Narco News Mailing List is Down

"Akin Gump Bombs Pearl Harbor"

Cyber-Attack vs. Narco News

"Narco-Lobbyists" Knock Out Our E-Mail

Newsroom Volunteers To Our Readers: HELP!

The Narco News Bulletin

"The Name of Our Country is América"

-- Simón Bolívar

December 10, 2000

To Our Readers:

To the International Press:

To the People of América and the World:

From: Newsroom Volunteers,

Just as our publisher left the NarcoNewsroom and headed into the Mexican Southeast in late November to cover the historic events underway in our hemisphere, this publication has suffered a series of cyber-attacks of suspicious origin.

We are the volunteers who answer the mail and help out in the NarcoNewsroom. We have confirmed that least 113 of those attacks -- attacks that disabled our e-mail account at Hotmail for a number of days -- came from the Washington lawyer-lobbyist firm of Akin Gump.

What is Akin Gump?

The full name of this lawyer-lobbyist firm is Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P

In 1999, a United States Congressman, on the floor of the US House, defined this giant and powerful company as "narco-lobbyists."

(Source: Washington Post, )

The Congressman defined them as "narco-lobbyists" because of the efforts of Akin Gump and other paid lobbyist corporations on behalf interests like the Mansur Family of the Caribbean island of Aruba in the Dutch Antilles, and also Mexican transportation industries, to weaken legislation on Capitol Hill to go after white-collar drug trafficking industries.

In 2000, the powerful Akin Gump firm -- which has counted Democratic Party operatives Robert Strauss and Vernon Jordan, and Republican Party operative Michael Madigan, among its roster of lawyer-lobbyists -- represented the Colombian Government before Congress.

(Source: Newsweek, )

There, according to US Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., Akin Gump lobbied for passage of the $1.3 billion "Plan Colombia" military invasion that has been the subject of so much of our reporting in recent months.

(Source: Arianna Huffington, )

Akin Gump, in a case litigated by lawyer Tom McLish, also, according to the New York Times, hired private investigators to conduct espionage against ABC News reporters in the late 1990s. (Again, we find the timing of Akin Gump's cyber-attack very curious, given their penchant for espionage against journalists).

(Source: New York Times, )

Now comes Akin Gump with its latest client, BANAMEX, the former National Bank of Mexico that was privatized and granted to cocaine trafficker Roberto Hernández Ramírez, host to President Bill Clinton and Ambassador Jeffrey Davidow in Mexico, making threats of lawsuits against Narco News and its publisher.

Banamex owner Roberto Hernández Ramírez has already used the Mexican government, under the now-fallen PRI party, to persecute and seek the imprisonment of journalists at the daily Por Esto! in Mérida, Yucatán and the great Mexican journalist Mario Menéndez Rodríguez.

Our publisher will address the latest threats against him and Narco News in a future communiqué once he is back from the road and our technological capacity is restored.

Our publisher, Al Giordano, has been out of the Narco Newsroom all week, doing his job, reporting on the drug war from Latin America, sending in his reports from the road. And that is precisely the work that this orchestrated campaign of harassment and sabotage attempts to stop: the practice of Authentic Journalism.

We, the Narco Newsroom volunteers, wonder about the timing of this attack. Because Akin Gump's client BANAMEX had already used an espionage firm, DSFX, to spy on our publisher and other journalists.

(Source: )

When our publisher went into the field to do his job as a journalist, away from the full technology he needs to respond to these attacks, this was precisely the moment when Akin Gump began its cyber-attack upon our installations. How did they know?

First Strike: Attack on our E-mail Account

Beginning on December 4th, according to emails received at -- the address through which we make ourselves available for your comments and tips -- various operatives of the Akin Gump firm flooded our mailbox with more than 113 emails that appear identical in content.

Akin Gump, which markets itself as expert in "New Media Law", sent these nearly identical emails that were illegible in English, Spanish, or any language that is spoken in our América.

Among a sampling of the emails that we were able to review from Akin Gump operative Salvatore Mancuso -- "Salvatore" <> -- they were each exactly 60k in size, and the message inside each of them looked like this:


That is a verbatim quote from Mr. Sal Mancuso. In other words, gibberish, as if a young child, and not a mercenary lawyer-lobbyist firm, had tapped upon the keypad. This, from self-proclaimed legal experts in cyberspace and New Media. These 113 messages went on for yards and yards, each filling 60k (60,000 bytes of storage space) and seemed identical to us.

At the same time, we received a message from Hotmail, informing us that our email account had exceeded capacity and Hotmail would begin deleting messages randomly from our account on December 10, 2000. Hotmail allows each account to use only 2,000k of storage space, and we have always strived to keep the account under that limit.

The total sum of Akin Gump messages, including some others that contained sizeable documents of up to 800k of storage space apiece that could not be opened with our limited computer programs, to our mailbox added up to more than five times that limit, to more than 10,000k. Those emails were also received from:

"Sean O'Donnell" <>

"Mancuso, Salvatore A" <>

and, "Ma, Jim" <>

These are the individuals who mail-bombed Narco News with more than 113 unsolicited messages, sabotaging our email account.

Meanwhile, for days, readers who tried to reach Narco News through our public address on Hotmail report that their e-mail messages were bounced back to them; an apparent consequence of our mailbox over-using its capacity, a situation imposed upon us by Akin Gump's cyber attack. Thus, Akin Gump, through its harassment and Cyber-War against us, temporarily cut our communications from the rest of the world.

In seven months of publication, we have never experienced this problem before. Nobody has ever sent us 113 emails at the same time as Akin Gump did this week. This is harassment meant to sabotage our freedom to communicate.

At the same time, two other technical problems have besieged Narco News. We do not know whether they are coincidences or not.

Strike Two: Our Mailing List is Down

The second hit came in the same week, when egroups, the Yahoo-owned free e-mailing list service upon which we send alerts to our subscribers, suddenly denied access to our account.

This has disabled us, since Thursday, from sending alerts to our subscribers.

When we tried to access our egroups account on Thursday, we received a message that said "ACCESS DENIED", that instructed us to disable our "auto-respond" program and to send an e-mail to in order to reinstate our account.

On Thursday, we checked our Hotmail account. It was not on "auto-respond" and in fact does not even offer the option of "auto-response" (a technology offered by some e-mail providers to automatically send a message to anyone who sends an e-mail to that address).

We contacted to inform them that our address was not on "auto-respond" and to please reinstate our account, so that we may continue providing our subscribers with alerts.

Today is Saturday, two days later, and we have received no response from egroups.

Yesterday afternoon, from the road in the Mexican Southeast, our publisher tried to call customer support at egroups at Yahoo's offices in San José, California. He spoke with four different support representatives, each of whom put him on hold until his phone card ran out of time.

We then contacted former Los Angeles police investigator Michael C. Ruppert, publisher of From the Wilderness, to investigate the situation.

Ruppert, an internationally respected investigator whose newsletter counts as subscribers the US House and Senate Intelligence Committees and other members of the same Congress that Akin Gump lobbies, called Yahoo on Friday afternoon, upon returning from a lecture he gave at the University of Southern California (USC). This is his report:

"I just got home from USC. I called Yahoo immediately. The tech knew who you were. He knew there was a problem. He said that all records of your account have disappeared and that the entire e-groups staff had gone home till Monday. This was unusual because when an account is cancelled for non-payment or something there is usually a computer record. Nothing can be done about the problem until Monday."

-- Michael C. Ruppert, investigator

Strike Three: Narco News Hit Counter is Down

At the precise moment when Narco News was about to receive its 700,000th visit to our pages in our first seven months of publication, our hit counter is down.

We have received no statistics on our site since November 30, 2000, when more than 685,000 visits had been recorded to Narco News.

We have asked our service provider to investigate this problem. The company that has provided these statistics to us is located in Europe. Our provider and others have launched an investigation.

Coincidence? Or Net-War? Our investigators are on the trail and we will inform you, our readers, of each development.

A Call to Our Readers for Action to Defend Narco News and Freedom of the Press

It is now clear to us that there are certain vulnerabilities in our communications systems that we must fix.

We are also analyzing and anticipating what other types of cyber-attacks could come against us.

We need your help, kind readers, and we need it fast if The Narco News Bulletin is going to continue to publish the facts and the truth about the drug war from Latin America.

We ask you for the following support:

1. Create a "Mirror Site" for Narco News

If they are trying to knock out our e-mail communications it is possible that they might also try to sabotage our web site.

As an insurance against this possibility, we ask knowledgeable readers throughout the world, in different countries, to create a "mirror site" for Narco News. That is, a web site from a different location that provides alternate access to all of our hundreds of reports and stories and automatically updates itself each time we post a new report.

Once you have created the mirror site, please send us an e-mail stating that fact, the URL address of the site, and your agreement that:

A. No advertising or additional content will be added to the pages.

B. None of the reports will be changed or censored.

C. All of our reports will appear there exactly as written and designed.

Those "mirror sites" that abide by this policy will be linked to and listed on the front page of Narco News, and made available from other points in cyberspace around the hemisphere and the world.

2. Narco News Seeks a New Host for Our Subscribers List

The lack of timely response from egroups at Yahoo in fixing this technical problem has made us aware that we must seek alternate routes.

If you own a listserve and can donate access to Narco News, please inform us immediately.

3. Narco News Seeks a New E-Mail Address, More Storage Capacity

This solution would prevent future cyber-attacks from disabling our ability to receive your comments, criticism, reports, information and tips.

Here at Narco News, we practice participatory journalism: Authentic Journalism that has always involved the readers and the citizenry.

If you know of an e-mail address where we could carry out our work without being vulnerable to Cyber-Attacks by Akin Gump or other powerful interests that seek to silence us, please help us.

4. Write to to reinstate Narco News

Again, this might simply be a technical problem. Be polite, but tell them that you want the moderator of the narconews group reinstated immediately.

On Monday morning (California Time) you can also call them at (408) 731-3300. You will be channeled through a voice mail system. The quickest way to get through is to then dial "0", and when the receptionist answers, ask for "customer support at egroups." It's a bureaucracy. Be patient and cordial.

Remember to say "please" and "thank you." The people answering the phones in customer service only work there.

If you are a subscriber of the Narconews list at egroups, tell them that you want the moderator to have access so you can keep receiving reports.

If you have just subscribed to the narconews list at egroups and are awaiting approval from the moderator, explain to them that until the moderator's account is reinstated you cannot be approved.



The Narco News Bulletin, with the moral authority vested in us by our readers and the truth that we tell, orders the powerful narco-lobbyist firm of Akin Gump to CEASE AND DESIST its cyber-harassment of our e-mail address which has already cost us lost time and resources, and interfered with our First Amendment right to communicate with our readers and receive their messages.

We may be small. But we will not surrender to the powerful forces that seek to silence, intimidate and harass us. The white collar narco-traffickers, the money launderers, the forces behind Plan Colombia, the corrupt government of the United States, its shared interests and revolving-door system with the narco-lobbyists at Akin Gump, will not succeed in their sleazy and unethical efforts to sabotage our Authentic Journalism.

We say unto them: We will continue with our investigations. We will continue to publish. We will not be slowed nor detained in our mission. There is not a narco-lobbyist on earth that will stop the facts and the truth about the atrocity of the drug war in América from reaching the people.

From somewhere in a country called América,

Newsroom Volunteers

The Narco News Bulletin

Read Akin Gump's Response to This Letter

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We Shall Overcome