Plausible Denial

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Plausible Denial: Was the CIA Involved in the Assassination of JFK? is a 1991 book by American attorney, Mark Lane that outlines his theory that former Watergate figure E. Howard Hunt was involved with the Central Intelligence Agency in the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy.[1][2] Published by Thunder's Mouth Press, the book chronicles Lane's legal defense of Liberty Lobby, a right-wing political group that was sued for libel by Hunt after it published an article in its weekly paper, The Spotlight, linking Hunt — a former CIA operative — to the assassination.[1][3]

Lane's chief source for Plausible Denial was Marita Lorenz, a woman contacted by Lane during the suit who provided a deposition stating that on the day prior to the assassination she transported guns from Miami to Dallas where she met Hunt, Frank Sturgis, and Jack Ruby.[4] In the book, Lane stated that the CIA arranged the assassination of Kennedy because Kennedy had planned to destroy the Agency.[4] Other said by Lane to be involved in a conspiracy included George H. W. Bush and George de Mohrenschildt, who he implicated as CIA agents.[4]

In the book, Lane also blames the media for their failure to cover the trial and their lack of credence given to Kennedy assassination theories.[5]


Kirkus Reviews said Plausible Denial was a "convincing report" that was "[w]ell-reasoned at every point"[6] and Publishers Weekly called it "[a] highly stimulating, disturbing book, marred only by repetitiousness and excessive self-justification."[7] Writing for the Los Angeles Times, Alex Raskin wrote: "While Lane's evidence for Hunt's complicity is quite persuasive, his theorizing becomes more suspect when he moves beyond that trial in an attempt to implicate other U.S. government officials in the crime."[5] Raskin added: "Ultimately, many of Lane's theories...are motivated less by actual evidence than by a predisposition to believe in a nefarious Establishment."[5]

In a review for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Bob Hoover wrote that Plausible Denial "will give little grist for conspiracy buffs to chew on."[8] Hoover added: "Hunt's link to the [assassination of Kennedy] is not confirmed by Lane's poorly written and sanctimonious book."[8] Patricia Holt of the San Francisco Chronicle interviewed Lane and called it "a fascinating and convincing — though uneven and often self-serving — indictment" of the CIA.[9] Lane described Plausible Denial as his "last word" on the subject and told Holt: "I'll never write another sentence about the (JFK) assassination".[9]


  1. ^ a b "Key Players: E. Howard Hunt". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 4, 2015.  External link in |website= (help)
  2. ^ "Conspiracy buffs gather to chew over JFK theories". The Victoria Advocate. Victoria, Texas. AP. November 14, 1991. pp. 1, 10A. Retrieved September 15, 2014. 
  3. ^ Mabe, Chauncey (January 3, 1992). "Original Warren critic says Stone hedged his bets following attacks". The Ledger. Lakeland, Florida. p. 5. Time Out. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c Ambrose, Stephen E. (February 2, 1992). "Writers on the Grassy Knoll: A Reader's Guide". The New York Times. New York. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c Raksin, Alex (December 29, 1991). "Nonfiction". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  6. ^ Kirkus Reviews (October 1, 1991). "Plausible Denial: Was the CIA Involved in the Assassination of JFK?". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved July 23, 2014.  External link in |work= (help)
  7. ^ Publishers Weekly (November 4, 1991). "Plausible Denial: Was the CIA Involved in the Assassination of JFK?". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved May 4, 2015.  External link in |work= (help)
  8. ^ a b Hoover, Bob (December 28, 1991). "Turning the page on JFK". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. p. 16. Retrieved August 16, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Holt, Patricia (December 31, 1991). "Mark Lane's Hunt For JFK Assassins" (PDF). San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco. Retrieved May 4, 2015.