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1998 - 2003© Copyright From The Wilderness Publications

 

That's One For Our Side.

Weeks before the Winter Olympics started there was big news coming out of Utah. The winner is...... Guerrilla News Network!

by

Michael Davidson

[© Copyright 2002, From The Wilderness Publications, www.copvcia.com. All Rights Reserved. May be copied, redistributed or posted on the internet for non-profit purposes only.]

FTW, February 11, 2002 -- On January 18, Guerrilla News Network won the Audience Award in the "live-action" category at the 2002 Sundance Online Film Festival. GNN took the prize for its ten minute documentary "Crack The CIA", a film laying down clear, concise, irrefutable evidence of the CIA's long involvement in bringing and selling huge amounts of cocaine into America. The Audience Award is determined by voters at the festival, as well as online viewers around the world.

Using cutting edge video and editing techniques, "Crack The CIA" is a stunning piece of film as well as a damning indictment of the U.S. government's criminal activities. Directed by GNN's Stephen Marshall, edited by Marshall and Kenji Williams, and with an original Hip-Hop soundtrack by DJ Trek-e, the film won acclaim for its cinematic excellence as well as its content. Guerrilla News Network is an alternative news organization dedicated to providing web, television and film viewers with information ignored or only partially covered by mainstream media.

"Crack The CIA" is based primarily on interviews with four people with impeccable credentials: Cele Castillo, former DEA agent who personally witnessed CIA cocaine transactions in Central America; Mara Leveritt, reporter and editor at The Arkansas Times who investigated and reported on massive CIA cocaine operations in Mena, Arkansas; Professor Christopher Simpson of American University in Washington, DC, an acknowledged authority on CIA drug operations; and Mike Ruppert, a former Los Angeles Police Department narcotics investigator, and publisher/editor of From The Wilderness newsletter and the website www.copvcia.com.

The film contains an amazing segment, originally broadcast on C-SPAN and ABC’s NIGHTLINE, of the now-legendary confrontation between Mike Ruppert and then CIA Director John Deutch. Filmed at a November, 1996 town hall meeting at Locke High School in South Central Los Angeles in response to detailed press reports of CIA cocaine dealing, Ruppert gets right in Deutch's face with the evidence of CIA Drug trafficking he obtained after witnessing CIA drug dealing in 1977. His original discovery ended his LAPD career and started him on investigations he is continuing 24 years later. His newsletter is now read in 27 countries and by 20 members of the US congress.

Ruppert's accusations were accompanied by the standing-room only crowd's cheers and whistles. Ruppert, an ex-cop who has been shot at, burglarized and threatened because of his whistleblowing, describes these as some of the scariest moments of his life.

Watching John Deutch attempt to assemble a coherent answer to Ruppert's statements is the film's jaw-dropping moment. Hunched over, wringing his hands, the former CIA Director never denies the charges. Instead, he suggests that anyone knowing of CIA criminal activity contact the Los Angeles Police Department, the CIA Inspector General, or their local congressperson. Even on the screen the crowd's derisive hoots and catcalls are palpable. It's rumored that Deutch didn't get his hoped-for appointment as Secretary of Defense because of his performance that day at Locke High School.

Films that do well at Sundance usually go on to wider release. Word from festival attendees is that Sundance head, actor/director Robert Redford, is quite enthusiastic about "Crack The CIA". One can only hope that as much of the public as possible gets to see this unique combination of film-making prowess and hard-nosed investigative journalism.

If "Crack The CIA" doesn't come to you, you can see it at http://gnn.tv/videos/1/Crack_The_CIA.

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