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