Secret Service during FDR, Truman, Ike, JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan years!!

Secret Service during FDR, Truman, Ike, JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan years!!
Secret Service during FDR, Truman, Ike, JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan years!!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Petition for Abraham Bolden’s Presidential Pardon

Petition for Abraham Bolden’s Presidential Pardon
The following petition has been started at:

Please consider signing it in support of former Secret Service Agent Abraham Bolden who threatened to expose the Chicago plot to kill President Kennedy in 1963.
Abraham Bolden:Imprisoned for Following the Oath
Published February 12, 2011

To the President of These United States of America
The Honorable Barack H. Obama
The undersigned hereby petitions the President of the United States of America to expunge, pardon or take other executive action that will clear the record of conviction of Abraham W. Bolden, Sr. In support of this petition, we submit the following:
Abraham Bolden is an African American and was born to Daniel and Ophelia Bolden in East St. Louis , Illinois on January 19, 1935. He attended Lincoln High School and, upon graduation, entered Lincoln University in Jefferson City , Missouri . Later, Bolden married his long time friend and schoolmate, Barbara L. Hardy (Bolden) to whom he was married for 49 years prior to her death. To that marriage were born 3 children, Ahvia Maria Bolden (Reynolds), Abraham Bolden Jr., and Dr. Daaim Shabazz . Bolden has two grandchildren, Ismail and Cydni Bolden.
Bolden attended public schools in East St. Louis , Illinois and was graduated from Lincoln High School in June, 1952. Because of his proficiency in playing the trumpet, he received a scholarship to Lincoln University in Jefferson City , Missouri and was graduated “cum Laude” in June of 1956 with a BA in Music Composition.
After graduating from Lincoln University , Bolden decided to enter the field of law enforcement. He subsequently became the first African American Detective to be employed by the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. After leaving the detective agency, he served as a State Highway Patrolman in the State of Illinois . Continuing to advance in the field of police work, Bolden became a member of the United States Secret Service in October 1960.
Bolden met President John F. Kennedy in Chicago , Illinois and, after a brief conversation with Bolden, President Kennedy was instrumental in making Bolden the first African American to be assigned to the Secret Service White House Detail in Washington , D.C. in June of 1961.
Bolden traveled with the President; but he became disenchanted with the assignment when some of his fellow agents used racial slurs in his presence and engaged in a pattern of conduct that, in Bolden’s professional opinion, endangered the life of President John F. Kennedy. Bolden was very vocal in his criticism of the protective detail first discussing the matter of the laxity and misconduct of the President’s security with the then Chief of the United States Secret Service U.E. Baughman. Bolden further complained above the unprofessional activities of the detail with his immediate superiors in Chicago , Illinois .
After President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and after having previously discussed his complaints of secret service misconduct with the Chief of the U.S. Secret Service and his immediate superiors in Chicago to no avail, Bolden was intent upon bringing information concerning the President’s lack of proper security to officials of the Warren Commission who were investigating the President’s death. On May 18, 1964, while attending Secret Service School , Bolden was whisked out of Washington , D.C. under a pretext, returned to Chicago whereupon he was denied a request for representation by an attorney and hastily arrested by high administrators within the secret service who charged Bolden with the commission of a federal crime.
Bolden endured two federal criminal trials within a period of less then two months in the Federal District Court in Chicago , Illinois . At the end of the first trial, during the deliberation of the jury, the trial judge stated to the jury that in his opinion, the evidence sustained a verdict of guilty on all counts of the indictment. The trial judge then prompted the jury to continue deliberation taking the judge’s opinion into consideration. That trial ended when the jury, in spite of the judge’s prejudicial remarks, was unable to reach a verdict. (See United States vs. Bolden, 64CR324 and Fed. 2nd 453)
Bolden’s second trial was conducted before the same trial judge who denied a motion for a substitution of judge and a change of venue. At the conclusion of the second trial on August 11, 1964, at the judge’s instigation and acquiescence, Bolden and his attorney, and other non government employed spectators, were locked out of the court building during the deliberation of the jury. During the forced absence of Bolden from the trial procedures, a verdict of guilty was returned.
The case against Bolden began to fall apart when one of the witnesses, Joseph Spagnoli, who testified against Bolden, confessed that he and another witness, Frank William Jones, concocted and fabricated the criminal case against Bolden with the help of an Assistant United States Attorney. In spite of Spagnoli’s confession and documentary evidence tending to support Spagnoli’s accusation, the government refused to deny the charges levied by Spagnoli. When questioned before a three judge panel during oral arguments before the United States Court of Appeals concerning Spagnoli’s assertions made under oath in open court, the accused assistant government attorney refused to answer the question of the subornation of perjury and availed himself of his fifth amendment rights against self incrimination. Notwithstanding, Bolden was sent away to the penitentiary.
Bolden was subsequently sent to the prison camp at the Springfield Medical Center for Federal Prisoners. Following a disagreement with one of the psychiatric patients, Bolden was held in solitary confinement, in the psychiatric ward against his will and without the mandatory court order regarding inmate medical treatment. He was forced to ingest psychotropic drugs. The effort to declare Bolden insane was unsuccessful and Bolden was paroled in September of 1969 after serving three years and three months in federal confinement.
After being released from prison, Bolden established himself as a master at quality control administrative procedures in various machining and metal fabricating companies in Chicago . He retired after serving 35 years in quality control supervisory positions.
For his tireless efforts in the pursuit of justice and equity before the law, Bolden has been the recipient of the 2008 Scottish Hugo’s Companion Tankard Award for Courage, the 2008 African American Arts Alliance Award for Excellence, the 2008 Alpha Phi Alpha Award for Courage. He has been cited by the National Urban League as one of America ’s Outstanding Black Men.
He now lives in Chicago , Illinois where he has been a resident for the past 47 years.
The undersigned believes that the above circumstances of injustice and a lack of due process in obtaining a conviction of Bolden cry out for executive action that will remedy the sufferings of Abraham W. Bolden, Sr. He has been a model citizen since his release from federal confinement on September 25, 1969 and it is now time that his human rights as an American citizen be completely restored. Executive action by the President of These United States of America is his last resort. We pray that such action will be forthcoming.



Abraham Bolden

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Abraham Bolden (born January 19, 1935) is an American former United States Secret Service agent and author.



[edit] Biography

Abraham Bolden grew up in East St. Louis, Illinois.[1] After receiving a degree in music from Lincoln University of Missouri,[2] he began his professional career as an Illinois state trooper. He joined the Secret Service in 1960 during the Eisenhower administration. In 1961, he became the first African American member of the Secret Service's Presidential Protective Division after being appointed by President John F. Kennedy.[3] According to Bolden, Kennedy personally invited him to join the White House Detail when the two met at an event in Chicago in April.[4] He worked in the dual capacities of guarding the President and investigating counterfeiting.[5]
In the wake of the 1963 John F. Kennedy assassination, Bolden contacted the Warren Commission, hoping to testify about an alleged assassination plot in Chicago two weeks before Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. He traveled to Washington but before he could testify, Bolden was returned to Chicago. There he was arrested on May 20, 1964 on federal charges that he had solicited a bribe from a counterfeiting ring that he had helped break.[6] He was accused of seeking $50,000 in exchange for a secret file on the investigation.[7] The government's case rested primarily on the testimony of two men, Frank Jones and Joseph Spagnoli, both facing felony charges originating from the same Secret Service office that Bolden was employed, and who were facing upcoming trials before the same Chicago court. The case against Jones was dismissed after the Bolden conviction.[8] The copy of the secret government file on the Spagnoli counterfeiting operation that Bolden allegedly put up for sale was never recovered, last being seen in the Chicago offices of the Secret Service, disappearing before charges were brought against Bolden. Bolden was neither accused of receiving, nor was he ever found to be in possession of any illicit funds from the accused felons who testified against him. He maintained his innocence, asserting that he had been framed because he planned to expose dereliction among the agents assigned to guard Kennedy in front of the Commission. The Secret Service denied Bolden's claims. United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Edward Hanrahan, was quoted in news reports from May 1964, as calling Bolden's assertion of "overall general laxity" of Secret Service agents assigned to the late President Kennedy, and Bolden's belief he was prosecuted for doing so, as "fantastic". Hanrahan implied Bolden should have brought the charges in 1961. Bolden claimed he did just that, to James J. Rowley, the head of the Secret Service, but without result. Lewiston Tribune, May 21, 1964. Bolden's first jury deadlocked 11-1 in favor of conviction, at which time presiding judge Joseph Sam Perry issued an Allen charge in which he expressed his belief that Bolden was guilty but that the jury was free to disregard his opinion. The jury remained deadlocked and Perry declared a mistrial on July 11, 1964. A black female juror was the sole vote against conviction. The second trial had an all white jury. In the retrial Bolden was convicted and Judge Perry sentenced him to six years in prison.[3] Bolden appealed his conviction to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, based in part on Perry's Allen charge in the first trial. Bolden claimed that the charge was evidence that Perry was not impartial and that his failure to recuse himself denied Bolden a fair trial. The Appeals Court disagreed and upheld Bolden's conviction in a decision issued December 29, 1965.[8]
Following his release from prison, Bolden worked as a quality control supervisor in the automotive industry until his retirement in 2001.[9]
In January 1978, Abraham Bolden gave testimony on his experiences as an agent with the Secret Service to investigators of the Select Committee on Assassinations of the U. S. House of Representatives. The Final Report of that Committee, released in March 1979 included these conclusions: "The Secret Service possessed information that was not properly analyzed, investigated, or used by the Secret Service in connection with the president's trip to Dallas; in addition, Secret Service agents in the motorcade were inadequately prepared to protect the president from a sniper." National Archives of the United States.
In 2008, Bolden published his memoir, The Echo From Dealey Plaza: The True Story of the First African American on the White House Secret Service Detail and His Quest for Justice After the Assassination of JFK. In his memoir, Bolden claimed to have overheard Secret Service agents say that they would not protect President John F. Kennedy from would-be assassins:
[President Kennedy] alienated Southerners and conservatives around the country, most of whom were already suspicious of him. In this, the Secret Service reflected the more backward elements of America. Many of the agents with whom I worked were products of the South.... I heard some members of the White House detail say that if shots were fired at the president, they'd take no action to protect him. A few agents vowed that they would quit the Secret Service rather than give up their lives for Kennedy.[10]

[edit] Portrayals in fiction

Abraham Bolden appears in the 2011 television miniseries The Kennedys. He is depicted joining the President's protective detail and later President Kennedy turns to him as a sounding board during the crisis surrounding the 1962 desegregation of the University of Mississippi. Bolden is portrayed by Rothaford Gray.

[edit] Further reading

  • Bolden, Abraham (2008). The Echo From Dealey Plaza: The True Story of the First African American on the White House Secret Service Detail and His Quest for Justice After the Assassination of JFK. Random House Digital, Inc. ISBN 0-307-38201-X.

[edit] References

  1. ^ "Suspended Agent Denies Charges". Toledo (OH) Blade (Associated Press): p. 8. July 10, 1964.
  2. ^ "Secret Service Agent In Recitals For Defense Fund". Jet: p. 10. June 25, 1964.
  3. ^ a b "US Agent Bolden Gets 6 Year Sentence". The Milwaukee Journal (UPI): p. 3. August 12, 1964.
  4. ^ Kelly, Joyce; Daily News staff (February 25, 2009). "First African-American Secret Service agent to speak in Franklin". The Milford (MA) Daily News. Retrieved 2011-04-08.
  5. ^ "Whites Were Slack on Guard of JFK, Says Secret Service Negro". Jet: pp. 6–7. June 4, 1964.
  6. ^ "Secret Service Agent Accused". The Reading (PA) Eagle (UPI): p. 19. May 20, 1964.
  7. ^ "Mistrial Declared In Secret Service Agent's trial". Ocala (FL) Star Banner (Associated Press): p. 23. July 12, 1964.
  8. ^ a b United States v. Bolden
  9. ^ Turner Rice, Dawn (January 18, 2010). "Secret Service agent Abraham Bolden of Chicago served President John Kennedy as the first African-American on the White House security detail". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2011-04-08.
  10. ^ The Echo from Dealey Plaza, (New York: Harmony Books, 2008), p. 19. ISBN 978-0-307-38201-6