Gary Webb: More Pieces
In The Suicided Puzzle - Pt 1

By Charlene Fassa
"Any hack can safely rail away at foreign powers beyond the sea; but a good writer is a critic of the society he lives in."
- Edward Abbey
"An open and shut case..."
There comes a time when you just have to stand back and take a look at the big picture. This is one of those times. On the morning of December 10th 2004, 49 year old, Gary Webb was found dead in his modest, recently sold Carmichael, California home. Webb allegedly died from two *self-inflicted* gunshot wounds to the head from a .38 caliber pistol. The Sacramento coroner, Mr. Lyons, hastily ruled Webb's death a suicide heralded by his now infamous pronouncement: "It's unusual in a suicide case to have two shots," he said, "but it has been done in the past, and it is in fact a distinct possibility." Which brings up another possibility, as the Gershwin song goes, that "it ain't necessarily so." I'm referring to the lingering and distinct possibility-- no make that probability-- that Gary Webb was murdered.  
While I agree with Mr. Lyons that it's unusual for a suicide to "have two shots" notice how cleverly Mr. Lyons fails to mention another more important detail such as it's virtually impossible to have a suicide case with two shots to the head via a .38 revolver? Think about that for a moment. Doesn't this deceptive statement make one suspicious that a well orchestrated, top-down cover-up operation is underway? Or is this merely a minor oversight by a government official whose expertise is determining the cause of death? Here's what the iconoclastic, egdy, political commentator Vox had to say on December 23, 2004 about Webb's alleged 'suicide' that had occurred only a few days prior (posted on his website
Vox Excerpts
"... So we need to know who told the coroner to say it was suicide. The coroner knows who told him to say it was suicide and that person knows who told them to say it was suicide, and so on and so forth until you arrive at the group who ordered the hit. But to claim that after the first shot to the face the guy then re-cocks his pistol, aims and fires a second shot - it is impossible for a thinking person to accept this. And anyone with the skills that webb had would get it right the first time. No, this was a hit job... Either way it is impossible for a thinking person to accept... and that is the point.
Since the control mechanisms of human thought have been so completely implemented, there will be no questioning of anything as depicted on the news by the great masses of people, they simply accept, uncritically, that which is broadcast. Yet for the thinking people, the implausibility of the "Two Shot" story being a suicide is PRECISELY the point. They don't want thinking people to accept and believe that it was a suicide, that is precisely WHY they went with the two shot to the face story in the first place... er... third place.
It's designed to put a chill in the spines of those with the sensibilities and experience to detect this targeted threat meme. To put a chill in thinking people's spines. by saying, look, we can do what we want, and there is not a thing anyone can do about it. "just look at poor 'nutjob' gary, ha ha ha, imagine what it must have looked like, him getting off that second shot into his own face, ha ha ha." This is how they think. These are the methodologies of the illuminati, this is the very face of evil." (end of excerpts)
Or this from Robert Chambers of the UK Independent:
"I first heard about Webb eight years ago, ". . . from the Paris-based journalist Paul Moreira. Moreira ­ a senior news producer for Canal Plus ­ has established a reputation for courage and independence of mind in his own foreign reporting, and was recently described by Le Monde as "the Che Guevara of news media." Shortly before I left for Sacramento, Moreira, who knew Webb, had shown me unbroadcast footage which shows the French reporter making a phone call to a media commentator in the US, asking him about Webb's death."
" 'I told Gary not to go near this story," his source replies, in an emotional voice. " 'You do not understand the power of these people,' " he adds, referring to the US intelligence services. " 'Do not quote me. Do not quote me on anything. '"
"You sound very scared," Moreira remarks.
" 'I am scared," the voice replies. ' " 'Look at what happened to Gary Webb. Do something else with your life,' " the voice urges. " ' Like enjoy it.' "
Ted Gunderson: Retired FBI expert in analyzing and reconstructing crime scenes.
On Dec. 1, 2005 I spoke with Ted Gunderson about Webb's death. Mr. Gunderson is a retired FBI agent who enjoyed a distinguished career with the FBI that spanned 27 plus years. Prior to his retirement in 1979 Mr. Gunderson was a "senior special agent-in-charge" with a $22 million annual budget at his disposal and over 700 persons under his charge. Mr Gunderson told me, "my expertise is analyzing and reconstructing crime scenes." He said, "Gary Webb was MURDERED. "He (Webb) resisted the first shot {to the head that exited via jaw} so he was shot again with the second shot going into the head {brain}." I asked Mr. Gunderson what he thought about the "two shots" to the head suicide theory that posits Webb "simply missed " his brain with the first shot, so he had to shoot himself again, this time successfully hitting the brain with a .38 revolver? Without hesitation Gunderson exclaimed, "impossible!"
A colleague and one of Webb's mentors at the "Cleveland Plain Dealer schooled Webb: "The Big One was the reporter's Holy Grail, the tip that led you from the daily morass of press conferences and of cop calls and on to the trail of The Biggest Story You'd Ever Write, the one that would turn the rest of your career into an anticlimax."
" The Big One," Webb recollected, "would be like a bullet with your name on it. You'd never hear it coming." Unfortunately Webb's "Big One" turned out to be two bullets to the head.
Gary Webb speaks at the
Narco News School of Authentic Journalism
Photo D.R. Jeremy Bigwood 2003
Gary Webb believed that journalists were revolutionaries. In 2003 Gary shared his radical perspective about journalists with aspiring Journalism students while a guest instructor/editor at The Narco News School of Authentic Journalism in Mexico. Webb exclaimed: "Journalists are revolutionaries and don't let anyone tell you otherwise," Webb continued, "You have to fight to change the world." In a 2004 article entitled "Gary Webb is Dead," the author, Richard Thieme, revealed: "Gary spoke of his work in terms that I used for ministry. He had been mentored by a journalist who taught him that his work was to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."
Excerpts from "Gary Webb is Dead"
In May 2000, I {Richard Thieme} was exploring a story with some dark edges to it. I was anxious and needed encouragement to persist. I asked Gary about the consequences of his investigation and its impact on his life. Above all, was it worth it?
"Yes," he said. "The CIA admitted it. I know it was the truth, and that's what kept me going. I knew I was right. He added, "My eyes were wide open. I knew what I was getting into. My kids suffered but I had the paper behind me - I thought." After his paper withdrew its support, he drew on the energy of people who knew the truth of the streets. "Support came from all sorts of places," he said. "Especially African Americans."
And his wife? "She was OK with it," he laughed. "She was used to me getting death threats."
(end of excerpts)
Where Angels Fear to Tread
In a 2004 BBC interview titled: "Voters' views: Gary Webb," (
Webb described himself as as an "author and a responsible anarchist" who, by the way, didn't vote. In other words, Gary had been forced to discard the comforting illusions most of us irrationally continue to harbor, while obsessively clinging to false notions of America as an exemplary, democratic republic with a "free press." It should be clear to most that at the time of his death Gary Webb had evolved into a high profile dissident, a full fledged "enemy of the state." Although it's true Webb wasn't the first journalist to uncover the CIA's extensive involvement in drug trafficking, he was the first mainstream journalist to uncover and publish his well documented findings in a major USA newspaper, revealing to the general public that the CIA's covert participation in drug trafficking had come home to roost in America.
Prior to Webb's "Dark Alliance" series there had been some coverage of the Contra drug story. In the beginning stages of researching "Dark Alliance", Webb had a conversation with Jack Blum, the "Washington D.C. attorney who headed the "Kerry investigation" (Dark Alliance p. 14-15). Blum reminded Webb that Associated Press reporters, Robert Parry and Brian Barger had covered the Contra drug story - " but they'd run into the same problems. Their stories were either trashed or ignored." (Dark Alliance p15). Speaking of Kerry, Webb comments that back in 1987-1988 the Contra Cocaine issue surfaced with a vengeance when a Congressional investigation chaired by Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts had "uncovered direct links between the drug dealers and the Contras." Webb explicates, "Kerry and his staff had taken videotaped depositions from Contra leaders who acknowledged receiving drug profits, with the apparent knowledge of the CIA." (Dark Alliance p.14)
Shortly after his conversation with Blum, Webb contacted Parry to get Parry's take on his unique story angle: the Contra, cocaine LA. connection. Webb reached him by phone. Parry admitted that as far as he knew Webb had stumbled across a fresh story angle, and he explained that the scope of his {Parry} Contra cocaine investigation had pretty much been limited to the "Costa Rica end of things." Webb pressed Parry for any advice or guidance he could offer him since Webb had never reported on a story like this before. Prophetically, like an old gypsy fortune teller, Parry warned Webb that his pursuit of the Contra cocaine story would most likely expose Webb to dangerous, dark undercurrents of power and deception. Parry proceeded to illustrate his prediction with a personally painful cautionary tale that Webb reconstructs in "Dark Alliance."
Parry excerpt:
There was a short silence on the other end of the phone. "How well do you get along with your editors?" Parry finally asked. (Webb) "Fine. Why do you ask?"
"Well when Brian and I were doing these stories we got our brains beat out." Parry sighed. "People from the adminstration were calling our editors, telling them we were crazy, that our sources were no good, that we didn't know what we were writing about. The Justice Department was putting out false press releases saying there was nothing to this, that they'd investigated and could find no evidence. We were being attacked in the Washington Times. The rest of the Washington press corps sort of pooh-poohed the whole thing, and no one else would touch it. So we ended up being out there all by ourselves, and eventually our editors backed away completely, and I ended-up quitting the AP. It was probably the most difficult time of my career." (Dark Alliance p.15)
(end of excerpt)
Another Bad Omen
Ainsworth excerpt:
Webb tracked down Dennis Ainsworth, a San Franscisco Contra supporter who had been interviewed by the FBI back in 1987. Here's what Ainsworth bluntly told Webb:
"Nobody in Washington wanted to look at this. Republican, Democrat, nobody. They wanted this story buried and anyone who looked any deeper into it go buried along with it, " Ainsworth said. "You're bringing up a very old nightmare. You have no idea what your touching on here, Gary, No idea at all."
"I think I've got a pretty good idea," I {Webb} said.
"Believe me, " he {Ainsworth} said patiently, "you don't understand." I almost got killed. I had friends in Central America who were killed. There was a Mexican Reporter who was looking into one end of this, and he wound up dead. So don't pretend you know." (Dark Alliance p.17)
(end of excerpt)
Of course, as we all know Webb listened politely and continued undaunted on "the road less travelled."
The Mighty Wurlitzer (CIA term for controlled media apparatus) and Plutocracy
Former CIA Director William Colby bragged that the CIA "owns everyone of any major significance in the major media."
(MOCKINGBIRD - The Subversion Of The Free Press By The CIA)
Plutocratic Elite Owned Media
And this from the American Free Press:
"In the old Soviet Union, the government controlled the media. Not a word of substance could be published without prior approval from the Bolshevik commissars. Today, in the United States, the situation is starkly similar. But most Americans don't even know it."
"In the United States today, it is a select handful of super-rich families and tightly-knit financial interests-a plutocratic elite-who own the Big Media and who control the government through their ownership of that media. . . ."
"Every single one of the major media outlets is controlled by this powerful interlocking combine." "ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune-even such "regional" giants as The New Orleans Times-Picayune, The Miami Herald, The San Diego Herald-Tribune. . . . The list goes on and on."
"The so-called "mainstream" media is very much a "closed shop" and only those willing to do the bidding of the global power elite need apply. Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather and Peter Jennings and other puppets are just the public faces that the American people see." (end of excerpts)
Call me naive or hopelessly romantic, but I don't think Gary Webb was pining to be a mainstream Poodle reporter for the global elite. He had long ago disqualified himself from the corporate brand of cowed, careerist, narcissistic, and mediocre drivel that impersonates as authentic journalism. Those in the know understood that Webb's courage, integrity, and investigative prowess, as illustrated by the "Dark Alliance" series, posed a formidable threat to the invisible power structure, the fascist global network behind the scenes that controls the USA solely to enhance their bottom line and to advance their neo-feudal, globalization agenda at great expense to the American people and the entire world, albeit unknown to most.
So, do you really believe Webb killed himself because he couldn't get another job at major newspaper? Webb stated during a January 19,1999 Q & A session: "AND I'M PUTTING TOGETHER ANOTHER BOOK PROPOSAL, AND A COUPLE OF OTHER THINGS. I'M NOT GOING TO WORK FOR NEWSPAPERS ANYMORE. I LEARNED MY LESSON." Besides I can't imagine Webb didn't know that he was persona non grata as far as mainstream, investigative reporting was concerned.
Myth of the Free Press
Webb's comment: "Do we have a free press today? Sure. It's free to report all the sex scandals, all the stock market news, [and] every new health fad that comes down the pike. But when it comes to the real down and dirty stuff, stories like Tailwind, the October Surprise, the El Mozote massacre, corporate corruption, or CIA involvement in drug trafficking -- that's where we begin to see the limits of our freedoms. In today's media environment, sadly, such stories are not even open for discussion." (from the book "Into the Buzzsaw" edited by Kristina Borjesson)
Paradise found following your bliss
Webb: " In seventeen years of doing this, nothing bad had happened to me. I was never fired or threatened with dismissalif I kept looking under rocks I was winning awards, getting raises, lecturing college classes, appearing on TV shows, So how could I possibly agree with people who were claiming the system didn't work, that it was steered by powerful special interests and corporations, and existed to protect the power elite? Hell, the system worked just fine, as (far as) I could tell"
Paradise lost following your bliss
Webb continues,
"... And then I wrote some stories that made me realize how sadly misplaced my bliss had been. The reason I'd enjoyed such smooth sailing for so long hadn't been, as I'd assumed, because I was careful and diligent and good at my job. It turned out to have nothing to do with it. The truth was that, in all those years, I hadn't written anything important enough to suppress." (Webb, 'The Mighty Wurlitzer Plays On', in Kristina Borjesson, ed., Into The Buzzsaw - Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press, Prometheus, 2002, pp.296-7)
Gary Webb's First Typewriter
Gary Webb was born August 31, 1955 into a conservative, Catholic military family (his father was a Marine) in Corona, California. He had only one sibling a younger brother: Kurt. After Gary's father retired from the Marines he found work as a security guard in Indiana. So the family relocated to a blue collar neighborhood in Indianapolis. That's when Gary began writing editorials for his school newspaper. It was at the tender age of around 15 that Webb discovered the truth behind the cliched saying " the pen is mightier than the sword" along with his lifelong love of controversy and truth telling.
Webb shares an episode from his younger days that reveals his initiation into the warrior writer caste, while speaking to a live audience (approximately 300) in Eugene, Oregon on January 16, 1999 :
Gary recalled: "I think I was fifteen (1970 or 1971), I was working for my high school paper, and I was writing editorials. This sounds silly now that I think about it, but I had written an editorial against the drill team that we had for the high school games, for the football gamesthey thought it was a cool idea to dress women up in military uniforms and send them out there to twirl rifles and battle flags at halftime. And I thought it was sort of outrageous and I wrote an editorial saying I thought it was one of the silliest things I'd ever seen..."
The editorial caused a brouhaha with the drill team girls who angrily demanded an apology. Naturally Gary refused even after a face to face meeting with the disgruntled ladies. Even after being threatened Gary stood his ground. "And my newspaper advisor called me the next day and said, "Gosh, that editorial you wrote has really prompted a response." And I said, "Great, that's the idea, isn't it?" And she said, "Well, it's not so great, they want you to apologize for it." [Laughter from the audience.]
I said, "Apologize for what?" And she said, "Well, the girls were very offended." And I said, "Well, I'm not apologizing because they don't want my opinion. You'll have to come up with a better reason than that." And she said, "Well, if you don't apologize, we're not going to let you into Quill & Scroll," which is the high school journalism society. And I said, "Well, I don't want to be in that organization if I have to apologize to get into it." [More laughter from the audience, scattered applause.]
Webb's adamant refusal to apologize, under intense peer pressure, to the the girls drill team foreshadowed his refusal decades later to recant, under even more intense pressure, for exposing the truth about the CIA, Contras, and crack/cocaine epidemic with his 1996 "Dark Alliance" series as an investigative journalist for the San Jose Mercury Newspaper. Webb's anecdotal story clearly demonstrates that his core career values never wavered, nor did his stubborn refusal to bow down to authoritative and politically correct dogma, regardless of the consequences.
Not only did Gary stand by his "Dark Alliance" series while at the San Jose Mercury, he eventually went a step further. After having been roundly criticized and eventually ostracized by virtually all the mainstream media pundits, his own newspaper turned against him, underscored by his editor's public denouncement of the series. As a result, Webb was forced to resign from the San Jose Mercury. On his own, Webb expanded his 3 part "Dark Alliance" series into a 500 page plus book, his tour de force : "Dark Alliance", published in 1998. There have been reports from reliable sources that, prior to his death, Webb had uncovered even more material related to his original "Dark Alliance'" investigations, and that he was in the process of completing another book about drug trafficking and the CIA. I believe the primary motive behind Webb's likely murder was to stop him from publishing his next investigative expose'.
After High School (1978-1979) Webb enrolled in Northern Kentucky University as a journalism major. He worked on the staff of the "Northern," the school newspaper. Unfortunately, he was forced by circumstances, specifically due to his father's skipping out on the family, to leave college early in order to help support his mother and younger brother, Kurt. At the time, Gary was living with his girlfriend and former high school sweetheart, Sue Bell. They were living in her parent's basement. Not surprisingly, Gary had a writing gig, at the time, reporting on the rock n' roll beat for a local, weekly rag. Shortly thereafter, Gary and Sue were married in a Unitarian Service. She was just 21 and he was 24. Together they went on to raise three children, two sons, Ian and Eric; and a daughter, Christine. Their marriage lasted an unbelievable, by todays standards, 21 years. Until Sue Bell divorced Webb in 2000.
Gary Webb's career track from the beginning was silky smooth, straight forward, and stunning. His first major career break was landing a job at the Kentucky Post. Early on Webb earned a reputation as an indefatigable researcher who dispensed truth and exposed corruption in a sincere effort to help restore the natural order of good triumphing over evil. Webb's next big break was working as a statehouse correspondent for the Cleveland Plain Dealer where he was nicknamed "the Carpenter", based on his superior ability to nail the facts down. Then circa 1987, Gary hit the big one, a staff position at the San Jose Mercury News, considered one of the top ten daily newspapers in the country. The rest is history, as they say.
Some of Gary Webb's Many Prestigious Awards:
* (1997) Media Hero Award, from the 2nd Annual Media & Democracy Congress.
* (1996) Journalist of the Year, Bay Area Society of Professional Journalists.
* (1994) H.L. Mencken Award, by The Free Press Association for the series in the San Jose Mercury News on abuses in the state of California's drug asset forfeiture program.
* (1990) Pulitzer Prize, in General News Reporting, awarded to the Staff of the San Jose Mercury News for its detailed coverage of the October 17, 1989, Bay Area earthquake and its aftermath. Webb worked with a team of 6 reporters including himself, on the Loma Prieta earthquake.
* (1980) Investigative Reporters and Editors Award (IRE), for co-authoring a 17-part series at the Kentucky Post in Covington, KY with Tom Scheffey on organized crime in the American coal industry.
Introduction to the original Dark Alliance website, August, 1996:
"For the better part of a decade, a San Francisco 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 guerrilla army run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, a Mercury News investigation has found.
"This drug network opened the first pipeline between Colombia's cocaine cartels and the black neighborhoods of Los Angeles, a city now known as the crack capital of the world."
Note: For those not familiar with the "Dark Alliance" series you can read it here:
The "Dark Alliance" series turned into an explosive, lightning rod of intense controversy
"Protesters demonstrated at CIA headquarters. The Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP and comedian and activist Dick Gregory demanded an explanation from the CIA, whose spokesman declared the idea of the agency condoning drug operations "ludicrous".
"It was remarkable to think journalism could have this kind of effect on people," he said, "that people were out marching in the streets because of something you'd written." -Webb (as quoted in the L.A. Times)
"The day I will never forget was the day he told me about this link between cocaine traffickers and the crack epidemic of the '80s and the CIA's organized, right wing, Contra army of that era," Sue Bell, Gary's wife at the time said. "He was as amazed as all of us when he discovered the link. He threw himself into the story, doing what he loved to do best, exposing the truth."
Sue Bell (
The unexpected public reaction was the result of a year long investigative effort by Webb while working for the San Jose Mercury News in 1995 and 1996, culminating in the three-part expose' called the "Dark Alliance Series." Webb had uncovered the dark alliance between the CIA, the Nicaraguan Contras and the etiology of the 80's crack, cocaine epidemic in America that initially manifested in and devastated California's South-Central Los Angeles African American community. "The 20,000-word investigative series claimed that Nicaraguan drug traffickers based in San Francisco had sold tons of cocaine in Los Angeles ghettos during the 1980s and used the profits to fund the CIA-supported Nicaraguan Contras. Webb never accused the CIA of aiding the drug dealers, but he implied that the Agency was aware of the transactions."
At first the newspaper version of the story was pretty much ignored by the mainstream national press, "a deafening silence" prevailed. Their stance seemed to be characterized by a cautious wait and see attitude, or first ignore the story then attack if need be. Isn't it conceivable that the public's interest in the story was carefully monitored by the establishment? Then, armed with the public's reaction, and given the time necessary, Webb's series could be dissected and its weakest points found and attacked, enabling the power elite to discredit the entire story. That is the perfect way to cast aspersions on the entire piece's unassailable basic premise while pretending to be objective. The Dark Alliance series had also been posted on the Mercury News website, where like a volcano, the story eventually exploded across America and the world via the internet. Its aftershocks rumbled through the mainstream media. It had quickly become a virtual cause celebre; in only a matter of weeks the website was receiving up to 3.1 million hits in one day! Webb did enjoy a brief period of support, celebrity, and positive feedback. But that was short lived, and soon replaced by a devastating public crucible.
The CIA 's "Mighty Wurlitizer" and its media mouthpieces had begun impugning the truth that Webb had so thoroughly documented. In November of 1996, John Deutch, the director of the CIA at the time made an unprecedented appearance at a town hall meeting in Watts to denounce the allegations in Webb's Dark Alliance series and to publicy disavow the CIA's alleged connection to drug trafficking by the Contras and the ensuing crack explosion. (
Ministry of Truth
The "Dark Alliance" series, along with Webb, was now in the cross hairs of the Mighty Wurlitzer, the CIA's version of The Ministry of Truth (from Orwell's 1984). Webb's series had to be neutralized in order to maintain the matrix like status quo. Decades of carefully constructed government propaganda and Tavistock inspired social engineering concerning the role of the CIA and the phony war on drugs were suddenly in jeopardy. So within two months of publication, the CIA infested American Press (Mighty Wurlitzer) unfairly launched an unprecedented "piling on" and brutally attacked Webb's "Dark Alliance"series en masse.
Webb was blind-sided. He undeservedly found himself the recipient of a growing chorus of unfounded and malicious attacks on his journalistic integrity and impeccable investigation. The loudest voices in the chorus were from the mainstream, CIA riddled big troika: L.A. Times, Washington Post and New York Times. This, of course, was part of a well orchestrated plan initiated by the secret government's "Ministry of Truth", designed to professionally assassinate Webb by questioning his journalistic integrity, thereby casting doubt in the general public's mind regarding the veracity of his charges.
This campaign was an effort to quickly derail the embarrassing revelations that Webb's "Dark Alliance"Series had so unabashedly and adroitly exposed. But, fortunately the power elite and their mainstream whore media mouthpieces failed to conclusively discredit Webb's expose. "Dark Alliance" had already inspired a groundswell of grass roots outrage, especially among African Americans, which in turn led to no less than three "official" federal inquiries: two by the CIA and one by the Justice Department.
The Congresswoman for South-Central Los Angeles, Maxine Waters led the charge. In an August 30th, 1996 letter to Attorney General Janet Reno she demanded an independent investigation of the CIA's alleged role in cocaine trafficking. She wrote, "As a U.S. Representative of South-Central Los Angeles, one of the communities most ravaged by crack cocaine, I have a keen desire to get answers to the many questions that have been raised by the San Jose Mercury News expose. As you know, in the late 1980s, Congress held extensive hearings on the connection between foreign policy, narcotics, and law enforcement. Those hearings produced damning evidence of wrongdoing. However, due to continual obstruction, from many different sources -- including federal law enforcement agencies -- those hearings were not able to establish as precise a trail of guilt as the recent San Jose Mercury News article has, at least as it pertains to the origin of the crack cocaine trade in the U.S."
"The impact and the implications of the Meneses/Blandon/Ross Contra CIA crack cocaine connection cannot be understated. We all have an obligation to get to the very bottom of the origin, development, and implementation of this seedy enterprise."
Gary Webb's painstaking investigation and the incindiary conclusions he drew from it were based mostly on public records, as detailed in the "notes on sources" section in "Dark Alliance", including: undercover audio tapes, declassified government documents from the CIA, DEA, FBI, L.A. Sheriff's Department, files from the Iran-Contra investigation, eyewitness accounts, and numerous court records. This is why Webb was able to authortatively substantiate in stunning detail the methodology employed by the "secret government" to finance the Contras via large shipments of cocaine that were flown from Columbia into California and then sold to the locals, who in turn converted the cocaine into the the lucrative, more affordable and more addictive substance known as crack cocaine.
Crack was the "McDonald-ization" of cocaine. Webb explained, "The reason crack became so popular in South Central and elsewhere was that it only cost a few bucks to become a customer. Crack normally sold in $25 hits, but you could find tiny rocks for as little as $5. (Dark Alliance, p.142) Amazingly to this day, Webb's critics and detractors (mainstream media and CIA) insist that Webb's "Dark Alliance" premise was based more on speculative leaps of logic than rock solid evidentiary reasoning. On the other hand, many of us who have researched the CIA's drug running history felt that Webb's conclusions, while accurate and solidly based on his evidence, seemed conservative. It's likely that to many Americans the story was tabloid sensationalism, like something one reads from the National Enquirer while waiting in a supermarket checkout line.
"Freeway" Ricky Ross, was the "leader of South Central's first major crack distribution ring. In the space of four years Ross went from selling fractions of an ounce to shipping multimillion-dollar cocaine shipments across America. Convicted of cocaine trafficking in 1996, he is currently serving life without the possibility of parole." ( Dark Alliance, xx)
"You know how some people feel that God put them down here to be a preacher? I felt that He had put me down [here] to be the cocaine man.''- Rickey Ross
And the enormous drug profits generated by crack were used by street gangs such as the Cryps and the Bloods to not only subsidize and enrich themselves, but also to expand their territory and their burgeoning drug business. In an effort to increase their profit margins even more, the local drug dealers set up assembly line crack manufacturing plants in their neighborhood owned "cook houses." As reported by Rachel's Weekly, "Ross had 5 "cook houses" turning cocaine into crack. A former crack dealer described for the MERCURY NEWS one of Ross's cook houses where huge steel vats of cocaine were being stirred with canoe paddles atop restaurant-sized gas ranges. At his recent drug trial, Ross testified that it was not unusual to take in between $2 and $3 million in one day. "Our biggest problem had got to be counting the money," Ross told the court.
Additionally, the Contra/CIA black-op agents also sold guns to these same street gangs along with tons of cocaine. Quite an explosive cocktail guaranteed to cause maximum harm to the many, while providing maximum profits for the few. Presumably, this elaborate CIA black operation was contrived to circumvent the Boland Amendment. Rachel's weekly reported: "After passage of the Boland amendment, the Contras desperately needed a new source of funds." This was before Oliver North set up his Iran connection for arms sales to divert money from those sales to the Contras.
According to a year-long investigation by the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS based on court records, recently declassified documents, undercover audio tapes, and files retrieved via the Freedom of Information Act, the FDN ((Nicaraguan Democratic Forces a.k.a Contras) solved its problem by opening the first pipeline from the Colombian cocaine cartels to black gangs -- the Crips and the Bloods -- on the streets of Los Angeles."
The Reagan administration had been covertly funding the Contra's since 1981. However, the Boland Amendment was about to change all that. In 1981 Lt. Col. Oliver North started working for the NSC (National Security Council). Eventually, North set up shop, under the auspices of the NSC, in the basement of the White House where he was designated the clandestine point man for the cash/weapons strapped Contras. Yet, Webb stated: "From late 1981 through most of 1984 - the agency {CIA} ran the show directly, dolling out weapons and money, hiring subcontractors, ferrying supplies. planning strategy and tactics, and keeping tabs on its hirelings." (Dark Alliance, p.73)
Recall that the Boland Amendment was passed by the House of Representatives in 1982. The amendment made it illegal for Congress to fund the CIA, or any of its affiliate intelligence networks or assets for the purpose of funding, training, or arming the Contras in their USA backed bid to overthrow the Sandistina Government of Nicaragua. Then there was a Boland Amendment part 2, which extended the provisions in part 1 to include the entire U.S. Government.
Nevertheless, the Reagan Administration found a way around the amendments by using the NSC and the NAHO (Nicaraguan Humanitarian Assistance Office). The NAHO was established by Congress in 1985 and given $27 million for humanitarian aid to the Contras. The only Congressional stipulation was that the 'aid' be administered by the State Department.
Private contributions, including money from drugs and arms trafficking, from foreign leaders could then be laundered through the NAHO. Webb's research revealed that former Iran-Contra special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh was convinced that Ollie North had been acting as a CIA cut-out. Walsh described North as, "a human lightning rod", a fig leaf to make it look like the agency wasn't directly involved. (Dark Alliance p.228).
One could easily conclude that the Secret Government's stealth end run around the Boland amendments played a large part in the Iran-Contra affair and the genesis of America's crack cocaine explosion.
"Dark Alliance" and echos of Henry Kissinger's infamous depopulation reference to those who should be eliminated as "useless eaters".
As part of the grassroots backlash generated from Webb's "Dark Alliance" series, many in the Black Community openly charged that the government, via the CIA's drug trafficking of cocaine into California, was guilty of a genocidal plot against African Americans. The black community was suspicious about the origins of the sudden crack cocaine epidemic in South Central Los Angeles and in other urban areas. Webb had uncovered this troubling fact: Cocaine had not been available until the, "CIA's army" started bringing cocaine into South Central; it was "virtually unobtainable in black neighborhoods" but quickly spread nationwide." (
It's important to mention, however, that Gary Webb never posited in "Dark Alliance", the series or the book, that the CIA was targeting the black community with racially genocidal motives while trafficking cocaine with the Contras in the "80's. However, the genocide speculation held by many African Americans, although not provable or supported by credible evidence in Webb's expose', could still have merit as a secondary agenda that would be virtually impossible to prove. For now, the conventional wisdom holds that the CIA/Contra targeted poor, African Americans in Black ghettos as consumers for crack cocaine primarily based on marketing criteria. Nevertheless, it can be demonstrated that the drug war in general and the crack cocaine epidemic in particular has penalized mostly poor people of color disproportionally. The current prison explosion in the USA has its roots in the so called "drug war", and the USA now incarcerates more people per capita than Communist China.
"We are often tempted to think of China as an oppressive country, but we incarcerate 500,000 more people in this country despite the fact that we have less than one-fourth of the population of China. We lock up our poor, our uneducated, our unruly, our unstable and our addicted, where other countries provide treatment, mental hospitals and care." - Jesse Jackson
Allen Elsner, a veteran Reuters correspondent, states in his recent book "Gates of Injustice", there are "over 2.2 million people currently incarcerated in the U.S., giving the U.S. the highest per capita prison population in the industrialized world".
The prison population exploded in the last three decades. For example, "In 1972, only 160 out of 100,000 people in the U.S. were in prison". To get a sense of the magnitude of this problem, according to Elsner's calculations, the U.S., with five percent of the world's population, has 25% of the world's prisoners.
Elsner notes that one in eight African American males between the ages of 20 and 34 are behind bars. One out of 25 Hispanics in the same age group is imprisoned. Overall, one out of three African American males and one out of five Hispanic males will most probably be imprisoned at lest once in their lifetime.
Sentencing Guidelines: Cocaine vs Crack
From information in an article by Margo Pierce on November 13th, 2005 titled "The First Step Is A Permanent Cease Fire": In the United States, most Whites consume cocaine in powder form. On the other hand, Blacks prefer, presumably from economic necessity, the significantly cheaper version, crack cocaine. This well known fact has been legally employed to punish crack users more harshly than cocaine users. Congress, in a blatant display of undemocratic wisdom, "passed laws for crack cocaine that carry penalties 100 times more severe than powder cocaine. A person convicted of attempting to sell 5 grams of crack can be sentenced to five years in prison, but it takes 500 grams of powder cocaine to trigger the same mandatory minimum sentence."
What does it mean?
Blacks spend more time in prison than whites for crimes of comparable magnitude. "Drug War Facts; Race, Prison and the Drug Laws" reports: "Of the 265,100 state prison inmates serving time for drug offenses in 2002, 126,000 (47.53%) were black, 61,700 (23.27%) were Hispanic, and 64,500 (24.33%) were white."
Source: Harrison, Paige M. & Allen J. Beck, PhD, US Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2004 (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, Oct. 2005), Table 12, p. 9.
Could it be that the prison system in the USA has been taken over by NWO (New World Order) types and that prisons are becoming thinly disguised forced labor camps supplying cheap labor to private corporations at taxpayer expense? The drug war has greatly accelerated the destruction of American families and is steadily undermining the notion that America is the "land of the free." David Icke expressed it best: America has become the, "land of the fee and the home of the slave."
Ultimately the CIA resorted to a limited hang-out strategy. This strategy was effectively used to conceal the fact that the CIA was indeed well aware of the Contra's illicit drug and weapons dealings to fund their covert CIA backed war against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua.
Porter Goss came to the rescue. Of course, the CIA much preferred a limited in house investigation, as opposed to a full, public (televised) Congressional inquiry like the Watergate hearings, for example. Jean-Guy-Allard, a Havana based journalist for Granma pointed out: "When the house of representatives finally agreed to take up the issue, after a report was issued by the CIA Inspector General concerning drug trafficking by the agency, Porter Goss, who had directed the intelligence committee since the previous year, decided at a preliminary hearing that the allegations were false. Goss, a former CIA agent who in 1972 participated in operations at the {CIA} JM/WAVE base in Miami, including terrorist operations against Cuba, ended up being named director of the CIA by George W. Bush." (
Consider this:
"... And according to the Mercury News, agents of 4 law enforcement agencies -- DEA, US Customs, the L.A. County Sheriff's Office, and the California Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement - say their investigations into ("Freeway Ricky") Ross's empire were thwarted by the CIA or unnamed national security interests." (
Result: The CIA was allowed to investigate itself via secret Congressional hearings, while the Department of Justice (DOJ) also launched it's own private, parallel investigation. The Congressional Inquiry was also behind closed doors. Just as night follows day, the CIA was cleared of any systemic or serious charges related to drug trafficking and the Contras.
CIA Inspector General Frederick issued two reports regarding his internal probe into the alleged connections between the CIA, the Contras and cocaine trafficking in the U.S.A. based on allegations documented in Gary Webb's Dark Alliance series. Volume one was published on January 29, 1998 and Volume two was published on October 8,1998.
Excerpts from Robert Parry's Dec.13, 2004 article: "America's Debt to Journalist Gary Webb"
In Volume Two, the CIA's defense against Webb's series had shrunk to a tiny 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, the Congress, and even the CIA's own analytical division.
Hitz found in CIA files evidence that the spy agency knew from the first days of the Contra war that its new clients were involved in the cocaine trade. According to a September 1981 cable to CIA headquarters, one of the early Contra groups, known as ADREN, had decided to use drug trafficking as a financing mechanism. Two ADREN members made the first delivery of drugs to Miami in July 1981, the CIA cable reported.
When the CIA's Inspector General Frederick P. Hitz revealed in his final 1998 report, conveniently eclipsed by the Monica Lewinski Scandal, that there had indeed been a clandestine agreement between the CIA and the Justice Department from 1982 to 1995 that authorized the CIA and the DOJ to ignore, with impunity, drug trafficking by CIA "agents, assets and non-staff employees". This policy was designated the "Memorandum of Understanding" or "MOU."
Those not covered by the MOU included "... the agency's full-time, career employees, who are known as CIA "officials." Then who was covered by the MOU ? Those covered by the MOU are " "agents" or "assets" ­ paid or not. What's the difference? An agent is essentially anyone who works for the CIA, but isn't a full time or career employee of the CIA. "Also exempt were CIA contractors, such as pilots, accountants and military trainers, who supplied the agency with specific goods and services rather than intelligence."
Hitz added : "the MOU applied to "intelligence agencies," indicating that it also may include the dozen or so U.S. agencies involved in intelligence work, not just the CIA. Hitz continued, "There are instances where the CIA did not, in an expeditious or consistent fashion, cut off relationships with individuals supporting the Contra program, who are alleged to have engaged in drug trafficking activity, or take action to resolve the allegation."
NOTE: Most newspapers only published the executive summary portion of Hitz's final report, which left out the sometimes contridictory and more incriminating conclusions thereby in effect shielding the agency from further public scrutiny.
"A murmur coursed through the room as Hitz's admission sunk in," wrote 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 Depatment had a gentleman's agreement to look the other way."
"On July 23, 1998, the Justice Department released a report by its Inspector General, Michael 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 revealed 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." (
Nevertheless, because "The Dark Alliance" series had originated from a respectable mainstream source, written by a veteran, pulitzer prize winning investigative journalist, the series had managed where other more scholarly or off-the-beaten-track exposes' had failed, to forge a credible and durable link between illicit drug running and the CIA in the public mind. Arguably this will be remembered as Webb's greatest journalistic contribution. Webb's colleague and friend, Robert Parry has a another take. "The real tragedy of journalist Webb's historic gift ­ and of his life cut short ­ is that because of the major news media's cowardice, a dark chapter of the Reagan-Bush era remains largely unknown to the American people."
MERCURY NEWS: Betrayal and Mea Culpa
And what was Webb's reward for this amazing journalistic accomplishment? Did he win another Pulitzer Prize?
He should have. On the contrary, here's the Cliff Notes version of The Mercury News editor's public abandonment of Webb, exiling him from mainstream investigative journalism. Jerry Ceppos, Executive News Editor at the San Jose Mercury, abruptly left Gary twisting in the wind. No doubt Ceppos was carrying out orders, directly or indirectly, issued by shadowy figures higher up the food chain. Although the Mercury News continued to publicly defend the Dark Alliance series, behind the scenes they were conducting their own investigation into the veracity of Webb's allegations. Ceppos presented the findings of the paper's in-house investigation of the "Dark Alliance" series by issuing the following critique in an open letter on May 11,1997.
1) It {Dark Alliance Series} presented only one side of "complicated, sometimes-conflicting pieces of evidence", 2) It failed to identify the estimate of Blandon's financial contributions to the Contra movement as an "estimate", 3) It "oversimplified the complex issue of how the crack epidemic in America grew," and 4) it contained imprecise language and graphics that fostered the misinterpretation concerning the CIA and crack dealing. (
Robert Parry, the former AP reporter and now a columnist with the internet based Consortium News, in a Dec. 24th 2004 article entitled "Gary Webb R.I.P." sarcastically lamented, "For undercutting Webb and the other reporters working on the Contra 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."
Another blow came when the Mercury News abandoned it's okay to publish praxis. For example, the usual procedure is for a reporter to submit his story to his editor, and the newspaper's legal team vets the story for accuracy, veracity of sources, etc., and even requires the reporter to defend his assumptions when challenged by them. If the story is strong enough to withstand this litmus test, it is deemed fit to publish. And here's the key point: If after publishing the story it is found to have no legs after all, the author is defended to the death, while the editors and the legal team take full responsibility for any and all fallout. Just the opposite happened in Gary Webb's case. In a complete reversal, Webb was left to personally battle it out on all fronts, including legal.
The final insult: Gary Webb was summarily transfered to a Mercury News outpost in Cupertino, where he was relegated to the dust bin, writing about obituaries. He had no choice but to resign. Within a year of resigning from the San Jose Mercury News, Webb transformed his 'Dark Alliance" series into a book: "Dark Alliance: The CIA, The Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion", which was published by Seven Stories Press in 1998 (hardback edition).
"Wherever you go, there you are"
From 1997 to February 2004 Webb was working as a consultant to the State Legislature's Task Force on Government oversight, specifically on the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. There have been various reports as to why Webb lost his job as a consultant for the California Task Force. The most likely explanation is that he was laid off along with the rest of his team, as part of a political "clean sweep" operation that ushered in a new Assembly Speaker. In 2001, Webb had been involved in investigating the Oracle Corporation's ( owned by Silicon Valley billionaire Larry Ellison), $95 million, no-bid software contract involving former California Governor Gray Davis. According to Oracle's website, they are the world's largest manufacturer of database software, and t they have "over 30 years of experience working with the highest levels of government on national security issues." - (
From "An Oracles Mistake", by Bill Bradly
L.A. Weekly May 2002:
"The state auditor says the administration's sole-source $95 million deal last year with Oracle would not only cost $41 million more than it's worth, it would provide database software to more than eight times as many state employees as are likely to use it. Davis received a $25,000 campaign contribution just days after the deal closed, delivered to his chief technology adviser. Two top state officials responsible for vetting the deal have lost their jobs, a third is on indefinite suspension, more are in jeopardy, and documents have been shredded."
Shortly thereafter, due to mounting political pressure, the State of California was forced to break its no-bid contract with Oracle.
Additionally, while working as a consultant for the state, Gary Webb authored a scathing report that accused the California Highway Patrol of racial profiling.
As a result of Webb's report, the ACLU filed and won a class-action lawsuit for minority motorists in California. Others, including the Assembly Speaker, "denounced the report." In 1999 Webb turned his report into a feature article for Esquire: "Driving While Black." (
Sacramento News and Review 2004
In August of 2004 Webb was hired by the Sacramento News and Review, an alternative weekly publication. Things were looking up for Gary Webb. At the same time, isn't it apparent that Webb had created a plethora of enemies in his indefatigable pursuit of truth and justice, as the titles of his archived articles suggest?
Gary Webb Archive at the Sacramento News and Review
Red light, green cash (11/25/04)
If you think the idea of a $351 ticket is harsh, try fighting one. Even when the law's on your side, you're bound to lose.
Stage fright (10/28/04)
Torry L. Cardon helps people clear the clutter and prepare their home for potential buyers.
Regeneration X (10/21/04)
Virtually everyone wants to continue funding libraries. So, how could Measure X possibly fail?
The killing game (10/14/04)
For young men, first-person shooters are the hottest computer games around. That's why the Army's spent $10 million making one of its own. But there's a catch. Big Brother gets to watch you play.
Fares unbalanced (09/09/04)
New city taxi study could reduce taxi companies from 80 to two.
Shortly after Webb's death, Tom Walsh, the Sacramento News and Review Editor where Gary was working when he died, issued a rather perfunctory statement amidst the rumor mongering swirling around Webb's sudden death: "[h]earsay presented as fact on activist-conspiracy Web sites. For instance, numerous Web sites reported that Gary was killed with a shotgun (he wasn't) and that people were seen climbing up to his balcony (there isn't one)... Spreading rumors does a disservice to Gary's life and work... Based on the evidence we've seen, it was a suicide." (
On January 25, 2005 the same Tom Walsh was interviewed as part of an E & P article entitled: "Gary Webb's Final Day's" By senior
E & P Editor Joe Stupp
Some Key excerpts:
WALSH: "He told us that he wanted to get back to journalism and he wanted to stay in Sacramento because of his kids."
STUPP: "Walsh described the "Dark Alliance" project as "thoughtful and interesting", later determining Webb to be "a meticulous reporter who had his facts backed up."
WALSH: "He {Webb} had no outward signs of depression, he just said he had a lot to do." Walsh added that Webb even "mentioned some future story ideas." "... He (Webb) obviously had a world of knowledge, and we were lucky to have him."
While reading Stupp's article, it seemed to me that Walsh's overall psychological and professional assessment of Webb was rather upbeat. But after reading it, I walked away with the distinctly uneasy feeling that E & P editor Joe Stupp intentionally glossed over Walsh's candid, yet incongruent responses regarding Webb, instead of probing Walsh and asking more follow-up questions. Perhaps Stupp did this because he was slavishly adhering to a behind the scenes, top down memo that outlined approved talking points and prohibited murder speculation when discussing Webb's death? Read the entire article here and decide for yourself:
The "official story" talking points strategy adopted by the mainstream media, and shamefully by much of the so called alternative media, on reporting about Webb's death is very similar to the strategy that had been used to discredit his work and reputation as a journalist.
Webb had it figured out perfectly when he said in (March 2001), "To this day, no one has ever been able to show me a single error of fact in anything I've written about this drug ring, which includes a 600-page book about the whole tragic mess. But, in the end, the facts didn't really matter. What mattered was making the damned thing go away, shutting people up, and making anyone who demanded the truth appear to be a wacky conspiracy theorist. And it worked."
And I might add it's still working!
NOTE: I couldn't reach Tom Walsh for further comments as he has left the Sacramento News and Review. and the current Sacramento News and Review editor did not respond to my queries.
Down the rabbit hole...
Synopsis of The OCTOPUS By Karen Bixman, The People's News Reporter, 11/14/94
"... tentacles of Danny Casolaro's octopus were joined by a web, and many unknowing victims have been swept into the jaws of its mouth."-Bixman
Riconosciuto was a science wiz kid, a prodigy of sorts. He grew up in a family of well-connected spooks. Riconosciuto described himself as an intelligence asset for USA government. Riconosciuto had been working as Director of research for Wackenhut Corp. at the Cabizon Indian reservation near Indio, California. His primary project was creating a backdoor in the Promis software program. First some background information is in order.
Let me attempt to explain. Inslaw was a computer company owned by William and Nancy Hamilton. They had developed a proprietary law enforcement case management software program called PROMIS (Prosecutor's Management Information System). The Justice Department entered into a $10 million contractural agreement with Inslaw, for the purpose of having Inslaw install Promis into the computers of forty-two U.S. Attorney's offices.
The Attorney General at the time was General Edwin Meese. Meeses' friend Earl Brian, who was said to be a CIA operative, was linked with Israeli intelligence, and had a controlling interest in Hadron Inc., another computer/software company. Hadron Inc. had already made an overture to purchase PROMIS, but the Hamiltons were not interested in selling PROMIS.
In order to complete the contract with the Justice Department the Hamiliton's were forced to borrow money. Inslaw installed PROMIS in forty-two U.S. Attroney's offices. However, the Justice Department mysteriously refused to honor their end of the agreement. They refused to pay the Hamiltons. This in turn forced the Hamiltons into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Then things got worse. The IRS weighed in and pressured Inslaw into Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which in turn opened the door for Hadron, Inc. to grab PROMIS software.
The Hamiltons' attorney, Elliot Richardson, then filed a civil suit on their behalf against the Justice Department, alleging the Justice Department stole PROMIS in order to pass it on to Earl Brian of Hadron, Inc. Hadron, Inc. would then work with the NSA (National Security Agency) and sell the PROMIS software to other national and international intelligence agencies. It seems a perfect fit: tracking software for intelligence agencies for all sorts of nefarious activities.
The Hamiltons won that civil case in September of 1987, and were award 6.8 million dollars to be paid to them by the Justice Department. The judge at that time was U.S. Bankruptcy Judge George Bason. Two years later, in 1989, the Justice Department appealed to the U.S. District Court, and Judge Bason's decision on behalf of the Hamiltons was upheld. Then, again two years later in 1991, the Justice Department appealed to the next higher level, the U.S Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., and this time the decision in favor of the Hamiltons was reversed on a technicality.
In the original verdict, Judge George Bason charged the Justice Department "took, converted, and stole" ... through" trickery, fraud, and deceit" Promis software from Inslaw, the Hamiltons' company". This wording that was essential to the appeals by the Justice Department no doubt helped attract enough media attention to force a Senate Investigative Committee to look into the matter. What appeared to be Congressional intervention to provide justice for the Hamiltons became a white-wash for the Justice Department. The Senate Committee determined that the Hamiltons' charges were without basis and totally exonerated the Justice Department of any wrong doing.
Now this is where Michael Riconosciuto enters the intrigue. Michael Riconosciuto, a self proclaimed CIA operative, was a project manager for the Wackenhut Company, a security company that is virtually a CIA front. After Earl Brian of Hadron, Inc. illegally obtained the legal rights to PROMIS from Inslaw, the software company the Hamiltons had owned, he hired Michael to create a "back door" into the software. This would enable the trackers of other intel agencies using PROMIS to be tracked by the CIA. Riconosciuto was working out of the Cabazon Indian Reservation near Indio, CA a hotbed of CIA intrigue and black-ops projects.
Previously, Michael Riconosciuto had participated in developing software enabling the CIA to launder drug money raised by trafficking drugs through an airport in Mena, Arkansas while Clinton was governor of the state and Bush Sr. was in the White House. In a signed affidavit to a federal court, Riconosciuto stated "that the Wackenthut-Cabazon joint venture was intended to support the needs of a number of foreign governments and forces, including governments and forces in Central America and the Middle East. The Contras in Nicaragua represented one of the most important priorities of the joint venture".
Coincidentally, Danny Casolaro, an independently wealthy individual turned free lance, investigative journalist, was working on a book to be titled "The Octopus". His investigations lead him to the Wackenhut-Cabazon operation during Riconosciuto's involvement there. Gary Webb was another freelance investigative journalist, albeit not independently wealthy, who touched on the Wackenhut-Cabazon operations as revealed in his 1998 book "Dark Alliance."
Webb stated: "Wackenhut was very active in El Salvador during the Contra war, providing employees to protect the U.S. Embassy and other installations, and doing ' "things you wouldn't want your mother to know about' ". Gary Webb goes on to explain how the isolation of the small Cabazon reservation, a tribe of thirty people, and its tax exempt status and lack of federal oversight were the advantages gained by using that location. ("Dark Allance" p.113)
Webb continued " . . . Danny Casolaro was looking into the Cabazon/Wackenhut projects as part of a lager conspiracy investigation at the time he was found dead in a West Virginia motel room in 1991, allegedly a suicide victim. He had told friends he was convinced that " 'spies, arms merchants and others were using the reservation as a low-profile site on which to develop weapons for Third World armies, including the Nicaraguan Contras.' " (Dark Alliance p.113)
Karen Bixman in her "Octopus" article wrote, "Riconosciuto asserted that all scandals overlap, and Casolaro, who gave Roconosciuto the title ' " Danger Man' ", was introduced to the underground world of ' "spooks' ". Amid investigating the related scandals, a pattern of mysterious deaths also began to emerge". In her "Octopus" article, Karen Bixman goes into detail on these mysterious deaths. Personally, I believe Gary Webb's death was the most recent of related mysterious deaths.
Elliot Nelson, the former U.S. Attorney General who represented the Hamiltons in their Inslaw vs. Justice Department civil suit over the PROMIS contract, called for a federal investigation on Danny Casolaro's death. Karen Bixman quotes Elliot Richardson as saying, "It's hard to come up with any reason for this death, other than he was deliberately murdered because he was so close to uncovering sinister elements in what he called 'The Octopus'. "
At least someone with clout demanded an investigation into Casolaro's death. That is not the case for Gary Webb. Most of the main stream media and some of the alternative media took the suicide verdict prima facie with absolutely no call for any investigation with the "Gary was a victim of bad press and depression" angle. Yet, much of Danny Casolaro's investigative "beat" was also Gary Webb's. And there have been reports that he was pressing on further for more material to finish another book, one that would have been an extension of "Dark Alliance". (end of synopsis)
Michael Riconosciuto
Email that was widely Circulated
From: Tim White January 05
This I just sent to John Buchanan whose address appears in the header just below. John was a close friend of Gary's and has 2 chapters in his book about Gary. John's book was co-authored by John McConnell, the founder of EARTH DAY. (Fixing America: Breaking the Stranglehold of Corporate Rule, Big Media and the Religious Right).
The subject then switches to "Richard Hamlin in Jail": This is the story that recently MURDERED Gary Webb (who) was working on by (sic) the request of Michael Riconosciuto who was given the initial information by Ted Gunderson 3 1/2 to 4 months ago. Ted had 3 consecutive days of interviews - 5 1/2 hours a day, 16 1/2 hours total at the Federal prison outside Boston where Riconosciuto is being held on 100% bogus charges. Michael states flat out that Gary Webb was assassinated because of his investigation into this and it is U.S. military intelligence operatives responsible for Gary's murder - DEFINITELY NOT a "suicide". Obviously this is an extension of the explosive information that came out in Gary's book Dark Alliance. This information was told to me by Ted directly after each meeting with Michael. The days of the meetings were Dec. 23, 24,25, 2004. Richard Hamlin is being held without bond and his January 4, 2005 trial date has been delayed 7-8 weeks which will allow Ted Gunderson much needed time to pursue more information and leads.
(end of email)
More information on Richard Hamlin - an Open Letter
Gunderson bombshell
Ted Gunderson revealed to me in a telephone conversation that "several days before Gary Webb's death Riconosciuto had spoken with Webb on the phone." Gunderson said "the three of them were working on the Hamlin case", a case that traces back to the Cabazon Indian Reservation, black-op central for all kinds of nefarious projects from MK ULTRA, pedophile rings, biological weapons, drug trafficking--the usual. Riconosciuto and Webb had been having conversations for a while. It's a matter of record. Riconosciuto, like all inmates in Federal Prison, had to first give prison officials a list of phone numbers he intended to call. All phone numbers had to be pre-approved by prison officials before Michael would be allowed to make any outside phone calls. And remember, prisoner phone calls can be monitored and recorded. If there had been an investigation into Webb's death, his telephone records and all his recent correspondence, both regular mail and email, could have been retrieved and carefully analyzed.
Revelations: Anita Langley, Black-Op Radio
I also had an informative conversation with Anita Langley, whose husband just happens to be Michael Riconosciuto's cousin. Anita has been hosting an internet radio program out of Canada since 1999 called, Black-Op Radio. Anita had interviewed Webb on her program twice. Ms. Langley described Riconosciuto as a national treasure, a "Tesla type" who at the ripe age of 18 was involved with launching the internet. Riconosciuto could resemble a protagonist from a John Le Carre novel about an archetypal "spy who came in from the cold." Instead Riconosciuto now finds himself locked in a deep freeze as a political prisoner.
Anita assured me that Riconosciuto had indeed been in communication with Gary Webb. Webb and Riconosciuto had been exchanging letters for a three month period prior to Webb's alleged suicide on December 10, 2004. Anita said, "Riconosciuto still has the letters that Webb wrote to him, but they have been stashed away for safe keeping." Additionally, Michael had also told her that Webb was "motivated to learn more." It goes deeper. Anita patiently explained to me that at one point Riconosciuto had been represented by a California attorney named Harlan Braun.
Apparently Mr. Braun had been representing others involved with the Cabazon Reservation. Bottom line was that Mr. Braun had been forced to drop Riconosciuto as a client due to a conflict of interest. Anita revealed that Riconosciuto then gave Gary Webb power of attorney so that he (Webb) could speak directly with Mr. Braun about Riconosciuto's case in particular and how it intersected with the Hamlin case in general. It's not much of a stretch to conclude that this material would have surfaced in Webb's new book. And it is a given that there were intelligence personnel tracking this communication.
Who is Mike Riconosciuto?
By David Sandler
Excerpts from Sadler:
According to a Washington man who claims to have modified the cobol-based software for the CIA and other intelligence agencies, the software {PROMIS} was a reward for Earl Brian's role in arranging the so called 'October Surprise' gambit, the alleged conspiracy to withhold the American hostages in Iran until after the 1980 election which saw Carter removed from power. The 'October Surprise' scandal has taken some time to emerge.'
One week after the Inslaw Affidavit was signed and sworn by Riconosciuto on March 21. 1991, he was arrested on bogus drug charges. Riconosciuto is in Federal prison serving a 30 year sentence. He's been diagnosed with prostate cancer. And his health is said to be rapidly deteriorating. Earl Brian is currently in prison.
Sandler continues: "Mike was subpoenaed to appear before the Brooks Congressional Committee investigating the government's role in the Inslaw Case which involved the PROMIS software. Three weeks before he was to testify in front of the committee, Mike got a telephone call from a Department of Justice official named Peter Videnieke, who, according to Michael Riconosciuto, told him that if he testified before the committee, he would have to 'suffer the consequences'. "
"Riconosciuto testified anyway and shortly afterwards, his small trailer workshop/lab in northern Washington state (Riconosciuto is a scientist by profession) was raided by federal agents." Riconosciuto suddenly found himself the target of an indictment for operating a "methamphetamine lab". Apparently, possession of common (and legally obtained) chemical solvents that could be used during one of many steps involved in meth production, is enough to get you convicted these days for running a meth lab, despite the absence of evidence of the drug itself (the feds having destroyed all of Mike's lab glassware; glassware that could have established the absence of illegal drug residues, which you would expect to find in abundance for a 'meth lab' operation). Mike's trial set a new mark for prosecutorial and judicial abuse even by federal 'railroading' standards. He was given a 30 year sentence for a first time drug offence."
(end of excerpts)
March 21, 1991 Inslaw Affidavit of Michael J. Riconosciuto:
Indira Singh: "Gary Webb was murdered"
9-11 PROMIS and Ptech
Indira Singh lived within walking distance of the Twin Towers. On the morning of 9-11 she was both a ground zero survivor and a first responder. That powerful experience moved her to make a promise. "Wall Street whistleblower Indira Singh has had her professional life ripped away from her because of keeping the promise she made to some 3,000 victim's who died at Ground Zero on 9/11. She made that promise at Ground Zero on 9/11 as a civilian EMT. Indira was supposed to be on the 106th floor of the World Trade Center that morning, but she was late." From: PTECH, 9/11,and USA-SAUDI TERROR BY Michael Kane PART II
During an FTW (From The Wilderness) interview Indira explained: "I made a promise, that if anything fell into my lap, I wouldn't look the other way and I'm keeping that promise." Ms.Singh is an IT (Internet Technology) professional, who had worked for ten years at JP Morgan Chase in New York City. According to Michael Ruppert, "Indira (...) started First Boston's first Information Technology group in 1975 and had worked on Wall St. until 2002. She's been an IT consultant for Banker's Trust, the U.N., JP Morgan, and American Express. In 1988 she started TibetNet - a derivative of DARPA's Internet..." Indira Singh, is known as the Wall-street-9-11 whistleblower, by linking Ptech and 9-11 additionally. she testified at several 9-11 hearings (whitewash) commissions.. (
It was Ptech that fell into Indira's lap, another piece of the 9-11 puzzle had been identified. Although Singh identified the "Muslim Brotherhood" as the primary group behind Ptech and that Saudi money was also heavily invested in Ptech in the end she realized: "The human side of Ptech is where the thievery and murder come in: among the financiers and programmers of Ptech are apparent members of an international network of organized criminals involved in decades of narcotraffic, gunrunning, money laundering, and terrorism. Their personal and professional connections reach up into the highest levels of the American government, and their activities are still underway."
Singh realized: "Ptech had all the markings . . . of a CIA front company."
In 2001 Singh worked for JP Morgan Chase as a senior level risk management consultant. She was responsible for coming up with a software program that could track insider trading and financial fraud on Wall Street This is when Indira became familiar with a software company called Ptech (Piedmont Technologies out of Boston). Ptech is also the name of their software, which is actually at its core, none other than the infamous PROMIS software taken to the next generation. Singh's task was to convert Ptech, an "enterprise architecture software", with A.I. (artificial intelligence) to a "risk architecture" software. This is how Singh was able to connect the dots between 9-11, Ptech and the international network behind the 9-11 attack.
Ptech operates in real time, similar to one's mind thinking a thought in the stream of consecutive NOWS called linear time. Unless that thought is recorded or documented in some way, there's really no way to verify or track the fact that the thought had existed. Ptech could operate like an invisible man in a room full of people. Ptech can track everything that's going on within another system and, most importantly, can even manipulate the system by overriding it via its artificial intelligence (AI), which can perform interventions. But no one can detect the intervention while it's happening or even after it has happened. Thus we have the invisible man in the room analogy.
The significance of Ptech and 9-11 according to (FTW) January 27, 2005, PST 0900 : "Ptech (...) was installed on virtually every computer system of the U.S. government and its military agencies on September 11, 2001. This included the White House, Treasury Department (Secret Service), Air Force, FAA, CIA, FBI, both houses of Congress, Navy, Department of Energy, IRS, Booz Allen Hamilton, IBM, Enron and more. As part of this operation, the FAA needed an evolution of PROMIS software installed on their systems, and Ptech was just that. The White House and Secret Service had the same software on their systems - likely a superior modified version capable of "surveillance and intervention" functions."
The link between 9-11 and Ptech: The charge is that Ptech was stealthily inserted by the secret government as a disabling intervention disrubting FAA and NORAD's operability on 9-11. This in turn destroyed the synchronous and coordinated operating basis of the FAA and Norad on 9-11.
The disabling of this "interoperability" feature between the FAA and NORAD was an essential component for the 9-11 cover story that says Saudi terrorists hijacked domestic, passenger airplanes with box cutters and then used the airplanes as weapons smashing them into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon and so on. Let's also include the fact that Ptech, under government contract, two years prior to 9-11 was working with the FAA, NORAD, and the Air Force regarding "interoperability"glitches in emergency situations.
By now you should have a very good idea of who Indira Singh is and her pedigree. A nutty conspiracy theorist she is not. Posted at ATS, Indira Singh: Linking Washington to terrorists, child sex rings and drugs, "What whistleblower Indira Singh has been able to do through exhaustive research, court documents, etc., is link Washington's elite with technology and investment firms that are fronts for al Qaeda, JP Morgan Chase, 9/11, and profitting from drug and child sex trafficing. Researchers of 9/11 truth, the Franklin Coverup, Bohemian Grove, CIA/drugs, financial banking ties and laundering to powerful elite, etc. should find what she has to say quite interesting. Of note, she is not a conspiracy theorist, but a high level IT consultant who found herself deep within this international web."
Since Michael Ruppert has done an extensive interview of her and enthusiastically endorses her credibility and findings on his FTW website, don't you think it will be rather difficult for Ruppert to do an about face and start calling Singh "internet trailer park trash" for declaring that Gary Webb was murdered. "No question about it", she asserted during a radio interview by Michael Corbin. "Internet trailer park trash" was the label Ruppert cast on those who questioned Webb''s death as a suicide. And now some of Ruppert's cultish followers are admonishing, even censoring those in the 9/11 Truth Movement who have openly questioned Gary Webb's death as a suicide. These "Ruppertians" claim that open discussion of Gary Webb's death as an intel hit will damage the credibility of 9/11 Truth Movement. Seems like gate keeping, at best, to me.
See: "The Disinformation Pests" (Gary Webb censorship) By Eric Hufschmid (
It was on October 28th 2005 that Indira Singh was a guest on the Michael Corbin radio program. Indira was speaking about Ptech, 9-11 and the shadowy international criminal cartel that was behind 9-11 and is goose stepping the USA in particular and the world in general into a post 9-11 Orwellian "new age of terrorism". She flatly stated that Gary Webb had definitely been murdered and that Webb's murder has been confirmed by DEA agents. Not surprisingly, Singh's research led her to conclude that the same group that brought us 9-11 was also involved in Iran Contra, pedophile rings, and most of the other major black-ops that come to mind.
Listen to the third segment (part 3) and about a quarter into the interview you'll hear Ms.Singh's pronouncement that Webb was murdered and that his murder has been confirmed by DEA agents.
part one:
part two:
part three:
Relevant Links:
"Pleased to meet you. Hope you guess my name."
-The Rolling Stones, Sympathy for the Devil
In February of 1988 on the Oprah Winfrey Show Michael Aquino stated that "Satanists are not servants of some God; we are our own gods; we are our own decision makers. And people naturally fear this. "Their {satanists} beliefs," he said, are "most closely aligned to that of Plato."
Church of Satan and Temple of Set
Lt. Colonel Michael Aquino founded the Temple of Set in 1975 while a Special Forces Reserves Oficer in the US Military. Prior to this, he had been a member of the Church of Satan. Reportedly, Aquino had a falling out with the Church of Satan, founded in 1969 by Anton La Vey, over the founder's decision to sell Church rankings in order to increase cash flow. La Vey, who looked and acted like a showbiz type, was quite popular with several big name 50's Hollywood stars like Jane Mansfield and Sammy Davis Junior. Because of his personality, the Church of Satan had obtained enough Hollywood high rollers to make his financial plan feasable.
Setian Philosophy was developed by Aquino, and forms the basis of the Church of Set's "spiritual" and theoretical underpinnings. Aquino has a Ph.D. in political science, his doctoral dissertation was " The Neutron Bomb." He is a high level psy-op, mind control (MK ULTRA) expert and has had a long association with U.S. military Mindwar projects. In fact, he wrote a paper in 1980 that was widely circulated among US Military circles called " From PsyOps to Mindwar." Aquino's primary "big picture" mission has been merging the military-intelligence-industrial complex with Satanically based, occult technology.
Johnny Gosch Case
Aquino was a Major in the U.S. military when he allegedly participated in the 1982 abduction of West Des Moines Iowa paperboy Johnny Gosch. On February 5, 1999, in a U.S. District Court in Lincoln, Nebraska, a hearing occurred in a civil action in the Paul A. Bonacci vs Lawrence E. King case. At the time of the hearing, King was serving a prison sentence for his involvement in the Franklin Credit Union debacle (see John DeCamp's book,"The Franklin Cover-Up: Child Abuse,Satanism, and Murder in Nebraska"). John DeCamp, Bonacci's lawyer, alleged that King was guilty of ritualistically abusing Paul Bonacci and other children. As part of his testimony, Bonacci stated that the mastermind behind the Gosch kidnapping was "the Colonel."
Additionally, Bonacci revealed that his abuse was connected to an elite sponsored nationwide pedophile ring that involved powerful persons within the political, military intelligence, CIA (Mk Ultra), and corporate hierarchies, even reaching into the White House. Judge Warren K.Urbom ruled in favor of Bonacci. King was ordered to pay the plaintiff (Bonacci) one million dollars in damages. Bonacci has never received a penny of that award.
("The Franklin Cover-up" John DeCamp)
Iran Contra
Franklin Credit Union, Iran Contra, and Aquino
DeCamp in his book, "The Franklin Cover-up," refers to a May 21, 1989 Omaha World-Herald article that links Larry King and the Franklin Credit Union were connected to Iran-Contra: "In the 61/2 months since federal authorities closed Franklin, rumors have persisted that money from the credit union somehow found its way to the Nicaraguan contra rebels ." (P. 171).
Rusty Nelson, Larry King's former and now estranged personal photographer, in a written statement on June 22. 2000 said: "Another dark villain was Colonel Akino [Lieutenant Colonel Michael Aquino] to whom King paid off with a suitcase of bearer bonds and cash earmarked for covert Contra operations."
The photographer, Rusty Nelson, also has said that King told him that Aquino was part of the Contra guns and cocaine trafficking operation run by George Bush and another notorious Lt. Col., Oliver North. Aquino has also been linked to Offutt Air Force Base, a Strategic Air Command post near Omaha that was implicated in the investigation by the Franklin Committee.
"The Franklin Credit Union is widely suspected of being among the savings institutions used for money-laundering by the CIA and others for Iran-Contra adventures. This precisely defines where Omaha's Larry King showed up in Washington, D.C. -- in the bizarre homosexual wing of the Republican Party, which managed financing and public relations for the Iran-Contra guns for drugs trading games."-Chaitkin
Aquino, Presidio, Russoniello and Gary Webb
The Presidio Case:
San Jose Mercury News, JULY 24, 1988
By Linda Goldston
Aquino was implicated in the 1980's in a nationwide Satanic pedophile ring, where children were being procured from daycare centers located on military bases like the Presidio. "The criminal case {Presidio} is closed, but by June, the parents of 23 children had filed $55 million in claims against the Army, the first step toward filing a civil suit against the government alleging negligence that led to the abuse."
The Pedophocracy, Part III:. Uncle Sam Wants Your Children, By David McGowan.
Excerpts from the "The Pedophocracy, Part III"
The Presidio Child Development Center run by the U.S. Army in San Francisco. Allegations of abuse being perpetrated at the center first emerged in November of 1986. Alarmed by accusations made by her child, a parent had sought a medical examination which confirmed that the three-year-old boy had in fact been anally raped. The boy identified his rapist as 'Mr. Gary,' a teacher at the center named Gary Hambright.
Aquino and various of his defenders have consistently claimed that no one was ever prosecuted in the case due to a lack of evidence ­ proof that the entire affair was no more than a 'witch hunt.' Of course, the failure to prosecute the federal charges could also be due to the fact that, at the time, the U.S. Attorney in San Francisco handling the case was Joseph Russoniello.
Russoniello would later be identified by reporter Gary Webb of the San Jose Mercury News as a player in the Contra cocaine smuggling operation led by Lt. Col. Oliver North and company, just as witnesses would later identify Lt. Col. Michael Aquino as an operative in the very same sordid affair. It always helps when your legal 'adversaries' are actually on your side.
In May of 1989, Aquino was again questioned in connection with child abuse investigations; this time at least five children in three cities were making the accusations. The children had seen Aquino in newspaper and television coverage of the Presidio case and immediately recognized him as one of their abusers. (End of excerpts)
Part 2




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