Kill the Messenger, the new film on San Jose Mercury News investigative journalist Gary Webb, debuts in movie theaters across the United States this weekend. Questions still remain as to whether the Pulitzer Prize-winning newsman, who was betrayed by his colleagues for his brave investigative work, wasn’t “suicided” by the very forces whose crimes he endeavored to expose.-JFT
By Charlene Fassa
[This article originally appeared at Bellaciao.org in December 2004.]
Before all articles, legitimate questions, and informed speculation critical of Webb’s alleged ’confirmed’ suicide are automatically tossed in the ’memory hole’, or are destined to endlessly travel through the ’conspiracy belt’ – I have some new and important revelations that need to be factored into the Gary Webb death equation, including information that he was working on a NEW book that he would soon finish.
And what would people think about Gary Webb’s OFFICIAL airtight ’confirmed suicide’ pronouncement – if they were to read an email containing a recollected conversation between Jon Roland and Gary Webb about this very subject: the possibility of Webb’s being “suicided”, where Webb confirms that if he’s found dead it would never be a suicide.
In case you’re wondering who Jon Roland is, he’s a constitutional reporter. He’s also the founder and the webmaster at www.constitution.org. I called Jon to clarify the details around the revealing email he had sent out to various listserv groups, shortly after Webb’s death. When I spoke with Mr. Roland, I asked him approximately when he had this conversation with Webb.
Jon said, “after the Mercury articles were written, and Gary had been living in Sacramento 3 or 4 months.” Jon also reiterated that Gary had a cache of evidence, left over from his writings that had never been published, which made him concerned for Gary’s life.
I found this email and other incendiary information I’ll be discussing about Webb, from an excellent article on Gary Webb’s death by reporter Virginia McCullough here.
Here’s the email –
Original Message —–
From: “Jon Roland” To: Sent: Sunday, December 12, 2004 3:57 PM
Subject: c-a] Obituary: Gary Webb, investigative reporter, author of “Dark Alliance”,
Gary Webb first came to attention with his series for the San Jose Mercury News, “Dark Alliance”, which presented evidence the CIA supported the importation of cocaine into the United States. See
I spoke to Gary and in the conversation he indicated he had a lot of evidence that did not appear in his writings. I cautioned him that the CIA might contrive to “suicide” him, and he indicated that if he died it would not be suicide.
The CIA has experts on producing authentic-appearing “suicide notes”. If you ever get a report like this about me, you can be absolutely certain it was not suicide.
Another gem mentioned in the McCullough piece is that Gary Webb was working on a book! That’s right a BOOK, according to Luis Gomez, a fellow investigative reporter associated with the Narco News School of Authentic Journalism. Luis had worked with, learned from, and admired Gary. Here’s a quotation from his heartfelt eulogy to Webb:
Chief Gary, pardon this digression, but did you finish that book you were working on? I remember that a few months ago everything was up in the air while you looked for work, but when you wrote to me again for the last time, you were already a reporter again. So I suppose that it is finished, because a journalist does not leave work hanging, and you were one of the best that I’ve known, that I’ve read. Now, I hope it gets released, so that we can find out what you were doing these last few months because I really don’t know, and that ignorance makes me cry, chief.
So where’s the manuscript? Why are the “confirmed suicide” mongers stridently asserting that Gary wasn’t working on anything before he died? Who benefits from this lie? This begs the question, If Gary was indeed working on a new book, what kind of book was it? Well, we know he had evidence laying around about the CIA, the Contras, drug trafficking, etc. I think we’re safe in speculating his book probably would have been related to this subject matter in some way.
Unfortunately, Luis can’t help us here. So I’m going to get a little help from my friends at Liberty Lobby Forum. The rumor mill was churning hot and heavy at Liberty Forum and Webb’s death was addressed with an attention-grabbing post: Did the Israelis pay a Visit to Webb?
To summarize: allegations are made that Webb was working on a new book exposing the hidden Jewish element that is the controlling factor behind drug trafficking in South America.
Apparently, a huge drug war in South America is about to erupt. It’s characterized as a massive power grab against South American Jewish-drug-lords. According to this scenario, Hugo Chavez is playing the foil, and is planning to clean-up drug trafficking in his neighborhood, or at least look as though he is, by militarily moving against Columbia. The prize is control over the illicit $50 billion cocaine and marijuana market. According to this speculation, Webb was “suicided” by Mossad because he was getting ready to break this story via his new book. Is the above true? I have no idea. I’ve not been involved with any research about South American drug trafficking. But, I do know and it has been reported that Chavez has purchased MIG-29’s from Russia. And at this point, it’s anyone’s guess as to what Gary’s alleged book contains. One thing is for sure, this sort of material would be his bailiwick. Does this information merit further investigation? I think it does, although some may disagree. I’m merely bringing this to the attention of serious researchers and truth seekers. It’s up to them to decide if the material merits more study.
At this point, let’s revisit “Freeway” Ricky Ross’ comments about Webb in an entirely new light.
After all, he was one of Webb’s primary sources for the Dark Alliance-CIA Drug series. Let’s remind ourselves of this fact, Webb based his reputation and career on much of what Rickey told him. If Ricky Ross was a “good enough” source for Gary Webb, meticulous researcher that he was, then he should be a good “enough source” for us. So I ask you, reader: “Why would Ricky Ross all of a sudden turn into an unreliable source NOW?”
At any rate, here’s an excerpt from a recent Kevin Booth interview by Alex Jones. It’s based on a telephone conversation between Kevin Booth, a documentary film maker who’s working on a film about the drug war, and “Freeway’” Rickey Ross who is serving time in prison for drug dealing and related crimes. It centers on Ross’ comments after learning about Gary Webb’s alleged “suicide”. In the recorded phone conversation, Freeway Rickey corroborates what Luis Gomez tells us: Gary was working on a project. Additionally, we learn via Rickey that Gary had told him that he was receiving death threats and harassment from government types.
Here’s a segment from Alex Jones’ interview of Kevin Booth:
KB: Right, it was all these cartels. So, like you said, he (Freeway Ricky Ross) was in the Victorville prison, right above Los Angeles there and the last time he spoke to Gary, which wasn’t that long ago, he told me that Gary was still working on the story. This was the kind of thing that Gary was never going to give up on because Gary felt like he could just keep going with this forever and uncover more and more people and exposing more names. But he (Ricky Ross) did tell me that Gary knew he was being followed. Every time he drove somewhere, there were always cars following him around. He said he knew it was government people.
The entire transcript and audio of the conversation between Ross and Booth is available here.
Doesn’t it make you wonder – where the hell are Gary’s papers and research documents, evidence, etc.? I’ve heard nothing about them from the mainstream stenographers – have you? Sam Smith is wondering too. He’s a “Scoop” reporter who wrote: Sam Smith, The Gary Webb Case, full text here.
One clue still to come: did Webb leave his files with anyone he trusted or have they disappeared? It would have been highly unusual if he had left them for law enforcement officials to find, especially with the threat they might pose to sources. In any case, somebody’s got them now.
I have a hard time believing that Webb wouldn’t have at least safely hidden his more sensitive information, etc. in case of a hit, at least to protect his sources if for no other reason. I can’t help but wonder if someone out there has safely stored some of Gary’s stuff for him, or even a manuscript of his almost finished book? It would be sad if those who got to Gary also got his materials.
Then this from “Remembering Gary Webb” by Alan Goodman
Gary Webb paid a personal price for his work. When I talked with him, he was acutely aware that people get killed for revealing the kinds of horrors he uncovered. He was very concerned for the safety of his sources in prison and in Central America. The DEA raided the office of the literary agent who was helping Gary get a book contract. Shortly before we met, one of Gary’s associates had been run off the road by a military vehicle in Nicaragua”. So now we have even more testimony that Gary was aware of the possibility of being “suicided”, and that he was concerned not just for himself, but also for his sources.
Then consider this cautionary disclaimer by the iconoclastic Voxfux, who mentions that he and Gary had communicated in the past, excerpted from his no-holds-barred rant on Gary Webb’s death. You can read the entire article here . “I published a “disclaimer of death” in 2001. My declaration stated in advance that if is (sic) was to be found in a scenario that appeared to be a suicide, that it was not a suicide. That declaration made a little noise back then – now all the other researchers are publishing similar disclaimers and declarations that they are not suicidal nor will they ever be suicidal.”
Is Voxfux merely paranoid, or is he a realist? Too bad Gary didn’t sign a similar public declaration. But there’s still time for us. Maybe we should construct a website dedicated to these types of declarations – a type of suicide protection insurance. Additionally, it could serve as a memorial to those who have already been “suicided.”
So, where am I going with all this? I’m positing that the carefully crafted impressionistic picture that was feed to us about Gary Webb’s suspicious death —was just that. In other words, it was a psyop. Of course, an INDEPENDENT investigation would uncover more facts and details about Webb’s death that would inevitably change the carefully crafted, initial picture. And isn’t that a primary reason why there will be no real investigation?
It’s all about perception control, isn’t it? If you carefully limit the scope and the quality of information about a subject effectively, people are restricted in their ability to critically think in that arena. And those who try to open up the flow of information once it’s been officially shut down —those people are labeled conspiracy wackos.
It’s mind control pure and simple, a form of invisible mental fencing. Since I’m feeling pretty artistic today, I’m going to try and create a different picture for you to view. I’m sure you’ve heard this before: it’s not what they tell you that’s really important, it’s what they don’t tell you – that’s where the greater truth lies.
And I can’t help but wonder how we in America got stuck with such an absurdly low standard when it comes to pronouncing a death an official suicide. A distinct possibility sounds more like another way of saying maybe! Yet, that was the official statement made about Webb’s death by coroner Lyons. It sounds more like an official pronouncement that’s heard in a banana republic, not in a democratic republic. Is this representative of the rule of law or the arbitrariness of a dictatorship? What happened to “beyond a reasonable doubt”?
In England “beyond a reasonable doubt” is the standard used to declare a suicide or a murder, although it’s not being applied to the Kelly case, another who was likely ësuicided’. Not having an independent investigation is an easy way to protect the guilty. And here’s another piece of illuminating information reported by Virginia McCullough, the reporter from NEWSMAKINGNEWS.COM in her piece about Webb’s death:
“The [moving] company’s estimator, Steve, had talked with the homeowner [Webb] recently, and he had felt that the man seemed saddened or depressed. The homeowner had just sold the home for $321,750 and said that he would be moving in with his grandmother who lived nearby.”
First, what strikes me as suspicious is how quickly Steve echoes the official spin that Gary seemed depressed. And here’s where Steve loses all credibility for me: Steve the moving company estimator, knows the EXACT amount of money Webb’s house sold for? Excuse me, but if a moving company employee asked you how much your house sold for, would you give them an exact dollar amount? Instead, wouldn’t you throw out a rounded up figure like in the 3oo’s or something more general?
Then Steve tells us all of Gary’s belongings are boxed and ready for storage. Again I find this odd. People on the verge of committing suicide are more likely to give away or sell their belongings. That’s a lot of work to pack and label all those boxes and then arrange and pay for storage. Frankly, most clinically depressed suicidal people wouldn’t have had the energy to initiate and finish a project like that.
And while we’re on the subject of personal belongings, it seems to me that if Gary were on the verge of killing himself, he would have given his beloved motorcycle to one of his sons or another family member. Suicide is the ultimate in letting go, so why all the hanging-on?
And then Steve tells us Gary is planning on moving in with his grandmother, who lives nearby. Why haven’t we heard from the grandmother about why Gary was going to move in with her? My bet is that if the reason he was moving in bolstered the “confirmed suicide” theory, we would have heard a few sound bites from her.
Bottom line is — I don’t think “A Better Moving Company” should be let off the hook so easily. Hmmm, Mossad, moving companies, drug turf wars in South America, exposing hidden Jewish elements that allegedly control the South American Drug trade — which could have been the topic, or a topic in Webb’s new book? This is what investigations are for – to check out these red flags and leads and see where they go.
Don’t you think it’s important that Jon Roland tells us that according to Webb, he still had in his personal possession potentially incriminating evidence that was yet to be published. And then there’s Webb’s concurrence with Roland confirming the unlikelihood of a Webb suicide. This tells us that Webb would remain a target and closely watched, and gives us a reason to DOUBT he would take his own life.
Then there’s Alan Goodman’s interview with Webb. He tells us how concerned Gary was for his sources and by implication for his own life. So, Gary knew he was in constant danger. Wouldn’t that danger escalate if he were writing a new book? I don’t think Luis Gomez added the aside about Gary’s new book, in his moving eulogy to Webb in order to be provocative. And I don’t think Gary lied to him either. “Freeway” Ricky Ross also said Gary had told him he was continuing to work on this material, and he says Gary knew his life was in danger.
Need I mention why very few people knew Webb was working on a new book? Remember, Webb was said to be very concerned for the safety of his sources. It seems to me he would have wanted to protect his family, keeping them “out of the loop” by not telling them about his new book.
My picture looks something like this. Gary Webb was working on a new book that implicated more people in high places who didn’t like the idea of an expose book blowing their cover. In all probability, the book was an extension of his previous work. I think Gary was smart enough to have stashed a copy or copies of his manuscript somewhere safe.
As far as selling his house and moving in with his grandmother, that very well could have been done to lower his overhead so he could spend more time finishing his book, and therefore wouldn’t have to get another job to make his mortgage payments and cover his expenses. We don’t know how much Gary profited from the sale of his house, but he may have garnered a bit of financial cushion with that sale. This can be checked into via public records at the local recorders’ office.
California is an open state for real estate information, and the amount of his previous mortgage and the sales price would be there. The difference would have been his, approximately. Also consider this: if Gary were in the black after having sold his home and he was about to commit suicide, why not send a check to Sue Bell, his ex-wife, with one of those (computer generated?) letters Gary (or someone pretending to be Gary) allegedly sent to family members? That to me would have been a stronger indication of his intent to kill himself, rather than merely making her a beneficiary of his bank account, which he may have done because of death threats. If we were to have a legitimate investigation, we could potentially confirm some of this – maybe even find a copy of his manuscript.
Phone records could be retrieved, as well as email correspondence; interviews could be done with colleagues, suicide notes examined by a forensic graphologist–and on and on. My guess is if Gary did write the alleged handwritten suicide notes, it was under duress – maybe a threat to harm his family, or else? But I bet the letters that went out to family members just before his death were computer generated. An autopsy could have revealed by checking under Gary’s fingernails for skin, foreign blood cells, DNA, etc. that there was a struggle. Gary’s blood could have been checked for any injected drugs. You can fill in the rest. Sadly, by now his body has been cremated, or will be soon. I’ll end with an insightful quote I found from Gary. It was in a Dec. 17th 2004, tribute article to Webb by Bill Conroy called: “Gary Drew Blood”.
In his article, Conroy decided to call Chuck Bowden to get his take on Webb’s alleged suicide. According to Conroy, Webb had confided that, “he Gary would trust Chuck Bowden with his life”. That’s why Conroy decided to call Bowden. The quote was part of a conversation between Webb and Bowden. In 1998 Bowden had been working on an Esquire article that validated Gary’s work, Dark Alliance. Bowden flew to Sacramento to interview Gary for his Esquire piece. “He (Gary) was drinking Maker’s Mark whiskey,”’ Bowden recalled, “and I remember he slapped his hand down on the table and said, ’I don’t believe in conspiracy theories. I believe in conspiracies.’ ” http://narcosphere.narconews.com/st…
I believe that Gary Webb’s death is being sold as a “confirmed suicide” when in reality it’s a “confirmed conspiracy.” I also believe that Webb was “suicided” to kill his new book. To those of you who would say, “you can’t PROVE Webb was working on a new book.” I say, “you can’t prove he wasn’t.”