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December 10, 2007

Gary Webb's Enduring Legacy

Robert Parry on Gary Webb, who committed suicide three years ago yesterday:

Three years ago, I walked into my home in Arlington, Virginia, and checked my phone messages. One was from a Los Angeles Times reporter who was looking for a comment from me about Gary Webb’s suicide on the night of Dec. 9, 2004. It was the first I had heard of the news.

After I recovered from the shock, I called the reporter back to get more details. I also told him he would have a hard time writing a decent obituary on Webb because the L.A. Times had never acknowledged that Webb was substantially correct in his reporting about the Nicaraguan contras' role in smuggling cocaine into the United States in the 1980s.

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—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at December 10, 2007 11:55 PM

Gary Webb was a true study in courage, and it's a tragedy that he was driven to suicide by cowards and corporate sycophants.

Posted by: John Caruso at December 11, 2007 01:49 AM

Webb’s career destruction in the 1990s and his desperate act of suicide in 2004 were warnings to the American people that they must demand much more from their existing news outlets – or they must build honest new ones.

That understanding may be Gary Webb's enduring legacy.

What understanding? Does anyone seriously believe 'the American people' have any understanding of this at all? Not a goddamn chance.

Gary Webb blew his brains out; he's probably better off, for not having to see what's going on now, and what's yet to come, though no doubt he understood fully that nothing he had done made — or will make — a damned bit of difference.

Posted by: Mike at December 11, 2007 07:52 AM

It wasn't just the contras, per se, nest paw? It was th e CIA and the percentage in revealing that shit, though, cuz the Raygun Righties thought addicting urban blacks to crack was aq GOOD idea...

Posted by: konopelli/wgg at December 11, 2007 08:41 AM

Look, everyone. Nixon's "drug war" was documented decades ago as merely the consolidation of controlling drug importation in Henrik Krueger's THE GREAT HEROIN COUP. McCoy's book THE POLITICS OF HEROIN IN SOUTHEAST ASIA (I believe the title was) covered the same topic. When the CIA fly weapons into a third-world country through their off-the-books airplanes they are usually flying drugs into the US on the backend of their round trip. Southern Air and Air America in and out of the Golden Triangle. Dozens of little enterprises set up through Ollie North flying weapons in and cocaine out of the Operation Condor war zone. Hasenfus, baby. Monzer al-Kassar doing arms dealing and running a drug route in and out of the Mideast during the Iran deals (PanAm103 was part of his drug shipping route). Nowadays does anyone doubt that the planes flying supplies into Afghanistan aren't flying opium or even heroin out? There are American veins waiting to be filled.

There is a very good theory of why the CIA undermined Nixon in the Watergate scandal. Nixon's creation of the DEA was all about taking the drug trade away from the CIA and putting it under his control. CIA Lifer E. Howard Hunt was trusted by Nixon and given the job of figuring out who to put in the DEA. He filled important positions with people loyal to the CIA. Then he got the job of running the Watergate burglary. Who did he hire for that job? Frank Fiorini/Sturgis and others on the ground level of the greatest state secret of all, the murder of JFK. Or, according to Haldeman, "the Bay of Pigs thing." At every turn a "former" CIA person was giving up Nixon, as duly reported by "former" ONI agent Woodward as edited by "former" RFE/CIA guy Ben Bradlee in the CIA-friendly WaPo. At the end, CIA friend and member of the Warren Commission Gerald Ford took over and put G.H.W. Bush in charge of the CIA. The DEA, controlled by the CIA, made sure that competitors were busted while the drug shipments by friends and associates continued to flow into the US.

There are stories that Bill Clinton was both enriched and tainted by work of Barry Seal and friends who flew protected drug routes in and out of Mena. That way he could succeed to the Presidency but always had a leash around him.

So take a look at the charter flights that flew the Saudi royals out of the U.S. post-9/11. Look at the flight school in FLA where Atta and his buddies learned how to take off but not land airliners. Look at the charter companies that are leased for extraordinary rendition work. Those airplanes are making round trips too.

Gary Webb wasn't paranoid. He was too close.

Posted by: Bob In Pacifica at December 11, 2007 10:40 AM

Same old question, abuse of office and position---same old answer OVERSIGHT. If you own a pitbull and don't keep a tight leash, then he's GOING to bite one of the neighbors. Same problem WE have with OUR present administration---NO OVERSIGHT. WE as a nation must realize at the street level that WE can no longer let these various agencys run around with virtually no supervision. (and it's NOT JUST ONE, it's every last one) WE THE PEOPLE, MUST BECOME BIG BROTHER TO OUR GOVERNMENT. The future demands that WE be that intrusive into the government's business, instead of the other way around. WE HAVE THE NET---WE HAVE THAT POWER.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at December 11, 2007 11:26 AM

If you own a pitbull and don't keep a tight leash, then he's GOING to bite one of the neighbors.

more pit-bull calumny!
I own a pitbull, Budreau, who is the sweetest, gentlest, most loving, most loyal dog i have ever known (and i've had 20 or more dogs in my life)
which you'd know as soon as i introduced you to him; but which point might be missed if--uninvited, without me there--you stuck your hand into his truck or tried to enter his backyard.

Posted by: konopelli/wgg at December 11, 2007 11:51 AM