Thursday, May 31, 2012
In June 2005, I sent former agent Clint Hill a 22-page letter as a sort of "Cliff Notes" version of my research, especially with regard to everything his many colleagues told me; namely, that JFK did NOT order the agents off his limo. Gerald Blaine, whom I spoke to the day after an angry conversation with Hill (his best friend) that same month, quoted from my letter and even later admitted that he began writing his book during that time period [I am on pages 359-360 of Blaine's book and, as many have pointed out, it is obvious several other pages "refer" to my work. Blaine also had his lawyer send me a letter, etc. See my review: http://www.ctka.net/reviews/kennedydetailreview.html
]. Compare the 3/22/06 CNN/ Larry King transcript with the (partial) 5/27/12 C-SPAN transcript of interviews conducted with Mr Hill---the former agent admits burning ALL his notes in 2005 and that he is now divorced from his still-living wife, whom he says he has been apart from for some time, yet, the two were still married as of early 2006, as the King transcript demonstrates. Gwen and Clint have two sons and several grandchildren, as they were married for quite some time: 45+ years. Since Hill has been clean and sober since 1982 (30 years ago) and claims to have released the demons of 11/22/63, so to speak, when he and his wife visited Dallas in 1990 (22 years ago), WHY THE BURNED NOTES? THE STATISTICAL ODDITY OF A LATE-IN-LIFE, LONG-MARRIAGE-ENDING DIVORCE? DID my letter cause Mr Hill personal turmoil? The need to write a book (or two)? Burning his notes? Divorcing his wife? If so, I am very sorry. I do admire Mr Hill and his book "Mrs Kennedy and Me", other than a few short passages I disagree with, is FANTASTIC. See my online review: http://www.ctka.net/reviews/MrsKennedy_Hill_Review_Palamara.html
Mr Hill and C-SPAN CEO Brian Lamb (with Blaine the first time) brought my name up BOTH times during his two C-SPAN appearances...interesting.
LAMB: As aside by the way, the fellow we talked about in the last interview, Vince Palamara. HILL: Yes. LAMB: You’ve seen his letter to the – about your book? HILL: I have not read it, no. LAMB: I’m sure you probably know that he said that ”Mrs. Kennedy and Me” is highly recommended to everyone for its honesty and rich body of truth. He actually fully endorsed your book even though he’s been critical of … HILL: I’ll accept his-praise thank you. LAMB: … are you worried that he’s not being …? HILL: Maybe he has some secret agenda, I don’t know. But I accept his praise, thank you.
LAMB: Now, we got some video from YouTube, one of the things you say in your book, that made you want to write this book was all the conspiracy theories and you talked about the movie from Oliver Stone. This is a man named Vince Palamara. Do you know him? BLAINE: I am familiar with him, I don’t k now him. LAMB: He says that – and I guess we’ll talk about this, that he sent you a 22 page letter? HILL: I recall receiving a letter which I sent back to him. I didn’t bother with it. LAMB: You didn’t talk to him ever? HILL: he called me and I said ”Hello” but that was about it. LAMB: And over the years, have you both been called about this assassination on many occasions. HILL: I had been called numerous times. LAMB: What has been your attitude, how have you approached the people… HILL: For the most part, I just said I have no comment, I just have nothing to say. LAMB: And why is that? HILL: Well, most of it is from people who are writing conspiracy theory books that don’t make any sense to me so if they are not going to deal in facts, then I don’t want anything to do with it. LAMB: And how about you, what you been… HILL: I have never talked to any author of a book and that – I just felt we had it on our commission books, worthy of trust of confidence and I felt those were issues that you should never talk to anybody on the outside about. And it was – I had to weigh and evaluate when I wrote this book because I felt I wasn’t talking about the Secret Service, I wasn’t talking about the Kennedy Family, but I was talking about the agents that I work with and the incidents that occurred and those were my friends. So that’s when I decided to write. LAMB: Did you have to get permission to do this from the secret service? HILL: No. LAMB: So this wasn’t cleared by the Secret Services? HILL: No. BLAINE: No, but we had lunch today with the director of the Secret Service who thanked us very much for our contribution. LAMB: Here is this video, it’s not very long and this man’s name is Vince Palamara, he is a citizen who has taken it on its own to become an expert. He is from Pennsylvania and I don’t know him, I have talked to him and I have just seen it on the web and he is – I believe he is a graduate of Duquesne University so let us watch this and I’ll get your reaction. BLAINE: OK. START OF VIDEO. VINCE PALAMARA: Hi, this is Vince Palamara. The self described Secret Service expert that Jerry Blaine accuses me of – naming me, OK? Back with my obsession about the Kennedy detail. I got to read this, this is rich. Page 287, is what Blaine is claiming that Rowley said. Rowley turned to Jerry Blaine. ”And Jerry, since you are in the lead car, did you ever hear this over your radio as well?” ”Yes, sir. I did. I heard exactly what Floyd just told you.” The thing about this, this is the whole thing about the Ivy League charlatans’ thing. Jerry Blaine told me that the Ivy League charlatans thing came from the guys. I can’t remember – I can’t remember who said it. Boy, his memory got real good five years later because now, he is claiming he heard it over the radio, Floyd Boring, OK? It’s unbelievable, and it’s just amazing to me, you know, there never would have been a book if I didn’t send a 22 page letter, OK, to Clint Hill, that pissed him off so much that his very good friend, Jerry Blaine, came out with his book as counter. OK? These are some things I recommend everyone to buy it online, no censorship, it’s my First Amendment rights, OK? There are some nice pictures and nice known assassination things, and there are even some good assassination related things in here but it’s very odd, since other people picked up on that’s why there are some really bad reviews on Amazon right now, mine is the best, mine is a three stars too. It’s very obvious that it’s a thinly veiled attempt to rewrite history and to blame President Kennedy without trying to blame him for his own assassination. END OF VIDEO. LAMB: First of all, his is not of the best of the reviews, there are seven with five stars just in case for the record that I saw today when I looked on Amazon. What’s your reaction, could you hear? BLAINE: Well, he wrote an assessment of the book about the – first time about five weeks before it was released. The second time on Amazon.com, he and four of his friends or four of his aliases put a statement on assessing the book a one, a two, and a three. My assessment of Mr. Palamara is that he called probably all of the agents, and what agent who answers a phone is going to answer a question ”Was President Kennedy easy to protect? Well, probably he was too easy to protect because he was assassinated.” But the fact that the agents aren’t going to tell him anything and he alludes to the fact that when I wrote the book, most of these people were dead. Well, I worked with these people, I knew them like brothers and I knew exactly what was going on and always respected Jim Rowley because he stood up to the issue and said ”Look, we can’t say the President invited himself to be killed so let’s squash this.” So that was the words throughout the Secret Service and he – Mr. Palamara is – there are a number of things that had happened that he has no credibility, he is a self-described expert in his area which I don’t know what it is, he was born after the assassination and he keeps creating solutions to the assassination until they are proven wrong. So he is… LAMB: A lot about – HILL: But he alleges that because he sent me a letter 22 pages in length apparently, and that I discussed that with Jerry. I forgot that I ever got a 22-page letter from this particular individual until I heard him say it on TV and I never discussed it with Jerry or anybody else because it wasn’t important to me. And so far as him being an expert, I don’t know where the expert part came from. I spent a long time in the Secret Service in protection and I’m not an expert, but apparently he became an expert somewhere up in Pennsylvania, I don’t know where. http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0603/22/lkl.01.html
3/22/2006 KING: You bet. We'll be right back with Mike Wallace and one of his all-time favorite guests. Don't go away. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WALLACE: Can I take you back to November 22, 1963? You were on the fender of the Secret Service car right behind President Kennedy's car. Was there anything that the Secret Service or that Clint Hill could have done to keep that from happening? CLINT HILL, FMR. SECRET SERVICE AGENT: Clint Hill, yes. WALLACE: Clint Hill, yes? What do you mean? HILL: If he had reacted about five-tenths of a second faster, maybe a second faster, I wouldn't be here today. WALLACE: You mean you would have gotten there and you would have taken the shot? HILL: The third shot, yes sir. WALLACE: And that would have been all right with you? HILL: That would have been fine with me. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: We love to surprise our guests but Mike told us that one of his favorite guests was Clint Hill, the Secret Service agent who rode on the back of the limo carrying John F. Kennedy to his death. Here's a clip to watch and then we'll meet Clint in person. Watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HILL: Had I turned in a different direction I'd have made it. It's my fault. WALLACE: Oh. No one has ever suggested that for an instant. What you did was show great bravery and great presence of mind. What was on the citation that was given you for your work on November 22, 1963? HILL: I don't care about that. WALLACE: Extraordinary courage and heroic effort in the face of maximum danger. HILL: Mike, I don't care about that. If I had reacted just a little bit quicker and I could have I guess and I'll live with that to my grave. (END VIDEO CLIP) KING: Mike didn't know we were going to get him here but we got him in Washington. WALLACE: Oh, the dickens, I've tried. KING: Clint Hill. WALLACE: He didn't want to talk about it. KING: Clint, in fact you turned down Mike in 2003 right? HILL: That's correct. KING: Why? HILL: I just don't like to be interviewed about the assassination anymore. KING: Why did you do the first one? HILL: At that time I never thought it would turn out the way it did obviously. I only accepted the interview because I thought it would be interesting and I had seen "60 Minutes" and knew what they were doing and I thought it would be very much an interesting project so I did it, little did I know that it would turn out the way it turned out. KING: Do you regret it? HILL: Not at all. I have to thank Mike for asking me to do that interview and then thank him more because he's what caused me to finally come to terms with things and bring the emotions out where they were surfaced. It was because of his questions and the things he asked that I started to recover. KING: Mike, what a... WALLACE: Clint, I have, I continue to have so much admiration for you, your wife. And you remember I tried to get you to come on the 40th anniversary. HILL: Yes. WALLACE: 2003 and you didn't want to and people ask me how you are and I say well the last time I talked he lives someplace close to Washington and he's -- the monkey, if you will, is off his back. He realizes that he wasn't in any sense responsible for the death of JFK. But for a Secret Service man who, I mean come on these guys they're superb and they work so hard and they're so brave and he felt that he had let down the Secret Service. Oh, what a joy to see you again, sir. HILL: Well it's good to see you Mike. WALLACE: Thank you, sir. KING: What are you doing Clint? HILL: I am completely retired. I'm a homebody, my wife and I and our kids and grandkids. KING: Did you finish service with the Secret Service? HILL: I retired in '75. KING: So you did another 12 years. Were you assigned to presidents? HILL: Oh, I was assigned to -- when I left -- after the assassination they had me stay with Mrs. Kennedy and the kids for a year and after the presidential election in '64 they returned me to the White House on the detail. I was a shift agent. I don't think President Johnson was too happy I was there. In fact, I know he wasn't. But some of the agents that knew him, worked with him, convinced him that I was a pro and that I was going to do a good job. I ended up being the agent in charge of presidential protection in '67 when Johnson was still in office and I was -- when Nixon came in they moved me over to the vice president, SAIC job. Then they moved me to headquarters and I became an assistant director for all protection. That's the job I retired from. KING: Glad of that service? HILL: Oh, very much so, very proud of the Secret Service. I was very lucky to be a member of the Secret Service. When I came in there were about 275 agents worldwide total. It was very, very hard to get in. You only got in when somebody died or retired. KING: Mike, what's history going to say about Clint Hill? WALLACE: Oh, my. Particularly with this, particularly with this he -- this conversation that you're having with him going with the first conversation that I had with him, I mean come on, bravery, anguish, love of country, character. KING: You should feel so proud that you helped him get over that stigma. WALLACE: I do. I do. I do. HILL: You really helped me. If it hadn't been for that interview, I don't know what would have happened. WALLACE: Oh, thank you Clint. KING: Were you suffering from depression then? WALLACE: I was suffering for -- when did we do this in? HILL: Seventy-five. WALLACE: No, not yet. KING: Clint, I thank you very much. I salute you for your service. HILL: Thank you, Larry. KING: And I thank you for coming here tonight on this special occasion for Mike Wallace. HILL: Thank you very much. Good luck Mike. WALLACE: Same to you Clint. HILL: My wife says hello. KING: As we go to break another one of Mike's favorites. We'll be right back. ----------------------------------------
LAMB: Did you – did you keep notes? HILL: I did, but I destroyed them a few years ago which really made it more difficult. LAMB: Why did you destroy them? HILL: I promised that I would never write a book. I vowed that I would never do so, never contribute to a book, never talk to anybody about it and so just to kind of make sure I would never get my self involve, I burned everything. There are few mementos I kept, but for the most part, I burned all my notes and now when the opportunity presents itself and I decided to do it. I had to go back and talked to other agents who I work with, who did have – still have some notes. And to check everything through newspaper archives for dates and times and places to make sure I was accurate and so it was very tedious to go through this and write the book. LAMB: Do you remember the year you burned your notes? HILL: It is 2012 – it was after maybe 2005, something like that. ; HILL: Well my wife and I are not together and haven’t been for sometime. LAMB: She’s still alive? HILL: Yes.