Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion
September 4, 2002 7:06 PM   Subscribe

Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion "This is a reproduction of the award-winning Dark Alliance website, which first appeared Aug. 18, 1996, as part of a series I wrote for the San Jose Mercury News. This innovative website was seen by millions worldwide and acclaimed as the first Internet-based expose in journalism history. In the wake of a furious controversy, the site vanished from the Web in 1998. It has been reproduced here for historical purposes and is in no way affiliated with the San Jose Mercury News. -- Gary Webb" (via disinfo)
posted by kliuless (6 comments total)
So, can I submit this to Fox TV's "Worlds Most Dangerous Hypocrites" show, on the grounds that the government which declared the 'War on Drugs' actually imported, invested in, processed, distributed and promoted lethal drugs in their own country...

This led to the blight on many neighbourhoods around the world, but the experiment which began in mostly black areas of California leads from Central America.

Is it hype to call this [click 'The Pipeline'] the Axis of Evil?
posted by dash_slot- at 7:45 PM on September 4, 2002

dash_slot-: ... mostly black areas...

Just wanna add that the experiment wasn't directed towards black people, but was directed towards lower class America, a class that can easily be marginalized. The fact that they were mostly black was coincidental at the time.

But yeah... I sure as hell would love to see Fox sensationalize this information in an easily digestible format, hosted by some bimbo with huge cha chas.

On a serious (and more scary) note, this information is rather well-documented, and there was even a PBS Frontline episode 'bout this. Problem is, average America with real voting power isn't listening :(.
posted by freakystyley at 9:45 PM on September 4, 2002

IIRC, "Dark Alliance" "vanished" from the Web not out of conspiracy, but becaus the San Jose Mercury News withdrew the story, saying that primary sources had reneged on their view, that evidence didn't support it, and so on. I never see fans of this story address those concerns, and the Web site doesn't seem to, either.
posted by mdeatherage at 11:36 PM on September 4, 2002

Any more on that, mdeatherage?

I'd love to know why views were reneged, when the characters who were disputing the evidence all carry lengthy records & guns, of one type or another...
posted by dash_slot- at 2:02 AM on September 5, 2002

I read all of the material on the website when it went up the first time, thanks to being a regular on alt.drugs, where it was heavily publicized. A great example of target marketing on the 'net.
Webb doesn't whine about the censorship in the book version, which is excellent. He did write a good account of the response as one of the thirteen or so chapters in this book, also well worth a read.
posted by Nicolae Carpathia at 2:11 AM on September 5, 2002

One of the main reasons the paper pulled the story (and site) was because folks like the Wash Post, NYT and AP quickly distorted what Webb was saying - ie, making the jump from 'the CIA and White House knew these guys were bringing in drugs and looked the other way when their dealers started making crack,' into 'the CIA was selling crack to black kids.' This disinformation was helped along, unfortunately, by believers in 'the plan' (a black conspiracy theory popular in DC and other majority black areas, which holds that 'the man' is working to exterminate minorities). So they obviously became nervous about the story.

For the points Webb was in fact making, his documentation and reporting was about as sound as one could expect in a story dealing with drug dealers, Contra thugs and murderers and CIA agents.
posted by crackerass at 7:47 AM on September 5, 2002

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