Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Kill The Messenger; The Gary Webb Story

The real Gary Webb and the actor Jeremy Renner playing him in Kill the Messenger
By DD for Borderland Beat
In the 1990’s Gary Webb was a Pulitzer Prize  investigative journalist working for a regional newspaper in northern California.  In the summer of 1996 the San Jose Mercury News published Gary’s investigative series called Dark Alliance about CIA/cocaine trafficking resulting in a crack cocaine epidemic on he streets of LA .  (full text Dark Alliance at link below)

By the end of 2004 Gary had been attacked and discredited as a journalist by the MSM, and was considered unemployable after his applications for employment had been turned down by over 20 newspapers.  He reportedly committed suicide on Dec. 10, 2004.

.MOVIE The Story of Gary Webb

Gary’s story and his message has been resurrected in a movie released last week (Oct.10), KILL THE MESSENGER.
Kill the Messenger  hit the cinemas on October 10 and tells the true story of Gary Webb’s saga that others tried so hard to make disappear. There is Oscar buzz over Jeremy Renner’s portrayal of Webb (Renner, 43, has twice been nominated by the Academy: best supporting actor for Our Town in 2010, and best actor for The Hurt Locker in 2008; and through the Avengers, Mission Impossible and Bourne franchises, Renner is one of the world’s biggest box office draws.)  

Kill the Messenger is based on the book by the same name by Nicholas Schou and on Webb’s own book, Dark Alliance. Michael Cuesta (Homeland, Dexter) is the director. Investigative journalist Peter Landesman is the screenwriter. 

This is no boring documentary. It’s an action-packed full-scale Hollywood epic with a star-studded supporting cast: Michael Sheen, Paz Vega, Andy Garcia, Michael Kenneth Williams, Ray Liotta, Oliver Platt and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, among others, join Renner in the ensemble.

  Gary Webb - the messenger - will not be with us to see this movie about him.  Gary’s message, however, is here to stay.


The CIA involvement in drug trafficking was not a new story.  Ten years prior, first-term US Senator John Kerry had held hearings and issued a 1,100-page report that had reached the same conclusion. The nation’s major news outlets gave the Kerry Committee Report scant attention, but the record had been established. It was an airtight case.
The Central Intelligence Agency had broken US law by brokering planeloads of cocaine into the United States, and millions of dollars in those drug profits were used to fund the Contra army seeking the violent overthrow of the Nicaraguan government. The CIA did so to get around the US Congress, which had voted to ban US funds going to that terrorist organization. 

The Reagan administration, even as it ramped up the “Just Say No to Drugs” campaign at home, entered the cocaine business through private contractors coordinated by the CIA.
Webb"s investigation  came across from the other end of that officially-sanctioned cocaine trail while reporting on a drug case in California, and followed the trail in reverse: from the crack-plagued neighborhoods of Los Angeles to the federal courtroom where lower level traffickers were prosecuted, to a Nicaraguan prison to interview the Contra army’s banker, to the real drug kingpins behind it all: decision makers in Washington DC. Webb documented what had happened to that cocaine when it entered California. 

Cocaine had previously been the hundred-dollars-a-gram drug of choice of yuppie bankers and lawyers. But when dealers figured out how to convert it to crack, teenagers, poor and working folks could afford it at five or ten bucks a pop. Then the problems compounded when they kept  needing more of an addictive and prohibited substance.

Gary Webb in his own words.

IT WAS OUTRAGOUS BUT IT WAS TRUE (Gary talking to a class at the School of Authentic Journalism in Mexico which he co-founded)

Gary Webb "People Realized They Had Been Lied to"

Gary Webb "You Could Read this Story Anywhere in the World" 


  The CIA denied the charges, and every major newspaper in the country  took agency's word for it. Gary Webb was ruined. Which is a shame, because — as Charles Bowden revealed in this 1998 Esquire story — he was right. Borderland Beat reprinted the Esquire article by Charles Bowden, titled “The Pariah” in a thread posted by SiskiyouKid on Dec/ 30, 2013 (link below).

The Internet’s First “Viral” News Story

To understand the motives of the MSM in their efforts to destroy Gary Webb as a professional journalist, you have to understand that the San Jose Mercury News was only a regional paper and only those in the immediate area could read the shocking story.  If you were in LA, or San Diego you would have hard time finding a copy of the Mercury News.  If you were in NY, D.C., Denver, Dallas, or Miami, it would be impossible.

The young staff of the new electronic media unit at the Mercury News convinced the Editor to all them to post it on the Internet, complete with the supporting documents and dossiers on the major figures in the cocaine pipeline from the Contra Army to the streets of South Central Los Angeles, 

The editor, knowing that the story directly implicating the CIA in drug trafficking was going to be hard for readers to believe, agreed to publish it on the internet because in that way all the supporting documents, interviews, and reporters notes could be included which was not possible in the printed version.

It may be hard for the Millennia generation to believe but the internet was just beginning to develop in the 90’s and was not a primary source for news.  Gary’s story was authentic journalism: tough, gritty, scrupulously documented and sourced at a time when the news industry was running away from that practice.


For the first few months after its publication the main stream media (print and broadcast) tried to ignore the story.  Then talk radio and alternative news weeklies spread the word about the website, and suddenly the gatekeepers of the national media could not control the story in the same way they had the previous decade when ignoring the Kerry Committee Report.

It doesn’t take many to control the thinking of millions of Americans.

6 Corporations Control 90% Of The Media In America
In 1983, fifty corporations dominated most of every mass medium; ]n 1987, the fifty companies
 had shrunk to twenty-nine;  In 1997, the biggest firms numbered ten and involved the $19
billion Disney-ABC deal, at the time the biggest media merger ever.

Michael Eisner, CEO of Walt Disney Co. said in an internal memo:
    “We have no obligation to make history. We have no obligation to make art. We have no obligation to make a statement. To make money is our only objective.”

That was not the kind of journalism that Gary Webb lived and breathed for

After the MSM realized that they could not ignore the story because it had gone viral on the internet it went on the attack, going after Gary both personally and professionally. 

The leaders of the attack on Webb were the LA Times, New York Times, and the Washington Post.  Their motives were probably all different, but the goal was the same – Kill the Messenger.

The Washington was the first out of the gate which is not surprising.  The Post has many “friends in high places in DC, including the CIA and DEA. 

The LA Times was probably motivated by embarrassment and jealousy.  They couldn’t allow a little regional newspaper to scoop them on a story involving the CIA and drug trafficking that was happening in their own back yard.  Maybe a story that was heading for a Pulitzer Prize.  Rather than put a team out there that would investigate the allegations Gary had made, the fielded a team of 20 reporters to discredit the story and the reporter that wrote it.

The NY Times was probably jealous and merely acting in their usual arrogant manner that “if it is not in the Times, it is not print.”

Even the Mercury News backed off of the story even though it had the documentation to back it up.  It simply didn’t want to stand up to seemingly the whole national press.  While it did not write an apology for the article, it published a statement that there may have been errors in the story and the gathering of information during the investigation. 

It deleted Dark Alliances from its website and banished Webb to a small town bureau that might as well have been Siberia.  He was assigned to the city desk and given such assignments as doing a story on a police dept. horse that had mysteriously passed away.  Being the journalist that he was he did an investigation    His investigation and the resulting story won some local journalism awards even though he concluded in the article that the horse died of constipation.  He was full of shit. 

Gary had lost his reputation, his house, and the opportunity to do the only thing to him - investigative journalism.  He sank into a deep depression

The story of an investigative journalist with powerful enemies found alone in a small cheap motel room with 2 gunshot wounds to the head would be a story that Gary Webb would have jumped at.  The irony is that Webb was the deceased.  Though many question the ruling, the Sacramento coroner ruled it a suicide.  December 10, 2004 

Some words from the late Charles Bowden might best sum up this story.  Bowden had asked a former senior DEA  agent friend that he was fishing with about some of the revelations in Gary Webbs story about CIA involvement  drug trafficking;

He tells me I've got to understand about when the big dog gets off the porch, and I'm getting confused here. He is talking to me from a fishing camp up near the Canadian border, and as he tries to tell me about the Big Dog, I can only imagine a wall of green and deep blue lakes with northern pike. But he is very patient with me. Mike Holm did his hard stints in the Middle East, the Miami station, and Los Angeles, all for the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, and he is determined that I face the reality he knows. So he starts again. He repeats, "When the Big Dog gets off the porch, watch out." And by the Big Dog, he means the full might of the United States government. At that moment, he continues, you play by Big Dog rules, and that means, he explains, that there are no rules but to complete the mission.”

It was not, however, the agency's ties to drug traffickers that Bowden found most disturbing. It was that a man can lose his livelihood, his calling, his reputation, for telling the truth.  (this statement was made prior to Gary's death).

Dark Alliance Returns To The Internet

Borderland Beat link to Bowden story in Esquire;

LA Times Obit:

Narco News


  1. I know there's proof out there about how the CIA also had camarena killed. Actually it had to do with this same thing. Right chivis?

  2. Thanks DD for the info. I'll be looking out for this movie. Jeremy Renner is a great actor. If you have the time check out a movie called Neo-Ned. Thanks once again

  3. About posting comments, so we know handheld devices are ok....but computers not so much.

    However I have to be logged into my google account for blogger so I don't get the robot test.

    I have called on Buggs but I don't know when he has time to take a look. I am sorry, I am still trying to figure out how to disable the robot :(

  4. I'm gonna have to check out the movie. Looks like it will be a good movie. And just goes to keep showing you how corrupted our government has always been.

  5. All these supposed suicides, thats like saying el chapO is in jail and carrillo and coronel are dead, cia is the biggest cartel

  6. IF the world governing bodies wanted to end drug trafficking I believe they could stop at least 90% of the flow into all nations.

    Drugs are here to stay as long as the (evil) ruling elite are in power. There are a small group of people that directly benefit from the drug trade, from cultivation(manufacturing) , trafficking, to the gramero that goes to jail for moving pieces, to the junkie that ODs. They profit from the whole cycle, top to bottom.

  7. The CIA is the most powerful agency in the world. If the US government won't give them funding they will make their own funding and there is nothing that can be done about it. Black ops is the way to go to combat what the CIA deems to be a thorn in its side. The US government always leans on the CIA when something "dirty" needs to be done. A blind eye will be turned as long as the government is not implicated. It's a dirty job but someone's gotta do it. Vietnam, Laos, Contras, Sandanistas, Columbia and Afghanistan just to name a few CIA involved missions. The agency unfortunately is a necessary evil in this world.

  8. How do you commite sucide by shooting your self twice in the head???????

    1. @Oct 24, 9:00pm

      Shooting yourself more than once while trying to kill yourself has been done before, they're are documented cases.


  9. The constitution does not apply to what supposedly does not exist, but yet, exists and is real as you or I.

  10. There are no necessary evils for society in general...
    --only un-necessary evils use their little evil achichincles...
    --And in their cowardly ways, they try their best to keep their crap secretly hidden, the appearance of decency is still needed because:
    1; The american people can handle the truth...
    2; The CIA can not handle the truth...
    3; The CIA and the government on whose name they claim to act, are not representing the american people nor their best interests, that is why they
    mislead, misrepresent, use half truths and outright lies, twist, bend and stretch them to fit, whatever they need, but not the truth, ever!

  11. 1:44 the CIA, the necessary evil has really had its dirty hands in on more than the operations you mentioned, including inventing crack and flooding the US with it.
    --The problem is all those interventions have proven to have been NOT NEEDED, UNNECESSARY, and COUNTERPRODUCTIVE...
    --Another problem is that in the dark the CIA conducts its operations, it has become manipulated by people that DO NOT serve or has the best interests of the US at heart, and use the secrecy to enrich themselves, often while others die fighting its wars, and even more often, innocent people die for no good reason, earning the US a lot of enemies all over the world, benedict arnold would be proud of his heirs, the CIA and its associate criminals, who looks more and more like the KGB, only a lot worse, now that there is no need...

  12. Corupt Government is everywhere. There is no corner on this earth that is free from all this injustice. It's the system of things. Nothing will ever change until the "evil" is gone.

  13. This article points at the Contras as terrorists. There was more to this this story (regarding Nicaragua) than what has been published here in the article.
    It starts with the true terorrists, that being the communist Sandinistias, (sp), attacking in Nicaragua, seeking, as all communist terrorists did in South America, to overthrow that government and take over.
    Meanwhile, the Dictator that was running the country, appealed to others for military supplies, as they were running out of same. The Dictator (I don't remember his name now) was neither incompentant, nor a tyrant and most of the citizenary supported him , not the communists, but without a big military / military supplies, and thanks to Marxist president Carter who directly intervened and blocaded the Isreal shipment (not to mention gave the Panama Canal zone away when It was supposed to be ours for perpetuaty), the country fell to the Communists.....but not completely.
    The Contras were the resisting 'freedom fighters' and continued to fight the Sanadisitis, but of course, still needed military supplies.
    In steped the CIA and went to do just that, with the Commies in our own congress still rooting for the Marxists. Many were the same I suspect that couldn't bring themselves to declare war on North Vietnam for violating the Peace agreement there and invading while the ink was proverbally not yet dry. Nor saying anything at all while the Kamar Rouge massacured one third of Cambodia's population.

    Regan, who had been contemplating disbanding the CIA due to their questionable activities in the past, now found the organization making themselves usefull in the fight against Communism in South America and ended up allowing them to continue.
    The Sandistinas eventually ended up agreeing to allow elections and they were soundly defeated at the ballot Box. Supprise...the citizens did not want a Marxist country.
    Interesitng enough, with the communists defeated in Nicaragua, a lot of the terrorist activity in Guatamala also came to a stop.
    Separately, Chili reduced its Red Beragade problem in its own country by...of all things, arming its citizenry, making the forcable recruitement of young males by that entity much more difficult. No more easily intimidating villages by poisoning their wells, shooting relatives infront of the elders, etc. if they didn't agree to joining with them.

    As it is, we still have the same problems with government acting when it shouldn't, and not acting when it should, or using false flags to get its way. Its like Uncle Sam is schizo...


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