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Big Media’s Contra-Cocaine Cover-up


Big Media’s Contra-Cocaine Cover-up

Robert Parry

Amid the mainstream U.S. media’s current self-righteous frenzy against “fake news,” it’s worth recalling how the big newspapers destroyed Gary Webb, an honest journalist who exposed some hard truths about the Reagan administration’s collaboration with Nicaraguan Contra cocaine traffickers.

Webb’s reward for reviving that important scandal in 1996 – and getting the CIA’s inspector general to issue what amounted to an institutional confession in 1998 – was to have The New York Times, The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times lobby for, essentially, his banishment from journalism.


I think it important to recognize the truth of Project Mockingbird, something which never really went away. The CIA directs the mainstream media as to what it can and should print. They use that media to hype up non existent threats from foriegn powers so as to promote ever more spending on arms and a more Militarized state. This in turn gives them even more power. The CIA raises a good amount of its dark money through the illicit drug trade. It is a criminal organization.

With all the faked headline news stories about "Russians hacking elections" and "fake news sites" they are working towards a time and place where the only media deemed acceptable are these same media giants and those media giants will do as instructed.

It rather easy to keep these media giants on board. All that needs to be done is wave money under their noses. They are businesses after all and generating profits is the only reason they are there. This is rather easy to do as witnessed in the case of Mr Jeff bezos who owns the Washington Post. Mr Bezos has contracts with the US Governmnet for many hundreds of millions of dollars. As example one of his firms has a 600 million dollar contract to provide IT services to the CIA. The purchase of the Post cost him 300 million dollars.

Christine Amanpour had on a critic of the Russian Government and a reporter for RT television wanting to discuss how the Russian media is simply state run propaganda. On being challenged as to the independence of the reporter for RT , given it state owned (much like Canada's CBC and the BBC in the UK but no mention of that) the reporter pressed back pointing out Ms Amanpours dubious record of journalism wherein from Yugoslavia and onwards she simply parroted and repeated the Government line on every issue much of which was later proved as false.

CNN edited out all of those questions that either put their own record or that of Ms Amanpour in a dim light.

A Journalist in Germany also indicated he was paid money, as were many of his colleagues , to simply publish articles under his own name that were written by and provided to him by the CIA.

In short the mainstream media is not acting independently. They are given directions as to what they should Publish and do so. They went after Webb because his journalism was deemed a threat to the CIA activities in Latin America.


Robert Parry, boy that name piqued immediate attention. After so many years.

Have been following this from the beginning. Knew the Gary Webb story from the Mercury News well as it went down during our life there. Also followed your efforts as well.

Absolutely horrific and makes Government Conspiracy theory come vividly alive.
With the tragic death of Gary, (He was a local boy who we all thought should have gotten a Pulitzer), ending finally after so many years, it all sunk too deep.

Having worked directly around so much of what was the El Salvador-Nicaragua misguided efforts and then having the local newspaper on top of the story, only to have the trashing by LA Times. Like how did you catch Ollie, sustain the path to the WH and then bury the funding leg. Because it is Standard Procedure in CIA.

I imagine much the same burning feeling must have been with the East Germans as they seized the STASI. We couldn't get you then, but now we will make it known to the world the things you have done.
The records will be exposed.

Even now this article is a search and uncover process. Its placement hardly worthy of its magnitude of importance.

Suspira has correctly framed for us is the Bezos-CIA working relationship, with the ongoing hacking and misdirections of planted false flags, this is all too familiar.

This is CIA Standard OPS, and it is ops internal to the US.

This crap is the stuff that makes one sick to their core.
What part of the government do we even own.
And the rank and file, knowing nothing, vote in Trump. A Hybrid Version.
With collusion of entities like the Washington Post, New York Times, and Los Angeles Times, to this day.

And now the reappearance of "Watch Lists" by these very same co-conspirators.

One Day....One Day....Justice will be Served. Even if it has to be the Hague Court.


newspapers, which now want to serve as the arbiters of truth for the Internet, "....

The days of real journalist that write for the mainstream media newspapers and for NPR, are days long past.... Very analogous to the daily weather-reporters pretending to be meteorologists......the day that we see real journalism will be the day that these faux-meterologist start discussing climate change influencing the weather events of the day......Open your eyes Wide!!!


Bravo, Robert Parry! This man is a national resource.


I will come back to this article again and again.
In a mythological society like the U.S., the thin, superficial, but oh so shiny glaze of patriotism, respectability and leadership reveals its toxic ingredients. While perpetrators of diverse employments all played their parts in sweetening the brutal and corrupted nature of governance, media and economics unhinged, political leaders, civic leaders, media and business leaders, and then the fatuous sad public acted out endless decades of drama where governance is detached from accountability and democracy. It goes on endlessly but somehow nothing ever happens to bring full accountability and justice.
No cognitive dissonance is allowed in an ideology dedicated to the values of domination and control. The culture that grows out of this moldy infestation is rancid with compliance, pervasive and prevalent today as a new talking head president takes up the reins of media manipulation and undemocratic power. This leader, as many before him, will continue the authoritarian reign of American exceptionalism, manifest destiny and corporate governance, while ornamenting the subterfuge with systemic lies unified in their anti-democratic corruption. America will magically become great again. Everything is fine - look at the stock exchanges.
Good morning America. Recognize how your tax dollars are being spent freed from justice, accountability and transparency. Recognize that these are people elected and employed by our taxes acting beyond democratic control or permission. That is, until we create the governance that will ensure this never happens again.
Too bad it has never been tried.


Who reads MSM propaganda? Old people who don't go online. Newspapers are on the way out.


"But the Webb tragedy and the Contra-cocaine case remain relevant today because they underscore how the mainstream press cannot be trusted with decisions about what news is true and what is false. If such a Ministry of Truth had existed in the late 1990s, the dark chapter of the Reagan administration’s dealings with Nicaraguan drug traffickers would still be just a vague and easily dismissed rumor."

But...wait! Thanks for making a much needed point/statement with the perfect case study...but...that last paragraph is odd...as is the byline(sic?)..

Last things first..the last paragraph well...wait..the situation the author seems relived to see NOT being the case...IS the case. There WAS a 'ministry of truth' and sure..the story got out but not only is it still...still...relegated by all who 'matter' to the bin of 'conspiracy' but it is essentially 'discredited' even though its the truth.

Second..the weird idea that Webb 'committed suicide' is...why state that? He shot himself in the head TWICE? Really? You consider that 'suicide'?

Finally..anyone else out there close enough to the 'street' or 'scene' to notice a dramatic..inexplicable..(heads everywhere with puzzled looks) and quite sudden...and dramatic...(read: "weight") flood of 'Uncle Charlie' pouring in to some odd areas?

Anyone else?

Its happening again. In old school liberal strongholds.

Could be an accident. Could be by design. When you get a solid 'yellow' for ALL of the northern counties of a given state..and yellow was 'Bernie'...maybe they want hangovers and recovery on a daily basis rather than any potential 'activism'?



The more we read, the more we learn. We learn that The American people, and others around the world have for years been played for suckers by our puppet government. Ours is not a government, it is a criminal organization. Who has any respect remaining for it?


How can anyone with any self pride work in Washington, DC? There are so many good, honest, dedicated people giving their lives to expose this crap and far too many deaf ears.


We can only wish.


That made me stop in my tracks, too. Sorry I have read too much about those murderous CIA bastards to accept suicide.


Yeah, just like the scientist on whom they blamed the Anthrax terror.
Seems he "committed suicide" by using a poison that would cause the absolutely most agonizing death possible.
That also was not a suicide but a message.
Delivered by a convenient scapegoat.
Investigation closed. Nothing more to look at. We got our guy. Everything has been wrapped up neatly with a red bow. The CIA's hands are clean.

Our secret government is out of control.


Thank you.

This 'is' what reporting is supposed to be and used to be from some. delivering factual, in depth and fully researched material. I doubt many present day reporters would even know were to begin.


Such disdain for your elders is not acceptable by this old guy. Have you stopped to think that many elders are simply not interested in computers or have the savvy or confidence in using one, or can even afford one? Of course you didn't.

I represent your remark as I am an 'Old People' who still reads an occasional paper and watches the news on the tube. I also subscribe to both conservative as well as progressive news letters. To be informed is not to stay on one site or one form of media because it agrees with you. You need to realize what the other person is really saying and whether or not it is their true opinion or something they saw or read. ( Like the lady who said it had to be true because she saw it on Facebook.) You have to exercise your brain and draw your own conclusions while understanding that that other person may have a valid opinion that disagrees with yours to have a conversation and not an argument.

A bit more respect and understanding toward your elders would be much appreciated. I'm surprised your parents didn't teach you that.


Ignoring your condescending words I'll reply that your age group voted in majority for Trump:

How do you explain this other than you or your peers bought into MSM propaganda?


Robert, you and Gary Webb and Brian Barger are to be commended for serving truth to power in your investigative journalism. As you demonstrate with this article, it is very difficult, and it cost Gary Webb his life.

It is notable that Mr. Webb was vilified and blacklisted for years before his suicide in December, 2004, a month after George W. Bush' re-election. That was discouraging for all of us.

This news review is well-documented, thorough, and very readable, Robert. Similar in style and truthful content as James Douglass' "JFK and the Unspeakable." I mean that as a compliment. Gary Webb is remembered as a profile in courage.


Back in the 1960s I had no respect for folks older than 30, rather like you, natureboy. Then, as they begin to croak, one after another, we change our tune. We look back, and we call it 'growing up'.


You don't know me so don't patronize me. Its disrespectful.


You insult an entire demographic as being out-of-touch Trump supporters, then you get all huffy when someone calls you on it? How immature.