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Contra Crack Series

Gary Webb's Enduring Legacy
Three years ago, investigative reporter Gary Webb committed suicide after his U.S. press colleagues helped destroy his career for daring to tell the truth about the Reagan administration's protection of cocaine trafficking by the Nicaraguan contras. In this special report, Robert Parry looks at this personal tragedy and its enduring legacy. December 11, 2007

The War on Medical Marijuana
Eleven years ago, California voters passed Prop 215, the Compassionate Use Act, permitting the use of marijuana to treat medical conditions. But state and local officials are still collaborating with federal law enforcement in a war on medical marijuana. November 6, 2007

CIA's Anti-Drug Message for Kids
The CIA wants American families to know that it's fighting the war on drugs, but the real story isn't quite so simple or so pretty. By Martin A. Lee. March 4, 2001

CIA Admits Tolerating Contra-Cocaine Trafficking
House Intelligence Committee buries admissions in new contra-cocaine report. By Robert Parry. June 8, 2000

Hyde's Blind Eye: Contras & Cocaine
The chief House manager’s double standards on scandal. By Dennis Bernstein & Leslie Kean. December 14, 1999

Contra-Cocaine: Falling Between the 'Crack'
Congress has taken the Nicaraguan contra-cocaine scandal back behind closed doors, even though the CIA admitted serious wrongdoing in a public report. By Robert Parry. June 18, 1999

L.A.'s Other Coke Pipeline
The CIA’s contra-cocaine investigation reportedly stumbled upon a new drug pipeline into Los Angeles, with a CIA veteran of the contra war implicated. By Robert Parry. December 29, 1998

The Contras’ Narco-Terrorists
The Hitz report describes how some U.S.-trained veterans of the terror wars against Fidel Castro’s Cuba turned to drug trafficking in the 1970s and reappeared as contras supporters in the 1980s. October 15, 1998

Special Report: CIA’s Drug Confession
In a shocking new report, CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz confirms long-standing allegations that drug traffickers pervaded the Nicaraguan contra war. Hitz found evidence in the CIA’s own files connecting key contras and contra backers to major trafficking organizations, including the Medellin cartel. One thread of evidence even led into Ronald Reagan’s National Security Council where the contra war was overseen by Lt. Col. Oliver North. October 15, 1998

The NYT’s New Contra Lies
The New York Times, “the newspaper of record,” has altered the historical record, again, to protect the Nicaraguan contras and the paper’s own bad reporting. October 1, 1998

John Hull's Great Escape
CIA-linked farmer John Hull skipped Costa Rica to avoid a drug trial -- and got help in his escape from DEA operatives. August 2, 1998

Special Report: Contra-Cocaine -- Justice Denied
A new Justice Department report reveals that the Reagan-Bush administrations knew much more about Nicaraguan contra-drug trafficking. The CIA also blocked investigators who got too close. But the Justice report still denigrates witnesses, such as smuggler Jorge Morales, and keeps the cover-up alive. August 2, 1998

The NYT's Contra-Cocaine Dilemma
For a dozen years, The New York Times mocked allegations that the Nicaraguan contras were implicated in cocaine trafficking. Finally, the nation's 'newspaper of record' is admitting that there was something to the story after all. But the Times is still letting the CIA put its spin on the scandal -- and the Times still doesn't want to confess its own guilt. July 23, 1998

Reality Bites Back: Contra-Coke Proof
Incoming CIA Inspector General Britt Snider must decide how to release an explosive report confirming long-held suspicions that the Nicaraguan contra operation smuggled cocaine. The report implicates the CIA and casts a dark shadow over the war run by the late CIA director William Casey and White House aide Oliver North. July 9, 1998

Two New Contra-Coke Books
Two new books are throwing down the gauntlet -- again -- to the CIA on the issue of drug trafficking. July 9, 1998

Listen to Bob Parry & Gary Webb Discussing New Contra-Cocaine Report on "Democracy Now."
July 20, 1998

Contra-Coke: Evidence of Premeditation
A memo reveals how CIA Director William J. Casey engineered a legal change in 1982 that spared the spy agency from a legal requirement to report on drug smuggling by agents. The memo, released by Rep. Maxine Waters, is evidence that Casey anticipated cocaine trafficking by the Nicaraguan contras. June 1, 1998

Contra Cocaine: Bad to Worse
The CIA has issued part one of its long-awaited Nicaraguan contra cocaine report. While the spy agency hopes everyone will just read the executive summary, the fine print of the report shows that the drug trafficking was a severe problem. (2/16/98)

Contra-Crack Guide: Reading Between the Lines
The CIA and the Justice Department are clearing themselves of wrongdoing on alleged Nicaraguan contra-crack sales. Yet, while the verdicts are public, the actual evidence is still under wraps. And reporter Gary Webb has lost his job. (1/5/98)

Hung Out to Dry: 'Dark Alliance' Series Dies
Under pressure from the Big Media, San Jose Mercury News editors pulled reporter Gary Webb off the contra-drug story. But in a first-person account, Webb's co-author in Nicaragua warns about dangers to others who worked on the story. (6/30/97)

CIA, Contras & Cocaine: Big Media Rejoices
The nation's leading newspapers celebrated a column by a San Jose Mercury News editor, backing away from last year's series linking the Nicaraguan contras to the nation's 'crack' epidemic. But the evidence of contra drugs remains, as do questions about the big media's hostility toward the decade-old story. (6/2/97)

CIA & Cocaine: Agency Assets Cross the Line
The CIA faces a new drug-trafficking embarrassment with the Miami indictment of a Venezuelan general who worked with the CIA on narcotics issues. But the problem goes far deeper, all the way down to the spy agency's Cold War roots. (3/17/97)

Contra-Crack: Investigators vs. Brickwall
Maxine Waters tracks CIA-contra-crack suspicions. (2/3/97)

Contra-Crack: Contra Crack Controversy Continues
A new report backs the allegations and chastises the big papers. (1/6/97)

Contra-Crack: CIA, Drugs & National Press
When a West Coast paper published new evidence linking the CIA-managed Nicaraguan contra rebels to cocaine smuggling, the Washington press rallied to the spy agency's defense -- and pummeled the out-of-step journalists. (12/23/96)

Contra-Crack: The Kerry-Weld Cocaine War
While Sen. John Kerry led the fight to expose the contra-crack drug trade, Gov. Bill Weld stalled. (11/11/96)

Contra-Crack: Contra-Crack Story Assailed (Part 1)
The Washington Post rushes to the CIA's defense. (10-28-96)

Contra-Crack: Contra-Crack Story Assailed (Part 2)
The Washington Times' Pro-Contra beat goes on. (10-28-96)

Contra-Crack: Blacks Angered by Contra-Crack
A published report of CIA-backed crack cocaine dealing in black communities across America has touched a raw nerve among black leaders. (9-30-96)

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