Operation Mockingbird media outlets worked to protect CIA
September 26, 2014
New documents released by the CIA show how the agency worked with some of the country’s largest newspapers to destroy San Jose Mercury News’ Gary Webb, a journalist who famously exposed the CIA’s connection to the cocaine trade in the “Dark Alliance” investigation.
Tactics used to destroy Webb, who was found dead in his apartment in 2004 with two .38-caliber bullets in the head, included a massive smear campaign by journalists with newspapers such as the L.A. Times. A report by The Intercept’s Ryan Devereaux reveals the paper used as many as 17 journalists to discredit Webb and his exposé.
“The Los Angeles Times was especially aggressive. Scooped in its own backyard, the California paper assigned no fewer than 17 reporters to pick apart Webb’s reporting. While employees denied an outright effort to attack the Mercury News, one of the 17 referred to it as the ‘get Gary Webb team,’” Devereaux writes. “Another said at the time, ‘We’re going to take away that guy’s Pulitzer,’ according to Kornbluh’s CJR piece. Within two months of the publication of ‘Dark Alliance,’ the L.A. Times devoted more words to dismantling its competitor’s breakout hit than comprised the series itself.”
“The CIA watched these developments closely, collaborating where it could with outlets who wanted to challenge Webb’s reporting. Media inquiries had started almost immediately following the publication of ‘Dark Alliance,’ and Dujmovic in ‘Managing a Nightmare’ cites the CIA’s success in discouraging ‘one major news affiliate’ from covering the story. He also boasts that the agency effectively departed from its own longstanding policies in order to discredit the series. ‘For example, in order to help a journalist working on a story that would undermine the Mercury News allegations, Public Affairs was able to deny any affiliation of a particular individual — which is a rare exception to the general policy that CIA does not comment on any individual’s alleged CIA ties.”
Devereaux also notes a 2013 radio interview with L.A. Times reporter Jesse Katz, who claims to feel remorse for leading the charge to discredit Webb.
“As an L.A. Times reporter, we saw this series in the San Jose Mercury News and kind of wonder[ed] how legit it was and kind of put it under a microscope. And we did it in a way that most of us who were involved in it, I think, would look back on that and say it was overkill,” Katz said. “We had this huge team of people at the L.A. Times and kind of piled on to one lone muckraker up in Northern California.”
Alex Jones, who frequently interviewed Webb, was set to release a set of documents obtained by the journalist for a new book before his death. According to Jones, Webb’s death was not a suicide as claimed.
Ricky Donnell Ross, better known as Freeway Ricky Ross, a convicted drug dealer featured in a Gary Webb’s expose, appeared on the Alex Jones Show in 2010 to break down his relationship with Webb as well as his unwitting role in the CIA’s drug operations.
Freeway Ricky Ross on Alex Jones Tv 2/5: How The CIA Supply, Control, Operate The Drug Business
Freeway Ricky Ross on Alex Jones Tv 3/5: How The CIA Supply, Control, Operate The Drug Business
Freeway Ricky Ross on Alex Jones Tv 4/5: How The CIA Supply, Control, Operate The Drug Business
Freeway Ricky Ross on Alex Jones Tv 5/5: How The CIA Supply, Control, Operate The Drug Business
This article was posted: Friday, September 26, 2014 at 12:31 pm