Harold Weisberg’s Last Book and Testimony…to Crazy Conspiracy Theories and Books

Harold Weisberg, author of Whitewash

Harold Weisberg, author of Whitewash

All of us who undertake to tell the people about the great tragedy that nullified their system of society, that had the effect of a coup d’etat, that turned the country round and with that turned the world around, must, in President Harry Truman’s words, take the heat if we are to be in that kitchen.

We must be able to have our work examined critically. The event is too important in our history for this not to be necessary. We must also expect and be able to survive criticism of us and our work. One means of criticism being examined is to begin with an understanding of those who make that criticism.

from Harold Weisberg’s unpublished book, “Inside the Assassination Industry”.

This morning I awoke to a notification that Vince Palamara, the author of Survivor’s Guilt, had posted a wonderful find from the Harold Weisberg collection at JFK.hood.edu I had never read. In short, it was Mr. Weisberg’s last book that was never published. It was quite revealing. For those who revere Mr. Weisberg and bandy his name about to espouse their theories (like Oswald in the Doorway and strange deaths) this book should be a warning for them to cease and desist using Weisberg’s approval of their tired claims. But don’t take my word for it. Feel free to read it yourself, because as Weisberg said, he was a true searcher of the truth and shared his findings without pay, fame, fortune or pleas to “buy his books”.

Click here to read his thoughts on the “strange deaths” (From Chapter One).

Chapter One (and most of the book) also discusses Weisberg’s opinions on the late Harrison Livingstone, the fame of David Lifton, Jim Marrs, Gerald Posner, publishing companies, “so called” witnesses, Jim Garrison and others. This chapter alone puts an end to the speculation that David Ferrie was of great importance (as per a recent book) to Oswald’s life while in the Civil Air Patrol. In fact, Weisberg has records that show Ferrie wasn’t even active during the short time Oswald was involved in CAP.   He puts to bed many “theories in this book.  Here are but a few:

  • George de Mohrenschildt was not Oswald’s CIA handler. (verified by the inimitable late Earl Golz of The Dallas Morning News.)
  • Frederick O’Sullivan, a former Oswald classmate, got Lee involved in the Civil Air Patrol.
  • The FBI made defamatory declarations about Weisberg and his family and put it in their files on him as he was suing the government. All of them were lies.  Barry Goldwater had them corrected.

I found myself applauding Weisberg’s rough, though honest treatment regarding those who live in a “dream” world of “they’s” who are always “after” the so-called author or witness.  I am of the belief that many of Livingstone’s admirers and mentors have the same mind-set.  Weisberg states eloquently:

Livingstone, like so many of the others, live their dreams. What they imagine becomes real to them. He imagines that this unnamed and mysterious “they” want to kill him because of what he has always regarded as his important assassination “discoveries” and his work in general.

Nothing is further from the truth. If the “they” are those behind and involved in the crime, the last thing they want to do is eliminate the obfuscators who among other valuable services to the assassination keep all who are interested confused and with their mythologies tend to protect those in government from their serious transgressions. People do not know what — or who — to believe.

When, and this is something they have in common, they get near reality, near those who have information, the theorists always impose their theories and try to get not impartial information but what they can use to give their theories the appearance of the legitimacy they do not have.

He has a remarkable capacity for not understanding what high school children understand easily and well, what does not conform with and more, what utterly disproves his fancies he regards as facts. When all else fails he denounces fact as phony, counterfeit.

In Chapter 26 he speaks of the author Edward Jay Epstein, the Warren Commission and the shot from the front:

“Specter resolved the problem of the throat wound. All the doctors who saw the wound agreed that it could be either an entry or an exit wound. Specter traced the rumor that it was an exit wound to an answer Dr. Malcolm Perry made to a hypothetical question.”

Specter did no “tracing” at all. He refused to do that. He in fact dared not do it.

There was no “rumor” involved. And what Specter engaged in all that gobbledegook that Epstein liked so much was not about an exit wound at all. It was to convert an entrance wound into an exit wound. Without that the Commission could not have issued any lone-assassin Report. Oswald could not have fired from both front and back simultaneously.

At the Dallas press conference at which President Kennedy’s death was formally announced, Perry, supported in what he said by the hospital’s chief of neurosurgery, Dr. Kemp Clark, said three times, in answer to questions, that the wound in the front of the President’s neck was of entrance.

Each time it was confirmed by Clark.

That was the first press conference of the Johnson administration. It made transcripts available to all the media. All the media carried this doctor’s report, not a rumor at all, that the President had received at least one shot from his front.

And Oswald was behind him. He could not have fired that shot.

Individually and collectively, these sentences are false, as readers have seen. Scholar that he is Epstein can’t be trusted even to report on the results of scientific testing, witness:

“In August the FBI established through spectrographic analysis that a bullet fragment had definitely struck the curb about 260 feet from the President’s car at the time of the third shot.”

Again, as readers will have seen, in all aspects this is 100 percent false. If there is one thing and only one thing the FBI’s spectrographic analysis did “establish” it is that what caused the deposit on the curbstone was not of ballistics origin.

The FBI did not “establish” that the damage to the curbstone the patching of which is obvious was caused by a “fragment,” of a bullet that impacted in that car. Such a fragment would have had to loop considerably forward of the President’s head and to have lofted in arc to that curbstone and would, assuming the impossible, have lacked the energy to cause the photographed damage to that concrete.

Not only could spectrographic analysis not establish the time of whatever caused that damage, there was no way in which it could have established that it was “at the time of the third shot”,(page 82) because it was not!

Epstein’s book made him famous and wealthy. This is because it as was politically acceptable to the major media and professional reviewers, neither giving a damn for truth or fact or the nation’s interests.

The truth is that what the FBI said was impossible and what it did was farcical. As any legitimate scholar engaged in legitimate scholarship would have learned where I did, in the Commission’s own files. While I went into that in Whitewash, I went much farther later, first in Post Mortem (pages 608 – 609) with before and after pictures, and then in Case Open, where I proved, with scientific examination of the curbstone (pages 162 – 166) that it had been damaged at the time of the assassination, with a hole visible in it and published by the Dallas Morning News, and then patched!

The FBI and the Commission both ignored that “missed” shot until that was made impossible by that newspaper’s photographer, Tom Dillard, who had taken that picture. The FBI then got the City of Dallas to cut that section of curbing loose, dig it up for the FBI, and it was then flown to the FBI’s lab by SA Lyndal L. Shaneyfelt for the phoniest of phony examinations.

It not only knew that the curbstone had been patched – the Dallas Oswald case FBI agent, Robert P. Gemberling, recorded that in his synopsis of the consolidated reports he forwarded to FBI headquarters. (Dallas FBI File #105-82555, 8/5/64, synopsis page)

In my opinion, and I spoke with Mr. Weisberg many times about my grandfather’s film, this man had nothing to lose by sharing his knowledge…not money, not friends, not fame or fortune. Actually, he was very scary to me the first few times I spoke with him as he was a bit gruff.  But he knew of which he spoke.  And he knew himself.  In the Preface, he even chastises himself for not saying all of this earlier. By the way, the unpublished (due to his death) book’s name is: Inside the Assassination Industry.

From this book:

It should be born in mind that similar language and criticisms can properly and accurately be applied to the other extreme of assassination theoreticians. The official “solution” it must be born in mind, also is only a theory, no more. The theory of the lone-nut, no-conspiracy “solution” on one extreme with the opposite end/opposite theory, formulation varying with inventor and exploiter, the “solution” based on the imagined and never proven “conspiracy” whose visionaries never see the same unproven conspiracy.

With the official theory also palmed off on the troubled people as the solution, those who made it up should have known from their own evidence they suppressed from their Report, with those in official positions of trust winding up theoreticians, they deserve even more thorough condemnation than their counterparts on the opposite extreme.

Those who support them and their travesty are in a sense even more culpable than the lunatic fringe of the “conspiracy theory” exploiters and commercializers.

They had the benefit of the factual criticism of the government’s failures and dishonesties, of fact that cannot be refuted.

The new line of these self-enriching sycophants is that although the Commission was wrong in virtually all it did, for which there is superficial criticism to make it appear that the sycophants are impartial, wrong as it was in virtually all it did and did not do, the Commission nonetheless wound up with the correct solution.

Like the authors of which Weisberg speaks, I have written a book as well. I have yet to see a profit. But like Weisberg, I don’t care. I want to find the truth and my grandfather’s missing camera original film. Like Weisberg, I take great exception to “researchers” “authors” or “speakers/experts” who tout another’s research as their own.  I don’t whine to people that I need the money (though I do). I don’t answer people’s questions about my grandfather with “read the book”. I don’t get paid to speak at conferences or engagements. I don’t consciously spread misinformation or lies. Why? Because I don’t have all the answers and anyone who purports to in regards to the JFK Assassination or life in general should be highly suspect.

This is a wonderful autobiography about a man who many still question and even more never knew.  Though most of the book is in defense of the attacks Livingstone made on him, there are still great tidbits.   He also puts to rest in this book a fact that many (including myself) have wondered about.  He says when discussing James Jesus Angleton in Chapter 26, page 582:

While I was not a spook in the OAS a considerable amount of secret information passed over my desk. From it I remember that where Angleton began to build his reputation as a superspook in counterintelligence, in the OSS in Italy in World War II, in fact the OSS counterintelligence there was close to a farce because most of the intelligence teams infiltrated into or dropped behind Nazi lines were captured almost immediately from time to time


Thank you Mr. Weisberg. Thank you!

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