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Member since: Mon Oct 8, 2007, 11:23 AM
Number of posts: 2,482

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Abscam (post-Church Committee)

A few years after the Church Committee finished their business the Intelligence Industrial Complex ran a sting operation targeting members of Congress call Abscam. The intelligence community has not been investigated since..

It certainly would appear that Church Committee proponent and subcommittee chair Senator Richard Schweiker was brought back into line..
@WashTimes: David Keene remembers an unlikely Reaganite http://wtim.es/1SKRi6A #DickSchweiker #politics

"American Hustle" w/Jennifer Lawrence and the Church Committee


Jesse Katz' mea culpa for LA Times hatchet job on Gary Webb

Jesse Katz admits that attacking journalist Gary Webb's CIA-cocaine expose ruined Webb's life
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.

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...

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.

"If 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...




laweekly: L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Kiki Camarena Murder

How a Dogged L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena

In January 1989, Hector Berrellez reported to Los Angeles, handpicked by the head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to get to the bottom of a 4-year-old murder investigation that was a top agency priority. This wasn't just another killing in the seemingly endless bloodshed in the Mexican drug wars; the victim, like Berrellez, was a DEA agent. Enrique "Kiki" Camarena had been kidnapped, tortured and murdered at the hands of a Mexican drug cartel four years earlier. The identity of the killers was clear enough; two cartel bosses had been convicted of the killings and were imprisoned in Mexico. But the DEA had reason to believe there were many more guilty parties in addition to the two capos behind bars.

Berrellez was 42 at the time. A former homicide cop, he'd joined the DEA more than a decade earlier as a prized recruit, a thrill-seeker and trained investigator who spoke Spanish without a trace of an American accent — a natural-born undercover narc. He was posted to DEA operations in Colombia and Mexico, living under assumed identities, infiltrating the Medellín cartel, the Cali cartel, the Guadalajara cartel. " I was good," he says. "I could penetrate cartels as Mexican. When I was asked if I was a cop, I'd tell them, 'Yo ni tengo papeles!'"

One retired fellow agent called him the Wyatt Earp of the DEA. His supervisor in the Los Angeles office said Berrellez had better sources than the CIA. But of the 200 investigations Berrellez had run in his 12 years with the administration, the Camarena case would be the one where he got more information than he bargained for.

Given his experience, Berrellez was an appropriate choice to lead the investigation. Nonetheless, on the day he got the assignment from DEA headquarters, he believed he was the butt of a practical joke. It was December 1988, a month after his cover had been blown in Mexico and he and his wife and children had to be evacuated from Mazatlán under threat of death. A month of kicking around his hometown of South Tucson, Arizona, on administrative leave, bored stiff, steeling his excitable nerves for a desk job in Phoenix. Boy, the guys must have really pulled out all the stops this time; the woman's voice on the phone sounded official: "Yes, Agent Berrellez, please hold for the administrator." Berrellez was a proud rank-and-file agent, wary of Washington, D.C.; he'd managed to fly under the radar at headquarters. He had certainly never fielded a call from the administrator before, and what he expected to hear now were the snickers of his fellow agents over speakerphone, not the voice of Jack Lawn asking if he would like to take over the investigation code-named Operation Leyenda...


PBS' History Detectives

The conspiracy theorists at PBS ...

came to the same conclusion.

Keep up the great work, Octafish.

CBC (9 - Windsor)

Growing up close to Detroit we were able to pull in CBC channel 9 in Windsor and catch great shows like SCTV.

Pre-ESPN .. between the CBC (Hockey Night in Canada, Olympics...) and channel 50 in Detroit we got our sports fix.

Continuum deserves to be on that list...

Excellent show.

I might have Jericho a little higher too .. having just watched the dvd. Caprica .. Dollhouse .. Life on Mars .. Battlestar .. Fringe .. Tru Calling and Threshold are some other must see dvds.

Echoes of JFK's trip to Ireland

John F. Kennedy in New Ross and Wexford, Ireland: June 27, 1963

Adrienne Shelly

I agree with the notion that the very fact that Sandra Bland was ever stopped and then jailed is the real issue here...

But, as I mentioned in this other thread, the case reminds me of how Adrienne Shelly was murdered. It was staged to look like a hanging/suicide. If not for her husband/blogger Andy Ostroy raising doubts about the suicide angle the police would have never investigated further...

Adrienne Shelly's "Waitress"

Recent events brought to mind the talented Adrienne Shelly..

Adrienne Shelly (June 24, 1966 – November 1, 2006), was an American actress, director and screenwriter. She became known for roles in independent films such as 1989's The Unbelievable Truth. In late 2006 Shelly was the married mother of an infant daughter and was waiting to see if her film Waitress, would be accepted for the Sundance festival. On November 1, 2006, Shelly was found dead, hanging in the shower of her Greenwich Village work studio apartment. The initial examination of the scene did not reveal any suspicious circumstances, and police apparently believed it to be a suicide...


There may be a parallel to the Kathryn Steinle case who was allegedly killed by an illegal immigrant. A tragedy which is being exploited by the despicable Donald Trump.

Also the tragic case of Sandra Bland who died in a Texas jail cell. As with the Adrienne Shelly case it appears that a hanging was staged to make it look like suicide.


Today in 1964

Michael Beschloss ‏@BeschlossDC: Civil rights heroes Schwerner, Chaney & Goodman were murdered today1964 in Mississippi:

Also, not to get too far afield here, this Jeffrey Sterling whistleblowing on the CIA case is disgusting ..

Jeff Stein ‏@SpyTalker: Moving story about the vicious prosecution of Jeffrey Sterling.
@the_intercept: "I don't know what my future is. Do I have a future?" CIA whistleblower speaks out: http://interc.pt/1CfF60M

Although it's not totally analogous to the Abraham Bolden case .. there are some parallels.
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