RENDER UNTO GARY WEBB
WHICH ARE GARY WEBB'S
AT THE DEBUT OF AN HEROIC BOOK
by Michael C. Ruppert
I didn't know what to expect
from The Dark Alliance. With what I had read from
Gary Webb as a reporter, under the control of editors and
business people, I guess I expected that the book would
sound like more newspaper stories; full of great facts but
short on the powerful writing that this horrible chapter
in American life deserves. I expected more startling facts
and greater detail but I have to admit that I didn't think
it would stack up against Scott, McCoy, Reed, Gritz, Jensen-Stevenson,
Levine or Castillo. I own almost every book written on the
subject of CIA and drugs. Most of them are autographed.
I was eager to learn more about Norwin Meneses and Danillo
Blandon but had little hope that Gary would encompass the
horrors he had documented into the much larger and inevitable
picture, which reveals the truly depraved condition of this
nation and its government.
Boy was I wrong!
I set high standards as I
opened to the first page. In order for Gary's book to ring
bells with me it would have to: address the subject of Mena,
Arkansas; point to George Bush as the architect of Contra
era (and earlier) CIA drug dealing; clearly show that CIA
had infiltrated local police departments; unhesitatingly
state that the CIA knew and encouraged drug dealing in minority
communities; and show that CIA had "hands on"
involvement with both drugs and money. In the end he did
all of that and more.
I hadn't read the book on
June 2nd when I went to a bookstore in Santa
Monica for his book signing and talk. So when he was rudely
interrupted by some members of the crowd demanding that
he assert that CIA had devised crack to hook African-Americans,
or that he assert that CIA had colonized Haiti to maintain
a racist drug hegemony, or that all CIA drug activity was
a consciously articulated program of genocide, or that LAPD
officers had created crack, I was taken aback. So, I think,
was Gary. Some in the crowd had become uncontrollable and
Gary was having trouble regaining the floor when Maxine
Waters showed up and reminded everyone of Gary's accomplishment.
The people who were so loudly pushing agendas and pet theories
without benefit of research could have been disinformationists
or agitators. At best their ignorance proves again how easily
we are all manipulated. CIA really does do that, now more
than ever, to create controversy where there is none.
What Gary Webb handed, on
a silver platter, to all who are serious about this and
who know the story well, was absolute documented and undeniable
evidence that: CIA knew of Ricky Ross' and Danillo Blandon's
activities from the earliest days and protected those activities
from the start, even at the local level; that CIA, through
Ron Lister, actively supported the distribution of automatic
weapons to the gangs in South Central; that as investigative
heat mounted against Ross and Blandon, CIA efforts to protect
them increased measure for measure; and that, as the crack
epidemic spread from city to city, the CIA allowed and encouraged
This is like the point I make
about one entry in Oliver North's diary that "$14 million
to buy arms for the Contras came from drugs." What
more proof does a logical mind need? What more proof could
minority activists ask for in their search for justice?
If CIA devised crack with an ethno-specific motive there
is most likely no document that shows it. That would not
have been written down. If such a document existed and appeared
with any kind of public exposure then we would be facing
civil war instead of entrenched apathy. That war would include
many whites fighting on the side of minorities. There are
too many who remember the Nazis and Zyklon B.
Gary Webb HAS provided evidence
of a racist conspiracy. Its right there in his book.
It is some of the most amazing reporting I have ever read.
And it is detailed and eloquent. He writes, "Pretending
that crack was something that had appeared out of nowhere
was, politically, much safer than admitting the truth -
that the Federal government had been warned about it very
specifically many years earlier and hadn't lifted a finger
to stop it, effectively surrendering the inner cities to
an oncoming plague. If that information became too widely
known, the public might start asking prickly questions,
such as: Why weren't we told?
"And how could a question
like that be answered? Because we didn't believe it? Because
we didn't care? Because we thought it might encourage people
to try it? Or was it because the drug problem looked as
if it would be confined to lower income neighborhoods, ghettos
as it had been in South America, Jamaica, and the Bahamas?"
I have been studying the machinations
of the CIA for twenty years. Their predictable behavior
is that they will locate and nurture the worst and weakest
parts of human nature. They will find those parts of a culture
or society which inspire distrust and conflict and they
will take a pinhole and widen it into an eight-lane highway
which is constantly maintained and improved. In that manner
they perpetuate spending on everything from atom bombs to
handcuffs, from jails to military adventurism.
African-American leaders don't
need anything beyond what's in The Dark Alliance
to batter down the doors of Congress and say, "You
want proof? Here's the damn proof!"
But the saddest part of all
this is that, just now when I put Gary's book into an overloaded
bookshelf, I realized that it might just become another
book on the shelf. How many are needed and who is to blame
if they have no impact? As I turned to walk away I noticed
something else. The bookshelf was starting to sag from the
weight. Maybe the government is starting to sag from the
weight too. The attacks are now coming from all sides and
they are relentless.
At the end of his book Garry
Webb seemed to lament that after twenty years he was no
longer a working newspaperman. I for one am grateful for
that. As he finds his legs behind this accomplishment he
will discover his evolution into something bigger and more
important. Reluctantly or not Gary Webb has crossed the
threshold of history and we should be grateful for it.