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

Featured articles

  • Ukraine: Was The West Snookered?
  • With Friends Like These! Shedding Our Wealth and Sacrificing Ourselves for Ingrates
  • The Many Mixed Messages of “Good Time Charlie” Hagel:
  • Ukraine’s Dilemma: Friends Living the Good Life Without Divisions
  • The Obtuse American: “Good Time Charlie” Hagel – Forgot Marilyn Monroe’s Words
  • Thoughts on Police Shootings: Boston and the FBI
  • The FBI’s Dilemma: Hiding Its Actions Leading Up to Tsarnaev Capture

The FBI’s Bad Choice That Caused Two Deaths: “60 Minutes” Tsarnaev Terrorist Attack

J. Edgar Hoover IN Dedperation Misses The Target.

I read the FBI was on 60 Minutes telling us a story about how it identified the Tsarnaev brothers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar, after the Marathon Terrorist Attack (MTA). The first thought came to mind was: “60 Minutes can find out what happened but the US Congress can’t.” Does that make you wonder about our justice system?

Don’t you remember that members of Congress had to travel to Russia to find out what the Russians told the FBI about Tamerlan Tsarnaev? Think back to what happened when a Congressional committee sought to hold hearings on it. The FBI refused to appear before it giving the usual excuse “the matter is under investigation.” Maybe the next time after a similar incident Congress should bring in the 60 Minutes crew to sit next to the members to find out what happened.

FBI’s Act Wears Thin: First Report on Ibragim Todashev Due Tomorrow

Ibragim TodashevTwo things amazed me about the killing of Ibragim Todashev: one, the ability of the FBI to hide the results of his homicide even though it occurred in an apartment controlled by police officers and the only witnesses to his killing were FBI agents and other law enforcement officers; and, despite my strong intent to write about it every month around the 22nd of the month, it had also slipped my mind. It wasn’t that I forgot about it; I didn’t. Rather the immediacy of the matter took second seat to other event and when it came back to mind it was usually far from the 22nd of the month. The FBI tactic of delay and obfuscation had even lulled me into forgetfulville.

Ukraine At High Risk: Sophisticated Europe Punts

the_wages_of_appeasementI’ve been waiting for Putin’s speech to be translated. I have a partial translation courtesy of The Guardian leading me here. Why is it when Putin is setting out a new course in Russia’s relations with the West I have such difficulty finding out what he said?

I come at this because I have been reading that Putin has forsworn any further action against Ukraine based upon reported summaries of his speech. Then another report I read seemed to contradict this. So until I get a full translation it will be difficult for me to talk intelligently about it.

I’ve read he said that Crimea went over without a shot being fired. Of course right after his speech his orders to begin cleaning up Crimea were put into effect as his forces attacked the Ukrainian bases wounding killing at least one Ukrainian soldier. We have to be totally on the alert dealing with Putin since he is a brazen liar playing to the xenophobia of the Russian people whose popularity soars with each new aggression.

The NY Times Praise for Obama’s Talking Approach to Ukraine

assad putinI’m not quite sure what to use as an introductory statement to this comment: a leopard doesn’t change its spots; or a zebra its stripes; or a snake always crawls on its belly. It’s one of those and whichever is more applicable then it fits the New York Times, the home of Walter Duranty who won a Pulitzer Prize pimping for Josef Stalin. Now a new Russian lover has appeared on the scene: Tom Friedman who penned an article in praise of the Russian people. And as you know, to praise the Russians means you have to figure out a way to excuse them when their country commits its dastardly acts.

Friedman’s article suggests that the U.S. must first clean up its act before it preaches to others. Friedman writes the US must become: “not just the world’s cleanest dirty shirt when it comes to our economy and not just the best democracy money can buy when it comes to our politics.”  In other words until we reach perfection it is best we do nothing.

Today South Boston Honors Saint Patrick

DSC_0547It’s here. The St. Patrick’s Day parade in South Boston. Along with it has come the dispute that began 22 years ago.

You know what I’m talking about. Or do you?

It is written about in today’s Boston Globe by Yvonne Abraham of the Boston Globe. She wrote that she asked Boston’s new mayor about gays marching openly in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. He responded: “It’s going to happen in my first term.” Note that she was cute in phrasing the question. She asked him about gays marching openly, not about gays marching. There is no question that gays can march in the parade. The issue is what will they be able to say in their signage when they march. 

Ukraine: How Obama Talked It Down The Drain

Ukraine Map of GreenThe green area on this map is what some believe is the ultimate goal of Dictator Putin. it is to take all of the east and south of Ukraine land annexing it to Russia making Ukraine a landlocked country. How much of his goal he will achieve remains to be seen.

Elmer who comments here has better connections inside Ukraine than I do and follows the news more closely than I am doing. He recently called my attention to an article that set forth the following: “Russia’s military goals are evolving. Moscow’s tactics are based on the principle of razvedka boem, or employing military means to assess an adversary’s strength and willpower.” (my emphasis)

I’ve been suggesting all along that that this is Putin’s mindset. He’s going to go as far as he can go (like they said in Oklahoma about in Kansas City). He will determine this by taking one step, gauging the reaction, and then deciding what to do next.

An Interesting Year of Trials in the Offing

bzp032We have three trials in Massachusetts that will begin this year that everyone should keep an eye on. They will give a good view of the way in which justice is dispense and judges act.

The first to kick off is that of the probation officer prosecution of John O’Brien, Elizabeth Tavares and William Burke. They are facing penalties that could well exceed 30 years although anything near that is unlikely. When all is said and done if they are convicted they’ll get no more than a year or two, and even that would be outrageous. What will hurt most is they’ll lose their pensions.

The Price of Obama’s Pusillanimity: Putin’s OK to Invade Ukraine

Doc - Dec 26, 2013, 12-49 PMPresident Obama can rightly be called the talk man. He is all talk and no action. Someone might tell him some day that it won’t be his words that count but what he did. Right now he is giving Ukraine to Russia.

February 21:  Call # 1 President Obama calls Dictator Putin – A One Hour Call – Political Settlement?

In his first call on February 21 by President Obama to Russian Dictator Putin it was reported they agreed that a political settlement should come about. Susan Rice said: that in Obama’s phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday the two agreed that a political settlement in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, should ensure the unity of the country and the right of Ukrainians to express their free will.”

February 23:  Susan Rice – Grave Mistake?

MA Supreme Judicial Court Strange OK To Upskirting

skirtThe Massachusetts highest court is the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC). Understand that justices on that court have an ethereal existence which sometimes affects the way they decide cases. Their interaction with the rest of us is quite limited and they spend most of their time talking to each other reinforcing the righteousness of their ideas. Two recent decisions that it pronounced makes one wonder where the judges hearts are. These decisions suggest to me that they need to spend a little time finding out how the rest of us live.

Judges should decide things with the understanding of the effect their decisions have on the lives of us individual blokes who go about our way rubbing shoulders with others like ourselves. What we need, which these SJC justices seem not to grasp, was spelled out by Judge Elijah Adlow, the long serving judge who handled the first session of the Boston Municipal Court where he encountered the smell, spell and swell of everyday city life. He summed up his philosophy in a few words: “the whole point of culture [is] to give everyone peace, quiet and the right to enjoy life.” He made his decisions based on that ideal.

Crimean Loss: Obama’s Weakness?

Ukraine Dec 8 New York TimesGetting to the nub of the matter the loss of Crimea had nothing, absolutely nothing to do with Obama. That’s not to say Obama’s foreign policy is doing much to deter such actions but given the event in Ukraine since November no matter who was president of the United States the Russian boss would have taken the same steps. So please don’t fall into the mire being spread by people with a hatred of Obama as Charles Krauthammer that but for Obama’s blunders Putin would not have moved on Crimea.

The majority in Crimea was always interested in returning it to Russia. As recently as the 2002 elections to Ukraine’s parliament (called the Rada) in Crimea the Communist Party of Ukraine which sought to be part of Russia received 34% of the vote; the party representing a pro-Russian anti-western stance about 12 1/2% of the vote; and the pro-Western vote was 9.77%. The rest of the vote was divided among various other groups.