After Volume One was released, I called Webb (whom I had spent some time with since his series was published). By fall 1998, Washington was obsessed with President Bill Clinton’s Monica Lewinsky sex scandal, which made it easier to ignore even more stunning Contra-cocaine disclosures in the CIA’s Volume Two, published on Oct. 8, 1998. The Reagan administration’s neglect of Ainsworth’s insights reflected the overriding hostility toward any information even from Republican activists that put the Contras in a negative light. For undercutting Webb and other Mercury News reporters working on the Contra-cocaine project some of whom were facing personal danger in Central America Ceppos was lauded by the American Journalism Review and received the 1997 national Ethics in Journalism Award by the Society of Professional Journalists. The CIA advised the prosecutor that “no information had been found regarding Ocean Hunter,” a statement that was clearly false. I wish Parry would go back further to World War II, when the US entered Geopolitics, earlier foreign involvement involved mostly lobbyists such as Dole Banana’s lobbying creating Banana Republics. many employees. According to Hitz’s Volume One, BermÃºdez enlisted Norwin Meneses, a large-scale Nicaraguan cocaine smuggler and a key figure in Webb’s series, to … “Murder Incorporated” seems to be the new norm and not to stray too far of the point but this all began following the CIA’s connection with JFK’s assassination. The murder has never been solved. In the weeks before Webb’s suicide, there also was the intervening fact of George W. Bush’s reelection and with it, the dashed expectation that the CIA analysts and the mainstream journalists who played along with the Iraq-WMD fabrications might face some serious accountability. One informant described Colombian cocaine off-loaded at an airstrip on Hull’s ranch. Pena said Meneses was moving hundreds of kilos a week. But Webb ultimately paid a terrible price, as Robert Parry reports. Pena believed that Meneses would sometimes transport certain of these items himself to Central America, and other times would have contacts in Los Angeles and Miami send cargo to Honduras, where the authorities were cooperating with the Contras. Our open-source library houses the thousands of documents, periodicals, maps and reports released to the public. Reporter Gary Webb, author of the controversial series, was transferred from the paper's state capital bureau to a suburban beat and subsequently resigned. Office of Public Affairs
also was part of a second network that sold cocaine for the Contras. When his Contra-cocaine report was released in 1989, its findings were greeted with yawns and smirks. Cabezas was arrested, convicted In the 1980s, the CIA’s analytical division was already showing signs of politicization, especially regarding President Ronald Reagan’s beloved Contras and their war against Nicaragua’s Sandinista government and the U.S. press corps was already bending to the propaganda pressures of a right-wing Republican administration. Despite all this suspicious drug activity centered around Ivan Gomez and the Contras, the CIA insisted that it did not unmask Gomez until 1987, when he failed a security check and confessed his role in his family’s drug business. There has never been any CIA relationship You know how to spot a shill commenter? Contras. Despite these startling new disclosures, the big newspapers still showed no inclination to read beyond the criticism of Webb in the press release. Meneses says he was never part of the In 1980, with the support of Argentina’s hard-line anticommunist military regime, Suarez bankrolled a coup in Bolivia that ousted the elected left-of-center government. There is much much more to it…. CIA or go to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate and ask for the information to be passed to a relationships with CIA, though a relative of one of them had a relationship with In other words, Webb was right about the suspicion that the Contra movement had become less a cause than a business to many of its participants. To refute Webb’s three-part series, the Washington Times turned to some ex-CIA officials, who had participated in the Contra war, and quoted them denying the story. There were other narcotics links to Vidal. Third Party: Have someone you trust travel to a less restrictive environment and deliver
A CIA cable, written by the OGC attorney who met with the AUSA, indicated Along the Southern Front, the Contras’ military operations in Costa Rica on Nicaragua’s southern border, the CIA’s drug evidence centered on the forces of EdÃ©n Pastora, another top Contra commander. The CIA published the first part of Inspector General Hitz’s findings on Jan. 29, 1998. He sounded perplexed, again, as if he didn’t know what to make of my cautionary tone. After Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion was published in 1998, I joined Webb in a few speaking appearances on the West Coast, including one packed book talk at the Midnight Special bookstore in Santa Monica, California. However, since the documents released by the National Archives include him describing his conversations with me, that confidentiality no longer applies. daily. or other Frogman Case defendants were connected to the Contras or that the After the Contra war ended, BermÃºdez returned to Managua, Nicaragua, where he was shot to death on Feb. 16, 1991.
Hitz also revealed that drugs tainted the highest levels of the Honduran-based FDN, the largest Contra army. According to a Jan. 21, 1987 interview report by the FBI, Ainsworth said he had “made inquiries in the local San Francisco Nicaraguan community and wondered among his acquaintances what Adolfo Calero and the other people in the FDN movement were doing and the word that he received back is that they were probably engaged in cocaine smuggling.”. There, other Argentine intelligence officers, veterans of the Bolivian coup, trained the Contras in the early 1980s, even before the CIA arrived to first assist with the training and later take over the Contra operation from the Argentines. bringing cocaine into the United States in 1981 with Zavala, Troilo Sanchez and Meneses had financed the Contras. Mario Calero, Adolfo Calero’s brother and the chief of Contra logistics, grew so uneasy about one air freight company that he notified U.S. law enforcement that the FDN only chartered the planes for the flights south, not the return flights north. Look, he's killing himself. So, instead of a process that outsiders might imagine, where journalists who dug out tough stories got rewarded, the actual system worked in the opposite way. I was also hired by PBS Frontline to investigate whether there had been a prequel to the Iran-Contra scandal, whether those arms-for-hostage deals in the mid-1980s had been preceded by contacts between Reagan’s 1980 campaign staff and Iran, which was then holding 52 Americans hostage and essentially destroying Jimmy Carter’s reelection hopes. In another double standard, while Webb was held to the strictest standards of journalism, it was entirely all right for Kurtz, the supposed arbiter of journalistic integrity who was a longtime fixture on CNN’s “Reliable Sources”, to make judgments based on ignorance. “Nunez revealed that since 1985, he had engaged in a clandestine relationship with the National Security Council,” Hitz reported, adding: “Nunez refused to elaborate on the nature of these actions, but indicated it was difficult to answer questions relating to his involvement in narcotics trafficking because of the specific tasks he had performed at the direction of the NSC. Another inspector general's report, relating to any possible CIA knowledge of other contra drug dealing not covered by the San Jose Mercury News series, is to be made public as soon as it can be declassified. For example; the Susurluk Incident, where a beauty queen and her lover, a Turkish MP, a police chief, a top Turkish gangster and hit-man called Abdullah Catli were all found together, dead, when the car they occupied collided with another vehicle. judicial processes involving the drug trafficking activities of Ross, Blandon or
The administration also did next to nothing to expose or stop the crimes. In any event, the actions taken by CIA to have the cash returned did not appear ", At least 106 people shot, 14 fatally, in Chicago weekend violence, Watch live: Gov. Ceppos was wrong about the proof, of course. After his original “Dark Alliance” series was published in 1996, Webb had been inundated with attractive book offers from major publishing houses, but once the vilification began, the interest evaporated. Besides asking about my recollections of the Contras and their cocaine smuggling, Webb wanted to know why the scandal never gained any real traction in the U.S. national news media. Yes. Precisely under what circumstances constitutional rights can be voluntarily surrendered by the human beings protected by it. Defending Rivas, CIA officials insisted that there was no evidence that Rivas engaged in trafficking while with the Contras. They refused to refer the Gomez case to the Justice Department, citing the 1982 agreement that spared the CIA from a legal obligation to report narcotics crimes by people collaborating with the CIA who were not formal agency employees. I also have known how to read between the lines since I was five. CIA until mid-1982. Anger from black communities spread quickly to the Congressional Black Caucus, which started demanding answers. There were other narcotics links to Vidal. A December 1984 cable to CIA headquarters revealed Vidal’s ties to Rene Corvo, another Cuban-American suspected of drug trafficking. After Webb’s body was found, I received a call from a reporter for the Los Angeles Times who knew that I was one of Webb’s few journalistic colleagues who had defended him and his work. connections with family friends and not because he was active in any Contra One Contra fund-raiser, Jose Orlando Bolanos, boasted that the Argentine government was supporting his Contra activities, according to a May 1982 cable to CIA headquarters.
However, the Post offered its readers no explanation for why Kerry’s hearings had been largely ignored, with the Post itself a leading culprit in this journalistic misfeasance. group. If a regional paper like the Mercury News could finance a major journalistic investigation like this one, and circumvent the judgments of the editorial boards at the Big Three, then there might be a tectonic shift in the power relations of the U.S. news media. The media had contorted Gary Webb's "Dark Alliance" article, accusing Webb of making allegations that were nowhere to be found in his piece. That way, readers could examine much of the documentary support for the series. As it turned out, Webb’s confidence in his editors had been misplaced.
Was the drug trafficking of Ross, Blandon or Meneses linked to CIA or
Webb focused on the Los Angeles-based drug kingpin "Freeway" Ricky Ross, portrayed by Michael Kenneth Williams in the movie. But the Post offered its readers no explanation for why Kerry’s hearings had been largely ignored, with the Post itself a leading culprit in this journalistic misfeasance. He even offered to introduce them to his Bolivian cocaine supplier. And why wouldn’t they be? SETCO also received $185,924 from the State Department for ferrying supplies to the Contras in 1986.
Soon, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times were lining up like some tag-team wrestlers taking turns pummeling Webb and his story. That put him in position to witness the strange behind-the-scenes activities of Contra leaders hobnobbing with drug traffickers and negotiating arms deals with White House emissaries.
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