Webb

 

Webb, Charlott. Secret Postings: Bletchley Park to the Pentagon. Redditch, UK: Tower Publishing, 2011. [pb]

According to Christensen, Cryptologia 37.1 (2013), this brief book (72 pages) "is a very personal account" of World War II by the author. Webb was "an Auxilary Territorial Service (ATS) volunteer who served at Bletchley Park and at the Pentagon.... Little is said of Webb's war work."

[UK/WWII/Ultra]

Webb, Gary.

1. "Dark Alliance." San Jose Mercury News, 18 Aug. 1996 [from Mercury Center Web site at http://www.sjmercury.com].

Clark comment: This is the original article, followed by two additional pieces in the series, that launched the idea that California cocaine dealers who claimed connections with the Nicaraguan Contra rebels were responsible for introducing crack cocaine into black neighborhoods in the 1980s. The drug trafficking was supposedly condoned by the CIA because the dealers were helping to fund the Contras. The story launched a fire storm of criticism and investigation, and still resonates throughout the African-American community. The fact that it was patently false in its implications and perhaps false even in its basic outline seemingly was irrelevant to the story's lifecycle.

Referring to the power and effect of myth, Abraham H. Miller, "How the CIA Fell Victim to Myth Posing as Journalism," International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 10, no. 3 (Fall 1997), 257-268, makes a valiant effort to explain the unexplainable. Whether Miller has the answer or not, his hypothesis is better than most. See also, Abraham H. Miller, "The CIA and the Crack Cocaine Story: Fact or Fiction?" The World and I, Feb. 1998, 304-317.

Interestingly, the original version of the story disappeared from the Mercury Center Web Site sometime around midyear 1997 (unwisely, I never copied it from that site).

Clearly not one to let an attention-getting and/or moneymaking proposition slip away, Webb has turned his exercise in journalistic excess into a book (see below).

2. Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion. New York: Seven Stories Press, 1998.

Even someone as anti-CIA as David Corn, Washington Post, 9 Aug 1998, has some problems with this book: Webb's "threshold of proof is on the low side. In one instance, he passes on ... the allegations of a drug dealer who claimed Vice President George Bush met with (and posed for a photo with) Colombian dealers to craft an agreement under which the traffickers could smuggle coke into America if they supplied weapons to the contras. And Webb is indiscriminate in his use of the term 'CIA agent,' making it appear as if Blandon and Meneses were dealing with James Bond-like officials of the CIA, when actually their contacts were Nicaraguan contras on the Agency payroll."

Abraham H. Miller, IJI&C 12.1, cuts Webb considerable slack in reviewing Dark Alliance: "Whatever one may think of his conclusions, or the inferential leaps that got him there, there is some excellent journalism" in the book, and Webb "strongly believes everything he has written." However, "in the final analysis, he is not convincing.... [T]he preponderance of evidence is against him."

[CIA/90s/96/Crack]

Webb, G. Gregg. "Effective Interagency Collaboration: Intelligence Liaison between the FBI and State, 1940-44." Studies in Intelligence 49, no. 3 (2005). [https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol49no3/html_files/FBI_State_3.htm]

"In a community famous for its deep fissures and debilitating rivalries, the working relationship forged between the Department of State and the Special Intelligence Service of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Latin America during World War II is both unique and instructive."

[FBI/WWII]

Webb, G. Gregg. "New Insights into J. Edgar Hoover's Role: The FBI and Foreign Intelligence." Studies in Intelligence 48, no. 1 (2004): 45-58.

Established in 1940, the FBI's Special Intelligence Service (SIS) collected "political, economic, financial, and industrial intelligence throughout Central and South America" during World War II. The author argues that historians have attributed to Hoover "a more aggressive interest in expanding his purview overseas than the record supports."

[FBI/WWII]

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