In response to Ronald Kessler’s appearance on August 6 (which can be viewed below) regarding his book “The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents” Edwin M. Donovan, Deputy Assistant Director of the U.S. Secret Service, sent “The Cycle” the below message.
This book is intellectually lazy and riddled with inaccuracies. It relies on unnamed sources whose experience level, motivation, access to information or knowledge of particular incidents cannot be determined or verified. It is always difficult to defend your record against anonymous sources. However, it should be noted that we currently dedicate more personnel, funding and technical assets to our protective mission than at any time in our history and our protective measures and methods continue to increase in scope and complexity, not diminish. The safety of those we protect remains this agency’s highest priority.
In the last two years the Secret Service has safely and successfully protected over 12,000 protective sites for the President, Vice President and other Secret Service protectees and visiting foreign dignitaries. In spite of these accomplishments, the author accepts the claims of anonymous sources, unsubstantiated reports and conjecture to evaluate our protective capabilities. Comments attributed to our personnel, current or former, regarding their personal perceptions of Secret Service protectees, are just that – their personal perceptions - and should not be discussed in any forum.
Edwin M. Donovan
Deputy Assistant Director
U.S. Secret Service