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Gary Webb, Author of Dark Alliance, Found Dead in Home

Gary Webb, whose work exposed CIA facillitated and protected drug-smuggling, was found dead in his home this Friday morning.
His death has been called a suicide, as he apparently died from a gunshot to the head. Given the nature of his most contraversial work, one can forgive this writer for being suspicious as to whether or not Mr. Webb actually took his own life. The CIA, which was deeply embarrassed by Webb's series in the San Jose Mercury News back in 1996 is known for assassinating political opponents. With the Passage of the USA PATRIOT act, the CIA is now able to conduct such dirty business inside our borders.

Regardless of the circumstances of Mr. Webb's death, authentic, muckraking journalism has lost a true champion. Below is the original story link, as well as the full Dark Alliance series online. Gary Webb later expanded this series into a book by the same name.

links 12.Dec.2004 22:26



your first link leads to secure mercury sign on, and the second leads to the dark alliance webpage which has links that go nowhere but the mercury' news' home page. ? thanks for post, reporting deaths of importance is important!

. 13.Dec.2004 00:11


aw, come on, someone post the original then here.

getting a bit of press--of the disinformation kind 13.Dec.2004 00:15


though it always mentioned that it was "unproven CIA connections to drug running." However, you could look up a CIA document itself from the late 1998 where it mentioned that "er, well, yes we have been doing it for a long time, though don't tell anyone, OK? That's what's really important."

Cite is mentioned in Ruppert's Crossing the Rubicon.

Live Link 13.Dec.2004 14:22

Brian A. Pace

That's what I get for not testing links not updating my bookmarks. I found an alternate source here. I have also included the amazon link so anyone who is interested in the expanded work can read reviews.



IMC remembers Gary Webb!! 13.Dec.2004 14:33

Brian A. Pace

I found it sad that the San Jose Mercury did not make Webb's milestone series available even as they eulogized him. Way to stand by your reporters. It is reasons such as these that prove everyday the need IMC fills.

Mercury News repost 13.Dec.2004 18:30


Posted on Sun, Dec. 12, 2004

Gary Webb, 49, former MN reporter, author


By Jessica Portner

Mercury News

Gary Webb, a former Mercury News investigative reporter, author and legislative staffer who ignited a firestorm with his controversial stories, died Friday in an apparent suicide in his suburban Sacramento home. He was 49.

The Sacramento County coroner's office said that when A Better Moving Company arrived at Mr. Webb's Carmichael home at about 8:20 a.m. Friday, a worker discovered a note posted to the front door which read: "Please do not enter. Call 911 and ask for an ambulance."

Mr. Webb, an award-winning journalist, was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head, Sacramento County Deputy Coroner Bill Guillot said Saturday.

Mr. Webb's friends and colleagues described him as a devoted father and a funny, dogged reporter who was passionate about investigative journalism.

As a staff writer for the Mercury News from 1989 to 1997, he exposed freeway retrofitting problems in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and wrote stories about the Department of Motor Vehicles' computer software fiascos.

Mr. Webb was perhaps best known for sparking a national controversy with a 1996 story that contended supporters of a CIA-backed guerrilla army in Nicaragua helped trigger America's crack-cocaine epidemic in the 1980s. The "Dark Alliance" series in the Mercury News came under fire by other news organizations, and the paper's own investigation concluded the series did not meet its standards.

Mr. Webb resigned a year and a half after the series appeared in the paper. He then published his book, "Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras and the Crack Cocaine Explosion."

In the past few years, Mr. Webb worked in the California Assembly Speaker's Office of Member Services and for the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. The committee investigated charges that Oracle received a no-bid contract from Gov. Gray Davis. After being laid off from his legislative post last year, Mr. Webb was hired by the Sacramento News and Review, a weekly publication.

Tom Dresslar, a spokesman for state Attorney General Bill Lockyer who has known Mr. Webb for more than a decade, was distraught Saturday when he heard that his friend may have taken his own life.

"He had a fierce commitment to justice, truth and cared a lot about people who are forgotten and society tries to shove into the dark corners," Dresslar said. "It's a big loss for me personally and a great loss for the journalism community."

Services for Mr. Webb are pending.

Webb will be missed 13.Dec.2004 18:40


Dark Alliance is a must read about drug smuggling and the judicial system. Much can be learned from Webb's fine work on this book.


Gary Webb, Reporter Who Linked CIA to Drug Sales, Dead at 49
The Associated Press
Published: Dec 12, 2004

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Gary Webb, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter who wrote a controversial series of stories linking the CIA to crack cocaine trafficking in Los Angeles, has died at age 49.
Webb was found Friday morning at his home in Sacramento County, dead of an apparent suicide. Moving-company workers called authorities after discovering a note posted on his front door that read, "Please do not enter. Call 911 and ask for an ambulance."

Webb died of a gunshot wound to the head, according to the Sacramento County coroner's office.

Webb was part of the San Jose Mercury News reporting team that won a 1990 Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the Loma Prieta earthquake.

Webb's 1996 series in the Mercury News alleged that Nicaraguan drug traffickers had sold tons of crack
cocaine in Los Angeles and funneled millions of dollars in profits to the CIA-supported Nicaraguan Contras during the 1980s.

The articles did not accuse the CIA of directly aiding drug dealers to raise money for the Contras, but implied that the agency was aware of the activity.

Major parts of Webb's reporting were later discredited by other newspaper investigations. An investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department found no evidence of a connection between the CIA and the drug traffickers.

In 1997, then-Mercury News executive editor Jerry Ceppos backed away from the series, saying "we fell short at every step of our process." Webb was transferred to one of the paper's suburban bureaus.

"This is just harassment," Webb said after his demotion. "This isn't the first time that a reporter went after the CIA and lost his job over it."

After quitting the newspaper in December 1997, Webb continued to defend his reporting with his 1999 book "Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion."

Born in Corona, Calif., to a military family, Webb dropped out of journalism school and went to work for the Kentucky Post and the Cleveland Plain Dealer before landing at the Mercury News.

Webb worked in state government after leaving the paper, most prominently as a member of an audit committee investigating former Gov. Gray Davis' controversial award of a $95 million no-bid contract to Oracle Corp. in 2001.

Earlier this year, Webb was one of a group of employees fired from the Assembly Speaker's Office of Member Services for failing to show up for work. He continued writing occasionally for various publications. "All he ever wanted to do was write," said Webb's ex-wife, Susan Bell.

Webb is survived by two sons and a daughter.

AP-ES-12-12-04 1955EST

Of course he was murdered. 13.Dec.2004 19:11

Tony Blair's dog

"The Sacramento County coroner's office said that when A Better Moving Company arrived at Mr. Webb's Carmichael home at about 8:20 a.m. Friday, a worker discovered a note posted to the front door which read: "Please do not enter. Call 911 and ask for an ambulance.""

That note was supposedly made as a warning to other researchers.

Criminals in high places are getting really scared.

Suicide by multiple gunshot wounds to the head. 13.Dec.2004 19:28


Webb Obit - 'Died Of Gunshot
WOUNDS To The Head'
From Charlene
Sacramento Bee

"Gary Webb, a prize-winning investigative journalist whose star-crossed career was capped with a controversial newspaper series linking the CIA to the crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles, died Friday of self-inflicted gunshot wounds, officials said.

Mr. Webb, 49, was found dead in his Carmichael home Friday morning of gunshot wounds to the head, the Sacramento County Coroner's Office said Saturday."

Note the plural "wounds". An actual suicide from a gunshot to the head wouldn't leave the victim in any state to pull the trigger a second time. Vince Foster, care to comment?


From Astroworld.us -

Posted by shylurker on December 13, 2004

In the Sacto Bee (I posted it above somewhere), they referred to 'woundS'. I emailed the person in charge of obits, but haven't heard anything back yet. ?????

Posted by shylurker on December 13, 2004

I just heard from the obit guy. He said the coronor told them "he has multiple wounds". In other words, the coronor did NOT note the origin of the wounds.


Discussion at Democratic Underground on Webb's 'wounds' -