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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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hill still feels pain of JFK’s death [but that doesn't stop him from feeling no pain at the cash register: ANOTHER book is due out from him May 2012]

Hill still feels pain of JFK’s death
Published 11:34am Monday, November 28, 2011
Email Comments
North Dakota native and Concordia College, Moorhead, graduate Clint Hill, now 79, has lived with the pain of John F. Kennedy’s death more than anyone, aside from members of JFK’s family.

Hill worked as a Secret Service agent that fateful day in Dallas, Texas, on Nov. 22, 1963, when an assassin took President Kennedy’s life.

After 48 years, Hill and other Secret Service agents are telling their story in a book, “The Kennedy Detail: JFK’s Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence.”

I finished reading the book Nov. 16, just six days prior to the anniversary of JFK’s assassination.

And while reliving the assassination is never pleasant, there are uplifting sections of the book. Agents recall the months when President Kennedy was alive, and when he held the nation’s highest office. Those great days called Camelot went from January 1961 to November 1963.

Hill was riding in the car that was immediately behind the presidential limousine in Dallas. As soon as the shooting began, he jumped out and began running to overtake the moving car in front of him.

As Hill made his way atop the rear of the presidential vehicle, Mrs. Kennedy, in shock, was crawling onto the flat rear trunk of the moving limousine. Hill guided the First Lady back into her seat. He placed his body above the President and Mrs. Kennedy.

After their arrival at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, both Hill and Mrs. Kennedy knew that JFK, who was only 46, would not survive.

“When the president of the United States is assassinated, it splits the nation in grief and pain and leaves the group of men assigned to protect him to live with the guilt of personal failure,” said Muriel Dobbin.

She is a former White House and national political reporter for the Baltimore Sun who gave the book, “The Kennedy Detail,” a positive review.

This book would not be a reality had it not been for the hard work and dedication of former Secret Service agent Gerald Blaine.

Blaine, Hill and other Secret Service agents drew upon notes, locked away in attics, and from recollections of the events in Dallas in 1963.

JFK treated Secret Service agents with respect. The president was known to distribute a pile of his own short-sleeved shirts to agents sweltering in the summer sun at Hyannis Port, Mass., and to bring a scarf and gloves for an agent shivering in the winter cold of New York.

After all these years, Hill and other Secret Service agents have come to realize there was nothing they could have done differently to prevent the assassination of President Kennedy [bullshit- how about hit the gas and cover the man???}.

Nonetheless, the pain for each of them is deeper than for average Americans who remember that fateful day in Dallas 48 years ago.

"The Kennedy Detail": "'a guide on how to cover your a** after a tragedy'"

'a guide on how to cover your a** after a tragedy'
I am mixed on my review for this one... On one hand its an interesting read with some great inside info on the behind the scenes goings of the secret service; on the other hand I detested the third person narrative it was written in. It really could have been written without all of the whining about lack of sleep, etc.... I also didn't like how the book seemingly blamed Kennedy for his own murder or the ignorant stance that The Warren Report was correct.... Please! These men were enlisted to protect the president and failed. That is a terrible tragedy in its self but don't take the stance that Kennedy had a death wish when the agents rolled over and didn't stand up and realistically relay the risks.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Entertainment: 5.0; Overall: 2.5-3.0

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

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

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

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

28 Amazon.Com reviews, mostly positive; 4.5 aggregate

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

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

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

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

27 Amazon.Com reviews; 5.0 aggregate

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

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

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

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

Definitely one of the better Secret Service books.

58 Amazon.Com reviews, mostly postive; 4.5 aggregate

Entertainment: 5.0; Overall: 5.0

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

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

9 Amazon.Com reviews; 5.0 aggregate

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

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

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

Entertainment: 2.5; Overall: 2.5

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

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

38 Amazon.Com reviews; 3.5 aggregate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Entertainment: 2.0; Overall: 2.0-3.0

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

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

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

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

Entertainment: 2.5; Overall: 3.0

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

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

Entertainment: 2.0; Overall: 2.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Entertainment: 2.0-3.0; Overall: 2.0-3.0

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

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

Entertainment: 3.0; Overall: 3.0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Entertainment: 4.0; Overall: 4.0

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

My Amazon.Com review:

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

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

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

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

My Amazon.Com review:

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

17 Amazon.Com reviews, 4.0 aggregate

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

21) "Robert DeProspero" (2011)

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

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

Entertainment: 2.5; Overall: 3.0

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

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

Entertainment: 2.5; Overall: 3.0

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

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

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

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

A nice KID's book on the Secret Service

Entertainment: 3.0; Overall: 2.5-3.0

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

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

My short Amazon.Com review:

Excellent book on executive protection

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

Entertainment: 2.0; Overall: 4.0

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

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

Entertainment: 2.0; overall: 3.0

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

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

Entertainment: 3.0; Overall: 2.5-3.0

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

My Amazon.Com review:

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

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

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

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

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

Entertainment: 2.0; Overall: 2.5

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

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

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

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

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

I corresponded with Maddaloni several times.

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

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

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

Entertainment: 3.0; Overall: 3.5

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

Ancient book, very dry and dated.

Entertainment: 1.5; Overall: 2.5

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

ditto on all counts

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

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

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

From my Amazon.Com review:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From my Amazon.Com review:

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

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

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

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

From my Amazon.Com review:

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

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

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

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

From my Amazon.Com review:

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

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

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

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

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

Entertainment: 2.0; Overall: 2.0

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

From my Amazon.Com review:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From my Amazon.Com review:


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

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

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

From My Amazon.Com review:

Amazing series (I was on part 7) :)

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

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

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

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

Entertainment: 3.0; Overall: 3.0

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


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

Entertainment: 5.0; Overall: 4.0

48) "Presidential Limousines" video (1996)

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

Entertainment: 5.0; Overall: 5.0

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

From my Amazon.Com review:

I'm confused...

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

Entertainment: 2.0; Overall: 2.5

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

From my Amazon.Com review:

Decent short book for the young (and old)

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

Entertainment: 2.0; Overall: 2.0

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

From my Amazon.Com review:

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

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

Entertainment: 2.5; Overall: 2.5

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

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

Entertainment: 1.5; Overall: 1.5

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

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

Entertainment: 2.0; Overall: 2.5

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

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

Entertainment: 2.5-3.0; Overall: 3.0

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

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

Entertainment: 3.0; Overall: 3.0

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

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

Entertainment: 3.0; Overall: 3.0

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

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

Entertainment: 2.5-3.0; Overall: 2.5-3.0

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

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

Entertainment: 5.0; Overall: 4.5

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

My Amazon.Com review:

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

Entertainment: 4.0; Overall: 3.5-4.0

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

From my Amazon.Com review:

A reluctant 5 on

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

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

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

Entertainment: 4.5; Overall: 4.0-4.5

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

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

Entertainment: 3.5; Overall: 3.0-3.5

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

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

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

Entertainment: 3.0; Overall: 3.0

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

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

See also:


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

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

Entertainment: 2.0; Overall: 2.0

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

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

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

Entertainment: 3.0; Overall: 3.0

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

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

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

Entertainment: 3.5-4.0; Overall: 3.0

Saving the best for last...

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

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


Friday, November 25, 2011

Mark Lane's new book "Last Word" "scorching indictment of the White House detail of the Secret Service"

5.0 out of 5 stars Mark Lane's best, November 25, 2011
By Tyler Newcomb (Centerville, MA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME) Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Last Word: My Indictment of the CIA in the Murder of JFK (Hardcover)
Reading it on my iPad....this reminds me of the Mark Lane of the 1960's in terms of passion and detailed research. This is the Mark Lane I remember on the Mort Sahl TV show in LA when I was a kid and he was my hero. The book is a scorching indictment of the White House detail of the Secret Service and the CIA.

Ty Newcomb

(Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Jer posted NOTHING about 11/22/63 on 11/22/11, but today cut and paste a review from fellow agent Ed Z Tucker re: his book...)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The holy grail of the JFK story

Tuesday, Nov 22, 2011 3:20 PM 07:46:27 EST
The holy grail of the JFK story
Seven steps to unlocking the historical truth about the assassination in Dallas
By Jefferson Morley

Two years from today Americans will observe the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It is likely to be a moment of national introspection, as well as an opportunity to complete the historical record of one of the most painful days in American history. Yet, incredibly enough, the Central Intelligence Agency is likely to object to declassifying all of its records related to the murder of the 35th president in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. The question on the 48th anniversary of the tragedy is whether the CIA’s extreme claims of JFK secrecy — reiterated in federal court filings this year — will be allowed to stand.
The tediously unresolved case of the assassinated president never quite goes away as some would wish. Stephen King’s new book, “November 22, 1963,” is yet another imaginative retelling of a critical day in American history, a densely layered epic that appeals to the enduring impulse to understand how the president of the United States was gunned down in broad daylight, and why no one was ever brought to justice for the crime.
The official story, still defended by an articulate minority, was heard in a National Geographic special last weekend. Kennedy’s death was said to be the tragic result of the psychotic actions of one individual. But as the NatGeo special demonstrates, the defense of that perspective is growing more eccentric. The program offered a novel interpretation of the photographic and forensic evidence from historian Max Holland that has been cogently addressed by independent researchers and is not shared by many JFK scholars, whether pro- or anti-conspiracy. Holland’s theory merely confirms what has long been obvious to many: There are a lot implausible theories of who killed JFK, and the notion that a “lone nut” was solely responsible is one of them.
More likely, Kennedy was ambushed by enemies who sought to avoid detection. That is what JFK’s widow, Jacqueline, and his brother Robert believed. As David Talbot demonstrated in his 2007 book “Brothers,” Bobby Kennedy concluded within hours of the gunfire in Dallas that his brother had been killed by anti-Castro Cubans. For the rest of his life, RFK never abandoned a conspiratorial interpretation of his brother’s death. (Full disclosure: Talbot is my boss and friend.)
The story is well-documented. Within a week of the assassination, RFK and Jackie Kennedy sent a friend to Moscow with a message for the leadership of the Soviet Union. As historians Aleksandr Fursenko and Tim Naftali reported in their 1999 book on the Cuban missile crisis, “One Hell of a Gamble,” Bobby and Jackie wanted the Soviet leadership to know that “despite Oswald’s connections to the communist world, the Kennedys believed that the president was felled by domestic opponents.” This finding is worth repeating on the 48thanniversary of JFK’s death: Jackie and Bobby Kennedy “believed that the president was felled by domestic opponents.”
Naftali, now the director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in California, told me in an email that he and his co-author learned the story from a Soviet diplomat, Georgi Bolshakov, and found his written account of Bobby and Jackie’s message in the Soviet archives. In that message Bobby and Jackie sought to assure the Soviet leadership that they did not believe that Oswald acted at Castro’s behest. The clear implication of the message was that Bobby and Jackie held the American right, not the international left, responsible for the crime in Dallas. “I was a little surprised what little reaction the … story got,” Naftali wrote.
No doubt inadvertently, the National Geographic JFK special fostered a reassuring yet false view of American history: that there is little reason to doubt the official story blaming a “lone nut.” In fact, Bobby and Jackie were not alone in suspecting conspiracy in Dallas. At the time, 60 percent of Dallas residents suspected a plot. JFK’s successor, Lyndon Johnson, privately suspected a plot emanating from JFK enemies in Cuba or Vietnam. In Havana, Fidel Castro, a man whose peaceful dotage is proof positive he knows something about detecting CIA conspiracies, concluded JFK had been killed by a right-wing faction within his own government. More recently, University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato, a mainstream political pundit and author of a forthcoming book on the legacy of Kennedy’s assassination, has joined critics of the official JFK story.
“Critical documents that could explain more about what happened are being hidden, and aggressively so,” Sabato told me in an email. “It’s no wonder a large majority of Americans believe in various conspiracy theories. There’s plenty to be suspicious about.”
Sabato has company in academia. There is a growing scholarly consensus that JFK was killed by a conspiracy. Since 2000, five tenured historians at U.S. universities have published scholarly studies that addressed the causes of JFK’s death. Four of the five concluded there was a conspiracy (though they did not all agree on who was responsible).
Thus the enduring conundrum of JFK’s assassination story. While a confident minority in the opinion-making class dismisses any consideration of conspiracy, the majority of the public is left to ponder a bewildering array of theories without much guidance about what is actually the most plausible explanation of how the president came to be killed.
As someone who has written about the JFK story for 28 years without advocating any ”theory” of the case, I recommend seven steps for those who want to understand the causes of JFK’s death.
Step 1: If you are looking for evidence of a JFK conspiracy, do as prosecutors and law enforcement do: start in the middle and work your way up.
It is tempting but foolish to start your personal JFK investigation by seeking to identify the gunmen or the intellectual authors of the crime. Start by identifying the people who were less involved and use them to identify those who were more complicit.
As a reporter for the Washington Post, I started by investigating those employees of the CIA most knowledgeable about the accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. Over the years, I found a dozen or more CIA officers who had sent or received cables about Oswald while President Kennedy was still alive. I interviewed some of them, as well as their surviving descendants, friends and associates. My goal was to answer the investigative reporter’s basic question: What did these CIA people know about Oswald? And when did they know it?
Step 2: Understand the intense psychological resistance to Step 1.
Some people cannot distinguish between serious journalism about the JFK story and the meretricious conspiracy theories peddled by the 9/11 truthers. This is unfortunate. Such resistance to conspiratorial thinking, while sometimes useful, too often rationalizes a kind of anti-journalistic defensiveness that actually prevents discussion of the JFK story.
Talk show host Chris Matthews, a decent liberal and huge fan of JFK, grows agitated at the suggestion that a serious person might disagree with the official story. Cass Sunstein, an otherwise sane senior advisor to President Obama, has proposed that the government infiltrate JFK conspiracy chat groups to dispel the allegedly dangerous and delusional ideas discussed there. Former New York Times editor Bill Keller recently admitted he deletes all emails on JFK assassination without reading them, but offhandedly noted, “There’s always has been something fishy about that assassination.”
In the face of such denial and indifference, the interested citizen must turn to books such as David Kaiser’s “The Road to Dallas,” and James Douglas’ “JFK and the Unspeakable” to get the latest evidence on JFK’s assassination. Fortunately, the public can now visit quality websites, such as that of the Mary Ferrrell Foundation — which has the largest online collection of JFK records – JFKLancer, and the home page of professor John McAdams. The sites seek to identify the most reliable information about the JFK story and encourage debate about the key questions, a chore most U.S. news organizations have long disdained.
Step 3: If you want to get into the conspiratorial weeds, educate yourself on Operation Northwoods.
This is story that the likes of Chris Matthews and Bill Keller don’t care to engage too closely. It emerged from a wealth of new information released as a result of Oliver Stone’s all-too-believable 1992 movie “JFK.” Among the new records were a batch of long-secret records about a Pentagon scheme known as Operation Northwoods. These documents showed that by mid-1963, U.S. military planners had developed a uniquely devious approach to advancing their preferred policy of “regime change” in Cuba. The Northwoods concept called for CIA operatives to mount “terrorist” actions on U.S. soil that would then be blamed on the Castro government. By framing Cuba as an irresponsible and violent actor, the U.S. could justify an invasion of Cuba — something that the Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously favored. JFK emphatically rejected such pretext operations in a tense meeting with the JCS in March 1962. Yet the Northwoods planning continued, with CIA input, through the summer of 1963, according to the documents.
The Northwoods documents lend credence to Stone’s depiction of Kennedy’s death as the work of a high-level national security cabal that sought to blame the crime on a communist to avoid detection. That sort of scenario was not the ex post facto invention of a Hollywood screenwriter. It was Pentagon policy circa Nov. 22, 1963.
Step 4: Understand the CIA’s role in the JFK story as it emerges from files declassified since Stone’s movie.
The new JFK files do not prove there was a conspiracy but they do prove this: There was a group of senior Agency officers who knew much more about Lee Harvey Oswald in late 1963 than they ever said publicly or shared privately with colleagues.
In Langley those knowledgeable about Oswald while JFK was still alive included James Angleton, the chief of the Agency’s Counterintelligence (CI) Staff. Angleton was a protean character whose penetrating intellect and obscure exploits have inspired a small library of books and several Hollywood movies. He was also an alcoholic, ultra-right-wing paranoiac who ran covert operations with no oversight from anyone. At least three of his closest aides, Jane Roman, William J. Hood and Birch D. O’Neal received pre-assassination intelligence on Oswald.
In Mexico City, Winston Scott, the trusted chief of the CIA’s Mexico City Station (the subject of my book “Our Man in Mexico”), his aide Anne Goodpasture, and his not-so-trusted deputy David A. Phillips oversaw the surveillance of Oswald’s visit there just six weeks before JFK was shot dead.
In the CIA’s Miami station, the chief of the psychological warfare branch, George Joannides, was running a network of Cuban agents who exposed and denounced Oswald for his pro-Castro political activities in New Orleans.
Most of these officials were not involved in any plot to kill JFK. I interviewed Roman, Hood and Goodpasture at length and came away certain they had nothing to do with any JFK conspiracy. I wrote a book about Win Scott and came to the same conclusion. As for Jim Angleton and David Phillips, I presume their innocence but have much less certainty about it.
The newly declassified CIA’s records show that Angleton’s CI staff kept track of Oswald constantly from October 1959 to November 1963. At Angleton’s direction, more than 40 reports about Oswald’s travels in the communist world, his family life and his political views were funneled to a secretive office in the Counterintelligence Staff known as the Special Investigations Group. The SIG was headed by Birch O’Neal, a loyal aide who had served as CIA station chief in Guatemala during the CIA-sponsored coup d’etat in 1954.
The CIA files show that the pace of intelligence gathering around Oswald quickened in mid-1963. In August 1963, Joannides’ assets started reporting on Oswald’s antics in New Orleans. When Oswald visited the Cuban consulate in Mexico City a few weeks later, he was surveilled by Phillips. When CIA and FBI reports on Oswald were sent to the SIG, they were signed for, and read by Angleton’s staff. No, this isn’t Internet fable: The routing sheets with their signatures can be found in the National Archives, and Roman and Hood confirmed their authenticity in separate interviews.
Six weeks after Angleton’s aides reviewed the Oswald file, JFK was shot dead and Oswald was arrested for the crime. These CIA officers did not investigate and conclude that Oswald had acted alone. Some, including Phillips and Joannides, took actions to insure that blame for the crime of Dallas would fall on Cuba. Others, like Scott, scrambled to learn more about Oswald. Angleton blandly disavowed his long-standing interest in Kennedy’s accused killer and concealed the paper trail that proved it.
Step 5: See the crime of Dallas as people in the CIA saw it.
In the course of writing my book about Win Scott, a math teacher from rural Alabama who transformed himself into one of the best CIA officers of his generation, I found that he knew there was something very wrong with the Agency’s handling of information about Oswald.
Scott knew that deputy CIA director Dick Helms had lied to the Warren Commission about the Agency’s pre-assassination surveillance of Oswald. And he learned that Angleton, a longtime friend, had kept him “out of the loop” on the latest intelligence about Oswald in October 1963.
Scott also harbored doubts about his deputy Phillips, the chief of the agency’s covert operations against the Castro government at the time. After Kennedy’s assassination, Scott downgraded Phillips on his job evaluation, and came to question his reporting on Oswald. When Scott privately aired some of his misgivings to a colleague in the British intelligence service a few years later, Angleton intercepted the message and sent a warning to Scott: Do not talk about JFK’s assassination with anyone.
In the upper echelons of the CIA, Lee Harvey Oswald was not regarded as a “lone nut.” At the level of Jim Angleton, Win Scott and David Phillips, Oswald was regarded as an extremely sensitive operational matter. It is inevitable that historians will view him the same way.
Step 6: Understand how U.S. national security operatives organized political assassinations in the 1960s and 1970s.
David Phillips was still alive when I arrived in Washington in the 1980s. He had retired from the Agency to found a pro-CIA lobbying group, the Association of Foreign Intelligence Officers. Phillips was a charming, cunning man, and a lively writer, even penning the occasional column for the Washington Post Outlook section where I later worked. One colleague at the Post, well-versed in the intelligence world, once told me that he had gotten to know Phillips. “He wasn’t the type” to be involved in a plot against JFK, this colleagues assured me.
A couple of years later, the nonprofit National Security Archive obtained via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) a cache of CIA records about a notorious political assassination in October 1970. The documents showed President Richard Nixon had ordered the CIA to take action to prevent leftist Salvatore Allende from assuming the presidency of Chile. The assignment was given to a task force directed by Phillips, by then one of the most senior operative in the Agency’s Latin America division, which identified a target: Gen. Rene Schneider, the commander in chief of the Chilean armed forces. Schneider’s crime: He had decided that Allende, winner of a recent election, should take office.
If you want to know how the CIA went about killing a political enemy at that time, study the records of this operation. Phillips brought in a team of four Agency operatives to organize a group of Chilean co-conspirators who were supplied with “three sterile 45 caliber machine guns.” The Agency’s operatives consulted with the Chileans about when to act and how they might justify the crime. The conspirators ambushed Schneider’s car in traffic, smashed the window with a sledgehammer, and shot him with the U.S.-supplied guns. After Schneider died a day later, Chile scholar Peter Kornbluh notes that Phillips co-authored a cable saying the CIA station had “done [an] excellent job of guiding [the] Chileans.”
Perhaps David Phillips was not the type to participate in the assassination of a U.S. president. But he did orchestrate the murder of a Latin American commander in chief. And his operational expertise in political assassination was never disclosed to congressional JFK investigators in the late 1970s.
Of course, this appalling episode in 1970 does not prove that Phillips participated in a JFK conspiracy in 1963. But if the CIA is interested in quelling long-standing conspiratorial speculation about Phillips, it should practice full disclosure to set the record straight.
Step 7: Return to Step 1; start in the middle of the alleged conspiracy and work your way up.
Thanks to CIA records declassified since 1998, we now know much more about a key aspect of the JFK story: the Agency’s underappreciated role in spreading the story that JFK had been killed by a communist.
As David Phillips mounted covert operations against the Castro government in the summer and fall of 1963, he was assisted by George Joannides, a dapper, 40-year-old spy from New York City. In Miami Joannides handled the CIA’s contacts with a network of anti-Castro Cuban students whom Phillips had recruited on the campus of the University of Havana before Castro’s revolution. Within hours of JFK’s murder in Dallas, Joannides’ agents got his approval to alert reporters to the fact that Kennedy’s accused killer was a member of a pro-Castro group called the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Their revelation generated headlines in the Washington Post, New York Times and dozens of newspapers across the country asserting what some still believe: JFK was killed by a pro-Castro communist.
We can now see that the aftermath of JFK’s assassination bore an eerie resemblance to the schemes envisioned in Operation Northwoods: After a terrible crime was committed in the United States, CIA operatives covertly sought to arrange for the blame to fall on Castro, the better to justify a U.S. invasion.
Was the CIA’s post-assassination propaganda about Oswald (to use Bill Keller’s word) “fishy”? The likes of Chris Matthews and Cass Sunstein (and even Keller himself) may try to dismiss the thought. But Jackie and Bobby Kennedy could not. They “believed that the president was felled by domestic opponents.”
It certainly seems fair to ask: Did Angleton, Phillips or others who were well-informed about Oswald before the assassination simply misunderstand and underestimate him as he made his way to Dallas with a gun? Or is it possible that one or more of them participated in some kind of covert operation — sponsored by the Agency or the Pentagon — to manipulate Oswald before Nov. 22, 1963, for the sake of advancing the U.S. policy of overthrowing Castro?
Thanks to CIA secrecy, such questions cannot be answered.
One view is that there is not much more to learn about the CIA and the JFK assassination. On the National Geographic show, Max Holland was asked if there was a “holy grail” of JFK assassination researchers. He cited Oswald’s tax records, which remain private at the request of his widow, Marina, who still lives in Texas (and believes her first husband innocent of JFK’s murder).
I think most published JFK authors would find Holland’s assessment too narrow. There are other important JFK records that remain at large. Diplomatic historian David Kaiser has identified several. Researcher William Kelly has shown that Office of Naval Intelligence (which had responsibility for tracking Oswald, an ex-Marine) possesses assassination-related files that it has never released.
James Lesar, a veteran Freedom of Information Act litigator in Washington (and, more full disclosure, my pro bono attorney), has a larger holy grail: the 50,000-plus pages of unreleased JFK assassination records now held by the National Archives. Much of this material has been classified as “Not Believed Relevant” to JFK’s assassination — and most of it is. But within the NBR records, and elsewhere in CIA archives, are still-secret files of some of those officers who were knowledgeable about Oswald before Kennedy’s murder — and they are quite relevant to understanding how JFK was killed. At least 1,000 pages of such material remains secret.
How do we know? In 2003 I sued the CIA for the records of George Joannides, a secondary character in the JFK story. Eight years later, the Agency is still fighting the release of some 330 records on him, a legal defense that the New York Times aptly described in 2009 as “cagey.” Agency lawyers are scheduled to appear in federal court later this year to argue that none of this antique material can be made public in any form — supposedly for reasons of “national security.”
With Lesar’s help, I discovered that the National Archives retains 605 pages of CIA records about David Phillips in the JFK Assassination Records Collection in College Park, Md. The Archives also has 222 pages about Birch D. O’Neal, Angleton’s aide who received reports on Oswald regularly between 1959 and 1963. The Agency says it will not release the Phillips and O’Neil material until at least 2017.
(Anyone can view what is known about these files by searching the National Archive’s JFK Assassination Records Collection here. Enter “David Phillips” or “Birch O’Neal in the first search field and “NBR” in the second. Then click on “Display Search Results.” To view more details about the withheld files, click on “Display All/Selected Hits.”)
These records can and should be made public by the 50thanniversary of JFK’s death in 2013. The National Archives is now embarked on a crash course to declassify some 400 million pages of classified U.S. government records. Two years ago, Michael Kurtz, a senior official at the Archives, said in a public hearing in Washington that the still-secret JFK assassination records would be a priority for release by 2013, a position that the Archives has since backed off. In the risk-averse culture of Washington, there is little appetite for full JFK disclosure. President Obama’s laudatory executive order on open government has proven entirely ineffectual in the case of assassination-related records.
Thus on the 48th anniversary of the Dallas tragedy, we have the usual dispiriting situation: the public remains confused, and the prospects for full disclosure are not bright. We collectively wonder if there is a “holy grail” of the JFK assassination story and the CIA refuses to share. The courts are acquiescent, and what remains of the press cannot be bothered to address the obvious questions.
Nonetheless, I prefer to experience Nov. 22 as a day of hard-won hope. Public interest in JFK and Jackie Kennedy (and to a lesser extent, Bobby) remains intense and widespread. Thanks to the Internet, public access to the full historical record of the JFK assassination story has never been greater. Many people sense that JFK died for a reason and want to know what it was. We’re not delusional. We’re realistic. We want the real history of our country.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

11/22/11: 48 YEARS AGO TODAY (The Kennedy Detail failed)- various news articles

Modern Dallas coming to grips with Kennedy assassination
A museum plans a 50th anniversary event in 2013 and a restoration of Dealey Plaza, part of an effort to shed for good any lingering collective guilt in the city.

By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times
November 22, 2011
Reporting from Dallas

On Tuesday, a few of the faithful will make a pilgrimage to Dealey Plaza to mark the moment at 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 22, 1963, when the Kennedy motorcade came gliding down Elm Street and shots rang out.

There will be no official ceremony. For most of the last 48 years, the city has let the anniversary slide past quietly, drawing no more attention to it than an aspiring actor would to a brutal facial scar.

That's all about to change.

Dallas officials and the Sixth Floor Museum — located in the former Texas School Book Depository where Lee Harvey Oswald fired upon President Kennedy — have announced plans for a large 50th anniversary event in 2013, and are raising $2.2 million in public and private money to restore Dealey Plaza.

Although some conspiracy theorists fear they will be excluded, and traditionalists worry about change, many locals praise the effort, saying it's time they shed their collective guilt as "the city that killed Kennedy."

"Dallas is still scarred and wounded," said Nicola Longford, executive director of the Sixth Floor Museum, which last year drew 330,000 visitors from 133 countries. "For Dallas, this is an opportunity to look back and not ignore it, to move through it and be inspired."

In the past, city officials said they were honoring requests by the Kennedy family not to observe the anniversary in Dallas.

Those organizing the 50th anniversary event — many of whom, like Longford, are not from Dallas or were born after 1963 — say they are not capitalizing on memories of Camelot. They want to show the world how far "Big D," the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country, has come from its days as a conservative outpost of big-haired socialites, oil tycoons and cowboys.

"People arrive and expect to see people walking down the street in cowboy hats," said Phillip Jones, head of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Instead, they find a city with the sixth-largest gay and lesbian population in the country, where 40% of the population is Hispanic and more than 20% is African American."

Many residents walking the city's streets this weekend said Dallas should embrace the anniversary. They included suburbanites, painters in the downtown arts district and hipsters in the Deep Ellum neighborhood.

"You can't get away from it — it's one of the things people associate with the city," said Robert Escobar, 38, who lives in suburban Irving and was downtown with his family perusing holiday displays at the flagship Neiman Marcus store.

Escobar, a self-described "history nerd," said he hoped the attention on the anniversary helped dispel the stigma that haunted Dallas, reinforced over time by the "Dallas" of J.R. Ewing.

"Dallas is really working to find its identity. I feel it grasping sometimes," said Jeff Sprick, 33, of suburban Flower Mound as he shared a beer outside a vintage Dallas bar called Lee Harvey's, which was also hosting the Assassination City Roller Derby after-party.

Pauline Medrano, who represents the Dealey Plaza area on the City Council, has watched the Dallas area diversify into what she calls a "blue county" that has an African American police chief, a Democratic mayor and the state's only female sheriff, who also happens to be a lesbian.

Medrano was standing with her class from Sam Houston Elementary School when Kennedy's motorcade drove by. Her older brother watched the motorcade on Main Street, and his photo hangs in the Sixth Floor Museum.

Medrano recalls the reputation Dallas had after the killing.

"Any time that we traveled anywhere and said we were from Dallas, you just saw the 'Hmmm!' " she said.

Darwin Payne, then a reporter with the Dallas Times Herald, had run to Dealey Plaza to interview a teary Abraham Zapruder, who filmed his iconic footage of the assassination while standing at one of the pergolas, a spot that came to be known as Zapruder's Perch. Payne said many Dallasites felt guilty because they had ignored or condoned other conflicts leading up to the assassination, including an attack by conservative activists on U.N. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson.
We were defensive at first. Then the realization came — we let the extreme right wing go on too long. We let them do too much," said Payne, author of "Big D: Triumphs and Troubles of an American Supercity in the 20th Century."

But in time, Payne said, "the attitude became, 'We have to be tolerant of other viewpoints and not allow extremists to run rampant.' "

Lindalyn Adams is among those whose attitudes toward the assassination evolved through the years. Adams, 81, recalls how her physician husband reported seeing a comatose Oswald being wheeled into an elevator at Parkland Hospital after he had been shot by Jack Ruby. Adams long had trouble visiting the book depository, even after she was chosen to lead the Dallas Historical Commission.

"I was down in the area all the time and had never wanted to even look in the direction of that notorious building," she said. "But I noticed how many people were visiting, at all hours."

Adams went on to champion the founding of the Sixth Floor Museum in 1989, in part because of the success of Ford's Theatre in Washington. Four years later, a ceremony was held on Nov. 22 to dedicate Dealey Plaza as a national historic landmark.

Tom Knock, an associate professor of history at Southern Methodist University, called the museum "a kind of penance" that, along with Oliver Stone's 1991 film "JFK," has "convinced a lot people that Dallas was not responsible" for the assassination, or at least, "did a lot to dim that memory."

Work at Dealy Plaza is scheduled to start no later than October 2012, and planners hope to finish the summer before the anniversary. Improvements include fixing up the pergolas, making the grassy knoll accessible to handicapped people and adding historical signs.

Willis Winters, assistant director of planning, design and construction for the Dallas Park and Recreation Department, said the goal was to better serve those who already frequented the plaza.

"I don't want to interpret for anyone the events, whether there was a conspiracy or not," he said. "What I do want to achieve is that Dealey Plaza is in pristine condition so that when millions of people come there, they're going to see a well-restored site — not peeling paint, broken light fixtures and broken-up sidewalks."

Debra Conway, president of JFK Lancer, a group that has sponsored an annual conference on the assassination in Dallas for 16 years, said some members feared being excluded from official 50th anniversary events, but she believed it could be a watershed moment uniting Kennedy historians and the city.

"The city has realized the museum can work and fill the gap in the fence between the old Dallas and what Dallas wants to be," she said.

Among those already planning to attend the 50th anniversary is Beverly Oliver Massegee, 65, who on Sunday gathered with about 50 other members of Conway's group for a remembrance at Dealey Plaza. Some grew teary. Some could not look at the knoll. At 12:30 p.m., they paused for a moment of silence. A train rattled nearby and a breeze barely stirred the live oaks. Then Massegee, a well-known witness to the assassination, sang "Amazing Grace."

In 1963, Massegee was a 17-year-old singer at the downtown Colony Club, an acquaintance of competing club owner Jack Ruby, when, she says, she strolled up Commerce Street to watch the motorcade pass. She wore a scarf over her blond bouffant, which earned her the nickname "babushka lady" and a cameo in "JFK." She has returned to Dealey Plaza almost every year since.

She gazed out at the plaza, where tourists from Japan and Germany snapped photos. "To me, this is hallowed ground," she said.

· Wayne Dorothy was reading his Sunday Abilene Reporter-News when he almost fell out of his chair, he said.
On Page 8A, in black and white, was a photo of part of a letter Gene Boone wrote to Dallas County Sheriff Bill Decker on Nov. 22, 1963.
Boone was a Dallas sheriff's deputy when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. On the day of the shooting, Boone discovered a rifle later linked to Lee Harvey Oswald on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. As part of his duties, Boone said, he was required to notify the sheriff of anything peculiar that occurred during his shift.
So he wrote his "Decker letter" saying he had been involved in the search of the building, and had found what "appeared to be a 7.65 Mauser with a telescope sight on the rifle."
That's what nearly unseated Dorothy.
"That was the first document I've ever seen — from someone who was there — that indicated the rifle they found was a Mauser, not a Mannicher-Carcano," Dorothy said.
The exact make and model of the rifle is one of the controversies that continue to swirl around Kennedy's assassination 48 years after the fact.
Dorothy, who is the director of bands at Hardin-Simmons University, said he became interested in the various theories surrounding Kennedy's death while teaching in Tennessee in 1984.
While the band director at Tullahoma High School, Dorothy said he attended a continuing education course about the assassination taught by the high school's head football coach.
"He had always enjoyed reading about the assassination, and ever since taking his course, I've been fascinated," Dorothy said.
For almost 30 years, Dorothy and his father, who also is an armchair assassination enthusiast, have amassed a large library of films, videos and books on the topic.
The more than 40 books Dorothy currently owns is just a tiny portion of the corpus of material that exists pertaining to just what happened in Dealey Plaza on Nov. 22, 1963.
"There are theories out there that run the gamut from absolute crackpot to more sober ideas," Dorothy said. "You have some real nuts, and you have serious scientists weighing in on it."
"I mean, on the one hand you have some folks out there claiming that the Zapruder film shows the driver of Kennedy's limo turning around and shooting the president. That's absolute bunk," he said.
On the other, he said, is a book "Assassination Science," written by James H. Fetzer, a professor at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. In that book, Fetzer uses expert testimony from a number of doctors and scientists to look at the facts of the assassination, Dorothy said.
Dorothy said he has his own questions about the case, but he doesn't think they will ever be fully resolved.
"There's enough variation in all the theories out there that I don't think we'll ever be able to prove anything beyond a shadow of a doubt. Look, we have two different official government reports (the 1964 Warren Commission report and the 1979 House Select Committee on Assassinations report) that basically contradict each other," he said.
The Warren Commission ultimately decided that Kennedy was assassinated by a lone gunman, and that gunman was Lee Harvey Oswald. The House Select Committee reported that it was likely Kennedy was killed as the result of a conspiracy.
Boone, who initially found the rifle, said he doesn't put much stock in conspiracy theories. He said he believes the Warren Commission's finding that only one shooter was involved.
"But, because of the political climate at the time, if it ever came out that there was a conspiracy, I wouldn't be surprised," Boone said. "If there was a conspiracy, I'd say it involved getting Oswald into the right place at the right time."
Any possible conspiracy could only have involved a handful of people, Boone said, "otherwise, something would have come out already."
Dorothy said he doesn't believe Oswald was the lone assassin, and that he doubts whether he even fired a single round. The amount of metal recovered from bullet fragments raises doubts about the number of shots fired, he said. Discrepancies between official medical reports from Parkland Hospital in Dallas, and the official autopsy performed in Maryland several days later need to be explained, he said.
But as for the rifle, identified initially as a German Mauser then later as an Italian infantry rifle?
"Well, I was mistaken," Boone said. He said he used the term "Mauser" to describe the weapon — which he only saw from two to three feet away — as a bolt-action rifle, not the particular brand.
Dorothy, however, is skeptical.
"The very first information out of Dallas said the rifle was a Mauser. Then it all changed, and it was said to be a Mannlicher-Carcano. How did three police officers all misidentify it?" he said.
"You know, the more I read about the assassination, the more questions I tend to have," he said.
Sarasota doctor was at hospital when JFK died
Published: Monday, November 21, 2011 at 6:08 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, November 21, 2011 at 6:08 p.m.
"Oh, they're bringing them in. They've all been shot!'" It was the scream of a secretary rushing into the cafeteria of Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, the beginning of a series of days that Malouf Abraham will never forget. Today, the 72-year-old is a retired allergy doctor, who spends part of his time as a Sarasota resident.
Forty-eight years ago — on Nov. 22, 1963 — Abraham was 24, the youngest of his 85 classmates at the teaching hospital for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.
A dying President John F. Kennedy — shot by assassin Lee Harvey Oswald only 10 minutes earlier — had just arrived in his blood-stained limousine.
Abraham, now one of a shrinking group on hand that day, would see the president's limousine before it was scrubbed by Secret Service agents. His friend at the hospital would help console a shocked Jackie Kennedy minutes before she was informed of her husband's death.
Only a week before Kennedy's shooting, the young Lebanese-American medical student from Canadian, Texas, would watch Jack Ruby, the assassin's assassin, parade around on the runway of his Dallas nightclub.
Years later, a chance meeting with JFK's mother at a mass in Palm Beach would remind Abraham of the shared grief of those who lived through November 1963.
On that Friday, Abraham was on duty at the hospital when the open-air limousine carrying Kennedy and Texas Gov. John Connally screeched up to the trauma center's "AMBULANCES ONLY" entrance, the end of a four-mile sprint from Dealey Plaza.
The medical student was midway through a 12-hour shift and was getting something to eat, just setting his tray on a table in the hospital cafeteria when the secretary rushed in yelling
I never sat down. I ran." Taking nearby stairs, he went down into the trauma center hallway separating rooms one and two. The area was packed with the Secret Service, FBI, police and the press.
Five minutes later, NBC interrupted its normal coverage to report that Kennedy and Connally had been shot.
Deciding it would be best to stay out of the way, Abraham moved to the adjoining ER waiting room at the opposite end of the hallway.
Somewhere nearby stood First Lady Jackie Kennedy, who had just helped 22-year-old trauma room nurse Diana Bowron lift her husband out of the limousine on to a four-wheeled stretcher.
Abraham went through the back door into the ambulance arrival area.
Before him, unattended, sat the president's bloodied 1961 Lincoln Continental four-door convertible limousine. A half hour before, Abraham's fiancé, Therese Browne, had watched the car proceed down Lemmon Avenue, the first leg of the fateful journey.
"I went immediately over to it and I did not put my hands on it, but I just stood — standing right there," Abraham said.
There were not huge amounts of blood, Abraham said.
"What I remember is flowers and blood, you know, like flowers that Jackie would have had," referring to the red roses and lavender asters given to her at Dallas' Love Field airport when the Kennedys arrived.
"I've waded through a lot of blood and guts, but this wasn't really that."
According to a classmate Abraham spoke to later, while doctors attended to the president, an aide to Jackie Kennedy asked the first lady if she would like to change her clothes. They were the now famous raspberry dress with matching pillbox hat.
"No, let them see what they've done," the first lady replied, according to William Manchester's account in his book, "The Death of a President."
Another Abraham classmate — close friend Norman Borge — encountered Jackie Kennedy as she briefly stood alone outside the trauma room.
Borge recalled in an interview with the Herald-Tribune that a priest had surprised her by trying to remove her bloody glove.
Borge, 81, a retired general practitioner from Fort Worth, found her a folding chair and a glass of water.
Later, Father Oscar Huber, pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Dallas, and Rev. James Thompson, two local Catholic priests from Abraham's church, administered last rites to the president. They were the same men who provided Abraham and his wife the couple's Pre-Cana marriage counseling.
Minutes later, it was 1 p.m. when Dr. Kemp Clark, one of Abraham's professors and the hospital's chief of neurosurgery, pronounced the president dead.
According to news accounts of the day, Kemp also was the doctor who informed Jackie Kennedy.
The next day, Abraham returned to Parkland, where he had trauma room duty.
Nearly 50 years later, Abraham says he still has a vivid memory of the spray of flowers attached to the door of the room where Kennedy died.
"We had these flowers on the door like a funeral spray — hanging on the outside door," Abraham said, pausing to collect himself. "We had the door just ajar and the only light was from the X-ray view box."
On Sunday, the engaged Abrahams — who married five weeks later — attended mass at Holy Trinity Church.
Eight days earlier the couple had been at Ruby's Carousel Club in Dallas for the first and last time.
As the couple exited the church the Sunday after Kennedy's assassination, they noticed a commotion and people chattering.
"We came out of church and here's all this buzz out in the church parking lot, people getting worried that Jack Ruby had shot Oswald in the Dallas jail," Abraham said. "We went from the church back to the hospital — Parkland."
Leaving the hospital, Abraham and his future wife went to Dealey Plaza, the site of the shooting. There was gridlock, forcing them to park blocks away and to walk.
"Everybody in the world was there," recalled Abraham, choking back tears again. "Everybody was crying, laying flowers, notes, posters. I've never seen anything like it. It was highly, highly emotional."
Fourteen years later, by a chance encounter, the Abrahams had another brush with the Kennedys at a mass at St. Edwards Catholic Church in Palm Beach.
There were three empty rows of pews in front of Abraham and the Kennedy group took some of them.
"I'm looking at the back of Rose Kennedy through this mass, and I'm just being bombarded with all these thoughts of things that I saw that she didn't have to see," Abraham said.
Then Abraham thought about the cup of communion, soon to be offered to each of those attending the mass.
"I thought we are — really in this life — we're all in this same leaky little boat," Abraham said. "We're drinking out of the same cup. Some people think they have their own cup.
"They really don't in this life, you know."
November 21, 2011
Kennedy Assassination Transformed US Secret Service
The assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, 48 years ago, stunned the world. It was the first time since 1901- when President William McKinley was killed - that a U.S. president fell to an assassin’s bullet.
The Secret Service is responsible for protecting the president and his family. President Kennedy’s death put the service on the defensive. In conversations with several former Secret Service agents, our correspondent reports that the assassination, and later attempts on Presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, led to changes in how the President and first family are protected.
On November 22, 1963, when shots rang out in Dallas, Secret Service Agent Clint Hill was in the best position to react. His analysis of that day is simple.

“There’s no question that we failed in providing protection for President Kennedy," said Hill.

Agent Gerald Blaine was also in Texas that day, but not in Dallas. He says a lack of manpower was partly responsible. “In 1963 we had 330 agents; we had about 34 agents on the White House detail," said Blaine.

The agents were visible. Some ran alongside or stood on cars in the presidential motorcade. But Blaine says they couldn't communicate with each other.

“We didn’t have radios," he said. "We operated through hand signals. We had photographs of subjects that we had concerns about, and we would memorize those subjects. And we had to rely on each other to work together as a team."

Author Lisa McCubbin collaborated with Blaine on the book The Kennedy Detail.

She says weaknesses exposed by the Kennedy assassination forced a change in how the Secret Service was funded.

“So it made them realize even more how important their mission was, and they were able then to convince Congress to get more money," said McCubbin. "They had been asking for more money for years and years, to get more people. They knew they couldn't protect the president with what they had."

Clint Hill stayed with the Secret Service after the assassination.

He rose to assistant director, and witnessed changes in the agency: no more travel in open automobiles and more agents, more money, and better communication.

But Hill suffered from guilt after the assassination. He retired in 1975.

Several months later, not once but twice, assailants tried to kill President Gerald Ford during visits he made to California.

And in 1981, another disaster was narrowly averted.

President Ronald Reagan, emerging from a Washington hotel, was shot by John Hinckley Jr. Reagan was rushed to a nearby hospital for life-saving surgery.

Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy was shot in the abdomen. Press Secretary James Brady was struck in the head and seriously disabled..

But no one died in the attack.

McCarthy says the incident led to even more changes. “After that, metal detectors were used to screen anyone who gets near the president," said McCarthy. "Shortly thereafter, and the legacy is that since that time, there has not been an attack on any of our presidents by the historic assassin which is the lone gunman."

Though the assassination of President Kennedy was a transforming event for the Secret Service, recent incidents are a reminder that the president is still a target.

At 21-year-old Idaho man is under arrest for allegedly firing several shots at the White House on November 11.
November 21, 2011
Secret Service Agents Open Up About Kennedy Assassination
President John F. Kennedy’s trip to Dallas on November 22, 1963 was intended to boost support in Texas for his 1964 re-election campaign. An assassin’s bullet ended his life, however, remaining an event still shrouded in controversy. Since that time, Secret Service agents assigned to protect President Kennedy have spoken only rarely about that day. But in a recent book, called The Kennedy Detail, and in an interview with VOA, former agent Clint Hill explains how the day unfolded, and how it changed his life.

Former Secret Service agent Clint Hill said providing security for President John F. Kennedy was a challenge.

“With President Kennedy it was mix and mingle. He didn’t like anybody to be, come between he and the people,” said Hill.
November 22, 1963 began like most presidential visits... even though it was in a part of the country - Texas - that was not enthusiastic about the president.

“This was an extremely conservative area. Kennedy was not labeled as a conservative by any stretch of the imagination, so it was considered that there could be some problems that could develop. But we had no threats, no information that would lead us to believe that we would have a major problem,” said Hill.

As the president's motorcade made its way through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Hill was on a vehicle behind the presidential limousine.

“I heard an explosive noise to my right rear, the rear of the motorcade," said Hill. "I saw the president grab at his throat and move to his left and I knew something was wrong, so I jumped and ran toward the presidential car with the idea of getting up on top.

"By the time I just about got to the car, the third shot had been fired, hit the President in the head, caused a massive wound, which caused blood, brains and other material to be exploded out on to the car, onto me, onto Mrs. Kennedy. She was trying to retrieve some material that had come off from the president’s head and went to the right rear. I grabbed her and did the best I could to get her back in the seat.

"When I did that, the president fell to his left into her lap. I got up on top and lay on top behind both of them, and I turned and gave a thumbs down to the follow up car," said Hill.

That event lasted less than a minute, but it scarred Hill for life.

“I feel guilt, I feel responsibility. I was the only agent who was in a position to do anything that day,” said Hill.

The assassination shook the nation, and the Secret Service.

Clint Hill protected three more presidents, but in 1975, overcome by depression, he retired.

In 2009, author Lisa McCubbin requested an interview with Hill for a possible book.

“He did one interview in 1975 with 60 Minutes that’s a classic interview in which he had basically a nervous breakdown on television. Then he went into seclusion," said McCubbin.

Encouraged by friend, former agent and now author Gerald Blaine, Hill and other agents in Dallas on that day decided to talk, in part, to document how the assassination affected them.

Hill said the release last year of The Kennedy Detail has been therapeutic.

“...especially being able to go out and talk to people about the book and answer it, a lot of the questions that they have because there are still a lot of questions out there,” said Hill.

One question often asked is whether or not there was more than one assassin. Hill supports the findings of the Warren Commission, which concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman.

New Book Marks 48th Anniversary of U.S. Kennedy Assassination
Posted Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011 at 1:25 am
As U.S. citizens reflect on the 48th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, a former member of the agency responsible for guarding the U.S. president tells VOA that the shooting exposed weaknesses in the security detail.
Former U.S. Secret Service agent Gerald Blaine says a lack of manpower contributed to Mr. Kennedy's assassination during a presidential motorcade on November 22, 1963. He said the 34 agents accompanying the president in Dallas, Texas, that day communicated with hand signals rather than radios, as the president traveled with his wife and the state governor in an open-air convertible.
The sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, from where suspected assassin Lee Harvey Oswald is believed to have made the fatal shots, has been turned into a museum.
Blaine said the assassination of the young president, which shocked the world, led to security improvements such as better funding for the Secret Service and closed vehicles for motorcades.
He said security tightened further after an unsuccessful attempts on the lives of Presidents Gerald Ford in 1975, and Ronald Reagan and 1981. Now, anyone who will be near the president must be screened by metal detector. Blaine has written a book about the Kennedy assassination called The Kennedy Detail.
But despite all the security, a U.S. president is still under threat of attack. On November 11 of this year, shots were fired at the White House. Authorities have detained a 21-year-old man in connection with the shooting. He appeared in court for the first time Monday.
New Book Indicts CIA in Kennedy Assassination
22 Nov, 2011 03:19 CET
Last Word: My Indictment of the CIA in the Murder of JFK
New York Times number one bestselling author and JFK historian Mark Lane tried the only U.S. court case in which jurors concluded that the CIA plotted the murder of President Kennedy, but there were always missing pieces: How did the CIA control Dallas police and Secret Service agents on the ground in Dealey Plaza? How did federal authorities prevent the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee on Assassinations from discovering the truth about the complicity of the CIA?
Now, Lane tells all in his explosive new book – Last Word: My Indictment of the CIA in the Murder of JFK – with exclusive new interviews, sworn statements and meticulous new research (including interviews with Oliver Stone, Dallas Police deputy sheriffs, Robert K. Tanenbaum, and Secret Service agent Abraham Bolden) Lane finds out first hand exactly what went on the day JFK was assassinated. Lane includes testimony given to the Warren Commission by a police officer who confronted a man who he thought was the assassin. The officer testified that he drew his gun and pointed it at the suspect who showed Secret Service ID. Yet, the Secret Service later reported that there were no Secret Service agents on foot in Dealey Plaza.
Last Word proves that the CIA, operating through a secret small group, prepared and distributed all credentials for Secret Service agents in Dallas for the two days that Kennedy was going to be there including providing the assassins with those credentials.
The nation’s most respected and ethical former high ranking prosecutor, Robert K. Tanenbaum (Chief of Homicide for the New York District Attorney’s Office under the legendary Frank Hogan), wrote : “Lane’s Last Word reveals his courageous challenge to the Warren Commission report and his scathing critique of unconscionable CIA outrages. The penetrating accuracy of his reportage may be measured by the personal attacks he endured that were orchestrated by upper-echelon rogue CIA operatives…. Whether one agrees with Mark Lane’s conclusions or not, everyone should read Last Word. His courageous efforts, his scholarly research and remarkable advocacy are a tribute to his enormous capacity to seek the truth. We are all better people because of that he has done.” – Robert K. Tanenbaum, Deputy Chief Counsel for the House Select Committee on Assassinations to investigate the John F. Kennedy assassination.
Skyhorse Publishing, November, 2011. Available on,, and wherever fine books are sold.

JFK theories won't die
Posted: 11/22/2011 03:00:00 AM EST
Updated: 11/22/2011 07:10:31 AM EST

Tuesday November 22, 2011
BRATTLEBORO -- 48 years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, new evidence and theories are still being brought to light.
Bill Holiday, a social studies teacher at Brattleboro Union High School, will be giving a presentation at the Brooks Memorial Library today at 7 p.m. discussing eyewitness testimony and conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination of JFK.
The presentation is being held on the anniversary of the assassination that occurred Nov. 22, 1963, as JFK rode in a motorcade through Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas.
Jack Houk, a student at BUHS, said he got a chance to make his own theory about one of the most controversial events in history. Houk traveled last week to Dallas with Holiday and about six other high school students to meet eyewitnesses and researchers, and study the Kennedy assassination.
Houk said he got to learn some new information about the assassination, but was still just scratching the surface.
"There's a lot more I need to know," he said.
Houk said making the trip to Dallas was a great opportunity to learn more. He said it helped put things into perspective when he got to see the actual location of the assassination.
He believes there is a 95-percent certainty that there was a shooter on the grassy knoll.
"I think it means there were two shooters," said Houk.
He said most history books don't even mention a second shooter.
"We keep

learning more about stuff that happened a long time ago," said Houk.
Holiday has been giving presentations on the Kennedy assassination since a video of the incident was broadcast on public television -- the Zapruder film, a video shot by private citizen Abraham Zapruder capturing the assassination as it happened. The film was aired on ABC's Good Night America in 1975 for the first time on network television.
"I don't think there is any better experience than being out in the field," said Holiday. "It gives students the opportunity to question and come up with their own conclusions."
He said the trip to Dallas exposed the students to researchers that work to find the truth.
"There are people still digging," said Holiday.
He said 48 years later, details are still unclear about how and what actually happened. Holiday said some theories involve the mob or the Secret Service.
"People want to know why," said Holiday.
He said one of the things that has gotten him interested in the assassination is details that don't make since. Holiday has spoken with eyewitnesses and researchers over the years and has found particular details that may have led to Kennedy's assassination.
He said there were no officers on the presidential limousine that day, and the president's car was the first in the motorcade, which Holiday said doesn't usually happen.
"The way they did things in Dallas was different," he said.
There have been about two dozen incidents involving people who were in a place to offer testimony about the assassination or who may have shed some light on the case, but died due to suspicious circumstances. He said there was one reporter about to testify but died as a result of a karate chop to the neck. Another man, Lee Bowers, had given testimony that he saw three cars enter a forbidden area just before the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He also stated that he saw two strangers on the grassy knoll. Bowers was killed shortly after in 1966 as a result of a motor vehicle crash. However, eyewitnesses report that he was run off the road by another car.
"One of the tragedies of the Kennedy assassination; there was never an autopsy," said Holiday.
Holiday said the doctor was told to ignore procedures in a normal autopsy.
While researchers have been pondering what really happened for almost 50 years, questions about the assassination may never be fully answered, said Holiday.