Whitewash IV tells the story of Harold Weisberg’s fight for public disclosure of the Warren Commission executive session transcript of January 27, 1964. This epic battle of one man against the state is a significant part of the larger story of the Freedom of Information Act and its crucial 1974 amendment. The transcript, reprinted and discussed in this book, revolved around what the Commission’s chief counsel called a “dirty rumor” that “must be wiped out insofar as it is possible to do so by this Commission.” The dirty rumor, that Lee Harvey Oswald had been an informant to the FBI, was brought to the Commission by Texas authorities, and it threatened the Commission’s preordained conclusion that Kennedy’s alleged assassin was a loner and a nobody. Whitewash IV reveals the behind-closed-doors discussions of why FBI agents might be lying to the Commission, and how not even J. Edgar Hoover could be trusted to reveal the truth. In the years since its original publication in 1974, the books in Weisberg’s Whitewash series have become classics of assassination literature and have established the author as one of the premier investigators and researchers in his field. Decades later, the shocking revelations painstakingly detailed in his work have lost none of their impact, and the information uncovered beneath the government’s whitewash is crucial to understanding the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Harold Weisberg is the author of a number of books on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, including the Whitewash series, Oswald in New Orleans, Post Mortem, Never Again!, and Case Open. Weisberg was a journalist, investigator for the Senate Committee on Civil Liberties, and analyst for the Office of Strategic Services in World War II. He died in Maryland in 2002.