It had always seemed to me
that the name of the Secret Service ought to be changed. I mean, there wasn't
anything secret about the organization anymore. That thought had occurred to me
when they'd first recruited me in college, and I still thought it entirely
How had I gotten recruited?
I was in my next to last year in Financial Accounting. I had come to believe,
more and more, that the career path I’d chosen, mostly because I was good at
numbers, was going to be a very boring one. Oh, at first, the formulas had been
challenging enough, but after a while I just got bored of it all.
Only with so much invested
already, in terms of time and energy, not to mention money, I couldn't simply
quit and start anew at something else. That was especially so since I didn't
know what else I'd prefer.
The Secret Service doesn't
just protect the President and other big shots. Most of its efforts are
directed at counterfeiting and major fraud. Now that sounded
interesting! Oh, I'd have to do their silly little training thing, which would
include learning about guns and self-defense, but really, that was just a
formality. I'd never have a use for any of it. I'd be working in an office
going over accounting figures.
That was pretty much what
they told me anyway.
But a funny thing happened
after I graduated, went to the Secret Service Academy, and graduated from
there. I learned that junior agents tended to be stuck with the worst jobs.
That didn't surprise me. What surprised me was that the worst jobs for the
Secret Service didn't involve sitting at a desk going over figures, but
Yes, being on the
President's detail had a certain cachet in terms of prestige, but that wasn't
where they put junior agents. The Secret Service was also responsible for
providing bodyguards for senators and congressmen, for other members of the
government deemed at risk, and for foreign VIPs in the United States.
The thing is, in 99.999
percent of the time in these jobs, the most exciting thing that might happen is
you annoy your protectee, and get a black mark on your career. Because, by and
large, the people you're protecting are big shots, and the Secret Service, like
any other agency, is devoted to sucking up to big shots.
So what do you do? Most of
the time you stand around a lot doing nothing, watching for evil assassins that
aren't going to make an appearance, and being bored out of your skull. You
don't even stand around where anything is going on. You stand around outside
the closed doors to offices, watching hallways.
I was not looking forward
to it. The older agents seemed to enjoy regaling us with stories about how
boring it was and how unpleasant the people were we were supposed to be
protecting. Most of them were not very important, but liked to think they were.
I was assigned to protect
the Ambassador from Tanzania. Why me? Because the ambassador was a woman, and
they had asked for a woman after some white pride group in Idaho had threatened
her. It seemed ridiculous to me, but nobody asked my opinion. Which was how I
wound up being assigned as her personal bodyguard for a while.
Her name was Zamile
Diamini, and meeting her was an experience.
I grew up in New Hampshire. We don't have a lot of Black people in New
Hampshire, so I was expecting a Whitney Houston or Beyonce, or maybe Oprah
Winfrey. That is, the Black women American television focused on.
Most Black women on TV in
America are light of skin, with features which often show more than a trace of
Caucasian or Arabic ancestry somewhere in the gene pool. Zamile Diamini was
100% Zulu warrior princess, with skin as dark as the ace of spades. She was
tall and lithely muscled, with a narrow face with high cheekbones and bright
She had short, curly hair,
disdaining the habit of so many African American women to try and make their
hair resemble that of Whites and Asians. Her nose was narrow and aristocratic,
and she had soft lips and perfect teeth, which surprised me, she coming from
Africa (and yes, I was pretty ignorant about Africa).
Oh, and she was a bitch.
Make that a Bitch, with a capital B. Everyone pretty much agreed on that score.
So why did we put up with her? Because the State Department was sucking up to
them, something about rare minerals some American mining companies wanted to
get out of them, and a base the military wanted. So pleasing them was