November 29th, 2010 Examiner.com
The Nebraskans For Justice, a citizen action group founded to provide litigation support to the Omaha Two, has issued a “Call to Action” urging a national COINTELPRO reconciliation effort.
Operation COINTELPRO was an illegal and clandestine program of the Federal Bureau of Investigation directed at political activists during J. Edgar Hoover’s long tenure as director of the national police agency. The Omaha Two are former Black Panther leaders, Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa (formerly David Rice) who were convicted for the bombing death of an Omaha policeman in 1970 after a COINTELPRO-tainted trial.
Tariq Al Amin, an ex-Omaha police officer, is head of Nebraskans For Justice and is spearheading the effort to get a COINTELPRO Truth and Reconciliation Commission established.
Tariq explained the group wants to use the national healing process that South Africa underwent following the end of apartheid for the largest abuse of law enforcement in American history.
“We are asking everyone to write a letter to the Attorney General of the United States and the Assistant Attorney General over the Civil Rights Division.”
Nebraskans For Justice wants a sweeping review of federal, state and local law enforcement files to identify COINTELPRO abuses and then corrective measures undertaken.
“We want them to look into all practices and policies of the local, state and federal agencies, their officers and agents. This is to include all levels of the criminal justice system, including prosecutors and the courts.”
“While our organization is working on the release of Ed Poindexter and Mondo, we want the cases if all political prisoners reviewed. We also know that there were many people who were falsely arrested, charged, and convicted and have had to live with the consequences of an undeserved criminal record.”
“COINTELPRO was far-reaching and very destructive. Above all, many of its tactics were illegal and./or unethical.”
“Two former FBI agents, L. Patrick Grey and Edward S. Miller were in the process of appealing their convictions for acts committed under COINTELPRO when they were given pardons by President Reagan. Reagan stated that their activities took place during an especially turbulent and divisive period. He stated that it was time to “put all this behind us” and “to forgive those who engaged in “excesses.” Yet nothing has been done on behalf of those still serving time behind those “excesses.”
Tariq said, “It is our hope that our collective voices will be heard.”