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by Uri Dowbenko
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Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion
by Gary Webb (Seven Stories Press, 548 pp. $24.95)
"Dark Alliance" was originally the title of a series of newspaper articles by San Jose Mercury reporter Gary Webb (August 18, 1996). It had a strong lead, a powerful introduction, and it's still an accurate summary of a true story.
"For the better part of a decade, a Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods street gangs of Los Angeles and funneled millions in drug profits to a Latin American guerilla army run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, a Mercury News investigation has found. This drug network, federal records show, opened the first pipeline between Colombia's cocaine cartels and black neighborhoods of Los Angeles, a city now known as the crack capital of the world. The cocaine it brought into the United States fueled the crack explosion in urban America and the simultaneous rise to power of the murderous gangs of black L.A."
Did the Nicaraguan Contras really use cash from cocaine sold in the US?
Did CIA-sanctioned Nicaraguan drug smugglers flood the inner cities of America with cocaine used to make crack?
The answer to both questions is "yes."
In its new book-length incarnation, "Dark Alliance" by Gary Webb is a heavily referenced history of how the CIA engineered the high-volume U.S. cocaine invasion of the 1980s. This is a classic market study. Saturate the market with low-cost cocaine. Produce mass market crack in South Central Los Angeles. Make big bucks. Go to jail (if you're not protected by a high-level CIA coverup.)
"Freeway" Ricky Ross, a young entrepreneurial black guy, and hundreds of other crack dealers are in jail. Danilo Blandon and Norwin Meneses are the Nicaraguan CIA assets who keep getting "get out of jail free" cards.
"Dark Alliance" is a bombshell of a book, meticulously researched and entertainingly written. Investigative reporter Webb delivers the goods -- solid evidence about Contra/CIA/cocaine trafficking. First, there was the newspaper story, supplemented by website documentation and evidence, and then the book. Webb writes that "unlike all the previous stories about the Contras and cocaine, this one couldn't be killed off in the traditional manner, by Big Media ignoring it or relegating it to a news brief. Millions of people were finding out about 'Dark Alliance' anyway, even though not a word had appeared in the so-called national press."
Enter the Internet and the San Jose Mercury Website which spread the information quickly around the world, before it could be "spiked," or put out of circulation by CIA asset-publishers. "Because the story had what I called a high unbelievability factor, I wanted to use the Mercury's Web site, Mercury Center, to help document the series," writes Webb. "I wanted us to put our evidence up on the Internet, so readers could see our documents and reports, read the grand jury transcripts, listen to undercover DEA tapes, check our sources and make up their own minds about the validity of the story. After seeing the government's reaction to the Contra-cocaine stories of the 1980s. I didn't want to be caught in the old 'officials-say-there's-no-evidence' trap."
The story received rave reviews. HotWired wrote, "Dark Alliance is making digital and media history. The Mercury News is demonstrating for perhaps the first time how the Web and the traditional press can fuse to good effect -- and that there's still a chance to break modern media's parochial instincts and return some power to journalists outside Washington and New York."
Webb writes, "If there was one thing scarier to corporate journalism than the series itself, it was the image of the future where Big Media was unable to control the national agenda."
Computer consultant J. Orlin Grabbe writes that "a democratic revolution similar to Gutenberg's is taking place today in the transmission and presentation of news. The Internet in general and the WorldWideWeb in particular undermine the authority of the priestly caste of editors presiding over the New York Times. The Internet's information transmission mechanisms bypass and make a mockery of the highly selective news filters imposed at CNN. Original news, research and opinion -- both the good and the bad -- often goes from the producer to consumer unadulterated."
Grabbe's own research on former DEA agent Cele Castillo produced a story called "The Coke Was Stored in Hangars 4 and 5" (www.europa.com/~johnlf/og/castillo.)
Once Webb's story hit the fan, a cover story, counterattack and media spin were launched by the CIA-connected Mega-Media Cartel. Webb found out that the "journalist" attacking his credibility and the verities of his story was Washington Post writer Walter Pincus, who bragged about being on the CIA pad in a story called "How I Traveled Abroad on CIA Subsidy." Surprise! Washington Post's veteran national security reporter is a former CIA operative and propagandist. Webb found out that Pincus had served his masters well in the past, for example, by unfavorably reviewing Philip Agee's best selling expose about the agency, "CIA Diary."
After publication of his article, Webb suffered retaliation at work. He was transferred by executive editor Jerry Ceppos "to the West Bureau in Cupertino, the newspaper's version of Siberia." He later quit.
Former AP reporter Bob Parry who first broke the "Iran"-Contra story was also fired. According to Webb, "Robert Parry, one of the AP reporters, who wrote the groundbreaking story, said his editors sat on the piece for weeks and edited it heavily, only to spike it at the last minute.When it was accidentally transmitted over the AP's Spanish-language wire, his editors rewrote the story once again and all the alleged involvement of CIA operatives were deleted before it was released to the American public. Parry later discovered that the AP's Washington Bureau chief was having regular meetings with Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, who was running the Contra program at the time."
So much for Associated Propaganda, er, I mean Press.
Another corroboration of Webb's work comes from LAPD whistleblower Mike Ruppert. In his testimony before the Senate Select Committee of Intelligence, Ruppert states that "on November 15, 1996, I stood at a town hall meeting at Locke High School in Los Angeles and said to Director of Central Intelligence John Deutch, 'I am a former Los Angeles Police narcotics detective. I worked South Central Los Angeles and I can tell you emphatically and without equivocation that the Agency has dealt drugs in this country for a long time.' I then referred Director Deutch to three specific Agency operations known as Amadeus, Pegasus and Watchtower."
"The CIA did not just deal drugs during the Iran Contra era," continued Ruppert. "It has done so for the full fifty years of its history. I will give you evidence which will show that the CIA and many figures such as Richard Secord, Ted Shackley, Tom Clines, Felix Rodriguez and George Herbert Walker Bush, who was DCI when I first became exposed to Agency drug dealing, have been selling drugs to Americans since the Vietnam era."
"...The evidence will also show that the CIA has infiltrated and established illegal relationships with a number of police departments around the country. One of the purposes of this has been to protect CIA drug operations from law enforcement. I have personal knowledge of this activity in Los Angeles and New Orleans and have documented such a case in New York City." (http://www.copvcia.com)
The punchline of Webb's book is astounding. "When CIA Inspector General Fred P. Hitz testified before the House Intelligence Committee in March 1998, he admitted a secret government interagency agreement. 'Let me be frank about what we are finding,' Hitz said. '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.'"
"The lawmakers fidgeted uneasily. 'Did any of these allegations involved trafficking in the United States?' asked Congressman Norman Dicks of Washington. 'Yes,' Hitz answered. Dicks flushed."
"And what, Hitz was asked, had been the CIA's legal responsibility when it learned of this? That issue, Hitz replied haltingly, had 'a rather odd history...the period of 1982 to 1995 was one in which there was no official requirement to report on allegations of drug trafficking with respect to non-employees of the agency, and they were defined to include agents, assets, non-staff employees.' There had been a secret agreement to that effect 'hammered out between the CIA and U.S. Attorney General William French Smith in 1982,' he testified."
"A murmur coursed through the room as Hitz's admission sunk in," writes Webb. "No wonder the U.S. government could blithely insist there was 'no evidence' of Contra/CIA drug trafficking. For thirteen years -- from the time Blandon and Menesis began selling cocaine in L.A. for the Contras -- the CIA and Justice had a gentleman's agreement to look the other way."
So was it just another conspiracy against black people? Webb doesn't believe it. He writes that "the Contras' cocaine ended up being turned into crack was a horrible accident of history, I believed, not someone's evil plan. The Contras just happened to pick the worst possible time ever to begin peddling cheap cocaine in black neighborhoods. That, I believed, was the real danger the CIA has always presented -- unbridled criminal stupidity cloaked in a blanket of national security."
Despite his extensive research,Webb's conclusion is simply naive. Extensive cross-corroborated evidence by other government whistleblowers proves that CIA has been involved in major criminal conspiracies, especially drug trafficking, since its inception. To believe anything else is to be in denial.
For the record, CIA operative US Army Colonel Al Carone has stated in an affidavit, part of a lawsuit against CIA by former Green Beret William Tyree, that "at the CIA there were a few people in the right positions who blamed the decline of American culture on people of color living in the United States, that the blame of the fall of American culture began with the creation of the National Security Memorandum-200 which stated among other things the concern of overpopulation in the United States which many at the CIA attributed to the birthrate among people of color, and that there were some at the CIA that felt that physical slavery could be replaced by pharmaceutical slavery and that's why African American gangs, i.e. 'Bloods' and 'Crips,' were singled out for distributing the drugs brought into the United States by the CIA."
For more information, read former FAA investigator Rodney Stich's ground-breaking book "Defrauding America," a veritable encyclopedia of US government state sponsored terrorism and corruption.
There should be no doubt, however, in anyone's mind that CIA is indeed the embodiment of "unbridled criminal stupidity cloaked in a blanket of national security."
Webb's book then also contains the essence of a powerful argument for repealing the National Security Act of 1947. This pointless relic of the Cold War era remains a crafty rationale for covering up high level criminal conspiracy.
After all the Big Media Cartel has completely avoided the issue -- how did crack get to be so "popular"?
An inside-the-agency joke is that CIA stands for either Cocaine in America or Criminals in Action. Either way it's death for you and your family. Read "Dark Alliance" and decide for yourself. The Monopoly Media Cartel hasn't told you the truth yet.
Copyright © 2001 Uri Dowbenko. All Rights Reserved.
Uri Dowbenko is CEO of New Improved Entertainment Corp. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com