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John Simkin

Death of a Journalist

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Gary Webb, America's leading investigative journalist, has apparently committed suicide. He is the first person to have shot himself twice in the head. He is the fourth journalist to commit suicide while working on Bush scandals.

Recently Gary Webb had this to say about freedom of the press:

"Do we have a free press today? Sure we do. It's free to report all the sex scandals it wants, all the stock market news we can handle, every new health fad that comes down the pike, and every celebrity marriage or divorce that happens. But when it comes to the real down and dirty stuff - stories like Tailwind, the October Surprise, the El Mozote massacre, corporate corruption, or CIA involvement in drug trafficking - that's where we begin to see the limits of our freedoms. In today's media environment, sadly, such stories are not even open for discussion."

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I am beginning to think that being shot at by the Americans (like the BBC's John Simpson) is a necessary qualification for a journalist. Gary Webb's definition of the kind of muck-raking to which journalism has been reduced rings true enough for the corporate media.

It is a good thing that some people (Amy Goodman's http://www.democracynow.org or Michael Moore http://www.michaelmoore.com/ for example) are keeping some kind of integrity.

Gary Webb, America's leading investigative journalist, has apparently committed suicide. He is the first person to have shot himself twice in the head. He is the fourth journalist to commit suicide while working on Bush scandals.

Recently Gary Webb had this to say about freedom of the press:

"Do we have a free press today? Sure we do. It's free to report all the sex scandals it wants, all the stock market news we can handle, every new health fad that comes down the pike, and every celebrity marriage or divorce that happens. But when it comes to the real down and dirty stuff - stories like Tailwind, the October Surprise, the El Mozote massacre, corporate corruption, or CIA involvement in drug trafficking - that's where we begin to see the limits of our freedoms. In today's media environment, sadly, such stories are not even open for discussion."

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It has been pointed out that Gary Webb joins Mark Lombardi, J.H. Hatfield and Danny Casolaro as the fourth 'suicide' by a researcher into the Bush administration.

According to one website:

"Examining the male U.S. suicide rate for recent years, we can extrapolate a conservative estimate of 17 male suicides per 100,000 people, or 0.017%. The odds of 4 specific, male biographers committing suicide would be the 4th power of 17/100000, or 8.3521 4.913 x 10^-17...roughly 1 chance 10,000,000,000,000,000. About as good a definition of impossible as you can get."

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Here is an extract from a letter being circulated by Ed Sherry. It provides important information on the Gary Webb case.

I am in touch with a JFK assassination researcher in Los Angeles who is working hard to insure an independent and thorough investigation into the recent death of journalist Gary Webb, who broke the award-winning "Dark Web" story on the CIA and crack cocaine for the San Jose Mercury News before being threatened and fired, and who continued to research and write. He was recently found dead in his house, which he had been forced to sell, and the local coroner ruled that no foul play was involved and it was apparently a suicide. John Hankey, the researcher in Los Angeles hired a private investigator, promising $300, who spoke to Webb's family and viewed the body. Two wounds at the back right of the head with two exit wounds at the left cheek. Webb's son is suspicious because the alleged weapon used was an old .38 with a trigger mechanism that was very hard to pull, so he doubted it could have been pulled again after the first shot had done its damage. Gary Webb's brother believes that the suicide notes left behind are forgeries. The family has agreed to delay cremation and allow a full autopsy. We have an agreement to do that work from leading forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht, who has also recommended that a criminal investigator be hired to look at the death scene. The family is also aware of the importance of Webb's research and the preservation of his papers. Hankey is setting up the Gary Webb Memorial Fund to receive pledges and donations to support this investigation, since he cannot cover the costs himself. The autopsy basic costs will be $6,000 and the private investigator and criminal investigator will also have to be paid. Time is of the essence, so he will rely on sincere pleges to move forward on this quickly. He is creating a bank account and a website to take donations. He can be contacted at info@jfkii.com or at 310-301-7712. Several researchers into political assassinations and covert operations have already signed on to help. If you can assist in any way, please contact him directly now. It's the least we owe those who try to expose the truth.

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