In praise of Mark Lane 

From WhoWhatWhy

If we accept Orwell’s dictum that truth-telling during a time of universal deceit equals revolution, America lost a great dissident when Mark Lane succumbed to a heart attack recently. In his careful, tweedy way, Lane did as much during the 1960s as any band of New Left radicals to change the national consciousness from blind acceptance of whatever came out of the TV to the bracing distrust of government that has marked public attitudes since the 1970s.

Source: Exclusive, Previously Unpublished Interview With Mark Lane – WhoWhatWhy

16 comments

  1. From the article:

    What the Times did not report: the jury held that, contrary to Hunt’s sworn testimony, he was in Dallas the day of Kennedy’s murder. . . . The suit later became the material for perhaps Lane’s finest literary indictment of the CIA, Plausible Denial.

    Lane flatly lied about this in Plausible Denial, and the article buys the lie.

    http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/denial.htm

    This is Russ Baker’s site, isn’t it?

    Mr. “Bush Didn’t Know Where He Was?”

    • J.D. says:

      The opening to that essay is so ridiculously slanted and poorly reasoned that it gives the reader little reason to expect a truthful or fair account of the events it describes.

      It attacks Lane for being a lawyer (like Gerald Posner and Vincent Bugliosi, one supposes) and then for defending a distasteful group’s right to freedom of speech. In other words, for doing what lawyers are supposed to do.

      But then again, this is John McAdams’s site, isn’t it? Mr. “Climate Change Isn’t Real”?

      • It attacks Lane for being a lawyer (like Gerald Posner and Vincent Bugliosi, one supposes) and then for defending a distasteful group’s right to freedom of speech.

        No, it points out that Lane is intentionally withholding information from his readers. It points out that lawyers are in the business of only saying things that benefit their clients, but that is only appropriate for an adversarial proceeding, not a book that claims to tell the whole truth.

        As for “freedom of speech:” the point of my essay is not that Hunt should have won, but that he lost because the jury did protect freedom of speech, and did not conclude that Hunt was a conspirator.

        Mr. “Climate Change Isn’t Real”?

        Which is a different issue. Or is it a matter of religious dogma with you, such that you feel free to dismiss any statement from anybody who expresses any skepticism about catastrophic global warming?

        • JSA says:

          Actually John, your climate change denial position echoes your rigid lone nut position, which denies any witnesses or information that contradicts that position. Having a flexible and open mind should be a good thing, especially with regard to the JFK assassination, which is anything but certain and closed when it comes to our knowledge of what really happened. Like the tobacco lobby hiding the truth about nicotine addiction and cancer risks of smoking, like the fossil fuel lobby hiding the facts about the greenhouse effect (which Exxon knew about years ago but hid from the general public), the knowledge of the JFK assassination is still partially hidden from public review by agencies like CIA who feel threatened by the release of all secret documents. It’s only a “different issue” if you ignore the shared secrecy of information. The truth isn’t always let out when it threatens certain interests. The tobacco lobby, the fossil fuel lobby, and the CIA power structure all have hidden elements of the truth from the public, so they are in fact quite similar as case studies.

          I’ve made this point to you repeatedly yet you ignore it. I feel like the guy trying to say that Thomas Jefferson DID have a slave mistress, regardless of the naysayers who said it was “impossible” and “ran against a sacred founder’s character to have done so.”

          • Actually John, your climate change denial position echoes your rigid lone nut position, which denies any witnesses or information that contradicts that position.

            Ironic you should say that, since that’s exactly what I think you do.

            Like the tobacco lobby hiding the truth about nicotine addiction and cancer risks of smoking,

            OK, I think your JFK conspiracy theories are like the “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion,” or the notion that FDR intentionally let the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor.

            See? We can all produce analogies to attack people who disagree with us. But those always beg the question.

            Know who Lysenko was?

            The truth isn’t always let out when it threatens certain interests.

            So that is why the global warming people are trying to punish and shut up people who question them?

            http://mu-warrior.blogspot.com/search?q=global+warming+fascism

            Let me give you a simple decision rule: those who are willing to debate an issue should be respected, and those who try to shut up dissent should be held in contempt.

            You call people skeptical of man-made global warming “deniers?” OK, you folks are global warming “alarmists.”

          • Tom S. says:

            Ironic you should say that, since that’s exactly what I think you do.

            If your comment is not approved and it includes more than four words and less than 501 words, is not only an unexplained link, consider if it amounts to merely, “I disagree with you,” or, “you’re wrong,” or, “I really don’t like you.”

          • JSA says:

            “Let me give you a simple decision rule: those who are willing to debate an issue should be respected, and those who try to shut up dissent should be held in contempt.”

            Let me continue to debate that JFK was most likely killed in a conspiracy and that evidence was either mishandled, destroyed, or ignored so that the general public wouldn’t know all of the facts of this case. As for anthropogenic global warming and your request that it still be debated, you do realize that your position is scientifically untenable, don’t you? It’s near unanimous among climate scientists that global warming is real. Do you debate evolution too? There comes a point when rational thinking should align with the repetitive peer reviewed research and with the observable, reported facts. As for the JFK case, I feel the secrecy still squirreled away by secret agencies should all be released, and let the chips fall where they may. I don’t own a website like you do, and I am not invested in a particular outcome. I think your website, like your membership in carbon groups like the Heartland Institute, compromises your position due to your investment in a particular outcome, although you play the role of the open minded skeptic quite well, I don’t think you are ready for prime time John.

  2. House Select Committee on Lane:

    Many of the allegations of conspiracy the committee investigated were first raised by Mark Lane, the attorney who represented James Earl Ray at the committee’s public hearings. As has been noted, the facts were often at variance with Lane’s assertions. . . . In many instances, the committee found that Lane was willing to advocate conspiracy theories publicly without having checked the factual basis for them. In other instances, Lane proclaimed conspiracy based on little more than inference and innuendo. Lane’s conduct resulted in public misperception about the assassination of Dr. King and must be condemned. (House Select Committee Report, Page 424, footnote 16)

  3. Ronnie Wayne says:

    Please read this “New” article if you have not and don’t believe the official version. It’s educational, to me at least.

  4. Tom S. says:

    If Weisberg had outlived Lane….

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:gABcp70oBcEJ:jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg%2520Manuscripts%2520And%2520Books/A%2520Citizen%27s%2520Descent.doc+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

    …what he calls “The Making of the Book.” It was not “made” by what has been described to me as a virtual rewriting by or under Benjamin Sonnenberg, Jr., for he is credited merely with “editing” the two times he is mentioned (A Citizen’s Descent, pp. 42, 50), each time in less than a sentence. One might be considered less than generous from the context in which it appears (A Citizen’s Descent, pp. 42). The paragraph has to do with a legal reading, for libel. The last half is this sentence:

    Nevertheless only a few trifling changes were made regarding the sentence, while the style was considerably improved due to the careful editing by Benjamin Sonnenberg, Jr., an American the residing in England.

    A hasty reader might get the idea that all the changes in the reworked book were “only a few” and at that were “trifling.” Were he, Mark, assuredly, would not take offence.

    This scant credit is, however, exceedingly generous when compared to the sole (and unindexed, Rush to Judgment, p. 477) mention in Rush to Judgment. Under “Acknowledgement,” a heading from which the word “grudging” is inherent but absent, there is this sentence:

    “I am deeply indebted to Benjamin Sonnenberg, Jr., whose numerous and invaluable suggestions (my emphasis) found their way into this volume.”

    Nor is this, compared with some of the other “Acknowledgements,” less than unstinting. The opening passage begins:

    “I gratefully acknowledge the advice, encouragement and assistance of many men and women.”

    Without any indication that they did his work for him, Mark the notes some he describes as “among the many amateur investigators who journeyed to Dallas.” Two of those are Harold Feldman and Ruth Fortel…..
    …….Now it happens that long before Mark finished his book (but not before he was contracted to have done so, to which we shall return),…. This was Feldman’s work and material.

    And Mrs. Fortel told me before mark’s first book was published that she had done his medical work… a field in which she has had experience, an added bonus and an added secret not shared with Mark’s readers and public.

    “The Making of the Book” begins with Mark’s manly assumption of responsibility for the falling apart of the Citizen’s Committee of Inquiry, which had financed him and helped him in numerous other vital ways…..
    …Those narrow souls who know and understand Mark might interpret this confession to really mean he had milked the Committee dry; so to hell with it…..

    https://books.google.com/books?id=nsItAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA76&lpg=PA76&dq=sonnenberg,+jr+mark+lane&source=bl&ots=ANbwlUZBen&sig=O-IcNT5s5LrvZDXXefIRYFrrt0M&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjijYark4_NAhUIPiYKHSM6Dl0Q6AEIJTAC#v=onepage&q=sonnenberg%2C%20jr%20mark%20lane&f=false

    http://maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=12739&search=garrison#relPageId=6&tab=page

  5. MDG says:

    It is extraordinary to think 50 years ago Mark Lane believed a Conspiracy was involved in the JFK Assassination.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fI7GwBtTRvc

    Lane was also so eloquent and masterful speaking about it in this 1966 interview with William F. Buckley.

    American indeed has lost a great dissident.

    It seems rather silly now for Buckley to suggest Lane is way out there for challenging such “an august group” who served on the Commission.

    Many of us of course also began to question things when Ruby shot Oswald in police custody on November 24, 1963.

    • Tom S. says:

      Ronnie, what geographical location is missing from this “Lane through Rose colored glasses” description? Sheesh! The Ed Forum is resembling Alice in Wonderland. Why are opinions so slanted, incomplete?

      http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=22891
      James DiEugenio – Posted 12 June 2016 – 03:01 AM

      After reading it, I understood why the MSM did not review it.

      http://www.ctka.net/…tizen-lane.html

      What a splendid life the guy had. I mean neither mine nor any other eulogy came close to approximating what he did.

      The guy was almost everywhere, you name it: Vietnam, Wounded Knee, Memphis, Arcadia Florida with Janet Reno.

      He was a credit to his profession.

      • Photon says:

        My heavens, Jim couldn’t even admit that Lane was Jim Jones (James ?!) lawyer. He was invited by James to give a lecture on King at Jonestown? That’s how he got involved with that paranoid and homicidal creature? What a joke. Of course, DiEugenio claims that SOMEBODY murdered many of the victims at Jonestown- heaven forbid that anybody actually look at the facts and see who planted the ” CIA is out to get you” paranoia in Jones head in the first place.
        And some people think that DiEugenio is a serious researcher.

      • Bill Clarke says:

        Tom S.
        June 14, 2016 at 1:58 am

        http://www.ctka.net/…tizen-lane.html

        “What a splendid life the guy had. I mean neither mine nor any other eulogy came close to approximating what he did.”

        “The guy was almost everywhere, you name it: Vietnam, Wounded Knee, Memphis, Arcadia Florida with Janet Reno.”

        Unfortunately Lane, like some of his “witnesses” on atrocities in Vietnam never went to Vietnam. Like so many “experts” he just wrote about it and wrote dishonestly at that. See starting on page316, Guenter Lewy’s “America in Vietnam” for comments on Lane’s “Conversations with Americans”.

        “He was a credit to his profession.”

        Even the liberal “Mother Jones” calls Mark Lane, “The Left’s Leading Hearse-Chaser

        http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg%20Subject%20Index%20Files/L%20Disk/Lane%20Mark/Lane%20Mark%20Citizens%20Commission%20of%20Inquiry/Item%20003.pdf

  6. Mariano says:

    Thank you Mark Lane for exposing the Warren Commission for the cover up investigation it represented, and inspiring many others to look more closely at the means by which the Report was arrived at.
    The world could never have imagined an investigative commission so systematically disingenuous in the investigation of JFK’s death.
    You emphasised the “cover up” was on at the outset.
    The world thanks you – RIP.

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