[Ppnews] Hoover used Omaha World-Herald as 'Whiteys newspaper' against Ed Poindexter

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Feb 18 16:22:58 EST 2009

Original Content at 

February 18, 2009

J. Edgar Hoover used Omaha World-Herald as 'Whiteys newspaper' in FBI 
bogus letter against Ed Poindexter

By Michael Richardson

J. Edgar Hoover, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for 
48 years, waged an illegal, clandestine war on domestic political 
activists and groups called Operation COINTELPRO.  Hoover declared 
the Black Panther Party the most dangerous of all and unleashed dirty 
tricks and illegal tactics with lethal ferocity.  In Omaha, Nebraska 
the two principal targets of COINTELPRO were Edward Poindexter and 
Mondo we Langa (formerly David Rice).

Ed Poindexter was the Chairman of the local chapter known variously 
as the National Committee to Combat Fascism, the United Front Against 
Fascism, and the Nebraska Committee to Combat Fascism.  Mondo we 
Langa was the Minister of Information and published the group's 
newsletter.  Both men were targeted for harassment and special 
attention after Hoover complained the Omaha FBI office was not 
getting results against the Panthers.

On December 10, 1969, Hoover ordered the Omaha FBI 
Special-Agent-in-Charge to "give consideration to counterintelligence 
measures directed against these leaders to weaken or destroy their 
positions."  Hoover told Omaha FBI agents to make up a plan against 
the Panther leaders.  "Evaluate your approach to this program and 
insure that it is given the imaginative attention necessary to 
produce effective results."

Heavily redacted COINTELPRO files, now archived at Political Research 
Associates, tell part of the Omaha story.  At least four COINTELPRO 
actions were planned and approved in 1970 against the Panthers.  One 
plan was to ambush the delivery of the Black Panther Party newspaper 
after it arrived at Eppley Airport aboard United Airlines Air 
Freight.  The FBI office was working with the airline to determine a 
pattern of newspaper pick-ups at the airport to 'disrupt' delivery of 
the papers.

A second plan revealed in the PRA archive of confidential FBI 
documents was directed against Poindexter and involved sending a 
bogus letter to the Omaha Star and two other 'Negro 
publications'.  The plan used an anonymous letter accusing Poindexter 
of falsely soliciting for bail money after an arrest that purportedly 
never happened.  Poindexter had gotten into an altercation at a 
hospital with authorities and ended up on the wrong end of a billy 
club.  The FBI said the incident was never recorded and that was the 
basis for one of the agents drafting a bogus letter that was sent to 
the newspaper.  Hoover also allowed anonymous calls to the publisher, 
which also occurred.

The third plan revealed in the COINTELPRO files involved another 
bogus letter and the Omaha World-Herald.  The FBI disruption plan was 
proposed to Hoover on August 15, 1970 in a three-page memo.  The 
proposal was to use an article published the day before in the Omaha 
World-Herald to discredit Poindexter and the Panther chapter with 
another bogus letter sent to Black Panther Party headquarters in California.

The Omaha World-Herald article was titled 'Panthers Cut Omaha Link' 
and made reference to a notice in a July issue of the Black Panther 
newspaper announcing the suspension of the Omaha chapter.  The 
redactions of FBI censors prevent a clear understanding of the 
sequence of events and may cover up another COINTELPRO manipulation 
of the World-Herald or of the Panther publication.  An anonymous 
phone call to the Omaha Panthers was made on August 4th which would 
indicate prior approval by Hoover to create a disruption.

What the August 15th COINTELPRO memo does reveal is that the Omaha 
FBI office wanted to send a copy of the clipping along with a bogus 
letter to David Hilliard, the Black Panther chief of staff.  The plan 
was to drive a wedge between the Omaha chapter and the national 
office of the party.

The FBI had an informant in the local group who reported that they 
had not received the Black Panther newspaper "in the last three or 
four weeks" and thus were not aware of the July notice about the 
Omaha chapter.  That information led to the anonymous call.

"It appears [REDACTED] misunderstood the phone call.  In a newspaper 
article appearing 8/14/70, in the Omaha World Herald, a daily Omaha, 
Nebraska, newspaper, [REDACTED] states that a letter recently 
appeared in the BPP newspaper stating that the local NCCF was ending 
its affiliation with the panthers and that this letter was attributed 
to [REDACTED] and NCCF member, Raleigh House."

The Omaha FBI office requested permission to send copies of the 
letter to Hilliard at the national party headquarters, to the Omaha 
chapter, and to affiliate chapters in Kansas City and St. Louis.

A copy of the anonymous letter is included in the PRA archive.  The 
letter targeted Ed Poindexter and although his name is redacted three 
times, the FBI censor missed one use of Poindexter's name revealing 
he was the subject of the bogus letter.

The fabricated letter was addressed to Hilliard.  The letter covered 
the notice of expulsion and misunderstanding of the Omaha chapter's 
status with the Black Panther Party.  The FBI letter also called the 
Omaha World-Herald newspaper "Whiteys newspaper".

"[Poindexter] has been rapping to the people, that the guys in 
California don't know what in the hell they are doing.  In fact 
[Poindexter] said the same thing to Whiteys newspaper the Omaha World 
herald.  I am sending you copies of this jive to show you who 
Poindexter thinks he is."

On August 17, 1970, two days after the Omaha FBI office asked for 
Hoover's permission to mail the letter about Poindexter and the 
World-Herald, a dispatcher at police headquarters received an 
anonymous phone call about a woman screaming in a vacant house.  Four 
squad cars were sent to investigate the early-morning emergency call.

As eight officers searched the house and yard, one of them approached 
a suitcase near a doorway.  A powerful explosion instantly killed 
officer Larry Minard, a 29 year-old father of five young 
children.  In the hours following the deadly blast Omaha uniformed 
officers searched frantically for Minard's killers.

The FBI immediately joined the investigation and offered to analyze 
the 911 recording of the killer's voice that had lured Minard to his 
death.  However, acting under COINTELPRO directives to "destroy" Ed 
Poindexter and Mondo we Langa's position as leaders of the Omaha 
Black Panthers, the FBI offer of help was tainted.

As day broke on the crime scene and investigators sifted through the 
bombing debris looking for clues, a new COINTELPRO action was being 
planned by Omaha FBI agents.  Assistant Chief of Police Glen W. Gates 
met with the FBI and agreed that it was more important to stop the 
Black Panthers than find Minard's killers.  An urgent COINTELPRO 
'airtel' memo was drafted for FBI headquarters.

"By airtel 8/17/70 the Omaha Office has advised that the Omaha Police 
Department has requested laboratory assistance in connection with a 
bombing which took place in Omaha 8/17/70.  This bombing resulted in 
the death of one police officer and the injuring of six other 
officers and is apparently directly connected with a series of racial 
bombings which Omaha Police have experienced.  The Police were lured 
to the bomb site by a telephonic distress call from an unknown male."

"[REDACTED] of the Omaha Police has requested [REDACTED]."

"The SAC, Omaha strongly recommends that the assistance requested by 
the Omaha Police Department be conducted."

"[REDACTED] It is felt, in view of the SAC's recommendation and the 
significance of this case, an exception should be made in this case 
in order to assist the Omaha Police in developing investigative 
leads.  The results of any examination will not be furnished directly 
to the Police but orally conveyed through the SAC of Omaha."

"If approved, the results of any examinations will be orally 
furnished the Police on an informal basis through the SAC, Omaha."

When the COINTELPRO memo reached the FBI Crime Laboratory two days 
later on August 19th the lab director, Ivan Willard Conrad, spoke by 
phone with Hoover over the unusual request to withhold a report on 
the killer's voice analysis.  Conrad was given the go ahead to 
withhold evidence about the identity of the anonymous 911 
caller.  Conrad initialed the memo noting, "Dir advised 
telephonically & said OK to do."

The fix was in, Minard had not yet been buried and J. Edgar Hoover 
had already given the order to abandon the search for his killer to 
make a case against Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa.

On August 24th Hoover gave written approval to the earlier FBI bogus 
letter request about "Whiteys newspaper".  At that point, Poindexter 
was already in custody and the search was on for Mondo we 
Langa.  Both men were tried for Minard's murder.

Conrad followed orders and issued no report on the 911 tape.  The 
jury that would convict the two Panther leaders never got to hear the 
recording of Minard's killer.  Nor did the jury know about the 
existence of Operation COINTELPRO or that Poindexter and Langa had 
been targeted by the clandestine operation.

Raleigh House, named in the August 15th COINTELPRO memo, was 
identified at the trial as the supplier of the dynamite that killed 
Minard.  A suspected informant, House faced no formal charges for 
supplying the explosives and only spent one night in jail before 
being released on his own signature by order of Arthur O'Leary of the 
county prosecutor's office.

Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa were convicted and sentenced to life 
imprisonment.  Both are confined at the maximum-security Nebraska 
State Penitentiary where they continue to deny any involvement in 
Minard's death.

A new trial request over the withheld evidence and conflicting police 
testimony is pending before the Nebraska Supreme Court.  No date for 
a decision has been set.


  Permission granted to reprint

Author's 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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522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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