Friday, January 21, 2011

Jericho movement launches petition to reopen COINTELPRO cases

by Michael Richardson Jan. 18, 2011

Jericho is a small-scale movement with a defined goal of recognition of
the existence of political prisoners in the United States and gaining
amnesty and freedom for them. Jericho grew out of a 1998 demonstration
for prisoners in Washington, D.C.

Jericho believes that all convictions in COINTELPRO-linked cases where the
individuals are still imprisoned should immediately be reviewed.
COINTELPRO was an illegal, secret operation of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation under director J. Edgar Hoover that targeted the Black
Panthers and other “black nationalist” groups with lethal ferocity.

Jericho has launched an on-line petition to call for Congressional
hearings on the legacy and continuing impact of the FBI’s
counterintelligence program. “COINTELPO represents a part of American
history we would all like to forget. However, to forget is to repeat.
Unfortunately, dozens of women and men are still incarcerated upwards of
40 years as a direct result of this heinous program.”

The petition continues: “Therefore we urge you to reopen this national
Pandora’s box so that, at last, justice can be done, and we can finally
bring our Politically Imprisoned women and men home with honor and

COINTELPRO was investigated by the United States Senate in the mid-1970’s
by the so-called Church Committee but many details of the secret program
remained hidden. Over the years new facts have emerged about the enormity
of Hoover’s illegal counterintelligence operation while some of his
victims remain imprisoned four decades later.

The case of the Omaha Two, Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa (formerly
David Rice) stands out because FBI crime lab director Ivan Willard Conrad
documented Hoover’s command to withhold evidence on a COINTELPRO
memorandum in their case.

The Omaha Two were leaders of the Black Panther affiliate group in
Nebraska and had been targeted by Hoover for counterintelligence measures.
The two men were convicted for the bombing death of an Omaha policeman
after Hoover successfully withheld information on the identity of the 911
caller that lured the officer to an ambush, letting the killer get away
with murder.

The Nebraskans for Justice, a citizen group formed to support litigation
on behalf of the Omaha Two, has similarly called for a reopening of
COINTELPRO-tainted cases and also the establishment of a national
commission on reconciliation to address the crimes of Hoover’s operation.

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