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Confessions of an Ex-Secret Service Agent Hardcover – September 1, 1988
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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From Publishers Weekly
A Secret Service agent from 1971 to 1981, Venker helped guard presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan. This anecdotal account is continuously entertaining and occasionally reveals a bit of the presidential character (Nixon trying to be one of the fellas, Carter treating his protectors "like maggots"). Venker wants us to know that these four gents put their pants on one leg at a time, same as he does. As for visiting dignitaries he sometimes protected, they were all jerks or weirdos, he contends: Anastasio Somoza was both. Venker makes one serious point: that presidents need lots of protection. Among potential assassins he checked out were a boy of eight and a man who had been incarcerated since 1954 for shooting up the House of Representatives and plans to attack the president on the day of his release, even though he doesn't know who it will be. As New York Post journalist Rush presents him, Venker is definitely not your typical Secret Service man. The job eventually became such a burden that he quit to become a stripper and "party terrorist" (getting banned from nightclubs was the goal) and finally found a niche for himself spinning records as a nightclub disc jockey in New York.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Page 53 tells of his undercover work in Kansas City. He wore jeans to pretend he was a demonstrator and infiltrate the crowd. He was then beaten with night sticks! Page 57 tells of the agent who protected LBJ in Dallas. Nixon subjected him to petty harassment until he resigned. In 1972 the Secret Service protected candidate Dr. Benjamin Spock, who was also listed as a "potential threat" (p.60). Information from an agent guarding Sen McGovern was passed to the White House (p.61). This hurt their morale. Chapter 7 gives his experience on guarding foreign dignitaries. Chapter 8 tells of guarding Presidential candidates. Its who you know, not what you know (p.118). Pages 131-2 tell of guarding the President in foreign countries. Page 159 gives his idea on the source for Woodward & Bernstein: a disgruntled ex-agent. Page 192 tells how the agents gave Tricia Nixon's plants special care!
When the pressure piled too high, Marty quit while working in Vienna in the middle of a trip. He suffered from a post-traumatic stress disorder. His interest in music led to his work as a DJ. Can music be as addictive as alcohol or opiates? Or a form of Pavlovian conditioning? As I read the last chapters, I wondered what his fate would be.