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maynard

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Posts: 1,194
Reply with quote  #1 
Actor Jeremy Renner
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Renner
will portray Gary Webb in the movie "Killing The Messenger"

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1216491/
scheduled to begin filming this summer. The film will be distributed by Universal.

This is a major production folks!

http://www.jeremyleerenner.com/news/jeremy-renner-ready-to-kill-the-messenger-in-berlin-bound-film-package-about-cia-smeared-journo-gary-webb/

Feb 1 2013
Jeremy Renner Ready To ‘Kill The Messenger’ In Berlin-Bound Film Package About CIA-Smeared Journo Gary Webb

The movie packages are coming together on the eve of next week’s Berlin film market. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters star Jeremy Renner has been set to star in Kill The Messenger, a thriller that Michael Cuesta will direct that is based on the tragic tale of a journalist who committed suicide after being smeared by the CIA. The script was written by Peter Landesman. Cuesta seems perfect for this; he’s an exec producer and has directed numerous episodes of Homeland and has been integral in establishing the visual look of that show. He also helmed the pilots for Dexter and Elementary.

Scott Stuber, who set up this project eight years ago as producer at Universal, will be joined by Renner and Don Handfield, and it will be a co-production between Stuber’s Bluegrass and Renner’s The Combine. Naomi Despres is also producing. The film begins production in the summer.

This is a project that has been in the works for several years, and most recently it had been at Universal with Stuber. If the CIA mostly wears a white hat in Zero Dark Thirty for its dogged efforts to track and kill Osama bin Laden, the agency wears a decidedly black lid here. Kill The Messenger is based on the true story of Gary Webb, a San Jose Mercury News reporter who committed suicide after being the target of a smear campaign when he linked the CIA to a scheme to arm Contra rebels in Nicaragua and import cocaine into California.

Landesman (who is right now making his directorial debut on the JFK assassination pic Parkland) put the script together with source material from two books: Dark Alliance: The CIA, The Contras, And The Crack Cocaine Explosion, by Webb, and Nick Schou’s Kill The Messenger: How The CIA’s Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb.

After he published his 1996 three-part series Dark Alliance, and implied that the CIA was a catalyst for the crack cocaine scourge in California, Webb was excoriated by colleagues in the press. The film will posit that Webb was mostly right, and that the CIA sought to smear him to conceal a scandal. The agency, in essence, concealed a deal with the devil that it made for what was believed at the time to be for the greater good. As a result of the smear campaign, Webb was destroyed; what should have been a careermaking expose turned out to be a career-ending debacle. Webb was jobless and in a spiral of depression when he ended his life in 2004.

CAA, which represents Renner and Stuber, will co-represent the film’s domestic distribution rights with WME, which represents Cuesta. The agencies will bring the project to Berlin. Renner is managed by Untitled’s Beth Holden.

Renner next stars in the Abscam drama that David O Russell is directing with Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper.



http://movies.yahoo.com/news/jeremy-renner-ready-kill-messenger-berlin-bound-film-222227439.html

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/berlin-jeremy-renners-gary-webb-420342

http://insidemovies.ew.com/2013/02/05/focus-features-kill-the-messenger/



Agent: Joel Lubin, Creative Artists Agency, 9830 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212.; Manager: Beth Holden-Garland, Untitled Entertainment, 8436 West Third St., Suite 650, Los Angeles, CA 90048.; Publicist: Nancy Seltzer, Nancy Seltzer and Associates, 6220 Del Valle Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90048.
Untitled Entertainment
holdengarland@untitledent.com
Contact: Beth Holden-Garland
Phone: (310) 601-2112
koth@untitledent.com

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

0
hannah

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Posts: 797
Reply with quote  #2 
Jeremy Renner to star as former Plain Dealer reporter Gary Webb in 'Kill the Messenger'
Clint O'Connor, The Plain Dealer By Clint O'Connor, The Plain Dealer
on February 11, 2013 at 2:50 PM, updated February 13, 2013 at 12:36 PM




GARY-WEBB.JPG View full size Investigative journalist Gary Webb, who died in 2004, will be played by Jeremy Renner in "Kill the Messenger." PLAIN DEALER FILE PHOTO

Jeremy Renner will play former Plain Dealer reporter Gary Webb in "Kill the Messenger." The thriller, directed by Michael Cuesta, is slated to shoot later this year and hit theaters in 2014.

Webb, who worked for The Plain Dealer in the 1980s, went onto fame as an investigative reporter at the San Jose Mercury News. He was best known for his series of stories in 1996 about the CIA's role in cocaine trafficking as part of the fallout from U.S. involvement in arming the Contra rebels in Nicaragua in the 1980s.

The series came under intense criticism and the paper later backed away from many of its claims and reassigned Webb to a suburban beat.

"This is just harassment" Webb told the Associated Press. "This isn't the first time that a reporter went after the CIA and lost his job over it." Webb, who was part of a Mercury News reporting team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1990 for earthquake coverage, resigned from the paper in 1997.

The film, written by Peter Landesman, will be based on Nick Schou's "Kill the Messenger: How the CIA's Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb," and Webb's own book from 1999, "Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion."

Renner, who is also co-producing the film, took over the Bourne series last year from Matt Damon. He has been nominated twice for Academy Awards, for best supporting actor for "The Hurt Locker" and "The Town." He also plays Hawkeye in the Marvel films, and spent several weeks in Cleveland in 2011 shooting "Marvel's The Avengers."

Cuesta has directed feature films, but is best known for his television work on such series as "Homeland," "Dexter," and "Six Feet Under."

Webb's legacy was re-evaluated recently by Mercury News columnist Scott Herhold, who had been Webb's editor when he worked in the paper's Sacramento bureau. Herhold recalled Webb as "a journalist of outsized talent" but questioned his accuracy. "He was fundamentally a man of passion, not of fairness. When facts didn't fit his theory, he tended to shove them to the sidelines."

Read Herhold's column here.
JEREMY-RENNER.JPG View full size Jeremy Renner, at last month's L.A. premiere of "Hansel & Gretel," will play journalist Gary Webb in "Kill the Messenger." AP

Webb's former Plain Dealer colleague, Mary Anne Sharkey, who worked with him in the paper's Columbus bureau in the 1980s, assessed his journalism career following his death:

"Webb was one of the toughest and best investigative reporters in a business that too often rolls over for those who are in power," Sharkey wrote on the paper's editorial page on Dec. 15, 2004. "Webb went after doctors, governors, judges, politicians, cabinet directors and business owners. He was fearless in afflicting the comfortable."

Reached recently, Sharkey said "Gary was a very colorful character" who would transfer well to the screen. But she does not buy any of the conspiracy theories, suggesting CIA involvement, that erupted at the time of his death.

"Gary had lost his job and kind of lost his way, and he couldn't get back into the business," said Sharkey, now a public affairs communications consultant in Cleveland and Columbus. "He was battling depression and eventually lost his health insurance. Someone didn't kill him. He had untreated depression."

Sharkey said that Landesman has been in touch with her several times in the past two years as he developed the screenplay. "He's doing very meticulous research." She added that she believes some of Webb's Plain Dealer experiences will be in the script, "but, because it's a movie, they will be set in California."

http://www.cleveland.com/moviebuff/index.ssf/2013/02/jeremy_renner_to_star_as_forme.html

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"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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hannah

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Reply with quote  #3 
http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2013/02/jeremy-renner-to-portray-late-capitol-reporter-gary-webb.html

Tuesday, February 12, 2013
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Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
February 11, 2013
Jeremy Renner to portray late Capitol reporter Gary Webb

RPGARY WEBB4NYTIMES.JPGModesto native Jeremy Renner is set to play late Capitol investigative reporter Gary Webb in the upcoming film, "Kill the Messenger," according to news reports.

Webb worked in the Capitol press corps for the San Jose Mercury News, which published the 1996 "Dark Alliance" series alleging CIA ties to the U.S. crack cocaine market. After several major publications disputed Webb's claims, the Mercury News reassigned him and he ultimately left the paper in 1997. He published a book in 1999, "Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras and the Crack Cocaine Explosion," that further detailed his story.

Webb later worked in the state Assembly as a committee consultant, investigating subjects such as a failed state Oracle Corp. contract, and at the Sacramento News and Review. He committed suicide in 2004 at his Carmichael home.

OC Weekly managing editor Nick Schou wrote the 2006 book "Kill the Messenger: How the CIA's Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb" that serves as the basis for the new film.

PHOTO CREDIT: Gary Webb sits amid documents in his Carmichael home on June 2, 1997. The Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench

Tags: Gary Webb, Jeremy Renner

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"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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hannah

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Posts: 797
Reply with quote  #4 
Jeremy Renner To Play Journalist Gary Webb In ‘Kill The Messenger’
http://www.flicksandbits.com/2013/02/01/jeremy-renner-to-play-journalist-gary-webb-in-kill-the-messenger/38430/
jeremy renner 2013 Jeremy Renner To Play Journalist Gary Webb In Kill The Messenger

Deadline bring word that Jeremy Renner is set to star in the thriller ‘Kill The Messenger.’ Directed by Michael Cuesta (Homeland, Dexter) from a script by Peter Landesman, the film is based on the true story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb, a San Jose Mercury News reporter who committed suicide after being the target of a smear campaign when he linked the CIA to a scheme to arm Contra rebels in Nicaragua and import cocaine into California.

Peter Landesman, who is right now making his directorial debut on the JFK assassination pic ‘Parkland,’ put the script together with source material from two books: ‘Dark Alliance: The CIA, The Contras, And The Crack Cocaine Explosion,’ by Gary Webb, and Nick Schou’s ‘Kill The Messenger: How The CIA’s Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb.’

The synopsis for ‘Kill The Messenger: How The CIA’s Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb’ is as follows: Kill the Messenger tells the story of the tragic death of Gary Webb, the controversial newspaper reporter who committed suicide in December 2004. Webb is the former San Jose Mercury News reporter whose 1996 “Dark Alliance” series on the so-called CIA-crack cocaine connection created a firestorm of controversy and led to his resignation from the paper amid escalating attacks on his work by the mainstream media.

Author and investigative journalist Nick Schou published numerous articles on the controversy and was the only reporter to significantly advance Webb’s stories. Drawing on exhaustive research and highly personal interviews with Webb’s family, colleagues, supporters and critics, this book argues convincingly that Webb’s editors betrayed him, despite mounting evidence that his stories were correct. Kill the Messenger examines the “Dark Alliance” controversy, what it says about the current state of journalism in America, and how it led Webb to ultimately take his own life. Webb’s widow, Susan Bell, remains an ardent defender of her ex-husband. By combining her story with a probing examination of the one of the most important media scandals in recent memory, this book provides a gripping view of one of the greatest tragedies in the annals of investigative journalism.

Scott Stuber, who set up this project eight years ago as producer at Universal Pictures, will be joined by Jeremy Renner and Don Handfield, and it will be a co-production between Stuber’s Bluegrass and Renner’s The Combine. Naomi Despres is also producing. ‘Kill The Messenger’ begins production in the summer, presumably after Renner films David O Russell’s as-yet-untitled Abscam drama. That film also stars the likes of Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper.

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Open pdf and word files online instead of on your puter'
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USE the net more securely:
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http://www.theintelligencenews.com/


"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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maynard

Registered:
Posts: 1,194
Reply with quote  #5 
Book by Weekly Managing Editor Nick Schou About Late Reporter Gary Webb Being Turned into Movie!
By Gustavo Arellano Thu., Jan. 31 2013 at 5:00 PM
2 Comments        
Categories: OC Media

gary_webb_kill_the_messanger.jpg
In 2006, Weekly managing editor Nick Schou published Kill the Messanger: How the CIA's Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb, a gripping, well-told tale about the reporter who more than anyone unveiled how the CIA played all sorts of dirty tricks during the 1980s drug war in Southern California. Almost immediately, everyone started asking Nick when the movie version of the book would appear, but the ever-humble guy always played them off, knowing full well the byzantine world of Hollywood. But I always urged him to keep the faith, knowing a great yarn when I saw one.

Well, as Nick's keeper at this infernal rag, I'm honored to announce that Kill the Messenger is now slated to become a Hollywood film--WHOA...

Deadline.com broke the story, and scheduled to direct is Michael Cuesta (executive producer of the badass Homeland), scheduled to star is Jeremy Renner (who my chica just got a boner upon me mentioning his name, so I take it he's somebody big), and the script will come from Peter Landesman, who just so happens to be directing a JFK film right now co-produced by Tom Hanks. This ain't no Kickstarter bullshit--this is the real deal.

Congrats, Nick! And think you can write a cameo into the move for me as some crazy Salvadoran FMLN activist?

http://blogs.ocweekly.com/navelgazing/2013/01/gary_webb_nick_schou_movie.php

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

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Posts: 1,194
Reply with quote  #6 
http://www.mercurynews.com/scott-herhold/ci_22560549/herhold-jeremy-renner-gary-webb-movie-cia

Herhold: Thinking back on journalist Gary Webb and the CIA

By Scott Herhold

sherhold@mercurynews.com
Posted: 02/10/2013 09:02:50 AM PST
Updated: 02/10/2013 09:02:55 AM PST

Gary Webb was a journalist of outsized talent. Few reporters I've known could match his nose for an investigative story. When he was engaged, he worked hard. He wrote well.

But Webb had one huge blind side: He was fundamentally a man of passion, not of fairness. When facts didn't fit his theory, he tended to shove them to the sidelines.

All that meant that Webb needed -- no, demanded -- wise and meticulous editing. In "Dark Alliance,'' the 1996 Mercury News series about the CIA and crack cocaine, he did not have enough.

I mention all this history because of the news that Jeremy Renner, a fine actor, has agreed to play Webb in a movie entitled "Kill the Messenger,'' directed by Michael
Gary Webb in 1999, left; Jeremy Renner (Mercury News files; Associated Press)
Cuesta.

Renner will bring credibility to the role. In this movie, the CIA wears the black hat. The thesis is that Webb was punished for having the story essentially right in describing the agency as the catalyst for the crack cocaine epidemic.

We can argue long and hard about the precise facts: I've always thought Webb inflated a legitimate but less ambitious story that cast a smaller circle of blame.

Motives

For one thing, I've never fully understood why the CIA would want to start a crack cocaine epidemic. (Webb argued that it was to raise money for the Contras.) And I tend to think the epidemic would have happened anyway.

After the paper backed away from the story and
Advertisement
Webb committed suicide in 2004, his tale made for an irresistible Hollywood storyline: the prophet without honor in his own country.

I can tell you a few things about Webb that may salt the Renner version with skepticism. You see, well before "Dark Alliance," I was his first editor at the Mercury News.

Hired from The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer to work in our Sacramento bureau, Webb almost immediately began producing good stories. He could also be a difficult man to work with. And I was neither wise enough nor meticulous enough.

After we had an argument over the length of a story, Webb privately compiled a long memo to my executive editor, detailing my sins as an editor. He had some points: I could be stiff-backed.

Out of context

When I came across that memo much later, however, after I had gone back to reporting, I realized he had taken things I said out of context. If he could do that to me, he could easily do it to the subjects of his stories.

In the end, "Dark Alliance" marked an institutional failure by a newspaper eager for its own prizes and stature. By then, most of us understood Webb needed very capable editing. Our best editor, sadly, was not part of that project. No one raised enough questions about the thesis. The original story didn't even have a comment from the CIA.

Webb paid a bigger price for that failure than anyone else -- and in that sense, you can sympathize with the version of the messenger hounded to his death.

Webb was a man of passion, not of fairness. He was no villain: He genuinely believed his thesis about the CIA. He was no hero either. Take it from someone who knew him well.

Contact Scott Herhold at 408-275-0917, sherhold@mercurynews.com or Twitter.com/scottherhold.

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

0
hannah

Registered:
Posts: 797
Reply with quote  #7 
America’s “War on Drugs”: CIA- Recruited Mercenaries and Drug-Traffickers
By Michael Levine
Global Research, January 13, 2011
wanttoknow.info 13 January 2011
Region: USA
Theme: Intelligence
America's "War on Drugs": CIA- Recruited Mercenaries and Drug-Traffickers

When Nixon first declared war on drugs in 1971, there were fewer than 500,000 hard-core addicts in the nation, most of whom were addicted to heroin. Three decades later, despite the expenditure of $1 trillion in tax dollars, the number of hard-core addicts is shortly expected to exceed five million. Our nation has become the supermarket of the drug world, with a wider variety and bigger supply of drugs at cheaper prices than ever before. The problem now not only affects every town on the map, but it is difficult to find a family anywhere that is not somehow affected. (pp. 158, 159)

The Chang Mai factory the CIA prevented me from destroying was the source of massive amounts of heroin being smuggled into the US in the bodies and body bags of GIs killed in Vietnam. (p. 165)

My unit, the Hard Narcotics Smuggling Squad, was charged with investigating all heroin and cocaine smuggling through the Port of New York. My unit became involved in investigating every major smuggling operation known to law enforcement. We could not avoid witnessing the CIA protecting major drug dealers. Not a single important source in Southeast Asia was ever indicted by US law enforcement. This was no accident. Case after case was killed by CIA and State Department intervention and there wasn’t a damned thing we could do about it. CIA-owned airlines like Air America were being used to ferry drugs throughout Southeast Asia, allegedly to support our “allies.” CIA banking operations were used to launder drug money. (pp. 165, 166)

In 1972, I was assigned to assist in a major international drug case involving top Panamanian government officials who were using diplomatic passports to smuggle large quantities of heroin and other drugs into the US. The name Manuel Noriega surfaced prominently in the investigation. Surfacing right behind Noriega was the CIA to protect him from US law enforcement. As head of the CIA, Bush authorized a salary for Manuel Noriega as a CIA asset, while the dictator was listed in as many as 40 DEA computer files as a drug dealer. (pp. 166, 167)

The CIA and the Department of State were protecting more and more politically powerful drug traffickers around the world: the Mujihadeen in Afghanistan, the Bolivian cocaine cartels, the top levels of Mexican government, Nicaraguan Contras, Colombian drug dealers and politicians, and others. Media’s duties, as I experienced firsthand, were twofold: first, to keep quiet about the gush of drugs that was allowed to flow unimpeded into the US; second, to divert the public’s attention by shilling them into believing the drug war was legitimate by falsely presenting the few trickles we were permitted to indict as though they were major “victories,” when in fact we were doing nothing more than getting rid of the inefficient competitors of CIA assets. (pp. 166, 167)

On July 17, 1980, drug traffickers actually took control of a nation. Bolivia at the time [was] the source of virtually 100% of the cocaine entering the US. CIA-recruited mercenaries and drug traffickers unseated Bolivia’s democratically elected president, a leftist whom the US government didn’t want in power. Immediately after the coup, cocaine production increased massively, until it soon outstripped supply. This was the true beginning of the crack “plague.” (pp. 167, 168)

The CIA along with the State and Justice Departments had to combine forces to protect their drug-dealing assets by destroying a DEA investigation. How do I know? I was the inside source. I sat down at my desk in the American embassy and wrote the kind of letter that I never myself imagined ever writing. I detailed three pages typewritten on official US embassy stationary—enough evidence of my charges to feed a wolf pack of investigative journalists. I also expressed my willingness to be a quotable source. I addressed it directly to Strasser and Rohter, care of Newsweek. Two sleepless weeks later, I was still sitting in my embassy office staring at the phone. Three weeks later, it rang. It was DEA’s internal security. They were calling me to notify me that I was under investigation. I had been falsely accused of everything from black-marketing to having sex with a married female DEA agent. The investigation would wreak havoc with my life for the next four years. (pp. 168-171)

In one glaring case, an associate of mine was sent into Honduras to open a DEA office in Tegucigalpa. Within months he had documented as much as 50 tons of cocaine being smuggled into the US by Honduran military people who were supporting the Contras. This was enough cocaine to fill a third of US demand. What was the DEA response? They closed the office. (p. 175)

Sometime in 1990, US Customs intercepted a ton of cocaine being smuggled through Miami International Airport. A Customs and DEA investigation quickly revealed that the smugglers were the Venezuelan National Guard headed by General Guillen, a CIA “asset” who claimed that he had been operating under CIA orders and protection. The CIA soon admitted that this was true. If the CIA is good at anything, it is the complete control of American mass media. So secure are they in their ability to manipulate the mass media that they even brag about it in their own in-house memos. The New York Times had the story almost immediately in 1990 and did not print it until 1993. It finally became news that was “fit to print” when the Times learned that 60 Minutes also had the story and was actually going to run it. The highlight of the 60 Minutes piece is when the administrator of the DEA, Federal Judge Robert Bonner, tells Mike Wallace, “There is no other way to put it, Mike, [what the CIA did] is drug smuggling. It’s illegal [author's emphasis].” (pp. 188, 189)

The fact is – and you can read it yourself in the federal court records – that seven months before the attempt to blow up the World Trade Center in 1993, the FBI had a paid informant, Emad Salem, who had infiltrated the bombers and had told the FBI of their plans to blow up the twin towers. Without notifying the NYPD or anyone else, an FBI supervisor “fired” Salem, who was making $500 a week for his work. After the bomb went off, the FBI hired Salem back and paid him $1.5 million to help them track down the bombers. But that’s not all the FBI missed. When they finally did catch the actual bomber, Ramzi Yousef (a man trained with CIA funds during the Russia-Afghanistan war), the FBI found information on his personal computer about plans to use hijacked American jetliners as fuel-laden missiles. The FBI ignored this information, too. (p. 191)

Michael Levine is a 25-year veteran of the DEA turned best-selling author and journalist. His articles and interviews on the drug war have been published in numerous national newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and Esquire.

Learn about Mr. Levine’s books and radio show at http://www.expertwitnessradio.org.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/america-s-war-on-drugs-cia-recruited-mercenaries-and-drug-traffickers/22777

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http://www.theintelligencenews.com/


"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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hannah

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Reply with quote  #8 
http://www.phibetaiota.net/2007/06/dark-alliance-the-cia-the-contras-and-the-crack-cocaine-explosion/


Review: Dark Alliance–The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion


Dark Alliance CIA Case Officer from Central American Era Validates This Book, June 9, 2007



I am probably the only reviewer who was a clandestine case officer (three back to back tours), who participated in the Central American follies as both a field officer and a desk officer at CIA HQS, who is also very broadly read.

With great sadness, I must conclude that this book is truthful, accurate, and explosive.

The book lacks some context, for example, the liberal Saudi funding for the Contras that was provided to the National Security Council (NSC) as a back-door courtesy.

There are three core lessons in this book, supported by many books, some of which I list at the end of this review:

1) The US Government cannot be trusted by the people. The White House, the NSC, the CIA, even the Justice Department, and the Members of Congress associated with the Administration’s party, are all liars. They use “national security” as a pretext for dealing drugs and screwing over the American people.

2) CIA has come to the end of its useful life. I remain proud to have been a clandestine case officer, but I see now that I was part of the “fake” CIA going through the motions, while extremely evil deeds were taking place in more limited channels.

3) In the eyes of the Nicaraguan, Guatemalan, and Honduran people, among many others, the US Government, as represented by the CIA and the dark side Ambassadors who are partisan appointees rather than true diplomats, is evil. It consorts with dictators, condones torture, helps loot the commonwealths of others, runs drugs, launders money, and is generally the bully on the block.

I have numerous notes on the book, and will list just a few here that are important “nuggets” from this great work:

1) The CIA connection to the crack pandemic could be the crime of the century. It certainly destroys the government’s moral legitimacy in the eyes of the people.

2) The fact that entrepreneur Ricky Ross went to jail for life, while his supplier, Nicaraguan Blandon, was constantly protected by CIA and the Department of Justice, is a travesty.

3) Nicaragua, under Somoza, was the US Government’s local enforcer, and CIA was his most important liaison element. As long as we consort with 44 dictators (see Ambassador Palmer’s “The Real Axis of Evil,” we should expect to be reviled by the broader populations.

4) I believe that beginning with Henry Kissinger, the NSC and the CIA have had a “eugenics” policy that considers the low-income blacks to be “expendable” as well as a nuisance, and hence worthy of being targeted as a market for drugs to pull out what income they do have.

5) I believe that CIA was unwitting of the implications of crack, but that Congress was not. The book compellingly describes the testimony provided to Congress in 1979 and again in 1982, about the forthcoming implications of making a cocaine derivative affordable by the lowest income people in our Nation.

6) The Administration and Congress, in close partnership with the “mainstream media,” consistently lied, slandered witnesses to the truth, and generally made it impossible for the truth to be “heard.”

7) The ignorance of the CIA managers about the “ground truth” in Nicaragua and Honduras, and their willingness to carry out evil on command from the White House, without actually understanding the context, the true feelings of the people, or even the hugely detrimental strategic import of what they were about to do to Los Angeles, simply blow me away. We need to start court-martialling government employees for being stupid on the people’s payroll.

8) CIA officers should not be allowed to issue visas. When they are under official cover they are assigned duty officer positions, and the duty officer traditionally has access to the visa stamp safe for emergencies (because the real visa officers are too lazy to be called in for an emergency).

9) I recently supported a movie on Ricky Ross, one that immediately won three awards in 2006 for best feature-length documentary, and I have to say, on the basis of this book, that Rick Ross was clearly not a gang member; was a tennis star and all-around good guy, was trying to make school grades; was disciplined, professional, and entrepreneurial. He did not create the cocaine, he did not smuggle it into the country, he simply acted on the opportunity presented to him by the US Government and its agent Blandon.

10) There is a connection between CIA, the private sector prison managers in the US, and prisoners. This needs a more careful look.

11) Clinton’s bodyguards (many of whom have died mysteriously since then) were fully witting of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s full engagement in drug smuggling into the US via Arkansas, and CIA’s related nefarious activities.

12) CIA not only provided post-arrest white washes for its drug dealers, but they also orchestrated tip-offs on planned raids.

13) Both local police departments, especially in California, and the US Government, appear to have a standard “loot and release” program where drug dealers caught with very large amounts of cash (multiple millions) are instantly freed in return for a quit claim on the money.

14) CIA Operations Officers (clandestine case officers) lied not just to the FBI and Justice, but to their own CIA lawyers.

15) DEA in Costa Rica was dirtier than most, skimming cash and protecting drug transports.

The book ends with a revelation and an observation.

The revelation: just prior to both the Contra drug deals and the CIA’s ramping up in Afghanistan, which now provides 80% of the world’s heroin under US administration, the CIA and Justice concluded a Memorandum of Understanding that gave CIA carte blanche in the drug business.. The author says this smacked of premeditation, and I agree.

The observation: here is a quote from page 452: ” …the real danger the CIA has always presented–unbridled criminal stupidity, clouded in a blanked of national security.”

Shame on us all. It’s time to clean house.

Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth’
The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade
Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America, Updated edition
The Big White Lie: The Deep Cover Operation That Exposed the CIA Sabotage of the Drug War : An Undercover Odyssey
Kill the Messenger: How the CIA’s Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb
The Crimes of Patriots: A True Tale of Dope, Dirty Money, and the CIA
From BCCI to ISI: The Saga of Entrapment Continues
Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil
Breaking the Real Axis of Evil: How to Oust the World’s Last Dictators by 2025
Fog Facts : Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin (Nation Books)


robert.david.steele.vivas@gmail.com




http://www.amazon.com/review/REVFM3PIMTIUN/ref=cm_cr_pr_cmt/185-4454164-0338534?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1888363932&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=#wasThisHelpful
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"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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maynard

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Reply with quote  #9 



LAW ENFORCEMENT AWARD NAMED AFTER A DRUG TRAFFICKER - THE WILLIAM FRENCH SMITH AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTIONS TO COOPERATIVE LAW ENFORCEMENT



In 1998, Frederick Hitz, CIA Inspector General admitted to the existence of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which exempted the intelligence agencies of the United States of America from reporting the drug crimes of its assets, contractors, and agents. The agreement was in effect from 1982 to 1995, covering both the Nicaraguan war and the Afghan war.

Hitz's admission was made before congress during hearings on CIA / CONTRA involvement in narcotics trafficking.

US Congresswoman Maxine Waters obtained copies of the documents and entered them into the congressional record. The documents can be viewed on the CIA website by clicking the links below.
They are signed by DCI William Casey
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_J._Casey

Attorney General William French Smith
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_French_Smith

Mark M. Richard, then Deputy Assistant Attorney General (Who has his own law enforcement award - The Mark M. Richard Memorial Award)

A.R. Cinquegrana - Deputy Chief of DoJ's Office of Intelligence Policy and Review (OIPR) from 1979 to 1991



See the documents here:


Exhibit 1

U.S. Attorney General William French Smith replies to a still classified letter from DCI William Casey requesting exemption from reporting drug crimes by CIA assets,agents and contractors.

Source:

https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/cocaine/contra-story/01.gif






Exhibit 2:

DCI William Casey happily agrees with William French Smith and signs the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) exempting his agency from reporting drug crimes. This agreement covered both the Latin American conflicts and Afghanistan war. It remained in effect until August, 1995 when it was quietly rescinded by Janet Reno after Gary Webb began making inquiries for his series. The 1995 revision of the DOJ-CIA MOU specifically includes narcotics violations among the lists of potential offenses by non-employees that must be reported to DoJ.

Source:

https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/cocaine/contra-story/13.gif




Exhibit 3:

On February 8, 1985, Deputy Chief of DoJ's Office of Intelligence Policy and Review (OIPR) from 1979 to 1991, A. R. Cinquegrana signed off on this letter approving the MOU. Mark M. Richard, Deputy Assistant Attorney General with responsibility for General Litigation and International Law Enforcement in 1982, states that he was unable to explain why narcotics violations were not on the list of reportable crimes except that the MOU had "other deficiencies, not just drugs."

Source:

https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/cocaine/contra-story/14.gif






Maxine Waters investigation and testimony before the US House of Representatives can be seen here:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/117070568/US-Congresswoman-Maxine-Waters-Investigation-of-CIA-Contras-involvement-in-drug-sales-1996-2000



So there you have it. Four of the largest drug enablers in history, masquerading as law enforcement officials. Two of the men have Law enforcement awards named after them. When Journalist Gary Webb was told of the "William French Smith Law Enforcement Award" he laughed and asked "what do they give that out for"?

During his testimony before Congress Inspector General Fred Hitz was basically telling congress that records don't exist because none were required.


__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

Registered:
Posts: 1,194
Reply with quote  #10 
The trials of Rep. Maxine Waters: Ethics or payback?
August 20, 2010

by Joseph Debro

http://sfbayview.com/2010/the-trials-of-rep-maxine-waters-ethics-or-payback/



coverage of Ms. Waters ethics probe

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/maxine-waters/


Freeway Ricky Ross speaks: an interview wit’ the former drug kingpin
December 19, 2009
http://sfbayview.com/2009/freeway-ricky-ross-speaks-an-interview-wit%E2%80%99-the-former-drug-kingpin/

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

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Posts: 1,194
Reply with quote  #11 



http://www.scribd.com/doc/129497281/Lawrence-Victor-Harrison-Testimony-in-DEA-agent-Enrique-Camarena-Case-Ties-Contras-and-Drugs



__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

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Reply with quote  #12 
http://www.asadismi.ws/ciadrugs.html

“Any evidence that [the CIA] supported drug trafficking would indeed be the crime of the century.”

-USA Today

In a historic report released in October 1998, the CIA’s Inspector General (IG) Frederick Hitz confirmed long-standing allegations that the Agency facilitated drug trafficking by the Contras during the 1980s. The CIA-created Contra army fought against the leftist Sandinista government of Nicaragua from 1981 to 1990 in a war that killed 40,000 Nicaraguans. The Contras were notorious for targeting civilians, schools and medical centres.

Hitz listed 50 Contras involved in the drug trade including some of its top leaders and admitted that the CIA placed drug traffickers in command positions in the Contra army. The Agency had extensive knowledge of Contra drug trafficking and protected it by failing to act against the traffickers, withholding evidence and misleading investigators. The Reagan administration provided similar “protection” and the report shows that drug trafficking and money laundering went up to Reagan’s National Security Council (NSC), where Lt. Col. Oliver North was in charge of Contra matters.

Hitz’s report marks the CIA’s first admission about alliances with drug traffickers, an alliance it has maintained since 1943 when the Agency was known as the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). This long and sordid history involves CIA collaboration with heroin exporters in Sicily, France, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as with cocaine-dealing Cuban exiles in Miami. In Laos, CIA planes ferried heroin which addicted thousands of U.S. soldiers fighting in Vietnam.

The Inspector General’s report was issued in response to Gary Webb’s series of articles in the San Jose Mercury News entitled “Dark Alliance” which appeared in August 1996 and linked drug smuggling by the Contras to the crack cocaine explosion in Los Angeles during the 1980s. Webb was forced to resign from his job at the Mercury News due to a campaign of vilification unleashed against him by the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times, but the storm of controversy generated by his series forced the CIA to issue the report. The IG report vindicates Webb and is far more damning to the CIA than Webb’s series.

According to Hitz, the CIA knew about Contra drug running from the start. A September 1981 CIA cable stated that ADREN (the earliest Contra force) had decided to use drug trafficking as a “financing mechanism.” The cable adds that in July 1981, two ADREN members made the first delivery of drugs to Miami. A few months after discovering that ADREN was smuggling drugs into the U.S., the CIA made one of ADREN’s leaders, Enrique Bermudez, commander of the Nicaraguan Democratic Force (FDN), the main Contra army which was organized by the Agency.

In 1982, Bermudez enlisted Norwin Meneses, a major Nicaraguan cocaine trafficker, to raise money for the Contras. Meneses and Danilo Blandon, another Nicaraguan trafficker, then began selling tons of cocaine to black street gangs in Los Angeles (with millions of dollars in proceeds going to the Contras), helping touch off the crack explosion in the U.S. A 1988 FBI cable identifies Meneses as working for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The FBI also believed that Meneses “was and may still be an informant for the CIA.” At the time, the FBI was unsuccessfully trying to indict Meneses on federal cocaine trafficking charges. The Meneses-Blandon drug ring was concentrated in California but also sold cocaine in Oregon, Washington and Texas.

Aware of early Contra drug trafficking, the CIA proceeded to make this criminal activity as easy as it could for its proxy army. According to Hitz, in 1982 the Agency signed a secret agreement (which lasted until 1995) with the U.S. Justice Department exempting the CIA from any requirement to report on allegations of drug trafficking by “non-employees” of the Agency which included agents, assets and non-staff employees. Thus for 14 years, while the Contras brought tons of cocaine into the U.S., the CIA and the Justice Department looked the other way. The FBI, DEA and the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency were also part of this connivance.

With the Contras’ growing involvement in drug dealing, the CIA chose “Ivan Gomez” (a CIA pseudonym), an experienced drug trafficker, to supervise Contra operations on the Southern Front in Costa Rica. Gomez admitted to the Agency in 1982 that he had assisted members of his family who were selling drugs and laundering money. Gomez stated that he helped his brother and brother-in-law move cash from New York City to Miami where they ran a money laundering centre for drug traffickers.

In June 1982, Gomez’s brother was arrested on drug charges and in September, Gomez commenced work at his CIA job in Costa Rica. According to Carlos Cabezas, a convicted drug trafficker, Gomez was the CIA agent in Costa Rica in charge of drug money going to the Contras. Gomez was to ensure that the money was given to the Contras and that nobody took an unauthorized profit. He remained the CIA’s man in Costa Rica until 1988.

Adding to Gomez’s narcotics experience, the CIA appointed another drug trafficker, Cuban-American Felipe Vidal, logistics coordinator for the Contras. Vidal had a criminal record for drug dealing in the 1970s and in January 1986, the DEA in Miami found 414 pounds of cocaine hidden in a yucca shipment going from a Contra operative in Costa Rica to Ocean Hunter (a drug-connected seafood importing company) where Vidal worked.

In 1987, the U.S. Attorney in Miami requested documents from the CIA about “Contra-related activities” by Vidal, Ocean Hunter and 16 other entities. The Agency replied that “no information had been found regarding Ocean Hunter,” a false statement. Vidal continued in his CIA position until 1990.

Other Contra leaders with drug connections included Juan Rivas, the FDN chief of staff who admitted to cocaine dealing in Colombia before the war. Rivas told the CIA that he had been arrested and convicted of transporting cocaine in Barranquilla, Colombia. He escaped from prison and came to Central America where he joined the Contras. In February 1989, the CIA asked the DEA not to act against Rivas “in view of the serious political damage to the U.S. government that could occur should the information about Rivas become public.” According to the FBI, Arnoldo Jose “Frank” Arana, the Contras’ main spokesman in Honduras, was involved in drug smuggling.

The Inspector General’s report also links the top leadership of the U.S. government to drug trafficking. In March 1987, the CIA questioned Moises Nunez, a Cuban-American who worked for Oliver North’s Contra operation centred in Reagan’s NSC, about drug allegations. Nunez replied that since 1985, he had a “clandestine relationship” with the NSC and that because of the specific tasks he had performed at the direction of the NSC, it was difficult to answer questions relating to his involvement in narcotics trafficking. The CIA responded by ending the investigation.

Alan Fiers, head of the Agency’s Central American Task Force, explained that the Nunez matter was not pursued “because of the NSC connection and the possibility that this could be somehow connected to the Private Benefactor Program” [the Contra money handled by North]. North’s notes for July 12, 1985 include a statement from a CIA officer in the field: “14M [million] to finance came from drugs.”

Hitz’s report also implicates airlines ferrying supplies for the Contras in drug dealing. These include SETCO, and Southern Air Transport (SAT). SETCO was owned by Juan Matta Ballesteros, who has been called “Honduras’ biggest drug trafficker.” According to a 1983 U.S. Customs report, Ballesteros was smuggling narcotics into the U.S. The CIA-contracted SAT (it was formerly owned by the CIA) was the main airline for Oliver North’s Iran-Contra activities.

In February 1991, the DEA informed the CIA about SAT’s “alleged involvement in cocaine trafficking… from 1985 to 1990.” Mike Holms, who worked for the DEA in Miami, received regular reports from his informants during the 1980s that SAT was landing planeloads of cocaine at Homestead air force base nearby. When Holms informed his superiors of this he was told to “stand down because of national security.”

It is clear from the Inspector General’s report that (as a Contra leader told the DEA in 1985) “the CIA was allowing the Contras to fly drugs into the U.S., sell them and keep the proceeds.” The report shows that CIA-approved drug trafficking was integral to the Contra effort and that the Agency made sure it remained so. The U.S. government thus self-admittedly allowed planeloads of cocaine into the country while fighting the “War on Drugs” by giving 40-year sentences to thousands of mostly poor black young men for selling or possessing ounces of the same drug.

The lives of thousands of African-Americans were destroyed (through incarceration, drug use or related violence) in order to finance the killing of 40,000 Nicaraguans (most of them poor peasants) whose revolution had dared to overthrow the vicious four-decade long U.S.-imposed Somoza dictatorship. Washington’s responsibility for Third World genocide is well documented. The IG report officially confirms for the first time that for U.S. decision makers, the domestic population is dispensable too.

Given the CIA’s admission to the “crime of the century,” who in the U.S. government gets punished for it? No one. As president, George Bush pardoned CIA and administration officials implicated in Iran-Contra crimes, so no action can be taken against him, Reagan and North. After all, they are just three in a long line of murderers and drug traffickers who have ruled the United States.

Mexico

Related revelations show that the CIA’s destructiveness was not limited to U.S. and Nicaraguan civilians. According to Hector Berrellez, a 24-year-old veteran of the DEA and its most decorated agent who retired with honours in September 1996, DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena was murdered in Mexico by drug traffickers linked to the CIA. Camarena was kidnapped in broad daylight from in front of the U.S. consulate in Guadalajara in February 1985. His tortured body was discovered a month later. The investigation into Camarena’s murder was the most significant in DEA history and Berrellez was put in charge of the investigation in 1989.

He discovered that the Mexican secret police was protecting large marijuana plantations in Sinaloa and that Camarena had got the Mexican Federal Judicial Police to close one of these ranches. The “busted” plantation was owned by a Mexican drug trafficker who had an agreement with the CIA to protect his operations in exchange for providing the Contras with money, weapons and training bases.

When Camarena came upon the ranch, there was a possibility that he would uncover the alliance between the CIA and the Mexican drug traffickers. For this reason, Camarena was killed, according to Berrellez. Berrellez cites the audio tapes (obtained by him) that the traffickers made while they were torturing Camarena. On the tapes, the drug dealers repeatedly ask Camarena, “What do you know about the CIA? What do you know about the CIA’s involvement with the plantation?”

Berrellez recommended to his superiors that the DEA impanel a federal grand jury to investigate the CIA’s role in Camarena’s murder and the Agency’s drug connections. A grand jury was set up and called a few witnesses before Berrellez was suddenly transferred to Washington in 1995 and given a desk job with nothing to do. The investigation went nowhere and Berrellez retired in 1996. Berrellez’s account was corroborated by Lawrence Victor Harrison, a CIA operative in Mexico.

Harrison told the DEA that the CIA had Camarena killed. Harrison had worked for the CIA in Mexico for many years and told a convincing story. The judge, however, did not allow the jury to hear Harrison’s account and removed it from the record. One of Berrellez’s informants told him that Rafael Caro Quintero, the man finally jailed for Camarena’s murder, was getting guns through CIA connections. Juan Matta Ballasteros, owner of SETCO, was also a member of the gang involved in Camarena’s murder.

While stationed in Mexico, Berrellez received constant reports from his army of two to three hundred informants about “strange fortified bases” at Sinaloa, Baja, Veracruz, Durango and all over the country which were not Mexican military bases. U.S. military planes would land at these bases and according to the informants, the planes were shipping drugs. When Berrellez reported this to his DEA superiors and to U.S. Embassy staff in Mexico City, he was told, “Stay away from those bases. They are training camps, special operations.” During the 1980s, Berrellez’s $3 million informant budget brought in report after report of CIA-leased planes flying cocaine into Homestead air force base in Florida, and an airfield near Tucson, Arizona believed to be a CIA base. The planes flew guns south.

One informant told Berrellez about flying in a U.S. military plane full of drugs from Guadalajara to Homestead. Everywhere Berrellez turned he encountered drug traffickers with CIA connections. Given such evidence, Berrellez believes that the CIA is in the drug business and that the Agency ran camps for the Contras in Mexico “with big planes flying in and out full of dope.” He also believes that some of his fellow agents were members of the CIA and that the DEA was “penetrated.”

Mena

Contra drug operations were not restricted to the U.S. west coast. An east coast Contra drug pipeline went through Intermountain Regional Airport in Mena, Arkansas where one of the world’s largest drug operations was based during the 1980s. From 1981 to 1986, a fleet of planes flew to and from this rural isolated area in the mountains of western Arkansas at all hours of the night. The operation was run by Barry Seal, one of the biggest cocaine and marijuana importers in the southern U.S.

Seal, who was also a DEA and CIA informant, smuggled between $3 billion and $5 billion worth of drugs into the U.S. He took guns to the Contras in Central America for the CIA and brought back cocaine for the Medellin cartel which he would airdrop in Louisiana, Texas, Florida and Arkansas. Seal admitted that he was the Medellin cartel’s main link to the cocaine markets of the southeastern U.S. The drugs would also be sold in New York, Chicago and Detroit. Along with the CIA and DEA, the FBI, the IRS, the Louisiana State Police and the Arkansas State Police were also aware of Seal’s trafficking.

The governor of Arkansas at that time was Bill Clinton, who blocked two local attempts to investigate events at Mena. One of Clinton’s biggest campaign contributors and political supporters was Dan Lasater, a prominent bond broker in Little Rock, Arkansas, who operated several investment firms and brokerages in Arkansas and Florida. According to the FBI, Lasater was part of “a huge drug ring” and the main supplier of cocaine to “the investment and bond community in the Little Rock area which has the largest bond community in the U.S. outside of New York City.”

Lasater was convicted of cocaine trafficking in 1986 but served only six months in jail. Bill Clinton pardoned him in 1990. Roger Clinton, the president’s brother and a cocaine addict, was an unindicted co-conspirator in Lasater’s drug ring. According to former Arkansas State Trooper L.D. Brown, who was part of Clinton’s security detail, when he told the governor about Seal’s cocaine flights, Clinton replied, “That’s Lasater’s deal.”

Published in:

Briarpatch, June 1999
CCPA Monitor
July/August 1999
http://www.policyalternatives.ca

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

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Reply with quote  #13 
HORRORS OF U.S. FOREIGN POLICY EXPOSED, DETAILED
by Asad Ismi

WHITEOUT: THE CIA, DRUGS AND THE PRESS
by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair
Verso, 1998


"I toiled wholeheartedly in the vineyards because it was fun, fun, fun. Where else could a red-blooded American boy lie, kill, cheat, steal, rape and pillage with the sanction and bidding of the All-highest."
- George Hunter White, who oversaw drug experiments for the CIA (p. 209).


After the Second World War, the United States government went on a genocidal rampage that has killed about six million people in the Third World. Cockburn and St. Clair examine a cross-section of this terror pertaining to the CIA and drugs. Written in a clear, readable style and supported by solid documentation, Whiteout is a compelling catalogue of the horrors of U.S. foreign policy.

The authors are at their best when revealing the Nazi roots of this policy in a superb chapter titled, "Klaus Barbie and the Cocaine Coup." Barbie‚s career shows the continuity between Nazi Germany and the U.S. and also links the latter to the rise of cocaine in Latin America. Known as the "Butcher of Lyons", SS officer Barbie commanded the slaughter of more than a million Slavs and Jews and tortured French resistance fighters to death. Yet his career "scarcely missed a beat" before the U.S. had hired him in postwar Germany and then smuggled him to Bolivia where he continued killing people as head of internal security for cocaine-trafficking generals brought to power in U.S.-backed coups in 1970 and 1980. The increase in Bolivian cocaine production under the generals led to the emergence of the Colombian cartels. Barbie continued to work for the CIA, engaged in drugs and arms trafficking and played a significant role in the U.S.-inspired "Operation Condor" aimed at suppressing popular rebellions and keeping dictators in power throughout Latin America. The monstrous crimes of men like Barbie were the example followed by the U.S. in dealing with the threat of Third World liberation. As the authors explain:

"In less than a year the [Nazi] mobile death squads [in Russia] under the command of men such as Barbie killed more than a million people. Here was the model for the CIA's death squads in Vietnam...and in Latin America where CIA-sponsored teams in Guatemala, El Salvador, Chile, Colombia and Argentina applied similar methods of brutal terror, killing hundreds of thousands. There's nothing, in terms of ferocity, to separate a Barbie-supervised killing in Russia from later operations such as My Lai or El Mozote."

The CIA's drug connections began earlier than its coziness with Barbie. In 1943, the Office of Strategic Services (the CIA's predecessor) made a deal with Lucky Luciano, the leading gangster and drug trafficker in the U.S. Luciano was released from prison in exchange for his help in securing the Mafia's cooperation in the Allied invasion of Sicily. Thus began the CIA's global alliance with drug traffickers in Sicily, France, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Miami and Latin America. Drug-dealing funded mass murder (called "covert operations" by the CIA) of the poor in the Third World who were the main impediment to U.S. dominance. Drug trafficking also corrupted and destabilized Southern countries, maximized the transfer of wealth from the Third World to western banks (which are notorious for money laundering), and helped keep thousands of the U.S. poor in prison. A long line of drug traffickers and assassins have led the U.S. national security state - the bigger Mafia. Evidence provided by the authors indicates that Clinton was elected with drug money, something he punished former Colombian President Samper for, severely.

Reporters such as Gary Webb who exposed the sordid reality of U.S. power in his brilliant articles documenting the CIA-organized Contras' cocaine trafficking in Los Angeles, were vilified by the slavish mainstream press represented by the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times. In a report issued last October, the CIA admitted facilitating drug trafficking by the Contras, thus making these newspapers look doubly ridiculous.

The CIA's drugs and murder strategy has corrupted almost every Latin American government especially that of Mexico and the authors astutely detail what free trade is really all about. Mexico is one the world's largest narco-states and drug trafficking exploded under former President Carlos Salinas, a main architect of NAFTA. After protecting drug dealers for six years, Salinas left office reportedly with $5 billion while his brother Raul made $1 billion. At the same time, Mexican wages fell by 60%. President Zedillo too, is reported to have received $70 million from the Cali cartel and the ruling class is drowning in drug connections. The CIA bankrolls the secret police (DFS) which guards drug traffickers and with the Agency's connivance tortured a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent to death. According to Hector Berrellez, the DEA's most decorated agent, the CIA ran camps for the Contras in Mexico "with big planes flying in and out full of dope." His informants told him about "strange, fortified bases" all over the country from which U.S. military planes were shipping drugs. Much of Mexico's drug money goes into U.S. banks while Washington backs a massive militarization to crush the Zapatista rebellion in Chiapas and the Pentagon readies itself for intervention as the whole rotten system threatens to come crashing down. Ideologically, the Nazis won World War II as former Guatemalan President Juan Jose Arevalo said in 1951, and millions of the world's poor are still paying for it with their lives.


Published in:

CCPA Monitor, February 2000
http://www.policyalternatives.ca



CIA “Manages” Drug Trade, Mexican Official Says

http://real-agenda.com/tag/dea/

By ALEX NEWMAN | THE NEW AMERICAN | JULY 29, 2012

The Central Intelligence Agency’s involvement in drug trafficking is back in the media spotlight after a spokesman for the violence-plagued Mexican state of Chihuahua became the latest high-profile individual to accuse the CIA, which has been linked to narcotics trafficking for decades, of ongoing efforts to “manage the drug trade.” The infamous American spy agency refused to comment.

In a recent interview, Chihuahua state spokesman Guillermo Terrazas Villanueva told Al Jazeera that the CIA and other international “security” outfits “don’t fight drug traffickers.” Instead, Villanueva argued, they try to control and manage the illegal drug market for their own benefit.

“It’s like pest control companies, they only control,” Villanueva told the Qatar-based media outlet 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.”

Another Mexican official, apparently a mid-level officer with Mexico’s equivalent of the U.S. Department of “Homeland Security,” echoed those remarks, saying he knew that the allegations against the CIA were correct based on talks with American agents in Mexico. “It’s true, they want to control it,” the official told Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity.

Credibility issues with employees of the notoriously corrupt Mexican government aside, the latest accusations were hardly earth shattering — the American espionage agency has been implicated in drug trafficking from Afghanistan to Vietnam to Latin America and everywhere in between. Similar allegations of drug running have been made against the CIA for decades by former agents, American officials, lawmakers, investigators, and even drug traffickers themselves.

Some of the most prominent officials to level charges of CIA drug trafficking include the former head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Robert Bonner. During an interview with CBS, Bonner accused the American “intelligence” outfit of unlawfully importing a ton of cocaine into the U.S. in collaboration with the Venezuelan government.

Even the New York Times eventually covered part of the scandal in a piece entitled “Anti-Drug Unit of C.I.A. Sent Ton of Cocaine to U.S. in 1990.” And the agency’s Inspector General, Frederick Hitz, was eventually forced to concede to a congressional committee that the CIA has indeed worked with drug traffickers and obtained a waiver from the Department of Justice in the 1980s allowing it to conceal its contractors’ illicit dealings.

An explosive investigation by reporter Gary Webb dubbed the “Dark Alliance” also uncovered a vast CIA machine to ship illegal drugs into the U.S. to fund clandestine and unconstitutional activities abroad, including the financing of armed groups. Webb eventually died under highly suspicious circumstances — two gunshots to the head, officially ruled a “suicide.”

Responding to Webb’s discoveries, top officials and even lawmakers eventually acknowledged that the CIA almost certainly had a role in illegal drug trafficking. “There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, or on the payroll of, the CIA were involved in drug trafficking,” explained U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) after the Dark Alliance series.

Top-level Mexican officials have suggested complicity by U.S. officials in drug trafficking as well — even recently. “It is impossible to pass tons of drugs or cocaine to U.S. without some grade of complicity of some American authorities,” observed Mexican President Felipe Calderon in a 2009 interview with the BBC.

Last year, an explosive report in the Washington Times, citing a CIA source, speculated that the agency may be deliberately helping certain Mexican cartels to beat out others for geopolitical purposes. According to the sources, the intelligence outfit might have also played a key role in the now-infamous Fast and Furious scandal, which saw the federal government providing thousands of high-powered weapons to Mexican cartels.

Shortly before that, The New American reported on federal court filings by a top Sinaloa Cartel operative that shed even more insight on the U.S. government’s role in drug trafficking. The accused “logistical coordinator” for the cartel, Jesus Vicente “El Vicentillo” Zambada-Niebla, claimed that he had an agreement with top American officials: In exchange for information on rival cartels, the deal supposedly gave him and his associates immunity to import multi-ton quantities of drugs across the border.

“Indeed, United States government agents aided the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel,” the court filing states. Zambada-Niebla is currently being held in federal prison, but he argues that he is innocent because he had approval from — and collaborated with — U.S. agencies in his illegal drug-trafficking operations.

Another expert who spoke with Al Jazeera, a university professor, also indicated that the American federal government was deeply involved in the drug trafficking business. He said the drug war was an “illusion” aimed at justifying control of populations and intervention in Latin America. As evidence, he pointed to the fact that one of the top drug kingpins in the world — billionaire “El Chapo” of the Sinaloa cartel — operates openly and with impunity.

Numerous drug bosses and American officials have made similar claims, alleging that the U.S. government in essence controls at least some of the cartels. According to former DEA operative and whistleblower Celerino Castillo, American federal authorities have even been training members of the brutal Los Zetas cartel in Texas.

CIA and DEA insider Phil Jordan, meanwhile, publicly claimed last year that the Obama administration was selling military-grade weaponry to the deadly organization through a front company in Mexico. And with the Fast and Furious scandal, it emerged that the Obama administration was using tax money to arm Mexican cartels, then exploiting the ensuing violence to attack the Second Amendment.

The President and his Department of Justice have been engaged in a cover-up since whistleblowers first exposed the scheme more than a year ago, leading Congress to hold disgraced Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt. Another congressional investigation being obstructed by the Justice Department surrounds DEA drug-money laundering operations revealed in an explosive New York Times article late last year.

“While the quality of the involvement of the CIA and other security agencies may be debatable, it is impossible to excise the blame from America,” noted an analysis about the latest allegations published by Catholic Online. “If the CIA is part of the problem, then it will only be one more sign of the corruption and evil that pervades American and Mexican politics and holds hostage millions of innocents.”

Some 50,000 people have died just in recent years as part of Mexico’s U.S. government-backed “war on drugs,” and anger south of the border continues to build. But even as Latin American leaders openly debate legalization and threaten to defect from the controversial “war,” the Obama administration has promised to continue showering taxpayer money on regimes that expand the battle.

Meanwhile, as the bloodshed continues to spiral out of control, the U.S. border remains virtually wide open on purpose, according to experts. And despite tens of billions spent on the endless “war,” numerous analyses indicate that the flow of illegal drugs into America is actually growing — not to mention consumption. By contrast, Portugal, which legalized all drugs about a decade ago, has seen declining rates of addiction, drug abuse, and crime.

In the United States, pressure is still growing on both sides of the aisle to reform or end the unconstitutional federal drug war once and for all, with polls showing rapidly declining support among voters. Over a dozen states have already nullified some unconstitutional federal statutes on marijuana as well. How long the “war” will go on, however, may depend on the federal government’s ability to continue borrowing funds to wage it.

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

0
maynard

Registered:
Posts: 1,194
Reply with quote  #14 
By Sharyl Attkisson / CBS News/ October 26, 2011, 8:29 AM
Mexican drug suspect: U.S. gave me immunity
A Mexican drug suspect awaiting trial in Chicago is making a startling claim. He insists he can't be prosecuted because he worked as an informant and had a secret immunity deal with the U.S. government.
•         ATF Fast and Furious investigation

•         Napolitano testifies on ATF Fast and Furious: "We're waiting for the Inspector General"
•         For more on this investigation, visit CBS News Investigates
Prosecutors say Vicente Zambada-Niebla oversaw drug running on a massive scale into the U.S. But now, from behind bars at a maximum security prison in Chicago, he's making his own explosive accusations -- that U.S. government agents have been aiding Mexico's infamous Sinaloa cartel -- even tipping off leaders on how to avoid capture.
CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reports that Zambada's court filings claim federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents gave him, cartel kingpin Chapo Guzman, and other Sinaloa leaders "carte blanche" to "operate their drug business without interference," as long as they snitched on other cartels. For years, Zambada's attorney argues, Sinaloa leaders helped "authorities capture or kill thousands of rivals." Their chief rivals are the Zetas, considered the most vicious and ruthless of all.
Phil Jordan used to head the DEA's Center for Drug Trafficking Intelligence, called "EPIC," in El Paso. He says he doesn't buy Zambada's claim that the DEA promised immunity.
"Grenade-walking" part of "Gunwalker" scandal
Jordan told CBS News, "We do not have the power to offer immunity."
But in court documents, prosecutors do admit the U.S. had a signed cooperation agreement with a different Sinaloa cartel leader.
That agreement was with Sinaloa cartel lawyer Humberto Loya-Castro. Starting as early as 2004, Loya passed information to the DEA from cartel leaders including Zambada -- the one now on trial. In return, Zambada claims, the U.S. dismissed a major case against Loya and agreed to "not ... interfere with" the cartel's "drug trafficking" or actively prosecute their leadership.
Jordan says any agreement with a cartel leader is controversial, but may be deemed necessary.
He said, "It's probably a matter of trying to get inside or closer intelligence to the whole Mexican federation, as we call it."
Jordan points out that Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega was once on the CIA's payroll. And that in Colombia, the U.S. worked with select cartels, allowing them to continue drug smuggling operations in the U.S. as long as they helped in destroying the more dangerous Cali and Medillin cartels.
As to whether the government has similar plans in Mexico, they're not saying, but this case, Attkisson reported, raises the question.
Prosecutors say even if federal agents did promise Zambada immunity -- which they deny -- it's unenforceable.
© 2011 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.



A copy of the motion denying dismissal of Zambada’s case based on his assertion of immunity:

narcosphere.narconews.com/userfiles/70/109-main.pdf
narcosphere.narconews.com/userfiles/70/Gov.Response.Zambada.inform.pdf

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-500202_162-20125720/mexican-drug-suspect-u.s-gave-me-immunity/

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

0
maynard

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Posts: 1,194
Reply with quote  #15 
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0207/S00202.htm


http://www.drugwar.com/pcatchintel.shtm


Preston Peet: How to Be a Successful Drug Dealer
Friday, 26 July 2002, 3:30 pm
Article: Preston Peet

How the People Seldom Catch Intelligence-
(or... How to Be a Successful Drug Dealer)

By Preston Peet * - Editor drugwar.com

“For me, one could write about lies from morning till night, but this is the one most worth writing about, because the domestic consequences are so horrible; it’s contributed to police brutality, police corruption, militarizations of police forces, and now, as we speak, it contributes to the pretext for another Viet Nam War.”

- Peter Dale Scott, July 24, 2000

On May 11, 2000, the US House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence made public their “Report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s Alleged Involvement in Crack Cocaine Trafficking in the Los Angeles Area.” The investigation by the HPSCI focused solely on the “implications” of facts reported in investigative reporter Gary Webb’s 3-part expose in the San Jose Mercury News, August, 18, 19, and 20, 1996, titled “Dark Alliance,” in which it was alleged that a core group of Nicaraguan Contra supporters formed an alliance with black dealers in South Central Los Angeles to sell cocaine to the Bloods and Crips street gangs, who turned it into crack, then the drug-profits were funneled back to Contra coffers by the Contra supporters. Approved for release in February, 2000, the HPSCI report states the Committee “found no evidence” to support allegations that CIA agents or assets associated in any way with the Nicaraguan Contra movement were involved in the supply or sale of drugs in the Los Angeles area. Utilizing a not-so-subtle strategy of semantics and misdirection, the HPSCI report seeks to shore up the justifiably crumbling trust in government experienced by the American public. But the report is still a lie.

One would have to intentionally not look to miss the copious amounts of evidence of CIA sanctioned and protected drug-trafficking, even in LA, that exists today in the public record, and the HPSCI succeeds admirably, disregarding sworn testimony, government reports, and ignores what agents on the ground at the scene have to say.

A Viet Nam veteran, and the DEA’s lead agent in El Salvador and Guatemala from 1985 to 1990, Celerino Castillo documented massive CIA sanctioned and protected drug-trafficking, and illegal Contra-supply operations at Illapango Airbase in El Salvador. Asked what he thought of the HPSCI report, Castillo said, “It is a flat-out lie. It is a massive cover-up....They completely lied, and I’m going to prove that they are lying with the case file numbers...I was there during the whole thing.”

After participating in the historic CIA-Drugs Symposium in Eugene, Oregon, June 11, 2000, Castillo decided to go back through his notes and journals, and his DEA-6’s, the bi-weekly reports he’d filled out at the time, to see just how many times his records didn’t match the “not guilty” verdict of the HPSCI report. “I’ve got them [CIA] personally involved in 18 counts of drugs trafficking....I’ve got them on 3 counts of murders of which they personally were aware, that were occurring, and...to make a long story short, I [also] came out with money laundering, 3 or 4 counts.”

Among the cases Castillo describes in his scathing written response to the HPSCI report, full of DEA case file numbers and Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Information System (NADDIS) numbers, is that of drug-trafficker Fransisco Rodrigo Guirola Beeche, who has two DEA NADDIS jackets, and is documented in DEA, CIA, and Customs files. On February 6, 1985, Guirola flew out of Orange County, California, “in a private airplane with 3 Cuban-Americans. It made a stop in South Texas where US Customs seized $5.9 million in cash. It was alleged that it was drug money, but because of his ties to the Salvadoran death squads and the CIA he was released, and the airplane given back.” In other words, the government kept the money, and known drug-trafficker Guirola got off with his airplane. In May of 1984, Guirola had gone with Major Roberto D’Abuisson, head of the death squads in El Salvador at that time, to a highly secret, sensitive, and as it turns out, successful meeting with former Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, Vernon Walters. “Walters was sent to stop the assassination of [then] US Ambassador to El Salvador, Thomas Pickering.” The CIA knew Guirola, and knew him well. Although the HPSCI report notes that John McCavitt, a senior CIA official in Guatemala and El Salvador at the time, “rejects forcefully” the idea that there was CIA involvement in trafficking in either country, and that he told the Committee that Illopango Airport in El Salvador hadn’t been used as a narcotics trans-shipment point by Contra leaders, Castillo documented Guirola less than a year after the arrest in South Texas, flying drugs, cash, and weapons in and out of Illopango Airfield, out of hangers 4 and 5, which were run respectively by Oliver North/Gen. Richard Secord’s National Security Council (NSC) Contra-supply operation, and the CIA. There’s no sign of Guirola within the entire 44 page HPSCI report.

Prof. Peter Dale Scott also wrote a response to the HPSCI report, in which he wrote “this latest deception cannot be written off as an academic or historical matter. The CIA’s practice of recruiting drug-financed armies is an on-going matter.”

Scott, a Professor Emeritus at Berkeley campus, University of California, prolific author, and a former Canadian diplomat from 1957 to 1961, has spent years studying and reporting on drug-trafficking connections of the CIA and other US government agencies. Knowing that the HPSCI report is full of lies and misrepresentations, Scott is at a loss as to how this report could have been authorized for release by the Committee, and voiced serious concerns about the staff of the HPSCI. “Well, they were headed by this guy who just committed suicide, (Chief of Staff John Millis), who not only was ex-CIA, he’d actually been working with Gulbuddin Hekmatyer in Afghanistan, (as part of CIA covert operations assisting in the fight against the Soviets in the late 70s and early 80s, while Hekmatyar moved tons of opium and smack). He may not have known about the Contra-drug connections, but he certainly knew about some CIA-drugs ties. I don’t think it was an accident that they picked someone from that area to sit over the staff either. I mean, this was one of the most sensitive political threats that the CIA had ever faced.” John Millis, a 19-year veteran of the CIA, was found dead of “suicide” in a dingy hotel room in Vienna, Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC, June 3, 2000, less than a month after the release of the HPSCI report.

The CIA released it’s own report in two parts, the Hitz Report, Vol. 1 in January, 1998, and Vol. 2, in October, 1998, (within hours of the vote by Congress to hold impeachment hearings over Clinton’s lying about a blow job), which examined the allegations of CIA protecting and facilitating, and participating directly in drug trafficking. There were numerous examples contained therein, particularly in Vol. 2, of just how much the CIA really knew about the drug trafficking of its “assets,” and admitted to knowing. But by the time the report was released to the public, the major news outlets, “the regular villains,” as Scott calls them, had already denigrated the story for 2 years, attacking and vilifying Webb, instead of investigating the facts themselves.

“The Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times, all insisted that the Contra-cocaine was minor, and could not be blamed for the crack epidemic. As the [Hitz/CIA, and DoJ] government investigations unfolded, however, it became clear that nearly every major cocaine smuggling network used the Contras in some way, and that the Contras were connected- directly or indirectly- with possibly the bulk of cocaine that flooded the United States in the 1980s,” wrote one journalist who has covered this story extensively, from the very start.

“This has been the case since the beginning. The strategy of how to refute Webb is to claim that he said something that in fact he didn’t say. The Committee didn’t invent this kind of deflection away from the truth, they just followed in the footsteps of the New York Times, and the Washington Post, and they in turn may have been following in the footsteps of the CIA to begin with, but I don’t know,” said Scott. “The Committee was originally created to exert Congressional checks and restraints on the intelligence community, in accordance with the spirit of the Constitution. For some time it has operated instead as a rubber-stamp, deflecting public concern rather than representing it.”

Saturday, October 10th, 1998, anyone watching CNN that morning might have
caught a brief mention of the release of the Hitz Report, Vol. 2. CNN reported that the CIA acknowledged it knew of at least 58 companies and individuals involved in bringing cocaine into the US, and selling cocaine to US citizens, to help fund the Contra war in Nicaragua, while they were working for the CIA in some capacity.

March 16, 1998, Fred Hitz, then-Inspector General of the CIA, had already told US Representatives at the sole Congressional hearing on the first half of this report, Hitz Vol. 1, that the CIA had worked with both companies, and different individuals that it knew were involved in the drug trade. I.G. Hitz went on to say that the CIA knew that drugs were coming into the US along the same supply routes used for the Contras, and that the Agency did not attempt to report these traffickers in an expeditious manner, nor did the CIA sever it's relationship with those Contra supporters who were also alleged traffickers.

One of the most important things Hitz testified to was that William Casey, Director of the CIA under President Ronald Reagan, and William F. Smith, US Attorney General at that time, in March 1982 signed a “Memorandum Of Understanding,” in which it was made clear that the CIA had no obligation to report the allegations of trafficking involving “non-employees.” Casey sent a private message to A.G. Smith on March 2, 1982, in which he stated that he had signed the “procedures,” saying that he believed the new regulations struck a “...proper balance between enforcement of the law and protection of intelligence sources and methods....” This was in response to a letter from Smith to Casey on Feb. 11, 1982 regarding the new Executive Order of President Reagan’s that had recently been implemented, (E.O. 12333), issued in 1981, which required the reporting of drug crimes by US employees.

With the MOU in place, the CIA, in cooperation with the Department of Justice, changed the CIA's regulations in 1982, redefining the term “employee” to mean only full-time career CIA officials. The result of this was that suddenly there were thousands of people, contract agents, employees of the CIA, who were no longer called employees. Now they were people who were, “employed by, assigned to, or acting for an agency within the intelligence community.” Non-employees, if you will.

According to a memo sent to Mark M. Richard, the Deputy Assistant Attorney General/Criminal Division, of the USA, on the subject of CIA reporting of Drug Offenses, dated February 8, 1985, this meant, as per the 1982 MOU, that the CIA really was under no obligation to report alleged drug violations by these “non-employees.”

It is pure disinformation for the HPSCI to print, “CIA reporting to DoJ of information on Contra involvement in narcotics trafficking was inconsistent but in compliance with then-current policies and regulations. There is no evidence however that CIA officers in the field or at headquarters ever concealed narcotics trafficking information or allegations involving the Contras.”

“On April 29, 1989, the DoJ requested that the Agency provide information regarding Juan Matta Ballesteros and 6 codefendants for use in prosecution. DoJ also requested information regarding SETCO, described as ‘a Honduran corporation set up by Juan Matta Ballesteros.’ The May 2 CIA memo to DoJ containing the results of Agency traces on Matta, his codefendants, and SETCO stated that following an ‘extensive search of the files and indices of the directorate of Operations ...There are no records of a SETCO Air.’” Matta, wanted by the DEA in connection with the brutal 30-hour torture and murder of one of their agents, Enrique Camarena, in Mexico in February 1985, and who Newsweek magazine described, May 15, 1985, as being responsible for up to a third of all cocaine entering the US, was a very well known trafficker, so it is ludicrous to suggest that the CIA hasn’t covered-up evidence of drug trafficking by assets, even from their own investigators.

“I mean, this is different than the MOU, which said the CIA was under no obligation to volunteer information to the DoJ,” said Scott. “It never said the CIA was allowed to withhold information from the DoJ. In the case of SETCO, they were asked for the information, and the CIA replied falsely that there was none. The Hitz people tried to find out how this could have happened, and one person said I just didn’t know about SETCO, but that is impossible. If people like me knew about SETCO, how could they not? Because the SETCO thing was a big thing.” Matta’s SETCO airline was one of four companies that, although known by the US Government to be engaged in drug-trafficking, in 1986 were still awarded contracts by the US State Department with the Nicaraguan Humanitarian Assistance Organization, (NHAO). These companies were flying weapons and supplies in to the Contras, then drugs back to the US, on the same aircraft, with the knowledge of CIA officials. Matta was protected from prosecution until his usefulness to the Contra efforts came to an end. Then he was arrested, tried and convicted in 1989, the same year Manuel Noriega was removed from office in Panama by US troops, and arrested for trafficking.

The Contra-CIA drug trafficking was no anomaly, but rather normal operating procedure for US Intelligence, particularly the CIA, and for the US government, while they actively perpetuate the War on Some Drugs.

Rep. Maxine Waters, (D-CA), in a speech in the House of Representatives on March 18, 1997, outlined various reports of CIA drug trafficking complicity. Noting a New York Times article dated November 20, 1993, she stated that “the CIA anti-drug program in Venezuela shipped a ton of nearly pure cocaine into the USA in 1990. The CIA acknowledged that the drugs were sold on the streets of the USA....Not one CIA official has ever been indicted or prosecuted for this abuse of authority.” Rep. Waters continued, calling it a “cockamamie scheme.” She described how the CIA had approached the DEA, who has the authority over operations of this nature, and asked for their permission to go through with the operation, but the DEA said “No.” The CIA did it anyway, explaining later to investigators that this was the only way to get in good with the traffickers, so as to set them up for a bigger bust the next time.

In late 1990, CIA Agent Mark McFarlin and Gen. Ramon Guillen Davila of the Venezuelan National Guard, sent an 800 pound shipment of cocaine to Florida, where it was intercepted by US Customs at Miami International Airport, which lead to the eventual indictment of Guillen in 1996 in Miami, FL, for trafficking 22 tons of cocaine into the city of Miami. Gen. Guillen was the former chief Venezuelan anti-drug cop.
“Speaking from his safe haven in Caracas, Guillen insisted that this was a joint CIA-Venezuelan operation aimed at the Cali cartel. Given that Guillen was a long time CIA employee, and that the drugs were stored in a Venezuelan warehouse owned by the CIA, the joint part of Guillen’s statement is almost certainly true, although the ‘aimed at’ part is almost certainly false.”

“That is the case that has gone closest to the heart of the CIA, because the CIA actually admitted to the introduction of a ton [of cocaine onto US streets]. The man was indicted for 22 tons, and [some people said] that his defense was that the CIA approved all of it,” Scott said, recalling the audacity of the case. For the very same Nov. 20, 1993 NYTimes article mentioned in Rep. Waters’ speech, “the spin the CIA gave the Times was that it was trying to sting Haiti's National Intelligence Service (SIN) - which the CIA itself had created.”

Which brings us to the case of Col. Michael Francois, one of the Haitian coup leaders who overthrew democratically-elected Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 1991, helping rule Haiti until 1994. Rep. Waters mentioned, in her impassioned speech on March 18, a Los Angeles Times article, dated March 8, 1997, that reported, “Lt. Col. Michel Francois, one of the CIA's reported Haitian agents, a former Army officer and a key leader in the military regime that ran Haiti between 1991 and 1994, was indicted in Miami with smuggling 33 tons of cocaine into the USA.”

“New York Times, November 14, 1993: ‘1980's CIA Unit in Haiti Tied to Drug Trade - Political Terrorism committed against Aristide supporters: The Central Intelligence Agency created an intelligence service in Haiti in the mid-1980's to fight the cocaine trade, but the unit evolved into an instrument of political terror whose officers sometimes engaged in drug trafficking, American and Haitian officials say. Senior members of the CIA unit committed acts of political terror against Aristide supporters, including interrogations and torture, and in 1992 threatened to kill the local chief of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. According to one American official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, ‘it was an organization that distributed drugs in Haiti and never produced drug intelligence.’ How shocking to the innocents at CIA, who certainly had expected Haiti's policemen to be above venality. That is, the SIN dealers, led by Brig. Gen. Raoul Cedras and Michel Francois, who overthrew the legally elected populist Jean-Bertrand Aristide in September of 1991, were armed and trained by Bush's CIA. In fact, Bush's CIA Director, Casey's assistant Robert Gates, was actually stupid enough to call Cedras one of the most promising ‘Haitian leaders to emerge since the Duvalier family dictatorship was overthrown in 1986.’”

“When the DEA's Tony Greco tried to stop a massive cocaine shipment in May, 1991, four months before the coup, his family received death threats on their private number from ‘the boss of the man arrested.’ The only people in Haiti who had that number were the coup leaders, army commander Raoul Cedras and his partner,
Port-au-Prince police chief Michel Francois, ‘the boss of the man arrested.’ A 1993 U.S. GAO [Government Accounting Office] report insisted that Cedras and Francois were running one of the largest cocaine export rings in the world.”

In January 2000, US Customs found 5 cocaine hauls welded deep within the steel hulls of “Haitian” freighters on the Miami River in Florida. (There have since been many more shipments intercepted.) The mainstream press reported that the drugs had “passed through” Haiti from Colombia. What the mainstream press did not focus on was that the 5 freighters were registered in Honduras, where coincidentally lives Haitian expatriate Michel Francois. Francois, a graduate of the infamous US Army’s School of the Americas, has an extradition request out for him from the DEA. During the subsequent investigation of this freighter smuggling by the DEA, two Haitians were arrested in Miami, suspected of masterminding the freighter operation. One, Emmanuelle Thibaud, had been allowed to emigrate to Miami in 1996, 2 years after Aristide returned to power. When US police searched his Florida home Jan. 29, 2000, “they found documents linking him to Michel Francois.” The Los Angeles Times quoted an FBI investigator, Hardrick Crawford, saying “it is not a big leap to assume that Francois is still directing the trafficking from Honduras.” Although the US requested extradition of Francois in 1997, the Honduran Supreme Court ruled against it. So the CIA-molded and nurtured Francois continues to surface in these international drug investigations.

Explaining why they feel the US government recertified Haiti again this year as a cooperative partner in the War on Some Drugs, even with the abundance of evidence to the contrary pointing to Haitian officials’ continued involvement in the drug trade, (2000), Haiti Progress, the leftist Haitian weekly based in NYC, wrote, “Because they need the ‘drug war’ to camouflage their real war, which is a war against any people which rejects U.S. hegemony, neoliberal doctrine, and imperialism....Like Frankenstein with his monster, the U.S. often has to chase after the very criminals it creates. Just as in the case of Cuba and Nicaragua, the thugs trained and equipped by the Pentagon and CIA go on to form vicious mafias, involved in drug trafficking, assassinations, and money laundering.”

A case involving the CIA stepping in and crushing an investigation into drug trafficking by CIA assets and favored clients took place in Philadelphia from 1995 to 1996, and continues in the official harassment of the investigating officer in charge. John “Sparky” McLaughlin is a narcotics officer in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Bureau of Narcotics Investigations and Drug Control, Office of the Attorney General, (OAG/BNI). On October 20, 1995, McLaughlin and two other officers approached a suspiciously acting Daniel Croussett. While questioning Croussett, the officers found documents in his car marked Trifuno ‘96, which Croussett told McLaughlin’s team belonged “to a political party back in the DR, and they are running Jose Francisco Pena-Gomez for President in May.” This political party was the Dominican Revolutionary Party, (PRD). McLaughlin, in a supplemental report filed January 29, 1996, wrote that Trifuno ‘96 was basically a set of instructions on how to “organize the estimated 1.2 million Dominicans who currently reside outside the Dominican Republic to overthrow the present regime in the elections May, 1996.” Soon it was obvious that McLaughlin’s team had uncovered an enormous drug-trafficking operation, run by a group associated with the PRD, the Dominican Federation, who were supporters of the man most favored to win the Dominican Presidency in 1996, and more ominously, most favored by the US government, and the Clinton Administration. An informant for McLaughlin had told him that if Pena was elected, he was going to make sure that the price of heroin for Dominican supporters fell dramatically.

On October 26, 1995, former CIA operations officer and State Department Field Observer, Wilson Prichett, hired as a security analyst by the BNI, wrote a memo to McLaughlin’s boss, BNI supervisor John Sunderhauf, stating he felt it time to bring in the CIA as they may already have had a covert interest in the PRD. By December 7, 1995, the CIA was called in to give assistance, and to advise the local officers in this case that had potential international ramifications. On Jan. 27, 1996, Sunderhauf, received a memo from CIA Chief of Station in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Larry Leightley.

“‘It is important to note that Pena-Gomez and the PRD in 1995 are considered mainstream in the political spectrum,’ Leightley wrote. ‘Pena-Gomez currently leads in the polls and has a better than even chance of being elected the next President of the Dominican Republic in May, 1996 elections. He and his PRD ideology pose no specific problems for U.S. foreign policy and, in fact, Pena-Gomez was widely seen as the ‘U.S. Embassy’s candidate’ in the 1994 elections given the embassy’s strong role in pressuring for free and fair elections and Pena’s role as opposition challenger.’ Leightley went on to say that on Dec. 11, 1995, Undersecretary of State Alex Watson had a lengthy meeting with Pena-Gomez, whom Leightley stated ‘is a well-respected political leader in the Caribbean.’”

By this time, McLaughlin’s team had hooked up with DEA investigators in Worcester, Massachusetts, who informed them that the PRD headquarters in Worcester was the main hub of the Dominican narcotics trafficking for all of New England. McLaughlin was able to get an informant wearing a wire inside some meetings of the PRD, who taped instructions being given by PRD officials on how to raise money by narcotics trafficking for the Pena-Gomez candidacy. Then the CIA turned ugly and wanted the name of McLaughlin’s informant, and all memos they had written to the BNI on the matter.

McLaughlin and his team refused to turn the name over, fearing for the informant’s life. On March 27, 1996, CIA Agent Dave Lawrence arrived for a meeting with McLaughlin, and Sunderhauf at BNI headquarters. According to court documents filed in McLaughlin’s civil suit against the CIA, the Pennsylvania Attorney General, the United States Attorney in Philadelphia, and the State Department, “CIA Agent Lawrence stated that he wanted the memo that he gave this agency on Jan. 31, 1996, and that BNI shouldn’t have received it in the first place. CIA agent Lawrence went on to state that he wanted the identification of the C/I and what province he came from in the Dominican Republic, CIA agent Lawrence was adamant about getting this information and he was agitated when BNI personnel refused his request.” As this was potentially a very damaging case for the US government, which seemed to be protecting a known group of traffickers, if the informant disappeared, there’d be no more potential problem for the US government.

Within 2 weeks of refusing to turn over the name of his informant to the CIA, all of McLaughlin’s pending cases were dismissed by the Philadelphia DA, declared un-prosecutable, stories were leaked to the press alleging investigations into McLaughlin’s team for corruption, and superiors ordered McLaughlin’s team not to comment on charges publicly to the press, putting McLaughlin under a gag order. McLaughlin’s team broke up, and McLaughlin’s civil suit against his employers and the CIA is still pending at the time of writing, (July/August, 2000).

“We have uncovered more than sufficient evidence that conclusively shows that the US State Department was overtly, there wasn’t anything secret about it, overtly supporting the PRD, and that the PRD, which had as part of its structure a gang that was dedicated to selling drugs in the United States,” said former US Congressman Don Bailey, who is representing McLaughlin in his suit. Bailey said that he suspects the government got the name of the informant anyway, as he cannot find the informant now.

A source close to the case confirms that photographs were taken of Al Gore attending a fund-raising event at Coogan’s Pub in Washington Heights in September, 1996. The fund-raiser was held by Dominicans associated with the PRD, some of whom, such as PRD officers Simon A. Diaz, and Pablo Espinal even having DEA NADDIS jackets, and several had “convictions for sales of pounds of cocaine, weapons violations and the laundering of millions of dollars in drug money.” Why was the Secret Service allowing Vice-President Gore to meet with known traffickers, and accept campaign contributions from the same known drug traffickers?

Joe Occhipinti, a senior INS agent in NYC with 22 years service and one of the most decorated federal officers in history with 78 commendations and awards to his credit, began investigating Dominican drug connections in 1989. Occhipinti developed evidence, while solving the murder of a NYC cop by Dominican drug lords, that one of the Dominican drug lords was “buying up Spanish grocery stores, called bodegas in Washington Heights to facilitate his drug trafficking and money laundering activities.” Occhipinti launched what began to turn into the very successful, multi-agency task-force Operation Bodega, netting 40 arrests, and the seizure of more than $1 Million cash from drug proceeds. In one memorable raid, officers found $136,000 “wrapped and ready” to be shipped to Sea Crest trading, a suspected CIA front company. Then Occhipinti found himself set up, arrested, tried, and convicted for violating the rights of some members of the Dominican Federation he’d busted during the operation. Sentenced to 36 months in prison in 1991, Occhipinti was pardoned by the out-going President Bush in 1993.

Another investigator who tied Sea Crest trading to the CIA was former NYPD detective Benjamin Jackobson, who began investigating the company for food-coupon fraud in 1994. “According to Justice Department documents obtained by Congressman James Trafficant (D-OH), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) believes that Sea Crest is behind much of the money laundering in New York’s Washington Heights area of Manhattan, but that attempts to prosecute the company ‘have been hampered and legislatively fought by certain interest groups and not a single case has been initiated.’ Jacobson’s inquiry led him to conclude that one of those ‘interest groups’ was the CIA, which, the investigator believes, was using Sea Crest as a front for covert operations, including weapons shipments to mujahideen groups in Afghanistan.”

“All I can say is,” said Occhipinti, “I find it very unusual that dozens of viable federal and state investigations into the Dominican Federation, and the activities of Sea Crest Trading company were prematurely terminated...I am not optimistic that this stuff is ever going to really break. They will just simply attempt to discredit the people bringing forward the evidence, and to try to selectively prosecute some to intimidate the rest.”
“My investigation confirmed that Sea Crest, as well as the Dominican Federation, are being politically protected by high ranking public officials who have received illegal political contributions which were drug proceeds. In addition, the operatives in Sea Crest were former CIA-Cuban operatives who were involved in the `Bay of Pigs'. This is one of the reasons why the intelligence community has consistently protected and insulated Sea Crest and the Dominican Federation from criminal prosecution,” testified one NYPD Internal Affairs officer, William Acosta, in sworn testimony entered into the
Congressional Record by Rep. James Trafficant. “I have evidence which can corroborate the drug cartel conspiracy against Mr. Occhipinti.”

It should also cause no undue concern among American citizens that the winner of the Dominican Presidential race on May 18, 2000, was Hipolito Mejia, vice-presidential running mate of the infamous Pena-Gomez in 1990, and who was the vice-president of his party, the PRD, for years before winning the race. The inauguration will take place August 16, 2000. Not to mention that Clinton Administration insider and former Chairman of the Democratic National Party, Charles Manatt, accepted the US Ambassadorship to poverty-stricken Dominican Republic, presenting his credentials on December 9, 1999 to the Dominican government.

Bringing one of the minor players in Gary Webb’s story back into the limelight, Wednesday, July 26, 2000, the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the second highest court in the US, ruled that asylum-seeking Nicaraguan Renato Pena Cabrera, former cocaine dealer and Fuerza Democratica Nicaraguense, (FDN), Contra faction spokesman in Northern California during the early 80s, should have a judge hear his story in court. Pena is fighting extradition from the US stemming from a 1985 conviction for cocaine trafficking. Pena alleges the drug dealing he was involved in had the express permission of the US Government, and that he was told by the prosecutor soon after his 1984 arrest that he would not face deportation, due to his assisting the Contra efforts.

“Pena and his allies supporting the Contras became involved in selling cocaine in order to circumvent the congressional ban on non-humanitarian aid to the Contras. Pena states that he was told that leading Contra military commanders, with ties to the CIA, knew about the drug dealing,” the 3 judge panel wrote in its decision. Pena’s story seemed plausible to the judges, who decided that the charges were of such serious import they deserved to be heard and evaluated by a judge in court. It also means that they probably do not believe the HPSCI report. Perhaps they were remembering the entries in Oliver North’s notebooks, dated July 9, 1984, writing of a conversation with CIA agent Duane “Dewey” Clarridge, when North wrote, “Wanted aircraft to go to Bolivia to pick up paste,” and “Want aircraft to pick up 1,500 kilos.”

The CIA-created FDN were the best-trained, best-equipped Contra faction, based in Honduras, and lead by former Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Samoza’s National Guardsman, Enrique Bermudez. Pena was selling drugs in San Fransisco for Norwin Meneses, one of the main figures in Webb’s story, another Nicaraguan who was in turn sending much of that money to the Contras. “It was during October, 1982, that FDN leaders met with Meneses in L.A. and San Fransisco in an effort to set up local Contra support groups in those cities.” Pena was arrested along with Jairo Meneses, Norwin’s nephew. Pena copped a guilty plea to one count of possession with intent to sell, in March, 1985, getting a 2-year sentence in exchange for informing on Jairo.

Dennis Ainsworth, an American Contra supporter in San Fransisco, told the FBI in 1987 that he was told by Pena that “the FDN is involved in drug smuggling with the aid of Norwin Meneses.” Ainsworth also told the FBI that the FDN “had become more involved in selling arms and cocaine for personal gain than in a military effort to overthrow the current Nicaraguan Sandinista government,” and went so far as to tell them that he’d been contacted in 1985 by a US Customs Agent, who told him that “national security interests kept him from making good narcotics cases.” When Jairo Meneses reached court for sentencing in 1985, in exchange for a 3-year sentence he testified against his uncle, claiming to be a book keeper for Norwin, but nothing happened. Norwin Meneses continued to operate freely.

Webb’s attention was initially directed towards Danilo Blandon Reyes, partner of Norwin Meneses, and who turned out to be the supplier for “Freeway” Ricky Ross, described by many as being instrumental in the spread of crack throughout South Central Los Angeles and beyond, beginning in late 1981. By 1983, Ross “was buying over 100 kilos of cocaine a week, and selling as much as $3 million worth of crack a day.” Pena, during this same time, between 1982-1984, according to information in the CIA’s Hitz Report, Vol. 2, made 6 to 8 trips, “for Meneses’ drug-trafficking organization. Each time, he says he carried anywhere from $600,000 to $1,000,000 to Los Angeles and returned to San Fransisco with 6 to 8 kilos of cocaine” Webb speculates that, “Even with the inflated cocaine prices of the early 1980s, the amount of money Pena was taking to LA was far more than was needed to pay for 6 to 8 kilos of cocaine. It seems like that the excess- $300,000 to $500,000 per trip--was the Contra’s cut of the drug proceeds.”

Whether Pena’s appeal will eventually reach a court is not yet known. Most likely someone in Washington, DC, perhaps even former CIA officer and current Chairman of the HPSCI, Rep. Porter Goss himself, (R-FL), is going to pick up the phone and call the Special Assistant US Attorney listed in the court filings, Robert Yeargin, tell him to drop the case, and allow Pena to remain in the US. The CIA and the US government do not want anyone bringing Hitz Vol. 2 into a court room, and giving it the public hearing that former CIA Director John Deutch promised.

The evidence of the CIA working with traffickers is irrefutable. Many Congressional inquiries and committees have gathered together massive amounts of evidence pointing to CIA drug connections, such as Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass) Senate Subcommittee on Narcotics and Terrorism, which released a report in December, 1988, exploring many of the Contra/CIA-drug allegations. As Jack Blum, former Chief Counsel to the Kerry Committee testified to in Senate hearings October 23, 1996, (before Arlen Specter's subcommittee, who is the inventor of the infamous “magic-bullet theory” for the Warren Commission’s investigation of the Kennedy assassination), “If you ask: In the process of fighting a war against the Sandinistas, did people connected with the US government open channels which allowed drug traffickers to move drugs into the United States, did they know the drug traffickers were doing it, and did they protect them from law enforcement? The answer to all those questions is “YES.” The Kerry Report’s main conclusions go directly opposite that of the latest HPSCI report: “It is clear that individuals who provided support for the Contras were involved in drug trafficking. The supply network of the Contras was used by drug trafficking organizations, and elements of the Contras themselves received financial and material assistance from drug traffickers.”

Webb’s article’s resulted in a Department of Justice investigation as well, lead by DoJ Inspector General Michael Bromwich. The DoJ found that indeed that CIA did intervene to stop an investigation into Julio Zavala, a suspect in the “Frogman” case in San Fransisco, in which swimmers in wetsuits were bringing cocaine to shore from Colombian freighters. When police arrested Zavala, they seized $36,000. The CIA got wind of depositions being planned, and stepped in. “It is clear that the CIA believed that it had an interest in preventing the depositions, partly because it was concerned about an allegation that its funds were being diverted into the drug trade. The CIA discussed the matter with the U.S. Attorney's Office, the depositions were canceled, and the money was returned.”

Since the release of the HPSCI report in May, there has been a noticeable silence emanating from the office of Rep. Maxine Waters, who after the release of Hitz Vol. 1, had called for open hearings, and who at the time of this writing, had still not authorized her staff to make any statements on the subject. Rep. Waters told the HPSCI in 1998 it was a shame that after all the evidence of CIA assets being involved in drug trafficking gathered by Senate officials in the 80s, that the CIA either absolutely knew, or turned its head, “at the same time we are spending million of dollars talking about a war on drugs? Give me a break, Mr. Chairman, and Members, We can do better than this.” There has yet to be a public hearing on Hitz Vol. 2. The HPSCI has released a report that blatantly lies to the American people, who have watched their rights and liberties chipped away a bit at a time in the name of the War on Some Drugs, while certain unscrupulous individuals within the CIA and other branches of US Government, as well as the private sector, have made themselves rich off the war. The investigations into the CIA-Contra-Cocaine connections serve only to focus attention upon one small part of the whole picture, while the HPSCI report narrows the field even further, by insisting on refuting, poorly one might add, Webb’s reporting yet again. “These guys have long ago become convinced that they can control what people believe and think entirely through power and that facts are irrelevant,” said former Assistant Secretary of Housing, and Federal Housing Commissioner under Bush, Catherine Austin Fitts.

The HPSCI only mentions the most prolific drug smuggler in US history, who used the Contra-supply operations to broaden his own smuggling operation, , in passing, relegating Barry Seal to a mere footnote. Mena, Arkansas, Seal’s base of operations during the same time then-Arkansas Gov. Clinton’s good friend Dan Lasatar was linked by the FBI to a massive cocaine trafficking ring, isn’t mentioned once. White House NSC members Oliver North, Admiral John Poindexter, and General Richard Secord, were all barred for life from entering Costa Rico due to their Contra drug trafficking connections by the Costa Rican government in 1989, but you won’t read that in the HPSCI report.

Then there are the drug-financed armies, such as the Kosovo Liberation Army, (KLA), which in 1996 was being called a terrorist organization by the US State Department, while the European Interpol was compiling a report on their domination of the European heroin trade. US forces handed a country to the KLA/Albanian drug cartels, and just over one year later the US is facing a sharp increase in heroin seizures, and addiction figures. Back in the 60s and 70s it was the Hmong guerrilla army fighting a “secret” war completely run by the CIA in Laos. Senator Frank Church’s Committee hearings on CIA assassinations and covert operations in 1975, “accepted the results of the Agency’s own internal investigation, which found, not surprisingly, that none of its operatives had ever been in any way involved in the drug trade. Although the CIA’s report had expressed concern about opium dealing by its Southeast Asian allies, Congress did not question the Agency about is allegiances with leading drug lords-the key aspect, in my view, of CIA complicity in narcotics trafficking,” wrote Alfred McCoy, author of the seminal “Politics of Heroin,” in 1972. Sounds a bit familiar, doesn’t it? Brit Snider, current IG of the CIA, testified before the HPSCI in closed door session, May 5, 1999. “While we found no evidence that any CIA employees involved in the Contra program had participated in drug-related activities or had conspired with other in such activities, we found that the Agency did not deal with Contra-related drug trafficking allegations and information in a consistent, reasoned or justifiable manner. In the end, the objective of unseating the Sandinistas appears to have taken precedence over dealing properly with potentially serious allegations against those whom the Agency was working.” Yet, somehow the HPSCI felt justified in releasing this utter sham of a report to the American people, assuring us that it “found no evidence to support allegations,” that CIA connected individuals were selling drugs in the Los Angeles area.

For US politicians to continue hollering for stronger law enforcement tactics, tougher sentencing guidelines, and vote to give the Colombian military $1.3 billion dollars, so it can turn around and buy 68 Blackhawk helicopters from US arms merchants, to assist Colombia in its War on Some Drugs, then the lies have a personal effect on our lives. This is not a harmless little white lie, this is costing thousands of undue, horrible deaths each year, this sham of a War. For US politicians to continue to vote for increased Drug War funding, when the evidence is irrefutable that US intelligence agencies, federal law enforcement agencies, and even some Government officials in elected office, have actively worked to protect, and cover-up for the real major drug lords, the analogies to Viet Nam are not so far off the mark.

“When I came to America in 1961, the US was just beginning a program where they were sending advisors [to Viet Nam], insisting that they would never be anything more, and [they had] a defoliation program, an extensive defoliation program, which is what we are doing now in Colombia, only I think we now have even more advisors in Colombia, and we’ve graduated to biowarfare in Colombia, which is something we are treaty bound not to do. Yet we are doing it. The deeper in we get, the harder it will be to get out. So there may be still a chance to get out of this mess, or to change it to a political solution, but it is dangerously like Viet Nam.”

Colombia is perfect illustration of the hypocrisy of the War on some Drugs, when we consider the case of Col. James Hiett, former head of the US anti-drug efforts in Colombia. Col. Hiett covered up for his wife Laurie, who in 1998 came under investigation by the US Army for smuggling cocaine and heroin through the US Embassy postal service in Bogata. Laurie gave thousands of dollars of drug profits to her husband to launder for her quietly. Not only did the US military put her under investigation, they told Col. Hiett they did so, giving him time to cover his tracks. The Army performed a perfunctory investigation of the Colonel, cleared him of any wrong doing, then recommended he get probation. Laurie was sentenced to 5 years in May, 1999, in Brooklyn NY, and Col. Hiett was sentenced to 5 months, July 15, 2000. Hernan Aquila, the mule that Laurie hired to pick up the drugs in NYC and deliver them to the dealers, got a longer sentence than the two Hietts put together, 5 and a half years. He is Colombian, they are white Americans. He was a mule, Col. Hiett was in charge of all US anti-drug efforts in Colombia, and his wife was one of the masterminds of the operation.

“In the Colombian drug war, denial goes far beyond the domesticated: Col. Hiett turned a blind eye not only to his wife's drug profiteering but to the paramilitaries, to the well-documented collusion of Colombian officers in those death squads and to the massive corruption of the whole drug-fighting enterprise. [Col.] Hiett's sentencing revealed not an overprotective husband, but a military policy in which blindness is the operative strategy -- a habit of mind so entrenched that neither Col. Hiett nor the Clinton administration nor the U.S. Congress can renounce it, even as the prison door is swinging shut,” wrote one aghast reporter.

Former US Ambassador to Paraguay and El Salvador Robert White said, “Cocaine is now Colombia’s leading export,” laughing at “the idea that an operation of that magnitude can take place without the cooperation of the business, banking, transportation executives, and the government, civil as well as military.”

Will the American people continue to accept the lies and cover-ups? Will the people allow Congress to continue refusing to address the officially sanctioned and CIA-assisted global trafficking, insisting that it cannot find any evidence that it exists, meanwhile voting ever more cash to support the War ? Every American should feel personally insulted that regardless of the facts, their elected Representatives choose to yet again foist another lie upon them, but they shouldn’t feel surprised. This entire War on Some Drugs is predicated upon the existence of the black market, so to ensure the existence of that black market, the intelligence agencies such as the CIA actively promote and protect the power and wealth of the cartels, and themselves, by creating endless enemies.

Perhaps the suitable way to stop their lies and cover-ups would be to sentence these men and women to 10 years of addiction in the streets of America under current prohibition policies, to suffer the consequences of their actions, and give them a taste of their own medicine.

***********

© Preston Peet, reused with permission of the author.

* Preston Peet is a freelance writer and the editor/creator of New York based http://www.drugwar.com/. This article was originally published in disinformation publishing's “You Are Being Lied To”. See… http://www.drugwar.com/pYABLTexcerpts.shtm for more information on the publication

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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http://consortiumnews.com/2012/12/09/the-warning-in-gary-webbs-death-2/

The Warning in Gary Webb’s Death
December 9, 2012

From the Archive: Modern U.S. history is more complete because journalist Gary Webb had the courage to revive the dark story of the Reagan administration’s protection of Nicaraguan Contra cocaine traffickers in the 1980s. But Webb ultimately paid a terrible price, as Robert Parry reports.

By Robert Parry (Originally published Dec. 9, 2011)

Every year since investigative journalist Gary Webb took his own life in 2004, I have marked the anniversary of that sad event by recalling the debt that American history owes to Webb for his brave reporting, which revived the Contra-cocaine scandal in 1996 and forced important admissions out of the Central Intelligence Agency two years later.

But Webb’s suicide on the evening of Dec. 9, 2004, was also a tragic end for one man whose livelihood and reputation were destroyed by a phalanx of major newspapers – the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times– serving as protectors of a corrupt power structure rather than as sources of honest information.

Journalist Gary Webb holding a copy of his Contra-cocaine article in the San Jose Mercury-News.

In reviewing the story again this year, I was struck by how Webb’s Contra-cocaine experience was, in many ways, a precursor to the subsequent tragedy of the Iraq War.

In the 1980s, the CIA’s analytical division was already showing signs of politicization, especially regarding President Ronald Reagan’s beloved Contras and their war against Nicaragua’s Sandinista government – and the U.S. press corps was already bending to the propaganda pressures of a right-wing Republican administration.

Looking back at CIA cables from the early-to-mid-1980s, you can already see the bias dripping from the analytical reports. Any drug accusation against the leftist Sandinistas was accepted without skepticism and usually with strong exaggeration, while the opposite occurred with evidence of Contra cocaine smuggling; then there was endless quibbling and smearing of sources.

So, to put these reports in anything close to an accurate focus, you would need special lenses to correct for all the politicized distortions. Yet, the U.S. news media, which itself was under intense pressure not to appear “liberal,” worsened the Reagan administration’s fun-house reflection of reality and attacked any dissident journalist who wouldn’t go along.

Thus, Americans heard a lot about how the evil Sandinistas were trying to “poison” America’s youth with cocaine, although there was not a single interception of a drug shipment from Nicaragua during the Sandinista reign, except for one planeload of cocaine that the United States flew into and out of Nicaraguan in a clumsy “sting” operation.

On the other hand, substantial evidence of Contra-related cocaine shipments out of Costa Rica and Honduras was kept from the American people with Reagan’s Justice Department and CIA intervening to head off investigations and thus prevent embarrassing disclosures. The chief role of the big newspapers in this upside-down world was to heap ridicule on anyone who told the truth.

During that time frame of the early-to-mid-1980s, the patterns were set for CIA analysts to advance their careers (by giving the president what he wanted) and mainstream journalists to protect theirs (by accepting propaganda). By 2002-2003, these patterns had become deeply engrained, leaving almost no one to protect the American people from a new round of falsehoods – aimed at Iraq.

Though I was not in touch with Webb in the last months of his life in 2004, I have always wondered if he saw this connection between his own valiant efforts to correct the historical record about Contra-cocaine trafficking in 1996 and the victory of lies over truth regarding Iraq’s WMD in 2002-2003.

In the weeks before Webb’s suicide, there also was the intervening fact of George W. Bush’s reelection – and with it, the dashed expectation that the CIA analysts and the mainstream journalists who played along with the Iraq-WMD fabrications might face some serious accountability. At the moment when Webb picked up his father’s pistol and put it to his head, there must have appeared little hope that anything would change.

Indeed, we are now seeing yet another replay of this systematic distortion of information, this time regarding Iran and its alleged nuclear weapons program. Any tidbit of information against Iran is exaggerated, while exculpatory data is downplayed or ignored.

So, it may be timely again to recount what happened to Gary Webb and to reflect on the dangers of allowing this corrupt disinformation system to press ahead unchecked.

Dark Alliance

For me, the tragic story of Gary Webb began in 1996 when he was working on his “Dark Alliance” series for the San Jose Mercury News. He called me at my home in Arlington, Virginia, because, in 1985, I and my Associated Press colleague Brian Barger had been the first journalists to reveal the scandal of Reagan’s Nicaraguan Contras funding themselves in part by collaborating with drug traffickers.

Webb explained that he had come across evidence that one Contra-connected drug conduit had funneled cocaine into Los Angeles, where it helped fuel the early crack epidemic. Unlike our AP stories a decade earlier — which focused on the Contras helping to ship cocaine from Central America into the United States — Webb said his series would examine what happened to the Contra cocaine after it reached the streets of Los Angeles and other cities.

Besides asking about my recollections of the Contras and their cocaine smuggling, Webb wanted to know why the scandal never gained any real traction in the U.S. national news media. I explained that the ugly facts of the drug trafficking ran up against a determined U.S government campaign to protect the Contras’ image. In the face of that resistance, I said, the major publications — the likes of the New York Times and the Washington Post — had chosen to attack the revelations and those behind them rather than to dig up more evidence.

Webb sounded confused by my account, as if I were telling him something that was foreign to his personal experience, something that just didn’t compute. I had a sense of his unstated questions: Why would the prestige newspapers of American journalism behave that way? Why wouldn’t they jump all over a story that important and that sexy, about the CIA working with drug traffickers?

I took a deep breath, sensing that he had no idea of the personal danger he was about to confront. Well, he would have to learn that for himself, I thought. It surely wasn’t my place to warn a journalist away from a significant story just because it carried risks.

So, I simply asked Webb if he had the strong support of his editors. He assured me that he did. I said their backing would be crucial once his story was out. He sounded perplexed, again, as if he didn’t know what to make of my cautionary tone. I wished him the best of luck, thinking that he would need it.

The Safe Route

When I hung up, I wasn’t sure that the Mercury News would really press ahead with the story, considering how the big national news outlets had dismissed and ridiculed the notion that President Reagan’s beloved Contras had included a large number of drug traffickers.

It never seemed to matter how much evidence there was. It was much easier — and safer, career-wise — for Washington journalists to reject incriminating testimony against the Contras, especially when it came from other drug traffickers and from disgruntled Contras. Even U.S. law-enforcement officials who discovered evidence were disparaged as overzealous and congressional investigators were painted as partisan.

In 1985, as we were preparing our first AP story on this topic, Barger and I knew that the evidence of Contra-cocaine involvement was overwhelming. We had a broad range of sources both inside the Contra movement and within the U.S. government, people with no apparent ax to grind who had described the cocaine-smuggling problem.

One source was a field agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); another was a senior official on Reagan’s National Security Council (NSC) who told me that he had read a CIA report about how a Contra unit based in Costa Rica had used cocaine profits to buy a helicopter.

However, after our AP story was published in December 1985, we came under attack from the right-wing Washington Times. That was followed by dismissive stories in the New York Times and the Washington Post. The notion that the Contras, whom President Reagan had likened to America’s Founding Fathers, could be implicated in the drug trade was simply unthinkable.

Yet, it was always odd to me that many of the same newspapers had no problem accepting the fact that the CIA-backed Afghan mujahedeen were involved in the heroin trade, but bristled at the thought that the CIA-backed Nicaraguan Contras might be cut from the same cloth.

A key difference, which I learned both from personal experience and from documents that surfaced during the Iran-Contra scandal, was that Reagan had assigned a young group of ambitious intellectuals such as Elliott Abrams and Robert Kagan to oversee the Contra war.

These neoconservatives worked with old-line anticommunists from the Cuban-American community, such as Otto Reich, and CIA propagandists, such as Walter Raymond Jr., to aggressively protect the Contras’ image. And the Contras were always on the edge between getting congressional funding or having it cut off.

So, that combination — the propaganda skills of Reagan’s Contra-support team and the fragile consensus for continuing Reagan’s pet Contra war — meant that any negative publicity about the Contras would be met with a fierce counterattack.

Going to Editors

The neoconservatives were also bright, well-schooled, and skilled in their manipulation of language and information, a process they privately called “perception management.” They proved adept, too, at ingratiating themselves with senior editors at major news outlets.

By the mid-1980s, these patterns had become well-worn in Washington. If a journalist dug up a story that put the Contras in a negative light, he or she could expect the Reagan administration’s propaganda team to make contact with a senior editor or bureau chief and lodge a complaint, apply some pressure, and often offer up some dirt about the offending journalist.

Also, many news executives in that time frame were sympathetic toward Reagan’s hard-line foreign policy, especially after the humiliations of the Vietnam War and the Iranian revolution. Supporting U.S. initiatives abroad — or at least not allowing your reporters to undercut those policies — was seen as patriotic.

At the New York Times, executive editor Abe Rosenthal was one of the news media’s most influential neoconservatives, declaring that he was determined to steer the newspaper back to “the center,” by which he meant to the right.

At AP, general manager Keith Fuller was known to be a strong Reagan supporter and his preferences were sometimes expressed forcefully to AP’s Washington bureau where I worked. At the Washington Post and Newsweek (where I went to work in 1987), there was also a strong sense that Reagan-era scandals should not reach the president, that it would not be “good for the country.”

In other words, on the issue of Contra drug trafficking, there was a confluence of interests between the Reagan administration, which was determined to protect the Contras’ public image, and senior news executives, who wanted to adopt a “patriotic” posture after convincing themselves that the country shouldn’t endure another wrenching battle over wrongdoing by a Republican president.

The popular image of courageous editors standing up for their reporters in the face of government pressure was not the reality, especially not where the Contras were concerned.

Reverse Rewards

So, instead of a process that outsiders might imagine — where journalists who dug out tough stories got rewarded — the actual system worked in the opposite way. The careerists in the news business quickly grasped that the smart play when it came to the Contras was either to be a booster or at least to pooh-pooh evidence of the Contras’ brutality or drug traffickers.

The same rules applied to congressional investigators. Anyone who pried into the dark corners of the Nicaraguan Contra war faced ridicule, as happened to Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts when he followed up the early AP stories with a courageous investigation that discovered more ties between cocaine traffickers and the Contras.

When his Contra-cocaine report was released in 1989, its findings were greeted with yawns and smirks. News articles were buried deep inside the major newspapers and the stories focused more on alleged flaws in his investigation than on his revelations.

For his hard work, Newsweek summed up the prevailing “conventional wisdom” on Kerry by calling him a “randy conspiracy buff.” Being associated with breaking the Contra-cocaine story was also regarded as a black mark on my own career.

To function in this upside-down world, where reality and perception often clashed – and perception usually won – the big news outlets developed a kind of cognitive dissonance that could accept two contradictory positions.

On one level, the news outlets did accept the undeniable reality that some of the Contras and their backers, including the likes of Panamanian General Manuel Noriega, were implicated in the drug trade, but then simultaneously treated this reality as a conspiracy theory.

Squaring the Circle

Only occasionally did a major news outlet seek to square this circle, such as during Noriega’s drug-trafficking trial in 1991 when U.S. prosecutors called as a witness Colombian Medellín cartel kingpin Carlos Lehder, who — along with implicating Noriega — testified that the cartel had given $10 million to the Contras, an allegation first unearthed by Sen. Kerry.

“The Kerry hearings didn’t get the attention they deserved at the time,” a Washington Post editorial on Nov. 27, 1991, acknowledged. “The Noriega trial brings this sordid aspect of the Nicaraguan engagement to fresh public attention.”

However, the Post offered its readers no explanation for why Kerry’s hearings had been largely ignored, with the Post itself a leading culprit in this journalistic misfeasance. Nor did the Post and the other leading newspapers use the opening created by the Noriega trial to do anything to rectify their past neglect.

And, everything quickly returned to the status quo in which the desired perception of the noble Contras trumped the clear reality of their criminal activities.

So, from 1991 until 1996, the Contra-cocaine scandal remained a disturbing story not just about the skewed moral compass of the Reagan administration but also about how the U.S. news media had lost its way.

The scandal was a dirty secret that was best kept out of public view and away from a thorough discussion. After all, the journalistic careerists who had played along with the U.S. government’s Contra defenders had advanced inside their media corporations. As good team players, they had moved up to be bureau chiefs and other news executives. They had no interest in revisiting one of the big stories that they had downplayed as a prerequisite for their success.

Pariahs

Meanwhile, those journalists who had exposed these national security crimes mostly saw their careers sink or at best slide sideways. We were regarded as “pariahs” in our profession. We were “conspiracy theorists,” even though our journalism had proven to be correct again and again.

The Post’s admission that the Contra-cocaine scandal “didn’t get the attention it deserved” didn’t lead to any soul-searching inside the U.S. news media, nor did it result in any rehabilitation of the careers of the reporters who had tried to put a spotlight on this especially vile secret.

As for me, after losing battle after battle with my Newsweek editors (who despised the Iran-Contra scandal that I had worked so hard to expose), I departed the magazine in June 1990 to write a book (called Fooling America) about the decline of the Washington press corps and the parallel rise of the new generation of government propagandists.

I was also hired by PBS Frontline to investigate whether there had been a prequel to the Iran-Contra scandal — whether those arms-for-hostage deals in the mid-1980s had been preceded by contacts between Reagan’s 1980 campaign staff and Iran, which was then holding 52 Americans hostage and essentially destroying Jimmy Carter’s reelection hopes. [For more on that topic, see Robert Parry’s Secrecy & Privilege and America’s Stolen Narrative.]

Then, in 1995, frustrated by the pervasive triviality that had come to define American journalism — and acting on the advice of and with the assistance of my oldest son Sam — I turned to a new medium and launched the Internet’s first investigative news magazine, known as Consortiumnews.com. The Web site became a way for me to put out well-reported stories that my former mainstream colleagues seemed determined to ignore or mock.

So, when Gary Webb called me that day in 1996, I knew that he was charging into some dangerous journalistic terrain, though he thought he was simply pursuing a great story. After his call, it struck me that perhaps the only way for the Contra-cocaine story to ever get the attention that it deserved was for someone outside the Washington media culture to do the work.

When Webb’s “Dark Alliance” series finally appeared in late August 1996, it initially drew little attention. The major national news outlets applied their usual studied indifference to a topic that they had already judged unworthy of serious attention.

It was also clear that the media careerists who had climbed up their corporate ladders by accepting the conventional wisdom that the Contra-cocaine story was a conspiracy theory weren’t about to look back down and admit that they had contributed to a major journalistic failure to inform and protect the American public.

Hard to Ignore

But Webb’s story proved hard to ignore. First, unlike the work that Barger and I did for AP in the mid-1980s, Webb’s series wasn’t just a story about drug traffickers in Central America and their protectors in Washington. It was about the on-the-ground consequences, inside the United States, of that drug trafficking, how the lives of Americans were blighted and destroyed as the collateral damage of a U.S. foreign policy initiative.

In other words, there were real-life American victims, and they were concentrated in African-American communities. That meant the ever-sensitive issue of race had been injected into the controversy. Anger from black communities spread quickly to the Congressional Black Caucus, which started demanding answers.

Secondly, the San Jose Mercury News, which was the local newspaper for Silicon Valley, had posted documents and audio on its state-of-the-art Internet site. That way, readers could examine much of the documentary support for the series.

It also meant that the traditional “gatekeeper” role of the major newspapers — the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times — was under assault. If a regional paper like the Mercury News could finance a major journalistic investigation like this one, and circumvent the judgments of the editorial boards at the Big Three, then there might be a tectonic shift in the power relations of the U.S. news media. There could be a breakdown of the established order.

This combination of factors led to the next phase of the Contra-cocaine battle: the “get-Gary-Webb” counterattack. The first major shot against Webb and his “Dark Alliance” series did not come from the Big Three but from the rapidly expanding right-wing news media, which was in no mood to accept the notion that some of President Reagan’s beloved Contras were drug traffickers. That would have cast a shadow over the Reagan Legacy, which the Right was elevating to mythic status.

It fell to Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s right-wing Washington Times to begin the anti-Webb vendetta. Moon, a South Korean theocrat who fancied himself the new Messiah, had founded his newspaper in 1982 partly to protect Ronald Reagan’s political flanks and partly to ensure that he had powerful friends in high places. In the mid-1980s, the Washington Times went so far as to raise money to assist Reagan’s Contra “freedom fighters.”

Self-Interested Testimony

To refute Webb’s three-part series, the Washington Times turned to some ex-CIA officials, who had participated in the Contra war, and quoted them denying the story. Soon, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times were lining up behind the Washington Times to trash Webb and his story.

On Oct. 4, 1996, the Washington Post published a front-page article knocking down Webb’s series, although acknowledging that some Contra operatives did help the cocaine cartels.

The Post’s approach was twofold, fitting with the national media’s cognitive dissonance on the topic of Contra cocaine: first, the Post presented the Contra-cocaine allegations as old news — “even CIA personnel testified to Congress they knew that those covert operations involved drug traffickers,” the Post sniffed — and second, the Post minimized the importance of the one Contra smuggling channel that Webb had highlighted in his series, saying that it had not “played a major role in the emergence of crack.”

A Post sidebar story dismissed African-Americans as prone to “conspiracy fears.”

Next, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times weighed in with lengthy articles castigating Webb and “Dark Alliance.” The big newspapers made much of the CIA’s internal reviews in 1987 and 1988 — almost a decade earlier — that supposedly had cleared the spy agency of any role in Contra-cocaine smuggling.

But the CIA’s cover-up began to weaken on Oct. 24, 1996, when CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz conceded before the Senate Intelligence Committee that the first CIA probe had lasted only12 days, and the second only three days. He promised a more thorough review.

Mocking Webb

Webb, however, had already crossed over from being a serious journalist to a target of ridicule. Influential Post media critic Howard Kurtz mocked Webb for saying in a book proposal that he would explore the possibility that the Contra war was primarily a business to its participants. “Oliver Stone, check your voice mail,” Kurtz chortled.

However, Webb’s suspicion was no conspiracy theory. Indeed, White House aide Oliver North’s chief Contra emissary, Robert Owen, had made the same point in a March 17, 1986, message about the Contras leadership. “Few of the so-called leaders of the movement . . . really care about the boys in the field,” Owen wrote. “THIS WAR HAS BECOME A BUSINESS TO MANY OF THEM.” [Emphasis in original.]

In other words, Webb was right and Kurtz was wrong, even Oliver North’s emissary had reported that many Contra leaders treated the conflict as “a business.” But accuracy had ceased to be relevant in the media’s hazing of Gary Webb.

In another double standard, while Webb was held to the strictest standards of journalism, it was entirely all right for Kurtz — the supposed arbiter of journalistic integrity who was also featured on CNN’s Reliable Sources — to make judgments based on ignorance. Kurtz would face no repercussions for mocking a fellow journalist who was factually correct.

The Big Three’s assault — combined with their disparaging tone — had a predictable effect on the executives of the Mercury News. As it turned out, Webb’s confidence in his editors had been misplaced. By early 1997, executive editor Jerry Ceppos, who had his own corporate career to worry about, was in retreat.

On May 11, 1997, Ceppos published a front-page column saying the series “fell short of my standards.” He criticized the stories because they “strongly implied CIA knowledge” of Contra connections to U.S. drug dealers who were manufacturing crack cocaine. “We did not have enough proof that top CIA officials knew of the relationship,” Ceppos wrote.

Ceppos was wrong about the proof, of course. At AP, before we published our first Contra-cocaine article in 1985, Barger and I had known that the CIA and Reagan’s White House were aware of the Contra-cocaine problem.

However, Ceppos had recognized that he and his newspaper were facing a credibility crisis brought on by the harsh consensus delivered by the Big Three, a judgment that had quickly solidified into conventional wisdom throughout the major news media and inside Knight-Ridder, Inc., which owned the Mercury News. The only career-saving move – career-saving for Ceppos even if career-destroying for Webb – was to jettison Webb and his journalism.

A ‘Vindication’

The big newspapers and the Contras’ defenders celebrated Ceppos’s retreat as vindication of their own dismissal of the Contra-cocaine stories. In particular, Kurtz seemed proud that his demeaning of Webb now had the endorsement of Webb’s editor.

Ceppos next pulled the plug on the Mercury News’ continuing Contra-cocaine investigation and reassigned Webb to a small office in Cupertino, California, far from his family. Webb resigned from the paper in disgrace.

For undercutting Webb and other Mercury News reporters working on the Contra-cocaine investigation, Ceppos was lauded by the American Journalism Review and was given the 1997 national Ethics in Journalism Award by the Society of Professional Journalists.

While Ceppos won raves, Webb watched his career collapse and his marriage break up. Still, Gary Webb had set in motion internal government investigations that would bring to the surface long-hidden facts about how the Reagan administration had conducted the Contra war.

The CIA published the first part of Inspector General Hitz’s findings on Jan. 29, 1998. Though the CIA’s press release for the report criticized Webb and defended the CIA, Hitz’s Volume One admitted that not only were many of Webb’s allegations true but that he actually understated the seriousness of the Contra-drug crimes and the CIA’s knowledge of them.

Hitz conceded that cocaine smugglers played a significant early role in the Contra movement and that the CIA intervened to block an image-threatening 1984 federal investigation into a San Francisco–based drug ring with suspected ties to the Contras, the so-called “Frogman Case.”

After Volume One was released, I called Webb (whom I had met personally since his series was published). I chided him for indeed getting the story “wrong.” He had understated how serious the problem of Contra-cocaine trafficking had been.

It was a form of gallows humor for the two of us, since nothing had changed in the way the major newspapers treated the Contra-cocaine issue. They focused only on the press release that continued to attack Webb, while ignoring the incriminating information that could be found in the body of the report. All I could do was highlight those admissions at Consortiumnews.com, which sadly had a much, much smaller readership than the Big Three.

Looking the Other Way

The major U.S. news media also looked the other way on other startling disclosures.

On May 7, 1998, for instance, Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat, introduced into the Congressional Record a Feb. 11, 1982, letter of understanding between the CIA and the Justice Department. The letter, which had been requested by CIA Director William Casey, freed the CIA from legal requirements that it must report drug smuggling by CIA assets, a provision that covered both the Nicaraguan Contras and the Afghan mujahedeen.

In other words, early in those two covert wars, the CIA leadership wanted to make sure that its geopolitical objectives would not be complicated by a legal requirement to turn in its client forces for drug trafficking.

The next break in the long-running Contra-cocaine cover-up was a report by the Justice Department’s Inspector General Michael Bromwich.

Given the hostile climate surrounding Webb’s series, Bromwich’s report also opened with criticism of Webb. But, like the CIA’s Volume One, the contents revealed new details about government wrongdoing. According to evidence cited by Bromwich, the Reagan administration knew almost from the outset of the Contra war that cocaine traffickers permeated the paramilitary operation. The administration also did next to nothing to expose or stop the crimes.

Bromwich’s report revealed example after example of leads not followed, corroborated witnesses disparaged, official law-enforcement investigations sabotaged, and even the CIA facilitating the work of drug traffickers.

The report showed that the Contras and their supporters ran several parallel drug-smuggling operations, not just the one at the center of Webb’s series. The report also found that the CIA shared little of its information about Contra drugs with law-enforcement agencies and on three occasions disrupted cocaine-trafficking investigations that threatened the Contras.

As well as depicting a more widespread Contra-drug operation than Webb had understood, the Justice Department report provided some important corroboration about a Nicaraguan drug smuggler, Norwin Meneses, who was a key figure in Webb’s series.

Bromwich cited U.S. government informants who supplied detailed information about Meneses’s drug operation and his financial assistance to the Contras. For instance, Renato Pena, a money-and-drug courier for Meneses, said that in the early 1980s the CIA allowed the Contras to fly drugs into the United States, sell them, and keep the proceeds.

Pena, who was the northern California representative for the CIA-backed Nicaraguan Democratic Force (FDN) Contra army, said the drug trafficking was forced on the Contras by the inadequate levels of U.S. government assistance.

DEA Troubles

The Justice Department report also disclosed repeated examples of the CIA and U.S. embassies in Central America discouraging DEA investigations, including one into Contra-cocaine shipments moving through the international airport in El Salvador.

Inspector General Bromwich said secrecy trumped all. “We have no doubt that the CIA and the U.S. Embassy were not anxious for the DEA to pursue its investigation at the airport,” he wrote.

Bromwich also described the curious case of how a DEA pilot helped a CIA asset escape from Costa Rican authorities in 1989 after the man, American farmer John Hull, had been charged in connection with Contra-cocaine trafficking.

Hull’s ranch in northern Costa Rica had been the site of Contra camps for attacking Nicaragua from the south. For years, Contra-connected witnesses also said Hull’s property was used for the transshipment of cocaine en route to the United States, but those accounts were brushed aside by the Reagan administration and disparaged in major U.S. newspapers.

Yet, according to Bromwich’s report, the DEA took the accounts seriously enough to prepare a research report on the evidence in November 1986. In it, one informant described Colombian cocaine off-loaded at an airstrip on Hull’s ranch. The drugs were then concealed in a shipment of frozen shrimp and transported to the United States.

The alleged Costa Rican shipper was Frigorificos de Puntarenas, a firm controlled by Cuban-American Luis Rodriguez. Like Hull, however, Frigorificos had friends in high places. In 1985-86, the State Department had selected the shrimp company to handle $261,937 in non-lethal assistance earmarked for the Contras.

Hull also remained a man with powerful protectors. Even after Costa Rican authorities brought drug charges against him, influential Americans, including Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Indiana, demanded that Hull be let out of jail pending trial. Then, in July 1989 with the help of a DEA pilot – and possibly a DEA agent – Hull managed to fly out of Costa Rica to Haiti and then to the United States. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “John Hull’s Great Escape.”]

Despite these new disclosures, the big newspapers still showed no inclination to read beyond the criticism of Webb in the press release and the executive summary.

Major Disclosures

By fall 1998, Washington was obsessed with President Bill Clinton’s Monica Lewinsky sex scandal, which made it easier to ignore even more stunning Contra-cocaine disclosures in the CIA’s Volume Two, published on Oct. 8, 1998.

In the report, CIA Inspector General Hitz identified more than 50 Contras and Contra-related entities implicated in the drug trade. He also detailed how the Reagan administration had protected these drug operations and frustrated federal investigations throughout the 1980s.

According to Volume Two, the CIA knew the criminal nature of its Contra clients from the start of the war against Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government. The earliest Contra force, called the Nicaraguan Revolutionary Democratic Alliance (ADREN) or the 15th of September Legion, had chosen “to stoop to criminal activities in order to feed and clothe their cadre,” according to a June 1981 draft of a CIA field report.

According to a September 1981 cable to CIA headquarters, two ADREN members made the first delivery of drugs to Miami in July 1981. ADREN’s leaders included Enrique Bermúdez and other early Contras who would later direct the major Contra army, the CIA-organized FDN which was based in Honduras, along Nicaragua’s northern border.

Throughout the war, Bermúdez remained the top Contra military commander. The CIA later corroborated the allegations about ADREN’s cocaine trafficking, but insisted that Bermúdez had opposed the drug shipments to the United States that went ahead nonetheless.

The truth about Bermúdez’s supposed objections to drug trafficking, however, was less clear. According to Hitz’s Volume One, Bermúdez enlisted Norwin Meneses, a large-scale Nicaraguan cocaine smuggler and a key figure in Webb’s series, to raise money and buy supplies for the Contras.

Volume One had quoted a Meneses associate, another Nicaraguan trafficker named Danilo Blandón, who told Hitz’s investigators that he and Meneses flew to Honduras to meet with Bermúdez in 1982. At the time, Meneses’s criminal activities were well-known in the Nicaraguan exile community. But Bermúdez told the cocaine smugglers that “the ends justify the means” in raising money for the Contras.

After the Bermúdez meeting, Contra soldiers helped Meneses and Blandón get past Honduran police who briefly arrested them on drug-trafficking suspicions. After their release, Blandón and Meneses traveled on to Bolivia to complete a cocaine transaction.

There were other indications of Bermúdez’s drug-smuggling tolerance. In February 1988, another Nicaraguan exile linked to the drug trade accused Bermúdez of participation in narcotics trafficking, according to Hitz’s report. After the Contra war ended, Bermúdez returned to Managua, Nicaragua, where he was shot to death on Feb. 16, 1991. The murder has never been solved.

The Southern Front

Along the Southern Front, the Contras’ military operations in Costa Rica on Nicaragua’s southern border, the CIA’s drug evidence centered on the forces of Edén Pastora, another top Contra commander. But Hitz discovered that the U.S. government may have made the drug situation worse, not better.

Hitz revealed that the CIA put an admitted drug operative — known by his CIA pseudonym “Ivan Gomez” — in a supervisory position over Pastora. Hitz reported that the CIA discovered Gomez’s drug history in 1987 when Gomez failed a security review on drug-trafficking questions.

In internal CIA interviews, Gomez admitted that in March or April 1982, he helped family members who were engaged in drug trafficking and money laundering. In one case, Gomez said he assisted his brother and brother-in-law in transporting cash from New York City to Miami. He admitted that he “knew this act was illegal.”

Later, Gomez expanded on his admission, describing how his family members had fallen $2 million into debt and had gone to Miami to run a money-laundering center for drug traffickers. Gomez said “his brother had many visitors whom [Gomez] assumed to be in the drug trafficking business.” Gomez’s brother was arrested on drug charges in June 1982. Three months later, in September 1982, Gomez started his CIA assignment in Costa Rica.

Years later, convicted drug trafficker Carlos Cabezas alleged that in the early 1980s, Ivan Gomez was the CIA agent in Costa Rica who was overseeing drug-money donations to the Contras. Gomez “was to make sure the money was given to the right people [the Contras] and nobody was taking . . . profit they weren’t supposed to,” Cabezas stated publicly.

But the CIA sought to discredit Cabezas at the time because he had trouble identifying Gomez’s picture and put Gomez at one meeting in early 1982 before Gomez started his CIA assignment.

While the CIA was able to fend off Cabezas’s allegations by pointing to these discrepancies, Hitz’s report revealed that the CIA was nevertheless aware of Gomez’s direct role in drug-money laundering, a fact the agency hid from Sen. Kerry in his 1987 investigation.

Cocaine Coup

There was also more to know about Gomez. In November 1985, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) learned from an informant that Gomez’s two brothers had been large-scale cocaine importers, with one brother arranging shipments from Bolivia’s infamous drug kingpin Roberto Suarez.

Suarez already was known as a financier of right-wing causes. In 1980, with the support of Argentina’s hard-line anticommunist military regime, Suarez bankrolled a coup in Bolivia that ousted the elected left-of-center government. The violent putsch became known as the Cocaine Coup because it made Bolivia the region’s first narco-state.

By protecting cocaine shipments headed north, Bolivia’s government helped transform Colombia’s Medellín cartel from a struggling local operation into a giant corporate-style business for delivering cocaine to the U.S. market.

Flush with cash in the early 1980s, Suarez invested more than $30 million in various right-wing paramilitary operations, including the Contra forces in Central America, according to U.S. Senate testimony by an Argentine intelligence officer, Leonardo Sanchez-Reisse.

In 1987, Sanchez-Reisse said the Suarez drug money was laundered through front companies in Miami before going to Central America. There, other Argentine intelligence officers — veterans of the Bolivian coup — trained the Contras in the early 1980s, even before the CIA arrived to first assist with the training and later take over the Contra operation from the Argentines.

Inspector General Hitz added another piece to the mystery of the Bolivian-Contra connection. One Contra fund-raiser, Jose Orlando Bolanos, boasted that the Argentine government was supporting his Contra activities, according to a May 1982 cable to CIA headquarters. Bolanos made the statement during a meeting with undercover DEA agents in Florida. He even offered to introduce them to his Bolivian cocaine supplier.

Despite all this suspicious drug activity centered around Ivan Gomez and the Contras, the CIA insisted that it did not unmask Gomez until 1987, when he failed a security check and confessed his role in his family’s drug business. The CIA official who interviewed Gomez concluded that “Gomez directly participated in illegal drug transactions, concealed participation in illegal drug transactions, and concealed information about involvement in illegal drug activity,” Hitz wrote.

Protecting Gomez

But senior CIA officials still protected Gomez. They refused to refer the Gomez case to the Justice Department, citing the 1982 agreement that spared the CIA from a legal obligation to report narcotics crimes by people collaborating with the CIA who were not formal agency employees.

Gomez was an independent contractor who worked for the CIA but was not officially on staff. The CIA eased Gomez out of the agency in February 1988, without alerting law enforcement or the congressional oversight committees.

When questioned about the case nearly a decade later, one senior CIA official who had supported the gentle treatment of Gomez had second thoughts. “It is a striking commentary on me and everyone that this guy’s involvement in narcotics didn’t weigh more heavily on me or the system,” the official acknowledged to Hitz’s investigators.

A Medellín drug connection arose in another section of Hitz’s report, when he revealed evidence suggesting that some Contra trafficking may have been sanctioned by Reagan’s NSC. The protagonist for this part of the Contra-cocaine mystery was Moises Nunez, a Cuban-American who worked for Oliver North’s NSC Contra-support operation and for two drug-connected seafood importers, Ocean Hunter in Miami and Frigorificos De Puntarenas in Costa Rica.

Frigorificos De Puntarenas was created in the early 1980s as a cover for drug-money laundering, according to sworn testimony by two of the firm’s principals — Carlos Soto and Medellín cartel accountant Ramon Milian Rodriguez. (It was also the company implicated by a DEA informant in moving cocaine from John Hull’s ranch to the United States.)

Drug allegations were swirling around Moises Nunez by the mid-1980s. Indeed, his operation was one of the targets of my and Barger’s AP investigation in 1985. Finally reacting to these suspicions, the CIA questioned Nunez about his alleged cocaine trafficking on March 25, 1987. He responded by pointing the finger at his NSC superiors.

“Nunez revealed that since 1985, he had engaged in a clandestine relationship with the National Security Council,” Hitz reported, adding: “Nunez refused to elaborate on the nature of these actions, but indicated it was difficult to answer questions relating to his involvement in narcotics trafficking because of the specific tasks he had performed at the direction of the NSC. Nunez refused to identify the NSC officials with whom he had been involved.”

After this first round of questioning, CIA headquarters authorized an additional session, but then senior CIA officials reversed the decision. There would be no further efforts at “debriefing Nunez.”

Hitz noted that “the cable [from headquarters] offered no explanation for the decision” to stop the Nunez interrogation. But the CIA’s Central American Task Force chief Alan Fiers Jr. said the Nunez-NSC drug lead was not pursued “because of the NSC connection and the possibility that this could be somehow connected to the Private Benefactor program [the Contra money handled by North] a decision was made not to pursue this matter.”

Joseph Fernandez, who had been the CIA’s station chief in Costa Rica, confirmed to congressional Iran-Contra investigators that Nunez “was involved in a very sensitive operation” for North’s “Enterprise.” The exact nature of that NSC-authorized activity has never been divulged.

At the time of the Nunez-NSC drug admissions and his truncated interrogation, the CIA’s acting director was Robert Gates, who nearly two decades later became President George W. Bush’s second secretary of defense, a position he retained under President Barack Obama.

Drug Record

The CIA also worked directly with other drug-connected Cuban-Americans on the Contra project, Hitz found. One of Nunez’s Cuban-American associates, Felipe Vidal, had a criminal record as a narcotics trafficker in the 1970s. But the CIA still hired him to serve as a logistics coordinator for the Contras, Hitz reported.

The CIA also learned that Vidal’s drug connections were not only in the past. A December 1984 cable to CIA headquarters revealed Vidal’s ties to Rene Corvo, another Cuban-American suspected of drug trafficking. Corvo was working with Cuban anticommunist Frank Castro, who was viewed as a Medellín cartel representative within the Contra movement.

There were other narcotics links to Vidal. In January 1986, the DEA in Miami seized 414 pounds of cocaine concealed in a shipment of yucca that was going from a Contra operative in Costa Rica to Ocean Hunter, the company where Vidal (and Moises Nunez) worked. Despite the evidence, Vidal remained a CIA employee as he collaborated with Frank Castro’s assistant, Rene Corvo, in raising money for the Contras, according to a CIA memo in June 1986.

By fall 1986, Sen. Kerry had heard enough rumors about Vidal to demand information about him as part of his congressional inquiry into Contra drugs. But the CIA withheld the derogatory information in its files. On Oct. 15, 1986, Kerry received a briefing from the CIA’s Alan Fiers Jr., who didn’t mention Vidal’s drug arrests and conviction in the 1970s.

But Vidal was not yet in the clear. In 1987, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami began investigating Vidal, Ocean Hunter, and other Contra-connected entities. This prosecutorial attention worried the CIA. The CIA’s Latin American division felt it was time for a security review of Vidal. But on Aug. 5, 1987, the CIA’s security office blocked the review for fear that the Vidal drug information “could be exposed during any future litigation.”

As expected, the U.S. Attorney’s Office did request documents about “Contra-related activities” by Vidal, Ocean Hunter, and 16 other entities. The CIA advised the prosecutor that “no information had been found regarding Ocean Hunter,” a statement that was clearly false. The CIA continued Vidal’s employment as an adviser to the Contra movement until 1990, virtually the end of the Contra war.

FDN Connections

Hitz also revealed that drugs tainted the highest levels of the Honduran-based FDN, the largest Contra army. Hitz found that Juan Rivas, a Contra commander who rose to be chief of staff, admitted that he had been a cocaine trafficker in Colombia before the war.

The CIA asked Rivas, known as El Quiche, about his background after the DEA began suspecting that Rivas might be an escaped convict from a Colombian prison. In interviews with CIA officers, Rivas acknowledged that he had been arrested and convicted of packaging and transporting cocaine for the drug trade in Barranquilla, Colombia. After several months in prison, Rivas said, he escaped and moved to Central America, where he joined the Contras.

Defending Rivas, CIA officials insisted that there was no evidence that Rivas engaged in trafficking while with the Contras. But one CIA cable noted that he lived an expensive lifestyle, even keeping a $100,000 Thoroughbred horse at the Contra camp. Contra military commander Bermúdez later attributed Rivas’s wealth to his ex-girlfriend’s rich family. But a CIA cable in March 1989 added that “some in the FDN may have suspected at the time that the father-in-law was engaged in drug trafficking.”

Still, the CIA moved quickly to protect Rivas from exposure and possible extradition to Colombia. In February 1989, CIA headquarters asked that the DEA take no action “in view of the serious political damage to the U.S. Government that could occur should the information about Rivas become public.” Rivas was eased out of the Contra leadership with an explanation of poor health. With U.S. government help, he was allowed to resettle in Miami. Colombia was not informed about his fugitive status.

Another senior FDN official implicated in the drug trade was its chief spokesman in Honduras, Arnoldo Jose “Frank” Arana.

The drug allegations against Arana dated back to 1983 when a federal narcotics task force put him under criminal investigation because of plans “to smuggle 100 kilograms of cocaine into the United States from South America.” On Jan. 23, 1986, the FBI reported that Arana and his brothers were involved in a drug-smuggling enterprise, although Arana was not charged.

Arana sought to clear up another set of drug suspicions in 1989 by visiting the DEA in Honduras with a business associate, Jose Perez. Arana’s association with Perez, however, only raised new alarms. If “Arana is mixed up with the Perez brothers, he is probably dirty,” the DEA said.

Drug Airlines

Through their ownership of an air services company called SETCO, the Perez brothers were associated with Juan Matta-Ballesteros, a major cocaine kingpin connected to the murder of a DEA agent, according to reports by the DEA and U.S. Customs. Hitz reported that someone at the CIA scribbled a note on a DEA cable about Arana stating: “Arnold Arana . . . still active and working, we [CIA] may have a problem.”

Despite its drug ties to Matta-Ballesteros, SETCO emerged as the principal company for ferrying supplies to the Contras in Honduras. During congressional Iran-Contra hearings, FDN political leader Adolfo Calero testified that SETCO was paid from bank accounts controlled by Oliver North. SETCO also received $185,924 from the State Department for ferrying supplies to the Contras in 1986. Furthermore, Hitz found that other air transport companies used by the Contras were implicated in the cocaine trade as well.

Even FDN leaders suspected that they were shipping supplies to Central America aboard planes that might be returning with drugs. Mario Calero, the chief of Contra logistics, grew so uneasy about one air freight company that he notified U.S. law enforcement that the FDN only chartered the planes for the flights south, not the return flights north.

Hitz found that some drug pilots simply rotated from one sector of the Contra operation to another. Donaldo Frixone, who had a drug record in the Dominican Republic, was hired by the CIA to fly Contra missions from 1983 to 1985. In September 1986, however, Frixone was implicated in smuggling 19,000 pounds of marijuana into the United States. In late 1986 or early 1987, he went to work for Vortex, another U.S.-paid Contra supply company linked to the drug trade.

By the time that Hitz’s Volume Two was published in fall 1998, the CIA’s defense against Webb’s series had shrunk to a fig leaf: that the CIA did not conspire with the Contras to raise money through cocaine trafficking. But Hitz made clear that the Contra war took precedence over law enforcement and that the CIA withheld evidence of Contra crimes from the Justice Department, Congress, and even the CIA’s own analytical division.

Besides tracing the evidence of Contra-drug trafficking through the decade-long Contra war, the inspector general interviewed senior CIA officers who acknowledged that they were aware of the Contra-drug problem but didn’t want its exposure to undermine the struggle to overthrow Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government.

According to Hitz, the CIA had “one overriding priority: to oust the Sandinista government. . . . [CIA officers] were determined that the various difficulties they encountered not be allowed to prevent effective implementation of the Contra program.” One CIA field officer explained, “The focus was to get the job done, get the support and win the war.”

Hitz also recounted complaints from CIA analysts that CIA operations officers handling the Contras hid evidence of Contra-drug trafficking even from the CIA’s analysts.

Because of the withheld evidence, the CIA analysts incorrectly concluded in the mid-1980s that “only a handful of Contras might have been involved in drug trafficking.” That false assessment was passed on to Congress and to major news organizations — serving as an important basis for denouncing Gary Webb and his “Dark Alliance” series in 1996.

CIA Admission

Although Hitz’s report was an extraordinary admission of institutional guilt by the CIA, it went almost unnoticed by the big American newspapers.

On Oct. 10, 1998, two days after Hitz’s Volume Two was posted on the CIA’s Web site, the New York Times published a brief article that continued to deride Webb but acknowledged the Contra-drug problem may have been worse than earlier understood. Several weeks later, the Washington Post weighed in with a similarly superficial article. The Los Angeles Times never published a story on the release of Hitz’s Volume Two.

In 2000, the House Intelligence Committee grudgingly acknowledged that the stories about Reagan’s CIA protecting Contra drug traffickers were true. The committee released a report citing classified testimony from CIA Inspector General Britt Snider (Hitz’s successor) admitting that the spy agency had turned a blind eye to evidence of Contra-drug smuggling and generally treated drug smuggling through Central America as a low priority.

“In the end the objective of unseating the Sandinistas appears to have taken precedence over dealing properly with potentially serious allegations against those with whom the agency was working,” Snider said, adding that the CIA did not treat the drug allegations in “a consistent, reasoned or justifiable manner.”

The House committee — then controlled by Republicans — still downplayed the significance of the Contra-cocaine scandal, but the panel acknowledged, deep inside its report, that in some cases, “CIA employees did nothing to verify or disprove drug trafficking information, even when they had the opportunity to do so. In some of these, receipt of a drug allegation appeared to provoke no specific response, and business went on as usual.”

Like the release of Hitz’s report in 1998, the admissions by Snider and the House committee drew virtually no media attention in 2000 — except for a few articles on the Internet, including one at Consortiumnews.com.

Unrepentant Press

Because of this misuse of power by the Big Three newspapers — choosing to conceal their own journalistic failings regarding the Contra-cocaine scandal and to protect the Reagan administration’s image — Webb’s reputation was never rehabilitated.

After his original “Dark Alliance” series was published in 1996, Webb had been inundated with attractive book offers from major publishing houses, but once the vilification began, the interest evaporated. Webb’s agent contacted an independent publishing house, Seven Stories Press, which had a reputation for publishing books that had been censored, and it took on the project.

After Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion was published in 1998, I joined Webb in a few speaking appearances on the West Coast, including one packed book talk at the Midnight Special bookstore in Santa Monica, California. For a time, Webb was treated as a celebrity on the American Left, but that gradually faded.

In our interactions during these joint appearances, I found Webb to be a regular guy who seemed to be holding up fairly well under the terrible pressure. He had landed an investigative job with a California state legislative committee. He also felt some measure of vindication when CIA Inspector General Hitz’s reports came out.

However, Webb never could overcome the pain caused by his betrayal at the hands of his journalistic colleagues, his peers. In the years that followed, Webb was unable to find decent-paying work in his profession — the conventional wisdom remained that he had somehow been exposed as a journalistic fraud. His state job ended; his marriage fell apart; he struggled to pay bills; and he was faced with a move out of a modest rental house near Sacramento, California.

On Dec. 9, 2004, the 49-year-old Webb typed out suicide notes to his ex-wife and his three children; laid out a certificate for his cremation; and taped a note on the door telling movers — who were coming the next morning — to instead call 911. Webb then took out his father’s pistol and shot himself in the head. The first shot was not lethal, so he fired once more.

Even with Webb’s death, the big newspapers that had played key roles in his destruction couldn’t bring themselves to show Webb any mercy. After Webb’s body was found, I received a call from a reporter for the Los Angeles Times who knew that I was one of Webb’s few journalistic colleagues who had defended him and his work.

I told the reporter that American history owed a great debt to Gary Webb because he had forced out important facts about Reagan-era crimes. But I added that the Los Angeles Times would be hard-pressed to write an honest obituary because the newspaper had not published a single word on the contents of Hitz’s final report, which had largely vindicated Webb.

To my disappointment but not my surprise, I was correct. The Los Angeles Times ran a mean-spirited obituary that made no mention of either my defense of Webb, nor the CIA’s admissions in 1998. The obituary was republished in other newspapers, including the Washington Post.

In effect, Webb’s suicide enabled senior editors at the Big Three newspapers to breathe a little easier — one of the few people who understood the ugly story of the Reagan administration’s cover-up of the Contra-cocaine scandal and the U.S. media’s complicity was now silenced.

To this day, none of the journalists or media critics who participated in the destruction of Gary Webb has paid a price for their actions. None has faced the sort of humiliation that Webb had to endure. None had to experience that special pain of standing up for what is best in the profession of journalism — taking on a difficult story that seeks to hold powerful people accountable for serious crimes — and then being vilified by your own colleagues, the people that you expected to understand and appreciate what you had done.

On the contrary, many were rewarded with professional advancement and lucrative careers. For instance, Howard Kurtz still hosts the CNN program, “Reliable Sources,” which lectures journalists on professional standards. He is described in the program’s bio as “the nation’s premier media critic.”

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).
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__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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John Hull’s Great Escape
December 9, 2012

From the Archive: The U.S. political/media world often operates without justice. Truth-tellers get punished and the well-connected get off. On this eighth anniversary of journalist Gary Webb’s suicide, we are re-posting one of the stories that Webb’s brave work forced out, albeit without a satisfying ending.

By Robert Parry (Originally published on Aug. 2, 1998)

John Hull, the American farmer in Costa Rica whose land became a base for Contra raids into Nicaragua, averted prosecution for alleged drug trafficking by fleeing Costa Rica in 1989 with the help of U.S. government operatives.

A 1998 report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Bromwich disclosed that Hull escaped from Costa Rica in a plane flown by a pilot who worked for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The report, however, could not reconcile conflicting accounts about the direct involvement of a DEA officer and concluded, improbably, with a finding of no wrongdoing.

John Hull, an American farmer in Costa Rica who worked closely with the Nicaraguan Contras in the 1980s.

The finding makes Bromwich’s report one more chapter in a long saga of U.S. government protection of Hull, a fervent anti-communist who became a favorite of the Reagan-Bush administrations. (Bromwich’s disclosure regarding Hull’s escape was one of many that resulted from federal investigations prompted by a 1996 investigative series in the San Jose Mercury News written by Gary Webb.)

For years, Contra-connected witnesses had cited Hull’s ranch as a cocaine transshipment point for drugs heading to the United States. According to Bromwich’s report, the DEA even prepared a research report on the evidence in November 1986. In it, one informant described Colombian cocaine off-loaded at an airstrip on Hull’s ranch. The drugs were then concealed in a shipment of frozen shrimp and transported to the United States, the informant said.

The alleged Costa Rican shipper was Frigorificos de Puntarenas, a firm controlled by Cuban-American Luis Rodriguez. Like Hull, however, Frigorificos had friends in high places. In 1985-86, the State Department had selected the shrimp company to handle $261,937 in non-lethal assistance earmarked for the Contras. In 1987, the DEA in Miami opened a file on Rodriguez, but soon concluded there was no case.

However, as more evidence surfaced in 1987, the FBI and Customs indicted Rodriguez for drug trafficking and money-laundering. But Hull remained untouchable, although five witnesses implicated him during Sen. John Kerry’s investigation of Contra-drug trafficking. The drug suspicions just glanced off the pugnacious farmer, who had cultivated close relationships with the U.S. Embassy and conservative Costa Rican politicians.

In January 1989, however, Costa Rican authorities finally acted. They indicted Hull for drug trafficking, arms smuggling and other crimes. Hull was jailed, a move that outraged some U.S. congressmen. A letter, signed by Rep. Lee Hamilton, a senior Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and other members, threatened to cut off U.S. economic aid if Hull were not released.

[In a 1992 congressional investigation, Hamilton also played a central role in covering up evidence of Republican collaboration with Iran during the 1980 hostage crisis. See Robert Parry’s America’s Stolen Narrative.]

Costa Rica complied, freeing Hull pending trial. But Hull didn’t wait for his day in court. In July 1989, he hopped a plane, flew to Haiti and then to the United States. Hull got another break when one of his conservative friends, Roberto Calderon, won the Costa Rican presidency. On Oct. 10, 1990, Calderon informed the U.S. embassy that he could not stop an extradition request for Hull’s return but signaled that he did not want to prosecute his pal.

The embassy officials got the message and fired off a cable noting that the new president was “clearly hoping that Hull will not be extradited.” President George H.W. Bush’s administration fulfilled Calderon’s hope by rebuffing Costa Rican extradition requests, effectively killing the case against Hull.

DEA Airways

While not objecting to that maneuvering, Bromwich’s report revealed that behind the scenes, another drama was playing out: an internal investigation into whether DEA personnel had conspired to thwart Hull’s drug prosecution.

That phase of the story began on May 17, 1991, when a Costa Rican journalist told a DEA official in Costa Rica that Hull was boasting that a DEA special agent had assisted in the 1989 flight to Haiti. DEA launched an internal inquiry, headed by senior inspector Anthony Ricevuto.

The suspected DEA agent, whose name was withheld in Bromwich’s report, admitted knowing Hull but denied helping him escape. Inspector Ricevuto learned, however, that one of the agent’s informants, a pilot named Harold Wires, had flown the plane carrying Hull.

When interviewed on July 23, 1991, Wires said the DEA agent had paid him between $500 and $700 to fly Hull to Haiti aboard a Cessna. In Haiti, Wires said, they met another DEA pilot Jorge Melendez and Ron Lippert, a friend of the DEA agent; Melendez accompanied Wires back to Costa Rica; and Lippert flew with Hull to the United States.

From DEA records, Ricevuto confirmed that Melendez had been a DEA informant and freelance pilot. But when questioned, Melendez denied seeing Hull in Haiti. Then, 20 days later, Ricevuto got a call from Wires who reversed his initial story. Wires suddenly was claiming that the DEA agent did not know that Hull was on the Cessna.

Later, Wires amended the story again, saying that the agent gave him $700 to pay for the Cessna’s fuel but only for the return flight. Wires also claimed it was the agent’s friend, Lippert, who asked Wires to fly Hull out of Costa Rica, not the agent. Wires added that he took the assignment because he felt the CIA had abandoned Hull. Yet, Wires also acknowledged that he had received an angry call from Hull who wanted to clear the agent of suspicion.

Though Hull’s overheard comments about the DEA agent’s role had started the investigation, Hull weighed in on Oct. 7, 1991, with a letter. “I have no idea if [the accused agent] knew how and when I was leaving Costa Rica,” Hull wrote. He then added, cryptically, “I assumed the ambassador was fully aware of my intentions.”

For his part, Lippert told Inspector Ricevuto that the DEA agent indeed had helped plan Hull’s escape. But a DEA polygrapher was brought in to test Lippert and judge him “deceptive.” No polygraphs apparently were ever administered to Wires, Hull or the DEA agent.

So, despite the evidence that DEA personnel conspired in the flight of an accused drug trafficker, the DEA cleared the agent of any wrongdoing. Bromwich endorsed that finding as “reasonable.”

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).


http://consortiumnews.com/2012/12/09/john-hulls-great-escape-2/









Robert Parry's full coverage of Contra Crack going back two decades:

http://www.consortiumnews.com/archive/crack.html


Archive
Contra Crack Series

Gary Webb's Enduring Legacy
Three years ago, investigative reporter Gary Webb committed suicide after his U.S. press colleagues helped destroy his career for daring to tell the truth about the Reagan administration's protection of cocaine trafficking by the Nicaraguan contras. In this special report, Robert Parry looks at this personal tragedy and its enduring legacy. December 11, 2007

The War on Medical Marijuana
Eleven years ago, California voters passed Prop 215, the Compassionate Use Act, permitting the use of marijuana to treat medical conditions. But state and local officials are still collaborating with federal law enforcement in a war on medical marijuana. November 6, 2007

CIA's Anti-Drug Message for Kids
The CIA wants American families to know that it's fighting the war on drugs, but the real story isn't quite so simple or so pretty. By Martin A. Lee. March 4, 2001

CIA Admits Tolerating Contra-Cocaine Trafficking
House Intelligence Committee buries admissions in new contra-cocaine report. By Robert Parry. June 8, 2000

Hyde's Blind Eye: Contras & Cocaine
The chief House manager’s double standards on scandal. By Dennis Bernstein & Leslie Kean. December 14, 1999

Contra-Cocaine: Falling Between the 'Crack'
Congress has taken the Nicaraguan contra-cocaine scandal back behind closed doors, even though the CIA admitted serious wrongdoing in a public report. By Robert Parry. June 18, 1999

L.A.'s Other Coke Pipeline
The CIA’s contra-cocaine investigation reportedly stumbled upon a new drug pipeline into Los Angeles, with a CIA veteran of the contra war implicated. By Robert Parry. December 29, 1998

The Contras’ Narco-Terrorists
The Hitz report describes how some U.S.-trained veterans of the terror wars against Fidel Castro’s Cuba turned to drug trafficking in the 1970s and reappeared as contras supporters in the 1980s. October 15, 1998

Special Report: CIA’s Drug Confession
In a shocking new report, CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz confirms long-standing allegations that drug traffickers pervaded the Nicaraguan contra war. Hitz found evidence in the CIA’s own files connecting key contras and contra backers to major trafficking organizations, including the Medellin cartel. One thread of evidence even led into Ronald Reagan’s National Security Council where the contra war was overseen by Lt. Col. Oliver North. October 15, 1998

The NYT’s New Contra Lies
The New York Times, “the newspaper of record,” has altered the historical record, again, to protect the Nicaraguan contras and the paper’s own bad reporting. October 1, 1998

John Hull's Great Escape
CIA-linked farmer John Hull skipped Costa Rica to avoid a drug trial -- and got help in his escape from DEA operatives. August 2, 1998

Special Report: Contra-Cocaine -- Justice Denied
A new Justice Department report reveals that the Reagan-Bush administrations knew much more about Nicaraguan contra-drug trafficking. The CIA also blocked investigators who got too close. But the Justice report still denigrates witnesses, such as smuggler Jorge Morales, and keeps the cover-up alive. August 2, 1998

The NYT's Contra-Cocaine Dilemma
For a dozen years, The New York Times mocked allegations that the Nicaraguan contras were implicated in cocaine trafficking. Finally, the nation's 'newspaper of record' is admitting that there was something to the story after all. But the Times is still letting the CIA put its spin on the scandal -- and the Times still doesn't want to confess its own guilt. July 23, 1998

Reality Bites Back: Contra-Coke Proof
Incoming CIA Inspector General Britt Snider must decide how to release an explosive report confirming long-held suspicions that the Nicaraguan contra operation smuggled cocaine. The report implicates the CIA and casts a dark shadow over the war run by the late CIA director William Casey and White House aide Oliver North. July 9, 1998

Two New Contra-Coke Books
Two new books are throwing down the gauntlet -- again -- to the CIA on the issue of drug trafficking. July 9, 1998

Listen to Bob Parry & Gary Webb Discussing New Contra-Cocaine Report on "Democracy Now."
July 20, 1998

Contra-Coke: Evidence of Premeditation
A memo reveals how CIA Director William J. Casey engineered a legal change in 1982 that spared the spy agency from a legal requirement to report on drug smuggling by agents. The memo, released by Rep. Maxine Waters, is evidence that Casey anticipated cocaine trafficking by the Nicaraguan contras. June 1, 1998

Contra Cocaine: Bad to Worse
The CIA has issued part one of its long-awaited Nicaraguan contra cocaine report. While the spy agency hopes everyone will just read the executive summary, the fine print of the report shows that the drug trafficking was a severe problem. (2/16/98)

Contra-Crack Guide: Reading Between the Lines
The CIA and the Justice Department are clearing themselves of wrongdoing on alleged Nicaraguan contra-crack sales. Yet, while the verdicts are public, the actual evidence is still under wraps. And reporter Gary Webb has lost his job. (1/5/98)

Hung Out to Dry: 'Dark Alliance' Series Dies
Under pressure from the Big Media, San Jose Mercury News editors pulled reporter Gary Webb off the contra-drug story. But in a first-person account, Webb's co-author in Nicaragua warns about dangers to others who worked on the story. (6/30/97)

CIA, Contras & Cocaine: Big Media Rejoices
The nation's leading newspapers celebrated a column by a San Jose Mercury News editor, backing away from last year's series linking the Nicaraguan contras to the nation's 'crack' epidemic. But the evidence of contra drugs remains, as do questions about the big media's hostility toward the decade-old story. (6/2/97)

CIA & Cocaine: Agency Assets Cross the Line
The CIA faces a new drug-trafficking embarrassment with the Miami indictment of a Venezuelan general who worked with the CIA on narcotics issues. But the problem goes far deeper, all the way down to the spy agency's Cold War roots. (3/17/97)

Contra-Crack: Investigators vs. Brickwall
Maxine Waters tracks CIA-contra-crack suspicions. (2/3/97)

Contra-Crack: Contra Crack Controversy Continues
A new report backs the allegations and chastises the big papers. (1/6/97)

Contra-Crack: CIA, Drugs & National Press
When a West Coast paper published new evidence linking the CIA-managed Nicaraguan contra rebels to cocaine smuggling, the Washington press rallied to the spy agency's defense -- and pummeled the out-of-step journalists. (12/23/96)

Contra-Crack: The Kerry-Weld Cocaine War
While Sen. John Kerry led the fight to expose the contra-crack drug trade, Gov. Bill Weld stalled. (11/11/96)

Contra-Crack: Contra-Crack Story Assailed (Part 1)
The Washington Post rushes to the CIA's defense. (10-28-96)

Contra-Crack: Contra-Crack Story Assailed (Part 2)
The Washington Times' Pro-Contra beat goes on. (10-28-96)

Contra-Crack: Blacks Angered by Contra-Crack
A published report of CIA-backed crack cocaine dealing in black communities across America has touched a raw nerve among black leaders. (9-30-96)
http://www.consortiumnews.com/archive/crack.html

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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Monday, Oct 25, 2004 07:04 PM UTC
How John Kerry exposed the Contra-cocaine scandal
Derided by the mainstream press and taking on Reagan at the height of his popularity, the freshman senator battled to reveal one of America's ugliest foreign policy secrets.
By Robert Parry

In December 1985, when Brian Barger and I wrote a groundbreaking story for the Associated Press about Nicaraguan Contra rebels smuggling cocaine into the United States, one U.S. senator put his political career on the line to follow up on our disturbing findings. His name was John Kerry.
Yet, over the past year, even as Kerry’s heroism as a young Navy officer in Vietnam has become a point of controversy, this act of political courage by a freshman senator has gone virtually unmentioned, even though — or perhaps because — it marked Kerry’s first challenge to the Bush family.
In early 1986, the 42-year-old Massachusetts Democrat stood almost alone in the U.S. Senate demanding answers about the emerging evidence that CIA-backed Contras were filling their coffers by collaborating with drug traffickers then flooding U.S. borders with cocaine from South America.
Kerry assigned members of his personal Senate staff to pursue the allegations. He also persuaded the Republican majority on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to request information from the Reagan-Bush administration about the alleged Contra drug traffickers.
In taking on the inquiry, Kerry challenged President Ronald Reagan at the height of his power, at a time he was calling the Contras the “moral equals of the Founding Fathers.” Kerry’s questions represented a particular embarrassment to Vice President George H.W. Bush, whose responsibilities included overseeing U.S. drug-interdiction policies.
Kerry took on the investigation though he didn’t have much support within his own party. By 1986, congressional Democrats had little stomach left for challenging the Reagan-Bush Contra war. Not only had Reagan won a historic landslide in 1984, amassing a record 54 million votes, but his conservative allies were targeting individual Democrats viewed as critical of the Contras fighting to oust Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government. Most Washington journalists were backing off, too, for fear of getting labeled “Sandinista apologists” or worse.
Kerry’s probe infuriated Reagan’s White House, which was pushing Congress to restore military funding for the Contras. Some in the administration also saw Kerry’s investigation as a threat to the secrecy surrounding the Contra supply operation, which was being run illegally by White House aide Oliver North and members of Bush’s vice presidential staff.
Through most of 1986, Kerry’s staff inquiry advanced against withering political fire. His investigators interviewed witnesses in Washington, contacted Contra sources in Miami and Costa Rica, and tried to make sense of sometimes convoluted stories of intrigue from the shadowy worlds of covert warfare and the drug trade.
Kerry’s chief Senate staff investigators were Ron Rosenblith, Jonathan Winer and Dick McCall. Rosenblith, a Massachusetts political strategist from Kerry’s victorious 1984 campaign, braved both political and personal risks as he traveled to Central America for face-to-face meetings with witnesses. Winer, a lawyer also from Massachusetts, charted the inquiry’s legal framework and mastered its complex details. McCall, an experienced congressional staffer, brought Capitol Hill savvy to the investigation.
Behind it all was Kerry, who combined a prosecutor’s sense for sniffing out criminality and a politician’s instinct for pushing the limits. The Kerry whom I met during this period was a complex man who balanced a rebellious idealism with a determination not to burn his bridges to the political establishment.
The Reagan administration did everything it could to thwart Kerry’s investigation, including attempting to discredit witnesses, stonewalling the Senate when it requested evidence and assigning the CIA to monitor Kerry’s probe. But it couldn’t stop Kerry and his investigators from discovering the explosive truth: that the Contra war was permeated with drug traffickers who gave the Contras money, weapons and equipment in exchange for help in smuggling cocaine into the United States. Even more damningly, Kerry found that U.S. government agencies knew about the Contra-drug connection, but turned a blind eye to the evidence in order to avoid undermining a top Reagan-Bush foreign policy initiative.
The Reagan administration’s tolerance and protection of this dark underbelly of the Contra war represented one of the most sordid scandals in the history of U.S. foreign policy. Yet when Kerry’s bombshell findings were released in 1989, they were greeted by the mainstream press with disdain and disinterest. The New York Times, which had long denigrated the Contra-drug allegations, buried the story of Kerry’s report on its inside pages, as did the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. For his tireless efforts, Kerry earned a reputation as a reckless investigator. Newsweek’s Conventional Wisdom Watch dubbed Kerry a “randy conspiracy buff.”
But almost a decade later, in 1998, Kerry’s trailblazing investigation was vindicated by the CIA’s own inspector general, who found that scores of Contra operatives were implicated in the cocaine trade and that U.S. agencies had looked the other way rather than reveal information that could have embarrassed the Reagan-Bush administration.
Even after the CIA’s admissions, the national press corps never fully corrected its earlier dismissive treatment. That would have meant the New York Times and other leading publications admitting they had bungled their coverage of one of the worst scandals of the Reagan-Bush era.
The warm and fuzzy glow that surrounded Ronald Reagan after he left office also discouraged clarification of the historical record. Taking a clear-eyed look at crimes inside Reagan’s Central American policies would have required a tough reassessment of the 40th president, which to this day the media has been unwilling to do. So this formative period of Kerry’s political evolution has remained nearly unknown to the American electorate.
Two decades later, it’s hard to recall the intensity of the administration’s support for the Contras. They were hailed as courageous front-line fighters, like the Mujahedin in Afghanistan, defending the free world from the Soviet empire. Reagan famously warned that Nicaragua was only “two days’ driving time from Harlingen, Texas.”
Yet, for years, Contra units had gone on bloody rampages through Nicaraguan border towns, raping women, torturing captives and executing civilian officials of the Sandinista government. In private, Reagan referred to the Contras as “vandals,” according to Duane Clarridge, the CIA officer in charge of the operation, in his memoir, “A Spy for All Seasons.” But in public, the Reagan administration attacked anyone who pointed out the Contras’ corruption and brutality.
The Contras also proved militarily inept, causing the CIA to intervene directly and engage in warlike acts, such as mining Nicaragua’s harbors. In 1984, these controversies caused the Congress to forbid U.S. military assistance to the Contras — the Boland Amendment — forcing the rebels to search for new funding sources.
Drug money became the easiest way to fill the depleted Contra coffers. The documentary evidence is now irrefutable that a number of Contra units both in Costa Rica and Honduras opened or deepened ties to Colombian cartels and other regional drug traffickers. The White House also scrambled to find other ways to keep the Contras afloat, turning to third countries, such as Saudi Arabia, and eventually to profits from clandestine arms sales to Iran.
The secrets began to seep out in the mid-1980s. In June 1985, as a reporter for the Associated Press, I wrote the first story mentioning Oliver North’s secret Contra supply operation. By that fall, my AP colleague Brian Barger and I stumbled onto evidence that some of the Contras were supplementing their income by helping traffickers transship cocaine through Central America. As we dug deeper, it became clear that the drug connection implicated nearly all the major Contra organizations.
The AP published our story about the Contra-cocaine evidence on Dec. 20, 1985, describing Contra units “engaged in cocaine smuggling, using some of the profits to finance their war against Nicaragua’s leftist government.” The story provoked little coverage elsewhere in the U.S. national press corps. But it pricked the interest of a newly elected U.S. senator, John Kerry. A former prosecutor, Kerry also heard about Contra law violations from a Miami-based federal public defender named John Mattes, who had been assigned a case that touched on Contra gunrunning. Mattes’ sister had worked for Kerry in Massachusetts.
By spring 1986, Kerry had begun a limited investigation deploying some of his personal staff in Washington. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry managed to gain some cooperation from the panel’s Republican leadership, partly because the “war on drugs” was then a major political issue. Besides looking into Contra drug trafficking, Kerry launched the first investigation into the allegations of weapons smuggling and misappropriation of U.S. government funds that were later exposed as part of North’s illegal operation to supply the Contras.
Kerry’s staff soon took an interest in a federal probe in Miami headed by assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Feldman. Talking to some of the same Contra supporters whom we had interviewed for the AP’s Contra-cocaine story, Feldman had pieced together the outlines of North’s secret network.
In a panicked memo dated April 7, 1986, one of North’s Costa Rican-based private operatives, Robert Owen, warned North that prosecutor Feldman had shown Ambassador Lewis Tambs “a diagram with your name underneath and John [Hull]‘s underneath mine, then a line connecting the various resistance groups in C.R. [Costa Rica]. Feldman stated they were looking at the ‘big picture’ and not only looking at possible violations of the Neutrality Act, but a possible unauthorized use of government funds.” (For details, see my “Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press and ‘Project Truth.’”)
John Hull was an American farmer with a ranch in Costa Rica near the Nicaraguan border. According to witnesses, Contras had used Hull’s property for cocaine transshipments. (Hull was later accused of drug trafficking by Costa Rican authorities, but fled the country before facing trial. He returned to the United States.)
On April 10, 1986, Barger and I reported on the AP wire that the U.S. Attorney’s office in Miami was examining allegations of Contra gunrunning and drug trafficking. The AP story rattled nerves inside the Reagan administration. On an unrelated trip to Miami, Attorney General Edwin Meese pulled U.S. Attorney Leon Kellner aside and asked about the existence of this Contra probe.
Back in Washington, other major news organizations began to sniff around the Contra-cocaine story but mostly went off in wrong directions. On May 6, 1986, the New York Times relied for a story on information from Meese’s spokesman Patrick Korten, who claimed “various bits of information got referred to us. We ran them all down and didn’t find anything. It comes to nothing.”
But that wasn’t the truth. In Miami, Feldman and FBI agents were corroborating many of the allegations. On May 14, 1986, Feldman recommended to his superiors that the evidence of Contra crimes was strong enough to justify taking the case to a grand jury. U.S. Attorney Kellner agreed, scribbling on Feldman’s memo, “I concur that we have sufficient evidence to ask for a grand jury investigation.”
But on May 20, less than a week later, Kellner reversed that recommendation. Without telling Feldman, Kellner rewrote the memo to state that “a grand jury investigation at this point would represent a fishing expedition with little prospect that it would bear fruit.” Kellner signed Feldman’s name to the mixed-metaphor memo and sent it to Washington on June 3.
The revised “Feldman” memo was then circulated to congressional Republicans and leaked to conservative media, which used it to discredit Kerry’s investigation. The right-wing Washington Times denounced the probe as a wasteful political “witch hunt” in a June 12, 1986, article. “Kerry’s anti-Contra efforts extensive, expensive, in vain,” screamed the headline of a Washington Times article on Aug. 13, 1986.
Back in Miami, Kellner reassigned Feldman to unrelated far-flung investigations, including one to Thailand.
The altered memo was instrumental in steering Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar, R-Ind., away from holding hearings, Kerry’s later Contra-drug report, “Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy,” stated. “Material provided to the Committee by the Justice Department and distributed to members following an Executive Session June 26, 1986, wrongly suggested that the allegations that had been made were false,” the Kerry report said.
Feldman later testified to the Senate that he was told in 1986 that representatives of the Justice Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI had met “to discuss how Senator Kerry’s efforts to get Lugar to hold hearings on the case could be undermined.”
Mattes, the federal public defender in Miami, watched as the administration ratcheted up pressure on Kerry’s investigation. “From a political point of view in May of ’86, Kerry had every reason to shut down his staff investigation,” Mattes said. “There was no upside for him doing it. We all felt under the gun to back off.”
The Kerry that Mattes witnessed at the time was the ex-prosecutor determined to get to the bottom of serious criminal allegations even if they implicated senior government officials. “As an investigator, he had a sense it was there,” said Mattes, who is now an investigative reporter for Fox News in San Diego. “Kerry was a crusader. He was the consummate outsider, doing what you expect people to do. … At no point did he flinch.”
Years later, in the National Archives, I discovered a document showing that the Central Intelligence Agency also was keeping tabs on Kerry’s investigation. Alan Fiers Jr., who served as the CIA’s Central American Task Force chief, told independent counsel Lawrence Walsh’s Iran-Contra investigators that the AP and Feldman’s investigations had attracted the hostility of the Reagan-Bush administration. Fiers said he “was also getting a dump on the Senator Kerry investigation about mercenary activity in Central America from the CIA’s legislative affairs people who were monitoring it.”
Negative publicity about the Contras was particularly unwelcome to the Reagan-Bush administration throughout the spring and summer 1986 as the White House battled to restore U.S. government funding to the Contras. In the politically heated atmosphere, the administration sought to smear anti-Contra witnesses cooperating with Kerry’s investigation.
In a July 28 memo, initialed as read by President Reagan, North labeled onetime Contra mercenary Jack Terrell as a “terrorist threat” because of his “anti-Contra and anti-U.S. activities.” North said Terrell had been cooperating “with various congressional staffs in preparing for hearings and inquiries regarding the role of U.S. government officials in illegally supporting the Nicaraguan resistance.”
In August 1986, FBI and Secret Service agents hauled Terrell in for two days of polygraph examinations on suspicion that Terrell intended to assassinate President Reagan, an allegation that proved baseless. But Terrell told me later that the investigation had chilled his readiness to testify about the Contras. “It burned me up,” he said. “The pressure was always there.”
Beyond intimidating some witnesses, the Reagan administration systematically worked to frustrate Kerry’s investigation. Years later, one of Kerry’s investigators, Jack Blum, complained publicly that the Justice Department had actively obstructed the congressional probe. Blum said William Weld, who took over as assistant attorney general in charge of the criminal division in September 1986, was an “absolute stonewall” blocking the Senate’s access to evidence on Contra-cocaine smuggling. “Weld put a very serious block on any effort we made to get information,” Blum told the Senate Intelligence Committee a decade after the events. “There were stalls. There were refusals to talk to us, refusals to turn over data.”
Weld, who later became Massachusetts governor and lost to Kerry in the 1996 Senate race, denied that he had obstructed Kerry’s Contra probe. But it was clear that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was encountering delays in getting information that had been requested by Chairman Lugar, a Republican, and Rhode Island Sen. Claiborne Pell, the ranking Democrat. At Kerry’s suggestion, they had sought files on more than two dozen people linked to the Contra operations and suspected of drug trafficking.
Inside the Justice Department, senior career investigators grew concerned about the administration’s failure to turn over the requested information. “I was concerned that we were not responding to what was obviously a legitimate congressional request,” Mark Richard, one of Weld’s top deputies, testified in a deposition. “We were not refusing to respond in giving explanations or justifications for it. We were seemingly just stonewalling what was a continuing barrage of requests for information. That concerned me no end.”
On Sept. 26, 1986, Kerry tried to spur action by presenting Weld with an 11-page “proffer” statement from a 31-year-old FBI informant who had worked with the Medellin cartel and had become a witness on cartel activities. The woman, Wanda Palacio, had approached Kerry with an account about Colombian cocaine kingpin Jorge Ochoa bragging about payments he had made to the Nicaraguan Contras.
As part of this Contra connection, Palacio said pilots for a CIA-connected airline, Southern Air Transport, were flying cocaine out of Barranquilla, Colombia. She said she had witnessed two such flights, one in 1983 and the other in October 1985, and quoted Ochoa saying the flights were part of an arrangement to exchange “drugs for guns.”
According to contemporaneous notes of this “proffer” meeting between Weld and Kerry, Weld chuckled that he was not surprised at allegations about corrupt dealings by “bum agents, former and current CIA agents.” He promised to give serious consideration to Palacio’s allegations.
After Kerry left Weld’s office, however, the Justice Department seemed to concentrate on poking holes in Palacio’s account, not trying to corroborate it. Though Palacio had been considered credible in her earlier testimony to the FBI, she was judged to lack credibility when she made accusations about the Contras and the CIA.
On Oct. 3, 1986, Weld’s office told Kerry that it was rejecting Palacio as a witness on the grounds that there were some contradictions in her testimony. The discrepancies apparently related to such minor points as which month she had first talked with the FBI.
Two days after Weld rejected Palacio’s Contra-cocaine testimony, other secrets about the White House’s covert Contra support operations suddenly crashed –literally — into view.
On Oct. 5, a quiet Sunday morning, an aging C-123 cargo plane rumbled over the skies of Nicaragua preparing to drop AK-47 rifles and other equipment to Contra units in the jungle below. Since the Reagan administration had recently won congressional approval for renewed CIA military aid to the Contras, the flight was to be one of the last by Oliver North’s ragtag air force.
The plane, however, attracted the attention of a teenage Sandinista soldier armed with a shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile. He aimed, pulled the trigger and watched as the Soviet-made missile made a direct hit on the aircraft. Inside, cargo handler Eugene Hasenfus, an American mercenary working with the Contras, was knocked to the floor, but managed to crawl to an open door, push himself through, and parachute to the ground, where he was captured by Sandinista forces. The pilot and other crew members died in the crash.
As word spread about the plane crash, Barger — who had left the AP and was working for a CBS News show — persuaded me to join him on a trip to Nicaragua with the goal of getting an interview with Hasenfus, who turned out to be an unemployed Wisconsin construction worker and onetime CIA cargo handler. Hasenfus told a press conference in Managua that the Contra supply operation was run by CIA officers working with the office of Vice President George Bush. Administration officials, including Bush, denied any involvement with the downed plane.
Our hopes for an interview with Hasenfus didn’t work out, but Sandinista officials did let us examine the flight records and other documents they had recovered from the plane. As Barger talked with a senior Nicaraguan officer, I hastily copied down the entries from copilot Wallace “Buzz” Sawyer’s flight logs. The logs listed hundreds of flights with the airports identified only by their four-letter international codes and the planes designated by tail numbers.
Upon returning to Washington, I began deciphering Wallace’s travels and matching the tail numbers with their registered owners. Though Wallace’s flights included trips to Africa and landings at U.S. military bases in the West, most of his entries were for flights in Central and South America.
Meanwhile, in Kerry’s Senate office, witness Wanda Palacio was waiting for a meeting when she noticed Sawyer’s photo flashing on a TV screen. Palacio began insisting that Sawyer was one of the pilots whom she had witnessed loading cocaine onto a Southern Air Transport plane in Barranquilla, Colombia, in early October 1985. Her identification of Sawyer struck some of Kerry’s aides as a bit too convenient, causing them to have their own doubts about her credibility.
Though I was unaware of Palacio’s claims at the time, I pressed ahead with the AP story on Sawyer’s travels. In the last paragraph of the article, I noted that Sawyer’s logs revealed that he had piloted a Southern Air Transport plane on three flights to Barranquilla on Oct. 2, 4, and 6, 1985. The story ran on Oct. 17, 1986.
Shortly after the article moved on the AP wires, I received a phone call from Rosenblith at Kerry’s office. Sounding shocked, the Kerry investigator asked for more details about the last paragraph of the story, but he wouldn’t say why he wanted to know. Only months later did I discover that the AP story on Sawyer’s logs had provided unintentional corroboration for Palacio’s Contra-drug allegations.
Palacio also passed a polygraph exam on her statements. But Weld and the Justice Department still refused to accept her testimony as credible. (Even a decade later, when I asked the then-Massachusetts governor about Palacio, Weld likened her credibility to “a wagon load of diseased blankets.”)
In fall 1986, Weld’s criminal division continued to withhold Contra-drug information requested by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. According to Justice Department records, Lugar and Pell — two of the Senate’s most gentlemanly members — wrote on Oct. 14 that they had been waiting more than two months for information that the Justice Department had promised “in an expeditious manner.”
“To date, no information has been received and the investigation of allegations by the committee, therefore, has not moved very far,” Lugar and Pell wrote in a joint letter. “We’re disappointed that the Department has not responded in a timely fashion and indeed has not provided any materials.”
On Nov. 25, 1986, the Iran-Contra scandal was officially born when Attorney General Edwin Meese announced that profits from secret U.S. arms sales to Iran had been diverted to help fund the Nicaraguan Contras.
The Washington press corps scrambled to get a handle on the dramatic story of clandestine operations, but still resisted the allegations that the administration’s zeal had spilled over into sanctioning or tolerating Contra-connected drug trafficking.
Though John Kerry’s early warnings about White House-aided Contra gunrunning had proved out, his accusations about Contra drug smuggling would continue to be rejected by much of the press corps as going too far.
On Jan. 21, 1987, the conservative Washington Times attacked Kerry’s Contra-drug investigation again; his alleged offense this time was obstructing justice because his probe was supposedly interfering with the Reagan administration’s determination to get at the truth. “Kerry’s staffers damaged FBI probe,” the Times headline read.
“Congressional investigators for Sen. John Kerry severely damaged a federal drug investigation last summer by interfering with a witness while pursuing allegations of drug smuggling by the Nicaraguan resistance, federal law enforcement officials said,” according to the Times article.
The mainstream press continued to publish stories that denigrated Kerry’s investigation. On Feb. 24, 1987, a New York Times article by reporter Keith Schneider quoted “law enforcement officials” saying that the Contra allegations “have come from a small group of convicted drug traffickers in South Florida who never mentioned Contras or the White House until the Iran-Contra affair broke in November.”
The drift of the article made Kerry out to be something of a dupe. His Contra-cocaine witnesses were depicted as simply convicts trying to get lighter prison sentences by embroidering false allegations onto the Iran-Contra scandal. But the information in the Times story was patently untrue. The AP Contra-cocaine story had run in December 1985, almost a year before the Iran-Contra story broke.
When New York Times reporters conducted their own interview with Palacio, she immediately sensed their hostility. In her Senate deposition, Palacio described her experience at the Times office in Miami. She said Schneider and a “Cuban man” rudely questioned her story and bullied her about specific evidence for each of her statements. The Cuban man “was talking to me kind of nasty,” Palacio recalled. “I got up and left, and this man got all pissed off, Keith Schneider.”
The parameters for a “responsible” Iran-Contra investigation were being set. On July 16, 1987, the New York Times published another story that seemed to discredit the Contra-drug charges. It reported that except for a few convicted drug smugglers from Miami, the Contra-cocaine “charges have not been verified by any other people and have been vigorously denied by several government agencies.”
Four days later, the Times added that “investigators, including reporters from major news outlets, have tried without success to find proof of … allegations that military supplies may have been paid for with profits from drug smuggling.” (The Times was inaccurate again. The original AP story had cited a CIA report describing the Contras buying a helicopter with drug money.)
The joint Senate-House Iran-Contra committee averted its eyes from the Contra-cocaine allegations. The only time the issue was raised publicly was when a demonstrator interrupted one hearing by shouting, “Ask about the cocaine.” Kerry was excluded from the investigation.
On July 27, 1987, behind the scenes, committee staff investigator Robert A. Bermingham echoed the New York Times. “Hundreds of persons” had been questioned, he said, and vast numbers of government files reviewed, but no “corroboration of media-exploited allegations of U.S. government-condoned drug trafficking by Contra leaders or Contra organizations” was found. The report, however, listed no names of any interview subjects nor any details about the files examined.
Bermingham’s conclusions conflicted with closed-door Iran-Contra testimony from administration insiders. In a classified deposition to the congressional Iran-Contra committees, senior CIA officer Alan Fiers said, “with respect to [drug trafficking by] the Resistance Forces [the Contras] it is not a couple of people. It is a lot of people.”
Despite official denials and press hostility, Kerry and his investigators pressed ahead. In 1987, with the arrival of a Democratic majority in the Senate, Kerry also became chairman of the Senate subcommittee on terrorism, narcotics and international operations. He used that position to pry loose the facts proving that the official denials were wrong and that Contra units were involved in the drug trade.
Kerry’s report was issued two years later, on April 13, 1989. Its stunning conclusion: “On the basis of the evidence, it is clear that individuals who provided support for the Contras were involved in drug trafficking, the supply network of the Contras was used by drug trafficking organizations, and elements of the Contras themselves knowingly received financial and material assistance from drug traffickers. In each case, one or another agency of the U.S. government had information regarding the involvement either while it was occurring, or immediately thereafter.”
The report discovered that drug traffickers gave the Contras “cash, weapons, planes, pilots, air supply services and other materials.” Moreover, the U.S. State Department had paid some drug traffickers as part of a program to fly non-lethal assistance to the Contras. Some payments occurred “after the traffickers had been indicted by federal law enforcement agencies on drug charges, in others while traffickers were under active investigation by these same agencies.”
Although Kerry’s findings represented the first time a congressional report explicitly accused federal agencies of willful collaboration with drug traffickers, the major news organizations chose to bury the startling findings. Instead of front-page treatment, the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times all wrote brief accounts and stuck them deep inside their papers. The New York Times article, only 850 words long, landed on Page 8. The Post placed its story on A20. The Los Angeles Times found space on Page 11.
One of the best-read political reference books, the Almanac of American Politics, gave this account of Kerry’s investigation in its 1992 edition: “In search of right-wing villains and complicit Americans, [Kerry] tried to link Nicaraguan Contras to the drug trade, without turning up much credible evidence.”
Thus, Kerry’s reward for his strenuous and successful efforts to get to the bottom of a difficult case of high-level government corruption was to be largely ignored by the mainstream press and even have his reputation besmirched.
But the Contra-cocaine story didn’t entirely go away. In 1991, in the trial of former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega for drug trafficking, federal prosecutors called as a witness Medellin cartel kingpin Carlos Lehder, who testified that the Medellin cartel had given $10 million to the Contras, a claim that one of Kerry’s witnesses had made years earlier. “The Kerry hearings didn’t get the attention they deserved at the time,” a Washington Post editorial on Nov. 27, 1991 acknowledged. “The Noriega trial brings this sordid aspect of the Nicaraguan engagement to fresh public attention.”
Kerry’s vindication in the Contra drug case did not come until 1998, when inspectors general at the CIA and Justice Department reviewed their files in connection with allegations published by the San Jose Mercury News that the Contra-cocaine pipeline had contributed to the crack epidemic that ravaged inner-city neighborhoods in the 1980s. (Ironically, the major national newspapers only saw fit to put the Contra-cocaine story on their front pages in criticizing the Mercury News and its reporter Gary Webb for taking the allegations too far.)
On Oct. 4, 1996, the Washington Post published a front-page story, with two more pages inside, that was critical of the Mercury News. But while accusing the Mercury News of exaggerating, the Post noted that Contra-connected drug smugglers had brought tons of cocaine into the United States. “Even CIA personnel testified to Congress they knew that those covert operations involved drug traffickers,” the Post reported.
A Post editorial on Oct. 9, 1996, reprised the newspaper’s assessment that the Mercury News had overreached, but added that for “CIA-connected characters to have played even a trivial role in introducing Americans to crack would indicate an unconscionable breach by the CIA.”
In the months that followed, the major newspapers — including the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times — joined the Post in criticizing the Mercury News while downplaying their own inattention to the crimes that Kerry had illuminated a decade earlier. The Los Angeles Times actually used Kerry’s report to dismiss the Mercury News series as old news because the Contra cocaine trafficking “has been well documented for years.”
While the major newspapers gloated when reporter Gary Webb was forced to resign from the Mercury News, the internal government investigations, which Webb’s series had sparked, moved forward. The government’s decade-long Contra cocaine cover-up began to crumble when CIA inspector general Frederick Hitz published the first of two volumes of his Contra cocaine investigation on Jan. 29, 1998, followed by a Justice Department report and Hitz’s second volume in October 1998.
The CIA inspector general and Justice Department reports confirmed that the Reagan administration knew from almost the outset of the Contra war that cocaine traffickers permeated the CIA-backed army but the administration did next to nothing to expose or stop these criminals. The reports revealed example after example of leads not followed, witnesses disparaged and official law-enforcement investigations sabotaged. The evidence indicated that Contra-connected smugglers included the Medellin cartel, the Panamanian government of Manuel Noriega, the Honduran military, the Honduran-Mexican smuggling ring of Ramon Matta Ballesteros, and Miami-based anti-Castro Cubans.
Reviewing evidence that existed in the 1980s, CIA inspector general Hitz found that some Contra-connected drug traffickers worked directly for Reagan’s National Security Council staff and the CIA. In 1987, Cuban-American Bay of Pigs veteran Moises Nunez told CIA investigators that “it was difficult to answer questions relating to his involvement in narcotics trafficking because of the specific tasks he had performed at the direction of the NSC.”
CIA task force chief Fiers said the Nunez-NSC drug lead was not pursued then “because of the NSC connection and the possibility that this could be somehow connected to the Private Benefactor program [Oliver North's fundraising]. A decision was made not to pursue this matter.”
Another Cuban-American who had attracted Kerry’s interest was Felipe Vidal, who had a criminal record as a narcotics trafficker in the 1970s. But the CIA still hired him to serve as a logistics officer for the Contras and covered up for him when the agency learned that he was collaborating with known traffickers to raise money for the Contras, the Hitz report showed. Fiers had briefed Kerry about Vidal on Oct. 15, 1986, without mentioning Vidal’s drug arrests and conviction in the 1970s.
Hitz found that a chief reason for the CIA’s protective handling of Contra-drug evidence was Langley’s “one overriding priority: to oust the Sandinista government … [CIA officers] were determined that the various difficulties they encountered not be allowed to prevent effective implementation of the Contra program.”
According to Hitz’s report, one CIA field officer explained, “The focus was to get the job done, get the support and win the war.”
This pattern of obstruction occurred while Vice President Bush was in charge of stanching the flow of drugs to the United States. Kerry made himself a pest by demanding answers to troubling questions.
“He wanted to get to the bottom of something so dark,” former public defender Mattes told me. “Nobody could imagine it was so dark.”
In the end, investigations by government inspectors general corroborated Kerry’s 1989 findings and vindicated his effort. But the muted conclusion of the Contra-cocaine controversy 12 years after Kerry began his investigation explains why this chapter is an overlooked — though important — episode in Kerry’s Senate career. It’s a classic case of why, in Washington, there’s little honor in being right too soon. Yet it’s also a story about a senator who had the personal honor to do the right thing.
Robert Parry, a winner of the Polk Award for National Reporting, is editor of iF Magazine (a print publication) and Consortiumnews.com. More Robert Parry.
View the original: http://www.salon.com/2004/10/25/contra/

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A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

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Freeway Rick Ross article in Huffington post January 14, 2013

Writer, Entrepreneur, Founder: Freeway Literacy Foundation


How John Kerry Exposed the Iran-Contra Scandal and Showed the Cracks in the War on Drugs
Posted: 01/14/2013 6:34 pm

"Can't you tell that I came from the dope game? -- Blame Reagan for making me into a monster -- Blame Oliver North and Iran-Contra -- I ran contraband that they sponsored" -- Jay-Z, "Blue Magic"

John Kerry being nominated to Secretary of the State brings his ever looming presence within the Iran Contra Scandal full circle. The man responsible for uncovering a scandal that cocaine was being brought into the United States as part of a multicontinental black market with the knowledge of the CIA and U.S. government will now hold one of the most powerful international offices in the world. The backdrop of his presence on Capitol Hill will always be built upon pillars of his desire to have America be honest to itself, and the rest of the world as to its own actions here and abroad.
In early 1986, the 42-year-old Massachusetts Democrat stood almost alone in the U.S. Senate demanding answers about the emerging evidence that CIA-backed Contras were filling their coffers by collaborating with drug traffickers then flooding U.S. borders with cocaine from South America... In taking on the inquiry, Kerry challenged President Ronald Reagan at the height of his power, at a time he was calling the Contras the "moral equals of the Founding Fathers." Kerry's questions represented a particular embarrassment to Vice President George H.W. Bush, whose responsibilities included overseeing U.S. drug-interdiction policies... Kerry's probe infuriated Reagan's White House, which was pushing Congress to restore military funding for the Contras. Some in the administration also saw Kerry's investigation as a threat to the secrecy surrounding the Contra supply operation, which was being run illegally by White House aide Oliver North and members of Bush's vice presidential staff.

The Reagan administration did everything it could to thwart Kerry's investigation, including attempting to discredit witnesses, stonewalling the Senate when it requested evidence and assigning the CIA to monitor Kerry's probe. But it couldn't stop Kerry and his investigators from discovering the explosive truth: that the Contra war was permeated with drug traffickers who gave the Contras money, weapons and equipment in exchange for help in smuggling cocaine into the United States. Even more damningly, Kerry found that U.S. government agencies knew about the Contra-drug connection, but turned a blind eye to the evidence in order to avoid undermining a top Reagan-Bush foreign policy initiative. -- Salon.com
Long forgotten today is the resolve Kerry had to have to almost singularly stand up to the Reagan & Bush administration. All despite the McCarthyesqe efforts used to make him seem crazed for his ground breaking investigation.
Though John Kerry's early warnings about White House-aided Contra gunrunning had proved out, his accusations about Contra drug smuggling would continue to be rejected by much of the press corps as going too far.

On Jan. 21, 1987, the conservative Washington Times attacked Kerry's Contra-drug investigation again; his alleged offense this time was obstructing justice because his probe was supposedly interfering with the Reagan administration's determination to get at the truth. "Kerry's staffers damaged FBI probe," the Times headline read. Congressional investigators for Sen. John Kerry severely damaged a federal drug investigation last summer by interfering with a witness while pursuing allegations of drug smuggling by the Nicaraguan resistance. The drift of the article made Kerry out to be something of a dupe. His Contra-cocaine witnesses were depicted as simply convicts trying to get lighter prison sentences by embroidering false allegations onto the Iran-Contra scandal. But the information in the Times story was patently untrue. The AP Contra-cocaine story had run in December 1985, almost a year before the Iran-Contra story broke. -- Salon.com
Made into a pariah much like Gary Webb, the reporter that wrote Dark Alliance on the Iran Contra in 1996, people simply wanted it all to go away because within Kerry's accusation was a darker reality than discovered in any international relations scandal in American History. "Kerry wanted to get to the bottom of something so dark,... Nobody could imagine it was so dark." Miami-based federal public defender John Mattes told Salon. The possibility the United States government might be involved in the cocaine trade, while at the same time it was writing some of the harshest known sentences in the world if its citizens sold those same drugs once they arrived to shore.

John Kerry Iran Contra Cocaine Hearings by dm_50d808e999ca9

What if the cocaine was allowed to be trafficked by the government without regard or care for the impact it would have on a black community fresh out of the throws of Jim Crow? What if while demonizing crack, the drug we were selling, the government was simultaneously complicit in trafficking the cocaine the deadly drug was being made from? As a result of Kerry's investigation (along with the efforts of Rep. Maxine Waters) there is no if -- it is proven, there is simply the question of why it happened and what the long lasting effects on cities and families are across the nation. All of these decisions were being made while at the same time the federal justice system without care or regard for context decided to sentence these nonviolent offenders with the harshness of murderers in an effort to make it all go away.
The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 ("the 1986 Act") initiated the disparate treatment between crack and powder cocaine. At that time, crack cocaine was believed to be more problematic and dangerous than powder. Based on these mistaken beliefs, the 1986 Act authorized a 100-to-1 ratio sentencing scheme, which equated a single gram of crack with 100 grams of powder. No rationale for the ratio was discussed in the legislative history. The newly created United States Sentencing Commission simply adopted the 1986 Act's sentencing scheme without utilizing the required empirical approach founded upon past sentencing practices. -- United States Sentencing Commission
In 1981 I was at the heart of this question, as one leg of the triangle that tied the U.S. government, South America and the Hood. I saw first hand how when Ronald Reagan was elected the jobs and social programs in the ghetto dried up over a very short time because of his policy choices, and young black males impoverished because of longstanding U.S. policy were left with no way to provide for themselves. Young teenage African American men that were not drug addicts, or career criminals were in mass choosing to become such for the first time since blacks were brought to America. While I am apologetic for my part in the cocaine epidemic (I served over 20 years prison as punishment). You cannot understand me without this context of an extremely deep economic recession, and lack of proper government reaction toward a group in dire need of assistance. Prior to this era a drug dealer tended to be an older man that had been turned by life, this bottlenecking turned young men like myself from children into criminals overnight. This contextual shift led to a reality today that Black men are the most imprisoned group in the history of the world. Some 10,000 per 100,000 in prison between ages 25-30, primarily for nonviolent offenses. To put this statistic in context, the prison rate for Africans in South Africa during the time of Apartheid was 836 per 100,000.


As President Obama appoints John Kerry one must contextualize his choice to understand how this may mark a remembrance of African Americans' mistreatment at the hands of the War on Drugs. Taken in conjunction with the Fair Sentencing Act President Obama signed into law in 2010 we only hope it is the first of many steps by the nation's first Black president to correct a longstanding wrong done to Black America at the hands of the War on Drugs. At the heart of the long lasting effects of the Contra Cocaine scandal is the beefing up of the War on Drugs, which has driven black male nonviolent criminals to prison at rates no other singular group in America, or any other industrial country has experienced in history. The upcoming documentary "Crack in the System" by Emmy award winning Documentary maker Marc Levin will cover me and the topic in more depth than ever. While I served my time and recognize my fault, I believe there is a generation across the globe that deserves the full story to be given light. Since my release I have started a nonprofit organization Freeway Literacy Foundation, because 60 percent of prisoners in the U.S. are functionally illiterate and it is a key factor in recidivism. My biopic film already written by Nick Cassavetes (writer of Blow starring Johnny Depp), will give John Kerry and many others a chance to be appreciated for their efforts in uncovering the cocaine scandal that led to mass incarceration and what many are calling the New Jim Crow. John Kerry is an American hero and his nomination by President Barack Obama holds with it a remembrance of his noble acts to tell the truth no matter the personal political cost.


Rick Ross is now a Community Activist with a nonprofit Freeway Literacy Foundation. He was at the center of the Iran Contra Scandal as noted by publications and television globally. http://www.freewayrick.com/
"...San Jose Mercury News published "Dark Alliance," a three-part series charging that the CIA was all mixed up with the drug lords who flooded South Central Los Angeles, and then the rest of America, with crack during the 1980s. Written by reporter Gary Webb after a yearlong investigation, the stories allege that a San Francisco Bay-area drug ring, headed by Danilo Blandon and Norwin Meneses, two men with close ties to a CIA-sponsored Nicaraguan contra group known as the FDN, sold tons of coke to a notorious Los Angeles-based dealer named Freeway Rick Ross" Times Magazine 2001 - Crack Contras and Cyberspace
Follow Freeway Rick Ross on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/FreewayRicky


See the original article here: This article contains links and videos.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rick-ross/how-john-kerry-exposed-th_b_2469665.html

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
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maynard

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Dark Alliance Investigation timeline (Source Wikipedia) (excerpt)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Webb

Facing increasing public scrutiny from the fallout after Webb's "Dark Alliance" series, the CIA conducted its own internal investigations. Investigative journalist Robert Parry credits Webb for being responsible for the following government investigations into the Reagan-Bush administration's conduct of the Contra war:
•         On December 10, 1996, Los Angeles County Sheriff Sherman Block announced the conclusion of his investigation into the issue, publishing a summary of the investigation at a press conference. He announced at the press conference that "We have found no evidence that the government was involved in drug trafficking in South-Central." Nevertheless, the report included information that supported some of the charges. Charles Rappleye reported in the L.A. Weekly that Block's "unequivocal statement is not backed up by the report itself, which raises many questions." Much of the LAPD investigation centered on allegations made in a postscript article to the newspaper's "Dark Alliance" series.
•         On January 29, 1998, Hitz published Volume One of his internal investigation. This was the first of two CIA reports that eventually substantiated many of Webb's claims about cocaine smugglers, the Nicaraguan contra movement, and their ability to freely operate without the threat of law enforcement.
•         On March 16, 1998, Hitz admitted that the CIA had maintained relationships with companies and individuals the CIA knew were involved in the drug business. Hitz told the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that "there are instances where CIA did not, in an expeditious or consistent fashion, cut off relationships with individuals supporting the Contra program who were alleged to have engaged in drug-trafficking activity or take action to resolve the allegations." Senator John Kerry reached similar conclusions a decade earlier in 1987.
•         On May 7, 1998, Rep. Maxine Waters, revealed a memorandum of understanding between the CIA and the Justice Department from 1982, which was entered into the Congressional Record. This letter had freed the CIA from legally reporting drug smuggling by CIA assets, a provision that covered the Nicaraguan Contras and the Afghan rebels.
•         On July 23, 1998, the Justice Department released a report by its Inspector General, Michael R. Bromwich. The Bromwich report claimed that the Reagan-Bush administration was aware of cocaine traffickers in the Contra movement and did nothing to stop the criminal activity. The report also alleged a pattern of discarded leads and witnesses, sabotaged investigations, instances of the CIA working with drug traffickers, and the discouragement of DEA investigations into Contra-cocaine shipments. The CIA's refusal to share information about Contra drug trafficking with law-enforcement agencies was also documented. The Bromwich report corroborated Webb's investigation into Norwin Meneses, a Nicaraguan drug smuggler.
•         On October 8, 1998, CIA I.G. Hitz published Volume Two of his internal investigation. The report described how the Reagan-Bush administration had protected more than 50 Contras and other drug traffickers, and by so doing thwarted federal investigations into drug crimes. Hitz published evidence that drug trafficking and money laundering had made its way into Reagan's National Security Council where Oliver North oversaw the operations of the Contras. According to the report, the Contra war took precedence over law enforcement. To that end, the internal investigation revealed that the CIA routinely withheld evidence of Contra crimes from the Justice Department, Congress and even the analytical division of the CIA itself. Further, the report confirmed Webb's claims regarding the origins and the relationship of Contra fundraising and drug trafficking. The report also included information about CIA ties to other drug traffickers not discussed in the Webb series, including Moises Nunez and Ivan Gomez. More importantly, the internal CIA report documented a cover-up of evidence which had led to false intelligence assessments.
•         Hearings were held 1996 to 2000 before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HSPCI) to review the DOJ, CIA and LASD reports on the Dark Alliance allegations. Porter Goss served as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). Goss had prior service in the intelligence community from 1960 until 1971 — working for the Directorate of Operations, the clandestine services of the CIA. Goss was later appointed to the position of Director of Central Intelligence by George W. Bush. He served as CIA Director from September 22, 2004 to May 25, 2006.
After holding its hearings behind closed doors from 1998 to 2000, the final report on the Contra Drug allegations entitled "CIA and Drugs in Los Angeles” was classified in 2000 and never released to the public. Congresswoman Maxine Waters was tipped off by sources on the HSPCI that a CIA officer, not an asset or contractor was found to be involved in the narcotics trafficking, but that portion of the report was removed before release to the committee. CIA Inspector General Fred Hitz retired immediately after completing the report.
On May 25, 1999, The new CIA Inspector General Britt Snider testified in a classified hearing: “In the end the objective of unseating the Sandinistas appears to have taken precedence over dealing properly with potentially serious allegations against those with whom the agency was working,” He conceded that the CIA did not treat the drug allegations in “a consistent, reasoned or justifiable manner.”

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

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http://www.scribd.com/doc/131231070/60-MINUTES-Head-of-DEA-Robert-Bonner-Says-CIA-Smuggled-Drugs


CBS News Transcripts 60 MINUTES November 21, 1993

HEADLINE: THE CIA'S COCAINE; CIA APPARENTLY BEHIND SHIPPING OF A TON OF COCAINE INTO THE US FROM VENEZUELA
BODY: THE CIA'S COCAINE
(When Mike Levine (DEA-retired) spoke with his former colleague at DEA, Annabelle Grimm regarding this case, he was told that "27 tons minimum" had entered the country)
MORLEY SAFER: A ton of cocaine--pure cocaine, worth hundreds of millions—is smuggled into the United States. Sound familiar? Not the way this ton of cocaine got here, according to what the former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration told Mike Wallace. This drug shipment got here courtesy of what he calls drug trafficking by the CIA, in partnership with the Venezuelan national guard. While rumors of CIA involvement in drug trafficking have circulated for years, no one in the US government has ever before publicly charged the CIA with this kind of wrongdoing. It is not the kind of accusation anyone in government would make without thinking long and hard.
MIKE WALLACE: Let me understand what you're saying. A ton of cocaine was smuggled into the United States of America by the Venezuelan national guard...
Judge ROBERT BONNER (Former Head, Drug Enforcement Administration): Well, they... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_C._Bonner
WALLACE: ...in cooperation with the CIA?
Judge BONNER: That's what--that's exactly what appears to have happened. (Footage of Wallace and Bonner walking)
WALLACE: (Voiceover) Until last month, Judge Robert Bonner was the head ofthe Drug Enforcement Administration, the DEA. And Judge Bonner explained to us that only the head of the DEA is authorized to approve the transportation of any illegal narcotics, like cocaine, into this country, even if the CIA is bringing it in.
Judge BONNER: Let me put it this way, Mike. If this has not been approved by DEA or an appropriate law-enforcement authority in the United States, then it's illegal. It's called drug trafficking. It's called drug smuggling.
WALLACE: So what you're saying, in effect, is the CIA broke the law; simple as that.
Judge BONNER: I don't think there's any other way you can rationalize around it, assuming, as I think we can, that there was some knowledge on the part of CIA. At least some participation in approving or condoning this to be done. (Footage of Wallace and Bonner; the CIA seal)
WALLACE: (Voiceover) Judge Bonner says he came to that conclusion after a two-year secret investigation conducted by the DEA's Office of Professional Responsibility, in cooperation with the CIA's own inspector general. And what reason did the CIA have for promoting this drug smuggling?
Judge BONNER: Well, the only rationale that's ever been offered is that that--this would lead to some valuable drug intelligence about the Colombian cartels. (Footage of a drug inspection; a ship; trucks; a building; General Ramon Guillen Davila)
WALLACE: (Voiceover) Over half of the Colombian drug cartel's cocaine crosses the border with Venezuela on its way to the United States and Europe. Back in the 1980s, the CIA was mandated by then-President Reagan to develop intelligence on the Colombian drug cartels. And so the CIA, with Venezuela's Guardia Nacional, or national guard, set up an undercover operation, a drug-smuggling operation in Venezuela that could handle the trans-shipment of the Colombian cartel's cocaine on its way to market.
The plan was to infiltrate the cartel, and it worked, for the CIA-national guard undercover operation quickly accumulated this cocaine, over a ton and a half that was smuggled from Colombia into Venezuela inside these trucks and then was stored here at the CIA-financed Counternarcotics Intelligence Center in Caracas. The center's commander and the CIA's man in Venezuela was national guard General Ramon Guillen Davila.

Ms. ANNABELLE GRIMM (Drug Enforcement Agency): I tried to work together with them. I was always aware that they were not telling me everything they were doing. (Footage of Grimm; a building; Mark McFarlin; a plane taking off)
WALLACE: (Voiceover) Annabelle Grimm was a DEA agent with 18 years' experience when she was made agent-in-charge in Caracas. And she says that the CIA station chief, James Campbell, and this man, Mark McFarlin, the CIA officer in charge at the center, told her that to keep the undercover smuggling operation credible, they had to keep the cartel happy, and the way to do that was simple: deliver their dope, untouched by US law enforcement, to the cartel's distributors, their dope dealers in the United States.
Ms. GRIMM: The CIA and the Guardia Nacional wanted to let cocaine go on into the traffic without doing anything. They wanted to let it come up to the United States, no surveillance, no nothing.
WALLACE: In other words, you weren't going to stop them in Miami or Houston or wherever. These drugs were simply going to go to the United States and then go into the traffic and eventually reach the streets.

Ms. GRIMM: That's what they wanted to do, yes. And we had very, very lengthy discussions. But I told them what the US law was and the fact that we could not do this.
WALLACE: So here you've got Jim Campbell, chief of station, who knows about this; Mark McFarlin, CIA officer, knows about this and are stimulating this--this business of sending what are uncontrolled deliveries of drugs--smuggling drugs into the United States, right?
Ms. GRIMM: Right.
WALLACE: Why in the world would they want to do that?
Ms. GRIMM: As they explained to me, that--this would enable them to gain the traffickers' confidence, keep their informant cool and it would result in future seizures of larger quantities of drugs. And also, they hoped to--I guess they thought they were going to get Pablo Escobar at the scene of the crime or something, which I found personally ludicrous.
WALLACE: But if Annabelle Grimm thought this was ludicrous, the CIA station chief, James Campbell, did not. He enlisted the assistance of CIA headquarters in Washington to get approval for the drug shipments. And his bosses at the CIA in Washington went over Annabelle Grimm's head, directly to her bosses at DEA headquarters in Washington.
Judge BONNER: They made this proposal and we said, 'No, no way. We will not permit this. It should not go forward.' And then, apparently, it went forward anyway. (Footage of Wallace and Bonner; a Guardia Nacional truck; inspectors)
WALLACE: (Voiceover) The joint DEA-CIA investigation we mentioned earlier confirmed that over a ton of cocaine made its way from the Counternarcotics Center in Caracas to the streets of the United States. And they discovered that at one point, General Guillen's national guard tried to ship 1,500 kilos at once.
Ms. GRIMM: They were not successful in that because apparently the package they had put together was too large. It wouldn't fit on the plane. (Footage of Guillen)
WALLACE: (Voiceover) General Guillen admits to the bungled operation. General RAMON GUILLEN DAVILA (Venezuelan Guardia Nacional): (Through interpreter) It was too big for the airplane door because the plane was a 707. WALLACE: The box was too big to get into the airplane, $ 30 million worth of cargo, drugs? All these officials--the Venezuelans, the Americans, the--the Colombians--all so stupid that they don't have a box that's small enough to fit inside their own airplane?
Gen. GUILLEN: (Through interpreter) The traffickers made a mistake with the plane. (Footage of Guillen)
WALLACE: (Voiceover) Is it possible that General Guillen was doing this on his own, without the knowledge of the CIA?
Ms. GRIMM: I would find it very difficult, for several reasons, to believe that they did not know what was going on. They built, they ran, they controlled that center. General Guillen and his officers didn't go to the bathroom without telling Mark McFarlin or the CIA what they were going to do. (Footage of traffic; a Colombia road sign; an airplane landing)
WALLACE: (Voiceover) The drug-smuggling operation finally unraveled nearly a year after Annabelle Grimm says she told the CIA and General Guillen that it was illegal to send drugs uncontrolled into the US. Then a shipment arrived in Miami's International Airport and was seized, coincidentally, by US Customs. Customs traced those drugs back to the Venezuelan national guard, but General Guillen told us that operation had been approved by US authorities.
Gen. GUILLEN: (Through interpreter) Look, what I see here is that there is a problem between the CIA and the DEA, and perhaps they are trying to find a fall guy, who is General Guillen. If I had anything to do with illegal drug trafficking, I wouldn't be sitting here talking to you. (Footage of Guillen; a document)
WALLACE: (Voiceover) General Guillen is right about one thing. He could travel to New York to talk to us about Judge Bonner's charges only because he had already been granted immunity from prosecution in that DEA-CIA inspector general's investigation. So we confronted the general with this document, a report from that investigation that reads like his confession. (Reading) 'Guillen lost his composure, and when directly confronted concerning his involvement in the unauthorized and illegal shipment of cocaine to the US, confesses.'
Gen. GUILLEN: (Through interpreter) Look, I say that that confession is not true. In that report, there are a lot of lies. It's useless. I have not confessed anywhere.
WALLACE: So you're clean?
Gen. GUILLEN: (Through interpreter) Clean until the last day God has for me. (Footage of Guillen; buildings; a document; McFarlin in a truck; a photograph of James Campbell; the CIA logo)
WALLACE: (Voiceover) So far there has been no legal action against General Guillen. As for the CIA officers? Well, Judge Bonner may believe that someone at the agency must have known, but the CIA and the US Department of Justice say they have discovered, quote, "No evidence of criminal wrongdoing."
However, the CIA did acknowledge to us that the investigation, quote, "Did reveal instances of poor judgment and management, leading to disciplinary actions for several CIA officers." Mark McFarlin, the CIA officer in charge of the Counternarcotics Center, resigned from the agency last year. We tried to talk to him, but he told us the CIA would take legal action against him if he violated his secrecy agreement with the agency. As for James Campbell, the CIA station chief, we learned he was brought back to the US and promoted, but then he retired. Campbell did tell us, quote, "I've devoted my life to my country and feel like a victim in this thing. This happened without our knowledge.
We were there to prevent it." While CIA headquarters declined to answer our questions on camera, off camera a CIA official involved in the Venezuelan cocaine operation did. We talked to some people at the CIA. They say, 'The DEA does the same thing all the time. They let drugs walk. They let drugs into the traffic, and look the other way to further a more important goal.'
Judge BONNER: It's absolutely untrue. And frankly it--maybe it displays the kind of ignorance that makes the CIA dangerous in this area. It is wrong for an agency of the US government to facilitate and participate in allowing drugs to reach the streets. And apparently--you know, if the--if the CIA doesn't understand that, then I--I would be concerned that this kind of incident could be repeated. (Footage of Wallace and Dennis DeConcini)
WALLACE: (Voiceover) The CIA advised us they had recently briefed the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Dennis DeConcini, and they urged us to talk with him, apparently believing he would defend the operation.
Senator DENNIS DeCONCINI (Senate Intelligence Committee): It was an operation that I don't think they should've been involved in.
WALLACE: No question, the drugs got in?
Sen. DeCONCINI: I don't doubt that the drugs got in here.
WALLACE: You'd think that maybe the agency would want to say, 'OK, we made a mistake.'

Sen. DeCONCINI: I think they made a mistake.
WALLACE: Yeah.
Sen. DeCONCINI: And I--you know, you hope when these mistakes are made that, hell, not too many more of them are, particularly when the mistake is a large quantity of substances like this that can kill people, and probably did. (Footage of Wallace and DeConcini)
WALLACE: (Voiceover) We asked the senator why no one in the CIA has been prosecuted for bringing in the drugs. Sen. DeCONCINI: It--you would seem to think there would be a good case there.
WALLACE: A case against?
Sen. DeCONCINI: Against an American who knew anything about it. But, you know, I've been a prosecutor, Mike, and you have to look at the case, convince a--a jury or a judge not to throw the case out. The Justice Department reviewed that and they decided not to prosecute these individuals from the agency. (Footage of the Venezuelan intelligence agency)
WALLACE: (Voiceover) And what about the vaunted intelligence gathered from the whole CIA anti-drug caper in Venezuela?
Judge BONNER: Well, let me tell you, I--first of all, I don't know of any. Because from what I know, no valuable intelligence of any kind was produced from this operation.
WALLACE: What intelligence was generated by the shipment of this 1,000 to 1,500 kilos, controlled or uncontrolled?
General GUILLEN: (Through interpreter) It was very positive.
WALLACE: Really? Who--who--who did you finger? What did you find out?
General GUILLEN: (Through interpreter) Right now, a truck driver and the truck that were trafficking drugs into Venezuela are under arrest. There was another truck and two similar van types were also caught.
WALLACE: So what you're saying is that you captured three or four or five truck drivers. I'm asking about intelligence in the United States that was generated by the actual shipment of these kilos into the United States.
General GUILLEN: (Through interpreter) Now whether or not here in the United States they arrested anyone or the intelligence gathered was useless, that is the responsibility of the Americans.
WALLACE: After speaking to us, General Guillen traveled to Miami, where federal agents found him and served him with a subpoena to appear before a newly revived grand jury investigation into the CIA's cocaine. But the word out of Venezuela is that the government there will not permit him to testify.
Ms. GRIMM: I look at that 1,000 kilos, at least that 1,000 kilos. I look at the fact--I mean, Mike, you're a taxpayer and that was US taxpayer money that built that center, that funded it, that maintained it. And I really take great exception to the fact that that 1,000 kilos came in funded by US taxpayer money and it hit the streets of the United States. I found that particularly appalling when you look at all the damaged lives that 1,000 kilos represents.
SAFER: And what happened to the tens of millions that were paid for the CIA's cocaine? Well, General Guillen insists he didn't get any of it. But Judge Bonner says one thing is certain, the Colombian cartel did. They got their money once the dope made it to our streets. Meanwhile, both the House and Senate Intelligence Oversight Committees continue to ask questions about what they call, quote, "the very serious charges surrounding the CIA's cocaine."


******
Watch The Video on retired DEA agent Mike Levine’s Youtube channel:
DEA Administrator Robert Bonner (Bonner later became a Federal Judge) "CIA are drug smugglers." - Federal Judge Bonner, head of DEA- You don't get better proof than this.”

CIA Drug Smuggling - The Real Body Bag Case. with Undercover DEA Agent Michael Levine (author of NY Times non-fiction bestseller DEEP COVER) being coopted by CIA in South East Asia. Also: DEA busts CIA smuggling ton of cocaine. Head of DEA Judge Robert Bonner Accuses CIA directly of being drug smugglers. You don't need more proof than this.

Here are Mike Levine’s comments on the video:
Uploaded on Feb 18, 2011
michaellevine53 8 months ago
The whole investigation conducted by DEA, revealed that they were only caught for one ton, after they had gotten away with 26 tons over the previous year. Check out some of our radio shows. Bottom line is they smuggled more dope than the Medellin Cartel
• in reply to TheUnknownGrower (Show the comment)
Synnek1 7 months ago
A Ton of "Cocaine"? More like: TONS! rofl! >;-)
michaellevine53 7 months ago
To be precise, a minimum of 27 tons...
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michaellevine53 2 months ago
Mr. P:
I may have a problem posting the entire show on youtube, but we have used the soundtrack on radio shows that you can find on the web site for The Expert Witness Radio show.. During these shows we discussed the findings that CIA, in fact, was caught smuggling lge quantities of cocaine that the people named in this brilliant investigative piece "should" have been indicted. If this is not enough I will have my producer and co-host digitize the 60 Minute piece and put it up on that site
• in reply to MrPaulrael

michaellevine53 5 months ago
Thanks for the kind words my friend. The book was DEEP COVER, in which I accused the attorney general at the time, Edwin Meece, of blowing the cover of an undercover team while they were outside the US (in Mexico, Panama and Bolivia) and very vulnerable to kidnapping and death. Unlike the CIA officer Valery Plame who was safely ensconced in her DC office when her cover was blown. Her case was, I suppose political. I was accusing people of treason. as libelous as it gets, if not true...

michaellevine53 8 months ago
Katie:
My first lesson in this came, as I documented in THE BIG WHITE, when CIA betrayed both the American people and the Bolivian government that trusted us, by supporting the drug traffickers in the takeover of Bolivia in the now infamous Cocaine Coup. It was the bloodiest revolution in that poor country;s history and the beginning of the crack/cocaine epidemic in ours.
• in reply to Katie Nelson (Show the comment)
michaellevine53 9 months ago
Let's start by demanding indictments in THIS case; we have solid evidence and credible DEA witnesses including a federal judge. Why go off on a conspiratorial tangent if we can't get an indictment in a case of CIA getting caught actually smuggling massive amounts of cocaine into the nation they're supposed to protect? When I was boxing on a USAF boxing team my coach said "if you open a cut keep hitting it till they stop they fight or the guy bleeds all over you." I'm giving you the cut.
• 5
michaellevine53 9 months ago
my friend. Judge Bonner is still alive, so am I and so are the other DEA agents who appeared in the original 60 minute piece as witnesses detailing the case. the CIA agent who "masterminded" the smuggling of as much as 27 tons of cocaine into the US,(worse than Pablo Escobar) was named, and at the time was the CIA station chief of Venezuela. no one was prosecuted The reason i Posted it here is that , thanks to the use of taxpayer funds to manipulate media, few are aware of this scandal.
• 10 in reply to Ben Dover (Show the comment)
michaellevine53 1 year ago
My friend, this video is only a short excerpt of an extensive investigation conducted by 6"60 minutes", which in turn was based on a joint secret investigation conducted by CIA and DEA internal security. Which resulted in Judge Bonner, the head of DEA making this statement... What more do you need?
I suggest you read THE BIG WHITE LIE
And DEEP COVER for even more detailed proof
michaellevine53 1 year ago
I wrote about Noriega in "Deep Cover"-- A DEA and Customs undercover team was dealing with his people in Panama while he was still a CIA asset and protected by CIA. I don't think you will believe what happened unless you read the book and understand that every event was documented by secretly recorded audio and video. The book was a NY Times bestseller and Congress just pretended it didn't exist. Sadly, nothing has changed.
• 15
michaellevine53 1 year ago
You've got to remember that during operation Trifecta (the deep cover operation in the book), Carlos Salinas de Gortari's bodyguard, on hidden video, promised me a wide open border to traffic drugs from Mexico into the US, if we completed the 15 ton drug deal we were in the midst of...NAFTA was then on the table before Congress... Ergo a lot of powerful people in our government that wanted the operation to fail before the American people became aware of it..That IS the real story in Deep Cover
michaellevine53 1 year ago
The problem with answering your question is that it's the wrong question. It should by what logical reason would CIA have to be in bed with drug traffickers? First, is called "the junkie tax." CIA assets and black operations not funded by congress become self-funded via "licenses" to smuggle to the US. Two: There is no oversight of the CIA whatsoever, thus any "enterprising" officer can cut himself in on his asset's drug profits. If he get's caught, as in the 60 Minute piece, he's promoted.
michaellevine53 1 year ago
Where was congress? Great question. The book DEEP COVER was voted one of the most censored by the media books of the year, by BILL MOYERS "Project Censored." Off camera, Mr. Moyers told me it was "the best read and least talked about book between the beltways. (Wash. DC)." It was almost funny. Meaning Congress wanted badly to ignore the book and its charges... If we had a responsible Congress, there would be no CIA supported drug traffickers, and Mexico would not be in the fix its in now.
michaellevine53 1 year ago
In DEEP COVER, when you come to the part where the attorney general EDWIN MEECE, blows the cover of our undercover operation with a telephone call to the AG of Mexico (one of our targets) , WHILE the team was undercover in Bolivia, Panama and Mexico. Underline that passage, because the special interests have not changed.. Remember the book was a NEW YORK TIMES bestseller, and the charge would be libelous as hell were it not true. Then ask yourself why mainstream media ignored the claim.

michaellevine53 1 year ago
By the way. google it and you'll see that this past May, Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia held the Spanish translation of THE BIG WHITE LIE (La Guerra Falsa) up for it to be photographed by the world's press, proclaiming that it was the reason he had banned DEA from Bolivia. The mistake he made was that the book blamed CIA, not DEA. it described how CIA protection of top Bolivian drug traffickers helped them literally take over the Bolivian government during the "Cocaine Coup", 8/17/81.
michaellevine53 1 year ago
You seem pretty knowledgeable and more astute than most. If you get a hold of THE BIG WHITE LIE, which is about a buck or two on the internet, you'll see that the first time Crack cocaine was documented was from Sonia Atala, the woman Pablo Escobar called "The Queen of Cocaine." While undercover working with me in 1983, she spoke of "Pichicata" (smokeable cocaine base) and how it was wildly addictive to Bolivian street kids. My report to DEA predicted it hitting the streets of the US shortly.
michaellevine53 1 year ago
The fact is that Bonner didn't take a bullet, he was just ignored. CIA director (then) Woolsey toured mainstream media making the false claim that the drug smuggling resulted from "a joint DEA CIA operation gone wrong." The fact is that DEA had no part in the operations which was, as the judge said,"CIA drug smuggling." 60 Minutes was the ONLY member of mainstream media to tell the truth.. The rest did their customary penguin walk. What a shame.

michaellevine53 1 year ago
I did my own investigation including interviews with DEA people involved, before I went public on my radio show - the Expert Witness Show in NYC. The investigation revealed that as much as 27 tons of cocaine were shipped into the US by CIA before they were finally caught by US Customs. The CIA chief who ran it was named by 60 Minutes. No one was either prosecuted or lost their jobs, except for the DEA people who blew the whistle. With "protectors" like this who needs enemies?

Contact Mike Levine at:
http://www.expertwitnessradio.org








__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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Quotes


"In my 30-year history in the Drug Enforcement Administration and related agencies, the major targets of my investigations almost invariably turned out to be working for the CIA."

--Dennis Dayle, former chief of DEA CENTAC.(Peter Dale Scott & Jonathan Marshall, Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies,and the CIA in Central America, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991, pp. x-xi.)




"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."

—Senator John Kerry, The Washington Post (1996).





"I have put thousands of Americans away for tens of thousands of years with less evidence for conspiracy than is available against Ollie North and CIA people...I personally was involved in a deep-cover case that went to the top of the drug world in three countries. The CIA killed it."
-
Former DEA Agent Michael Levine - CNBC-TV, October 8, 1996







"When this whole business of drug trafficking came out in the open in the Contras, the CIA gave a document to Cesar, Popo Chamorro and Marcos Aguado, too...""..They said this is a document holding them harmless, without any responsibility, for having worked in U.S.security..."

--Eden Pastora, Former ARDE Contra leader - November 26, 1996, speaking before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee on alleged CIA drug trafficking to fund Nicaraguan Contras in the 1980s





"I believe that elements working for the CIA were involved in bringing drugs into the country," "I know specifically that some of the CIA contract workers, meaning some of the pilots, in fact were bringing drugs into the U.S. and landing some of these drugs in government air bases. And I know so because I was told by someo f these pilots that in fact they had done that."

– Retired DEA agent Hector Berrellez on PBS Frontline. Berrellez was a supervisory agent on the Enrique Camarena murder investigation
.



"I do think it [was] a terrible mistake to say that
'We're going to allow drug trafficking to destroy American citizens'
as a consequence of believing that the contra effort was a higher priority."
-
Senator Robert Kerrey (D-NE)





A Sept. 26, 1984, Miami police intelligence report noted that money supporting contras being illegally trained inFlorida "comes from narcotics transactions." Every page of the report is stamped: "Record furnished toGeorge Kosinsky, FBI." Is Mr. Kosinsky's number missing from (Janet) Reno's rolodex?

– Robert Knightand Dennis Bernstein, 1996




"For decades, the CIA, the Pentagon, and secret organizations like Oliver North's Enterprise have been supporting and protecting the world's biggest drug dealers.... The Contras and some of their Central Americanallies ... have been documented by DEA as supplying ... at least 50 percent of our national cocaine consumption. They were the main conduit to the United States for Colombian cocaine during the 1980's. The rest of the drug supply ... came from other CIA-supported groups, such as DFS (the Mexican CIA) ... [and] other groups and/or individuals like Manual Noriega."

-- Michael Levine, The Big White Lie: The CIA and the Cocaine/Crack Epidemic





"To my great regret, the bureau (FBI) has told me that some of the people I identified as being involved in drug smuggling are present or past agents of the Central Intelligence Agency."

--Wanda Palacio’s 1987 sworn testimony before U.S. Sen. John Kerry's Senate Subcommittee on Narcotics and International Terrorism.



“I sat gape-mouthed as I heard the CIA Inspector General, testify that there has existed a secret agreement between CIA and the Justice Department, wherein "during the years 1982 to 1995, CIA did not have to report the drug trafficking its assets did to the Justice Department. To a trained DEA agent this literally means that the CIA had been granted a license to obstruct justice in our so-called war on drugs; a license that lasted - so CIA claims -from 1982 to 1995, a time during which Americans paid almost $150 billion in taxes to "fight" drugs.God, with friends like these, who needs enemies?”

- Former DEA Agent Michael Levine, March 23, 1998.




CIA ADMITS TO DEAL WITH JUSTICE DEPARTMENT TO OBSTRUCT JUSTICE.“The CIA finally admitted, yesterday, in the New York Times no less, that they, in fact, did "work with" the Nicaraguan Contras while they had information that they were involved in cocaine trafficking to the United States. An action known to us court qualified experts and federal agents as Conspiracy to Import and Distribute Cocaine—a federal felony punishable by up to life in prison. To illustrate how us regular walking around, non CIA types are treated when we violate this law, while I was serving as a DEA supervisor in New York City, I put two New York City police officers in a federal prison for Conspiracy to distribute Cocaine when they looked the other way at their friend's drug dealing. We could not prove they earned a nickel nor that they helped their friend in any way, they merely did not do their duty by reporting him. They were sentenced to 10and 12 years respectively, and one of them, I was recently told, had committed suicide.”

- Former DEA Agent Michael Levine, September, 1998 from the article “IS ANYONE APOLOGIZING TO GARY WEBB?”




“After five witnesses testified before the U.S. Senate, confirming that John Hull—a C.I.A. operative and the lynch-pin of North's contra resupply operation—had been actively running drugs from Costa Rica to the U.S."under the direction of the C.I.A.," Costa Rican authorities arrested him. Hull then quickly jumped bail and fled to the U.S.—according to my sources—with the help of DEA, putting the drug fighting agency in the schizoid business of both kidnapping accused drug dealers and helping them escape…. The then-President of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias was stunned when he received letters from nineteen U.S. Congressman—including Lee Hamilton of Indiana, the Democrat who headed the Iran-contra committee—warning him "to avoid situations . . .that could adversely affect our relations."

-Former DEA Agent Michael Levine, September, 1998 from the article “I Volunteer to Kidnap Oliver North”




"Drug trafficking has permeated all political structures and has corrupted federal, state, and local officials. It has deformed the economy. It is a cancer that has generated financial and political dependence, which instead of producing goods, has created serious problems ultimately affecting honest businessmen. The Attorney General's office is unable to eradicate drug trafficking because government structures at all levels are corrupted."

-- Eduardo Valle, former adviser, Attorney General in Mexico





Dennis Dayle, former head of DEA's Centac, was asked the following question: "Enormously powerful criminal organizations are controlling many countries, and to a certain degree controlling the world, and controlling our lives.Your own U.S. government to some extent supports them, and is concealing this fact from you."Dennis Dayle's answer:
"I know that to be true. That is not conjecture. Experience, over the better part of my adult life, tells me that that is so. And there is a great deal of persuasive evidence.




"He (Former Congressman Bill Alexander - D. Ark.) made me privy to the depositions he took from three of the most credible witnesses in that project, which left absolutely
no doubt in my mind that the government of the United States was an active participant in one of the largest dope operations in the world.."

--
Former Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Jim Johnson





The Contras moved drugs not by the pound, not by the bags, but by the tons, by the cargo planeloads”

--Jack Blum, investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee, testimony under oath on Feb. 11, 1987






“… he was making millions, 'cos he had his own source of,… avenue for his own,..heroin.I'm sure we all knew it, but we tried to monitor it, because we controlled most of the pilots you see. We're giving him freedom of navigation into Thailand, into the bases, and we don't want him to get involved in moving, you know, this illicit traffic--O.K., silver bars and gold, O.K., but not heroin. What they would do is, they weren't going into Thailand, they were flying it in a big wet wing airplane that could fly for thirteen hours, a DC-3, and all the wings were filled with gas. They fly down to Pakse, then they fly over to Da Nang, and then the number two guy to President Thieu would receive it.”

–CIA Officer Anthony (“Tony Poe”) Poshepny May 17, 1988 PBS Frontline episode “Guns, Drugs, and the CIA”

(Poshepny was a legendary covert operations officer who had supervised the CIA’s secret war in Northern Laos during the 1960s and early 1970s. In the interview, Poshepny stated that the CIA had supplied air transport for the heroin shipments of their local ally, General Vang Pao, the only such on-the-record confirmation by a former CIA officer concerning agency involvement in the narcotics trade.)



"It is … believed by the FBI, SF, that Norwin Meneses was and still may be, an informant for the Central Intelligence Agency."
--CIA OIG report on Contra involvement in drug trafficking (ChIII, Pt2).
(Norwin Meneses was issued a visa and moved freely about the United States despite being listed in more than40 drug investigations over the two previous decades and being listed in an active indictment for narcotics. He has never been prosecuted in this country.)



“There is secret communication between CIA and members of the Congressional staff - one must keep in mind that Porter Goss, the chairman, is an ex CIA official- indicating that the whole hearing is just a smoke and mirror show so that the American people - particularly the Black community - can "blow off some steam"without doing any damage to CIA. The CIA has been assured that nothing real will be done, other than some embarrassing questions being asked.”

- Former DEA Agent Michael Levine, March 23, 1998. CIA ADMITS TO DEAL WITH JUSTICE DEPARTMENT TO OBSTRUCT JUSTICE.



"If you ask: In the process of fighting a war against the Sandinistas, did people connected with the US government open channels which allowed drug traffickers to move drugs to the United States, did they know the drug traffickers were doing it, and did they protect them from law enforcement? The answer to all those questions is yes.""We don't need to investigate [the CIA's role in Contra drug trafficking]. We already know. The evidence is there."--
Jack Blum, former Chief Counsel to John Kerry's Subcommittee on Narcotics and Terrorism in 1996 Senate Hearings



“Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the Department of Justice at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the Los Angeles Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities.According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central Los Angeles,around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Volume II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the Department of Justice, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles.”

--U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters – October 13. 1998, speaking on the floor of the US House of Representatives.





“My knowledge of all this comes from my time as British Ambassador in Uzbekistan. I … watched the Jeeps … bringing the heroin through from Afghanistan, en route to Europe. I watched the tankers of chemicals roaring into Afghanistan.

The four largest players in the heroin business are all senior members of the Afghan government – the government that our soldiers are fighting and dying to protect.” --Former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray,2007

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-469983/Britain-protecting-biggest-heroin-crop-time.html




This war with China … really seems to me so wicked as to be a national sin of the greatest possible magnitude, and it distresses me very deeply. Cannot any thing be done by petition or otherwise to awaken men’s minds to the dreadful guilt we are incurring? I really do not remember, in any history, of a war undertaken with such combined injustice and baseness. Ordinary wars of conquest are to me far less wicked, than to go to war in order to maintain smuggling, and that smuggling consisting in the introduction of a demoralizing drug, which the government of China wishes to keep out, and which we, for the lucre of gain, want to introduce by force; and in this quarrel are going to burn and slay in the pride of our supposed superiority. — Thomas Arnold to W. W. Hull, March 18, 1840

http://www.victorianweb.org/history/empire/opiumwars/opiumwars1.html





"Here's my problem. I think that if people in the government of the United States make a secret decision to sacrifice some portion of the American population in the form of ... deliberately exposing them to drugs, that is a terrible decision that should never be made in secret."

--Jack Blum, speaking before the October 1996 Senate Select Intelligence Committee on alleged CIA drug trafficking to fund Nicaraguan Contras in the 1980s, Chaired by Senator Arlen Specter.

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

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Reply with quote  #23 
The latest article.....



The Dark Stain From The Dark Alliance: Cautionary Tales From The Tragic Saga of Gary Webb
By H. "Corky" Johnson (about the author)
OpEdNews Op Eds 3/23/2013 at 13:22:19

http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Dark-Stain-From-The-Da-by-H--Corky-Johnson-130323-304.html?show=votes#allcomments



corkjohn.com
H. "Corky" Johnson is a nationally award-winning investigative reporter/producer with more than 30 years of experience. His work has appeared in The Washington Post,on 60 Minutes and in many other media outlets.

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

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Reply with quote  #24 


Freeway Ricky Ross Film announced
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%22Freeway%22_Rick_Ross

http://thehypemagazine.blogspot.ch/2013/03/freeway-rick-ross-talks-music-film-and.html
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2660743/





http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/nick-cannon-play-freeway-rick-425942

Nick Cannon to Play 'Freeway' Rick Ross in Biopic
3:20 PM PST 3/4/2013 by Emily Zemler
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Freeway Rick Ross Nick Cannon Split - H 2013
Patrick Bastien; Getty Images
UPDATED: The notorious drug kingpin and the "America's Got Talent" host announced the collaboration in a YouTube video.

Nick Cannon will portray former drug kingpin “Freeway” Rick Ross in an upcoming film.
our editor recommends

Cannon appeared alongside Ross in a YouTube video posted to Ross’ Facebook page Monday to announce the movie. Nick Cassavetes (Alpha Dog, Blow) wrote the script and will direct.


“I've been wanting him to play my role since '96,” Ross said of Cannon in the video. “We got hooked up, I met him … I loved his personality.”

STORY: Nick Cannon Inks First-Look Deal With NBC

Added Cannon: “This is history in the making right here. We family now. We gonna get this thing right however long it take. The story gotta be told: the real Rick Ross.”

The brief video offers little other information regarding the planned film but does note in a caption that the script will be penned by the “writer of Blow” (Cassavetes did indeed co-write the screenplay for the 2001 Johnny Depp starrer) and includes the following description: “This is more than a movie it’s a movement. This is the story of the real Scarface.”

It's unclear whether the biopic has secured financing. Cannon will also serve as executive producer.

STORY: Nick Cassavetes' New Film Imperiled By Lawsuit

Ross, who has clashed with Maybach Music head and Miami rapper Rick Ross (real name: William L. Roberts) over use of the moniker for numerous years, gained notoriety as a cocaine trafficker in Los Angeles in the 1980s. He has been interviewed on several programs and documentaries including BET's American Gangster series.

Cannon, whose acting credits include Up All Night, Drumline and Bobby, hosts America's Got Talent. He also creator TV's Wild 'N Out, Short Circuitz and The Nick Cannon Show.

Twitter: @THR




http://allhiphop.com/2013/03/04/exclusive-freeway-rick-ross-speaks-on-his-biopic-documentary-and-nick-cannon/

EXCLUSIVE: “Freeway” Rick Ross Speaks On His Biopic, Documentary and Nick Cannon
by Keith Nelson Jr (@JusAire) March 4th, 2013 @ 9:00pm






http://www.examiner.com/article/exclusive-freeway-rick-ross-talks-music-film-and-being-him-advance-look


EXCLUSIVE: 'Freeway' Rick Ross Talks Music, Film and Being Him (Advance Look) (Photos)

Freeway Rick Ross
March 26, 2013
By: Jerry Doby
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http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/tv-film/1550597/nick-cannon-to-play-freeway-rick-ross-in-biopic

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

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http://www.the-peoples-forum.com/cgi-bin/readart.cgi?ArtNum=1566



Title: Gary Webb - 'DARK ALLIANCE: Crack Cocaine, the CIA, the Contras, & the Censors'
URL Source: http://blip.tv/file/834451
Post Date: 2008-06-21 12:07:37 by Robin
Keywords: None
Views: 1040
Comments: 6

Part 1/4 - Gary Webb and Martha Honey

"DARK ALLIANCE: Crack Cocaine, the CIA, the Contras, & the Censors", with Pulitzer Prize-Winner Gary Webb, Dennis Bernstein, & Martha Honey. Berkeley, CA - June 13, 1998. DVD available from: justicevision.org



Part 2/4 - Gary Webb and Martha Honey

"DARK ALLIANCE: Crack Cocaine, the CIA, the Contras, & the Censors", with Pulitzer Prize-Winner Gary Webb, Dennis Bernstein, & Martha Honey. Berkeley, CA - June 13, 1998. DVD available from: justicevision.org



Part 3/4 - Gary Webb and Martha Honey

"DARK ALLIANCE: Crack Cocaine, the CIA, the Contras, & the Censors", with Pulitzer Prize-Winner Gary Webb, Dennis Bernstein, & Martha Honey. Berkeley, CA - June 13, 1998. DVD available from: justicevision.org



Part 4/4 - Gary Webb and Martha Honey

"DARK ALLIANCE: Crack Cocaine, the CIA, the Contras, & the Censors", with Pulitzer Prize-Winner Gary Webb, Dennis Bernstein, & Martha Honey. Berkeley, CA - June 13, 1998. DVD available from: justicevision.org



Post Comment Private Reply Ignore Thread

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

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Reply with quote  #26 

http://www.laweekly.com/2013-05-30/news/gary-webb-jess-katz-crack/full/

Ex LA Times Writer Jesse Katz Apologizes for Attacks on Gary Webb



Ex-L.A. Times Writer Apologizes for "Tawdry" Attacks
Jesse Katz admits that attacking journalist Gary Webb's CIA-cocaine expose ruined Webb's life
A A A Comments (25) By Nick Schou Thursday, May 30 2013

Nine years after investigative reporter Gary Webb committed suicide, Jesse Katz, a former Los Angeles Times reporter who played a leading role in ruining the controversial journalist's career, has publicly apologized — just weeks before shooting begins in Atlanta on Kill the Messenger, a film expected to reinstate Webb's reputation as an award-winning journalist dragged through the mud by disdainful, competing media outlets.
New Times L.A. headline, circa 1996
New Times L.A. headline, circa 1996


Webb made history, then quickly fell from grace, with his 20,000-word 1996 investigation, "Dark Alliance," in which the San Jose Mercury News reported that crack cocaine was being peddled in L.A.'s black ghettos to fund a CIA-backed proxy war carried out by contra rebels in Nicaragua.

Kill the Messenger is based on Webb's 1998 book, Dark Alliance, in which he attempted to rebuild his ruined reputation, as well as my 2004 biography of Webb, Kill the Messenger, which shares the movie's title. (I worked as a consultant on the script.)

The movie will portray Webb as a courageous reporter whose career and life were cut short when the nation's three most powerful newspapers piled on to attack Webb and his three-part Mercury News series on the CIA's crack-cocaine connection.

The New York Times, Washington Post and L.A. Times each obscured basic truths of Webb's "Dark Alliance" series. But no newspaper tried harder than the L.A. Times, where editors were said to have been appalled that a distant San Jose daily had published a blockbuster about America's most powerful spy agency and its possible role in allowing drug dealers to flood South L.A. with crack.

Much of the Times' attack was clever misdirection, but it ruined Webb's reputation: In particular, the L.A. Times attacked a claim that Webb never made: that the CIA had intentionally addicted African-Americans to crack.

Webb, who eventually could find only part-time work at a small weekly paper, committed suicide.

No journalist played a more central role in the effort to obscure the facts Webb reported than former L.A. Times reporter Katz. But on May 22, Katz, who has penned a Los Angeles magazine story hitting newsstands now that resurfaces the Gary Webb episode, essentially apologized, on KPCC-FM 89.3's AirTalk With Larry Mantle.

Katz was discussing "Freeway Rick Is Dreaming" in the July 2013 issue of Los Angeles magazine, in which he profiles Ricky Ross, the notorious crack-cocaine dealer with whom Katz has a long, tortured relationship. In 1994, shortly after Ross got out of prison for coke trafficking, Katz wrote that Ross was the mastermind of America's crack-cocaine epidemic, at his peak pushing half a million rocks a day.

"f there was one outlaw capitalist most responsible for flooding Los Angeles' streets with mass-marketed cocaine, his name was 'Freeway' Rick," Katz's 1994 L.A. Times article claimed. "Ross did more than anyone else to democratize it, boosting volume, slashing prices and spreading disease on a scale never before conceived."

But Webb's 1996 Mercury News series exposed a startling fact: Ross' mentor and chief supplier, who helped him climb to the top of the crack trade, was Nicaraguan exile Oscar Danilo Blandón Reyes. Blandón belonged to one of Nicaragua's most prominent political families and was a major backer of the "contras" — a rebel movement secretly created by the CIA to overthrow the leftist Sandinista rebels.

While Blandón supplied Ricky Ross with coke, the Mercury News revealed, Blandón and others in his politically connected drug cartel, which supplied Ross, were using drug profits to arm the contras.

"Dark Alliance" blew the lid off the CIA's ties to America's crack market by showing for the first time not just the agency's role in turning a blind eye to Nicaraguan contras smuggling cocaine to the United States but also vividly illustrating the role of that cocaine in the spread — via marketers like Ross — of crack in America's inner cities.

Katz' rather embarrassed employer, the L.A. Times — caught off-guard by Webb's reporting in its own backyard — yanked Katz all the way from Texas to re-evaluate Ricky Ross' role in the crack epidemic.

Katz recast Ross as a much less central player in the crack plague, thus helping dilute the effect of "Dark Alliance," which had caused a firestorm of outrage, particularly in black communities.

"The story of crack's genesis and evolution," Katz newly wrote, "is filled with a cast of interchangeable characters, from ruthless billionaires to strung-out curb dealers, none of whom is central to the drama."

In researching the scandal over "Dark Alliance" for my book, I interviewed Katz about the stark disconnect between his two stories about Ross, and he struggled to answer. "I'm not sure I can answer that in a wholly satisfying way," he mused.

In his new Los Angeles magazine story, Katz buries and downplays his role in the debacle. Katz says he was just one of many reporters who ganged up on Webb. He apologizes only for bloating Ross' importance in his first Times piece on the dealer.

Contacted days ago, Katz said my interview of him for Kill the Messenger — "questions I didn't really have good answers for" in part inspired the new magazine article, but he had to edit out some of his self-reflection because the story ran too long.

He mostly focuses on Ross' near-miraculous early release from a life prison sentence, his hair-weave business schemes, his name-rights lawsuit against Florida rapper Rick Ross and a floundering movie deal. However, on AirTalk, when Mantle noted that many listeners were calling in with questions about "Dark Alliance," Katz made his confession.

"As an L.A. Times reporter, we saw this series in the San Jose Mercury News and kind of wonder how legit it was and kind of put it under a microscope," Katz explained. "And we did it in a way that most of us who were involved in it, I think, would look back on that and say it was overkill. We had this huge team of people at the L.A. Times and kind of piled on to one lone muckraker up in Northern California."

Katz stated there were "some flaws" in Webb's stories, and the L.A. Times "pointed all those out."

Katz seems to be referring to the fact that Times editor Shelby Coffey assigned a staggering 17 reporters to exploit any error in Webb's reporting, including the most minute. The newspaper's response to "Dark Alliance" was longer than Webb's series. It was replete with quotes from anonymous CIA sources who denied the CIA was connected to contra-backing coke peddlers in the ghettos. Eventually, Webb's unnerved editors in San Jose withdrew their support for his story.

L.A.'s alternative papers, New Times L.A. and L.A. Weekly, not only covered the media controversy but also advanced Webb's reporting. In my case, working for both L.A. Weekly and OC Weekly, I revealed that a central character in the Mercury News' series — a security consultant, former cop and partner of Blandón's, named Ronald Lister — gave Blandón weapons, which he sold to Ross, and helped the drug ring launder cash and evade police detection.

While Lister was laundering cash, he was staging "business meetings" with death-squad leader Roberto D'Aubuisson in El Salvador, as well as "retired" CIA agents in California.

Webb was vindicated by a 1998 CIA Inspector General report, which revealed that for more than a decade the agency had covered up a business relationship it had with Nicaraguan drug dealers like Blandón.

The L.A. Times, New York Times and Washington Post buried the IG's report; under L.A. Times editor Michael Parks, the paper didn't acknowledge its release for months.

The L.A. Times' smears against Webb continued after his death. After Webb committed suicide in a suburb of Sacramento in December 2004 — the same day he was to vacate his just-sold home and move in with his mother — a damning L.A. Times obituary described the coverage by the three papers as "discrediting" Webb.

As Katz admitted to Mantle, "We really didn't do anything to advance his work or illuminate much to the story, and it was a really kind of tawdry exercise. ... And it ruined that reporter's career."

Under editor Dean Baquet, the L.A. Times did publish a commentary I wrote on the 10-year anniversary of Webb's Mercury News series. In it, I lambasted the paper for its unfair treatment of Webb.

The L.A. Times has never apologized for its attacks on a reporter who took his own life after being hounded out of mainstream journalism. A few months before Webb died, he landed a part-time gig at the alt-weekly newspaper Sacramento News & Review, thanks to its sympathetic editor, Tom Walsh.

The brilliant, award-winning reporter wrote about library funding and traffic-ticket shakedowns. But the pay couldn't cover his mortgage and Webb had reached the end of his dwindling psychological resources.

Sadly, because Webb shot himself in the head twice — the first bullet simply went through his cheek — many falsely believe the CIA killed him. As Katz, if not the rest of the Times crew, knows, it wasn't the CIA that helped load the gun that killed Gary Webb.




http://news.firedoglake.com/2013/06/03/gary-webb-receives-posthumous-apology-from-la-times-writer/

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

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Reply with quote  #27 
Kill The Messenger Film moves into post production

2014 release date


The film cast now includes Andy Garcia, Robert Patrick and Richard Schiff in addition to Jeremy Renner.


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1216491/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kill_the_Messenger_(2014_film)

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022291453

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

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11/6/2013

First Look: Jeremy Renner in CIA Scheme Drama 'Kill the Messenger'

http://www.firstshowing.net/2013/first-look-jeremy-renner-in-cia-scheme-drama-kill-the-messenger/

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2013/11/03/sneak-peek-jeremy-renner-kill-the-messenger/3307565/

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

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12/30/13

Charles Bowden's book "DOWN BY THE RIVER" will be made into a film!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Bowden
http://www.deadline.com/2013/10/parkland-helmer-peter-landesman-to-direct-scott-stuber-produced-down-by-the-river/



‘Parkland’ Helmer Peter Landesman To Direct Scott Stuber-Produced ‘Down By The River’
By MIKE FLEMING JR | Thursday October 3, 2013 @ 4:18pm PDTTags: Down By The River, Parkland, Peter Landesman, Scott Stuber
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Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Scott Stuber’s Bluegrass Films has set Parkland writer-director Peter Landesman to rewrite and direct Down By The River, an espionage revenge thriller inspired by Charles Bowden’s nonfiction book. Landesman will come on to rewrite a script by Henry Bean.

Landesman and Naomi Despres brought the project to Stuber as the same time as Kill the Messenger, the story of how investigative journalist Gary Webb uncovered CIA complicity in bringing crack to U.S. cities and then destroyed the reputation of Webb, who committed suicide in 2004. Michael Cuesta directed the film for Focus Features with Jeremy Renner playing Webb. Stuber produced with Despres and Renner, while Landesman and Pamela Abdy are exec producers.

In Down By The River, the younger brother of a high-level DEA official and former undercover agent is murdered in broad daylight in El Paso, Texas. After discovering the hit was ordered by the drug kingpin across the river in Juarez, Mexico, possibly as retribution for the agent’s past actions, the DEA official heads across the border for some big-time revenge — not only against the killers but the DEA as well.

Landesman called Bowden’s book “haunting and epic, it winds and digs deep into the gray zone of the U.S.-Mexican border. We are using the true story chronicled in this book as a launching point, and the facts are like a punch in the gut. DEA agent Phil Jordan is a deeply compelling and complex cinematic character — courageous, brilliant, enraged, unstoppable. The desire to make this film for me is like a compulsion, and it’s great to be working with Scott again.”

Parkland, which played at Venice and Toronto, looks at the JFK assassination through the eyes of several characters on the periphery of the tragedy: the doctors who fought to save the president’s life; the assassin’s brother; the FBI and Secret Service agents unable to shield the president; and the author of the Zapruder film. Exclusive Media tomorrow releases the film, which marks the feature directorial debut of Landesman, a longtime foreign correspondent-turned screenwriter.








Peter Landesman to Rewrite and Direct DOWN BY THE RIVER;
by Dave Trumbore Posted 1 hour ago

http://collider.com/peter-landesman-down-by-the-river/
Here is a pair of director stories for you to check out:

Peter Landesman (Parkland) is attached to rewrite and direct Down by the River, a revenge thriller inspired by Charles Bowden’s non-fiction book about the murder of the younger brother of a DEA official and undercover agent by a Mexican drug cartel.
Kim Jee-woon (The Last Stand) is now attached to direct an adaptation of Ed Brubaker’s graphic novel, Coward.

Hit the jump for more on each movie.

down-by-the-river-charles-bowdenDeadline reports that Landesman will rewrite and direct Down by the River. The story centers on “the younger brother of a high level DEA official and former undercover agent [who] is murdered in broad daylight in El Paso, Texas. After discovering the hit was ordered by the drug kingpin across the river in Juarez, Mexico, possibly as retribution for the agent’s past actions, the DEA official heads across the border for some big time revenge. Not only against the killers, but the DEA as well.” Landesman’s JFK assassination picture Parkland opens in theaters this weekend, and he’ll follow that up with Kill the Messenger in 2014.

In Landesman’s words, he called the source material:

“haunting and epic, it winds and digs deep into the grey zone of the US/Mexican border. We are using the true story chronicled in this book as a launching point, and the facts are like a punch in the gut. DEA agent Phil Jordan is a deeply compelling and complex cinematic character — courageous, brilliant, enraged, unstoppable. The desire to make this film for me is like a compulsion, and it’s great to be working with Scott [Stuber] again.”










Down by the River: Drugs, Money, Murder & Family by Charles Bowden — A Short Review
Posted on December 24, 2012

Down by the River: Drugs, Money, Murder & Family by Charles Bowden

“There was a War on Drugs, and you lost . . .”
http://www.bardofthesouth.com/down-by-the-river-drugs-money-murder-family-by-charles-bowden-a-short-review/

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

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Soon, Gary, Soon.....

http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/we-rank-the-100-most-anticipated-films-of-2014-the-best-films-of-the-2014-20140102?page=3#blogPostHeaderPanel




Focus Features ‏@FocusFeatures 39m
Thrills ahead. #KillTheMessenger w/ Jeremy Renner make @IndieWire’s list of Most Anticipated Films of 2014.

ow.ly/sjef4


81. “Kill The Messenger”
Synopsis: This is the true story of journalist Gary Webb, who documented the CIA’s involvement in the global drug trade, and ended up having his career destroyed as a result.

What You Need To Know: Jeremy Renner is using his clout from “The Bourne Legacy” and “The Avengers” to get this story out there, serving as producer and star for this true story. The script from Peter Landesman draws inspiration from two books, Webb’s own “Dark Alliance: The CIA, The Contras And The Crack Cocaine Explosion” and “Kill The Messenger: How The CIA’s Crack Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Gary Webb” by Nick Schou. Renner was smart enough to reach into his past to hire his “Twelve And Holding” director Michael Cuesta, who has also logged hours in television with “Homeland” and “Dexter.” Rosemarie DeWitt, Tim Blake Nelson, Michael K. Williams, Robert Patrick, Barry Pepper, Oliver Platt, Paz Vega, Michael Sheen, Ray Liotta and Mary Elizabeth Winstead co-star.

Why Is It Anticipated: Simply put, this is a significant story that needs to be told about the CIA sullying the name of an innocent man in plain sight in order to protect their clearly illegal actions. There’s been a strand of aggression and antagonism towards honest reportage in the recent political climate, and the government (and the media, somehow!) have been allowed to control the narrative and distract the public from nakedly obvious wrongdoing. A movie isn’t going to do much in the long run, but as far as informing the public, it’s a start.
Release Date: Possibly fourth quarter 2014.


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1216491/board/thread/224227438

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

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Kill The Messenger release date OCTOBER 10 2014 -- PLEASE DISTRIBUTE

Kill the Messenger, Starring Jeremy Renner, is Coming in October
Source: Focus Features
March 5, 2014
Tweet22 0

Focus Features announced today that Kill the Messenger, starring Jeremy Renner (Marvel's The Avengers, The Bourne Legacy), will be released on October 10, 2014 in limited theaters. The movie will then expand on October 17 and again on October 24.

The dramatic thriller is based on the remarkable true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb. Webb (Renner) stumbles onto a story which leads to allegations that the CIA was aware of major dealers who were smuggling cocaine into the U.S., and using the profits to arm rebels fighting in Nicaragua. Webb keeps digging to uncover a conspiracy with explosive implications – and draws the kind of attention that threatens not just his career, but his family and his life.

Josh Close, Rosemarie DeWitt, Andy Garcia, Lucas Hedges, Tim Blake Nelson, Robert Patrick, Barry Pepper, Oliver Platt, Michael Sheen, Paz Vega, Michael Kenneth Wiliams and Mary Elizabeth Winstead co-star in the Michael Cuesta-directed film.

Read more: Kill the Messenger, Starring Jeremy Renner, is Coming in October - ComingSoon.net http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=115609&utm_medium=%20twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed#



http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1216491/board/thread/223590625?p=1

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

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Maxine Waters Investigation

Quite unexpectedly, on April 30, 1998, I obtained a secret 1982 Memorandum of Understanding between the CIA and the Department of Justice, that allowed drug trafficking by CIA assets, agents, and contractors to go unreported to federal law enforcement agencies. I also received correspondence between then Attorney General William French Smith and the head of the CIA, William Casey, that spelled out their intent to protect drug traffickers on the CIA payroll from being reported to federal law enforcement.

Then on July 17, 1998 the New York Times ran this amazing front page CIA admission: "CIA Says It Used Nicaraguan Rebels Accused of Drug Tie." "he Central Intelligence Agency continued to work with about two dozen Nicaraguan rebels and their supporters during the 1980s despite allegations that they were trafficking in drugs.... he agency's decision to keep those paid agents, or to continue dealing with them in some less formal relationship, was made by top officials at headquarters in Langley, Va.". (emphasis added)
.........The CIA had always vehemently denied any connection to drug traffickers and the massive global drug trade, despite over ten years of documented reports. But in a shocking reversal, the CIA finally admitted that it was CIA policy to keep Contra drug traffickers on the CIA payroll. The Facts speak for themselves. Maxine Waters, Member of Congress, September 19, 1998




The 1982 MOU that exempted the reporting requirement for drug trafficking was no oversight or misstatement. A remarkable series of letters between the Attorney General and the Director of Central Intelligence show how conscious and deliberate this exemption was.

On February 11, 1982 Attorney General William French Smith wrote to Director of Central Intelligence William Casey that, "I have been advised that a question arose regarding the need to add narcotics violations to the list of reportable non-employee crimes ... o formal requirement regarding the reporting of narcotics violations has been included in these procedures."

On March 2, 1982 Casey responded happily, "I am pleased that these procedures, which I believe strike the proper balance between enforcement of the law and protection of intelligence sources and methods..."

Simply stated, the Attorney General consciously exempted reporting requirements for narcotics violations by CIA agents, assets, and contractors. And the Director of Central Intelligence was pleased because intelligence sources and methods involved in narcotics trafficking could be protected from law enforcement. The 1982 MOU agreement clearly violated the Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949. It also raised the possibility that certain individuals who testified in front of Congressional investigating committees perjured themselves.
....... Many questions remain unanswered. However, one thing is clear - the CIA and the Attorney General successfully engineered legal protection for the drug trafficking activities of any of its agents or assets. Maxine Waters, Member of Congress, September 19, 1998




http://www.scribd.com/doc/117070568/US-Congresswoman-Maxine-Waters-Investigation-of-CIA-Contras-involvement-in-drug-sales-1996-2000

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

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Kill the Messenger UK RELEASE DATE on November 14, 2014.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1216491/board/thread/223590625?p=2


USA RELEASE DATE OCT 10, 2014


--------------------------------------------
VIDEOS- Gary Webb- Kerry Committee- Iran CONTRA

Website established July, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Kerry Committee II Day 1: Manuel Noriega, the CIA, and Drug Trafficking (1988)
The subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Operations led by Senator John Kerry began hearings to assess international narcotics control programs for Panama. Witnesses included Robert M. Morgenthau (district attorney, New York County, NY), Paul Gorman (retired U.S. Army General), a pilot for Eastern Air Lines (witness to drug trafficking in Panama and Miami, FL), and a drug trafficker serving a 30-year sentence for drug-related offences.
http://thefilmarchived.blogspot.se/2010/08/kerry-committee-ii-day-1-manuel-noriega.html

Pete Brewton on the Mafia, CIA and George Bush (1992)
Former reporter for the Houston Chronicle, Pete Brewton told of one of the most momentous stories of the past 50 years and how it was suppressed by the establishment media and the U.S. Congress. Brewton's book The Mafia, CIA and George Bush shows the incredible complexity of the relationships in the operation of the destruction of hundreds of Savings and Loans at the hands of the CIA and the Mafia, stealing many billions of dollars in the process, and leaving the taxpayers to bailout the banks. Big names at the state and national levels of power were involved, including Lloyd Bentsen, the Bush family, and power brokers in Houston. People such as Kenneth Keating and Don Dixon, mentioned prominently in the press in connection with the S & L debacle, were merely front men or "cutouts" for the main movers. Keating and his ilk only took millions; the CIA and the Mafia looted billions.
http://thefilmarchived.blogspot.se/2010/08/pete-brewton-on-mafia-cia-and-george.html

CIA and Drugs: Cocaine Sales - Drug Trafficking Allegations (1996)
Members of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence heard testimony from two former Contra leaders (Adolfo Calero and Eden Pastora) about allegations that the CIA sold drugs in the U.S. to help finance covert operations against the Sandanista regime in Nicaragua. They denied any knowledge of the CIA either aiding or allowing drug sales to be used to fund the struggle against the Sandinista regime. Participants were questioned by Senator Arlen Specter and Rep. Maxine Waters was invited to participate in the questioning. At one point, the hearing was interrupted for several minutes while several members of the audience shouted accusations at the committee and the witnesses. Mr. Pastora's remarks were through an interpreter. The last segment of this hearing is missing audio on the original tape and is not included here.
http://thefilmarchived.blogspot.se/2010/08/cia-and-drugs-cocaine-sales-drug.html
Sunday, September 26, 2010
CIA Drug Trafficking: Town Hall with Director of Central Intelligence John M. Deutch (1996)
CIA Director Deutch spoke to central Los Angeles residents at a town hall meeting about allegations that the CIA sold drugs in Los Angeles in order to finance covert operations in Central America. Rep. Millender-McDonald, who represented California's 37th congressional district, sponsored the meeting. The director stated that he had seen no proof of such allegations but that he would continue to pursue the matter if more people brought new evidence to the investigation. Many of the questioners were very confrontational. The allegations were originally raised in the San Jose Mercury-News
http://thefilmarchived.blogspot.se/2010/09/cia-drug-trafficking-town-hall-with.html



Friday, August 6, 2010
CIA Drug Trafficking Allegations Involving the Sale of Cocaine in Los Angeles (1998)
House Committee Select Intelligence members heard testimony concerning allegations that the Central Intelligence Agency facilitated the introduction and spread of crack cocaine in U.S. urban areas in order to fund Contra activities in Nicaragua. Representative Millender-McDonald testified that the report by the CIA Inspector-General was incorrect and that the committee must pursue its own investigation of the matter to uncover those responsible for this activity. Inspector-General Hitz outlined his office's report, which found no evidence of any links between the CIA and drug traffickers in Central America.
http://thefilmarchived.blogspot.se/2010/08/cia-drug-trafficking-allegations.html

Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press - Lecture by Alexander Cockburn (1998)
Alexander Cockburn, co-author of Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press, gave this talk in 1998 regarding the CIA, the international illegal drug trade, and the media's treatment of this issue. The impetus for Whiteout came after journalist Gary Webb faced evisceration in the mainstream media for his series on the CIA and drugs originally published in the San Jose Mercury News. In this wide-ranging speech, Cockburn covers numerous topics including the CIA's involvement in drug smuggling, the Mafia, assassination, Nazis, mind control, and its role in U.S. foreign policy.
http://thefilmarchived.blogspot.se/2010/07/whiteout-cia-drugs-and-press-lecture-by.html

Gary Webb on Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion (1998)
Gary Webb is the author of Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion. He discussed his book, headline news and responded to audience telephone calls, faxes, and electronic mail. Topics included Bill Clinton, Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, the Monica Lewinsky scandal, the Contras, the crack cocaine epidemic, CIA blowback, CIA drug trafficking, and drug smuggling.
http://thefilmarchived.blogspot.se/2010/09/gary-webb-on-dark-alliance-cia-contras.html


Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Iran-Contra Hearings Day 1: Richard Secord Testimony (1987)
The proceedings began with opening statements from Senate and House committee members, including chairmen Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-IN). After two hours, testimony began with General Richard Secord, who testified voluntarily and without legal immunity. Secord described the network of private companies, known as the "Enterprise," that was used to sell arms to Iran and channel money and supplies to the Contras. Secord answered questions concerning the profits generated by the arms sales, the money that actually went to the contra supply effort, and money that remained in Swiss bank accounts.
http://thefilmarchived.blogspot.se/2010/08/iran-contra-hearings-day-1-richard.html
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKsecordR.htm


Iran-Contra Hearings Day 3: Richard Secord Testimony (1987)
Richard Secord was questioned on the profit-making aspects of the Contra supply operation. Secord maintained that he had no direct financial interest or motive.
http://thefilmarchived.blogspot.se/2010/10/iran-contra-hearings-day-3-richard.html





Iran-Contra Hearings Day 7: Robert McFarlane Testimony (1987)
Robert McFarlane was questioned about President Reagan's knowledge of Oliver North's activities. McFarlane testified that North seemed to be in regular contact with CIA director Casey concerning contra support strategy. McFarlane answered questions from committee members on topics including the Boland amendment.
http://thefilmarchived.blogspot.se/2010/12/iran-contra-hearings-day-7-robert.html

Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Iran-Contra Hearings Day 12: Felix Rodriguez Testimony (1987)
Felix Rodriguez worked with the Contra supply network that worked out of El Salvador. He testified that he became disillusioned with the Contra supply operation and expressed his dissatisfaction in meetings with members of Vice President Bush's staff. Rodriguez also testified that, during a meeting with Oliver North, North said that Congress wanted to get him but "they can't touch me because the old man loves my ass."
http://thefilmarchived.blogspot.se/2010/10/iran-contra-hearings-day-12-felix.html

Iran-Contra Hearings Day 18: Fawn Hall Testimony (1987)
Oliver North's secretary at the National Security Council testified concerning documents she changed, destroyed, or removed at North's request.
http://thefilmarchived.blogspot.se/2010/09/iran-contra-hearings-day-18-fawn-hall.html

Ronald Reagan Testimony at the Iran-Contra Affair / Poindexter Trial (1990)
President Reagan testified in the trial of John Poindexter on charges related to the Iran-Contra scandal.
http://thefilmarchived.blogspot.se/2010/10/ronald-reagan-testimony-at-iran-contra.html









OFF -TOPIC


MISC VIDEO (This site has great classic, hard to find movies)

United States Senate Watergate Hearings (1973)
http://thefilmarchived.blogspot.se/2010/09/united-states-senate-watergate-hearings.html

Secret Wars of the CIA: John Stockwell Lecture (1989)
John Stockwell talked about the inner workings of the CIA. Topics included CIA destabilizing governments in Angola and other countries and setting up drug cartels as part of covert operations in certain countries. After his presentation he responded to audience members' questions.
http://thefilmarchived.blogspot.se/2010/09/secret-wars-of-cia-john-stockwell.html

Monday, September 6, 2010
The Secret War in Laos (1970)
This film is a CBS exploration of the history of the "secret" war in Laos, the Central Intelligence Agency's involvement in the war, and U.S foreign policy toward the country.
http://thefilmarchived.blogspot.se/2010/09/secret-war-in-laos-1970.html

Alexander Cockburn on Journalism in the United States and How Americans Receive World News (1987)
Alexander Cockburn, a correspondent for The Nation, was interviewed to talk about his book Corruptions of Empire. The book is part biography and part a collection of Mr. Cockburn's writing. Mr. Cockburn was viewed as a radical journalist at the time and a self-proclaimed "socialist."
http://thefilmarchived.blogspot.se/2010/12/alexander-cockburn-on-journalism-in.html

Alexander Cockburn and Steve Forbes on Events in the News (1992)
Steve Forbes and Alexander Cockburn discussed the presidential election and the Republican National Convention. They also discussed their own political beliefs and opinions on the presidential candidates and responded to viewer telephone calls.
http://thefilmarchived.blogspot.se/2010/12/alexander-cockburn-and-steve-forbes-on.html

Reefer Madness (1938)
Considered the archetypal sensationalized anti-drug movie, but it's really an exploitation film made to capitalize on the hot taboo subject of marijuana use. Like many exploitation films of the time, Reefer Madness tried to make a quick buck off of a forbidden subject while skirting the Motion Picture Production Code of 1930. The Code forbade the portrayal of immoral acts like drug use. ("The illegal drug traffic must not be portrayed in such a way as to stimulate curiosity concerning the use of, or traffic in, such drugs; nor shall scenes be approved which show the use of illegal drugs, or their effects, in detail.")

The film toured around the country for many years - often being re-edited and re-titled (Tell Your Children, Dope Addict, Doped Youth, Love Madness, The Burning Question). It was re-discovered in the early 1970s by NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and screened again as an example of the government's demonization of marijuana. NORML may have been confused about the film's sponsorship since one of the film's distributors, Dwain Esper, testified to the Arizona Supreme Court that Reefer Madness was not a trashy exploitation film but was actually sponsored by the U.S. government - a convincing lie, but a lie nonetheless.

That being said, the film is still quite enjoyable since it dramatizes the "violent narcotic's ... soul destroying" effects on unwary teens, and their hedonistic exploits enroute to the bottom.
http://thefilmarchived.blogspot.se/2010/11/reefer-madness-1938.html


The Roswell Interviews: Glenn Dennis, Mortician, Roswell Army Air Field (1990)
This video recording contains an interview with mortician W. Glenn Davis, alleged firsthand witness to events at Roswell Army Air Force Hospital concerning recovered alien bodies.
http://thefilmarchived.blogspot.se/2010/10/roswell-interviews-glenn-dennis.html


Nazi Concentration Camp Footage (1945)
U.S. Army film directed by George Stevens. As the Allies reached Germany, General Eisenhower ordered George Stevens to film the concentration camps. The camps were filmed and survivors were interviewed. This film was used as evidence at the Nuremberg Trials.
http://thefilmarchived.blogspot.se/2010/10/nazi-concentration-camp-footage-1945.html



http://thefilmarchived.blogspot.se/2011/07/vietnam-war-raw-footage-arvn-airborne.html

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

0
hannah

Registered:
Posts: 797
Reply with quote  #34 
4/1/2014 Writer/Producer Peter Landesman Drops a Line

Peter Landesman Drops a Line

by
princessleia223
» 1 day ago (Mon Mar 31 2014 18:36:38) Flag ▼ | Reply |
IMDb member since March 2007

- Away from Parkland, you have penned the screenplay for Kill The Messenger. Can you tell me a little about that project?

Great film. It really is one of the great stories of our time. It is also a very personal one to me because it is about an investigative journalist, as I was, who inadvertently stumbled upon the CIA’s massive complictety in cocaine trafficking into the United States in the eighties, to support the war in Nicaragua. It was a terrible story because the cocaine that arrived in the United States inadvertently helped trigger the crack epidemic.

This reporter, who is working for a small paper, found this monster story, uncovers it, and writes it. At first, he is elevated and then destroyed: destroyed to the point where he killed himself because his life had been completely decimated for it. It is a story that resonates to me, because investigative journalism is an endangered species today.

Jeremy Renner plays the role of Gary Webb. It will be coming out in the Fall with Focus, and it will be interesting to see if it resonates with people, and if people care. It is just a terrific story in general.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1216491/board/thread/227821762?d=227821762#227821762

__________________________________________________________



First Look: Jeremy Renner Blows the Whistle on a Sprawling Conspiracy in 'Kill The Messenger'

5 March 2014 1:30 PM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Focus Features has set a release date for "Homeland" executive producer and director Michael Cuesta's upcoming conspiracy thriller "Kill The Messenger," starring Jeremy Renner. Based on the true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb, the film will hit select cities on October 10 before expanding on October 17, and again on the 24th. In the mid-1990s, Webb stumbled upon a massive coverup involving the CIA, which was allegedly using profits from the international drug trade to arm rebel fighters in Nicaragua. Webb kept digging the hole, ultimately unearthing a conspiracy that could only be described as "sprawling" -- a word on all our minds after last Sunday's conspiracy-loaded "True Detective." In "Kill The Messenger," directed by Cuesta from a screenplay by Peter Landesman, Renner stars as Webb, who was a San Jose Mercury-News scribe, opposite Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Michael Sheen, Robert Patrick, Michael K. Williams and Ray Liotta. It's a juicy cast, »

- Ryan Lattanzio

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1216491/news?ref_=tt_nwr_1#ni56891456


---------------------------







Nathan Johnson Scoring ‘Kill the Messenger’
Posted: March 31, 2014 by film music reporter in Film Scoring Assignments
Tags: Kill the Messenger, Michael Cuesta, Nathan Johnson
http://filmmusicreporter.com/2014/03/31/nathan-johnson-scoring-kill-th e-messenger/

kill-the-messengerNathan Johnson is composing the score for the upcoming dramatic thriller Kill the Messenger. The film is directed by Michael Cuesta (Homeland, 12 and Holding) and stars Jeremy Renner as Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb. Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rosemarie DeWitt, Andy Garcia, Oliver Platt, Michael Sheen, Paz Vega, Josh Close, Lucas Hedges, Tim Blake Nelson, Robert Patrick, Barry Pepper and Michael Kenneth Wiliams are co-starring. The movie follows Webb as he stumbles onto a story which leads to allegations that the CIA was aware of major dealers who were smuggling cocaine into the U.S. and using the profits to arm rebels fighting in Nicaragua. Peter Landesman (Parkland) has written the screenplay. Scott Stuber (Ted, Safe House, Role Models) is producing the Bluegrass Films production with Renner and Naomi Despres. Kill the Messenger is set to be releasd on October 10, 2014 by Focus Features.

Johnson is best known for his music for Rian Johnson’s Looper, Brick and The Brothers Bloom. He also scored last year’s Don Jon directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as well as Jake Paltrow’s Young Ones starring Michael Shannon, Elle Fanning & Nicholas Hoult, which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and is currently awaiting a release date.

__________________
Test your connection for leaks:
http://ip-check.info/?lang=en

Use TAILS
https://tails.boum.org/

How to boot from USB and other great stuff:
http://www.rmprepusb.com/

Open pdf and word files online instead of on your puter'
http://view.samurajdata.se/

USE the net more securely:
https://pressfreedomfoundation.org/blog/2014/04/help-support-little-known-privacy-tool-has-been-critical-journalists-reporting-nsa
https://www.torproject.org/download/download

http://www.theintelligencenews.com/


"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
0
maynard

Registered:
Posts: 1,194
Reply with quote  #35 
KILL THE MESSENGER MOVIE POSTER RELEASED MAY 28, 2014


HI-RES IMAGE
http://www.comingsoon.net/imageGallery/Kill_the_Messenger/large/hr_Kill_the_Messenger_3.jpg

The Poster for Kill the Messenger, Starring Jeremy Renner
Source: Focus Features
May 28, 2014

Focus Features has released the poster for director Michael Cuesta's thriller, Kill the Messenger, starring Jeremy Renner, Rosemarie DeWitt, Ray Liotta, Tim Blake Nelson, Barry Pepper, Oliver Platt, Michael Sheen, Paz Vega, Michael Kenneth Williams, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Andy Garcia. Check it out below and stay tuned for the trailer tomorrow.

The October 10 release is based on the remarkable true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb. Webb stumbles onto a story which leads to allegations that the CIA was aware of major dealers who were smuggling cocaine into the U.S., and using the profits to arm rebels fighting in Nicaragua. Webb keeps digging to uncover a conspiracy with explosive implications – and draws the kind of attention that threatens not just his career, but his family and his life.


http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=118813




ON IMDB
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm424464128/tt1216491?ref_=ttmd_md_fs

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

0
maynard

Registered:
Posts: 1,194
Reply with quote  #36 
5/29/2014 -- KTM MOVIE TRAILER ON YOUTUBE



KTM OCTOBER 10, 2014 release date (AMC THEATERS ANOUNCEMENT)


Kill The Messenger
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1216491/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kill_the_Messenger_%282014_film%29
http://www.killthemessengerthefilm.com

by Jeremy Renner
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Renner
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0719637/


KILL THE MESSENGER ON FACEBOOK
http://www.facebook.com/KillTheMessengerMovie


Trailer For ‘Kill the Messenger’ With Jeremy Renner, Ray Liotta, and More
Written by Leonard Pearce, on May 29, 2014 at 1:15 pm
Share178 Tweet110 0 Reddit0 Tumblr2 Email2

kill_the_messenger_header_1

After directing such television as Dexter, Six Feet Under and, most recently, Homeland, helmer Michael Cuesta (L.I.E.) is back with a new drama and today we have the first trailer. Led by Jeremy Renner, Kill the Messenger follows the true story of a journalist, Gary Webb, who, in 1996, asserted the C.I.A was involved in crack cocaine importation to California.

Sadly, (and spoilers, we suppose) he then went on to commit suicide in 2004 after a smear campaign by the CIA ruined his professional career. This first trailer hints at those darker elements towards the end, but mostly showcases an entertaining drama with a strong central performance. Check out the trailer and poster below for the film starring Rosemarie DeWitt, Ray Liotta, Tim Blake Nelson, Barry Pepper, Oliver Platt, Michael Sheen, Paz Vega, Michael Kenneth Williams, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Andy Garcia.

You need to have the Adobe Flash Player to view this content.
Please click here to continue.


kill_the_messenger_poster

Two-time Academy Award nominee Jeremy Renner (“The Bourne Legacy”) leads an all-star cast in a dramatic thriller based on the remarkable true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb. Webb stumbles onto a story which leads to the shady origins of the men who started the crack epidemic on the nation’s streets…and further alleges that the CIA was aware of major dealers who were smuggling cocaine into the U.S., and using the profits to arm rebels fighting in Nicaragua. Despite warnings from drug kingpins and CIA operatives to stop his investigation, Webb keeps digging to uncover a conspiracy with explosive implications. His journey takes him from the prisons of California to the villages of Nicaragua to the highest corridors of power in Washington, D.C. – and draws the kind of attention that threatens not just his career, but his family and his life.

Kill the Messenger opens on October 10th, 2014.
http://thefilmstage.com/trailer/trailer-for-kill-the-messenger-with-jeremy-renner-ray-liotta-and-more/



------------------------

Watch Jeremy Renner, Michael K. Williams in ‘Kill The Messenger’ trailer
0 comments

Posted by wilsonmorales on May 29, 2014 | 0 comments

Watch Jeremy Renner, Michael K. Williams in ‘Kill The Messenger’ trailer
Posted by Wilson Morales

May 29, 2014

Kill the Messenger posterFocus Features has released the trailer to upcoming film, ‘Kill The Messenger,’ which opens in theaters on October 10, 2014.

Two-time Academy Award nominee Jeremy Renner (“The Bourne Legacy”) leads an all-star cast in a dramatic thriller based on the remarkable true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb.

Directed by Michael Cuesta (“Homeland”), the cast includes Jeremy Renner, Rosemarie DeWitt, Ray Liotta, Tim Blake Nelson, Barry Pepper, Oliver Platt, Michael Sheen, Paz Vega, Michael Kenneth Williams, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Andy Garcia.

Webb stumbles onto a story which leads to the shady origins of the men who started the crack epidemic on the nation’s streets…and further alleges that the CIA was aware of major dealers who were smuggling cocaine into the U.S., and using the profits to arm rebels fighting in Nicaragua. Despite warnings from drug kingpins and CIA operatives to stop his investigation, Webb keeps digging to uncover a conspiracy with explosive implications. His journey takes him from the prisons of California to the villages of Nicaragua to the highest corridors of power in Washington, D.C. – and draws the kind of attention that threatens not just his career, but his family and his life.

Kill the Messenger 2

Kill the Messenger 1



http://www.blackfilm.com/read/2014/05/watch-jeremy-renner-michael-k-williams-in-kill-the-messenger-trailer/






MOTHER JONES COVERAGE of "A TAINTED DEAL"
https://web.archive.org/web/20050420101319/http://www.motherjones.com/commentary/columns/1998/06/cia.html
https://web.archive.org/web/20050405214411/http://www.motherjones.com/news/special_reports/total_coverage/coke.html




__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

0
maynard

Registered:
Posts: 1,194
Reply with quote  #37 
KILL THE MESSENGER FILM IS NOW ON FACEBOOK - PLEASE DISTRIBUTE
http://www.facebook.com/KillTheMessengerMovie


OFFICIAL KILL THE MESSENGER MOVIE SITE

http://www.killthemessengerthefilm.com

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

0
maynard

Registered:
Posts: 1,194
Reply with quote  #38 
6/4/14 OFFICIAL KILL THE MESSENGER MOVIE SITE - please distribute

http://www.killthemessengerthefilm.com

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

0
maynard

Registered:
Posts: 1,194
Reply with quote  #39 
Awards Circuit Updated Oscar Predictions
by
LeLea232
» 5 days ago (Tue Jun 17 2014 11:39:09) Flag ▼ | Reply |
Clayton Davis @ Awards Circuit just locked his official early predictions for the Oscars at the beginning of the month (not long after the trailer release) and gave a huge boost for Renner's chances (up 16 slots at least!) and good odds for KTM Best Picture & even better odds for Adapted Screenplay. Considering Davis is a major player in awards predictions, I'm stoked to see that KTM has elicited this much buzz already!

http://www.awardscircuit.com/oscar-predictions/2014-oscar-predictions-%20best-motion-picture/

http://www.awardscircuit.com/oscar-predictions/2014-oscar-predictions-best-actor/

http://www.awardscircuit.com/oscar-predictions/2014-oscar-predictions-best-adapted-screenplay/

In addition, Clayton placed DeWitt as In Contention for Best Supporting Actress, and not too far off from the top 20 [biggrin]

http://www.awardscircuit.com/oscar-predictions/2014-oscar-predictions-best-supporting-actress/

I would like it to be October, please.

________________________--



off topic-- for those of you who have doubts about what our government is capable of:


9 Huge Government Conspiracies That Actually Happened

Christina Sterbenz Dec. 23, 2013, 3:01 PM

http://www.businessinsider.com/true-government-conspiracies-2013-12




-----------


This is the big one

Members of the Kennedy assassination review committee said that some documents were mistakenly declassified and handed over to the committee members. The members read them and gave copies to (NSA Expert) author JAMES BAMFORD who made them public.

http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/20010430/northwoods.pdf
http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/20010430/


The Joint chiefs of staff considered bombing their own ships and planes and blaming CUBA

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Northwoods


--------------------

"Americans don't understand that terrorists cannot take away habeas corpus, the Bill of Rights, or the Constitution. Terrorists are not anything like the threat that we face to the Bill of Rights and the Constitution from our own government in the name of fighting terrorism."
Paul Craig Roberts







__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

0
maynard

Registered:
Posts: 1,194
Reply with quote  #40 
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/ruth-jacobs/the-story-of-a-reformed-d_b_5509487.html


The Story of a Reformed Drug Kingpin - 'Freeway Rick Ross: The Untold Autobiography'
Posted: 19/06/2014 11:09
Cathy Scott, Drug Kingpin, Freeway Rick Ross, Freeway Rick Ross: The Untold Autobiography, Iran-Contra Scandal, Iran–Contra Affair, Los Angeles, South Central LA, Autobiography, Bestselling Author, Books, CIA, Cocaine, Crack Cocaine, Drug Dealer, Drug Dealing, Drug Trafficker, Drug Trafficking, True Crime, Writer, UK Entertainment News


The eagerly awaited autobiography of 'Freeway' Rick Ross has just been released. A notorious drug kingpin reigning over Los Angeles, California and operating across numerous other states, Rick was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1996. But following the discovery his drug source was linked to the CIA and he had been used as a pawn in the Iran-Contra scandal, he received a reduced sentence.

Rick's co-writer on his autobiography is bestselling true crime writer Cathy Scott, who is the author of The Killing of Tupac Shakur and The Murder of Biggie Smalls among many other books.

Here Rick and Cathy share the lowdown on Freeway Rick Ross: The Untold Autobiography.

2014-06-18-FreewayRickRossHuffPost.jpg

Rick, can you tell us about your background, how you got involved in the criminal world, and what led you to leave that life behind?

I was a high-school tennis player and planned to become the next Arthur Ashe. But once it was discovered that I could not read or write, my dream of becoming a sports star was over. I knew my tennis career was no longer a reality. I found myself pretty much lost, not knowing what my next move would be. I started hanging out with car thieves. That was one of the activities guys in my neighbourhood were doing to make money. After a run-in with the law, I turned to drug dealing. I learned sales techniques from the car business by stealing cars and selling parts. I found that I had a knack for selling things.

I quit selling drugs a year and a month before I got arrested in a sting operation where I was the go-between for a homie who was buying cocaine. I had started to feel the hypocriticalness in myself. I didn't want anybody to sell drugs to my mother or my brother or my sister. When I first started selling, it was a Hollywood drug, a party drug, a fun drug. The negative impact didn't happen right away. In later years, I started seeing the destructive effect it had on people. It's not like the commercials, where you go and smoke some rock and your brain fries. It took time before the drug started to show negative effects. It took years. Take a guy who had a great job. He would go to work every day. Then he started using $20 worth of cocaine a week, then $50, $100, and then $200. He quit his job and went to work on the street as a dealer to make money to support his drug habit. That didn't happen overnight. It was a gradual process. When I started to see more and more instances of that, of the negative effects, I wanted out of the game. I worked out a plan to go legit and leave the drug life behind. This was before I learned that my drug source was actually an undercover operative for the DEA who sold drugs to finance the Nicaraguan rebels in the CIA's Iran-Contra affair.

2014-06-18-CathyScottHuffPost.jpg

Cathy, the true crime books you've written before about Susan Berman, Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls you've worked on alone. How was the experience co-writing with Rick, and what was the process of working on the book together?

It was seamless working with Rick. I spent time with him in South Central L.A. I had gone there as a newspaper reporter in the immediate aftermath of the Rodney King Riots in the early '90s, so it was very de ja vu for me to be back on Normandy Avenue. We went to Rick's cousin's house on that street. Rick drove me to the house next to the freeway where he spent a good part of his childhood and teenage years and where his drug dealing began. I interviewed Rick, along with his mother, brother, cousins and friends. I talked to him daily -- sometimes two and three times a day -- to help fill in the details of the story of his life as the book developed. What I discovered about Rick is that he never has a bad day. He's a positive guy, and it's infectious. I understand now how he was able to keep a positive outlook all those years he was in prison, even though initially he had a life sentence with no possibility of parole. He set out to teach himself how to read and write so he could help turn his criminal case around. For Rick, the glass is always half full, not half empty.

Rick, what made you want to tell your life story and is there a message you'd like readers to take away with them?

There have been so many lies told about the drug business. People weren't given the proper information to help them determine a logical conclusion. So, my plan was to give people all the facts and they could analyse them and come up with their own conclusion. If you have the facts, then you can come up with the answers. If you're dealing with lies and half-truths, then you can't make logical choices and your solutions won't be correct. I wanted to correct the misinformation that's out there about my role, to go on the record with how it really went down.

As for my message, part of it is this: We are all human, we all make mistakes, and everybody deserves a second chance.

Freeway Rick Ross CoverCathy, for potential readers, can you share some of what they can expect to find in the book?

Readers are in for a front-row seat and a behind-the-scenes look at life in the ghetto at the height of drug activity in South Central, which includes Watts and Compton. It includes the day-to-day goings on, from morning 'til night, of a drug kingpin who set out to make a living when he felt there was no other avenue available to an illiterate, poor black kid from the ghetto. To his own surprise, it was more lucrative than he ever expected. The book takes you to the money-counting rooms and back rooms where deals were made. It also includes police car chases and a gun battle. Despite a Freeway Rick Task Force active for several years with the sole intent to catch Rick Ross, he dodged the police for years. It'll surprise readers how it was done. The book also includes capers you can't make up. It's an honest, no-holds barred glimpse into life on the streets. Readers will also learn dramatic events that kept Rick out of the gangs, even though he was surrounded by them and attempts were made to recruit him. But life-changing events occurred that will shock readers and at the same time help them understand where Freeway Rick Ross came from and how and why he went into the drug life.

Rick, you're doing some amazing work giving back to the community in South Central Los Angeles now. Can you tell us what inspired you to do that and what it involves?

After I read Malcolm X's memoir and I saw that our backgrounds and lives were similar, I figured if he could change and make an impact, then I could change too and to make an even bigger impact. I look at Malcolm X as a mentor. He was in prison when he learned to read. He took what he learned in prison, got out and used it to help other people. I found myself doing the same thing. When I talk to kids, I don't really tell anybody, 'Don't go out and sell drugs, don't use drugs, don't get involved in drugs.' The way I look at it is if they have all the information they need to make good decisions, then they'll make the right decision. I tell them, 'If you're going to sell drugs, be prepared to go to prison or possibly get killed. When you go to prison, your girlfriend and your friends will no longer be there for you. You will be alone. People end up with 30 years and life sentences for drug offenses. I tell them, 'Keep in mind that that may be the future for you, that you might kill somebody or they'll kill you.' Students have overwhelmingly accepted my message. I go out and speak to these kids because I want to, because it's beneficial for us to teach our kids how to be critical thinkers. That way, if there's a problem they have to solve, they can sit down, think about it and figure it out. I talk to them about making informed decisions.

Freeway Rick Ross - The Untold Autobiography can be ordered in person from any bookstore and is available on Amazon UK and Amazon US.


Follow Ruth Jacobs on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/RuthFJacobs

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

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(1986-2010) 100:1 sentencing disparity for blacks arrested on crack charges

To fully understand the implications of this movie-- after basically flooding the streets with drugs, the feds then increased prison sentences for the mostly black crack users and sellers (80% of those arrested for crack) to a 100:1 ratio.

--meaning a black user with 5 grams (a small rock) got a 5 year sentence
--a white person possessing 500 grams (over a pound) would get a 5 year sentence.


An entire generation of black people were imprisoned by the new law. People died and had their health damaged by the CONTRA Drugs




https://secure.huffingtonpost.com/tag/crack-cocaine-sentencing/

---------------------------

A rush to judgment

In 1986, lawmakers wrote new mandatory crack cocaine penalties in a few short days, using the advice of a perjurer.
March 23, 2014 12:00AM E

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/3/23/a-rush-to-judgment.html


------------------------

Congress narrows disparity between sentences for crack vs. powder cocaine convictions

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/07/28/congress-moves-narrow-disparity-crack-powder-cocaine-sentences/

Crack-Powder Sentencing Disparity: Whites Get Probation, Blacks Get A Decade Behind Bars
https://secure.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/02/crack-powder-sentencing-d_n_667317.html

http://jurist.org/paperchase/2011/06/ussc-unanimously-approves-retroactive-application-of-reduced-crack-sentencing-law.php


-------------read more here


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Sentencing_Act






---------------------

Evan Wright Interview- CIA, CONTRAS, DRUGS How the number 3 man at the CIA RIC PRADO worked as a hitman for cartels





__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

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9/9/2014 New UPDATED Versions of Gary Webb's DARK ALLIANCE book and Nick Schou's Kill The Messenger book will be available from Amazon in preparation for the October 10, 2014 release of the KILL THE MESSENGER Movie.




Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Cocaine Explosion Paperback – September 16, 2014
by Gary Webb (Author), Maxine Waters (Foreword)

http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Alliance-Contras-Cocaine-Explosion/dp/1609806212/



Paperback
$17.21

Major Motion Picture based on Dark Alliance and starring Jeremy Renner, "Kill the Messenger," to be be released in Fall 2014

In August 1996, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb stunned the world with a series of articles in the San Jose Mercury News reporting the results of his year-long investigation into the roots of the crack cocaine epidemic in America, specifically in Los Angeles. The series, titled “Dark Alliance,” revealed that for the better part of a decade, a Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to Los Angeles street gangs and funneled millions in drug profits to the CIA-backed Nicaraguan Contras.

Gary Webb pushed his investigation even further in his book, Dark Alliance: The CIA, The Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion. Drawing from then newly declassified documents, undercover DEA audio and videotapes that had never been publicly released, federal court testimony, and interviews, Webb demonstrates how our government knowingly allowed massive amounts of drugs and money to change hands at the expense of our communities.

Webb’s own stranger-than-fiction experience is also woven into the book. His excoriation by the media—not because of any wrongdoing on his part, but by an insidious process of innuendo and suggestion that in effect blamed Webb for the implications of the story—had been all but predicted. Webb was warned off doing a CIA expose by a former Associated Press journalist who lost his job when, years before, he had stumbled onto the germ of the “Dark Alliance” story. And though Internal investigations by both the CIA and the Justice Department eventually vindicated Webb, he had by then been pushed out of the Mercury News and gone to work for the California State Legislature Task Force on Government Oversight. He died in 2004.

Product Details

Paperback: 592 pages
Publisher: Seven Stories Press (September 16, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1609806212
ISBN-13: 978-1609806217

=================================================




=============================




Kill the Messenger (Movie Tie-In Edition): How the CIA's Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb Paperback – September 9, 2014
by Nick Schou (Author)

http://www.amazon.com/Kill-Messenger-Movie-Tie-In-Edition/dp/1568584717/

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Jeremy Renner

Kill the Messenger tells the story of the tragic death of Gary Webb, the controversial newspaper reporter who committed suicide in December 2004. Webb is the former San Jose Mercury News reporter whose 1996 "Dark Alliance" series on the so-called CIA-crack cocaine connection created a firestorm of controversy and led to his resignation from the paper amid escalating attacks on his work by the mainstream media. Author and investigative journalist Nick Schou published numerous articles on the controversy and was the only reporter to significantly advance Webb's stories.

Drawing on exhaustive research and highly personal interviews with Webb's family, colleagues, supporters and critics, this book argues convincingly that Webb's editors betrayed him, despite mounting evidence that his stories were correct. Kill the Messenger examines the "Dark Alliance" controversy, what it says about the current state of journalism in America, and how it led Webb to ultimately take his own life.

Webb's widow, Sue Bell Stokes, remains an ardent defender of her ex-husband. By combining her story with a probing examination of the one of the most important media scandals in recent memory, this book provides a gripping view of one of the greatest tragedies in the annals of investigative journalism

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Nation Books; Revised Edition edition (September 9, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1568584717
ISBN-13: 978-1568584713

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

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Reply with quote  #43 

http://narcosphere.narconews.com/notebook/al-giordano/2014/09/narco-news-needs-your-help-exciting-moment


Narco News Needs Your Help at this Exciting Moment
Posted by Al Giordano - September 16, 2014 at 1:49 pm

September 16, 2014

Please Distribute Widely

In Memoriam: Gary Webb (1955-2004)



Dear Colleague,

For more than fourteen years “the little online newspaper that could” has done great reporting and analysis that can’t be found anywhere else. We investigate and break important stories. We produce videos that “go viral.” And we’ve trained hundreds of talented people to do this work. If you’re receiving this message it’s because you already know that. So I’ll get right to the point.

Narco News is in a severe “cash crunch” right now. We do not have the minimal resources we need to get us through this next month and do the job we have to do. I’ll tell you exciting news about what is ahead in a moment but I know your time is valuable so here, up top, is the link to how you can make a donation to the Fund for Authentic Journalism right now online:

http://www.authenticjournalism.org

Or you can send a check to:

The Fund for Authentic Journalism

PO Box 1446

Easthampton, MA 01027

The first and biggest thing that is about to happen – and it’s a game changer for authentic journalism – is that on October 10 a Hollywood movie hits the cinemas about the late Narco News editor and School of Authentic Journalism professor Gary Webb. It’s called “Kill the Messenger.” Jeremy Renner portrays Gary and his 1996 reporting of the Dark Alliance story that documented cocaine trafficking by the CIA and touched off an international firestorm.

Last week, on Narco News, we retold that story and set up vital context for the movie’s release. If you missed that story, here is the link.

With your immediate help, we will be able to send our senior investigative reporter, Bill Conroy, to Northern California to interview the people who were closest to Gary and tell their story of his life and death.

The movie names names and takes aim at the three big daily newspapers that led the character assassination campaign against Gary for having reported that series: the LA Times, the Washington Post and the New York Times. They hounded a good man to his grave. Gary’s own newspaper, the San Jose Mercury News, cowardly censored his Dark Alliance series from the Internet. One of Gary’s final requests was that Narco News publish it and make it live again, and upon his death, with his family’s permission, we did so. It appears at this link:

http://www.narconews.com/darkalliance

In the coming weeks, Narco News TV will release eight short videos of Gary Webb in his own words, from the 2003 School of Authentic Journalism. If you help us today, we will be able to promote them with advertising on Facebook and other social media before and after the movie comes out. Gary deserves to be widely heard in his own voice. You can make that possible.

As you know, at Narco News we live close to the land and keep a very low overhead so we don’t have to ask you for money constantly. We’d much rather be doing the work of reporting.

If you and others like you all chip in what you can at this historic moment, you can also make it possible for me to go to New York City for the premier of the movie, and from the media capital of the world, make the maximum possible noise to bring attention to Gary’s real life message. For those of you who will be in the New York area on Thursday, October 9, and who give a donation this week, I invite you to join me – and other School of Authentic Journalism graduates - at the midnight premier of Kill the Messenger. Once you’ve donated, send me an email at narconews@gmail.com and prior to that date I’ll contact you with the details so we can meet up for a drink and a chat before the premier and do it together as a group.

Obviously, that can only happen if enough of you respond to this message. But if we’re one thing in this newsroom, we are optimists! You’ve never let us down before and every day we remind ourselves that, in turn, we can’t ever let you down either.

Even if you, like us at this moment, don’t have the resources to make a donation, there is another important way you can participate. In the coming weeks we will make available a leaflet to be distributed at the cinemas where “Kill the Messenger” will screen, informing moviegoers of where they can read Gary Webb’s Dark Alliance series online. It will be a national (and international) grassroots organizing campaign in memory of our fallen friend and colleague. It will likely also include creative actions at the gates of the big media companies that so viciously attacked Gary and his journalism, which the movie – like the facts themselves – vindicates. Stay tuned for more details on how you can be part of it.

During these weeks we’ll also continue our regular work: Bill Conroy’s investigative reports about the drug war, a new Narco News TV video that gives migrants the last laugh (Greg Berger was able to raise the minimal resources for that through a Kickstarter campaign last month), and you may have also noticed that I am reporting anew on US politics and specifically looking ahead to the 2016 presidential elections, as well as continuing the writing of the oral history of the No Nukes movement from 1973-1982.

Once we “stop the bleeding” on our current financial crisis, we’ll organize a Kickstarter campaign to fund the next School of Authentic Journalism. But first things first, we have this huge month ahead, and need your help and participation to seize the unique moment it will create.

Once again, you can make your contribution (which is tax-deductible) online via this link:

http://www.authenticjournalism.org

Or you can send a check:

The Fund for Authentic Journalism

PO Box 1446

Easthampton, MA 01027

Thank you, again and in advance, for your support and participation. These are exciting times. Let’s all live up to them!

From somewhere in a country called América,



Al Giordano

Publisher, Narco News

narconews@gmail.com

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

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Reply with quote  #44 
KILL THE MESSENGER Director Michael Cuesta Interview



http://www.kqed.org/a/forum/R201409171000

New Film Recounts Controversial Reporting on CIA, Crack Cocaine

Wed, Sep 17, 2014 -- 10:00 AM
Listen

Download audio (MP3)

Chuck Zlotnick/Focus Features
Reporter Gary Webb, played by Jeremy Renner (L) visits the jailed Ricky Ross, played by Michael Kenneth Williams in a scene from "Kill the Messenger."

The upcoming feature film "Kill the Messenger" tells the story of Gary Webb, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for the San Jose Mercury News. In 1996, Webb published a series of articles that later became part of the book "Dark Alliance," which investigated the alleged link between the CIA, the Contras in Nicaragua and the crack-cocaine epidemic in South Los Angeles. Film director Michael Cuesta joins us to discuss the film, the controversy over Webb's reporting which ended his career, and Gary Webb's 2004 suicide.

Host: Michael Krasny

Guests:

Michael Cuesta, director of "Kill the Messenger" and executive producer of Showtime's "Homeland"

More info:

About the film "Kill the Messenger" (official website)
http://www.focusfeatures.com/kill_the_messenger/overview
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kill_the_Messenger_%282014_film%29




Download the 23.8 MB MP3 file of the interview here:

http://www.kqed.org/.stream/anon/radio/forum/2014/09/20140917bforum.mp3

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

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Reply with quote  #45 
Gary Webb's Official Facebook Page is here, It is maintained by the Webb family. Please stop by and leave messages here:
https://www.facebook.com/garywebbdarkalliance

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

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9/19/2014 MoJones Article--FOIA Lawsuit Reveals CIA Used Friendly Journalists to Crush Dark Alliance Story
CIA Admission: "a ground base of already productive relations with journalists" helped "prevent this story from becoming an unmitigated disaster."



READ HERE:

10 Fascinating Articles From the CIA's Secret Employee Magazine

—By Dave Gilson, Michael Mechanic, Alex Park, and AJ Vicens
| Fri Sep. 19, 2014

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/09/10-declassified-articles-cia-intelligence-journal


In 2007, Jeffrey Scudder, a veteran information technology specialist at the Central Intelligence Agency, came across the archives of the agency's in-house magazine, Studies in Intelligence. The catch: They were classified. So Scudder filed a Freedom of Information Act request. And then things got messy. "I submitted a FOIA and it basically destroyed my entire career," he told the Washington Post.

As a profile of Scudder in the Post explains:

He was confronted by supervisors and accused of mishandling classified information while assembling his FOIA request. His house was raided by the FBI and his family's computers seized. Stripped of his job and his security clearance, Scudder said he agreed to retire last year after being told that if he refused, he risked losing much of his pension.

Now, in response to a lawsuit filed by Scudder, the CIA has declassified and released some of the hundreds of journal articles he's requested. Nearly 250 of them have been posted on the CIA's website. Published over four decades, they offer a fascinating peek at the history of US intelligence as well as the corporate culture of "the Company."

Here are 10 that grabbed our attention:




8. "Managing a Nightmare: CIA Public Affairs and the Drug Conspiracy Story ": This undated release, apparently from the late '90s, takes on the PR disaster spawned by San Jose Mercury-News reporter Gary Webb, who had accused the CIA of importing drugs into the United States in the '80s. Webb's claims were "alarming," and the agency was particularly stung by the allegation that it had worked to destroy the black community with illegal drugs. Fortunately, the Studies in Intelligence article explains, "a ground base of already productive relations with journalists" helped "prevent this story from becoming an unmitigated disaster." Hostile reporters attacked Webb's work and he eventually became a persona non grata in the newspaper world.

Ultimately, claims the article, part of the problem with the response to Webb's stories was a "societal shortcoming": "The CIA-drug story says a lot more about American society…that it does about either CIA or the media. We live in somewhat coarse and emotional times—when large numbers of Americans do not adhere to the same standards of logic, evidence, or even civil discourse as those practiced by members of the CIA community." In 1998, the agency partly vindicated Webb's reporting by admitting that it had had business relationships with major drug dealers. Jeremy Renner stars as the late Webb in a new movie, Kill the Messenger.




===============================

“Kill the Messenger”: The dark side of journalism
Posted on Friday, September 19 at 6:36pm | By John Diaz

http://blog.sfgate.com/opinionshop/2014/09/19/kill-the-messenger-the-dark-side-of-journalism/

       

(Video clip of Director Michael Cuesta, talking with the Chronicle’s John Diaz about the Gary Webb story)

My Sunday column http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/diaz/article/Kill-the-Messenger-cautionary-tale-for-5768089.php

explores the controversy and the context of “Kill the Messenger,” the upcoming film about “Dark Alliance,” the 1996 series by San Jose Mercury News reporter Gary Webb that examined the links between the CIA-backed Nicaraguan Contras and the drug trade.

The movie itself is a superb piece of filmmaking, with Jeremy Renner putting in a powerful performance as Webb. It’s not easy to do an action thriller when the basic framework of the story, including the tragic ending, has been in the public venue for 18 years.

Not surprisingly, the real-life story is a bit more complicated than the good-vs.-evil, courage-vs.-timidity, ethics-vs.-amorality tale portrayed in the movie. Yes, the Los Angeles Times sent a large team of reporters to check out the explosive allegations. The suggestion is the Times was hellbent to discredit an enormous story it missed in its own backyard. But wouldn’t it have been an even greater instance of journalism malpractice if the Times had simply ignored the story without pursuing it? After all, even Webb’s most ardent defenders have acknowledged there were flaws in its story, from its presentation (a smoldering crack pipe against the CIA logo) to its breathless language in the first installment that implied — but did not state — that the CIA intentionally flooded South Central Los Angeles with crack cocaine in order to fund the Nicaraguan Contras.

The evidence is overwhelming (by the CIA’s own admission in a 1998 internal report) that the Contras used profits from U.S. drug sales to finance their fight against the Sandinista regime in the 1980s. Webb’s series presented the strongest evidence to that date that, at the very least, the U.S. government was looking the other way. But the content of the story did not quite add up to the hyperbole in the introduction. As we say in the news business: The story did not support the lead, as the paper’s executive editor, Jerry Ceppos, later had to acknowledge to readers. The movie presents Ceppos and his note to readers in an unflattering light, as a copout under legal and political pressure. But, again, would it be more admirable for him to ignore the obvious flaws in his newspaper’s huge endeavor? In my view, accountability is a virtue in journalism.

“All the President’s Men” it is not. Sadly, “Kill the Messenger” is a story with no true heroes.

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

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Reply with quote  #47 

19.54 minutes
Published on Sep 23, 2014

The New York Times Film Club post screening Q&A for the upcoming movie Kill the Messenger with Jeremy Renner at Sunshine Cinemas in NYC on 9/22/14. Warning for plot spoilers, adult language and a jet lagged Jeremy. :-) Apologies for the wonky video but the person in front of me kept moving his giant head. I believe the movie will be released in October in the US.

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

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Reply with quote  #48 
Return of the messenger: How Jeremy Renner's new film Kill The Messenger will vindicate Sacramento investigative journalist Gary Webb
Nearly two decades after the reporter exposed a connection between the CIA and crack cocaine in America, Hollywood chimes in with a major movie

http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/return-of-the-messenger-how/content?oid=15041198#

By Melinda Welsh


Read 1 reader submitted comment



This article was published on 09.25.14.

Journalist Gary Webb, who worked at SN&R in the four months before his death, gained both acclaim and notoriety for his 1996 San Jose Mercury News series “Dark Alliance.”
PHOTO BY LARRY DALTON
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This one has all the ingredients of a dreamed-up Hollywood blockbuster: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist uncovers a big story involving drugs, the CIA and a guerrilla army. Despite threats and intimidation, he writes an explosive exposé and catches national attention. But the fates shift. Our reporter's story is torn apart by the country's leading media; he is betrayed by his own newspaper. Though the big story turns out to be true, the writer commits suicide and becomes a cautionary tale.

Hold on, though. The above is not fiction.

Kill the Messenger, an actual film coming soon to a theater near you, is the true story of Sacramento-based investigative reporter Gary Webb, who earned both acclaim and notoriety for his 1996 San Jose Mercury News series that revealed the CIA had turned a blind eye to the U.S.-backed Nicaraguan Contras trafficking crack cocaine in South Central Los Angeles and elsewhere in urban America in the 1980s. One of the first-ever newspaper investigations to be published on the Internet, Webb's story gained a massive readership and stirred up a firestorm of controversy and repudiation.

After being deemed a pariah by media giants like The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post, and being disowned by his own paper, Webb eventually came to work in August 2004 at SN&R. Four months later, he committed suicide at age 49. He left behind a grieving family—and some trenchant questions:

Why did the media giants attack him so aggressively, thereby protecting the government secrets he revealed? Why did he decide to end his own life? What, ultimately, is the legacy of Gary Webb?

Like others working at our newsweekly in the brief time he was here, I knew Webb as a colleague and was terribly saddened by his death. Those of us who attended his unhappy memorial service at the Doubletree Hotel in Sacramento a week after he died thought that day surely marked a conclusion to the tragic tale of Gary Webb.

But no.

Because here comes Kill the Messenger, a Hollywood film starring Jeremy Renner as Webb; Rosemarie DeWitt as Webb’s then wife, Sue Bell (now Stokes); Oliver Platt as Webb’s top editor, Jerry Ceppos; and a litany of other distinguished actors, including Michael K. Williams, Ray Liotta, Andy Garcia and Robert Patrick. Directed by Michael Cuesta (executive producer of the TV series Homeland), the film opens in a “soft launch” across the country and in Sacramento on October 10.

Members of Webb’s immediate family—including his son Eric, who lives near Sacramento State and plans a career in journalism—expect to feel a measure of solace upon the release of Kill the Messenger.

“The movie is going to vindicate my dad,” he said.

For Renner—who grew up in Modesto and is best known for his roles in The Bourne Legacy, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, The Avengers and The Hurt Locker—the film was a chance to explore a part unlike any he’d played before. During a break in filming Mission Impossible 5, he spoke to SN&R about his choice to star in and co-produce Kill the Messenger.

“The story is important,” said Renner. “It resonated with me. It has a David and Goliath aspect.

“He was brave, he was flawed. … I fell in love with Gary Webb.”

‘The first big Internet-age journalism exposé'

There's a scene in Kill the Messenger that will make every investigative journalist in America break into an insider’s grin. It’s the one where—after a year of tough investigative slogging that had taken him from the halls of power in Washington, D.C., to a moldering jail in Central America to the mean streets of South Central Los Angeles—Renner as Webb begins to actually write the big story. In an absorbing film montage, Renner is at the keyboard as it all comes together—the facts, the settings, the sources. The truth. The Clash provides the soundtrack, with Joe Strummer howling: Know your rights / these are your rights … You have the right to free speech / as long as you’re not dumb enough to actually try it.

It took the real Gary Webb a long time to get to this point in his career.
Jeremy Renner, who starred in films such as The Bourne Legacy and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, was the driving force in bringing Kill The Messenger to the big screen. He plays Gary Webb in the soon-to-be-released film.
PHOTO BY KYLE MONK

His father, a U.S. Marine, moved Webb around a lot in his youth, from California to Indiana to Kentucky to Ohio. He wound up marrying his high-school sweetheart, Sue Bell, with whom he had three children. Inspired by the reporting that uncovered Watergate and in need of income, he left college three units shy of a degree and went to work at The Kentucky Post, then The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, where he rose quickly through the ranks of grunt reporters. Dogged in his pursuit of stories, Webb landed a job at the Mercury News in 1988 and became part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1989 for reporting on the Loma Prieta earthquake.

It was the summer of 1996 when the lone-wolf journalist handed his editors a draft of what would become the three-part, 20,000-word exposé “Dark Alliance.” The series was exhaustive and complex. But its nugget put human faces on how CIA operatives had been aware that the Contras (who had been recruited and trained by the CIA to topple the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua) had smuggled cocaine into the United States and, through drug dealers, fueled an inner-city crack-cocaine epidemic.

When “Dark Alliance” was published on August 18 of that year, it was as if a bomb had exploded at the Mercury News. That’s because it was one of the first stories to go globally viral online on the paper’s then state-of-the-art website. It was 1996; the series attracted an unprecedented 1.3 million hits per day. Webb and his editors were flooded with letters and emails. Requests for appearances piled in from national TV news shows.

“Gary’s story was the first Internet-age big journalism exposé,” said Nich Schou, who wrote the book Kill the Messenger, on which the movie is partially based, along with Webb’s own book version of the series, Dark Alliance. “If the series had happened a year earlier it, ’Dark Alliance’ just would have come and gone,” said Schou.

As word of the story spread, black communities across America—especially in South Central—grew outraged and demanded answers. At the time, crack cocaine was swallowing up neighborhoods whole, fueling an epidemic of addiction and crime. Rocked by the revelations, U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, congresswoman for Los Angeles’ urban core to this day, used her bully pulpit to call for official investigations.

But after a six-week honeymoon period for Webb and his editors, the winds shifted. The attacks began.

On October 4, The Washington Post stunned the Mercury News by publishing five articles assaulting the veracity of Webb’s story, leading the package from page one. A few weeks later, The New York Times joined with similar intent.

The ultimate injury came when the L.A. Times unleashed a veritable army of 17 journalists (known internally as the “Get Gary Webb Team”) on the case, writing a three-part series demolishing “Dark Alliance.” The L.A. paper—which appeared to onlookers to have missed a giant story in its own backyard—was exhaustive in its deconstruction, claiming the series “was vague” and overreached. “Oliver Stone, check your voice mail,” summed Post media columnist Howard Kurtz.

Now, even some of Webb’s supporters admitted that his series could have benefited from more judicious editing. But why were the “big three” so intent on tearing down Webb’s work rather than attempting to further the story, as competing papers had done back in the day when Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein broke the Watergate scandal?

Some say it was the long arm of former President Ronald Reagan and his team’s ability to manipulate the gatekeepers of old media to its purposes. (Reagan had, after all, publicly compared the Contras to “our Founding Fathers” and supported the CIA-led attempt to topple the Sandinista government.)

Others say that editors at the “big three” were simply affronted to have a midsize paper like the Mercury News beat them on such a big story. An article in the Columbia Journalism Review claimed some L.A. Times reporters bragged in the office about denying Webb a Pulitzer.

One of their big criticisms was that the story didn’t include a comment from the CIA. When reporters at the big three asked the agency if Webb’s story was true, they were told no. The denial was printed in the mainstream media as if it were golden truth.

Other issues fueled controversy around Webb’s story. For example: It was falsely reported in some media outlets—and proclaimed by many activists in the black community—that Webb had proven the CIA was directly involved in drug trafficking that targeted blacks. He simply did not make this claim.

In some ways, Webb became the first reporter ever to benefit from, and then become the victim of, a story that went viral online.

After triumphing in the early success of the series, Webb’s editors at the Mercury News became unnerved and eventually backed down under the pressure. Jerry Ceppos, the paper’s executive editor, published an unprecedented column on May 11, 1997, that was widely considered an apology for the series, saying it “fell short” in editing and execution.

When contacted by SN&R, Ceppos, now dean of the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University, said he was only barely aware of the film coming out and wasn’t familiar with the acting career of Oliver Platt, who plays him in the movie. “I’m the wrong person to ask about popular culture,” he said.

Asked if he would do anything differently today regarding Gary Webb’s series, Ceppos, whose apologia did partially defend the series, responded with an unambiguous “no.”
Jeremy Renner as Gary Webb in Kill The Messenger.

“It seems to me, 18 years later, that everything still holds up. … Everything is not black and white. If you portrayed it that way, then you need to set the record straight.

“I’m very proud that we were willing to do that.”

Some find irony in the fact that Ceppos, in the wake of the controversy, was given the 1997 Ethics in Journalism Award by the Society of Professional Journalists.

Webb, once heralded as a groundbreaking investigative reporter, was soon banished to the paper’s Cupertino bureau, a spot he considered “the newspaper’s version of Siberia.” In 1997, after additional run-ins with his editors, including their refusal to run his follow-up reporting on the “Dark Alliance” series, he quit the paper altogether.

But a year later, he was redeemed when CIA’s inspector general, Frederick Hitz, released his 1998 report admitting that the CIA had known all along that the Contras had been trafficking cocaine. Reporter Robert Parry, who covered the Iran-Contra scandal for the Associated Press, called the report “an extraordinary admission of institutional guilt by the CIA.” But the revelation fell on deaf ears. It went basically unnoticed by the newspapers that had attacked Webb’s series. A later internal investigation by the Justice Department echoed the CIA report.

But no apology was forthcoming to Webb, despite the fact that the central finding of his series had been proven correct after all.

‘I never really gave up hope'

Earlier this month, Webb's son Eric, 26, opened the door to his Sacramento rental home with a swift grab for the collar of his affable pit-bull mix, Thomas. Eric—lanky at 6 feet 4 inches, with his father's shaggy brown hair and easy expression—attended college at American River College and hopes to become a journalist someday. He was happy to sit down and discuss the upcoming film.

To Eric, the idea that a movie was being made about his dad was nothing new. He’d heard it all at least a dozen times before. Paramount Pictures had owned the rights to Dark Alliance for a while before Universal Studios took it on.

“I stopped expecting it,” said Eric.

Webb’s ex-wife, Stokes, now remarried and still living in Sacramento, had heard it all before, too.

“I’d get discouraged,” she said, “but I never really gave up hope.”
Back in 1997, SN&R brought the controversy about Gary Webb to readers with “Secrets and Lies,” a cover story about why the mainstream media attacked his Mercury News series. In 2004, four months before his suicide, Webb came to work at SN&R.

Things finally took off almost eight years ago, when screenwriter Peter Landesman called author Schou, now managing editor at the OC Weekly, about his not-yet-published book about Webb. Landesman was hot to write a screenplay about Webb’s story, said Schou.

It was years later when Landesman showed the screenplay to Renner, whose own production company, The Combine, decided to co-produce it. Focus Features, which is owned by Universal, now has worldwide rights to the movie Kill the Messenger.

“When Jeremy Renner got involved,” said Schou, “everything started rolling.”

It was the summer of 2013 when Stokes and Webb’s children—Eric, his older brother Ian and younger sister Christine—flew to Atlanta for three days on the film company’s dime to see a scene being shot.

“The first thing [Renner] did when he saw us was come up and give us hugs and introduce himself,” said Eric. “He called us ’bud’ and ’kiddo’ like my dad used to. … He even had the tucked-in shirt with no belt, like my dad used to wear. And I was like, ’Man, you nailed that.’”

The scene the family watched being filmed, according to Stokes, was the one where Webb’s Mercury News editors tell him “they were gonna back down from the story.”

“I was sitting there watching and thinking back to the morning before that meeting,” said Stokes. “Gary was getting nervous [that day]. He said, ’I guess I should wear a tie and jacket’ to this one. He was nervous but hopeful that they would let him move forward with the story.”

Of course, they did not.

After a pause, Stokes said: “It was hard watching that scene and remembering the emotions of that day.”

Just a few months ago, in June, Webb’s family flew to Santa Monica to see the film’s “final cut” at the Focus Features studio. All were thoroughly impressed with the film and the acting. “Jeremy Renner watched our home videos,” said Eric. “He studied. All these little words and gestures that my dad used to do—he did them. I felt like I was watching my dad.”

When asked how playing the role of Gary Webb compared to his usual action-adventure parts (such as in The Bourne Legacy), Renner said it was like “apples and oranges” to compare the two, but then admitted, “I can say this one was more emotionally challenging.”

Renner laughed when asked about the impressive cast he’d managed to round up for a comparatively low-budget movie and how he was “going to be washing a whole lot of people’s cars and doing their laundry.”

Stokes has no regrets about the film.

“Seeing a chapter of your life, with its highs and lows, depicted on the big screen is something you never think is going to happen to you,” she said. “It was all very emotional.

“But I loved the movie. And the kids were very happy with how it vindicated their father.”

Said Renner, “If [the family gets] closure or anything like that … that’s amazing.”

‘I've shot that gun so I know'

It was an otherwise routine Friday morning in December 2004 when Eric Webb was called out of class at Rio Americano High School. The then 16-year-old was put on the phone with his mother, who told him he needed to leave campus immediately and go straight to his grandmother's house.

“I told her, ’I’m not going anywhere until you tell me what happened,’” said Eric. So she told him about his dad.

“He killed himself,” she said.

Eric had the family BMW that day, so he floored it over to his father’s Carmichael home—the one his dad had been scheduled to clear out of that very day. Webb had just sold it with the alleged plan of saving money by moving into his mother’s home nearby.
Eric Webb, 26 and living in Sacramento, says he feels Kill the Messenger is a clear vindication of his father Gary Webb’s life and career. “The movie is going to vindicate him,” said Eric, seen here with his father’s old typewriter. “If people see the movie, they’re going to know he was right.”
PHOTO BY LISA BAETZ

“I needed a visual confirmation for myself,” said Eric. He pulled up to the house and saw a note in his dad’s handwriting on the door. It read, “Do not enter, please call the police.” Eric went inside and saw the blood, “but his body had already been taken,” he said.

For his children and Stokes, nothing was ever the same. And almost 10 years later, questions still reverberate around Gary Webb’s death.

It’s clear from all who knew him well that he suffered from severe depression. Some—like Stokes—believe in retrospect that Webb was also likely ill with undiagnosed bipolar disorder. Still, why did he do it? What makes a man feel despair enough to take his own life?

After leaving the Mercury News in ’97, Webb couldn’t get hired at a daily. After writing his book, he eventually found a position working for the California Legislature’s task force on government oversight. When he lost that job in February 2004, a depression he’d fought off for a long while settled in, said Stokes.

Though divorced in 2000, the couple remained friendly. On the day that would have been their 25th anniversary, he turned to her, utterly distraught, after hearing he’d lost the job.

“He was crying, ’I lost my job, what am I gonna do?’” she said. He knew the development would make it tough to stay in Sacramento near his children. She urged him to regroup and apply again at daily newspapers. Surely, she thought, the controversy over his series would have waned by now.

But when Webb applied, not even interviews were offered.

“Nobody would hire him,” she said. “He got more and more depressed. He was on antidepressants, but he stopped taking them in the spring,” said Stokes. “They weren’t making him feel any better.”

It was August when Webb finally got work as a reporter at SN&R. Though he hadn’t set out to work in the world of weekly journalism, with its lesser pay and more hit-and-miss prestige, he was a productive member of the staff until near the end. During his short time with SN&R, he wrote a few searing cover stories, including “The Killing Game,” about the U.S. Army using first-person shooter video games as a recruitment tool.

In fact, Eric edited a book in 2011 for Seven Stories Press, The Killing Game, that included 11 stories his father had written for various publications, including SN&R. “I was always happy to see his covers,” said Eric, attending high school at the time. “We got SN&R on our campus, and I would be like, “Hey, my dad’s on the front page. That’s awesome.’”

It was the morning of December 10 when SN&R’s editorial assistant Kel Munger entered editor Tom Walsh’s office with word that Gary’s son had just called saying, “Somebody needs to tell the boss that my dad killed himself.”

Within a few hours, SN&R was fielding press calls from all around the country, said Munger. A week later, it was she who had the thankless job of cleaning out Webb’s work cubicle so as to pass his belongings on to his ex-wife and kids. “There was bundled-up research material, a bunch of Detroit hockey paraphernalia, photos of his kids. … I remember he had a 2004 Investigative Reporter’s Handbook with Post-it notes throughout.”

“I was having a hard time keeping it together,” said Munger. “Like everyone else, I’d been looking forward to getting to know him.”

In the days following his death, the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office came out with a preliminary finding that was meant to cease the flood of calls to his office. The report “found no sign of forced entry or struggle” and stated the cause of death as “self-inflicted gunshot wounds to the head.”

But it was too late to stop the conspiracy theorists. The CIA wanted Webb dead, they hypothesized, so the agency must have put a “hit” out on him. To this day, the Internet is full of claims that Webb was murdered. The fact that Webb had fired two shots into his own head didn’t dampen the conjectures.

Said Eric, “The funny part is, never once has anybody from the conspiracy side ever contacted us and said, ’Do you think your dad was murdered?’”

The family knew what Webb had been through; they knew he had been fighting acute depression. They learned he’d purchased cremation services and put his bank account in his ex-wife’s name. They knew that the day before his suicide he had mailed letters, sent to his brother Kurt in San Jose, that contained personal messages to each family member.

Receiving the letters “was actually a big relief for us,” said Eric. “We knew it was him. They were typed by him and in his voice. It was so apparent. The things he knew, nobody else would know. … He even recommended books for me to read.”

According to Eric, the “two gunshots” issue is “very explainable,” because the revolver Webb had fired into his head, a .38 Special police addition his Marine father had owned, has double action that doesn’t require a shooter to re-cock to take a second shot. “I’ve shot that gun so I know,” said Eric, who said his father taught him to shoot on a camping trip. “Once you cock the trigger, it goes ’bang’ real easily. … You could just keep on squeezing and it would keep on shooting.”

In Kill the Messenger, Webb’s death goes unmentioned until after the final scene, when closing words roll onto the screen. Renner said he felt it would have been a disservice to the viewer to “weigh in too heavy” with details of the death. Including Webb’s demise would have “raised a lot of questions and taken away from his legacy,” he said.

‘Stand up and risk it all'

It was eight days after Webb's death when a few hundred of us gathered in Sacramento Doubletree Hotel's downstairs conference room for an afternoon memorial service. Photo collages of Webb were posted on tables as mourners filed into the room. There he was on his prized red, white and blue motorcycle. There he was camping with his children. There he was featured in an Esquire magazine article recounting his saga. Family members and friends, longtime colleagues and SN&R staffers packed into the room.

My own distress at Webb’s passing wasn’t fully realized until my eyes lit on his Pulitzer Prize propped on a table just inside the entryway. It was the first one I’d ever seen. I wondered how many more exceptional stories he could have produced if things had gone differently.

“He wanted to write for one of the big three,” said Webb’s brother Kurt. “Unfortunately, the big three turned [on him].”

Praise for the absent journalist—his smarts, guts and tenacity—flowed from friends, colleagues and VIPs at the event. A statement from now U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, then a senator, had been emailed to SN&R: “Because of [Webb]’s work, the CIA launched an Inspector General’s investigation that found dozens of troubling connections to drug-runners. That wouldn’t have happened if Gary Webb hadn’t been willing to stand up and risk it all.”

And Rep. Waters, who spent two years following up on Webb’s findings, wrote a statement calling him “one of the finest investigative journalists our country has ever seen.”

When Hollywood weighs in soon on the Webb saga, the storm that surrounded him in life will probably be recycled in the media and rebooted on the Internet, with old and new media journalists, scholars and conspiracy theorists weighing in from all sides.

But the film itself is an utter vindication of Webb’s work.

Renner was hesitant to say if those who watch Kill the Messenger will leave with any particular take-home lesson. “I want the audience to walk away and debate and argue about it all,” he said of his David and Goliath tale. And then, “I do believe [the film] might help create some awareness and accountability in government and newspapers.”

And what would the real live protagonist of Kill the Messenger have thought of it all? It’s at least certain he’d have been unrepentant. In the goodbye letter his ex-wife received on the day of his suicide, Gary Webb told her:

“Tell them I never regretted anything I wrote.”


Displaying 1 comments.

Posted 09/25/2014 9:55AM by Suewebb1
I really enjoyed the Return of the Messenger story by Melinda Welsh. Not only did she focus on the movie Kill the Messenger and the series Dark Alliance, but she dug deeper into Dark Alliance’s aftermath. Melissa even got a few quotes from Jerry Ceppos, the Mercury News editor at the time that the story broke that, “is barely aware of the film coming out…..” Really Jerry?? And “you are proud” that you were willing to take a dive on the story through a letter to the readers? Yes,it was the course of least resistance as was proven by the national media’s reaction. I like this quote from Gary in a 2003 interview when he was discussing Dark Alliance’s presence on the internet because it simplifies the outcome of the series. “We did this on purpose, to make it very hard to knock down,to make it very difficult for people to say that this didn’t happen,but they said it didn’t happen anyway.” Thoroughly enjoyed this story Melissa. Sue Stokes

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

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Reply with quote  #49 
Gary Webb: Vindicated
Family Members of the Intrepid Investigative Journalist — Soon To Be Immortalized By An Upcoming Hollywood Movie — Share Their Story With The World

http://narconews.com/Issue67/article4763.html

By Bill Conroy
Special to The Narco News Bulletin

September 24, 2014

Sometimes, they kill the messenger, and the message takes flight, only to return later, with its truth self-evident to a new generation. And then, the messenger is resurrected.


Framed copy of Gary Webb’s Pulitzer Prize in Journalism, which he shared with five other reporters at the San Jose Mercury News for their coverage of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. DR 2014 Webb family photo collection
Investigative journalist Gary Webb wrote a series of stories in 1996 for the San Jose Mercury News that documented the US-government-backed Contra insurgents’ drug pipeline into Los Angeles. More importantly, Webb’s reporting revealed that CIA assets were involved in the sale of millions of dollars worth of cocaine in South Central LA to raise funds for the Contras, who in the 1980s, during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, were seeking to overthrow the democratically elected Sandinista government in Nicaragua. The cocaine — transformed into cheap, addictive crack rocks at the street level — hit Los Angeles and spread like the plague. The proceeds from the drug running by the “CIA’s army” were then used to buy weapons for the Contras, fueling more misery and bloodshed in Nicaragua.

The series was pioneering in that the stories and all the documentation also were posted on the Internet, and quickly went viral without the help of the establishment media, creating a national sensation that threatened to buckle the CIA’s pretense. A media smear campaign against Webb, seeded by the CIA, followed on the heels of that threat, a campaign that attacked Webb personally while sidestepping the facts he had uncovered. The major agenda-setting media — including the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times — were unrelenting in their assault, with the Los Angeles Times putting some 17 reporters on the assignment to destroy Webb, the messenger.

The Mercury News’ top editor, Jerry Ceppos, ultimately buckled, threw Webb to the wolves and penned a letter of apology to the readers for the Dark Alliance series. Webb was subsequently banished to a small Mercury News bureau in Cupertino, Calif., south of San Francisco — and some 125 miles from his home and family in Sacramento. He was forced to write stories normally assigned to cub reporters. His career was effectively destroyed, and he would never again get a job with a daily newspaper. He took his own life on Dec. 9, 2004.

“Gary saw the writing on the wall. It took him a long time to sign a resignation letter, and I don’t blame him,” recalls Sue Bell Stokes, Webb’s widow, ex-wife and enduring friend — since they began dating in high school. “Then he finally signed it, on December 10, and that was the day he was found dead, on December 10, seven years later.”

But in Webb’s case, his message did not die. And it has now returned, in the vessel of a major Hollywood movie set to hit theaters nationwide on Oct. 10, starring box-office sensation Jeremy Renner. And that means Webb’s legacy, and his Dark Alliance investigate series, are about to push back hard against the lies and petty self-interests that worked to destroy his life — though they could never vanquish his spirit. You see, you can’t kill the truth, because it survives even death.

“Gary was sure that people had forgotten about him, and a lot of people had,” Bell Stokes says. “... I suggested he start looking at other newspapers. And he said, “No one is ever going to hire me after Dark Alliance.’

“Yeah, his resume was incredible,” says Webb’s oldest son, Ian, now 30. “All these awards .”

“Christine helped him send out all the resumes and clips,” Bell Stokes adds, referring to Webb’s daughter, now 24.

“’I talked to people, no one’s calling me back,’” Bell Stokes recalls Gary telling her. “And he got just more and more depressed.

“And then he thought the movie would never be made. He said, ‘No one will ever do this movie.’ I said, ‘One day you’re going to be vindicated.’ I really believed that.

“And he said, ‘No, it’s never going to happen.’ He thought it was crazy that I thought he one day would be vindicated, but I always did, that one day it would happen. I knew what he wrote was good, and it was right, and I just thought this is going to come out.”


Gary Webb on the job. DR 2014 Webb family photo collection
Recently, Narco News sat down with members of Gary Webb’s family — Sue, Ian and Christine — in Sacramento to talk with them about the upcoming major motion picture based on Gary Webb’s life, “Kill the Messenger.” They also talked about Gary’s life, his journalism and his Dark Alliance series. We gathered in the backyard of Sue Bell Stokes’ home in a Sacramento suburb, on the patio, as the sun was still shining down on the Earth from bright blue skies above, and while a wildfire raged some 30 miles down the road, being fought by a force of several thousand firefighters.

But that fire was no danger to us at the time. The fire set off by Gary Webb and his Dark Alliance series, though, is a different matter for those who sought to contain it. With the release of the movie “Kill the Messenger,” the messenger is about to be resurrected from the ashes, along with his message, and that truth won’t be extinguished easily — even by an army of first-responder propagandists from the CIA and national media.

The Big Picture

The most important thing about the movie, for her, Sue Bell Stokes says, is that her children liked it.

“I was so worried about that,” she says.

In July, the producers with Focus Features, which is releasing the movie, flew the family down to Santa Monica, Calif., setting up a special screening for them at the movie center there.

“And we went into the screening room by ourselves, just the four of us , and I was so glad we were alone because it was so emotional,” Sue recalls. “I felt good because I could tell by them watching the movie that the kids all liked it and enjoyed it. I felt so much better after that.”

Ian says there “was just a good vibe” to it all.

“One of my dad’s favorite movies, besides The Good, the Bad and the Ugly was The Big Lebowski, and right on the outside of the screening room they had every characters’ life-size poster from “The Big Lebowski” just lined up,” Ian recalls. “Out of all the movies they could put in there.”

“On the same wall as the “Kill the Messenger” poster,” Christine chimes in.

Sue says the road to that screening room to watch the initial cut of Kill the Messenger was long, with a lot of setbacks along the way, though.

“There were a couple other times that there were movie options going on,” she says. “… I mean this has been going on for years. The movie was going to be made at one point by Universal. Then the recession hit and Universal went up for sale, and they backed away from it.

Christine adds: “They didn’t want to do any depressing movies, only happy movies.”

Sue stresses, though, that screenwriter Peter Landesman never gave up hope. “He said, ‘We’re going to make this movie someday,’ Sue adds. “Peter and I kept plugging away, and then all of a sudden Jeremy Renner got interested. I mean there were other actors that read the script.”

Ian says Tom Cruise was close, and Brad Pitt, “but it was just talk, too.”

Finally, once Renner signed on, everything began to click.

“The movie went into production about a year and half after he showed interest,” Sue says. “He stuck with it. Jeremy Renner wanted to make this movie so bad.”

Ian says as soon as Renner “attached to the movie, it was just day after day of stories. It was wildfire all of a sudden.”

The Webb family says they all have been impressed with the effort the movie’s producers have put into making it as realistic and believable as possible, from the script, to the actors and down to the smallest details.

“When we were in Atlanta watching a scene, they had do pick-up shot. So they redressed the set to look like the interior of our house,” Ian says. “In that scene, my character walks downstairs and asks what’s going on. Jeremy Renner turns to him and says, ‘Ian, why don’t you go back upstairs.’

“Jeremy even looked in my direction, and I actually thought he meant me, because we had just gone down stairs to watch this scene. That’s when it really hit me. It kind of comes in these waves of realism.”

The art department for the film went to great lengths to incorporate things from Gary’s life into the scenes, including reproducing a pair of Gary’s reading glasses; using posters from Ian’s bedroom at the time; recreating the jerseys worn by the kids’ hockey team, the Rebels; and even assuring that a motorcycle used in the film was the same color, make and model as the one owned by Gary.

“No one else would give a shit. They don’t know what color bike he had or what poster I had in my room, or what he had on his desk,” Ian says. “The music too, like the moment where there’s a Mott the Hoople song — it meant so much for me to hear that song.”

Also important to the family is the fact that the people involved in making the movie are invested in the project, and care about the events portrayed in the movie. It wasn’t just a money grab for them, the family says.

“When we were at the filming in Atlanta, they were talking about how the actors and actresses, and everyone involved in the movie, were doing it because they care about it, not just for the money,” Christine says. “Someone said we’re basically calling up actors and actresses on family vacation asking them if they want to come to hot, humid Atlanta for $8 to film a movie.”

“They’re not getting paid much,” Sue adds, “and Oliver Platt cancelled his vacation to do the part because he really wanted to play Jerry Ceppos so much.”

She says it was clear to her that Jeremy Renner also has put his heart into the project. “He spent so much time with us in Atlanta , had lunch with us, warmed up to us, gave us hugs, and he was so excited about it, and moved by it too,” she says.

Sue is particularly impressed with another aspect of Kill the Messenger: The fact that it gets the story right.

“We’re just so happy Gary’s going to be vindicated, and he is in the movie. The core of the movie is right. The truth is there.

“I think Gary would have liked it. I think he would have really liked the movie, and been so excited about it,” Sue adds.

“It just feels right,” Ian says. “It makes everybody who was bad look bad, and everyone who was good look good. It just serves everyone a little bit of justice.”

The Media Assault

Kill the Messenger may offer up some sweet vindication for Gary Webb, but the real story behind the movie is a tale of anguish for the family. The big media that teamed up and piled on in the smear campaign against Webb not only ruined the career of a great journalist, but also helped to tear apart a family’s future.


Gary Webb was an avid motorcycle rider, a pastime he also taught his children to enjoy as well. DR 2014 Webb family photo collection
“If they hadn’t written what they did, then Gary would have been able to continue on with his story like he was supposed to do,” Sue insists. “A lot more would have come out. Gary wouldn’t have had to quit the paper to write the book , and he would have continued on as a newspaper reporter.”

She says the newspapers attacking him went to great lengths to “criticize him, looking into his personal life.”

“It was was just stupid,” she adds

Sue recalls the day Gary went to San Jose to meet with the editors about Dark Alliance, after the media assault was in full swing. “He was so nervous that morning about going, because he didn’t know what was going to happen,” she recalls. “He knew it wasn’t going to be good, but he never expected them to write that letter .

“Gary was like, ‘I guess I better put on a jacket’ and everything, and he was dreading the meeting. He knew they probably would not let him write more stories, but he didn’t think that was going to happen. He called me and told me.”

The letter to the readers went through five or six drafts, back and forth between Gary and the Mercury News editors, Sue says.

“Gary was saying, ‘You can’t write this,’ and they had his name all in there and that he agreed with it. I said, ‘You can’t let them put that in the paper. It makes it sound like you agree there were problems with the story.’

“Then they were really upset with him because he would not go along with it. He never signed anything, but they just finally put the letter out there.”

Gary was “baffled about why the media attacked him,” Sue recalls. She adds that he assumed the pressure was too much for the Mercury News, and they finally cracked.

“I think there was more to it than ,” Sue says, however. “I think the LA Times was embarrassed, because was right in their backyard. Gary really, truly believed .

“… But honestly, back at that point , I thought someone had gotten to them , someone in the government, at the CIA.

“It was so odd to me that Jerry Ceppos was so protective of Gary and stood behind him and was really angry about what everyone was writing, and then all of a sudden it started changing. And I think maybe it came from above him : ‘Maybe you guys need to back away from this story.’”

Banished

As the smear campaign orchestrated by the big mainstream newspapers against Gary and Dark Alliance continued, Gary’s editors at the Mercury News began to stonewall his efforts to pursue the story, ultimately pressuring him to resign. For his family, it was a very difficult ordeal, one that his kids really didn’t understand at the time.

“Gary did the follow-up stories , and he wasn’t getting calls back ,” Sue says. “He sent those stories to the editors and he said, ‘I don’t know what they’re doing. There not not working on them.’

“Then Jerry Ceppos started denying Gary even had stories, saying they were just notes he sent,” Sue adds. “And Gary’s like, “Those were not notes; they were stories I sent them.’ It was just weird stuff.”

But Gary went to great lengths to keep the turmoil he was experiencing away from this children. “He did such a good job of not showing that anger to us about his work,” Ian recalls.

When Gary was relocated to the Mercury News bureau in Cupertino, a penalty for doing his job too well, Sue says he was very upset. Cupertino is located some two-and-a-half hours by car from the California state capitol of Sacramento, where Gary was based as an investigative reporter for the newspaper.

“I remember Gary’s mother was there the day he left, and he started crying,” Sue says. “The whole reality of what was happening was so overwhelming to him. ‘They’re making me go to Cupertino, leave my family and kids. What am I going to do?’

“Then he went to Cupertino and had to write stories, like the one about a horse dying of constipation. He was doing stories he did when he first started as a reporter, and he would not let them use his byline.”

Ian says, “It just sucked. It didn’t make any sense to us, at that age especially.

“At that time, too, I just didn’t realize the … pride of your work,” Ian adds. “Until you get a little older, and start doing something you like, you don’t get that. For all I knew, my dad would be good at anything. I just knew he loved to write.

“But when you’re looking at your dad, especially as a kid, he’s invincible. He can do anything. So yeah it’s been this realization ever since he passed away, and I’ve gotten a little older and started doing something I love, yeah, if someone told me I couldn’t do that ever again, it would kill me, it would ruin me. So I can understand now.”

One of the deepest blows for Gary, Sue says, is when the Mercury News took Dark Alliance off the Internet. She says Gary worked with the newspaper’s Mercury Center to assure his story and documentation were made available online, a novel approach at the time.

“Gary felt it was important to have his documentation out there so he went to them ,” Sue says. “‘This is really important,’ he said, ‘because there’s a large unbelievability factor here, so we can put all this stuff online.’ And he was very proud of that too.”

“I remember when they took it off the Internet,” she adds. “They just kept sticking it to him, over and over, and now they’ve taken the series off the Internet. He was really, really hurt by all of it, by the way they treated him.”

Sue adds that she appreciates greatly that Narco News has the Dark Alliance series on its website, and has “kept it alive for so many years. That’s great, because it’s nowhere else.”

Ian adds: “Yeah it’s perfect. I use that because a lot people don’t realize who my dad is, and they just go straight to that site .

“I remember my dad told me about the school , and he showed me a couple pictures when he returned ,” Ian says. “I knew he liked it, and it was something he was excited about doing.”

Unmasking The Dark Alliance

At the time Dark Alliance broke on the national scene, Ian says he was 12. But even at that age, he says he knew it was a big deal.

“We went down to South Central LA to a rally in a high school auditorium, the whole family,” Ian says. “I remember seeing how big of an impact it was having and how many people had shown up.”

Sue says he was doing a lot radio interviews in the house. “Things were more exciting then,” she adds, “and we had just moved into this house when he wrote Dark Alliance.

“The house needed remodeling, and we had just gone on vacation, and Gary was off working on the story and doing interviews. It was just a chaotic time.”

Ian says he doesn’t know how his dad made the time to do everything he did while chasing down huge investigative stories like Dark Alliance. He says Gary coached their hockey team, even taking the time to write a newsletter every week, called the Rebel Yell.

“And he passed it out to all the parents every week,” Ian says. “He’d have all the stats, all the passes. I just didn’t realize how detail oriented he was with those kind of things.”

Sue recalls the day when Gary finally connected the dots that led to the Dark Alliance series. He was ecstatic. Sue, however, admits to having a sense of dread.

“I came home one day and he said: ‘You’re not going to believe what I figured out today. You’re not going to believe it. I figured out where these drugs are going and being sold.’

“He said he had traced it to South Central Los Angeles. And he was so excited about that because he found that connection. I remember that day so clearly,” Sue says, “because it made me nervous. I just felt uncomfortable about it.

“But those are the kind of stories Gary did. If he thought it was a good story, he was going to write it. He didn’t think about the consequences of it, what might happen. He thought if you told the truth, it doesn’t matter. If you lay it out there, it really doesn’t matter. And then he learned the hard way.”

The Man

What the establishment media did in their assault on Gary Webb, in its effect, went far beyond killing an important story. They also ruined a good man. Gary wasn’t a heel in a suit, like so many of those who, out of jealousy or fear for career, chose to attack him.

He was a family man, a loving father who instilled working-class values in his children, and who above all else strived to be fair and to tell the truth. Gary Webb was one of us.


L to R: Gary’s daughter, Christine; his longtime companion and mother of his children, Sue Bell Stokes; and Ian, Gary’s oldest son. Gary’s other son, Eric, is now 26. DR 2014 Bill Conroy
“My dad had a don’t-take-crap-from-somebody kind of attitude,” Ian says. “He was really good at defending himself and making sure if he was arguing about something that he had all the facts to present his argument.”

Christine says her dad “always told us to stick up for ourselves, and he was extremely reasonable if I had any issues, and I was talking to him about it.

“He would look at it from both sides and have a reasonable response, and he would never baby us. ‘You need to be fair about everything,’ he said. And he always told us not to put up with crap from our friends, people we were dating, ourselves. Always expect the best.”

Sue stresses that he also was young at heart and “always liked to have fun” with his children.

“Yeah, he hated people who were too serious about stuff,” Ian recalls.

Ian says his father “loved being a kid and never wanted to grow out of that stage, and he made sure we had fun with him while doing some of those activities.”

“I don’t understand how he found so much time to have fun with us, when he was such a serious busy guy in this other life,” Ian adds.

And Gary did work hard. He was passionate about his work.

Sue says he would stay up late writing, a lot.

“When he got really into a story, that’s all he did. He would just stay up and write and write, and get just a couple hours of sleep,” she recalls. “He just threw himself into it and just wanted to get the story done. He was that kind of writer.”

“Yeah,” Ian adds, “looking over his shoulder while he was writing, forget about it. He was like, ‘You need something?’

“I understand that now. When I’m editing and someone’s trying to talk with me… I respect that now.”

Christine says her dad “had so much in his head. He knew everything about everything.”

He was a huge Jeopardy fan. Sue says he would watch the TV quiz show and answer all the questions, “and I said, ‘You need to go on the show. How do you know this?’”

Ian recalls that his girlfriend got upset at him once because he was telling her something about a car, about the mechanics.

“She said, ‘Where did you hear that?”

And I said, “My dad.” And she said, “He doesn’t know everything, OK.”

And I said, “Well, so far he’s been pretty right on about everything.”

Christine adds that one of the last times she saw her father, “he offered to read Green Eggs and Ham to me at the doctor’s office.”

“And I was like 13,” she adds. “I was like, ‘No dad, you’re not reading me Green Eggs and Ham. … He was a smartass, and he was a brat.”

Ian adds: “He trusted you. It was important to have that trust.”

“It was big to tell the truth,” Christine says. “Always tell the truth.”

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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maynard

Registered:
Posts: 1,194
Reply with quote  #50 
9.22.14 MPAA CEO,Senator Chris Dodd greets Jeremy Renner at Washington DC KTM screening

http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/yGIAC8ONAXH/Kill+the+Messenger+Screening/bH3WI-BdPKy

In This Photo: Jeremy Renner, Chris Dodd
Actor Jeremy Renner (L) greets Chairman & CEO, MPAA, Senator Chris Dodd at Capitol File's 'Kill the Messenger' Screening at MPAA on September 23, 2014 in Washington, DC.
(2014-09-22 16:00:00 - Source: Paul Morigi/Getty Images North America)

http://www4.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Capitol+File+Kill+Messenger+Screening+Jeremy+bH3WI -BdPKyl.jpg








================

Reviews
by
colettaberx
» 10 hours ago (Sat Sep 27 2014 00:22:15) Flag ▼ | Reply |
IMDb member since July 2013
Have been reading reviews! There are a lot of them so I'm still reading !


Reviews from Variety & Cinemablend are glowing!
The Guardian review is good, stating that the story has holes but Renner's performance is great!

It’s nonetheless a flinty, brainy, continually engrossing work that straddles the lines between biopic, political thriller and journalistic cautionary tale, driven by Jeremy Renner’s most complete performance since “The Hurt Locker.”



http://variety.com/2014/film/reviews/film-review-kill-the-messenger-1201314058/

Jeremy Renner is electrifying as Webb. He shrugs off the sardonic charms he's made famous as Hawkeye, and wallows in barely repressed outrage for much of Kill The Messenger's runtime. Much like he was in The Hurt Locker, Renner is playing a cowboy variant, someone who fights for society, while being an outsider. Though a family man and a seeker of truth, Webb is not an out-and-out good guy. But Kill The Messenger dares us to not be distracted by his faults, while not daring to hide them. What you think of the man--the film suggests--is secondary to what you make of his story.

This marks Renner's first producing effort, and it seems he's made a shrewd move picking a script that plays well to his entrancing intensity. He also brought together an incredible cast that's full of strong performers. Rosemarie DeWitt gives some welcomed depth to his onscreen wife, a role that could have come off as purely stereotypical nag in the hands of a lesser actress. Lucas Hedges, who recently impressed in The Zero Theorem, steals a scene as Gary's heartbroken eldest son. Paz Vega adds danger and sex appeal as a flirtatious informant. Michael Sheen brings a hangdog longing to the role of a wary politician. Ray Liotta pops up for a small but riveting turn where he's barely lit, yet mesmerizing. Really, every part of this sprawling cast is worthy of praise, nailing the drama's steely tone and resolve.



http://www.cinemablend.com/m/reviews/Kill-Messenger-66330.html

In the court of public opinion, everyone deserves a chance to defend themselves and have their side of the story told. For the late Gary Webb, Michael Cuesta's Kill the Messenger represents that opportunity. While many will argue that Webb's monumental reporting was reckless and lacked professionalism, Jeremy Renner's towering performance convinces modern day audiences of just the opposite. Renner, whose latest work begs for awards season recognition, does an exceptional job in the lead role and single-handedly carries Cuesta's film from start to finish.



http://moviecriticdave.blogspot.com/2014/09/kill-messenger.html?m=1




-------------------------------
Kill The Messenger: the Gary Webb story has holes but Renner's performance still sticks

by Jordan Hoffman Friday 26 September 2014 18.28 BST

He has a sturdy build, a clear moral compass, wears cool sunglasses and rides a vintage motorcycle. Everything about Jeremy Renner’s portrayal of journalist Gary Webb in Kill the Messenger readies a conditioned moviegoer to expect him to kick ass in the name of justice. But this is a movie for grownups, so The Avengers’ Hawkeye puts down the bow and arrow and picks up his pen – or more specifically his mid-90s desktop mouse – and uses his brain instead of his brawn.



http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/sep/26/kill-the-messenger-gary-webb-review


=============


From Gary Webb's hometown paper...

Friday, September 26, 2014
Movie Trailer: Investigative Journalist Gary Webb From "Kill The Messenger" Was Plain Dealer Reporter
Posted By Sam Allard on Fri, Sep 26, 2014 at 8:33 AM
click to enlarge Webb.jpg

Gary Webb, the investigative journalist best known for his massive "Dark Alliance" series, which ran in three parts in the San Jose Mercury News in 1996, was a former statehouse correspondent for the Plain Dealer.
http://www.clevescene.com/scene-and-heard/archives/2014/09/26/movie-trailer-investigative-journalist-gary-webb-from-kill-the-messenger-was-plain-dealer-reporter?mode=print

__________________
A TAINTED DEAL http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

 LA DEA; Murder of Kiki Camarena http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998
https://fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981013-coke.htm   

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