Gary Webb Was A Great Reporter

For those interested in the tragic story of Gary Webb, the reporter who covered the Dark Alliance between the CIA and crack epidemic-supplying Contra gangsters, as told in this weekend’s viewpoint by Robert Parry, you can listen to my January 31, 2004 interview of Webb here.

You can read the entire Dark Alliance series for the San Jose Mercury News here.

And get the book here.

Author: Scott Horton

Scott Horton is editorial director of, director of the Libertarian Institute, host of Antiwar Radio on Pacifica, 90.7 FM KPFK in Los Angeles, California and podcasts the Scott Horton Show from He’s the author of the 2017 book, Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan and editor of The Great Ron Paul: The Scott Horton Show Interviews 2004–2019. He’s conducted more than 5,000 interviews since 2003. Scott lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, investigative reporter Larisa Alexandrovna Horton. He is a fan of, but no relation to the lawyer from Harper’s. Scott’s Twitter, YouTube, Patreon.

11 thoughts on “Gary Webb Was A Great Reporter”

  1. Thank you so much, Scott, for posting your interview of Gary Webb. I hope soon we won’t feel obliged to run for the hills to escape the corrupt federal government of the USA.

  2. The Gary Webb episode is really a quite sad commentary on American journalism. But I must say that I myself would have had doubts about some of the issues he raise back then. It is only recently that I have come to accept the fact that our government is run by a group of gangsters that is all driven by the profit motives. I am presently reading a book about this sordid annal of the Reagan years by a man who purports to have been one of the inside operatives. The book was given to me some 8 years ago when it first appeared by my brother as a must read, but because it was self-published I did not pay much attention to it. I am sorry I did, for the book had some glowing reviews by several established mainstream writers, the like of Jim Marrs, auther of Crossfire and Anthony C. Sutton, author of several well received historical works. Al Martin, the author, who I believe is the front given to several writers who contributed to the material is a meticulously detailed sequence of events known as the Iran-Contra and which principally featured the Bushs–father and sons. What makes it so relevant is because it was written before Bush younger came to power. Back during the invgasion of Panama I was asked to write an op-ed piece for Newsday, given I was doing some work for the same on Caribbean issues. Just before sending the piece off I was invited by a former NY state senator–a Panamanian native just back from his homeland to listen to a speech he was giving concerning events in Panama. He told the audience in no uncertain term that the US was committing mass murder in Panama by wantonly bombing civilian population in the poor barrios, and moreover the city was rife with rumors of a conspiracy by the U.S. government to silence president Manuel Noriega because of his knowledge of drug trafficking by the current U.S. administration. I omit the latter part but mentioned the former in my commentary to Newsday. They called me back several times to convince me I was wrong and I consented to their omission. Really, I had little choice; it was either that or they wouldn’t publish the material. Eventually, I would be proven right, but the scoop by then would have gone to the New York Times. I then began to concentrate my effort to a small black daily where I have written some quite provocative material against the government and its associates. And all I would say at this point is that I am still paying a price for my audacity, even though me and the editor have long since been shown the door. Peace be onto you Gary. John Kurius

    1. John Kurius, Thanks for reminding people of the murders commited during “Operation Just Cause.” I was deployed to Panama on the 20th of December with the 5th battalion 21st infantry. There is no doubt that the actions taken were murder. Very few people in the US have ever seen the damage done to Panama City and it’s residents. Taking part in this horrible event has changed my life forever. I came back a very frustrated person. Next to nothing was ever shown to the US public. The lies about the “limited civilian deaths” was one of the worst parts. However, people should also be made aware of the bombings of almost every baracks in the country. The soldiers of the PDF didn’t deserve to die any more than the civilians. I noticed you mentioning the rumors of Noriega’s involvment in drug traficking. When I was in Panama we had been told that Noriega had highjacked a cargo shipment of arms headed to the Contra’s, and that this was one of the reasons for the invasion. I can’t say for a fact that this happened but we did box up literaly tons of weapons for shipment out of the country.

      For anyone looking for more information check out the Academy Award Documentary Feature winner “The Panama Deception (1992)”.

      The sad fact is that we have a government completely out of control and a media that is complicit. I had to see these atrocities first hand to wake up, I hope others can realize the dangers our own government poses before it’s too late.


  3. It is wonderful to hear from John Kurius here, and I look forward to his book. Indeed, RIP, Gary Webb. Of course, I am one to question the physical cause of his death.

  4. How much longer will you continue to accept the Bush regime’s “official story” of Sept 11th and ignore the overwhelming evidence to the contrary???

    I do NOT believe our trillion-dollar air defenses & intelligence network was defeated by Osama bin-Forgotten & his 19 lackeys with box-cutters! Hijacked airliners flew all over the eastern U.S. for hours without any meaningful response nor pursuit!? While Dick Cheney just happened to be conducting similar “war games” that fateful morning!? (Yes, Google it!)

    Next, an airliner with a 125′ wingspan disappeared though a 16′ foot initial impact hole at the Pentagon! How??? All clear videos of what blew-up the Pentagon are being withheld to this day! Why???

    That afternoon, yet another implausible phenomena occurred at a building that housed the CIA, FBI, SEC, IRS, etc. WTC Building #7 had minor damage & small, scattered fires, yet it imploded in a controlled demolition!? Larry Silverstein, the very over-insured leaseholder, said:

    “I remember getting a call from the, er, fire department commander,
    telling me that they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain
    the fire, and I said, ‘We’ve had such terrible loss of life, maybe the
    smartest thing to do is pull it.’ And they made that decision to pull
    and we watched the building collapse.”

    Most people are beginning to accept the fact that Cheney allowed Sept 11th to proceed on purpose.

    It’s time for all good men & women to speak out about the NWO/globalists, rather than be a gatekeeper of the truth!!! Wake-up everyone now!!!

    1. I’m with you in spirit, but I suggest limiting your outrage to the realm of the plausible.

      Actually, 4 out of hundreds of airliners few around hijacked for a few hours. And your recommended reaction would have been what, shoot dowm first and ask questions later?

      The Pentagon missile theory is as go-nowhere as it gets. And you know that “clear videos of what blew-up the Pentagon” exist because….

      Let’s say (with no evidence) that 7 WTC was intentionally demolished. SO. WHAT.


      1. “Let’s say (with no evidence) that 7 WTC was intentionally demolished. SO. WHAT”. I would think the point would be obvious. If they had WTC7 wired for demolishion they would have needed weeks of notice. You can’t wire one of the largest building in the US in a few minutes or even hours. As for no evidence look at the video of WTC7 coming down straight as can be. While I am not saying I know it was prewired, it sure seems like it was to me and many demo experts agree.

        “your recommended reaction would have been what, shoot dowm first and ask questions later”? He doesn’t need to decide what should have been done. But once again it’s more than a little suspicious that they didn’t even get a fighter escort to at least the Pentagon.

        So here we have it, it’s either been planned or allowed to happen through ignorance and incompetence. Although if you wish to believe it was incompetence, you would have to include radar operators at every airport along the routs. Contrary to the statements you can’t just turn off a transponder and the jets disapear. Also all the people who built the trade center building would also need to be declared incompetent for their workmanship. The list would need to go on and on. It’s possible but unlikely. Now we know that many people are incompetent and it’s possible they all had one heck of a bad day. Furthermore, we know that our government is capable and willing to murder inocent people. But the question is are they competenet enough to pull this off?


  5. As chair of the Hawaii Crack the CIA Coalition I produced a debate featuring Gary Webb in my home town of Honolulu on Dec 6, 1996. Gary and his wife Sue stayed with me in my home for most of the week that they were here for the program. We spent quite a bit of time driving around site seeing and doing the pre program publicity and interviews. Gary had lived here in Hawaii as a young boy when his father was stationed in Hawaii while serving in the USMC and he actually lived not to far from me during those long ago days.
    Gary was really what i call an “american”, meaning he really believed in the system. This from a guy who had won awards for exposing corruption and crime in government, he still believed.
    As such, he did not take kindly to my suggestion, made rather opaquely, that his career was probably over with the Dark Alliance series. He believed that if you did your job professionaly, that you worked hard and did your homework, that you could back up your work with hard evidence, than you would emerge victorious in the end. This was America, right?
    Well Gary is gone now, another not uncommon, apparently, two shot suicide victim. He was so proud of being a journalist, it was his lifes work, it provided him with a decent living, the ability to provide a pretty good life for his family, to be the man of the house.
    All of that was lost when his editor betrayed him, albiet under enormous pressure, and Gary lost his job. He finally realized that he would never be employable in any real sense as a journalist and from then it appears it was all down hill.
    Gary was as much a casualty of his americanism as the “manufacturing of consent” mafia that runs the so called free press in the USA. Living outside the USA like i do these day, I find it hard to imagine how someone like Gary, who documented in such a professional manner how the Government of the USA could be so deeply involved in starting what turned into a pandemic, the crack cocaine phenomena, would allow him to expose them without serious reprecussions.
    But then I remind myself, Gary was an American, who believed in the red white and blue, a son of a marine, so what could you expect when everything he deep down inside believed in turned out to be completely upside down? I must admit I wasnt very suprised when he ended his own life, another casualty of the great white way, where the person most likely to commit suicide in the USA is a white male, supposed beneficiary of the Great Society. It would seem living up to the american dream all to often turns into the american nightmare. In the good old USA, “No good deed goes unpunished” remains one of the golden rules. I am one of those who learned the hard way, which explains why I no longer live the land of my birth.
    From Asmara, Eritrea
    Thomas C Mountain
    thomascmountain at

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