Written by Michael Richardson    Wednesday, 25 November 2015 02:11    PDF Print E-mail
Omaha woman reveals Omaha Two defense lawyer was impaired by alcohol

Ed PoindexterAn Omaha woman, Bonnie Cosentino-Welsch, has broken years of silence to speak out on excessive drinking by Edward Poindexter's defense lawyer, Thomas Kenney, now deceased. Poindexter and Mondo we Langa, then David Rice, were targets of the illegal COINTELPROoperation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1970 when they were charged with the bombing murder of Omaha Patrolman Larry Minard, Sr. Kenney had been assigned to defend Poindexter.

The clandestine COINTELPRO counterintelligence operation of the FBI under Director J. Edgar Hoover made Poindexter and Mondo, now known as the Omaha Two, targets to be neutralized. The pair were leaders of the National Committee to Combat Fascism, a Black Panther affiliate group. A FBI Laboratory report on the identity of an anonymous 911 caller that lured Minard to his ambush death in a vacant house was ordered withheld by Hoover to make a case against the two men.

Bonnie had dated Kenney for several months in 1970, and soon learned of excessive drinking by the young Assistant Public Defender. Bonnie was recently shown deposition testimony by Kenney, given in 2004, which revealed his inexperience in defending a capital murder case. Douglas County Attorney Donald Knowles sought the death penalty for Poindexter and Mondo.

In a written statement Bonnie said, “Around the second month of dating Tom, I received some rambling late night phone calls from him, and it was very obvious to me that he had a drinking problem.”

“Tom Kenney told me in one of these late night, inebriated conversations that he either "didn't believe Ed", or "didn't know if he believed Ed." I don't remember his exact wording, but I remember the emotion I had about his statement at the time. I felt like Ed didn't have good or even adequate counsel in Tom Kenney, and there was too much at stake for Ed to have a public defender who was an alcoholic, by my estimation, coupled with being a person who doubted him.”

“It's impossible to say how much Tom's drinking affected his work during that time, or how severe his drinking problem was, but I thought, how could this man be up late at night, be this drunk, and not be hung over the next day when he was working on this important case?” Bonnie continued, “I have always felt that Ed was very crippled by the quality of his legal representation. Tom Kenney was obviously drunk consistently on week nights, rambling, slurring words at 1 and 2 a.m. I wouldn't want an attorney handling my case, especially one this serious, who was up drinking to this degree the night before.”

“Even though I was very concerned about Tom Kenney and his ability to represent Ed, I didn't know what to do about it at the time, or who to talk to about it. I did not go to any of Tom Kenney's superiors with my concerns. I was in my early twenties then and didn't ever get to know Tom Kenney long enough, or well enough to make any claims about his ability to do his job. I had no idea about his effectiveness in the courtroom, or the ability to assess that, even if I had seen him at work,” explained Bonnie.

Kenney had two supervisors during the time he worked on Ed Poindexter's case. Public Defender A.Q. Wolf assigned Kenney to Poindexter's case, along with his regular “heavy” caseload. Kenney was out of the office at court or visiting prisoners at the jail most of the time. With no office investigator and limited clerical staff, Kenney was forced to work on the case in his off hours. Besides law school, the only training Kenney had was a one-week course at Northwestern Law School. This was Kenney's first murder case.

Three months before Poindexter's trial, Wolf resigned to become a judge and former Governor Frank Morrison was appointed Public Defender. Although Morrison was well liked and an excellent orator, he had no criminal defense experience. Morrison handled civil matters when he wasn't holding political office. Morrison told Kenney he would co-counsel the case.

To the public it seemed like Poindexter had a strong defense team led by a former governor, in reality, Poindexter was stuck with two inexperienced novices. The two lawyers failed to raise an objection to a “unified” trial, where the jury was tasked with determining guilt or innocence and determining a penalty if guilty based on the same testimony. Unified trials were later detemined unconsitutional and other defendants obtained new trials. Poindexter did not get a new trial because of the lack of objection by his lawyers. Kenney commented on his failure to object.

“No, we didn't object to it. It was a thing—it was how things were done, and it never occurred to us to enter an objection. There's—there's so many issues in this case, and that's one that we missed,” said Kenney.

Morrison did realize that Kenney needed more time to work on the rapidly approaching trial and reduced his caseload. Kenney was tasked with finding expert witnesses, an assignment he failed. Unable to locate a laboratory or forensic expert, Kenney unwisely decided to become his own expert. Kenney told of his efforts in the 2004 deposition. Kenney said gave himself a crash-course on forensic technology by “reading books, and manuals, and things” to make up for no scientific expert.

“I did all the footwork and stuff, that investigators would have done.” Kenney said, “I went back to DC and went in their laboratory, and they showed me how they conducted the experiments, and I looked through the microscope of the tool mark comparisons....and it was a perfect match.”

“What I saw matched, but I had no way of knowing what the sources of the two surfaces of what they were comparing, what they were,” said Kenney, unaware that the “perfect match” had twenty-five points of dissimilarity. As a result of Kenney's trip to the ATF Laboratory, he did not conduct a rigorous cross-examination of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Division witnesses at the trial. The dissimilarities were only brought to light because Mondo we Langa insisted his attorney ask about the test that Kenney had witnessed.

Frank Morrison issued a public apology to Ed Poindexter in 1997 and urged his release from prison.

“In my opinion, it is just as important for the state to protect the innocent as to prosecute the guilty. As Public Defender of Douglas County, it was my official duty to represent Ed Poindexter. He told me then that he was innocent of this crime, and I still believe him. We did not have the resources in the Public Defender’s office to get all of the facts in this case.”

Morrison wrote, “I feel both I and the system failed Ed Poindexter.”

Bonnie Cosentino-Welsch remains haunted by the case. “Like many people, I will always wonder if I could have done anything to help this situation of horrible injustice.”

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Written by Dave Welsh    Wednesday, 25 November 2015 02:07    PDF Print E-mail
Hooded gangs attack protest march as police turn a blind eye

Defiant Haiti – “We won’t let you steal these elections!”

Nov. 20, 2015 –Hooded gangs attacked a large demonstration against election fraud today in the Haitian capital. A group of about 20 hooded men in a white pickup (license plate 1-00692), armed with machetes, pipes, hammers and guns, attacked marchers in the Delmas 95 district while police turned a blind eye, according to radio reports. One marcher was wounded in the head by a machete, AP reported. In the Delmas 40 district a young man in the march was shot and killed by a unit reportedly affiliated with the national police of outgoing President Michel Martelly.

Haitians, determined to thwart what they see as an ongoing “electoral coup d’etat,” have been in the streets almost daily in their tens of thousands since the Oct. 25th first round Presidential elections. There were huge demonstrations, punctuated by police firing into the crowd, wounding several, on Nov. 18, anniversary of Haiti’s defeat of the armies of Napoleon at the Battle of Vertieres in 1803, which paved the way for independence from France and abolition of plantation slavery on the island. On Nov. 1, a big election protest in the Bel Air popular district, led by a Rara band, was attacked and two marchers shot dead; later that day a third protester was ambushed and killed on the way home.

Massive and sustained protests

“Only continuous mobilization throughout the country can win respect for the people’s rights and their votes. When one person tires, their neighbor must take up the fight,” said Fanmi Lavalas, widely acknowledged as the country’s most popular political party, although banned until now from running candidates ever since the coup that ousted former President Aristide in 2004.

Lavalas presidential candidate Dr. Maryse Narcisse, who is in the streets every day getting teargassed with the protesters, has officially challenged the results with the National Electoral Litigation Bureau. Other major parties have unofficially protested the fraudulent elections, in which President Martelly’s handpicked candidate, a political neophyte, miraculously emerged as the front-runner. A run-off election is due to take place in December.

[This recalled for many the 2010 election, when Martelly was illegally catapulted into the run-off under pressure from then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Organization of American States. The US and United Nations forces have continued their in-your-face interference in the 2015 election as well.]

U.N. charged with major role in election fraud

Haiti’s political crisis took a dramatic turn with the mid-November revelations of Antoine Rodon Bien-Aime and two other candidates for Parliament from President Martelly’s own PHTK party. It has been reported that some 10,000 Haitian police and 2,500 MINUSTAH (UN military mission in Haiti) personnel were deployed during the Oct. 25 voting, and that both MINUSTAH and the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) were involved in transporting ballots to be tallied in Port-au-Prince.

Now Deputy Bien-Aime and his two colleagues are accusing the U.N. Mission in Haiti, headed by Sandra Honore, with direct involvement in the Oct. 25 election fraud. Specifically, they charge UNOPS and its Electoral Logistics Coordinator Sylvain Cote, a Canadian national, with being directly responsible for taking boxes of ballots actually cast by the people, and switching them with boxes of pre-filled-out ballots. Sylvain Cote scurried out of the country the day after the revelations surfaced.

Fifteen well-known Haitian intellectuals were so outraged by the “clear involvement of U.N. agencies in the fraud that marred the elections of October 25” that they wrote an Open Letter to Sandra Honore on Nov. 16, stating: “…the whole world is discovering, under pressure from the street…. the truth of the biggest electoral fraud operation…for the last 30 years in Haiti.”

But the main force is coming from the street. Many are comparing today’s non-stop mass demonstrations to the uprisings that led to the 1986 collapse of the dictatorship of “Baby Doc” Duvalier. The people are turning the defense of their vote into a focus of mass struggle against the hated neo-Duvalierists in the Haitian government and their US, French and Canadian backers.

On November 9th there was another General Strike by transportation workers, forcing the government to rescind draconian price and fee hikes and effectively shutting down most of the country. Haiti is defiant and its people determined.

Dave Welsh was a member of a Human Rights and Labor Fact Finding Delegation to Haiti in October, that reported on systematic voter suppression, violence and intimidation in the election process.

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Written by teleSUR / bh-TP    Saturday, 21 November 2015 18:02    PDF Print E-mail
Angola Honors Cuba for Key Support in Colonial Independence

Cuba’s Fidel Castro deployed 36,000 troops to defend Angola from U.S. and Apartheid South Africa invasions.
Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos recognized and thanked Cuba on Thursday for its important support in achieving national independence 40 years ago.

Commemorating four decades of independence from colonial powers, dos Santos invited a Cuban delegation to honor the historical events that led Fidel Castro to deploy 36,000 troops to defend Angola from U.S. and Apartheid South Africa military invasions.

While Angola won its independence from Portugal on January 15, 1975, inner political conflicts escalated between the leftist People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the National Liberation Front of Angola (FNLA), and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA).

Seeking to control the political situation in its favor, the U.S. had set up a covert CIA operation to support the FLNA and UNITA with US$30 million, arms and military advisers. Apartheid South Africa supported the CIA operation by carrying out invasions, incursions and sabotages against Marxist forces within Angola.

In 1987 the MPLA, with Cuban support, finally defeated the South Africans at the village Cuito Cuanavale after a six month battle.

Dos Santos said during the commemoration that “all of the sacrifice was worth it” for Angolan self-determination.

"This simple tribute we also dedicate it to all the Cuban internationalists, who together with Angolans combatants fought to defend the sovereignty of the motherland of (then Angolan president) Neto," said Salvador Valdes Mesa, the head of the delegation and vice president of the State Council.

Cuba has continued to assist Angola with teaching methods like “Yes, I can,” which has allowed more than a million Angolans to learn to read and write, as well as medical and exchange programs.

This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address:
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Written by      Saturday, 21 November 2015 17:54    PDF Print E-mail
Congressman Wants CDC Investigated for Tampering With MMR Study

The following is a transcript of a statement read on the floor of the United States House of Representatives on July 29, 2015 by U.S. Representative Bill Posey (R-FL) of Florida’s 8th District.

It’s troubling to me that in a recent Senate hearing on childhood vaccinations, it was never mentioned that our government has paid out over $3 billion to a Vaccine Injury Compensation Program for children who have been injured by vaccinations. Regardless of the subject matter, parents making decisions about their children’s health deserve to have the best information available to them. They should be able to count on federal agencies to tell them the truth. For these reasons, I bring the following matters to the House floor.

In August 2014, Dr. William Thompson, a senior scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, worked with a whistleblower attorney to provide my office with documents related to a 2004 CDC study that examined the possibility of a relationship between mumps, measles, rubella vaccine and autism. In a statement released in August 2014, Dr. Thompson stated:

I regret that my co-authors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the Journal of Pediatrics.

Mr. Speaker, I respectfully request the following excerpts from the statement written by Dr. Thompson be entered into the [Congressional] Record. Now quoting Dr. Thompson:

My primary job duties while working in the Immunization Safety branch from 2000 to 2006 were to lead or co-lead three major vaccine safety studies. The MADDSP MMR autism cases control study was being carried out in response to the Wakefield Lancet study that suggested an association between the MMR vaccine and an autism-like health outcome. There were several major concerns among scientists and consumer advocates outside the CDC in the fall of 2000 regarding the execution of the Verstraeten study.

One of the important goals that was determined upfront in the spring of 2001 before any of these studies started was to have all three protocols vetted outside the CDC prior to the start of the analyses so that consumer advocates could not claim that we were presenting an analysis that suited our own goals and biases. We hypothesized that if we found statistically significant effects at either 18- or 36-month thresholds, we would conclude that vaccinating children early with MMR vaccine could lead to autism-like characteristics or features.

We all met and finalized the study protocol and analysis plan. The goal was to not deviate from the analysis plan to avoid the debacle that occurred with the Verstraeten thimerosal study published in the Pediatrics in 2003. At the September 5th meeting, we discussed in detail how to code race for both the sample and the birth certificate sample. At the bottom of Table 7 it also showed that, for the non-birth certificate sample, the adjusted race effect, statistical significance was huge.

All the authors and I met and decided sometime between August and September 2002 not to report any race effects for the paper. Sometime soon after the meeting, we decided to exclude reporting any race effects. The co-authors scheduled a meeting to destroy documents related to this study. The remaining four co-authors all met and brought a big garbage can into the meeting room and reviewed and went through all the hard copy documents that we had thought we should discard, and put them in a huge garbage can.

However, because I assumed it was illegal and would violate both FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) and DOJ (Department of Justice) requests, I kept hard copies of all documents in my office and retained all associated computer files. I believe we intentionally withheld controversial findings from the final draft of the Pediatrics paper.

End of quote of the doctor. Mr. Speaker, I believe it’s our duty to ensure that the documents Dr. Thompson provided are not ignored. Therefore, I will provide them to members of Congress and the House committees upon request.

Considering the nature of the whistleblower’s documents, as well as the involvement of the CDC, a hearing and a thorough investigation is warranted. So I ask, Mr. Speaker, I beg, I implore my colleagues on the appropriations committees to please, please take such action.

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Written by Obi Egbuna Jr    Saturday, 21 November 2015 17:49    PDF Print E-mail
Gaining Strength and Insight from Assassinations

When discussing the 635 assassination attempts on his life Commandante Fidel Castro stated eloquently “ If surviving assassination attempts were an Olympic event then I would win the gold medal”.

The main reason that powerful statement resonates with African people is because we have been forced to digest an extremely harsh dose of reality that we are guaranteed to lose a countless number of invaluable comrades on the battlefield as a result of US-EU Imperialism’s bullets and bombs.

What historical annals have also revealed is the more valuable the fighter the greater the loss on the leadership level we have gained greater understanding from rather astute reflections. During his speech commemorating National Hero Comrade Herbert Wiltshire Chitepo on March 18th 1978, President Mugabe said

“Without political power firmly in the hands of the people, without jobs and food and other necessities of life, there can be pretty little anyone can do to help the oppressed who are being terrorized by imperialism in its courts and before its judges. This naturally led him to leading the armed struggle”.

As this numerical year the 50th anniversary of Malcolm X’s assassination on February 21st at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem which ironically is President Mugabe’s birthday those in attendance at the Justice or Else rally commemorating the Million Man March’s 20th anniversary, were thrilled to hear the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan leader of the Nation of Islam call on the US Government in particular the FBI-CIA to make the files concerning Brother Malcolm’s demise available to the public.

For those amongst our people who remember that this year also marked the 20th anniversary of the public joint appearance and reconciliation between Minister Farrakhan and Brother Malcolm’s widow the late Betty Shabazz. This historic event at the Apollo Theater in Harlem raised approximately 250,000 dollars which went towards the legal defense of Brother Malcolm’s oldest daughter Quibilah Shabazz who was arrested earlier that year by the FBI due to her alleged involvement in plotting the assassination of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. Because of the established protocol of the Military Industrial Intelligence Police Complex this would require that the New York Police Department also submit the files in their possession, that expose how they not only documented and chronicled Brother Malcolm’s activity in New York City, but formed a division called the Bureau of Special Services to carry out this fascist and repressive mission.

The state of mind of Brother Malcolm’s daughter during this period speaks to another painful aspect of these type of tragedies when relatives of our deceased comrades are coerced by our enemies to either make reckless public statements or attempt to carry out dangerous activity while grieving and under duress. Zimbabwe’s leadership and people more than anyone can relate to the anguish of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan individually and the NOI collectively, as they have been subjected to attacks from every sector of our community, in what they deem to be failure to accept responsibility in Brother Malcolm’s Assassination. When the leader of ZANU’s Guerilla forces the late National Hero Comrade Josiah Magama Tongogara was falsely accused and imprisoned during the 2nd Chimurenga for the assassination of Comrade Herbert Chitepo in Lusaka, the aim of British Colonialism and Imperialism was not only to sabotage ZANU by derailing the 2nd Chimurenga, but in the long term create the atmosphere for a genocidal civil war between Zimbabwe and Zambia. This teaches Mother Africa’s Daughters and Sons that in the event of a high profiled political assassination, our former colonial and slave masters are equally invested in the character assassinations, of those comrades they have failed to eliminate with guns or explosives.

Because of the manner in which Africans at home and abroad revere our matriarchs, it is also problematic when the widows of male freedom fighters concerning their, directly or indirectly point fingers at the leadership of any organizations their husbands had been involved in at any phase of their service to our people.

If Sister Betty Shabazz had taken the approach that Comrade Chitepo’s widow Mama Victoria Chitepo chose, perhaps US-EU Imperialism would have been forced to publicly acknowledge their role not only in Malcolm’s assassination in Harlem but their attempt to poison him to death in Egypt during his historic visit in 1964.

This could have led to Dr. King’s widow Coretta Scott King telling the musical icon and humanitarian Stevie Wonder, that while she appreciated his efforts to have a national holiday in honor of her late husband, it would be more fruitful to have US-EU Imperialism admit their obsession with violence robbed our people and movement of our most peaceful and non-violent voice.

We have also have been forced to accept that regardless of evidence available at this moment in history, the opportunist and cowards amongst us recognize it is more convenient, to blame President Mugabe and ZANU-PF along with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and NOI for the assassinations of Comrade Chitepo and Brother Malcolm, rather than use their deaths as a vehicle to expose the trail of blood that leads to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington and 10 Downing Street in Britain.

In the case of Comrade Tongogara before his death in 1979 thanks to the legal brilliance of Ambassador Dr. Simbi Mubako who represented the accused during this trying moment in Zimbabwe’s history, of having his name and reputation cleared, which was very important due to Zimbabwe’s political culture rooted in Unity.

For those whose hatred for President Mugabe and ZANU-PF clouds their judgment we must refer them to page 173 in the book the entitled The Legend of the Selous Scouts which states “The decision by Ken Flower to assassinate Herbert Chitepo head of the ZANU War Council now showed how badly Flower misread the ZANU-ZANLA situation The death of Chitepo purged ZANU of its many dissenting factors and a new and highly successful leader emerged Robert Mugabe gave ZANLA the means to consolidate its efforts by providing ZANU with an indispensable factor Unity”.

That logic applies to our struggle inside US borders where some amongst our ranks appear to dislike the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the NOI so much, that they would rather hold a grudge for comments that the Minister himself admits creating the climate for Brother Malcolm’s assassination, instead of closing ranks to force the FBI-CIA along with the NYPD to share with the world they are indeed the guilty culprits.

We have also seen how assassinations of key figures in our struggle lead to an escalation of political differences, in his book And the Walls Came Tumbling Down the late Civil Rights icon Ralph David Abernathy revealed his displeasure with Reverend Jesse Jackson’s decision to travel around the country with a blood stained t-shirt which allegedly was the shirt he was wearing when according to his account Dr. King died in his arms.

As few of Dr. King’s closest confidants are still alive it would be extremely powerful if Reverend Jackson and Minister Farrakhan called a press conference on the Balcony of the Lorraine Motel, and demanded that the US Government have a public trial where their role in Dr. King and Brother Malcolm assassination is made public once and for all.

Because James Earl Ray who history remembers for Dr. King’s assassination was attempting to flea the Us and settle in Southern Rhodesia now Zimbabwe we are sure President Mugabe and ZANU-PF would also be thrilled to see the truth come to light.

Obi Egbuna Jr is the US Correspondent to the Herald and External Relations Officer to the Zimbabwe Cuba Friendship Association his email is

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