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October 2002

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Dark Alliance, the Director's Cut

by Gary Webb

I wanted to let every one know that the original Dark Alliance website the Mercury News quietly took down in 1998 is back in all of its flaming glory. I reconstructed it from a CDROM that Jerry Ceppos ordered destroyed after the rest of the press began whining that using the CIA seal in our website logo was just a little too too. So thousands of CDs and paper reprints were burned.

Fortunately, someone with a sense of history rescued a few CDs from immolation and slipped me one, and I was able to put it back online.

I did this for several reasons. First, even though it's six years old (a quarter of a century in Web years), it still kicks ass technologically. Most newspaper websites still don't even come close, particularly to the Shockwaved version. It's a great example of how online investigative journalism can and should be done. (And I'm not just saying that because they were my stories.) Second, the site is a genuine piece of Internet history and should be preserved. Third, people should be able to read the stories if they want to. And last, because I got 10 MB of webspace for free with my ISP account and could no longer justify my lassitude. Plus, I liked the historical irony involved with having the American Telephone and Telegraph Company donate the web space for this site.

In addition to the original website, which includes most of the documents used in the preparation of the series, the home page I made to house the site contains links to as many of the stories -- pro and con -- that were written about the series as I've been able to find on the Web. I've also added links to related sites and government archives; for instance, the CIA and DOJ Inspector General's reports are currently accessible through the home page, along with the original Kerry Committee report and all the New York Times rebuttal stories. I plan on adding more as I find them, so that anyone interested in this topic can have a place from which to start their research and see what others have written in the past.

This is not a commercial venture. While I do include a link to my book and its reviews (bad as well as good, just to be fair. Glenn Garvin's review in Reason is a scream.) I don't make visitors go through it unless they want to. By the way, there's a link to Cockburn and St. Clair's Whiteout: the CIA, Drugs and the Press as well.

Anyway, for anyone curious to see what all the fuss was about, the website is at:

http://home.attbi.com/~gary.webb/wsb/index.html

(Hey, what do you want for nothing? Use a bookmark.)

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