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The Death of Gary Webb


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In anticipation of the question for those who wonder 'what does this have to do with the death of JFK,' see John Simkin's thread on Iran Contra. For those who have commented on the 'death of investigative journalism' this story may whet your curiosity as to why that is so.

[The length of the story prevents it from being posted in it's entirety, but I have included enough of it to get a general idea of it's importance]

Reprinted courtesy of rense.com

To view the story in it's entirety see

http://www.rense.com/general69/webb1.htm

Gary Webb: More Pieces In the Suicided Puzzle [Part 1]

By Charlene Fassa

bavani@insightbb.com

12-11-5

"Any hack can safely rail away at foreign powers beyond the sea; but a good writer is a critic of the society he lives in."

- Edward Abbey

"An open and shut case..."

There comes a time when you just have to stand back and take a look at the big picture. This is one of those times. On the morning of December 10th 2004, 49 year old, Gary Webb was found dead in his modest, recently sold Carmichael, California home. Webb allegedly died from two *self-inflicted* gunshot wounds to the head from a .38 caliber pistol. The Sacramento coroner, Mr. Lyons, hastily ruled Webb's death a suicide heralded by his now infamous pronouncement: "It's unusual in a suicide case to have two shots," he said, "but it has been done in the past, and it is in fact a distinct possibility." Which brings up another possibility, as the Gershwin song goes, that "it ain't necessarily so." I'm referring to the lingering and distinct possibility-- no make that probability-- that Gary Webb was murdered.

While I agree with Mr. Lyons that it's unusual for a suicide to "have two shots" notice how cleverly Mr. Lyons fails to mention another more important detail such as it's virtually impossible to have a suicide case with two shots to the head via a .38 revolver? Think about that for a moment. Doesn't this deceptive statement make one suspicious that a well orchestrated, top-down cover-up operation is underway? Or is this merely a minor oversight by a government official whose expertise is determining the cause of death? Here's what the iconoclastic, egdy, political commentator Vox had to say on December 23, 2004 about Webb's alleged 'suicide' that had occurred only a few days prior (posted on his website www.voxfux.com).

Vox Excerpts

"... So we need to know who told the coroner to say it was suicide. The coroner knows who told him to say it was suicide and that person knows who told them to say it was suicide, and so on and so forth until you arrive at the group who ordered the hit. But to claim that after the first shot to the face the guy then re-cocks his pistol, aims and fires a second shot - it is impossible for a thinking person to accept this. And anyone with the skills that webb had would get it right the first time. No, this was a hit job... Either way it is impossible for a thinking person to accept... and that is the point.

Since the control mechanisms of human thought have been so completely implemented, there will be no questioning of anything as depicted on the news by the great masses of people, they simply accept, uncritically, that which is broadcast. Yet for the thinking people, the implausibility of the "Two Shot" story being a suicide is PRECISELY the point. They don't want thinking people to accept and believe that it was a suicide, that is precisely WHY they went with the two shot to the face story in the first place... er... third place.

It's designed to put a chill in the spines of those with the sensibilities and experience to detect this targeted threat meme. To put a chill in thinking people's spines. by saying, look, we can do what we want, and there is not a thing anyone can do about it. "just look at poor 'nutjob' gary, ha ha ha, imagine what it must have looked like, him getting off that second shot into his own face, ha ha ha." This is how they think. These are the methodologies of the illuminati, this is the very face of evil." (end of excerpts)

Or this from Robert Chambers of the UK Independent:

"I first heard about Webb eight years ago, ". . . from the Paris-based journalist Paul Moreira. Moreira ­ a senior news producer for Canal Plus ­ has established a reputation for courage and independence of mind in his own foreign reporting, and was recently described by Le Monde as "the Che Guevara of news media." Shortly before I left for Sacramento, Moreira, who knew Webb, had shown me unbroadcast footage which shows the French reporter making a phone call to a media commentator in the US, asking him about Webb's death."

" 'I told Gary not to go near this story," his source replies, in an emotional voice. " 'You do not understand the power of these people,' " he adds, referring to the US intelligence services. " 'Do not quote me. Do not quote me on anything. '"

"You sound very scared," Moreira remarks.

" 'I am scared," the voice replies. ' " 'Look at what happened to Gary Webb. Do something else with your life,' " the voice urges. " ' Like enjoy it.' "

http://gnn.tv/headlines/5415/Susan_Bell_a_..._secret_history

Ted Gunderson: Retired FBI expert in analyzing and reconstructing crime scenes.

On Dec. 1, 2005 I spoke with Ted Gunderson about Webb's death. Mr. Gunderson is a retired FBI agent who enjoyed a distinguished career with the FBI that spanned 27 plus years. Prior to his retirement in 1979 Mr. Gunderson was a "senior special agent-in-charge" with a $22 million annual budget at his disposal and over 700 persons under his charge. Mr Gunderson told me, "my expertise is analyzing and reconstructing crime scenes." He said, "Gary Webb was MURDERED. "He (Webb) resisted the first shot {to the head that exited via jaw} so he was shot again with the second shot going into the head {brain}." I asked Mr. Gunderson what he thought about the "two shots" to the head suicide theory that posits Webb "simply missed " his brain with the first shot, so he had to shoot himself again, this time successfully hitting the brain with a .38 revolver? Without hesitation Gunderson exclaimed, "impossible!"

A colleague and one of Webb's mentors at the "Cleveland Plain Dealer schooled Webb: "The Big One was the reporter's Holy Grail, the tip that led you from the daily morass of press conferences and of cop calls and on to the trail of The Biggest Story You'd Ever Write, the one that would turn the rest of your career into an anticlimax."

" The Big One," Webb recollected, "would be like a bullet with your name on it. You'd never hear it coming." Unfortunately Webb's "Big One" turned out to be two bullets to the head.

http://www.ajr.org/Article.asp?id=3874

Gary Webb speaks at the

Narco News School of Authentic Journalism

Photo D.R. Jeremy Bigwood 2003

http://www.narconews.com/Issue29/article657.html

THE WORLD ACCORDING TO WEBB

Gary Webb believed that journalists were revolutionaries. In 2003 Gary shared his radical perspective about journalists with aspiring Journalism students while a guest instructor/editor at The Narco News School of Authentic Journalism in Mexico. Webb exclaimed: "Journalists are revolutionaries and don't let anyone tell you otherwise," Webb continued, "You have to fight to change the world." In a 2004 article entitled "Gary Webb is Dead," the author, Richard Thieme, revealed: "Gary spoke of his work in terms that I used for ministry. He had been mentored by a journalist who taught him that his work was to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."

Excerpts from "Gary Webb is Dead"

In May 2000, I {Richard Thieme} was exploring a story with some dark edges to it. I was anxious and needed encouragement to persist. I asked Gary about the consequences of his investigation and its impact on his life. Above all, was it worth it?

"Yes," he said. "The CIA admitted it. I know it was the truth, and that's what kept me going. I knew I was right. He added, "My eyes were wide open. I knew what I was getting into. My kids suffered but I had the paper behind me - I thought." After his paper withdrew its support, he drew on the energy of people who knew the truth of the streets. "Support came from all sorts of places," he said. "Especially African Americans."

And his wife? "She was OK with it," he laughed. "She was used to me getting death threats."

(end of excerpts)

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1214-32.htm

Where Angels Fear to Tread

In a 2004 BBC interview titled: "Voters' views: Gary Webb," (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3743580.stm)

Webb described himself as as an "author and a responsible anarchist" who, by the way, didn't vote. In other words, Gary had been forced to discard the comforting illusions most of us irrationally continue to harbor, while obsessively clinging to false notions of America as an exemplary, democratic republic with a "free press." It should be clear to most that at the time of his death Gary Webb had evolved into a high profile dissident, a full fledged "enemy of the state." Although it's true Webb wasn't the first journalist to uncover the CIA's extensive involvement in drug trafficking, he was the first mainstream journalist to uncover and publish his well documented findings in a major USA newspaper, revealing to the general public that the CIA's covert participation in drug trafficking had come home to roost in America.

Prior to Webb's "Dark Alliance" series there had been some coverage of the Contra drug story. In the beginning stages of researching "Dark Alliance", Webb had a conversation with Jack Blum, the "Washington D.C. attorney who headed the "Kerry investigation" (Dark Alliance p. 14-15). Blum reminded Webb that Associated Press reporters, Robert Parry and Brian Barger had covered the Contra drug story - " but they'd run into the same problems. Their stories were either trashed or ignored." (Dark Alliance p15). Speaking of Kerry, Webb comments that back in 1987-1988 the Contra Cocaine issue surfaced with a vengeance when a Congressional investigation chaired by Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts had "uncovered direct links between the drug dealers and the Contras." Webb explicates, "Kerry and his staff had taken videotaped depositions from Contra leaders who acknowledged receiving drug profits, with the apparent knowledge of the CIA." (Dark Alliance p.14)

Shortly after his conversation with Blum, Webb contacted Parry to get Parry's take on his unique story angle: the Contra, cocaine LA. connection. Webb reached him by phone. Parry admitted that as far as he knew Webb had stumbled across a fresh story angle, and he explained that the scope of his {Parry} Contra cocaine investigation had pretty much been limited to the "Costa Rica end of things." Webb pressed Parry for any advice or guidance he could offer him since Webb had never reported on a story like this before. Prophetically, like an old gypsy fortune teller, Parry warned Webb that his pursuit of the Contra cocaine story would most likely expose Webb to dangerous, dark undercurrents of power and deception. Parry proceeded to illustrate his prediction with a personally painful cautionary tale that Webb reconstructs in "Dark Alliance................"

Due to the length of this piece, those wishing to continue reading click on the link below

http://www.rense.com/general69/webb1.htm

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[quote name='Robert Howard' date='Jun 21 2006, 05:56 AM' post='66082'

Another strange death which happened a few years before Gary's murder, was that of Lt. Col Sabo a Marine from El Toro Navel Air Station which investigator Gene Wheaton, and the brother of the Marine, investigated and proved it was not what was claimed. The MO was the same as Webb's death, except a shotgun was used to the head, but the LT had his boots on. The cover up almost identical. Lt Col, was about to testify about drugs and drugs being flown in government aircraft from Central America. Gene Wheaton and the Federal court system in San Diego CA have all the facts about that strange suicide.

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It should be pointed out that members of his family believe Garry Webb did actually commit suicide. The point that like other journalists he was driven to suicide by the way the CIA destroyed his career. The CIA uses a wide range of different strategies. See my page on Gary Webb to find out more information of the case:

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKwebbG.htm

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It should be pointed out that members of his family believe Garry Webb did actually commit suicide.

Given the circumstances, one is unsurprised that they would make such a public statement. However, as Gary noted himself - quoted by Richard Thieme in the piece cited by Robert Howard - his family had reason to suspect foul play, even without a second allegedly self-inflicted gunshot:

"And his wife? "She was OK with it," he laughed. "She was used to me getting death threats."

Couple that foreknowledge that Webb's life had been repeatedly threatened with the second gunshot to the head, and one gets the impression that self-preservation may have played a larger role in the family's "belief" that Webb killed himself than did logic, or certainty.

The point that like other journalists he was driven to suicide by the way the CIA destroyed his career. The CIA uses a wide range of different strategies.

Yes, indeed. Here's a quote from James Angleton on the topic, to Edward Jay Epstein, as relayed by him at:

http://www.edwardjayepstein.com/diary/angleton2.htm

"To him, political assassination involved not only the murder of an incumbent office-holder but the intimidation of his successors. It did this latter task by demonstrating to them that they too were vulnerable to the reach of the assassin. He pointed out that in this case the North Koreans had shown the South Koreans that they could obtain their leader's travel schedule weeks in advance, penetrate his personal security, and secrete lethal bombs in his path that could not be detected. It demonstrated "pure power." As in Mario Puzo's book, The Godfather, when the Mafia chief put a horse's head in the bed of a recalcitrant film producer, the point of the exercise was not punishing the Koreans who were blown up by the bombs but inducing future cooperation from their successors.

"It is rare to find such a clear example of a state act" Angleton delicately said. He pointed out that states usually have the ability to hide their assassinations. "A common thug can kill someone, but it takes the talents of an intelligence service to make a murder appear to be a suicide or accident death."

By that measure, one would immediately dismiss CIA involvement in Webb's death, because it resembled neither suicide nor accidental death. Which is, perhaps, precisely what was intended.

Or, it could be that CIA had no direct involvement in Webb's demise, and that he was dispatched by a "thug," to use Angleton's term. Such a thug would have no compunction about killing Webb, and wouldn't necessarily care whether it looked like murder or suicide, so long as Webb was dead.

As for how the prima facie evidence of homicide could be ignored in favour of a ruling of suicide, this is perhaps where the exercise of raw power came to bear. This, on the death of Henry Marshall, from the ever-useful Spartacus site posted at:

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKmarshallH.htm

On 3rd June, 1961, Marshall was found dead on his farm by the side of his Chevy Fleetside pickup truck. His rifle lay beside him. He had been shot five times with his own rifle. Soon after County Sheriff Howard Stegall arrived, he decreed that Marshall had committed suicide. No pictures were taken of the crime scene, no blood samples were taken of the stains on the truck (the truck was washed and waxed the following day), no check for fingerprints were made on the rifle or pickup.

Marshall's wife (Sybil Marshall) and brother (Robert Marshall) refused to believe he had committed suicide and posted a $2,000 reward for information leading to a murder conviction. The undertaker, Manley Jones, also reported: "To me it looked like murder. I just do not believe a man could shoot himself like that." The undertaker's son, Raymond Jones, later told the journalist, Bill Adler in 1986: "Daddy said he told Judge Farmer there was no way Mr. Marshall could have killed himself. Daddy had seen suicides before. JPs depend on us and our judgments about such things. we see a lot more deaths than they do. But in this case, Daddy said, Judge Farmer told him he was going to put suicide on the death certificate because the sheriff told him to." As a result, Lee Farmer returned a suicide verdict: "death by gunshot, self-inflicted."

If the clear-cut murder of Henry Marshall, dead from five gunshot wounds, can be ruled a suicide due to pressure from the law enforcement community, one needn't wonder long how a mere two-shot death could qualify for a similarly ginger bureaucratic disposal as "Case Closed."

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It should be pointed out that members of his family believe Garry Webb did actually commit suicide.

Given the circumstances, one is unsurprised that they would make such a public statement. However, as Gary noted himself - quoted by Richard Thieme in the piece cited by Robert Howard - his family had reason to suspect foul play, even without a second allegedly self-inflicted gunshot:

"And his wife? "She was OK with it," he laughed. "She was used to me getting death threats."

Couple that foreknowledge that Webb's life had been repeatedly threatened with the second gunshot to the head, and one gets the impression that self-preservation may have played a larger role in the family's "belief" that Webb killed himself than did logic, or certainty.

The point that like other journalists he was driven to suicide by the way the CIA destroyed his career. The CIA uses a wide range of different strategies.

Yes, indeed. Here's a quote from James Angleton on the topic, to Edward Jay Epstein, as relayed by him at:

http://www.edwardjayepstein.com/diary/angleton2.htm

"To him, political assassination involved not only the murder of an incumbent office-holder but the intimidation of his successors. It did this latter task by demonstrating to them that they too were vulnerable to the reach of the assassin. He pointed out that in this case the North Koreans had shown the South Koreans that they could obtain their leader's travel schedule weeks in advance, penetrate his personal security, and secrete lethal bombs in his path that could not be detected. It demonstrated "pure power." As in Mario Puzo's book, The Godfather, when the Mafia chief put a horse's head in the bed of a recalcitrant film producer, the point of the exercise was not punishing the Koreans who were blown up by the bombs but inducing future cooperation from their successors.

"It is rare to find such a clear example of a state act" Angleton delicately said. He pointed out that states usually have the ability to hide their assassinations. "A common thug can kill someone, but it takes the talents of an intelligence service to make a murder appear to be a suicide or accident death."

By that measure, one would immediately dismiss CIA involvement in Webb's death, because it resembled neither suicide nor accidental death. Which is, perhaps, precisely what was intended.

Or, it could be that CIA had no direct involvement in Webb's demise, and that he was dispatched by a "thug," to use Angleton's term. Such a thug would have no compunction about killing Webb, and wouldn't necessarily care whether it looked like murder or suicide, so long as Webb was dead.

As for how the prima facie evidence of homicide could be ignored in favour of a ruling of suicide, this is perhaps where the exercise of raw power came to bear. This, on the death of Henry Marshall, from the ever-useful Spartacus site posted at:

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKmarshallH.htm

On 3rd June, 1961, Marshall was found dead on his farm by the side of his Chevy Fleetside pickup truck. His rifle lay beside him. He had been shot five times with his own rifle. Soon after County Sheriff Howard Stegall arrived, he decreed that Marshall had committed suicide. No pictures were taken of the crime scene, no blood samples were taken of the stains on the truck (the truck was washed and waxed the following day), no check for fingerprints were made on the rifle or pickup.

Marshall's wife (Sybil Marshall) and brother (Robert Marshall) refused to believe he had committed suicide and posted a $2,000 reward for information leading to a murder conviction. The undertaker, Manley Jones, also reported: "To me it looked like murder. I just do not believe a man could shoot himself like that." The undertaker's son, Raymond Jones, later told the journalist, Bill Adler in 1986: "Daddy said he told Judge Farmer there was no way Mr. Marshall could have killed himself. Daddy had seen suicides before. JPs depend on us and our judgments about such things. we see a lot more deaths than they do. But in this case, Daddy said, Judge Farmer told him he was going to put suicide on the death certificate because the sheriff told him to." As a result, Lee Farmer returned a suicide verdict: "death by gunshot, self-inflicted."

If the clear-cut murder of Henry Marshall, dead from five gunshot wounds, can be ruled a suicide due to pressure from the law enforcement community, one needn't wonder long how a mere two-shot death could qualify for a similarly ginger bureaucratic disposal as "Case Closed."

As always Robert, excellent post!!! I know that many have concluded that Gary Webb did commit suicide in part due to letters he left to family members, BUT if one has a gun to one's head I suspect that the victim would write as told. Just a thought.

Tx Ranger Clint Peoples got the Marshall case re-opened in 1984 and the "suicide" ruling was changed.

Billie SOl Estes testified at this Grand Jury hearing, represented by an interesting fellow who sometimes posts at the Watergate part of this forum: Douglas Caddy. The "Estes documents" are exceptionally interesting. ( Where Atty Caddy writes to Asst. Atty General Trott that his client Billie Sol would testify to facts including, inter alia, that LBJ's alleged hired hitman- (Malcolm "Mac" Wallace") had murdered 8 people, including JFK. That these hits were pursuant to orders from LBJ.

Peoples himself died in what many consider a rather suspicious car accident in 1992.

Dawn

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Robert, in looking through forensics journals while writing my presentation, I came across a number of cases of multiple gunshot wounds to the head. Coroners are a morbid sort, and like to write papers about unusual deaths, and show everyone the groovy pictures they took. One of the cases, if I remember correctly, involved a senior citizen who shot himself in the head four times. He was using a .22 and the bullets kept deflecting or flattening upon impact. I think one of them lodged in his jaw. Sometimes the dark humor of these guys is a bit over the top. One scholarly paper involved "Death by Dylan," in which a psychotic listened to a Bob Dylan record--I think it was "Blood on the Tracks"--over and over until he decided to kill his mother. My all-time favorite, though, was "Death by Vending Machine" in which someone shook a vending machine until it toppled back over, thereby crushing the shaker, a la Mrs. Joyboy in "The Loved One." Classic stuff.

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Robert, in looking through forensics journals while writing my presentation, I came across a number of cases of multiple gunshot wounds to the head. Coroners are a morbid sort, and like to write papers about unusual deaths, and show everyone the groovy pictures they took. One of the cases, if I remember correctly, involved a senior citizen who shot himself in the head four times. He was using a .22 and the bullets kept deflecting or flattening upon impact. I think one of them lodged in his jaw. Sometimes the dark humor of these guys is a bit over the top. One scholarly paper involved "Death by Dylan," in which a psychotic listened to a Bob Dylan record--I think it was "Blood on the Tracks"--over and over until he decided to kill his mother. My all-time favorite, though, was "Death by Vending Machine" in which someone shook a vending machine until it toppled back over, thereby crushing the shaker, a la Mrs. Joyboy in "The Loved One." Classic stuff.

I am sorry I haven't responded to messsages on this thread until now, my computer decided to take a vacation, and failed to inform me. Yes, the death of Gary Webb can be looked at in two distinctly different way's. Even though the manner in which I posted the article [and link] would presume that I definitely believe it was murder, I mainly wanted to get feedback about it from other Forum members, [and I appreciate everyone's response]. I was not aware, that Gary's family believed his death was not a suicide, and that certainly is a very important fact in coming to a logical understanding of it all. More than anything else, I wanted to point out [even though it is quite a negative], the inherent danger in getting too close to the proverbial fire. The 'mysterious death syndrome,' as I call it, has been a facet of American history long before 11/22/63.

And that probably add's to a lot of frustration, for some who are aware of the divide between 'accepted history' and 'real history.'

The final thought I have is that Gary Webb's death irrespective of 'how' he died, certainly helps me understand what has been mentioned in other avenues beside the Education Forum/JFK Debate, and that is the seeming 'death of investigative journalism,' while that is definitely an exaggeration, America can, as always, certainly use all the 'checks and balances' at its disposal in these rather uncertain times. Thanks to all who responded.

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