Happy 89th birthday to Mark Lane, who was born February 24, 1927.
I got to speak to Mark Lane on the phone once for about 15 minutes, and I'll tell you how it came about.
I had called the American Free Press because I knew that he was their lawyer. I told them that I wished to contact Mark Lane to invite him to become a senior member of the Oswald Innocence Campaign.
Mark had represented the AFP in court during the defamation lawsuit brought against them by E. Howard Hunt. As you know, before he died, E. Howard Hunt went on to admit- on tape- that they were right, that he was involved in the JFK assassination and that he was in Dallas on 11/22/63. According to Hunt, and I believe him, the plot was hatched in Miami among those who were involved in the disastrous Bay of Pigs operation, and that included Bill Harvey, Frank Sturgis, David Sanchez Morales, and David Atlee Phillips. And when they recruited Hunt, they told him that LBJ was in on it too.
You recall that David Talbot recounted that story in The Devil's Chessboard, but he reasoned that Hunt deliberately left out the name of Allen Dulles as the go-between between that motley crew in Miami and the Vice President of the United States. But, at the time of the defamation lawsuit, Hunt was denying everything, claiming that he was home with his wife in Virginia "chopping vegetables" when he got word that JFK had been shot.
Well, Mark Lane, who was working gratis for the AFP, beat Hunt's high-priced attorneys, whom he had to pay plus a judgment of a cool $1 million to AFP, which was indeed paid. However, I suspect there were powerful people backing Hunt and egging him on, and it was they who lost the money.
Anyway, the good people at American Free Press told me that Mark Lane wasn't there, that they would forward my message, and if I wanted to leave a phone number for him that they would pass it along, and I did.
It was several days later that he called me, and he enthusiastically accepted my invitation to join the OIC. Then, we talked for about 15 minutes. We talked about Oswald in the doorway, and he reminded me of the collage of Oswald, Doorman, and Lovelady that he published in Rush to Judgment.
And then, the rest of the time, we talked mostly about the fact that Oswald had never gone to Mexico City. It is something that Mark has become very passionate about in recent years, that the whole story was fake- faked by the CIA. He said that after giving a lecture at Royce Hall at UCLA in which he explained why it is certainly false that Oswald ever went to Mexico City, that David Atlee Phillips, who was in the audience, came up to him afterwards and admitted that he was right, that Oswald never went there, and that the CIA knew it- a weighty admission.
That's what Mark Lane said, and I remember what I told him: that I went to UCLA and I remember Royce Hall.
I didn't have classes there, but right across from it in that plaza is the main library of the UCLA campus, Powell Library, and I went there a lot. That's some architecture. UCLA is a beautiful campus.
I shall always remember my interaction with Mark Lane, and I shall always be grateful to him for his eager willingness to become a senior member of the Oswald Innocence Campaign. Mark Lane is the biggest of the big.