Secret Service Agents
Comments on Their Failure to Protect Mr. McKinley
TSir: It was not my desire to
utter a discordant word or write an unhappy line until after the
burial of President McKinley. It is now time for all good citizens
to speak in commendation of the recent editorial in T
S concerning the conduct of the Secret
Service agents of the Government who surrounded President McKinley
at the time he was shot.
is right when it asserts that the Secret Service is in great and
quick need of a thorough overhauling. I want to call your attention
to the pictures in last week’s Leslie’s of the Secret Service
agents close to the President on that awful day. They are posing
in a group beside the President! A Secret Service agent of the United
States Government posing for his portrait in a periodical! What
a farce! This group is labelled [sic] “The three men behind the
stand are the private detective and Secret Service men who seized
the assassin.” All the testimony as sent to Washington in an official
report declares that the assassin was seized and arrested by Capt.
John P. Wisser’s men who helped arrest the assassin. He is one of
the artillery corps.
There is another picture in Leslie’s.
It is of Ireland, one of the Secret Service men close to the President
at the time he was murdered. This has the legend “Secret Service
Agent S. R. Ireland, of [sic] the most famous detectives in the
service.” Famous detectives were all the three who stood beside
Mr. McKinley and permitted an agitated stranger with a hand muffled
in a handkerchief to shoot down our President! Yes, they are famous
in picture papers; very famous indeed. Do you know I was at Buffalo
and one of these famous detectives (in the picture papers) whined
to the newspaper men and said he hoped nothing more would be said
as “he didn’t want to lose his job?”
These Secret Service agents were appointed
to protect the life of the President on just such occasions. They
did not do so. They were criminally negligent from every standpoint.
I wouldn’t be in their shoes to-night for the wealth of the Indies.
Some of your correspondents in their
letters to T S
have called them “dubs;” that’s what they are, “dubs” and “posers”
for picture papers. If a Secret Service agent of any foreign government
had his picture printed for public inspection he would be summarily
dismissed from the service.
But oh! the pity of it—President McKinley
to have been in such careless hands! Wherever I go in clubs, hotels
and all public resorts these Secret Service men who didn’t use ordinary
care in protecting the President from the assassin are not only
roundly denounced but heartily despised.
Y , Sept. 20.