Quote from the article at Consortiumnews.com
"Webb then took out his father’s pistol and shot himself in the head. The first shot was not lethal, so he fired once more".
I spoke with a guy who
went at Smith & Wesson school Larsar The Poet
because I had doubts about this "suicide" theory. Gary Webb could not shot himself
twice in the head with his father’s gun, even if the first shot would
not be lethal
because you are not only very weak but also you are particularly in
pain when you are shooting yourself in the head, according to my Smith
& Wesson guy.
This leads me to believe this is a murder in disguise of a suicide and I got a confirmation of this here:
would people think about Gary Webb’s OFFICIAL airtight ‘confirmed
suicide’ pronouncement – if they were to read an email containing a
recollected conversation between Jon Roland and Gary Webb about this
very subject: the possibility of Webb’s being "suicided", where Webb
confirms that if he’s found dead it would never be a suicide?
case you’re wondering who Jon Roland is, he’s a constitutional
reporter; he’s also the founder and webmaster at http://www.constitution.org.
I called Jon to clarify the details around the revealing email he had
sent out to various listener groups, shortly after Webb’s death.
Click here to read more:
because of the fact they want me to believe somebody could shot himself
twice in the head, which is impossible….
— In TheTruthSoldiersClub@yahoogroups.ca, a_truth_soldier wrote:
Why the CIA decided it was time 4Journalist G.Webb 2Commit Suicide-W
Posted by: "Phoenix 2012" phnx2012@… phnx2012
Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:03 am (PST)
— On Sat, 1/23/10, Meno Slither wrote:
Why Journalist Gary Webb Died
by Robert Parry
years ago, a tragedy occurred in American journalism: Investigative
reporter Gary Webb Ã¢â‚¬â€œ who had been ostracized by his own colleagues
for forcing a spotlight back onto an ugly government scandal they
wanted to ignore Ã¢â‚¬â€œ was driven to commit suicide. But the tragedy had
a deeper meaning.
WebbÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s death on the night
of Dec. 9, 2004, came as the U.S. press corps was at a nadir, having
recently aided and abetted President George W. Bush in taking the
country to war in Iraq under false pretenses. The press corps also had
performed abysmally in BushÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s two presidential campaigns in 2000 and
2004, hesitant to take on the powerful Bush Family.
WebbÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s suicide could be viewed as an exclamation point on that sorry
era, which had begun a quarter century earlier with the rise of Ronald
Reagan and the gradual retreat Ã¢â‚¬â€œ under right-wing fire Ã¢â‚¬â€œ of what
had once been WashingtonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Watergate/Pentagon Papers watchdog press
years after WebbÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s death, the U.S. news media continues to scrape
along the bottom, still easily intimidated by the bluster of right-wing
media attack groups and fast-talking neoconservatives Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and still
gullible in the face of lies and myths used to justify the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But the sad
tale of Gary Webb remains instructive for anyone wanting to understand
what went wrong with the U.S. news media and why much more work is
needed to rebuild an independent press corps as a safeguard for the
WebbÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s important historical role began in 1996 when his "Dark Alliance" investigative series for the San Jose Mercury News
revived public interest in the CIAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s tolerance of cocaine trafficking
by President ReaganÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s beloved Nicaraguan contra rebels in the 1980s,
at a time when Reagan was promoting a Ã¢â‚¬Å“just say no/zero tolerance/war
The scandal of
contra cocaine trafficking and the CIAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s protection of these crimes
had surfaced in the 1980s, but the Big Three newspapers Ã¢â‚¬â€œ New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times Ã¢â‚¬â€œ paid the scandal little heed, mostly accepting the denials of Reagan administration insiders.
So, when Webb
shed new light on the scandal in 1996, the same newspapers subjected
Webb to a merciless assault and rejoiced when WebbÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s editors caved in
to the pressure and forced Webb to quit in disgrace.
WebbÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s series prompted an internal CIA investigation by Inspector
General Frederick Hitz who issued two reports in 1998 containing
devastating admissions about the CIAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s knowledge and protection of
contras known to be active in the cocaine trade.
The Big Three
newspapersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ response was mostly to downplay or ignore
HitzÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s findings, rather than to correct the record.
this misused power of the Big Three Ã¢â‚¬â€œ in this case, to protect the
reputation of the Reagan administration and their own failings Ã¢â‚¬â€œ
WebbÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s reputation was never rehabilitated. He was unable to find
decent-paying work in his profession; his marriage fell apart; he
struggled to pay bills; and he was faced with a move out of a modest
rental house near Sacramento.
So, on Dec. 9,
2004, the 49-year-old Webb typed out suicide notes to his ex-wife and
his three children; he laid out a certificate for his cremation; he
taped a note on the door telling movers Ã¢â‚¬â€œ who were coming the next
morning Ã¢â‚¬â€œ to instead call 911.
Webb then took
out his fatherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pistol and shot himself in the head. The first
shot was not lethal, so he fired once more.
WebbÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s death, the big newspapers that had played key roles in his
destruction couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t bring themselves to show Webb any mercy.
After WebbÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s body was found, I received a call from a reporter for the Los Angeles Times
who knew that I was one of WebbÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s few journalistic colleagues who had
defended him and his work. Back in 1985 for the Associated Press, I
also had co-written with Brian Barger the first story exposing the
I told the L.A. Times
reporter that American history owed a great debt to Gary Webb because
he had forced out important facts about Reagan-era crimes. But I added
that the L.A. Times would be hard-pressed to write an honest
obituary because the newspaper had not published a single word on the
contents of the CIA inspector generalÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s final report, which had
largely vindicated Webb.
To my disappointment but not my surprise, I was correct. The L.A. Times ran a mean-spirited obituary that made no mention of either my defense of Webb, nor the CIAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s admissions in 1998. The Times obituary was republished in other newspapers, including the Washington Post.
WebbÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s suicide had enabled senior editors at the Big Three newspapers
to breathe a little easier, since one of the few people who understood
the true and ugly story of not only the Reagan administrationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s
protection of the contra-cocaine trafficking but the U.S. mediaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s
complicity in the cover-up was now silenced.
To this day,
none of the journalists or media critics who participated in the
destruction of Gary Webb has been punished for their actions. None has
faced the sort of humiliation that Webb had to endure. Instead, the
death of Gary Webb and the circumstances surrounding it have remained
one of the U.S. news mediaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s dirty little secrets.
of that continuing injustice, I believe itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fitting on the fifth
anniversary of WebbÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s death to remind the American people of what
WebbÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s work helped expose.
WebbÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s suicide in 2004 had its roots in his fateful decision eight years earlier to write a three-part series for the San Jose Mercury News
that challenged a potent conventional wisdom shared by the elite U.S.
news organizations Ã¢â‚¬â€œ that one of the most shocking scandals of the
1980s just couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t possibly be true.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Dark AllianceÃ¢â‚¬Â series, published in August 1996, revived the
decade-old allegations that the Reagan administration in the 1980s had
tolerated and protected cocaine smuggling by its client army of
Nicaraguan rebels known as the contras.
substantial evidence of the contra crimes had surfaced in the mid-1980s
(initially in an article that Brian Barger and I wrote for the
Associated Press in December 1985 and later at hearings conducted by
Sen. John Kerry), the major news outlets had refused to take the
For instance, reflecting the dominant attitude toward Kerry and his work on the contra-cocaine scandal, Newsweek dubbed the Massachusetts senator a Ã¢â‚¬Å“randy conspiracy buff.Ã¢â‚¬Â [For details, see Consortiumnews.comÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“KerryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Contra-Cocaine ChapterÃ¢â‚¬Â or Robert ParryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & Project Truth.]
truth of the contra-cocaine scandal was left in that netherworld of
uncertainty, largely proven with documents and testimony but never
accepted by Official Washington.
series thrust the scandal back into prominence by connecting the
contra-cocaine trafficking to the spread of crack that ravaged Los
Angeles and other American urban centers in the 1980s. For that reason,
African-American communities were up in arms as were their elected
representatives in the Congressional Black Caucus.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Dark AllianceÃ¢â‚¬Â series offered a unique opportunity for the major
news outlets to finally give the contra-cocaine scandal the attention
But that would
have required some painful self-criticism among Washington journalists
whose careers had advanced in part because they had not offended Reagan
supporters who had made an art out of punishing out-of-step reporters
for pursuing controversies like the contra-cocaine scandal.
Also, by the
mid-1990s, a powerful right-wing news media had taken shape and was in
no mood to accept the notion that many of President ReaganÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s beloved
contras were drug traffickers. That recognition would have cast a
shadow over the Reagan Legacy, which the Right was busy elevating into
There was the
turf issue, too. Since WebbÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s stories coincided with the emergence of
the Internet as an alternate source for news and the San Jose Mercury News
was at the center of Silicon Valley, the big newspapers saw a threat to
their historic dominance as the nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gatekeepers for what
information should be taken seriously.
major mediaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s focus in the mid-1990s was on scandals swirling around
Bill Clinton, such as some firings at the White House Travel Office and
convoluted questions about his old Whitewater real-estate deal.
words, there was little appetite to revisit scandals from the Reagan
years and there were strong motives to disparage what Webb had written.
Rev. MoonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Newspaper
It fell to Rev. Sun Myung MoonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s right-wing Washington Times to begin the counterattack. The Washington Times turned to some ex-CIA officials, who had participated in the contra war, to refute the drug charges.
Then Ã¢â‚¬â€œ in a pattern that would repeat itself over the next decade Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the Washington Post and other mainstream newspapers quickly lined up behind the right-wing press. On Oct. 4, 1996, the Washington Post
published a front-page article knocking down WebbÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s story, although
acknowledging that some contra operatives did help the cocaine cartels.
approach was twofold: first, it presented the contra-cocaine
allegations as old news Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“even CIA personnel testified to Congress
they knew that those covert operations involved drug traffickers,Ã¢â‚¬Â
the Post sniffed Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and second, the Post minimized the importance of
the one contra smuggling channel that Webb had highlighted Ã¢â‚¬â€œ that it
had not Ã¢â‚¬Å“played a major role in the emergence of crack.Ã¢â‚¬Â
A Post side-bar story dismissed African-Americans as prone to Ã¢â‚¬Å“conspiracy fears.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Soon, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times
joined in the piling on against Gary Webb. The big newspapers made much
of the CIAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s internal reviews in 1987 and 1988 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ almost a decade
earlier Ã¢â‚¬â€œ that supposedly had cleared the spy agency of a role in
CIAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s decade-old cover-up began to weaken on Oct. 24, 1996, when CIA
Inspector General Hitz conceded before the Senate Intelligence
Committee that the first CIA probe had lasted only 12 days, the second
only three days. He promised a more thorough review.
Nevertheless, Webb was becoming the target of media ridicule. Influential Post
media critic Howard Kurtz mocked Webb for saying in a book proposal
that he would explore the possibility that the contra war was primarily
a business to its participants.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Oliver Stone, check your voice mail,Ã¢â‚¬Â Kurtz smirked. [Washington Post, Oct. 28, 1996]
suspicion was not unfounded, however. Indeed, White House aide Oliver
NorthÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s chief contra emissary Rob Owen had made the same point in a
March 17, 1986, message about the contra leadership.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Few of the
so-called leaders of the movement Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ really care about the boys in the
field,Ã¢â‚¬Â Owen wrote. Ã¢â‚¬Å“THIS WAR HAS BECOME A BUSINESS TO MANY OF
THEM.Ã¢â‚¬Â [Capitalization in the original.]
In other words, Webb had been right and Kurtz had been wrong.
Mercury News Retreat
although Kurtz and other big-name journalists may have been ignorant of
key facts about the contra war, they still pilloried Gary Webb.
The ridicule also had a predictable effect on the executives of the Mercury News. By early 1997, executive editor Jerry Ceppos was in retreat.
January 14, 2010
Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat. His two previous books are Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine,
& ‘Project Truth’.
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