Mark Lane’s legacy: right to counsel

one of the many travesties of the Commission was that Oswald was not granted counsel throughout the ten-month legal procedure.

Source: The Death of Mark Lane – CTKA

51 comments

  1. PaulM says:

    Mark Lane was a true American patriot. May we not forget his contribution to our freedom.

  2. Anthony Martin says:

    Makes a person think; What if Oswald hadn’t been killed, would there have been a fair trail and a conviction?
    What if the “Innocence Project” had been around 30 yrs ago? Could they have achieved a reversal? Even if Oswald was ‘sacrificed’ to ‘prevent nucleur war, then he deserves recognition. If he was used as a ‘patsy’ to commit a crime, some sort of compensation is due. In any case the facts of the case should be considered and re-considerred, even if Oswald’s guilt, innocence., or complicity is inconclusive, becasue the study of the events compels a glimpse into how the USA government can and has worked. The picture is not often pretty.

    • Considering the fraudulent activities of the Warren Commission, I cannot imagine the slightest possibility of a “fair trial” for Oswald had he not been murdered.
      But I think that Oswald’s murder was part of the plot all along. I think they meant to kill him during the Texas Theater arrest, but he didn’t bolt and run, as they seem to have been waiting for him to do.
      It may have been planned to kill him “escaping” from the TSBD.

      But he obviously HAD TO DIE. Any trial would have been too chancy.
      \\][//

    • George says:

      In my opinion, he was killed to prevent a trial, not to shut him up. He was exactly what he said he was: a patsy and % railroaded. The only facts you can rely on from the official version are that JFK was assassinated at approx 12:30; that Oswald had been in the building that day and that he was arrested at approx 1:50 at the Texas Theater. The facts are yet to come out for everything else.

      If he had lived and was convicted, I do think he would ave been among those exonerated through the Innocence Project by now. Unfortunately, they will only touch cases where there has been a trial and a conviction, so those good folk are of no use to us here.

      • Photon says:

        If he would have gone to trial he would have been convicted of killing Tippit. Even Mark Lane admitted to Oswald’s guilt in that matter in the screenplay for “Executive Action” -which I saw in the theater when it came out. When the plotters heard that Tippit had been shot it is explained away as the desperate act of a hunted man-not that he didn’t do it. At the time Oswald’s guilt in the murder of Tippit was hardly questioned-there was just too much evidence that he did it, from witnesses, to his gun being matched to the shells found at the scene , to his actions in the Texas Theater and finally his crypto confession in the police car after leaving the scene. Even the worthless Paraffin Test that CTers love was positive on his hands.
        At the time of the movie the CT community generally dealt with the Tippit issue either by ignoring it or justifying it as the film did. As memories fade the CT community has found it easier to claim that all of the evidence implicating Oswald in Tippit’s murder is incorrect-even to the crazy claim that Oswald never pulled a gun on the cops in the Texas Theater.

        • Jordan says:

          Should you not preface your comment with a “It is my opinion that…” ?

          I thought so….!

        • “As memories fade the CT community has found it easier to claim that all of the evidence implicating Oswald in Tippit’s murder is incorrect-even to the crazy claim that Oswald never pulled a gun on the cops in the Texas Theater.”~Photon

          You cannot prove that Oswald pulled that gun in the the Texas Theater. You and Jean tried and failed miserably.
          . . .
          You so-called “star witness” to the shooting, Mrs. Helen Markham, was a fruitcake.
          She was supposedly the only person to see the shooting in its entirety.
          When she appeared before the Commission Mrs. Markham repeatedly said she had been unable to recognize anyone at the lineup and changed her tune only after pressure from counsel.

          “The star witness in the Tippit shooting was best summed up by Joseph Ball senior counsel to the Warren Commission itself. In 1964 he referred in a public debate to her testimony as being “full of mistakes” and to Mrs Markham as an “utter screwball.” He dismissed her as “utterly unreliable,” the exact opposite of the Report’s verdict.”

          http://spartacus-educational.com/JFKmarkhamH.htm

          \\][//

          • Only buffs call Markham a “star witness.”

          • “Only buffs call Markham a “star witness.”
            ~McAdams

            You don’t have a “star witness” do you McAdams? None of them are believable.

            In all fairness it could be said the ONLY witness to the Tippit shooting was David Belin. He lead all the testimony.
            Therefore it is HIS.
            \\][//

          • Testimony of David Belin
            Los Angeles, California — September 17, 1996

            “Now, in addressing the challenge you face I’m going to have two alternative recommendations, but in order to get these in perspective I want to first start with a frame of reference to understand how I approach this issue. First, as you know I served as Counsel to the Warren Commission in 1964. I was one of the two lawyers concentrating on what we called Area Two, the determination of who killed President Kennedy, which was expanded to who killed Officer Tippett.

            We interviewed the witnesses at the time shortly after the event when their recollections were the freshest, and therefore the best. In undertaking our investigation we followed but one standard, a standard that was established by Chief Justice Earl Warren in our very first meeting. “Truth is our only goal.” It was the standard Lee Rankin followed. It was the standard that Professor Liebeler followed. It was a standard that all of us followed.”~DAVID BELIN

            http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/arrb/index36.htm

            Belin is lying. The Warren Commission’s only goal was to frame Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone assassin of JFK.
            See the Jan. 22nd and the Jan. 27th executive sessions that prove this conclusively:

            Mr. Rankin: Part of our difficulty in regard to it is that they have no problems. They have decided that it is Oswald who committed the assassination, they have decided that no one else was involved, they have decided —
            Sen. Russell: They have tried the case and reached a verdict on every aspect.
            Rep. Boggs: You have put your finger on it. . . .
            Mr. Rankin: . . . They have decided the case, and we are going to have maybe a thousand further inquiries that we say the Commission has to know all these things before it can pass on this.
            And I think their reaction probably would be, “Why do you want all that. It is clear.”
            Sen. Russell: “You have our statement, what else do you need?”
            Mr. McCloy: Yes, “We know who killed cock robin.”[3]

            http://www.ratical.org/ratville/JFK/PG/PGintro.html
            \\][//

          • See the Jan. 22nd and the Jan. 27th executive sessions that prove this conclusively:

            Mr. Rankin: Part of our difficulty in regard to it is that they have no problems. They have decided that it is Oswald who committed the assassination, they have decided that no one else was involved, they have decided —

            Sen. Russell: They have tried the case and reached a verdict on every aspect.

            Rep. Boggs: You have put your finger on it. . . .

            Mr. Rankin: . . . They have decided the case, and we are going to have maybe a thousand further inquiries that we say the Commission has to know all these things before it can pass on this.

            And I think their reaction probably would be, “Why do you want all that. It is clear.”

            Sen. Russell: “You have our statement, what else do you need?”

            Mr. McCloy: Yes, “We know who killed cock robin.”[3]

            Bizarre that you are quoting this. They are bitching about the fact that the FBI has its mind made up.

            Rather than endorsing the notion that Oswald did it alone, they are complaining about the FBI.

            In fact, the WC made continual demands of the FBI, and the FBI complied. Read Shenon.

            You even quoted Rankin:

            we are going to have maybe a thousand further inquiries that we say the Commission has to know all these things before it can pass on this.

            That was quite the right attitude.

          • Tom S. says:

            Yeah, they were all altar boys. How about some balance?
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_E._Jenner,_Jr.#Controversy

            http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=18349
            Ruby Silenced Oswald. If Chicago Forced Ruby, Would the WC Look Like This?

          • You don’t have a “star witness” do you McAdams? None of them are believable.

            Markham is believable, since she did ID Oswald in the lineup, and resisted attempts by Mark Lane to manipulate her. She insisted that the killer was the number two man.

            Of course, you don’t want to talk about the Davis women, or Callaway, or Scoggins.

            Want to address them?

          • Why did you drop off the last of it McAdams?

            “And I think their reaction probably would be, “Why do you want all that. It is clear.”

            Sen. Russell: “You have our statement, what else do you need?”

            Mr. McCloy: Yes, “We know who killed cock robin.”[3]”
            . . . .
            One can see very plainly from this that Oswald was to be framed, whether the Commissioners liked it or not.
            McCloy and especially Russell, clearly did not like it one bit. One will recall the the treatment Russell was subjected to when he afterwards gave his dissent to a phony stenographer and it was not recorded.
            \\][//

          • Thanks for this link Tom!

            http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=18349

            This is a revealing glimpse into the inner workings of the Warren Commission, and explains how just a few of the top tier commissioners could manipulate the entire operation.
            \\][//

          • Why did you drop off the last of it McAdams?

            “And I think their reaction probably would be, “Why do you want all that. It is clear.”

            Sen. Russell: “You have our statement, what else do you need?”

            Mr. McCloy: Yes, “We know who killed cock robin.”[3]”

            The statements of Russell and McCloy are just piling on Rankin: voicing what the FBI reaction would be.

            You are refusing to look at the larger context.

            They don’t like the fact that the FBI thinks it’s all tied up.

          • “You are refusing to look at the larger context.
            They don’t like the fact that the FBI thinks it’s all tied up.”~McAdams

            It isn’t me that refuses to look at the larger context. Not only do they not like the fact that the FBI thinks it’s all tied up; they obviously know that they will be obliged to agree with the FBI in their report.

            And this is why they all felt that the record of that discussion should be destroyed. If their jury rigged report was ever going to be accepted these conversations could never see the light of day.

            So they were suppressed for three decades. And now that they finally did come to light, apologists like you want to reinterpret them into milquetoast blabber.

            This isn’t going to work for you McAdams, not to anyone who is rational.
            \\][//

          • It isn’t me that refuses to look at the larger context. Not only do they not like the fact that the FBI thinks it’s all tied up; they obviously know that they will be obliged to agree with the FBI in their report.

            Nonsense.

            Mr. Rankin: . . . They have decided the case, and we are going to have maybe a thousand further inquiries that we say the Commission has to know all these things before it can pass on this.

            He says the Commission “has to pass” on the assassination.

            And it did, which you would know if you knew or cared how the Commission worked.

            Read Shenon.

          • Jean Davison says:

            Willy,

            “…they obviously know that they will be obliged to agree with the FBI in their report.”

            But they didn’t agree with the FBI’s 3-shot, 3-hits shooting scenario, which wasn’t even mentioned in the WR. They’re complaining about the FBI’s poor work.

            “And this is why they all felt that the record of that discussion should be destroyed. If their jury rigged report was ever going to be accepted these conversations could never see the light of day.”

            But it did see the light of day!

          • “But it did see the light of day!”~Jean Davison

            Not because it was not attempted to suppress that record, but because the stenographer’s copy was discovered later, even though the commissioners all destroyed their own copies.

            It is clear from the record that the commissioners did not wish these first two executive sessions to ever be made public.

            Why? Because it is obvious that Oswald was to be judged as guilty regardless of what evidence might be brought forth. And pursuent to that goal certain exculpatory evidence was suppressed or outright ignored or destroyed.
            \\][//

          • Jean Davison says:

            The court reporter’s notes on the January 22 executive session were placed in the National Archives and later used to prepare the transcript that’s currently online (scroll down):

            http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=1327

  3. “Marguerite Oswald, mother of the murdered suspect, heard about Lane’s polemic. She wanted him to act as her murdered son’s defense advocate. But the Warren Commission would not allow it. When Lane forwarded his request to the Commission, Chief Counsel J. Lee Rankin wired back to him the following message: “The Commission does not believe that it would be useful or desirable to permit an attorney representing Lee Harvey Oswald to have access to the investigative materials within the possession of the Commission or to participate in any hearings to be conducted by the Commission.” (See Lane’s A Citizen’s Dissent, e-book version, Part 2, “The Great Silence.”)

    In fact, in one of the many travesties of the Commission was that Oswald was not granted counsel throughout the ten-month legal procedure. In that respect, the proceeding was a runaway prosecution. Lane was allowed to appear before the Commission twice, once in March and once in July. These were clearly token, adversarial appearances. In fact, it is hard to find another witness who the Commission treated with such hostility. (Walt Brown, The Warren Omission, pgs. 243-45)”~James DiEugenio

    http://www.ctka.net/2016/marklane/the-death-of-mark-lane.html
    \\][//

  4. lysias says:

    Does anyone have standing to sue the U.S. government at this late date for what it did to Oswald?

    Statute of limitations is an affirmative defense that can be waived, which means that, if that is all that blocks such a suit, the U.S. government can waive the defense and allow the case to go to trial.

  5. Jordan says:

    Oswald got set up. He wasn’t going to survive, and I believe they expected him to run out of the back of the theatre into a hail of bullets.

    He knew he had been burned by that point, he just didn’t know how bad. He also knew that his cover was blown. He picked up his handgun not for fear of the police, but for fear of someone else.

    • “He picked up his handgun not for fear of the police, but for fear of someone else.”~Jordan

      However, it is not firmly established that Oswald owned that handgun. Just like the Carcano, was never established to have gotten into Oswald’s possession.

      There is a good case to be made that the police planted that revolver on Oswald in the Texas Theater. Just like there is firm evidence that Oswald never received that Carcano.

      The details of the ‘scuffle’ that took place in the theater have been gone into in great detail on this forum. There simply are no reliable witnesses to Oswald having a pistol at any time prior to the physical encounter with the police. Accepting the testimony of the arresting officers is preposterous, given all the other evidence of planted evidence and official malfeasance in this case.
      \\][//

      • Jordan says:

        Strangely enough, both of his guns are at issue for many reasons, but I also I believe I read or saw something the other day regarding the identity of the gun that allegedly “mis-fired” in the theatre being someone elses, and not Oswalds.

        While I don’t have immediate recall of where I found this info, I understood that there was good reason to believe that it was one of the “agents” manhanding LHO whose weapon mis-fired.

        To me, it is obvious that there were attempts to escalate the whole matter into a defensible “death by cop” scenario.

  6. Oswald’s Case Against the Warren Commission
    By Leo Sauvage
    The New Leader, 20 December 1965, pages 5–10

    “Did the Warren Commission really carry out President Johnson’s directive “to satisfy itself that the truth is known so far as it can be discovered” in the case of John F. Kennedy’s assassination? One may argue that it did “satisfy itself,” but not that “the truth is known as far as it can be discovered.”
    From its official Report of September 27, 1963—and especially after studying the 26 volumes of Hearings and Exhibits published two months later—it is clear that the Commission cannot claim to have ascertained all the available facts. Its very methods prevented this: First, it did not demonstrate the concern for impartial research that is vital to any serious inquiry; and second, in gathering evidence and hearing witnesses, it did not recognize established criteria for distinguishing between truth and falsehood.
    The United States, to its honor, has always accorded a high place in its judicial process to the right of cross-examination, to the principle that nothing should be accepted as proven until opportunity has been provided for the adversary’s presentation. This is not merely a rule of law; it is a tool designed to bring from the darkness the smallest detail that might contribute to an exact knowledge of the facts. In a recent article in the New York University Law Review, Paul L. Freese describes cross-examination as “perhaps the paramount principle of the common law procedure.” Supporting this view, he cites the respected American jurist John Henry Wigmore, who maintains that cross-examination “is beyond any doubt the greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth.”
    Since the Warren Commission was not a court, it was of course not legally required to adhere to the principle of cross-examination. But the Executive Order appointing the Commission expressly permitted it “to prescribe its own procedures.” How could “a fact-finding agency committed to the ascertainment of the truth” (as the Warren Commission defines itself in the Foreword to the Report) deliberately deprive itself of such an instrument? Is it because “the real task of the Warren Commission was not to find the truth but to appear to have found the truth to the satisfaction of the largest number of people here and abroad”? That is Freese’s suggestion (the italics are his) in the NYU Law Review, although he does not feel this is any reason to doubt the Commission’s conclusions.”
    […]

    http://kenrahn.com/JFK/The_critics/Sauvage/Oswalds_Case/Oswalds_case.html

    \\][//

  7. Ronnie Wayne says:

    Excellent memorial by Mr. DiEugenio. Read it if you’ve not. Better yet read Mr. Lane’s books and learn for yourself, watch the video’s on line. In spite of questioning of his work he persisted and it has not only stood the test of time but led the way. Not once or twice but over 50 years, multiple times.

  8. John says:

    Lane’s book (RTJ) was either the first or second book I read on the assassination and spurned my interest that has not subsided to this day. I didn’t read it when it was first published, but some years later. RIP, sir. Thank you for your dedication to the pages of the WCR and trying to get to the bottom of it.

  9. “The only way you can believe the Warren Report is not to have read it.”~Mark Lane
    \\][//

    • The impetus of both of the earliest critics of the Warren Report had its genesis in actually reading the thing:

      “Finally, I put aside all other business and started to wade through the Warren Commission’s own 26 volumes of supportive evidence and testimony. That was the clincher. It’s impossible for anyone possessed of reasonable objectivity and a fair degree of intelligence to read those 26 volumes and not reach the conclusion that the Warren Commission was wrong in every one of its major conclusions pertaining to the assassination. For me, that was the end of innocence.”~Jim Garrison
      \\][//

  10. Ronnie Wayne says:

    Right to council. Oswald refused such from a Dallas legal association (wisely), asked for such from “someone” in his “interview”, tried to get a hold of “communist” John Abt in NYC.
    A bit leading to me as far as his hopes for help.

    • No need to put “communist” in quotes. He was a communist, and said so.

      • JSA says:

        He said so. So what? Can you prove that he wasn’t lying when he “said so”? Why can’t we see all of Oswald’s files? If it’s so obvious that Oswald was a communist, why all the b.s. secrecy about all of his records to this day?

    • James Feldman says:

      There is no solid evidence that Oswald requested legal assistance specifically from John Abt. If Oswald wanted to hire Abt as his attorney, he had plenty of opportunity to make his request known during the various times that the Dallas Police paraded him around the news reporters. But Oswald didn’t make such a specific request. What Oswald did make clear is that he was seeking SOMEONE to give him legal representation. The Dallas Police denied him legal representation despite his public requests. The films of Oswald in the Dallas Police station show Oswald making his requests, and no one from the Dallas Police made any statement when Oswald made his requests about Oswald refusing any legal assistance:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FDDuRSgzFk

      BTW, John Abt’s grandfather Levi Abt was one of the founders of what is today known as Hartmarx, a major American clothing manufacturer. As the Company was known in earlier times, Hart, Abt and Marx won contracts to produce clothing for the U.S. military.

  11. Jean Davison says:

    I wish people would look at the implications of this: Oswald rejected Nichols’ offer to help find him a lawyer.

    This was less than 24 hours after he’d told reporters that the police were denying him legal representation and pleading for “someone to come forward.” He was lying about that, playing for sympathy. And it worked, and it’s still working.

    Lawyer Nichols told the WC:

    “I informed him that I was there to see whether or not he had a lawyer, or wanted a lawyer, and he said–he asked me first did I know a lawyer in New York named John Abt, and I don’t know if it is A-b-t, or A-p-t.”

    http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/russ/testimony/nichol_h.htm

    Oswald probably learned of Abt through The Worker, which had mentioned Abt’s legal work for some “Smith Act victims,” as Oswald reportedly called them:

    QUOTE:
    Mr. BALL. Did you say anything to him about an attorney the first time you talked to him?
    Mr. FRITZ. Yes, sir; the first time. He asked about an attorney, and I told him he certainly could have an attorney any time he wanted it…. He said he wanted an attorney in New York. And he gave me his name, Mr. Abt, and he said that is who he wanted, and I told him he could have anyone he liked. He said, well, he knew about a case that he had handled some years ago, where he represented the people who had violated the Smith Act, and he said, “I don’t know him personally, but that is the attorney I want.”
    UNQUOTE

    http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/russ/testimony/fritz1.htm

    This is the manipulative liar you’re defending, folks.

    • Jean, this is also the accused rejecting any lawyer involved in the establishment of Dallas, the scene of the crime, and asking specifically for representation from someone he knew would be sympathetic to his personal history including the defection to Russia. I think Oswald’s wheels were turning, even more so than they were on the 2nd Floor, and I think he believed that Abt was his best chance. I think that at that point in time inside the DPD station, he still thought someone had his back and that he would survive being set up as the “patsy”. I think the greatest tragedy of all is the naiveté of Oswald the 24 year old trusting that whomever had been handling him for months and years had his personal welfare in mind. In short, Lee Harvey Oswald was clueless.

      • Ronnie Wayne says:

        Ja, clueless and manipulated describes LHO. He was abandoned by his handler(s).

      • Jean Davison says:

        Everybody is ignoring the point, I see. The point is not that Oswald wanted Abt instead of a Dallas lawyer. He had a right to pick anyone he wanted.

        The point is that he claimed he was denied legal representation, which is a lie. And he didn’t want just any random lawyer to “come forward,” he wanted Abt and if not Abt, an ACLU lawyer.

        “I think that at that point in time inside the DPD station, he still thought someone had his back and that he would survive being set up as the “patsy”. I think the greatest tragedy of all is the naiveté of Oswald the 24 year old trusting that whomever had been handling him for months and years had his personal welfare in mind. In short, Lee Harvey Oswald was clueless.”

        That’s the conspiracy book fantasy, Oswald the sock puppet. The actual flesh-and-blood Oswald described by the people who knew him throughout his life was the opposite of compliant and gullible. Sam Ballen, for example, was one of many:

        QUOTE:
        “… the final impressions that I had of this chap is that we just didn’t want to be involved with him. He was too independent a thinker…..
        Mr. LIEBELER. Can you remember with any great specificity the things that Oswald said or did that led you to the conclusion that he was such an independent fellow?
        Mr. BALLEN. It was his overall mannerism, and he would have, did have, a habit of closing off discussion on a given subject by a shrug of the shoulders; and it was just an overall impression that I ended up with.
        UNQUOTE

        http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/russ/testimony/ballen.htm

        Oswald was also not stupid. IQ=118.

  12. “This is the manipulative liar you’re defending, folks.”~Jean Davison

    No, Oswald was wise enough not to engage an establishment lawyer, and had some sort of trust in Mr Abt.

    “Arguing before the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the act in 1960, Mr. Abt said the statute represented “an attempt without precedent in this country to enforce conformity by suppressing association and advocacy.” In 1961, however, the Court sustained the section of the act requiring Communist-action organizations to register with the Government, 5 to 4.

    Although he lost that battle, Mr. Abt did win a unanimous Supreme Court ruling in 1965 that individuals may invoke their constitutional privilege against self-incrimination and refuse to register with the Government as members of the Communist Party. Mr. Abt considered this his greatest legal victory.
    […]
    The day after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald, accused as the killer, asked to be allowed to hire Mr. Abt to defend him. Before Mr. Abt could accept or reject the bid, Mr. Oswald was shot and killed by Jack Ruby.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/1991/08/13/nyregion/john-j-abt-lawyer-dies-at-87-communist-party-counsel-in-us.html

    \\][//

  13. Ronnie Wayne says:

    If you listen to nothing else, watch 21:30 of Sam Holland until you see JFK’s foot hanging out of the limousine.

    • Ronnie Wayne says:

      If you choose to watch more, who was Dodd? Why was he Ignored?
      James Leon Simmons, Who? “I always thought it was peculiar, but I thought it’s the way THEY did business.” Orville Nix in 1966, frames missing from his original film. His FRIEND Sorrels. J.C. Price’s eyes don’t lie, but he can’t buy…
      Brem ignored by the WO, Incredible.
      Has anyone ever noticed the fence is not Picket except in the corner in this film tour by Lane and Holland? More so, that all of the fence is in good repair, I.E. still relatively new in 1966. I wonder when it was installed?

  14. R. Andrew Kiel says:

    Tom,

    What happened to my post from May 18 relating to McAdams criticism of selective evidence promoted by Mark Lane (defense) with the Warren Commission (prosecution) using selective evidence to find Oswald guilty? I referenced Charles Brehm (Drehm) Sam Holland, Seymour Weitzman, Richard Dodd, & James Simmons.

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