Nothing says old money like a piano and a room hidden behind warm wood floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. Read an Excerpt1SuperviseEVEN BEFORE HE took the oath of office, Abraham Lincoln was the object of plots to kidnap or kill him. Enabling JavaScript in your browser will allow you to experience all the features of our site.
Secret Service, that elite corps of agents who pledge to take a bullet to protect the president and his family. Secret Service, Kessler (The Terrorist Watch), a former investigative reporter for the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, managed to get former agents to open up. Cos we've got enough Podcast material to keep you occupied for roughly 2 years and 147 days. Yet, like most presidents before and after him, Lincoln had little use for personal protection. Kessler reveals what they have seen, providing startling, previously untold stories about the presidents, from John F.
Finally, late in the war, he agreed to allow four Washington police officers to act as his bodyguards.On April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth, a fanatical Confederate sympathizer, learned that Lincoln would be attending a play at Ford's Theatre that evening.
Bush and Barack Obama, as well as about their families, Cabinet officers, and White House aides.
Kessler portrays the dangers that agents face and how they carry out their missions–from how they are trained to how they spot and assess potential threats.
Secret Service has put President Obama's life at greater risk may be the most attention-grabbing disclosure emerging from Ron Kessler's latest book. Instead of remaining on guard outside the president's box, Parker wandered off to watch the play, then went to a nearby saloon for a drink.

He shares inside accounts of past assaults that have put the Secret Service to the test, including a heroic gun battle that took down the would-be assassins of Harry S. But there's a lot more in this fascinating exposé, which penetrates that federal agency's longstanding mission and tradition of sworn secrecy. Never mind that the book's title is stiffer than the Secret Service's public persona — dour-faced agents wearing pressed suits, dark sunglasses and earphones, scouring crowds for potential threats. The president died the next morning.Despite that lesson, protection of the president remained spotty at best. Kennedy was killed in Dallas, and the swift actions that saved Ronald Reagan after he was shot.While Secret Service agents are brave and dedicated, Kessler exposes how Secret Service management in recent years has betrayed its mission by cutting corners, risking the assassination of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and their families. For a short time after the Civil War, the War Department assigned soldiers to protect the White House and its grounds. Instead what turns these pages are the amusing, saucy, often disturbing anecdotes about the VIPs the Secret Service has protected and still protects. On special occasions, Washington police officers helped maintain order and prevented crowds from assembling. Only tight-lipped Secret Service agents know the real story, and Ronald Kessler is the only journalist to have won their trust.From the Hardcover edition. The secrets, in other words.Some of it would border on tabloid sensationalism if it hadn't come directly from current and retired agents (most identified by name, to Kessler's credit).
But the permanent detail of four police officers that was assigned to guard the president during Lincoln's term was reduced to three.
Of course, you'd expect the salacious stories of John Kennedy's libido, but the less-told tales of an often-drunken and philandering Lyndon Johnson caught with his pants down are shocking. These officers protected only the White House and did not receive any special training.Thus, President James A.

Family-values champion Spiro Agnew had his hotel-room peccadilloes, it seems, and nice Jimmy Carter his animosities.
Garfield was unguarded as he walked through a waiting room toward a train in the Baltimore and Potomac Railway station in Washington on the morning of July 2, 1881. Guiteau emerged from the crowd and shot the president in the arm and then fatally in the back. Bush and an agent searching for hidden cookies in the middle of the night, Miss Lillian Carter delivering a six-pack to the Secret Service boys (dutifully refused), and Ronald Reagan mailing checks for thousands of dollars to needy strangers.So why the all the blabbing from zip-lipped agents? Guiteau was said to be bitterly disappointed that Garfield had ignored his pleas to be appointed a consul in Europe.Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, tried to find the bullet in the president's back with an induction-balance electrical device he had invented.
A respected journalist and former Washington Post reporter, Kessler somehow instills trust even in wary civil servants and federal bureaucrats.He did when researching such government-insider books as The Terrorist Watch and The CIA at War.
He has done it again by persuading the Secret Service to cooperate, making this an insightful and entertaining story.Copyright 2009, USA TODAY.
On September 19, 1881, Garfield died of his wounds.While the assassination shocked the nation, no steps were taken to protect the next president, Chester A.
The resistance came down to the perennial question of how to reconcile the need to protect the country's leaders with their need to mingle with citizens and remain connected to the people.In fact, after Garfield's assassination, the New York Tribune warned against improving security.
But Republican opposition, led by Thomas Jefferson, discredited the Federalist plan as unbefitting a democracy.

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