CIA/Contra Cocaine Story Revisited A Decade Later

Brian Zick

We wanted to make sure you didn't miss the announcement of our new Sustainer program. Once you've finished reading, take a moment to check out the new program, as well as all the benefits of becoming a Sustainer.

Nick Schou writes in the LA Times about reporter Gary Webb's expose, 10 years ago, of the CIA's link to contra drug smuggling, and the Establishment Media's collective reaction to the story - which was not only turning a blind eye to the truth, but aggressively working to crush Webb for revealing it. It was a harbinger of Bush-coverage-to-come.Schou gets a quote from LA Times Washington Bureau Chief, Doyle McManus: Meanwhile, spurred on by Webb's story, the CIA conducted an internal investigation that acknowledged in March 1998 that the agency had covered up Contra drug trafficking for more than a decade. Although the Washington Post and New York Times covered the report — which confirmed key chunks of Webb's allegations — the L.A. Times ignored it for four months, and largely portrayed it as disproving the "Dark Alliance" series. "We dropped the ball on that story," said Doyle McManus, the paper's Washington bureau chief, who helped supervise its response to "Dark Alliance." I remember McManus appearing on Washington Week at the time, to voice his "disproving." He was a self-righteous pompous asshole, arrogant in his condescending pronouncements against Webb. He behaved exactly like all those so-called journalists of today who condemned Stephen Colbert for his DC Correspondents Dinner comedy routine: willfully blind, proud of it, and ready to stomp on the throat of anyone who dared call into question Establishment Wisdom. Now he says "We dropped the ball" - "we" as if he wasn't the damn Bureau Chief, the primary individual responsible for getting a story done right. And "dropped the ball" as if it was just some minor oopsie, like he forgot to capitalize properly in an email. Doyle McManus is a prime example of why the establishment press deserves the public distrust it suffers.story link via Kevin Drum

Be a Sustainer

We surveyed thousands of readers and asked what they would like to see in a monthly giving program. Now, for the first time, we're offering three different levels of support, with rewards at each level, including a magazine subscription, books, tote bags, events and more—all starting at less than 17 cents a day. Check out the new Sustainer program.

Subscribe and Save 66%

Less than $1.67 an issue