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FBI used United Airlines in planned COINTELPRO action against Black Panthers in 'Omaha Two' case

By       Message Michael Richardson       (Page 2 of 2 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink    (# of views)   1 comment

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"Once these shipments are resumed, United Airlines Air Freight will be contacted on a continuing basis in order to determine if a regular pattern is established for the pickup of these newspapers by UFAF members.  Once a pattern is established for the pickup of these newspapers, counter intelligence measures will be aimed at disruption of the distribution of these newspapers." 

FBI efforts against the Panthers escalated through the summer of 1970 culminating in the arrest of Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa for the August 17th murder of Omaha police officer Larry Minard.  Minard had had been lured to his death by an anonymous caller on the newly installed 911 emergency call system.  A recording of the killer's voice was captured on tape and presented a problem to the COINTELPRO plotters. 

Omaha police sent the tape recording to the FBI Crime Laboratory for analysis with the stipulation that no formal laboratory report be issued.  Ivan Willard Conrad, lab director, checked with Hoover about withholding a lab report and noted on a COINTELPRO memorandum that on August 19th Hoover said it was "OK to do".  Conrad followed orders and issued no report on the killer's voice.   

The jury that convicted the two Panther leaders in April 1971 had no idea of the FBI intrigue or of Hoover's direct order to withhold evidence about Minard's killer.  Poindexter and Langa were sentenced to life imprisonment and remain confined at the maximum-security Nebraska State Penitentiary where they continue to proclaim their innocence. 

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Poindexter has a new trial request pending before the Nebraska Supreme Court over the withheld evidence and conflicting police testimony.  Oral argument in the case was in October 2008, no date for a decision has been announced. 

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Michael Richardson is a freelance writer living in Belize. Richardson writes about Taiwan foreign policy, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Black Panther Party. Richardson was Ralph Nader's ballot access manager during the 2004 and (more...)
 

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