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FOR THE BETTER PART of a decade, a Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods street gangs of Los Angeles and funneled millions in drug profits to a Latin American guerrilla army run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, a Mercury News investigation has found.

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Welcome to our forum

From: Mark Hull (mhull@sjmercury.com), Mercury Center
Date: Saturday, August 17, 1996
Comment: Discuss the series and ask questions in our forum moderated by the reporter of this series, Gary Webb.


When will it end?

From: Larry (lar-jen@interaccess.com), Chicago
Date: Sunday, August 18, 1996
Comment: The story of the CIA using cocaine the Contras is over
a decade old. Though evidence is abundant, few Americans
are aware of the crimes.

The San Jose Mercury News articles show that CIA Contra
cocaine continued flowing into the USA after the Sandinistas
lost power in Nicaragua.

The US government has done nothing to stop it. Neither
President Bush, President Clinton nor Senator Dole have
ever done anything to stop the CIA-assisted drug pipeline.
As a matter of fact, evidence exists that all three hindered
investigations into the crimes. Why?

With crack cocaine from the CIA-Contra operations flooding
the streets of America, raising violence and destroying
lives, America can tolerate the crimes no longer.

As an election approaches, the candidates remain silent
on the problem. Americans cannot allow the silence to
continue. We must raise our voices and demand our government
to bring the guilty to justice and stop CIA drug pipelines.
Unfortunately, the guilty are in power.

Thank you, San Jose Mercury News! You have done a great
service to our nation.

Larry


Great series so far!

From: Ken Cook (kencook@tiac.net), Chelmsford, MA
Date: Sunday, August 18, 1996
Comment: I am part of a group of citizens on the Internet who have been following the allegations surrounding Iran/Contra and it's alleged drug connections with great interest.
We have been talking for years of how the CIA circumvented the Boland Amendments (which prohited U.S. aid to Nicaragua) by bringing drugs into this country and using some of the profits to fund their covert operations.
We have been able to document, through books and other sources, the massive drug smuggling that went on at Mena, Arkansas during the mid-80s under Bill Clinton's nose. Contra pilot training occurred there also as well as millions of dollars in drug money being laundered through Bill Clinton's Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA).
Let me make the point however that this scandal is strictly bi-partisan. For George Bush, Oliver North and possibly even Ronald Reagan himself knew of these goings-on and aided and abetted in the coverup.
The lives of many good people who tried to expose this have been destroyed.
I am extremely pleased that the San Jose Mercury News has the courage to expose this sickening scandal and I look forward to the next two installments.

Regards,
Ken Cook


Mena connections

From: Gary Webb (garywebb@aol.com), Sacramento, CA
Date: Sunday, August 18, 1996
Comment: From what I could tell, the Mena, Ark. situation was connected to the Contras' East Coast cocaine operation, which was exposed in the mid-1980s by a pair of enterprising AP reporters, Bob Parry and Brian Barger, who were almost universally trashed for their efforts. John Kerry's Senate Subcommittee did an credible job of nailing down that operation and there were a number of cross-pollinations between that drug operation and the one we're writing about. Anyone interested in the details of the East Coast operation should read the Kerry Committee report. That might be something we could post here if enough people were interested in seeing it.
Additionally, the CIA inspector general announced an investigation into the Mena connection last week. Better 10 years late than never, I suppose.


Phony Drug War or massive conspiracy?

From: Brenda Grantland (fearno1@nbn.com), Mill Valley, CA
Date: Sunday, August 18, 1996
Comment: In 1992 I heard the rumor that the Iran Contra conspirators were smuggling cocaine into the country, but I never thought it would be confirmed as the truth. Now this whole phony drug war makes sense. This allows a sick bureaucracy to achieve several of their evil goals at once -- generate revenue for their illegal war, wipe out the black community with a massive drug epidemic, and create a national emergency to justify the repeal of the Constitution -- all at once. This is sick! Thank you Gary Webb for having the guts to write this story, and thank you Mercury News for publishing it.


Remember the Christic Institute

From: John (75454.374@CompuServe.com), Corvallis
Date: Sunday, August 18, 1996
Comment: Do you remember the Christic Institute about ten years ago when they filed charges against the "Secret Team" (which included Secord)under the RICOH statute. It never came to trial because the Miami judge threw it out? You never hear of the Institute anymore. My question is, what was the final disposition of their suit and does the Christic Institute still exist?


Thank You

From: Bill Enloe (enloe@mediacity.com), menlo park
Date: Sunday, August 18, 1996
Comment: I just want to thank you for the in-depth
coverage of the recent article "Dark
Alliance'. While the story itself, and most
of the information contained in it, is over
ten year old, and therefore hardly news to
those with access to information about what
really goes on in the world, it is refreshing
to see thistype of story coverved in the
mainstream press.

Keep up the good work.

Sincerely,
Bill Enloe


Tip of the iceberg

From: Shooshie (shooshie@onramp.net), Dallas
Date: Sunday, August 18, 1996
Comment: It is indeed a good thing to see this information
presented in such an organized way. The timeline
and the pipeline (animated maps) lay out over
two decades worth of information more clearly
than I have ever been able to understand it.

After fifteen years of wading through conspiracy
theories, lies, and fragments of the stories, I
believe The Mercury might yet tell me the whole
story.

Now, what is the connection to the BCCI, the
Iran/Contra story, and other activities of the 80's?
Is the S&L scandal involved? However big the
cocaine story is, it seems like the tip of
a much larger iceberg. Will we someday be able
to see the whole picture, complete with names
of US public figures involved?


Time to End Drug Prohibition

From: Dr. Lawrence Hunter (hunter@intr.net), Potomac, MD
Date: Monday, August 19, 1996
Comment: Gary Webb's breathtaking revelations
demonstrate the evil locus between
the scourge of crack and the CIA's
immoral "secret" wars. It is the
obscene profits that prohibition
brings that set in motion the process
that has led to so much death and
misery.
It is time to end drug prohibition and
with it, the profits and violence that
attract the CIA and the Crips and the
Bloods. As Webb shows so convincingly,
only the little guy goes to jail; the
leaders not only go unpunished, but get
fabulously wealthy.
Compare the failure of fifteen years
of expensive and destructive "war on
drugs," with the amazing success of
anti-smoking efforts over the same
fifteen years. Clearly, the answer
is to end prohibition and take a public
health approach to reducing drug abuse.


Time to End Drug Prohibition

From: Dr. Lawrence Hunter (hunter@intr.net), Potomac, MD
Date: Monday, August 19, 1996
Comment: Gary Webb's breathtaking revelations
demonstrate the evil locus between
the scourge of crack and the CIA's
immoral "secret" wars. It is the
obscene profits that prohibition
brings that set in motion the process
that has led to so much death and
misery.
It is time to end drug prohibition and
with it, the profits and violence that
attract the CIA and the Crips and the
Bloods. As Webb shows so convincingly,
only the little guy goes to jail; the
leaders not only go unpunished, but get
fabulously wealthy.
Compare the failure of fifteen years
of expensive and destructive "war on
drugs," with the amazing success of
anti-smoking efforts over the same
fifteen years. Clearly, the answer
is to end prohibition and take a public
health approach to reducing drug abuse.


ACCOUNTABILITY!!!

From: Matt Smith (dalem@condorsys.com), San Jose
Date: Monday, August 19, 1996
Comment: I am grateful for the truth I have discovered in this article, and I thank the MN for printing it. I had never before supposed that the government of my country would be responsible for the destruction of its citizens. To me, this seems like a can of worms that should have the power to rock Capitol Hill and have the people of this country screaming for the heads of those responsible. I want accountability! I want justice! I hope and pray the apathy that pervades this country will not keep this story from shaking them to their core. This should scare people. This should anger people, especially those whose lives were destroyed or aotherwise affected by the actions of their government.


Kerry Committee Report

From: j h woodyatt (jhw@wetware.com), san francisco
Date: Monday, August 19, 1996
Comment: Gary Webb and his associates have done a
very good job exposing the connection
between crack cocaine and the Nicaraguan
contras.

Add me to the list of people who would
like the URL for the Kerry Subcommittee
report on this "East Coast" drug
operation that appears to be connected
to all this rattling around about Mena,
Arkansas.


It wasn't paranoia

From: Debra Evans (devans@netscape.com), Mountain View
Date: Monday, August 19, 1996
Comment: For years the Black community
has complained that it has been sacrificed
by politicians and the police as the area
where drugs were allowed to exist.
Mainstream society always dismissed the
protests as the ravings of extreme
militants. Now on the front page of
the local paper is proof that what
people have been saying has actually been
going on. Hopefully, in the future,
the dominant culture will listen when
people from ravaged neighborhoods
have something to say.


Do I think U.S. gov would allow drug sales? Yup!

From: A. Hopping (wren@pacbell.net), B.C. Canada
Date: Monday, August 19, 1996
Comment: Whether it wants to or not, the U.S. gov
is allowing drugs to be sold. I only
have faith that time will solve the prob-
lem. And replace it with a new one.

Don't buy drugs. Fight to keep the souls
of your kids. Stand for right things.
Honor yourself and others.

Simplify.

Don't worry too much about it.
You'll be dead soon enough.


Some answers for you

From: Reporter Gary Webb (garywebb@aol.com), Sacramento, CA
Date: Monday, August 19, 1996
Comment: First of all, I discovered that our ruthlessly efficient online editor, Mark Hull, has already posted some of the transcripts of the Kerry Committee hearings. They're available in the Library section here.
Second, thanks to everyone who has called, e-mailed and written so far. Your response to this project has been very encouraging. Since I've been living with this story for so long, it ceased to shock me long ago. I'm glad to see it still has some punch.
As for some of the specific questions: the Christic Institute, as far as I can tell


"Opportunities multiply as they are seized."- Sun Tzu

From: Matt Robbins (mrobbins@dl.com), Cupertino, CA
Date: Monday, August 19, 1996
Comment:
To me the root of this issue is the alliance between the CIA and organized crime. This alliance which was spawned at the end of WWII when the
OSS went into Europe (mainly to work with the remains of the branch of Hitlers SS Intellingence that already had a network of spies throughout
Eastern Europe and Russia). This is when the Mob first was allied with US Intelligence in Italy to help control elections and the shipping
docks.

The problem is that this alliance has gotten far out of hand because of the the cloak of secrecy and "National Security" that can be invoked by
the CIA. This brings me to my main point which is: Of all the major world events since WWII it has been discovered by somebody somewhere that
the CIA had a hand in it.( i.e.. Korean War, Vietnam War, Kennedy assassanation, Watergate, Contra-Gate, hundreds of assassanations, and now
the crack epidemic to mention a few! There is also an overwhelming body of evidence to support this statement.)

Which brings me to my next point. Unless your employer, the mainstream media, Vietnam and Korean Vets, the Kennedy family, the black citizens,
and the rest of the people of the USA, combine their will to change the power of the CIA, nothing will change and the CIA will conitinue as
before. So if your article is just to sell some newspapers and not change anything, then all you are doing is making a dime to pay the bills,
which is not far from what the CIA and all drug dealers are really doing.

I challenge the Editors and owners of the SJ Mercury to use this story as a springboard to publicly tell the US and World all about the real
history of America and the CIA since WWII.( I also suggest starting with the JFK story and the ongoing work of the JFK Assassanation Records
Review Board). Do this and you will spark the change neccessary to restore our once great democracy. Otherwise nothing will change no matter
who you vote for in Congress or as President. It is the CIA that is the greatest National Security threat to our Democracy and our society.
(Not to mention our well earned tax dollars.)




DO NOT QUOTE OR REPUBLISH (ANYWHERE)!!!

From: Kenneth Spain (kenneth.spain@sybase.com), NYC
Date: Tuesday, August 20, 1996
Comment: Congradulations on your excellent expose'. This is what the First Amendment and its spirit of the law was meant to convey; namely just what your newspaper has done. Please call Nightline, 60 Minutes, and the other credible news shows.

Further, I wish to convey the sentiments of our citizenry, in that there should be some significant form of accountability. Some significant restitution needs to be addressed to those caught up in this nightmare. For those in prison, serious indoctrination, first on this article series, then on becoming a citizen (in a productive fashion), perhaps some serious Boot Camp discipline, and finally some sort of sentence readjustment (read reduction or parole based on participation and personal commitment to change). This is one, but not necessarily the only way, for our society to appologize for the State Sanctioned crimes against humanity (and since this was one or two communities, as your article stated, it qualifies for the acutal term GENOCIDE) to those who were targeted and abused and have had their lives corrupted by our penial system, as well as those who willingly or unfortunately were victims of this crime.

Perhaps, this was the notion and objective behind the term "getting treatment".

Who's to say, but something NEEDS to be done to restore these victims to whole.


(NOTE: it is terribly dificult to type out or review or correct spelling errors in this micro-text window)


DO NOT QUOTE OR REPUBLISH (ANYWHERE)!!!

From: Kenneth Spain (kenneth.spain@sybase.com), NYC
Date: Tuesday, August 20, 1996
Comment: Congradulations on your excellent expose'. This is what the First Amendment and its spirit of the law was meant to convey; namely just what your newspaper has done. Please call Nightline, 60 Minutes, and the other credible news shows.

Further, I wish to convey the sentiments of our citizenry, in that there should be some significant form of accountability. Some significant restitution needs to be addressed to those caught up in this nightmare. For those in prison, serious indoctrination, first on this article series, then on becoming a citizen (in a productive fashion), perhaps some serious Boot Camp discipline, and finally some sort of sentence readjustment (read reduction or parole based on participation and personal commitment to change). This is one, but not necessarily the only way, for our society to appologize for the State Sanctioned crimes against humanity (and since this was one or two communities, as your article stated, it qualifies for the acutal term GENOCIDE) to those who were targeted and abused and have had their lives corrupted by our penial system, as well as those who willingly or unfortunately were victims of this crime.

Perhaps, this was the notion and objective behind the term "getting treatment".

Who's to say, but something NEEDS to be done to restore these victims to whole.


(NOTE: it is terribly dificult to type out or review or correct spelling errors in this micro-text window)


What price, Democracy?

From: Chris Despopoulos (cud@adobe.com), Santa Cruz, CA
Date: Tuesday, August 20, 1996
Comment: The story of Nicaragua is unbearably tragic. A murderous
dictatorship is installed by the US. When the citizens
rid themselves of Somaza, the US responds by
claiming they must destroy the Sandanistas to save the world
for Democracy. And how do they -- er, I mean WE -- do
that? By sacrificing untold numbers of American citizens to the
nightmare of Crack.

How many people have suffered addiction? How many
families broken by gang violence? How much
vitality has been sucked from communities that
could otherwise have contributed to the culture,
knowledge, and yse, even the tax base of America?
How can a cost be assigned to this miserable policy
of ours to "save the world for democracy"
no matter what?

How can Bush, Secord, North, and Poindexter
sleep at night? How can any American sleep
at night knowing these traitors are free,
and even hailed as heros?

How can anybody take seriously the current shrieks for personal
accountability after we all allowed Regan and
Bush to hide behind plausible deniability?

How can any thinking person say he is proud to be an American?


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