Kingsman: The Secret Service not only reveals a new, badass side to Colin Firth but also introduces upcoming actor Taron Egerton in his first major big-screen role.
In a hard-hitting interview with Blaze Books in connection with his newest title, Life Inside the Bubble, outspoken former Secret Service Agent Dan Bongino provided his insights on a wide array of topics, from his life in law enforcement protecting a Senator and two Presidents, to Barack Obama’s worldview, the government shutdown, the Benghazi and NSA scandals and all things in-between. Bongino: You know I hate to use the term because as you probably know the political consultant class has all kinds of bad advice for you, but they always say to never talk about frustration or, you know anger.
Bongino: However bad you think it is, it’s worse, and it’s on a bipartisan trajectory getting worse by the day.
What is the one thing that people on the outside do not appreciate about the job of a Secret Service agent? My critique of the President is, the Secret Service could not have been more harsh – they fired the guys immediately. On foreign policy, do you have a view as to why the President has embraced Islamist forces in the Middle East and specifically the Muslim brotherhood over traditional secular authoritarian leaders?
Bongino: I think it has more to do…I don’t think it’s so much a function of the religion component to it as much as it is a function of…you know David Horowitz has some interesting pieces on this how the [hard] Left and Islamofascism…have a mutual interest in this authoritarian method of governance. In context of your personal experience with President Obama, and your impressions of the administration, would you care to comment on his administration’s decisions to shut down historical sites during the recent government shutdown? Bongino: Yea absolutely, it actually goes back to one of my points we made earlier on a separate question that they see government, him and his acolytes, and the insiders I talk about in the book, this bubble that surrounds him, that entire bubble, they see government as a weapon. How did you balance your ideological disagreement with President Obama with your own job protecting him? Bongino: Well, it was never a problem for me because, you know my oath was to the American people. One of the major points of your book is that government bureaucracy breeds not only inefficiency but puts American lives in danger.
Bongino: Well they should be very concerned and if Boston wasn’t a wakeup call…I mean I say sometimes bureaucracy is killing you, literally killing you. How much of what is at issue is the politics of the bureaucracies versus the ideology that motivates the bureaucrats (i.e. Bongino: It’s more a function of the ideology of big government feeding into an incentive-based system. You discuss at some length in your book your ideological evolution as someone advancing in national security while studying Austrian economics and libertarianism more generally.
What does every American absolutely need to know about the failures surrounding Benghazi and should Americans expect more Benghazis in the future? Given your prior challenge to Senator Ben Cardin having never held office previously, what would you say to political activists who are thinking about jumping into the fray against entrenched politicians?
Bongino: Well my story in the Senate campaign pretty much blows away the traditional narrative that it takes political connections and all kinds of wealthy backers to run a credible campaign. Tatum's John Cale sees his dream job shattering as he faces tough secret service interview in the new trailer for Roland Emmerich's film. A new trailer for Roland Emmerich's upcoming film "White House Down" has made its way out via Yahoo!
The video opens with Channing Tatum telling his daughter that he has a job interview with secret service. Penned by James Vanderbilt, "White House Down" follows Capitol Policeman John Cale who has just been denied his dream job with the Secret Service of protecting President James Sawyer.
The film, which is described as " 'Die Hard' in the White House", also stars Jamie Foxx, Joey King, Rachelle Lefevre, James Woods, Richard Jenkins, Jason Clarke, Garcelle Beauvais and Michael Murphy. The 25-year-old recently stopped by our studio to talk about the James Bond-meets-Kickass movie and holding his own alongside Colin and Samuel L. But, I don’t think those are necessarily negative things if you use them for the right reasons.
The government, the administrative state, the bureaucracy, you tell me a problem, you think you see with government from a libertarian or limited government conservative’s perspective and I can tell you in the book, which I give some examples on how it’s worse than you actually know it to be. People think since 2010 we’ve turned it around…we haven’t, we’ve turned nothing around, it’s still getting worse. It is not, contrary to Line of Fire or whatever movies or tv shows you may have seen or comic books. You mentioned in the book that the Obama administration has officials whose behavior was worse than those of the Secret Service agents who were part of the Colombia scandal. I hear from people all the time and it infuriates me that “President Obama’s a brilliant politician.” No he absolutely is not.
You know government’s a weapon, it’s a means to enforce an end, it’s not a service industry to them.
In other words liberals and phony Republicans who keep expanding the bureaucracy, but at the lower level, incentives to keep quiet and not do anything. How do you reconcile your libertarian views with your beliefs on defense and national security? It’s just the brand has been polluted so much–the Republican brand that is–that some associate libertarianism with isolationism. They always want the liberty versus security argument because it creates a Hobson’s choice. Trying his best to give a convincing answer during the interview, Tatum suddenly loses his confidence as interviewer Maggie Gyllenhaal says, "In college, you barely maintained a C average," hinting at the predictable result he eventually gets. As he takes his daughter on a tour of the White House, a heavily armed paramilitary group takes over the building, forcing Cale to save the president, his daughter, and the country.
I mean anyone can turn anger or frustration into a negative action, but I was really frustrated and frankly angry at the process, and having been an ideological libertarian, small government conservative my whole life I had this frustration being behind the scenes watching what was going on and seeing what seemed to me at the time like an irreversible trend towards governing principles which – there’s no serious person left that actually believes these governing principles work. And I think he finds some kind of uh, again endgame in that, that they can both align on and they may be a tool for him, but I do think that’s why.
You know if it was a service industry they would have served and they would have found a way…ironically they spent more money making sure they were going to punish the American people then if they were to have left the monuments open. You know your oath is to defend the office of the presidency, which is a function of our Constitution.

So in other words when you’re, let’s say you’re in the Secret Service, and you’re in the training center, where I was, and you get a budget. No good libertarian I know wants us to completely isolate ourselves from the rest of the world. Unlike the first one which focuses on action scenes, the latest sneak peek highlights the comedic side of the film, which adds another compelling reason why this pic is definitely worth watching. Watch and learn why we're predicting Taron will be a (very handsome) face to watch in 2015. You know redistribution, top down bureaucracy, planning based, governing based on what Thomas Sowell calls the vision of the anointed ones, the bureaucrats, and it was frustrating. But sometimes you need an example to literally hit you in the gut to say, you know it’s kind of like…hearing about how bad a baseball team is, and then watching a game where they get blown out like 25-1, and you go “wow, they’re really bad, we need to fix something.” That’s why you need to buy the book. You need to watch or see the baseball game sometimes to realize just how bad the team really is. There were no operational consequences to it, it was horrendous behavior, totally inappropriate, and they were fired as they should have been. If President Obama was a brilliant politician he would have come out before the election and said “Hey we’re gonna cut taxes, grow the economy, what I’m doing’s not working, and we’re gonna change course” like Clinton did.
I know there’s a common sense argument some will try to throw out there and say “well a lot of the secular regimes in some countries which are largely Islamic are authoritarian too” but yea not to the degree that the Brotherhood would be. Now I’ll caveat this by saying if there was a…let’s say it was “the Teddy Roosevelt cliff somewhere,” and there was a park ranger there all the time saying “folks, don’t peak over the cliff, there’s a chance you may fall,” ok I get that.
They said “well the FBI and the CIA couldn’t communicate because there was a wall in-between them.” It just wasn’t true. You know every manager in there gets a budget, but if you don’t spend the money by the end of the year, they’ll tell you to spend it. If they don’t…if there’s not an adequate…if someone isn’t held responsible for this and the perception out there is that you can let our people die overseas for a quick political gain, and everyone will cover for you, including some in the media (remember they called this a “Fox News story” when it first started)…if that’s the perception then, yes the likelihood of a future attack will grow exponentially.
So I figured if I gave my behind the scenes perspective having seen it, been enmeshed in it for 12 years that it would be, that Siren sound that sometimes people need to motivate them to action. Ironically, 99% of what you would call bodyguard work or physical security as it’s called in the business is actually done by uniform law enforcement, not us. But the President then comes out, he knows very well that this stuff happens with White House staff.
You can’t have your security people turning on you every time you don’t agree with their policy. It had just been assumed for so long that that was the case that the FBI and the CIA just assumed it was true. So the lesson is, if you’re committed to it and I mean committed, it’s not a full-time job, it’s two full-time jobs, to run for office. We’re the ones that design the plan, and the plan is a cerebral exercise that takes literally decades, I kid you not, decades to master. He’s not stupid and I’m sure he was briefed on it before he got up there and it just kind of looked like…it kind of reminds me of a talk show host that has a theory out there that the President always removes himself from the consequences of his own bad policy.
But that’s not what he did, and I say that in regards to your question, he didn’t do that even though he would have won the election by 5-7 points if he had done that because he is so married to redistribution as a fundamental economic theory and this whole idea that government is a weapon not a service-oriented function – that it’s a weapon, it’s a means to enforce an end, that the politics to him are irrelevant. I mean look at Obamacare now. So I think again it’s not a matter of the religion, it’s a matter of the heavy-handed top-down authoritarianism that they both share in common, and I think that’s why the default is to defend them when you know it should be to frankly to rid these countries of them. And then whistleblowers are forced into a system where they’ll have an ombudsman or something, and the ombudsman is usually a friend to everyone else within the agency, so of course if you have a problem you need to have fixed, and you bring it up, of course it’s gonna get out there that “he’s a troublemaker.” And the great irony is, they try to pollute the Secret Service code, some in management. They can argue all they want “The assets weren’t there…” It’s a short chapter, it’s not meant to be…the purpose of those three chapters was to present a “Reader’s Digest” version, like a court case that if you were a judge, here’s why this is wrong. Because remember, one, the NSA scandal is a debacle and scandal is an inadequate word because this should be public enemy number one right now, scandal-wise, out of all of the scandals I have to say for the American public.
If you’re committed to it and you feel that you’ve done the homework because remember just because you can run doesn’t mean you should. We’ve got really passionate people involved and I’m very confident we’re going to be be raising our right hand and sworn in on January of 2015.
So he gets out there and instead of taking responsibility you know knowing very well that his staff was likely doing the same thing, he gets up there and “Uh this is terrible but I don’t know…and they should be punished [we] should get rid of these guys,” I thought it was totally inappropriate. You know I said to another interviewer, there were at some points where I felt an obligation to even work harder, just to prove, because the staff…most of the staff that I spoke to, it was no secret that I was a conservative, I mean you live with these people. You know the code is obviously keep quiet about the protectees, which you should (I reveal nothing about personal behaviors in the book). Because what makes us different—what’s always made us different—and I speak about this topic frequently—in the United States rather than in totalitarian in regimes, is the fact that the public and private self here are different. I mean if you are committed to it, if you’ve done the homework, you’ve been digging into National Review and the Wall Street Journal and reading about economic theory and the law, and you are absolutely committed to it, don’t let anybody and I mean anybody tell you not to.
I call it the big six: tactical, medical, chem-bio, IED, airborne and fire, and maybe sometimes geologic. I mean if he got up there and would have said “Hey, we’re doing an internal investigation and we found out that this historically has happened with us too and we’re going to clean house and it’s my responsibility…” That’s not what he said. He should apologize to America…my insurance got canceled I was one of ‘em, I put it on Facebook. It was due to this layering of bureaucracies on top of each other that’s done for a very, very important reason.
But I bring up the fact that libertarianism is a strong national security policy because I’m just telling you what common sense is telling you just by looking at the analysis. Because the entrenched interests on both sides—believe me I had as many fights with Republicans as I did with Democrats.
You have to have an A to Z plan to mitigate every one of those threats: a tactical threat, a medical threat, a chem-bio threat, an IED, an airborne threat, a fire, and when I say geologic, sometimes earthquakes depending on where you are. He took an opportunity there instead of doing the right thing to do the political thing, which was to take an additional shot and really make sure that the screws were turned on these guys, but absolve his staff of any consequences whatsoever.
Matter of fact when Obamacare was being implemented I would tell the staff all the time, this was the most ridiculous piece of legislation I’ve ever seen.

And this is what should infuriate Americans because not only is government inefficient, and is it bankrupting you, it’s actually killing you. The explosive growth in the bureaucracy has allowed people at the highest levels to make decisions based purely on politics, not on your safety. They did it to enforce the fact that government is a weapon, they’ll use it as they please, they were going to punish the American people, and clearly the media played along and it worked. With budget constraints and manpower constraints, it is really…it is a cerebral exercise that very few have truly truly mastered. Because he believes in government, bureaucratic, top down management of the healthcare system. But I almost felt an obligation on the security side, if it was even possible, because we were already working at maximum capacity, to put in even some extra effort, you know to make sure. Now if this was an accountable government, oriented towards service, we would be able to vote these people out, but you can’t because they’re bureaucrats, so you’re stuck with them. And that’s why very few guys get to the President’s detail, and even after that, very few of those guys eventually even do a lead advance where they’re in charge.
I mean the inauguration as I write in the book, and I give a very detailed account again from how cold the pavement was to what it was like walking down that street.
So in Benghazi, when four Americans die due to political decision-making, not security decision-making, that cost four American patriots their lives, Mrs. Clinton can get up there and say “What difference does it make?” And as I quote in the book emails and statements from her and her staff that clearly say “oh yea, it all got lost in the bureaucracy,” and every American just accepts it. When you hit your garage door opener in the morning, get in your car and leave, you understand you’re going to behave and act differently because the private you is over and the public you has begun. He’s a terrible politician, he’s not a good politician, he’s a good speaker he’s not a good politician, there’s a difference.
The Secret Service they move the people around the country for no good reason, other than they used to do it. What the NSA scandal did, and what happens in totalitarian regimes is that line is wiped out.
I mean I thought despite my legion of political differences with the President, there was nothing we could do at that point. And all the people who get moved complain about it: “Why are we getting moved?” And these are the same people who say “Well, why would you write a book about the Secret Service’s problems?” You know why? Bongino had this to say on Obama's statements in a follow-up: "It was an apology with a caveat, which is not an apology at all. They don’t have the bodies to…how do the Republicans shut the government down?” Just tell the truth.
If Apple kept producing phones that didn’t work, electrocuted people…malfunctioned in the worst possible way, and the management of Apple kept saying “Listen, we’re a big company, it’s just the bureaucracy,” the stockholders would bail out tomorrow morning. We were actually doing quite well, and had gotten within striking distance of our opponent right up until the third-party candidate jumped in at the end, and that’s a whole other story, and I think I describe that in the book.
But in government it’s just…government has grown so big and you’ve become so inoculated to the fact that it has to be big that when anything goes wrong you blame it on the bureaucracy it’s like “Oh yea, that makes sense, yea it’s the bureaucracy” and what I’m very careful to do with Boston, Benghazi and Fast and Furious is give you hard, pinpoint examples of how exactly the so-called bureaucracy is blamed for decisions that could have been made by people that unquestionably would have saved lives.
Now they may not be publicly disclosed yet but that’s very different than saying…but they are out there in the public arena…they’ll be disclosed when the NSA chooses to, and when they need to leverage that information. But to win the Republican nomination over nine other candidates with no political office, no donors, and no organization, but building it with a passion and a fire…I would say don’t ever be talked out of it, and go for it if that’s in your heart. Race…we’ve had a scarred history with race, I don’t think anyone questions that on either side of the political fence. So that’s a devastating scandal and there is no liberty versus security argument without making real changes to enhance our security, which I recommend in the book. They came back with three very reasonable proposals, all of them were denied, no one holds the President accountable for anything, he punishes the American people with their own tax dollars, and all of the sudden the Republicans…listen I have a lot of problems with the Republican Party as it is now. And to watch the faces of, where hundreds of thousands of black Americans who were sitting…I mean I was there, who had lived through legal, government-enforced segregation, via Jim Crow.
You drive around some of the areas in Afghanistan, the loyalties are to the tribal leaders. They could have quite simply broken down the incredible number of walls and silos between all these federal agencies, consolidated and reallocated manpower based on the threats. You know because I got in conversations with a lot of folks there, to watch them proudly, you know there were tears and applause as the President got out of the car which was a touching moment. So we’re forfeiting away treasure and blood, wearing out our military, families are losing their sons and daughters for a security policy that’s not making us more secure, making us less secure. The President of the United States used your tax dollars to pay people who work for you to keep you out of your memorials. But what frustrated me afterwards was the immediate turn by the media and everyone else, which I write about in the book, and it gets to your question about the conflict of emotions…was I was proud, there’s no question about it as an American. So I would argue libertarianism and the general principle that if there is not a direct impact—direct—not third or fourth times, three or four times removed, a direct impact in U.S. Let’s just collect on every single American, every email and phone number they dial, but let’s ignore any real changes. The immediate turn towards this narrative that because the President was black there was this massive threat level and the country wanted him dead and all these people were…that just wasn’t true.
And that just added to my emotion that, why’d you have to ruin what was at least as the country’s statement, a good thing. The brand’s been polluted so much though again by some on the other side that they’ll tell you with their bow-tie on and their PhD in foreign affairs that we’re all crazy. I mean millions of white Americans voted for and publicly advocated for and supported with their hearts, minds and time President Obama, and the media immediately had to turn to this story how “all these people…” they pinned it on the Tea Party and a lot of other folks, there was this racist [sentiment]…and he was definitely in trouble, and it just wasn’t true it was completely made up…[the calls of racist are] just so inauthentic and pollutes the political process to such an extent…I don’t really even think the media understands and the, you know the hacks on the other side that use race for everything and misogyny…really understand the damage they are doing to the fabric of America.
I mean you see it from both sides, and it is really horrible having run myself to be…any time you make a statement, as I do a lot when I guest host on radio…any time you make a prescription, a policy prescription that doesn’t align with traditional heavy-handed government and someone says “Well that’s gotta be racist,” it’s just, the frustration is unbearable.

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