Vince Palamara the leading civilian Secret Service authority. "Survivor's Guilt" took over 20 years to research and write and has garnered much favorable reaction. Palamara has appeared in over 80 other author's books, radio, television, newspapers, at national conferences, and many online resources.



Tuesday, November 25, 2014



Editorial Reviews


"Wonderful and informative book"- JFK era Secret Service Agent Frank Stoner

"I continue to be impressed with your research"- JFK era Secret Service Agent Lynn Meredith

"A great book"- JFK era Secret Service Agent Abraham Bolden

"Vince Palamara is a Secret Service expert"- The History Channel, November 2003

"You are, unquestionably, the main authority on the Secret Service with regard to the assassination"- author Vincent Bugliosi

"I am impressed with your research, accuracy, and willingness to 'tell it like it is'"-
Secret Service Agent Robert DeProspero, former head of President Reagan's Detail

"You've done a very valuable service. Your work is most interesting and even chilling"-
Best-selling author and Kennedy cousin John Davis

"Most accurate, detailed and Factual Report on the John F. Kennedy assassination ever"- Secret Service Agent John Carman

"Based on research that includes interviews with former agents, the author raises plenty of questions and exposes many problems involving the Secret Service's conduct and protection of Kennedy on that fateful day."- The Post & Courier

"As agent John Norris explained in an interview for Vincent Michael Palamara's book Survivor's Guilt: The Secret Service and the Failure to Protect President Kennedy: "Except for George Hickey and Clint Hill, [many of the others] just basically sat there while the president was gunned down in front of them."- Vanity Fair

From the Author

"Survivor's Guilt: The Secret Service and the Failure to Protect President Kennedy" took over 20 years of my life to research and write. I knew I had to reverse the false verdict of history imposed on the late President Kennedy by some of his former agents, all in an attempt to blame the victim (JFK) for his own murder, that he ordered them off his limousine and other such falsehoods. When the number one and number two agents under Kennedy, Gerald Behn and Floyd Boring, respectively, categorically denied that Kennedy ever ordered them to do anything, along with the corroborating statements of top aides Dave Powers, Pierre Salinger, and many other former agents and White House aides, I knew the TRUE story of the JFK Detail had to be told."

From the Inside Flap

President Kennedy's best friend and top White House aide Dave Powers, who rode in the fateful Dallas motorcade and many others, agreed with my take on the Secret Service, as confirmed by a member of the federal board the Assassinations Records Review Board (ARRB). For his part, Powers himself wrote to me and stated that the agents "never had to be told to 'get off' the limousine", a statement fully endorsed by both a former agent and a fellow researcher that also spoke to Mr. Powers. JFK did not "ban the agents from his car"!

From the Back Cover

"Vince Palamara, a recognized authority on the history of the Secret Service, recounts in methodical detail how certain standard protective measures were not implemented on that tragic day, leaving John Kennedy a virtual 'sitting duck' as he rode into Dealey Plaza and explodes the long-standing myth (swallowed without question by the Warren Commission) that Kennedy was difficult to protect, ordering agents not to ride the back of the limousine, making him somehow complicit in his own murder. Painstakingly researched and based on first-hand accounts from more than 70 former agents, White House aides, and family members, SURVIVOR'S GUILT is the definitive account of what went wrong with President Kennedy's security in Dallas on November 22, 1963."

About the Author

Vincent Michael Palamara is the leading expert on the Secret Service during the Kennedy years, interviewing more former agents from the Kennedy era (and other eras, as well) than all the government investigations combined. He has appeared on The History Channel, C-SPAN, National Geographic Channel, in numerous newspapers and journals (including Vanity Fair), on many radio and internet programs, and in well over one hundred other author's books related to the Secret Service, JFK, history, politics, and other major events. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his wife Amanda.

Saturday, November 1, 2014




The Dirty Secret of the Secret Service: President Kennedy Should Have Lived

Could the Secret Service Have Saved J.F.K.?














Monday, October 27, 2014

MAJOR NEWS ARTICLE: "The Dirty Secret of the Secret Service: President Kennedy Should Have Lived"

MAJOR NEWS ARTICLE: "The Dirty Secret of the Secret Service: President Kennedy Should Have Lived"

By Jacob Engels

“There wasn’t a thing we could have done to stop it” – so said former Kennedy Secret Service agent Gerald Blaine on his prosperous book tour and media blitz of 2010-2011 for his 2010 work titled The Kennedy Detail, an (extended list) NY Times best-seller which was also made into an Emmy-nominated Discovery Channel documentary and, rumor has it, will be made into a full length movie in 2014. The “it” Blaine is talking about is the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, when the Secret Service lost a president for the first and only time in their officially-sanctioned watch (the other three presidents to die by the hand of assassins-Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley-did not have a White House Detail watching over them).

“All the advantages went to the shooter that day- we didn’t have a chance to do anything to prevent it”- so said fellow former Kennedy Secret Service agent Clint Hill during several even more prosperous book tours and multiple media blitzes for The Kennedy Detail (Hill wrote the Foreword and contributed), his own 2012 work Mrs. Kennedy and Me, a #1 NY Times best-seller, and yet another NY Times best-seller, 2013’s Five Days In November. All three books were co-written by Lisa McCubbin, a 48 year old journalist close to Gerald Blaine (she had once dated his son) and is now in a romantic relationship with the 81 year old Hill. We will leave it at that. Those statements by Blaine and Hill are compelling. They are thought-provoking. They appear authoritative. And they are dead wrong.

Let me back up a bit. I am not a conspiracy theorist. This past 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination, while interesting on certain levels, bordered on overkill with the never ending barrage of internet articles, newspaper columns, television programs, and even movies in the theater. I would just as soon give it all a much needed rest. For the record, I join the majority of Americans in their disbelief that Lee Harvey Oswald (and, for that matter, his murderer Jack Ruby) acted totally alone with no assistance whatsoever. In fact, I even harbor much suspicion towards Kennedy’s successor, “Landslide” Lyndon Johnson (Roger Stone’s brilliant book The Man Who Killed Kennedy crystalized my thinking on the matter greatly). That said, all things being equal, I would just as soon see the country move on. Alas, it is time.

Well, that was the way I felt until very recently. Quite by accident (aren’t all good revelations born of these random acts and occurrences?), I came across the work of a gentleman by the name of Vincent Palamara, the author of Survivor’s Guilt: The Secret Service and the Failure to Protect President Kennedy. If that title is daunting to you, as well, then you know how I initially felt, as well. Mr. Palamara’s book was incongruously placed in the Travel Section of my local bookstore (by accident or by design, we will never truly know, I suppose). The title and the design of the book seemed to call out to me; a true square peg in round hole, so to speak. Once I began reading, I could not put the book down. In fact, I had to sit down to finish reading several chapters before I purchased the book, took it home, and finished it in a couple days. The verdict? Blaine and Hill have some serious explaining to do. Simply put, President Kennedy could have and should have survived Dallas, either unscathed or, at the very least, only the victim of an assassination attempt a la President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981.

The country would have been spared Lyndon Johnson and Vietnam, Richard Nixon and Watergate, and decades of doubt and Lord knows how many other crises, foibles and theories. Pretty bold conclusion, you say? Read the book. To summarize a bit: Contrary to popular mythology, it is the Secret Service, NOT the president, who is in charge of security. JFK’s two Secret Service Chiefs, U.E. Baughman and James Rowley (spanning careers in the Service from the 1920’s to the 1970’s between them), confirm this little known fact. Baughman conveyed this in his 1962 book Secret Service Chief, while Rowley testified under oath to the Warren Commission that “No President will tell the Secret Service what they can or cannot do”. Presidents Truman and (ironically) Johnson both said “The Secret Service was the only boss the President of the United States really had.” Indeed, an Associated Press story from November 15, 1963- a week before Kennedy’s death- stated: “The (Secret) Service can overrule even the President where his personal security is involved.”

Evidently with an eye toward distant history and posterity, none other than Clint Hill himself told the Sixth Floor Museum in a 2010 oral history: “He can tell you what he wants done and he can tell you certain things but that doesn’t mean you have to do it. What we used to do was always agree with the President and then we’d do what we felt was best anyway.” (During another Sixth Floor Museum televised appearance with both Hill and Blaine, co-author Lisa McCubbin mentioned that, during the writing of The Kennedy Detail, she would find things that contradicted what Blaine was telling her [no doubt Palamara’s prolific online writings]. Ultimately, she copped out, stating “he was there”…no, he wasn’t there in Dallas and what about these contradictions? Luckily for history (and honesty), Mr. Palamara documents the contradictions in spades) So, the onus is truly on the Secret Service agents themselves, NOT the dead president who cannot defend himself, for what transpired, security-wise, in Dallas that dreadful November day. As Truman would say, the buck truly does stop with the Secret Service.

This point becomes very important for one major reason: The Secret Service falsely blamed JFK for his own death after the assassination! No, he did not kill himself (surprised I never read that one before), but the president was not reckless with his own security to the level alleged in both Blaine and Hill’s works- the glad-handing JFK was fond of was no different than the kind that many other presidents have enjoyed thru the decades (and, notably, President Kennedy was NOT killed during at a crowded rope line but in his special limousine driven by a Secret Service agent on a motorcade route designed by Secret Service agents…and with security invoked by Secret Service agents).

You see, Blaine, Hill, and their brethren have adopted the blame-the-victim mantra for quite some time, even before their books were even passing thoughts in their long-retired brains. As Mr. Palamara deftly details in his book, this was an institutional cover-up of agency malfeasance and gross negligence (or perhaps worse) that actually has its genesis through the direct actions of one specific agent: Floyd Boring, second in command of the White House Detail and the planner of the Texas trip (from the agency’s perspective, at least). There is no doubt that Mr. Boring told Clint Hill (later LBJ’s #1 agent) and others not to ride on the rear of the presidential limousine right before the start of JFK’s ill-fated Texas tour…and there is also no doubt that the substance of these remarks was, at best, an exaggerated relay of presidential kindness (what Boring conveyed to the ARRB in 1996), or, at worst, a total fabrication with sinister connotations (what Palamara greatly alludes to in his book from many documented sources and former agent statements. Ironically, included in that mountain of evidence are the statements of Mr. Boring himself, who categorically denied that there was ANY truth to the allegation that JFK ever ordered the agents off his limousine!). If that wasn’t enough, President Kennedy was also blamed for the depletion of the motorcycle formation in Dallas (quantity and quality of outriders) that the HSCA deemed was “uniquely insecure”.

Again, through scrupulous documentation and testimony, Palamara has discovered that these were Secret Service decisions falsely blamed on the dead president. In addition, a Secret Service agent who drove the follow-up car that day in Dallas (and who believed there was a conspiracy, mind you), Sam Kinney, was adamant to Palamara that HE was solely responsible for the bubbletop’s removal from the presidential limousine and that JFK had nothing to do with this at all. I went to Palamara’s You Tube channel and the ghosts from the dead- deceased agents Kinney, Behn, Boring, and Lawton- confirm this and more. Chilling…and disturbing. But it gets even worse. Mr. Blaine writes, on page 74 of his book: "... the only way to have a chance at protecting the president against a shooter from a tall building would be to have agents posted on the back of the car." Blaine later writes, on page 184: “None of the agents understood why he [JFK] was willing to be so reckless [by allegedly ordering the agents off his limousine].” Both statements are false. In what can only be termed a major discovery of epic proportions, Palamara discovered that multi-story buildings were guarded countless times before Dallas (but not, unfortunately, during the Dallas trip)! Yes, you read that correctly: during many prior motorcades during the life of President Kennedy, not just as an after-the-fact reaction to his murder, agents and/ or police and/ or the military manned and guarded multi-story buildings. Obviously, the implications are disturbing: why was this NOT done in Dallas? Even if one chooses to believe that Oswald was a lone-nut assassin acting alone, he would have been spotted and neutralized long before a shot was fired. Ironically, it was Mr. Blaine himself who was the lead advance agent for the President’s trip to Tampa, Florida, the major trip before Dallas. Want to know what kind of security JFK received (as compared to Dallas)? Here you go: As confirmed by Tampa motorcycle police officer Russell Groover and the Final Survey Report of Mr. Blaine himself (yep, it’s in writing), multi-story buildings were guarded during the motorcade. And, get this: this was the longest motorcade JFK ever was involved in…ever! Far longer and more involved than the one in Dallas.

So, they found the manpower and wherewithal to protect President Kennedy in this fashion, yet, during a far shorter route that, obviously, required much less manpower in comparison, NO BUILDINGS WERE GUARDED! Does that make sense…at all? To add insult to injury, Chief Inspector Michael Torina-who wrote the Secret Service’s own manual, for God’s sake- confirmed to both Palamara and in an obscure 1962 book that guarding buildings was a matter of routine protocol, as also confirmed by Chief U.E. Baughman and in several contemporary newspaper articles from 1961-1963 that Palamara, once again on his own, uncovered. Amazing.

The implications are, once again, mind-boggling:

President Kennedy was not guarded as he should have been.

What else happened in Tampa that did not happen (as it should have) in Dallas:

-agents on the rear of the limo (other than Clint Hill, briefly, 4 times before they got to Dealey Plaza. And, by Hill’s brief presence on the limousine, this further demonstrates that there was NO order from JFK not to be there);

-military aide in front seat between driver and agent in charge (McHugh was asked, for the first time in Dallas, not to ride there!);

-press photographers flatbed truck in front of limo (canceled at last minute at Love Field);

-fast speed of cars (slow in Dallas);

-ASAIC Boring on trip (SAIC Gerald Behn and his immediate assistant Boring always accompanied JFK in motorcades. A third-stringer, Kellerman, goes in their place);

-multiple motorcycles running next to JFK in a wedge formation (they did 11/18-11/22/63 [morning in Fort Worth]...until Dallas);

-White House Press Photographer Cecil Stoughton riding in follow-up car taking photos (he did 11/18-11/21/63...until they got to Dallas);

-Pierre Salinger on trip (Assistant Malcolm Kilduff makes his first trip on his own to Texas; Salinger said he missed only "one or two trips" with JFK...Texas was one of them!);

-Dr Burkley close to JFK (Burkley protested being placed far away from JFK in Dallas, for this was the only time, save in Rome, this ever happened to him);

-military and/ or police lining the streets and overpasses and facing the crowd.

If the agents were closer to JFK, the assassination either does not happen or is prevented; if the military aide was present, he would have been yet another important eye and ear witness (and in the line of fire, as well);

if the press- and still and motion photographers- would have been there, we would not need Abraham Zapruder’s grainy, inconclusive, amateur footage to tell us what happened (and they would have been professional eye and ear witnesses themselves);

if the cars were going faster, the shots were much less likely to have found their mark (or even to have been fired in the first place);

if the #1 or #2 agent would have been on the scene in Dallas, it would have been far less likely that some of the insubordination that occurred would have stood a chance of happening (such as when a shift leader who later became very close to LBJ, Emory Roberts, ordered a couple agents away from the limousine at Love Field and during the assassination itself [it was Palamara who discovered/ popularized the video of the agent’s perplexed reaction at the Dallas airport]);

if there would have been more motorcycles next to JFK in their standard wedge formation, not only would there (again) have been more professional eye and ear witnesses, more importantly, JFK would have been more covered from an assassin or assassins;

if the White House photographer would have been where he was allowed to be beforehand (in the follow-up car behind JFK’s limousine and, intermittently, on the rear of the limousine[JFK didn’t seem to mind that, either]), as with his cohorts in the flatbed truck, he would have been yet another professional eye and ear witness with a camera;

if Salinger would have been on the trip, it would have been far less likely that the printing of the exact motorcade route- and the changes made to it-would have escaped his experienced notice;

if Dr. Burkley would have been allowed to be closer to JFK as he wanted to be (and normally was), not only would we have had yet another experienced eye and ear witness, the doctor would have been able to provide quality care to a wounded president;

and if the military and police would have been lining the streets and facing the crowd, no organized plot or lone nut would have stood a chance.

“There wasn’t a thing we could have done to stop it”-are you kidding me? “All the advantages went to the shooter that day- we didn’t have a chance to do anything to prevent it”- unbelievable. Indeed, the buck stops with the Secret Service. Blaine and Hill are peddling prevarications for profit. Kudos to Vincent Palamara for exposing them for what they are, what they did, and what they should have done and did not do. President Kennedy deserved much better than he received from his “Kennedy Detail”…and so do we.

Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Clint Hill Secret Service scandal is going viral and worldwide (helping my sales, too-thanks, Lisa!)

The Clint Hill Secret Service scandal is going viral and worldwide (helping my sales, too-thanks, Lisa!)


Were Secret Service agents too hungover to protect JFK? Questions raised over whether late drinking session affected response of men charged with protecting President

  • The Warren Commission took issue with the conduct of several agents who had been out late the night before and were accused of drinking
  • One agent admitted to being out until 5 a.m 
  • According to Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, agents overlooked the barrel of a gun that witnesses claimed they saw in the Texas School Books Depository and reacted slowly to the gunshots
  • The owner of the Cellar, a late-night hangout in Fort Worth, later admitted to seeing agents 'giggling' in the bar at 3:30 a.m.
  • The manager claimed the agents were getting 'bombed' on grain alcohol 
Read more:
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Wednesday, October 1, 2014



My Facebook post sums up my feelings:

"Yes! JOE CLANCY, a great American and one of the best Secret Service agents ever (AND a friend of a friend!), is now SECRET SERVICE DIRECTOR, replacing the inept Julia Pierson (although I am sure she is a nice lady). Joe attended West Point and graduated from Villanova University and is one tough guy you do NOT want to mess with. No exaggeration- I am a huge critic of their performance on 11/22/63, yet guys like Joe Clancy are fantastic; Clint Eastwood and John Wayne plus!"
This selection means the Secret Service MEANS business- Joe is THE model of what an agent should be in every facet. Former agent Dan Emmett is a friend of Joe's and his book tells of Joe Clancy's pedigree and talent. I am very happy the agency chose Joe to send everyone a message- NO MORE OF THIS GARBAGE:

November 22, 1963:  NINE agents, including Clint Hill and three others on the Secret Service follow-up vehicle, went drinking and carousing in the early morning hours, having a detrimental effect on President Kennedy's protection. The President was assassinated a short time later in what was and is THE biggest scandal in the Service's history. Hill was not reprimanded but promoted (twice-SAIC of WHD and Assistant Director), awarded a medal, retired early with full government pension, and has gone on to fame and fortune as the author of 4 books with his young girlfriend co-author (as well as a former agent on Kennedy's detail). The protection of Kennedy was horrid- JFK was literally left a sitting duck during that dark day 50 years ago.

November 2009: A Washington couple, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, crash Obama’s first state dinner. The Secret Service later acknowledges that officers never checked whether they were on the guest list. A photo emerges showing that they shook hands with the president. Sullivan, the director, says that he is “deeply concerned and embarrassed” by the breach. The Salahis parlay their fame into an undistinguished career in reality TV.
November 2011: A man with a semiautomatic rifle parks in front of the White House and fires at the building, with Sasha Obama inside and Malia Obama on her way home. A Secret Service supervisor, mistaking the shots for car backfire, orders officers to stand down. The service does not figure out that shots hit the building for four days, and only then because a housekeeper noticed broken glass. The president and first lady are infuriated, The Post reports years later.
April 2012: Eight Secret Service agents doing advance work for a presidential trip to a summit in Colombia lose their jobs after allegations that some took prostitutes from a strip club back to their hotel rooms. A Justice Department investigation finds that two Drug Enforcement Administration agents arranged one encounter between a prostitute and a Secret Service officer. Obama later says: “When we travel, we have to observe the highest standards.”
May 2013: A Secret Service supervisor leaves a bullet in a woman’s room at the Hay-Adams hotel, which overlooks the White House, and allegedly tries to force his way into the room to retrieve it. An investigation finds that the supervisor and a colleague sent sexually suggestive emails to a woman subordinate. The supervisor loses his job, and the colleague is reassigned. A Secret Service spokesman says: “Periodically we have isolated incidents of misconduct, just like every organization does.”
March 2014: Three Secret Service agents responsible for protecting Obama in Amsterdam are placed on leave after a night of drinking, in violation of Secret Service rules. One of the agents is passed out drunk in a hallway, The Post reports. The newspaper reports that the three are part of what is known as the counter assault team, a last line of defense responsible for fighting off assailants if the president or his motorcade comes under attack.
Sept. 16, 2014: In perhaps the most chilling of the Secret Service lapses, a security contractor with a gun and an assault record gets on an elevator with the president during a trip to Atlanta. The Post, citing people familiar with the incident, reports that the contractor used his cellphone to take video of Obama and did not stop when Secret Service agents told him to. The Secret Service only learns that the man has a gun when he is fired on the spot and turns it over. Obama was not told, The Post reports.
Sept. 19, 2014: An Iraq war veteran with a knife jumps the White House fence, dashes through the North Portico doors and makes it deep inside the building, into the East Room, before he is tackled, and only then by an off-duty Secret Service agent. The Secret Service first says only that the man was apprehended after getting in the door. A congressman tells The Post that a security alarm was disabled because staff nearby found it too noisy.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

My Skype interview, hosted by Mark Howitt

My Skype interview, hosted by Mark Howitt

Published on Apr 26, 2014
Unveiling The Truth #28
Interview With Author Vince Palamara


Tuesday, April 8, 2014


DOCUMENTARY OUTTAKE 2013- the director wanted me to do an unrehearsed book pitch for my book "Survivor's Guilt: The Secret Service and the Failure to Protect President Kennedy"

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Thursday, March 27, 2014

I helped in the writing of some of this article:

I helped in the writing of some of this article:


So what gives? Why are so many Secret Service agents embarrassing themselves lately?
"The Secret Service's main cultural problem has never been sexism or hypermasculinity. It's alcoholism," Marc Ambinder, a journalist who has written extensively about the inner workings of the agency, told me. This is nothing new: Tales of agents getting too drunk to perform their jobs date to at least the Kennedy years


Case in point is the agency's decision to send the three boozing agents home, a clear overreacton according to Dan Emmett, a 21-year veteran of the agency and author of the upcoming memoir Within Arm's Length. "Sending them home 24 hours before presidential arrival is counterproductive to the mission," he told me. "When you take three CAT agents out of a team, you just decimated that team by 50 percent, thus rendering them ineffective."


Monday, March 24, 2014

The Man Behind the Suit: a Documentary of Robert DeProspero

The Man Behind the Suit: a Documentary of Robert DeProspero

This documentary is about Robert DeProspero, a retired Secret Service Agent who was head of security during the Reagan Administration.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Vince Palamara on radio 1/24/14

Vince Palamara on radio 1/24/14

Down The Rabbit Hole w/ Popeye (01-24-2014) JFK: A Review of The Secret Service Stand Down
(FEDERALJACK)   On this edition of DTRH Popeye welcome back author, and JFK assassination expert Vince Palamara. They discuss, in detail, the Secret Service stand down leading up to, and during the assassination of the 35th president of the United States of America. As well as the evidence that was covered up, even continuing up to this very day. They also get into the recent 50th anniversary of the “Big Event,” and all of the propaganda that was being served up in the lead up to it. Vince just released a book that goes into detail about the Secret Service stand down titled SURVIVOR’S GUILT, THE SECRET SERVICE AND THE FAILURE TO PROTECT PRESIDENT KENNEDY. Make sure to purchase a copy for your personal research library.

Thursday, January 9, 2014