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Warren Commission Report: Page 468« Previous | Next »

(CHAPTER VIII - The Protection of the President)

agreement defining such arrangements. It may eventually be desirable to codify the practice in an Executive order. The Secret Service will be better able to plan its own long-range personnel requirements if it knows with reasonable certainty the amount of assistance that it can expect from other agencies.
The occasional use of personnel from other Federal agencies to assist in protecting the President has a further advantage. It symbolizes the reality that the job of protecting the President has not been and cannot be exclusively the responsibility of the Secret Service. The Secret. Service in the past has sometimes guarded its right to be ac knowledged as the sole protector of the Chief Executive. This no longer appears to be the case.282 Protecting the President is a difficult and complex task which requires full us of the best resources of many parts of our Government. Recognition that the responsibility must be shared increases the likelihood that it will be met.


Much of the Secret Service work requires the development and use of highly sophisticated equipment, some of which must be specially designed to fit unique requirements. Even before the assassination, and to a far greater extent thereafter, the Secret Service has been receiving full cooperation in scientific research and technological development from many Government agencies including the Department of Defense and the President's Office of Science and Technology.283


Even if the manpower and technological resources of the Secret Service are adequately augmented, it will continue to rely in many respects upon the greater resources of the Office of Science and Technology and other agencies. The Commission recommends that the present arrangements with the Office of Science and Technology and the other Federal agencies that have been so helpful to the Secret Service be placed on a permanent and formal basis. The exchange of letters dated August 31, 1964, between Secretary Dillon and Donald F. Hornig, Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, is a useful effort in the right direction.284 The Service should negotiate a memorandum of understanding with each agency that has been assisting it and from which it can expect to need help in the future. The essential terms of such memoranda might well be embodied in an Executive order.

CONCLUSION

This Commission can recommend no procedures for the future protection of our Presidents which will guarantee security. The demands on the President in the execution of His responsibilities in today's world are so varied and complex and the traditions of the office in a democracy such as ours are so deepseated as to preclude absolute security.


The Commission has, however, from its examination of the facts of President Kennedy's assassination made certain recommendations

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