Inside The President’s Secret Service, by Ronald Kessler.
A very popular book right now, and an easy read.
Kessler writes Secret Service agents accounts of their time protecting various U.S. presidents, including their families. Interesting accounts include how while Bill Clinton was very warm and outgoing toward the agents, Hillary was a complete b_tch to them. How Jenna and Barbara Bush got into trouble, and generally attempted to ditch their protectors. How Lyndon Johnson was quite the womanizer. (Lyndon Johnson? A womanizer…….?)
Interesting that Kessler goes into specific detail about how the Secret Service protective service protects its charges. How the agents are deployed, how the counter-snipers work and set up, how all of the units are trained to respond in the event of an attack. He describes very specific information, that while is very interesting to read, seems like it would be confidential.
Also discussed is the Secret Service having been rolled into the Department of Homeland Security, and the detriment to the Secret Service that it has caused. Kessler details how budget cuts have virtually eliminated training for the protective agents, how the agents weapons are outdated compared to the threats, and how undermanned the agency is that it’s reduced the size of its protective teams to the point that they aren’t nearly as effective as they need to be to protect their charges.
The book is written in an easy-to-read manner and is a good read, but is comprised mostly of agent’s verbal accounts, and seems to lack hard data and citations of source material to more thoroughly substantiate the author’s assertions. In other words it isn’t as scholarly as I expected that it would be.
And for those who have never witnessed in person an event at which the President of the United States is in attendance, take this from one who knows. It will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. This is regardless of whether or not your politics dovetail with those of that President. Keep in mind that when a President of the United States is on the move, there is no such thing as a traffic light or a traffic jamb....even in ,midtown Manhattan at rush hour (you'd swear it's as empty as six o'clock on a Sunday morning). And every driveway, intersection, and parking lot is blocked by a state, county, or municipal law enforcement vehicle and there are absolutely no other vehicles on the road even on the opposite side even if you're on an eight lane highway (i.e.: the New Jersey Turnpike). Any vehicles that have broken down will have a troop car parked right alongside of them until the President is well past. The logistics and the necessary choreography of a big time rolling roadblock are incredible. And I mean incredible!
Once my family and I were in Chattanooga, TN on top of Lookout Mountain when all of a sudden we were covered up with guys in suits and sunglasses! They went into every shop, restroom, looked up under the all the eaves, looked under benches, behind planters, boarded the 2 tourist buses to check them out, and not saying one word to anyone. A smile would have cracked their faces.
We couldn't stand it any longer and asked a shopkeeper what was going on and they said some really big-wig from Europe was going to be there soon. Someone else said they heard it was the President of the Czeck Republic. We never did see anyone because we left before he arrived.
read the book, liked it..when Air Force One comes to town, nothing takes off or lands for 30 minutes..logistics are incredible
when he was little, one of my son's favorite movies was Air Force One with Harrison Ford..He loved the part where the F-15's shot down the Russian MIGS and he said one day he wanted to fly F-15's and escort AF 1...I'll be dammed, he actually grew up to do both (and actually met the actor Harrison Ford)...and to think that a United States Secret Service Agent in the movie was in on the plot, must have made the agency unhappy
I asked him about the escape pod on AF1 and he smiled and said no comment and said the Secret Service had to approve the script and remember it's Hollywood
it takes a special type of person who is willing to take a bullet for a POTUS
Venice, there is no escape pod on either SAM 28000 or SAM 29000, the two Air Force VC-25As that serve as the President's primary air transportation craft.
Interestly, though people think of these planes as "Air Force 1", they have that call sign ONLY when the President is flying on one of them. Whatever aircraft the President happens to be on has the call sign of "(branch of service) One"
For example, the Marine helicopter the President uses, when he's aboard is call sign Marine 1. If it's a Navy aircraft, it's Navy 1, and so on.
The term "1" signifies that the person using that call sign is the commanding officer. "2" would be second in command, and so on.
So, if I were commanding officer of an aircraft carrier at sea, and the ship's call sign were Eagle, then my call sign would be "Eagle 1".
With a group of fighter aircraft aloft, say with call sign "Alert", and wanting to talk with the commanding officer of that fighter aircraft group, I would announce "Alert 1, this is Eagle 1..."