cover image Plausible Denial: Was the CIA Involved in the Assassination of JFK?

Plausible Denial: Was the CIA Involved in the Assassination of JFK?

Mark Lane. Thunder's Mouth, $22.95 (393pp) ISBN 978-1-56025-000-5

Lane, the lawyer whose Rush to Judgment was the first in a flood of books calling into question the Warren Commission Report on the JFK assassination, has come up with a highly unusual angle this time. He tells, in enormous but only occasionally tedious detail, the story of a little-publicized 1985 trial in which he figured and which ended in a Florida jury endorsing the notion that the CIA was involved in Kennedy's killing. The case arose out of a libel suit brought by CIA officer E. Howard Hunt against Liberty Lobby and its magazine Spotlight for an article claiming he was in Dallas at the time of the assassination and played a role in it on behalf of the CIA. Representing Liberty Lobby, Lane called as witnesses an impressive roster of Agency figures, including Richard Helms, Stansfield Turner, Gordon Liddy and, of course, Hunt himself. Hunt's alibi, that he was in Washington on Nov. 22, 1963, could not be adequately supported, and an important witness, CIA operative Marita Lorenz, placed Hunt in Dallas, along with agent Frank Sturgis and a carload of guns, the day before the assassination. Lane's arguments convinced the jury. He justly excoriates the press for never having sufficiently followed his leads--and ends with an epilogue suggesting that President Bush was also associated with the CIA at that time, long before he became director. A highly stimulating, disturbing book, marred only by repetitiousness and excessive self-justification. Photos not seen by PW. (Nov.)