The FBI’s Fear of the Truth: A Blemish on Our Justice System

Woman cryingI’m studying J. Edgar Hoover’s early years in order to understand why it was he created the monstrosity called the Top Echelon Informant program. If you ever want to understand what made him tick just think of the number 1919. It explains much.

One of my big beefs with the FBI is that it refuses to be an honest group of agents. An honest person to my way of thinking would do his utmost to present the best and most accurate evidence he could. The FBI thinks it should do otherwise.

I ask you this simple question: what is the best evidence of what was said in a conversation between two or more people? Would it be the recollection of one of the persons who participated in it; or, would it be a recording of the conversation? The FBI apparently believes it is an agent’s recollection because it refuses to record conversations.

When it was asked why it still insists on following Hoover’s practice, after all he has been dead for 43 years, it came up with this answer.

1. The presence of recording equipment could undermine succesful rapport-building techniques of the FBI. Response: In any such case a hidden recorder could be used.

Time To Close The FBI: Our Secret Police Are An Embarrassment

P1010306Ralph Ranalli  takes part of the blame for luring me into this blog. It was his 2001 bookDeadly Alliance: The FBI’s Secret Partnership With The Mob.” that intrigued me. He said he was motivated in writing the book for two reasons.

The first because he requested from the FBI its Manual of Investigative and Operational Guidelines” for a project he had been working on. He put it away but years later became curious whether it had anything about Top Echelon (TE) informants. He dug it out of his attic and turned to Section 137 dealing with handling confidential sources of information. He found two sections headed Top Echelon Criminal Informant Program. Underneath all the text was obliterated with a black magic marker. Curious as to why he could not learn what this program was about he tried to follow-up but came up against the FBI’s wall of secrecy and never did.

The other reason he explained behind the writing of the book was sitting in court in front of Judge Mark Wolf in 1997 hearings listening to Retired FBI agent Edward Clark testify. Some of what Clark testified to mystified him especially since Clark was a supervisor in the Boston FBI office and explained his strange actions by saying according to Ranalli: “He had just been doing what his bosses at the FBI told him to do.” 

Unanswered Questions: Where Did Organized Crime Go? Why Was Rahim Shot When He Was?

article-2000227-0C72775100000578-502_964x654Has anyone noticed that for the most part that organized crime in the Boston area has vanished. No one is involved in taking bets on the NFL or other sporting events; the great white sharks have devoured the loan sharks; the leg breakers have gone into extreme boxing; the extortionist have become contortionists; the war on illegal drugs has been won with Nancy Reagan’s “just say no” campaign finally taken hold. I would not be surprised if many of you are not right now standing up and singing FDR’s 1932 campaign song: “Happy Days Are Here Again.”

Could it be that with the departure of “it came from outer space the man who terrorized Boston for decades” in late 1994 we became crime free with respect to organized crime? Was it only because of Whitey that drugs flowed into South Boston and had he not been around there would have been no overdoses or drug dependent kids in that area?  Did he have such power that had he not been on the scene there would have been no organized crime outside of the Mafia? Where have all the bookies gone?

The Slippery Slope: Trying To Make Everyone Happy

IMG_6504Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said: “Our democracy is a work in progress,. This decision of putting a woman in the $10 bill reflects our aspirations for the future as much as a reflection of the past.” 

Can you figure out what that is supposed to mean? I can’t.

If he said something like “look we have been under a lot of pressure to put pictures of women on our money and retire those old white men so we are caving in to it,” that would have been leveling with us but saying America is a “work in progress” and “aspirations for the future” and “reflection of the past”  requires that  a woman has to be added to the $10 bill hides the truth.  You could say the same thing if you decided to put Lassie on the $1 bill instead of George Washington and Chelsea Manning on the $20 and retire Colonel Jackson.

A check back over the years (“reflection of the past”) shows the we have had women on our currency. Martha Washington  was on the one dollar silver certificate, Susan B Anthony was on the $1 coin, and most recently Sacagawea was on that coin that always seemed to disappear.

My Apple Watch:

IMG_6516The photograph on this page shows the new Apple watch I bought. As you may have heard, they are quite expensive. They range in price from $349 for the hoi polloi up to $17,000 range in gold for those guys who wear Louis Vuitton shoes. I might have said for the gals who wear the matching Gucci shoes and hand bags but I can’t see many of them interested in wearing watches the size of the Apple. They have the fondness for bracelets that look so much better than a watch which would detract from their appearance. However, a woman may opt for the kind that I am wearing.

I better be careful in this area. Although the trend has not come here yet it is proceeding apace in Europe where we are not supposed to insinuate any differences between the sexes. Some places forbid advertisements showing women  “occupied in the household with pleasure” or “of girls in pink “with dolls”” or even “females . . . depicted as “hysterical,” “stupid” or “naive” in the company of men.” Outside of sports, we are not supposed to differentiate between the sexes, or among the sexes.

A Plea To Ms Higgins of Savin Hill: Make An Honest Man Out of Him

One of Boston’s all-time favorite Irish politicians was Dapper O’Neil. With a name like that you know there had to be a lot of rakishness in the man. One thing that always struck me funny about him though was his relationship with Helen T. Skrzowski, his girlfriend of 56 years   who died at age 91 on December 14, 2011,   almost four years to the day after Dapper who died at age 87 on December 19, 2007.

I could never figure out how a guy could have a girlfriend for 56 years. I would have thought at some time during that half century plus he would have felt strong enough to her to commit to marriage. In my mind Dapper was an odd duck when it came to that relationship. All I could figure was Dapper’s mother once told him he could not marry a Polish girl and that held him back.

Now we get a new Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and what do we have; a guy who has been in a relationship with a woman for nine years. How does that happen? Isn’t there an expression “make an honest woman out her” that used to be said to guys who hesitated when it came to fully committing to a woman.

Buying Lying: Accepting Decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court

(3) indian head nickelAmericans have bought into many big lies. Perhaps for a society to function we have to do that. One major lie is that the Supreme Court is impartially and fairly determining the laws of the land. The basic functioning of our society depends upon that even though it is a lie.

It is hard for people to understand but our laws are very changeable. What they are today may not be what they will be tomorrow. That is because the law of the land is simply what the judges say it is. It can be black one day and white the next day if a majority of the judges feel that is what it should be.

Our present day Supreme Court consists of four very liberal judges who will always come down sticking together on progressive matters; on the other side are four very conservative judges who will do the same. In the middle there is one judge who goes back and forth between the teams in effect being the one person deciding what laws will bind or loose us.

Muddling Along: Everything’s Wrong: Hide and Hide. The Malfunctioning Massachusetts Justice System

P1010271This I beheld or dreamed it in a dream. I happened to be in the John Adams Courthouse the home of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC). I spent some time at the Social Law Library (there is nothing social about it) which was once aptly described by an Appeals Court Judge who said “someone could die in that library and they would not be discovered for weeks.” It occupies the fourth and fifth floors of that courthouse and caters to a very few people. I find it a nice place to do some legal research or to escape the hubbub of the Hub.

When I finished my work there I got on the elevator and pushed the button to take me down to the exit leading out behind Central Plaza. Being occupied in my thoughts, when the elevator doors opened I got off. I discovered I was on the same floor as the SJC. As I was poking around figuring whether to wait for the elevator or walk down the remaining stairs I heard some singing coming from the courtroom where the judges hear the cases.