Is Anyone Apologizing
to Gary Webb?
By Micheal Levine
Gary Webb, just in case you've already forgotten him, was the journalist who,in a well researched, understated article entitled "The Dark Alliance,"linked the CIA supported Contras to cocaine and weapons being sold to a California street gang and ended up literally being hounded out of journalism by every mainstream news peddling organization in the Yellow Pages. Even his own employer The San Jose Mercury piled on for the kill.
And guess what? The CIA finally admitted, yesterday, in the New York Times no less, that they, in fact, did "work with" the Nicaraguan Contras while they had information that they were involved in cocaine trafficking to the United States. An action known to us court qualified experts and federal agents as Conspiracy to Import and Distribute Cocaine"a federal felony punishable by up to life in prison.
To illustrate how us regular walking around, non CIA types are treated when we violate this law, while I was serving as a DEA supervisor in New York City, I put two New York City police officers in a federal prison for Conspiracy to distribute Cocaine when they looked the other way at their friend's drugdealing. We could not prove they earned a nickel nor that they helped theirfriend in any way, they merely did not do their duty by reporting him. Theywere sentenced to 10 and 12 years respectively, and one of them, I wasrecently told, had committed suicide. I have spent three decades as a court qualified expert and federal agent and am not aware of any class of American Citizen having special permission toviolate the law that we have been taxed over $1 trillion in the past twodecades to enforce; the law that every politician, bureaucrat and media punditkeeps telling us protects us against the most serious danger to Americansecurity in our history.
The interesting thing to me, about the Webb article is that the CIA isprovably (and now admittedly) responsible for much larger scale drugtrafficking than Webb alleged or even imagined in his report. In fact, according to a confidential DEA report entitled "Operation Hun, a Chronology" that I used as part of the proof to back up the undercoverexperiences detailed in my book The Big White Lie, (optioned for a movie byRobert Greenwald Productions) the CIA was actively blocking DEA fromindicting many members of the ruling government of Bolivia, from,1980-83"during a time period that these same people were responsible forproducing more than 90 percent of the cocaine consumed in the United States.As CIA Inspector General Hitz himself stated before congress, it was duringthis time period that Nicraguan Contra supporters were buying large amounts ofcocaine from these same CIA protected Bolivians. Do you think Congress wants to see this proof? The gang that can't spy straight, as they are known to my listeners and aboutwhom President Lyndon Johnson once said, "When Rich folks don't trust theirsons with the family money they send them on down to the CIA," certainly did alot more damage to this nation than, for example, computer company owner WillFoster who was sentenced to 93 years in prison for possession of 70 marijuanaplants for medicinal use. Of course, true to their shifty, sleazy form, while admitting that they didaid and abet Contra drug trafficking, they are now refusing to release theirown final investigative report which details the damning proof. The samereport that CIA Inspector General Fredrick Hitz, during February, 1998, hadpromised congress and the American people was forthcoming "shortly", because,as CIA Director George Tenet now claims, CIA does not have enough money in itsbudget to properly classify it. You believe that then I know an old guy with a beard named Fidel, wanderingthe streets of South Miami with an Island about 90 miles off the coast forsale. He says the money is for his retirement. How, you ask, do they get away with it? Well for one thing, mainstream media, the so-called Fourth Estate, does allit can to help.
During the Iran-contra hearings, when Senators Kerry and D'amato were makingpronouncements before the Senate indicating that the CIA was involved withdrug trafficking, Katherine Graham the owner of The Washington Post addresseda class of CIA recruits at CIA's Langley headquarters in Novemeber, 1988, bysaying: "There are some things the general public does not need to know andshouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can takelegitimate steps to keep its secrets, and when the press can decide whether toprint what it knows.."
Apparently CIA protection of drug trafficking was among those secrets Thus, it should have been no surprise to those CIA agent recruits whenWashington Post reporter and drug expert Michael Itsikoff wrote that there was"no credible evidence" linking the CIA supported contras to cocainetrafficking at the same time very credible evidence was being heard by SenatorKerry's committee indicating that the Contras may have been the top purveyorsof drugs to Americans in our history. Neither should it have been a surprise to anyone who heard her statement whenmainstream media refused to print the news that Oliver North, US Ambassador toCosta Rica, Lewis Tambs and various top level CIA officers were banned fromever entering Costa Rica by Nobel Prize winning President Oscar Arias, fordrug running. The drugs, by the way, all going to us.
Nor should it have been a surprise when Gary Webb was destroyed by mainstreammedia, for doing nothing more or less than telling the truth as he found it.
And now, while CIA admits their felonies to the press but refuses to releasethe proof, and, Janet Reno, the head of the Obstruction of Justice Departmenthas done the unprecedented by classifying her own department's investigationinto CIA drug trafficking, the partnership for a Drug Free America is spending$2 billion of our tax money on already-proven-fruitless anti-drug ads. And where do you think the money goes? Answer: to every major media corporation on the big board. Gary Webb, my friend, you are owed a huge apology. But I doubt that you'll get it. Not in this lifetime.
Michael Levine The Expert Witness Radio Show WBAI 99.5 FM New York City Tuesdays 7-8pm 212-209 2800 - Voice
Host: Michael Levine, 25 year veteran federal agent and author of NY Timesbest seller DEEP COVER, (soon to be a movie) THE BIG WHITE LIE and (now inpaperback) TRIANGLE OF DEATH.
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