Saturday, May 14, 2016

R.I.P. Mark Lane - One Of The Earliest JFK Conspiracy Analysts

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Mark Lane, called a "theorist" by the dumb MSM, but he was in fact the first JFK conspiracy analyst.

Sadly, JFK conspiracy analyst Mark Lane ('Rush to Judgment', 'Plausible Denial', 'The Last Word: My Indictment of the CIA In the Murder of John F Kennedy') died yesterday. While the corporate news media (e.g. New York Times, CBS Evening News' and Scott Pelley) referred to Lane as one of the first "conspiracy theorists" he was in fact one of the first and best conspiracy analysts. The distinction is important, because as Dr. Pat Bannister showed, it marked the difference between a mature, rational, tempered approach to a case, and a scattershot, irrational, immature set of wild conjectures.

Long before the arrival of David Talbot, Peter Dale Scott, Anthony Marsh, James DiEugenio, Walt Brown, James Douglass, David Lifton and Philip Nelson, there was Mark Lane, showing the multitude of ways that the Warren Commission and its Report was one of the most monumental frauds in history. For those like myself, originally blinded and misled by egregious WC apologias like 'Portrait of an Assassin' by Gerald R. Ford, it was like having one's eyes finally opened.

Rush to Judgment, Lane's 1966 work, tore the propaganda lid off the Warren Commission Report in so many ways they are impossible to count. From the coercion and misrepresentation of WC witnesses, to the false portrayals of numerous aspects - including the "sniper's nest", the bullets, Jack Ruby's entry into the Dallas PD basement, the Tippitt killing, the autopsy, and the rifle tests. Indeed, Lane was one of the few early critics to present the full, factual details of the WC rifle tests and how they failed to replicate the alleged Oswald shots. (Edward J. Epstein also presented them, to his credit)

Taking one specific example, Lane showed the misdirection used in the Warren Report to do with the conditions applicable to Oswald's USMC  rifle test scores, citing the questioning of a Major Eugene D. Anderson in reference to Commission Exhibit No. 239. (p. 124).  From his ambivalent  testimony, the WC simply published Anderson's speculations on what the weather on May 6, 1959 might have been - e.g. for Oswald to have achieved low test firing scores.. Anderson at first  saying "it was an ideal day" for firing conditions then that "it might have been a bad day for firing the rifle"  But as Lane pointed out (ibid.):

"Although the Commission adopted and published the major's speculation on what the weather 'might well have been'  there was no need for imprecision on this point. Whenever weather is a factor in a court case in the United States, the records of the United States Weather Bureau are subpoenaed and presented as a matter of course.  ... The Weather Bureau records show that the day was not 'windy, rainy, dark', it was sunny and bright and no rain fell."

On exposing this sin of egregious omission or oversight, for example, Lane was able to show the sundry others clearly used to distort public perceptions. In any case, the failure to even recognize that official records were available for the date, showed that the  WC "blue ribbon" panel wasn't what it was cracked up to be.

Following on from his book, Lane prepared a video with the same title, in which actual assassination witnesses were interviewed including: S.M. Holland, Lee Bowers, Aquilla Clemmons,  Orville Nix and others. In the case of S. M. Holland, e.g.

Lane escorted him to the top of the Triple Underpass overlooking Dealey Plaza to assess the full layout including the grassy knoll, and the curve of Elm Street around the Texas School Book Depository. Subsequently,  Lane actually walked with Holland down to the picket fence on the grassy knoll showing clearly its height would have concealed an assassin. Holland also recounted for Lane the questions never asked him by the Commission.

The interview with railroad worker Lee Bowers (later found dead in an apparent accident) disclosed the movement of men and a vehicle ('58 or '59 Chevy, tires covered with mud) behind the picket fence on the knoll just before the assassination. Then, Orville Nix confirmed his film was seized  (by alleged government agents) and returned altered with specific frames missing. (Nix took his movie from the opposite side of Elm Street to Zapruder.)

It was this attention to detail and the will to call out the bogus Warren Commission that appealed to skeptics and critics, paving the way for others to enter the fray as they have for the past 50 -odd years. All of this directed at breaking the stranglehold of PR and propaganda to get at the truth. Lane's additional books further extended his critical inquiry approach, finally ending with 'The Last Investigation' which at last zeroes in on the CIA as the prime culprits behind the deed, since backed up by David Talbot's recent  “The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government”.

Even indirectly, Lane was able to expose the work of WC apologists and hacks like Gerald Posner and Vince Bugliosi as slipshod and misleading. For example, in his cinder block farce 'Reclaiming History', Bugliosi claimed Mark Lane, never mentioned in his book Rush to Judgment, that Oswald had been arrested. Bugliosi’s exact words are: “He doesn’t even mention Oswald’s arrest”.

Bugliosi's snafu showed he  thought many readers either never would read (or wouldn't have access) to his book or Lane’s, but he was wrong. When I checked my copy of Lane’s book I found (p. 81) not only the details of the place of arrest but the time and the words “Oswald was arrested in the Texas Theater at approximately 1.50 p.m. that day”.

The question that emerged from this was: If Bugliosi could fail to check his claims, or worse,  lie with impunity on even a minor pro forma (generally accepted) event as concerns the critical pro-conspiracy community, how many larger events would he be prepared to misrepresent in the interest of his propaganda? 

Make no mistake that the entire JFK research community is indebted to Mark Lane, who even to this day assorted WC apologists and lackeys have attempted to slander, diminish or dismiss. But his work will remain with us as perpetual markers to the truth about the conspiracy behind the assassination, including spurring dozens of others to take up the mantle and proceed onward - with the same courage as Lane.


If Hillary wants to do us a favor in terms of releasing government files, she can leave out the "Area 51" UFO stuff and just release the George Joannides CIA files pertaining to his running disaffected Cubans in advance of the Kennedy assassination. Let's hope she at least tries to equal what hubby Bill did in terms of his released files (in accord with the JFK Records Act). Then, we might be able to say she accomplished something - assuming she ascends to the Oval Office.

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