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I just checked.  As I begin writing, fauxreal's diary "Investigative Reporter Gary Webb is dead" has scrolled down to #96 in the list of recent dKos diaries, and I'm still deeply saddened by the tragic loss of the courageous Mr. Webb.

This morning Democracy Now! reported on Webb's untimely death and replayed a May 20, 1998 interview with the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist.

Was a sytematic campaign to discredit Webb (and his work) unleashed because of the explosive nature of the facts that he uncovered and reported?

In July 1998 the same New York Times that participated in the insideous attacks on Webb "reported the CIA's own investigation of its activities revealed that agency officials knew that the Nicaraguan contras they were working with were running drugs."  Webb was vindicated by the Inspector General of the C.I.A. but apologies to Webb were not forthcoming.  

Webb's vindication was not noted in the obituaries that I read.  On the contrary, Reuter's continues the campaign to diminish the journalist's work by leading with these words:

"A journalist who won national attention with a series of later-discredited articles linking the CIA with the spread of crack cocaine in Los Angeles has died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound..."

[emphsis added]

Please note that in the comments posted to fauxreal's diary there is discussion of Webb dying from from gunshots [plural] to the head.  I suspect that the "s" following gunshot was probably someone's typo.  I also suspect that foulplay may have occured.  Mr. Webb upset many ruthless individuals.

UPDATE: 11:30 am

Don Paul wrote:

"Gary Webb joins Mark Lombardi, J.H. Hatfield, and Danny Casalaro as the fourth 'suicide'by a researcher who had a detailed understanding of the structure and function of the Bush crime family."

Here is a past Brasscheck report on this:

July 9, 2002

Beyond Harken Energy

An exquisitely drawn diagram called "George Bush, Harken Energy, and Jackson Stephens . c 1979-90" created in 1999 by artist Mark Lombardi shows that through, his father and James R. Bath, George W. Bush Jr. had direct connections to or did business some of the following:

* Sheik Salim bin Laden, relative and mentor to Osama bin Laden

* Sheik Abdullah Taha Bakhsh, whose financial projects included BCCI, S.A. and Harken Energy

* Jackson Stephens of Arkansas, patron of Bill Clinton and other criminal enterprises Lombardi created a number of pieces which graphically revealed well documented but little known connections between the crooks of the world. On the verge of a major career breakthrough (his works had just been acquired by and shown by the Whitney), Lombardi reportedly committed suicide by hanging himself.

Like Bush biographer J.H. Hatfield ("Favored Son) and investigative journalist Danny Casalaro who had nearly completed a book on Bush, BCCI and other topics, Lombardi was reportedly a 'troubled' individual who become unbalanced by the prospect of succeeding at his life's ambition.

Hatfield's suicide:

Casalaro's suicide: The manuscript of the book Casalaro was working on has never been found. Articles about Lombardi from the art world, including scans of his works, here:

Originally posted to peace voter on Mon Dec 13, 2004 at 09:39 AM PST.



Why did Gary Webb die?

75%15 votes
15%3 votes
0%0 votes
10%2 votes
0%0 votes

| 20 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  ¬°Gary Webb Presente! (4.00)
    Since I learned of Mr. Webb's death I've read a number of accounts by individuals who knew and admired him.  I am deeply saddened by his loss.


    "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" -- John Kerry, 1971.

    by peace voter on Mon Dec 13, 2004 at 09:35:57 AM PST

  •  Nice post... (none)
    We do need to find out why these investigative reporters become so despondent that they feel it necessary to commit suicide by slashing their own wrists eight times, tying plastic bags over their heads, or putting several bullets in their heads. Maybe Congress can investigate what is making these writers so very sad.
    •  how true (none)
      The death of British weapons expert David Kelly was also reported as a suicide.  As you may recall Kelly well knew that the pretext for invading Iraq was bogus.  He was also in a possition to cause great embarrassment for Blair & Bush and possibly foil their nefarious schemes.

      At the time of Kelly's "suicide" I recall hearing an interview in which one of  Kelly's colleagues proactively declared that he was happily married, loved his grandchildren and his life and that if his dead body was later found by a stream with his wrists slit something was probably amiss.

      Thanks for your "Gary Webb" diary about as well. As I posted in the comment, I didn't see it until after I had posted this diary.

      "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" -- John Kerry, 1971.

      by peace voter on Mon Dec 13, 2004 at 10:34:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Personal Experience with Gary Webb (none)
    What a treasure and what a loss. I posted about my own personal encounter with him at my blog here.
  •  from blksista [repost] (none)

    In "This should get around the black blogosphere" blksista writes:

    "When Webb's findings were revealed in the San Jose Mercury News, it was as if a bomb had dropped on the entire black community.  The Mercury-News reported thousands of hits on his article, so many that their server crashed.
    It warranted a visit to Los Angeles by, I remember, the CIA director at the time.  Or someone just as high.

    It was a kind of "I told you so," to a community already beleagered and blown apart by crack and crime.  Understand, there has already been something like the Tuskegee experiments and LSD experiments on blacks, so this came as no surprise to many people of South Central and elsewhere who smelled a rat.  Including early rap artists like Kool Moe Dee who recorded "The Wild, Wild West" about the changes in the community there. Between shoutouts to friends off the street, Dee proclaimed that strangers coming to his 'hood wouldn't just fight, "They kill."

    Really, really sorry to hear about this.  We need more courageous whistleblowers like him."

    "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" -- John Kerry, 1971.

    by peace voter on Mon Dec 13, 2004 at 12:11:40 PM PST

  •  Robert Parry on Gary Webb (none)
    from Consortium News:

    America's Debt to Journalist Gary Webb

    By Robert Parry

    December 13, 2004

    In 1996, journalist Gary Webb wrote a series of articles that forced a long-overdue investigation of a very dark chapter of recent U.S. foreign policy - the Reagan-Bush administration's protection of cocaine traffickers who operated under the cover of the Nicaraguan contra war in the 1980s.

    For his brave reporting at the San Jose Mercury News, Webb paid a high price. He was attacked by journalistic colleagues at the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the American Journalism Review and even the Nation magazine. Under this media pressure, his editor Jerry Ceppos sold out the story and demoted Webb, causing him to quit the Mercury News. Even Webb's marriage broke up.

    On Friday, Dec. 10, Gary Webb, 49, died of an apparent suicide, a gunshot wound to the head.

    Whatever the details of Webb's death, American history owes him a huge debt. Though denigrated by much of the national news media, Webb's contra-cocaine series prompted internal investigations by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Justice Department, probes that confirmed that scores of contra units and contra-connected individuals were implicated in the drug trade. The probes also showed that the Reagan-Bush administration frustrated investigations into those crimes for geopolitical reasons.

    there's more

    "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" -- John Kerry, 1971.

    by peace voter on Mon Dec 13, 2004 at 12:18:49 PM PST

  •  The SCLM (none)
    are still insisting that Webb's series was bogus and discredited.

    Lies, liars, lying.

    The man was a hero; the man was right.

    One-fifth of the people are against everything all the time.--Bobby Kennedy

    by blksista on Mon Dec 13, 2004 at 01:11:38 PM PST

  •  How many coincidental "suicides"... (none)
    ...does it take before we address the obvious: dissenters, especially those who come close to getting the goods on the Bush Crime Family, are dying? Let's not forget the woman who claimed to have had Georgie's baby, or perhaps it was that she aborted  same, who also conveniently committed suicide.

    Five more?  Would it take ten more? How about a hundred more?   Or maybe the way to ask the question is to ask yourself which journalist/muckraker's "suicide/accident" would it take to convince you? Bill Moyers?  Seymour Hersh?  Greg Palast? Michael Moore? Bruce Springsteen? How about Paul Wellstone?  Howard Dean?

    How many Kossians would have to agree that a disturbing pattern had become a frightening reality, before you, too, came to the same conclusion?

    And then what?  What do you/we do about it?  Once we have come to an inescapable conclusion that we can no longer deny, how do we protect ourselves and those still courageous enough to dig for the truth and disseminate it?

    You might say it is too soon for this conversation, to even be asking such questions. Clearly that's true for you, at this point.  Others, however, may feel it is time to at least ask, if not do some thinking about the future and where they stand, and what stand they might choose to make.

    For all of us, as it did for the Founding Fathers, there may soon arise a time when we are called upon to pledge our lives, our property, and our sacred honor. Are you that invested in what you believe in that you can consider laying it all on the line for  what you see as right?  If you are, do you know, or, have you thought about, where your line is?

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Mon Dec 13, 2004 at 01:48:36 PM PST

  •  Probably suicide (none)
    He had lost his dream job, his career, his wife and kids, and was in the process of losing his home because of his dogged devotion to that "truth" thing that nobody wants to hear, to be yet another one of those homeless bums wandering the streets that we avert our eyes from. I truly believe that it was "suicide" -- i.e., he did it with his own hands, but he had a lot of help getting to that point from those in power who ruined his life.

    - Badtux the Cynical Penguin

    Sign of the endtimes #532341: I agree with Pat Buchanan about something (Iraq)

    by badtux on Mon Dec 13, 2004 at 06:57:37 PM PST

    •  Penguin ~ your diary on Webb is Brilliant! (none)
      I encourage kossaks to read it and recommend.


      "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" -- John Kerry, 1971.

      by peace voter on Mon Dec 13, 2004 at 07:52:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well thanks (none)
        But could you at least put the correct link into your post? :-).

        - Badtux the "I don't live there!" Penguin

        Sign of the endtimes #532341: I agree with Pat Buchanan about something (Iraq)

        by badtux on Mon Dec 13, 2004 at 10:15:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  sorry (none)
          I realized it was the wrong link late last night when I was too tired to fix it.


          "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" -- John Kerry, 1971.

          by peace voter on Tue Dec 14, 2004 at 07:56:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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