Mark Lane

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Mark Lane

Mark Lane

Fallout shelter fallout

A former member of the Communist dominated American Labor Party, Mark Lane stirred controversy in 1962 when he accused Republican NY Assembly Speaker Joe Carlino of supporting a fallout shelter program for personal profit. Lane was the only dissenter when the New York State Assembly voted to clear Carlino of any wrongdoing.[1]

Representing marchers

In 1963, Liz Elkind and others had participated in a sit-in at the office of the governor of New York to protest work on state building projects being carried out by companies and unions who would not hire or accept as members Black workers. They were arrested for trespassing and during the week of the March on Washington had been in court. Their lawyers, Percy Sutton and Mark Lane, asked that the trial be suspended for the day of the march so that they could go to Washington. They were astonished that the judge granted their request. In retrospect it may have had to do with Sutton's position and influence in the Democratic Party - he had been Manhattan Borough president, and judges were elected.[2]

National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee

As of May 1964, Mark Lane, attorney, former N.Y. Assembly, was listed as a sponsor of the Communist Party USA front, National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee.

JFK Conspiracy theorist

Mark Lane is the father of JFK assassination conspiracy theories, having written at least 10 books on the subject since 1966, four of them considered major works.

Lane's first book and perhaps his best-known work is his critique of the Warren Commission report, "Rush to Judgment." The book was an instant bestseller in 1966 and is one of the best-selling all-time books on the JFK assassination conspiracy theories. A couple years later, Lane published "A Citizen's Dissent: Mark Lane Replies to the Defenders of the Warren Report." Lane's early books were about Oswald's innocence. The later books published pointed the finger at the CIA. His latest book was "The Last Word: My Indictment of the CIA in the Murder of JFK," published in 2011.

Prior to publishing these books, Lane came to national prominence with a magazine article in the National Guardian. The article was published on Dec. 19, 1963, dealt with 15 questions regarding public official statements about the alleged assassination of Dallas police officer J.D Tippit and President John F. Kennedy, written from the perspective of a defense attorney. That was less than four weeks after the assassination, and the article raised many questions in the minds of the public.

All other well-known authors of this lucrative genre were direct descendants of Lane's literary style.

To say that Lane invented JFK assassination conspiracy theories is no exaggeration. Lane's books spawned a cottage industry, with one author after another coming up with their own theory -- including Lane's main contention that the CIA did it -- on the murder of JFK. Without Lane's contributions, the ferocity of the JFK assassination conspiracy theories would have been nearly non-existent.[3]

Vietnam Veterans Against the War/Operation RAW

During the Labor Day weekend of September 4-7, 1970, Operation RAW ("Rapid American Withdrawal") took place. It was a three day protest march from Morristown, NJ, to Valley Forge State Park by over 200 veterans. It was sponsored by Vietnam Veterans Against the War. They were joined by members of Nurses for Peace and other peace groups. Dressed in combat fatigues and carrying toy weapons, the march was designed to dramatize a Vietnam-type search and destroy mission to the Middle America they passed through. Upon entering each town along the march, sweeps were made, prisoners taken and interrogated, property seized and homes cleared with the assistance of previously planted "guerrilla theater" actors portraying civilians. The 86 mile long march culminated in a four hour rally at Valley Forge that over 1,500 people attended. The honorary commander during this event was retired Army Brigadier General Hugh B. Hester. Sponsors included Senators George McGovern and Edmund Muskie, Rep. John Conyers, Paul O'Dwyer, Mark Lane, and Donald Sutherland. Scheduled speakers were John Kerry, Joe Kennedy, Rev. James Bevel, Mark Lane, Jane Fonda, and Sutherland. Congressman Allard Lowenstein, Mike Lerner, and Army First Lt. Louis Font also spoke.[4]


  • Rush to Judgment, 1966
  • Chicago Eyewitness, 1968
  • A Citizen's Dissent: Mark Lane Replies to the Defenders of the Warren Report, 1968.
  • Conversations with Americans, 1970
  • Arcadia, 1970
  • Code Name Zorro, 1978 (reissued as Murder in Memphis: The FBI and the Assassination of Martin Luther King in 1993
  • The Strongest Poison, 1980
  • Plausible Denial: Was the CIA Involved in the Assassination of JFK?, 1991


  1. Reading Eagle, April 23, 1962, p 4]
  2. PWW "A tribute to thee real life heroes" May 14, 1994, page 11
  3. JFK assassination conspiracy theories got started with Mark Lane Dallas : TX : USA | Nov 18, 2013allvoices,
  4. The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sept. 8, 1970, page 33