January 3, 2009 - The Constantine Report    
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading

Three Stars on Friendly Terms with the CIA – Jennifer Garner, Rachael Seymour & Robert De Niro

This is a modified py-6 that occupies the entire horizontal space of its parent.


Alias Star Recruits for CIA

March 10, 2004

Actress Jennifer Garner may only play a spy on ABC’s action-drama Alias, but that’s good enough for the CIA: she’s the face of their new recruitment campaign, kicked off by a short video posted to the agency’s web site this week:

Ms. Garner was excited to participate in the video after being asked by the Office of Public Affairs. The CIA’s Film Industry Liaison worked with the writers of “Alias” during the first season to educate them on fundamental tradecraft. Although the show “Alias” is fictional, the character Jennifer Garner plays embodies the integrity, patriotism and intelligence the CIA looks for in its officers.

Affleck educates Garner on politics
January 3, 2007

Former ALIAS star Jennifer Garner is getting a lesson in politics from her husband Ben Affleck. The PEARL HARBOR star has always been fascinated by current events and is helping his wife become more educated when it comes to world affairs. …


Union Carbide

Garner was born in Houston, Texas, the daughter of Patricia Ann (née English), an English teacher from Oklahoma, and William John Garner, a chemical engineer who worked for Union Carbide in Texas. … When she was four years old, her father’s job with Union Carbide relocated her family to Princeton, West Virginia, then to Charleston, West Virginia, where Garner resided until her college years.

WILLIAM J. GARNER joined the Company in August 1996 as Vice President of Design and Development. Mr. Garner was the Director, Process Research and Development, of the Polyolefins Division of Union Carbide Corporation from September 1990 to August 1996. He held a number of management positions at Union Carbide from 1975, all associated with the development, design, commercialization and licensing of Union Carbide’s leading UNIPOL(R) polymers technology. During Mr. Garner’s tenure at Union Carbide, this technology was extended to over 110 reactors worldwide and 12 million tons of annual capacity. Mr. Garner holds a B.S. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University and an M.S. in Industrial Hygiene from the University of Pittsburgh.

Racheal Seymour (The Young and The Restless)

United States of America (Press Release) June 9, 2008 — BEVERLY HILLS, June 9 – Racheal Seymour, former Screen Actors Guild Board member and Central Intelligence Agency analyst-turned-actress restarts preproduction on her film HEARTBURN and joins Guardian Angel Management before the 2008/9 TV season because she believes that “it’s highly unlikely current contract negotiations will end with an actor’s strike.” …

ABOUT HEARTBURN: A short action thriller film in which an undercover Department of Homeland Security agent endures “enhanced interrogation” in order to learn the truth at a marine base. After days of deprivation at the hands of a rogue soldier, the lethal operative carries out her mission, only to discover her true enemy may be within….Starring Racheal Seymour and Dennis Haysbert (www.heartburnthemovie.com)

Mini Biography

… Known for her “touch chick” roles in film and television, Racheal has found her niche in Hollywood. The tom boy tough yet alluring hard body embraces the strong female, action roles. Taking on challenges traditionally thrown at men is nothing new to Racheal. She was one of the first females in Alaska to play High School football, lettering as a receiver. Racheal’s gridiron skills came in handy recently on a spec Under Armor football commercial. With black belts in Karate and Japanese Swordfighting, her continued study of the Israeli Krav Maga self defense system, and jujitsu groundfighting, Racheal often choreographs her own fight scenes. Never one to stop learning, Racheal continues to study acting, most recently at the Beverly Hills Playhouse. She also trains with some of the best SWAT, Navy SEAL, and special forces instructors in America, and is one of the first students outside of Japan to practice the nearly extinct martial art called Hojitusu –The Way of the Gun. She is a member of The Gunmetal Group, a company of professional SWAT, FBI and law enforcement advisors and trainers for film and television. Her vast tactical knowledge often comes in handy with roles such as FBI Tactical Team member in Vanished.

Racheal relied on her tactical skills while playing a covert Homeland Security agent in the short action/thriller film Heartburn (www.heartburnthemovie.com) also starring Dennis Haysbert (24, The Unit). Heartburn is the first film written and produced by Racheal under the banner of Seymour Productions, although she optioned another screenplay, a thriller called The Last Frontier. While immersed in the world of entertainment, Racheal doesn’t leave public policy far behind. She was elected to the Screen Actor’s Guild Board of Directors and was appointed to the Human Relations Commission for the city of Beverly Hills, her new residence. Recurring as a nurse on Lifetime Channel’s Strong Medicine and more recently as a prison guard on The Young and the Restless, Racheal loves portraying strong female role models with an edge. But then what else would one expect from a woman who was given an axe for her ninth birthday?

De Niro’s Go-To CIA Guy

It’s probably safe to say that Meet the Parents and The Good Shepherd only really have one other thing in common. His name is Milton Bearden.

By Daniel Robert Epstein
April 2, 2007

Shepherd’s CIA shepherd

In the good old days of Communist Russia, one of the benefits of being a KGB agent was access to any and all movies on VHS. So when author and former CIA agent Milton Bearden first started working with Robert De Niro as a Technical Consultant in 1997 to research The Good Shepherd, a project to which the latter was originally only attached as an actor, he quickly realized that they had seen more De Niro movies than he had.

“At the beginning of this process, we would go into a room with these [KGB] guys and float around on their boats on the Moscow River or go to wonderful dinners and all that,” Bearden recalls during a recent interview with FilmStew. “But De Niro spent his whole time watching and listening to how these guys are.”

“Some of them are very thoughtful, because in the old Soviet Union you were either in the Party, in the army or in the KGB,” he adds. “That’s where a lot of the elites went so these are very smart guys. Going back and forth to Moscow and meeting with these guys allowed Bob to create a KGB character (played by Oleg Stefan). The Good Shepherd portrays that early era of the contest between America and the KGB perhaps better than anything I have ever seen out on film in America.”

Bearden first joined the CIA in the 1960’s, just as the inaugural James Bond series film Dr. No was arriving in theaters. He says that while the 007 films are great fun even though they have nothing to do with anything, most other English language spy movies are way off. Either because they don’t care about the reality of things as they were, or are driven by more of a personal political agenda.

“[John] le Carré’s early stuff, like the movie The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, was close,” Bearden suggests. “Kim, which is a [Rudyard] Kipling story, was actually a great spy story too. But I think De Niro is taking the opening salvo with The Good Shepherd and taking an audience where they’ve never been. Like how many war movies had you seen before you saw [Saving] Private Ryan?”

New this week on DVD, The Good Shepherd does not feature Audio Commentary by De Niro, who was compelled by screenwriter Eric Roth to finally come on board as not just an actor but also a director. When the pair took part in a preview screening Q&A last fall in Los Angeles, De Niro responded to the audience question ‘Were the CIA involved much with the movie?’ with the answer, ‘Involved? They funded it.’

The actor was joking, of course, but Bearden and Roth worked together over the years to ensure that Shepherd captured the CIA’s multiple layers from its very inception. Not quite the expertise that was required for Bearden’s other De Niro gig, namely providing the actor’s Meet the Parents character of Jack Byrnes with suitable spy detecting paraphernalia.

“Bob had a huge interest in making it work, finding something that would make it move from where it was in the original script,” Bearden recalls.

“[Director] Jay [Roach] called me when I was skiing in Colorado and he said, ‘We’re having trouble coming up with something in this house.’ I said, ‘What I think we ought to do is have a secret room where De Niro’s character has all his stuff.’”

“Roach said, ‘Well what would you have in there?’” he continues. “I said, ‘Well what we should have in there is some pictures and blah-blah-blah and CIA stuff and why not have an old polygraph?’ The rest is history because they ended up with that scene where De Niro polygraphs Ben Stiller in what was not only wildly humorous, but absolutely the perfect polygraph to ever be done in a movie.”

Bearden has three sons, no daughters. Perhaps that’s why he’s never personally felt the urge to vet one of his children’s suitors with a lie detector test. But he says Roach and De Niro perfectly captured the pattern of polygraph questioning, and that much like that scene turned out beyond anyone’s expectations in Meet the Parents, there similar surprises in The Good Shepherd.

“Things come out and add layers that you could never have anticipated,” Bearden suggests. “The chemistry between John Turturro and Matt Damon and how that developed into something, nobody could have anticipated. Or this terrific Russian actor [Oleg Stefan] playing Ulysses and how that developed as these guys grow on each other over a period of 20 years.”

It’s likely Bearden is watching more of that kind of thing take form on the set of his latest Hollywood consulting assignment, Charlie Wilson’s War. “What kind of a lucky guy I must be,” Bearden marvels. “I get to work with De Niro, [Matt] Damon, Angelina Jolie, William Hurt, John Turturro and all that. Now I’ve got Mike Nichols, [Tom] Hanks, Julia Roberts and [Philip Seymour] Hoffman. It’s going very well. It’s wonderful.”

In which CNN’s Richard Quest, Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper are profiled, with facts and commentary on staged presidential debates and lies of the “Corrupt News Network,” as the Los Angeles Times refers to it …

Edited by Alex Constantine

Wiki: ” … Quest joined CNN in 2001 for the launch of Business International. Since this time Quest has covered a variety of different events for CNN, amongst others an analysis of the U.S. elections as American Quest and the start of the circulation of Euro banknotes and coins on 1 January 2002 and the last official commercial flight of the Concorde. He has also headed up CNN’s coverage of several events involving the British Royal Family. … “

On-air personality arrested

Richard Quest, a CNN on-air personality with an outre style of reporting, made some outre news himself over the weekend as he was arrested inside New York’s Central Park with a small amount of methamphetamine in his pocket.

Cops nabbed Quest, 46, at 3:40 on Friday morning near 64th Street, initially for violating the park’s overnight curfew. News reports stated that Quest told police he had meth in his pocket. According to the New York Times, “The police (then) searched him and recovered a small amount of methamphetamine in a Ziploc bag.”

By Friday afternoon, news of the bust was all over the Internet. Then the New York Post offered up some salacious details: Not only did Quest have meth in his pocket but also “a rope around his neck that was tied to his genitals, and a sex toy in his boot,” according to the tabloid.

“It wasn’t immediately clear what the rope was for,” the paper said.

Quest was charged with loitering and for possession of a controlled substance. His attorney said that Quest was not aware that Central Park had a curfew from 1-6 a.m., according to news reports.

Quest was said to have agreed to attend six months of drug counseling in exchange for the likelihood that the charges against him would eventually be dismissed.

Having spent most of Friday in jail, Quest was later released without bail.

CNN has issued no comment on the matter.

Hard Day’s Night …

Kathy Griffin’s obscene New Year’s tirade gets broadcast on CNN

By Randy McMullen
Contra Costa Times
Updated: 01/02/2009

Kathy Griffin might have gone from D-listed to blacklisted, at least on CNN.
The wisecracking, oft-raunchy comedian and TV personality caused quite a ruckus while co-hosting the cable channel’s New Year’s Eve broadcast.

Sometime after midnight, Griffin delivered a profanity-laced verbal beatdown on someone who was apparently heckling her. Either she didn’t know her mic was on or was too wrapped up in her saucy repartee to care. In any event, what she said should not have gone over the airwaves. But it did.

“(Expletive that rhymes with blue) you,” she yelled. “Why don’t you get a job, buddy? You know what? I don’t go to your job and knock the (male anatomy) out of your mouth.”

The comments drew guffaws, but not from Griffin’s co-host, high-minded Anderson Cooper, who quickly called for the broadcast to cut for commercial. …

Reportedly, Cooper — a news guy, after all — had been growing more uncomfortable with Griffin’s off-color on-air remarks during the broadcast. At one point, she asked CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta if she could “get a Pap smear”; and later she dissed former CNN host Glenn Beck as a “heroin addict Mormon.” …

Griffin, who stars in Bravo reality TV show “My Life on the D-List,” has not commented on the matter. Nor has Cooper.

Anderson Cooper’s CIA Secret

Radar Exclusive
Anderson Cooper’s CIA Secret
By Jeff Bercovici


Anderson Cooper has long traded on his biography, carving a niche for himself as the most human of news anchors. But there’s one aspect of his past that the silver-haired CNN star has never made public: the months he spent training for a career with the Central Intelligence Agency.

Following his sophomore and junior years at Yale—a well-known recruiting ground for the CIA—Cooper spent his summers interning at the agency’s monolithic headquarters in Langley, Virginia, in a program for students interested in intelligence work. His involvement with the agency ended there, and he chose not to pursue a job with the agency after graduation, according to a CNN spokeswoman, who confirmed details of Cooper’s CIA involvement to Radar.

“Whatever summer jobs or internships our anchors had in college couldn’t be less consequential,” she added. He has kept the experience a secret, sources say, out of concern that, if widely known, it might compromise his ability to travel in foreign countries and even possibly put him at greater risk from terrorists.

“He doesn’t want to be any more of a target than he already is,” says one Anderson confidante. On the other hand, as Bob Woodruff and others have learned, American journalists are already prime targets in the world’s conflict zones, and are typically accused of having CIA ties even where none exist. And by not disclosing his training before now, Cooper has arguably made it into a potential issue. “It creates the appearance of something smelly there,” says a former CNN official who knows Cooper. (Particularly in light of the period Anderson spent studying Vietnamese at the University of Hanoi after college. Soon after, Cooper apparently gave up his Bond fantasy to pursue a career in journalism—except for a brief period when he starred as host of ABC’s reality show, The Mole.)

According to the spokeswoman, Cooper told his bosses at CNN about his time with the agency. But even if he hadn’t, says Walter Isaacson, who headed the network from 2001 to 2003 and is now president of the Aspen Institute, it’s not the sort of thing that would automatically require disclosure, since the stint was brief and far in the past. “I think what he did was probably fine and cool, and I’ve got no problems with it,” he added.

File Under: Anderson Cooper, Aspen Institute, Bob Woodruff, C.I.A., Central Intelligence Agency, CNN, Walter Isaacson, Yale
TIM RUTTEN – CNN: Corrupt News Network
A self-serving agenda was set for the Republican presidential debates.
LA Times/December 1, 2007

THE United States is at war in the Middle East and Central Asia, the economy is writhing like a snake with a broken back, oil prices are relentlessly climbing toward $100 a barrel and an increasing number of Americans just can’t afford to be sick with anything that won’t be treated with aspirin and bed rest.

So, when CNN brought the Republican presidential candidates together this week for what is loosely termed a “debate,” what did the country get but a discussion of immigration, Biblical inerrancy and the propriety of flying the Confederate flag?

In fact, this most recent debacle masquerading as a presidential debate raises serious questions about whether CNN is ethically or professionally suitable to play the political role the Democratic and Republican parties recently have conceded it.

Corruption is a strong word. But consider these facts: The gimmick behind Wednesday’s debate was that the questions would be selected from those that ordinary Americans submitted to the video sharing Internet website YouTube, which is owned by Google. According to CNN, its staff culled through 5,000 submissions to select the handful that were put to the candidates. That process essentially puts the lie to the vox populi aura the association with YouTube was meant to create. When producers exercise that level of selectivity, the questions — whoever initially formulated and recorded them — actually are theirs.

That’s where things begin to get troubling, because CNN chose to devote the first 35 minutes of this critical debate to a single issue — immigration. Now, if that leaves you scratching your head, it’s probably because you’re included in the 96% of Americans who do not think immigration is the most important issue confronting this country. We’ve got a pretty good fix concerning what’s on the American mind right now, because the nonpartisan and highly reliable Pew Center has been regularly polling people since January on the issues that matter most to them. In fact, the center’s most recent survey was conducted in the days leading up to Wednesday’s debate.

HERE’S what Pew found: By an overwhelming margin, Americans think the war in Iraq is the most important issue facing the United States, followed by the economy, healthcare and energy prices. In fact, if you lump the war into a category with terrorism and other foreign policy issues, 40% of Americans say foreign affairs are their biggest concern in this election cycle. If you do something similar with all issues related to the economy, 31% list those questions as their most worrisome issue. As anybody who has looked at their 401(k) or visited a gas pump would expect, that aggregate figure has increased dramatically since Pew started polling in January. Back then, for example, concerns over the war outpaced economic anxieties by fully 8 to 1. By contrast, just 6% of the survey’s national sample said that immigration was the most important electoral issue. Moreover, that number hasn’t changed in a statistically meaningful way since the first of the year. In other words, more than nine out of 10 Americans think something matters more than immigration in this presidential election.

So, why did CNN make immigration the keystone of this debate? What standard dictated the decision to give that much time to an issue so remote from the majority of voters’ concerns? The answer is that CNN’s most popular news-oriented personality, Lou Dobbs, has made opposition to illegal immigration and free trade the centerpiece of his neonativist/neopopulist platform. In fact, Dobbs led into Wednesday’s debate with a good solid dose of immigrant bashing. His network is in a desperate ratings battle with Fox News and, in a critical prime-time slot, with MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann. So, what’s good for Dobbs is good for CNN.

In other words, CNN intentionally directed the Republicans’ debate to advance its own interests. Make immigration a bigger issue and you’ve made a bigger audience for Dobbs.

That’s corruption, and it’s why the Republican candidates had to spend more than half an hour “debating” an issue on which their differences are essentially marginal — and, more important, why GOP voters had to sit and wait, mostly in vain, for the issues that really concern them to be discussed. That’s particularly true because that same Pew poll reported findings of particular relevance to Republican voters, the vast majority of whom continue to support the war in Iraq. …


CNN’s Big Plug for Oil and Weapons; Media Corruption: ads disguised as news coverage
Submitted by BuzzFlash on Thu, 12/11/2008
by Jacqueline Marcus

I was having a pretty good workout today at the gym until I made the mistake of plugging my earphones into CNN. I nearly flew off the bike at the phony reporters on hearing their sales pitch for the oil and weapon industries disguised as news coverage.

First, there was CNN’s “Pleasantville” interview with Laura Bush on how challenging it was for her husband after 9/11 and that she wants to continue bringing freedom and democracy to Afghanistan’s women.

The film “Rendition” was merely a small picture of what Bush’s war policies did to hundreds of thousands of families in both Iraq and Afghanistan: husbands were either killed or maimed or tortured, leaving wives and young daughters in unconscionable and vulnerable situations, including thousands of young Iraqi women who were forced into sex slave prisons. If Mrs. Bush would like to learn more about rectifying the hardships of women after Bush invaded both countries, she should begin with Dunya Mikhail’s award-winning poem “The War Works Hard.”

This bit of revised legacy for Bush was bad enough, but oh no! CNN continued by announcing that the shift to hybrid-electric cars “would be the worst thing that could happen to the auto industry…and, furthermore, there’s little demand for them because they’re too expensive…”

CNN’s “Fear Hybrids” propaganda was especially tailored for the Big Oil executives since it defies the factual statistics on the current high demand for electric-hybrids (long waiting lists for more hybrids in the U.S.). As for being expensive, they’re in the same price category as any new family car.

Coincidentally, CNN did NOT cover the major headline news regarding the important meeting between Obama and Gore. Obama announced that “climate change will be the top priority and that it’s a “matter of national security.”

What followed was a HUGE PR plug for the Weapon Contractors/Military Complex beginning with Obama’s pledge to “rid the world of nuclear weapons” to “Gates’ assertion that ‘We can’t put the genie back in the bottle’ — thus, Obama is wrong and we must proceed with the production of weapons…”

The CNN weapons’ agent (I won’t call him a journalist) continued describing the new and impressive weapons like a scene from the film “Iron Man.” There’s political corruption and then there’s media corruption: big sums of corporate money spills into the hands of big networks, such as CNN, and exchange, they promote their products: oil, weapons and drugs as news.

It’s the worst kind of corruption that exists because it exploits viewers in a creepy, Orwellian way. People grow accustomed to this subtle form of propaganda and eventually — it becomes acceptable as news coverage. I don’t see any difference between what the media networks are doing (taking money in exchange for reporting corporate lies) and politicians such as Rod Blagojevich. Hence, the expression that aptly describes most TV corporate reporters/anchors: “Media Whores.”

Thought Control

CNN Uses Racial Extremist as Source for Its ‘Black in America’ Series
By David Holthouse, Hate Watch.
July 30, 2008.

What is CNN doing interviewing the founder of an online discussion forum that promotes selective breeding of the human species?

As part of its ongoing “Black in America” project, CNN posted a story to its website earlier this week titled “Could an Obama presidency hurt black Americans?” Credited to CNN correspondent John Blake, the piece quotes the wit and wisdom of Steve Sailer, identified only as “a columnist for The American Conservative magazine.”

Specifically, the CNN story quotes a column by Sailer first published last year in which he opined that Obama offers voters “White guilt repellent.” …


Edited by Alex Constantine

Pat Boone and the World Anti-Communist League (fascist front)

” … Pat Boone, 71, is one of America’s most beloved entertainers. In the 1950s, he was the nation’s second most popular singer after Elvis Presley. His hits, “April Love” and “Love Letters in the Sand,” were No. 1 for six and seven weeks respectively. He starred in 15 movies, including Journey to the Center of the Earth and State Fair. Long an active conservative Republican, Boone is Currently spokesman for the 60 Plus Association. …

“Q: You have always been known in Hollywood as a conservative and a Christian. In 1961, in fact, you, Ronald Reagan, Roy Rogers and John Wayne addressed Dr. Fred Schwartz’s all-Southern California anti-Communist rally. Has it become more difficult for someone [in Hollywood] to be a conservative and a Christian today?

“PAT BOONE: I was not involved politically at that time. Then, I felt so strongly about anti-communism and I did read Fred Schwartz’s book and then came his crusade at the sports arena. What Schwartz said in his book [You Can Trust the Communists-To Be Communists] made perfect sense to me. The phrase, ‘Better Red Than Dead,’ was sweeping college campuses at the time.

“When my time came to say a few words, I quoted that sentiment. I said I’ve got four little girls and if it ever came to that, although I pray it never will, I would rather see my four daughters blown to heaven in an atomic blast than caught in the hell of a Communist United States.

“It impressed Reagan and he quoted that a number of times, beginning by saying, ‘I once heard a young father say.’ That’s what occurred that night.

“My activism and my being very outspoken never abated after that and it has cost me as an entertainer. There is a visceral antipathy that producers, hirers and firers have. I feel myself in the other direction. I have feelings I have to control of anger and total disregard for certain actors and outspoken people in our business that I think are ruining American culture. …


Pat Boone and Far-Right Council for National Policy (CNP)

(“CNP members are found in Christian organizations encompassing James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, Bill Bright’s Campus Crusade for Christ and it’s many branches, Robert Weiner’s Maranatha shepherding group, Gideons, Youth for Christ, World Vision, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Billy Graham Evangelical Assoc., Intercessors for America, International Charismatic Bible Ministries, National Evangelical Assoc., National Religious Broadcasters Assoc., Promise Keepers and many more. The potential spiritual impact of this organization, which claims educational status, could be unparalleled.”)

See: http://www.seekgod.ca/cnp.be.htm

Birth of a Legend

“Boone was raised primarily in Nashville, Tennessee, a place he still visits often. The son of Mr. and Mrs. A.A. Boone, his family moved to Nashville from Florida when Boone was two years old. He attended and graduated from Hillsboro High School in Nashville in 1952. He then attended Lipscomb College, now Lipscomb University, in Nashville. Boone grew up as a Christian in the Church of Christ denomination, and Lipscomb is a very popular Church of Christ university. Boone was born in Jacksonville, Florida. …

“A devout born-again Christian, he was raised in the conservative Church of Christ, but joined a Pentecostal church in the late 1960s. Boone has refused both songs and movie roles that he felt might compromise his standards, including a role alongside the decade’s reigning sex symbol, Marilyn Monroe. In his first film, April Love (film), he refused to give co-star/film love interest Shirley Jones an onscreen kiss, because the actress was married in real life. This position is contradicted by what Hustler Magazine claimed in its January 1984 issue to be a genuine photograph of a younger Pat Boone exposing his genitals through a hole in a cardboard box.[5] Among his other achievements, he hosted a TV series in the late 1950s and began writing a series of self-help books for adolescents, including Twixt Twelve and Twenty, in the early 1960s.

“The British Invasion ended Boone’s career as a hitmaker, though he continued recording throughout the 1960s. In the 1970s, he switched to gospel and country, and he continued performing in other media as well. He is currently working as the disc jockey of a popular oldies radio show and runs his own record company which provides an outlet for new recordings by 1950s greats who can no longer find a place with the major labels. … ”
Pat Boone: CBS and 60 Minutes Are ‘Modern Benedict Arnolds’ “… for their role in revealing the prisoner abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq … ”

Subject: FW: Pat Boone
Monday, May 24, 2004

Recently, entertainer Pat Boone wrote NewsMax editor Christopher Ruddy a letter regarding his feelings on Abu Ghraib and Iraq, the contents of which are published here with permission:

Mr. Christopher Ruddy
Editor, NewsMax

Dear Chris,

Hasn’t anybody got the guts to accuse the worst perpetrator in this whole Abu Ghraib prison debacle – CBS and 60 Minutes II?

What do you call it when, in time of war, someone takes military intelligence and turns it over to the enemy, who in turn uses it to kill Americans?

Isn’t that the definition of treason? Did Benedict Arnold do worse? Did Julias and Ethel Rosenberg pay with their lives for something like this?

“The above letter was written by entertainer Pat Boone and was first published on the conservative news Website NewsMax.com on May 24, 2004.”
Pat Boone and CIA Money Launderer Michael Hand, Peter Abeles & Rupert Murdoch

” … The story begins with Michael Jon Hand. In May 1963 Hand joined the US Army and started his training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In Vietnam he won the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC). According to the DSC citation he almost single-handedly held off a fourteen-hour Vietcong attack on the Special Forces compound at Dong Xaoi.

“In 1966 he left the army to work “directly for the U.S, Government”. Friends of Hand have suggested that he was employed on undercover missions for the Central Intelligence Agency in Vietnam and Laos. One reported that he “helped train the mountain people – Montagnards – and worked closely with the Air America crews that supplied them”. According to Jonathan Kwitny, Michael Hand worked for William Colby during the Vietnam War.

“Michael Hand moved to Australia in September, 1967. At first Hand went to work selling development lots along the Australian coast. The company, Ocean Shores Development, was run by lawyer Fred Miller, a senior executive for the shipping empire owned by Sir Peter Abeles, the longtime business partner of Rupert Murdoch. One of the largest investors in this scheme was the singer Pat Boone. The registered directors included Boone of Beverly Hills, California and Pat Swan of Sydney, Australia. … ”

Lernoux, P. In Banks We Trust. 1984 (70)
Stich, R. Drugging America: A Trojan Horse. 1999 (99)

W.S. Journal 8/24/82 page 26

“The landing strip involved in the 1973 Australian Narcotics Bureau report was on a real-estate development promoted by American singer Pat Boone and Financed by millionaire D.K. Judwig.”

“Michael Hand and Bernie Houghton, the bank’s (Texas) Saudi Arabian rep. with a secret U.S. intelligence group, identified as Task Force 157. Edwin P. Wilson would be able to supply inf. about international arms deals involving the bank.”

Task Force 157, Bobby Inman, Wilson, Terpil, etc. I said “Bobby had to
leave CIA, because exposes would sweep him in.”
Pat Boone & the Friends of Abe
Boone and “Friends of Abe”

Hollywood’s conservative underground
‘Friends of Abe’ group meets quietly

A group of politically conservative and centrist Hollywood figures organized by actor Gary Sinise and others has been meeting quietly in restaurants and private homes, forming a loose-knit network of entertainers who share common beliefs like supporting U.S. troops and traditional American values.

Some of those involved are taking more public steps to counter the entertainment industry’s tilt toward liberalism and Democratic politics, such as campaigning for Republican Sen. John McCain or crafting projects to portray America in a more positive light.

The group, whose members call themselves “Friends of Abe” after Abraham Lincoln, was organized as an underground movement because of fears that prominent industry titans with outspoken liberal views would retaliate, said participants. They often were reluctant to name members of the group in interviews for fear it would hurt their careers.

“It’s a growing movement, and word is getting out that there’s many of us in this business …,” said 1950s singer Pat Boone, one of the few conservatives to talk about the movement publicly. “If certain studio execs – hirers and firers – learn that this is a movement and growing, and that some of these people that they hire are of this inclination, these people could be unemployed.”

Friends of Abe has functioned like a support group, organizing informal gatherings where actors, producers, screenwriters, key grips and other industry types can share common values or discuss concerns like anti-Americanism in Hollywood movies or the perception of industry bias against conservatives and Republicans.

Roe v. Wade has “Coarsened” America (Not Boone and his Fellow Lying, Opiate Smuggling, Money Laundering, CIA-Affiliated, Ultra-Con, etc. Seditionists)

Charlotte, N.C. (CNSNews.com) – Entertainer Pat Boone Thursday urged pro-lifers to continue their fight for life. “We do not have to succumb to the theme that deluges us and our young people and is constant in television, music and radio and books and even schools and drugs and violence and all that permeates our society,” he told the National Right to Life Committee’s annual convention here.

Boone blamed the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision for the coarsening of America. …
Get Pat’s latest book, Questions About God – And the Answers that Could Change Your Life
Christian Patriot Pat Boone Recommends Gassing “Vermin” Barack Obama

Needed: A tenting of the White House
By Pat Boone
WorldNetDaily Exclusive Commentary

In time, it seems to happen to all older houses, no matter how well tended they may be.

All manner of parasites, vermin, roaches, rats, worms and termites find their way into the building. Long before they’re detected, they infiltrate the walls, the floors, the roofs – and then chew their way into the structure, the supporting beams and the very foundation of the house itself. Silently, surreptitiously, whole communities of invaders make places for themselves, hidden but thriving, totally unknown by the homeowner.

Then, in time, tell-tale signs are seen. Little droppings, discolored trails, proliferating piles of residue appear in corners, on tabletops, little hanging sacs from ceilings alarming evidence that the grand old dwelling has been invaded. Decidedly unwelcome creatures have made this place their home and by their very existence will eventually destroy the house and bring it to ruin.

What can be done, when you learn that your house has already been invaded?

Well, the tried and true remedy is tenting.

Experts come in, actually envelope the whole dwelling in a giant tent – and send a very powerful fumigant, lethal to the varmints and unwelcome creatures, into every nook and cranny of the house. Done thoroughly, every last destructive insect or rodent is sent to varmint hell – and in a day or two, the grand house is habitable again.

I believe – figuratively, but in a very real way – we need to tent the White House! …


Series Edited by Alex Constantine

Michael Moriarty: “The Koran can be read like Hitler’s Mein Kampf. It demands to rule the entire human race. … The measures Harry Truman took to end the war with Japan may prove tragically necessary with Islam. … “

Moriarty’s Wiki Entry:


…. From 1990 to 1994, Moriarty starred as Ben Stone on Law & Order. He left the show in 1994, alleging that his departure was a result of his threatening a lawsuit against then-Attorney General Janet Reno, who had cited Law & Order as offensively violent. Moriarty criticized Reno’s comment, and claimed that not only did she want to censor shows like Law & Order but also such fare as Murder, She Wrote. He later accused Law & Order executive producer Dick Wolf of not taking his concerns seriously, and claimed that Wolf and other network executives were “caving in” to Reno’s “demands” on the issue of TV violence. Moriarty published a full-page advertisement in a Hollywood trade magazine, calling upon fellow artists to stand up with him against attempts to censor TV show content. He subsequently wrote and published The Gift of Stern Angels, his account of this time in his life. (Moriarty, Michael (1997). The Gift of Stern Angels. Exile Editions. ISBN 1-55096-183-7.) …

Shortly after leaving Law & Order, Moriarty moved to Canada, declaring himself a political exile. He lived for a time in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he was granted Canadian citizenship, and Toronto, Ontario before settling in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Moriarty lives in British Columbia, where he still acts, writes and plays music, and has become politically active, describing himself as a “centrist.”

According to Moriarty’s own writings on the subject, he describes himself as a “realist”.[6] He has written extensively on his opposition to abortion. For example, in response to a recent interview question as to what the most pressing issue facing the nation was, he said:

We will find abortion and the despotic Roe v. Wade decision revealing itself as a virtual burning of the Declaration of Independence and our “inalienable right to life…when created”… not gestated. So, the pressing issue will, inevitably, be the Third Millennium’s version of American slavery: ABORTION.

Moriarty announced his intention to run for President of the United States in 2008 in an interview in the November 2005 issue of Northwest Jazz Profile, but never formally declared his candidacy. He later endorsed fellow former Law & Order actor Fred Thompson for the presidency. He also has been a frequent contributor of numerous political columns to the ESR (Enter Stage Right) online Journal of Conservativism.

A website devoted to Moriarty, MMUUUHP (the “Michael Moriarty Unofficial, Unauthorized, Unsanctioned Home Page”), contains editorials by Moriarty, and these, in addition to posts on ESR, contain scathing denunciations of a wide array of eclectic targets, including Bill Clinton, Thanaticism, abortion, embryonic stem cell research, anti-Catholicism, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, George W. Bush, both major U.S. political parties, Halliburton, the College of Cardinals, Islam, and most of Catholic theology. Historically, he has been a supporter of the Republican Party. A recent interview contains the following quotes by Moriarty:

“Like the collaborating Vichy government in France under the Nazis, America will surrender to laws and ideologies that contradict the American Constitution and the most simple Human Rights. The Supreme Court took a once individually free nation and corrupted it by the lie of Science that fetuses are, in their first two trimesters, no more than egg yolk. Ultimately, our American Intellectual Supremacists bought the “Population Problem,” in the same way Europe fell under the thrall of the so-called “Jewish Problem.” …

Islam, in and of itself… is an Allah-worshipping, Kamikaze Nation, exactly like pre-World War II Imperial Japan. Its Bible, the Koran, can be read like Hitler’s Mein Kampf. It demands to rule the entire human race. Islam’s only idea of freedom of religion is the freedom of Islam to rule everything. Islamic Political Parties should be no more trusted than neo-Nazi, White Supremacists and David Duke of the Ku Klux Klan have been trusted.

Tragically, the only language Islam, like Hirohito’s Japan, understands is violence. The measures Harry Truman took to end the war with Japan may prove tragically necessary with Islam.

On the blog Enter Stage Right Moriarty writes that he was a “very bad drunk”, but that as of February 1, 2004, he had been sober for three years.
Where Does he get these Bizarre Ideas? – Michael Moriarty’s “Political Advisor” Jim Kouri


If you want to talk to Moriarty, you go through his “advisor”:

“To interview actor Michael Moriarty, call or write to Jim Kouri at copmagazine@ aol.com or (201) 941-5397.”

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police* and he’s a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he’s the new editor for the House Conservatives Fund’s weblog. Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.

Samples of Kouri’s Online Wingnut Propaganda

Jim Kouri, CPP: “Covert Actions Necessary in War on Terrorism”

“ACLU Uses 9/11 Victims’ Families to Challenge Legitimacy of Military Commissions”

Poll: 89 Percent of Muslim Voters Picked Obama
MichNews.com — “While President-elect Barack Obama’s defenders will swear on a stack of Korans that he is not supported by Islamic terrorists, a recent post-election survey shows Obama’s tremendous popularity among US Muslims. … “
Nov 9, 2008
* The National Association of Chiefs of Police is a CIA-affiliated organization.

Also see: “Lexington Comair Crash Supplemental: Gary Webb’s ACS Story” (Re Affiliated Computer Services)

The Pariah: Gary Webb, The CIA, and Cocaine Trafficking
Juan Longwood
Jan 03, 2009

Two weeks after Gary Webb’s “Dark Alliance” series appeared in the San Jose Mercury News in August 1996, contributing editor Charles Bowden found himself in a bar, having a few drinks with some narcs (his idea of a good night). “For some reason, Webb’s piece came up, and I asked the guys, ‘So, what do you think? Is what Webb wrote about the CIA true?'” recalls Bowden, the author of fifteen books, including Blood Orchid and Juarez: The Laboratory of Our Future. “And they all turned to me and said, “Of course it is.’ That’s when I knew that somebody would have to do this story, and I figured it might as well be me.” “The Pariah,” Bowden’s story on Webb — a man he describes as “real smart, real straight, lives on a cul-de-sac, family man, all that crap” — begins on page 150.

Editor’s letter (excerpt):

….The world Charles Bowden leads us into in his story, “The Pariah” (page 150), is, on the other hand, a place few would willingly visit. Reporter Gary Webb chose to enter the alternate universe where the CIA sponsors armies and sometimes finds itself allied with drug dealers who sell their wares in the United States. Webb wrote a newspaper series that documented how the Nicaraguan contras of the 1980s were in part financed by just such an arrangement — and he was then professionally destroyed for it. Bowden, in the course of reporting this story over the last six months, found considerable evidence that parallels and supports Webb’s articles — including revelations from one of the DEA’s most decorated agents, who speaks for the first time about the CIA’s complicity in the drug trade. It was not, however, the agency’s ties to drug traffickers that Bowden found most disturbing. It was that a man can lose his livelihood, his calling, his reputation, for telling the truth….

–David Granger

Two years ago, Gary Webb wrote a series of articles that said some bad things about the CIA and drug traffickers. The CIA denied the charges, and every major newspaper in the country took the agency’s word for it. Gary Webb was ruined. Which is a shame, because he was right.

By Brad Wilson Charles Bowden
Sep 01 ’98

HE TELLS ME I’VE GOT TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT WHEN THE BIG DOG GETS OFF THE PORCH, and I’m getting confused here. He is talking to me from a fishing camp up near the Canadian border, and as he tries to tell me about the Big Dog, I can only imagine a wall of green and deep blue lakes with northern pike. But he is very patient with me. Mike Holm did his hard stints in the Middle East, the Miami station, and Los Angeles, all for the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, and he is determined that I face the reality he knows. So he starts again. He repeats, “When the Big Dog gets off the porch, watch out.” And by the Big Dog, he means the full might of the United States government. At that moment, he continues, you play by

Big Boy rules, and that means, he explains, that there are no rules but to complete the mission. [b]We’ve gotten into all this schooling because I asked him about reports that he received when he was stationed in Miami that Southern Air Transport, a CIA-contracted airline, was landing planeloads of cocaine at Homestead Air Force Base nearby. Back in the eighties, Holm’s informants kept telling him about these flights, and then he was told by his superiors to “stand down because of national security.” And so he did. He is an honorable man who believes in his government, and he didn’t ask why the flights were taking place; he simply obeyed. Because he has seen the Big Dog get off the porch, and he has tasted Big Boy rules. Besides, he tells me, these things are done right, and if you look into the matter, you’ll find contract employees or guys associated with the CIA, but you won’t find a CIA case officer on a loading dock tossing kilos of coke around. Any more than Mike Holm ever saw a plane loaded top to bottom with kilos of coke. He didn’t have to. He believed his informants. And he believed in the skill and power of the CIA. And he believed in the sheer might and will of the Big Dog when he finally decides to get off the porch.

As his words hang in the air, I remember a convict who says he once worked with the United States government and who also tasted Big Boy rules. This man has not gone fishing. This convict insisted that I hold the map up to the thick prison glass as he jabbed his finger into the mountains. There, he said, that’s the place, and his eyes gleamed as his words accelerated. There, in the mountains, they have a colony of two thousand Colombians out of Medellin, guarded by the Mexican army. I craned my neck to see where his finger was rubbing against the map, and made an x with my pen. That’s when the guard burst into the convict’s small cubicle and ordered him to sit down.

The convict is a man of little credibility in the greater world. He is a Mexican national, highly intelligent and exact in his speech. He is a man electric with the memory of his days working as a DEA informant in Mexico, huddling in his little apartment with his clandestine radio. He said I must check his DEA file; he gave the names of his case officers; he noted that he delivered to them the exact locations of thirteen airfields operated jointly by the drug cartels and the CIA. The man’s eyes bugged out as his excitement shredded the tedium of doing time and he returned to his former life of secret transmissions, cutouts, drinks with pilots ferrying dope, bullshitting his way through army checkpoints.

He said, “I’ll be out in six months or one year, depending on the hearing. We can go. I’ll take you up there.” I have always steered clear of the secret world, because it is very hard to penetrate, and because if you discover anything about it, you are not believed. And because I remember what happened to one reporter who wrote about that world, about the Big Dog getting off the porch, about the Big Boy rules. So I thought about the convict’s information and did nothing with it.

But this reporter who went ahead and wrote while I stopped, I kept thinking about him. When I mention him, and what happened to him, to Mike Holm, he says, “Ah, he must have drawn blood.” Holm is very impressed with the CIA, and he wants me to slow down, think, and understand something: “The CIA’s mission is to break laws and be ruthless. And they are dangerous.”

I had been thinking about looking into the claim that during the civil war in Nicaragua in the eighties, the CIA helped move dope to the United States to buy guns for the contras, who were mounting an insurrection against the leftist Sandinistas. So I called up Hector Berrellez, a guy who worked under Mike Holm in Los Angeles, a guy known within the DEA as its Eliot Ness, and he said, “Look, the CIA is the best in the world. You’re not going to beat them; you’re never going to get a smoking gun. The best you’re going to get is a little story from me.”

What Berrellez meant by a smoking gun is this: proof that the United States government has, through the Central Intelligence Agency and its ties to criminals, facilitated the international traffic in narcotics. That’s the trail the reporter was on when his career in newspapers went to rack and ruin. So I decided to look him up.

His name is Gary Webb.

GARY WEBB LOVES THE STACKS OF THE STATE LIBRARY ACROSS from the capitol in Sacramento, the old classical building framed with aromatic camphor trees. He enters the lobby and becomes part of a circling mural called War Through the Ages, an after-flash of World War I painted by Frank Van Sloun in 1929. The panels start with the ax and club, then wade through gore to doughboys marching off to the War to End All Wars. THIS HOUSE OF PEACE, the inscription on the west wall admonishes, SHALL STAND WHILE MEN FEAR NOT TO DIE IN ITS DEFENSE.

He was here in the summer of 1995 because of a call from a woman named Coral Marie Talavera Baca. She told him her drug-dealer boyfriend was in jail and one of the witnesses against him was “a guy who used to work with the CIA selling drugs. Tons of it.” Webb was brought up short: In eighteen years of reporting, every person who’d ever called him about the CIA had turned out to be a flake. Webb started to back away on the phone, and the woman sensed it and exploded: “How dare you treat me like an idiot!” She said she had lots of documents and invited him to a court date that month. And so he went.

Coral’s boyfriend turned out to be a big-time trafficker. She brought Webb a pile of DEA and FBI reports about, and federal grand-jury testimony by, a guy named Oscar Danilo Blandon. Webb was intrigued by government files that told of Nicaraguans selling dope in California and giving dope money to the contras. During a break in the hearing, he headed for the restroom and ran into the U.S. attorney, David Hall. Webb told him he was a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, and Hall asked why he was at a piddling hearing. “Actually, I’ve been reading,” Webb answered, “and I was curious to know what you made of Blandon’s testimony about selling drugs for the contras in L.A. Did you believe him?” “Well, yeah,” Hall answered, “but I don’t know how you could absolutely confirm it. I mean, I don’t know what to tell you. The CIA won’t tell me anything.”

Webb followed a trail of crumbs: some San Francisco newspaper clips, some court records in San Diego, where this strange figure, Blandon, had been indicted for selling coke in 1992 and, according to the documents, had been at it for years and sold tons. He and his wife had been held without bail because the federal prosecutor, L.J. O’Neale, said his minimum mandatory punishment would be life plus a $4 million fine. Blandon’s defense attorney had argued that his client was being smeared because he’d been active in helping the contras in the early eighties. The file told Webb that Blandon wound up doing about two years, and that he was now out. The file recorded that at O’Neale’s request, the government had twice quietly cut Blandon’s sentence and that he was now working as a paid undercover informant for the DEA.

After about six weeks of this kind of foraging, Webb went to the state library. For six days in September, he sat at a microfiche with rolls of dimes and read an eleven-hundred-page report from 1989 compiled by a subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a subcommittee chaired by Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts that dealt with the contras and cocaine.


Buried in the federal document was evidence of direct links between drug dealers and the contras; evidence, dated four years before the American invasion of Panama, that Manuel Noriega was in the dope business; drug dealers saying under oath that they gave money to the contras (and passing polygraphs); pilots talking of flying guns down and dope back and landing with their cargoes at Homestead Air Force Base in Florida.

Suddenly, Coral’s phone call didn’t seem so crazy. Webb called up Jack Blum, the Washington, D.C., lawyer who led the Kerry inquiry and said, “Maybe I’m crazy, but this seems like a huge story to me.” “Well, it’s nice to hear someone finally say that, even if it is ten years later,” Blum allowed, and then he proceeded to tell Webb almost exactly what he told me recently when I made a similar innocent phone call to him. “What happened was, our credibility was questioned, and we were personally trashed. The [Reagan] administration and some people in Congress tried to make us look like crazies, and to some degree it worked. I remember having conversations with reporters in which they would say, ‘Well, the administration says this is all wrong.’ And I’d say, ‘Look, why don’t you cover the ****g hearing instead of coming to me with what the administration says?’ And they’d say, ‘Well, the witness is a drug dealer. Why should I do that?’ And I used to say this regularly: ‘Look, the minute I find a Lutheran minister or a priest who was on the scene when they delivered six hundred kilos of cocaine at some air base in contra land, I’ll put him on the stand, but until then, you take what you can get.’ The big papers stayed as far away from this issue as they could. It was like they didn’t want to know.”

Webb was entering contra land, and when you enter that country, you run into the CIA, since the contras were functionally a CIA army. (The agency hired them, picked their leaders, plotted their strategy, and sometimes, because of contra incompetence, executed raids for them.) This is hardly odd, since the agency was created in 1947 for precisely such toils and has over the decades sponsored armies around the world, whether to land at the Bay of Pigs or kick the Soviets out of Afghanistan. After a year of research, in August 1996, Webb published a three-day, fifteen-thousand-word series in the Mercury News called “Dark Alliance.” It is a story almost impossible to recapitulate in detail but simple in outline: Drug dealers working with the contras brought tons of cocaine into California in the 1980s and sold a lot of it to one dealer, a legend called Freeway Ricky Ross, who had connections with the L.A. street gangs and through this happenstance helped launch the national love of crack. That’s it, a thesis that mixes the realpolitik of the-ends-justify-the-means with dollops of shit-happens.

The series set off a firestorm in black communities, where many suspected they had been deliberately targeted with the dope as an act of genocide (there is no evidence of that), and provoked repudiations of the story by The Washington Post, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times. The knockdowns of Webb’s story questioned the importance of Nicaraguan dealers like Blandon, the significance of Ricky Ross, how much money, if any, reached the contras, and how crucial any of this was to the crack explosion in the eighties, and brushed aside any evidence of CIA involvement. But while raising questions about Webb’s work, none of these papers or any other paper in the country undertook a serious investigation of Webb’s evidence. A Los Angeles Times staff member who was present at a meeting called to plan the Times’s response has told me that one motive for the paper’s harsh appraisal was simply pride: The Times wasn’t going to let an out-of-town paper win a Pulitzer in its backyard.

Later, when it was all over, Webb spelled out exactly what he meant and exactly what he thought of the CIA’s skills: The series “focused on the relationship between the contras and the crack king. It mentioned the CIA’s role in passing, noting that some of the money had gone to a CIA-run army and that there were federal law-enforcement reports suggesting that the CIA knew about it. I never believed, and never wrote, that there was a grand CIA conspiracy behind the crack plague. Indeed, the more I learned about the agency, the more certain of that I became. The CIA couldn’t even mine a harbor without getting its trench coat stuck in its fly.”

After a while, the San Jose Mercury News series disappeared except on a few byways of the Internet, Gary Webb was ruined, and things went back to normal. Things like Oliver North’s diary entry linking dope and guns for the contras, like Carlos Lehder, a big Colombian drug dealer, testifying as a prosecution witness in federal court during the Noriega trial about the Medellin cartel’s $10 million donation to the contras, like the entire history of unseemly connections between the international drug world and the CIA — all this went away, as it has time and time again in the past. A kind of orthodoxy settled over the American press that assumed that Webb’s work had been thoroughly refuted. He became the Discredited Gary Webb.

And so in June 1997, Webb wound up going to a motel room he hated. The Mercury News’s editors were supposed to fix him up with an apartment, but they never figured he’d show up for his dead-end transfer from investigative reporter to pretty much a nothing. So they made no arrangements, just shunted him to the paper’s Cupertino bureau on the south end of Silicon Valley, his family 150 miles away in Sacramento. After a few days of the motel, he found himself in a tiny apartment. He was in his early forties, and his life and his life’s work were over. He endlessly watched a tape of Caddyshack and tried to forget about missing his wife, Sue, his three kids, his dog, his work. He was an ordinary guy, by his lights, with the suburban home, an aquarium in the study, two games a week in an amateur hockey league. Now, during the day, he visited the bureau, and the guys there treated him okay, because they were all in the same boat, people who had pissed off their newspaper and been shipped to its internal Siberia, where they were paid to retool the press releases of the computer and software companies. Webb was fighting the paper through arbitration with the Newspaper Guild, and so while his case dragged on, he refused to let his byline run. But he did his assignments. After all, they were paying him a solid mid-five-figure wage; he was their star investigative reporter, the guy they had brought in from The Cleveland Plain Dealer in 1987 to do, in their words, “kick-ass journalism.” Within two years, he’d helped them bring home a Pulitzer with a team of Mercury News reporters who jumped on the San Francisco earthquake. Then he blew the lid off civil forfeiture in California — law enforcement’s practice of seizing property from alleged crooks and then forgetting to ever convict, try, or even charge them. That series got the law changed. He was hot. He was good. He kicked ass.

Now Caddyshack flickered against his eyes hour after hour. His thirteen-year-old son asked, “Why don’t you get another job?” And Gary Webb told him, “That’s what they think I’ll do. But they’re wrong. I’m gonna fight.”
But fight how? He was one ****g disgrace. Oliver North described his work as “absolute garbage.” Webb was stretched thin. The week the series ran, he and his wife closed on a new house and moved in. Payments. So each morning, he went to the Cupertino bureau, and there were assignments from the city desk. Seems a police horse died, and he was supposed to nail down this equine death. So he did. He investigated the hell out of it and wrote it up, and, by God, the thing was good. Went on page one, of course, without his name on it. The horse died from a medical problem, constipation. The horse was full of shit.

HECTOR BERRELLEZ STUMBLED ONTO GARY WEBB’S STORY YEARS before Gary Webb knew a thing about it. His journey into that world happened this way: Hector was not fond of cops. He remembered them slapping him around when he was a kid. He was a barrio boy from South Tucson, a square mile of poverty embedded in the booming Sun Belt city. His father was a Mexican immigrant. After being drafted into the Army in the late sixties, Berrellez couldn’t find a job in the copper mines, so he hooked up as a temporary with the small South Tucson police force to finance his way through college. And it was then that Hector Berrellez accidentally discovered his jones: He loved working the streets with a badge. The state police force hired him, and Hector, still green, managed to do a one-kilo heroin deal in the early seventies, a major score for the time. The DEA snapped him up, and suddenly the kid who had wanted to flee the barrio and become a lawyer was a federal narc. He loved the life. In the DEA, there are the administrators, who usually have little street experience, the suits. And then there are the street guys like Hector, and they call themselves something else. Gunslingers. His hobbies were jogging, weight lifting, guitar playing. And firearms. A Glock? Never. “Only girls carry Glocks,” he snaps. “They’re a sissy gun. Plastic. You can’t hit anyone over the head with a Glock.”

In September 1986, Sergeant Tom Gordon of the Los Angeles sheriff’s narcotics strike force pieced together intelligence about a big-time drug ring in town run by Danilo Blandon. A month later, on October 23, Gordon went before a judge with a twenty-page detailed statement documenting that “monies gained from the sales of cocaine are transported to Florida and laundered….The monies are filtered to the contra rebels to buy arms in the war in Nicaragua.” He got a search warrant for the organization’s stash houses. On Friday, October 24, there was a briefing of more than a hundred law-enforcement guys from the sheriff’s office, the DEA, the FBI. That was the same day that President Ronald Reagan, after months of hassle, signed a $100 million aid bill that reactivated a licit cash flow to the beleaguered contras. And on Monday, October 27, at daybreak, the strike force simultaneously hit fourteen L.A.-area stash houses connected with Blandon.

That’s where just another day in the life of Hector Berrellez got weird. Generally, at that early hour, good dopers are out cold; the work tends toward long nights and sleeping. As Berrellez remembers, “We were expecting to come up with a lot of coke.” Instead, they got coffee and sometimes doughnuts. The house he hit had the lights on, and everyone, two men and a woman, was up. The guy who answered the door said, “Good morning; we’ve been expecting you. Come on in.” The house was tidy, the beds were already made, and the damn coffee was on. The three residents were polite, even congenial. “It was obvious,” says Berrellez, “that they were told.” The place was clean; all fourteen houses were clean. The only thing Berrellez and the other guys found in the house was a professional scale.

But there was a safe, and Berrellez got one of the residents to open it reluctantly. Inside, he found records of kilos matched with amounts of money, an obvious dope ledger, a photograph of a guy in flight dress in front of what looked to be a military jet, and photographs of some guys in combat. Hector asked the guy who the hell the people in the photographs were, and the guy said, “Oh, they are freedom fighters.” What the hell is this? Berrellez wondered. He left and went to a couple of the other houses that had been hit, and Jesus, they were clean, the coffee was on, sometimes there were doughnuts for the cops, and the same kind of documents showed up. But no dope, not a damn thing.

For a holy warrior, October 27, 1986, was a bad day. At the debriefing after the raid, Berrellez remembers one of the cops saying that the houses had been tipped to the raid by “elements of the CIA.” And he thought, What? “I was shocked,” he says now. “I was in a state of belief.” He was supposed to believe that his own government was helping dopers? No way. “I didn’t want to believe,” he says And so he didn’t. He was that rock-solid first-generation citizen, and he believed in America. He remembers having this ongoing argument with his dad about whether there was corruption in the U.S. like the old man had tasted in Mexico. His father would ask, Do you really think things are so clean here? And Hector would have none of it; damn right they’re clean here. And he was clean, and he was in a good outfit (a position he is still passionate about — his absolute love for the troops he served with in the DEA), and he was in a holy war against a tide of poison.

In 1987, he was transferred to Mazatlan in Sinaloa, Mexico, to run the DEA station. Sinaloa was the drug center for Mexico; in the history of the Mexican drug cartels, all but one leader has been Sinaloan born and bred. He took the wife, got a beach house in the coastal city, and ran with the job. Two months into the assignment, narcotrafficantes chased his wife and two-year-old daughter from the beach back to the house, and they had to be evacuated to the States.

In October 1988, Hector and some Mexican federal police hit a small hamlet that housed a ton of coke and twenty tons of marijuana. The firefight lasted three hours, with thousands of rounds exchanged. When three federales were mowed down on the field of fire, Hector managed to pull them to safety with another agent. He commandeered a cab to take the wounded to a hospital, then returned to the shoot-out. For this combat, Hector and two other agents at the scene were brought to the White House and given a medal by Attorney General Edwin Meese. He was on a roll that would eventually earn him twelve consecutive superior-performance awards.

Hector Berrellez, twenty-four years in the DEA, known as the agency’s Eliot Ness. As he read about Gary Webb, he thought, This shit is true.

In Mexico, Hector was running two hundred to three hundred informants, and he was bringing in a torrent of information on the drug world and its links to the Mexican government. But something else happened down there in Sinaloa that stuck in his mind. His army of informants was constantly reporting strange fortified bases scattered around Mexico, but they were not Mexican military bases, and, his informants told him, the planes were shipping drugs. Camps in Durango, Sinaloa, Baja, Veracruz, all over Mexico. Hector wrote up these camps and the information he was getting on big drug shipments. And each month, he would go to Mexico City to meet with his DEA superiors and American-embassy staff, and he started mentioning these reports. He was told, Stay away from those bases; they’re our training camps, special operations. He thought, What the hell is this? I’m here to enforce the drug laws, and I’m being told to do nothing.

THE EMPTY ROOM SAGS WITH FATIGUE AS THE SPORTS TELEVISIONS quietly float in the corner. California’s ban on smoking has emptied the watering holes. The hotel squats by a four-lane highway amid bland suburbs that blanket Sacramento’s eastern flank against the Sierra Nevada. Everything is normal here; this is the visual bedrock of Ronald Reagan’s America.

Gary Webb orders Maker’s Mark on the rocks. He is a man of average height, with brown hair, a trim mustache, an easy smile, and laconic, laid-back speech, the basic language of Middle America. He moves easily, a kind of amble through life. His father was a marine, and his childhood meant moving a lot before finally coming to ground in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. He’s married to his high school sweetheart; they have three kids and live on a tree-lined cul-de-sac with a pool in back, a television in the family room, his Toyota with 150,000 miles in the drive, Sue’s minivan, and on the cement the chalk outline of a hopscotch game. He looks white-collar, maybe sells insurance.

All he has ever wanted to be is a reporter. He started out as a kid, writing up sports results for a weekly at a nickel an inch. The Gary Webb who suddenly loomed up nationally with this bad talk about the CIA and drugs was a long time coming, and he came from the dull center of the country, and he came from an essay entitled, “What America Means to Me,” for which he was runner-up in the fifth-grade essay contest, and he came from the smell of ink, the crackle of a little weekly where he nailed cold the week’s tumult in the Little League.

Webb is not a drinker, probably because his marine father was, but now in the empty hotel bar, he is drinking. He is not used to talking about himself, because he is a reporter, and a reporter is not the story, but now he is talking about himself. When Gary Webb talks, he sometimes leans back, but often as not, he leans forward, and when he is really into what he is saying, he grabs his left wrist with his right hand as if he were taking his own pulse, and then his voice gets even flatter, and the words are very evenly spaced, and he never goes too fast, hardly any hint of rat-a-tat-tat — he is always measured and unexcited. But when he grabs that wrist, you can tell now that the words really matter. Because he believes. In facts. In publishing facts. In the fact that publishing facts makes a difference in how people look at things. Believes, without reason or question, believes absolutely. As for coincidence, it doesn’t fit in with his mission. He also has no tolerance for conspiracy theories. By God, if he finds a conspiracy, it is not a theory, it is a ****g conspiracy, because it is grounded in facts.

When he was twenty-three, he was kind of drifting, living in the basement of Sue’s house with her parents. He was writing rock ‘n’ roll stuff for a weekly, still grinding away at college and about three units shy of a degree. His father walked out on the marriage, leaving his mother, a housewife, and his younger brother without a check. So Webb quit college to support them. A teacher in his journalism department told him that the strange guy who ran the Post in Lexington, Kentucky, set aside one day a week for walk-ins. Webb walked in and said, “I need a job.”
The editor said, “Go do two pieces and bring them back in a week.”

One was on the barmaids and strippers of Newport, Kentucky, the sin town across the river from Cincinnati. The editor tossed it aside and said, “Thrice-told tale.” The other was on a guy who carved gravestones; that one the editor kind of liked. He said, “Bring me two more.” Webb was shaken, went home and sat in the backyard, and then he thought, Fuck, I can do this. This goes on for weeks. A kid calls the paper about the dog he’s found run over in the street. He’s taken it to the Humane Society; they want to put it to sleep, and the kid is very upset. Webb is sent out to see if he can do anything fit for a newspaper. He talks to the vet, who says it is hopeless, that the dog will never walk again, whether he operates or not. When Webb reports back to the editor, he says, “Get that guy on the phone,” and after a few blunt words from the editor, by God, the vet is going to operate. And it works. The damn dog is leaping in the air. Finally, the dog goes home to the kid who found him, a kid in a wheelchair who seemed to identify with an injured mutt and was horrified at the idea that a cripple should be done away with. Story and photograph on the front page. Webb is hired. Years later, the old editor would tell him, “If that dog hadn’t walked, you’d have never been hired.”

There is a guy in the newsroom who is kind of burned out, a city editor. He watches the new hire for a few weeks. He tells him he will teach him the ropes, how to ferret out facts, how to find out damn near anything, how to be an investigative reporter. On one condition. He says Webb has to swear never to become a ****g editor. Webb agrees. His first series was seventeen parts on organized crime in the coal industry. Then he moved up to a good job on The Cleveland Plain Dealer and was in heaven: Ohio was the mother lode of corruption in government. He got an offer from the Mercury News in 1987. After a brief bidding war, he moved the family west, great place to raise kids, and besides, during his father’s wanderings as a marine, Webb happened to be born in California. Everything was fine. He was in the Sacramento bureau and so hardly ever in the newsroom, much less around editors. In a big story for the paper, he took on one of the area’s major employers. After the first day of the story, the company bought a full-page ad refuting it. After the next installment, the company bought a two-page ad. Webb looked around and noticed that nothing happened to him. The paper backed him up.

GARY WEBB’S “DARK ALLIANCE” BROKE AN OLD STORY. THE HISTORY of the CIA’s relationship with international drug dealers has been documented and published, yet it is almost completely unknown to most citizens and reporters. Webb himself had only a dim notion of this record. And so he reacted with horror when the implications of his research first began to become clear to him: that while much of the federal government fought narcotics as a plague, the CIA, in pursuing its foreign-policy goals, sometimes facilitated the work of drug traffickers. “Dark Alliance” is surrounded by a public record that bristles with similar instances of CIA connections with drug people:

— Alan Fiers, who headed the CIA Central American Task Force, testified during the Iran-contra hearings in August 1987, “With respect to [drug trafficking by] the resistance forces…it is not a couple of people. It is a lot of people.”

— In 1983, fifty people, many of them Nicaraguans, were caught unloading a big coke shipment in San Francisco. A couple of them claimed involvement with the CIA, and after a meeting between CIA officials and the U.S. attorney handling the case, $36,000 found in a bedside table was returned because it “belonged to the contras.” This spring, when the CIA published its censored report on involvement of the agency with drug traffickers in the contra war (a report that exists solely because a firestorm erupted in Congress after Webb’s series), this incident was explained thusly: “Based upon the information available to them at the time, CIA personnel reached the erroneous conclusion that one of the two individuals…was a former CIA asset.” Logically, an admission that CIA “assets” can sometimes be drug dealers.

— In 1986, Wanda Palacio parted company with the Medellin cartel and started talking to Senator John Kerry’s subcommittee, which was looking into the byways of the contra war and dope. Palacio said she’d witnessed two flights of coke out of Barranquilla, Colombia, on planes belonging to the CIA-contracted Southern Air Transport. She also had the dates and had seen the pilot. She also said Jorge Ochoa, another drug boss, said the flights were part of a “drugs for guns” deal. On September 26, 1986, Kerry took her eleven-page statement to William Weld, who was then the assistant attorney general in charge of the criminal division of the Justice Department. Weld allowed that he was not surprised to find claims of “bum agents, former and current CIA agents” dabbling in dope deals with the Colombian cartels. On October 3, Weld’s office rejected Palacio’s statement and offer to be a witness because of what it saw as contradictions in her testimony. On October 5, 1986, the Sandinistas shot a CIA plane out of the sky and captured one of Oliver North’s patriots, one Eugene Hasenfus. Palacio was sitting in Kerry’s office when a photograph of Hasenfus’s dead pilot flashed across the television screen. She whooped that the pilot was the same guy she’d seen in Colombia loading coke on the Southern Air Transport flight in early October 1985. An Associated Press reporter, Robert Parry, investigated the crash and obtained the pilot’s logs, which showed that on October 2, 4, and 6, 1985, the pilot had taken a Southern Air Transport plane to Barranquilla, Colombia. Palacio took a polygraph on the matter and passed.

— Through much of the contra war, SETCO Air, an airline run by Juan Ramon Matta Ballesteros out of Honduras, was the principal airline used to transport supplies and personnel for the contras. Hector Berrellez later sent Ballesteros to Marion Federal Prison in Illinois to serve a couple of life sentences for dope peddling.

ABOUT THE SAME TIME GARY WEBB WAS MAKING HIS BONES AT The Cleveland Plain Dealer and winning part of a Pulitzer at the Mercury News, Hector Berrellez was becoming a legend. After two years of living at ground zero in Sinaloa, he was brought home to Los Angeles in 1989 to take over the most significant investigation in DEA history, that of the murder of DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. Camarena had been bagged in broad daylight from in front of the American consulate in Guadalajara in February 1986. His tortured body was found a month later. The investigation had stalled, so the DEA tossed it in Hector’s lap. He ran with the new power, the raft of agents under his command, the huge budget for buying informants in Mexico. The case was a core matter for the DEA: The murder of Camarena was the event that gave the ragtag agency its martyr. The investigation was called Operation Leyenda, “Operation Legend.”

During Operation Leyenda, a major drug guy in Sinaloa called Cochi Loco, “the Crazy Pig,” put a contract on Hector’s head. In the drug world, there are so many possible reasons for murder that a simple one is seldom clear. Whatever the immediate cause, in the early nineties a hit team was sent north to kill Hector.

One day in 1991, in the underground garage of the building in Los Angeles where the DEA and a bunch of federal agencies rent office space, someone walked up to a guy sitting in a car and clipped him in the head with a .22. The man died instantly and fell forward into the steering wheel, and the sound of a car horn wailed through the garage. Hector remembers that they found him with the motor running, and neatly placed on the floorboard of the car was the gun, in a Mexican-tooled holster, and the two latex surgical gloves that had been worn by the hit man. Someone wanted a clear message delivered.

The dead man was a guy from the General Services Administration who happened to work in the same building as the DEA. He had been in some kind of a hurry and had pulled into a DEA parking space. The guy was a ringer for Hector’s partner. Three days after the hit, Hector picked up the phone in his office and heard the voice of Chichon Rico Urrea, a significant drug figure who was doing a stint in a prison in Guadalajara. Chichon told Hector, “You see what happened to your guy in the garage? That’s going to happen to more of your guys.”

Hector told the guy to go fuck himself, said he could kill all the ****g GSA guys he wanted. But Hector was questioning his faith. The faith was the war on drugs. The faith was that he was a righteous soldier in this war. The faith was that he was risking his life for the forces of light against the forces of darkness. And he was Eliot Ness, goddammit; he was the most decorated guy anyone could remember in the DEA, the man running its key investigation, the guy who had killed people, the guy bloodied in the world of Mexican corruption. All of that Hector could handle — none of that could ever touch the faith. But other things could. Things he saw and learned in Mexico. And things he saw in the United States. He began to doubt that there was a real commitment to win this war on drugs. He saw his government winking at too many narcotics connections. He took Kiki Camarena’s murder personally, because as agents they were mirror images — gung-ho, committed drugbusters. And impediments to his investigation pissed Hector off. So in 1992, four years before Gary Webb sprang “Dark Alliance” on the world, Hector Berrellez sat down in his federal office in Los Angeles and picked up the phone and recommended action to the DEA. Things had come to his attention, and he thought, Somebody’s gotta investigate this crap. In fact, he hoped to be that investigator.

Hector Berrellez wanted a criminal investigation of the Central Intelligence Agency. His $3 million snitch budget had brought in an unseemly harvest, report after report from informants that in the eighties CIA-leased aircraft were flying cocaine into places like the air-force base in Homestead, Florida, and the airfield north of Tucson long believed to be a CIA base. And that these planes were flying guns south. One of his witnesses in the Camarena case told him about flying in a U.S. military plane loaded with drugs from Guadalajara to Homestead. Other informants told him that major drug figures, including Rafael Caro Quintero, the man finally imprisoned for the Camarena murder, were getting guns delivered through CIA connections. Everywhere he turned, he ran into dope guys who had CIA connections, and to a narc this didn’t look right. “I can’t believe,” he told his superiors, “that the CIA is handling all this shit and doesn’t know what these pilots are doing.” His superiors asked if he had hard evidence of actual CIA case officers moving dope, and he said no, just lots of people they employed. All intelligence services use the fabled “cutouts” to separate themselves from their grubby work.

The DEA in Washington asked for a memo, so Hector fired off a summary of his telephone request. Agents were assigned, and Hector shipped every snippet of new information to this team. Nothing came of the investigation. The DEA team came out and debriefed him and some of his agents. And then, silence.

Hector’s Camarena work had burrowed deep, very deep, inside the Mexican government and found endless rot. With the vote on NAFTA in the air in the fall of 1993, his investigation started to get pressure, then his budget was cut. By 1994, after Justice Department officials had been in Mexico City, he was told, “Don’t report that crap anymore.” It was clear to Hector that the Mexican government wanted this Camarena investigation reined in. In early 1995, he learned of his future in a curious way. One of Hector’s informants in Mexico City called another one of his informants in Los Angeles and said, Hector’s getting transferred to Washington. The guy in Los Angeles said, No, no Hector’s still here. Two months later, in April 1995, Berrellez was transferred to Washington, D.C. Over the years, Hector had become used to a certain amount of duplicity in the DEA. Some of his fellow agents, he had come to believe, were actually members of the CIA. The DEA had been penetrated.

At headquarters, Hector sat in an office with nothing to do. “There ain’t no ****g drug war,” he says now. “I was even called un-American. Nobody cares about this shit.” He started going a little crazy. Each day, he checked into a blank schedule. So he caught a lot of double features.

In September 1996, he retired. He had had enough. The most decorated soldier in the war on drugs kind of faded out at the movies.

IN THE NEWS BUSINESS, IF YOU HANG AROUND LONG enough, you get a chance to find out who you are. Gary Webb was determined not to find out he was something ugly.

“I became convinced,” he remembers, “that we’re going to look back on the whole war on drugs fifty years from now like we look back on the McCarthy era and say, How did we ever let this stuff get so out of hand? How come nobody ever stood up and said, This is bullshit? I thought I had an obligation because I had the power at that point to tell people, Don’t believe what you’re being told about this war on drugs, because it is a lie. Very few people were in the position I was in, where I was able to write shit and get it in the newspapers. It was a very rare privilege. The editors at the Mercury gave me a lot of freedom because I produced. Then I got into this thing.”

In December 1995, Webb wrote out his project memo, and suddenly, “I realized what we were saying here. I’m sitting at home, and this e-mail comes from a friend at the Los Angeles Times. And I had told him vaguely about this interesting story I was working on. I told him that he had no idea what his ****g government is capable of “And I was depressed because this was so horrible. It was like some guy told me that he had gone through the looking glass and was in this nether world that 99 percent of the American public would never believe existed. That’s where I felt I was. When I sat down and wrote the project memo and said, Here’s what we’re going to say, and we’re going to be accusing the government of bringing drugs into the country, essentially, and we’ve spent billions of dollars and locked up Americans for selling shit that the government helps to come into the country — is just…If you believe in democracy and you believe in justice, it’s ****g awful.”

For six weeks after his series came out, Webb waited in a kind of honeymoon. His e-mail was exploding, he recalls, “from ordinary people who said, ‘This has restored my faith in newspapers.’ It was from college students, housewives that heard me on the radio; it was really remarkable to think that journalism could have this kind of effect on people, that people were out marching in the streets because of something that had been hidden from us all these years. The thing that surprised me was that there was no response from the press, from the government. It was total silence.”

Finally, in early October, The Washington Post ran a story by Robert Suro and Walter Pincus headlined, THE CIA AND CRACK: EVIDENCE IS LACKING OF ALLEGED PLOT. The story focused in part on the fact that Webb had given a defense attorney questions to ask Oscar Danilo Blandon about his CIA connections. It also quoted experts who denied that the crack epidemic originated in Los Angeles, disputed that Freeway Rick Ross and Blandon were significant national players in the cocaine trade of the eighties (pegging Blandon’s coke business at five tons over the decade, whereas Webb had evidence that it was more like two to five tons per year). And, the article continued, there was no evidence that the black community had been deliberately targeted (the “plot” referred to in the headline and a claim never made by Webb), that the CIA knew about Blandon’s drug deals (also a claim never made by Webb, who in the series merely connected Blandon to CIA agents), or that Blandon had ever kicked in more than $60,000 to the contra cause (the Post based this number on unnamed law-enforcement officials;
Webb based his estimate of millions of dollars to the contras from dope sales on grand-jury testimony and court documents). Perhaps the best summary of the Post’s retort to Webb came from the paper’s own ombudsman, Geneva Overholser, some weeks later: “The Post…showed more passion for sniffing out the flaws in San Jose’s answer than for sniffing out a better answer themselves. They were stronger on how much less money was contributed to the contras by the Mercury News’s villains that their series claimed, how much less cocaine was introduced into L.A., than on how significant it is that any of these assertions are true.”

In late October, the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times weighed in on consecutive days. The Los Angeles Times had two years before described Freeway Rick Ross vividly: “If there was an eye to the storm, if there was a criminal mastermind behind crack’s decade-long reign, if there was one outlaw capitalist most responsible for flooding Los Angeles’s streets with mass-marketed cocaine, his name was Freeway Rick….Ross did more than anyone else to democratize it, boosting volume, slashing prices, and spreading disease on a scale never before conceived….While most other dealers toiled at the bottom rungs of the market, his coast-to-coast conglomerate was selling more than five hundred thousand rocks a day, a staggering turnover that put the drug within reach of anyone with a few dollars.” In the 1996 response to Webb’s series, the Los Angeles Times described Ross as one of many “interchangeable characters” and stated, “How the crack epidemic reached that extreme, on some level, had nothing to do with Ross.” Both stories were written by the same reporter, Jesse Katz, and the 1996 story failed to mention his earlier characterization. The long New York Times piece the following day quoted unnamed government officials, CIA personnel, drug agents, and contras, and noted that “officials said the CIA had no record of Mr. Blandon before he appeared as a central figure in the series in the Mercury News.”

A common chord rang through the responses of all three papers: It never really happened, and if it did happen, it was on a small scale, and anyway it was old news, because both the Kerry report and a few wire stories in the eighties had touched on the contra-cocaine connection. What is missing from the press responses, despite their length, is a sense that anyone spent as much energy investigating Webb’s case as attempting to refute it. The “Dark Alliance” series was passionate, not clinical. The headlines were tabloid, not restrained. But whatever sins were committed in the presentation of the series, they cannot honestly be used to dismiss its content. It is puzzling that The New York Times felt it could discredit the story by quoting anonymous intelligence officials (a tack hardly followed in publishing the Pentagon Papers). In contrast, what is striking in Webb’s series is the copius citation of documents. (In the Mercury News’s Web-site version-cgi.sjmercury.com/drugs/postscriptfeatures.htm — are the hyperlinked facsimiles of documents that tug one into the dark world of drugs and agents.) But when Jerry Ceppos, the executive editor of the Mercury News, wrote a letter in response to the Post’s knockdown, the paper refused to print it because a defense of Webb’s work would have resulted in spreading more “misinformation.”

Despite Ceppos’s initial defense of the series, the Mercury News seemed to choke on these attacks, and Webb could sense a sea change, But he kept on working, building a a bigger base of facts, following its implications deeper into the government. When the Mercury News forced him to choose between a $600,000 movie offer and book deals and staying on the story, Webb picked the story. He kept discovering people who had flown suitcases full of money to Miami from dope sales for the contras. He documented Blandon’s contra dope sales from ’82 through ’86. Gary Webb was on a tear; he was going to advance the story. Almost none of this was published by the Mercury News; the paper grudgingly ran (and buried) one last story on New Year’s Eve 1996.

The paper had printed the story of the decade, the one with Pulitzer prize written all over it, and now was unmistakably backing off it. Webb entered a kind of Orwellian world where no one said anything, but there was this thing in the air. The Mercury News assigned one of its own reporters to review the series, using the stories of the L.A. Times, The New York Times, and The Washington Post as the benchmark for what was fact.

Webb wouldn’t admit it to himself, but he had become a dead man walking.

WHEN HECTOR BERRELLEZ SPENT HIS YEAR GOING TO MOVIES IN Washington, he knew he was finished in the DEA. One day in October 1996, a month after he retired, Hector Berrellez picked up a newspaper and read this big story about a guy named Gary Webb. Hector had lived in shadows, and talking to reporters had not been his style. “As I read, I thought, This shit is true,” he says now. He hadn’t a doubt about what Webb was saying. He saw the reporter as doomed. Webb hit a sensitive area, and for it he would be attacked and disbelieved.

Hector knew all about the Big Dog and the Big Boy rules.

Hector’s body aches from the weight of secrets. When we meet, he is in a white sport shirt, slacks, a blue blazer with brass buttons, and a shoulder-holstered 9mm with fifteen rounds in the clip and two more clips strapped under his right arm. He may be a little over-armed for his Los Angeles private-investigation agency (the Mayo Group, which handles the woes of figures in the entertainment industry — that pesky stalker, that missing money — for a fat fee up front and two hundred dollars an hour), but not for his history. For the rest of his life, Hector Berrellez will be sitting in nice hotels like this one with a cup of coffee in his hand, a 9mm under his jacket, and very quick eyes.

He saw a lot of things and remembers almost all of them. He wrote volumes of reports. In 1997, he was interviewed by Justice Department officials about those unseemly drug ledgers and contra materials he saw during the raid on the fourteen Blandon stash houses back in 1986. His interviewers wanted particularly to know whether anyone besides Hector had seen them. They then told Hector that they couldn’t find the seized material anymore.

Before he retired, Hector was summoned to Washington to brief Attorney General Janet Reno on Mexican corruption. He talked to her at length about how the very officials she was dealing with in Mexico had direct links to drug cartels. He remembers that she asked very few questions. Now he sits in the nice lounge of the nice hotel, and he believes the CIA is in the dope business; he believes the agency ran camps in Mexico for the contras, with big planes flying in and out full of dope. He now knows in his bones what the hell he really saw on October 27, 1986, when he hit the door of that house in the Los Angeles area and was greeted with politeness and fresh coffee.

But he doesn’t carry a smoking gun around. The photos, the ledgers, all the stuff the cops found that morning as they hit fourteen stash houses where all the occupants seemed to be expecting company, all that material went to Washington and seems to have vanished. All those reports he wrote for years while in Mexico and then later running the Camarena case, those detailed reports of how he kept stumbling into dope deals done by CIA assets, never produced any results or even a substantive response.

Hector Berrellez is a kind of freak. He is decorated; he is an official hero with a smiling Ed Meese standing next to him in an official White House photograph. He pulled twenty-four years and retired with honors. He is, at least for the moment, neither discredited nor smeared. Probably because until this moment, he’s kept silent.

And Hector Berrellez thinks that if the blacks and the browns and the poor whites who are zombies on dope ever get a drift of what he found out, well, there is going to be blood in the streets, he figures — there is going to be hell to pay. He tells me a story that kind of sums up the place he finally landed in, the place that Gary Webb finally landed in. The place where you wonder if you are kind of nuts, since no one else seems to think anything is wrong. An agent he knows was deep in therapy, kind of cracking up from the undercover life. And the agent’s shrink decided the guy was delusional, was living in some nutcase world of weird fantasies. So the doctor talked to Hector about his patient, about whether all the bullshit this guy was claiming was true, about dead men and women and children, strange crap like that. And he made a list of his patient’s delusions, and he ticked them off to Hector. And Hector listened to them one by one and said, “Oh, that one, that’s true. This one, yeah, that happened also.” It went on like that. And finally, Hector could tell the shrink wondered just who was nuts — Hector, his patient, or himself.

ON SUNDAY, MAY 11, 1997, GARY WEBB WAS hanging wallpaper in his kitchen when the San Jose Mercury News published a column by executive editor Jerry Ceppos that was widely read as a repudiation of Webb’s series. It was an odd composition that retracted nothing but apologized for everything. Ceppos wrote, “Although the members of the drug ring met with contra leaders paid by the CIA and Webb believes the relationship was a tight one, I feel we did not have proof that top CIA officials knew of the relationship.” Fair enough, except that Webb never wrote that top CIA officials knew of the contra-cocaine connection. The national press wrote front-page stories saying that the San Jose Mercury News was backing off its notorious series about crack. The world had been restored to its proper order. Webb fell silent. He had to deal with his own nature. He is not good at being polite. “I’m just ****g stubborn,” he says, “and that’s all there was to it, because I knew this was a good story, and I knew it wasn’t over yet, and I really had no idea of what else to do. What else was I going to do?”

What he did was have the Newspaper Guild represent him in arbitration with the Mercury News over the decision to ship him to the wasteland of Cupertino. “I’m going to go through arbitration, and I’m going to win the arbitration, and I’m going to go to work,” he says. “I was just going to fight it out. This was what I did, this was me, I was a reporter. This was a calling; it was not something you do eight to five. People were not exactly beating down my door, saying, Well, okay, come work for us. I was…unreliable.” So he went to Cupertino, and he wrote stories about constipated horses and refused to let his byline be printed. And then he went to his apartment and missed his wife and family and watched Caddyshack endlessly. He was a creature living a ghostly life. The only thing he didn’t figure on was himself. Webb slid into depression. Every week, the 150-mile drive between his family in Sacramento and his job in Cupertino became harder. Every day, it was harder to get out of bed and go to work.

And he was very angry most of the time. He says, “I was going to live in my own house and see my own kids. At some point, I figured something was going to give.” Finally, he couldn’t make it to work and took vacation time. When that was used up in early August, he started calling in sick. After that, he went on medical leave. A doctor examined him and said, “You are under a great deal of stress,” and diagnosed him as having severe depression. He couldn’t sleep. He couldn’t do much of anything. He decided to write a book about “Dark Alliance,” but this time no one wanted it. His agent was turned down by twenty-five publishers before finding a small press, Seven Stories, that operates as a kind of New York court of last resort.

A job offer came from the California state legislature to conduct investigations for the government-oversight committee at about the same money he made for the Mercury News. His wife said, Take the job. Why hang around in this limbo? Webb thought about her words and told himself, What do I win even if I do win in arbitration? I get to go back to my office and get bullshitted the rest of my life. He watered his lawn, worked on the house, read more and more contra stuff. Drifted in a sea of depression. “I didn’t know what to do if I couldn’t be a reporter,” he says. “So all of a sudden, I was standing there on the edge of the cliff, and I don’t have what I was doing for the last twenty years — I don’t have that to do anymore. I felt it was like I was neutered. I called up the Guild and said, ‘Let’s see if they want to settle this case.’ They sent me a letter of resignation that I had to sign.”

Webb carried the letter with him from November 19 to December 10 of last year. Every day, he got up to sign the letter and mail it. Every night, he went to bed with the letter unsigned. His wife would ask, Have you signed it? Somebody from the Mercury kept calling the Guild and asking, Has he signed it yet? “I mean,” he says softly, “writing my name on that thing meant the end of my career. I saw it as a sort of surrender. It was like signing,” and here he hesitates for several seconds, “my death certificate.”

But finally he signed, and now he is functionally banned from the business. He’s the guy nobody wants, the one who fucked up, the one who said bad things. Officially, he is dead, the guy who wrote the discredited series, the one who questioned the moral authority of the United States government.

If Gary Webb could have talked to a Hector Berrellez in the fall of 1996, when his stories were being erased by the media, Hector would have been like a savior to him. “Because he would have shown what I was reporting was not an aberration,” Webb says now, “that this was part of a pattern of CIA involvement with drugs. And he would have been believed.” But Webb was not that lucky, and the Hectors of the world were not that ready to talk then. So Webb was left out there alone, one guy with a bunch of interviews and documents. One guy who answered a question no one wanted asked.

I CAN HEAR HECTOR BERRELLEZ TELLING ME that I will never find a smoking gun. I can hear the critics of Gary Webb explaining that all he has is circumstantial evidence. Like anyone who dips into the world of the CIA, I find myself questioning the plain facts I read and asking myself, Does this really mean what I think it means?

— In 1982, the head of the CIA got a special exemption from the federal requirement to report dealings with drug traffickers. Why did the CIA need such an exemption?
http://www.cia.gov/cia/reports/cocaine/13.gif http://www.cia.gov/cia/reports/cocaine/14.gif http://www.cia.gov/cia/reports/cocaine/ex1.html

— Courthouse documents attest to the fact that the Blandon drug organization moved tons of dope for years with impunity, shipped millions to be laundered in Florida, and then bought arms for the contras. Why are Gary Webb’s detractors not looking at these documents and others instead of bashing Webb over the head?

— The internal CIA report of contra cocaine activity has never been released. The Justice Department investigation of Webb’s charges has never been released. The CIA has released a censored report on only one volume of Webb’s charges. The contra war is over, yet this material is kept secret. Why aren’t the major newspapers filing Freedom of Information [Act] requests for these studies?

— The fifty-year history of CIA involvement with heroin traffickers and other drug connections is restricted to academic studies and fringe publications. Those journalists who find themselves covering the war on drugs should read Alfred McCoy’s massive study, The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade, or Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall’s Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America.

— Following the release of “Dark Alliance,” Senator John Kerry told The Washington Post, “There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of, the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras.” Why has the massive Kerry report been ignored to this day?

— On March 16, 1998, the CIA inspector general, Frederick P. Hitz, testified before the House Intelligence Committee. “Let me be frank,” he said. “There are instances where CIA did not, in an expeditious or consistent fashion, cut off relationships with individuals supporting the contra program who were alleged to have engaged in drug-trafficking activity, or take action to resolve the allegations.”


Request: Burnt Stainless Steel Pan
Post by Sally_Admin (299) | (11/18/2008)

I did a dumb thing. I boiled water to heat a baby’s bottle. Totally forgot about it after the bottle was ready, etc. I went to bed, it boiled completely dry and sat and cooked bare stainless steel for about 2 hours! 1. Is it safe to use again? 2. How do I clean massive discoloration on the bottom of the pot?

Nancy from Rochester, NY

RE: Burnt Stainless Steel Pan

I have a stainless steel pan that I forgot on the stove and later found no food but ashes in it. It looked horrible. I boiled Coke in it for about 45 Minutes. It really worked, I got all the stuck on stuff off with just a brush. The pan is still grey and doesn’t shine though but I might even find a solution for that. (03/13/2007)