Jim Lichtman

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Jim Lichtman has been writing and speaking on ethics since 1995. PAST CLIENTS include: The Federal Dispute Resolution Conference, Society of Actuaries, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Rhode Island, American Bankers Association, Edward Jones, PaineWebber corporate, Sandia National Labs, Tenet Healthcare, California Teachers Association Region III, New Hampshire Technical College, Hampton University Honors College, Penn State Forum, U.S. Department of State. OP-EDs include: The Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, Houston Chronicle, Minneapolis Star-Tribune and The New York Times. PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS: “U.S. Intelligence, 9/11, & Iraq: A Whistleblower’s Story,” broadcast interview with TIME Magazine’s 2002 Person of the Year, Coleen Rowley, University of California at Santa Barbara, Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion and Public Life, (2007); “Is America Becoming a Culture of Corruption? – A Report on Honesty & Trust in America,” UCSB/Capps Center, (2006). POLLS: “Discordant Voices -- A Survey of Conservative and Liberal Commentators,” (2010); “The First 100 Days –Integrity, Leadership, Trust,” polling by Zogby International, (2009); “Post-Election Poll, What Americans Expect from the Next President and Congress,” polling by Zogby International, (2009); “Honesty & Trust in America, (2006) polling by Zogby International; “Do Ethics Still Matter? –Attitudes Among 18 to 24-year-olds,” polling by Zogby International, (2005).



BY Jim Lichtman

A political work explores the Starr Report and the scandal that engulfed President Bill Clinton from the perspective of the Secret Service.

Lichtman first met Lewis “Lew” Merletti while collecting stories about people who faced difficult ethical decisions for his book What Do You Stand For? (1999). As the first director of the United States Secret Service asked to testify against a sitting president, Merletti became a major figure in Kenneth Starr’s investigations into Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. In this work, the author hones his journalistic skills in this retelling of the infamous Clinton-Lewinsky scandal from the viewpoint of the Secret Service. Central to Merletti’s opposition to Starr’s questioning of Secret Service agents about Clinton’s private behavior was the survival of the agency itself. If a legal precedent was set that allowed agents to testify against presidents, then future leaders would distance themselves from their protectors, seeking legal cover from partisan investigations. But since agents “can’t outrun a bullet…from across the room,” Merletti stressed that physical proximity to the president was essential to their job, and thus the commander in chief must have full confidence in their absolute discretion. Merletti’s unequivocal stance drew the ire of Starr and other Republicans. Ultimately, to Merletti, who also served under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, his opposition to testifying was about the Secret Service’s protection mission. From its opening paragraph, this book is full of absorbing details from insiders, including a captivating account of Starr’s actions to “flip” Lewinsky. The work eschews the salacious details of an extramarital affair for an equally engrossing narrative of the political battle that ensued between the upper echelon of the Department of Justice and Starr’s Office of Independent Counsel. Based largely on interviews with Merletti and other behind-the-scenes actors (with the glaring exception of Starr himself, who declined four interview requests) and newly released documents that are reprinted in the appendices, Lichtman’s story is a gripping political drama.

A well-researched, enthralling history of the fight between Kenneth Starr and the Secret Service.

Pub Date:

Page count: 248pp

Publisher: Manuscript

Review Posted Online: July 10, 2020

Awards, Press & Interests

Favorite book

"A Higher Loyalty"

Favorite line from a book

"The way I'm going to tell you this is exactly the way it happened."

Favorite word


"The First 100 Days - Integrity, Leadership, Trust", 2009 "What Americans Expect from the Next President and Congress", 2008 "Honesty and Trust in America", 2006 "Excuses Are Not Ethics", 2000


"Shameless, The Ethical Case Against Three Out-of-Control Critics and the Need for Civility Now More than Ever"

An ethical examination of political pundits, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh.
ISBN: ISBN 978-1-4507-64926

"The Lone Ranger's Code of the West - An Action-Packed Adventure in Values and Ethics with the Legendary Champion of Justice"

The author has a series of campfire chats with the Lone Ranger discussing the ethical values he lives by through a series of adventure stories.
ISBN: ISBN: 0-9648591-0-6

"What Do You Stand For? - Stories About Principles That Matter"

Responses from a variety of individuals to the questionnaire: "What do you stand for? What principles have you lived by? Describe a moment of principle in which your convictions were tested."
ISBN: ISBN 0-9648591-1-4