Written by      Saturday, 20 June 2015 23:08    PDF Print E-mail
COINTELPRO order called off search for Omaha policeman’s killer

J. Edgar Hoover personally gave his approval to withhold evidence with an "OK" and his initial "H"

J. Edgar Hoover personally gave his approval to withhold evidence with an "OK" and his initial "H"
FBI document
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The 1970 bombing murder of Omaha Patrolman Larry Minard, Sr. landed two Black Panther leaders in prison where they are serving life sentences. Minard had been lured to his death by an anonymous 911 caller who reported a woman screaming in a vacant house. Without the knowledge of prosecutors, the Omaha police sent a copy of the 911 recording to the FBI Laboratory for vocal analysis under the unusual condition of no written report. However, before the examination could be conducted the Omaha FBI office cancelled the police request and no test was conducted to determine the identity of the deadly caller.

Edward Poindexter and Mondo we Langa were targets of COINTELPRO
Michael Richardson

Edward Poindexter and Mondo we Langa, then David Rice, had been targeted for counterintelligence action under COINTELPRO, a massive clandestine operation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Police, with the assistance of both the FBI and agents of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Division, focused their investigation on the leaders of the National Committee to Combat Fascism, a Black Panther affiliate chapter. The two men were convicted of murder and are now known as theOmaha Two.

According to a confidential FBI memorandum to J. Edgar Hoover, written the day of Minard’s death, August 17, 1970, Special Agent in-Charge Paul Young and Deputy Chief of Police Glen Gates conspired to withhold a report on a piece of crucial evidence the police had – the recorded voice of the anonymous caller captured by the 911 system. Gates asked Young if he could send the tape for FBI analysis to identify the unknown caller. However, the testing was conditional; no written report which might end up in court as evidence.

“[Deputy Chief Gates] inquired into the possibility of voice analysis of the individual making the call by the FBI Laboratory. He was advised the matter would be considered and that if such analysis were made and if subsequent voice patterns were transmitted for comparison, such analysis would have to be strictly informal, as the FBI could not provide any testimony in the matter; also, only an oral report of the results of such examination would be made to the Police Department. [Gates] stated he understood these terms and stated the Police Department would be extremely appreciative of any assistance in this matter by the FBI and would not embarrass the FBI at a later date, but would use such information for lead purposes only.”

“It should be noted that the police community is extremely upset over this apparent racially motivated, vicious and unnecessary murder. In slightly over three months this division has experienced more than ten bombings, probably all but a few of them being racially motivated. Of these bombings, four were directed at police facilities with extensive damage,” wrote Young.

“Any assistance rendered along the line mentioned above would greatly enhance the prestige of the FBI among law enforcement representatives in this area, and I thus strongly recommend that the request be favorably considered.”

“In view of the foregoing, it is requested that the FBI Laboratory examine enclosed tape recording and make an appropriate voice print to be retained for comparison against other tape recordings of suspects to be submitted at a later date,” ended the memorandum.

A cryptic, undated, partially illegible handwritten notation at the end of the memo reveals that the Assistant Special Agent in-Charge in Omaha cancelled the voice comparison before the FBI Laboratory even conducted an analysis of the 911 recording.

“Exam canceled per call from ASAC Tom [illegible] Identity of unknown caller determined [last three words and signature illegible]”

Years later, in post-trial proceedings, the three men who prosecuted the case, County Attorney Donald “Pinky” Knowles, and assistant prosecutors Arthur O’Leary and Sam Cooper, all denied any knowledge of the FBI role in the case. The three prosecutors also denied knowledge of a front pageOmaha World-Herald article the day after the bombing about a “voiceprint” being sent to the FBI Laboratory. None of the three were able to explain their failure to submit a copy of the recording to the defense despite two discovery requests.

J. Edgar Hoover’s dictatorial control of the FBI kept the headquarters and field offices linked in a tight chain of command that prohibited direct interaction between the laboratory and field without approval of the administrative division. Young’s request was routed to a FBI supervisor named William Bradley. Bradley wrote two letters to Ivan Willard Conrad, the FBI Laboratory director, regarding the Omaha tape recording and need to not issue a laboratory report. Both letters record Hoover’s complicity in the withholding of exculpatory evidence.

On the first Bradley memo, the laboratory chief added a handwritten notation that he talked with Hoover on the telephone and Hoover gave the “OK to do it.” The second Bradley memo, three days later, updates developments in the investigation and indicates Hoover’s approval. At the bottom of the memorandum is Hoover’s characteristic “OK” and his initial “H” meaning he read and approved of the text. The memo outlined Paul Young’s telephoned request for the FBI Laboratory to send an agent to Omaha to direct the police on obtaining vocal samples for the tape analysis.

Richard Anderson, the Chief of Police, was focused on an out-of-state job hunt and stayed out of the case leaving Gates in charge of the murder investigation. Gates worked closely with two subordinates, Lieutenant James Perry and Sergeant Jack Swanson. Perry disliked the FBI and was unaware of Gate’s arrangement with the FBI Laboratory. Swanson, head of the Intelligence Squad, was the liaison for the police with the FBI and worked closely with agents. COINTELPRO operatives had a direct pipeline into the Omaha Police Department. Swanson was already getting calls from a FBI agent named Hayes within hours of the bombing.

The decision to let the anonymous 911 caller get away with murder was made the same day Minard died. Paul Young and Glen Gates conspired to withhold a laboratory report to determine the identity of the 911 caller. Two days later, J. Edgar Hoover joined the conspiracy after a telephone call with Ivan Conrad about the unusual request. Hoover ordered Conrad to comply and not issue a written report on the identity of the caller. Paul Young sent Hoover another memorandum in October 1970 reminding that the Omaha police did not want any use of tape before the trial of the Omaha Twobecause the recording would be “prejudicial” to the police case.

The 911 recording was withheld from the defense and never heard by the jury that convicted the two men. The original recording was destroyed by James Perry several years after the trial. In 1980, a copy made by a dispatcher was located and in 2006 was submitted for scientific testing. Internationally acclaimed audiologist Tom Owen tested the recording and determined that 15 year-old Duane Peak did not make the 911 call as claimed by police and prosecutors leaving an unidentified killer on the loose and unravelling the case against the Omaha Two.

Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa remain imprisoned at the maximum-security Nebraska State Penitentiary where both men are in poor health and continue to proclaim their innocence. State and federal courts have repeatedly denied the men a new trial despite the revelation of J. Edgar Hoover’s tampering with evidence in the case.

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Written by Caleb T. Maupin    Saturday, 20 June 2015 22:18    PDF Print E-mail
A Growing Crisis Within Saudi Arabia

Suudi-Arabistan1-701x394The viscousness of the Saudi regime’s assault against the people of Yemen is largely being ignored by western media. The Saudi regime has unleashed white phosphorous, a deadly chemical weapon, into civilian areas. The Saudi regime has bombed hospitals, schools, power plants, and other civilian infrastructure. The death toll has already surpassed 4,000 people, and is constantly rising, with the number of critically wounded nearing 10,000.

Saudi Arabia’s viscous, criminal attack on the people of Yemen is illegal under all standards of international law. Yemen has not attacked or in any way threatened Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has no justifiable reason for unleashing such horrific terrorism on the people of Yemen.

The Saudi attack on Yemen has taken place in response to a democratic uprising against a phony President. Mansour Hadi ran un-opposed in the last election as the official Saudi supported candidate.

The coalition of anti-Saudi forces in Yemen, including Ansarullah, Sunnis, secularists, Marxists, and Baathists, is taking control. If they do, Yemen’s vast untapped oil resources will be theirs. Yemen could become, as US commentators openly fear, “another Iran” with publicly controlled oil resources, developing independently, free from the control of western bankers.

However, in addition to control of Yemen’s oil resources, Saudi Arabia is also driven to launch its vicious attack on Yemen because it faces internal crises of its own.

Instability Within Saudi Borders

The recent drop in oil prices has not really hurt King Salman or anyone else in his small class of wealthy aristocrats. They continue to live in absolute splendor. However, beyond the circles of power in Saudi Arabia, many people are feeling a sharp economic pinch. 35% of Saudi workers are now unemployed.

The Saudi regime professes the religion of Whabbiaism, a form of Sunni Islam. Whabbiaism is the official state religion of the Saudi regime. However, the sectors of the Saudi Kingdom that contain the country’s large oil deposits are largely populated by people who practice another religion, Shia Islam.

The Shia community in Saudi Arabia and the various regimes aligned with it face extreme discrimination. Shias attend segregated schools, and even in their own schools they are forbidden from having Shia principals. Saudi schools teach children that Shias are apostates, and that Shia Islam is a “Jewish conspiracy” against the Saudi King.
Leaders of the Shia community are frequently executed for trivial offenses like “insulting the King.” The policies of the Saudi regime have been called “religious apartheid” in testimony before the US congress.

Shias are confined by law in Saudi Arabia to only work in jobs involving manual labor. Many Shias reside in the areas with large oil deposits, and they work extracting Saudi oil from the ground. They have no union representation on the job, and they face extreme repression if they ever try to challenge the horrendous working conditions.

Saudi Arabia also has a large population of guest workers from places like Africa and Asia. These workers also face super exploitation, and conditions described as “modern day slavery” as they labor on behalf of the Saudi elite. Saudi Arabia shocked the world in recent years by executing some of these guest workers, foreign nationals, without so
much as notifying their countries of origin.

The Saudi Army is mostly made up of guest workers who are either hired as mercenaries or forcibly conscripted into the military. As the thousands of Bangladeshis and Nepalis and other nationalities, wearing Saudi uniforms line up on the Yemeni border, preparing for a possible invasion, reports are surfacing of massive defections. It appears that
many of the super-exploited impoverished non-Saudi guest workers have no desire to fight on behalf of their Saudi masters.

The recent economic crunch has sparked a rise of dissent among the Shia workers in the oil fields. These already low paid workers are also seeing their wages and hours decrease due to the oil price drop. They have rebelled in the past, and the situation between them and the Saudi government has become even more tense since the attacks on Yemen

A New Middle East?

The Saudi military, though it has the fourth largest budget in the entire world, may not have the capacity to wage an effective ground war in Yemen. The growing dissent within the ranks of its infantry and growing instability among the population of the oil rich Shia regions, could soon boil over into a full blown domestic crisis for the Saudi regime.

The Saudi regime’s primary target in Yemen is the Ansarullah organization. This is a group of Zaidi Shia revolutionaries who admire the Bolivarians in Latin America and are inspired by the Iranian revolution of 1979. They have armed themselves, and now they are at the center of a broad united front in Yemeni society.

Already, reports are surfacing that the Shia workers within Saudi Arabia are expressing sympathy with their Zaidi brothers in Ansarullah.

As the ruthless attacks on Yemen continue, the leaders of Saudi Arabia must be in a panic. On their minds is the question: “What is coming next?”

The Shia community, who have faced years of discrimination and humiliation, could soon explode with anger.

If the Saudi military orders a ground invasion of Yemen, it could see its military fall to pieces. The reports of mass defections and desertion among Saudi troops are already alarmingly high, before any ground invasion has taken place.

Yemeni society is locked, loaded, and united. Armed groups in almost every neighborhood are ready to wage a full blown fight against Saudi ground troops. 342,000 people have enlisted in the People’s militias. “People’s Committees” have been established across the country to coordinate the revolutionary forces.

The Saudi monarchy, the autocratic repressive agent of Wall Street oil corporations in the Middle East, is seeing its attack on Yemen go very differently than was planned. Yemen is not becoming further fragmented and divided. Rather than the Ansarullah organization and their allies being crushed, many are realizing that it could soon be Saudi Arabia that falls into complete chaos.

The fact that King Salman cancelled his trip to the White House may be indicative of a higher level of confusion and disagreement behind closed doors. The US government may soon begin trying to distance itself from their Saudi puppets, as they did after the fall of Hosni Mubbarack in Egypt.

I’m forced to think of insensitive words of former US Secretary of State Rice, as I ponder the huge potential of the present moment. The situation in Yemen could really mean the birth of “a new middle east.”

Caleb Maupin is a political analyst and activist based in New York. He studied political science at Baldwin-Wallace College and was inspired and involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
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Written by    Saturday, 20 June 2015 22:15    PDF Print E-mail
Teen Speaks Out About What Happened When Cops Broke Up A Texas Pool Party

WASHINGTON -- When Miles Jai Thomas arrived at a party at the Craig Ranch North Community Pool in McKinney, Texas, on Friday night, he said the pool was open to everyone who'd been invited -- until a security guard showed up and removed black partygoers from the area.

“Then he started making up rules to keep us out,” Thomas, 15, told The Huffington Post.

A white woman at the pool started making racist comments, Thomas said, such as telling black teens at the party to get used to the bars outside the pool because that’s all they were going to see.

Grace Stone, 14, who is white, told BuzzFeed News that she and friends objected to an adult woman making racist comments to other teens at the party and that the woman turned violent.

  Dim lights Embed Embed this video on your site

This is when, according to Thomas, a 19-year-old black woman told the belligerent white woman to stop fighting with the teenagers. The white woman called the black woman a “young bitch,” then walked up to her. After the young woman said her age out loud, the older woman punched her in the face. Another unidentified white woman jumped in as well before Thomas, who was recording the incident, and his friends went to break it up.

It was after this incident that the cops showed up and “started cursing and yelling at us,” Thomas said. He described an officer manhandling a young girl, as shown in this video embedded above.

“So a cop grabbed her arm and flipped her to the ground after she and him were arguing about him cursing at us,” Thomas said.

When two teens went toward the cop to help the girl, they were accused of sneaking up on the cop to attack.

“So a cop yelled 'get those motherfuckers' and they chased [us] with guns out. That's why in the video I started running,” Thomas said.

"I was scared because all I could think was, 'Don't shoot me,'" he said.

About 20 people were handcuffed during the incident, Thomas estimated. McKinney Chief of Police Greg Conley said in a press conference that one arrest was made, according to BuzzFeed News.

Clarification: Language has been amended to indicate that the pool is not a public facility.

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Written by Ann Garrison    Sunday, 21 June 2015 10:03    PDF Print E-mail
US will not support third term for Rwanda’s Kagame

Rwandan President Paul Kagame with the Rwandan Defense Force

Rwandan President Paul Kagame with the Rwandan Defense Force

Rodney D. Ford, spokesman for the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs, has said, in no uncertain terms, that the U.S. will not be supporting a third term by sitting Rwandan President Paul Kagame:

“President Kagame is currently serving his second seven-year term in office, having run previously in 2003 and 2010, after winning his first election for president in 2000. The next presidential election is scheduled for 2017. The current Rwandan constitution provides a two-term limit.

“The United States supports the principle of democratic transition in all countries in the region through free, fair, and credible elections, held in accordance with current constitutions, including provisions regarding term limits.

“The United States believes that democracy is best advanced through the development of strong institutions, not strongmen. For that reason, as Secretary Kerry has said, we do not support changing constitutions to benefit the personal or political interests of individuals or parties. Changing constitutions and eliminating term limits to favor incumbents is inconsistent with democratic principles and reduces confidence in democratic institutions.

“The United States believes that democracy is best advanced through the development of strong institutions, not strongmen. For that reason, as Secretary Kerry has said, we do not support changing constitutions to benefit the personal or political interests of individuals or parties.” – Rodney D. Ford, spokesman for the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs

“We are committed to support a peaceful, democratic transition in 2017 to a new leader elected by the Rwandan people.”

Ford was responding, in an unclassified email, to an inquiry by this reporter, which noted that President Kagame’s supporters have gathered 3 million signatures demanding that Rwanda’s Parliament force a referendum to amend the Constitution so that he can run for a third term. The query also noted that anyone who follows Rwandan politics knows that there is no such thing as a free and fair vote in Rwanda.

On May 21, 2015, at a Congressional Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing, a Human Rights Watch advocate told U.S. Congressmembers Donald Payne, R-N.J., and Karen Bass, D-Calif., that the organization has repeatedly documented “a climate of fear and incredibly violent tactics that have been used against dissenters” in Rwanda.

Dr. David Himbara, President Kagame’s former economic advisor, testified that a state appointed administrator keeps watch over every 10 households in Rwanda, making it impossible to escape the eye of the state.

Himbara, speaking to KPFA and the San Francisco Bay View, said that no one in Rwanda would dare refuse to sign the petitions or attend rallies to abolish term limits so that Kagame can remain in office. Anyone who did, he said, would soon be dead or disappeared.

“People are signing up, demanding for constitutional change so that Kagame stays in power. So this is the system they are using. They have forms in every 10 houses. People have to sign. If you don’t sign, then you’re gone. You know you have to sign. There’s no way around it. So what you’ll see is millions! Millions of people, when the time comes, marching on the streets, demanding that Kagame stays. That is how this is being done.”

“People are signing up, demanding for constitutional change so that Kagame stays in power. … They have forms in every 10 houses. People have to sign. If you don’t sign, then you’re gone. … So what you’ll see is millions … marching on the streets, demanding that Kagame stays.”

No one at the Rwandan Embassy to the U.N. was available for comment today.

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Written by AUTODIDACT 17    Saturday, 20 June 2015 22:10    PDF Print E-mail
Killer of Malcolm X’s grandson hit with 27 years

As news spread several months ago about the severe sentencing of Manuel Alejandro Perez de Jesus, 26, for the murder of Malcolm Latif Shabazz, 28, many questions remained unanswered. Details about the killing of the grandson of Black Nationalist icon Malcolm X and wife Dr. Betty Shabazz remain sketchy.

“The circumstances surrounding his death are still not clear, and it is now February 2015,” said Sabrina Green, a human rights activist with the Baltimore-based Free the Move 9.

According to prosecutor Rodolfo Fernando Rios Garza, Shabazz arrived in Mexico City at the behest of Miguel Suarez, a Mexican labor activist with the organization Revolutionary United Mexicans in Combat, or RUMEC, whom he had befriended in the United States and had been recently deported to Mexico.

On the night of May 9, 2013, while at the Palace Club, a downtown bar, prosecutors contend that Shabazz consumed several drinks, saying he had a blood alcohol level of more than three times the legal limit for driving in the U.S. Allegedly, he and Suarez ran up a $1,200 bar tab, which included the companionship of women, after being bamboozled by local hustlers, who routinely prey on tourists.

As the pair tried to leave the bar at around 3 a.m., a confrontation occurred with two waiters, David Hernandez Cruz, 26, and Perez de Jesus. Shabazz and Suarez were supposedly separated by bar employees at gunpoint, but, for unknown reasons, only Shabazz was assaulted, while Suarez supposedly slipped away unharmed to get help.

Upon his return a short while later, Suarez found Shabazz’s badly damaged body lying in the street in Plaza Girabaldi, a busy tourist spot. A blunt object was used, causing fatal skull, jaw and rib fractures. Two other bar employees also participated in the beating, reports read.

Authorities suggest the bill was excessive and was probably used as an excuse to rob Shabazz and his companion. Police said they interviewed Suarez, who could not be reached for comment.

Two days after the attack, the security cameras on the premises were turned toward the walls and the video recording equipment was mysteriously missing.

Shortly after Shabazz’s murder, protesters demanded that authorities escalate their efforts in investigating his death. Some demonstrated at the Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Shabazz was murdered a little more than two months after he was allegedly arrested by the FBI and harassed by law enforcement in an upstate New York town. In February 2013, Iranian state-controlled Press TV erroneously reported that the FBI had arrested Shabazz while he was en route to Iran. The story was widely reported, but two days later, Shabazz’s family announced that the report was false, and although he had been arrested, it had nothing to do with the FBI or Iran.

During a Feb. 24 interview on “Democracy Now,” Shabazz’s aunt, Ilyashah Shabazz, said that he had gone to Mexico “invited under the premise that the African-Mexicans were being discriminated and treated unfairly and that they needed him to talk to them. And so, he went thinking that he was going to speak to these people, and they ended up killing him.”

Rios Garza said he saw no evidence that Shabazz’s attackers knew his background, adding that he found no evidence that race or any motive other than robbery was in play.

In February, Perez de Jesus was sentenced to 27 years and six months. It’s not clear whether Cruz was charged.

Dr. Wilner Metelus, president of the Committee on Citizens of the Defense of the Naturalized and AfroMexicans, does not consider the sentencing “a victory” because, allegedly, five people participated in the murder. “It is a step, nothing more,” he said.

Zayid Muhammad, press officer for the Malcolm X Commemoration Committee, stated, “There are some real serious questions about what happened to him, and who he was with that still need to be answered.”

Shabazz is the son of Qubilah Shabazz, Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz’s second daughter. He is survived by his mother, two daughters and five aunts. He was buried in Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, N.Y., near the graves of his grandparents.

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