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Protecting the President: An Inside Account of the Troubled Secret Service in an Era of Evolving Threats

a book by Daniel Bongino

(our site's book review)

In an Age of Hyper-Partisan Politics, Emotions Are High and Crazies Are a Dime a Dozen, Making the Secret Service More Important Than It's Ever Been Before

The Amazon blurb says that Being a Secret Service agent is one of the most treacherous jobs in the world and never more so than in today’s highly polarized America. Facing threats from fence jumpers and manifesto writers, and from fanatical terrorists and sophisticated spies, protecting the president is harder than ever. In an age of hyper-partisan politics, emotions are high and crazies are a dime a dozen. On top of that, with international tensions reaching a boiling point, it’s harder than ever to determine friend from foe.

Yet the President of the United States is in very real danger if the Secret Service doesn’t change course soon and evolve with the rapidly changing threat environment. Highly motivated “bad guys” are already working on technologically advanced methodologies and are constantly striving to formulate the logistics of an attack on the White House. Eventually terrorist planners will find a way to acquire the technology, weapons, explosives, and know-how to make an attempt on the life of the President. The only question is “What are we going to do about it?”

Secret Service agents look on as Reagan sells the public a pig in a poke, a.k.a. trickle down economics
Secret Service agents look on as Reagan sells the public a pig in a poke, a.k.a. trickle down economics

Protecting the President: An Inside Account of the Troubled Secret Service in an Era of Evolving Threats provides not only a rare insider glimpse of what the Secret Service does, but explores the challenges facing the agents today. Chock-full of relevant stories of protecting past presidents, veteran agent Dan Bongino explains how the agency can best protect the president today. This book covers how the Secret Service should


The Secret Service—Can the Agency's Politics and Bureaucracy Be Put Aside Long Enough to Keep Our Leaders Safe?

Dan Bongino by Gage Skidmore
Politician Dan Bongino, by Gage Skidmore

"At a time when our security and intelligence apparatuses are in a shambles, this book stands our for its clarity, simplicity and solutions. There is no book more timely and important. Bongino's Big Six should be mandatory training for all our law enforcement and intelligent agents as well as school principals and concerned citizens." --Pat Brady, MG (Ret) Medal of Honor Recipient, author of Dead Men Flying

"From the streets of New York to the Oval Office Secret Service Agent Dan Bongino serves his country yet again by taking the reader into a world rarely seen and forces us to demand an answer to an alarming question—can the bureaucratic morass and political gamesmanship be put aside in time to ensure the safety of our most precious office—The Presidency of The United States?" --Benjamin Collins, former US Army Special Forces officer and entrepreneur

As a former member of the elite Presidential Protection Division who served three Presidents, Bongino is uniquely qualified to provide a view from behind the curtain to warn readers about the political system that is failing them, and the security future that won't protect them. Bongino is a dedicated Secret Service professional who, after years inside the “bubble,” walked away in favor of sounding a clarion call to the American people in defense of sane government and the US Constitution.

Bongino is a dedicated Secret Service professional who, after years inside the 'bubble,' walked away in favor of sounding a clarion call to the American people in defense of sane government and the US Constitution
Bongino is a dedicated Secret Service professional who, after years inside the 'bubble,' walked away in favor of sounding a clarion call to the American people in defense of sane government and the US Constitution

In Spygate, Bongino Traces the Evolution of the Collusion Witchhunt Against Trump

Bongino wrote Spygate, where he tells us:

Protecting the President: An Inside Account of the Troubled Secret Service in an Era of Evolving Threats was written to highlight and expose the very dangerous and precarious situation that the Secret Service currently finds itself in. The book begins by explaining the original purpose and mission statement of the Secret Service and then proceeds to show, very clearly, how the Secret Service agency has lost its way. The issues that Bongonio tackles have profound and immediate ramifications and consequences for all Americans. Protecting the President: An Inside Account of the Troubled Secret Service in an Era of Evolving Threats is a book that needs to be taken seriously. Bongonio outlines how we can fix the Secret Service.

Secret Service agents protecting President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama
Secret Service agents protecting President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama

The Secret Service has at times used a hiring process that is too systematic and politically correct instead of promoting and hiring the best candidates from within. Protecting the President: An Inside Account of the Troubled Secret Service in an Era of Evolving Threats gives a good picture of what the Secret Service has to contend with and all the obstacles they face due to lack of good management and shortage or man power.. I found it unsettling to read that they don't have the training they need to know the "insides of the White House" better and need to use maps.

Those agents who do really well will likely get a chance to serve in the presidential protection division, but those who fail to do well will end up stuck in the counterfeiting division, apparently a crummy job
Those agents who do really well will likely get a chance to serve in the presidential protection division, but those who fail to do well will end up stuck in the counterfeiting division, apparently a crummy job

Those agents who do really well will likely get a chance to serve in the presidential protection division, but those who fail to do well will end up stuck in the counterfeiting division, apparently a crummy job.


Fence Jumpers and Other Threats

On September 19, 2014, Omar Gonzalez jumped the fence and entered  the White House, then he overpowered a Secret Service officer and ran through most of the main floor before he was tackled by a counter-assault agent
On September 19, 2014, Omar Gonzalez jumped the fence and entered the White House, then he overpowered a Secret Service officer and ran through most of the main floor before he was tackled by a counter-assault agent

During the mid-1990s, the White House fence was expanded by one block to move traffic farther from the White House to prevent damage from any car bomb. There are now plans to increase the fence's height and add sensors to it. On September 19, 2014, Omar Gonzalez jumped the fence from the Pennsylvania Avenue side of the White House and entered through the North Portico doors. Upon entering he overpowered a Secret Service officer and ran through most of the main floor before he was tackled by a counter-assault agent. There were plenty of other fence jumping incidents. The Omar Gonzalez incident is one that is a comedy of errors, making the Secret Service seem like the Three Stooges: We hope our presidents are up on the 1950s "duck and cover" protocols, since the Secret Service people apparently are asleep on their feet!

"He pointed his semiautomatic rifle out of the passenger window, aimed directly at the home of the president of the United States, and pulled the trigger. . . . A bullet smashed a window on the second floor, just steps from the first family’s formal living room. Another lodged in a window frame, and more pinged off the roof, sending bits of wood and concrete to the ground. At least seven bullets struck the upstairs residence of the White House, flying some 700 yards across the South Lawn. . . . It took the Secret Service four days to realize that shots had hit the White House residence, a discovery that came about only because a housekeeper noticed broken glass and a chunk of cement on the floor. . . . The episode exposed problems at multiple levels of the Secret Service, and it demonstrates that an organization long seen by Americans as an elite force of selfless and highly skilled patriots — willing to take a bullet for the good of the country — is not always up to its job." (Source: Secret Service fumbled response after gunman hit White House residence in 2011, Carol D. Leonnig, Washington Post)

Oh hell, it's probably all a Deep State conspiracy, so we say give Trump a 6-shooter so at least he gets a chance to defend himself; be careful about that one—the fellow is impulsive!
Oh hell, it's probably all a Deep State conspiracy, so we say give Trump a 6-shooter so at least he gets a chance to defend himself; be careful about that one—the fellow is impulsive!

"As an intruder sprinted for the White House door Friday [2014], a Secret Service officer ran to get in his way — but the intruder barreled past the officer and kept going, officials familiar with the incident said Tuesday. A few yards farther on, the intruder, Omar Jose Gonzalez, reached the White House door. A guard was supposed to be posted directly in front, but no one was blocking the door at that moment. Those new details help explain how the Secret Service’s plan for guarding the White House — which envisioned five different rings of protection between the public sidewalk and the president’s front door — failed so completely. . . . Inside, Gonzalez was subdued by a plainclothes agent — the sixth ring of security that night. That agent’s job is to patrol a place that intruders are never supposed to reach: the interior of the executive mansion." (Source: New details in fence-jumping reveal failures in security rings around White House, Carol D. Leonnig and David A. Fahrenthold, Washington Post)

According to former officials familiar with White House security, an officer is ALWAYS supposed to be stationed at the front door. Unfortunately, no officer was there so the intruder kept going. Perhaps he was there but invisible, like the fellow below:

According to former officials familiar with White House security, an officer is ALWAYS supposed to be stationed at the front door. Unfortunately, no officer was there so the intruder kept going. Perhaps he was there but invisible, like this fellow
According to former officials familiar with White House security, an officer is ALWAYS supposed to be stationed at the front door. Unfortunately, no officer was there so the intruder kept going. Perhaps he was there but invisible, like this fellow

The Threats to the White House and the President Are Swiftly Evolving

Bongino tells us that ". . . the agency's problems are very real, and they require immediate action. The president of the United States is in genuine danger if the Secret Service doesn't change course soon and evolve with the rapidly changing threat environment. The threats to the White House and the president are swiftly evolving in this new era of weaponized drones, micro-sized video surveillance technology, vehicle attacks on civilians, small arms tactical assaults, and technologically advanced and difficult-to-detect explosives. And if the decision makers in the Secret Service refuse to evolve with this series of threats, then, tragically, we may suffer the first loss of a president since John F. Kennedy. . . .

"I could not have been more disappointed when I arrived. The very first thing I noticed was the lack of leadership and accountability amongst the agency. Supervisors were motivated by minute details on meaningless paperwork, and were quick to criticize young agents for ridiculous, subjective things. Abuses in authority were commonplace amongst managers, and morale was terribly low. Truly, the only thing I remember fondly about those days was the camaraderie and bonds I developed with my fellow 'boot-agents.'"

The threats to the White House and the president are swiftly evolving in this new era of weaponized drones, micro-sized video surveillance technology, vehicle attacks on civilians, small arms tactical assaults, and technologically advanced and difficult-to-detect explosives
The threats to the White House and the president are swiftly evolving in this new era of weaponized drones, micro-sized video surveillance technology, vehicle attacks on civilians, small arms tactical assaults, and technologically advanced and difficult-to-detect explosives; here's a weaponized drone

"The latest work from the New York Times best-selling author of “Life Inside the Bubble” and “The Fight” is a clarion call to the nation to confront the “existential crisis” of the Secret Service as an agency. This is serious business. And Bongino’s book identifies serious problems within the agency that jeopardize the work of the Secret Service, beleaguer its agents, and put the life of the president of the United States at risk. . . . During his time with the Secret Service, Bongino witnessed firsthand how the bureaucratic tendencies of the federal government have infected the agency, impeding it from fulfilling its basic mission. The difference here is the mission is to protect the president of the United States — and failure will fundamentally and unpredictably transform the country." (Source: 'Protecting the President': Ex-agent Dan Bongino calls for reform, Chris Pandolfo, Conservative Review)


The Liberals' Extremist and Violent Nature Adds Increased Threats to the White House and the President

"The President [Trump] is also a master at trolling the left, easily making them reveal what they really believe, and they fall for it over and over. . . . On Immigration for example, by outrageously promising to build the wall and make Mexico pay for it, many Democrats began to outwardly show that open borders and unrestricted immigration was their platform – a position held by only a small minority of the country. . . . The Democrat party is no longer a mainstream party in the US, holding influence only in the blue enclaves on the coasts. At the state level, they have been wiped out pretty much everywhere else. Dan took some questions from the audience then and discussed Antifa and like groups and their 'heckler’s veto' which threatens violence at college speaking events, then asks the administrations to shut down the event because 'there may be violence'." (Source: Dan Bongino's Thoughts on Donald Trump, Palm Beach County Tea Party)

On Immigration for example, by outrageously promising to build the wall and make Mexico pay for it, many Democrats began to outwardly show that open borders and unrestricted immigration was their platform – a position held by only a small minority of the country
On Immigration for example, by outrageously promising to build the wall and make Mexico pay for it, many Democrats began to outwardly show that open borders and unrestricted immigration was their platform – a position held by only a small minority of the country

Trump, Rather Than Draining the Swamp Like Bongino Says, Is Actually Stocking the Swamp—But Bongino Is Blind to This

It turns out that—in spite of Bongino's claims to the contrary—Trump, rather than draining the swamp, is actually stocking the swamp.

Contrary to his promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington, DC, Trump has filled his cabinet with millionaires and billionaires, from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, a Goldman Sachs and hedge fund veteran who made much of his fortune foreclosing on homeowners to billionaire heiress Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who has already put the interests of bankers ahead of debt-burdened students and their families.

Draining the Swamp—Trump promised to 'drain the swamp' in Washington, dumping people who were only there to exploit their positions
Draining the Swamp—Trump promised to 'drain the swamp' in Washington, dumping people who were only there to exploit their positions


Stocking the Swamp—Contrary to his promise to 'drain the swamp' in Washington, Trump has filled his cabinet with millionaires and billionaires who are already exploiting their positions
Stocking the Swamp—Contrary to his promise to 'drain the swamp' in Washington, Trump has filled his cabinet with millionaires and billionaires who are already exploiting their positions

Bongino Is a Radio Host, Prolific Podcaster, and Regular on the Right-Wing TV Circuit

Though Bongino calls himself a libertarian and bills himself on his personal website as someone who is 'debunking both liberal and Republican establishment rhetoric,' the New York City native is clearly in the tank for all things MAGA (illustration is of a cap that tells the truth)
Though Bongino calls himself a libertarian and bills himself on his personal website as someone who is 'debunking both liberal and Republican establishment rhetoric,' the New York City native is clearly in the tank for all things MAGA (illustration is of a cap that tells the truth)

"Bongino is now a radio host, prolific podcaster, and regular on the right-wing TV circuit, frequenting Fox News and NRATV. You can find him tag-teaming the attorney for Trayvon Martin’s family with Sean Hannity or analyzing the soulless, totalitarian left with Alex Jones. Bongino often gets called to weigh in on topics related to law and order, such as mass shootings and police violence. Increasingly and very much true to form, Bogino is asked by the right-wing media to comment on issues way outside his area of expertise, such as the Russia investigation or immigration policy. The former NYPD cop has become a part of the seemingly endless stream of conservative personalities who earn their 15 minutes of fame by torching Obama or Hillary Clinton in a book, then are recycled by Fox News to spout out generic Republican talking points until the end of time. . . .

"Though Bongino calls himself a libertarian and bills himself on his personal website as someone who is 'debunking both liberal and Republican establishment rhetoric,' the New York City native is clearly in the tank for all things MAGA. Though he served in three presidential administrations, for Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, the Obama years were when he grew truly disillusioned. Bongino called the Obama administration 'toxic' in an interview with the New York Post’s Page Six." (Source: Dan Bongino’s Clinton-Russia theories are something to behold, Amrita Khalid, Daily Dot)

Once the U.S. Secret Service became part of the Department of Homeland Security, Bongino feels it became too bureacratic and centrally run alongside the other departments in Department of Homeland Security
Once the U.S. Secret Service became part of the Department of Homeland Security, Bongino feels it became too bureacratic and centrally run alongside the other departments in Department of Homeland Security

Protecting the President: An Inside Account of the Troubled Secret Service in an Era of Evolving Threats is a testament to Bongino's experiences protecting the President. It praises the Secret Service as an agency but is overall very negative in it's critique of how it has been managed. Mr. Bongino writes that it was far better when it was part of the Department of Treasury. Once the U.S. Secret Service became part of the Department of Homeland Security, Bongino feels it became too bureacratic and centrally run alongside the other departments in Department of Homeland Security. He is a true patriot and has served our country well.

Bongino was criticized by former colleagues at the Secret Service for using his Secret Service background as part of his run for political office and for his claim of having secret information based on conversations he overheard in the Obama White House.

"Nov. 7, 2013 — -- Dan Bongino, a 12-year veteran of the Secret Service once defended President Obama with his life, but now says 'the fog of scandals in the Obama administration' and an inside look at the Obamacare debate led him to turn in his badge, turn on his former boss, and run for Congress as a Republican. . . . 'Being a Secret Service agent, I have an obligation not to disclose personal conversations and security details,' he told ABCNews.com. 'But that doesn't prevent me from speaking generally about foundational principles and the system of patronage and punishment I saw in the Obama administration.'" (Source: Secret Service Agent Turns on Obama, Runs for Congress: Obama 'enmeshed in so many scandals," says agent turned politician, Russell Goldman, ABC News)

Once the U.S. Secret Service became part of the Department of Homeland Security, Bongino feels it became too bureacratic and centrally run alongside the other departments in Department of Homeland Security
Once the U.S. Secret Service became part of the Department of Homeland Security, Bongino feels it became too bureacratic and centrally run alongside the other departments in Department of Homeland Security

The Obama Administration Was Crawling with Corruption, As Bongino Discovered—Bongino Called the Obama Administration "Toxic"

In Clean House: Exposing Our Government's Secrets and Lies, Tom Fitton answers our questions about how Obama got away with so much corruption, and he provides shocking evidence of the scope and magnitude of the corruption endemic to the Obama White House.

Outright Dirty Lies:

  1. "You can keep your Doctor"
  2. "You can keep your Healthcare Plan"
  3. "Your Insurance cost will go down"
  4. "The economy has recovered"
  5. "The IRS never targeted anyone...we will do a thorough investigation"
  6. "The Benghazi slaughter was caused by a Video"
  7. "The Veteran's Administration is a priority and people will be held accountable"
  8. "The Obama administration has deported more illegal immigrants then any other"
  9. "The 400 million paid to Iran was not a ransom"
  10. "I gave all my emails to the FBI"
  11. "I never sent any Classified Emails on my Private Server"
  12. "Colin Powell told me it was OK to do"
  13. "The Clinton Foundation is not a conflict of interest"

Obozo's administration had so many lies and so much scandal and corruption that he probably topped the Orange Oligarch, Trump
Obozo's administration had so many lies and so much scandal and corruption that he probably topped the Orange Oligarch, Trump

See Also:


The Secret Service Agency Has Lost Its Way, Says Bongino

In 2018, Bongino said of himself, "My entire life right now is about owning the libs. That's it." Bongino accused Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein of attempting a coup against President Trump. See The Coup D'état Against President Donald J. Trump.

Protecting the President: An Inside Account of the Troubled Secret Service in an Era of Evolving Threats was written to highlight and expose the very dangerous and precarious situation that the Secret Service currently finds itself in. The book begins by explaining the original purpose and mission statement of the Secret Service and then proceeds to show, very clearly, how the agency has lost its way. It is a good book, marred only by too-long sentences, too many parentheses, too much self promotion, and too much political propaganda.