Konformists of the Year
Eugene Mallove and Gary Webb seem to be unlikely figures to be linked with radical causes. Dr. Mallove, who was the chief science writer for MIT during the end of the eighties, didn't get at such an esteemed position by attacking authority. As for Mr. Webb, his work as an investigative journalist at the San Jose Mercury was certainly top-notched (including an astounding piece on asset forfeiture), but this was a big-money paper, after all. If the circumstances were different, perhaps Mallove and Webb would be headed toward higher and higher official posts, and one could surmise, eventually be willing mouthpieces (however unwittingly) for dishonest pronouncements and transparent "exposes".
And yet, they are not. Instead of going the direction where, had they not rocked the boat, they both were headed, something happened. Both became aware of facts and events that others in their establishments were ignoring and/or suppressing. Rather than join in on the ignorance and suppression, both Eugene Mallove and Gary Webb decided to take a stand. Because of this, both Mallove and Webb have faced ridicule and a loss of esteem by many of their former colleagues. In the process, however, they have become Konformist icons, rebels with a cause. They are not outcasts because they had little other choice, but men of principal who believed in silly little myths such as truth and honesty that others give mere lip service to. And the choices they have made are astronomical in implications: the work of Mallove and Webb, though right now ridiculed and suppressed by much of the puppets of the ruling elites (and thus marginalized to being disseminated in kooky fringe e-zines) will eventually rise and destroy much of official view of reality as it now stands. It is for the revolutionary nature of their work, revolutionary on a scale which can hardly even be imagined and measured yet, that both are being awarded with the 1997 Konformist of the Year award, the first such recipients of this trophy.
Gary Webb, in case you didn't know, is the journalist behind the "Dark Alliance" series, the collection of August 1996 articles in the San Jose Mercury which examined and exposed the connection between the Central Intelligence Agency, the Contras war in Nicaragua, and the rise of the crack cocaine epidemic in the black communities of inner cities, in particular in the city of Los Angeles. It is important to note that he didn't set out to write such a shocking expose: his interest began with the curious trial of "Freeway" Rick Ross, a man who the L.A. Times had long mythologized about being "the Sam Walton of crack" due to the fact that at one point, Ross was selling over 100 million dollars worth of coke a year. Webb soon discovered that Ross was a puppet to Oscar Danilo Blandon Reyes, a Contra leader with extensive CIA ties. Blandon, who pleaded guilty to cocaine trafficking charges in 1994, was rewarded instead of imprisoned, and became a well-paid DEA informant.
As Webb dug further and further, he discovered that Ross and Blandon's CIA dealings were not a lone incident, that there was a whole hidden history of CIA involvement with drug barons, that wherever you find mass manufacturing and distribution of drugs you will find the boys from Langely. What began as a story of one man quickly was turning into a systematic expose on wholesale official corruption.
Loaded with the evidence, Webb, originally with the backing of his San Jose Mercury editors, proceeded to publish "Dark Alliance", and the rest is journalistic history. Though there was the predictable backlash from the usual suspect korporate mouthpieces, and though the Mercury's editor Jerry Ceppos did what he could to distance himself from the piece, the quake that this groundshaker has started has yet to die.
It has been proclaimed by many to be the best piece of journalism this decade. On second glance, that is an understatement. The truth is only Woodard and Bernstein have written anything that has wreaked this much havoc on American society. Unlike Woodard and Bernstein and their expose on Nixon and his CREEPs, however, "Dark Alliance" is no official leak backed by insiders for propaganda.
Mr. Webb is now, temporarily, out of journalism, having been robbed of the Pulitzer Prize he rightfully earned. No biggie: the Pulitzer's need Mr. Webb for credibility more than he needs a Pulitzer. Having settled a lawsuit against the Mercury with an undisclosed cash settlement for himself, he is now working in a governmental committee in Sacramento that certainly isn't investigating anything as shocking as his "Dark Alliance" work. In the meantime, he churns out a book version of his work. Meanwhile, he seems unfazed by the implications of his work and the criticism that followed. "If we as journalists have to take a beating for publicly exposing these truths, so be it," he has stated. And it is for exposing these truths, truths that are the first shocking glimpses of the hellish beast that rules our society for many, that he is being recognized here for. Gary Webb has blown off the lid: what was once part of the underground network is now at least being viciously attacked in the mainstream. The official story will never be the same.
In 1989, Drs. Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann of the University of Utah announced that they had produced cold fusion in their laboratory, an achievement that if true would have meant a virtually unlimited cheap energy supply for humanity. But soon came a ruthless assault against the validity of their tests by other "scientists" and "journalists". At the time, Dr. Mallove was viewing the controversy from the inside and was disgusted with the farce. All hype aside, it was quite apparent to him that Pons and Fleischmann DID in fact succeed (which has since been demonstrated in several hundred laboratories around the world.) In part because of the deception in reporting on the cold fusion breakthrough, Dr. Mallove left MIT and published Fire from Ice, a Pulitzer Prize nominee that Arthur C. Clarke described as "the only good book on the subject." He has since become the editor of Infinite Energy, a publication dedicated to Cold Fusion and New Energy Technology.
At a time when cynicism and disgust in society is rising (a positive development), Dr. Mallove has been one of the few people to dare spread real positive news. And indeed it is. The implications of cold fusion are astounding: food and economic distribution would be radically changed, and the scourge of world hunger would disappear overnight. Rather than rely on resources that are destructive to the environment such as gas and oil, it would rely on renewable resources like a simple glass of tap water, thus stopping the terrible damage to our environment. (There are also machines in the New Energy field that would clean up our present toxic wastes in an unprecedented fast, safe, and cheap matter.)
Indeed no field will be untouched by cold fusion: even religion and philosophy will have to grasp with the meaning to humanity of the sudden end of limited resources and its implications. Perhaps the best way to put it is that whoever discovers cold fusion deserves not only a Nobel Prize for Chemistry and for Physics, but for Peace as well. Which means Pons and Fleischmann have a big IOU coming their way.
Dr. Mallove seems to be slowly succeeding in his mission of exposing the truth. Last year, The Saint, a rather big-budget and successful film, had a story line that centered around the discovery of cold fusion. (Dr. Mallove, of course, was a consultant for the film.) Slowly but surely, more and more people are aware that there is more to cold fusion than has been reported, and many mainstream magazines (not to mention certain fringe underground publications) have chimed in at a slow trickle.
Dr. Mallove and those on the trail of cold fusion are working on something which mankind can hardly grasp yet, and perhaps that is why he and his ilk have been attacked so viciously. To some, Utopia is a vision of fear.
And that is why Dr. Mallove and Mr. Webb are linked, though their disciplines are quite different. In the end, Eugene Mallove and Gary Webb are one and the same, two men whose honest and dedicated work will far outlive them in importance. The fact that they are both doing their work as you read this is proof that, contrary to what some gloomy pessimists may state, we do indeed live in fabulous times. It is because of this that The Konformist honors them both, congratulates them, and promises to continue to cover their stories with the passion they deserve. Keep it going, dudes.
We salute you.
Best Internet Investigator: Barry Chamish
If uncovering the circumstances behind the death of Yitzkah Rabin wasn't enough, his work detailing UFOs and other enigmas in Israel, as well as quick theorizing of the death of Lady Di, should earn him a place in internet lore for being a man who will touch any subject. And he is, after all, the first man to truly see the potential of The Konformist as a vehicle for disseminating ground-breaking information. Congrats, Barry, and looking forward to your upcoming book.
Film of the Year: Waco: Rules of Engagement
Sure, L. A. Confidential, Titanic, and Boogie Nights were great, but no movie struck as raw of a nerve with Konformers than Waco: Rules of Engagement did. The timing was convenient: just as The Konformist began re-digging up a story that should never be buried, Waco came in, exposing the official complicity in murder that happened on April 19, 1993. And yet, even for the many who knew much of the Waco tale, the film was a sad and shocking experience. For the uninitiated, it was apparently the same: it was nominated for Best Documentary in the Academy Awards. Director William Gazecki deserves kudos for his work of using dry presentation over violins to transmit tragedy and horror.
Mainstream Expose of the Year: The Dark Side Of Camelot, Seymour Hersh
Granted, there was nothing in this tome any more shocking than what you'd find in every single issue of The Konformist, but Hersh's slicing of the Kennedy mythology was long overdue, an expose that didn't expose any deeper and darker agenda by the author, as there wasn't any. When asked, he would insist the title said it all, this was about JFK's dark side, so it was intentionally half the story (if only other journalists would be so honest.) But boy, what a half he tells.
1. The Suppression of the CIA-Crack story by the korporate media and the attack on Gary Webb
2. The TWA 800 "Investigation" and the suppression of the real investigators on the internet
3. Lady Diana's death, the public's reaction, and the hidden story behind it.
4. Mars Pathfinder and its pictures
5. The continuing investigation into the Yitzkah Rabin assassination
Kirby The Konspiracy Boy Says, "I NEED 2 KONFORM!!!"