Thursday, June 04, 2009

Attorney Mark Lane and the Poisoned Cheese Sandwiches

"[Jonestown lawyer Mark Lane] accompanied [Congressman] Ryan, Speier and the rest of us to Jonestown. By his own account, he managed to escape just in time, after Ryan had been killed and the carnage in Jonestown had begun. A few days after the killings, Lane asked me if I had eaten the cheese sandwiches served to us that day before we left for the airstrip where I was wounded and Ryan was murdered. When I said yes, I had eaten the sandwiches, Lane said he had not – because he’d been told they were poisoned. Why hadn’t he told Ryan and the rest of us, I asked. There was no response."--Charles A. Krause in the Washington Post (11-19-08)

Over 900 Americans were murdered by poison at Jonestown, Guyana in 1978. Mark Lane was their lawyer. A few years earlier, Mark Lane had been the lawyer for the American Indian Movement (AIM) during their destructive and murderous 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee, an Indian community in South Dakota.

Todd Leventhal, who "has a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School, a Masters in Russian Area Studies from Georgetown University, and a Bachelors degree in finance from the University of Colorado," writes about the conspiracy lawyer-writer Mark Lane for America.gov (11-24-08).

Mr. Leventhal should read American Indian Mafia by Joe and John Trimbach, because he seems unaware of the role that Mark Lane played in 1973 when the South Dakota Indian village of Wounded Knee was taken over by his clients, violent killers.

Mr. Leventhal writes:

On November 19, Washington Post reporter Charles Krause wrote an account of what happened when he was shot and wounded while accompanying U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan to Jonestown, Guyana in 1978. Ryan’s visit prompted Jonestown leader Jim Jones to murder Ryan and others in his party as well as 909 Jonestown residents, who died in a revolutionary “mass suicide.”

Krause recalls his encounter at that time with Mark Lane, a lawyer for Jonestown and author of one of the most influential conspiracy theory books on the Kennedy assassination, Rush to Judgment. Lane had accompanied Ryan, Krause and others in their visit to Jonestown, but escaped the carnage.

Krause writes:

A few days after the killings, Lane asked me if I had eaten the cheese sandwiches served to us that day before we left for the airstrip where I was wounded and Ryan was murdered. When I said yes, I had eaten the sandwiches, Lane said he had not – because he’d been told they were poisoned. Why hadn’t he told Ryan and the rest of us, I asked. There was no response.

Lane’s ethical lapses are also evident in Rush to Judgment. Vincent Bugliosi writes, in Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, “if the reader checks Lane’s assertions against the evidence produced by the [Warren] Commission … he or she will find that Lane’s contentions are either distortions or outright fabrications.”

Bugliosi notes that Lane says that none of the doctors who treated Kennedy in Dallas observed a bullet entry wound in the back of his head. This would seem to indicate that Oswald, who was behind Kennedy, could not have been the assassin. But Bugliosi says the reason the doctors saw no entry wound is that they did not turn over Kennedy’s body to look at the back of his head. Their concern was treating his visible injuries to try to save his life.

It sounds like it’s not wise to trust either a cheese sandwich served by Lane’s employers or a book produced by him.

In a related historical footnote, when Vasili Mitrokhin, senior archivist for the KGB’s First Chief Directorate, defected to the United Kingdom in 1992 with thousands of transcribed summaries of KGB documents, he revealed the KGB had sent Lane, through an intermediary, $2000 to support his work on Rush to Judgment. Lane says he did not know these funds had come from the KGB, although the KGB suspected he might have guessed.

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