Monday, December 13, 2004

Gary Webb

What a weekend for conspiracy theory! I don't know where to begin. Why not with Gary Webb? Yesterday I wrote about Potential Witness Syndrome, one symptom of which is "suicide by multiple gun shot wounds to the head". This is apparently exactly what Gary Webb died of (watch as the stories are refined to change 'wounds' to 'a gunshot wound'). Webb was one of the premier investigative journalists in the United States, and author of the classic book "Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion", a book that everyone should read, both for its content and as an model of how to do investigative reporting. The disgusting American press did a hack job on him, claiming that he overstated his case, an outright lie which you can see if you read his book. He was meticulous in defining his thesis, which was that the CIA turned a blind eye to the selling of crack in Los Angeles because proceeds from the sales were used to fund the Contras in Nicaragua. This thesis was true, but was deeply embarrassing to the CIA and other journalists who failed to cover the story. It was a particularly dangerous idea because it demonstrated what a crock of shit the war on drugs is, with the U. S. government allowing extremely destructive drug sales - and drug sales which were particularly destructive to one racial group - in the United States when such sales suited it for other political purposes. The San Jose Mercury News shamed itself by failing to stand up for Webb when he was attacked, and effectively constructively dismissed him by assigning him to the boondocks. Webb's death is just another nail in the coffin of investigative journalism, and thus democracy, in the United States. What he was working on that led to his being suicided?