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Mercury News Retraction(cia lost)

You want my opinion? You got it. This is a statement that my colleague
Georg Hodel, a Managua based journalist, and I are issuing. Feel free to
post it where you want.

The only "shortcoming" in our Dark Alliance series is that it didn't go
far enough.
What Mr. Ceppos' column fails to mention is that, as a result of our
continuing investigation, we DO have evidence of direct CIA involvement
with this Contra drug operation.
We have evidence that at least one top CIA official in Washington was
aware of the drug ring's activities in El Salvador. We also know that
these traffickers were more deeply involved with the U.S. intelligence
community than we reported last year.
Perhaps one day Mr. Ceppos will allow us to share this information with
the public.
Despite the efforts of the biggest newspapers in the country to discredit
our work, our central findings remain unchallenged: After being instructed
by a CIA agent to raise money in California for the Contras, two Contra
drug dealers began selling vast amounts of cocaine in inner-city Los
Angeles, primarily to the Crips and Bloods. Some of the profits went to
pay for the CIA's covert war against the Sandinistas. We wrote last year
that the amounts were in the millions and we stand by that statement. We
have confirmation from an eyewitness that our figure is accurate. 
The drug ring's main customers, the LA gangs, introduced crack to more
than 110 cities across the U.S. by the end of the 1980s according to
federal reports. Only a fool could argue that this wasn't a critical
factor in the spread of crack from South Central to the rest of the
If we as journalists have to take a beating for publicly exposing these
truths, so be it. We believe it is a beating worth taking. 

Gary Webb, reporter, San Jose Mercury News 
Georg Hodel, journalist, Managua, Nicaragua

[10 lines left ... full text available at <url:http://www.reference.com/cgi-bin/pn/go?choice=message&table=05_1997&mid=3211764&hilit=CIA> ]

Article-ID: 05_1997&3216048
Score: 84