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Just when you think the sewage that is Washington, D.C., has choked out every single person of principle in that town … up pops a person of principle who is still very much with us and very much interested in making the world a better place.
Sometimes we call these people whistleblowers.
Dan Bongino is one such person, and one with the highest access to our nation’s leaders. A former member of the New York Police Department, Bongino found himself between administrations with the Secret Service just as Obama took office. He then left the Service in 2011 to run for the U.S. Senate. This astounding tale is recounted in his new book, “Life Inside the Bubble.”
Specifically, Bongino worked for the elite Presidential Protective Division, which gave him a catbird seat for observing the world’s most powerful men.
In the Prologue, Bongino makes several fascinating observations: 1) Dedication to protecting the president at all costs trumps personal feelings about the man and 2) Although No. 1 is all important, it does matter what kind of character the president has.
Hear Bongino on this point: “Although I am certain that the strong character and unwavering dedication of the agents I worked with during my time with the Secret Service would never allow them to inject their personal or political beliefs into their job performance, it never hurts to believe in the man you are protecting. To believe in his leadership abilities and his policy prescriptions for a better tomorrow always serves as an added bonus.”
This is a telling point, because it perhaps explains in part why a five-year veteran of the Presidential Protection Division would opt out and run for office.
Bongino also makes no secret of the tipping point for him: “It was becoming more and more difficult to accompany the president and listen to another speech whose content was contrary to the principles I believe make this country exceptional.”
So we have the setting for a most extraordinary change in one man’s life. And, let’s be honest, Bongino’s insights into the various scandals – Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the Boston Marathon attacks – make this one juicy read.
For example, though this may be a smaller point, it is still very instructive to learn that the early reports of “unprecedented” threats on Obama’s life (some media outlets reported these threats were up 400 percent and were racially motivated), Bongino knew that “the general threat level to President Obama was relatively consistent with historical trends.”
As to major blow-ups like Benghazi, Bongino notes that while he was out of the Service by the time the disaster occurred, his own experience shadowing the president did not square with the media story that top political leaders had confusing or faulty real-time information: “When anything significant occurs, the president or a pertinent cabinet member is made aware of it by multiple means of communication. They receive email, phone briefings, personal briefings and a near endless supply of briefing documents, which are constantly updated. The alleged lack of information filtering up to the president and secretary of state regarding the unfolding emergency in Libya was in direct conflict with my personal experience within the walls of the 18-acre White House complex.”
With regard to the Boston bombings, Bongino makes an all-important point: Certain federal law enforcement agents are hamstrung from doing their best work due to pressures to be political correct.
In other words, in Bongino’s clear words: “Agents with the best of intentions can be thwarted from advancing an investigation because of pressure to show that their motives are purely law-enforcement related and no judgment has been based on the subject’s religion or appearance.”
He then notes that, of course, this kind of reaction has major consequences when dealing with radical Islam. Would that more of our nation’s leaders, responsible for our security, would ditch the politically correct nonsense. This point is another fascinating insight Bongino reveals in “Life Inside the Bubble.”
The author’s story of his own quest to make a greater difference by running for office is also as absorbing as the large details he makes available.
Racing to stunning success in the Republican primaries, Bongino eventually lost to incumbent Ben Cardin, and the experience set the stage for future plans; we have not heard the last of this remarkable American, and his sensational memoir will surely not be his last word on America and the horizons she looks toward.