth, October 1, 2011
By John B. Howarth (Richland washington) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME) This review is from: The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence (Hardcover)
Although it was heartwarming to read Clint Hill's preface, this book is truly a disappointment in its lack of objectivity. JFK was a medicore President at best, whose personal risk-taking (covered up throughout his Presidency by his- self-appointed Co-President Bobby, and a worshipful media) placed both his office and nation in great peril due to his association with Mafia Kingpins and his moral degeneracy.As a result, Gerald Blain's blindness and Kennedy veneration made this entire book lacking in credibility.

I do not consider myself a conspiracy nut by dismissing the findings of the fairy tale explanation offered up by the Warren Commission. As a retired Police Officer I simply view the assassination as a crime requiring cold and calculating objective investigation- regardless of the emotional attachments that clouded the event and still to this day have rendered sober analysis a near impossibility with a great number of people.

In November 1963, the murder of a POTUS was not a Federal crime and therefore regardless of the desire to spare Mrs. Kennedy any further grief by remaining in Dallas, the Secret Service, and particularly people like Kenny O'Donnell, Dave Powers and Robert Kennedy had absolutely no authority to have JFK's corpse illegally removed from the Texas authorities prior to an autopsy, and coupled with the destruction of physical evidence in the Limo was itself obstruction of justice.

Even if Oswald had survived his own assassination, it would have been interesting to see how the prosecution would explain the contamination of physical evidence and total destruction of the chain of custody. The botched and questionable autopsy at Bethesda was in itself a farce and a sham to any forensic scientist conducted by unqualified military syncopates.

Blaine and his Kennedy worshiping co-author did not do reality any favors with this whitewashed and sterile attempt at explaining the truth and should be ashamed.

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Enough Objectivity, September 27, 2011
By Donald G. Zeiter (St. Louis, MO USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME) This review is from: The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence (Hardcover)
The most glaring thing about this book is how the agents practically worshiped at the feet of JFK and his wife. Reading this book you get the impression that they had the most romantic marriage and were hopelessly devoted to each other as they were the only people on earth good enough for each other.

The reality, as we all know now with decades of hindsight, is that their marriage was hardly deserving of Camelot. Yet reading this book you would never know JFK had eyes for any other woman. The book talks about his 'off the record' trips but Blaine must be leaving out a lot of details everyone is aware of today and hopefully the SS agents were fully aware of at the time. If Blaine and the other agents were as clueless about JFK's liaisons as portrayed in this book they were the worst personal security agents ever.

If the agents knew of JFK's liaisons, the worship shown in this book seems strange. Blaine is described as a happy family man as are the other married agents so why were they so in awe of someone they knew slept around on his wife? It's a strange disconnect. If this book had come out in 1964 it couldn't have been more worshipful of the President and First Lady.

Of course, the shooting in Dallas is the main reason to read this book. The men protecting the president should have a different take on what happened than journalists investigating after the fact. Fortunately, the actions of the agents are detailed as are the gory and bloody descriptions of what happened after the shots hit JFK.

Reading this book and knowing what happened in Dallas it is a wonder it didn't happened sooner as the security of the president in these motorcades was practically non-existent. An 'off the record' trip to New York is described where the president is being driven through traffic like any other motorist with no police protection. 30 mile long motorcades where they slowed down among heavy crowds and tall office buildings made it impossible to stop even a half-hearted killer. Ironically, when the book talks about groups or people expected to be a threat they are described as right wing or conservatives. But of course Oswald was a lefty and Communist sympathizer.

Had the book toned down the hero worship of Kennedy and presented him as a normal human being that cannot walk on water while healing sick kids and puppies it would have been a better read. But for giving some inside details about what happened in Dallas and not adding to the stupid conspiracy theories I give it two stars.

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
2.0 out of 5 stars Detailed, but boring, August 4, 2011
By Penelope D. Debarge "nanatosix" (Palm Coast, FL) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME) Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence (Hardcover)
While it was interesting to hear the facts that led up to the assassination I found the book tedious and drawn out. Too much explaining of how the planning of each trip (which is the same for each trip) is done. I'd pass on this one, or just take it out from the library. Not worth a purchase.

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
3.0 out of 5 stars A couple of key facts incorrect, July 4, 2011
By Marshmallow3706 - See all my reviewsAmazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence (Hardcover)
Overall a decent book, but the shooting sequence has two major inaccuracies. First, Governor Connally and the President were struck by the same bullet (the second fired by Oswald). Anyone watching the Zapruder film can see this. The authors claim this is two different shots when history and more technical analysis have shown that it was indeed one bullet that struck both the President and Governor Connally. Oswald's first shot glanced off a tree branch and missed the motorcade all together. His third shot was of course the fatal head shot. I understand conspiracy theorists aren't going to like hearing that, but facts are stubborn things.

Secondly (and even worse in my opinion), is that the authors state that the driver of the presidential limo, Bill Greer, stepped on the gas after the second shot. Watching the Zapruder film you can see Greer, who for some reason looks back to Kennedy TWO TIMES after he has already been struck - so that he is also looking right at the president when the fatal head shot occurs. Only then does he step on the gas as Agent Hill struggles to climb on board. The book also states that Greer was not looking at the president during the fatal shot - proven wrong by the Zapruder film.

Now, I am not a conspiracy theorist. I do not believe that the Secret Service, including driver agent Bill Greer were complicit in the assassination. But clearly this book is meant as a way to cover up incompetent behavior on the agents' part. This shouldn't really be unexpected from a book written in part by a member of Kennedy's Secret Service detail, but the reader may want to know this up front.

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
3.0 out of 5 stars Kennedy Detail, June 15, 2011
By VMI man (Richmond, Virginia) - See all my reviewsThis review is from: The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence (Hardcover)
Did the author have a tape recorder to record verbatIm all conversations? Not historical fiction, but not entirely historical either. Interesting, but could have been shorter. He says that they preserved the car as evidence, but isn't there a photo showing the agents washing the interior of the car in front of the Parkland ER?

9 of 12 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) - See all my reviewsThis 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?

139 of 140 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".

No comments: