David and Goliath: How One Amateur Historian Awakened the Sleeping Giants of President Kennedy’s Secret Service detail


    By Vince Palamara



    On June 1, 2005, I sent a 22-page registered letter, signed receipt required, to former Secret Service agent Clint Hill (infamous for his leap onto the back of the limousine during the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963). My letter was, in essence, a “cliff notes” version of my own book Survivor’s Guilt: The Secret Service & The Failure To Protect President Kennedy, focusing mainly on the issue of the agents’ presence—or lack thereof—on the rear of the presidential limousine on 11/22/63, as well as the actions and inactions of three specific agents I have many misgivings about: Floyd Boring (the number two agent on the Kennedy Detail and the Secret Service planner of the Texas trip), Shift Leader Emory Roberts (the commander of the agents in the follow-up car in Dallas who became a little too close to Lyndon Johnson afterwards), and William Greer (the driver of JFK’s limousine). When I phoned the gentleman on June 13, 2005, I received a very cantankerous “non-reply”, so to speak: “[Referring to my letter:] About what? Yeah, I’m here. I’m just not interested in talking to you.” I did not really expect much, but it was worth a try (having received an unexpected recommendation to talk to Mr. Hill from former agent Lynn Meredith, who was gracious enough to provide Mr. Hill’s unlisted address and phone number).


    On June 10, 2005, I phoned fellow former agent Gerald Blaine (having previously spoken to the gentleman on 2/7/04). Blaine confirmed his deep friendship with Hill and, much to my surprise, seemingly out of nowhere, said: “Don’t be too hard on Emory Roberts. He was a double, even a triple checker. He probably took Jack Ready’s life into consideration.” It was at that moment that I realized that Clint Hill shared the contents of my letter to Blaine; probably with a good dose of anger and indignation, as well. When I received word that Blaine was coming out with a book called “The Kennedy Detail” AND that Clint Hill was writing the Foreword, I KNEW that I was responsible, as a catalyst, for their endeavors! Blaine and Hill went on a lengthy book tour together, as well as appearing jointly on many news and media outlets, including an eventual Emmy-nominated Discovery Channel documentary, based on the book. For his part, Hill would later admit on C-SPAN in May of 2012 that he burned all his notes in 2005 and that his wife of 50-plus years left him- the 81 year old former agent is now with his 48 year old co-author Lisa McCubbin, the co-author of all of Blaine’s and Hill’s books.


    Burned notes…the end of a marriage…2005 was a seminal year- Blaine even admitted to Grand Junction Sentinel reporter Bob Silbernagel that it was during this exact time that he “began contacting all he could of the 38 agents who were in the Kennedy Detail on Nov. 22, 1963,” adding further that once “he began seeing all the misinformation and outright deceit about the assassination on the Internet, as well as in books and films, he decided, “Essentially, it was a book that had to be written.” There was no question in my mind that I ruffled feathers with Blaine and Hill. If all this weren’t enough, Blaine’s attorney even sent me a certified letter in November 2009, a year before his book was to appear, asking me to take down a blog that Blaine noticed on my main Secret Service blog] that merely announced their forthcoming book. Blaine thought I was trying to say that I was the co-author, which was the furthest thing from the truth-I was innocently telling my readers of a book they might find of interest. In any event, after writing back to Blaine and his lawyer, I decided to take that specific blog down…but this incident let me know, in no uncertain terms: Blaine and Hill were men on a mission. This is further evidenced by what Blaine himself wrote on his blog: “At the annual conference of the 2500 member former Secret Service Agents Association [AFAUSSS] last week (8/26-8/28/10) in New York City, Lisa McCubbin and I [Gerald Blaine] presented an overview of the book at the business meeting to ensure the agents that the publication was “Worthy of Trust and Confidence.”; “At the conference opening reception Clint Hill, Lisa McCubbin and I [Gerald Blaine] met with Secret Service Director Sullivan and discussed the book from the perspective of today’s operations. Clint Hill, who lives in the Washington DC area, had previously briefed the Director on the accuracy and purpose of writing the book.”; “I [Gerald Blaine] am the sole surviving charter member and a past president of the organization. The association was conceived by Floyd Boring and Jerry Behn with the assistance of fifteen charter members. Jerry Behn was the Special Agent in Charge of the Kennedy Detail and Floyd Boring was an Assistant Agent in Charge. The organization’s mission is to maintain social and professional relationships, to liaison with the Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies [Emphasis added]”


    To quote from a popular commercial, “Can you hear me now?”


    I knew their “mission” was to circle the wagons, so to speak, and attempt to counter my prolific research on the failings of the Secret Service on November 22, 1963-specifically, the statements by many of their colleagues—including BLAINE himself—that President Kennedy was a very nice man, never interfered with the actions of the Secret Service and, to the point, did NOT order the agents off his limousine…ever! These men, as well as several important NON agency personnel (such as Dave Powers, Congressman Sam Gibbons, and Cecil Stoughton, among others), provided information, on the phone and/ or in writing, to a total stranger—myself—with no trepidation whatsoever. “Official” history—the Warren Report, the HSCA Report, William Manchester’s “The Death of a President”, and Jim Bishop’s “The Day Kennedy Was Shot”—espouses a decidedly different verdict: President Kennedy was reckless with his security and did order the agents off his limousine-not in Dallas, but during the major trip before, in Tampa, FL, on 11/18/63, which allegedly had grave consequences for JFK’s protection on the day he was assassinated.


    First, a detailed look at the contents of The Kennedy Detail is in order.


    Blaine writes in the third person, giving the impression that someone else wrote it. Try writing about yourself in that manner. I can’t do it myself. It feels like scratching on a blackboard.

    Blaine’s book has no footnotes, endnotes, links, references, documented quotes or any confirmations that what he writes is true. It’s obvious that Blaine is not presenting his book as a scholarly work, but as biography of sorts. This is actually a great shame. Blaine obviously had a great number of inside contacts, people close to the action who would have felt more comfortable talking with Blaine than with a stranger. To not have all those discussions and interviews documented or recorded for the general public is a great loss.



    The book gets off on the wrong foot with myself and others right away with the bold pronouncement: “JFK’s Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence” (which is also the subtitle of the book). This is hogwash: not only did several agents, including Clint Hill, testify to the Warren Commission, many of the agents spoke to the aforementioned William Manchester (including Blaine and Hill), Jim Bishop, and the HSCA, as well as to, among others, Prof. Philip Melanson (for his book The Secret Service: The Hidden History of an Enigmatic Agency), several prominent Secret Service television documentaries between 1995 and 2004 (Hill was involved in all of these productions that made their way to VHS and/ or DVD, as well), and, last but certainly not least, to myself, Vince Palamara, between 1992 and 2006 (again, including Blaine and Hill)! Things only get worse once one gets to the inside flap jacket: Blaine writes that JFK “banned agents from his car”, which is patently false- as Winston Lawson, the lead advance agent for the fateful Dallas trip, wrote to me in a letter dated 1/12/04: “I do not know of any standing orders for the agents to stay off the back of the car. After all, foot holds and handholds were built into that particular vehicleit never came to my attention as such. I am certain agents were on the back on certain occasions.” For his part, ATSAIC (Shift Leader) Art Godfrey told this reviewer on May 30, 1996, regarding the notion that JFK ordered the agents not to do certain things which included removing themselves from the rear of the limousine: “That’s a bunch of baloney; that’s not true. He never ordered us to do anything. He was a very nice man … cooperative.” Godfrey reiterated this on June 7, 1996. In a letter dated November 24, 1997, Godfrey stated the following: “All I can speak for is myself. When I was working [with] President Kennedy he never ask[ed] me to have my shift leave the limo when we [were] working it,” thus confirming what he had also told the author telephonically on two prior occasions. As we shall see, Blaine makes much ado about this issue…for obvious reasons (Thou Protest Too Much).


    Although reasonably well written and containing some nice photographs, The Kennedy Detail provides the reader a generous dose of fact, “faction” (playing hard and loose with alleged ‘facts’ and encompassing reconstructed dialogue and supposed meetings that allegedly occurred without documentation) and fiction. In fact, there are no footnotes, endnotes, sources, or a bibliography to be found (although, to his credit, Blaine did include an impressive index). It is important to note that many important former agents and officials DIED YEARS BEFORE THIS BOOK WAS EVEN A THOUGHT. In addition, since there are no specific references, it is hard to know exactly WHO among the living WAS interviewed, as Blaine recently admitted that “three agents still cannot discuss the emotional aspects of that day in Dallas” and he was unable “to contact three other agents who served.” In addition, several OTHER agents (such as Lynn Meredith, Bob Foster, Paul Burns, Jerry Kivett and Stu Knight) passed away during the time Blaine was writing his book, so we are unable to know if they were contacted, as well.


    That said, it is most telling that Blaine admitted that three agents—Larry Newman, Tony Sherman, and Tim McIntyre (rode in the follow-up car)— were not contacted because they had “responded to Seymour Hirsch’s [sic] book The Dark Side of Camelot, which violated the code of silence”, yet, the fourth agent, Joe Paolella, apparently WAS interviewed for Blaine’s volume-why wasn’t he banished from his work, as well? Using this criteria, several (perhaps many) of the agents who spoke to myself and others should have been ignored, as well (example: former agent Walt Coughlin told me that LBJ was “a first-class prick”). It was obvious why Blaine ignored former agent Abraham Bolden: the controversial nature of Bolden’s beliefs and so forth. So, it appears a little selectivity, necessary and otherwise, was used regarding former agent interviews for “The Kennedy Detail.”


    As for the aforementioned Newman, Sherman, McIntyre, and Paolella, they waxed on to Seymour Hersh (and others, including the December 1997 ABC/ Peter Jennings special “Dangerous World: The Kennedy Years”) about their anger and disgust over JFK’s private lives; incredibly, even Emory Roberts’ concerns over these issues was voiced by McIntyre. This is very disturbing because it shows a MOTIVE FOR INACTION on 11/22/63. For his part, McIntyre told ABC News, regarding JFK’s private life: “Prostitution—that’s illegal. A procurement is illegal. And if you have a procurer with prostitutes paraded in front of you, then, as a sworn law enforcement officer, you’re asking yourself, ‘Well, what do they think of us?’ ” McIntyre felt this way after having only spent a very brief time with JFK before the assassination: he joined the WHD in the fall of 1963. McIntyre also told Hersh: “His shift supervisor, the highly respected Emory Roberts, took him aside and warned … that ‘you’re going to see a lot of shit around here. Stuff with the President. Just forget about it. Keep it to yourself. Don’t even talk to your wife.’ … Roberts was nervous about it. Emory would say, McIntyre recalled with a laugh, ‘How in the hell do you know what’s going on? He could be hurt in there. What if one bites him’ in a sensitive area? Roberts ‘talked about it a lot’, McIntyre said. ‘Bites’ … In McIntyre’s view, a public scandal about Kennedy’s incessant womanizing was inevitable. ‘It would have had to come out in the next year or so. In the campaign, maybe.’ McIntyre said he and some of his colleagues … felt abused by their service on behalf of President Kennedy … McIntyre said he eventually realized that he had compromised his law enforcement beliefs to the point where he wondered whether it was ‘time to get out of there. I was disappointed by what I saw.’ ” [Emphasis added]. Blaine chose to ignore these men and this issue entirely in his book: is this good history? I think not. It might not be pleasant, but these men said what they said-to ignore this matter speaks of a cover up of guilty knowledge. I did not ignore it.


    From the first photo section and page 19 of his book (and, later, on pages 240 and 288), we learn something I had already reported years before: that SAIC Gerald Behn “always traveled with the president. In the three years since Kennedy had been elected, Jerry Behn had not taken one day of vacation…He took his first vacation in four years the week JFK was assassinated.” Quirk of fate or convenient absence? You decide. I have.


    Also on page 19, Blaine begins to (using a lawyer’s term) “lay the foundation”, as it were, for blaming the victim (JFK) and, in the process, makes a real whopper-Blaine writes: “the Secret Service was not authorized to override a presidential decision.” Wrong! Ample proof to the contrary abounds. Chief James J. Rowley testified under oath to the Warren Commission: “No President will tell the Secret Service what they can or cannot do.” In fact, Rowley’s predecessor, former Chief U. E. Baughman, who had served under JFK from Election Night 1960 until September 1961, had written in his 1962 book Secret Service Chief: “Now the Chief of the Secret Service is legally empowered to countermand a decision made by anybody in this country if it might endanger the life or limb of the Chief Executive. This means I could veto a decision of the President himself if I decided it would be dangerous not to. The President of course knew this fact.” Indeed, an Associated Press story from November 15, 1963 stated: “The (Secret) Service can overrule even the President where his personal security is involved.” Even President Truman agreed, stating, “The Secret Service was the only boss that the President of the United States really had.” Finally, In an 11/23/63 UPI story written by Robert J. Serling from Washington entitled “Secret Service Men Wary of Motorcade”, based in part on “private conversations” with unnamed agents: “An agent is the only man in the world who can order a President of the United States around if the latter’s safety is believed at stake … in certain situations an agent outranks even a President.” [Emphasis added.]


    One major myth down, one major one left to demolish.


    Peppered throughout the book, but starting on page 74, Blaine begins to bring up the issue of the agents’ presence (or lack thereof) on the back of JFK’s limousine (in Tampa on 11/18/63, in Dallas on 11/22/63, and elsewhere—further “laying the foundation” for his false premise of blaming the victim), accurately stating for the record, AFTER revealing his knowledge of the Joseph Milteer threat received via the Miami Police Department before JFK’s trip to Florida: “…the only way to have a chance at protecting the president against a shooter from a tall building would be to have agents posted on the back of the car.” Indeed, on pages 81-84, as various films and photos confirm, Blaine tells of his having rode on the rear of President Kennedy’s limousine in Rome and Naples, Italy (7/2/63). In addition, his first photo section depicts Blaine and his colleagues on or near the rear of JFK’s car in Costa Rica (March 1963), Berlin, Germany (June, 1963) and Ireland (also in June 1963), while his second photo section depicts yet another photo of the agents on the car in Ireland, as well as in Tampa, Florida (11/18/63) and even agent Clint Hill on the rear of the car in Dallas, Texas on 11/22/63, albeit before the motorcade reached Dealey Plaza.


    It is on pages 100-101, in his zeal to set up his premise, that Blaine makes a costly error-Blaine writes: “Fortunately, they’d have SS100X [JFK’s special 1961 Lincoln Continental] in Dallas, which had the rear steps and handholds so two agents could be perched directly behind the president and could react quickly. He’d [Win Lawson would] be sure to tell Roy Kellerman, the Special Agent in Charge for the Texas trip, that when the motorcade was driving through downtown, agents would need to be on the back of the car.” However, as we have seen, and it bears repeating, Win Lawson wrote to this reviewer on 1/12/04, before this book was even a thought, and said: “I do not know of any standing orders for the agents to stay off the back of the car. After all, foot holds and handholds were built into that particular vehicleit never came to my attention as such. [emphasis added].” Needless to say, this is in direct contradiction to these statements, attributed to Lawson by Blaine, in “The Kennedy Detail.”


    Blaine makes much of the 11/18/63 trip JFK took to Tampa as ‘evidence’ that President Kennedy ordered the agents off the car (as did the Secret Service, exactly five months after the assassination, via five reports submitted to the Warren Commission by Chief Rowley). As with SAIC Behn’s first-time absence, we now supposedly have another instance of a brand new notion, as Blaine writes on page 148: “In the three years he’d been with JFK, he’d never heard the president call the agents off the back of the car in the middle of a motorcade.” Indeed, on page 162, Blaine reports that agent Ron Pontius stated: “I’ve never heard the president say anything about agents on the back of the car,” registering his astonishment based on allegedly hearing this, for the first time, on 11/21/63 from long-deceased agent Bert deFreese (in a 47-year-old reconstructed conversation—faction? Fiction?—that Blaine makes in the book). Blaine is alleging that JFK ordered the agents (specifically, agents Don Lawton and Chuck Zboril) off the back of the car in Tampa, allegedly using the phrase made infamous by William Manchester: “Floyd [Boring], have the Ivy League charlatans drop back to the follow-up car.” Blaine later adds, on page 184: “None of the agents understood why he [JFK] was willing to be so reckless.” If that weren’t enough, Blaine also stated (on the upcoming Discovery Channel documentary airing on 11/22/10): “President Kennedy made a decision, and he politely told everybody, ‘You know, we’re starting the campaign now, and the people are my asset,’” said agent Jerry Blaine. “And so, we all of a sudden understood. It left a firm command to stay off the back of the car.” Huh? “Everybody”? THAT alleged statement “left a firm command”? In any event, once again, we have a major conflict with reality—not only do many films and photos depict the agents (still) riding on (or walking/ jogging very near) the rear of the limousine in Tampa, Congressman Sam Gibbons, who actually rode a mere foot away IN the car with JFK, wrote to me in a letter dated 1/15/04: ““I rode with Kennedy every time he rode. I heard no such order. As I remember it the agents rode on the rear bumper all the way. Kennedy was very happy during his visit to Tampa. Sam Gibbons.” Also, photographer Tony Zappone, then a 16-year-old witness to the motorcade in Tampa (one of whose photos for this motorcade was ironically used in “The Kennedy Detail”!), told me that the agents were “definitely on the back of the car for most of the day until they started back for MacDill AFB at the end of the day [Emphasis added].” This was also confirmed by Tampa motorcycle police officer Russell Groover.



    As for the “Ivy League Charlatans” remark JFK allegedly uttered to ASAIC Floyd Boring and, again, first made famous by Manchester, Boring this author, “I never told him [Manchester]that.” As for the merit of the quote itself, Boring said, “No, no, no—that’s not true,” thus contradicting his own report in the process, stating further: “He actually—No, I told them … He didn’t tell them anything … He just—I looked at the back and I seen these fellahs were hanging on the limousine—I told them to return to the car … [JFK] was a very easy-going guy … he didn’t interfere with our actions at all.” In a later interview, Boring expounded further: “Well that’s not true. That’s not true. He was a very nice man; he never interfered with us at all.” If that weren’t enough, Boring also wrote the author: “He [JFK] was very cooperative with the Secret Service.” Incredibly, Boring was not even interviewed for Manchester’s book! We may never know Mr. Manchester’s source for this curious statement: he told the author on August 23, 1993 that “… all that material is under seal and won’t be released in my lifetime” and denied the author access to his notes (Manchester has since passed away). Interestingly, Manchester did interview the late Emory Roberts—an agent this reviewer is most suspicious of— and GERALD BLAINE, Manchester’s probable “source(s)”



    As for Blaine, this is what he told this reviewer: Blaine told the author on February 7, 2004 that President Kennedy was “very cooperative. He didn’t interfere with our actions. President Kennedy was very likeable—he never had a harsh word for anyone. He never interfered with our actions.” [Emphasis added.] When the author asked Blaine how often the agents rode on the back of JFK’s limousine, the former agent said it was a “fairly common” occurrence that depended on the crowd and the speed of the cars. In fact, just as one example, Blaine rode on the rear of JFK’s limousine in Germany in June 1963, along with fellow Texas trip veterans Paul A. Burns and Samuel E. Sulliman. Blaine added, in specific reference to the agents on the follow-up car in Dallas: “You have to remember, they were fairly young agents,” seeming to imply that their youth was a disadvantage, or perhaps this was seen as an excuse for their poor performance on November 22, 1963.Surprisingly, Blaine, the WHD advance agent for the Tampa trip of November 18, 1963, said that JFK did make the comment “I don’t need Ivy League charlatans back there,” but emphasized this was a “low-key remark” said “kiddingly” and demonstrating Kennedy’s “Irish sense of humor”. However, according to the “official” story, President Kennedy allegedly made these remarks only to Boring while traveling in the presidential limousine in Tampa: Blaine was nowhere near the vehicle at the time, so Boring, despite what he conveyed to this reviewer, had to be his source for this story (more on this in a moment)! In addition to Emory Roberts, one now wonders, as mentioned previously, if Blaine was a source (or perhaps the source) for Manchester’s exaggerated “quote” attributed to Boring, as Agent Blaine was also interviewed by Manchester . Blaine would not respond to a follow-up letter on this subject.


    However, when the author phoned Blaine on June 10, 2005, the former agent said the remark “Ivy League charlatans” came from the guys … I can’t remember who [said it] … I can’t remember [emphasis added].” Thus, Blaine confirms that he did not hear the remark from JFK. That said, Blaine’s memory got a whole lot “better” 5 years later: he writes on page 148: “The message came though loud and clear on Blaine’s walkie-talkie.” Incredible. 


    As for ASAIC Floyd Boring, this reviewer has no doubt that Boring DID INDEED CONVEY the fraudelent notion that JFK had asked that the agents remove themselves from the limo between 11/18-11/19/63, but that the former agent was telling the TRUTH of the matter when he spoke to me years later. You see, Clint Hill wrote in his report: ““I … never personally was requested by President John F. Kennedy not to ride on the rear of the Presidential automobile. I did receive information passed verbally from the administrative offices of the White House Detail of the Secret Service to Agents assigned to that Detail that Presi-dent Kennedy had made such requests. I do not know from whom I received this information … No written instructions regarding this were ever distributed … [I] received this information after the President’s return to Washington, D.C. This would have been between November 19, 1963 and November 21, 1963 [note the time frame!]. I do not know specifically who advised me of this request by the President.” [Emphasis added.] Mr. Hill’s undated report was presumably written in April 1964, as the other four reports were written at that time. Why Mr. Hill could not “remember” the specific name of the agent who gave him JFK’s alleged desires is very troubling—he revealed it on March 9, 1964, presumably before his report was written, in his (obviously pre-rehearsed) testimony under oath to the future Senator Arlen Specter, then a lawyer with the Warren Commission:


    Specter: “Did you have any other occasion en route from Love Field to downtown Dallas to leave the follow-up car and mount that portion of the President’s car [rear portion of limousine]?”

    Hill: “I did the same thing approximately four times.”

    Specter: “What are the standard regulations and practices, if any, governing such an action on your part?”

    Hill: “It is left to the agent’s discretion more or less to move to that particular position when he feels that there is a danger to the President: to place himself as close to the President or the First Lady as my case was, as possible, which I did.”

    Specter: “Are those practices specified in any written documents of the Secret Service?”

    Hill: “No, they are not.”

    Specter: “Now, had there been any instruction or comment about your performance of that type of a duty with respect to anything President Kennedy himself had said in the period immediately preceding the trip to Texas?”

    Hill: “Yes, sir; there was. The preceding Monday, the President was on a trip to Tampa, Florida, and he requested that the agents not ride on either of those two steps.”

    Specter: “And to whom did the President make that request?”

    Hill: “Assistant Special Agent in Charge Boring.”

    Specter: “Was Assistant Special Agent in Charge Boring the individual in charge of that trip to Florida?”

    Hill: “He was riding in the Presidential automobile on that trip in Florida, and I presume that he was. I was not along.

    Specter: “Well, on that occasion would he have been in a position comparable to that occupied by Special Agent Kellerman on this trip to Texas?”

    Hill: “Yes sir; the same position.”

    Specter: “And Special Agent Boring informed you of that instruction by President Kennedy?

    Hill: “Yes sir, he did.”

    Specter: “Did he make it a point to inform other special agents of that same instruction?

    Hill: “I believe that he did, sir.

    Specter: “And, as a result of what President Kennedy said to him, did he instruct you to observe that Presidential admonition?

    Hill: “Yes, sir.

    Specter: “How, if at all, did that instruction of President Kennedy affect your action and—your action in safeguarding him on this trip to Dallas?”

    Hill: “We did not ride on the rear portions of the automobile. I did on those four occasions because the motorcycles had to drop back and there was no protection on the left-hand side of the car.”

    [Emphasis added.]


    However, keeping in mind what Boring told this reviewer, the ARRB’s Doug Horne—by request of this reviewer— interviewed Mr. Boring regarding this matter on 9/18/96. Horne wrote: “Mr. Boring was asked to read pages 136–137 of Clint Hill’s Warren Commission testimony, in which Clint Hill recounted that Floyd Boring had told him just days prior to the assassination that during the President’s Tampa trip on Monday, November 18, 1963, JFK had requested that agents not ride on the rear steps of the limousine, and that Boring had also so informed other agents of the White House detail, and that as a result, agents in Dallas (except Clint Hill, on brief occasions) did not ride on the rear steps of the limousine. Mr. Boring affirmed that he did make these statements to Clint Hill, but stated that he was not relaying a policy change, but rather simply telling an anecdote about the President’s kindness and consideration in Tampa in not wanting agents to have to ride on the rear of the Lincoln limousine when it was not necessary to do so because of a lack of crowds along the street.” [Emphasis added.]


    This reviewer finds this admission startling, especially because the one agent who decided to ride on the rear of the limousine in Dallas anyway—and on at least four different occasions—was none other than Clint Hill himself.


    This also does not address what the agents were to do when the crowds were heavier, or even what exactly constituted a “crowd”, as agents did ride on the rear steps of the limousine in Tampa on November 18, 1963 anyway (agents Donald J. Lawton, Glen E. Bennett, and Charles T. Zboril, to be exact)! (Perhaps this is why Blaine felt the need to caption a photo of Boring with the following: “[Boring] was highly respected by all the agents, as well as by JFK”)


    “Presidential admonition” (as Specter said to Hill)? Simply an “anecdote” of “the President’s kindness” (what Boring said to Horne)? “Not true” (what Boring said to this reviewer)? You decide. I have…and so has Blaine: twice, in fact—what he told this reviewer and what he now claims in “The Kennedy Detail (see the flap jacket, pages 148-150, 162, 183-184, 206, 208, 209, 232).”


    On page 162, Blaine alleges that SAIC Gerald Behn, from his office in the White House, told agent Ron Pontius on 11/21/63: “[JFK] wanted the agents off the back of the car [in Tampa and Dallas] in order for the people to get an unobstructed view.” However, in a contradiction Blaine doesn’t even notice (although he previously mentioned it on page 19 and in the first photo section), BEHN WAS ON VACATION DURING THIS TIME! Perhaps most importantly, Behn told this reviewer on 9/27/92: “I don’t remember Kennedy ever saying that he didn’t want anybody on the back of his car. “I think if you watch the newsreel pictures you’ll find agents on there from time to time.” In fact, MANY former agents and White House aides told this reviewer the same thing Lawson, Boring, and Behn all said!


    And yet, despite all of this defensive posturing, faction, and fabricating, Blaine states, with regard to the agents’ not being on the rear of the car in Dealey Plaza (on page 209): “It was standard procedure—regardless of the president’s request—for all agents to fall back to the follow-up car in this situation.” (see also page 289)


    But Blaine wasn’t done just yet.


    In what this reviewer regards as a clever fabrication with “faction” (reconstructing alleged dialogue, 47 years later, from long-dead colleagues), Blaine claims (on pages 285-289 & 360) that there was a meeting at 8 a.m. on 11/25/63, the morning of JFK’s funeral, in which the issue of JFK’s alleged orders to remove the agents from the car in Tampa (and Dallas) was allegedly covered up so the public would not blame the president for his own death…SOMETHING THIS BOOK, AND ESPECIALLY THIS “TALE”, DOES WITH VIGOR! Blaine claims that this meeting was attended by himself, Chief James Rowley (deceased 11/1/92), Rowley’s secretary Walter Blaschak (long deceased) , ASAIC Floyd Boring (deceased 2/1/08 and in ill heath long beforehand), SAIC Jerry Behn (as noted previously, deceased 4/21/93), ATSAIC Stu Stout (deceased December 1974), and ATSAIC Emory Roberts (deceased 10/8/73). ASAIC Roy Kellerman (deceased 3/22/84) allegedly did NOT attend and, while Blaine mentions that “every supervising agent” was in attendance, he does not mention ATSAIC Art Godfrey (deceased 5/12/2002) by name, although it is ‘inferred’ that he was there, as well. It must be said forcefully: there is NO documentation whatsoever that this alleged meeting occurred and all the participants, save Blaine (imagine that), are long dead AND many of them said and wrote things to this reviewer contradictory to the substance of this alleged meeting. On page 288, Blaine writes, speaking for SAIC Behn: “Jim, after Floyd told me about the incident [the alleged JFK orders to remove the agents 11/18/63 in Tampa], I told him to relay the information to the shift leaders—Emory Roberts, Art Godfrey, and Stu Stout—and I know that he did that. They in turn told the men on their shift, which included the agents out on advances.” Incredible. We already know what Behn, Boring, Blaine, Godfrey, and Lawson said to this reviewer; Stout and Kellerman never said anything officially, one way or the other on the matter. Roberts’ report confirms nothing except that ASAIC Boring told him to remove the agents from the car on 11/18/63; nothing about JFK or anything else. What about the other “agents out on advances”? Frank Yeager, Blaine’s advance partner in Tampa, in a letter to this reviewer dated December 29, 2003, Yeager wrote: “I did not think that President Kennedy was particularly “difficult” to protect. In fact, I thought that his personality made it easier than some because he was easy to get along with ….” [Emphasis added.] With regard to the author’s question “Did President Kennedy ever order the agents off the rear of his limousine?”, Yeager responded: “I know of no ‘order’ directly from President Kennedy. I think that after we got back from Tampa, Florida where I did the advance for the President, a few days before Dallas, Kenny O’Donnell, Chief of Staff, requested that the Secret Service agents not ride the rear running board of the Presidential car during parades involving political events so that the president would not be screened by an agent. I don’t know what form or detail that this request was made to the Secret Service who worked closely with O’Donnell. I also do not know who actually made the final decision, but we did not have agents on the rear of the President’s car in Dallas.” [Emphasis added.] Like Hill’s report mentioned above, please note the timing. Further regarding the notion of JFK’s staff having a hand in this matter, in a letter to the author dated January 15, 2004, former agent Gerald O’Rourke, who was on Blaine’s shift on the Texas trip, wrote: “Did President Kennedy order us (agents) off the steps of the limo? To my knowledge President Kennedy never ordered us to leave the limo. You must remember at times we had to deal with the Chief of Staff” [Emphasis added.] The agent added: “President Kennedy was easy to protect as he completely trusted the agents of the Secret Service. We always had to be entirely honest with him and up front so we did not lose his trust.” So, while both agents say JFK was easy to protect and that no order came from JFK, they imply, or seem to imply, that the Chief of Staff—O’Donnell—had something to do with this. More on this crucially important matter in a moment, as we shall look at the other advance agents and what they conveyed to this reviewer.



    J. Walter Coughlin, who helped do the San Antonio advance with the late Dennis Halterman (deceased 1988), wrote this reviewer: “In almost all parade situations that I was involved w[ith] we rode or walked the limo [emphasis added].” Coughlin later wrote: “We often rode on the back of the car.” (For the record, Ned Hall II, who helped with the advance in Fort Worth, passed away in 1998; his son, Ned Hall III, had no comment to make on the matter. The other agent on the Fort Worth advance, Bill Duncan, never has said a thing regarding this issue, officially or otherwise, and it is not apparent if he was even contacted for Blaine’s book or not). Ronald Pontius, who helped advance the Houston stop with the late Bert deFreese (died sometime in the 1980’s), wrote this reviewer that JFK DID convey these alleged orders “through his staff [emphasis added],” and here is why this “staff” notion is so important: this is a notion that Blaine doesn’t even touch in the book! For the record, Presidential Aide (Chief of Staff / Appointments Secretary) Kenneth P. O’Donnell does not mention anything with regard to telling the agents to remove themselves from the limousine (based on JFK’s alleged “desires”) during his lengthy Warren Commission testimony (nor to author William Manchester, nor even in his or his daughter’s books, for that matter); the same is true for the other two Presidential aides: Larry O’Brien and Dave Powers. In fact, Powers refutes this whole idea—he wrote this reviewer in a letter dated 9/10/93 that “they never had to be told to ‘get off’ the limousine. “ JFK’s staff is not mentioned as a factor during any of the agents’ Warren Commission testimony, nor in the aforementioned five reports submitted in April 1964. Furthermore, Helen O’Donnell wrote this reviewer on 10/11/10: “Suffice to say that you are correct; JFK did not order anybody off the car, he never interfered with my dad’s direction on the Secret Service, and this is much backed up by my Dad’s tapes. I think and know from the tapes Dallas always haunted him because of the might-have-beens—but they involved the motorcade route [only].” In addition, former agents Art Godfrey and Kinney denounced the “staff/O’Donnell” notion to this reviewer, despite what a small minority of the agents I contacted—Yeager, O’Rourke, and Pontius—suggested (although, again, Yeager and O’Rourke agreed that JFK was easy to protect and that no order came from him).



    Just WHY are these seemingly contradictory accounts of this minority of agents’ Yeager, O’Rourke, and Pontius (seemingly contradictory, that is, to this reviewer AND definitely contradictory to Blaine) so very important? Because Blaine’s alleged 11/25/63 “meeting” mentions not a thing about staff interference or input, his BOOK mentions not a thing about staff interference or input, and, in fact, on page 352, Blaine even writes: “If ever asked about whether JFK had ordered them [the former agents] off the back of his car, the answer was always, “Oh, no. President Kennedy was wonderful. He was very easy to protect. No, I don’t remember him ever ordering agents off the back of his car [Emphasis added].” This is simply false. In addition to the aforementioned three agents (Yeager, O’Rourke, and Pontius), several agents contacted by the author would not comment, several would claim not to remember, and three (one, contacted by myself, the other two, via the HSCA) gave hazy second-hand information (of dubious quality) seeming to blame JFK after all! If that weren’t enough, Rufus Youngblood in his book and Emory Roberts in his report, claimed it was THE MOTORCYCLES that got in the way of the agents (Ready especially) getting onto the rear of the car…geez. Finally, in addition to Blaine, former agents Lynn Meredith, Larry Newman, and Don Lawton mentioned the “Ivy League Charlatan” remark to myself, although none claimed to have heard it from JFK (Meredith told me: “I must admit that I was not along on the trip and was back at the White House with Caroline and John, Jr. .. I do not know first hand if President Kennedy ordered agents off the back end of his limousine.” The former agent said that “No Secret Service agents riding on the rear of the limousine” was the number one reason JFK was killed! Newman, not interviewed for Blaine’s book, said “supposedly, I didn’t hear this [the “Ivy league charlatan” comment] directly” and that Manchester’s book was “part of myth, part of truth”. Newman added: “There was not a directive, per se” from President Kennedy to remove the agents from their positions on the back of his limousine. For his part, Lawton told me: “I didn’t hear the President say it, no. The word was relayed to us—I forget who told us now—you know, ‘come back to the follow-up car.’ ” Lawton also added: “Everyone felt bad. It was our job to protect the President. You still have regrets, remorse. Who knows, if they had left guys on the back of the car … you can hindsight yourself to death.”)


    You see, almost none of these former agents were contacted by anyone other than this reviewer, as the agents had unlisted addresses and phone numbers; only the hospitality of a couple former agents led me to these men. Blaine’s comment on page 352 (and, indeed, his whole book) were aimed squarely at myself and my 22-page letter mentioned at the beginning of this review. After calling me a “self-described “Secret Service expert”—without actually naming me— on page 359 (guilty as charged; that said, The History Channel, Vince Bugliosi, the Assassination Records Review Board, and many authors and researchers have given me this tag), Blaine saves his special ire for me on page 360: “This same “expert” who had been interviewed for many conspiracy theory books relentlessly blamed the Secret Service for JFK’s death by using their own statements against them [no theories, just facts—it is what it is: they said what they said, they wrote what they wrote, and to a total stranger, to boot]. In many cases he called agents and recorded their conversations without their knowledge [not “in many cases”: only in a very few instances many years ago and these agents are now deceased. That said, thank God I did: WHO would chose to believe my word NOW, especially with Blaine’s book out now for public consumption?]” And HERE is the kicker, in the context of the aforementioned alleged “meeting” Blaine detailed on pages 285-289 (and on page 352), Blaine continues (still on page 360): “When asked whether President Kennedy had ever ordered the agents off the back of his car, the agents gave him the standard line that Chief Rowley requested they give. And as the agents upheld their code, Rowley’s words from the day of President Kennedy’s funeral resonating in their minds, the Secret Service “expert” turned around and used their words to stab them—and their brothers—in the back with baseless accusations.” Incredible.


    There was NO morning-of-JFK’s-funeral-meeting to cover for the dead president so he wouldn’t be blamed for ordering the agents off his car—this was used as a clever device to diffuse and cast aside the damning evidence of just what all these men (including BLAINE himself!) said and wrote to me, many of whom died years before this book—and this alleged meeting—was even a figment of Blaine’s imagination. Again, there is no documentation for this 47-year-old meeting—we have to take Blaine, the “sole survivor” of this alleged meeting, at his word. And, what—all these men are LIARS now for what they said and wrote to myself? In the context of my 22-page letter, I believe this “meeting” to be a total fabrication. But it IS clever for another reason: I am sure there WAS most likely A meeting regarding the security detail’s coverage of all the dignitaries and their walk with Jackie to St. Matthew’s Cathedral and so forth; a clever cover story, indeed.


    That said, there are two major reasons why Blaine’s 47-year-old cover story is patently false: first, several important NON Secret Service agents (Dave Powers, Congressman Sam Gibbons, Marty Underwood, Helen O’Donnell, and Pierre Salinger, among others, such as various newsmen on 11/22/63, etc.) ALSO told this reviewer that JFK did NOT interfere with the Secret Service or order the agents off his car—what “code” would THEY have been following, Mr. Blaine? Why would they be “lying” to me (yes, I am being facetitious)? Methinks this is why Blaine chose to ignore the other cover story of blaming the staff: he had no control over THEIR refutations.


    The second reason also reveals an embarassing error on Blaine’s part—he writes on page 360: “If these “experts” [me!] and “researchers” had only read some of the documents that were released in 1992 and available online, they would have found a letter from Chief James J. Rowley written in response to J. Lee Rankin, general counsel on the Warren Commission, in which Rowley admitted what he so desperately did not want to become public. He did not want it to look as if the Secret Service was in any way blaming President Kennedy for his own death [Emphasis added].” (see also page 289 of Blaine’s book) Epic fail—not only does this book achieve Rowley’s “non-goal” of blaming JFK for the security inefficiencies in Dallas, but these “documents” were released in 1964 in the Warren Commission Volumes: 18 H 803–9, to be exact! In addition, Rowley’s alleged “desperation” to ‘hide’ JFK’s own alleged culpability in his own death was a monster failure of epic proportions: as we know, Clint Hill testified to the Warren Commission and this testimony was mentioned in the Warren Report, a massive best-seller which was also quoted by many major newspapers and magazines the world over and, if that weren’t enough, the 5 reports were mentioned by Jim Bishop in his own massive best-seller “The Day Kennedy Was Shot”; many other books mention these reports (and/ or Hill’s testimony). And just WHY would Rowley even NEED these 5 after-the-fact reports: why didn’t he just tell Rankin, in “confidence”, about the meeting they all supposedly had on the matter on 11/25/63? Why, indeed. For what it’s worth, Blaine (on pages 360-363) proceeds to quote from the five reports but does NOT state what they each say in verbatim fashion. Interestingly, nothing is mentioned specifically about JFK’s alleged desires regarding THE motorcade of November 22, 1963, as was requested by the Commission. And, of the five Secret Service reports, four have as their primary source for JFK’s alleged request Agent Boring, including one by Boring himself, while the remaining report, written by SAIC Behn, mentions the same November 18, 1963 trip with Mr. Boring as the others do (Boring’s report was the first one written, then came one each from Roberts, Ready, Behn, and Hill, respectively). Again, both Behn and Boring totally contradicted the contents of their reports at different times, independent of each other, to the author, while Roberts report is nothing more than his having heard BORING telling him to have the agents removed from the car on 11/18/63; Ready and Hill freely admit they weren’t even ON the Tampa trip in the first place in these reports (and, as Blaine omits, Hill wrote “I do not know from whom I received this information I do not know specifically who advised me of this request by the President.. In addition, agents did ride on the rear of the limousine on July 2, 1963 and November 18, 1963 anyway, despite these alleged Presidential requests, as the film and photo record proves. Needless to say, with Boring joining Behn in refuting the substance of their reports, the official Secret Service ‘explanation’ falls like a house of cards.


    All these reports are supposedly evidence of JFK expressing his desire to keep Secret Service agents off the limousine, particularly in Tampa, Florida on November 18, 1963.

    Importantly, no mention is made of any alleged orders via President Kennedy’s staff.

    And, again, there is nothing about what JFK said or “requested” on November 22, 1963, the critical day in question!


    (As a “postscript” to Blaine’s cover stories about the agents removal from the car, on page 343 of his book, Blaine makes yet another embarrassing error: “When it came to the agents and whether they should or should not have been on the back of the car, the [Warren ] report stated that “the configuration of the presidential car and the seating arrangements of the Secret Service agents in the car did not afford the Secret Service agents the opportunity they should have had to be of immediate assistance to the president at the first sign of danger,” but this was in reference to AGENT ROY KELLERMAN’S position in the front seat and the obstacles he may have faced, NOT the agents who should have been on or near the REAR of the car using the UNOBSTRUCTED grab handles!)



    Mr. Blaine states that President Eisenhower almost always rode in a closed car- WRONG ANSWER: the exact OPPOSITE is true. In point of fact, Ike often rode in an OPEN limo- just do a Google image search;

    Mr. Blaine states that JFK hardly ever rode in the limousine with the bubble top on the car- WRONG ANSWER: again, just by doing a Google image search, I found at least twenty different times—in good weather—that President Kennedy rode under the top (New York, Boston, Caracas, Paris, Ireland, England, etc);

    Mr. Blaine, during an earlier interview with Palamara, thought SAIC Gerald Behn was on the Tampa trip- WRONG ANSWER: Mr. Behn was on vacation;

    Mr. Blaine blames Kennedy for the top not being on the car in Dallas- WRONG ANSWER: agent Sam Kinney was adamant to Palamara that he (Kinney) was solely responsible for the top’s removal;

    Mr. Blaine, in an online video, said that fellow agent Art Godfrey “gave his blessings” to his book: WRONG ANSWER- by his own admission, Mr. Blaine did not even begin his book until over three years AFTER Mr. Godfrey passed away!;

    Mr. Blaine states in an online video that he “has never spoken to an author of a book”: WRONG ANSWER- he spoke to both William Manchester and Vince Palamara. Manchester’s book references a 5/12/65 interview. What’s more, Mr. Blaine is thanked by Mr. Manchester in his other JFK book “One Brief Shining Moment”. Thus, Mr. Blaine is 2 for 2: he is in both Manchester JFK books. In addition, Mr. Blaine spoke to Mr. Palamara in both 2004 and 2005;

    Mr. Blaine states, in yet another online video, that he never spoke to Mr. Manchester: WRONG ANSWER;

    Mr. Blaine writes on page 201 of his book that the presidential limo “just didn’t gather speed as quickly as he [Agent Greer] would like”: WRONG ANSWER- Agent Kellerman told the Warren Commission under oath “we literally jumped out of the God-d*mned road” and many films depict the limousine traveling at a very high rate of speed (Agent Lilley told Mr. Palamara that the limo reached speeds of over 50 mph- with two agents on the rear of the car- during one motorcade);

    Mr. Blaine, on pages 221-222 of his book, referring to the president’s physician, Admiral George Burkley, writes: “Normally the admiral rode in a staff car in the motorcade, or in the rear seat of the follow-up car, but he and the president’s secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, had misjudged the timing of the motorcade’s departure from Love Field and wound up scurrying to the VIP bus. He was furious for not having been in his normal seat but had nobody to blame but himself”: WRONG ANSWER: Burkley protested that the Secret Service placed him further away from JFK than he normally rode (on 11/18/63 he rode in the lead car)- see Burkley’s JFK Library oral history, among other sources;

    Mr. Blaine writes, on page 74 of his book: “”… the only way to have a chance at protecting the president against a shooter from a tall building would be to have agents posted on the back of the car.”: WRONG ANSWER/ NOT COMPLETE- as he himself wrote in his final survey report for the Tampa trip, the OTHER way to guard against a shooter is to have the building rooftops guarded (as they were in Tampa and many other cities);


    For her part, co-author Lisa McCubbin posted the following on 11/24/10 on the official Facebook edition of The Kennedy Detail: “Contrary to Vince Palamara’s claims, the book was absolutely NOT written to counteract his letter to Clint Hill. Mr. Hill never read Palamara’s letter–it went straight into the trash. Gerald Blaine wrote this book on his volition, and Mr. Hill contributed after much deliberation (emphasis added).” For his part, Hill told Brian Lamb on the aforementioned C-SPAN program four days later: “I recall receiving a letter which I sent back to him. I didn’t bother with it…he called me and I said”Hello” but that was about it. But he alleges that because he sent me a letter 22 pages in length apparently, and that I discussed that with Jerry. I forgot that I ever got a 22-page letter from this particular individual until I heard him say it on TV and I never discussed it with Jerry or anybody else because it wasn’t important to me (emphasis added).” Yet, in the biggest contradiction of all, Blaine QUOTED FROM MY LETTER TO HILL when I spoke to him on 6/10/05 and mentioned his deep friendship with Hill, as well, extending back to the late 1950’s! For the record, I received Hill’s signed receipt for the letter and it was NEVER returned to me, either. For his part, Blaine stated on the very same C-SPAN program: “I have never talked to any author of a book,” another blatant falsehood that went unchallenged.


    On the C-SPAN appearance with Hill, regarding myself, Blaine stated: “I am familiar with him, I don’t know him… My assessment of Mr. Palamara is that he called probably all of the agents [true], and what agent who answers a phone is going to answer a question ”Was President Kennedy easy to protect?” [many of them did, and, like Blaine, told me that JFK was a very nice man, never interfered with the actions of the Secret Service at all, nor did President Kennedy ever order the agents off his limousine] Well, probably he was too easy to protect because he was assassinated [what?]. But the fact that the agents aren’t going to tell him anything [many told me information of much value, Blaine included] and he alludes to the fact that when I wrote the book, most of these people were dead. Well, I worked with these people, I knew them like brothers and I knew exactly what was going on and always respected Jim Rowley because he stood up to the issue and said ”Look, we can’t say the President invited himself to be killed so let’s squash this.” So that was the word throughout the Secret Service and he – Mr. Palamara is – there are a number of things that had happened [sic] that he has no credibility [your opinion, Mr. Blaine], he is a self-described expert in his area which I don’t know what it is, he was born after the assassination [as was your co-author, Lisa McCubbin!] and he keeps creating solutions to the assassination until they are proven wrong [again, your opinion, Mr. Blaine].” But Blaine wasn’t finished with me just yet: “The Zapruder film, when the Zapruder film was run at normal speed, another theme that Palamara throws out is that Bill Greer stopped the car, when it’s run at its normal speed, you will notice the car absolutely does not stop at all. This happened in less than six seconds after the President was hit in the throat and moving along (emphasis added).” Oh, so you agree with my “solutions” that JFK was shot in the neck from the FRONT, do you, Mr. Blaine? And there were close to SIXTY WITNESSES to the limousine slowing or stopping, including SEVEN SECRET SERVICE AGENTS AND JACQUELINE KENNEDY—not my “theme” or theory, just the facts. Returning directly to “The Kennedy Detail” documentary, Agent Ron Pontius specifically refers to one of my articles (also a part of a chapter in my book) without naming me. As the narrator, Martin Sheen, notes: “The most painful theories point fingers at the agents themselves.”


    During yet another 6th Floor Museum appearance (with Hill & Blaine, hosted by Gary Mack), co-author Lisa McCubbin mentions that, during the writing of the book, she would find things that contradicted what Blaine was telling her. Ultimately, she copped out, stating “he was there”…no, he wasn’t there on 11/22/63 in Dallas AND WHAT ABOUT ALL HIS COLLEAGUES WHO REFUTE HIM? Geez. McCubbin strikes me as a good investigative reporter. One wonders if her closeness to Blaine (she grew up with him and even dated his son!), along with the allure of big money, swayed her to “look away”, so to speak, at all the conflicting and contradictory evidence

    Hill, 11/19/10 6th Floor Museum oral history: Clint Hill tells the truth about JFK: he did NOT order the agents to do anything; they did what they wished to do, security-wise. “He can tell you what he wants done and he can tell you certain things but that doesn’t mean you have to do it. What we used to do was always agree with the President and then we’d do what we felt was best anyway.”;


    Blaine, 11/18/10 6th Floor Museum oral history: “We were violating our fellow agents who have passed on”-?!?!?; “I have alot of opponents as far as the book goes”



    Roberts was the President’s receptionist during the Johnson administration while still a member of the Secret Service, effectively replacing loyal JFK aide Dave Powers. There are alarming parallels between what LBJ thought of Roberts and Bobby Baker, a man he referred to as his son (Baker was his longtime aide who was later embroiled in scandal, serving time in jail): “Bobby is my strong right arm. He is the last person I see at night and the first person I see in the morning.” LBJ said this of Roberts on 11/23/68: “He greets me every morning and tells me goodbye every night.”






    Clint Hill: recent comments to the media


    Hill said, “There’s no tolerance at all, no room for any misbehavior in the Secret Service.” “There’s no loose chain. You are on the clock from the time you leave…until the time you return home.” [I guess Clint forgot the drinking incident he himself was involved in the night before the assassination. Also, former agents Tony Sherman, Abe Bolden, and Joe Paolella, as well as DNC advance man Jerry Bruno, confirmed that the agents indulged in sex parties and drinking during the JFK years! Sorry, ole Clint] Hill also said: “Mark Sullivan has been a very good director and good for the service.” [Perhaps Clint feels this way because he debriefed Sullivan on the purpose and merit of “The Kennedy Detail” before publication, dined with him at an AFAUSSS conference, and had lunch with the Director (and Blaine) in private later!]


    Hill writes: “It strikes me that perhaps we should keep an agent with President Kennedy’s body—out of respect for both President and Mrs. Kennedy, and in light of the questions that were raised at Parkland Hospital about taking the body back to Washington for the autopsy. This way, if there is ever any doubt about whether Dr. Burkley stayed with the body until the autopsy, or suspicions about tampering, there will be a Secret Service agent who also remained with the casket and can vouch for the integrity of the body. Agent Dick Johnsen is selected for the post because he is an agent who was with President Kennedy from the beginning and is familiar to Mrs. Kennedy, O’Donnell, and Powers [emphasis added]”


    Beyond the absurdity of picking an AGENT as somehow relieving any person’s suspicion that something could possibly be amiss (“oh, an agent was there? ok, no suspicion there”), the agent chosen was none other than the official keeper of CE399 aka the magic bullet. What’s more, Lifton’s best-selling book did not appear until the early 1980’s and the issue of body tampering/ alteration was not on anyone’s minds until the early-mid 1970’s at the earliest…WHY would Hill write these comments? And, from the excerpt above as written, are we to somehow infer that it was HILL (not Kellerman, for example) who made the decision to have an agent stay with the body and decide that the specific person should be the magic bullet holder? Hmmm…


    2) Pages 138-139-  the autopsy doctors were sure the throat wound was an exit—who needs Doc Perry?– and Hill is sure the first shot was this shot? Really??


    Hill writes: “The doctor points to a wound in the throat and explains that this is where the emergency tracheotomy was done at Parkland Hospital, which covered up the area where a bullet had exited. He rolls the president slightly onto his left side and points to a small wound just below the neckline, slightly to the right of the spinal column in the upper back. This, he says, is where the bullet entered, and then came out the front of the neck. The bullet that caused these wounds hit nothing but soft tissue. Those wounds, I knew without a doubt, came from the first shot. It corroborates what I saw—the president suddenly grabbing his throat immediately after the first explosive noise. The doctor points to a wound on the right rear of the head. This, he says, was the fatal wound. He lifts up a piece of the scalp, with skin and hair still attached, which reveals a hole in the skull, and an area in which a good portion of the brain matter is gone{emphasis added]”


    To his “credit”, as he also recently demonstrated on television, Hill repeats what he has said since 11/22/63 (and in his other two Lisa McCubbin co-authored books) that the right rear of JFK’s head was missing (page 107), but what gives with the above?



    HILL: Well my wife and I are not together and haven’t been for sometime. LAMB: She’s still alive? HILL: Yes.

    LAMB: Did you – did you keep notes? HILL: I did, but I destroyed them a few years ago which really made it more difficult. LAMB: Why did you destroy them? HILL: I promised that I would never write a book. I vowed that I would never do so, never contribute to a book, never talk to anybody about it and so just to kind of make sure I would never get my self involve, I burned everything. There are few mementos I kept, but for the most part, I burned all my notes and now when the opportunity presents itself and I decided to do it. I had to go back and talked to other agents who I work with, who did have – still have some notes. And to check everything through newspaper archives for dates and times and places to make sure I was accurate and so it was very tedious to go through this and write the book. LAMB: Do you remember the year you burned your notes? HILL: It is 2012 – it was [pause] maybe 2005, something like that.

    LAMB: As aside by the way, the fellow we talked about in the last interview, Vince Palamara. HILL: Yes. LAMB: You’ve seen his letter about your book? HILL: I have not read it, no. LAMB: I’m sure you probably know that he said that ”Mrs. Kennedy and Me” is highly recommended to everyone for its honesty and rich body of truth. He actually fully endorsed your book even though he’s been critical of …  are you worried that he’s not being …? HILL: Maybe he has some secret agenda, I don’t know. But I accept his praise, thank you.


    LAMB: Now, we got some video from YouTube, one of the things you say in your book, that made you want to write this book was all the conspiracy theories and you talked about the movie from Oliver Stone. This is a man named Vince Palamara. Do you know him? BLAINE: I am familiar with him, I don’t k now him. LAMB: He says that – and I guess we’ll talk about this, that he sent you a 22 page letter? HILL: I recall receiving a letter which I sent back to him. I didn’t bother with it. LAMB: You didn’t talk to him ever? HILL: he called me and I said ”Hello” but that was about it. LAMB: And over the years, have you both been called about this assassination on many occasions. HILL: I had been called numerous times. LAMB: What has been your attitude, how have you approached the people… HILL: For the most part, I just said I have no comment, I just have nothing to say. LAMB: And why is that? HILL: Well, most of it is from people who are writing conspiracy theory books that don’t make any sense to me so if they are not going to deal in facts, then I don’t want anything to do with it. LAMB: And how about you, what you been… HILL: I have never talked to any author of a book and that – I just felt we had it on our commission books, worthy of trust of confidence and I felt those were issues that you should never talk to anybody on the outside about. And it was – I had to weigh and evaluate when I wrote this book because I felt I wasn’t talking about the Secret Service, I wasn’t talking about the Kennedy Family, but I was talking about the agents that I work with and the incidents that occurred and those were my friends. So that’s when I decided to write. LAMB: Did you have to get permission to do this from the secret service? HILL: No. LAMB: So this wasn’t cleared by the Secret Services? HILL: No. BLAINE: No, but we had lunch today with the director of the Secret Service who thanked us very much for our contribution. LAMB: Here is this video, it’s not very long and this man’s name is Vince Palamara, he is a citizen who has taken it on its own to become an expert. He is from Pennsylvania and I don’t know him, I have talked to him and I have just seen it on the web and he is – I believe he is a graduate of Duquesne University so let us watch this and I’ll get your reaction. BLAINE: OK. START OF VIDEO. VINCE PALAMARA: Hi, this is Vince Palamara. The self described Secret Service expert that Jerry Blaine accuses me of – naming me, OK? Back with my obsession about the Kennedy detail. I got to read this, this is rich. Page 287, is what Blaine is claiming that Rowley said. Rowley turned to Jerry Blaine. ”And Jerry, since you are in the lead car, did you ever hear this over your radio as well?” ”Yes, sir. I did. I heard exactly what Floyd just told you.” The thing about this, this is the whole thing about the Ivy League charlatans’ thing. Jerry Blaine told me that the Ivy League charlatans thing came from the guys. I can’t remember – I can’t remember who said it. Boy, his memory got real good five years later because now, he is claiming he heard it over the radio, Floyd Boring, OK? It’s unbelievable, and it’s just amazing to me, you know, there never would have been a book if I didn’t send a 22 page letter, OK, to Clint Hill, that pissed him off so much that his very good friend, Jerry Blaine, came out with his book as counter. OK? These are some things I recommend everyone to buy it online, no censorship, it’s my First Amendment rights, OK? There are some nice pictures and nice known assassination things, and there are even some good assassination related things in here but it’s very odd, since other people picked up on that’s why there are some really bad reviews on Amazon right now, mine is the best, mine is a three stars too. It’s very obvious that it’s a thinly veiled attempt to rewrite history and to blame President Kennedy without trying to blame him for his own assassination. END OF VIDEO. LAMB: First of all, his is not of the best of the reviews, there are seven with five stars just in case for the record that I saw today when I looked on Amazon. What’s your reaction, could you hear? BLAINE: Well, he wrote an assessment of the book about the – first time about five weeks before it was released. The second time on Amazon.com, he and four of his friends or four of his aliases put a statement on assessing the book a one, a two, and a three. My assessment of Mr. Palamara is that he called probably all of the agents, and what agent who answers a phone is going to answer a question ”Was President Kennedy easy to protect? Well, probably he was too easy to protect because he was assassinated.” But the fact that the agents aren’t going to tell him anything and he alludes to the fact that when I wrote the book, most of these people were dead. Well, I worked with these people, I knew them like brothers and I knew exactly what was going on and always respected Jim Rowley because he stood up to the issue and said ”Look, we can’t say the President invited himself to be killed so let’s squash this.” So that was the words throughout the Secret Service and he – Mr. Palamara is – there are a number of things that had happened that he has no credibility, he is a self-described expert in his area which I don’t know what it is, he was born after the assassination and he keeps creating solutions to the assassination until they are proven wrong. So he is… LAMB: A lot about – HILL: But he alleges that because he sent me a letter 22 pages in length apparently, and that I discussed that with Jerry. I forgot that I ever got a 22-page letter from this particular individual until I heard him say it on TV and I never discussed it with Jerry or anybody else because it wasn’t important to me. And so far as him being an expert, I don’t know where the expert part came from. I spent a long time in the Secret Service in protection and I’m not an expert, but apparently he became an expert somewhere up in Pennsylvania, I don’t know where.


    3/22/06 CNN

    KING: What are you doing Clint? HILL: I am completely retired. I’m a homebody, my wife and I and our kids and grandkids

    KING: Clint, I thank you very much. I salute you for your service. HILL: Thank you, Larry. KING: And I thank you for coming here tonight on this special occasion for Mike Wallace. HILL: Thank you very much. Good luck Mike. WALLACE: Same to you Clint. HILL: My wife says hello

    “Hill, who lives in Virginia, is “happier than I have ever been” with Lisa McCubbin, the journalist he co-wrote the memoir with. “The calendar says I’m 81 and she’s 48, but I feel 52.” In his book he credits McCubbin “…for bringing me out of my dungeon, where I languished for years in my emotional prison … you helped me find a reason to live, not just exist”. “I was there for her children, but I wasn’t there for the birth of either of my sons [Chris and Corey, now 56 and 51 respectively]. They grew up without a father. My wife Gwen raised them herself.” (They separated, “emotionally”, years ago, but have not divorced.)



    PAGE 241 OF HILL’S NEW BOOK: Lisa says of Hill” For some reason, we were brought together at the right time in both our lives, and I am so grateful we were. You are extraordinary.”


    Bottom line: on many previous motorcade routes before 11/22/63, including one that was THE SECOND LONGEST MOTORCADE IN THE HISTORY OF THE KENNEDY YEARS (TAMPA, FL, 11/18/63) [only the June 1963 Berlin motorcade, with agents on the rear of the limousine, was longer, thus making the Tampa motorcade the longest domestic motorcade], agents and/ or police and/ or military guarded building rooftops in the downtown AND suburban areas- multi-story buildings and major buildings, as one story “common” buildings (such as homes) could be safely guarded via police and/ or military lining the street and facing the crowd, not to mention the FASTER speed of the motorcade thru these smaller building districts, as was the case in Tampa, to name but one example (see chapter 6 of my book for much more).


    So, let me get this straight- the Secret Service, in conjunction with their police and military counter-parts, HAD the resources to man equal or MUCH LONGER motorcades right before Dallas, yet they allegedly did not have those resources in Dallas? Total bunk and he knows better.


    Things that happened on 11/18/63 that did not happen in Dallas:

    -agents on the rear of the limo (other than Clint Hill, briefly, 4 times before they got to Dealey Plaza);

    -military aide in front seat between driver and agent in charge (McHugh was asked, for the first time in Dallas, not to ride there!);

    -press photographers flatbed truck in front of limo (canceled at last minute at Love Field);

    -fast speed of cars (slow in Dallas);

    -ASAIC Boring on trip (SAIC Behn and Boring always accompanied JFK in motorcades. A third-stringer, Kellerman, goes in their place);

    -multi story rooftops guarded;

    -multiple motorcycles running next to JFK in a wedge formation (they did 11/18-11/22/63 [morning in Fort Worth]…until Dallas);

    -White House Press Photographer Cecil Stoughton riding in follow-up car taking photos (he did 11/18-11/21/63…until they got to Dallas);

    -Pierre Salinger on trip (Assistant Malcolm Kilduff makes his first trip on his own to Texas; Salinger said he missed only “one or two trips” with JFK…Texas was one of them!);

    -Dr Burkley close to JFK (Burkley protested being placed far away from JFK in Dallas, for this was the only time, save in Rome, this ever happened to him);


    Kennedy the Egotist

    Blaine’s book makes numerous references to JFK being a great person to work and be around. But it seems Blaine includes such anecdotes to balance out his claims about JFK being reckless. Blaine takes direct aim at JFK in a way that contradicts most other accounts of his personality:


    All that was left was a sense of futility. You could do only so much. But the one thing you couldn’t do was protect the president from his own ego.

    [The Kennedy Detail, page 332]

    Blaine compares JFK to his predecessor, Eisenhower, whom Blaine appears to have seen as a president with fewer personal faults:

    President Eisenhower did not have a narcissistic bone in his body. He was a career military man and grew up with armed men around him. When he achieved commanding rank he had protection. …. He did not necessarily like crowds and did not feel that he had to run over and shake every person’s hand. He rode in a closed-top car and did not like parade-type motorcades. … with the agents, but he had confidence in his agent’s ability and he understood unnecessary exposure.

    [The Kennedy Detail, page 398]


    Is it just me or did I read that last paragraph as a not-so-subtle suggestion that JFK was narcissistic, felt a need to shake everyone’s hand, was “warm and fuzzy”, but in an un-presidential way, and did not have confidence in the Secret Service’s ability and no understanding of unnecessary risk?