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Extracurricular Shenanigans Nothing New for Presidential Secret Service Detail

COMMENT: In the wake of the recent scan­dal involv­ing Secret Ser­vice agents assigned to pro­tect Oba­ma par­ty­ing with pros­ti­tutes in Colom­bia, it is worth not­ing that this sort of thing is not with­out prece­dent.

For­mer Secret Ser­vice agent Abra­ham Bold­en (the first African-Amer­i­can mem­ber of the Ser­vice) relates such activ­i­ties in the run-up to Pres­i­dent Kennedy’s assas­si­na­tion.

The Echo from Dealey Plaza by Abra­ham Bold­en; Har­mo­ny Books [HC]; Copy­right 2008 by Abra­ham Bold­en; 978–0‑307–38201‑6. 

EXCERPT: . . . . Secret Ser­vice agents used this cot­tage when­ev­er the pres­i­dent was in Hyan­nis Port [Mass­a­chus­setts]. It had a large wood­en porch across the front, a sit­ting area with a num­ber of bed­rooms off it, and a well-equipped kitchen. The large back­yard had a patio and a brick bar­be­cue pit, and led into thick woods. The cot­tage was rel­a­tive­ly seclud­ed, about fifty yards from the near­est house. As we had­n’t eat­en since we left Wash­ing­ton, every­body chipped in some mon­ey, and Hen­der­son and Fos­ter drove off to buy food and drinks. They came back in about an hour with the gro­ceries, along with a healthy sup­ply of beer and bour­bon.

We spent the after­noon and evening eat­ing, drink­ing, chat­ting, and watch­ing tele­vi­sion. About 8:00pm, I over­heard Hen­der­son ask­ing agents–not includ­ing me–if they want­ed to go into town. He drove off with a cou­ple of oth­er men. In addi­tion to the drink­ing, the White House detail also had a rep­u­ta­tion for wom­an­iz­ing. Sto­ries cir­cu­lat­ed through­out the ser­vice about arro­gant agents in Wash­ing­ton who fan­cied them­selves play­boys, and sure enough, I was awak­ened at about 2:00 am by the sounds of wom­en’s voic­es. I got up, used the bath­room, and wan­dered to the win­dows over­look­ing the front of the cot­tage. I heard the laugh­ter of a woman and some men com­ing from one of the bed­rooms, and a lit­tle lat­er on saw two agents dri­ve away with a cou­ple of women in the sta­tion wag­on. . . . (The Echo from Dealey Plaza; p. 32.)

COMMENT: Some have felt that this type of behav­ior may have played a role in the assas­si­na­tion. (In a fol­low-up post, we will dis­cuss more sin­is­ter leads with regard to the Secret Ser­vice’s per­for­mance in Dal­las on 11/22/1963.)

EXCERPT: . . . . Imme­di­ate­ly after the assas­si­na­tion, sev­er­al news­pa­pers report­ed the pres­ence of an uniden­ti­fied man in the area now known as the “grassy knoll” in Dealey Plaza. Accord­ing to some of the accounts, a Dal­las police offi­cer had run to the grassy knoll just after the pres­i­dent was shot, and encoun­tered a neat­ly dressed man there. When ques­tioned, the man report­ed­ly pre­sent­ed a leather-bound com­mis­sion book iden­ti­fy­ing him as an agent of the U.S. Secret Ser­vice. At the same time, rumors of the pos­si­bil­i­ty of a lost com­mis­sion book were cir­cu­lat­ing with­in the Ser­vice. The sto­ry that we heard from some agents in Wash­ing­ton fea­tured sev­er­al of the agents who were trav­el­ing with the pres­i­dent going to a strip club on Novem­ber 21 and stay­ing until the ear­ly morn­ing hours of Novem­ber 22. At least one of them was report­ed to have become quite ine­bri­at­ed and could have either lost his Secret Ser­vice iden­ti­fi­ca­tion or had it lift­ed off him that night.

In Jan­u­ary 1964, ASAIC Mar­tineau announced that the Secret Ser­vice intend­ed to update iden­ti­fi­ca­tion books through out the agency, and that all agents need­ed to turn in their cur­rent iden­ti­fi­ca­tion books right away. We received new­ly engraved iden­ti­fi­ca­tion books about thir­ty days after the old ones were sent back to Wash­ing­ton. . . . It seemed fair­ly obvi­ous to me that the Ser­vice was look­ing to sweep under the rug the fact that some agent had lost his iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, and the best way to do so was to issue new ID to all per­son­nel. The Ser­vice was cir­cling the wag­ons at a time when many mem­bers of Con­gress felt the FBI should take over the pro­tec­tion of the pres­i­dent. . . . (Ibid.; pp. 54–55.)


5 comments for “Extracurricular Shenanigans Nothing New for Presidential Secret Service Detail”

  1. Thank you, Dave, good post as usu­al.

    What wor­ries me most, is what could hap­pen if not only Oba­ma does win a sec­ond term(which isn’t exact­ly any sort of unlike­ly at this point, bar­ring some GOP dirty tricks. Rom­ney con­tin­ues to gaffe his way into obliv­ion and many inde­pen­dents are aban­don­ing him.), and the Democ­rats get to take back at least one, if not both hous­es, by any sig­nif­i­cant mar­gin.

    They’ve tried the ‘Oba­ma is a Mus­lim Broth­er­hood agent’(while con­stant­ly sweep­ing most of the MB’s actu­al crim­i­nal activ­i­ties under the rug)/‘secret Mus­lim’ dis­in­fo and ‘Oba­ma is a trai­tor­/an­ti-white/etc.’ bull­shit angles, and many more too, and none of these types of pro­pa­gan­da have real­ly worked on any­one oth­er than the hard and far-right for the most part.

    J.F.K., though not exact­ly per­fect, helped stop WWIII by back­ing off of Cuba and played an enor­mous role in get­ting Wash­ing­ton to act on Civ­il Rights. And look where he end­ed up.

    The Estab­lish­ment did­n’t like Kennedy and they sure as hell don’t like Oba­ma.

    And, to top this off, I fear that if the Democ­rats are espe­cial­ly suc­cess­ful, the Estab­lish­ment might just pull off anoth­er 9/11, maybe a lot worse the next time around! =(

    Posted by Steve L. | July 22, 2012, 3:06 pm
  2. To hear Bold­en explain these real­i­ties, check this post. The audio file of the speech was unearthed by Russ Bak­er:


    Posted by Claude | July 22, 2012, 9:39 pm
  3. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/Lincolns-Missing-Bodyguard.html

    The night of the assas­si­na­tion, Lin­col­n’s per­son­al body­guard “snuck off to drink in the same pub as John Wilkes Booth” ... alleged­ly by coin­ci­dence.

    The day before his assas­si­na­tion, Lin­coln cre­at­ed the Secret Ser­vice.

    The inci­dent in Colom­bia reeks of deep state events. With the blind­ness of Amer­i­can hubris, it’s tak­en at face val­ue. If Putin had a body­guard inci­dent and a shake­up, there would be plen­ty of spec­u­la­tion as to the pow­er pol­i­tics hap­pen­ing behind the scenes.

    The big red flag in the sto­ry is the loca­tion: Colom­bia, which is drip­ping with Far Right covert ops every­where you look, includ­ing covert ops on behalf of Repub­li­can politi­cians.

    Posted by R. Wilson | July 23, 2012, 9:34 pm
  4. @Rob: True, but you can’t for­get Civ­il Rights, either, because as I said before that too, was a major part of the rea­son JFK was mur­dered, along with every­thin­gelse.

    Also, Oba­ma may not quite be on the lev­el of JFK, either, that is true. But giv­en the vit­ri­ol thrown at him by the most recent of the cur­rent favorite sons of the Estab­lish­ment, like the Teabag­gers, (whose move­ment, btw, I strong­ly sus­pect may have had CoIn­tel­Pro-esque ori­gins, on top of being fund­ed by peo­ple like the Kochs.), there is indeed the pos­si­bil­i­ty of some­thing occur­ring.

    I hon­est­ly would­n’t put it past them to pull anoth­er, and per­haps much worse, 9/11-type event if Oba­ma does win a sec­ond term, espe­cial­ly if he real­ly starts kick­ing ass.

    Posted by Steve L. | July 25, 2012, 12:46 am
  5. Was this seri­ous or a joke? It’s unclear:

    Think Progress
    Con­gress­man: Secret Ser­vice Should Install ADT Secu­ri­ty At The White House

    by Igor Vol­sky Post­ed on Sep­tem­ber 30, 2014 at 1:39 pm Updat­ed: Sep­tem­ber 30, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    A Repub­li­can con­gress­man elicit­ed laughs dur­ing a House Over­sight Com­mit­tee hear­ing into the Sep. 19th secu­ri­ty breach at the White House when he sug­gest­ed that the Secret Ser­vice install a home secu­ri­ty sys­tem to pro­tect the president’s res­i­dence from intru­sions.

    “If some­one opens a win­dow or a win­dow is bro­ken at my house, I have an alarm,” Rep. John Mica (R‑FL) explained in ques­tion­ing Secret Ser­vice Direc­tor Julia Pier­son about how an intrud­er was able to jump over the White House fence and run into the president’s res­i­dence before being appre­hend­ed by agents in the East Room.

    Mica then held up a sign dis­play­ing the logo for ADT, a Flori­da-based home secu­ri­ty sys­tem.

    “Have you ever heard of these guys?” he asked to chuck­les from the gallery. “It is not very cost­ly. You can sub­scribe, that can be installed. It is a sim­ple tech­nol­o­gy device, a com­pa­ny, a pri­vate sys­tem can do that,” he said, before adding, “we could put some veg­e­ta­tion bar­ri­ers, sim­ple things, like how about Span­ish bay­o­net? You jump that fence and you get quite a greet­ing when you hit the ground, inex­pen­sive invi­ta­tion — veg­e­ta­tion bar­ri­ers.” Watch it:


    The exchange was a brief moment of lev­i­ty in an oth­er­wise con­tentious hear­ing dur­ing which law­mak­ers from both sides of the aisle grilled Pier­son about the secu­ri­ty breach.


    Joke? No Joke? That had to be a joke.

    Ok, how about this one: Seri­ous or a joke?

    TPM Livewire
    Ex-Agent Pens WaPo Op-Ed Urg­ing Allen West To Lead Secret Ser­vice

    By Caitlin Mac­Neal
    Pub­lished Sep­tem­ber 30, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT

    After stun­ning rev­e­la­tions about secu­ri­ty breach­es at the White House, a for­mer Secret Ser­vice agent thinks it’s time for the mil­i­tary to get involved, specif­i­cal­ly for­mer Rep. Allen West (R‑FL).

    Dan Emmett, who used to serve in the Secret Ser­vice Pres­i­den­tial Pro­tec­tive Divi­sion, wrote in the Wash­ing­ton Post’s “PostEv­ery­thing” sec­tion that the Secret Ser­vice’s fail­ure to keep a man from jump­ing over the White House fence and enter­ing the build­ing was par­tic­u­lar­ly con­cern­ing “because the Unit­ed States is at war.”


    He argued that the U.S. has brought in the mil­i­tary to pro­tect the White House before — dur­ing World War II.

    “While Con­gress has not declared war on ISIS and al-Qae­da, U.S. airstrikes in Syr­ia and Iraq – as well as the threats of rad­i­cal Islamist groups against Amer­i­cans and our coun­try – make it clear we are indeed at war,” he wrote. “Had com­bat troops been in place dur­ing last week’s White House breach, the threat would have been eas­i­ly coun­tered by fixed posts and rov­ing patrols of sol­diers or Marines, who are trained to respond imme­di­ate­ly to such intru­sions with what­ev­er force is deemed nec­es­sary.”

    Then, he sug­gest­ed that Allen West replace Julia Pier­son as the direc­tor of the Secret Ser­vice.

    “In this role, a true leader, not a bureau­crat, is need­ed,” Emmett wrote. “West has suc­cess­ful­ly demon­strat­ed that he pos­sess­es the lead­er­ship skills of a com­bat offi­cer as well as man­age­r­i­al and diplo­mat­ic skills of a con­gress­man, exact­ly the traits need­ed in the next direc­tor.”

    West is a retired lieu­tenant colonel in the U.S. army who served one term in Con­gress from 2011 to 2013.

    Yes, why not make Allen West, the guy that just called for the the mil­i­tary to dis­obey Oba­ma’s orders, lead a mil­i­tary unit to pro­tect the pres­i­dent. Haha­ha­ha! Oh wait, that col­umn does­n’t appear to be a joke.

    Nei­ther does this one:

    Wash­ing­ton Post
    Armed con­trac­tor with crim­i­nal record was on ele­va­tor with Oba­ma in Atlanta

    By Car­ol D. Leon­nig Sep­tem­ber 30 at 8:43 PM

    A secu­ri­ty con­trac­tor with a gun and three pri­or con­vic­tions for assault and bat­tery was allowed on an ele­va­tor with Pres­i­dent Oba­ma dur­ing a Sept. 16 trip to Atlanta, vio­lat­ing Secret Ser­vice pro­to­cols, accord­ing to three peo­ple famil­iar with the inci­dent.

    Oba­ma was not told about the lapse in his secu­ri­ty, these peo­ple said. The Secret Ser­vice direc­tor, Julia Pier­son, asked a top agency man­ag­er to look into the mat­ter but did not refer it to an inves­tiga­tive unit that was cre­at­ed to review vio­la­tions of pro­to­col and stan­dards, accord­ing to two peo­ple famil­iar with the han­dling of the case who spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymi­ty.

    The inci­dent, which took place when Oba­ma vis­it­ed the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion to dis­cuss the U.S. response to the Ebo­la cri­sis, rat­tled Secret Ser­vice agents assigned to the president’s pro­tec­tive detail.

    The pri­vate con­trac­tor first aroused the agents’ con­cerns when he act­ed odd­ly and did not com­ply with their orders to stop using a cell­phone cam­era to record the pres­i­dent in the ele­va­tor, accord­ing to the peo­ple famil­iar with the inci­dent.

    When the ele­va­tor opened, Oba­ma left with most of his Secret Ser­vice detail. Some agents stayed behind to ques­tion the man and then used a nation­al data­base check that turned up his crim­i­nal his­to­ry.

    When a super­vi­sor from the firm pro­vid­ing secu­ri­ty at the CDC approached and dis­cov­ered the agents’ con­cerns, the con­trac­tor was fired on the spot. Then the con­trac­tor agreed to turn over his gun — sur­pris­ing agents, who had not real­ized that he was armed dur­ing his encounter with Oba­ma.

    Exten­sive screen­ing is sup­posed to keep peo­ple with weapons or crim­i­nal his­to­ries out of arm’s reach of the pres­i­dent. But it appears that this man, pos­sess­ing a gun, came with­in inch­es of the pres­i­dent after under­go­ing no such screen­ing.


    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 30, 2014, 6:11 pm

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