The day the story changed about the Black Panthers and an Omaha policeman’s murder

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Sixteen year-old Duane Peak changed his story on September 28, 1970 after being threatened with the electric chair and implicated two Black Panther leaders in a murder he earlier said they were not involved in. (credits: Unknown photographer/Court exhibit)

The Omaha Municipal Court preliminary hearing for Ed Poindexter and David Rice (later Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa) was called to order on September 28, 1970. Both defendants asked their murder cases be severed and tried separately but were denied. County Attorney Donald Knowles and Arthur O’Leary represented the prosecution, Public Defender A.Q. Wolf and Thomas Kenney represented Poindexter, with David Herzog representing Rice.

The two men were leaders of Omaha’s affiliate chapter of the Black Panther Party called the National Committee to Combat Fascism. The pair were charged with the bombing murder of Omaha Patrolman Larry Minard, Sr. on August 11, 1970. Peak confessed to planting the bomb and after six versions ended up implicating the Black Panther pair during his preliminary hearing testimony, however only after contradicting himself.

Thomas Kenney later described the hearing held at Omaha City Hall. “It was a few blocks from the Courthouse, but the preliminary hearing was a real circus. There was a mob of people there, and screaming and hollering. There were mobs of people, news media, pro-police factions, you know, a number of black people.”

David Herzog began by immediately objecting to any testimony by Peak because he was a co-defendant, unreliable, and a minor. The judge overruled the objection stating he did not know anything about Peak.

Arthur O’Leary asked Peak about seeing Ed Poindexter a week before the murder. Peak couldn’t remember. “I don’t think I remember seeing him.”

Peak also couldn’t remember seeing Poindexter at the American Legion on the Friday before the bombing as he earlier claimed. Peak couldn’t remember giving a deposition to O’Leary a month earlier where he purportedly did remember. Nor did Peak remember giving O’Leary a statement during an interrogation a week earlier.

County Attorney Donald Knowles had enough and stopped the questioning. “I note, Your Honor, from looking around the courtroom, that this witness’ lawyer is not here. I would like your permission for a continuance to the time that we can get his lawyer here. I think he should be here with him.”

When the preliminary hearing resumed in the afternoon, Knowles made a statement, apparently because Peak was still not ready to cooperate with the prosecution. “I understand that the Court’s ruling was that we were allowed to withdraw the witness that was on the stand this morning due to the fact that he had taken us by surprise and we are allowed to proceed now with other witnesses.”

Finally, in mid-afternoon, Duane Peak returned to the witness stand, wearing sun glasses. The Omaha World-Herald reported that Peak’s hands trembled and his answers were whispers.

Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers interviewed Peak years later about the case and that day in court. Peak described removing his sunglasses upon instruction from the judge at the preliminary hearing. “The stress and the pain and all that I went through, it showed in my face.”

If you had known, you could have felt the inside of my heart, you know, it just like someone took a big bass drum and took it inside me and just started beating away. You know, I could feel like…uhh…as I sat on the witness stand, my heartbeat. I felt that everyone could see my entire body pulsating, you know. The way my heart was beating and I was under a lot of hurt and I was under a lot of stress. I had a big concern for my family. I didn’t want to see my family suffer for anything they had nothing to do with, and that was very important as well.”

Peak admitted conferring with three people during the morning recess; his lawyer, his brother Donald, and his grandfather, Foster Goodlett. Objections were made against any further testimony by Peak because of the visits. The judge allowed Peak to testify. “The young man is represented by competent counsel and I don’t know what he advised him but he has been represented and he has also conferred with his grandfather, who is a minister and whom I have known for a long time and I don’t know what advice he gave him but your motion is overruled and we will see what the defendant testifies to.”

Unknown to the defendants or their attorneys, Donald Peak was a paid FBI informant who reported to Special Agent in Charge Paul Young and later to prosecutor O’Leary. Poindexter and Rice were targets of the clandestine COINTELPRO counterintelligence operation and the subject of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s personal attention. Donald Peak’s visit with his brother during the recess carried with it COINTELPRO taint.

Peak’s testimony changed during the recess. Now Peak remembered a conversation outside NCCF headquarters with Ed Poindexter about a bomb. “He called me outside and said he wanted to show me how to make a bomb.”

Peak said Poindexter told him to meet that evening at Frank Peak’s house. “He met me there with Rollie House.”

Duane claimed that from Frank’s home he went with House and Poindexter to Mondo’s residence where Poindexter got out of the vehicle. “We went up to Rollie House’s house. Rollie brought a suitcase out from the house.”

Peak said House returned him to Mondo’s home where Peak claimed that Poindexter opened the suitcase to reveal dynamite. “Poindexter took the dynamite out of the suitcase and put it in a box.”

Peak’s story about construction of the bomb changed from his earlier versions. Peak said he and Mondo assisted Poindexter. Peak also said that Poindexter wanted to plant the bomb that night but couldn’t get a ride. According to Peak, at an encounter with Poindexter about 11:00 p.m. on Friday night at the American Legion Club, Peak was instructed to deliver the bomb to a vacant house on Ohio Street.

Peak gave yet a different version of the bomb construction to Ernie Chambers. “That thing was made in David’s basement. It was his basement.” Peak denied witnessing the construction of the bomb. None of Peak’s earlier versions of the crime supported his new claim to Chambers that the bomb was assembled outside his view in Mondo’s basement. At trial, the bomb was allegedly assembled by Poindexter in the kitchen while Peak watched on.

Peak said he retrieved the suitcase and took it to Olivia Norris’ house where he told his brother Donald to stay away from the suitcase. From there Peak took the suitcase to sister Delia’s apartment with sister Theresa giving him a ride.

Under cross-examination by Thomas Kenney, Peak admitted telling the police a different story when first questioned. Peak said he was threatened with the electric chair during his first interrogation.

David Herzog asked Peak about his arrest. Peak said he was taken to the police station where he met with police officers and one other person. “There was one from the FBI.”

“The FBI arrested me,” testified Peak.

Peak said police twice talked to him about being executed in the electric chair. “They said I was sitting in the electric chair so I had better tell the truth.”

“I didn’t have a chance.”

Peak admitted he had been coached about his confession by Arthur O’Leary in preparation for the hearing. Peak said his attorney was not present for the session with O’Leary. Herzog asked Peak to remove his sunglasses. Ernie Chambers was there and described the scene in an interview. “When he came back in the afternoon, his face was swollen around his eyes, he had glasses on….When Duane took his glasses off his eyes were red, you could see he had been crying, and there was an audible gasp in the courtroom.”

“His answers were scarcely audible. A young man who knew nothing about anything in the morning and suddenly gave the answers that the police, the prosecutors needed to implicate David and Ed.”

Kenney asked for a dismissal of the charges. “Your Honor, the case that the State has presented thus far was the testimony of a 16-year-old boy who admittedly was subjected to extensive psychological coercion on the part of the Omaha Police Department and therefore is unreliable.”

Herzog also sought a dismissal. “The witness has changed sides; has altered his story; has forgotten, claims to have forgotten some facts, and then comes back this afternoon and offers that testimony at the State’s own request and that witness has now impeached himself.”

“The confession itself or the statement here is of an unreliable nature; obviously coerced; obviously given under fear by the statement of the witness himself. He indicates he would give the police officer or police officers anything they wanted.”

The case was continued to trial where in April 1971 the FBI obtained the conviction they sought. Peak stuck to his story, got his deal and never spent a day in prison. Raleigh House was never charged for allegedly supplying the suitcase and dynamite for the bomb. Rice was convicted and died at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in March 2016. Poindexter remains behind bars at the maximum-security prison where he continues to proclaim his innocence.

The day after the preliminary hearing Peak wrote to Olivia Norris, a family friend, from his jail cell that he betrayed “two bloods” and deserved a life sentence or execution. The letter, censored by the jail staff, was shown to prosecutors but kept from the defense.

This article is excerpted from the book FRAMED: J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO & the Omaha Two story. The book is available in ebook by Kindle or print from Amazon. The book is available for local readers at the Omaha Public Library. Portions of the book are also online for free at NorthOmahaHistory.com.

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Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway cited by Julian Lin in political fraud prosecution

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Julian Lin and Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway at POLITICO Powerlist media event in 2017 (credit: Taiwan Civil Government)

In a dramatic moment at her preliminary hearing on Sept. 13 in Taoyuan District Court, Julian Lin stated her overseas trips for Taiwan Civil Government resulted in a personal connection at the White House with Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway. Lin, now confined to solitary confinement without visitors, is charged with participation in political fraud against TCG donors. An acquaintance with Conway’s kind of clout could be viewed as exculpatory evidence against scam charges giving the case definite political overtones. Taiwan Civil Government has been seeking United States assistance to expel the exiled Republic of China. ROC prosecutors claim that TCG was conducting a hollow effort to gain donations from members.

Judge Yi Shan Yao asked Lin if she contacted officials when she lead TCG delegations abroad. Lin answered, “Yes, like Conway, she is the campaign manager of President Trump, now the highest advisor to the White House. There are also other contacts.”

The long standing strategic ambiguity that fogs Taiwan’s international status, called “political purgatory” by the District of Columbia federal appellate court, has mixed a devil’s brew. The confused status of the island, variously known as Formosa, Taiwan, the Republic of China, or Chinese Taipei has created a rainbow of Taiwanese independence organizations. One of the most controversial, and successful, is Taiwan Civil Government, founded by Julian’s husband, Roger Lin, also being held in harsh pretrial detention, on the floor in a bare cell with no visitors or contact with the outside world.

Julian Lin denied any fraudulent conduct at her preliminary hearing. Lin told the judge that most of the complainants were TCG members before her and that she could not be defrauding them because they agreed before she joined.  Lin said the complainants all voluntarily applied for TCG identity cards and attended classes because of the TCG message.

Lin testified upon questioning that she had favorable experiences using the TCG identity card at the airports with Customs by courteous reception and that it was accepted as valid identification at the United Nations where she used the card to enter the building.  Lin was asked for details of her use of the TCG identity card.  Lin said “flying to the United States as long as the name on the ticket is the same as the name on the Taiwan Government’s identity card, you can directly use the Taiwan Government identity card without the ROC passport” to board the plane.”

“With the ROC passport, plus my useful identity card and invitation letter from the Taiwanese Government, I got a quick customs clearance.  I originally lined up with the general tourists.  When I showed the identity card and invitation letter of the Taiwanese Government, the Customs let us take the clearance through the official door.”

The presiding judge asked about the invitation letter. Lin answered it was for an event at the Four Seasons Hotel. Lin has been to two different events at the fancy hotel, a reception for the opening of a TCG office in Washington and later for a RightNow breakfast with Kelleyanne Conway. It is not clear from her testimony which event the invitation letter was about.

Lin said her speeches on her trips were appeals for international help about the statelessness of the Taiwanese people and a desire to normalize relations for the island.

Lin revealed that she is wealthy from her family.  The 134 million yuan seized in a May 2018 raid was hers from the 350  million yuan premarital assets that belonged to her before her 2012 marriage to Roger Lin  Julian claimed the money, stacked at home in cash, was hers legally.  Prosecutors allege that Lin’s premarital assets were only 50 million yuan and the difference is criminal gain.

The judge asked Lin what her position at Taiwan Civil Government was to which she replied she was only a volunteer.  Lin was then asked about leading teams abroad and answered she was participating in free speech as a Taiwanese.  Asked if she did diplomatic work Lin repeated she was only a volunteer.

Lin explained the TCG decision-making process as being guided by weekly round table meetings. Lin said she sometimes participates when invited. She would facilitate payments when authorized by the round table group and approved by Roger Lin.

The judge asked Lin if she was a plaintiff in Roger and Julian Lin vs. USA and ROC. Lin replied she was on advice of an American attorney. The case brought in District of Columbia federal court sought to overturn the 1946 Nationality Act which deprived Formosans of their Japanese citizenship. A federal appellate court later ruled the statute of limitations had run out on the post-World War II action by the ROC to consolidate its hold on Formosa.

The judge wanted to know more about Julian Lin’s trip to the United Nations, promoted in a full-page New York Times advertisement. Lin answered, “I personally took the identity card of the Taiwanese Government and exchanged identification cards and entered the security check of the United Nations.”

The judge asked why Lin was invited to a meeting at the United Nations building. Lin explained TCG has been working hard to gain acceptance. The UN invite came through the efforts of Global Vision Communications. “In the United States, political activities must be carried out through public relations companies,”said Lin. Neil Hare, head of GVC is TCG’s chief publicist and spokesman in the United States.

Lin volunteered she had also used the TCG identity card as identification to enter the National Press Club. Lin said an “American lawyer” arranged with the National Press Club to accept the TCG card as valid identification.

The judge asked about a statement Lin made during her interrogation that TCG was approved by the Department of Justice. Lin did not recall making the statement although she said something similar at the TCG news conference held at the National Press Club. Lin was referring to TCG’s compliance with the Foreign Agent Registration Act enforced by the Department of Justice. Although FARA registration does not constitute approval it is evidence of recognition of TCG as a foreign entity.

The judge asked about GVC and its officers. Lin replied she had no current information. Given her incommunicado imprisonment the judge accepted that answer but probed into banking. Lin said she had a Bank of America account in Hong Kong unavailable to TCG and a second account which she would write checks for the group in exchange for cash. Lin would get reports from the round table decision group “that it is difficult to send money to the United States, I will help.”

Lin told the court that neither she nor Roger Lin had a salary. Lin reiterated the seized money was hers.

“It’s all my money. My family’s money won’t be all in the bank. This is my father’s teaching. I myself have a lot of money.”

Lin’s legal team took over and foretold the upcoming defense strategy. Julian’s lawyers are Li-Jung Huang, Hui-Min Huang, and Cheng-Chen Chiang.  The argument is the ROC Constitution gives the people freedom of speech and freedom of assembly and association. Taiwan Civil Government’s exposition, whether the San Francisco Peace Treaty handed over Taiwan to the ROC, or US military occupation, is a political proposition and should be protected by freedom of speech.

Further, out of more than 38,000 members of TCG only sixty-six are complaining witnesses, less than two-thousandths of the total membership. The use of a fraud charge is improper and Lin should be released for want of a crime.

Lin’s lawyers complain of the propaganda employed against their client and that she has been called a Chinese mole, the “Black Rose” and the “Empress Dowager” to discredit her. They argue that Julian is a native Taiwanese and that it was not criminally wrong for her to marry Roger Lin and it is not wrong for her to have wealth.

Finally, it was pointed out to the court that there are two young children in need of care by their mother. Roger and Julian adopted two babies now a three year-old boy and a one year-old girl. The children were briefly displayed in the courtroom doorway provoking the imprisoned mother to lose her composure and cry. The small courtroom filled with sorrow as TCG supporters all burst into tears with Lin in a sad, somber moment.

Julian Lin continues to be held incommunicado in solitary confinement because she is a presumed flight risk and might send a message to supposed fraud confederates. It is hard to see how the two infant children could aid Lin in an escape or communicate to TCG members. The four month ban on seeing her children is stark proof that talk of expelling the ROC comes with a heavy price.

After the short hearing, Lin was shackled and returned to her lonely isolation in a bare cell. Julian’s punishment has already begun.

Roger Lin makes plea for other Taiwan Civil Government defendants

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Roger Lin at a Taiwan Civil Government rally before his May 2018 arrest for political fraud (credit: Taiwan Civil Government)

Four months in a Republic of China in-exile punishment cell have taken a heavy toll on sixty-seven year-old Roger Lin, who is suffering from progressive prostate cancer. A tearful Lin told Taoyuan District Judge Yi-Shan Yao that he was being denied medical treatment and that he was forced to live on the floor of his tiny cell where he is denied visitors and contact with the outside world. Lin is the founder and leader of Taiwan Civil Government which advocates expelling the ROC regime which has imprisoned him. Lin faces a lengthy prison sentence under the Organized Crime Prevention Act and the Money Laundering Control Act.

Roger Lin is accused of masterminding an elaborate international political fraud ring, a decade in the making, with false claims about the future of the exiled Chinese government now ruling the island. Supposedly unsophisticated donors were allegedly duped with political double-talk into parting with their money.

Between tears at a Sept. 13 hearing, Roger Lin urged the presiding judge to drop charges against five other TCG defendants. Frequently wiping his eyes, Lin told the court the dispute was between him and the exiled Chinese government he seeks to send back to China. A three member prosecution team likened Lin and the others as “political rodents” with fictional political influence. Lin supporters in the courtroom were sobbing at the somber scene as the “Secretary-General” sought to maintain his dignity.

Chief ROC prosecutor Li-Hoa Chu sees money seized during midnight raids in May 2018 as evidence of wrong-doing because the funds were stored in a cabinet instead of a bank. Thought to be the TCG war chest, Julian Lin, wife of Roger, claims most of the money was hers and not money donated by group members. Seized in the midnight raid were large sums of currency: $134 million NT, $50,000 USD, and 2,000 Euros.

Lin plead not guilty to fraud and money-laundering charges. Lin told the judge he felt Taiwan Civil Government was the future of Taiwan and that he had been working on that goal for twelve years.

Lin was questioned about the validity of the TCG identity card and any claims made about the card. Lin stressed he “never said that alone the identity card can enter Customs.” Rather, that a ROC passport was still needed, however there will be much identity card courtesy by Customs officers.

The judge asked Lin if Taiwan Civil Government advocated a United States military government occupation of Taiwan. Lin answered, “Yes.”

Lin elaborated the Department of Defense was responsible under the San Francisco Peace Treaty and that Japan recognized the United States military in Japan including Taiwan. Lin explained that at the end of World War II the Taiwanese were Japanese nationals under colonial rule.

The judge asked if the United States had a military presence in Taiwan. Lin answered the American Institute on Taiwan has raised the American flag and uniformed Marines now guard the State Department facility.

Lin said the Justice Department consented to the Taiwan Civil Government by accepting the registration of Global Vision Communications as a Foreign Agent for TCG in the United States. When asked if the United States authorized TCG to issue identity cards Lin answered that the group delegations have used the cards in the United States unimpeded.

The judge pressed Lin if the United States authorized the TCG identity card. Lin replied, “No.” Lin explained that Taiwan Civil Government Foundation was established which was to be linked to a Bank of America account to enable TCG members holding the identity card to use them as valid documents to conduct banking in the United States.

Lin was asked about TCG’s vanity license plates. Lin said the plates were to be used concurrently with the ROC issued plates for liaison purposes. In 2016, Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung declared the license plates a “violation of law and order” and said the plates and identification cards had no “legal validity.” The mayor called on the ROC to respond to the issue, however the Ministry of Interior declined to act citing freedom of speech. Vehicles continued to need official ROC license plates and the TCG plates could not be installed in violation of traffic code regulations.

The judge asked Lin why Taiwan Civil Government does not directly open a bank account in Taiwan to which Lin replied that TCG had not registered as an organization with the ROC government.

Defense attorney Chen-Hsing Chang told the court that “money laundering” applied only when the source of the money was illegal. Commenting on firearms seized in the May raid, Chang said the weapons were legal and belonged to the Black Bear squad, TCG’s paramilitary unit. Chang said TCG’s views on the status of Taiwan were clearer than religion thus eliminating any element of treachery.

Chang said at present TCG had 38,000 members and only three hundred of them were classified as victims. Of the supposed victims, Chang asserted only sixty-six were actual complainants, less than two thousandths of the members.

Defense attorney Chun-Lung Chen said Lin was not guilty and had a constitutional right under the ROC constitution to freedom of expression and association. Chen argued that Lin’s incommunicado pretrial detention was a violation of both freedom of expression and Lin’s right to defend himself and that he presented no flight risk. Chen said Lin was being arbitrarily detained on speculation.

Prosecutors have carefully avoided alleging a breach of national security or treason charges for establishing a “civil government” and Lin’s frequent pronouncements that the Republic of China in-exile is not the legally recognized government of Taiwan. Such a prosecution would evoke the four decades of martial law suffered under the ROC by the Taiwanese people and give Lin public support unavailable to him if he is seen as a scam artist.

Although Roger Lin was granted no other relief, Judge Yi-Shan Yao did order hospital treatment of Lin while in custody. A TCG member who claims to have seen Lin taken to a hospital said Lin was handcuffed and shackled while being transported.

Some information comes from an online report by citizen reporter Lin Shan-feng who was present in the courtroom.

FBI sought electric chair execution of Black Panther leaders in Omaha

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Nebraska’s electric chair where the FBI sought the execution of the Omaha Two  (credit: Nebraska Dept. of Corrections)

On December 4, 1969, in a Federal Bureau of Investigation orchestrated pre-dawn raid in Chicago, Black Panther leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark were shot to death. Fourteen handpicked policemen, armed with twenty-seven firearms including a Thompson submachine and shotguns, converged on Hampton’s apartment at 4:45 a.m. Police fired a barrage into the quiet apartment killing the two Panther leaders and wounding all of the other occupants.

Attorney Paul Wolf has commented on a December 8, 1969 raid in Los Angeles. “Four days after a similar raid on a Panther apartment in Chicago, forty men of the Special Weapons and Tactics squad, with more than a hundred regular police as backup, raided the Los Angeles Panther headquarters at 5:30 in the morning. The Panthers chose to defend themselves, and for four hours they fought off police, refusing to surrender until press and public were on the scene. Six of them were wounded. Thirteen were arrested. Miraculously, none of them were killed.”

The similarities between the Chicago and Los Angeles raids are undeniable, with a special local police unit closely linked to the FBI involved in both assaults, spurious warrants seeking “illegal weapons” utilized on both occasions, predawn timing of both raids to catch the Panthers asleep and a reliance on overwhelming police firepower to the exclusion of all other methods. Both raids occurred in the context of an ongoing and highly energetic anti-BPP COINTELPRO, and—as in the Hampton assassination—bullets were fired directly into Pratt’s bed. Unlike the Chicago leader, however, Pratt was sleeping on the floor, the result of spinal injuries sustained in Vietnam.”

On December 10, 1969, two days after the raid in Los Angeles, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was unhappy with a lack of action in Omaha. Hoover sent a stern memorandum to Paul Young. “While the activities appear to be limited in the Omaha area, it does not necessarily follow that effective counterintelligence measures cannot be taken. As long as there are BPP activities, you should be giving consideration to that type of counterintelligence measure which would best disrupt existing activities. It would appear some type of counterintelligence aimed at disruption of the publication and distribution of their literature is in order. It is also assumed that of the eight to twelve members, one or two must surely be in a position of leadership. You should give consideration to counterintelligence measures directed against these leaders in an effort to weaken or destroy their positions. Bureau has noted you have not submitted any concrete counterintelligence proposals in recent months. Evaluate your approach to this program and insure that it is given the imaginative attention necessary to produce effective results. Handle promptly and submit your proposals to the Bureau for approval.”

Young, mindful of the deadly raid in Chicago a week earlier, selected two Omaha leaders, Edward Poindexter and David Rice (later Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa) for COINTELPRO misdeeds. Young planned an ambush in Carter Lake, Iowa after being tipped by United Airlines personnel about a shipment of Black Panther newspapers arriving at Eppley Airport in Omaha. Details were never finalized as Young’s agents were unable to obtain the sought cargo information.

Young was able to satisfy Hoover’s blood lust for lethal outcomes with a plan to blame the two Panthers. Instead of gunplay to kill, Young’s counterintelligence plan would use Nebraska’s electric chair to execute the men. The Omaha Two faced death sentences at their controversial 1971 trial for the August 17, 1970 murder of Patrolman Larry Minard.

The electric chair was last previously used in 1959 to execute serial killer Charles Starkweather. It was used three times since the Minard murder trial in 1971. Nebraska abolished the death penalty in 2014 and then restored it in 2016. Nebraska executed its first prisoner by lethal injection in August 2018.

Omaha police sent the most critical piece of evidence, a 911 recording of a killer’s voice, to the FBI Laboratory for analysis to identify the anonymous caller who lured police to a bomb-rigged vacant house. However, the search for Minard’s killers was not a search for truth. Hoover ordered results of the laboratory testing squelched with no written report. The jury never heard the voice on the 911 recording, a voice that did not fit with the FBI-orchestrated prosecution scenario.

Although it took three days of deliberation to reach a verdict, the jury convicted Poindexter and Rice; however, the jury spared their lives and ruled out execution. Rice, who became Mondo in prison, died at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in March 2016. Poindexter remains imprisoned at the maximum-security prison where he continues to proclaim his innocence.

This article contains excerpts from FRAMED: J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO & the Omaha Two story by Michael Richardson, available in print at Amazon and in ebook at Kindle. Permission granted to reprint.

Republic of China in-exile to expose case against Roger and Julian Lin of Taiwan Civil Government

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Roger and Julian Lin at a New Year Day rally  (credit: Taiwan Civil Government)

Roger and Julian Lin, held incommunicado in a Taiwan jail in solitary confinement since their May 11 midnight arrest, finally get to hear the accusations against them. Leaders of Taiwan Civil Government, the Lin couple is accused of defrauding TCG members out of millions of dollars. Supporters say the pair are political prisoners for seeking to oust the occupying Republic of China in-exile. Washington insiders who accepted money from TCG for various publicity events, litigation, and lobbying will be awaiting the outcome of the September 13 preliminary hearing in Taiwan with more than a little curiosity.

Things look ominous for Roger Lin and five others arrested with him. In keeping with the harsh pretrial detention of the Lins, the preliminary hearing has strict rules. The hearing is to be held in a small courtroom limiting the public to eighteen seats and five for the news media. Entry to the courtroom itself requires a security pre-clearance with search and identification examination. The Lins are scheduled to appear at different times so apparently Roger and Julian will not even be able to see each other in court.

Another clue to trouble ahead for Lin was the inability to obtain bail or visitors. The ROC court did not elaborate on the incommunicado order denying the Lins any visitors but did refuse bail because prosecutor’s feared there was hidden money which could fund an escape from Taiwan. Further, in dicta, the court commented on a purported procedural error by the defense, either showing judicial bias or defense attorney incompetence depending on who was correct.

Initial news reports at the time of the midnight raid on TCG headquarters and homes accused the Lins of operating a massive Ponzi scheme and keeping large sums of money stashed in a cabinet The Ponzi talk has faded when purported details of the TCG scam began leaking out. Supposedly the fraud ring of top TCG officials tricked donors out of their money by making false claims of future United States assistance expelling the ROC from Taiwan.

Prosecutors have apparently ignored large sums of money spent by Taiwan Civil Government to influence the Trump Administration. TCG lobby efforts and spending were winning the group friends in high places in Washington. Julian Lin connected with Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway. However, TCG connections in Washington do not support the scam theme that ROC prosecutors are trying to prove and likely will not surface in court.

Although it is too early for Roger Lin to offer his defense, a recent statement by purportedly 250 of the 315 complainants gives a suggestion to future legal strategy. The statement, if accurate, claims that names were falsely used by prosecutors of TCG donors who do not consider themselves victims. The remaining sixty-five complainants are purportedly political operatives recruited by TCG opponents in the Democratic Progressive Party, disgruntled TCG members, or homeless persons paid to complain.

Public opinion has polarized around two views of Roger Lin as either a criminal mastermind or a political prisoner. Taiwan’s longstanding strategic ambiguity lies at the core of the case which has continued to hold interest on the island. Washington, on the other hand, lies a world apart from Taiwan where only insiders will be paying attention to events in a small courtroom far away.

New book on FBI’s war against the Black Panthers gets five-star review

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A’isha Mohammed, a national activist of the Jericho Movement, wrote the first Amazon Customer Review of my book FRAMED: J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO & the Omaha Two story. Mohammed was one of the first to read the new book and found herself immersed in the story of injustice in middle America. The Jericho Movement, dedicated to freeing political prisoners in the United States, has long followed the Omaha case.

Mohammed wrote that FRAMED “is a hard hitting account of the COINTELPRO set up of Edward Poindexter and Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa.” Poindexter and Mondo (former David Rice) were convicted in April 1971 for the murder of an Omaha policeman following a highly controversial trial. COINTELPRO was an illegal, clandestine counterintelligence operation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that targeted citizens for their political activity.

A must read for anyone seeking the truth about this case and ultimately about other Political Prisoners in the USA. The book is captivating, well researched and provides personal and intimate insights into the lives, trials and tribulations of Edward Poindexter and Mondo.”

The reader is forced to do a critical analysis of not only the US injustice system but also a personal evaluation of all they have learned and heard through false propaganda. After decades of intense research, and I can imagine much emotional pain over the racist, oppressive, injustices uncovered, Mr. Richardson has written one of the most compelling stories ever—an emotional, raw piece of US history and a current status. It is a truth that people don’t often get to see or study in depth.”

Mondo died in March 2016 at the Nebraska State Penitentiary serving a life without parole sentence. Poindexter remains confined at the maximum-security prison in Lincoln. Imprisoned forty-eight years for a crime he denies, Poindexter was implicated by the confessed fifteen year-old killer who got a deal and never served a day in prison. J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the FBI, had targeted Poindexter and Mondo because they were Black Panther leaders and ordered the FBI Laboratory to withhold a report identifying a 911 caller which would have implicated someone else in the crime. Police were lured to a vacant house rigged with a bomb by an anonymous 911 caller.

FRAMED is a sometimes minute-by-minute account of the crime, frame-up, trial and appeals that explores the context and history of the deadly August 17, 1970 bombing that rocked Omaha and left the city wounded with a racial pain that has not healed.

Mohammed closed her review with a high recommendation and a call for a greater awareness. “I would also love to see this book taught as a course in high school or colleges. It IS an American story.”

Bombing murder of Omaha policeman in 1970 was used by FBI against Black Panther leaders

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Investigators comb a ruined vacant house for clues to a fatal August 17, 1970 bombing         (credit: Omaha Police Department)

Forty-eight years ago, at 2:07 a.m. on August 17, 1970, a bomb exploded in the face of Omaha Patrolman Larry Minard who was examining an abandoned suitcase in a vacant house. Minard and seven others were responding to an emergency 911 call about a woman screaming. The Federal Bureau of Investigation was called soon after the blast and was running license plate checks and calling informants before dawn.

Detective Jack Swanson arrived at a stakeout watching a suspect’s house. Richard Gibson was a man of interest to Swanson according to a police report until an early-morning call from the FBI cleared Gibson. “At this time, we were contacted by agents of the FBI who stated they had talked with Gibson at this time.”

A telephone call was made to FBI headquarters from the Omaha office at 7:45 a.m. Assistant Director Charles Brennan was informed by memorandum about the call concerning the death of a policeman. “Omaha Office offered assistance in covering out-of-state leads and FBI Laboratory facilities offered. Omaha advised it had notified military and Secret Service, was following closely, and alerted its racial informants in pursuit of investigation.”

Brennan was also assured, “Pertinent parts will be included in teletype summary to the White House, Vice President, Attorney General, military and Secret Service.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Paul Young wasted no time in privately talking to Deputy Chief Glen Gates, who was in charge of the police while Chief Richard Anderson was out of town. According to a confidential FBI memorandum, Young and Gates discussed a piece of crucial evidence, the recorded voice of the anonymous caller captured by the 911 system. The search for truth was over.

Young set in motion a conspiracy to implicate the leadership of the National Committee to Combat Fascism in the bombing. Young wrote to J. Edgar Hoover. “Enclosed for the Laboratory is one copy of a tape recording obtained from the Omaha Police Department.”

“The enclosed tape was recorded from an existing tape recording used by the Omaha Police Department in their normal emergency telephone calls.”

“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.”

“Any assistance rendered along the lines 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.”

The 911 recording was sent to the FBI Laboratory for testing that was called off a week later after J. Edgar Hoover ordered no lab report be made. Although the FBI returned the tape to Omaha police it was never shared with defense attorneys. The jury that convicted Black Panther leaders Edward Poindexter and Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa, then David Rice, never heard the voice of a killer that lured Larry Minard to his death. J. Edgar Hoover knew that a policeman’s killer would away with murder in order to convict Poindexter and Mondo.

Mondo died in March 2016 at the maximum-security Nebraska State Penitentiary where he was serving a life without parole sentence. Poindexter remains imprisoned proclaiming his innocence.

This article contains excerpts from my book on the bombing entitled FRAMED: J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO, & the Omaha Two story, available in print edition at Amazon and ebook format at Kindle

Taiwan Civil Government sponsored Trump inauguration party of California State Society

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 Taiwan Civil Government lobbyist Neil Hare points to group logo on sponsor board   (credit: Taiwan Civil Government)

The Trump inauguration luncheon of the California State Society was no free lunch for Taiwan Civil Government. The Washington event was sponsored by TCG to the tune of $7,500. Trump did not appear at the luncheon held in his honor, but California movers and shakers were on hand to dine and drink.

Taiwan Civil Government has been busy spending money in Washington to buy influence in the Trump White House and with Congress. The group wants American assistance ridding Taiwan of the exiled Republic of China ruling the island. The ROC was installed by the United States as an occupation government on Formosa, as Taiwan was then called, at the end of World War II and remains in control of the island.

In May 2018, Roger and Julian Lin, leaders of TCG, and five others were arrested in Taiwan and charged with political fraud. Although the arrests were a big news story in Taiwan, they have been ignored in the United States by the news media.

At first glance, the California State Society seems an unlikely group to influence foreign policy and a waste of TCG money. TCG has been criticized for spending donor money on Washington social events by its critics. However, a closer look at the Society reveals why TCG invested its money.

The California State Society website explains the non-profit organization provides “an opportunity for Californians in our nation’s capital to join together in a social setting.” The Californians on the guest list include “Members of Congress, Administration officials, Congressional staff, employees of California-based businesses, and others.”

Looking more political than social, the Society holds Welcome Back to Congress receptions, an annual Congressional delegation dinner, and inaugural events. Members of the Society include Governor Jerry Brown, although it is legislators that attracted TCG sponsorship. Representatives Ed Royce, Jim Costa, Jeff Denham, Ken Calvert, and Kay Granger are all members of the Society. Congressman Royce is of particular interest to TCG as Chairman of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee. Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is also a member of the Society.

According to Society donation information, $7,500 would buy three tickets to the Congressional delegation dinner, a chance for TCG members to sit at the table. One thing is certain, Roger and Julian Lin are unable to attend any Washington dinner in the near future. The Lins are being held incommunicado in a ROC jail, in solitary confinement and without bail. The only dinner Roger and Julian are eating these days gets shoved through a slot in the door.

Omaha police claimed bomb was made in kitchen of Black Panther home

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                Omaha police said a bomb was made in the kitchen of 2816 Parker Street                                                                                         (credit: Omaha Police Department)

 

Forty-eight years ago today, August 11, 1970, a suitcase bomb was allegedly constructed in the kitchen of David Rice at 2816 Parker Street in Omaha, Nebraska. Rice who changed his name in prison to Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa, was convicted along with Edward Poindexter for the murder of Omaha Patrolman Larry Minard. The pair were leaders of the Black Panther affiliate organization National Committee to Combat Fascism and targets of harassment by both the Omaha police department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Omaha was a pent up racial powder keg with rioting the summer before after the police shooting of fourteen year-old Vivian Strong. The police had been actively harassing local Panthers since October 1968 according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation confidential memorandum. Meanwhile the FBI had targeted Poindexter with two bogus letters under the infamous clandestine COINTELPRO operation. Director J. Edgar Hoover had declared war on the Black Panthers and in December 1969 ordered Special Agent in Charge Paul Young to get both Poindexter and Mondo off the streets. Hoover demanded Young to be “imaginative.”

An August 17, 1970, fatal bombing attack on police presented the perfect crime to pin on the Black Panther leaders. An intense investigation turned up a fifteen year-old bomber, Duane Peak. However, Hoover did not want a teen bomber, Hoover wanted Poindexter and Mondo to take the rap. Peak was given a deal, no prison time in exchange for his testimony implicating the two leaders.

Although Peak gave police half a dozen different versions of the crime, including several of the bomb construction, the teen claimed at trial he helped Poindexter make the bomb in Mondo’s kitchen. The official version of the story was that Peak was at NCCF headquarters a week before the bombing when Poindexter told Peak he wanted him to help blow up a pig. Peak claimed he met Poindexter the following night at his cousin Frank Peak’s house and then went with Poindexter and Raleigh House to Mondo’s home. Peak then testified he went with House to pick up the suitcase and dynamite before returning to Mondo’s residence. Peak’s account is not only denied by Poindexter but also disputed by Frank Peak who said his cousin Duane did not meet Poindexter at Frank’s house.

Peak gave two versions of the ride with Raleigh House to get the dynamite and prosecutor Arthur O’Leary told the jury a third version. Peak’s two stories had House bring the suitcase out of his front door and alternatively, bring the suitcase around the house from in back. O’Leary’s version at trial during opening arguments had Poindexter accompany Peak to pick up the explosives. House was never charged with supplying the dynamite and suitcase for the bomb and only spent one night in jail until released on a signature bond by O’Leary. The trial contradiction between Peak’s story and O’Leary’s opening remarks was never explored by defense lawyers and not explained by O’Leary.

Peak gave several accounts of the bomb construction. Before trial, Mondo was in another room and possibly unaware of what was going on in the kitchen. At trial, Mondo helped with construction of the bomb by wading up paper to pad the suitcase. Years later, when Peak was interviewed by State Senator Ernie Chambers, the bomb was supposedly made by Poindexter and Mondo in the basement while Peak waited upstairs.

Before his death in March 2016 at the Nebraska State Penitentiary, Mondo steadfastly denied any role in the crime and said Peak was never in his kitchen as claimed at trial. Poindexter, who still is at the state maximum-security prison, also denies involvement in the murder of Minard and furthermore says he did not talk to Peak at NCCF headquarters as he had personally banned the youth from the building for shooting a pistol at a bird.

In exchange for his testimony Peak was declared a juvenile delinquent and never spent a single day in prison for the death of a policeman. Raleigh House, the purported supplier of suitcase and dynamite, was never prosecuted.

A more detailed account of the crime may be found in FRAMED: J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO & the Omaha Two story, available in print at Amazon and ebook at Kindle.

Taiwan Civil Government card swap with Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce

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Taiwan Civil Government business card swap in Zurich with Chamber of Commerce (credit: Taiwan Civil Government)

No junket to Zurich would be complete without a visit to the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce. The Taiwan Civil Government delegation that flew from Taipei to Zurich in January to attend the World Web Forum and World Talent Summit found time for a visit with Martin Naville, Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Commerce. Naville was quick to swap business cards with delegation members

Photos of the meeting make it appear that Naville did most of the talking. TCG has been spending money to build a reputation that it is the future of Taiwan and added international conferences to the shopping list along with media sponsorship and event hosting in Washington. Naville was likely explaining the Chamber’s “Global Talent Competitiveness Index”, a checklist for the Global Talent Summit attended by the TCG delegation. The Index rated cities and countries over talent opportunities. Taiwan, under any name, was not represented on the list. The Index ranked locales by income, internet access, research and development expenditures, and the presence of Forbes Global 2000 companies.

The arrests of seven TCG leaders in May for political fraud by the Republic of China in-exile have put a strain on the advocacy group. TCG seeks to replace the ROC with American assistance. Taiwan’s unresolved sovereignty since the end of World War II has spawned a multitude of groups across the political spectrum against the ROC. TCG, about ten years old, has become one of the most vocal, and well-funded.

ROC prosecutors purportedly seized $4.3 million dollars during the May raid. The Taiwanese news media was quick to jump on the seizure as evidence of fraud. One Chinese newspaper ran a simulated picture of cash in a closet to illustrate its story. Four million dollars is a lot of money, but is it proof of guilt? TCG members argue the money was the group’s war-chest. TCG has been spending lots of cash since the election of Donald Trump.

TCG insiders claim the group has been repeatedly denied banking services in Taiwan and was forced to keep the money in cash or dispersed in private accounts. If true, that may explain TCG’s interest in business in Zurich, world headquarters of secret bank accounts. Who better to advise on such matters than the Chamber of Commerce?

Speculation aside, one thing is clear, TCG was out to gain influence in both politics and business. Martin Naville was happy to pose for pictures with the delegation and gave the group a warm welcome. TCG’s photo album does not show any visits to financial institutions; however, in the secret world of Swiss banks, cameras may not be welcome.

The TCG visit to the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce was set up by lobbyist Neil Hare, a former Chamber executive in the United States. Hare declines to discuss his clients and will not answer questions about Taiwan Civil Government.