The book, Kill the Messenger, was put out by Nick Shou in 2004. It goes into great detail about brave reporter Gary Webb’s discovery of the shadowy relationship between the CIA, cocaine smuggling, and arms. The African American population in California cities was especially incensed to read Webb’s reports in 1996, as they felt they had found who to blame for their devastating addiction to crack in their communities. The revelations were not so easily accepted by the many privileged people ensconced in the comfortable illusions of living in a country with a just government. The beleaguered Webb went on to write a book, Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion, published in 1998.
Author Nick Shou was also a reporter, who delved into similar material which he shelved out of understandable fear of ending up equally maligned. He got to know Webb personally, being convinced of truth within his San Jose Mercury’s “Dark Alliance” series which alleged CIA/cocaine traffic connections, winning Webb an award but loosing him his livelihood, family, and life. Webb apparently committed suicide.
The Oct. 2014 Kill the Messenger movie, directed by Michael Cuesta and starring Jeremy Renner takes its cues from those books. The movie is deeply moving, powerful, and inspiring. It deserves a lot of attention, and greater attendance. We see what looks like vintage scenes, and endearing scenes of family life. The audience in the theater cheered, called out enthusiastically throughout the movie, and clapped at the end. I cried many times. I sincerely hope it wins an award.
Considering the Hollywood avoidance of making movies that undercut social engineering, how often do we get to see true stories about the brave people in our culture? This refreshing film is about that type of control.
Ronald Reagan’s regime used the guerrilla Contras, trained by the CIA, to undermine Nicaragua’s elected Sandinistas. Oliver North’s Iran-Contra illegal sale of guns to Iran was one method of funding the coup. Of course, those of us who were alive and aware at the time Webb’s articles came out already knew the CIA/Contras were funding the sinister attacks against innocent people by drug smuggling; that’s why there were protests on campuses around the United States. The Associated Press was talking about it in 1985. It could have been worse: activists were generally able to continue living their lives — but many were harassed and marginalized as part of social engineering.
News media hid the results of Senator John Kerry’s 1989 report on not only drug smuggling in Nicaragua, but many other countries: Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy. The whole thing was swept under the rug as much as possible in order to manipulate public opinion. But for those who listened and did what they could to make a difference, our role models were the reporters brave enough to show the facts to the country, even though many were not willing to listen. Our culture conditions people not to listen to facts.
When he came on the scene in 1996, Webb was our new hero. What can be more admirable? The reaction of Operation Mockingbird (CIA controlled) press, especially The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post, was not to bring that truth to the populace but instead, to smear Webb personally and to try to discredit his information. “The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.” – William Colby, former CIA Director
This was a perfect example of social engineering, influencing people to follow the lead of mainstream media in how they perceive people who question the dominant illusions.
In spite of tireless, determined educational effort by our living heroes such as Cynthia McKinney, we still see coup after coup using CIA trained insurgents to go after countries with oil, or countries which are going off the US dollar standard, etc.
The Mockingbird press uses ever more effective ploys to convince their true believers that the countries the government wants to subvert are our enemies. The preach that certain countries’ elected leaders are bad, are in need of an ass-kicking to keep them in line. Most people have the built-in psychological propensity to believe what authorities tell them such as that, especially when it’s done using human interest stories, whether they are accurate or not, scare tactics, and diversion.
As mentioned at the end of the Kill the Messenger movie, people didn’t pay much attention when the news came out about the drug smuggling being real, because they were interested instead in Monica Lewinsky.
The Mercury News series focused on Nicaraguan Danilo Blandón cocaine dealer, L.A.’s crack dealer, Ricky Ross, and the supplier Meneses, and their relation to the Bay Area’s drug ring that in turn sold to L.A.’s Crips and Bloods, to fuel the Contras — “Freedom Fighters.” This ruined lives, leading to crack babies, a growing prison population, hundreds of thousands of deaths throughout Central America. This hoodwinked of the US population, which sometimes required silencing of activists.
Nicaragua’s ex-Foreign Minister, Fr. Miguel D’Escoto, explains about Regan’s social engineering in causing the deaths of 50,000 Nicaraguans: “He came to the Presidency of the United States shortly after Samosa, a Dictator that the U.S. has imposed over Nicaragua for practically half a century; had been deposed by Nicaraguan Nationalists under the leadership of the Sandinista Liberation Front. To Reagan Nicaragua had to be re-conquered. He blamed Carter for having lost Nicaragua, as if Nicaragua ever belonged to anyone else other than the Nicaraguan people. That was then the beginning of this war that Reagan invented, and mounted and financed and directed, the Contra War. About which he continually lied to the People. Helping the United States people to be the most ignorant people around the world. I said ignorant, I don’t say not intelligent. But the most ignorant people around the world about what the United States does abroad. People don’t even begin to see — if they did, they would rebel. And so, he lied to the people, as Bush lies to the people today and as they push on, thinking that the United States is above every law, human or divine.”
This is not to imply that everyone in the CIA is involved in this kind of thing. These are individuals involved in the arms/drug trade. There is a wide variety of people within such Agencies, worthy of respect. There are beautiful parts of Webb’s life, and many other activists, and people who question. Many of us have not been persecuted for our beliefs or actions, and have kept careers and education, relationships, and health. Seeing people create intelligent entertainment addressing these topics is encouraging.
The movie is honestly believable, rather than the common style of characters coming in to quickly say their lines to move the story along for a minute, then off to the next bit of information. This is flowing, realistic, not idealized or sensationalized. It doesn’t go for the addictive violence and fear so much as taking us vicariously through a life authentically. Much appreciated to experience that kind of deep compassion thanks to the actors, lighting, the writing. Bravo!