[Ppnews] 'Deep Throat' betrayed murdered policeman in 'Omaha Two' case

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Sun Dec 21 13:03:42 EST 2008

Original Content at  

December 20, 2008

'Deep Throat' betrayed murdered policeman in 'Omaha Two' case

By Michael Richardson

William Mark Felt, the infamous ?Deep Throat? of Watergate fame, was  
no hero.  Sometimes portrayed as heroically risking his job at the  
Federal Bureau of Investigation to expose President Richard Nixon?s  
illegal ?Plumbers? unit that burglarized Democratic National Committee  
headquarters, Felt coveted the job as director.  Felt, who had engaged  
in and covered up dirty tricks and illegal conduct of FBI agents for  
years, was making a move to become the new boss.

The largest FBI crime spree that Felt kept under wraps was Operation  
COINTELPRO and his name appears on a secret FBI memo in the ?Omaha  
Two? case authorizing the withholding of a crime lab report.  Ed  
Poindexter and Mondo we Langa (formerly David Rice) were leaders of a  
Black Panther Party chapter in Omaha, Nebraska and targets of FBI  
director J. Edgar Hoover?s clandestine war on the party.  Hoover was  
determined to crush the party and jail or eliminate its leadership.

In 1975, Noam Chomsky put the two illegal operations in context  
writing about COINTELPRO misdeeds.  ?The criminal activities of the  
FBI were initiated under the liberal Democratic administrations and  
carried further under Nixon.  The programs were (partially) exposed  
during the Watergate period, and though incomparably more serious than  
anything charged against Nixon, they were virtually ignored during  
this period by the liberal national press and journals of opinion, and  
only marginally discussed since.?

The August 17, 1970 bombing murder of Omaha, Nebraska policeman Larry  
Minard gave Hoover?s agents the opportunity to place the blame on the  
Panther leaders and have them charged with the crime.  Assistant Chief  
of Police Glen W. Gates was agreeable to compromising the  
investigation into Minard?s killing in order to get the two Panthers.

One snag to the COINTELPRO plot was a tape recording of the killer?s  
voice made on the recently installed 911 system when a false report  
was made of a woman screaming.  A plan was made the same day of  
Minard?s murder to send the recording to the FBI Crime Laboratory for  
analysis.  However, the crime lab was not to issue a report on the  
testing which would have to be disclosed to defense attorneys.

The scheme to withhold evidence and drop the search for Minard?s  
actual killer was outlined in a confidential COINTELPRO memorandum  
addressed to Ivan Willard Conrad, the FBI lab director.  Conrad spoke  
with Hoover on the phone on August 19th, the day before officer  
Minard?s mangled body was buried, about the unusual request.  Hoover  
authorized withholding the report and Conrad noted Hoover said it was  
?OK to do? on his copy of the memo.

The jury that convicted Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa never got to  
hear the recording of the killer?s voice.  The jury also never learned  
that J. Edgar Hoover had personally authorized withholding evidence  
from them about the killer?s identity.  Hoover?s dirty role did not  
come to light until years later in a Freedom of Information request by  
Mondo we Langa.  Although the released document was heavily redacted  
enough information was left by FBI censors to reveal the awful details  
of the plot to let Minard?s killer get away with murder in order to  
pin the crime on Poindexter and Langa.

Felt, as chief of the Inspection Division, was on the COINTELPRO  
directorate that oversaw the field operations and approved or denied  
actions of the agents.  Felt was also on the distribution list of the  
Omaha memo.  Felt?s name appears sandwiched in between Conrad and  
James H. Gale, his predecessor at the Inspection Division.

Although Mondo?s heavily redacted copy of the COINTELPRO memo does not  
reveal Felt?s initials there can be little doubt Felt was aware of the  
plan to let Minard?s killer escape justice.  In his autobiographical  
memoir, The FBI Pyramid From the Inside, Felt bragged about his total  
oversight of field operations.

?The chief inspector occupied a unique position in the FBI hierarchy.   
Operating under the direct supervision of the Director and with  
authority to inquire at any time and any place on any matter.?

Felt elaborated, ?The whole operation was a pyramid with everything  
funneling up through ever tightening lines of responsibility until it  
reached Hoover.?

Felt also describes in his book his close working relationship with  
Conrad, with whom he was quick to pick up a phone and call when  
questions arose on a case.  As chief inspector, Felt should have  
insisted that a laboratory report be issued on the vocal analysis of  
Minard?s killer.

When the Church Committee of the U.S. Senate investigated COINTELPRO  
in the mid-70?s, Felt was the star witness, stonewalling the  
committee.  In another book, A G-Man?s Life, a sanctimonious Felt  
complained about the Senate inquiry and defended COINTELPRO abuses.

?I found myself becoming the foremost FBI witness, I was interviewed  
on five separate occasions by the committee staff?an exercise in  
futility and frustration, since most of what I said was ignored and  
the rest taken out of context.?

Felt kept up his drumbeat, ?I emphasized as strongly as I could that  
our country?s complacency against domestic terrorism would eventually  
lead to disaster.?

Felt?s enthusiasm for dirty tricks led to his authorization of illegal  
wiretaps after Hoover?s death and his subsequent prosecution and  
conviction.  ?I took part in the successful FBI struggle against these  
bomb-throwers and my battle decoration came on April 10th, 1978, when  
Attorney General Griffin Bell announced that I, along with L. Patrick  
Gray III and Edward S. Miller, had been indicted by a Federal Grand  
Jury in Washington, D.C. for violating the civil rights of members and  
supporters of the Weather Underground.?

Felt was pardoned by President Ronald Reagan and did not pay for his  
crimes.  Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa were not so fortunate.  Both  
men were convicted in a controversial trial marred by the withheld  
evidence and conflicting police testimony.  Sentenced to life  
imprisonment the two are confined at the maximum-security Nebraska  
State Penitentiary where they continue to deny any involvement in  
Minard?s death.  Poindexter has a new trial request pending before the  
Nebraska Supreme Court.  No date for a decision has been announced.


Permission granted to reprint

Authors Bio: Michael Richardson is a freelance writer based in Boston.  
Richardson writes about politics, law, nutrition, ethics, and music.  
Richardson is also a political consultant.

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