Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The JFK Assassination - The Security Detail Finally speaks out!

Clint Hill and Jerry Blaine, former U.S. Secret Service agents assigned to protect President John F. Kennedy, are now telling their story about that fateful day 47 years ago in Dallas. Clint Hill is the agent who sprinted to the car and tried to jump over and cover the president. To this day he has guilty feelings for not taking a bullet for the president.

These humble men, are in fact heroes and although they have suffered post traumatic stress disorder, nightmares and a feeling of failure, they need to recognize that they did everything they could have done. To say that if he would have reacted earlier by two seconds, he may have saved the president, is not a fair comment (even coming from themselves). It was destined that JFK would die that day - G-d had willed it to happen and nothing any person could have done would have saved him. What Hill and Blaine need to realize is that that they did their duty - they ran to cover the president, and they did protect the first lady and president from further bullets. They are heroes because they put their lives on the line in a time of stress and did what they trained to do. Our mission in life is to do our best. If we have done our best then we have fulfilled our obligation. Its a pity they never had proper counselling in those days which would have helped them through that difficult period and the subsequent guilt feelings.

In the confusion that day, Blaine came close to shooting the newly sworn in president Johnson. In an unexpected turn of events the president came out to get some fresh air. Blaine thought this was an intruder and raised his gun with his finger on the trigger. When he saw the president, (and saw President Johnson turn white) he lowered his gun. This is another proof of the impressive character of these people. After being awake for 40 hours straight, and under the tremendous pressure of that day, he still did not pull the trigger in error. Security people have needed to make quick decisions under pressure and many have killed the wrong people by mistake.

A newly detailed account of the assassination is written up in a new book called "The Kennedy Detail", by former agent Jerry Blaine. It's written with journalist Lisa McCubbin, and based on interviews with many of the agents who protected Kennedy. Former agent Hill, has rarely granted interviews about the shooting, but did write a foreword to this book. CNN has an interesting interview with Blaine and Hill - see below:-

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