Wednesday, March 12, 2014

In the President's Secret Service by Ronald Kessler

 Ronald Kessler delivers a book about the inner workings of the Secret Service, dishes up some juicy presidential gossip, stale by this point, and delivers a few scathing criticisms of an organization which is responsible for keeping our democratically elected leaders alive. It's interesting that this book was written before the recent scandals involving parties and hookers and Secret Service agents on foreign assignment broke a couple of years ago. It just seems to me that in any organization, lack of good leadership and strong moral fiber leads to corruption, over and over again.

I'll not repeat all of the bad things that former agents related to Kessler about several former presidents and their family members, but none of them were all that shocking. Though serial womanizing would have taken some of them down to the dustbin of history if they had been caught at the time, we see in the light of Clinton's Lewinski scandal that such character defects are no longer even viewed by the public as detrimental to a president's reputation nor effectiveness.

One small bit I found interesting:

"While in office, Reagan never showed the effects of Alzheimer's disease, which ultimately led to his death. 'We had a hundred twenty agents on his detail, and he seemed to remember everyone's name,' (Agent) Smith says....But in March 1998, 'He would just stop in midsentence and forget what he was saying,' Chomicki recalls. 'Then he would just start a whole new story.'"

The Great Communicator falls.

And of minor personal interest:

Bush flew to a fundraiser in Boise, Idaho, and dined at the Charthouse in Garden City "on the banks of the Colorado River" Kessler writes.

LOL. Mr. Kessler needs a short geography lesson. Last time I checked the Colorado was not flowing through downtown Boise. The story of the Secret Service jumping two men in camo carrying guns on the banks of the Boise River didn't play out the way I expected. In Idaho, on that river, there are a lot of duck hunters, but the detainees had slightly more sinister motives, all unaware of the presence of the leader of the free world nearby.

All in all, an interesting viewpoint on one of our most important government agencies.

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