MY 5 BOOKS + DVD/BLU RAY. I AM ALSO ON NEWSMAX TELEVISION (OCT-DEC 2019; JANUARY 2020 and beyond). They are rebroadcasting my episode of THE MEN WHO KILLED KENNEDY, a massive ratings and DVD bonanza for the History Channel back in 2003

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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Saturday, December 26, 2009

My letter to Clint Hill

This is the 22 page letter I sent to Clint Hill that I STRONGLY suspect was the genesis---the "inspiration"---for Jerry Blaine's forthcoming book "The Kennedy Detail" (Fall 2010)[Clint Hill, a very good friend of Blaine's, is writing the Foreward to Blaine's book, as well!](and, no, for Blaine and his lawyer: this doesn't mean I had anything directly to do with your book. You see, they threatened me because they thought I was trying to misconstrue somehow that I was the co-author of his book, when all I was doing was merely advertising it via a cut-and-paste of HIS blog onto mine. Anyone with 2 brain cells could see that; geez! Just remember this: you have lit a fire under me; revenge will be already is and will be! VERY important and HIGH AUTHORITY agents that passed away long before 2010 [hint hint], SAIC Jerry Behn [deceased April 1993]. ASAIC Floyd Boring [deceased 2/1/08], ATSAIC Art Godfrey [deceased 2002], ASAIC of VP Detail Rufus Youngblood [deceased Oct 1996],and Sam Kinney [deceased 7/21/97], as well as JFK AIDE DAVE POWERS [deceased 1998], told me---in writing and on audio tape---that JFK was a very nice man, very cooperative, didn't interfere with the Secret Service at all, AND DID NOT ORDER THE AGENTS OFF THE LIMOUSINE; the "blame-the-deceased-victim-who- can't-defend-himself" ploy won't work---I will make DAMN sure of that! In addition, former agents Sam Sulliman, Gerald O'Rourke, Jerry Blaine [uh oh! ha ha], Winston Lawson, and a cadre of other still-living agents ALSO confirmed what Behn, Powers, and the others told me. Finally, sorry: the "blame-the-deceased-staff-who-can't-defend-themselves" ploy won't wash, either: not only did the aforementioned Dave Powers tell me, in writing, that the agents NEVER had to be told to get off the limo, there is 0.0 evidence that the late Kenny O'Donnell [deceased 1977] had anything to do with this, either...and Sam Kinney and Art Godfrey told me he didn't have anything to do with this, as well. The 5 dubious reports submitted to the Warren Commission (debunked BY Behn and Boring!), the WC testimony of Hill-Kellerman-Greer, and all PRE-1977 (pre death of O'Donnell) writings and evidence never even SNIFF that O'Donnell and/ or Powers had a thing to do with JFK's lack of security. Nope, you're all going to have to take the blame for the terrible security: the buck stops with the Secret Service. Thanks for giving us LBJ, Nixon, Watergate, and Vietnam!!!!!!!)

My Secret Service Discovery on Discovery

Note: this is also to be found on the late James M. "Mike" Mastrovito's blog

Mastrovito was a JFK era agent. Here is part of his bio: "My name is James M. (Mike) Mastrovito and I retired in 2004 after a career of some fifty years in law enforcement and intelligence, as an employee of the FBI and the Secret Service and as an independent contractor with the CIA."


By Vince Palamara 2005

On 6/2/05, the author mailed this lengthy, 22-page letter to former WHD agent Clinton J. Hill (Certified, Return Receipt Requested with a S.A.S.E. to boot) summarizing the entire first chapter of my massively updated and expanded first book “Survivor’s Guilt: The Secret Service & The Failure To Protect The President” in great detail.

Mr. Clinton J. Hill 6/1/05

SUBJECT: Lynn Meredith (and colleagues) and PROOF that you are 100% NOT to blame for the actions and inactions of 11/22/63...a couple others must share the burden instead.

Dear Mr. Hill,

How are you, sir? It is a very great honor to get in touch with you (of all the former agents of the USSS, you and Robert L. “Bobby D“ DeProspero are arguably the most respected). Mr. Lynn S. Meredith, an esteemed colleague of yours from bygone days, gave me your address (and your number, although I thought it best to write in order to respect your privacy as much as possible). Mr. Meredith kindly volunteered this information without my asking because, quote, “If you really want to receive a very definite and accurate statement about [subject detailed shortly], I strongly recommend that you try to contact former agent Clint Hill. He was a good friend of mine and we were assigned together with the Kennedy family for the better part of four years, but I have had no contact with him since I retired twenty-one years ago.“

As for myself, I am a 38 year old student of history with a tremendous interest in the history of the United States Secret Service, especially during the period from FDR to Reagan, with a special emphasis on the JFK/ LBJ years (as an aside, I was born 6/25/66 while you were protecting LBJ [Floyd Boring was born 6/25/15, but I digress]). In that regard, since 1991, I have spoken to and/ or corresponded with over 60 former agents, something of a world’s record (the Warren Commission spoke to 12 agents and officials, including yourself. The old record breaker, the HSCA in the 1970’s, spoke to 44, albeit with subpoena power and a 6 million dollar budget from Congress). I am NOT a journalist---just an amateur with a sincere interest in (the history of) the USSS. I consider myself to be “the civilian Mike Sampson, Archivist.”  (one other interesting item: I worked for 9 years at the Federal Reserve Bank in Pittsburgh: Mr. Jerry Bechtle was the head of security for the reserve banks---he came to the site a few times---and is also apparently the regional director for your AFAUSSS meetings!) In addition, I have done much document research, as well as collecting quite a trove of books, videos, and dvds relating to the USSS (I have your appearances on “60 Minutes” from 1975 and 1993, as well as your appearances on the 1995 History Channel documentary “The Secret Service”, the 1995 Discovery Channel documentary “Inside The Secret Service”, and the 2004 National Geographic documentary “Inside The U.S. Secret Service”).

My interest in the agency was sparked by, of all things, the ‘60’s television classic “The Wild, Wild West” (about the Secret Service of the 1860’s!), which led me to pursue non-controversial aspects of the agency, so to speak. However, all this was to change, quite by accident, on 9/27/92: the day I spoke---on three different occasions--- to Jerry Behn, the former SAIC of the WHD from Sept. 1961 to Jan. 1965. Before these conversations, I had taken it as gospel that President Kennedy was difficult to protect and had even ordered the agents off his limousine before, especially during the Tampa, Florida trip of 11/18/63. In fact, on 4/22/64, exactly 6 months to the day after those tragic events in Dallas, the Warren Commission had Chief Rowley obtain reports from five of his agents, including Gerald A. Behn, Floyd M. Boring, Emory P. Roberts, John D. Ready, and yourself. Taking them at face value and at first glance, one gets the natural impression that JFK did indeed impose this order. However, this is at first glance…seems no one bothered to take a second look, so to speak. This is where the story gets very, very interesting, indeed (PLEASE bear with this and read the fruits of my labor in full: the following PROVES you are 100% not to blame for anything that did or did not transpire on 11/22/63. I only wish this information would have been provided to you many years ago---before your 1990 trek to Dallas from the nearby AFAUSSS convention----for your peace of mind).

Although Behn, not on the Texas trip (this will become important in a moment), stated unequivocally in his report that JFK "told me that he did not want agents riding on the back of his car," this was in the context of two 1961 trips, one of which was the funeral of Sam Rayburn, a non-motorcade affair. That said, on 9/27/92, Behn told me quite emphatically in a raspy voice I will remember forever: "I don't remember Kennedy ever saying that he didn't want anybody on the back of his car." Before I could catch my breath, he added: “I think if you watch the newsreel pictures you’ll find agents on there from time to time,” an understatement after seeing newsreels of the trips to Germany, Italy, Ireland, Hawaii, Chicago, etc. from 1963 alone. Importantly, Mr. Behn ended his 1964 report by stating: "As late as November 18 [1963]...he [JFK] told ASAIC Boring the same thing [or so Boring claimed]."

Assistant Special Agent In Charge (ASAIC) Floyd M. Boring, also not on the Texas trip, dealt primarily with the 11/18/63 Tampa, Florida trip in his report, while also mentioning the 7/2/63 Italy trip, alleging that President Kennedy made this request for both stops. Boring made the Florida trip in place of Mr. Behn. That said, in yet another alarming contradiction that caught me totally off guard, Boring exclaimed: “No, no, no-that's not true...[JFK] was a very easy-going guy...he didn't interfere with our actions at all," thus also contradicting his report (more on Mr. Boring in a moment).

Assistant To the Special Agent in Charge (ATSAIC) Emory P. Roberts (on the Florida and Texas trips), the shift leader/ commander of the Secret Service follow-up car – the late Mr. Roberts deals exclusively with the 11/18/63 Tampa, Florida trip in his report: Boring was Roberts sole source, via radio transmission from the limousine ahead of his follow-up vehicle, for JFK's alleged request.

Special Agent (SA) John David “Jack” Ready (on the Texas trip) – Ready’s very brief report deals exclusively with the 11/18/63 Tampa, Florida trip. However, Mr. Ready was not on this specific trip: Mr. Boring was, once again, his sole source for JFK's alleged request. Ready would not respond to written inquiries from myself.

Finally, your report deals with the 11/18/63 Tampa, Florida trip and Boring second-hand, as well: like Ready, you were not on this trip, either (more on your report---as it is a very honest, important piece of history---in a moment).

So 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 Mr. Behn, mentions the same 11/18/63 trip with Mr. Boring as the others do. Both Behn and Boring totally contradicted the contents of their reports at different times, independent of each other, to myself. In addition, agents did ride on the rear of the limousine on 7/2/63 and 11/18/63 anyway, despite these alleged Presidential requests, as the film and photo record proves. 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. Behn’s report, Boring’s report, and your report are not even on any Secret Service or Treasury Dept. stationary, just blank sheets of paper. In fact, your report is the only one of the five that is undated, a telling error to make in an official government report written by request of the head of the Secret Service…or was it really an error, per se?

(William Manchester reported in his acclaimed massive best-seller “The Death of a President” : "Kennedy grew weary of seeing bodyguards roosting behind him every time he turned around [indicating the frequency of the event], and in Tampa on November 18 [1963], just four days before his death, he dryly asked Agent Floyd Boring to 'keep those Ivy League charlatans off the back of the car.' Boring wasn't offended. There had been no animosity in the remark." Incredibly, Boring told me: "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. Incredibly, BORING WAS NOT EVEN INTERVIEWED FOR MANCHESTER’S BOOK!)

In fact, the devastating effect these reports had can be best summed up by Treasury Secretary C. Douglas Dillon’s Memorandum for Chief Justice Warren dated 12/18/63: “…the President had [allegedly] frequently stated that he did not wish to have the agents riding on these steps [on rear of limousine] during a motorcade and had repeated this wish only a few days previously to agents assigned to him in Tampa [Florida, 11/18/63]. (In Dallas SA Hill, who had been assigned to Mrs. Kennedy and had not been in Tampa with the President, occasionally rode on the left rear step. Agent Ready, who was aware that the President had specifically stated his objection to agents’ riding on the steps, did not ride the step in Dallas) [emphasis added].”

Now, to your report (the keystone): "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 Presidents 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)."

Your undated report was presumably written in April 1964, as the other four reports were written at that time. Why you could not "remember" the specific name of the agent who gave you JFK's alleged desires is very troubling, but through NO fault of your own…in fact, you revealed the name on 3/9/64, presumably before your report was written, in (obviously pre-rehearsed) testimony under oath to the future Senator Arlen Specter, then a lawyer with the Warren Commission:

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


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)

(Yet, during Chief Rowley’s Warren Commission testimony, he was asked the following:

Mr. Rankin: “Chief Rowley, I should like to have you state for the record, for the Commission, whether the action of President Kennedy in making these statements was understood by you or properly could have been understood by the agents as relieving them of any responsibility about the protection of the President.”

Mr. Rowley: “No; I would not so construe that, Mr. Rankin. The agents would respond regardless of what the President said if the situation indicated a potential danger. The facilities were available to them. They had the rear steps, they would be there as a part of the screen. And immediately in the event of any emergency they would have used them [emphasis added].” Rowley even added: “Now, if the thing gets too sticky, you put the agent right in the back seat, which I have done many times with past Presidents.”)

Furthermore, on 9/18/96, by my request , the Assassination Records Review Board’s Doug Horne interviewed Mr. Boring regarding this matter. 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, 11/18/63, 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).”

I find 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 4 different occasions--- was none other than yourself!.

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, & Charles T. Zboril, to be exact)!

Furthermore, as noted above, both your written report and your testimony sure convey a more strict approach than one stemming from an alleged “kind anecdote“. In fact, as mentioned above, you twice stated in your report that you DID NOT RECALL who the agent was who told you, and the other agents, not to ride on the rear of the limousine, yet you named him under oath to Counsel Specter: Floyd Boring.

The deathblow to the Tampa tale: I wrote to former Florida Congressman Samuel Melville Gibbons on 1/7/04 and asked him if he had heard President Kennedy order the agents off the rear of the limousine. Gibbons rode in the rear seat with JFK and Senator George Smathers on the Tampa trip of 11/18/63. Gibbons response in full, 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.”

Furthermore, an amazing document was released in the 1990’s concerning, among many other related topics, the issue of the agents’ presence (or lack thereof) on the limousine. This is a 28-page “Sensitive” memorandum from Belford Lawson, the attorney in charge of the Secret Service area for the HSCA, addressed to Gary Cornwell & Ken Klein dated 5/31/77 and revised 8/15/77. Apparently, Attorney Lawson was suspicious of Mr. Boring, for he wrote on the final page of this lengthy memorandum: “Subject: Florida Motorcades in November 1963…Was Floyd Boring, the Senior SS Agent on the White House detail, lying to SS Agent Hill when he told Hill that JFK had said in Tampa…that he wanted no agents riding upright on the rear bumper step of the JFK limousine? Did JFK actually say this? Did Boring know when he told this to Hill that Hill would be riding outboard on the JFK follow-up car in Dallas on November 22, 1963? Did Boring say this to Ready or Roberts? [Lawson’s emphasis]”

***Floyd M. Boring, Emory P. Roberts, & William R. Greer bear THE burden for the security lapses in Dallas; no one else (more on Roberts & Greer later)***

“The Washington Post” reported on 5/14/98: “During private meetings, sources said, [Then-Secret Service Director Lewis C.] Merletti told officials from [Kenneth] Starr's office [investigating the President Clinton/ Monica Lewinsky matter] and the Treasury and Justice departments that trust and proximity to a president are crucial to protecting him...the service ran through the history of assassination attempts, showing instances where they succeeded or failed, possibly depending on how close agents were to an intended victim. Sources said they produced rare photographs of John F. Kennedy's fateful 1963 motorcade through Dallas, where agents were not standing on running boards on the back of his exposed automobile when shots rang out because the president several days before had ordered them not to…Merletti indicated to the court that the assassination in a moving limousine of President John F. Kennedy "might have been thwarted had agents been stationed on the car's running boards (emphasis added).” To drive the point home even further, here is an excerpt from Director Merletti’s testimony, as reported in “The Washington Post” from 5/20/98: "I have attached, as Exhibit A to this Declaration, photographs of President John F. Kennedy's visit to Tampa, Florida on November 18, 1963. We use these photographs, and the ones attached as Exhibit B, in our training exercises. Exhibit A demonstrates the lengths to which protective personnel have been forced to go to try to maintain proximity to the President. In the photographs contained in Exhibit A, agents are kneeling on the running board of the Presidential limousine, while the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed [note: a contradiction---according to prior official agency mythology, the agents shouldn’t even be there at all!]. I can attest that this requires extraordinary physical exertion. Nevertheless, they performed this duty in an attempt to maintain close physical proximity to the President. Exhibit B, by contrast, scarcely needs any introduction. It is a series of photographs of the Presidential limousine, taken just four days later, on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas. As can be seen, at the instruction of the President, Secret Service agents had been ordered off of the limousine's running boards. An analysis of the ensuing assassination (including the trajectory of the bullets which struck the President) indicates that it might have been thwarted had agents been stationed on the car's running boards. In other words, had they been able to maintain close proximity to the President during the motorcade, the assassination of John F. Kennedy might have been averted. Exhibit C contains a series of photographs taken during the actual assassination that demonstrate how critical and tragic the absence of proximity to the protectee can be (emphasis added).”

Furthermore, actor John Malkovich repeated the myth of JFK’s alleged orders to millions of theater patrons in the Secret Service “sponsored” blockbuster 1993 Clint Eastwood movie “In The Line Of Fire”: “You wanted to station agents on his bumpers and sideboards-he refused. And do you know why I think he refused? I think he refused because he had a death wish.” For his part, Jerry Parr, a major consultant to the “In The Line of Fire” movie, told Larry King on 7/14/98: “The critical factor [in Dallas]…was the fact that he ordered the two agents off the car…which made him very vulnerable to Lee Oswald’s attack.”

Just a random sampling of comments from just some of your colleagues on the matter:

Rufus W. Youngblood, ASAIC of LBJ Detail: On 10/22/92, Youngblood confirmed : "There was not a standing order" from JFK to restrict agents from the back of the limousine - the agents had "assigned posts and positions" on the back of the President's car . On 2/8/94, Youngblood added: "President Kennedy wasn't a hard ass...he never said anything like that [re: removing agents from limo and the like]. As a historian, he [Manchester] flunked the course---don't read Manchester." Youngblood knows of what he speaks: he was interviewed by Manchester on 11/17/64.

Robert I. Bouck, SAIC of PRS: On 9/27/92, Bouck confirmed that having agents on the back of the limousine depended on factors independent of any alleged Presidential "requests": “Many times there were agents on his car.” On 4/30/96, the ARRB’s Doug Horne questioned Bouck: “Did you ever hear the President personally say that he didn’t want agents to stand on the running boards on his car, or did you hear that from other agents?” Bouck: “I never heard the President say that personally. I heard that from other agents (emphasis added).” The former agent also told the ARRB that JFK was the “most congenial” of all the presidents he had observed (Bouck served from FDR to LBJ).

DNC Advance man Martin E. “Marty” Underwood - He could not believe that Mr. Behn wrote in his report that JFK desired to have the agents off the car (later repudiated by Mr. Behn, of course), citing Clint Hill's actions on 11/22/63 as just one of "many times" that agents were posted on the back of the JFK limousine. During this 10/9/92 interview, Underwood confirmed that JFK never ordered the agents off the rear of the car.

Aide David F. Powers (rode in the follow-up car on 11/22/63) & Jacqueline Kennedy (rode with President Kennedy in the limousine)- In a personal letter dated 9/10/93, Mr. Powers wrote: "Unless they were ‘running’ along beside the limo, the Secret Service rode in a car behind the President, so, no, they never had to be told to "get off" the limousine" (emphasis added). This comment rivals Behn’s shocking statements to myself due to the source: President Kennedy’s longtime friend and aide and a man who was on countless trips with the President. For the record, Agent Bob Lilley endorsed Mr. Powers view: "Dave would give you factual answers." In addition, the ARRB’s Tom Samoluk told me that, during the course of an interview he conducted with Powers in 1996, the former JFK aide and friend agreed with my take on the Secret Service!

For her part, 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…[emphasis added]”

Winston G. Lawson, WHD (lead) advance agent for the Dallas trip: In a stunning letter dated 1/12/04, Lawson wrote: “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. I am sure it would have been on a “case by case” basis depending on event, intelligence, threats, etc. Jerry Behn as Special Agent in Charge of the White House Detail…would have been privy to that type of info more than I [see above]. However, it never came to my attention as such. I am certain agents were on the back on certain occasions [emphasis added].” The agent should be certain of that last understatement---he rode on the back of the limousine on the 7/2/63 Italy trip. Coming from one of the chief architects of security planning in Dallas, this is very important, to say the least.

Robert E. Lilley, WHD agent with JFK from election night until Oct. 1963: transferred to Boston Office - When I told Lilley what Mr. Behn said in September 1992, that Kennedy never said a thing about having the agents removed from the limousine (thus repudiating his own report), Lilley responded: "Oh, I'm sure he [JFK] didn't [order agents off his car, agreeing with Behn]. He was very cooperative with us once he became President. He was extremely cooperative. Basically, 'whatever you guys want is the way it will be'." Lilley later reiterated this on two different occasions (9/21/93 and 6/7/96, respectively). Lilley also refuted the Bishop and Manchester accounts, adding that, as an example, on a trip with JFK in Caracas, Venezuela, he and "Roy Kellerman rode on the back of the limousine all the way to the Presidential palace" at speeds reaching "50 miles per hour." Furthermore, Lilley did the advance work for JFK’s trip to Naples, Italy in the summer of 1963: again, agents rode on the rear of the limousine.

Arthur L. Godfrey, ATSAIC of WHD---The former agent told me on 5/30/96, 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 6/7/96. Asked if whether Aide Ken O'Donnell did any similar ordering, Godfrey said emphatically: "He did not order anyone around". As just one example, Godfrey was on the Italy trip mentioned in Boring’s report above and agents frequently rode on the rear of the limousine- one of the agents was none other than Winston G. Lawson. In a letter dated 11/24/97, 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 me telephonically on two prior occasions.

Samuel A. Kinney, WHD---The affable former agent told me on 3/5/94, regarding the “official” notion of history that President Kennedy ordered the agents off the rear of the limousine and the like: "That is absolutely, positively, no, no: he had nothing to do with that [ordering agents off the rear of the limousine]...No, never-the agents say, 'O.K., men, fall back on your posts'...President Kennedy was one of the easiest presidents to ever protect; Harry S. Truman was a jewel just like John F. Kennedy was...99% of the agents would agree...(JFK) was one of the best presidents ever to control-he trusted every one of us [Emphasis added]." In regard to the infamous quote from William Manchester, Kinney said, "That is false. I talked to William Manchester; he called me on the book...for the record of history that is false - Kennedy never ordered us to do anything. I am aware of what is being said but that is false". Finally, just to nail down this issue, I asked Kinney if an exception was made on 11/22/63: "Not this particular time, no. Not in this case". Kinney also told me that Ken O'Donnell did not interfere with the agents: "Nobody ordered anyone around.”

Donald J. Lawton, WHD; rode on rear of limousine 3/23/63 (Chicago) & 11/18/63 (Tampa); relegated to airport duty 11/22/63---When I told Lawton on 11/15/95 what fellow agent Kinney said, namely, that JFK never ordered the agents off the rear of the limousine, he said: "It's the way Sam said, yes" (Meaning, he agrees with Kinney, it happened the way Kinney said). Asked to explain how he dismounted the rear of the limousine in Tampa, Lawton said: " 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. '“ This would have been Boring, by radio, to Roberts, then finally to the agents---Lawton, Zboril, and Berger---on the limousine. According to Lawton, JFK was "very personable...very warm". Asked about the tragedy in Dallas, Lawton said, "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 can hindsight yourself to death (emphasis added).” Paradoxically, when I asked Lawton if JFK really made the statement to Boring mentioned above, Lawton said: “The President told him [Boring], I think he said 'get the college kids off the back of the car.'” (See Blaine & Newman, below.) That said, in a letter dated, ironically, 11/22/97, Lawton wrote: "Since I am currently employed by the Secret Service [?] I do not believe it appropriate that I comment on former or current protectees of the Service. If you spoke with Bob Lilley as you stated then you can take whatever information he passed on to you as gospel [see Lilley’s comments, above].”

Secret Service Chiefs James J. Rowley and Urbanus E. “U.E.” Baughman---Rowley told the Warren Commission: "No President will tell the Secret Service what they can or cannot do.” Apparently, Rowley thought the agents DID ride on the rear of the limousine throughout the motorcade, for he added: “…the men at some point came back to this [follow-up] car.” In fact, Rowley’s predecessor, former Chief U.E. Baughman, who had served under JFK from Election Night 1960 until Sept. 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." Indeed, an AP story from 11/15/63 stated: “The (Secret) Service can overrule even the President where his personal security is involved.“

To the point, when Baughman was asked by U.S. News & World report on 12/23/63 about the Service’s protective efforts in Dallas, he said: “I can’t understand why Mrs. Kennedy had to climb over the back of the car, as she did, to get help…[this matter] should be resolved.” Apparently, Baughman was puzzled by the lack of agents on or near the rear of the limousine.

Press Secretary Pierre Salinger: JFK had a good relationship with the Secret Service and, more importantly, did NOT argue with their security measures. This was based on my correspondence with noted journalist Roger Peterson from 2/99 (from Peterson's very recent conversations with Salinger).

Cecil Stoughton, WH photographer---Stoughton wrote : "I did see a lot of the activity surrounding the various trips of the President, and in many cases I did see the agents in question riding on the rear of the President's car. In fact, I have ridden there a number of times myself during trips...I would jump on the step on the rear of the [Lincoln] Continental until the next stop. I have made photos while hanging on with one Tampa [11/18/63], for example. As for the [alleged] edict of not riding there by order of the President- I can't give you any proof of first hand knowledge." Stoughton went on to write: "I am bothered by your interest in these matters". In a later letter, Stoughton merely corroborated his prior written statements: "I would just jump on and off [the limo] quickly- no routine, and Jackie had no further remarks to me". It should be explained that, according to Stoughton's book, Jackie had told him to stay close to the limo in July 1963, and he did up to and including the Houston, TX trip of 11/21/63 (There are photos that Stoughton made from the follow-up car that day, as well). Then, for some unknown reason, Stoughton was relegated to a position further away from JFK on 11/22/63 .

Charles T. Zboril, WHD, Lawton's partner on the rear of the limo in Tampa on 11/18/63 ---Former Agent Zboril curiously did not give me a straight answer on this issue when interviewed on 11/15/95. Zboril said: "Well, Don Lawton and I are just sub-notes [sic] because somebody else testified on behalf of us about what happened in Tampa"- this was Clint Hill, testifying to Arlen Specter about why agents were not on the rear of the car during the assassination. When asked if it was true that JFK had ordered the agents off the limousine four days before Dallas, which I already knew not to be true, Zboril got emotional: "Where did you read that? I...If-if you read it in the Warren Report, that's what happened...Do you want me commenting officially? I’m pretty sure it’s there [in the Warren Report]…I'm talking to someone I don't know. I’m talking to you as frank as I can...If you read it in there [the Warren Report], it happened…I gave you more than I would give someone else". The agent also added: “There is an old adage that we used in the Secret Service: ‘Don’t believe anything you read and only half of what you see,’” the identical sentiment used by Jean and Jerry Behn. Zboril then gave me his home address and requested that the author send him anything on this matter, promising to respond back. He never did. Included in the package the author sent was a video of Agent Rybka being recalled at Love Field by Agent Roberts (more on this in a moment).

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1:40 p.m., 11/29/63: "You see, there was no Secret Service man standing on the back of the car. Usually the presidential car in the past has had steps on the back, next to the bumpers, and there's usually been one [agent] on either side standing on these steps...[ellipsis in text]...Whether the President asked that that not be done, we don't know (emphasis added).” So, as of 11/29/63, a week after the murder, the myth hadn’t been set in motion yet. From Hoover’s Memorandum for Messrs. Tolson, Belmont, & Mohr, November 29, 1963: “…there was no Secret Service Agent on the back of the car; that in the past they have added steps on the back of the car and usually had an agent on either side standing on the bumper; that I did not know why this was not done - that the President may have requested it…[emphasis added]”

Newsmen: ABC’s Ron Gardner, ABC’s Jim Haggerty (former Eisenhower Press Secretary), & UPI’s Robert J. Serling: Shortly after the assassination on 11/22/63 before a television audience of many millions of people, Gardner reported: “Secret Service agents normally walk directly beside the car. We can’t see any in these pictures (emphasis added).” Also on the very same day before an enormous television audience, Haggerty maintained that agents normally walked or jogged near the rear of the president’s car, adding that he had a hand in planning many motorcades (as did his successor, Pierre Salinger). For his part, Serling wrote on 11/23/63: “There are two absolute rules for motorcade protection: The agent running or riding at the President's shoulder must never leave that position unless relieved. The other is to turn out the manpower in all secret service cars the moment trouble arises and get secret service bodies around the President [emphasis added].”

Samuel E. Sulliman, WHD (On Texas trip, in Dallas, at the Trade Mart): Sulliman told me on 2/11/04 that agents were on the back of the limousine a lot; in fact, he remembered riding there on the trips to Ireland and Germany. When told of Art Godfrey’s comments on the matter (see above), the former agent agreed with his colleague and said twice, regarding the notion that JFK ordered the agents off the car, “I don’t think so.” Sulliman also said that JFK was “easy to get along with.” As for who exactly was responsible for the decision to remove the agents from the rear area of the limousine, Sulliman said: “I can’t tell you who made the decision.” I took this to mean that he honestly did not know, rather than the notion that he was hiding the true answer.

Frank G. Stoner, PRS: During an interview conducted on 1/17/04, former agent Stoner, who served in the Secret Service from January 1945 until 1969, said that Manchester was “probably trying to sell books” when he suggested that Kennedy ordered the agents off the back of the limousine. In fact, the 84-year-old former agent laughed at the mere suggestion. Stoner also agreed with several of his colleagues that JFK was “very personable”: “He was an old Navy man. He understood security. He wouldn’t have ordered them off the car.”

Gerald W. “Jerry” O’Rourke, WHD (on Texas trip but not the Dallas stop; on WHD from Eisenhower to LBJ/1964)---In a letter dated 1/15/04, O’Rourke 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. ” (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.”

Vincent P. Mroz, WHD (Truman, Eisenhower, and part-time with JFK, LBJ [9 months], and Nixon)---During an interview conducted on 2/7/04, the former agent said that President Kennedy was “friendly, congenial---he was really easy to get along with…just like Truman.” When asked, point blank, if JFK had ever ordered the agents off the car, Mroz said forcefully: “No, no---that’s not true.” When asked a second time, the former agent responded with equal conviction: “He did not order anybody off the car.”

J. Walter Coughlin, WHD (on Texas trip but not the Dallas stop)--- I e-mailed the former agent, asking him: “How often did agents ride on the rear of the limousine during JFK's time (and/ or walk, jog, or run nearby)? Coughlin responded: “In almost all parade situations that I was involved w [ith] we rode or walked the limo [Emphasis added].” Also, in the same message, I asked Coughlin: “What was President Kennedy like? Was he easy to protect?” The former agent responded in the same reply: “Very funny and very friendly. Knew all the agents by first name.” (Regarding LBJ, Coughlin wrote: “Didn't like anyone and could be very surly. Hard to protect - did not like to take advice.”) Coughlin later wrote: “The rear steps [of the limousine] were very adaquete [sic] for safety.” Finally, to clarify this matter further, I asked Coughlin: “So far, combing the literature, books, interviews, etc., I've found that Behn, Boring, Blaine, Mroz, Godfrey, Lawson, and Dave Powers said that President Kennedy did not order the agents off his limousine---do you think William Manchester and others took "poetic license" on this matter?” Coughlin responded: “Yes I do.”

Gerald S. Blaine, WHD (on Texas trip but not the Dallas stop)---Blaine told me on 2/7/04 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 performance on 11/22/63. Surprisingly, Blaine, the WHD advance agent for the Tampa trip of 11/18/63, 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 had to be HIS source for this story! In addition to Emory Roberts, one now wonders 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 (see above). [note: since this letter was sent, the author phoned Blaine on 6/10/05 (In fact, Blaine had just spoken to Hill on 6/9/05, shortly after---unbeknownst to Blaine---the author had contacted Hill via Registered Mail. Blaine is close to Hill---he attended Hill’s son’s wedding, along with fellow former agent Bill Livingood). 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 (When asked if agents rode on the rear of the limousine on the Italy trip in 1963, Blaine said forcefully: “Oh yeah, oh yeah.” It turns out he was one of the agents) Blaine also added that the lack of agents on the rear of the car “had no impact,” adding: “Well, maybe a hesitation.” That is all it took. The former agent also 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.” If only he would have taken Jack Kennedy’s life with the same degree of concern.]

Larry Newman, WHD (October 1961 to October 1963, then Washington Field Office)---In a friendly if somewhat contentious interview conducted on 2/7/04, Newman told me that there was “no policy” regarding the use of agents on the rear of Kennedy’s car, further adding that the question was “hard to answer: it depends on the crowd, the threat assessment, and so forth. There was not a consistent rule of thumb [emphasis added].” This comment will become important later. In addition, regarding the controversial “Ivy League Charlatan” remark first mentioned in Manchester’s book and noted by Lawton and Blaine (above), Newman said: “When Kennedy went to Florida [11/18/63], supposedly, I didn’t hear this directly, Kennedy said to Boring ‘Get the Ivy League charlatans off the back of the car [emphasis added].’” The former agent added that Manchester’s work, while with some merit, became “part of myth, part of truth.” I couldn’t agree more. With regard to Boring, Newman said: “Boring will only tell you the company line. I’m no friend of Boring’s.” Actually, what Boring told me went against the “company line” he espoused back in 1964. And, from the latter comment, Newman obviously has no love lost for his former boss on the WHD. The former agent said that both Behn and Boring were “extremely loyal to JFK,” adding: “Boring told you Kennedy didn’t want any agents on the car; then again, he’s been a proponent that JFK wasn’t a womanizer.” Both comments are true.

Newman phoned me unexpectedly on 2/12/04 to say that “there was not a directive, per se” from President Kennedy to remove the agents from their positions on the back of his limousine. The former agent seemed troubled by my research into the matter. Newman did ridicule former Director Merletti’s testimony in 1998 (see above). Regarding Roberts’ order not to move and his conduct, in general, Newman said: “They were probably afraid to hit the street at that speed.” When told that the cars were actually traveling quite slowly, including the limousine’s decelerating speed from a meager 11.2 mph, he had nothing to say in response. When asked if Tim McIntyre may shed more light on the matter (knowing full well that he said as much to me on 2/7/04), Newman now said he is “hiding out” and “probably, he wouldn’t talk to you anyway.” Fair enough. Newman seemed concerned yet strangely helpful in conversation. He reiterated that he has no good feelings for Boring (in contrast to his warm feelings for Kellerman) and that---describing himself--- said: “I’m not a good guy.” (!) Finally, Newman said: “You need to get inside the nuts and bolts.” That is what I am attempting to do.

J. Frank Yeager, WHD (on Texas trip but not the Dallas stop)---In a letter dated 12/29/03, 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…” With regard to my 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 don’t know what form or detail that this request was made… 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].”

ASAIC Floyd M. Boring - Perhaps even more startling than the comments of Behn, Powers, and Lawson, Floyd Boring told me, in reference to JFK's alleged "desires" mentioned by Mr. Bishop, Manchester (“quoting” Boring), and himself in his own report: "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" (emphasis added)! I reiterated the point - Mr. Boring was still adamant that JFK never issued any orders to the agents; he even refuted Manchester's book (see above). Remember, Boring is admitting it came from him, and not JFK! With regard to exactly who makes the decision regarding the agents’ proximity to the President, Agent Jerry Parr told Larry King: “I would say it was the agent in charge who makes that decision.” When asked, point blank, if JFK had ever ordered the agents off the rear of the limousine, including in Tampa on 11/18/63, Boring told me again : "Well that's not true. That's not true. He was a very nice man; he never interfered with us at all." In a letter received on, of all dates, 11/22/97, Boring confirmed what he had previously told me on two previous occasions (9/22/93 and 3/4/94, respectively) when he wrote: "President Kennedy was a very congenial man knowing most agents by their first name. He was very cooperative with the Secret Service, and well liked and admired by all of us (emphasis added)." Not only does Boring NOT mention anything about JFK’s alleged “desires” to restrict security during his two lengthy oral histories, the agent stated: “…of all the administrations I worked with, the president and the people surrounding the president were very gracious and were very cooperative. As a matter of fact, you can’t do this type of security work without cooperation of the people surrounding the president…[emphasis added]”

Author Jim Bishop revealed the seemingly unknown fact that Floyd Boring was the number one agent involved in the Dallas trip back in the 1960's in his book "The Day Kennedy Was Shot": "...[LBJ] called Secret Service Chief James Rowley. ‘Rufe [Youngblood] did a brave thing today,’ he said. ‘He jumped on me and kept me down. I want you to do whatever you can, the best that can be done, for that boy." He hung up [this was 11/22/63]. It had not occurred to him that Rowley, too, was lonely. If there was any blame, any official laxness, it didn't matter that the planning of the Texas trip had been in the capable hands of Floyd Boring (Emphasis added).”

And, to the JFK Library in the 1970's, Boring said: "Part of my job at the White House during the entire President Kennedy administration was to be in charge of the advance work. I used to assign people to do the advance work, and most of the overseas trips I did myself in conjunction with other people on the detail."

To the Truman Library in the 1980's, Boring added: "I was on all the advance work out of there. I was assigned all the advance work, sort of an administrator... I was second in charge [behind Special Agent in Charge Jerry Behn]."

Finally, fellow former agent Sam Kinney told me, in regard to SAIC Gerald A. "Jerry" Behn's absence from the Texas trip, leaving ASAIC (#2) Floyd M. Boring to be the agent in charge of the Texas trip: "Here’s the story on that. We got, as agents, federal employees, thirty days a year annual leave. We lose it, because they can’t let us go…there was only " x " amount of agents back then in the whole wide world… they could not let us off…Jerry Behn had probably worked three years without any annual leave at all and this particular time, he could get some time off and he didn’t go to Dallas. Roy Kellerman was third in charge, so he took the thing (sic), which is, you know-he's qualified. Floyd Boring stayed home- he could get his time off and he could still handle what ever came about from his house; there was very little correspondence between [the agents in Dallas] because Win Lawson had the advance (emphasis added)."

The 1996 ARRB interview of Boring: "Boring independently recalled that he was the person who assigned Winston Lawson as the S.S. advance agent for the Dallas leg of the Texas trip, but could not recall why or how "Win" Lawson was given that assignment." Agent David Grant, who worked hand in glove with Boring on the controversial 11/18/63 Florida trip, assisted Lawson in the advance preparations in Dallas. Boring was also involved in the pre-11/22/63 checks of the Protective Research Section’s (PRS) files of any potential threats to JFK reported in Dallas which, incredibly, yielded nothing, a matter fellow ASAIC Roy Kellerman found unusual, as did fellow agent Abraham Bolden, as common sense would seem to dictate (interestingly, according to his Truman Library oral history, Boring worked for PRS back in the 1940’s!). Yet Boring had begun his ARRB interview exclaiming: "I didn't have anything to do with it, and I don't know anything," a similar sentiment he first gave to me before probing further into the mystery. I later asked Boring: “Were you involved in any of the planning of the Texas trip?” Then, the agent finally admitted: “Well, no, I sent-ah, yeah, I was involved in that, yeah”.

Indeed, Mr. Boring IS interesting, to say the least. He bears the brunt of the burden.

Second would be ATSAIC Emory P. Roberts (albeit following orders via Boring)---When you testified to Mr. Specter “We did not ride on the rear portions of the automobile”, you probably meant agent John Ready, who was recalled by Agent Emory Roberts to the follow-up car when he started to react to the gunfire on 11/22/63. Mr. Roberts had ordered the men not to move even after recognizing the first shot as a shot, while a host of others thought the noise was a mere firecracker or motorcycle backfire. Mr. Roberts was the SAIC of the follow-up car who attempted, along with Ready, to defend his strange actions and inactions by noting the speed of the limousine, which was actually decelerating from an already slow speed of 11.2 miles per hour, not the “15-20” or 20-25” mph noted in Ready & Robert’s reports, as well as the distance between his car and the limousine, which was merely a scant five feet at the most when the shooting began, not the "20 - 25 " & “25-30” feet noted in their reports. (Even Inspector Thomas Kelley got into the act, later testifying: “The agents, of course, in the follow-up car were some distance away from the action.”) If that wasn’t enough, Ready’s first report stated the follow-up car slowed. His next report stated it was JFK’s limo that slowed instead (actually, both vehicles slowed down).

Regarding Roberts’ disturbing order not to move, agent Sam Kinney, the driver of the follow-up car, told me that this was “exactly right.” SA Ready was the agent who was assigned to JFK's side of the limousine, as you were assigned to Jackie's side. Roberts came to Ready's rescue in yet another report: "SA Ready would have done the same thing [as Agent Hill did] if motorcycle was not at President's corner of car"(!) Strange, but this posed no problem at all for Agent Donald J. Lawton on November 18, 1963, in Tampa (but unfortunately, like Agent Henry Rybka, Lawton was left at Love Field and was not in the motorcade detail). Even Chief Rowley got in on the act---he told the Warren Commission: “Mr. Hill, who was on the left side, responded immediately--as he looked toward the Presidential car, being on the left side, he scanned from left to right, and when he saw there was something happening to the President following a noise, he immediately jumped from his position to get aboard from his side. Mr. Ready scanned to the right so he was looking away from the President, because he was looking around from the right side. As a consequence, he wasn't aware of what was happening in the front. The car was also going on a turn at that time [emphasis added].” The car was actually heading straight to the overpass at the time.

If that weren’t enough, as I discovered back in 1991 when viewing slow motion black and white video footage of the Love Field departure, one can see agent Henry J. Rybka jogging to the rear of the limousine on JFK’s side only to be recalled by none other than Emory P. Roberts, who rises in his seat in the follow-up car and, using his voice and several hand-gestures, orders Rybka to cease and desist ! As the ARRB's Doug Horne wrote in a memo dated 4/16/96, based on viewing the aforementioned video shown during my presentation at a 1995 research conference (later to be shown during my brief appearance on the History Channel in 2003): "The bafflement of the agent who is twice waved off of the limousine is clearly evident. This unambiguous and clearly observed behavior would seem to be corroboration that the change in security procedure which was passed to SA Clint Hill earlier in the week by ASAIC Floyd Boring of the Secret Service White House Detail was very recent, ran contrary to standing procedure, and that not everyone on the White House Detail involved in Presidential protection had been informed of this change." (With regard to the Love Field video, former agent Larry Newman told me that he “never saw that before” and, when questioned on the matter, said he didn’t know all the particulars and that Tim McIntyre would be a good source on this. To date, I have been unable to obtain commentary from McIntyre---or Ready, or Landis---on this matter.)

All of this begs the question: were Rybka and Lawton the two agents who were supposed to have rode on the rear of the limousine in Dallas?

It appears that Mr. Hill---thankfully, for Mrs. Kennedy‘s sake---disobeyed Mr. Roberts by running after the limousine during the shooting. Just as important, Mr. Hill disobeyed Mr. Boring's orders by mounting the rear of the limousine four times briefly prior to the shooting on 11/22/63. Interestingly, Agent Boring just happened to be in charge of planning the Texas trip for the Secret Service! For his part, #3 man Roy Kellerman indicated to the Warren Commission that on 11/17/63 he was given the assignment to be the nominal agent in charge of the Dallas trip.

Finally, William R. Greer, the driver of the limousine---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." In addition, Greer told Jackie the following on 11/22/63 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!” Finally, Dave Powers confirmed Greer’s guilt to CBS newsman Charles Kuralt on 11/22/88, also adding that if Greer would have sped up before the fatal headshot, JFK might still be alive today.

60 witnesses (10 police officers, 7 Secret Service agents, 38 spectators, 2 Presidential aides, 1 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 assassination (Greer denied all of this to the Warren Commission). By decelerating from an already slow 11.2 mph, Greer greatly endangered the President's life, and, as even author 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.” Clearly, Greer was responsible, at fault, and felt remorse. In short, Greer had survivor's guilt.

A sampling of the sixty witnesses to Greer’s gross negligence:

Houston Chronicle Reporter Bo Byers (rode in White House Press Bus) - Twice stated that the Presidential Limousine "almost came to a stop, a dead stop"; in fact, he has had nightmares about this.

Dallas Police Department (DPD) officer Earle Brown - "…The first I noticed the [JFK's] car was when it stopped...after it made the turn and when the shots were fired, it stopped."

DPD motorcycle officer Bobby Hargis (one of the four Presidential motorcyclists)---"…At that time [immediately before the head shot] the Presidential car slowed down. I heard somebody say 'Get going.' I felt blood hit me in the face and the Presidential car stopped almost immediately after that."

Secret Service Agent John Ready (follow-up car) - "…I heard what sounded like fire crackers going off from my post on the right front running board. The President's car slowed…"

Texas Governor John Connally (rode in JFK's limo and was himself a victim of the shooting) - "…After the third shot, I heard Roy Kellerman tell the driver, 'Bill, get out of line.' And then I saw him move, and I assumed he was moving a button or something on the panel of the automobile, and he said 'Get us to a hospital quick'…at about this time, we began to pull out of the cavalcade, out of line."

Dallas Morning News reporter Robert Baskin (rode in the National Press Pool Car) – stated: "…the motorcade ground to a halt."

Dallas Morning News reporter Mary Woodward (Pillsworth) - "…Instead of speeding up the car, the car came to a halt." She saw the President's car come to a halt after the first shot. Then, after hearing two more shots, close together, the car sped up. She spoke forcefully about the car almost coming to a stop and the lack of proper reaction by the Secret Service in 1993.

Alan Smith - "…the car was ten feet from me when a bullet hit the President in the forehead…the car went about five feet and stopped."

Ochus V. Campbell - after hearing shots, "he then observed the car bearing President Kennedy to slow down, a near stop, and a motorcycle policeman rushed up. Immediately following this, he observed the car rush away from the scene."

Peggy Joyce Hawkins - she was on the front steps of the TSBD and "…estimated that the President's car was less than 50 feet away from her when he was shot, that the car slowed down almost coming to a full stop."

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy (rode in the Presidential limousine) - "We could see a tunnel in front of us. Everything was really slow then…[immediately after shooting] And just being down in the car with his head in my lap. And it just seemed an eternity…And finally I remember a voice behind me, or something, and then I remember the people in the front seat, or somebody, finally knew something was wrong, and a voice yelling, which must have been Mr. Hill, "Get to the hospital," or maybe it was Mr. Kellerman, in the front seat…We were really slowing turning the corner [Houston & Elm]…I remember a sensation of enormous speed, which must have been when we took off…those poor men in the front…" 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!'” Jackie also told Gallagher: "You should get yourself a good driver so that nothing ever happens to you.” Manchester wrote: “[Mrs. Kennedy] had heard Kellerman on the radio and had wondered why it had taken the car so long to leave.” Former agent Marty Venker and C. David Heymann, among others, confirm in their books that Jackie felt Greer was responsible.

The sequence is crucial:

1.First shot (or shots) rings out - the car slows with brake lights on.

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 11/22/63: "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". Greer stated that he has been asking himself if there was any thing 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 (!) [The "JFK-as-scapegoat" theme…and so much for Greer's remorse from earlier the same day]."

Agent Greer to the FBI 11/27/63: "…he heard a noise which sounded like a motorcycle backfire. On hearing this noise he glanced to his right toward Kellerman and out of the corner of his eye noticed that the Governor appeared to be falling toward his wife [notice that Greer now mentions nothing about seeing JFK hit---he does the same thing in his undated report in the Warren Commission volumes] He thereafter recalls hearing some type of outcry after which Kellerman said, "Let's get out of here." He further related that at the time of hearing the sound he was starting down an incline which passes beneath a railroad crossing and after passing under this viaduct, he closed in on the lead car and yelled to the occupants and a nearby police motorcyclist, "Hospital, Hospital! [Nothing about using the radio this time out]" Thereafter follows a complete physical description of Greer, as if the FBI agents considered him a suspect, including age, height, and color of eyes!


So, if ASAIC Boring didn’t convey those “wishes” (no agents on the rear of limo, handicapping you to have to sprint forward from another moving vehicle), if ATSAIC Roberts wouldn’t have recalled Rybka & Ready and behaved so lackadaisically, and if Greer would have obeyed Kellerman and stepped on the gas, history WOULD have been different. THEY bear the burden. You behaved very admirably, especially under the circumstances.

I would appreciate any/ all comments you would like to make regarding this lengthy commentary.


Vince Palamara

Carnegie, PA 15106

On 6/13/05, after not receiving a reply, the author phoned Mr. Hill, who was quite apparently angry---he first pretended not to know about the lengthy letter he had to sign for (of which the author received his signed receipt): “About what?,” Hill exclaimed in response to the author’s inquiry. Then, forcefully, Hill added: “I’m just not interested in talking to you.”

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Vince Palamara review of Douglas P. Horne's new book (s)

Pulitzer Prize, anyone? :)

There's an old saying: never say never. Well, this has been a strange and heady couple years with regard to literature in the JFK assassination case. After being a fervent believer in a conspiracy in President John F. Kennedy's death (from about the age of 12 to 41!), the Spring of 2007 yielded the Oswald-did-it-alone masterpiece "Reclaiming History" by the highly respected author and former prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi that, quite literally, made my world upside down and had me reassess everything I knew (or thought I knew) about JFK's murder. Result? While I still believed there mere multiple conspiracies (plural) to kill Kennedy, and that (speaking as the leading civilian Secret Service authority) the Secret Service was grossly negligent on 11/22/63 in Dallas, at the end of the day, Oswald beat everyone to the punch, so to speak; for all intents and purposes, that solved it for me, albeit with a great deal of discomfort.

Then came ANOTHER masterpiece of even greater length (spread over 5 volumes) that, once again, turned my world upside down (some would say, right side up)!

Douglas P. Horne, the author of this latest masterpiece, "Inside The Assassination Records Review Board," has achieved a literary feat worthy of a Pulitzer Prize. His 5 volume study (5 books in one, so to speak) reads almost like the Defense's side of the case; the perfect answer to the Prosecution's ("Reclaiming Historty") masterful plea to the bench. I am amazed and highly impressed with the book as both a very inspired, well put together piece of art (it's a great read!) AND for the substance--and length---of the (counter) argument. While Vince Bugliosi did the seeming impossible back in 2007 (convincing me, however begrudgingly, that Oswald acted alone, despite others who wished JFK ill), Douglas P. Horne has turned around and performed HIS own version of the impossible: convincing me I was WRONG in 2007---a delightful, soul searching, slightly embarassing, and honest appraisal. After all, it is somewhat painful, as a seasoned researcher with a "stake" in the case, to admit he was in error...twice!

Bugliosi's book cleans up the "junk" in the case and presents the best case for Oswald acting alone; STILL a terrific book (THE best Oswald-did-it book that will ever be written---infinitely better than Gerald Posner's "Case Closed" or the insufficient Warren Report). That said, Douglas P. Horne's masterwork trumps "Reclaiming History" and presents the best nuts-and-bolts-and-more case for conspiracy I ever thought possible, circa 2009 and post-Bugliosi. While I have sung the praises for many books over the years, no other book (other than David McCullough's triumphant "Truman") has moved me to the point where I would recommend the volume achieving the vaunted Pulitzer Prize...yes, I am THAT impressed with Horne's years of research and insider work on the case. Jim Douglass excellent volume "JFK and the Unspeakable" serves almost as a companion volume---the "warm-up act"---to Horne's masterwork.

The MEDICAL evidence is the keystone to the case, bar none. With this firmly in mind, Horne, as a respected insider into the U.S. Government's final investigation into JFK's assassination in the mid to late 1990's, has laid out the best case for conspiracy I have ever read, especially at this late juncture (and where my thinking on the case was at not long before his 5 volume study appeared). I won't spoil things by revealing anything specific in this review (sorry!). I will just say this: get these books asap---you will find yourself (like myself) reading them and refering to them many times over.

I recently admonished people in the research community (of which I am one) to, quote, "get a life" (shades of William Shatner, huh?). Well, disregard that bit of advice: instead, GET DOUGLAS P. HORNE'S BOOKS...NOW! 5 PLUS STARS; THE HIGHEST RATING HUMANLY POSSIBLE.

Vince Palamara