Gary Webb's Dark Alliance Returns To The Internet
Gary Webb's "Dark Alliance" Returns to the Internet
June 23, 2005
Gary Webb - Presente
Please Distribute Widely
After an arduous journey, the late and beloved Authentic Journalist Gary Webb's magnum opus, his "Dark Alliance" series on U.S.-sponsored narco-trafficking, finally finds a new on-line home. Narco News will, starting today, publish the full text of Dark Alliance, plus all the extra documentation, photographs, audio recordings, and other features that made the Internet version of the story so unique and influential.
The investigative journalism series that started it all – that changed (or at least, at long last, confirmed) the way all of us think about the war on drugs, the CIA, and U.S. policy toward Latin America – has had a troubled life on the Internet.
In August 1996, Gary Webb began publishing the results of a yearlong investigation that traced the money fueling the horrific U.S.-backed "contra" war against Nicaragua to the profits from Los Angeles' 1980s crack epidemic. The CIA led its contra army to spend the entire decade terrorizing the Nicaraguan people and their Sandinista government, happily allowing the contras to flood Los Angeles and other North American cities with cocaine to fund their efforts.
What came next is well known. Gary's story, and the website he and the San Jose Mercury News created to showcase and expand upon it, were initially the talk of the global village. Politicians cited the articles in both Sacramento and Washington. The CIA launched an internal investigation. Millions of people were visiting the website.
But then the backlash came.
San Jose Mercury News executive editor Jerry Ceppos' cowardly retreat from Dark Alliance included deleting the website, and destroying thousands of undistributed CDROM versions of the site. It was the Internet's first book burning. In 2002 Gary triumphantly resurrected the website. But when Gary took his own life last December, the new website died with him: the company hosting it was bought out and the files lost.
In the reports posted today, originally published August 18, 1996, Gary introduces readers around the world to the players and relationships of the whole tangled affair. He identifies the alliance at the root of his story as "the union of a U.S-backed army attempting to overthrow a revolutionary socialist government and the Uzi-toting 'gangstas' of Compton and South-Central Los Angeles." We also learn about the "wall of secrecy" that allowed the traffickers working for the CIA's interests to operate with impunity.
Read this first installment of the Dark Alliance series, back by popular demand in its original online format, plus the full story of how this groundbreaking website that would not be silenced found its way to Narco News, here:
From somewhere in a country called América,
The Narco News Bulletin