The retired Secret Service officer, who after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks left the White House and finished his federal career as a U.S. Air Marshal, tells Breitbart News that after the election Nov. 8 he is suing detractors, who have sullied his reputation and said he lied in his bestseller “Crisis of Character.”
Gary J. Byrne tells Breitbart News when Crisis of Character came out he expected political allies of Hillary Clinton, such as David Brock and his organization Media Matters, to attack him because his eyewitness account of her behavior as First Lady disqualified her from the presidency.
The criticism from the Association of Former Agents of the United States Secret Service was not just political, but also part of the agents’ culture of disrespect for officers of the services’ uniformed officers, he said.
If it was up to him, he would sue right away, but his lawyer told him to wait until after the election, he said.
“I am not surprised at all that the retired agents association is coming after me,” he said. “A lot of Secret Service agents have written books over the years–and I could not find any case where the retired agents association has come out and attacked those books.”
Byrne said that the agents have their own rules for themselves and that the agents themselves become so close to the people they are guarding that they slip seamlessly into the role of political operative and political protector. “It’s not right and it is not legal–actually.”
The attorney for Byrne, Mark Heilbrun sent three letters to the AFASSS and the third letter dated July 15, 2015 to the association’s leader Jan Hay Gilhooly:
We have determined that your recent false statements regarding Officer Byrne (both libel and slander in convenient recorded form that you have no chance of disputing) – which were provided to media outlets in advance of release for purely partisan purposes – not only constitute defamation per se but also false light defamation in relevant jurisdictions in which we plan to pursue legal action against you and AFAUSSS. As I noted previously, your defamatory and coordinated statements also directly undermine your foundation’s legal obligations as a tax exempt organization, and suggest that you have made false writings to the IRS for many years about any semblance of being “nonpartisan.”
It was Hay Gilhooly, who torpedoed Byrne in a Politico interview:
“Operationally, one who has the working knowledge of how things are done there would realize that certain of those statements do not coincide with the operational plan,” said Jan Gilhooly, AFAUSSS president and a 29-year Secret Service veteran.
The group’s statement, which POLITICO obtained in advance of its release, very carefully calls Byrne a liar.
“One must question the veracity and content of any book which implies that its author played such an integral part of so many [claimed] incidents. Any critique of management by one who has never managed personnel or programs resounds hollow. Additionally, why would an employee wait in excess of ten years after terminating his employment with the Service to make his allegations public?” it reads.
The closest contact that Byrne could have had, according to Gilhooly and others, is seeing the president or the first lady pass in the hallway — far from the intimate access he would have needed to catch Bill Clinton in the act or see Hillary Clinton fly into the cursing rages he now writes have convinced him that she doesn’t have the “integrity and temperament” to be president.
“You know, the Secret Service is run by the agents,” Byrne said. “The Uniformed Division, which is what I was, is a part of the Secret Service–there is a term when we work at the White House: “U-DBashing.”
The “bashing” of the uniformed officers is so routine and pervasive that the agents resent that a former uniformed officer would ever dare to write a book, he said.
Byrne said he would be standing post in the White House and agents, almost out of sport, would belittle the uniformed officers and the division as the U-D’s stood there silently taking.
Because the uniformed officers were stationed in shacks on the White House grounds and at the gates, the agents would belittle the officers as “box creatures,” he said.
“There was a lot of negativity,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, we have a job to do and we work together, but there are many, many instances, some them in the book, about their passive-aggressive management style.”
During the investigation into the relationship between President William J. “Bill” Clinton and White House intern Monica Lewinsky, Byrne was the first member of the uniformed division to testify under oath. The reason is that because Byrne often manned the desk in front of the Oval Office, a post designated in the White House as E-6. It was at this post that Byrne observed Lewinsky wander around the West Wing until she caught the president’s eye. When Byrne stepped up to keep the intern away from the Oval Office, it was the president, who told Byrne let her through–and to close the door.
Byrne said while the president and his lawyers fought unsuccessfully to prevent his testimony, claiming “protective privilege,” Secret Service agents and senior uniformed officers approached him and tried to persuade him to keep what he saw to himself. “They would say to me: ‘It’s not your fault if you can’t remember.'”
But, not giving full and honest testimony was not an option, he said. “I swore an oath.”
It was also at his Oval Office post that Byrne became friends with the president’s Mess Steward, a Navy chief petty officer. Together the two men would go into the president’s hallowed office to pick up the lipstick-stained towels and attempt to remove stains from the carpeting, according to his testimony.
Although Byrne is now seen at an officer, who told tales out of school, it was the future Air Marshal, he testified that he was the one who convinced the steward to throw the towels away, so that workers in the White House laundry would not have something to gossip about or to spread stories about the goings on in the White House.