Remembering Gary Webb

Gary Webb

Journalism is not an occupation without its dangers. The story of Gary Webb, an accomplished investigative reporter is one such example. Much has been said in regards of the linkages between what we refer to as “The War on Drugs” and its place if you will, in the international drug trade. While some of it has been the byproduct of a conspiratorial outlook on the U.S. government, the reality is that the connections have yet to be completely debunked.

The journalistic contributions of Gary Webb took the notion of government complicity with the drug trade out of the realm of conjecture and placed it firmly in the sight of everyone. When Webb originally broke the story in 1996 in the San Jose Mercury News, it caused a national controversy. The three part series labeled “Dark Alliance” was an expose on the crack-cocaine trade in the U.S. and the CIA’s support of the Contras in Nicaragua. Three years later, in 1999, Gary Webb would publish his 3 part series of articles with a foreword by Congresswoman Maxine Waters. It is called Dark Alliance: The CIA, The Contras, And the Crack Cocaine Explosion.

In 2004, Webb died under mysterious circumstances. Although pronounced a suicide, the cause of his death was two gunshots to the head. There are some who say that Webb was murdered to stop a second book. Unfortunately, it appears as though we wont ever know the full truth of the matter. What we do know for certain is that the work of Gary Webb was a key factor in revealing the role of the Reagan Administration in one of the greatest American tragedies of the 20th century. For that, he should be remembered. Gary Webb would have been 55 years old. To find out more about Gary Webb and his journalistic work go to the following link:

San Jose Mercury News Articles

Further Reading: Kill the Messenger: How the CIA’s Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb by Nick Schou


  1. Ha!

    Now you have gone and done it. You have gone a put yourself on “watch list.” There is no turning back now!

    On the real, every black/Afrikan person on the planet should be familiar with this story. And in honor of this courageous man we should read his book, Dark Alliance. Gary Webb has been on my mind a lot lately. I can remember the meetings and discussions in the Los Angeles black conscious community when this story broke. I also remember that Maxine Waters got lots of death threats for looking into this. Webb did appear to step back from the most controversial (from the perspective of white folks) claim that the governmental was specifically targeting black folks. But even if you put aside that particular conspiracy, the revelations are explosive and devastating. So explosive in fact that even if the US govt. did not kill Webb (I would not put it past them), they are still responsible for his death given the intense level of harassment that they instigated clearly aimed at “breaking” him.

    Incidentally, “Freeway” Ricky Ross was recently released from prison. kzs

  2. LOL! I know right? Hey, the truth has gotta get out somehow. I really need to read his book as Webb went into deep detail about what many people put aside as “conspiracy theory” It’s funny how this information comes from years of requests by Gary Webb through the Freedom of Information Act, yet it is easily dismissed. You are correct, they definitely created an environment for such a thing to befall him.

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