Dan Bongino, the Secret Service agent who left his heavily sought after role as a Secret Service agent in the President’s Special Protected Division to run for Congress as a liberatarian-leaning Republican in Maryland recently published Life Inside the Bubble: Why a Top-Ranked Secret Service Agent Walked Away from It All.
The book covers Bongino’s rise through the ranks of law enforcement which paralleled his ideological journey towards libertarianism, ultimately driving him to leave law enforcement and fight to reform big government. Below are five essential and incisive quotes from his book. Be sure to check out our explosive interview with Bongino as well as our comprehensive review of the book, in case you missed them.
1. On entrenched government interests: “Every additional agency we create in turn creates another agency head whose interests are in protecting his department, his people, and his budget. As a result, missions consistently suffer because the incentives are wrong. Managers think they are doing their duty to protect “their agency” and “their people” when they are really employees of the American people and there to serve a larger mission. These incentives will never change until we pursue a complete overhaul of our federal law-enforcement architecture with a consolidation of agencies and bureaucratic layers. This can only be accomplished through a broad-based initiative designed to allocate scarce taxpayer dollars to law-enforcement priorities rather than individual agency priorities.” (pg. 72)
2. On bureaucracy: “…with big, bureaucratic government comes big, bureaucratic consequences, and one of those consequences is that the bureaucracy’s primary reason for existence over time becomes to protect itself…Having numerous federal agencies with overlapping investigative and protective responsibilities is, in my experience, not only a budget problem but a national security problem and in the wake of the 2013 Boston terror attack, the issue should become a congressional priority.” (pg. 101)
3. Regarding Secret Service malfeasances in Colombia: “…the only bad behavior I ever witnessed [at so-called “wheels-up" events, parties following missions]…was by intoxicated White House staff. Despite the realities of both staff and agent behavior on the ground, the administration publicly berated the Secret Service and avoided any mention of cleaning up its own house. The rules seemed to apply only when there was a political advantage to be gained…I blame the president’s team for using the situation as an opportunity to bolster their image…The hypocritical calls for “accountability” from the administration and certain DC lawmakers (who, allegedly, may have participated in illicit activities themselves), speaks to the untouchable attitudes of a Washington, DC, class who view American citizens as misbehaving children and themselves as the disciplinarians.” (pg. 123)
hypocritical calls for “accountability” from the administration and certain DC lawmakers speaks to the untouchable attitudes of…Washington
4. On standing up to fight government tyranny: “When you see the contrast between our lives here in the US and the lives of citizens in nearly every other country around the world, your passion to defend the ideas that have made us exceptional can only grow. We are living in a political era where foundational American ideas—rule of law, limited government, individual liberty—have come under harsh attack, despite the undeniable prosperity, power and success that makes our country a beacon and example for the rest of the world. If you believe that today is not the best that it is ever going to be, that tomorrow can and will be better, then you need to be willing to fight for it. Fighting for it requires action, not talk. Complaining about the political course of the country may temporarily alleviate some of the frustration associated with an unwanted national decline, but will not right the ship. If you are not satisfied, you must act.” (pg. 127-128)
5. On irresponsible government culture: “…the growing size of government bureaucracy has led to an environment of detachment, where no one is really responsible, where there is always another layer in an organization to blame for wrongdoing—and where innocent people have died as a result.” (pg. 129)