Devastating Truths

History Is Going To Record That Gary Webb Got It Right.

By Maxine Waters

THE NIGHT THAT I read Gary Webb's "Dark Alliance" series in the San Jose Mercury News, I was so alarmed that I literally sat straight up in bed, poring over every word.

Books I reflected on the many meetings I attended throughout South Central Los Angeles during the 1980s, when I constantly asked, "Where are all the drugs coming from?" I asked myself that night whether it was possible for such a vast amount of drugs to be smuggled into any district under the noses of the community leaders, police, sheriff's department, FBI, DEA and other law enforcement agencies.

I decided to investigate the allegations. I met with Ricky Ross, Alan Fenster and others. I went to Nicaragua, where I interviewed Enrique Miranda Jaime in prison, and I met with the head of Sandinista intelligence Tomas Borge. I had the opportunity to question Contra leaders Adolfo Calero and Eden Pastora in a Senate investigative hearing. I forced Calero to admit he had a relationship with the CIA through the United States Embassy, where he directed USAID funds to community groups and organizations.

The time I spent investigating the allegations of the "Dark Alliance" series led me to the undeniable conclusion that the CIA, DEA, DIA and FBI knew about drug trafficking in South Central Los Angeles. They were either part of the trafficking or turned a blind eye to it, in an effort to fund the Contra war.

The saddest part of these revelations is the wrecked lives and lost possibilities of so many people who got caught up in selling drugs, went to prison, ended up addicted, dead or walking zombies.

It may take time, but I am convinced that history is going to record that Gary Webb wrote the truth. The establishment refused to give Webb the credit he deserved. They teamed up in an effort to destroy the story--and very nearly succeeded.

Webb's editors at the San Jose Mercury News did not have the strength to withstand the attacks, so they abandoned their reporter, despite their knowledge that Gary was working on further documentation to substantiate the allegations of the series.

The new book, Dark Alliance, completely and absolutely confirms his devastating series, and brings to light one of the worst official abuses in our nation's history. We all owe Gary Webb a debt of gratitude for his brave work.

Written in March 1998, and reprinted with permission from the foreword to Dark Alliance. Maxine Waters is in her fourth term as a U.S. congresswoman from California. TW

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