A transcript of the Lew Rockwell Show episode 385 with Mark Lane.
ROCKWELL: Well, good morning. This is the Lew Rockwell Show. And what an honor it is to have as our guest this morning, Mr. Mark Lane. Mark has been the champion of peace and of justice his entire legal career. I could spend the entire show talking about his achievements. I remember his beating CIA agent, E. Howard Hunt, and the CIA in a legal victory. I remember him defeating CIA agent or “ex-CIA agent,” Bill Buckley. And I was so influenced by his great book Rush to Judgment. This is the first work of Kennedy assassination revisionism, for which he was targeted by the CIA and the rest of the regime. Mark has told the truth his whole life about the Kennedy assassination and the CIA and many other topics.
And, of course, we’re going to link to your autobiography.
LANE: My autobiography is called Citizen Lane, which is a great title, but it isn’t my title originally. It was Pauley Perrette, such a wonderful actress on NCIS, who is directing and producing a documentary film about me. In fact, she called one day. And I had seen her. I always thought she was terrific. I had seen her but I had never talked to her. And I got a phone call one day from her and she said, “I’d like to talk to you.” I said, “OK, what’s this about?” And she said, “Documentary.” And I had made a couple of documentaries. And she said, “I’m working on one now; I’m about to start on one.” So I thought she was calling for advice about how to put together a documentary since I had done a couple. I did Rush to Judgment. So I said, “What’s it about?” She said, “Well, the name is Citizen Lane.” I said, “Oh, OK.”
I could deal with that. And then we became very dear friends. And she’s been here like three times. She has two little doggies and she’ll not put them on a plane. She lives in Los Angeles. I’m here at the other end of the world in Charlottesville and close to the east coast. She’s been here three times, always driving in her Volvo station wagon with her two dogs with her [Laughing]. So anyway, that’s out. And she’s the one who came up with the title Citizen Lane.
ROCKWELL: Oh, magnificent.
ROCKWELL: Well, Mark, tell us about your latest interest in the role of the Secret Service in the Kennedy assassination.
LANE: I’ll tell you how that started. I had been a defense lawyer for 60 years, 6-0. That’s more than a quarter of the history of the American judicial system, which my young wife really doesn’t ever want me to say again in public, but it’s true.
It’s been a long time. When Oswald was arrested and I saw him on television, I thought about what I would do if he were my client because there were a lot of holes in this case. In fact, it was clear that even Gerald Posner, who wrote the establishment bookCase Closed, totally supporting the Warren Commission in every respect, has written that, “If Oswald were tried and Mark Lane was his lawyer, Oswald would have been acquitted.” OK, if that’s what you believe, you can’t go around saying the guy’s guilty. First of all, there’s a presumption of innocence and he was never even charged, never indicted, actually, Oswald, because they killed him first. But had he been, there would have been a trial and I am convinced, as is Gerald Posner, who supports the Warren Commission, that he would have been acquitted, which is the reason they killed him. Because if he was alive and tried and was acquitted, America would say, “Who killed the president? Are they at large now?” And the first job of the Warren Commission, according to its general counsel, J. Lee Rankin, published in The New York Times, January 25, 1963, his first comment was, “The goal of our commission will be to reassure the American people.” Not to find the truth. The word “truth” never came up. Even if you talk to the lawyers working for the commission – they were young lawyers then who had just been lured in to work for the Warren Commission – the word “truth” never came up. It was always the question, “How do we reassure the American people?” Well, you can’t reassure it that there’s no problem, if those who killed the president are still walking around here, at least then. That was back in ’63, ’64. The only reassurance is to say Oswald did it and he’s dead and there’s nothing more to worry about. The only problem with that is the story was not true. And we’ve been able to demonstrate that in many ways.
But more recently, I’ve looked at it in a different way. Instead of as a defense lawyer defending Oswald for this charge, and he would have been acquitted if he had any kind of a competent lawyer and he was allowed to live, go to trial, I decided to look at it through the eyes of the assassin. Now, don’t be alarmed. I didn’t kill anybody.
But to look at the assassination through the eyes of the assassin. And I thought, if I were planning to kill the president, the first problem I would have would be – this is not a back-alley killing in some darkened area where nobody is going to see it. It’s in the middle of America on a bright, sunny day and he’s protected by the greatest group of protective agents in the world, the United States Secret Service. So the first question would be, how would I overcome the Secret Service? What would I do to penetrate them if I was planning to kill the president? So then let’s look at the Secret Service from that view point. Remember, every credential that they had was given to them by the Central Intelligence Agency, the group which, in fact, played a major part in the assassination of the president. You know, today, according to the last poll, more Americans believe that the CIA was involved in the assassination of President Kennedy than believe Oswald acted alone, despite all the news media, all the support of the Warren Commission and, of course, the commission itself, led by the chief justice at the time, Warren. Despite all of that, the American people overwhelmingly have seen through this. 80% believe there was a conspiracy. And, of course, the Warren Commission said there was none. That’s where we are.
So I decided to look at it from the view point of the assassin. As I said, the first thing I would look at is, what did the Secret Service agents do? Later on, Raleigh, the director of the Secret Service, was trying to give some excuses. They were drinking the late the night before. That’s true but that is not relevant. Nobody was drinking on the job. That was the night before and that did not play a part. It’s what they did do. It’s not what they did not do. That is, what the Secret Service agents did do.
The shot was fired and it struck the president in the back of the neck, exited from his throat. It was fired from the Book Depository building, which was behind him, and the wound in the throat was an exit wound. Every doctor at the Parkland Memorial Hospital where the president was taken and everyone who examined him said it was an exit wound. So he was shot from the back. It took almost six seconds until the final shot was fired. Six seconds does not seem like a long time if you’re looking at the history of the world, but six seconds is an eternity for the Secret Service after they hear a fire crack or anything, any kind of explosion. The first job is the job of the driver of the limousine, a Secret Service agent. His job is to step on that accelerator. He later testified. That car, if you touch that accelerator, it would leap off the street practically with such great power. He slowed down. He slowed down and did not – he went so slowly that Clint Hill, who was in the follow-up car – and he was not assigned to protect President Kennedy. For many years, he had been protecting Jacquelyn Kennedy, the president’s wife. And so he probably never got the memo about what’s going to happen. Everybody else seemed to be aware and didn’t do anything. But he heard the shot and ran. He caught the car. Remember, this was after the shot is fired, the first shot is fired. And the Secret Service agent, the driver, is trained to do nothing except step on the accelerator and take evasive action. Instead, he slowed down. The proof of it is, you see the Zapruder film and the Nix film and other film showing this. But in addition to that, further proof is that Clint Hill, wearing leather shoes, chased after the car and caught it and grabbed the car after the first shot was fired. The driver of the car, the Secret Service agent, did nothing. The other Secret Service agent in the car, sitting in the right passenger seat, had the responsibility of leaping over everything and covering the president with his body. He didn’t flinch. He didn’t move. It was almost as if he had gotten the memo that this was going to happen and he took no action. So they all violated their oaths of office, all the Secret Service agents, with the exception, as I say, of Clint Hill, who was not part of the White House detail for Kennedy. He was part of the detail for Jacquelyn Kennedy. That’s in the starting point.
And when you start to look at the Secret Service and you find out only recently that all their credentials were issued by the CIA. The police officer named Smith, probably the single most important witness to the assassination. He was a police officer. He was in the motorcade. When he heard the shot, he knew it came from the area near the wooden fence on the grassy knoll to the right front of the president’s limousine. He took his motor bike and drove up, fell down on the way up. He ran back, he had his gun drawn, and a man emerged from behind the fence. He thought he had caught the assassin. Actually, he had caught the assassin. But the man took out his credentials and said, “United States Secret Service.” And he did have those credentials. And they had been issued by the Central Intelligence Agency. And so he was allowed to leave because he had these credentials. Later on, when the Secret Service was compelled to tell where its agents were, they said nobody was walking, nobody was on the ground; they were all in the motorcade. So who was that guy who had CIA-created credentials? Well, we still don’t know. But we do know that it was looked into. And when Smith tried to tell this to the Warren Commission – he was questioned by Leslie Liebler – Liebler kept on changing the story. And he kept on saying, well, this was guy I came to, I had my gun drawn because I thought I had caught the assassin but he showed me his credentials. And Liebler finally said, “Is there anything you saw that day which seemed suspicious or out of the way?”
And he had Secret Service credentials prepared by the CIA? Was there anything else he saw? Well, there was nothing else to see. That was it. And, of course, that guy disappeared. And Smith disappeared. This is the single most important witness that day because he caught the assassin and had a gun pointed at him. His name does not appear in the Warren Commission report. I mean, there are two or three Smiths, one who – it was like talking to your dog. Nobody had anything to do with the Kennedy assassination, but their names are there. But the Smith who actually caught the assassin and drew his gun and had him under arrest until he produced his – what we now know – were CIA-prepared credentials for the Secret Service – that guy’s name is not in the Warren report. That’s left out of the Warren report.
ROCKWELL: Wow. Mark, tell us more.
LANE: Well, OK. So now, as I said, when I decided to look at this from a different perspective – I’ve been a defense lawyer all these years, and when Oswald was charged, I thought, what would the defense be and what are the facts? And I was convinced that he never could have been convicted. And we had been able to show that to the American people. That’s my first book, Rush to Judgment. It was the first book on the subject. It became the number-one best-selling book in America.
Then, incidentally, it’s available on, what, Amazon now?
LANE: OK, very soon, it’ll be available as an eBook and then people can get it. It’s the original book with all the – that was Sue, our paralegal here for the law firm. The Lane law firm consists of my wife, Trisha, who is an excellent lawyer, and me and Sue. And Sue has done a tremendous amount of work to prepare that with all of the 5,000 footnotes and citations. And it will very soon be an eBook. It will be available that way.
With all of the citations, right?
ROCKWELL: It’s a great book and it’s just as relevant today as it was then.
LANE: Yeah, because the government wasn’t telling us the truth then. It came out in August of ’64. The government wasn’t telling us the truth and they’re still not telling us the truth, so it’s still relevant.
When the French government looked at the assassination and Judge Dreyfus, it was clear that the honor of the French government would never be restored until they admitted that Dreyfus was innocent and they were wrong in charging him. Well, that’s how the honor of the nation is restored. The American people now know, 80% of them according to every poll, Gallup, Harris, all the most recent polls – they’re several years old now, of course – but most polls will show that the vast majority of the American people are convinced that they have not been told the truth. And they’re right about that.
You know, it didn’t happen last week. It’s been half a century now, and we still have not been told the truth by the government. Still there are documents in the National Archives which are highly classified, top secret, and no one can see them. I’ve been through the archives a million times and live in Washington and I walk there regularly. And they keep on declassifying bits and pieces. And the director of the archives actually was a very decent guy and he would call me and say, oh, are you going to be dropping by soon, meaning that something else had been declassified. So I went there to archives to look at it, see what there was, and on the little table where he would let us work, there were five, six or 10 pages, sometimes more, of stuff just then declassified, which you never could have found because you have to go through these massive numbers of these files in order to determine what had just been declassified. So we were able to get a lot of help from inside the government from people who obviously were not satisfied with what the government had done.
ROCKWELL: Mark, could we describe the Secret Service, because of all the things that you’re pointing out and have pointed out, as an institution that exists, at least in part, to keep the president in line?
LANE: Well – [Laughing] – that’s not in their charter. It doesn’t say that.
Their job, of course, is to protect the president. And on occasion, they do that fairly well. They didn’t do it on November 22, 1963.
The driver of the car was a Secret Service agent. He slowed down after the first shot was fired, did not pick up speed until the president was dead six seconds later. The follow-up car had the responsibility, the driver, to drive in front, between the president’s limousine, just in front of him, and the area from which the shots were coming. They did nothing. As I said, Clint Hill, who was assigned to Jacquelyn Kennedy, therefore, probably never got proper instructions about what to do that day, was the only one who jumped up and caught the car, which is an indication of how slowly the car was going anyway and tried to reach Jacquelyn Kennedy, who was, at that point, according to the Zapruder film, the Nix film, she was trying to get out of the back of the car and he pushed her back in, because that would have been a major mistake.
The assassination, which was arranged by the Central Intelligence Agency, could not have – and most Americans believe that now – could not have been successful without the assistance and coordination of the United States Secret Service. I mean, this was not, as I said, some back-alley killing when nobody is watching. The greatest protection available to anybody, the Secret Service, was there, and not one of them, except Clint Hill, met his responsibility. Not one Secret Service agent.
LANE: Right. And more than that, they know where everybody is going to be stationed. The CIA knows where every Secret Service agent will be because the CIA gives the credential knowing where the person is going to be. So the CIA is still running protection for the president of the United States. And I think the presidents, as they come and go, know that to be true. And I think if they had any brains and any sense of history, they’d know the CIA was involved in the assassination of President Kennedy. Kennedy was doing things they didn’t like, including possibly dissolving the Central Intelligence Agency, because Robert Kennedy, if you recall, was attorney general – John Kennedy’s brother. I knew them both fairly well. I knew Bobby better. I worked closely with Bobby in the 1960 campaign when John Kennedy was running for Senator. John F. Kennedy, from Massachusetts, who was running for president, and I was running for the New York State legislature, and helped to coordinate John Kennedy’s presidential campaign in the New York City area and, therefore, I worked closely with Bobby and had many meetings with Bobby. The fact is that the Democrat was split in half at that point. There was the Carmine DeSapio, old-fashioned, Tammany Hall, crime, mafia-connected Democratic Party, and there were the reformers, led by Eleanor Roosevelt, Governor Lehman, me, and a few other people. And that was the split. And it was obvious where the old Tammany Hall was trying to take the Democratic Party than where we wanted to take it, so that was the split. That’s why we had two Democratic Parties at that time. And one side decided the death of the president was not only a great tragedy for him and his family, but for the American people, and decided we had to look into it, and the rest of the Democratic Party didn’t care.
LANE: Yes. I had talked with Bobby several times. Of course, you know, John Kennedy was about to dissolve the Central Intelligence Agency and a number of other things, which they would not have liked. If you dissolve the CIA, for the first time, you’d get to look at their records, find out where all the money went, who got the money. I mean, they had a lot of money. We knew how much basically. We’re not sure, but we know there were some appropriations that were huge sums of money. We never knew where it went. We just knew it went to the CIA, but where it went from there, we don’t know. But with the president dead and CIA as suspects, anybody investigating who had any authority and any power, would look into where that money went. And that was something the CIA did not want to have happen. The CIA also had foreign policy plans. They wanted to continue the war in Vietnam. President Kennedy had made it plain that we were going to leave at the end of the next year. He said that in September; he was dead in November.
ROCKWELL: And in order to keep Bobby, who was obviously interested in telling the truth about his brother’s assassination, in order to keep that from happening, was it the CIA that killed him, too?
LANE: Well, you know, the first thing that Bobby said – he was on a plane when he heard this – was, “Was the CIA involved?” That was Bobby Kennedy’s first question, “Was the CIA involved?” I mean, he didn’t say, “Was the FBI involved?” He didn’t say, “Was the American Automobile Association involved, the AAA?” I mean, he asked about one agency only, indicating, obviously, that it would have been a suspect agency if he, as attorney general, was able to continue on with his work. So he was killed, too.
He knew in his last word, which is my Last Word on the Kennedy assassination also, which is out there now – I think it’s going to be an eBook.
LANE: It is an eBook. It’s going to be published very soon, Last Word, and Citizen Lane. Citizen Lane is my autobiography. And it was an amazing book for me to write because I’ve been practicing law for so long, 60 years – I can hardly believe it – so long that I had to do research on this guy whose autobiographer I was writing because it happened so – the details, you know, took place so long ago, I had to go back and research my life – [Laughing] – to make sure I got these dates and everything else right. But it is. And it’s a really good book. It’s the best thing that I’ve – I’m about to say it’s the best book I’ve ever read but it’s the best book I ever wrote.
LANE: Thank you so much. I really appreciate being with you and what you’re doing.
ROCKWELL: Well, thanks so much for listening to the Lew Rockwell Show today. Take a look at all the podcasts. There have been hundreds of them. There’s a link on the LRC front page. Thank you.