Trekking Toward The Truth – A Journey With Others Over The Road Less Traveled

Originally dedicated to the vagaries of matters involving Whitey Bulger and the FBI but now expanded into more general topics.

TTTT - Trekking Toward The Truth – A Journey With Others Over The Road Less Traveled

Playing With Fire – FBI’S Looming Redux

J. Edgar’s long reign taught us one fundamental thing.  It is a bad idea having one person in charge of an investigating agency for 48 years.  Some called him the closest thing to a dictator America has ever seen.  We will never know the extent of his evil doings because his secretary. Helen Gandy, who had worked with him for 54 years, and close friend and daily companion of over 40 years, Clyde Tolson, took control of all his files and destroyed them.

Once J. Edgar was no longer in power the FBI had to adjust to his  absence.  As expected, there were several pretenders to the throne among them Mark Felt, also known as Deep Throat.  Seeing the FBI vulnerable some in Congress ginned up enough courage to investigate it.  The result was the formation of the Church Committee.   The FBI was so revered that the idea Congress was thinking of looking at its actions was called treasonous by some.

The Church Committee’s report told of years of abuses by the FBI.    One thing that came from it was a recommendation limiting the term of the FBI director to 8 years.  Legislation was enacted limiting it to 10 years.  We did not want to see another J. Edgar even though it is uncertain his spirit has ever gone away.

The present FBI Director is Robert S. Mueller III. He was appointed on August 2, 2001.  OOPS!  Hold on! You just said the term limit was ten years.  What’s Mueller still doing there?

It seems we have short memories in the US.  Obama asked for him to be reappointed for two more years because of the ongoing threats to our country from terrorism.   Since that threat will never go away, will that be the same fate of Mueller?

Some objected to extending Mueller.   The ACLU reminded Congress why the limit was put in place in the first place    Senator Charles Grassley said: “This is an extraordinary step that the Senate has taken.  Thirty-five years ago Congress limited the FBI’s director’s term to one, 10-year appointment as an important safeguard against improper political influence and abuses of the past.”  It was so extraordinary he nevertheless voted for the extension as did 99 other Senators.   The House passed the bill on a voice vote.  The limitation was easily tossed out the window.

Under Mueller the FBI has engaged in a number of abuses as set out in the ACLU’s opposition.  So one has to wonder, are we creating another J. Edgar?  The reason J. Edgar kept getting reappointed was he had something on every one; no one dared take him on, not even Congress but least of all the president.  Is it the same reason for Mueller?

We don’t know whether Mueller walked into Obama’s office and dropped a dossier on his desk and then suggested he’d like to stay in office.  Mueller seems cut from a different cloth than J. Edgar.  His background is more diverse.  He’s in his late 60s so he’d be hard pressed to add another 36 years to his tenure.  Mueller’s a Marine officer and a Vietnam a combat veteran with a bronze star.  (That gives me some comfort because of my tendency to have a bias for Marines despite Lee Harvey Oswald.)

I have a couple of problems with Mueller’s extension.  I don’t believe that he has changed the FBI’s culture.  Much of the secrecy and disregard for the laws still seems to continue.

But the main reason is the Mueller precedent may be used for someone more Hoover-like.  We will be heading down the same slippery slope again.

I will show later that it appears Congress lives in great fear of the FBI.   Hoover lived in the time before internet and before the endless war on terror.   The FBI has gathered unto itself vasts amount of more power since that time.   For instance, a mere letter (euphemistically entitled National Security Letter) written  by any agent without outside oversight allows an agent to view all our financial and personal records held by others without our knowledge.

During Hoover’s era the FBI had mail opening operations which the Church Committee noted violated both our First and Fourth Amendment rights.  The committee went on to note that the FBI “acted to protect a country whose laws and traditions gave every indication that it was not to be “protected” in such a fashion.”

Times they are changing.   We no longer have the constitutional protection of being secure in our papers.  Our courts have acquiesced in the diminishing of our rights.  That is why we need our national police, the FBI, to be not only seen to be, but actually to be, pure as Caesar’s wife.


Whitey Bulger — Another Take on the Case

T.E. English on June 18, 2012 wrote about Whitey’s case.  It’s an interesting take on the case because he has written some good books about other criminals usually connected to New York City so he has a feel for a good crime story.  But it does point out that even a good writer can make some fundamental errors when he is not close to the situation and doesn’t know the terrain or the players and their biases.

He’s on the same page as I am that the FBI wants this to go away but he shows some confusion when he tries to explain it.

Early on he brings up Harvey Silverglate whom he calls “a prominent Boston criminal-defense attorney.”   He omits mentioning Silverglate’s strong animosity to all things Bulger.  Silverglate is Dershowitz’s big buddy who along with Dershowitz opposed one of Billy’s friends for a judgeship causing a minor ruckus at the State House.

Silverglate’s point is there is a cover-up going on.  Silverglate says the feds could have tried Whitey quickly in California on gun charges and locked him up for 30 years but they brought his back to Boston to prevent exposing “a pattern of secrecy and cover-up going back generations.”  Unfortunately Silverglate has it ass-end-backwards.    If they tried him on the easy gun charge case in California and they never  tried him in Boston that was the way to do an effective cover-up.

But lets get real, there’s no way the feds can walk away from all Whitey’s murders.  They have no choice but to prosecute him for them.  Silverglate’s venom made his thought process murky which is unusual for him.

English suggests that the cover-up took place when they dropped the RICO charges and planned to concentrate on the murder charges.    That also makes no sense.  Whitey’s defense to the murder charges is that he had immunity for them.  The issue of the FBI involvement with Bulger has already been brought up by Whitey’s attorney, Carney.   He can explore the corrupt history just as well in the murder case as in a RICO  case.

I’m not a big fan of the feds but it seems odd for English to complain that they didn’t take a streamlined approach by wrapping it up quickly (by trying him on the gun charges) then to complain when they take a  streamlined approach (limiting the case to the murder charges).

I’m of the mind at this time as I’ve noted previously the case won’t go to trial.  It’s a chess game now — Whitey’s trying to figure out his next move.  His aim is to spend his retirement years in comfort.  That’s the thing that’s keeping the case alive.

English notes that one person who concurs with his cover-up theory is John Connolly.  English had a telephone conversation with him from his present home in the prison in Chipley, Florida.  I’ll talk about what Connolly said to English on Friday.  You don’t want to miss that because it contains some stunning information.

Our friend former FBI ASAC Fitzpatrick was interviewed.  English calls him Connolly’s nemesis.  I’ll talk about that some time in the future but let it rest for now that you don’t invited your nemesis to your wedding.

Fitzpatrick told English that he investigated the 75 Street affair and it was a clear violation of the Hobbs Act (an extortion).  “We had Billy Bulger dead in his tracks.”  He blames O’Sullivan for deep sixing that case.  Fitzpatrick never lets the truth stand in the way of his self-glorification as we’ve seen when he claimed to have taken down the Anguilo mob  (or as I’ll show in a later post that Brian Halloran was his informant).  Fitzpatrick wrote that he resigned from the FBI “early in 1987.”  He was not part of the FBI at the time the 75 State Street investigation which first started in 1988 and ran into 1989.  It’s hard to square that with his statement.  We’ve seen that Fitzpatrick felt that he and Billy were locked in some type of mortal combat

English also talked to Tom Foley the state trooper who suggests the feds just want it to go away which seems to be the universal consensus.  (I’m always nervous when others agree with me.)

English gets it 100% wrong when he says O’Sullivan told a “bold face lie” when denied he didn’t know Whitey and Stevie were informants.  He misunderstands the purpose of the U.S. House Committee on Government Reform’s investigation.  (I’ll write how that went off on a tangent.)  He misreads Judge Harrington’s involvement in the Deegan case and accuses him of being  complicit in the framing of Limone and Salvati.  (I think he’s left himself open for a libel suit with that assertion.)

He suggests that the FBI protected Bulger and Flemmi to hide the sordid dealings around the Deegan murder.  That makes no sense — Flemmi’s brother Vinny “The Bear” was involved in Deegan’s hit of March 12, 1965.  Flemmi wasn’t going to talk about it if he knew anything.  Further, he did not become an informant until November, 1965.  Whitey at the time was still in prison or just out so he knew nothing about it nor did he have any connection with Flemmi at that time.

There are other things that show a basic misunderstanding of the issues.  I’m surprised because I thought English would have done a better job writing for a national publication.

Too many things surrounding the case have been accepted as fact without any support.  For instance English writes, “The evidence against Whitey is formidable.”   I wonder if English knows that a federal jury in the Connolly case rejected all the prior testimony of Martorano, Weeks and Salemme that had no independent corroboration (Flemmi did not testify).  Has English figured out why Whitey would kill Flemmi’s girlfriend and the girl Flemmi abused since childhood?

I’m trying to bring the group think as exhibited by English back a little bit toward the truth.  I’ve attempted to do that in  “Don’t Embarrass The Family” which provides a foundation for a fuller understanding of these matters.  I’m also using this blog to make a historic record.




Posting Schedule

I will adhere loosely to the following schedule when making posts.

I’ll post once a day (hopefully).  If something of note occurs then I will post about it even if I’ve already posted.

The following are general guidelines that I hope to follow but they are not carved in stone.

Sunday —          I’ll post about books covering these subjects

Monday —         Whitey’s Case and Legal Matters of Interest

Tuesday —         FBI, State Police, DEA, Local Police

Wednesday —   John ‘Ivan’ Naimovich

Thursday —       Whitey and Other Gangsters

Friday —            John Connolly

Saturday —        Catch All – open subjects such as Billy Bulger, Southie, Prosecutors, etc.

Thanks for your interest.


Whitey Bulger’s Nemesis — Howie Carr’s — The Brothers Bulger

The Boston Daily a blog of Boston Magazine said in one of the great understatements of the last 20 years:  “As those who follow Boston politics well know, there is no love lost between Billy Bulger and Alan M. Dershowitz . . . .”

Carr asked Alan to write  a blurb in the inside flap of his  book The Brothers Bulger.  Dershowitz can hardly contain his glee and vile.  He proceeded to launch a vitriolic attack on Billy without mentioning Whitey.  You’d think it was Billy who was charged with the 19 murders.

Using Dershowitz pretty much sums up what Carr’s book is about: an intemperate attack against Billy based on his sibling connection to Whitey.  All of Billy’s actions are twisted and distorted.  Carr tells us in the beginning that much of the book is regurgitation of other books and newspaper articles.  It does have an index which is good, it has not footnotes or anything else to back up his assertions.

It has several simple factual errors.  To mention a few he calls Old Harbor Village by the name of Old Colony Harbor;  he deprives Massachusetts of a vacation resort by putting Salisbury Beach in New Hampshire; and he omits the Apalachin meeting when talking of J. Edgar Hoover’s epiphany about the Mafia but it does a pretty good summary of the issues surrounding the 1974 forced busing of Boston’s public school children.  I’ll talk about other things as we go along.

Carr is the radio entertaining darling of the begrudgers. He’s been using the epithet “corrupt midget” to refer to Billy for years to the delight of his audience..  It’s a nasty slap at a person who has no control over his height and who as a public official can’t really defend himself.

Carr has a radio show and a newspaper column.  His shtick is to ridicule so-called hacks (people who work in the public sector),  rail against elected Democrats (he lost a good foil when Ted Kennedy died), arouse the American xenophobes by denigrating immigrants (he plays la cucaracha when reading names of Hispanics who have been arrested), and plays off the dislike of people depending on government assistance.

He’s a throwback to the days of the Know Nothings when real Americans felt under threat from those dirty newcomers.  Or perhaps to the days of You-know-where-I-stand Louise Day Hicks who used  Southie’s feeling of threat from outsiders to seek public office.

He makes his money by keeping Americans hating each other.  Much like those who use street walkers and drive big Cadillacs which he also drives, he has utilized the services of a vile street gangster to put money in his pockets.  That’s also how he uses the Bulger brothers.

I didn’t read Carr’s book to find out anything about Whitey.  I knew he had less knowledge of Whitey things than I had.  I wanted to read about Billy’s corruption.  I knew that in 1988 the Boston Globe did a four day Spotlight Series on Billy and Whitey that all but disclosed Whitey was an informant.  Nothing about Billy’s corruption was mentioned.

In 2000, Gerry O’Neill and Dick Lehr wrote Black Mass about the Bulgers and nothing about corruption was mentioned outside of the so-called 75 State Street matter that may have raised eyebrows but did not amount to corruption.  (I’ll get into that in a later post.)

Reading Carr’s book closely, I found that Billy did nothing corrupt.  He did a lot of things Carr may not have liked especially in his capacity as Senate president but it was all done within the system.  No money was exchanged.  There were no benefits conferred upon Billy by others for what he did.  Dershowitz said Billy extorted and took bribes without pointing to any support for his comments.  Carr likewise comes up empty when I looked for what he alleges Billy did that shows he corrupted Boston for 25 years.

What I found was a great jealously.  I could almost see Carr writhing in agony at the things Billy accomplished, the people Billy met, the praise Billy received or the things Billy accomplished.  You can feel the hate oozing out of every sentence that contains Billy’s name.  To paraphrase  Judge Murphy, Carr confuses invective with insight and diatribe with facts.

I recall the words of Malcolm X when I think of Carr’s relentless unsubstantiated attacks on Billy.  He said: “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”

I suppose if you asked most people in Boston what they thought of Billy they’d say he was corrupt.  Ask them why they say that, they say because Whitey is his brother.  Beyond that they have no answer.   In my book Don’t Embarrass the Family I have a whole section dealing with Billy.

I mentioned in a prior post you want to keep your minds open in these matters.  Let the evidence lead you to the result that you find comfortable.  Remember Carr never worked in law enforcement.  He has no idea how we operated during those years.

Whitey Bulger Photographs – And Others

For those interested I will collect sites that have these photographs and let you go to them.  This will insure the photographer gets proper credit.

I’ll also try in the future when I refer to an individual to link to a site that has his photograph.

Pictures of Whitey with Teresa Stanley, Billy and Jackie Bulger when younger, and Chris Nilan are shown here.

Defining Dignity Down – The Fate of Whitey Bulger and Others

Writing of Whitey and his trial naturally encompasses a broad swath of subjects: his relationships, his environment, his actions, how law enforcement agencies worked for or against him, the way our justice system works, and how others think of Whitey.  I use Saturday to talk about some of these things more generally.

As a career prosecutor I’ve been instrumental in having people incarcerated, some through plea bargaining and others by recommendations I made after trial.  For the most part, a plea bargain involves a defendant weighing the chances of acquittal, considering the penalty after conviction, and then trying to mitigate the punishment by pleading guilty when the odds of acquittal do not favor him.  If the penalty does not vary as in a murder charge or other mandatory minimum cases the defendant will usually go to trial regardless of the odds.  Otherwise, if the case looks like a loser he’ll try to ease his punishment.

In those cases the prosecutor suggests a couple of things: his recommendation after trial and his recommendation if the defendant pleads guilty.   Defense counsel suggests what her client will accept.

They then have a discussion while considering, whether consciously or unconsciously, other factors such as legal strictures upon the judge due to sentencing guidelines, the judge herself, what usually happens in these cases, the attitude of the victims, a prosecutor’s analysis of the defendant and the strength of the evidence against him, this will differ from the defense attorney’s, the willingness of the lawyers to spend the time preparing for trial, and the lawyer’s attitude to trying a case among other things.

We called this bargaining.  Bargaining is not really an American thing except perhaps in the case of automobiles where we make a feeble attempt at it.  We’re used to fix price shopping in giant retail stores ponying up whatever is written on the tag.  We’ve dealt with small store owners, small contractors, tradesmen, and others who have reacted with distaste, as if personally insulted, if we even hint of offering a lesser price than that arbitrarily placed upon the value of the goods or services offered.

The scene in Casablanca where the Arab merchant continually lowers the price in an attempt to sell some fabrics to Rick and Ilsa is a hyperbolic example of bargaining. Yet bargaining is the way the economic system operates in many countries.  It is the way of life of  people who have done it for eons and have it in their blood to bargain both to earn a living and to enjoy the wits involved in it.

In a case where incarceration looms, the nitty gritty of the bargain is numbers.  I’d say, “I’ll recommend 12 to 15.”  Defense counsel would say, “he’ll take 5 to 7.”  I’d explain why I couldn’t move off my figures, she’d tell me why I should.  We’d sometimes come to a compromise and arrive at an agreed upon plea.  Other times we’d let the judge decide the numbers.

Numbers we called them.  Those numbers represented years – years out of a person’s life.  We’d talk about them as if they were pineapples.   Already we had begun to dedignify the person  – making him an “other”.  We no longer treat the person like we would treat another human being.  The person realizes he is no longer like most other human beings, he has lost his freedom of action.  He becomes subject to the whims and wiles of others.

Whitey sits in his prison clothes in a cell by himself for most of the day.  He is allowed on certain days to have visits from certain family and others.  Most times he can only talk to a guard.  We have no problem with this being done to him.  Isn’t it the way things should be done?

Whitey’s Handler John Connolly — Blind Man or Con Man?

Edward MacKenzie in his book Street Soldier tells about US Attorney Mike Sullivan stating after Connolly was convicted that he was “a Winter Hill Gang operative masquerading as a law enforcement agent.”  MacKenzie then wrote, “Welcome to the club, Johnny.  You’ve officially been outed” expressing his satisfaction with Connolly’s conviction.

He goes on to write:  “I actually have mixed feelings about the former FBI agent.  He was always respectful to me, though I understood he would sacrifice me at any time to get a star on his forehead.  But I believe the FBI was as much to blame as he was.  After all, where did they stick him?  His old neighborhood! That’s entrapment as far as I am concerned.  How could he betray his childhood buddies?”  

MacKenzie believes a cop who thwarts the criminal activity of a gangster he was friendly with as a youngster amounts to a betrayal.  It’s a skewed notion of a criminal mind but a good insight into how even a self labeled reformed criminal thinks.

MacKenzie tells about meeting Connolly in January of 1999 at a Bruins game (Connolly will be indicted in December, 1999) .   A former coach of the Bruins who led the team to the Stanley Cup Championship told me that Connolly used to be a big Bruins fan.  He accompanied the team on some of its trips and liked to go to a North End restaurant with some of the players.   Hearing MacKenzie tell me he met him at the game did not surprise me.

At the end of the first period he met Connolly at the landing above their seats.  Connolly complained to him about the US Attormey’s Office and former AUSA Jeremiah O’Sullivan.   He said O’Sullivan knew everything he was doing and avoided testifying by faking a hear attack.  (You can read about O’Sullivan in my book.)

Connolly went on to say, “But, hey, Eddie, you know that Whitey was very appreciative about what you did with the FBI.  He called it a  masterful move.”

Eddie replied:  “I wasn’t rolling on any of my boys.  No fucking way.”

Connolly responded:  “Yeah, you played it like Whitey.  Work it  but don’t sell out Southie.”

MacKenzie came back saying Junior Patriarca told him Whitey sold out his guys in Southie.  Connolly replied it was a lie.  “Whitey never, ever, ratted on any of you guys!  He was stand-up. He was a killing machine, but stand-up.  You know that, Eddie.

MacKenzie came back at him, “And he didn’t peddle drugs, Johnny?

Connolly replied, “Eddie, Whitey was a lot of things, but he wasn’t a drug dealer.

Connolly’s answer is baffling.

Here’s Connolly who was using Whitey as a top echelon informant (the polite word for big rat) spinning out a story that Whitey never ratted on Southie guys.  MacKenzie, John ‘Red’ Shea and others of the 51 muffs in Southie arrested in August 1990 felt Whitey betrayed them.  (In my mind the jury is still out on that.)

There’s little doubt that Whitey never considered himself a rat.  Connolly obviously didn’t.  But then again MacKenzie didn’t consider himself a rat because he wasn’t giving information against his friends from Southie but against others.  The more we see of the gangster mind we see everything can be justified.

It gets worse.  Connolly is telling one of Whitey’s drug dealers who paid Whitey $20,000 a week that Whitey wasn’t a drug dealer.

Is it possible that Connolly believed these things?   I suppose it could be argued that with respect to the drugs since he did not handle any of the product himself he was not a dealer.  Using the same thought process you could say Charles Manson never killed anyone because he didn’t plunge the knives into the victims.  Or Osama bin Laden didn’t attack the Twin Towers on 9/11 because he wasn’t in one of the planes.

Pushing it further, you could say Whitey tried to keep drugs out of Southie because he charged drug dealers a fee to operate there and he was trying to make it too expensive for them.   It pretty much shows you can make of things what you want.

MacKenzie has Connolly professing Whitey wasn’t a rat and that he had nothing to do with the drugs in Southie.   Connolly will also say he had no idea Whitey had killed anyone (which seems to undermine his statement he was a killing machine) or that he and Stevie Flemmi were running a criminal empire.

Connolly was an FBI agent in the organize crime section.  He was surrounded by supposedly top notch agents assigned to that section.  They were under the command of the best organized crime fighters in America.

How do you explain Connolly — willful blindness or a little bit of the con?

A good site with pictures of Whitey,

Defining Whitey – Unique or a Copy – A Quest for An Answer

John “Red” Shea served twelve years for drug offenses.  At age 21 he claims he was Whitey’s top lieutenant in the drug distribution business.  A Golden Gloves boxing champion he was good with his fists which came in handy while in prison.

He avers in his book Rat Bastard there is nothing worse in the world than a rat.  When learning Whitey was a rat he says he became physically sick.  In the book’s epilogue he writes of his confused feelings toward Whitey:  ”On the one hand, Whitey Bulger was a hero to me, someone who taught me the streets, the code, someone who was respected and feared by everyone, with a few notable exceptions.  He was a man’s man, and what I learned from him made me what I am today.  I wanted to be like Whitey Bulger.  . . .  On the other hand, Whitey was a total fraud.  He took care of himself and gave the rest of us up.  He couldn’t face the music.  He didn’t practice what he preached.  It is still incomprehensible to me that a guy of his character, who presented himself as he did, who schooled me so well, could be a rat.”

That ending is fascinating.  He calls him a “man’s man.”  He’d still be admiring him had he not been a rat.   He doesn’t see Whitey as the depraved monstrous killer of two defenseless young women and tens of others.

Then there’s another Golden Gloves boxing champion, Southie tough  Eddie MacKenzie, who wrote Street Soldier.  He writes that he and Tommy Dixon ran Whitey’s drug distribution business giving Whitey $20,000 a week.  He says, “Working for Whitey was as good as it got.  True, he was a homicidal psychopath; I’d known that from the first moment I met him.  But he was my homicidal psychopath, my boss, the man I respected and feared and served with every bit of loyalty in my being.

Both men are Golden Gloves champions;  both claim to have run Whitey’s drug business;  both use the same term about Whitey — “Respect and Fear.”   

Shea first tells of encountering Whitey in 1983 when he’s 18 and Whitey is 55 years old;  MacKenzie in 1980 when he’s 22 and Whitey’s  51.  Both are confrontations of sorts.  Shea describes Whitey’s eyes as “burning like blue laser beams;   MacKenzie says he had “icy, blue-gray eyes . . . a glacial stare: this guy’s whole being was ice cold.

Shea tells how one night in a bar he disses Whitey.  The next day he hears Whitey’s looking for him.   He’s working out at Castle Island when Whitey shows up (backed up by Weeks and Flemmi) and confronts him.  Shea stands up to him.  Actually Whitey backs down but even Shea can’t get his mind around that.

MacKenzie’s working out in his apartment when Whitey walks in with three others.  He’s looking for some Hummels that MacKenzie had stolen.  MacKenzie become apologetic but won’t rat out his partner.  Whitey says he respects him for that and cuts him a favor saying that he owed Whitey one in return.

As part of Whitey’s drug enterprise, both MacKenzie and Shea end up being arrested as part of the 51 guys scooped in August 1990.  Five are held on bail and taken to the Fed pen in Danbury.  Yet they  hardly mention each other in their books.  Shea writes about Carmen Tortola, a Boston Mafia guy, approaching them in Danbury to tell them that Whitey was an informant.  He said it happened when he “was in the common room with Paul Moore, Tom Cahill, an Eddie MacKenzie, my cellmate, unfortunately . . . .”   He writes a couple of pages later how all the other guys got out on bail saying, “Eddie Mack, out (and talking).   There’s no love lost between Shea and MacKenzie.

I’ve told how Whitey was the bully — beating up younger kids, always being accompanied by others, and always with a dangerous weapon.  As I consider it, I don’t think bully is the right word to describe him.  Tough guys like Shea and MacKenzie aren’t cowed by bullies.

I’m trying to figure out what explains the adoration Shea and others in Southie had for Whitey?   Who in the long line of criminal thugs can we most closely identify him with?  Have there been other psychopathic killers who were admired like him?  Why is he such a phenomenon I bother writing about him?  Is it due to our fascination with evil?     Thursdays will be my day to explore this.  Any ideas or insights are welcome.

I initially suggested Whitey was a psychotic killer but I was told such a person “has lost touch with reality  and thinks dogs and KGB agents are following him.”   I stand corrected.

Ivan Revealed – A Russian in an Irish World

Ivan is John Zannon Naimovich.

23 years he spent as a Massachusetts State Trooper.   He died in November 1991.

On February 3, 1988, he was arrested by the FBI in a manner designed to highly embarrass him, at his office in front of his fellow troopers.  (The FBI lacking class gets it kicks out of these puerile tricks like demeaning people in front of their friends, family or co-workers.  We tried to treat people with dignity.  Almost always if we had a warrant on a person who we did not expect to flee or be in possession of contraband, we’d ask the person to show up in court.  Unlike the FBI, we thought the idea of the presumption of innocence meant something.)

Judge Mark Wolf famous for bringing to the world’s attention the unsavory connection between the FBI and Whitey had this to say about Naimovich.  He was talking about the 1980 leak of information to Whitey from which he learned that the state police had a bug in the Lancaster Street garage — “Flemmi initially received information about the bug, through an associate, John Naimovitch(sic), a Massachusetts State Police Trooper.

Wolf mentions him again in relation to an affidavit filed by a DEA agent Steve Boeri for a wiretap on Kaufman — “Massachusetts State Trooper John Naimovitch(sic), who had tipped Flemmi to the Lancaster Street Garage bug, was the source of some of the additional Title 18-related information on which Boeri relied.

The last time Wolf mentions him is while he is still talking about the Kaufman wiretap — “It is also likely that Flemmi had access to any information known to Naimovitch(sic), who, in 1980, had alerted him to the bug at the Lancaster Street Garage, and was later convicted on charges of corruption.”

Wolf writes as if by repeating something it gains strength.

Naimovich is indicted in 1988.  In 1999 Judge Wolf is finding he tipped off at least two electronic surveillance operations.  Wolf used as a basis for his findings that Naimovich was corrupt two things:  Flemmi said Naimovich was his source in the state police, and, Naimovich was “later convicted on charges of corruption.”  

Naimovich faced a problem all cops faced — once indicted their careers are pretty much in the trash can.  Did you ever hear that a cop was found innocent?  Usually not, what happens is you’ll hear the talk as, “he beat the wrap” leaving the idea he did it but got away with it.

I’ve got a few questions to ask.

Why then do I say Foley is haunted by Ivan’s ghost?  If Judge Wolf is right then his investigation of Naimovich took a bad cop off the force so his conscience should not bother him about that.

Do you believe that Judge Wolf  who couldn’t be bothered to spell Naimovich’s name correctly could be wrong?

Why would Flemmi throw his long time informant  Naimovich under the bus?  It’s true Naimovich was dead over a half dozen years at the time Flemmi testified, but if he was his source these many years and a friend, as he told one FBI SAC, why speak ill of him now?  Why not take the Fifth on that?

Do you think  Flemmi and Naimovich communicated through some medium holding seance sessions?  If Naimovich died in 1991.  Flemmi’s state police source continued to provide him with information up to his arrest on January 5, 1995.  In late 1994 Flemmi told Weeks he wasn’t going to flee because had his guy on top of things.

I’d like you to ponder the answers to these questions.  If you’re reading this then you’ve got that ability to look beyond the surface and are seeking a better insight into what happenings during these years.  Consider it like your homework to work these questions out.

I’ll get back with answers to the questions next Wednesday which is Ivan’s day.  I’ll also tell why I believe the Naimovich case is important to understanding Whitey.


FBI-SPEAK – The Art of Saying Nothing in a Pompous Manner

Remember the old ditty, “Who Takes Care of the Caretaker’s daughter while the Caretaker’s busy taking care?”

Did you ever wonder, “Who Takes Care of the FBI?”  In theory, it is the U.S. Department of Justice or perhaps Congress.  In truth, the Bureau takes care of itself with little oversight.  It does have a group that is called the OPR (Office of Professional Responsibility) that is supposed to investigate FBI misdeeds but it has shown itself to be inept.

In 1997 it investigated the Boston FBI office.  It found “no evidence of continuing criminal conduct within the statute of limitations” by Connolly or his supervisor at the FBI, John Morris, in their relationships with Bulger and Flemmi.

Can you figure out what that statement means?   Continuing means according to Merriam-Webster “to be steadfast or constant in a course or activity : keep up or maintain especially without interruption a particular condition.”  The idea of “continuing criminal conduct” means something that is ongoing at the present time.

Using that standard I suppose it would be fair to say about  Whitey that there is “no evidence of continuing criminal conduct.”  He’s been in jail for the last year or so.

Even the idea of a statute of limitations is vague.  We do not know what it refers to.  Is there a statute of limitations with respect to the OPR’s investigations.   If it has evidence an agent molested some children  ten years ago is it estopped from addressing it?

The statute of limitations relating to criminal acts varies in time.  For most crimes it is five years yet for some acts it is eight or even ten.  There is no statute of limitations on murder which can be prosecuted at any time.   For discussion, I’ll assume it means no continuing criminal conduct occurred within the statute of limitations applicable to most crimes, five years.

If FBI agents engaged in a criminal conspiracy in 1993 that ended in 1996 within the statute of limitations going back from 1997 did the fact it was not continuing in 1997 mean it wasn’t considered?  The difficulty is that we don’t know the answer.

In light of Judge Wolf’s finding two years later that the Boston FBI office was overflowing with corruption, it seems clear that the OPR was engaging in FBI speak, the equivalent of double talk, when it cleared its fellow agents.  A statement like “we found no evidence of criminal activity within the past five years” is beyond the FBI.  First, they’d have to explain why they limited their inquiry to five years.  Second, it’d open the door to the question, “if you found criminal activity six years back does that mean you’re not going to do anything about it?”

The FBI always needs to have an escape hatch to fly out of in the case it is shown that it was wrong or engaged in a cover-up.  The OPR’s real purpose is to make sure no one knows anything that will embarrass the FBI.  Like all police agencies, it wants to keep things in house.

The OPR investigated the leak of secret information to the Boston Globe.  It interviewed Connolly’s supervisor John Morris.  He filed two separate affidavits under oath containing lies.  (Morris under a grant of immunity would later admit he did this.)  Despite this, the OPR figured he was the leak.

Morris had to be punished for this leak and his lies.  (It’s a crime to lie to an FBI agent.  The penalty is five years in prison.  Connolly was convicted of that.) Morris received three week suspension without pay.  He was transferred to Washington, DC to supervise other agents.  He then was promoted to ASAC in Los Angeles.  The matter was kept in house, the FBI was not embarrassed, so Morris was hit with a feather-like punishment and then promoted.

No one can investigate himself.  No agency can investigate itself.  Yet the FBI pretends to do this.

(A well written book by Dick Lehr of Black Mass fame presents a black disturbing picture of the inside operations of a police agency and how difficult it is for one to investigate itself.  It is called The Fence.  Dick’s a good writer.  For me the book started slowly but once I got past being introduced to the protagonists  it flew.)

One other thing about the OPR’s statement issued in 1997.  Connolly retired from the FBI in 1990 and Morris left the Boston office in 1991.    If the statute is five years then OPR was investigating Connolly’s and Morris’s activities in the Boston FBI office between 1992 and 1997 a period when they were no longer there.  I wonder if the OPR ever figured that out?