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  » Appendix X
  » Appendix XI
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  » Appendix XIV
  » Appendix XV
  » Appendix XVI
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  » Appendix XVIII
Warren Commission Report: Page 451« Previous | Next »

(CHAPTER VIII - The Protection of the President)

Liquor, use of.--a. Employees are strictly enjoined to refrain from the use of intoxicating liquor during the hours they are officially employed at their post of duty, or when they may reasonably expect that they may be called upon to perform an official duty. During entire periods of travel status, the special agent is officially employed and should not use liquor, until the completion of all of his official duties for the day, after which time a very moderate use of liquor will not be considered a violation. However, all members of the White House Detail and special agents cooperating with them on Presidential and similar protective assignments are considered to be subject to call for official duty at any time while in travel status. Therefore, the use of intoxicating liquor of any kind, including beer and wine, by members of the White House Detail and special agents cooperating with them, or by special agents on similar assignments, while they are in a travel status, is prohibited. 198

The regulations provide further that "violation or slight disregard" of these provisions "will be cause for removal from the Service." 199

Chief Rowley testified that under ordinary circumstances he would have taken disciplinary action against those agents who had been drinking in clear violation of the regulation. However, he felt that any disciplinary action might have given rise to an inference that the violation of the regulation had contributed to the tragic events of November 22. Since he was convinced that this was not the case, he believed that it would be unfair to the agents and their families to take explicit disciplinary measures. He felt that each agent recognized the seriousness of the infraction and that there was no danger of a repetition. 200

The Commission recognizes that the responsibilities of members of the White House detail of the Secret Service are arduous.. They work long, hard hours, under very great strain, and must travel frequently. It might seem harsh to circumscribe their opportunities for relaxation. Yet their role of protecting the President is so important to the well-being of the country that it is reasonable to expect them to meet very high standards of personal conduct, so that nothing can interfere with their bringing to their task the finest qualities and maximum resources of mind and body. This is the salutary goal to which the Secret Service regulation is directed, when it absolutely forbids drinking by any agent accompanying the President on a trip. Nor is this goal served when agents remain out until early morning hours, and lose the opportunity to get a reasonable amount of sleep. It is conceivable that those men who had little sleep, and who had consumed alcoholic beverages, even in limited quantities, might have been more alert in the Dallas motorcade if they had retired promptly in Fort Worth. However, there is no evidence that these men failed to take any action in Dallas within their power that would have averted the tragedy. As will be seen, the instantaneous and heroic

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