Matt Connolly's Views on Boston, the Nation and the World

Emphasizing Criminal Justice and Politics

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

Matt Connolly's Views on Boston, the Nation and the World - Emphasizing Criminal Justice and Politics

Part I: Whitey Bulger’s Case Demonstrates A Malign Media Mindset Involving Twisting Facts and Destroying Reputations

Whitey As A Young Robber

I sometimes have to wonder at the pap we get from our newspapers especially in stories relating to Bulger. I indicated yesterday that the mainstream media writers missed the point of Whitey admitting his role in some bank robberies back in 1956. He wasn’t ratting anyone out nor was he cooperating with the FBI. He admitted his role in a robbery that the FBI already knew about. It  had a witness who was with him during the robberies ready to testify against him.

Whitey did it to save his girlfriend from going to the can. The media points to this as him being some sort of informant but it was the opposite. He was stand up guy giving the FBI what they already had, taking the hit himself which turned out to be 20 years, so that his girlfriend, Jacqueline “Jacqui” McAuliffe who was with him on one or more robberies, was able to stay on the street and take care of her kid.

If Whitey Bulger Doesn’t Want His Enemies Writing His Story He’d Better Act Now: Time is Running Out.

William Barchard

I know you’ve heard this before but during the lull in the action on Whitey’s trial I’m catching up on putting together the material I have gathered on Whitey’s brother Billy. It has always puzzled me that a guy could serve so long in public service with an unblemished record and have people start saying he was corrupt. I’m taking a hard look at the evidence as a career prosecutor to see what I think. I’ve spelled out my relationship to Billy in my book Don’t Embarrass The Family. It isn’t close. I know the guy and have talked with him but not for twenty or so years. I never contributed to him or attended his fund raisers. I grew up in the same neighborhood. I’m not ready to start writing about him at this point.

While Waiting For Movement In Whitey’s Case We Can Watch As Massachusetts Slowly Unravels

 

I wrote  how the newspapers like to follow up on stories.  The Sheila Burgess story of a driving record involving 7  (minor? her fault?) accidents, 4 speeding, 2 failure to stops for a police officer and 3 other minor incidents (we don’t know the outcome of any criminal charge) which happened in her early driving years has in another article turned into “a driving record longer than some college chemistry books” according to Brian McGrory.  Then he repeats the false “no transportation or government experience” mantra which I noted is not needed for the job she held.

I point to this because the paper uses it column writers to justify its first stories by repetition and hyperbole so that the public never considers the original story’s lack of factual basis for the subsequent conclusions.  (I’ve come upon this because I’m intrigued about how effectively this worked against Billy Bulger. It turned a man with an impeccable record of public service into a corrupt official. You’ll hear more on this.)

Shades of Whitey Bulger’s Winter Hill Gang: Law Enforcement Taking Lessons from the Gangsters in Running Their Operations

I understand a prosecutor has the absolute discretion in whom to charge with a crime. We see this in the case of a person who some allege was involved in the murder of Brian Halloran, Michael Donovan and John McIntyre. The U.S. attorney refuses to charge that person because it appears a deal has been made with a witness Kevin Weeks. Weeks will testify against Whitey Bulger as long as he need not disclose the identity of and testify against that person.  All murderers are equal but some murderers are more equal.

The Attempt by US Attorney Carmen Ortiz to Commit A Million Dollar Heist from A Hard Working Guy: Shades of Whitey Bulger

A person from out-of-state who comments here off an on asked me what I thought of a story he came across.  It related to the Caswell Motel owned by 69-year-old Russ Caswell.

After looking into it I’d suggest that rather than chasing after people like Sheila Burgess who committed no crime or caused any injustice, if the media is looking for something to do perhaps it could give thought to having a discussion of the Caswell Motel affair.  The trial relating to it just ended in federal courthouse that overlooks Boston harbor in South Boston. It was a jury waived trial in front of Magistrate Judith Dein who prior to becoming a judge worked for two major law firms in Boston doing civil work.

The Caswell Motel Affair hasn’t received much media coverage in Boston even though on May 8 of this year George Will wrote about it in the Washington Post under the headline “When The Looter Is The Government.”

The First Two Nominations for The “Got Guts” Award and “Gone Gray” Award Go To Politicians

As promised yesterday, I will make the nominations for this award from among those who are considered the leaders of the hacks, elected politicians. Keep in mind where some consider the word hack to be a pejorative indicating a loafer or idler; I happen to think it is a worthy title because it applies to all involved in politics or serving on the public payroll from the president of the United States, through our fighting men and women, to our teachers, pubic works employees, judges, police, fire, and other public officials and all those who support them and make our government operate. The hacks are the people who have maintained and preserved our democracy and keep us safe.

Thoughts of Whitey Bulger Lead to the Creation of The “Got Guts” and “Gone Gray” Awards: Nominations Tomorrow

I’ve been thinking how we’ve become a nation of craven individuals crowding together and trying to blend into the massive grayness of anonymity, a nation of grays. We hide our real opinions in the face of those who speak the loudest. We shrink back from what we know is true subjecting our opinion to the voice of the media as if it is the impartial arbiter of good and evil and does not have an agenda. We take good people and throw them to the mob in order to hide our own foibles knowing deep down we are in many ways just like the people we point a disdaining fingers at. We have forgotten that it was not the grays who gave us this great country.

The FBI Is Still Operating Under The Rules of J. Edgar Hoover When It Comes To Gathering Statements of Witnesses

In my book, Don’t Embarrass The Family, I tell how I became involved with these matters involving Whitey Bulger. Dealing with them, especially having sat through the trial of FBI agent John Connolly, I began to fear that the FBI had become an untamed monster.  In the Connolly case it was embarrassed by the disclosure that it had been using top gangsters as partners in its fight against organized crime after it became public knowledge. To protect itself, it tossed one victim, Connolly, into the pit to be chewed on by the lions to sate the public’s appetite and continued with business as usual.

This Thanksgiving Day The FBI Deserves Profound Thanks From President Obama For Keeping A Lid On the Jill Kelley Affair

The Jill Kelley saga forced the highly ribboned David Petraeus to resign as head of the CIA. Whether that is a great tragedy or great benefit is being debated. It has also forced a four star Marine Corps General John Allen to have his confirmation to a more important position delayed. It has forced two young women, Jill Kelley and Paula Broadwell, into the public spotlight in a humiliating and possible marriage-destroying manner. It has forced hundreds if not thousands of other people who have communicated with Kelley, Broadwell, Petraeus or Allen to go back through their emails to try to determine what the FBI now has on them. It has made people who comment anonymously to my blog realize they too can be identified by the FBI.