Monday, July 13, 2015

Charles Brennan superivsed COINTELPRO against Omaha Two

Charles Brennan supervised COINTELPRO operations as Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Brennan was a protege of William Sullivan, the architect of COINTELPRO under FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. COINTELPRO was a massive, clandestine counterintelligence program targeted against political activists with its most lethal secret operations directed against the Black Panther Party.

The Omaha Two, Edward Poindexter and Mondo we Langa (formerly David Rice), were leaders of a Black Panther affiliate chapter, the National Committee to Combat Fascisim when an Omaha police officer was killed by a booby-trap bomb. Hoover wanted the two men convicted for the murder and a plan was hatched the day of the bombing, August 17, 1970, to withhold a FBI Laboratory report on the identity of the annonymous 911 caller that lured Patrolman Larry Minard, Sr. to his death.

A dictabelt copy of the 911 recording was sent to J. Edgar Hoover to forward to the FBI Laboratory by Omaha Special Agent in-Charge Paul Young, however, a formal laboratory report was not requested. A memorandum prepared by the Administrative Division that supervised the FBI Laboratory outlined the crime and scheme to withhold a lab report. Fifteen year-old Duane Peak, who confessed to planting the bomb, claimed he made the phone call upon instructions from Ed Poindexter.

The reason the FBI wanted no report issued was that the 911 caller had a deep, gravelly voice while Peak had a soft, higher-pitched voice. Peak's credibity was at issue and according to an October 1970 memorandum to Hoover from Omaha, the tape would be “prejudicial” to the prosecution of Poindexter and Mondo.

Charles Brennan was in command of the Domestic Intelligence Division and oversaw all COINTELPRO actions. Brennan was on the distribution list of the memorandum to Laboratory Director Ivan Willard Conrad and initialled the memo beside his name indicating he read and approved the document. Brennan had earned a reputation as an aggressive administrator and had received commendation letters from Hoover for number of counterintelligence operations.


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