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Monthly Archives: October 2012
Billy Bulger’s Adversaries In The Media Hid Their Knowledge Of The Truth To Present A Sinister Picture.
I’m trying to go back and reconstruct the 75 State Street story which some (many?) have used to suggest Billy Bulger is corrupt. Billy served from 1960 to 1970 in the House of Representatives, from 1970 to 1996 in the Senate and of those years as the longest-serving president of the Senate from 1978 to 1996, and as president of the University of Massachusetts from 1996 until 2002. Most of those who suggest he did something corrupt while in public office for over 40 years point to the 75 State Street story.
I’ve already stated there was no extortion involved in his actions. Harold Brown could not be extorted. Two U.S. Attorneys and Attorney General Scott Harshbarger concluded no crimes were committed after their investigations.
Reviewing the event something really stood out for me. The Boston Globe went all out to hammer away at this story day after day pushing a one-sided story which demonized Billy at every opportunity taking the self-serving pleadings of Harold Brown as gospel, and the position of Billy as suspect.
In my research I came across an article by Gerard O’Neill one of the reporters who kept pressing the 75 State Street matter. This article was written on July 21,2003, almost 15 years after the story broke.
Here’s a little history.
O’Neill was one of the reporters for the Globe Spotlight report in September 1988 that suggested that Whitey Bulger was an informant. He got this information from FBI agent John “Leaky John” Morris. He confirmed it through former FBI agent Robert Fitzpatrick.
Tipping My Toe Into 75 State Street And Wondering About Whitey Bulger’s Lawyer J.W. Carney’s Next Step
Yesterday, I mentioned we should know who the characters are who are involved with Billy. I suppose the ones I should initially talk about are those who were involved in the 75 State Street episode, the one matter that is the ace card of all those who suggest Billy is corrupt.
Alan Dershowitz in one of his diatribes against Billy wrote: “Billy, who was suspected of extorting a quarter-million-dollar bribe from the Boston developer who was building a skyscraper at 75 State Street. Business as usual.”
Dershowitz’s uses words loosely so it’s best we define extortion. Here’s what one site says: “Most states define extortion as the gaining of property or money by almost any kind of force, or threat of 1) violence, 2) property damage, 3) harm to reputation, or 4) unfavorable government action. While usually viewed as a form of theft/larceny, extortion differs from robbery in that the threat in question does not pose an imminent physical danger to the victim.”
That’s a fair general description. Massachusetts extortion law is in Chapter 265, section 25 of the General Laws. It reads as it relates to this matter as follows: “Whoever . . . verbally or by written or printed communication maliciously and unlawfully uses or threatens to use against another the power or authority vested in him, with intent thereby to extort money or any pecuniary advantage, or with intent to compel any person to do any act against his will, shall be punished . . .”
The thrust of the accusations against Billy is that he used his political office or allowed it to be used to take money from a Boston developer, as Dershowitz called him. The name of the developer happens to be Harold Brown. The money went from Brown to Billy through a conduit, Thomas Finnerty who was Billy’s law partner. Billy had no direct dealings with Brown.
Only His Closest Associates Knew Of Whitey Bulger’s Murders Before Murderman Martorano Made His Deal
I began writing about Billy Bulger on Sunday. Before going on, I want to discuss two things that are important to know when judging Billy. First, we should know the characters that are part of his story; and, we should judge him and his actions by what was known in the past and not by what we know now.
Knowing about the background of characters who are involved permits you to make a more informed decision about the person’s veracity and to better judge a person’s actions.
When you interact with a stranger you go through a process to determine whether the person should be believed. You listen to see if the thing he is saying makes sense and you try to judge the person’s character. The greater understanding you have of a person’s background, the better your decision as to his or her veracity.
A young man who settled in Boston after graduating from Harvard Law School at the age of twenty Louis Brandeis wrote in 1913 in Harper’s Weekly that “Sunlight is said to be the best disinfectant.”
He was referring to the need of the public to be knowledgeable about the huge commissions being made by bankers and money trusts. He would also use the term in relation to the knowledge of what is behind governmental actions. I suggest it also applies to the people we read about or who we come into contact with. The more we know what makes a person tick, the better off we will be in making a decision relative to the person.
I’ll try to provide some more light on some of the characters we will read about when I write about Billy including Billy himself. This will give you a better chance to judge the veracity of the allegations made against him.
The Portrayal Of Whitey’s Bulger’s Brother Billy As Being Corrupt Is Based On Self-Serving Desires More Than Fact
Sunday is a good day to start a discussion of William M. Bulger, born February 2, 1934, who I will call by the name he is commonly known as Billy. He is the younger brother of Whitey Bulger, born September 3, 1929, who, as we know is called Jim or Jimmy in his family and by those who talk to him face-to-face.
Billy spent most of his career in politics. He represented his section of South Boston, Ward 7, in the Massachusetts House of Representative starting in 1960. After ten years doing that in 1970 he moved onto the Massachusetts Senate after Joe Moakley resigned to make a run for Congress. He was elected president of the Senate in 1978 and held that position for 17 years until he went on to become president of the University of Massachusetts in 1996, a position that he held for six years until he was forced to resign because he was the brother of Whitey.
Billy has been excoriated by those who have written about Whitey. Howie Carr links him with Whitey and calls him corrupt; the theme is picked up by others who hint at it without being as bold as Howie, but follow it along as the children of Hamelin chasing after the pied piper. The overwhelming adverse publicity that Billy has received has made it a staple belief that Billy must be corrupt. This is so even though a person such as Michael Dukakis, the Massachusetts governor from 1975 to 1979, and again from 1983 to 1991 (Billy was president of the Senate from 1978 to 1996) spoke of him otherwise. If there is one thing anyone can say about Mike Dukakis it’s that he was squeaky clean. He had an inborn intolerance to anything that was not on the level. He said of Billy: “There has never been any question about the integrity of the Senate since he has been president.”
Whitey Bulger’s Claim of Immunity Is Backed Up By The Ongoing Immunity Given To His South Boston Crime Partner
Over the last three days we went into Whitey Bulger’s claim that Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremiah O’Sullivan gave him immunity. We’ve seen that the only people who would know about this are Whitey, his handler, FBI Agent John Connolly, and O’Sullivan. The prosecutors have made much of O’Sullivan’s denial that he gave immunity but the actions of O’Sullivan when viewed in a critical light, beyond the self-serving denials, show that it is quite probable that he had that arrangement with Whitey. I expect Whitey will testify he got immunity and from press reports John Connolly will testify to the same thing.
The media reported last Thursday that J.W.Carney, Whitey’s lawyer, filed papers making this claim. One person in the media went out to the usual contacts, some of the families of the victims, seeking their opinion. As expected, it was reported that they scoffed at the idea the federal government would give people immunity for murdering people. It would seem to be a far-fetched notion to persons not familiar with the operations of the Justice Department and FBI. It is not to us who have seen them operate in the matters surrounding Whitey.
In the comment section on my blog we have been talking about one person who is believed to be getting immunity from the feds at the present time for the murders he may have been involved in. This man is Patrick Nee who wrote a book about his exploits as a gangster calling himself a criminal. Nee brags how he tried to murder Kevin Daley shooting him twice from several feet away, then standing over him shooting him twice more with a .38 automatic, and finally kicking him in the face. He tells how he was involved in a gun war with another Southie gang. He tells how Billy O’Sullivan, the top gun for the Killeen gang, was killed, as well as Donald Killeen. As expected, the guys he identifies as killing them are dead although some suggest that he left out one participant who was very close to his heart.
I noticed yesterday that it was reported in the news media that Whitey was going to claim Jeremiah O’Sullivan gave him immunity. Readers of this blog knew months ago that he was going to make that claim. J.W. Carney has also raised the issue of Judge Stearns sitting on the case. He asked him to recuse himself saying that he was an associate of O’Sullivan during the time in question. Judge Stearns has already denied a prior request that he recuse himself. I’ve suggested before that his denial under the circumstances may not have been the wisest move especially since Carney suggests he will call him as a witness.
We discussed O’Sullivan’s testimony before the Congressional committee that the prosecutor is relying on to suggest O’Sullivan did not give Whitey immunity. A quick examination has shown how inconsistent his testimony appears to be. The prosecutor also said the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has said Whitey did not get immunity but in truth the issue was never raised before by Whitey. Its prior decision was made without all the facts, so it will not be a bar to rising the issue again.
Yesterday, I told how the Congressman on the committee seemed confused by Jeremiah O’Sullivan’s answers. The bottom line was that despite his bobbing and weaving when the Congressmen attempted to pin him down, he had a strong case against Whitey and Stevie, two men he knew were murderers and in the leadership position of the Winter Hill gang, yet he decided to give them a pass.
The FBI agent that has the information that O’Sullivan gave Whitey immunity is John Connolly. He is spending the rest of his life in a Florida prison. He is, of course, the handler of Whitey Bulger and the one who would know. His involvement with Whitey is spelled out in my book, Don’t Embarrass The Family.” In a recent interview he asserted that O’Sullivan did request a meeting with Whitey. I wrote about this and suggested there is some type of coordination going on between Whitey’s lawyers and Connolly’s lawyers. Connolly’s claim came out about the same time as Whitey’s lawyers were making their claim. That doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with those parties being in contact. If Whitey’s lawyers learned during a debriefing of Whitey that he was making that claim, they would by necessity want to verify it through Connolly. That is the only thing that makes sense. It would not have arisen as an issue until Whitey’s capture.
I mentioned yesterday the Connolly’s supervisor FBI Agent John Morris said he did not know why Whitey and Stevie were cooperating. He said he went to Connolly and asked him what they wanted in exchange for the information. He said Connolly responded all they wanted was a head start, that is to be tipped off is some charges were coming down against them so that they could flee.
Morris’s sometimes incredible testimony is spelled out in the book. How likely is it for a supervisor not to know what the deal is with a top echelon informant? How likely is it that Morris who took money, gifts, socialized and had sit down dinners with these gangsters didn’t know what they wanted and what they were doing. Weeks testified, something Morris omitted in his testimony, that right after Halloran and Donohue were gunned down by Whitey, Morris was drinking beers with Whitey discussing the murder. He told him the FBI had the plate of the car he was driving at the time.
Whitey Bulger’s Secret Deal With A Federal Prosecutor For Immunity In Exchange For Betraying His Associates
Yesterday I wrote about Whitey’s one way to freedom. It is not through being acquitted before Judge Stearns in Boston of all the murder charges. That would help but it doesn’t spring him because the southern states of Florida and Oklahoma are waiting to try him and fry him for murder. His one way is to convince the jury that Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremiah O’Sullivan gave him immunity for all his crimes in return for being an informant for the FBI. If he had the federal immunity, he not only gets off on the federal murder charges but the states will be unable to prosecute him.
J.W. Carney and Whitey are going for the whole ball of wax. They know that 90% is not enough, it has to be an outright win. That’s why Carney is taking such a dogged approach to this case, probably more so than any other case he handled. He has to take a two tiered approach. spread doubt about Whitey’s involvement in as many murders as he can and convince the jury Whitey had immunity.
He probably knows he can convince a jury that Whitey was not involved in all 19 murders. (I know the burden is not on the defense to establish anything but in these gangster type cases reality suggests that despite the legal fictions the gangster must convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt he wasn’t involved.) He also knows that the more the jury doubts the government case, the greater the chance it will sign on to all of Whitey’s case, immunity being the big part.
You’ve heard that the courtroom seems more like the Groundhog Day movie with Judge Bowler and J.W.Carney agreeing he is sounding like a broken record. The issue is still over discovery which should have been settled months ago with a little more cooperative effort — or at a minimum with a court appointed referee who could sit down and separate the fluff from the rest of the stuff.
We’re all of the mind that Whitey is guilty and the show should get rolling along. That certainly is the mindset of the prosecution team which just wants to get this over. So one concludes that J.W. Carney, Jr., is standing in the way. That is the right conclusion but isn’t that his job. Despite the overwhelming condemnation of his client, as I recall, he is not guilty of any of these crimes unless found guilty by a jury after a fair trial. No matter how despicable we find Whitey to be, he is entitled to that under our Constitution, at least he was the last time I looked.
I am at a loss to see why the prosecution does not see that it is also in its interest to bend over backwards to give Carney what he wants. It’s not like anything that it will furnish him will diminish its case. It’s charging Whitey with 19 murders. All it has to do is prove a couple and he’ll never get out of jail again not that he would even if acquitted of all the murders in Boston. There are still murder cases pending against him in Oklahoma and Florida. It looks like he’s going to die in jail so why rush the proceedings.
All the parties were in court by 2:30. As usual the prosecution team of Kelly and Wyshak were there first; just before kickoff time Carney and Brennan entered. The courtroom was not that filled, probably about 60% at this time.
US Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler is on the bench just after 2:30. She asks so what’s happening with the discovery. Prosecutor Brian Kelly said he filed his response to the discovery request last Friday. He said the defendant is interested in nothing but delay. He then had two exhibits to offer to the court, A: which was a form that was redacted; and B: the same form as A, but with no redactions on it. He said the defendant complained about the redactions in A and he already had the unredacted form B in his possession. Kelly said he received 2,200 forms from defendant complaining about redactions and 1,500 or so were like exhibit A, that is, they had already provided unredacted copies of the forms the defendant was complaining about. He said the defendants want the prosecutors to do their work and they are falsely raising problems where there aren’t any.
Carney responded saying that the prosecution pointed out the exact issue that the defendants faced. Rather than just providing the unredacted form to defense counsel, it also provided the same form many times over that was redacted. Carney said the government was playing a game causing defense counsel to think some forms are redacted when they are not. This brings about confusion when you have a team working to figure out what it’s received.