(Written by Gary Webb, 1998)
What does the CIA, drug cartels, a shadow war in Nicaragua, and Iran Contra scandal all have in common? This is the question posed in the late journalist Gary Webb’s explosive three-part investigation that would later make up the controversial best-selling book Dark Alliance. Largely rejected by the political establishment, the war machine, and the intelligence community upon its release, Webb’s reputation was hurt which would later lead to his suspicious death that would be ruled a suicide (despite doctors admitting its impossible for one to shoot themselves in the head twice). The book uncovers the explosive plot by Ronald Reagan to use South American drug traffickers and violent cartels to create a clandestine drug enterprise, getting a large portion of inner cities in America addicted to crack to fund a shadow war in Nicaragua for fear of the communist government, then known as the Sandinistas, having control over the Panama Canal and vital trade routes to America’s economy. Connecting the dots between the rising 80’s drug kingpin Freeway Rick Ross, his supplier (who turned out to be one of the suspects involved in funding Reagan and the CIA’s war), and the eventual cover-up which included Reagan publicly demonizing the crack epidemic, while secretly using it to fund black ops regime change, is as relevant as it was upon the time of its release. Webb’s painstaking stitching of witness testimonies, public records, and off-the-record sources, weaves a web of crime, imperialism, and the creation of one of the most devastating drug epidemic in poor communities in American history.