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Reply #24: Thanks for the heads-up. Remember Gary Webb? [View All]

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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. Thanks for the heads-up. Remember Gary Webb?
I'll send some money Al's way for the tome. If you are interested in the, um, interesting connections between US intel and the drug business, I'd recommend "Whiteout" by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair. Chock full o' facts it is.



I know you remember Gary Webb, ChiDem. It makes me sad that there are so many people who don't, or never even heard of the guy.

Here's what Cockburn wrote, regarding Gary Webb, the late reporter who penned the "Dark Alliance" series for the San Jose Mercury News: Webb was a real patriot.



From Kobe Bryant to Uncle Sam

Why They Hated Gary Webb


By ALEXANDER COCKBURN
December 18 / 19, 2004

I read a piece about Kobe Bryant a couple of days ago. The way it described his fall made me think of Bryant as a parable of America in the Bush years, that maybe even W himself could understand. No longer the big guy leading the winning team to victory over Commie scum, but a street-corner lout, picking on victims quarter his size, trying always to buy his way out of trouble. Don't leave your sister alone with Uncle Sam! No one want to buy Uncle Sam's jerseys anymore, same way they don't buy Kobe Bryant's.

This business of Uncle Sam's true face brings me to Gary Webb and why they hated him. Few spectacles in journalism in the mid-1990s were more disgusting than the slagging of Gary Webb in the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times. Squadrons of hacks, some of them with career-long ties to the CIA, sprayed thousands of words of vitriol over Webb and his paper, the San Jose Mercury News for besmirching the Agency's fine name by charging it with complicity in the importing of cocaine into the US.

There are certain things you aren't meant to say in public in America. The systematic state-sponsorship of torture by the US used to be a major no-no, but that went by the board this year (even though Seymour Hersh treated the CIA with undue kindness in Chain of Command: the Road to Abu Ghraib) . A prime no-no is to say that the US government has used assassination down the years as an instrument of national policy; also that the CIA's complicity with drug dealing criminal gangs stretches from the Afghanistan of today back to the year the Agency was founded in 1947. That last one is the line Webb stepped over.He paid for his presumption by undergoing one of the unfairest batterings in the history of the US press, as the chapter from Whiteout we ran on our site yesterday narrates.

SNIP...

There were similar fountains of outrage in 1996 that the CIA hadn't been given enough space in Webb's series to solemnly swear that never a gram of cocaine had passed under its nose but that it had been seized and turned over to the DEA or US Customs.

In 1998 Jeffrey St Clair and I published our book, Whiteout, about the relationships between the CIA, drugs and the press since the Agency's founding. We also examined the Webb affair in detail. On a lesser scale, at lower volume it elicited the same sort of abuse Webb drew. It was a long book stuffed with well-documented facts, over which the critics lightly vaulted to charge us, as they did Webb, with "conspiracy-mongering" though, sometimes in the same sentence, of recycling "old news". Jeffrey and I came to the conclusion that what really affronted the critics, some of them nominally left-wing, was that our book portrayed Uncle Sam's true face. Not a "rogue" Agency but one always following the dictates of government, murdering, torturing, poisoning, drugging its own subjects, approving acts of monstrous cruelty, following methods devised and tested by Hitler's men, themselves transported to America after the Second World War.

CONTINUED...

http://www.counterpunch.com/cockburn12182004.html



BTW: If I haven't done so -- a most hearty welcome to DU, ChiDem!
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