Fletcher Prouty's Interview with the ARRB, Part Six
Updated: Dec 21, 2022
Flagrant failure by the Secret Service to take minimum precautions?
Fletcher Prouty, JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy, page 291
Fletcher Prouty, JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy, page 293
In addition, Prouty told the ARRB: [emphasis is Prouty's]
Prouty: ...when I went to Mexico City with the Secret Service when Eisenhower was going down there back in the 50's -- geez, we were in Mexico City, I think, at least three weeks before the President went down there, doing all sorts of prepatory [sic] work. You know, who'd take the windows of this building, who'd close those, who'd be on the roof of this building, where will the sniper be ... I mean, that's business. And it's a lot of work. It's not casual. It's isn't just, 'run out there for one day and back again.' Well, since I knew that's the way they worked [sic], I figured, "where the hell were they?" Well, that begins to ask some pretty big questions. But that was just my own wondering, "why weren't they there?" When I see the windows open -- why the hell weren't the windows closed? And if they weren't closed, something very serious is wrong. Not just casually -- this is 100 years of Secret Service work. This is a profession. And since I had gone with them myself on a trip to Mexico City when the time was such that Eisenhower's people were a little concerned about Mexico City ... we really did that town over. Well, it's a profession -- they have a book on what to do. One thing you do is you keep the windows closed. If a window opens, there's a sniper on that window immediately. That's why they have lots of military scattered in civilian clothes around here -- to be sure that nothing happened. And they can keep it from happening. But why the hell weren't they there in Dallas? ... That was my point.
The ARRB believed that these "passages suggested firsthand familiarity with Secret Service methods and procedures." This led to several questions:
Wray: How many secret service agents would you - based upon your experience in Mexico City or other things that you would know -- how many Secret Service agents would you have expected to be providing coverage in Dallas?
Prouty: (Testily) See, we're overdoing this. I went to Mexico City once, so I'd know the business. I have no idea how they run their business. And the difference between Dallas and Mexico City -- I don't think you would have comparable units. No way. First of all, I don't know whether they take hundreds of guys when in a foreign country like that, or whether they let the local country do it [provide security personnel]. So I shouldn't be giving you anything that misleads you. Because I only went to Mexico City with the senior man of that group, and stayed there a few days with him. But I went for logistics purposes, not to learn about the system. And I can't extrapolate that into a nationwide system, because I never had any Secret Service [training] ,,, But what appalled me is the fact that the Secret Service was not in Dallas. That's the point that's important.
Wray then wanted to know if Prouty was speaking figuratively or literally:
Wray: When you say "the Secret Service was not in Dallas" ... Do I understand you -- that you are speaking a little figurative there? That they may have been there, but they weren't doing their job thoroughly? Or do you mean literally, that they were not there?
Prouty: (Pause) Well ... it's so basic to their business that the windows be down -- just for one thing -- and in order to do that they have to be there. It doesn't leave much question. You don't have to go any further. Because the gun, theoretically, was pointed out a window. And the window was not covered by anybody. [If] you go outside the building here, and stand and look at a building that's six stories high, you can see every single window. One person can. If a window's open, you just get on your little radio [to] the guy on the roof, he puts a sniper's gun on it [the open window]; the guy in the other building goes over and says, "Shut the window." And some secretary says, "Oh, I didn't know about it.", and closes the window. I mean, it's not mysterious. But the fact that it wasn't done -- there's the problem. Why? Why wasn't it done? And I have no experience in that. All I know is, they weren't there.
You have to love the ARRB conclusion:
In the first statement, Prouty makes some very specific outlines of procedures, about windows going up and having snipers covering windows, having people on rooftops, spending three weeks in preparation for the trip, etc. Fifteen minutes later, when pressed by ARRB for details and specifics, Prouty quickly backed off, disassociating himself from the Secret Service, understanding the nature of his participation (logistics purposes, not to learn the system), acting careful not to mislead us, and admitting that he doesn't know how the Secret Service "runs its business." Within 15 minutes, Prouty makes statements which sound plausible, and as if he knows procedures from personal knowledge, then backs away from knowing any specifics and hastens to add that he participated in only one presidential trip. In the final excerpt cited above, Prouty makes the very serious charge that the Secret Service was not even on duty in Dallas on November 22, then admits he has no experience upon which to base this statement, in the same sentence. [emphasis added by the ARRB]
Previous Relevant Posts on Fletcher Prouty
Fletcher Prouty Talks to the ARRB
A summary document of his interview with the ARRB
Fletcher Prouty and Army Intelligence in Dallas
Another summary document from the ARRB about Prouty's allegations and army intelligence.
Was Fletcher Prouty an Antisemite?
Prouty had some very unsavory relationships with antisemitic groups.
Fletcher Prouty's Interview with the ARRB, Part One
Was Fletcher Prouty's Trip to Antarctica Unusual?
Fletcher Prouty's Interview with the ARRB, Part Two
Regarding Christchurch, New Zealand and The Christchurch Star
Fletcher Prouty's Interview with the ARRB, Part Three
Regarding the 112th Intelligence Corps (INTC) Group and/or the 316th INTC Detachment
Fletcher Prouty's Interview with the ARRB, Part Four
Did Prouty Keep the notes from his supposed phone call about army intelligence?
Fletcher Prouty's Interview with the ARRB, Part Five
Prouty's experience with military presidential protection duties