Tag Archives | Gary Webb

The Resurrection of Gary Webb: Will Hollywood Give Journalist Last Word Against CIA’s Media Apologists?

The new film, "Kill the Messenger," dramatizes Gary Webb’s investigation of Contra-allied Nicaraguan cocaine traffickers Norwin Meneses and Danilo Blandon (whose drug activities were apparently protected for reasons of U.S. “national security”) and their connection to L.A.’s biggest crack dealer, “Freeway” Ricky Ross. (Public domain)

The new film, “Kill the Messenger,” dramatizes Gary Webb’s investigation of Contra-allied Nicaraguan cocaine traffickers Norwin Meneses and Danilo Blandon (whose drug activities were apparently protected for reasons of U.S. “national security”) and their connection to L.A.’s biggest crack dealer, “Freeway” Ricky Ross. (Public domain)

Jeff Cohen writes at Common Dreams:

It’s been almost a decade since once-luminous investigative journalist Gary Webb extinguished his own life.

It’s been 18 years since Webb’s “Dark Alliance” series in the San Jose Mercury News exploded across a new medium – the Internet – and definitively linked crack cocaine in Los Angeles and elsewhere to drug traffickers allied with the CIA’s rightwing Contra army in Nicaragua. Webb’s revelations sparked anger across the country, especially in black communities.

But the 1996 series (which was accompanied by unprecedented online documentation) also sparked one of the most ferocious media assaults ever on an individual reporter – a less-than-honest backlash against Webb by elite newspapers that had long ignored or suppressed evidence of CIA/Contra/cocaine connections.

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CIA Admits It Watched Over Destruction Of Journalist Gary Webb

Gary Webb In His Own Words 623.jpg

Gary Webb is posthumously achieving recognition for his “Dark Alliance” investigative report of the CIA’s involvement in the importation of cocaine to finance its illegal involvement in backing the Contras in Nicaragua. There’s a movie coming out portraying Webb and now The Intercept reveals the CIA’s admission that it was closely watching Webb’s activities and eventual death:

Eighteen years after it was published, “Dark Alliance,” the San Jose Mercury News’s bombshell investigation into links between the cocaine trade, Nicaragua’s Contra rebels, and African American neighborhoods in California, remains one of the most explosive and controversial exposés in American journalism.

The 20,000-word series enraged black communities, prompted Congressional hearings, and became one of the first major national security stories in history to blow up online. It also sparked an aggressive backlash from the nation’s most powerful media outlets, which devoted considerable resources to discredit author Gary Webb’s reporting. Their efforts succeeded, costing Webb his career. On December 10, 2004, the journalist was found dead in his apartment, having ended his eight-year downfall with two .38-caliber bullets to the head.

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Mexican Official Says CIA Manages Drug Trade; Doesn’t Want it to End


From Al Jazeera:

A spokesman for the Mexican state of Chihuahua has stirred up quite a bit of controversy in diplomatic circles for his comments to Al Jazeera regarding the United States Central Intelligence Agency’s role in the drug trade:

“It’s like pest control companies, they only control,” Guillermo Terrazas Villanueva, the Chihuahua spokesman, told Al Jazeera last month at his office in Juarez. “If you finish off the pests, you are out of a job. If they finish the drug business, they finish their jobs.”

Read More about Chihuahua and the CIA at Al Jazeera.

Accusations of CIA involvement in drug trafficking has been around for decades. Famously, San Jose Mercury News reporter Gary Webb wrote a series of articles detailing connections between the CIA, Nicaraguan rebels and the crack cocaine epidemic of the late eighties. A collection of the articles were later published as the 1999 book Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion.… Read the rest

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Gary Webb’s Drug War Reporting Vindicated

Freeway Ricky Ross. (Patrick Bastien Photography)

Freeway Ricky Ross. (Patrick Bastien Photography)

The late, lamented Gary Webb never really received the credit he deserved for his investigative journalism blowing open the CIA-Contras drug trafficking scandal. Now Ryan Grim sets the record straight in this article for Huffington Post, ostensibly about Ron Paul and conspiracy theories, but really an opportunity to plug his new book, This Is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America:

…Earlier this week, I looked into [Ron] Paul’s claim … that the war on drugs had racist origins and that the medical community played a role in lobbying for drug prohibitions. That charge was more or less accurate.

So is Paul’s claim about the CIA and drug trafficking, a connection I explore in the book “This Is Your Country On Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America.” (An excerpt of the chapter on the CIA appeared in The Root.) The following is drawn from my book.

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Buying Crack From The C.I.A. – Out There Radio: Episode 24

Out There Radio – Episode 24: Buying Crack from the C.I.A.

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It’s all about the C.I.A. on the 24th episode of Out There Radio. We’ll discuss the work of Gary Webb, the journalist that proved the agency was selling crack to fund the Contra War. Also, get ready for multiple clips of C.I.A. directors getting busted in press conferences!

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