Idle Warriors, this fictionalized portrait of a disenchanted
Marine in peacetime Japan who defects to Russia was completed well
over a year BEFORE the assassination of President Kennedy.
unpublished manuscript was turned over to the Warren Commission,
and wound up in the National Archives. It was published for the
first time in 1991 by IllumiNet Press.
After his release from the Marines, Thornley moved to New Orleans,
where he participated in a number of discussions advocating the
assassination of the President. When called before the Warren
Commission in 1964, Thornley described in detail his relationship
with Oswald, but omitted the incriminating conversations he'd had
with others. (Vol. XI)
In 1964, Thornley wrote Oswald, presenting an account based on
his lone-assassin theory (Novel Books). However, in 1965, Warren
Report critic David Lifton contacted Thornley, and in the course
of an evening, persuaded him that Oswald was innocent and that the
Warren Report was a cover-up.
In 1968, Jim Garrison accused Thornley of meeting with Oswald in
the French Quarter in 1963. Summoned before the Grand Jury,
Thornley testified that he had not seen Oswald since 1959, and he
was then charged with perjury by Garrison. While the case never
came to trial, nonetheless Garrison's probe uncovered so many
"remarkable coincidences," in Garrison's own words, that Thornley
began to suspect that he had been an unwitting participant in a
conspiracy. Among other significant coincidences, Thornley began
to realize he had met David Ferrie, Guy Banister, and Clay Shaw,
and that both Banister and Shaw had expressed an unusual degree of
interest in The Idle Warriors.
By 1975, the Watergate revelations convinced Thornley that his
most important link to the assassination was not Oswald, but the
two shadowy denizens of the French Quarter known as Slim Brooks
and Brother-in-Law, who had discussed killing Kennedy with him for
a period of over three years. Their true identities cloaked in
mystery, one bore a striking resemblance to one of the Watergate
burglars, and the other answered the description of one of Guy
Banister's anti-Castro coordinators.
Finally, Thornley began to realize he had been a participant in a
genocidal conspiracy whose goals did not stop with the
assassination of the President.