The government cocaine connection is real, but the reporter who publicized the story must still be attacked, after already being driven to suicide.
As I’ve noted, Hollywood is about to vindicate the marginalized and reviled reporter, Gary Webb, in a feature movie starring Jeremy Renner. This means many in the media must do some serious spin, since they acted to discredit and destroy the career of Gary Webb.
Thus, the New York Times movie review:
If someone told you today that there was strong evidence that the Central Intelligence Agency once turned a blind eye to accusations of drug dealing by operatives it worked with, it might ring some distant, skeptical bell. Did that really happen?
That really happened. As part of their insurgency against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua, some of the C.I.A.-backed contras made money through drug smuggling, transgressions noted in a little-noticed 1988 Senate subcommittee report.
Gary Webb, a journalist at The San Jose Mercury News, thought it was a far-fetched story to begin with, but in 1995 and 1996, he dug in and produced a deeply reported and deeply flawed three-part series called “Dark Alliance.”
Since the New York Times was deeply involved in the attack on Gary Webb, its claim that his report was “deeply flawed,” might be interpreted as a desperate face-saving gesture.
Even in finally admitting the crimes associated with the CIA, the New York Times still thinks it is more important to find flaws (or invent them) in Gary Webb’s reporting than it is to pursue the drug-intelligence connection in the U.S. Government. In so doing, they are demonstrating continued misfeasance as they try to cover it up.
Liberal journalist Robert Perry summarizes the NYT’s compromised past:
Although the Times’ review still quibbles with aspects of Webb’s “Dark Alliance” series in the San Jose Mercury-News, the Times appears to have finally thrown in the towel when it comes to the broader question of whether Webb was telling important truths.
The Times’ resistance to accepting the reality of this major national security scandal under President Ronald Reagan even predated its tag-team destruction of Webb in the mid-1990s, when he was alternately pummeled by the Times, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. The same Big Three newspapers also either missed or dismissed the Contra-cocaine scandal when Brian Barger and I first disclosed it in 1985 for the Associated Press — and even when an investigation led by Sen. John Kerry provided more proof in 1989.
Indeed, the New York Times took a leading role in putting down the story in the mid-1980s just as it did in the mid-1990s. That only began to change in 1998 when CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz conducted the spy agency’s first comprehensive internal inquiry into the allegations and found substantial evidence to support suspicions of Contra-cocaine smuggling and the CIA’s complicity in the scandal.
Of course, since it is quite impossible to discover who knew what exactly and when in the CIA, the CIA has a “plausible deniability” shield to prevent anyone from proving that they intentionally cooperated in the drug trade. But read Gary Webb’s book, Dark Alliance, for yourself and ask yourself why the media would be more interested in finding fault with Gary Webb’s journalism than in finding fault with the CIA.