Nearly two decades after a US reporter was humiliated for connecting the CIA to a drug-trafficking trade that funded the Nicaraguan Contras, important players in the scandal – which led to the journalist’s suicide – are coming forward to back his claims.
Back in 1996, Gary Webb of the San Jose Mercury News broke a story stating not only that the Nicaraguan Contras – supported by the United States in a rebellion against their left-leaning government – were involved in the US crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s, but also that the CIA knew and turned a blind eye to the operation.
As a result, Webb concluded, the CIA was complicit in a drug trade that was wreaking havoc on African American communities in Los Angeles.
The bombshell report sparked outrage across the country, but when national newspapers like the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and Washington Post weighed in on the matter, they dismissed Webb and attacked his story to the point that it was disowned by the Mercury News. Webb was forced out of journalism and ultimately committed suicide in 2004.
Now, however, the whole ordeal is being looked at with fresh eyes in the form of two new films: “Kill the Messenger” and a documentary called, “Freeway: Crack in the System.” Additionally, several figures involved in the operation have recently spoken out, lending further credibility to Webb’s original reporting.