My Turn: Secrets of the Secret Service

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Published: 8/3/2022 10:39:48 PM

In black suits, dark glasses, furtive movements, and duty to save the lives of those they attend, at the risk of their own, Secret Service agents hold a mythic place in the public imagination. The question is whether that positive reputation is deserved.

On Jan. 6, 2021, they were surveilling Donald Trump’s massive rally at the Ellipse in Washington. This was a gathering assembled by Trump to forcefully and illegally subvert an election he had convincingly lost, both at the ballot box and all of some 62 court cases filed, from being routinely certified by Congress. At that rally men with rifles were observed on the ground and in trees. Trump objected to efforts to disarm his supporters, saying they weren’t there to hurt him. He encouraged the mob to advance on the Capitol and said he would join them there.

What happened next is subject of close scrutiny. In his car with agents, Trump asked to go to the Capitol. Agents refused to take him. A police witness observed, and Trump aide Cassidy Hutchinson reported learning, that a physical struggle took place in the car.

The open question is whether agents were concerned about Trump’s safety at the Capitol or were saving him legal harm by his certainty of breaking the law with a presence as part of a rioting mob. Compounding this extraordinary making of a political decision for the president is the suggestion agents approved his agenda and were “in the tank” with his policies.

Eleven days after the Jan. 6 investigative committee requested documents from Secret Service, these documents were deleted — in violation of the Federal Records Act. Agents have hired defense lawyers.

This Secret Service meddling, or worse, in national affairs is not unique. Their record around the assassination of President Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, was treasonous and they were never held to account.

Most Americans are unaware there was a fully formed plot to assassinate Kennedy 20 days earlier in Chicago, complete with a patsy. The trip was cancelled, the marksmen were arrested by Secret Service, questioned and released. Their identities were suppressed.

It happened that a Black agent working Chicago had so impressed JFK that he brought him to Washington to integrate the White House detail. Abraham Bolden’s inclusion was deeply resented by that all white male detail. In turn, Bolden disliked the fact agents were heavy drinkers. Upon returning to Chicago, Bolden was framed, convicted and imprisoned. His accusers later admitted they had benefited by lying.

Ironically, it became known that the night before Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas, the off-duty Secret Service detail went on a drunk at Houston’s Cellar Club. It could be said many were less than fit for work that next, historic day.

Kennedy had proven an obstacle to the corporate, military, intelligence establishment. The Secret Service role turned out to be pivotal in maintaining the secrecy of the coup that occurred that day. Everyone of the 40 doctors and nurses who treated Kennedy at Parkland Hospital bore witness the crossfire, fatal shot came from the front.

Secret Service used force to prevent an autopsy prescribed under Texas law at Parkland. Once aboard Air Force One, they removed the body from its coffin, they said, to avoid seizure by Texas, but they kept it out to deliver it in a plastic bag, early, to the Bethesda morgue so that waiting pathologists could surgically alter the skull to conform to the invented story Oswald had killed the president by shooting from behind. Dozens of witnesses confirmed the Secret Service role in their removal crime. From the many testimonies, there can be no doubt about the criminal role Secret Service agents played in the plot.

By the time the motorcade and hearse bearing the empty Dallas casket, Jackie Kennedy, and Robert Kennedy arrived at Bethesda, and she walked past a navy technician into the hospital, he was carrying from the morgue to the hospital lab to be processed his third set of X-rays.

Published in 2001 was an agent’s much awaited tell-all account claiming “to set the record straight on what happened that afternoon in Dallas.” The Kennedy Detail is a cover-to-cover lie. None of the 35 men assigned to Dallas are around any more, but those who failed to protect a president, who allowed the crime of the century go unresolved, remain a criminal stain on the agency.

Charlemont resident Carl Doerner is an author and historian currently at work on a re-examination of and challenge to the “American narrative.”

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