United States Secret Service
The United States Secret Service is a federal law enforcement agency headquartered in Washington, D.C., and more than 150 offices throughout the United States and abroad. The Secret Service was established in 1865, solely to suppress the counterfeiting of U.S. currency.
Today, the agency is mandated by Congress to carry out dual missions: protection of national and visiting foreign leaders, and criminal investigations. It was originally created to combat the counterfeiting of U.S. currency – a serious problem at the time. In fact, following the Civil War, it was estimated that one-third to one-half of the currency in circulation was counterfeit.
In 1901, following the assassination of President William McKinley in Buffalo, New York, the Secret Service was first tasked with its second mission: the protection of the president. Today, the Secret Service’s mission is two-fold: protection of the president, vice president and others; and investigations into crimes against the financial infrastructure of the United States.
The Secret Service is authorized to protect:
- The president, the vice president, (or other individuals next in order of succession to the Office of the President), the president-elect and vice president-elect
- The immediate families of the above individuals
- Former presidents, their spouses, except when the spouse re-marries
- Children of former presidents until age 16
- Visiting heads of foreign states or governments and their spouses traveling with them, other distinguished foreign visitors to the United States, and official representatives of the United States performing special missions abroad
- Major presidential and vice presidential candidates, and their spouses within 120 days of a general presidential election
- Other individuals as designated per Executive Order of the President and
National Special Security Events, when designated as such by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security
For more information on the U.S. Secret Service , visit the following websites:
United States Secret Service – The United States Secret Service protects our nation’s leaders, visiting world leaders, national special security events
U.S. Intelligence – Information on other U.S. Intelligence Services
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Books on the United States Secret Service
Secret Service Book Description – From the author of The Wizards of Langley, this definitive survey of the US intelligence community, covering its history, organizations, operations, and management in detail, is now fully updated with new material on homeland security, intelligence sharing, POW and detainee interrogation, and national intelligence organizations. The role of intelligence in US government operations has changed dramatically and is now more critical than ever to domestic security and foreign policy. This authoritative and highly researched book provides a detailed overview of America’s vast intelligence empire–its organizations, its operations (from spies on the ground to satellites thousands of miles in space), and its management structure. Relying on a multitude of sources, including hundreds of official documents, author Jeffrey Richelson provides an up-to-date picture of the US intelligence community that will allow readers to understand the full scope of organizations and activities and will give valuable support to policymakers and military operations.
The Secret Service
This new edition of the definitive history of the Secret Service lays bare the 2004 Bush campaign’s political uses of the agency and the new challenges it faces as a branch of the Homeland Security Department, in a post-9/11 world. Acclaimed scholar of political violence and governmental secrecy Philip Melanson explores the long-hidden workings of the Secret Service since its inception in 1865 and through rigorous research and extensive interviews with former White House staffers and retired agents, uncovers startling facts about the Agency’s role in such traumatic national events as the assassination of JFK and the shooting of President Reagan. Included, too, are revelations about presidential demands on the agency; the problems of alcoholism, divorce, and burnout among agents; and the Service’s inexplicable failure to develop profiles of potential assassins. Up-to-date and explosive, this book assails the public image of the Secret Service as a highly professional apolitical organization, exposing the often-detrimental influence that politics exerts on the Agency.
For the President’s Eyes Only
From Publishers Weekly – In this impressive survey, British historian Andrew (Her Majesty’s Secret Service) assesses the extent to which U.S. secret intelligence has been influenced by the personalities and policies of our presidents. Although George Washington and Woodrow Wilson made good use of secret intelligence, the author shows there was no official American intelligence community until WWII, when Franklin D. Roosevelt relied more attentively on intelligence collection and analysis than any previous president. But, Andrew notes, only Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and George Bush showed a flair for using intelligence. Eisehower’s wartime command experience exploiting covert resources served him well when he became chief executive; JFK presided over the most spectacular intelligence success of the Cold War, the Cuban missile crisis (the author, however, faults Kennedy for poor judgment in the Bay of Pigs invasion). As for George Bush, the first former CIA director elected to the White House, Andrew demonstrates that he had a better grasp of intelligence capabilities than any of his predecessors. Andrew’s interpretations are often striking: “The most powerful government ever to fall as a result of covert action was the administration of Richard Nixon.” Photos.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
To Be a U.S. Secret Service Agent
The Secret Service was established after the Civil War by the Treasury Department, originally to protect American currency against counterfeiters. After the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901, Congress directed the Secret Service to protect the President of the United States. Protection remains the primary mission of the United States Secret Service. It takes a special type of individual to be a U.S. Secret Service agent, one willing to take a bullet to preserve the ideals on which the United States was founded. To Be a U.S. Secret Service Agent lifts the curtain for a look inside this secretive law enforcement agency, including the highly selective recruiting, the intense training, and the specialized weapons and equipment used to protect current and past Presidents, Vice Presidents, their families, and visiting heads of state.