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Gary Webb RIP

Yet another "suicide" of a Bush biographer.
 http://www.rense.com/general60/REPORT.HTM
 http://www.rense.com/general60/WEBB.HTM
He was a courageous soldier for truth and will be truly missed. This is an article regarding his supposed "suicide":

 http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/story/11744167p-12630255c.html

As pointed out at www.whatreallyhappened.com in the first paragraph they wrote "self-inflicted gunshot wounds". Odd for a suicide to have more than one...
Also unusual was a supposed "suicide note" posted on the door which read "Please do not enter. Call 911 and ask for an ambulance.''

Also see:  http://www.indybay.org/news/2004/12/1709370_comment.php#1709433
Only in America 13.Dec.2004 19:18

twospiritwarrior

"Suicide" by Murder.......like J.H. Hatfield, and others.

Webb Obit - 'Died Of Gunshot
WOUNDS To The Head'
From Charlene
Sacramento Bee
12-14-4

"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?

 http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/story/11744167p-12630255c.html



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.

 http://www.astroworld.us/archives/000456.html#000456:



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

 http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=102&topic_id=1065543&mesg_id=1065543

R.I.P. Gary Webb -- Unembedded Reporter 13.Dec.2004 20:58

by Jeff Cohen

Gary Webb, a courageous investigative journalist who was the target of one of the most ferocious media attacks on any reporter in recent history, was found dead Friday after an apparent suicide.

In August 1996, Webb wrote one of the first pieces of journalism that reached a massive audience thanks to the Internet: an explosive 20,000 word, three-part series documenting links between cocaine traffickers, the crack epidemic of the 1980s and the CIA-organized right-wing Nicaraguan Contra army of that era. The series sparked major interest in the social justice and African-American communities, leading to street protests, constant discussion on black-oriented talk radio and demands by Congressional Black Caucus members for a federal investigation. But weeks later, Webb suffered a furious backlash at the hands of national media unaccustomed to seeing their role as gatekeepers diminished by the emerging medium known as the WorldWideWeb.

Webb's explosive San Jose Mercury News series documented that funders of the Contras included drug traffickers who played a role in the crack epidemic that hit Los Angeles and other cities. Webb's series focused heavily on Oscar Danilo Blandon, a cocaine importer and federal informant, who once testified in federal court that "whatever we were running in L.A., the profit was going to the Contra revolution." Blandon further testified that Colonel Enrique Bermudez, a CIA asset who led the Contra army against Nicaragua's leftwing Sandinista government, knew the funds were from drug running. (Bermudez was a colonel during the Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua.)

Webb reported that U.S. law enforcement agents complained that the CIA had squelched drug probes of Blandon and his partner Norwin Meneses in the name of "national security." Blandon's drugs flowed into L.A. and elsewhere thanks to the legendary "Freeway" Ricky Donnell Ross, a supplier of crack to the Crips and Bloods gangs.

While Webb's series could be faulted for some overstatement in presenting its powerful new evidence (a controversial graphic on the Mercury News website superimposed a person smoking crack over the CIA seal), the fresh documentation mightily moved forward the CIA-Contra-cocaine story that national media had been trying to bury for years. Any exaggeration in the Mercury News presentation was dwarfed by a mendacious, triple-barreled attack on Webb that came from the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times.

The Post and others criticized Webb for referring to the Contras of the so-called Nicaraguan Democratic Force as "the CIA's army" -- an absurd objection since by all accounts, including those of Contra leaders, the CIA set up the group, selected its leaders and paid their salaries, and directed its day-to-day battlefield strategies.

The Post devoted much ink to exposing what Webb readily acknowledged -- that while he could document Contra links to cocaine importing, he was not able to identify specific CIA officials who knew of the drug flow. The ferocity of the attack on Webb led the Post's ombudsman to note that the three national newspapers "showed more passion for sniffing out the flaws" in the Webb series than for probing the important issue Webb had raised: U.S. government relations with drug smuggling.

The L.A. Times' anti-Webb package was curious for its handling of Freeway Ricky Ross, the dealer Webb had authoritatively linked to Contra-funder Blandon. Two years before Webb's revelations, the Times had reported: "If there was a criminal mastermind behind crack's decade-long reign, if there was one outlaw capitalist most responsible for flooding Los Angeles' streets with mass-marketed cocaine, his name was Freeway Rick." In a profile of Ross headlined "Deposed King of Crack," the Times went on and on about "South-Central's first millionaire crack lord" and how Ross' "coast to coast conglomerate was selling more than $550,000 rocks a day, a staggering turnover that put the drug within reach of anyone with a few dollars."

But two months after Webb's series linked Ricky Ross to Contra cocaine, the L.A. Times told a totally different story, now seeking to minimize Ross's role in the crack epidemic: Ross was just one of many "interchangeable characters" -- "dwarfed" by other dealers.

The reporter who'd written the 1994 Ross profile was the one called on to write the front-page 1996 critique of Webb; media critic Norman Solomon noted that it "reads like a show-trial recantation."

The hyperbolic reaction against Webb's series can only be understood in the context of years of bias and animosity toward the Contra-cocaine story on the part of many national media. Bob Parry and Brian Barger first reported on Contra-cocaine smuggling for AP in 1985, at a time when President Reagan was hailing the Contras as "the moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers." The story got little pickup.

In 1987 the House Narcotics Committee chaired by Charles Rangel probed Contra-drug allegations and found a need for further investigation. After the Washington Post distorted the facts with a headline "Hill Panel Finds No Evidence Linking Contras to Drug Smuggling," the paper refused to run Rangel's letter correcting the record.

That same year, Time magazine correspondent Laurence Zuckerman and a colleague found serious evidence of Contra links to cocaine trafficking, but their story was blocked from publication by top editors. A senior editor admitted privately to Zuckerman: "Time is institutionally behind the Contras. If this story were about the Sandinistas and drugs, you'd have no trouble getting it in the magazine." (The N.Y Times and Washington Post both endorsed aid to the Contra army, despite massive documentation from human rights monitors that they targeted civilians for violence and terror.)

In 1989, when Sen. John Kerry released a report condemning U.S. government complicity with Contra-connected drug traffickers, the Washington Post ran a brief report loaded with GOP criticisms of Kerry, while Newsweek dubbed Kerry a "randy conspiracy buff."

In this weekend's mainstream media reports on Gary Webb's death, it's no surprise that a key point has been overlooked -- that the CIA's internal investigation sparked by the Webb series and resulting furor contained startling admissions. CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz reported in October 1998 that the CIA indeed had knowledge of the allegations linking many Contras and Contra associates to cocaine trafficking, that Contra leaders were arranging drug connections from the beginning and that a CIA informant told the agency about the activity.

When Webb stumbled onto the Contra-cocaine story, he couldn't have imagined the fury with which big-foot reporters from national dailies would come at him -- a barrage that ultimately drove him out of mainstream journalism. But he fought back with courage and dignity, writing a book (Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion) with his side of the story and insisting that facts matter more than established power or ideology. He deserves to be remembered in the proud tradition of muckrakers like Ida Tarbell, George Seldes and I.F. Stone.

In this era of "embedded reporters," an unembedded journalist like Gary Webb will be sorely missed.

Jeff Cohen www.jeffcohen.org is the founder of the media watch group FAIR www.fair.org. For more background, see  http://www.fair.org/issues-news/contra-crack.html and  http://www.consortiumnews.com/2004/121304.html


Mike Ruppert's commentary 13.Dec.2004 22:44

From the wilderness(er)

www.fromthewilderness.com

Giant Falls

[Please distribute widely]

GARY WEBB - PULITZER PRIZE WINNER, AUTHOR OF DARK ALLIANCE CIA-DRUG SERIES DEAD OF REPORTED SUICIDE

Press Accounts Fail to Mention His Vindication by CIA Inspector General Reports and Congressional Investigations
by

Michael C. Ruppert


Copyright 2004, From The Wilderness Publications, www.fromthewilderness.com. All Rights Reserved. May be reprinted, distributed or posted on an Internet web site for non-profit purposes only.

December 13, 2004 1400 PDT (FTW) - Gary Webb, 49, the Pulitzer Prize winning reporter from the San Jose Mercury News made America hold its breath in 1996 when he showed us proof of direct CIA involvement in drug trafficking. For a few months many of us had hope.



He reportedly died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head two days ago. His body was discovered at 8:20 AM Saturday as movers reportedly found a note on the door of his residence asking them not to enter but to call for paramedics.

Webb's August 1996 series Dark Alliance for the San Jose Mercury News pulled deep covers away from US covert operations and American denial about connections between the CIA and drugs. Gary left a bigger historical footprint than anyone who has ever touched the subject including among others, Peter Dale Scott, Alfred McCoy, Jonathan Kwitny and me.

His footprint was made possible in large part for two reasons. First, his reporting was meticulous and produced hard records that could not be effectively denied. Second, prominent African-American leaders like Jesse Jackson and representatives Maxine Waters and Juanita Millender-McDonald of Los Angeles and Compton respectively took up the torch lit by Gary and ran with it just before the 1996 presidential election which saw Bill Clinton win his second term just eight weeks after the stories broke. I was there at that time and it is not an understatement to say that much of this country was "up in arms".

Waters at one point vowed to make the CIA-drug connections, fully documented by Webb, her "life's work" if necessary.

In death the major press is beating him almost as ruthlessly as they did in real life. No part of the major press has acknowledged that Webb's work was subsequently vindicated by congressional investigations and two CIA Inspector General's reports released in 1997 and 1998. FTW did report on Webb's vindication and his legacy has - at least at the level of authentic journalism - not been lost.

Please see:

 http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/pandora/RendGW.html, and
 http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ciadrugs/volii.html

For more FTW coverage of Gary Webb's life please use the search engine at www.fromthewilderness.com.

The LA Times obituary, in all of its meanness and inaccuracy is here.

Of the six obituaries I have seen on him, the one from the L.A. Times was the most brutally Soviet in its attempt to crush out his memory as thoroughly as his work. Of course the Times would have to do that. It was in Los Angeles where Webb dug up and documented the direct connection between the CIA and cocaine smuggling/trafficking as crack cocaine ravaged this city in the 1980s and the Contra war decimated Central America.

The Times already had known of this for decades. Starting in 1979 I dealt extensively with the Times trying to report the same connections with regard to heroin smuggling by the CIA. Cocaine did not become a national epidemic until around 1980. By 1996 I had 17 bitter years of funneling hard evidence to the Times and watching as staff writer David Rosenzweig -- among others including Ron Soble and David Johnston (now of the New York Times) - kept taking the information, promising to do something, and then spiking the stories in exchange for promotions.

When Gary autographed his 1998 best-seller Dark Alliance to me he wrote: "To Mike. You were there before I was."

Richard Heinberg, author of The Party's Over and Powerdown observed after reading the Times' obituary, "The LA Times obit is disgusting. 'What's our attitude toward investigative journalism? Well, of course we try to discourage it wherever we can, but sometimes it happens anyway. Then we get especially nasty--we have to, naturally, to protect our reputation.'"

I always knew it was a fight to the death. I don't think he ever fully understood that. Retired DEA agent Cele Castillo who had reported on direct CIA drug involvement from Honduras and El Salvador in the 1980s and I both told him in 1996 what he was up against and what it might cost him.

GRATITUDE

There would be no FTW, or Crossing the Rubicon without Gary Webb. Catherine Austin Fitts and I would never have met had it not been for Gary Webb. Dick Gregory would not have made me his white son on the radio had it not been for Gary Webb. I would never have confronted John Deutch at Locke High had it not been for Gary Webb.

I myself might have committed suicide in 1996 - broke, divorced and having given up all hope of making people listen -- had it not been for Gary Webb. For some years now it has been the farthest thing from my mind.

I rediscovered my purpose and maybe Gary lost his. This is a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.

KNOWN DETAILS

I called the Coroner shortly after the first flash came in here from Bay Area journalist and producer Kellia Ramares. His time of death was listed at 8:20 AM. Since it was Saturday, the homicide detectives would have been off and had to be paged. I estimate two hours (minimum) for them to get to the crime scene (unless a uniformed supervisor handled it). Add three hours minimum for crime scene, photos etc; that means he went to the Coroner's most likely around 1 PM. It could have been much later depending on response times on a Saturday before Christmas.

When I called the Sacramento Coroner's Office at 8:20 PM on Saturday I spoke with an unidentified female who stated that he had just been there since late that afternoon. I identified myself as a friend, ex-cop and journalist and she confirmed a single shot to the head. I wasn't sure it was our Gary Webb so I got his date of birth, hair and eye color. They matched. Gary was a good looking man with a moustache and I asked if that fit. She hesitated for quite a while before answering, "I can't tell."

This led me to suspect that the weapon used was a shotgun.

I then confirmed his death with the San Jose Mercury News and the L.A. Times. We will see if later facts don't mesh with what has been reported thus far.

I called the Times again at about 9:15 because I wanted to make sure someone said some good things about Gary. I dropped some names and got to the writer or the editor on the story who wouldn't ID himself. He said he'd have someone call me back to get my statement. No one ever called back and then the Times published their maliciously spiteful obituary just after midnight Sunday. It was clear to me that they wanted/needed to put a spin on his death.

Gary Webb deserved better than this and those of us who knew him and benefited from his work will see that he gets it.

I am going to the funeral and I will be asking questions in Sacramento. Given the disproportionate number of "suicides" of authors and journalists who have covered such stories, and the mainstream's horrendously dishonest coverage of such events, it is right to see if there are grounds to be cautiously suspicious of these accounts. But it is also right to avoid hysteria and unsupported conclusions until there are solid reasons to suspect foul play.

Gary would have wanted us all to do this by the numbers, patiently and thoroughly. That was his style. That was why he was so good.

When funeral arrangements are announced FTW will publish them and we encourage all of our subscribers to send flowers, write letters and show their thanks to this man who changed all of our lives forever.

It wouldn't hurt if you wanted to let the L.A. Times know what you think of their obituary.

Sleep well, Gary. Wherever men and women of honor gather together from now on, your name will be spoken with reverence, respect and gratitude.

mutiple gunshot suicide 14.Dec.2004 01:05

danny cassalaro

whew a real bad case of suicide. don,t mess with the bush/chenny crime co.
fixing elections and murdering reporters is the cia,s job
now get to church and join the republican party or else!

The list grows longer 14.Dec.2004 11:07

dumbfounded

The list of reporters, witnesses and investigators who have died under questionable circumstances after being involved in aspects of the the Iran-Contra matter should give anyone pause. It includes:

Gary Webb

Cyrus Hashemi

Senator John Tower (and co-passengers)

Amiram Nir (and pilot)

Danny Casolaro

Paul Wilcher

Abbie Hoffman

Uwe Barschel

Edmond Safras



This is not a complete list by any means, merely those I remembered off the cuff.Feel free to make additions.If you read about the circumstances of some of these deaths you will realize that you don't have to be 'a paranoid conspiracy theoirist' to be a little suspicious about the whole thing.

Five more 14.Dec.2004 14:34

,

Ian Spiro, his wife and three children