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Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion | [Gary Webb]

Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion

In July 1995, San Jose Mercury-News reporter Gary Webb found the Big One - the blockbuster story every journalist secretly dreams about - without even looking for it. A simple phone call concerning an unexceptional pending drug trial turned into a massive conspiracy involving the Nicaraguan Contra rebels, L.A. and Bay Area crack cocaine dealers, and the Central Intelligence Agency.
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Publisher's Summary

In July 1995, San Jose Mercury-News reporter Gary Webb found the Big One - the blockbuster story every journalist secretly dreams about - without even looking for it. A simple phone call concerning an unexceptional pending drug trial turned into a massive conspiracy involving the Nicaraguan Contra rebels, L.A. and Bay Area crack cocaine dealers, and the Central Intelligence Agency. For several years during the 1980s, Webb discovered, Contra elements shuttled thousands of tons of cocaine into the United States, with the profits going toward the funding of Contra rebels attempting a counterrevolution in their Nicaraguan homeland. Even more chilling, Webb quickly realized, was that the massive drug-dealing operation had the implicit approval - and occasional outright support - of the CIA, the very organization entrusted to prevent illegal drugs from being brought into the United States.

Within the this audiobook version of Dark Alliance, Webb produces a massive amount of evidence that suggests that such a scenario did take place, and more disturbing evidence that the powers that be that allowed such an alliance are still determined to ruthlessly guard their secrets. Webb's research is impeccable - names, dates, places, and dollar amounts gather and mount with every page, eventually building a towering wall of evidence in support of his theories.

After the original series of articles ran in the Mercury-News in late 1996, both Webb and his paper were so severely criticized by political commentators, government officials, and other members of the press that his own newspaper decided it best not to stand behind the series, in effect apologizing for the assertions and disavowing his work. Webb quit the paper in disgust in November 1997. This audiobook serves as both a complex memoir of the time of the Contras and an indictment of the current state of America's press; Dark Alliance is as necessary and valuable as it is horrifying and grim.

©1999 Gary Webb (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (192 )
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4.0 (167 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mystery Reader MS 07-06-14
    Mystery Reader MS 07-06-14 Member Since 2014

    Mystery Reader

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    "Fascinating and complicated story"
    What did you love best about Dark Alliance?

    The drug story is fascinating and sounds well researched, but it is sometimes hard to keep up with all of the people in audio form. If I were reading it, I would probably flip back and forth to remind myself of people.


    Which character – as performed by Christian Rummel – was your favorite?

    I did not care for the voices to indicate different speakers although the Sam Nunn accent was pretty good. I am a bit of a nitpicker on pronunciation, and there were a couple of issues--Lawton Chiles pronounced as Chill-ays and the Medellin cartel pronounced almost as medallion.

    Otherwise, I liked the narration--appropriate inflection and easy to follow.


    18 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth W. Gray III 06-07-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Great insight to history"
    What made the experience of listening to Dark Alliance the most enjoyable?

    Learning of the events I have read a lot about growing up this book tied them all together. what i previously thought were separate issues were actually one big one and are simply amazing. If you had any doubt some operate above the law this should settle that position once and for all. If you grew up during the Reagan years and remember the headlines this book will fill in many blanks. Well researched and written it is a powerful example that anything goes when people with power want to get something done. Scary and confirms many things I already believed. If you love history, documentaries, corruption and the manipulation of power its all here. Bravo to the author for a well crafted story if true its simple to hard to believe


    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    01-18-14
    01-18-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Rude Awakening"

    My first experience with politics was sitting with an elderly women watching the Iran Contra Trials on C-Span. I was 4 or 5 and extremely bored. So when I saw this book I thought it would shed some light on what I was watching as a child. I was not prepared for this story. The story is amazingly riveting, backed up with evidence, you begin to gain respect for Rick Ross.

    23 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-22-14
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    "Gripping complicated story"
    What made the experience of listening to Dark Alliance the most enjoyable?

    As the child of the 1980's I vaguely remember hearing phrases like Iran/Contra/ & something about how crack was the latest plague of the far off innner cities. It was a treat -as an adult- to finally hear the entire story in such an engaging format.


    What about Christian Rummel’s performance did you like?

    What can I say- the man's a master.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susie Santa Cruz, CA, United States 04-28-14
    Susie Santa Cruz, CA, United States 04-28-14 Member Since 2012

    I'm Audible's first Editor-at-Large, the host of In Bed with Susie Bright -- and a longtime author, editor, journo, and bookworm. I listen to audio when I'm cooking, playing cards, knitting, going to bed, waking up, driving, and putting other people's kids to bed! My favorite audiobooks, ever, are: "True Grit" and "The Dog of the South."

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bigger than You Thought"

    “So that they may know at what altars their communities were sacrificed.”

    This book is going to blow your mind. Some conspiracies are worse than the rumors.

    In the early nineties, while investigating the Crack pandemic in L.A., Gary Webb was led further and further down the rabbit hole, finding evidence of the CIA’s involvement in drug trafficking to fund the Iran Contras everywhere he looked.

    Webb pursued this story with exhaustive investigation, at the expense of his career. He was hung out to dry by the San Jose Mercury News when the government pushed back, but he collected his research and published this book.

    Dark Alliance confirms all your worst suspicions about the CIA and the US’s secret wars. Funding their wars with the money and blood of the nation’s most downtrodden communities. Nicely done Reagan.

    30 of 40 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Parola138 United States 11-05-14
    Parola138 United States 11-05-14 Member Since 2005

    We bite

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "an easy 5 star"

    5 stars for the perfect narration. 5 stars for the compelling, deep-digging investigative work. This book blew my mind to put it lightly. The only con about it is that dozens of Hispanic names are thrown at you that you'll most likely forget and mix up save for the few key players. If you ever wondered why everyone in modern America was on crack in the 90's, well, this will pretty much answer it for you. And you'll also find out what happens to your stolen cars!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Morgan Donovan 12-06-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Great story, horrible voice over, impossible"
    Would you try another book from Gary Webb and/or Christian Rummel?

    Gary Webb is awesome, Rummel sucks


    What did you like best about this story?

    everything


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Christian Rummel?

    He tries to play female characters, and should have gotten a female actor, or not tried. It was horrible.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I tried but it was only out for a couple weeks


    Any additional comments?

    for the love of god have them re-do the female 1st character

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hunter Huntsville, AL, United States 11-10-14
    Hunter Huntsville, AL, United States 11-10-14 Member Since 2012

    I just achieved App Scholar!! 1000 hours in 1 yr 7 mo and 10 days!!! I never thought I would make it this far!! Thanks Audible

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The CIA and CRACK ?? IT'S TRUE!!!!"

    This is a true story about how one reporter uncovers the CIA involvement in a lot of bad things!!! One phone call leads Gary Webb into the Dark Alliance of the CIA the Contras and the LA crack explosion. To think the CIA is to blame for bringing most of the crack in the late 70's and early 80's to the US for the resale to buy guns for the Iran Contra Affair. Guns and crack to fund a war thousands of miles away. It's all true and it's all in the transcripts and nobody wanted to know!!! Thanks to Gary Webb we probably know half the truth!! Good book and i can't wait to watch the movie To Kill the Messenger...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stew ATLANTA, GA, United States 10-12-14
    Stew ATLANTA, GA, United States 10-12-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Can't follow"
    What would have made Dark Alliance better?

    A plot. Character development. Storyline.


    What was most disappointing about Gary Webb’s story?

    No clue what's going on... too confusing, no plot or organization of storyline. Never even finished it.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He didn;t. Good performance.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    bored.


    Any additional comments?

    no.

    2 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tamika Walthour Richmond, VA 10-30-14
    Tamika Walthour Richmond, VA 10-30-14 Member Since 2013

    loving motherhood

    ratings
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    "Not really a story"
    What would have made Dark Alliance better?

    If it read more like a story than a documentary


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    dunno


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    He had a nice voice. I've heard him before. His voice is easy on the ears, easy to follow


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    dissapointment


    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 10 results
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  • Benjamin
    Hereford, United Kingdom
    5/20/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not what I was expecting"
    Would you try another book written by Gary Webb or narrated by Christian Rummel?

    Narration was fantastic!

    I was expecting more of a story. Less of a statement


    Was Dark Alliance worth the listening time?

    After about an hour the listening became easier. Once I had become more accustomed to the bombardment of facts.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-1 of 1 results

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