Welcome to Mercury Center

Forum
Dark Alliance
Frames: [ Enable | Disable ]

What do you think?

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.

What's your opinion?

Go to most recent responses

Note: Excerpts from comments made in this forum might be used in the newspaper. If you would not like your comments to be published in the print version, please indicate so in your message.


Legalise!

From: Forrest Covington, Jr. (forrestc@nando.net), Chapel Hill, NC
Date: Monday, September 2, 1996
Comment: Drugs are a permanent part of the Americanlandscape. We all know this by now. We
also know that the answer during Prohibition
was legal alcohol in ABC stores.
Knowing that we cannot stop drugs, why don't
we reduce the harm by legalising and regulating
them, taking the money out of the hands of
criminals, and putting an end to the war
on our streets?
Because someone is profiting from the status
quo, that's why. And now we know who.
Events such as these deligitimise our
own government. It's time to ge5t over it
and legalise drugs, so we can get on with
other, more serious problems than whether
or not people get high. They always have,
always will, and don't deserve to go to jail
for it.
Forrest Covington, Jr.
Chapel Hill, NC


half the news in NC

From: Janice Stroud (JStroud@gnn.com), Durham, NC
Date: Monday, September 2, 1996
Comment: The Raleigh N&O published part of your
great story Sunday,9/1, but did not give
us the local angle: Sen. Helms' intense
support for the FDN and especially Calero.
If even "Morrison" had access to Menses'
DEA file, how ignorant could Helms have
been? Usually the N&O interpolates the
"local angle" in any national story they
print. Wonder what happened this time?
To their credit, they did publish your
web page URL. Thanks for all the info
there; shows how useful the web can be.


beyond "conspiracy theory" trash heap

From: Pamela Rice (vivavegi@novalink.com), New York City
Date: Tuesday, September 3, 1996
Comment: I want to thank Gary Webb, profusely, for his incredible story "Dark Alliance," and the Mercury News for running it. I am passing the word about it in every way that I can.

One of your reader's expressed the sentiment: indeed, this information "should have the power to rock Capitol Hill."

Unfortunately, "denial" threatens to be our biggest enemy here.

The fact that this information is so incredibly mind-boggling, will definitely work against us.

Though not a scientific study, I tried it out on my landlord today. His reply? "That's too hard to believe. Why would they do that to raise just a few million dollars?"

Only if this story gets picked up by the TV networks and leading media organizations -- on the scale of Watergate -- as it should, will average people see the legitimacy of it I'm afraid.

That is why everyone needs to publicize this expose at every turn. We all need to send letters to editors and networks to urge them to cover this story. Flooding our representatives with pressure to investigate further has been suggested and is also extremely necessary.

And of course, we all need to upload to the Internet every chance we can. I have a ready made BBEdit file in my hard drive ready for upload everywhere I go on the WWW

If we don't get the word out there, this story will get relegated to the "conspiracy theory" trash heap.


Clinton's past complicity indicates he will stonewall

From: Allen Hagen (allenh@creative.net), San Francisco
Date: Wednesday, September 4, 1996
Comment: A previous writer's request that President Clinton take action in this matter is laughable. Like him, I also once believed in Clinton. But then I began to learn of his complicity in this "Dark Alliance." People who believe that Clinton is on our side in the investigation of these crimes owe it to themselves to read Partners in Power by Roger Morris (a respected biographer with impeccable credentials as a liberal Democrat). Clinton PERSONALLY and POLITICALLY profited immensely from his connections to this CIA cocaine/arms dealing. His BEST FRIEND in Arkansas, Dan Lasater, used his bond brokerage to launder tens of millions of dollars in profits from this operation, a significant share of which ended up under Clinton's control. The real story here is that not one but three Presidents have been actively involved and probably personally profited in this grand scheme. One is left with the impression that our federal government has been corrupted beyond the point of reform.

Our President is not going to help us on this one, nor are the established political parties or beltway media because, as Morris explains, the Dark Alliance is only one egregious example of a political system that is now fundamentally corrupted by corporate interests.


Old News! CIA involvement began in 40's

From: James Ransdall (james_ransdall@qm.taylormade.com), Pleasanton
Date: Wednesday, September 4, 1996
Comment: The CIA's precursor, the WWII-era OSS first became involved in the drug business by turning a blind eye towards the Mafia's international herion trafficking in return the Mob's assistance in organizing anti-Mussolini groups during the war and in organizing anti-communist groups after the war. This Blind Eye eventually matured into the notorious French Connection. The CIA's involvement in trafficking southeast asian heroin is also an old story. As an outgrowth of its "anti-communism at any price" ethic, the CIA became directly involved, via its private airline Air America, in flying heroin out of the infamous Golden Triangle -- heroin that eventually found its way to US addicts. So, am I surprised at this latest manifestation? Hardly. In fact, I suggest a follow-up to your courageous series. Provide readers with some of this history. It would help put this latest instance of CIA malfeasance in context.


Reno - The WOD, not crack, causes "crack-related" violence.

From: Michael Hoffman (michael@cybtrans.com), Palo Alto, CA
Date: Wednesday, September 4, 1996
Comment:
Reno wrote the following -- I've added emphasis:

"..I see thousands of young men being sent to jail for five, ten, twenty years, with no hope of parole or another chance -- because of relatively small-time drug use and possession. ...our own government may
have been a key initiator... in bringing THIS KILLER into our neighborhoods. ... the millions of young people who see THEIR COMMUNITIES DESTROYED BY THIS FOREIGN SUBSTANCE. ... A story like this, and the terrible example it sets for THOSE WHO STRUGGLE EVERY DAY AGAINST A DRUG CULTURE desperate for converts, can ruin years of work to imbue a sense of self-respect and trust in government efforts to BREAK THE DRUG CYCLE in our communities."


Notice how the violence and destruction *connected with* crack is all attributed to crack itself, rather than prohibition. Crack doesn't cause violence -- prohibition causes violence. The situation in these communities is largely or mainly caused by the inflated prices resulting from prohibition. Crack may be somewhat dangerous, as many things in life are, but it's a gross distortion to imply that crack makes people fire guns at random people. Actually, money is making dealers fire at other dealers. There are many factors woven together causing this problem -- crack, guns, money, *and* prohibition. Why call it a "crack epidemic"? The driving force is prohibition, and LA suffers from a PROHIBITION EPIDEMIC.

So many attitudes expressed in this forum and site are not progressive -- they still keep slamming crack itself, blaming a molecule for all the violence associated with the crack scene as we have known it. This violence is not caused by the crack molecule -- this violence is caused by prohibition and the corruption that prohibition spawns.

Crack is not bad; crack does not cause violence and government corruption. Prohibition is bad; *prohibition* causes violence and government corruption. Stop hating crack, and start hating prohibition. Place the blame where blame is due.

Reno want to "break the drug cycle" -- she can start by pointing the finger at prohibition, not crack itself. The biggest factor perpetuating the drug cycle is the attitude of demonization of recreational chemicals and the crazed, heavy-handed, authoritarian attitude called "prohibition". The way to break the drug cycle is to break the War On Drugs cycle. The attitude of "war" is precisely what keeps the violence and corruption in place year after year.

Crack doesn't cause "crack-related" violence -- the War On Drugs causes "crack-related" violence.


Correction - Waters, not Reno, called crack "this killer"

From: Michael Hoffman (michael@cybtrans.com), Palo Alto, CA
Date: Wednesday, September 4, 1996
Comment:

Correction: Waters, not Reno, wrote the above passage (referring to crack as a killer that destroys communities) that I responded to.


"In the widest-ranging call yet for an official investigation, South
Central Los Angeles Congresswoman Maxine Waters is
requesting both federal and Congressional probes of the role U.S.
goverment agencies may have played in sparking the crack
cocaine explosion of the 1980s.

Waters, a Democrat, sent out a series of letters Friday to U.S.
Attorney General Janet Reno, Central Intelligence Agency
Director John Deutch and Republican and Democratic
Congressional leaders..."


The "Epidemic" in View

From: Jim Carey (74274,231), New Lenox, IL
Date: Thursday, September 5, 1996
Comment: I looked out the train window, trying to digest the assertions I'd just read in your Dark Alliance articles. I saw deteriorating urban neighborhoods, not far from the one I grew up in. They looked like war zones, with evidence of communities having lost on many fronts: Elaborate graffiti,houses and autos in disrepair, leftover piles of rubble and debris from apathetic work crews, Kevorkian-ready tenements. Occasional shufflers and baggy-pantsed street entrepreneurs. Could some of this depression, this malaise, have been subjugated on our own citizens in the name of "national interests"? I'm afraid I understand the point of conscience where Germans under Hitler would rather hold back tears and deny the preposterous. The weight of your articles' claims could almost crush the reader. Or start another war. The blood in the 'hood cries out for justice.


Another Fox & Chicken Tale

From: Jim Carey (74274,231@compuserve.com), New Lenox, IL
Date: Thursday, September 5, 1996
Comment: After reading your article, did I hear correctly that the CIA is heading up an investigation into Mena?


No Repubs Demanding Investigation?

From: Jim Carey (74274,231@compuserve.com), New Lenox, IL
Date: Thursday, September 5, 1996
Comment: As a conservative, I wonder why Dornan and other Republicans aren't demanding, that the assertions of DARK ALLIANCE, and the CIA, be investigated. If precious conservative icons (Reagan, North, Bush) must fall, then so be it. Poisoning our urban communities in a targetted fashion, using gang members as entrepreneurs, should be enough to call out bipartisan bloodhounds, pitchforks and torches.


No Repubs Demanding Investigation?

From: Jim Carey (74274,231@compuserve.com), New Lenox, IL
Date: Thursday, September 5, 1996
Comment: Let's hear it for the sequel: MENA! MENA! MENA! Tell us there's something up your sleeve.


Webb's Sequel

From: Jim Carey (74274,231@compuserve.com), New Lenox, IL
Date: Thursday, September 5, 1996
Comment: Let's hear it for the sequel: MENA! MENA! MENA! Tell us there's something up your sleeve.


More comments on comments

From: Bob Gonsalves (pinknoiz@pinknoiz.com), Crockett, CA
Date: Thursday, September 5, 1996
Comment: Another acronym for CIA is "Cocaine Importation Agency."

Some readers have objected to the use of drug dealers as witnesses
in court, saying that they are unreliable and their testimony
is not be believed. In this particular case, Blandon has nothing
to gain and everything to lose by providing this testimony.
It's a funny thing - drug dealers testimony is found credible,
up to the point where US involvement is alleged. Another clear example
of this is Carlos Lehder of Colombia. His testimony about Manuel
Noriega helped convict the general, but his testimony that (paraphrasing)
apparently, yes, $10 million of my dollars did go to the contras" was
generally ignored.

Here's another example that doesn't rely on court testimony, just papers. It
is described in detail in the Kerry Cmte. report. Juan Ramon Matta
Ballasteros was on a DEA watch list as a major cocaine trafficker. At the
same time, he was being funded through the Nicaraguan Humanitarian Aid Office
to supply 'non-lethal' aid to the contras through one of his fishing companies.
Ballasteros subsequently was captured and convicted for his involvement in the
torture/murder of DEA agent Enrique Camarena, a very famous case.


war on drugs is a war on black community

From: sabiyha prince (rosabellfranklin@msn.com), columbia, md
Date: Thursday, September 5, 1996
Comment: I thank Gary Webb for this well-documented series. It both saddens and angers me, however, the primary response should be one of activism. I am saddened because this represents the continuation of the assault on African Americans which began in 1619. History indicates we were brought here to generate wealth as unpaid labor. De jure enslavement is over and many, for the powers that be (owners of multinational capital) blacks have outlived their usefullness with the exportation of manufacturing jobs to lands where labor is more easily exploited, i.e. Latin America, Asia and the Caribbean. Of course this is an old story for those in the know recognize the U.S. has pushed drugs in the black community as early as the 1960s they trafficed heroin during the vietnam war. What is the solution, hook them on drugs and lock them up indefinitely and better yet, lobby for state-sanctioned murder (even for selling drugs). I am angered by the double standard: arrest and prosecute blacks for things whites initiate and profit from. Let us stop the bickering and unite across all racial, class, gender, regional, sexual and belief system boundaries for that only benefits the small minority who own most of the land and resources inthis country. Agitate for social justice and this will improve the quality of life for all Americans. Remember folks, divide and conquer is a strategy which goes back to colonial times -- for those who doubt read Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, 1980.


People's response is even worse than the transgression

From: Frank Young (Siebold) (frank.siebold@lmco.com), San Jose, CA
Date: Thursday, September 5, 1996
Comment: Even an old cynic like me was still amazed by the level of
reprehensible behavior which was perpetrated by our government
operatives!! The excuse that they were fighting communism has
no bearing on it whatsoever.

The hypocrisy of the "Just Say NO" drug war being pushed by
the same people angers me even more.

Drugs are not as harmful to society as drug laws. The drug
prohibition law allowed this situation to exist by limiting access
to the public and giving these scum the ability to price gouge
customers. This is another example of why the current drug laws
should be changed. Sending people to prison for marijuana is a
crime!
_______________________________________

However,

the scariest part of this whole crime is the lack of interest and
response on the part of the American public. I came to work
expecting this to be the topic of interest that week and could not
believe the lack of rage on the part of those people who had heard
about the articles. Many of those people said "Oh, it just the way
our crooked government works. Don't worry about it.".

Most seem to think there is no reason to care because they don't
believe they can do anything about it.

Wake up and smell the manure, America !!


What Price Democracy?

From: Wil A. Ferguson (wafer@darwin.tti.net), Fremont, CA
Date: Thursday, September 5, 1996
Comment: To say that I feel outrage that the government of these United States knowingly, willfully introduced and sustained an epidemic that has virtually decimated entire communities and claimed the lives of countless young men and women in the name of democracy would have to be put down on record as an understatement.

I wonder now how our government can reconcile its War On Drugs and its own involvement in the crack trade.




The CIA wages war on the Black Community

From: Paul Gilbert (KewPandy@aol.com), Kew Gardens, NY
Date: Friday, September 6, 1996
Comment: For over thirty years many blacks have been saying that the availability of drugs in our neighborhoods
has been engineered by forces outside of our community on purpose to destroy black lives. This recent
report has now confirmed this to be true. The goverment of the US in association with the black gangs
are making our communities the "Drug supermarkets" of Urban America. Obviously, if we cannot rely on the
government to assist us in the fight against drugs we will have to do it ourselves. All people in America
of good faith should feel embarassed and angry about these events.
The real question is how will these oppressive forces try to lie their way out of these allegations, and how
easily will the general population of this country believe these lies.
I urge everyone with a computer connected to the web to E-Mail someone else and tell them to go to this site
to view these documents. We must educate the public on this matter.











ACTION!! ACTION!! ACTION!!

From: Rebeca Keck (Rainbogal@Aol.com), Sacramento, CA
Date: Friday, September 6, 1996
Comment: YOU are the solution. Not someone else. Call the media: your local newspapers, radio, TV and request follow-up stories to Gary's writings. What is happening in Washington on this issue. Contact Congresspeople, the White house requesting hearings. It's up to us to empower ourselves. Power is a perception, and together, we can be powerful, indeed!


Congratulations!

From: Bob Royce (bomiki@aol.com), Seattle
Date: Friday, September 6, 1996
Comment: Congratulations on your excellent report.
It confirms what many of us have suspect-
ed for years. Now perhaps the full story
can be uncovered and the ClA brought to
heel, if not abolished.

To this end we have formed the interracial
Coalition for CIA Crack Reparations. Our
aim is to see that some of the damage
done to so many inner city communities
and thousands of black and latino
victims is redressed.

We would like to know what other cities
carried the Dark Alliance and what the
reaction is. Through the internet we now
have a chance to work together. Let's do
it!


Go to most recent forum responses
Go to: Home | Dark Alliance:

| Mercury Center Home | Index | Feedback |
©1996 Mercury Center. The information you receive on-line from Mercury Center is protected by the copyright laws of the United States. The copyright laws prohibit any copying, redistributing, retransmitting, or repurposing of any copyright-protected material.