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Secrets of the Secret Service: The History…

Secrets of the Secret Service: The History and Uncertain Future of the… (utgåvan 2018)

av Gary J. Byrne (Författare), Grant M. Schmidt (Primary Contributor)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner
544387,676 (3.5)Ingen/inga
A look at the inner workings of the U.S. Secret Service shares insights into the reactionary approaches of the agency's increasingly politicized management and how new strategies are placing presidential security at risk.
Titel:Secrets of the Secret Service: The History and Uncertain Future of the U.S. Secret Service
Författare:Gary J. Byrne (Författare)
Andra författare:Grant M. Schmidt (Primary Contributor)
Info:Center Street (2018), 304 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek


Secrets of the Secret Service: The History and Uncertain Future of the U.S. Secret Service av Gary J. Byrne


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Visar 4 av 4
This is an extended rant by a former uniformed division Secret Service guy about how horrible the Secret Service is.

1) Fairly negative view of the Clinton (especially) and Obama administrations, with respect to how they handled the secret service -- putting themselves and agents at risk for no good reasons
2) Bad management culture within USSS, and top-heavy management structure, lack of staffing for actual field agents, etc.
3) Uniformed Division vs. Agent fundamental problems, with UD being subordinate to agents
4) Hard drinking, fraud, adultery, etc. pervasive within USSS, including on overseas missions in ways which put mission at risk.
5) Secret Service leadership metastasized to take over TSA and Federal Air Marshal programs post-9/11 causing those organizations to be bad as well.
6) Many incidents badly handled and then covered up, leading to a long-term risk of successful assassination of a protectee (including the President)

His arguments do seem pretty valid in a lot of ways, but the political and personal axe-grinding aspects take away some credibility. ( )
  octal | Jan 1, 2021 |
This is a tough book to review. On the one hand, it is perhaps the sloppiest editing job I've seen in recent memory. And to the sloppiness, the several factual errors or at least those places here Byrne varies widely with other authors. On the other hand, there is much to commend his recommendations, even though these recommendations call for Congressional action. Even thinking Congress might be willing to actually do something on a day-to-day basis is whimsical.
Byrne clearly did not like working for the Clintons. Okay, that's part of the reason he wrote his book. It neither adds to or detracts from the narrative. His assertions of misbehavior by previous Presidents is also with the scope. But as I read his book, I do not see that those secrets are the secrets that he speaks about in his title.
The key issue here is the effectiveness of the Secret Service in its duty to protect the President and others. According to Byrne, a lot of luck is involved. That this might be true is appalling. The death of a President in office is convulsive to the country and would be even to those who think we'd be better off without Mr. Trump in office. The world has turned over many times since Harry Truman was not aware of the atomic bomb until after FDR died. Still, it is likely that there still are things that the President does not share with his Veep. Thus, we have to protect our President period. If it is true that the Secret Service ranks as 306 out of 306 Federal Government entities, then things must change and they must change fast. Byrne's recommendations include things that the OMB could act on without Congressional action. His thoughts about what Congress might do need to be re-thought so as to expect minimal action from Congress.
Bottom line: it is an interesting book. It is depressing. Worse, the problems of the Secret Service seem to mesh well with what is being revealed about the Deep State elsewhere. ( )
  DeaconBernie | May 6, 2018 |
Byrne honorably served our government as a member of the Secret Service. In this book, he tells of his experiences, and of experiences of other agents throughout the history of the Secret Service.
It seems Byrne's main goal in writing this book was not to expound on any "secrets", but rather to expound on the problems facing the Service today. His point is that certain factions within the Service, plus overworked and disgruntled agents, could lead to another disaster, similar to the assassinations of Lincoln and Kennedy. He describes how the "culture of corruption has allowed agents to blackmail the agency into further corruption, while its mad men drive whistle-blowers so far as to suicide".
All in all, this was an interesting read. The author tends to rant quite a bit. Especially about the Clinton's, whom he seems to have a great deal of animosity towards. But, I guess I can understand his frustration. He swore to protect the President, and served that cause admirably for many years, and wants to see things improve in that regard. I thank him for his service. ( )
  1Randal | Mar 27, 2018 |
That's YOUR tax money being wasted on inefficiency and coverups!
This book begins with a rant on a particular administration which was very difficult to protect and was a harbinger of the problems resulting in a serious morale problem. It then segues into a history of the service and the lousy follow up after each assassination or attempt. Next under fire is the ongoing departmental administration issue referred to as Plantation Mentality/secret service culture which includes factors such as no real fiscal responsibility, and the preferences for coverup over employee accountability. Employee job satisfaction which began as pride of service rendered but became buried under management misconduct and poor accountability and seriously insufficient staffing as well as the problems directly related to far too much mandatory overtime resulted in high rates of suicide, divorce, and the problems inherent in testosterone poisoning. Because there is no real fiscal responsibility, there is excessive overtime and the director just keeps demanding more funds rather than improving departmental performance. I was appalled to read of how few hours of training and range time requirements which are lower than that for Concealed Carry citizenry. Now I understand why local law enforcement disdains this group which has no ability or authority to even issue a traffic ticket!
So why did I begin with a rant about taxpayer dollars? It seems that in interest of secrecy of internal misconduct, untold employees are pensioned off with full benefits ad infinitum instead of being prosecuted as a civilian would be. The issue of continued secret service protection ad infinitum for past presidents and their families instead of allowing the protectee to contribute to the cost of a cleared private sector provider is another way that the taxpayers are being fleeced.
Is this book factual? The evidence is there, and checking out the references cited was even more appalling. Is it well written? Tough call, the grouping of ideas seems a bit odd, but on the whole it does reflect a very unpleasant reality.
The final segment is focused on the need to scrap the current business model and replace it with one that is more honest and fiscally responsible which will please taxpayers and return dignity to the women and men whose purpose it is to protect the POTUS.
Disclaimers: I am predisposed toward law enforcement as I worked alongside accountable sworn staff for some years.
I requested and received a free review copy via NetGalley. ( )
  jetangen4571 | Mar 24, 2018 |
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A look at the inner workings of the U.S. Secret Service shares insights into the reactionary approaches of the agency's increasingly politicized management and how new strategies are placing presidential security at risk.

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