White Out

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Overview

In 1996, Gary Webb, a young reporter on a California newspaper charged that the CIA had conspired in the smuggling of cocaine into the U.S. and its subsequent dissemination into black urban neighborhoods. In an exciting narrative, WHITE-OUT surveys the resulting furor and lays out in explosive detail one of the most shocking hidden histories of our time. 240 pp.
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Overview

In 1996, Gary Webb, a young reporter on a California newspaper charged that the CIA had conspired in the smuggling of cocaine into the U.S. and its subsequent dissemination into black urban neighborhoods. In an exciting narrative, WHITE-OUT surveys the resulting furor and lays out in explosive detail one of the most shocking hidden histories of our time. 240 pp.
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
An investigative report on the CIA's involvement in drug dealing and other nefarious deeds and the failure of the press to expose them. Nation columnist Cockburn and St. Clair (co-writer with Cockburn and Ken Silverstein of the newsletter Counterpunch) begin their tale with an account of Gary Webb's series in the San Jose Mercury News on the CIA's connection with drug cartels in Latin America. The series set off a firestorm in the African-American community, as it appeared the US government was involved in bringing the plague of crack cocaine to poor black communities. The mainstream pressþthe New York Times, Washington Post, etc.þpilloried Webb, attacking the accuracy of his reporting and accusing him of fanning þblack paranoia.þ In the final chapter of the book, however, the authors offer an analysis of a subsequent CIA report that by and large substantiated Webb's charges. The theme of the book is clear: the CIA acts badly, the mainstream press not only ignores but protects the CIA, yet it turns out the CIA is usually guilty of doing whatever it has been accused of. Cockburn and St. Clair present a litany of CIA misdeeds, from the recruitment of Nazi scientists after WWII to the arming of opium traffickers in Afghanistan. All of this is extremely well documented; much of it is well known, or should be. Yet what they do not do, despite the promise of the title, is spend much time on the press. Questions remain unanswered, under-theorized: Why does so much of the press seem subservient to the CIA? What are the mechanisms underlying this relationship? Does the CIA buy off the press, are reporters on the CIA payroll, or is there simply a cultural and classaffinity between the press and the CIA that makes bribing unnecessary? A chilling historyþthat many will take issue withþof what the CIA has been up to the past 50 years, but disappointing in its analysis.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859848975
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 12/1/1997
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 6.45 (w) x 9.57 (h) x 1.27 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2003

    Great Book!

    Great book with a very scary message. The war on drugs is a joke. This author should hook up with the Customs Agent who wrote 'US Customs Badge of Dishonor.' Both of these books are singing off the same sheet of music. The American public should read these books, and demand more of our idiot elected officials. This is especially true with the threat of Terrorism breathing down our neck.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2000

    And the truth shall set you free?

    There is more truth in this book than most folks can handle. (Thanks, Jack Nicholson!) Unfortunately, most Congressmen & Women will probably not read it, and if they do, they will be overwhelmed. If you haven't lived through at least some of the horrific events manipulated by the Agency, it is difficult to believe that the charges could be true. The Boys (as Ollie North calls them) are still at it. Read your headlines and approved stories about Colombia, after reading this book, and I hope you can handle it.

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